Sunday, 31 January 2016

10 steps to being a happier person

I wanted to bring back some of the lifestyle chatty posts to my blog, they are easily my favourite to write and get stuck into. I just love spilling my feelings onto the page and letting my writing inform you all of some of the things I have been thinking lately and hopefully offer you all some advice, as well as maybe informing you to do or not to do particular things. 2016 for me is all about being happy. As I said in my New years post - I am making and have already made some changes in my life to make things as positive as possible, and as it stands the first month of 2016 has been pretty great and definitely far more positive than the way 2015 ended. 

I usually ramble on in my introductions to blog posts, but because I know this post is going to be extremely long and you may still be sitting here reading in 10 minutes I should just get on with it. Today I am going to inform you of the 10 ways to make myself be happier, and by telling you of all the things I have been doing to be more positive so far this month/year! 

B e M o r e H e a l t h y

We all end the year eating pretty badly, meaning we have chocolate for breakfast, scoffing our faces with cheese and crackers, eating endless amounts of pudding and just generally bad (BUT OH SO GOOD) food! As soon as January 1st hits, everybody seems to go into this detox mode of eating well, exercising and drinking no alcohol which is all well and good if you stick to it, which 9 times out of 10 most of us do not. Anyway upon reflection of this whole positivity thing I am focussing on, I realised I actually feel SO much better for eating better. 

So, Lately me and Simon have been trying to eat much better, not drinking alcohol and keeping the treats to a minimum. We went and did a large food shop at Morrisons and spent lots of money on only healthy food, there was literally no *bad* food in the trolley! Following this, we have been making decent meals for our tea, having only healthy snacks, drinking much more water and also been making a concious effort to make good meals to take to work/uni/the library - wherever really. When I was at University I definitely fell into the worst habits with meal making, I would only cook things that I deemed easy and quick.. and so this resulted in me eating pasta almost every single night, and also making enough for me to take to my placement the next day! Imagine the carbs I was eating, and definitely not burning off! So since qualifying I have actually learnt that in fact I was just lazy and there are lots of other 'easy' meals you can cook that don't involve just having pasta and sauce. I have even pushed myself now to cook meals which I actually have to follow recipes for and they actually do seem to turn out pretty well all in all. Also, the meals I have been making lately feel healthier and do not leave me feeling like my stomach is about to explode like some foods do! 

I have to say, I haven't yet found the urge to exercise .. I mean the thoughts are always there. Like, I will be sitting down doing bits on my computer and I will suddenly think to myself, 'I should really just go for a run now' or 'go on Lauren, hunt out that fitness DVD' but I just currently do not have the get up and go for that! One of my aims for this year is to lose some of excess chub though, so I know I need to get up off my bum at some point, put the trainers on and go for a run! I have recently joined one of the local gyms which one of my friends from work recommended as apparently they do amazing classes which are included in the monthly fee of only £12.99 (which is insane), however I am just to find some motivation to get up off the sofa and go, I have the full intention of going this week - I just need that big kick up the bum! I will keep you posted on how this goes! 

Its very helpful having a fitness guru as one of your best friends though. Luckily I am always spying on my friend Ruth from Pretty Little Gym Addict, and on scrolling down her instagram I always admire the incredibly yummy looking food which is also surprisingly healthy and this also gives me some incentive to sort out my eating. I recently approached her with a pleading message, basically just asking for her to send me a shopping list of foods I should buy and the things I can make with them! She was so amazing and sent me the longest text message ever telling me what to buy, what not to buy, what meals I can cook with the foods, how much water I should drink, what apps I should download etc. It was amazing! I would definitely recommend giving her instagram and blog a follow if you want some inspo to kick start your 2016 diet!! 

So yeah, to round up point number 1 I would say that one of the ways I feel better lately is because of my eating and how its improved SO much. Also, I not only feed good physically for eating better, but also I do not feel guilty for eating bad things any more - because now I know when I do have something slightly naughty it really is only a treat and not something I make a habit of every single day! 

