How to get on top of your emotional spending

Posted June 11th, 2018

Woman with shopping bags

We all love a bit of retail therapy now and again, but when you get a buzz from the act of spending itself rather than from what you’ve actually bought, and particularly if you’re regularly spending more than you can afford, you might want to stop and think about what this might mean.

Put bluntly, emotional spending has nothing to do with shopping for things you need. Instead, you turn to spending money because of how you are feeling, such as in the following situations:

  • You’re feeling happy about something and you celebrate by going shopping.
  • You’re feeling unhappy with yourself and cheer yourself up by going shopping.
  • You’re feeling stressed about something and going shopping is a welcome distraction.
  • You’re feeling less than someone else and use shopping as a way to keep up with them.

A recent study showed that 19 million UK shoppers did so for emotional reasons. Emotional spending in 2017 led to a total of £26.5 billion in credit card debt – that’s a huge problem.

So, how do you know if you’re an emotional shopper? Well, ask yourself the following questions and see if one or several of them strike a chord:

  • Are you routinely trying to justify your purchases to yourself or to others?
  • Do you often feel worried or anxious after a shopping spree?
  • Do you make a habit out of hiding receipt, tags, shopping bags or any other shopping evidence?
  • Do you own lots of things you haven’t used or worn, or in fact forgotten that you had them?

If you’re affected by emotional spending, the trick is to understand what’s going on inside you, so that you can tackle the bad money behaviour. Here are 5 emotional motivations that can cause a disconnect between you and your financial decisions.

Learn to recognise these states, or talk them through with the help of a professional counsellor, and your decisions will soon become more intelligent:

Love and belonging

Do you have a problem creating meaningful relationships? You may buy things to meet the need of ‘feeling loved’.

Play and fun

Are you a workaholic? Rather than creating a better work/life balance, you feel the need to treat yourself to an expensive toy or holiday.

Personal power

Is your spending never your fault? If you feel that your life is out of control, or you want to get back at someone, spending may give you a false sense of control.

Lack of freedom

Are you feeling trapped in an unhappy relationship or job? Spending money may represent a situation where you can exercise choice.

Sadness

Are you trying to fill the emptiness that sadness can bring? Whether you’re struggling to deal with a personal loss or are suffering from depression, overspending can by a symptom.

Once you’ve decided to put an end to your poor financial behaviour, there are some practical steps and techniques you can implement straight away to avoid emotional spending. These include:

  • Unsubscribe from mailing lists, so you are less likely to be seduced. The same goes for store cards – cut them up and close the account.
  • Never save your card details on shopping sites. The temptation to shop with just one click is far too great.
  • When shopping online, ask yourself whether you intended to buy the item when you first entered the website, how much you need it and how you would justify the purchase to someone else.
  • When you go shopping, set yourself a firm budget and take the money with you in cash, leaving cards at home.
  • Identify your triggers and devise alternative strategies to deal with the emotion that doesn’t involve spending.
  • As a last ditch resort, use the 24 hour rule: Wait for a full day and see whether you still really want to buy the item before making a purchase.

If you feel that it would be beneficial to speak to an experience and sympathetic counsellor about your emotional spending habits, please call the team at KlearMinds in confidence or email info@klearminds.com. Our expert psychoanalysts, life coaches and counsellors are powerfully equipped to give you the best opportunity for positive results and help you achieve fast, lasting change.

How to create the ideal sleep environment

Posted May 25th, 2018

Man in bed suffering from insomnia

If you regularly have trouble falling asleep, keep waking up in the night or suffer from insomnia, there may be a hundred reasons why this is happening. Perhaps an underlying medical condition, such as chronic pain, an overactive thyroid or kidney infection is causing you to sleep badly. Sleep deprivation can also be a symptom of stress, anxiety, depression and a host of other issues.

Whatever the cause, if it’s interfering with your quality of life or stopping you from performing your daily tasks, something must be done. Obviously, your first port of call should be your GP who can investigate (and hopefully eliminate) any physical health problems that might contribute to your poor sleeping.

