How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

We are taught from a young age not to compare ourselves to others. Yet, it’s much easier said than done. There are endless ways in which we tend to compare ourselves including our jobs, income, house, grades, likes on Instagram, and the list goes on. Not only are there an infinite number of areas in which we can compare ourselves to others, nowadays because of social media, it would appear that there is also an infinite list of people we can also compare ourselves to.

First-hand experience has taught us that comparison leads to unhappiness. It allows us to focus on what we don’t have or what we aren’t happy with about ourselves. It’s true that there can be some benefits to comparison. For instance, it could drive you to succeed in fulfilling your own goals. It may even reassure you that if it’s possible for them, it’s possible for you too. Nevertheless, it often leaves us feeling frustrated, “why not me?” It can also make us feel anxious – “am I doing enough?” The energy we spend on these thoughts is predominantly negative. It eats away at our precious time, zaps at our motivation and fills us with self-doubt.

This reaction is not unusual. According to a study concerning envy in adulthood, more than 75% of people reported feeling this way in the past year. Below are five proactive approaches to stop comparing yourself to others, and regain control to focus on your own path.

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Establish the triggers

The first step is to acknowledge when these feelings of envy generally come about. Is it after a session of scrolling through your LinkedIn feed? Perhaps it’s after glancing at your friends’ Instagram stories. These observations teach us a lot about our values. Let off some steam or seek to understand these comparisons by getting it down on paper. Write about how they impact you, is there a goal that you could perhaps establish in order to achieve that in your own life, or is the comparison simply a waste of time. Become aware of the triggers and analyse them accordingly.

Practice Gratitude

Thankfully, practicing gratitude can override these negative emotions. If you find yourself comparing yourself to others, take a look around you – think about who and what you’re grateful for. It may help to write these down or even make this a collective activity. With your family, friends, or partner, create a gratitude jar. Find a mason jar, decorate it to your liking, and fill it with at least one thing each day that you are grateful for. With the current situation, you could consider creating a virtual gratitude jar through a Whatsapp group. When you find yourself slipping into comparison mode or self-doubt, reach for the gratitude jar to uplift you.

Identify your Achievements

When focusing on others, we tend to focus on their strengths and, consequently, we ignore our own. This is a lose-lose situation that can be proactively turned into a win-win situation. Go ahead and identify your own achievements to reflect on your skills and talents. Begin to list all of your recent (or not so) achievements, no matter how big or small. From helping a friend to doing a workout with zero motivation, take pride in your achievements.  

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Embrace the Inspiration

Behind everyone’s success is a story. We tend to focus on the outcome as opposed to the hours they spent working hard and making sacrifices for their achievements. Instead of focusing on envy, embrace it as a form of motivation. Who are the people you aspire to be like? If you know them, reach out to them. If it’s someone in the public eye, do your research and find out about their story. Let them be the inspiration for what you can be, do and achieve.

Friend or Foe?

There are two options when it comes to self-talk – friend or foe. You know that voice inside your head that tells you every insult under the sun? This one’s the foe. If you wouldn’t say it to your friend, don’t say it to yourself. When you succumb to comparison mode, be your own best friend. Be kind to yourself by acknowledging and reminding yourself of your unique values. Give yourself pep talks that build up your confidence, and instill you with positivity.

“A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it, it just blooms.” – Zen Shin

There will always be someone more successful, more intelligent, or more beautiful than you are. The key is to appreciate your uniqueness, focus on strengths. Take control of where you put your energy. Use it to believe in yourself and create the life you desire and deserve.

You’ve got this!

5 Top Tips to Go Plant-based: Veganuary

Whether you follow a fully-fledged plant-based diet or want to cut back on animal consumption, there are so many incredible reasons to go plant-based. Be it for health reasons, conscious living or ethics, there are an abundance of benefits to a plant-based diet. Veganuary is a great way to get the ball rolling for veganism or even to embrace a more plant-based diet in general. Whether it be a temporary challenge or to incorporate some long-term lifestyle changes, read on for some tips to help you stay on track.

