Tag: treats

Finding little things to be grateful for

Little Reasons to be Grateful

Budget Activities, inspiration May 30, 2018

After a trying period on a personal level, (which, let’s face it, in my life, is most of the time!) someone suggested that I should start a gratitude journal. I don’t think their suggestion was well-received at the time. However, in spite of the fact I have yet to put it to paper, I have mentally begun composing a list. Sometimes being happy isn’t about stumbling upon natural contentment; it’s looking for reasons to not be sad in the face of tragedy.

I have a tendency to focus on the negative (or joke about the negative and then laugh), so listing positive things doesn’t come naturally to me. But I am finding that the more I consciously try to make note of things to be grateful for, the more I find that there are.

Here a few things:

Flowers

My sister sent me a bunch of surprise flowers. They’re beautiful colours and cheer me up every time I look at them. They were the letterbox kind, but are the most vibrant bunch of flowers I’ve ever seen. Even when there is no occasion for flowers or plants, I think that buying some lifts your spirits. You can buy several cheap bunches and mix them together to create a bouquet of your own. Or pick out some bright plants and make a colourful flowerbed or planter. I like to have pretty things to stare at while I daydream (which I do most of the time.)

Tea

Tea is like the tear-stained shoulder of a reliable friend. When you’re having a bad day, there is nothing like tea to cheer you up. You can bring it in a flask and go to the park or drink it in your garden, have a tea party with friends or your kids, or get into bed early with tea and a book. I have a huge variety to fit my different moods (of which there are many.) My favourites at the moment are Lady Grey (an orange-infused Earl Grey) and Night Time tea with lavender and oat flower.

Candles

My mum recently gave me a Yankee candle. They’re my favourite and I never buy them for myself. (I can’t justify spending that much on a candle – I just spend the same amount on five lesser ones with no scent.) I love the baked goods candles; they make your house smell like it is filled with the scent of freshly baked treats (without the effort of having to make them.) I have a Crisp Apple Strudel one at the minute that lifts my mood every time I light it.

A6AEABD4-3A58-49E2-9808-9DCC2918D140.png

 

Inspirational Magazines

A lot of people think magazines are a waste of money. I don’t – I have a couple of monthly subscriptions and when they come through the door I still get excited. Turning the physical pages of magazine engages your senses more than just reading from a screen. I like magazines with ideas on how to create things,inspiration and recipes. When I’m not writing, I also like to read magazines about writing (because apparently I don’t do enough of it.) There are magazines on such a vast range of topics that reading one doesn’t just have to be a way to catch up on celebrity gossip (unless that’s your thing.)

Picnics

Northern Ireland has had a dash of good weather and I’ve taken advantage of every opportunity to get outdoors. Sometimes I take my kids on “road trips” (we drive about an hour from our house and go to the beach.) Sometimes we just take a picnic and a Frisbee to a park a few streets away from our house. Lying on the grass and making daisy chains for your kids help to distract you from whatever problems might be circulating inside your head. We collected some “flowers” (flowering weeds) in a sandwich bag yesterday and brought them home to draw them and then press them in a book. Sitting in the garden drawing together is a good way to unwind during a tense motherhood moment too.

2E6971D0-3B54-48A5-AF06-5E4DB3A80B7A.png

Going Out For Lunch

If you don’t want to spend a lot on eating out, going out for lunch, or coffee and an ice cream is a good alternative. There are usually lunch deals on, that offer you meals from the dinner menu, but at a fraction of the price. It feels like treating yourself in the same way, but without doing the same damage to your bank balance.

 

What little things are you grateful for?

 

 

Advertisements
Cheap, Easy Ways to Feel More Positive

20 Easy Ways to Feel More Positive About Life

Budget Ways To Feel Better, Tips for Self-Care February 8, 2018

I always find when I’m feeling negative that if I physically create something positive it shifts my mindset. Over-thinking can leave you feeling incapacitated, but if you can take some sort of small, positive action it helps you to quiet your worries.