If you think the cause may be related to your mental health, counselling or psychotherapy may help. Here at KlearMinds, we have a highly skilled team who have worked with many different people, and therapies that are designed to help you achieve positive, lasting change.

Meanwhile, back at home, there are some practical steps you can take to create the best possible sleep environment for yourself.

Comfortable bed

It all starts with having the right mattress. If your body is not optimally supported, you won’t sleep well. Too soft, too hard – everyone has their own preferences, but do get professional advice on the type of mattress that’s best for your body shape and weight. Do you sleep on your front, back or side? Suffer from chronic pain? Try out different mattresses in the showroom and look out for manufacturers offering trial periods (typically around 100 days) with a money-back option if the mattress doesn’t pass the home test.

Tech free zone

Your bedroom should be a place for rest. By all means watch a film, answer emails or catch up with social media in the evening, but keep it out of the bedroom. In fact, it’s a good idea to ban all gadgets and gizmos – TVs, laptops, tablets, smartphones etc – from the bedroom altogether. Not only do they have the effect of stimulating the brain when you want it to switch into sleep mode, any lights and noises emanating from the devices can disrupt your precious sleep.

Relaxing bedtime routine

Make it a priority to view your bedroom as your personal sanctuary. If necessary, use the next weekend to declutter and decorate to create a calming, restful vibe. A nightly wind-down routine is a great way to prepare your body and mind for bedtime. There are many tried and tested techniques you can try including a warm bath, a hot cocoa or herbal tea (no caffeine or alcohol!), relaxing essential oils (lavender pillow, roll-on aromatherapy blends, yoga or breathing exercises, ½ hour’s journal writing or reading in bed.

Ideal room temperature

A cool bedroom (6-18°C) will aid your sleep, while a hot room (24°C+) will make you toss and turn. Make sure you have a choice of winter and summer bedding at your disposal and use it wisely. During the warmer month, airing the room before in the evening will maximise cool air circulation (but do close the window if there’s a draught). In the winter, have a hot water bottle or fluffy bedsocks ready for extra snugliness that will help you drift off.

The importance of darkness

Our body’s circadian rhythm responds to light and darkness – we are biologically programmed to sleep when it’s dark and wake up when it’s light. Work with your body by keeping your sleep environment as dark as you can, eg by fitting blackout blinds, having a ‘no light at night’ house rule, wearing an eye mask and keeping phones and computers out of the bedroom – the blue light emanating from LED screens actually suppresses the release of melatonin, which our bodies need to relax and fall asleep.

No noise

Finally, make sure your sleep is not disturbed by noise, either from outside (traffic, dogs barking etc) or inside (night owl teenage kids, snoring partner, household appliances etc). Sometimes, earplugs are the only way to get some peace and quiet! That said, while loud, sudden noises will wake you up, soothing continuous sounds can be helpful to fall asleep to. Why not try one of the many ‘white noise’ apps available, or one that plays soothing nature sounds?

Filled Under: Anxiety, Depression, Happiness

Build your resilience: Follow the Stoics

Posted May 11th, 2018

Vicenza, Italy, 20th September 2015. Marathon runners

Ancient Greece may not be the first place you think of when considering the concept of resilience, which is basically the ability to bounce back from negative situations, but it is the home of Stoicism.

Stoicism was founded by Zeno of Citium in Athens in early 3rd century BC and teaches us that we cannot control external events, only our mental and emotional responses to them. It explores how negative self-talk can intensify and prolong our suffering.

As the saying goes: ‘Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional’.

Psychology Today neatly sums up this approach: “By adjusting our thinking, and how we think about our thinking, we can change our emotional responses, the extent to which we suffer (or not), our level of tension and stress, and in turn, our experience of pain.”

But the Stoics are often misunderstood and equated with being unemotional and indifferent to physical suffering.

In fact, the Stoics did not recoil from feeling grief, anger or pain any other emotion. Instead they focused on cultivating a level of detachment and observing their own thoughts. They thought that human happiness could be found only in accepting the present moment, rather than by being controlled by the pursuit of pleasure or the desperation to avoid pain.