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Establish Strong Motivation for Going Plant-Based

Health

A plant-based diet is timely for winter as it boosts your immune system thanks to the abundance of essential nutrients found in plants. It improves gut health so you are better able to absorb the nutrients from food that not only supports your immune system, but also reduces inflammation. In addition, plants are high in fibre so, in addition to exercise, it’s an excellent path for weight loss.

Ethics

A plant-based diet seeks to avoid animal cruelty and suffering. There is no doubt that breeding, caging and slaughtering animals for food causes suffering. From a moral standpoint, a plant-based lifestyle promotes compassion and ethical living.

The Planet

Plant-based living is much better for the planet in terms of sustainability. A plant-based diet requires only one third of the land needed to support a meat and dairy diet. It also promotes sustainability as the production of meat and other animal products place a heavy burden on the planet due to the large production of greenhouse gases and water consumption. Making the switch to a plant-based diet is an effective way to reduce our impact on the environment.

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Educate Yourself on Plant-Based Brands and Products

Do you crave pizza on a Friday night? Are you a chocolate lover? Find those meat and dairy free alternatives before the cravings hit. Do your research and find some meat and dairy-free deliciousness. Give yourself some extra time in the supermarket to read the labels of the products you are unsure about too.

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Nutrition and Supplements

Like with every other diet, it’s essential to get the right nutrients. Eat healthily by avoiding processed foods, though the occasional treat is fine, and eating a healthy variety of the food pyramid. B12 is a supplement that people following plant-based, vegan and veggie diets tend to take. Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal products, but luckily it’s found in a lot of meat-free and dairy-free alternative products as well as fortified breakfast cereals. It’s also important to review iron intake by consciously consuming foods that are high in iron. If you find your diet lacks iron, try to eat lentils, chickpeas, beans, tofu, chia seeds, and fortified breakfast cereals. Speaking to a nutritionist is a great way to find out whether you should be taking iron supplements.

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Always Carry a Snack

Sometimes it can be challenging to find meat-free and dairy-free snacks on the go. As a plant-based diet tends to be high in fibre, it can make you feel hungry between or after meals. That’s why it’s best to always have an emergency snack on hand.

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Get Creative

There are so many incredible books and series for research and motivation, The Game Changer is a great documentary to watch for veganuary. Additionally, there are so many YouTube channels, social media pages, websites and blogs dedicated to plant-based tips and delicious recipes. Find the sources of inspo that work best for you, from cheap meals to gluten free options, plant-based eating is a great way to get creative.

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Veganuary is a great way to initiate your plant-based journey. Whether it be an experiment for long-term goals or a one-month health challenge, it can be amazing for the planet, your health and, of course, the animals. Join Veganuary for free for some amazing recipes, top tips and daily motivation to keep on track.

Hygge – Fall in Love with Winter the Danish Way

Hygge is regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture, one of the happiest countries in the world. Denmark is situated in northern Europe meaning it can get pretty cold and dark, especially this time of year. Yet, it’s repeatedly voted one of the places with the happiest citizens. Hygge, the Danish way to live life well, is the perfect way to learn to love the winter months. It’s all about cosiness and joyful experiences that can be achieved by anyone, anywhere in the world. As this season is full of festivity, snug surroundings and delicious food, it’s the perfect time to impart some hygge into your life.

What does Hygge actually mean?

According to dictionary.com, Hygge is “the feeling of coziness and contentment evoked by simple comforts, as being wrapped in a blanket, having good conversations, enjoying food, etc.” Hygge is much easier felt than described. It’s the art of creating intimacy and joy, the pleasure of comfort, and a cup of hot chocolate in candlelight. The beauty of hygge is that it embraces happiness in the little things in life.

5 Simple Steps to Practice Hygge

Ambience

According to Meik Wiking, author of The Little Book of Hygge, hygge is nothing without candles. When darkness hits, it’s time to turn off the lights and brighten up the room with candles, lamps, and love. In order to create a hyggelig ambience, candles are essential. The concept of creating small flutters of light around the room captures the beauty and simplicity of the comfort and warmth light offers us.

