Mama Wins is a digital magazine dedicated to providing women and mothers with inspirational & badass content. The Media Hub For Millenial Mothers & Women | Fashion, Beauty, Wellness, Work, Life, Motherhood.
Fashion has always been at the centre of media attention and social networks, and enjoys the privilege of being seen and heard everywhere - at all times. A privilege destined for a select few if we consider how much is written or asked today to become part of the cauldron of the news of the day.
Without rules and limits, fashion (but much more) whoever takes his place, dared to walk tall. I say dared, indeed. For some time, his safety in terms of "prima donna" has begun to falter. Behind the spasmodic need to dominate the scene, another kind of need has begun to be evident: that of being above everything and everyone, even the common sense of respect. Respect, a mindset from the Middle Ages, some would think. And no, because for someone who is still classified as medieval in thinking, respect is something fundamental and basic.
The straw that broke the camel's back and shook some minds was the controversy triggered by China against the Italian brand Dolce & Gabbana, accused of racism. The commercial shows a Chinese girl eating Italian dishes with typical Chinese chopsticks. What is offensive about all this? Nothing. But the verbal malice behind some of the narrator's questions to the girl is "patently" latent. This is offensive. Can we say that China has perhaps opened the doors for a legislative regulation aimed at protecting respect for people and culture, where fashion intends to build and expand its mediatic and economic power?
After China, other luxury brands were accused of racism. Moschino, Zara and Versace have all had similar accusations. The Italian high-end brand has been accused of using code words to indicate customers whose skin is black. Zara, one of the Inditex group brands, has also been accused of using, as in the case of the Italian brand Moschino, coded words against customers whose skin is black and also against people from Mexico; the so-called 'Latinx'. While Versace, the brand of Italian origin, sold less than a year ago to the American group Michael Kors, had a complaint from an employee who explains that he was fired after the managerial staff discovered that his skin was dark. In the focus of protests - Amazon has been accused of using children's voices with Alexa.
It seems of late that fashion brands are having a difficult time. Fashion often communicates a message (in this case - of dissent) that circulates in society and whose brands are the spokesperson for this message, often exacerbating the message itself to make it even more powerful and redundant with the result of having been heard in launching it, but many times with an effect contrary to that expected. And in fact, the message becomes latent, confused to trigger controversy.
Somehow it seems that we are trying to put a stop to the verbal language and the fashion communication of the brands, which are intent on expanding their market all over the world. Nowadays they also have to worry about not being offensive and disrespectful of the culture and legislation of each country.
On the other hand, when any brand decides to expand into a country it is because it considers it economically attractive, so it claims to be "respected" is the least we can do. But sometimes common sense is overshadowed by the thirst to commodify minds, forgetting that some, indeed more than one, is no longer left in the Middle Ages.
Alessandra Guerrieri studied Communication and Social Media and later specialised in Communication and Fashion Journalism. She has contributed articles to Vogue Italy where her creativity has been expressed through her fashion writing, as she holds a vast knowledge in fashion culture and history.
At the tender age of 15 I struggled with my identity. The ruminating thoughts that drained me weekly - Am I too skinny? Am I pretty enough? Am I smart enough? Did said boy fancy me? 15 years later and it troubles me that I am still asking myself the same questions. 15 whole years. Why am I still dissilusioned about my existence - and why do I still allow society to have such an effect on me?
When I ask myself what womens empowerment means - an array of answers fill my mind. Strangely enough equality is not the first to plague me - not in it's entirerity that is. I lean strongly towards the notion of feeling at peace with myslef, with my feminine-hood, my female makeup and overall being. That combined with the barbaric misogynistic idiots that have me seething over discussions of our abortion rights, female genitial mutilation, domestic abuse, trafficking and all round disrespect - I am whole heartedly committed to empowering myself, my daughter and my sisters.
"There is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women."
– Barack Obama, 44th US President
The female population constitutes for almost half of the worlds population, which is daringly ironic as we receive half of nothing. So why after 50 years of empowerment are we still not getting what we deserve? Why are we still being mistreated and dismissed as second class citizens?