S a y G o o d b y e T o E v e r y t h i n g N e g a t i v e 

Once your attitude to negative things changes, and you even cancel out anything negative being involved in your life.. you will soon realise how happy can be! I have found a way to shrug at certain things I see online and actually feel sorry for the people who have time to write negative things about other people all of the time. Its sad when people are so hung up on something that they let it control every single thing they do and every decision they make. Upon reflection of the last year I cannot quite believe how much my attitude seems to have changed, I feel as though suddenly I have this attitude of only having positivity in my life, and just having absolutely zero energy for anything which causes aggravation. Quite recently actually, me and my Mum were chatting & we were saying how my attitude seems to have gone from over-thinking everything to suddenly having the realisation of not needing certain things in my life and therefore just saying goodbye to it. I LOVE this attitude and definitely feel as though 2015 has taught me who I do and do not need now, I love it! 

L i f e C h a n g e s T o M a k e Y o u H a p p i e r 

This could be anything that you want it to be. However, I definitely feel that in these first few weeks of this year I have made a few changes which have made my body happy, my mood better, my self esteem better & has just generally made an improvement to every single day. Its quite amazing how one little change, can make such a big difference to so many things and you would never have known how different you can feel until you stop doing something. 

So, wayyy back in November I actually ran out of my Marvelon tablet which is a form of 'the pill' contraceptive so I had a period of time where I never took anything, but I did have a plan that I would be going to the Doctors after my trip to London which was a few days after I took my last pill. Anyway, to cut a long story short(er) I have made the decision to give up taking any contraceptive medication, this is not because I am ready for a baby - because I'm most definitely not. It is simply because I have tried so many different types and nothing seems to agree with my body. Originally I was on Microgynon which made me extremely moody and hormonal and I just could not deal with it anymore - also the pill just did not seem like the best option for me as I am sick all of the time, and therefore it has no opportunity to work and even get into my system. I then started getting the injection - which was great for me at the time, and I did not think it affected me in any negative ways. Obviously you can only have the injection for a certain length of time, so when the time came to stop having it and I switched back to Microgynon, I very quickly realised how much weight I had put on and I absolutely hated it. I have never been big, but I really did notice a difference in my body and I knew I could not go back on the injection for this reason. 

After staying on Microgynon for some time, I realised how different my moods were again and how I would flip at anything and everything - therefore I took a trip to the doctors and asked for some advice about what else I could try. They then said that I should try a pill with less testosterone because this could be the root cause of my moods, which is when they tried me on Marvelon. I took Marvelon for roughly around 2 years until November just passed, and although I felt ok and better on it, I still was extremely volatile, and my hormones remained all over the shop. Therefore when I had a length of time of not taking it any more, I quickly realised how much nicer I was, how I did not seem to flip at situations so easily, me and Simon seemed to argue less & it was all because my moods were so much better. I know it was the pill, because nothing else in my life changed therefore it was obviously me taking this that made my moods extremely unpredictable. I now feel much much happier, less snappy, like I laugh at situations I would probably have gone crazy at before, and just generally feel much better. 

Obviously, this life change is not something that everyone should change, because the pill works fantastically for lots of people. Its just that it did not for me. My point is, if you feel unhappy about things and are wondering why then maybe you too should look at factors or lifestyle choices you have made and see if there is a reason behind why you feel the way you do. For example; medications, smoking, diet, University courses, exercise, who you spend your time with etc. I know in the past I could have made changes which would have made me much happier at the time, and it involves some of the topics above, so if you are feeling the same then why not try changing one too!! 

M a k e P l a n s & A r r a n g e m e n t s 

One of my main aims for 2016, after the rubbish year that was 2015 was to make loads and loads of plans so that I can enjoy this year more than any so far! It has not yet hit the end of January and my plans for this year are already pretty incredible!! I think making plans and things to look forward to is so important, it is what gets me through work & those skint times when you think.. *Aw I have no money, but its ok because I am saving it to go here*. I just LOVE making plans, and I am never someone to say no to anything which is getting arranged. 

After living in Cardiff I have definitely learnt that I need to continue to say 'yes' to everything I get asked to go to, this is because when I look back to my time in Cardiff I just felt so out of the loop with things and being so far away from my best friends and family meant that I could not join in with some things which bothered me so much. Therefore, I am ensuring that this year I have plans constantly because there is honestly nothing better in my life, than having something to look forward to with my favourite people! 

So now, let me tell you about some of the things I am up to this year (so far). 
- On Friday I am going to Lincolnshire for the weekend with my family, staying in a Lodge & celebrating my Grandad's 70th birthday. 
- Leeds for Valentines weekend with Simon which I am super excited for! 
- A falconry experience 
- London Fashion Weekend with Ruth (Pretty Little Gym Addict) 
- Color Run in Sheffield in June with my Mum, Aunty & others. 
- Lanzarote in July for 10 days with my family 
- Creamfields for the 4th year running!! 
- New York Cityyyy! 