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Conviviality

Denmark prioritises its social relationships and work-life balance. Chances are you’re already set to experience something hygge this season. Conviviality is a key concept which is the simple pleasure of spending time with loved ones. Time shared with others creates a feeling of warmth and closeness, particularly hygge when done in a pleasant relaxing atmosphere. In fact, studies show that the more satisfied with your social relationships, the happier people are in general. As a social species, our relationships affect our happiness. According to the Danes, the perfect hygge social events include an intimate amount of 3 – 4 close friends. Whether it be organising a games night, or enjoying some good food by the cosiness of the fireplace, creating hygge memories requires minimal effort. So, light some candles, put some relaxing music on and leave your phone in your bag to practice presence.

Pleasure

The hygge concept is all about being kind to yourself by allowing yourself to indulge in one of the simplest pleasures of life, food, and drink. Actually, the pleasance of good food and drink may mean taking a break from the healthy bandwagon. Stop seeing them as guilty pleasures and start seeing them as hygge inspired treats. For the most hygge food, think all things sweet such as cake, pastries and home-baked treats galore. Though hyggelig treats can be as simple as sharing a bowl of popcorn with friends. For the most hygge beverages, think warm drinks like hot chocolate, coffee, or why not go all out with some mulled wine to celebrate the festive season. Embracing a warm drink is a comforting way of warming yourself up and inducing an enjoyable hygge ambience.

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Cosiness

Getting snug and relaxing is a great wait to practice hygge cosiness. The wonders of hygge include some cosy attire, comfy cushions and a blanket. If you really want to hygge things up, you can take it to the next level and create a hyggekrog. This is a cosy spot at home where you can get cosy with a good book and hot beverage. The typical Danish hyggekrog is the most beautiful window ledge seat that we all secretly long for in our homes. It doesn’t have to be a window spot though. Take a part of a room and fill it with cushions, comfy seating, a blanket and some gentle lighting for the ultimate hygge feel. There’s something comforting about a small spot meant for moments of cosiness. Embrace the comfort of home in your new hygge hideout and get ready to relax with a good book.

Peace and Harmony

After a slightly different year, it’s safe to say many of us have learned to appreciate peace and tranquillity. At times, as interesting as debating politics may be or no matter how satisfying it can feel to brag about our achievements, we need moments of peace and harmony. Life is no competition and love has no price. Instead, in moments of hygge, we must share our tasks and embrace the time spent together in a peaceful manner. After all, we must be grateful to have our loved ones in our life and enjoy one of the most simplistic blessings in life, their presence.

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What better way to fully immerse yourself in the Christmas spirit than to create a hygge ambience? All these wonderful hygge concepts are taken from Meik Wiking’s award-winning book, The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well. This short summary was completely inspired by this wonderful book that quite frankly made me fall in love with all things hygge. It is thanks to Meik that I can see the beauty in winter, a season full of darker days and cold chills. Winter is the season which invites us to practice hygge to our heart’s desire.

Simple Self-Care Tips for the Winter Season

As winter begins in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s the perfect time to embrace the seasonal changes. Winter is rolling in which means our self-care routines and leisure activities, much like our wardrobes, are in need of a switch-up. Welcome in the beauty of winter with these simple self-care tips to embrace the chill.

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The Benefits of a Seasonal Routine

Did you know that the seasons affect both our body and mind? Scientific studies show that seasonal variations including temperatures, daylight, and weather conditions affect us. Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD, is an example of human seasonality. Those with the disorder tend to suffer depressive episodes in late autumn or early winter, sapping energy and augmenting mood swings. One reason for this is that reduced sunlight can cause a drop in serotonin levels.

Luckily, there are some simple steps we can take in order to stay in sync with the seasons. Our daily self-care practices help keep us happy and healthy. So with the arrival of winter, it’s time to prioritise self-care.

Winter Walks

Nothing is quite as refreshing as a winter walk. Not only is it a wonderful way to get a dose of fresh air, it also provides us with the natural light that our body craves during the winter months. It may seem less appetising during the cold months, especially on those frosty mornings. Even so, you won’t regret it. It’s a wonderful way to get exercise and even enjoy the company of a loved one. Or, to make the most of some alone time, why not make it meditative by giving a walking meditation a go?