Women are beautiful, inspirational, a phenomenon almost - so when will society see this? Leaders and infuential people both now and in history have been proclaiming the virtue of the women for some time - but their words are still taking some time to resigntae and dilute into society.
“It’s time to EMPOWER – to RESTORE the inherent POWER of girls and women, which has been denied for generations.”
– Jin In, Founder 4GGL
So what will we do? What will you do? As women, we have no choice but to take lead and form our own coalition. One of sincere sisterhood, that will empower, stregthen, educate and continue to reign for our daugters. A reign that will be heard, seen and felt with deep force and meaning. Let's remember to stand forward and speak on our beliefs, values and identities. This is our time - and it means so much.
The world of dating can be pretty awkward and confusing so will naturally come with both good and bad experiences. So much so that when I decided to take the plunge into dating (an anxious plunge might I add) I decided that at the least this would be a learning experience as well as helping to identify the type of man that I was seeking - now in my mid 30's with hopes that my choices had become better and evolved since my late 20's.
The journey has been, er, what's the best way to describe it - eventful. Highs and lows, awkward silences, strange men, really nice men, intellects, musicians - oh the list goes on - but my point here is that I served my time and learnt some valuable lesson's; lessons that I am now about to share - so here are some key pointers that may help you - my fellow single lady on the road to successful dating, when trying to find the one.
Date the 'maybes'- swiping can be an exhausting and extensive task. So instead of only swiping right on men that you think are exceptionally good looking and look like they tick all the right boxes, give the maybes a go too. That guy that you may be judging for superficial reasons could actually be a great person with many of the qualities you are looking for irl.
Do not put all your eggs in one wicker basket - when I started dating I would meet one guy, like him, fixate on him and then everything would go wrong. Get to know several guys at once. This will give you a more objective outlook and allow you to select based on quality and not quantity.
Go against your usual type - dating can be fun and a great way to find out what you really like. Dating a guy in a band could open you up to a new genre of music you may like or a guy who travels a lot may awaken the adventurer in you.
Short and effective first dates - coffee, brunch - keep it short and sweet. If you are really serious about finding a partner then you probably have to meet a few people, which means a good few dates, which adds up to umpteen hours (you get where Im going with this) grab a coffee in the morning, feel it out and then keep it moving. No time wasting getting ready in the evening for two hours, having to book a baby sitter only to find out he lied about his height and what was listed as 6’ was actually 5’2”
Do not indulge in too much dialogue - story time - the first guy I dated was a compete and utter mindfield. He messaged me everyday, during the course of the day and then called every other day for 3 weeks straight - ad tgen at the end of the month stated that he wanted to slow things down (yes - even though he was doing all the chasing) I was stumped and slightly annoyed at all the time I had invested and come to find out wasted in dialogue. Keep it simple and do not add any additional pressure. Things will be build up gradually if they’re meant to.
Be prepared for rejection - you're not going to like everybody you date so it's only natural that they may not like you. Rejection can be a hard pill to swallow, but is ultimately a big and necessary part of dating.
Watch out for the red flags - How have some of your relationships panned out over time? Any red flags that you dismissed only to find out a year or two down the line that that should of been your wake up call? Look out for signs of 'coming on too strong', inconsistency with contact, extreme jealousy, control, flakiness, or not respecting your boundaries’.
Too many opinions can ruin the outcome
- It certainly is great to have a chat with your girlfriends about your new love interest, but sometimes telling too many people and having too many opinions weigh in can confuse the process. Remember you are dating the person and things shouldn’t be determined by your friends likes, dislikes and experiences - granted its great gaining advice but be mindful of the advice you are receiving and why.
The relationship we have with ourselves is often the hardest relationship of all.
Learning to love and respect ourselves, sometimes even to like ourselves can feel challenging at the best of times.
Over the years many different situations can impact on our confidence, self-esteem and mental health. I believe every woman endures different battles with her mental health at different times in her life. I’ve recognised mine since becoming a mother for sure, and I know they stem right back to when I was young.