The stoics preached working collaboratively and treating other people fairly and with empathy. They stressed the benefits of logic, self control and inner calm, something most of us could do with a large dose of.

The philosophy contends that the way to be happy is to live a virtuous life and that you should judge somebody based on their actions much more than their words.

The Daily Stoic has this to say about Stoicism: “Stoicism doesn’t concern itself with complicated theories about the world, but with helping us overcome destructive emotions and act on what can be acted upon. It’s built for action, not endless debate.”

Modern self-help books talk about resilience and mindfulness colouring books fly off the shelves, but they are both really based on Stoicism.

One of the most famous Stoics was Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor from 160 to 180AD, and some of his quotes are inspirational reminders about living an ethical, self-disciplined and humble life and treating fellow humans with kindness and compassion.

Meditations, his only major work, contains some profoundly moving statements and exhortations to live the most virtuous lives we can.

Inspirational quotes from Marcus Aurelius

Many of his thoughts focus on the impossibility of mastering outside events and accepting them with grace instead.

  • “The more we value things outside our control, the less control we have.”
  • “You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realise this, and you will find strength.”
  • “How ridiculous and how strange to be surprised at anything which happens in life.”
  • “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”

On acceptance and action: “Objective judgement, now, at this very moment. Unselfish action, now, at this very moment. Willing acceptance, now, at this very moment – of all external events. That’s all you need.”

On wisdom: “You’re subject to sorrow, fear, jealousy, anger and inconsistency. That’s the real reason you should admit that you are not wise.”

Back in the days of Seneca, Epictetus and Aurelius (all good Stoics) philosophy was about finding practical ways to live life, it was not as a theoretical construct removed from the reality of people’s lives, as it is sometimes today.

Seeing a trained counsellor can enable you to take a step back from your problems and help you get unstuck. Like Stoicism, it can give you strategies and solutions to help you confront difficult events and overcome pain, grief and sorrow in your life.

As Marcus Aurelius said: “No man can escape his destiny, the next inquiry being how he may best live the time that he has to live.”

Filled Under: Happiness, Self-Esteem

Try something new for 30 days

Posted March 6th, 2018

Did you know that it takes 30 days to form a new habit, or break an old one? If you’ve been wanting to make a change in your life – large or small – why not embrace the idea of a 30-day-challenge to see if you can make a positive impact?

If you need a bit of help or a large dose of inspiration, we recommend watching the short Ted Talk above, given by Matt Cutts 5 years ago.

Committing to a 30-day challenge can make a huge difference in your life in so many ways. By setting aside just a small amount of time every day for a month to devote to whatever challenge you’ve set yourself, you can gain more self confidence, feel empowered, more adventurous or simply happier with yourself.

Rather than trying to overhaul all your bad habits at once or make a drastic change to your routine which will be hard to sustain, you’ll be making tiny, almost imperceptible but progressive changes one day at a time, building upon your successes day by day.

Here are just some ideas of the sorts of 30-day-challenges you might like to consider.

Tackle an unhealthy habit

Whether you bite your nails, eat too much chocolate or don’t get enough sleep, use the 30-day-challenge to help you get on top of your unhealthy habit. Take it one day at a time and promise yourself a meaningful reward at the end of the month for having stuck to the challenge. If you need to, tell yourself that it’s only for 30 days – you can always go back to your old habits if you really want to. At the end of the period, check in with yourself and see what you want to do.

Spend more time outdoors

Are you spending the majority of your days inside, either at work or at home, and possibly spending too much time in front of a computer screen? Fresh air and exercise can do wonders for your mental and physical wellbeing. Why not challenge yourself to get outside at least once every day? Whether you simply sit outside and fill your lungs with fresh air, go for a walk around the block or resolve to walk to work instead of taking the car, even small amounts of outside time will help you feel calmer and more centred.

Take a digital detox

From smartphones and tablets to social media, TV and computers, it’s easy to become used to the digital world. Make a conscious effort to reconnect with the real world by restricting your access to digital technology for 30 days. Try to use your smartphone for phone calls only, don’t watch TV and keep the computer switched off outside of work. You’ll be surprised at home much time is suddenly available for real life activities, hobbies, meeting friends and generally being more present in the moment.

