Cocoa By Candlelight

F I N D I N G   H A P P I N E S S   I N   E V E R Y D A Y

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I have become a bit of a book worm over the past few months and have been trying to creep in a little read here and there with Danish way of living vibes creeping out of me as I picked up the book ‘Hygee‘ written by an author working for The Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen. – Who’d have thought there are such places in the world that actually recognise sitting down together as a family after work is important and states nobody is to leave off work any later than 4.30pm if they have children and no later than 5 without??

I wouldn’t recommend buying a copy if you are likely to suffer with envy of how life could be lived elsewhere, but I highly recommend it if you want a little insight into how you can introduce a bit of hygee into your own life and a good place to start is with their manifesto and I quote; turn down the lights, be here in the ‘now’ and turn off your phones, enjoy coffee and chocolate, share the tasks and airtime, take it in – this might be as good as it gets, don’t brag, take a break, discuss politics another day, build relationships and reminisce, recognise your tribe – place of security and peace.

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Moving on to my most recent purchase; the adorably illustrated book by Fearne Cotton ‘Happy’ focuses on finding the calm and balance in your life as she touches on personal experiences with depression. Now I don’t feel I know enough about this topic to comment but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to be aware of it & the indicator for picking up this book was to prepare myself for a final year of studying which I will commence after the summer. Knowing my track record with stress when it comes to coursework and exams, I know that I’ve often let the guilt of feeling I always need to study affect my social relationships and I’m determined not to let that happen this time round. I’ll admit I was a bit naive to think that everyone would just understand what I was going through and excuse the fact I wasn’t making as much effort as I used to, but in actual fact it was doing my health no good at all and I was overtired whilst trying to work full time and make space for my family & Jason.

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Many of you who have ever studied before will know that a percentage of coursework is emphasised on personal reflection, and even during these moments, I would write about my lack of time management and became aware that if I had a certain goal to achieve, that’s all that would be at the front of my mind every day. I thought it paid off.. I was achieving good results and therefore thought I had everything exactly worked out. This time round I want it to be different and don’t get me wrong, I still want to achieve the grades but finding a balance is where I need work. I’m hoping that by reading this book and carrying out some of the small exercises included, it will help me to achieve that balance needed to make health and happiness a priority even with a difficult goal ahead.

I’ve started by making a list of a few little things in life I try not to take for granted and soak up as much as possible as life passes by so that during those challenging months that lie ahead I can refer back to this and learn to take a step back.

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  1. Take away coffee.
  2. Getting home from work and being able to put my engagement ring back on again (NHS don’t allow diamonds – no fishy reasons over here).
  3. Seeing people at traffic lights laughing because they’ve caught me singing as if I wrote the song.
  4. People watching.
  5. Sun shining through windows.
  6. Being able to pick up the lyrics to songs quickly – this annoys Jason.
  7. Stepping into warm sea.
  8. Taking pictures.
  9. Long drives & pub lunches.
  10. Any room/restaurant/bar/garden with fairy lights.
  11. Home decor shopping.
  12. Writing. I loved english at school and have always found ways of writing throughout my life. Key events and holidays will always be kept on paper form in our house if not through photos or videos. (Little honeymoon video right here)
  13. Beer Gardens.
  14. Annual Leave. This may sounds obvious but working hard pays off, the excitement you get in the lead up to annual leave even if your going to sit at home and do sweet nothing.
  15. Time Alone. I have always enjoyed my own company (this sounds sad) so I take time out to myself sometimes and don’t feel bad about it.
  16. Having friends and family that are opinionated, loyal and honest, but not judgemental.
  17. Being a good listener.
  18. I quite honestly love my job.
  19. Hearing a song that I love come on the radio and doing a little movement or sound that demonstrates excitement over this.
  20. Seeing my niece laugh.
  21. Looking at my dad’s happy face in all of our wedding photo’s.
  22. Feeling loved and having it shown or told to me every single day.

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