I would say that this bunch of plans is looking pretty incredible already, and I am more than willing to acceptable any other plans thrown my way to make it grow more and more! Personally, making plans and taking trips is something which makes me happier! 

Work hard & do a job that you enjoy

There is absolutely nothing more fulfilling than leaving work and realising you are doing the best job you could imagine yourself doing. Yes, Nursing is not glamorous in any way, shape or form but it really is super rewarding & you really do need to be a certain kind of person to be a good nurse. Another way to being happy, is definitely being in a career you have chosen or doing a job you love or are passionate about - surely there is nothing worse than leaving work and just feeling like it is all so wrong for you. I cannot imagine what that must be like, and if you feel like you are in that situation then why don't you start hunting for something new? and something which you are passionate about? I know that if I was in that situation I would immediately start looking for something different because if you aren't happy at work then this will really bring you down - effecting everything else! 

Yes  I have to admit that sometimes I come home from work and I feel really sad because of the kind of situations I have had to deal with that day but if anything it makes me so proud that I am capable of caring for patients who are critically ill, as well as caring for their families and relatives - whilst being professional and controlling my own emotions. I love my job though, it makes my brain work, I save lives every single day & the reality of it is, that that is the complete truth! Every patient that comes through the doors of Critical Care, is critically ill - whether it is organ failure, trauma, a brain injury, cardiac arrest - every single person needs treating immediately, and sometimes that responsibility is scary but what's more scary is that I have the capability to do it! 

This is why I am happy with my job. I know I make a difference every single day I leave work! However, on the other side of this I can completely understand why someone would feel really unhappy if they did not like their job, which is why I am explaining to you just how important it is for you to not be in a job you don't particularly like. And, lets be honest you don't necessarily have to be in that job - therefore change it if it is making you unhappy! You never know, this may be a game changer and make you a much happier person! 

Make every day count

Yes, we all love a lazy day and to lounge around in our slobbiest clothes being couch potatoes - but in reality if you are feeling unhappy when you do this, then is it really the best thing for you? Sometimes if I am feeling low, all I want to do deep down is hibernate in my pjs with no make up on - but I always know that getting myself dressed and sticking some make up on makes me feel so much better! Therefore, I know that even if that voice in my head is telling me today is the day to do nothing, I still drag myself up and get myself ready because sometimes by just doing that - my mood improves 100%. 

Usually, the night before I go to sleep when I know I have not got to be up for work the next day I always think to myself that I will have a huge lie in, lie in bed and watch tv and just eat crap but then when it actually comes around to it - I don't want to do that and that's because nothing disappoints me more than a wasted day. Maybe you are feeling miserable because you are spending too much time lazing around instead of getting up and ceasing the day? If you think this might be a reason for you current unhappiness then try the whole getting up and dressed thing, going out for a walk, cleaning the house, cooking or baking, being productive, going to the gym etc. I know it makes me feel a million times better!

Never compare your beginning, to someone else's middle

One of my favourite quotes, and definitely something very relatable to my life at times. I sometimes find I have these days where I feel extremely down and like no matter how far I have already come, I still do not feel good enough, or like I am producing good enough content - in terms of my blog. I am (not so much now) guilty of sometimes looking up to big bloggers and thinking about how badly I want that life, and thinking about how I can make my blog just as perfect as theirs and thinking why am I not there right now? We all do it - lets be honest! However, I think sit back and think to myself about how we all have to start somewhere right and if you put the work and effort in, then you too will get there some day?! 

I sometimes think some people are guilty of this in their general lives too. This definitely is not me, I have to say because I have seen how competition from others destroys friendships, families and relationships and I would never wish to be that person. In life, you only need to focus on your own progress and nobody else's. Wishing you were like someone else, or getting what someone else has, or moaning about someone else will not make you be that person - you are you and that will not change! Just focus on who you are, your own qualities and what you can bring to the table and you will feel much happier about this!

Spend time with the people you love 

Family is family at the end of the day, and deep down they will love you no matter what - and will always be there for you when you need someone to talk to. I have got such incredible bonds with every member of my family and know who I would go to, to speak about certain things. This also goes for friends - I know exactly which friend to go to when I want advice, a laugh or just a general chit chat and that's what is important. Knowing you have people around you who can put that smile back on your face for one reason or another. 