"I watched her battle addiction throughout my whole childhood and during my teenage years our relationship became non-existent."
I’ve grown up not liking myself, not thinking I was clever, pretty, or good enough and my relationship with my mother has had a huge impact on my own mental health, confidence and self-esteem.
I watched her battle addiction throughout my whole childhood and during my teenage years our relationship became non-existent.
There wasn’t really any awareness about mental health back then and I didn’t realize she was clearly fighting a battle with her mind as well as everything else. What I have realised is that - the closest people to addicts are affected nearly as much as the addict themselves and it’s a painful, heartbreaking situation that I wouldn’t wish on anybody.
"I struggled with confidence and I felt like I could never be good enough because I hadn’t been enough for my own mum to fight for, to live for."
I spent the later part of my teenage years so angry with her because she chose anything alcoholic over me that when she died I couldn’t remember one nice conversation we’d had together in the last year or so. A nervous breakdown followed a year after her death and I struggled with panic attacks for a while.
I spent my twenties telling myself that I could never get married or have a family because I feared I would turn out just like my mother and I wouldn’t be able to handle life. I struggled with confidence and I felt like I could never be good enough because I hadn’t been enough for my own mum to fight for, to live for.
I have also spent a long time feeling angry, sad, heartbroken and confused by it all and even now at 37 years old I still can’t quite make sense of how I feel about it.
I understand addiction is a disease, I understand that a person’s mental health is hugely compromised before it begins and as a result of it.
"Learning to like myself and believe I was intelligent and lovable has been a journey, like stacking bricks on top of one another slowly and praying they don’t fall."
Each and every one of us has had dark in our lives and thankfully we also have light.
Meeting Chris was my light, marrying him and becoming a mum, I finally felt like I belonged. All the pieces to my jigsaw puzzle fitted and I was no longer alone.
Learning to like myself and believe I was intelligent and lovable has been a journey, like stacking bricks on top of one another slowly and praying they don’t fall. Since having my children I have suffered with anxiety, I worry about them constantly with small things niggling away at me and keeping me awake at night.
When I entered motherhood there were so many new challenges to face, most of them I wasn’t expecting. I really struggled after having my first child, the first month of trying to breastfeed her nearly put me back in hospital - I think I had post natal depression but refused to admit it and I was way too hard on myself. I also went back to exercising far too soon and ended up injuring my back badly. I had no appreciation for how hard my body had worked.
The second time however was totally different, I didn’t care that I’d piled on four stone.
I’d sit cuddling Heath all day, eating biscuits and feeling like the luckiest woman alive.
He’s 18 months now and I’ve lost my baby weight slowly and I’m working on getting the shape back that makes me feel good.
My daughter is 5 and very impressionable, she watches and copies everything I do and it petrifies me. Everyday I try and tell her how brilliant she is, I tell her she’s smart, brave and can do anything that she wants. I pray she won’t grow up believing she is worthless and not good enough like I did.
"I’ve also started to feel more comfortable in my own skin, finally."
I also make sure she knows I workout, because I like to feel strong and healthy.
A few weeks ago whilst buying a big sack of dog food the guy in the shop asked if he could carry it to the car for me and Ava-Lilly replied “Have you see my mummy’s arms? She can manage” I couldn’t have been prouder.
Exercise and my focus on nutrition are my medication for keeping mentally strong and happy. I’ve also started to feel more comfortable in my own skin, finally. Sometimes after a workout I could run around the street naked and I wouldn’t give two hoots about my downward facing boobs or wobbly bottom cheeks, I feel great on the inside and that’s all that matters. I’m starting to appreciate myself more, my mind and my body.
Loving and respecting ourselves can feel so difficult, over coming any mental health issues can feel like an upward battle, you’re never alone though and it’s never just you. The more we talk and open up about these kind of issues the more we can help and support each other, woman to woman, mother to mother.
Ever since I can remember, I have been using a multitude of creams to moisturise my skin and it is definitely satisfying when my skin is behaving the way it should, no issues, no breakouts, absorbing amazing ingredients and looking and feeling good overall.
