This blog has always been my happy place. In many ways a little escape from all the serious grown up things in life. I am by nature an anxious person, I naturally worry about things and over think everything. I am not always happy or positive and negative things always really get to me. In order to stay happy, make the most of life and just enjoy being on the planet, there are lots of things I do to make myself happy.
I actively choose to make this blog a happy place, I talk about nice clothes, fun things to do, I bake, I make cups of tea and I go to pretty places. In many ways the blog is a reflection of everything good in my life. It’s a form of escapism for me and I hope it sometimes is for you too. I don’t want to be aspirational or even influential, I try to make the blog about life’s simple pleasures. I hope I share a lifestyle that is attainable and affordable and that this is never a place that makes anyone feel negative about themselves.
It’s also ridiculously hard work! I get overwhelmed, I get behind with it, I overflow with ideas and don’t have time to get them all down here. If I could I would blog every single day because I love it! Anyway back to the purpose if this post, to share some of the ways I stay positive in a world which sometimes scares me and often makes me anxious and exhausted.
One: Never feel guilty about Me Time
I honestly believe that there is a culture against putting yourself first. The message to work harder, achieve more and run yourself down to exhaustion seems to be everywhere. Of course we all need to work hard and get shit done, BUT not at the cost of our health and happiness. Even if you have the world of responsibility on your shoulders, it is your duty to yourself to switch off and have some you time. Put yourself first and set a precedent for the time to be happy that you deserve. You can be amazing to everyone else in your life all the time, put effort into everything you do, but make sure you put the same into yourself. Don’t let the tank run dry and burn out. Go for that walk, have that bubble bath, see those friends, read that book, go to the gym, buy that dress the list goes on, but just make sure for at least a couple of hours in every week there is time for you!
Two: Don’t have people in your life who don’t make you feel good or worthy
I’ve spoken to a lot of people who feel the same way about this as me. This can be a really hard one to accept and tackle, but sometimes there are people in your life who just make you feel a bit crap. People who take more than they give, people who don’t support or encourage you, people who are only there for the good times and not the bad. In the last few years I have learnt that it is better to surround yourself with a few people who make you feel good than lots of people who don’t. It’s hard to accept, but you can be friends with someone for half your life before you realise that they are not good for you. It’s a very hard decision to make, but sometimes you need to walk away, invest your time in the important people, click that unfollow button and get on with flourishing and being your best self, for you and for the people who deserve your time.
Three: Realise that money and success are not the same as happiness
Another thing that I feel that society drums into us, is that money and success are the most important things in the world. We are bombarded with aspirational messages, new unachievable goals and lifestyles that we can’t all realistically have. We are constantly sold a life full of things. This is why we need hygge, self care, Konmari and a million other things that counteract this message. The most important lesson I ever learnt was to want less and appreciate more. And that is bloody hard! I am so behind the idea of filling life with things that spark joy and that doesn’t have to be about money or things. I am working so hard to treasure moments and people and experiences and not aspire to a lifestyle that involves too much work, exhaustion and always chasing new unattainable goals. Of course we should all work hard, try our best and try to be financially comfortable. But there is a lot to be said for buying a bit less, appreciating the little things,not doing a shit load of over time and using those hours for a little bit of joy!
Four: Don’t expose yourself to things that make you feel worse
As I’ve already mentioned, I’m a bit of a sensitive flower. Things get to me and bother me more than they should. A few years ago I realised I didn’t want the weight of the world on my shoulders too much. I gave up watching the news and reading newspapers, or exposing myself to things that had a negative impact on me. I know a lot of people don’t get this and don’t agree. But for me living in a bit of a life bubble is a positive thing. It allows me to focus on my kids and family, be more cheerful and less anxious and just function better as a happy person. It doesn’t have to be the news, it can be any negative thing that you have the control to move away from. But I’ve definitely found that focussing on the important things and people in my life and not worrying about things I cannot change, has been a healthy step for me. This can also help you to align your energy into causing that really matter to you and giving you the ability to make an impact where you are needed.
Five: Do what you can, do your best and stop
This one goes back to what I was saying about money and success earlier. I’ve definitely got better at knowing when to stop. By nature I am an ambitious and driven person, I want to do my best at everything and certainly before I had kids I was a complete workaholic. When you’re self employed it can be really hard to switch off and I do get frustrated when I don’t achieve everything on my to do list. But I am also aware that I am only one person. I have to divide my time between writing my blog and the endless list of jobs that go along with that, run my vintage business, I have to run my house, be a good mum and wife, make time for my friends and family and of course myself. There always has to be a cut off point, where you shut the laptop, leave the washing in the basket, say no to an invitation and just stop. I’ve found that being more organised, learning to ask for help and just to understand and embrace my limitations has made me a calmer and more happy person.
I hope someone might find this helpful, these are just a few of the things that work for me and of course everyone is different. I still get over whelmed, cry over how much laundry I have to do, get frustrated that I can’t put more time into the blog. But I’m definitely better at making it all OK and prioritising happiness over other things. I’d love to hear the things you do to de-stress and stay positive and happy. What sparks joy in your life? Most importantly remember…
You can do anything, but not everything.
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