If you are like me – you would have found your twenties a roller coaster of emotions. At the ripe old age of 41, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. In this post, I’m breaking away from interiors to share my experiences on making sure you live the best life you can – full of happiness and joy.
We’ll look at top tips for boosting your mood. And when times feel overwhelming, how to survive the blues and be the best version of yourself – and where is the best to start than at home. These are my 5 ways to find happiness at home.
This post is a slight departure from my usual chat about interiors, but with the new look of my blog, I also wanted to share a little more about me and the things I love and how I live my life down here in Brighton.
I’m not going to lie, but I’m a little nervous about sharing more of me in this post, but I hope you find this post helpful and inspirational.
5 Ways To Find Happiness At Home
1. Set Your Intention
Last year, I turned 40 which was a big turning point for me. My friends said that I managed to swerve the obvious mid-life blues (thank god), and I think the reason is that my 30s were a roller coaster of good times and bad times – so I decided to claim my 40s as my own!
How I managed to beat the birthday blues was by focusing on what in my life made me happy. This blog is all about finding happiness at home, so for me, one of the major factors in creating positive feelings is spending time in my home, creating a little oasis of calm. Another is hanging out with my family and friends. Travelling abroad. As well as pottering around Brighton, especially at the beach.
If you are practically minded like me – then you’ll need help to set your intention. I listen to The School Of Life on YouTube, which is filled with advice on finding focus. And fellow blogger – Sarah Akswombi – has written a fab post about the Law of Attraction which I know you will love.
But for now – start by thinking about the small things that give you a mood boost when at home. That can be reading a book, writing letters, baking, meals with your partner or crafting. In your busy life, schedule in things you love every week, and you’ll feel young at heart in no time.
2. Getting in touch with your mind through your body
I know that exercise, especially yoga, makes me feel wonderful inside and out. Since last year, I joined a yoga studio and took time out once or twice a week to take a class. I also do Yin Yoga at home online (if you haven’t heard of Yin – look it up, I feel I lose ten years off my face after each session). I’m planning to dedicate space at home to practising yoga at home as I know how good it makes me feel.
I also love walking with my dog, Teddy, on the South Downs. So I set aside time each day to take him for a long walk in snow, rain or sunshine. He loves it – and being out in nature in the changing seasons makes me feel more connected – and it gets me away from my desk too. It is a positive energy booster; he’s lost so much weight – and so have I from all these walks.
Let’s be honest – with our busy lives, it can be tough to take time out for yourself – sometimes that can be inside your home or even outside it. But I promise you when you do; you will feel so much better for it and will be able to tackle stressful situations with a calmer mind. I promise you a few simple changes will make you feel so much better inside and out.
3. Buy Less, Do More
In the past, when I was unhappy or bored, I would like to spend more money on the internet, shopping for things I don’t really need. Then I look at my bank statement at the end of the month and feel like crying. Inspired by my sister, who decided to have a three-month shopping ban at the start of the year, I decided to do the same and buy less.
Taking this idea on board – since last year, I set my intention to save money and put it towards my future. I’ve cut back on expensive trips abroad. I’ve stopped the last moment panic clothing purchases. And I’ve been shopping around to save on my energy bills (I wrote a post on that here).
My monthly outgoings have gone down, and with the money I saved, I have used it to start overpaying my mortgage by £150 a month – reducing my terms by 8.5 years. That’s 8.5 years less of paying a mortgage! That makes me smile inside and out.
With the warmer weather we’ve been having lately, I’ve managed to actually dig out some of my summer wardrobe and wear it at last. One of the best parts of living in Brighton is wearing clothes that are both beach-friendly and great for brunch in town. I’ve decided I don’t need fancy new clothes when I have so many lovely things to wear at the back of my wardrobe.
For this shoot, I headed to Hove’s beach huts with photographer Hannah Sherlock to showcase this beautiful maxi dress from eco-clothing brand Vildnis. This dress is enough to make you feel good.
I’ve eBayed clothes, homewares and random things that I no longer wear or need. With the money I made (over £1000 in three months), I use the cash to pay off a bank loan that I took out to do up my house.
Obviously, I’m not perfect as I love shopping, and I slip up every once in a while! But on the whole, I’m better at managing my money.
Think – are there ways you can cut back on your spending and make yourself feel future proof? Focusing on a debt-free future can feel much more rewarding than a new pair of shoes.
4. Having A Better Work / Life Balance
Everyone is aware of how important good work/life balance is for your mental health. This is probably the one area that I have struggled with the most. Being a freelancer, my work never stops. I’m either working on a shoot, writing a blog post, styling props or when that is all done – contacting clients for potential work. Over the past few years, I feel like I have worked 24-7.
On my walks with the dog, I now listen to many podcasts, especially aimed at creatives like us. On my phone is One Girl Band by Lola Heard (a Brighton Gal), who is all about tricks to work less and feeling great. There is also Courage & Spice and Control Alt Delete. These podcasts are aimed at people like you and me who need help to draw boundaries between work and play.
Now, I have a rule that I only deal with yesterday’s emails each day. That means I know exactly how many emails I have to answer each day – rather than constantly checking my inbox. I now can finish emails by 11 am, and the rest of my day can be spent working on other projects. I also take a lunch hour every day – woohoo!
I also start my Mondays by drawing up a plan for my working week – scheduling out work for each day, which boosts my mood and motivates me. This has stopped me from drawing up endless to-do lists which, to be frank, are never done – and I now tackle jobs I hate – like tax returns and invoicing – rather than leaving them to the end of my to-do list.
If you work in an office, you can also try a few tricks to get a better balance. Make sure you take your lunch hour, try to leave on time at least three times a week and don’t check your work email at home. If you draw boundaries, I have found that people respect that, and you’ll get more done in your working week.
5. Surround Yourself With Positive People
I feel so lucky that I have such an amazing group of friends in my life. Having good people around you is key to a positive mindset. But this hasn’t always been the case for me.
My friends now come from all areas of my life – from work, blogging and disco. I’ve got friends who love to do tea and cake and dog walks. Friends who love art exhibitions and festivals. Friends who like to party like me. And friends who like to travel with me. Friends who love snuggling on my sofa with me and watching Love Island. I’ve also got a good close gather of male friends, which is fab for that bloke perspective on any work/love/life issues I may have.
I’ve also built up an amazing network of blogger friends through Instagram. And I can’t forget Laurie Davidson, who runs The Secret Styling Club Workshops with me – we’re a dream team.
Having a wide selection of friends who are all positive, happy people – and friends who like to do relaxing and energising things. It means I’m never alone, and I always have someone to call if I get stuck.
It’s essential to invest in people and give back too. I now run a Brighton bloggers meet up called #BrightBlogGang – and once every couple of months, we meet for cocktails and chat all things geeky like algorithms, Pinterest and WordPress.
And don’t forget to smile! The more your smile, the happier you will be – promise me, it works. You will feel positive.
When life gets rushed, it can be easy to forget how important friendships are. Investing your time in people who make you feel amazing is the best thing you can do with your life.
Those are my 5 ways to find happiness and contentment. I hope you have found one or two ideas in this post that you can try at home. I promise you won’t regret it.
I hope you have enjoyed this post. I’d love to hear your thoughts below.