Going through the imaginary list in my head, I have used numerous creams. From E45, Astral, Nivea, Dove to those gorgeous body butters from Bodyshop in different flavours and let’s not forget the small lotions that we all store from perfume gift sets, but nothing compares to Unrefined Shea Butter.
Now, as you step into the cold weather, you want to ensure your skin is moisturised and nourished in the right way and Shea Butter acts like a safety blanket, as it provides food for our skin to keep it looking and feeling healthy. As a young girl I suffered from a mild case of acne and eczema, and for years I have been using this cream to prevent dryness and can honestly say I have never looked back.
Shea Butter comes in two forms, you have the refined and unrefined version.
Unrefined Shea Butter – is the natural form of the substance which contains nourishing vitamins A & E and other healing ingredients that is not processed.
Refined Shea Butter – is the processed version which is selling on the market shelves.
Nowadays we are all quite conscious about the products we use, as it can be an all too common occurrence that our skin may react to certain ingredients - and heck do I know what that's like. So, a few years ago
I decided to do some research on Shea Butter, and I discovered the various healing and anti-inflammatory properties which act as treatments against acne, skin peeling, eczema, and insect bites and looking back at the list, I have had my fair share of skin issues.
I learnt that this product is derived by nuts of the Shea Tree, which spread across Western parts of Africa, with many tribes using the product in their cooking and everyday life, and although I am allergic to nuts, poor me(sad face) this cream has not given me any annoying or unflattering reactions. Now that's big news!
Now luckily, you don’t need to book a flight to Western Africa, as you can find it in shops such as Boots, Superdrug’s, Bodyshop as well as independent online stores.
You can use the product in your hair to prevent hair loss, it reduces stretch marks, which can be a godsend for mothers during and after pregnancy. And as much as we like to embrace our stretch marks, for those who want to rid theirs I have no doubt that you will see a difference in your elongated mirror ladies if you use Shea Butter daily.
Using Natural products, in my opinion, is definitely something we should all be doing more of these days and if you want your skin to look young, fresh and radiant, then unrefined Shea Butter is the way forward and should be the number one cream on your dresser.
Charlene Foreman is a thirty something Londoner, who works as a fashion editorial writer. She has strong interests in art, fashion, photography, lifestyle and travel and enjoys expressing her knowledge and experiences with others.
The term parenting astrologer is one that most have never heard of. So when we asked the MW team their thoughts on it's meaning, let's just say they were all pretty perplexed, but nevertheless extremely excited to learn more.
We decided to hand the mic over to Tara Vogel, to explain exactly what a parent astrologer is and subsequently what her role involves.
So let me explain a little bit about what I do...
First a little astrological background….When we are born the planets are in a particular place in the sky. They’re all in a zodiac sign and an astrological “house”. Almost all of us know what sign the sun was in when we were born. That’s called your sun sign. It’s what you say when someone asks,“What’s your sign?” “I’m a Capricorn,” you reply.
Many people don’t know it, but they also have a moon sign, a rising sign and more! A map of where all the planets were on the day, time and place of your birth is called your birth chart or natal chart. That’s what I use in my sessions. Your astrological natal chart is a visual, flattened out map of where all the planets were in the sky at the moment of your birth.
It is essentially a map of who you are in this lifetime. It shows who your soul has come to be. It tells you about your temperament, the kind of experiences you’ll seek out, what unique needs you have and how you think and learn best. It will tell you about what kind of lessons you’re here to learn and what makes your heart sing. The amount of information you can learn from a person’s natal chart is vast.
As a parenting astrologer, I work with moms to help them understand their kids better using their child’s natal chart. We all have some important soul work to do and it’s my mission in life to try to illuminate the bigger picture of your child’s life and offer practical ways to support them so they can do what they’ve come here to do. It’s my firm belief that we’re all here to contribute a unique gift to the world and to also learn specific “soul lessons”.