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Vitamin D

During the winter months, it can be hard to get enough vitamin D from sunlight alone. Yet, vitamin D is essential for maintaining healthy bones and strengthening our immune systems. Studies actually show that vitamin D deficiency is associated with depression. Luckily, between 10-30 minutes of midday sunlight several times a week is a great way to get your dose of vitamin D. And, for those gloomy days, there are some delicious sources of vitamin D including: fortified soy, almond and rice milk, mushrooms, fortified orange juice, oily fish and fortified cereals and oats.

Soak in Hot Baths

Soaking in a bath is a pleasant way to relax and, according to the Healthline, it can also help reduce inflammation and control blood sugar. Basically, a relaxing bubble bath can be used as an excellent antidote to a stressful day as well as warming you up amid the winter chill. Soak in a hot bath whilst soothing your senses with some scented candles or fragrant bath salts. Or why not make a day of it and schedule a spa day for the ultimate relaxation.

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Ayurvedic Rituals

Ayurveda is an ancient Indian system of holistic health, which embraces natural practices to nurture the body and mind. In Ayurveda, wellness is known as the absence of disease and the vibrancy of being at ease with yourself and others. Although Ayurveda focuses on three different body types, there are many lifestyle practices to benefit from regardless of our dosha. Tongue scraping, for example, first thing in the morning is an effective way of removing toxins and bacteria accumulated overnight. Drinking warm water first thing also has incredible benefits including hydration of the body’s tissues, aiding digestion, and, of course, keeping you warm and cosy on those winter mornings. For more amazing Ayurvedic practices and an in-depth guide to rituals and recipes specific to your body type, check out this Ayurvedic Beginner’s Guide.

Journaling

Momentaneous sadness or irritation is normal irrespective of the seasons. Yet, those rainy days or winter chills can take an extra toll on our mood at times. This is when journaling can come in handy. Relaying your thoughts on paper is a great way of coping with fleeting negativity. It can help to understand the reasons behind these emotions, or even enable us to stumble upon some solutions. Positive affirmations are also a great way to stay on track in moments of self-doubt or worry. We are what we think, and in turn, our moods, days, and lives stem from our thoughts. Release some “feel-good” hormones with the help of psychologist Doctor Carmen Harra’s expertise in affirmations.

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Music

Did you know that your brain actually releases dopamine, also known as the feel-good neurotransmitter, when you listen to music? Pleasurable music induces release of dopamine, contributing to feelings of pleasure and satisfaction. So, if you’re looking for an instant mood-boosting hack to cure your winter blues, it’s time to put your favourite playlist on. And what better way to get in the Christmas spirit than dancing, cooking or showering to some Christmas classics. Because, who doesn’t feel happier after listening to Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is You, right?

Ignite Your Inner Creativity

Getting creative is entertaining and provides us with an abundance of benefits. From stress relief to increased confidence, we have all experienced first-hand the feeling of accomplishment that creativity brings. Whether it be some mindful baking to whip up some tasty treats, reading in a cosy corner of the house or drawing and painting to your heart’s desire, the options are endless. To practice some seasonal creativity, why not create a beautiful hand-made gift this Christmas or have a go at making some delicious wintery drinks to feel replenished.

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Winter is a wonderful season that has so much to offer. From snuggling up on the sofa with a hot chocolate to exhilarating winter sports, this season deserves to be celebrated. Wintertime is renowned for its frosty mornings and crisp air, yet it’s also a time to embrace the beauty of winter walks, cosy corners and festive spirits.

Autumn Is Here: How to Stay Balanced and Energised with the Change of Seasons

Autumn is finally here meaning an array of crispy leaves will fill our paths as soups, hot drinks and snuggly jumpers make a welcomed return. Not only does autumn have an effect on the weather, our wardrobe and cooking choices, it also brings a change in energy levels as light hours are reduced and the nights become longer. Keep reading to find out how to stay aligned with the ebb and flow of your energy levels during this seasonal transition.