Here are a few ideas of things to do to feel more positive:

  • Clear things out. Throwing things out makes you feel like you’re getting rid of the crap that’s in your head too. Having less visible clutter makes you feel more at peace  (which is why mine is mostly shoved into cupboards. Out of sight, out of mind, at least until it falls on my head.) Bagging up items to give to charity is a good form of distraction too.
  • Buy a notebook with a cheerful cover or caption on it. Get a new pen and start a journal with a huge to-do list of only pleasant things. (No boring or dreaded reminders allowed.)
  • Plan a nearby holiday. It could be camping, staying in a cheap B&B in a town you don’t know well or visiting a friend. Give yourself a budget  and plan for a few months away. It feels more attainable than a big summer holiday overseas.
  • Get supplies for a new project. Learn how to make jewellery, learn a new language, start painting. Get supplies in the pound shop or discount book shops.
  • Make a calendar just to pencil in books you want to read each month/week, or in my case, year.
  • Make fudge and when you’re finished eat all of it 🙂
  • Make a gift basket or hamper for someone you know.
  • Empty your wardrobe and put everything back in new outfit combinations.
  • Buy writing icing, sparkly sprinkles and confetti and decorate buns or a cake in a really extravagant way.
  • Make mood playlists. “Hyped up mood/chilled out mood/happy mood/get me out of this grumpy mood bloody quickly” music.
  • Write someone you usually text a handwritten letter.
  • Change a room around. Add small decorations or move furniture around to give it a new feel.
  • Sit in a dark room filled with candles and enjoy silence. If you don’t have a fireplace listen to videos online of the sound of fire crackling.
  • Have a hot shower with your favourite scent of shower gel. It’s good to have one to wake you up and one to put you to sleep. At the minute, mine are a lemon and chilli one and a marshmallow one.
  • Put up fairy lights for no reason.
  • Make cocktails and appetisers just for yourself.
  • Go back to paper reading. Have a magazine-reading marathon.
  • Have a picnic somewhere tranquil where all you can hear is water, leaves rustling or birds.
  • I read in one of my kids’ books that if you’re worried you should draw lots of clouds to help your worries float away. I wonder if thirty is too old for this type of thing? I imagine it to be quite relaxing.
  • Get new sheets, spray them with lavender and have a restorative sleep (if you have kids, obviously skip step three.)

What do you like to do when you’re having a bad day?

A Day For Treats

Budgeting, Self-Care February 1, 2018

543B2846-B4D7-4D85-98CA-F49B116390FA.jpeg

I place a lot of importance on treating myself, particularly since entering single parenthood, as it can leave you feeling depleted. I think everyone should have a weekly designated treats-day. It gives you a positive plan for the week in the midst of all of your obligatory ones. It is easier to neglect this practice as an adult than it is as a kid. If someone else isn’t supplying the treats, I say you should take it upon yourself to do so.

It doesn’t have to be extravagant and can include items that you already have in your house, if you are imaginative with what you have on hand.

I like to pick three or four items and set them aside as incentive to persevere until Friday’s bedtime. And by Friday afternoon, that is all that is sparing my sanity. Making it something deliberate and pre-planned, instead of just shoving chocolate into your mouth in a moment of despair, makes it feel more like you have properly been rewarded for your hard work. (Although the aforementioned is sometimes essential too.)

Just because you have financial constraints or limited time shouldn’t mean that you forego all forms of self-indulgence. (I am consciously skirting around the term “self-care” due to the frequency of its usage at the moment and my strong dislike for clichés.)

This week I have a more elaborate treat eagerly awaiting Friday’s bedtime, but often I just pull together something simple out of what I have lying around. (I always have a fully stocked sweetie cupboard anyway.)

Here are a few examples:

  • Hot chocolate with marshmallows
  • A magazine/free e-magazine on your library’s website.
  • A band you have yet to hear/ a record you found in a charity shop.

 

  • A hot water bottle
  • Incense sticks
  • A drink you haven’t tried before. This could be a homemade cocktail or just a flavoured fizzy drink. Whichever one you opt for, you should drink it out of a fancy glass.

 

  • New cosy bedsocks
  • A tub of your favourite ice-cream
  • A playlist of soothing songs

 

  • Fudge or chocolates
  • Loose leaf tea
  • A new tea cup

 

  • A new scented bath product or shower gel
  • A colouring book for adults
  • Popcorn

 

I find that the best treats are composed of something to eat, something to drink and something to do/an item that provides comfort 🙂

You could formulate any number of treats using this method and still have something different to look forward to each week. It’s weird how something so small can lift your mood.