Very often, we as parents, have ideas of what we think is best for our child, but it may not line up with who they’ve come to be and the work they’re here to do. You may even have a child you are struggling with. That’s actually my specialty and the children I feel the most passionate about! I look at their natal chart (aka the blueprint of their soul) and give you insight on how to work with them in a practical way while still honouring the essence of who they are on a soul level.
And a very important part of what I do as a parenting astrologer, is to be sure that Mom is on her soul path too. (Yes, we have one!) Very often, when we become moms, we can get so wrapped up in taking care of the little people we birth into the world that we lose ourselves a little bit. Our identity changes as we enter into motherhood in a beautiful way, but we can also lose a little bit of our individuality. I help Moms get connected to their passion and purpose and I shed light on what the bigger picture of the work they’re here to do in the world is. I give them the overall picure and practical steps on how to get there.
The way I like to work is to have anastrology session for mom first. Moms are the foundational glue for everything. After we spend some time looking at what her soul has come here to do, then I’ll have a separate session for the child. It’s here that we look at their personality, what they need from mom, their gifts and their challenges and I give you practical steps on how to work with and support them.
My favorite way to work is to do family pacakges. This is where I work with everyone in the family...dad too! I record all the sessions so you can listen to each other’s sessions. This brings a whole new level of allowing and acceptance of each other when you can understand everyone’s “soul promise.” It brings family harmony to a whole new level!
I also post daily on Instagram about what the cosmos are doing in the sky and how you can use that to support you in the very difficult job of mothering your children. You don’t need to understand astrology to apply my daily guidance. I have many followers who aren’t parents but just want to work with the planetary influences of the day. Life always feels easier that way when you’re in the flow!
TaraVogel is a certified astrologer and professional coach for mindful moms. She's passionate about helping moms stay connected to their kids and themselves via the cosmos. She loves to dive deeply with her clients and believes that understanding the astrological natal chart is one of the greatest tools we have for developing compassion for ourselves and others. She helps moms get clarity, understanding, and answers so they can support their kids on their unique path and at the same time, stay true to their own.
For a decade Lady Gaga has dazzled us with her impressive and striking theatrical “out of this world” outfits. Whatever elegant or insane outfit she wears, she brings to life with amazing credibility. She is a true artist in her own right and goes far above and beyond to push the boundaries in Fashion and Film. However many people might not understand her take or choice of styling and outfits, but when she embodies legendary stars which have graced our TV screens, I believe people can get on board with her look because she stands out from the crowd.
As everyone knows, every year Fashion runs on a cycle. There is always a hint of repetitive trends that appear each year but as the years go on, the looks become more modern, innovative and at the same time exude a reflection of past eras. For example, this is not the first time Lady Gaga has shown us an updated version of imitating a look from legendary icons which we all love and admire. At the 2016 Golden Globe Event, she wore an incredible Versace off-the-shoulder, sultry black velvet curvaceous dress which matched her glamorous blondie curls. You could say her mission was to reincarnate the beautiful bombshell Marilyn Monroe, as a way of expressing a contemporary update and bring forth the allusion of 1940’s past Hollywood looks, such as the hourglass shape, the wasp waist and pin-up attitude.
The ironic coincidence is Lady Gaga has done it again. With her impressive take on the remake of “A Star is Born” three years later at this year’s 2019 Golden Globes Event. The star-studded musician and actress has brought a designer’s creation to life. She wore an incredible princess-like Valentino voluminous off-the-shoulder Taffeta sky blue dress, oversized puffy sleeves with a thousand-yard-long train, which shares some similarities to the legendary Hollywood icon Judy Garland’s dress that she wore in the previous classic adaption of 1954’s version “A Star is Born”.
As both gowns share a few similarities it also shows you the change in Fashion design throughout the decades. From the neck line, garment panelling, cuts, prints, colour and silhouettes. These elements have led the Fashion Industry to evolve and develop from the 1950’s styling of Christian Dior’s “New Look” to the present day with exaggerated luxurious statuesque gowns, in all shapes and sizes, alongside attractive panelling and accessorised with added eyelash extensions and hair dyes to create the ultimate glamourous finish.