EAT HEARTY NURTURING FOODS

In order to keep energy levels flowing and build up our immune system in time for winter, it is essential to nurture your body with healthy, seasonal foods. Avoid processed foods and always opt for organic options where possible. Eat seasonal fruits and veggies as many of these are excellent sources of the immune-boosting vitamin C. In terms of vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and green and red peppers are an excellent source of Vitamin C. Citrus fruits and the berry group: strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and cranberries, are also rich in Vitamin C as well as pertaining to foods high in antioxidants. Antioxidants do wonders for the body. According to expert Christopher T. Reilly, “antioxidants remove free radicals from the body which can run rampant and actually damage cells, causing serious illness.” This makes for an excellent excuse to do some healthy, nurturing cooking.

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EMBRACE THE HYGGE AUTUMN FEELS

If the book The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well by happiness researcher and expert Meik Wiking doesn’t get you excited about the cosiness of autumn and the nights drawing in, I don’t know what will. The Danish concept, Hygge, embraces all things warm and wintery including: candles, blankets, baking, hot drinks, warm clothing, books, and nature. Autumn is the perfect excuse to mindfully relax and practice presence by taking a warm bath whilst enjoying some aromatic oils and lighting some candles. Create a hygge ambient by sitting back and relaxing with your favourite book, podcast or film. Or why not enjoy a morning of baking followed by an evening featuring your favourite movie accompanied, of course, by the hygge essentials: a hot drink, a blanket and somebody you love (a pet counts too).

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SCHEDULE IN SOCIAL EVENTS AND ENTERTAINMENT

At times, it is much less enticing to organise meet-ups and attend social events with shorter days, cooler temperatures and darker evenings. Yet, reminding yourself just how much fun you will have with your friends, family, or partners makes for the perfect reason to schedule in activities that bring you happiness. From a dinner or games night with friends, to an outdoor cycle or an autumnal family walk, fill your fall social calendar with events that you can look forward to all week.

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PRIORITISE SLEEP

Melatonin regulates the sleep-wake cycle meaning that a decrease in light exposure causes “an increase in melatonin production, which results in a feeling of sluggishness or being tired” according to experts. In order to avoid this seasonal tiredness, ensure that you are consistent with your sleeping pattern with the aim of achieving between 7 to 8 hours of sleep depending on what your body requires. Limiting screen time and artificial lighting about an hour before drifting off is also a fundamental part of getting a good night’s rest. Remember, you are only as energised as your previous night’s sleep.

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The beauty of autumn deserves to be celebrated, so here’s to cosy nights in, delicious warm recipes and beverages, and enhancing the hygge ways of happiness. What are your top tips to staying healthy, happy and energised in autumn?

How to Feel Happy

Happiness

noun

  1. the quality or state of being happy.
  2. good fortune; pleasure; contentment; joy.

Happiness is what everyone strives for in life. It is what everyone tells you to be, but no one really tells you how to be it. Happiness is subject to every individual making it a rather complex topic. Luckily with in-depth research and hard-work, we now know the hacks to lead a happier life so let’s dive into different ways to increase our happiness!

Avoid the “if when” Mindset

In a world in which we are surrounded by social media and glamorous ads, we are susceptible to superficial ideas of happiness. Just scrolling through Instagram, Facebook, or passing commercials in the street, we constantly see people, products, and services that make happiness seem so achievable. If you book that holiday, you’ll be happy. If you get that promotion, you’ll feel happier. It gives us hope that we will find happiness if or when this happens – it’s a waiting game. The problem with this “if when” mindset is that we are constantly depending on that future moment for our happiness. We are aware of what we lack, thus failing to see what we actually have. The best way to tackle this is by replacing the “if when” mind-set by counting your blessings and thinking about everyone and everything you are fortunate enough to have in your life right now.

Gratitude

The infamous gratitude list is the BEST way to really think about what we have and embrace it with open arms. Start the day on a positive note by making it the first thing you do in the morning. Look around you and start to think about your blessings: nature, food and drink, pets, family, friends, beautiful places, access to water, safety, good health, wildlife, a home, entertainment. Make a concerted effort to see all the good that encompasses you. Check out this free five-minute morning journal below to make gratitude a daily ritual.

