The last few months have seen me take time out more, to relax daily and prioritise on what really makes my family and I, happy. I live by the sentiment that happy parents means happy children.
Experts advise switching off all digital stimulus 90 minutes before bed and I’ve been doing this over the last month and found it’s had a huge impact on my life and well-being.
I relax, do yoga, watch silly TV with my husband and just CHILL on an evening. I sleep better, feel more energised in the day and it’s had a roll on effect to everyone around me as I feel more patient and less stressed out.
It’s meant I’m actually more productive in the day too so the working to exhaustion at night is a false economy for me. I realise not everyone has the choice though and burning the midnight oil is the only way for them to blog.
…I’ve also stopped taking my phone out with me for days out and found I love it, I can just ‘be’ in the moment more, not tweeting or instagramming what we are doing, when we do it.
It’s hard, I know full well being a professional blogger as my life and work merge-but these small changes have really made a HUGE difference.
Here are some of my daily happy-makers
1. Quality Time With My Kids
Nothing comes before these little beauties and as a family, we spend as much quality time as we can together. I’m a firm believer in quality over quantity, I need and want to work but I try and take at least one day off during the week just for my toddler and I to play (usually at being pretend football stars in the park) and I stop work where possible for pick up, dinner and bedtime each day, picking up when they sleep if on deadline.
It’s a chance for us all to reconnect as a family and enjoy the little things in life-playing board games (Guess Who is a current favourite), cooking and baking together (we’re having a crumble phase), reading storybooks in bed (Hello Roald Dahl) and simply relaxing together for kisses and cuddles.
These moments really are the best times of our lives.
I truly lose myself in cooking and baking, it makes me happy and it’s a real joy to cook and bake with my kids, and solo-often sharing my dishes with my readers too. It instantly relaxes me, channels my creativity, feeds my soul and my tummy, simultaneously. The shot above is a gluten-free chocolate cupcake. Yum.
I try and fit in at least 20 minutes of exercise a day be it a power walk or run and I try and do even 5 minutes of daily yoga to calm the mind and stretch me out. My kids love yoga too and it’s so sweet (and funny) seeing them stretch out on our colourful mats.
4. Connecting with the people I love
On and offline, I surround myself with positive people I love: my husband, family, great friends and colleagues. I think you get to an age where you realise you simply have to cut the negativity and drama out; having kids really helps you do this.
You’re time-short so you might it matter. Life is short so you must spend it with those who don’t drain but enrich. Positive vibes only please!
I love this picture above of my great friend Amancay and I having an absolute ball at the Cannes Film Festival last year. Granted we don’t get to Cannes daily ( I wish) but connecting with amazing friends even if it’s a tweet/phone call makes me truly happy!
My job and great love, the written word, makes me crazily happy. I write on my blogs for fun and work, and other sites/editorials for a living and no one day is ever the same. From reviewing the opera to attending film premieres, documenting family life or modelling for a shoot and appearing on camera, blogging is my dream job.
6. TV I love (usually guilty pleasures)
I do enjoy a bit of escapist reality TV be it Keeping Up With The Kardashians to TOWIE and Made in Chelsea, guilty viewing is pure happy-making escapism for me.
7. Dark Chocolate
Usually eaten watching all of the above, the darker the better, cocoa is a superfood which releases endorphins so should be consumed guilt free (always). I just make sure I don’t eat it too near to bedtime as the caffeine can keep me up! I love using it in healthy bakes too and the oat flapjacks above are bursting with little chunks of the good stuff.
8. Positive List Writing
OOh I do love a list, I even write lists of lists (help) but they really help calm my mind and give my life some structure. If I’m worried about what I need to do the next day, I get everything down, pen to paper and put it safely away in a drawer. It helps me switch off before bed too.
9. Reading a Book
I do love a good book (more so now that everything is available at the touch of a button), I’m old school here and have several on the go from novels to self help and business books. I do love a long soak in the bath with a hardback even if I hate the crumpled pages afterwards! Currently re-reading one of my faves, ‘The Rules To Break: A Personal Code to Living Your Life Your Way’ and I’m feeling inspired by the vegan life promoted by ‘Deliciously Ella’.
10. Camomile Tea
I follow my own bedtime routine (it’s not just the kids who need one) so after a relaxing bath, it’s time for Twinings camomile tea and if I’d had an especially stressful day, I pop 2 camomile tea bags into a cup to really soothe me. That, along with 5 minutes of gentle yoga and a spray of Rescue Remedy, ensures I get the best sleep possible despite my 2 sleep-raiders’ best efforts.
My husband and I made this sweet gif to show just how much I love camomile tea!
These are my #drinkitallin moments, all the little things that make my days happier.
To celebrate how you can experience more from your day by living your life with your senses turned up, Twinings Tea UK have a touching campaign and competition out for people to photograph their own happy moments to share on social media, tagging #drinkitallin to be in with a chance to win some awesome prizes.
This week’s theme is ‘The little things you do to bring brightness into each and every day’.
Head to the Twinings Tea UK FB page to find out more and enter.