I believe by wearing this gown Lady Gaga wanted to make an extreme bold statement to her audience, she wanted to send out a message that portrays her influence, her love for iconic Women of Hollywood and their Fashion sense by remaking history and connecting with her character in order to revamp, or should I say reincarnate legendary stars into the 21stCentury.
I have no doubt Lady Gaga will continue to blow our minds with flamboyant, reinventive, “out of this world” looks but society will also witness a budding beauty, a talented artist who will continue to take us on a journey around the block through Hollywood Fashion history and rencounter those looks that brought us to Fashion we see in front of our eyes today.
Charlene Foreman is a thirty something Londoner, who works as a fashion editorial writer. She has strong interests in art, fashion, photography, lifestyle and travel and enjoys expressing her knowledge and experiences with others.
Bestselling self-help book author and award winning designer Karen Salmansohn has not only graced us with the tools to empower ourselves, but has done so in such a vivacious and charasmatic way.
For me self-help was the section of the book store that I entitled 'the dark side.' Where let's say if a friend or someone I knew bumped into me, I would turn a strong hue of red and assumed I would be deemed as troubled and crazy.
Well Salmansohn totally transformed my viewpoint on this, as her book The Bounce Back adopted a more relaxed and jovial approach to self-help, which fundamentally meant that I felt a lot more comfortable speaking about my anxiety or the fact that I had cried in the shower that morning for no apparent reason and could not explain why. It encouraged me to speak freely about my feelings and to understand that we all go through struggles and it did good to be honest and accepting of this.
Here are 16 quotes from the phenomenal Karen Salmansohn that will either leave you in awe or with a stomach cramp from laughter.
1. “True love is not a wish list but a “wish feeling.” And the number one feeling—even before the feeling of love—is the feeling of safety. Without feeling safe, you will never feel true love. You must have trust in your partner’s character and prioritize finding a partner who is honest, communicative, and empathic—someone who values growing—so you can feel safe to vulnerably be your truest core self with him—and then together the two of you can support one another to grow into your best possible selves.”
2. “life is too short for fake butter or fake people.”
3. “I try to fill the emptiness deep inside me with Cheetos, but I am still depressed. Only now my fingers are stained orange. I am blue. And I am orange.”
4. “If you don't love yourself it's tough to love anything about your life. Appreciating who you are is essential to your happiness.”
5. “God is even in a single parent household.”
6. “View your life with KINDSIGHT. Stop beating yourself up about things from your past. Instead of slapping your forehead and asking, “What was I thinking,” breathe and ask yourself the kinder question, “What was I learning?”
7. “It's essential you create a fiery will from within--harness that power of decisiveness--and choose to be your strongest self.”
8. “All things which greatly hurt me greatly teach me”
9. “The hardest thing about "everything happens for a reason" is waiting for that reason to show up.”
10. “Your mission: Be so busy loving your life that you have no time for hate,regret or fear.”
11. “I realize nobody's coming to save me. I must save myself. I must be my own super hero. Although I am open to a sidekick.”
12. “Some people only hate you because of the way other people love you.”
13. “Don't focus on who let you down. Appreciate who lifted you up. Don't focus on who darkened your days. Appreciate who brightened them.”
“Seek out the good in the bad, the happy in your sad, the gain in your pain, what makes you grateful, not hateful.”
15. “When you realise how much you're worth, You'll stop giving people discounts.”
16. “I try to fill the emptiness deep inside me with Cheetos, but I am still depressed. Only now my fingers are stained orange. I am blue. And I am orange.”
We are well into the new year and resolutions are (or at least should be) in full swing. As we take on new challenges and begin to make the best of 2019, let’s go over a few tips on how to stay on track without feeling overwhelmed. We all lead busy lives as women, mothers and professionals right?! But, that does not mean we can’t carve out time to contribute to our wellbeing. I hope the following five reminders will help you along the way.