Connecting With Others

Spending time alone is great and definitely needed, but spending time with others should also be a priority. As an introvert, this can be a struggle. Reminding yourself that we humans thrive off social interactions and supportive relationships is a great reason to organise a get-together with loved ones. The most important thing is to be sure that you are making real genuine connections that contribute to your psychological well-being. Organise something you enjoy with someone you get joy from being with in order to boost those feel-good vibes. Notice how you feel after certain social activities and interactions and aim to fill your social schedule with the ones that leave you feeling great afterwards.

Go Easy on Yourself

Sometimes you will feel down and that’s completely normal. Just like every other emotion, happiness is fleeting. This means that those bad moods will end and those moments of joy too. Psychologically speaking, there are two types of happiness. Hedonistic happiness is the fleeting kind such as that first bite of chocolate, receiving a compliment, or going on vacation. Hedonistic happiness is about experiences of pleasure and joy.

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Diving Deeper

On the other hand, eudaimonic happiness is the purposeful, long-lasting type. When your values and beliefs are expressed in your choices, habits, and actions, you are practicing eudaimonia. Those that experience this type of happiness enjoy life and all it has to offer. This sense of fulfillment is reached from the pursuit of meaning and virtue.

Eudaimonic Happiness

Eudaimonic happiness offers a completely different perspective on what it means to have a good life. It involves discovering our purpose and investing in personal growth. This sense of fulfillment will enable us to feel more content and purpose. The concept contains six pillars that experts deem to be crucial in the pursuit of lasting happiness.

The elements are autonomy, personal growth, environmental mastery, positive relations, self-acceptance, and purpose in life. To clarify, autonomy refers to the ability to feel confident enough to pursue your own path in life and build yourself a life without getting wrapped up in other people’s opinions. Environmental mastery is the ability to create a suitable environment to accommodate personal needs and values. By taking on these challenges you are investing in your long-term happiness which, needless to say, will definitely be worth it.

“Happiness is not out there, it’s in you.” – Louise Armstrong

Paying Attention to Detail: Brighten up Your Day with Gratitude

Gratitude has the ability to transform your mindset from negativity to positivity. According to scientific studies, not only does it improve your psychological health, but it also improves your physical health. It can help rid us of toxic emotions like anger or envy, and fight off any fleeting negativity. For some, gratitude may be engrained in your daily routine, or for others, it may be a spontaneous activity. Either way, here are some sources of inspiration to brighten up your day with gratitude.

Think Outside the Box

For those of you that keep a gratitude journal, I’m sure you’ve spotted some common themes, things that constantly appear on your list. These might be family, friends, health, financial security, pets etc. and understandably so! They are the essential pillars of happiness for many. It’s always interesting to spice it up a bit and think of a range of things unique to the present day or week that you feel grateful for. For example, instead of writing friends in general, name someone that you feel particularly grateful for now.

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Pay Attention

From a young age, my nan has been a source of inspiration. She pays attention to all the good around her and always has something positive to say. She finds joy in all the little things that most of us hardly notice. The amazing things she sees on her walks, about the wonderful cooking she’s been doing, how beautiful the flowers that are blooming in her garden are… She pays attention to the little things we tend to forget about and it’s definitely the secret behind her happiness. She is grateful for and mindful of everything that encompasses her. Let’s take a leaf out of her book and pay attention to our surroundings and day-to-day activities in a mindful way.

The Honey Bee Analogy

A while back I came across an incredibly inspiring video by a guru called Radhanath Swami. It’s about the honey bee and the fly mentality. The analogy talks about where each of these creatures gives its attention. A honey bee goes from flower to flower in search of nectar. It doesn’t worry about the size of the flower or how far away it might be, it searches for the flower’s essence. It does this in the most unexpected of places, despite the fact it might be next to rubbish or filth. Whereas the fly is, quite literally, always looking for shit. It focuses on the rubbish despite all the beauty that might be nearby.

The Gratitude Mindset

The fly represents the mind that fails to notice all the good things we’re surrounded by. In contrast, the honey bee makes a concerted effort to look for positivity, no matter how hard that may be. This analogy emphasises the fact that fault-finding is a habit, a mindset. It is so easy to focus on all the negativity around us, just like the fly. What is more challenging is the honey bee approach, paying attention to all the good around us. If you look hard enough, it will be there even on those bad days. Don’t fall into the trap of being the fly, pay attention to everything good that there is to be grateful for around you.