Carry out acts of kindness

Making other people feel good is a sure fire way to put a smile on your face too. Spend 30 days doing a good deed every day, completing a random act of kindness or giving someone a compliment. If you’re not sure how to do this, take inspiration from the Pay It Forward Foundation or the Random Act of Kindness Foundation, both of which are dedicated to spreading kindness throughout the world to change people’s perceptions and experience and make the world a happier place.

Take more exercise

We should all take more exercise but often life (and lack of motivation) gets in the way. Setting yourself a specific, measurable goal for only 30 days may be the perfect way to break through the mental barrier and get moving. Whether you commit to 30 Days of Yoga, take the 30-day abs challenge, or simply add 30 minutes of exercise into your daily schedule, you will feel more energised and positive at the end of the month.

Declutter for 30 days

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the amount of ‘stuff’ you’ve accumulated but feel unable to gain control, a 30-day-challenge may be just the thing you need. Resolve to get rid of one item every day – either sell it, give it away or throw it away. Start the process of freeing up space in your home and marvel at the difference a little bit of decluttering can make after only a month. You may feel so liberated that you decide to keep going!

Keep a gratitude journal

If you feel that your life is in a rut and nothing great ever happens, it’s a good idea to count your blessings. A genius way to do this is to keep a gratitude journal. The idea is to think of at least one good thing that happened to you every day. It doesn’t matter if it’s a tiny thing (‘a nice sunny day’) or a big deal (‘got a pay rise’) – what’s important is to refocus your mind to see and appreciate all the good things that do invariably happen. Write it down in a journal and review all your positive experiences after 30 days.

Whatever you feel may need attention in your life, KlearMinds have a team of expert counsellors that have helped many people overcome a wide range of concerns, empowering them with the skills to maintain happier and more fulfilled lives. For a confidential chat or to book an appointment, please contact us.

Filled Under: Happiness

How to have a meaningful Christmas

Posted December 1st, 2017

Christmas Candles

What does Christmas mean to you? A huge Turkey Dinner followed by the Queen’s Speech? Lots of presents and an empty wallet? Partying through the season? While Christmas is a wonderful time of year, sometimes the real meaning can get lost in the frenzy of it all.

You don’t have to be religious to appreciate Christmas. Whether or not you celebrate Advent or go to Midnight Mass, it’s good for mind and soul to remind ourselves of the non-commercial aspects of the season and use the Christmas holiday as an annual break to recharge the batteries.

Practise kindness and generosity, charity and compassion and learn that giving from the heart can be the ultimate Christmas present to both the giver and receiver. Here are 7 ways to have a more meaningful Christmas.

1 – Give homemade gifts

Rather than spending big on presents just because it’s Christmas, why not get creative instead? Bake Christmas cookies, make your own Yule Log or cranberry sauce. How about a home made calendar with photos taken through the year? If you’re into needlework, handicrafts, creative writing, painting or music, use your talents to create personal gifts that have real meaning.

Homemade shortbread cookies

2 – Make time for the family

Christmas is a time for family, so make it a real priority to spend time together. Rather than putting the kids in front of the computer and the grandparents in front of the TV, go unplugged and do stuff together. Whether you play charades or board games, go for country walks or read stories to each other, the important thing is to appreciate everyone’s company and share the love.

3 – Talk about the meaning of Christmas

Why not have an open conversation with your family about what Christmas means to them? This will give every family member the opportunity to shape the festivities and create traditions that everyone will love. It might be going to Midnight Mass as a family, a favourite film you always watch together, the ritual of wrapping presents or making home made mince pies, the annual Pantomime outing – whatever makes you gel as a family.

4 – Have a ‘no presents’ policy

If your family is in agreement, why not use the money you would have spent on presents and make a donation to a good cause instead? You could go shopping for a local foodbank, give the money to a children’s charity or a homeless shelter to help those less fortunate than you. How about asking the children to choose one toy each that they would like to donate to a child who wouldn’t otherwise get any presents?

