UK Lifestyle Blog

Home » Archives for Sam Charles

About Sam Charles

Sam started her UK lifestyle blog, Strawberry Squeeze in 2013. Often accompanied by her partner in crime, Petal (the mini lop), she is an digital influencer, blog coach and a GAIQ SEO consultant. Sam spends most her time booking spa getaways, sea kayaking or dining out with friends and family.

6 Simple Steps to Achieving Everyday Happiness

Oh, happiness! This emotion and state of mind can sometimes feel so elusive. As we journey on through an increasingly stressful and turbulent world, it can often feel to so many of us that happiness is a little too far out of reach.

Whether you’re experiencing the devastating effects of anxiety or stress or stuck in an existential crisis, a little bit of happiness every day could lift your state of mind and offer you a different perspective on your current situation. And the good thing is you don’t have to look too far for happiness; it lies a lot closer than you think. Whenever things get on top of me, these are the some of the things I do or think about to boost my happiness quotient.

6 Simple Steps to Achieving Everyday Happiness | UK Lifestyle Blog

Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude

Unfortunately, it’s all too easy these days to walk through life feeling dissatisfied and not realising the real value of our experiences. At some point or another, all of us become a little bit ungrateful; not intentionally, it’s only sometimes we forget how much we do have. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude is a sure-fire way to experience a mood boost, and it’s something that anybody can do at any moment.

The next time you feel like life is getting on top of you, stop, take a deep breath and think of three things that you currently have in your life for which you feel grateful. It doesn’t have to be riches or material things, sometimes it’s only about gratitude for the running water that comes out of your taps or the smile you get from the shopkeeper down the road!

Smile So Much That Your Eyes Crease

Every day, we are bombarded with perfected faces — smiles that never quite reach the eyes and ‘Blue Steel’ stares continuously pour out of online and offline media. A real smile, though, something that has been called by happiness researchers (what an excellent job!) the Duchenne Smile, packs a mighty punch.

When we smile and laugh so much that our face crinkles up, all sorts of stress hormone-combating endorphins are released. We also get the benefit of a relaxed nervous and cardiovascular system because to laugh, we have to breath out. Try it right now. Make the biggest smile you can, and the next time something bothers you only let out a big laugh!

6 Simple Steps to Achieving Everyday Happiness | UK Lifestyle Blog

Realise the importance of sleep

Sleep is important for various aspects of brain function. This includes cognition, concentration, productivity and performance. All of these are negatively affected by sleep deprivation. A study on medical interns provides a good example. Interns on a traditional schedule with extended work hours of more than 24 hours made 36% more serious medical errors than interns on a schedule that allowed more sleep.

Mental health issues, such as depression, are strongly linked to poor sleep quality and sleeping disorders. It has been estimated that 90% of people with depression complain about sleep quality. Those with sleeping disorders like insomnia or obstructive sleep apnea also report significantly higher rates of depression than those without. Finding the right bed and having a good nights kip is essential for your happiness.

Find Your Flow

‘Flow’ is one of those new self-development buzzwords, but far from being a fascinating marketing ploy, it is something worthy of attention. When you’re carrying out an activity that you enjoy, especially if it’s one that challenges you and asks you to use and increase your skills, you become engaged. And to become engaged means that you enter this state of flow or become present. Some people enter the flow so much that they lose their sense of time and even themselves.

States of flow are in everything from hobbies to vocations, look at Maria Konnikova. This successful author, psychologist and journalist unexpectedly found her flow when researching the discipline of poker for her latest book: ‘The Biggest Bluff’. She fell in love with the game so much that she’s now competing as a professional and even acts as an ambassador for a prestigious global poker platform.

6 Simple Steps to Achieving Everyday Happiness | UK Lifestyle Blog

Random acts of Kindness

In her book, ‘The How of Happiness’, notable professor Sonja Lyubomirsky, talks about the real power of practicing acts of kindness. Random, authentic acts of kindness carried out from the heart boost the mood of the giver, the recipient and can even improve the mood of people who witness the act.

Whenever you can do something to be kind to someone, it can be as simple as holding open a door for someone or offering up your seat on the bus or train to someone for the hell of it, do it. Plus, if you throw in a Duchenne Smile, you’ll get a double boost of happy-making endorphins!

Be Content with Good Enough

This one resonates with me a great deal, and I’m sure it will do the same with you, too. Instead of always striving for perfection, overachieving and overworking the simplest of activities (yes, you, competitive gym-goers I’m looking at you!), we do have to learn to be content with things that are ‘good enough’.

If you’re a striver like me, then, of course, you’ll keep striving, but instead of beating yourself up for failing to live up to your ridiculously high standards of perfection, learn to do the best that you can do in every moment. In time, you’ll realise that your version of good enough is perfect!

6 Simple Steps to Achieving Everyday Happiness | UK Lifestyle Blog

The nature of life is that it will have its high and low points; there’s nothing that any of us can do about that. However, I hope these tips will help you the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed. And remember, happiness is something that we all do deserve.