Positivity is Perspective

Strive to pay attention to all the good around you. If you find yourself falling into the fly mindset, remind yourself to look just a little further just like the honey bee. Go on a walk in nature, listen to your favourite playlist, cook a recipe you love. It’s about being mindful of the little things that so often go by unnoticed. The secret to gratitude is in paying attention to detail.

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Wellness and the Weekend: Finding Balance

Many of us can relate to maintaining a healthy lifestyle Monday to Friday, right? Our routine, limited social events, and a productive mindset help us to stay on track. Yet the moment that the weekend arrives, it can be easy to slip up. Here are some tips to promote balance and avoid completely jumping off the wellness bandwagon.

Buy Healthier Alternatives

Healthy eating is all about the balance of enjoying food responsibly. Bear your food cravings in mind when you do the food shop because let’s be honest, we all get them. The key is to opt for healthier alternatives. If you are a chocolate lover, opt for dark chocolate, if you are a pizza lover, make a cauliflower-based pizza. By investing in healthier alternatives to your guilty pleasures you set yourself up for a happier, healthier gut. Do some research and find out what alternatives are available. Although, OK it’s the weekend so technically pigging out should be allowed, just in a smarter way. Liberate yourself from the guilt and sugar rush. Your body and mind will thank you for it.

Get Excited about Exercise

It’s the weekend so the last thing you want to think about is having to drag yourself to the gym when you’re just not feeling it. That’s completely fine because we all need a break and, hey, it’s the weekend. It’s all about having fun whilst not jumping off the healthy bandwagon entirely. If no form of exercise excites you yet, it’s time to get experimenting. Try out a new sport or even take a trip down memory lane and opt for a childhood classic like roller skating. Why not get the best of both worlds by getting outdoors too? For instance, going on a bike ride, hiking in the mountains, or taking a walk to watch the sunset. Embrace the activities that excite you and get you moving in the process.

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Give Yourself Some You Time

So Monday to Friday we work, we study, we run errands and we reap productivity. The weekend is the perfect time to reward yourself for all the hard work you have put in and take time to focus on yourself. Do something that makes you happy or makes you feel alive. It’s OK to say no to events to prioritise yourself. Actually, you are doing them and yourself a favour in order to replenish and feel like your best self.

Spend Time with People that Bring Out the Best of You

According to Jim RohnYou are the five people you spend the most time with.” This is the perfect reason to hang out with the people that make you feel happy and uplift you. Social interaction, when done right, triggers positivity and releases endorphins. Spending time with friends that spark joy is a win-win situation, resulting in an increase in well-being for all.

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Learn Something New

Who said that learning was boring? Learning doesn’t have to be tedious. In fact, when you find something that sparks your inner curiosity, learning becomes a pick-me-up. From reading a gripping book to listening to a podcast that inspires you, the more you learn, the more you keep your mind engaged. Embrace unconventional learning by watching a video on a topic you’ve always wanted to learn about, or by reading your favourite magazine.

You cannot buy your health; you must earn it through healthy living.” – Joel Fuhrman

Summer 2021 Bucket List : 10 Ways to Enjoy a Slightly Different Summer

What can we do this summer now our wanderlust is on hold for a while? Having a holiday or travelling plans postponed might not be the best way to start the summer but there are plenty of other things we can enjoy this season. Not everywhere is blessed with endless summer sunshine, so here you’ll find a mix of activities even for the chillier days.

Sunset

Watch the sunset in your favourite spot in good company. Watching the sunset will never get old, it reminds us of the beautiful simplicity of life and fills us with gratitude for another day we have been blessed with. If you are an early-riser, why not catch sunrise too?

Outdoor Cinema

See a movie at a drive-in theatre. This can be done with social distance and is a brilliant way to spend an evening. Plan a beautiful summer evening by searching for a drive-in cinema near you, or if there are none nearby why not create your own outdoor cinema in the garden or local park.