5 – Get out into the community

Christmas is a time for sharing, so why not share your time with friends and neighbours? Make your community a priority this Christmas and help out where you can. From going carol singing to inviting everyone back for Christmas drinks, from delivering home made cookies to your neighbours to distributing hot soup to the homeless, there are many ways you can connect with the local community.

Celebrating Christmas with the Family

6 – Share your good fortune

Look around your home – aren’t you blessed that you have so many things? Many people have less than you, for whatever reason, and simply cannot afford to celebrate Christmas. How about creating a stocking full of treats and gifts, or put together a food hamper, and place it on the doorstep of someone you know would really appreciate it? Or give your time freely to a community organisation to help with Christmas celebrations? Whether you help cook Christmas Dinner at your local church hall or look after abandoned pets, there’s always a way you can help.

7 – Setting good intentions

Rather than treating kindness and compassion as a seasonal activity, why not make plans to carry on through the next 12 months. Set out your intentions to do one good deed every day, and be grateful for one good thing that happens to you every day of the year. Studies have shown that consistent positive interactions and practising gratitude can increase happiness and decrease levels of depression.

Filled Under: Depression, Happiness

6 questions that mean you should practice some self-care

Posted October 16th, 2017

Stress at work

Regardless of how much energy you dedicate to your job or to other people, you need to ensure that you don’t neglect yourself. Looking after Number One is often easier said than done, but it’s important to find the right balance to ensure your wellbeing.

We all lead busy lives with never enough hours in the day to get everything done. Stress and anxiety disorders are common complaints in our 24/7 Western society. Admitting that your needs and wants are just as important as any item on your to-to list is the first step to a sustainable way of managing your life. You can’t be a superhero all the time; you’re human, after all.

1 – Are you neglecting your basic needs?

Skipping breakfast once in a while because you’re running late is fine, but making a habit of it is not healthy. Nor is getting only 5 hours sleep a night, or working 14 hours a day on a regular basis. Over time, these and similarly unhealthy habits mean that you’re depriving your body and mind of vital nutrients and rest.

If you’re not eating or sleeping properly, you’re literally running on empty, sacrificing your own health for your career. Without the energy to perform at your best, you won’t excel at work. In fact, your productivity is bound to suffer.

2 – Do you feel as if you’re stuck on autopilot?

Do you work to live or live to work? If your life is a case of ‘eat, sleep, work, repeat’, you may be stuck in a vicious circle that just allows you to go through the motions every day – with nothing left in the tank for anything other than the basic necessities.

What about your other needs? We all have emotional desires and social needs, and a drive for self-fulfilment. Crucially, we also need to get out there and experience all that life has to offer, rather than letting it pass us by.

3 – Are you always doing something for others?

While putting other people’s needs first can be a wonderful character trait, there are those who will take advantage of your good nature. If you’re a giving person, you will find it hard to say ‘no’ to others – but it’s essential for your own wellbeing to learn to define your boundaries.

You can’t give from an empty cup, as the saying goes. In order to stay strong, you need to protect yourself. Recognise when others are asking too much of you, and decline firmly but politely, putting your own needs first.

4 – Have you lost touch with friends or family?

When was the last time you met up with friends or family? If you’re spending too much time with co-workers who mean nothing to you on a personal level, your personal relationships with the people you love most will suffer as a result.

Make time for the people who matter to you. After all, which are you going to remember in 5 years’ time: the months you spent working late, or the times when you watched the kids perform in the school play?

5 – When was the last time you had fun?

When was the last time you left all your worries behind and just had fun? Perhaps you’re associating ‘fun’ with being a child, and feel guilty when you’re not working? Having a healthy work/life balance means that there should be regular time for enjoyment and relaxation in your life.

Make sure you ringfence some time for yourself and spend it on whatever makes you happy. Go for a walk in the country, eat an ice cream, take up a sport or a hobby, book a holiday.

6 – Can you remember who you are?

If you don’t take an active interest in yourself, then what are you left with? A humdrum existence that revolves around work and chores? Where is the person who once had hopes and dreams, who laughed and loved without the weight of the world on their shoulders?

