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16 tips to preparing for a healthy and positive winter

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Last week, I started a series on hygge by talking about the importance of light in the darker months.  The hygge series will be continuing on alternate weeks, so this week, I wanted to take a broader look at preparing mind and body for a healthy and positive winter.  I’ve listed ? actionable tips to help you through the dark and cold months to follow.
Clothing
1. Layer up and use breathable fabrics as much as possible
While there’s still a place for traditional winter clothes, it has to be recognized that lifestyles have changed dramatically since the creation of classic staples like the woollen winter coat.  If your lifestyle means that you are regularly moving in and out of places with different temperatures (e.g. out of a warm house into the cold street then into a warm car then into a cold street then into a warm office), then you are probably best to look at layers and breathable fabrics.
2. Use a scarf round your nose and mouth to warm the air before it hits your lungs
Little edges c…

Hygge part 1 - 5 ways to use light to beat the winter blues

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Winter is coming and we all know what comes with it – short days and long nights, together with cold, harsh weather.  This is the time of year when the outdoors is at its most challenging and so it’s important to make the most of the indoors.  While the Danish concept of hygge (roughly translatable as cosiness) is applicable all year round, it really comes into its own in winter, when there is such a sharp contrast between the outer world and the inner one.  Because of this, I’ll be running a series on hygge over the winter months, with posts every other week.  This week, I’ll looking at the importance of creating a positive atmosphere, focusing on the importance of light.
Top tip – think safety first
Before we get into hygge itself, I’d just like to remind people that being able to see is important from a safety perspective, so before you start applying the principles of hygge to your home, please take the time to double-check whether there’s anything you need to do to make sure you…

7 points to managing Christmas positively

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A part of me can’t believe I’m actually writing this now, but all the signs are pointing to the arrival of Christmas – even though we haven’t actually had Halloween yet.  I’ve already seen adverts for Christmas jobs and had my first invitation to a Christmas lunch. I doubt it will be long before the onslaught of adverts starts, telling us that we must buy or do this, that and the next thing.   I’m therefore writing this post now to help you enjoy the Christmas period, regardless of whether or not you celebrate it as a religious festival, and to minimize the stress it can cause.  So here are 7 points to managing Christmas positively.

Ask yourself why you are celebrating Christmas and if you are unable to come up with at least one positive reason, opt out.

A positive reason means that you see a benefit for you, so, for example “it’s expected of me” is not a positive reason, “I know it makes my parents happy and that’s important to me” is a positive reason.  Be clear about why Christmas m…

The five Ss, kaizen and meaningful, sustainable and positive change

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Makeover videos on YouTube are my guilty pleasure.  I love looking at “before and after” videos and seeing the positive change.  Recently, however, I’ve started to wonder if these videos are daunting me rather than inspiring me.  You probably know how they work.  Someone takes a problem, throws expertise and effort at it (and sometimes money as well) and the end result is amazing.  Now, I get the fact that sometimes this is the only realistic way to tackle a problem, like when you’re really short on time and you need to get it done or you’ve just had enough of the way things are and you just want to get it done and dusted, but more and more I’m starting to think that I can’t be the only person who looks at these videos and wonders how they’ll ever find the time or the energy (or the money) to make a huge change like that.  Recently, however, I suddenly remembered something I’ve actually known for a long time but never really thought about.  Most meaningful and sustainable changes are …

The 6 points to starting a meaningful, sustainable and successful business (full time or side hustle)

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In an ideal world, everything you do would bring joy into your life and joy into the world in general.  Well the real world is not necessarily the ideal one, but it can be if you work to create it.  I've written before about why I think everyone should have a side hustle (even if you already own your own, main business), now I'm going to go over the basics of setting up a successful business, whether for a full-time income or as a side hustle.

Let's be clear about this, you can set up a successful business even in a recession and even in a niche and/or geographical area where there are a lot of similar businesses.  In fact, I'd argue that having your own business, at least as a side hustle, is even more important in a recession, because that's exactly the time when unscrupulous employers are most likely to try to take advantage of a difficult job market.  So, without further ado, here are the 6 points you need to know to start a successful business, whether you wa…

Your 7 step guide to protecting your precious documents and memories in a hurricane (or other disruption)

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I have to be honest and say my home is far from paper-free, but I can also say that if there’s one area of my life where I have done a decent job of decluttering, it’s paper, mainly because I can digitize it and therefore take a relaxed attitude to recycling it.
Now, I’m going to hold my hand up and admit that a lot of my paper decluttering simply involved creating digital clutter instead, but the digitizing process did give me the opportunity to corral off both the paper and the electronic copies of my important documents.  This, together with the arrival of Hurricane Irma (thankfully far away from here), set me thinking about the importance of protecting my key data and I suddenly noticed that even though there are lots of articles which mention the importance of keeping digital back-ups of your key documents and precious memories, a lot of them seem to work on the assumption that once you have digitized your data it is safe forever and sadly that is very far from being the truth.  T…