Gardening

Grow something! Summer is a great season to brighten up your terrace, garden or even grow some interior plants and flowers. Why not invest in some seeds and hone your gardening skills? Or for those a little less inclined to become the next Alan Titchmarsh, take a trip to the local florist or garden centre and invest in something that catches your eye.

fresh red flowers decorating yard of cottage
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Embark on an adventure…

Though our wanderlust may be on hold, try visiting a new place nearby. This could be a village, a mountain, a country park or some hidden gem that is yet to be discovered. By exploring locally we are helping to save the planet whilst satisfying our desire to explore.

Tea Party

Plan an afternoon tea event. OK, so this might be the most British thing on here… but tea could always be substituted for coffee. Why not join the hype and make it a dalgona coffee to impress your guests. Prepare some delicious food, drinks and get outside to embrace the summer sunshine.

Try out a new sport

Try a new sport. Just because we are adulting, it does not mean we cannot learn a new sport. Let go off any inhibitions and think of a sport you haven’t done since high school and give it a go. You might even find yourself a new hobby!

person surfing
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Summer Solstice

Celebrate solstice! In fact, today – June 20th is the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere – Happy Summer Solstice! Plan a last-minute party or take a trip to your favourite spot al fresco. In Spain, there is an amazing celebration known as San Juan which is celebrated annually at the beach with bonfires and wave jumping traditions. It’s an evening enjoyed with loved ones which involved watching the sunset and the night draw in. It’s worth experiencing this once in your lifetime, but as Spain main be a little far right now, try recreating this celebration with your friends.

Ice Cream Galore

Make your own ice cream or ice-lollies. Relive your childhood and get experimenting with some recipes that catch your eye. Minimalist Baker will blow you away with some kitchen creativity and deliciousness.

Visit the Local Market

Go to the farmer’s market. Buy some local produce and then whip up a treat to satisfy your current cravings while being wholesome and eco-friendly in the process.

sunflowers on rack with price tag near orange canopy tent
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Face your Fears

Do something that scares you! This is not an encouragement for reckless behaviour, but rather a way to prove what you are capable of and feel proud afterwards. From rafting to karaoke this could be anything that has been left unfulfilled on your bucket list for a while. Allow John A. Shedd to impart his wisdom, “a ship in port is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”

Wishing you all the happiest of summers! Comment below and tell us what is top on your summer 2021 bucket list.

The Science-Backed Benefits of Houseplants

Plant deco is definitely trending in 2020. Thankfully, unlike other social trends, this one may last longer than most because of their science-backed benefits. It turns out houseplants are beneficial for our health, home and well-being.

photo of plants on white pot
Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

The Benefits of Interior Plants

Air Purifying Plants

If you have ever searched “purifying interior plants” on Google, you’ll know that there are an abundance of plants that do absolute wonders for your health and home. These plants have the ability to absorb the pollutants such as carbon dioxide in the air through their leaves and roots. These magic plants been proven to help eliminate harmful toxins in our homes caused by cleaning products, air fresheners, cosmetics and smoking. Some of the best air-purifying plants include: spider plants, dracaenas, bamboo, aloe vera, and peace lilies.

Reduced Stress Levels

Did you know that indoor plants can help you feel more comfortable and calm? Studies show that plants can reduce both physiological and psychological stress. Spending time around greenery does wonders for our health and well-being as they stave off stress and anxiety. What’s more, according to environmental health expert Danica-Lea Larcombe, “plants confer positive changes in in the brain’s electrical activity, muscle tension and heart activity.”

person arranging pot plant
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Aesthetically Pleasing Plant Decor

From tiny succulents to divine pot plants, there are so many to choose from. Whether it be to brighten up your living room or add some beach vibes to the bedroom, they’re a great way to jazz up interiors on a budget. When choosing a plant, bear in mind the sunlight, temperature and humidity of the room to ensure it will thrive. So hit up your local garden centre and invest in some green household additions.

green plant on white wooden table
Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Plant deco is a definite 2020 interior design trend. Apart from their aesthetical beauty, they can also help our health, stress levels and homes. So, if plants bring you joy why not decorate your home in an ecological manner?