2018-08-14T11:26:03+00:00 August 14, 2018|Health|

5 Romantic Honeymoon Destinations to Consider

If you watch my Instagram stories, you’ll know that something insanely exciting happened last month; we finally booked our one-way ticket to Thailand for our honeymoon! We’re leaving straight from the bridal-suite at our manor house wedding in Cornwall, and jumping on a plane to Phuket. The idea is to explore until our hearts content, then make our way to Cambodia, Vietnam, and wherever else takes our fancy.

If you are also getting married soon, chances are you’re about to book your honeymoon, too. No matter if you want peace and quiet or great tours and attractions (trust me, we struggled to decide!), you will find something you like on the below list. Stay close to the beach, connect with ancient cultures, embark on a spiritual journey together, and make the most out of this romantic getaway.

5 Romantic Honeymoon Destinations to Consider | UK Lifestyle Blog

Costa Rica

Just a few hours by plane, Costa Rica’s natural beauty and great biodiversity will help you relax and enjoy “pura vida”. There is so much to see in the country; from animal sanctuaries to small fishing villages, stunning active volcanoes, waterfalls, and beaches. You can book a five star hotel near the beach and one of Costa Rica’s national parks to get closer to nature and each other.

Maldives

You might think of the Maldives as a location for the millionaires, but actually there are plenty of budget friendly packages available for honeymooners. You can book a bungalow on the beach and enjoy the independence of waking up when you want and going to bed whatever time you feel like. To make your vacation even more memorable, you can even go on a week cruise around the islands on a catamaran.

Thailand

From stunning beaches to great nightlife and low cost accommodation, you can find everything in Thailand. Try the food at the market, shop around for souvenirs and decoration for your new home and take your travel to the next level. Bangkok has fantastic markets you can walk around all day, and there are several islands to discover on a boat tour.

Crete

The Greek island is famous for the locals’ hospitality and the great atmosphere. The weather is great all year round, and you can find ancient temples, great monuments, and fantastic wine to taste in Crete. There are regular flights in the summer, and you can get active, cycling, horse riding, or hiking on the beach. Before you start booking your honeymoon, look for beach resorts with great bars and all inclusive packages, as eating out can be costly.

Malta

To have a water themed honeymoon with loads of things to do and see, Malta is your destination. From old churches and forts to shipwrecks just off the Mediterranean Coast, local markets, and small villages and festivals, there are plenty of reasons why you should go to Malta. There are also several famous diving schools in Malta offering basic and advanced training. Whether you would like to sail around the island of Comino, visit Sicily by boat, or try scuba diving, you will find this the ideal honeymoon destination.

Choosing the right honeymoon destination is almost as important as getting your wedding venue right. Choose a place where you can be free from the hustle and bustle of the big city, try new things, connect with nature, and each other while exploring diverse cultures.

2018-08-10T12:59:37+00:00 August 10, 2018|Travel|

Create Your Own Outdoor Living Room

Summer is here and this the time of year when many people want to make full use of their garden spaces. And one of the best ways of doing this is by creating a living room environment in your garden. If this is an aim that you have yourself, this article will give you a few pointers about how exactly you can achieve this goal.

Create Your Own Outdoor Living Room | UK Lifestyle Blog

Make the Space Accessible

Many people choose to put their outdoor living rooms nearby to their houses so that they are able to access the amenities that they need from indoors. Putting your outdoor living room next to your house also allows you to provide some shelter from the elements.

Keep the Layout Comfortable

Keep your outdoor living room a similar size to your indoor space – or even smaller if you would like. Even if your outdoor furniture is different from indoors, you still want it to be comfortable. Check out the Rattan and Lighting Company for some possible options. One of the great pleasures of an outdoor living room is the fact that you don’t have to make it appear too overcrowded with stuff. Plush textiles, cushions, blankets etc will help to provide the finishing touches to the space.

Give Plenty of Lighting Options

There will be times when you want to continue the party after the sun has already set. On these occasions, you should provide enough lighting to make sure that all your guests can still see each other comfortably! There are plenty of outdoor lighting options to choose from. And while you are shopping for them, you could also look into the hearing options which are available to you as well.

Create Your Own Outdoor Living Room | UK Lifestyle Blog

Keep it Private

It is a lot harder to properly relax if you feel like the neighbours are going to poke their heads over the fence at any minute to see what is going on. There are a number of different ways that you can create an added privacy effect. Billowy curtains are a nice cost-effective and elegant option if you want to go down this path. Otherwise, you could consider investing in some screens, which are a moveable solution. If you have green fingers, you can shroud your living room in plants and flowers to shield your outdoor space from prying eyes.

Add a Focal Point

All good living rooms are supposed to have a focal point – and this is probably not going to be your big screen TV like it is indoors! Some of the favourite choices out there include fire pits, fireplaces, fish ponds, and water features. Otherwise, if you have a complete outdoor kitchen area as well, your focal point could be your cooker or grill.

Creating an outdoor living room will give you years of fun and memories – and you can always add extra features over time to make it even more special. Follow the strategic tips in this article to create the space that you are looking for.

2018-08-08T18:37:35+00:00 August 8, 2018|Home Decor|
Load More Posts
Click to see our most popular posts!