Whether it’s planning your day the night before or doing it on a weekly basis, organisation is key. Some find writing out to-do lists and checking them off as you go can be visually helpful. Others prefer making lists on their devices. Whichever method helps you to keep you on top of your game, use that!
This could be a range of things like stretching, breathing exercises, working out, relaxing in a bath or having a diffuser running with your favorite essential oils. The point of this is to make sure you are doing something for yourself to keep you invigorated, happy and balanced through out your day.
Writing is helpful, especially when we feel overwhelmed or scatter brained. The process of writing allows us to clear our minds, express ourselves and sort out all the noise that may be going on in our heads. This can also include goal setting or gratitude lists which detail the things we are grateful for. It's always nice to reference these notes to keep a positive outlook on life.
This is my personal favourite. Going out to dinner with great company, pouring yourself a glass of wine or getting a massage are just a few ideas. Making time to purposefully catch up with someone or seeking some time of solitude is so crucial. Our day to day lives can be so chaotic all the time, which is why it's important to have fun and unwind.
Take a class, read a book, explore a new language or join a book club. Your options are literally endless. Taking in knowledge to learn something and putting it into practice is so important because it helps us to grow and become better versions of ourselves.
Lets make 2019 another great year but let's not forget ourselves!
I can't believe it's amost the middle of January already, I have only (well almost) finished consuming all the left over turkey in the freezer and February is already gearing up to get started. Now ultimately, this means I only have 11 months left to execute a whole host of goals, which includes my life long obsession and passion to be a scuba diver (no lie).
I entered 2019 with the hopes in improving my life and ensuring that I focus more on happiness and practicing gratitude, which I am sure about 90% of the world have probably also committed themselves to.
So here are 7 tips that we should all be implementing into my life to make it a happier, healthier and rosier one.
1. Learn (But Focus on One Thing At a Time)
Learning gives us a great feeling of productivity, but do you ever feel like you're knowledgeable about everything, but an expert on nothing? You see, I can talk for approx 15 mins about politics, fashion, meditation, the solar system, feminism and a whole host of other subjects, but if I am questioned any deeper on any of these topics, I go blank. I've decided to focus on one specific thing every month and completely immerse myself in it, as learning always ignites me with confidence and happiness.
A friend of mine is whole heartedly committed to meditation. She thrives as a result, and insisted that I would thrive to. She wasn't wrong. I began five months ago and can honestly say that I have become calmer, happier and less anxious. Yipee. See, meditation can lower your stress levels and gives you a chance to switch off from the outside world and re- group with yourself - making for an all round happier life.
I am a big believer in opening our eyes to the beauty of the world (I know, sounds a bit cringey and cliche, but it's totally true). See, travelling does something to my inner spirit (okay - cringe again,) but, it has opened doors for me, given me an insight into other cultures and forced me to put my life into perspectve, which has made me qually more grateful. We can all make more of an effort to visit new places, even if it is just taking a weekend trip outside of London, it will truly give you a rosier outlook on life and offer a good amount of respite.
4. Great Friends
Since my early thirties I have started to realise the true importance of great friendships. My friendships have brought me so much joy and understanding. Someone to share the highs and lows of life and motherhood with. Someone to cry to on the phone when you simply - 'don't feel right.' This year I will be watering and nurturing my friendships even more. Life is better when we have great and supportive people around us. So ensure you work on and develop your frienships for a happier you.
5. Helping Others
There is probably nothing that makes me happier than helping others. It's extremely gratifying to see someone else smiling or feeling somewhat better as a result of something that I have done and it really warms my heart. Giving back is something we should all practice and definitely a way of increasing our overall happiness.
For a number of years I would bite my tongue when asked for my opinion or if somebody said something inappropriate to me. If a friend asked if she looked like she had gained weight or whether her new hair cut suited her, and I new my opinion may not be the response she was looking for, I would lie. Over time I started to realise that there is nothing worse than not speaking your mind and being dishonest to someone else and yoursef for that matter. I have learnt to value my opinions, speak up and be honest at all times. It has increased my confidence, which in turn makes me happier as I am trusting and honouring my truth.