Hello darlings! I did a little (ok a lot of) introspection this month since it was my birthday and I turned 40. I was not surprised to find that the general conclusion is a positive one. I’ve known for some time now that being happy is a state of mind and I am in that state more often than not. 

 During the last 7 years I have found ways to lead a healthier and happier life when compared to the life I lived before. I don’t have any magic recipe but I can share some of my tips with you. Just a birthday gift from me to you! 

Manage Stress 

Stress causes many problems in life and can greatly affect you physically. It causes quite a few health issues and can make any medical conditions you have worse. It increases signs of aging and feelings of irritability, fearfulness, and anxiety. It can also throw your hormones out of whack, most noticeably altering the menstrual cycle of some women. 


The first step to managing your stress is recognizing the symptoms of it. This can allow you to act before you experience the negative effect. Try out different strategies like meditation, hobbies, and exercise. If going to the gym isn’t your thing, consider exploring the beauty of the natural world—just make sure to prepare with outdoor apparel and gear. There are also stress and health tracking fitness trackers that you can invest in, which will alert you to your overall health and stress levels. Choose the one you enjoy most and has the best effect on you. 


I can’t stress enough (no pun intended) how my crafting hobbies have helped me out on that regard. Crocheting is my kind of therapy when I need time alone and hiking is my go to relaxation when I want some company. Do the things you enjoy the most. There is no other way of living! 


Try to sleep better 

Lack of sleep is something that can lead to increased stress, so it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough rest. Sleep deprivation can mess up your metabolism, increase your weight and put you at risk for a pre-diabetic state. It can also affect your immune system and increases your chances of mental illness like depression. You should get a full eight hours of sleep every night to improve your mood and relieve any symptoms you may be feeling. If you find you aren’t sleeping well, it might have to do with your mattress. To get a better mattress to support your sleep, check out the mattresses recommended by professional reviewers to see if there is one that will best accommodate you.

Of course the last 20 months my sleeping routine has changed a lot since Natalia, Nick and I co-sleep and bed-share and Natalia nurses all through the night. However, I much prefer this to having to wake up completely and get her from her cot to nurse. Which was also a moot point since she never slept in her cot anyway! 


Respect Your Own Boundaries and Other People Will Too 

When you set up what you allow and don’t allow people to do to you, you assert yourself, which will make people respect you. If, for instance, you like to keep a clean office environment but your co-worker is a slob, then communicate with them and consider asking your boss to hire a cheap office cleaning service. Often by vocalizing your boundaries, other people will recognize when they’re trespassing. 


In addition, those who are people pleasers tend to attract people who will walk all over them and do them harm. Seeing the people who do this can cause people pleasers to become anxious due to the fact they know the person is no good for them but will continue to try to make them happy. 


To put end to your people-pleasing ways, you need to discover what you are willing to do, determine what you don’t want to do, and build a general sense of self-awareness. If someone asks something of you that rubs you in an upsetting or uncomfortable way, tell them no. You’re going to be afraid at first. The people in your life might be mad or a little taken aback, but most will respect you for your decisions. 


That’s what I did when I went back to work after my maternity leave. Somehow it has worked wonders and I am more than happy to be back to my lab! 


Don’t Change Yourself to Please Others 

Going hand-in-hand with ending your people-pleasing ways is putting a stop to altering your personality and looks to fit in or make other people happy. So many people have grown up believing that they had to be what their parents wanted or what society deemed successful. This often pressures you to change aspects of yourself to fit into a more acceptable mold that you are ultimately not happy with. 

If you find that you’re unhappy with the situation that society has pushed you into, take steps to change that situation. If you have to, walk away from toxic relationships and quit the job that is making you miserable. 


I realised after becoming a mom that some of my (not so close thankfully) friends didn’t get the memo that I can’t be there for them 24/7 since I now have a kid to take care of. So, these friends removed themselves from my company which really goes to show you they were no friends at all. But you get the point! Don’t be a doormat! Be yourself!

A happy mom raises happy kids. The new book from Thekla Petridou is very easy to read and comprehend and will leave you guild - free!

Find Your Inner Child 

Oftentimes, adults are under the assumption that when they reach a certain age they have to become serious people who are dedicated to their work. This often time leads to them losing the childhood joy that they once possessed. 


Try to hold onto what you feel where the best parts of being a child. Be awed when you see incredible feats, laugh at cute cat videos, be hopeful in things you look forward to, and practice creativity like you did when you were young. Enjoying things is something children are especially good at, strive to mimic them in this.


Before Natalia was born Nick would ask me, ‘Did you play nice today?”, meaning did you have fun with your crafts today? You see, for me, crafting and blogging are my adult playgrounds. I feel like a kid that’s allowed an hour to play when I get some time to craft. I love the feeling of never giving up the childhood feeling of happy playing. I hope this makes sense! 


Listen When Your Body Is Telling You to Stop 

Your body is an expert in everything having to do with you. Listen to it. It will tell you when you’re hungry and thirsty. It will tell you when to stop eating and drinking. Your body will let you know when to stop bad habits or alert you to illnesses that you may not have realized were plaguing your body. 


I have given up on coffee many years ago and I only drink tea. Well, the only thing I am truly sad about is the state of my physical presence. I mean I know I should love my body but I can’t find the will to like it a lot right now. Being overweight with 15 kilos to loose is hard on me and finding the right way to shed the weight is taking a toll on me. But I am working on it and so should you with the things that bother you. Listening to our bodies is a must, regardless of age and sex. 

What are doing to keep yourselves healthier and happier? 

Lots of love