3 Ways To Be Happy With Less

happy with less

Being happy with less has become a powerful mindset not only to survive but also thrive in these uncertain times.

Over the last twelve months we have all realised how quickly and profoundly life can change.

From one day to the next, livelihoods were destroyed, jobs put on hold and income became sparse.

Even in the richest countries in the world, people were actually going hungry.

It is now blatantly obvious that so easily we can all slip into poverty within just a short period of time.

Now is a good time to step back and reflect on how we can become more resilient and navigate financial insecurity during times of uncertainty.

One of the best options to succeed is to be happy with less, but how can you be happy with less without losing out?

It’s all about mindset based on your personal values. Once you are clear about your values, you can take conscious action every day to live by them.

To be happy with less is based on values such as independence, simplicity, lightness, health and self-sufficiency.

Here are three ways to be happy with less you can start to implement in your everyday life to make a positive difference:

1. Re-evaluate what you really need

When it comes to spending money, it is easy to develop habits, like buying a new phone every two years, renew subscriptions you no longer need or making those impulse purchases while out shopping.

Even when buying food we often fall into marketing traps for processed meals and comfort snacks.

But cooking from scratch isn’t just healthier, it can also save you money and even time, when cooking in batches.

It is time to prioritize your needs and carefully think about whether a purchase is really necessary.

What can you buy second-hand rather than new?

I’ve taken my son’s old LG phone, which is five years old and still works perfectly fine. I don’t need another phone until this one packs in and can’t be repaired. I have no desire to buy the latest tech or a certain brand.

This takes me to…

2. Stop striving

Striving towards bigger, better, latest model, latest fashion, latest trend, etc. Avoid following social media accounts that make you feel lacking or inferior.

Jump off the FOMO train, let go of the need to compete with others in terms of possessions, the struggle of climbing career ladders.

Take a step back and explore what is stressing you in terms of striving.

Is it really necessary? Are you trying to fit in or fulfilling other people’s expectations?

You may have been raised in surroundings where money and status are important, but think about making choices that reflect your true personality and inherent talents.

3. Live life at a slower pace

There is no need to be highly productive every day. It is okay to reduce your to-do list, not eating on the go, or being late when it is beyond your control.

People tend to spend more money when they feel stressed and under pressure. Retail therapy often involves wasting money for short-term satisfaction.

Relax. Do less. Reduce stress to spend less.

Rather than going to the gym, go for a brisk walk in nature. Sit down on a bench half way for a quiet moment of peace and taking some deep breaths.

Cultivate a feeling of being content with the simple joys surrounding you. This way you will find it easier to improve your spending habits and be happy with less.

Have fun exploring how you can be happy with less, and let me know what works for you. I’d love to hear from you 🤩

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

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22 Spring Self-Care Ideas To Nourish Your Soul

spring self care ideas to nourish your soul
Image: Three of Wands, Housewives Tarot

Spring is the time of new beginnings, starting afresh, getting out and about, longer days, warmer weather and nature waking up from its long winter slumber.

How can we make the most of this get-up-and-go energy?

Here are 22 Spring self-care ideas to nourish your soul:

  1. Get up earlier in the morning to watch the sunrise and listen to the dawn chorus.
  2. Open the windows more often to let fresh air into your rooms.
  3. Buy yourself spring flowers like daffodils and tulips.
  4. Plan and book a holiday.
  5. Declutter and spring clean your home.
  6. Consciously eat more fruit, veg and salads.
  7. Create a music playlist on Spotify that makes you spring into action.
  8. Exercise outdoors.
  9. Feed the birds – they need it now while raising their young.
  10. Reorganise your wardrobe. Put your winter jumpers away to make room for your spring and summer clothes.
  11. Burn citrus or apple essential oils to invigorate your senses.
  12. Start a creative Spring journal – list your goals, plans, new seasonal recipes, photos, vision boards, inspiration, tarot spreads and journal prompts.
  13. Sow seeds in your garden or in pots on your window sill – flowers, veg, herbs.
  14. Go for nature walks more often. Explore.
  15. Meditate outdoors.
  16. Take up a new hobby or learn a new skill. Learn Tarot!
  17. Less screen time, more me time.
  18. Meet up with a friends for breakfast or afternoon tea.
  19. Be more spontaneous.
  20. Change or tweak your same old routines to make them more interesting or exciting again.
  21. Read a new inspirational book or magazine.
  22. Start a regular savings account for a minimum 12-month term and watch your money grow.

Colours of Spring: green, yellow, white, soft pink and turquoise – good to know if you want to freshen up your home, wardrobe, crafty projects etc. with some seasonal colour magic

What’s your favourite spring self-care practice to nourish your soul? Please do let me know. I’d love to hear from you.

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

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When Patience Becomes A Curse

Patience is a virtue.

Or is it?

I have been brought up to be patient, to avoid short-fused hot-tempered reactions, to take my time rather than rushing, to be patient with myself while trying to learn a new skill etc.

But along the way I have noticed that sometimes patience was holding me back.

Like when I was patiently

  • tolerating toxic people, hoping they would change
  • sticking with a shitty relationship, hoping it would miraculously turn into something wonderful
  • enduring a dead-end job, hoping its boredom and lack of spirit wouldn’t kill me

It can be easy to confuse patience with not setting boundaries.

Because patience often requires effort, it can be exhausting after a while.

So when you pull Patience from the Cosmic Journaling Oracle deck, you can ask yourself:

  1. Do I need to be more patient, or is it time to set some boundaries?
  2. Who is testing my patience? Is it worth it?
  3. In the past, in what situations should I have been more patient and why? And when did patience not serve me but stopped me from moving forward?
  4. How do other people show patience towards me (in a family setting, amongst friends or at work)? Have I tested their patience?

