July, gorgeous month of sunshine and smiles, holidays and hotness. And I’m not just talking about Sunday Night Aiden there.
It’s been a lot cooler than last year so far in the UK. I’m glad about that: heat and me do not do well.
I’m absolutely in summer mode, though. Even though I work pretty nearly full time at the Office, I can feel my spirits lifting with the sun, and I’m finding ways to find my sunshine, holiday vibe despite having to work. With little tweaks at home and a few special rituals at work, I’m trying to build a more relaxed, happy attitude to life that will boost my mood and keep me happy when the Winter Blues hit.
- I get out into the garden as much as possible: we have several sitting areas even in our small garden, so there’s always a place in the shade where I can sit, enjoy the fresh air and yet not get too hot.
- Our windows are open as much as possible! I love opening the windows on the cool side of the house, and actually keep the curtains closed on the much hotter, South-facing side as much as possible, to keep some heat from getting in. I also like to hang bunches of lavender or lemon mint in the windows and to put a windchime in a couple so that any gentle breezes mean there’s a soft tinkling of bells throughout the building.
- Cooking gets lighter. Summertime is not the season for big stews warming all day on the hob or in the oven, so I try as much as possible to cook simpler, cooler meals. I like burgers or meat steaks that can be flash fried, or if I must roast a chicken, I do it in the evening and let it cool for the next day’s meals. We eat a lot of sweeetcorn on the cob, coleslaw or just plain green salad as well.
- My preferred drinks change. I sip Earl Grey or Rooibos tea instead of chai, and prefer my coffee chilled and over ice.
- I wear carefully chosen clothing. In the hottest heat of the midday sun (my desk is in a glass office, up against the window and liable to be very greenhouse-like if there’s the slightest hint of sun) I wear cotton or linen as much as possible, and usually a vest top with a cardigan to pull over if I’ve misjudged the weather.
- I have a cooling fan. The Firm bought this for me, you fill up a reservoir with cool water and/or ice, and it blows air cooler than the surrounding air. It’s not an air conditioner, but at a quarter of the price it works well enough and looks better than a flannel strung over the ordinary fan, which I did last year. I keep my fan under the desk and it keeps my ankles and lower legs cool without blowing the papers across my desk.
- I have little reminders of holidays on my desk. A candle bought in that little gift shop, a shell collected on a beach walk, a postcard or a stone from a favourite spot can all aid an echo of holiday freedom when work gets too hot.
- I have a cool picture as my wallpaper on the computer. Water, a cool forest or ethereal blue clouds and sky make me feel cooler even though it’s a ridiculous temperature.
In My Mind:
- I have had a rough few months, and I’m still fighting the issues that threatened to engulf me in April and May. I’m cultivating my holiday mindset partly in respinse to them. I know the issues will still be there in September, but I need a couple of months off to decide what to do about them. I’m consciously packing them away out of sight and mind. Using Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is helping me, so I appreciate the wisdom in this book: The CBT Handbook.
- I’m making sure those pillars of mental health are in place and strong: sleep well, eat well, laugh often, exercise and learn how to say “F**k it” when necessary. I can’t fight every battle, so why bother?
- Finally, I’m spending time with the people I know love me whatever. The ones that are always there for me. My family, close friends, and the sharing space that is The Hygge Nook. Sometimes just knowing that there is a friend sipping her tea at the same time as me is a grounding, balancing thing.
How about you? How are you keeping the spirit of the holidays alive in your life? I’d love to know.
I have a massive favour to ask….
I don’t monetise my blog. I don’t run adverts, take sponsorship for writing posts or use affiliate links. I want everything I do on this blog and in my hygge life outside to be truthful. If I promote a book it’s because I’ve read it and like it, if I point out an item it’s because it’s impressed me on its own merits and not because the publicist has talked me into it. It does mean I don’t run giveaways and I’m not chasing followers, but the drawback is that I need to find a way to support myself.
That’s why I write books. My thoughts are that if I ask you to buy a book not only does it support me, and let me keep writing as an independent writer, but you get something back for your bucks. I’ve written several books, some on hygge, some on Christmas. If you like what you read here, or in the Hygge Nook, and you’d like to support a struggling writer, would you please consider buying a book? Ebooks give you the best value, since for 2 or 3 pounds you get the whole content of the book without paying the extra for paper production, but I’d be a pretty poor writer if I didn’t appreciate the beauty of a real book in the hand. If you buy just one book, it all adds up in the end to support me, and I’d be so grateful.
If you already have my books, or just want to support me as an independent writer, you can always just send me the price of a cup of coffee as a friend, to paypal.me/HyggeJem . I tend to use a lot of my spare cash on books that I review for the website, so every penny donated goes towards building my happy hygge life.
My first three books are hygge related, 50 Ways to Hygge the British Way was my first book, and is available in Paperback and Kindle version. It’s a simple look at ways to feel more hyggely in life and at home even though we’re not Danish and don’t have it in our DNA.
Happier is my fourth book. It’s about how I boost my own happiness levels. It’s full of hints, tips and ideas for you to use and adapt to suit your own situation. It is available in ebook and paperback version from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.
I have three Christmas books,
Have Yourself a Happy Hygge Christmas was released in September 2017 and is available again in paperback and ebook version. It looks at keeping the Christmas season warm and cosy, with ideas for activities and routines to keep Christmas happy.
A (Hygge) Christmas Carol is my look at Dickens’ immortal classic and the many lessons we still learn from it today. It contains the full text of the book as well as hyggely thoughts on the story.
Enjoying a Self Care Christmas is only available in ebook version. It’s about keeping Christmas simple enough and healthy enough to keep you sane in the process.
If you buy any of the books through the links on this page, I get a couple of extra pence per copy, in Amazon vouchers which go towards buying more books to review for the blog. I’d really love it if you’d support me monetarily, but I quite understand that cash is tight for many people, and I just love having your support via reading and commenting as well.