Take some time out for yourself and find out what it is you need to do to get your life back on track. Life Coaching can be incredibly helpful to build confidence, overcome blocks to success and improve your quality of life. Call KlearMinds today on 0333 772 0256 or contact us here.

Filled Under: Happiness

7 new ways to challenge yourself

Posted September 25th, 2017

7 ways to challenge yourself

Do you feel unhappy with the way you look, your job, relationships or finances? Are you feeling stuck somehow, unable to make progress on issues that are important to you? Whatever it is that’s keeping you in a rut, there are ways to motivate yourself to make changes and move forward with your life.

Anthony Robbins, Albert Einstein, Henry Ford and Mark Twain have variously been attributed with these wise words: If you always do what you’ve always done you will always get what you’ve always got. It’s clear that you need to make changes – but how?

We’ve compiled 7 ways that you can challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone and see what you’re really capable of.

1 – Increase physical exercise

If you want to lose weight, being more physically active is non-negotiable. In any event, exercise is good for your health and the endorphins released during physical exertion makes you feel better about yourself. No need to join the gym or do hours of gruelling exercise. Start with a simple 10-minute routine – perhaps a walk or jog round the block or 10 minutes of dancing around your living room – and notice the difference.

2 – Keep track of your spending

Many people struggle with money management. Whether you’re overspending or failing to save for a rainy day, proper budget discipline can be learnt. Challenge yourself to break your current financial habits, using a spreadsheet to keep track of your outgoings. Set a realistic limit and record every expenditure on your sheet. Try it for a week, or month, and see what you can learn. Have you saved any money?

3 – Learn a new language

If you’ve always fancied learning a new language, try tools such as Duolingo, a free app that’s fun to use. From Spanish or German to more far flung languages such as Russian or Japanese, there’s no need to attend traditional classes. Whether you’re hoping to boost your skills on your CV or your own personal development, the emphasis is on playful learning – from your phone, tablet or computer.

4 – Confront your fears

If you’re afraid of talking to people on the phone, or of public speaking, it may hold you back in your career. Whatever you’re feeling uncomfortable about, if you can learn to overcome the things you’re scared about and emerge a stronger person. Challenge yourself to set 5 minutes aside each day to acknowledge, analyse and face your fears. Be persistent and have courage.

5 – Take up a hobby

Broaden your horizon and do something you love! Whether you tap into your inner creative and take a painting class, take dancing lessons with your other half, or learn how to invest in stocks and shares, the important thing is that it’s not work. The aim of the exercise is to challenge yourself to relax, destress and stop feeling guilty about having fun!

6 – Invest in professional development

If your career is going nowhere, start building a bridge to a better job. Sometimes, what you know may not be enough – it’s who you know that could be opening the door to the next career opportunity. Attend conferences and events that are relevant to your profession and network with industry contacts to broaden your reach. Aim to go to one career related event every month.

7 – Meet new people, see new places

Whether you go travelling to explore new cultures, or you discover a new interest in your local museum, being open to new experiences will change you as a person. Take an interest in new people including those you wouldn’t normally engage with – the checkout girl, the homeless man, the old lady next door? There’s no limit to what you can learn about the world or about yourself.

If you feel you may benefit from professional assistance, Life Coaching can be an effective way to help you build confidence, while identifying, setting and achieving new goals in your life. Why not contact KlearMinds to find out more?

7 inspiring books to read on holiday

Posted August 18th, 2017

What do you read while you’re on holiday? The latest thriller or romantic novel? Perhaps an old classic or, God forbid, some work related material? This summer, why not pack something much more inspiring. We’ve come up with 7 excellent books of an altogether different nature – they’re all about finding happiness. Take your pick and happy reading!


1 – The Book of Joy by The Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu

When two of the most joyful people on the planet and self acclaimed ‘spiritual brothers’ get together to reflect on their own experiences of life and discuss the central question of how to achieve lasting happiness in a changing world, you’d be silly not to want to sit up and take notice. It’s an utterly joyful book about joy, peace and courage that we can all learn from.