Its definitely appropriate to name my best friends right now because I love them all so much and would not change them for the world. So I have got my trusty amigos Rachael, Ruth & Zoe, Poppy & Laura and then the boys - Simon, James, Taigh, Ryan etc. I feel incredibly lucky that I have got such a good group of friends who make me laugh so much. 

Its very important to identify who your best friends are, stay in contact with them & be there for them just as much as they are for you! If I have any younger or teenage readers of my blog, then maybe you are going through a tough time with friends who you don't feel like you have much in common with and things just don't seem right about your friendship? I would say, trust your instinct with this. My 3 best girl friends have been there since I was 4, which is almost 20 years, and we have all been parts of friendships groups together, left them, joined new ones and then its still just the 4 of us left. This to me is a team for life when every single time friendships break down, it is always the same bunch left. 

Never let anybody else's hate for life, bring you down

I have reached that point in life where I concentrate on myself, and anything that does not contribute to my happiness is basically given the boot. This is how it should be, I have lived for years and years watching what I say so that I don't hurt peoples feelings even though they have no respect for my feelings or anyone else's for that matter. I have just realised that I don't have to listen to other peoples negativity in situations and instead of sitting there with open ears, I close myself off to it and save myself the aggravation. Sometimes when you offer advice to people you find yourself getting your own emotions entangled in their dramas and even though you may not directly be involved, its sometimes hard to distance yourself when things seem to be going wrong. Then, all of a sudden when things suddenly become right for someone and they are ok with people who they have rabbited on in your ear about, you feel betrayed because they have perceived this person to be so horrendous to you and suddenly they are ok with them? I have been guilty in the past of getting myself far too involved with situations that I now just sit back and hear things from word of mouth instead of asking the questions myself. All I have ever found is that this has never helped me, and despite the fact that I have never been anything but a pair of ears to listen to some peoples stories, I sometimes feel like its me who ends up more upset at the end? Which is why I am a much happier person just not getting involved at all any more. 

Another thing is that you must never let anyone destroy your happiness when you are genuinely happy with things. I am the happiest I have been in months right now, and I don't need to write a million tweets to prove that .. you can just tell by photos I put on, a big cheesy smile on my face, attending lots of different parties and events with my family and friends and positivity in general. I am not at all unhappy right now, and sometimes I think people think its all fake and for show, its not. I have no problem with anybody else being happy, I just do not understand why people feel the need to comment on 'not caring' about other peoples happiness - If you are happy in your own life then why not just say it, instead of writing it and then writing a dig of a comment about how you could not care less about anybody else's happiness? To me, that does not make you happy that makes you really strange - if you can mention your own happiness and not caring about anybody else in the same breath. 

Anyway, moral of this comment is.. just be happy with your own life. If you too, find that sometimes you get backhanded comments made towards you - never let it effect your mood or happiness. I have learnt to not do this. I find it laughable and sad. Just move on and prove how much bigger you are than other peoples negativity - wear that smile like its your best accessory! 

Take care of your appearance 

As I said in one of my points above, I get up every single day and put my make up on, get dressed and do my hair because I know that this makes me feel so much better, no matter what is going on. I have always been the same, and I am sure its completely obvious that I have an obsession with make up and skincare products. Sometimes I feel as though I have those days where I look like rubbish and no amount of anything I put on my face is going to help me out, which gets me in such a bad mood. 

Looking after you appearance in whatever ways you desire is so important for your own self esteem. For example, make up might be some peoples thing, doing your hair might be someone else's, having a great body and exercising might be somebody else's priority - either way you should find that thing which you makes you feel better about yourself. I definitely feel much happier knowing I have got up and made some effort towards making my appearance look better on a morning! 


I hope I have given you all some little tips to making yourself feel happier. I know these things seem a little bit deeper than the average hints like, make a cup of tea, go for a walk, watch a dvd.. but sometimes I feel like your happiness can be much deeper than that, and hopefully this may guide some of you into exploring other reasons for why you are maybe not feeling your best and therefore working on it. 

Leave any extra hints and tips in the comments below if you have any, and remember you always have the right to happiness so never let anything or anyone ruin that for you! 

Much Love, 



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