Thursday, 23 March 2017

February Happiness Project Round-Up

If you’ve seen my last couple of posts, you will know that this year I decided to give my own Happiness Project another go after failing a bit with the last one I tried. If you’ve never heard of The Happiness Project before, you can check out my introduction to it here. I made a sort of bucket list for each month of things I would like to do and also national days I could celebrate. Some I came up with myself, and some I found on Pinterest. But I made sure not to put any pressure on myself to do them all because that would just take away from the whole idea of it being a project to increase my happiness! I said in that post that I would share my project with you over the next year, so today I though I would go through the things I did throughout February.

First on my list was to buy a pink floral arrangement. As I said in my January post, something I have tried to include every month on my list is to buy some fresh flowers for my bedroom. So, each month I have specified the type of flowers to look out for – usually it’s something that fits with the time of year, and it gives me a reason to perhaps buy flowers I wouldn’t normally go for. I feel like I cheated slightly with this arrangement, as although the flowers were mainly pink (light and dark), I did also have some lilac tulips in there too, as I thought they looked pretty together. This time of year is perfect for one of my favourite flowers, the tulip, so as soon as I saw these in my local Waitrose I snapped them up.

Something that I like to try and do in February is to send Valentine’s cards to some of my friends. I know it doesn’t bother everyone, but I always find myself feeling a bit sad around Valentine’s Day, as being single, I don’t tend to get a card or anything. Now, I know that it’s just a holiday invented by card companies, but that doesn’t take away the difficulty of seeing lots of your friends celebrating their relationships with cards, gifts and date nights. I have always thought Valentine’s Day should be about celebrating love on a much wider scale, so, this year, I went to my local Paperchase to pick up some cute cards to send to some of my friends in the hope it would make them smile.

Another thing that I’m really trying to do more this year, is to light my candles! I have so many of them because I just love buying them, but I really don’t light them as much as I should. So my goal for February was to light sweet candles. I had a rummage through my collection, and decided to go for this Yankee Candle in Pain Au Raisin, which literally smells like a French bakery – yum! I love Yankee Candles because as well as smelling great in their solid form, they smell amazing when they’re burning. My Mum will often come up to my room while I’m working and tell me she can smell the candle I’m burning down the stairs! I hadn’t actually tried this scent before I lit this one, but it’s one I will definitely be looking out for again (although perhaps once I’ve used up some of the others in my drawer!)

Next on my list was to have a Lush Valentine’s bubble bath. I don’t really need an excuse to have a Lush bath, but as I mentioned in my January post, I do seem to be finding it difficult to make time for myself these days. So, at the beginning of the month, I had a look on the Lush website and picked a few of their Valentine’s Day products. I was so excited when they arrived and was really impressed, yet again, with their creativity and imagination. I decided to go for this heart bath bomb – it gave me lots of pink tinted bubbles and smelt divine. It was really lovely to just put half and hour aside to pamper myself, and I’m looking forward to using some of the other products I picked up in the range.

Now we’re on to the national days I managed to observe/celebrate in February. The 7th of February was ‘Send a card to a friend day,’ and as that’s something I like to try and do anyway, I saw it as a good excuse to do it again. I knew a couple of friends who were going through a difficult time, so had a rummage through my card collection and dug out these two to send. I think the raindrops card came from The Greetings Card Company and the pink heart card was from Veronica Dearly. It was really nice choosing which card suited which friend, and then thinking of a nice message to write inside. And it was lovely when both friends messaged me to say how much the cards had brightened their days.

Valentine’s Day was, of course, on the 14th, and whilst I didn’t do anything to specifically celebrate the day, I thought I would share with you a bit about my day. My Dad had been talking about us going to the cinema for a while, and it just so happened that the 14th was the best day for us. So he and I went to our local cinema to see La La Land, which was really good. I’d heard mixed reviews of it, but we both really enjoyed the music and the overall story, and I would be happy to see it again when it comes out on DVD. When we got home from the cinema, I found I’d received two Valentine’s cards – one from my friend Libby and another from my friend Lizzy. They really made me smile, which made me feel happy to have sent some out myself.

Next up was Random Acts of Kindness Day on the 17th. I do try to do random acts of kindness throughout the year, but often time will fly past and I’ll suddenly realise I haven’t done anything for months. So this was a good opportunity to think of something to do for someone who needs it. I have a friend who is going through a really difficult time at the moment, so I knew I had found the right person to do my random act of kindness for. The next step was to decide what to do for her. I was having a browse through Etsy and I found a seller who makes these gorgeous motivational picture frames. So I chose the phrase I thought suited my friend the best and put my order in. I think it’s only just been despatched, so she may not have received it yet. But hopefully she will soon and it will make her smile and know I’m here for her.

A national week that I was very keen to observe was Eating Disorders Awareness Week, which began on the 27th. It’s something I have tried to mark for as long as I can remember, as I believe it’s so important to raise awareness of eating disorders and how serious they are. This year, I decided to film this video and upload it to my YouTube channel. I spoke about my eating disorder story and also the importance of early intervention, in the hope it would help others who are going through something similar. It was a hard video to film, reliving all those low points, but if it helps just one person to feel less alone or to understand eating disorders more, then I’ll be happy.

Pancake Day came next, on the 28th February, and of course we had to celebrate that! I must admit we don’t limit having pancakes to just Pancake Day, but it was a good excuse to have them anyway. I started off with a pancake with bacon and maple syrup. I always used to think it was a really odd combination, but decided to try it a couple of years ago and realised what I’d been missing! After that I had the standard sugar and lemon, which is probably my favourite topping to go for. I just love the mix of sweet and sour. Not a particularly healthy meal, but if you can’t eat pancakes on Pancake Day, then when can you?!

The last national day I managed to mark was Rare Disease Day, also on the 28th. This was a bit of a last-minute idea unfortunately, and I would have loved to do more, but I was unwell for a lot of February (ironically!) so that made things more difficult. So I decided to just write an informative status on my Facebook, talking about the rare diseases that I have and explaining a bit about them. Like I said, I wish I had been able to do something on a larger scale, like raise some money or spread awareness on national media, but Facebook was a good start.

So that was everything I managed to do in February. I did have a few more things on my list though, of goals I didn’t quite accomplish. I thought I would share them with you too, just in case you’re looking for ideas for your own list. I’m going to hold onto all these ideas and either fit them in as the year goes on, or do the project again next year! I’d love to hear your ideas of how you would celebrate this month’s list of ideas – maybe you’ll give me an idea for my next project. The goals I didn’t manage this month were:

·      February Self-Love challenge – you can find this on Pinterest and I might try and give it a go in a separate post
·      Decorate my home for Valentine’s Day
·      Valentine manicure and pedicure
·      Bake a sweet treat
·      Host a Valentine’s movie night
·      Homemade soup day – 4th
·      National Libraries Day – 4th
·      Mardi Gras – 9th
·      National Pizza Day – 9th
·      Fairy Tale Day – 26th

I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing how I got on with my February Happiness Project. I’d love to hear your comments and if you’ve done/are doing a similar project I would love to hear all about it too! Keep an eye on my YouTube channel too for my video version of this post.

Have you done a Happiness Project before? What do you think of the idea?

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