Patience is a virtue, but it can also be a curse. How is patience serving you?

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

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Overcoming Overwhelm and Mental Blocks

overcoming overwhelm and mental blocks

Feelings of overwhelm and mental blocks can come up at any time.

Sometimes they are triggered by a situation or event. In my case it was a cold with flu symptoms just after Christmas that has thrown me off course.

I took time off work keeping warm in the house with nice food, books, herbal teas and TV entertainment.

I started feeling better by the new year, but there was a persistent fog in my brain that was pretty hard to shift.

So I decided that fresh air would be in order, and the pics above are from my New Year’s walk with my love in the local park.

Even though I still had the sniffles, it was such a fantastic day dreaming and looking forward to the year ahead.

But still, my head was filled with all sorts of stuff, from creative ideas and mundane life things that needed to be done right through to worries about Brexit (I’m an EU citizen living in the UK, and a no deal would be disastrous), which I’d been trying very hard to ignore…

So, I’ve felt a bit overwhelmed with everything I need to get on with and life in general, and when that happens, my midlife brain can no longer cope and begins to scatter 🙂

BUT….I do have some techniques to help me cope and overcome this unfortunate phase, which is thankfully slowly beginning to wane.

1. Breathe…take a deep breath and start at the beginning. Rather than looking at my long to-do list and long-term goals, I do something small each day that I can cope with and complete.

It’s like putting those jigsaw puzzle pieces together one-by-one to create the whole picture.

2. Distract….Worrying can make the situation even worse, so it’s best to accept the current state and switch off with a great book, inspiring magazine, movie or TV program helps to focus my mind on something completely different.

It gives my brain not only a well earned break but is also kickstarting new ideas.

3. Enjoy….doing an activity that makes you happy. Over the last two days I tidied and decluttered my home filling four bags of stuff going to charity. And I’m not done yet! 

4. Overhaul my diet…Over recent months I’ve been reducing my meat intake down to just once a week. I love vegetarian/vegan food and discovered new recipes and ingredients. I love sweet potato burgers!

If we all cut down on our meat intake to just once a week, that would reduce greenhouse gases by a lot.

5. Reduce my plastic consumption…since we were made aware of the huge plastic island in the Pacific and microplastics in marine life and food chain, I’m getting more conscious about the amount of plastic coming into my life.

For example, liquid soap in plastic bottles (I’m now using more soap bars), food in plastic containers. Wherever possible, I choose glass bottles or no packaging at all. I’ve been using my own reusable shopping bags for years.

6. Saying NO… Less is more in terms of work commitments and projects. I only say YES to what makes me happy and fulfils me. I have chosen not to feel obliged to fulfil other people’s expectations or demands.

7. Fresh air…yes, more of it! It’s something I haven’t had enough of recently. That new year’s walk in the park was like therapy. I want more of that, so I’m out again tomorrow.

8. Journaling….I so love writing, even if it’s just a sentence, a pic, doodle or making a note of a fab quote I’ve come across on social media.

creative journaling

For that purpose, I’m using the creative printables I’ve designed, which you can grab here.

Yes, it can be unsettling when overwhelm and mental blocks dominate your life, but eventually by not giving yourself a hard time over it, life will also take you back into the flow.

Last but not least, try this tarot spread/ journaling prompt ideal for overhauling old and dusty habits:

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

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The Magic Of Doing Nothing

Many people live busy lives full of errands, commitments and self-imposed recreational activities such as sports, social events and travelling. 

Perhaps they want to give the impression how fun and interesting their lives are, and they believe that an admission of doing nothing could damage their reputation. 

I’m doing nothing sounds a bit like I’m being lazy.

Doing nothing makes some people feel guilty, as doing nothing is a bit of a taboo in our society.

If you do nothing, you’re a lazy waste of space.

But of course, there is nothing wrong with doing nothing. 

Doing nothing means you don’t have any commitments.

You don’t need to rush anywhere.

You have time for yourself, and can do what you like.

And these are the times when magic happens.

Suddenly you aren’t busy, which can make you feel a bit lost.

Good. 

Feel lost and savour that moment. Make yourself comfy on the sofa and put your feet up. Close your eyes and relax.

Listen to the silence, or listen to the radio.

Look out of the window with your cat.

Make yourself a cup of your favourite beverage and savour it in peace without any pressure of having to dash off soon.

See how your plants grow in your house or in your garden. Smell the flowers.

There is absolutely nothing you should do. The time for commitments and errands and work will come back again later.

But not now. Enjoy the moment. It will give you strength when you remember it later with fondness.

Suddenly you decide to look through your book collection or some old photos.

You may just decide to have a bath.

Or light some candles on a gloomy, rainy day.

Maybe you are thinking of leaving the house for a walk. Or you might just stay in.

Meditate.

Write in your journal. Doodle.

You see, even though you think you are doing nothing, you are actually doing something.

In those moments when you surrender to the bliss of nothingness, you are resetting your brain. Unconsciously, you are looking for inspiration

Rather than letting the outside world with all its activities influence your thinking, you are taking back control

Your brain has to adjust to standing on its own two feet, using imagination and jumpstarting your creativity. You begin to generate ideas, like you want to tidy up your messy desk, or you want to bake a cake.

These ideas spark your passion and enthusiasm. 

Once you have decluttered your desk, it looks inviting. So you sit down and start writing or crafting or whatever you normally do at your desk.

Doing nothing can ccontribute towards wellbeing and growth. It relieves tension.

Give yourself permission to do nothing.

You will feel so much better afterwards. Don’t feel guilty. You will have done more good by doing nothing than you think. 

Warmest wishes,

Christiane

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