 


2 – Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

What would happen if you said ‘yes’ to everything? Shonda Rhimes tried it for a whole year, accepting every opportunity that came her way, with revelationary and often humorous results. Read about her 12 months of learning to embrace, empower and love herself that has lessons for us all.

 


3 – Color Me Happy by Lacy Mucklow

Did you know that the simple, meditative act of ‘colouring in’ can reduce stress and help regain your focus? Art therapy and adult colouring books have soared in popularity over recent years. Color Me Happy along with its sister publications Color Me Stress Free, Color Me Calm and Color Me Fearless, will bring you back to the here and now in a heartbeat, channelling your problems into joyful creative accomplishments. Don’t forget to bring the crayons!

 


4 – The Alchemist by Paul Coelho

If you’ve never come across this enchanting novel and one of the best selling books of all time by acclaimed Brazilian author Paul Coelho, now is the time to pick it up and read it. The powerful story of Santiago, a shepherd boy, will inspire you to pursue your dreams and find the path of happiness that you were always meant to be on.

 

 


5 – The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

This is a genius approach about decluttering your home and your life. Kondo will challenge you to reassess every item that you own with the question: does it bring you joy? Yes – keep it, no – get rid. It’s ruthless but you’ll soon find that space clearing will lead to a decluttered mind and the opportunity for joy.

 

 


6 – The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

One of the best books on happiness, a subject that has received huge attention recently, Rubin starts with the realisation that ‘the days are long but the years are short’. She gives herself 12 months to improve her life, focusing on what makes her happy and the things that really matter. It’s an eye opener.

 

 


7 – The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Hemingway’s classic fable about an old man, a young boy and a giant fish is one of the giants of modern literature. The novella gives a unique vision of the beauty and grief of man’s challenge against the elements, and of not giving up. It’s compelling reading, especially when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

Filled Under: Happiness

4 reasons why you should take a summer holiday

Posted August 8th, 2017

 

Why you should take a summer holiday

Holiday season is here and we really hope that you’re in the middle of packing your suitcase ready to take a well earned break. But perhaps you’re not going away this summer? Too busy at work? Worried about what you’ll miss while you’re gone? Don’t really see the need for a break?

If you’re not booked to go on holiday, here’s some really good advice. Just go! We’ve got 5 important reasons why you should take that break.

1 – Destress and unwind

If you live a busy and stressful life, it’s essential to schedule in some time to rebalance your life. Stress has a habit of creeping up on you and you may not even realise how it’s affecting your mental health.

Stop thinking about work for a week and just relax. Whether this means sun, sea and sand, mountain walking or dancing the night away, it’s important to leave your worries at home and do something you totally different.

Relaxing on a beach

2 – Spend quality time with your loved ones

Holidays are the perfect time to reconnect with your partner, kids or friends. If possible, leave the laptop and smartphone at home (or go somewhere without WiFi or mobile signal!) and have fun together the old fashioned way.

Away from busy daily lives, you’ll be free of distractions. It’s an opportunity to talk to each other, to share experiences together and make memories. In years to come, you’ll be reminiscing over the adventure you had, with holiday pictures to remind you of some good times.

Family in the pool

3 – Good for the body

Research has shown that people are more physically active on holiday than they are during a normal working week. From long promenade walks to daily swimming, practising watersports or just exploring the local area, plus the abundance of vitamin D obtained from the holiday sun – it’s a healthier lifestyle than back home.

On your return, you’ll feel physically refreshed, with a few good nights’ sleep under your belt and healthy tan to show off, ready to take on the world.

Couple racing on bikes

4 – Good for the mind

Travelling broadens the mind. Seeing new places, doing new things, experiencing different cultures or sampling exotic cuisines are learning experiences that shape who you are.

What’s more, you will feel inspired by your holiday experiences, Having had the time and head space to think about how and where your life is going, you’ll come back mentally clearer and ready for the challenges ahead. It’s amazing what some fresh air, laughter and relaxation can do for your wellbeing.

Enjoying the countryside

Filled Under: Happiness

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