Finding Happiness

Hey Everyone!

I’ve been wanting to write a post about happiness and wellbeing for such a long time, and with it being International Happiness week, I thought, what better time? Even though I have so much I want to share with you guys about this subject, I think this has to be one of the hardest posts I’ve written, as it’s so hard to put all my ideas about happiness into words!!

Originally I wanted to share a few tips on ‘how to be happy’ with you guys, but I realised that wasn’t the right way to put it, there’s no specific formula to be happy. We’re all human, we have some happy days and some sad days. So today instead of writing a guide for you guys, I just want to share a few thoughts, and I would really love for you to comment your thoughts as well!

For those of you who don’t know my story, the reason why I started this blog was to share my experiences as a teenage expatriate with others and tell the story of moving from London to Dubai, and how I dealt with it. One thing that goes hand-in-hand with this story is my experience with ‘happiness’. The first year of moving was a tough year for me, and I had never experienced so many feelings of sadness and loneliness at one time. However, through this journey, I’ve come to be at a place where I feel such balance, content, and happiness all the time, that I don’t think I could be anywhere better.

I remember having some days where I would feel sick with sadness, and where I was just totally unmotivated to do anything. And you know, I think most people go through a phase like this. At least one point in your life, you experience a sort of rut, where you just can’t seem to break through this wall. And especially for someone picking up and leaving their home at such a young age, it’s not unheard of to feel this way.

But the question is how do you overcome these feelings, and find your happiness? I could answer this question a thousand different ways, but I’ll just limit it to a few for now. (Bearing in mind, that these are all ideas that I have found through my own experiences.) The first thing that I would say is the key to unlocking happiness is being comfortable with yourself. Truly finding that sense of being, enjoyment, and content is the first step to becoming happier. In this world where we seem to think the number of likes you get on a photo determines how popular you are, and where your follower count is a representation of how many friends you have, it can get really hard to just… love yourself. Think about it this way, if you constantly think you’re not good enough, how can you ever be happy with yourself?

I think this is also something that comes with experience, because I know that when I was younger I would always ‘follow the crowd’ and I would do what everyone was doing, regardless of whether or not I wanted to do it myself. But how can you ever be happy if you’re not doing what you want to be doing? Becoming confident with your own decisions and standing up for what you believe in, is something that only comes with practice. It doesn’t come overnight, but I’m telling you, once you start following YOUR own ideas, doing what YOU want to do, and not constantly worrying about what people think of YOU, you’re well on your way to finding happiness.

Something that goes along with this idea of just being you, is also not worrying about what others are doing. Trust me, I’m a teenage girl in high school, and I could be influenced by a multitude of people and their actions, but staying true to my own values has to be the best decision I could have ever made. It’s come to the point where I don’t feel jealousy when I see what other people are doing if it’s not something I would genuinely want to be doing myself. I don’t see any point changing my own values and beliefs just because of others. This has to be one of the hardest things to put into action, the number of people my age who are peer pressured into making decisions that they wouldn’t make for themselves is something that I think should change. But once you stop caring about what everyone else is doing and start doing things you love, you will find yourself instantly happier.

Something else that I think is worth mentioning, is forgiveness. Even though I myself find this very hard, one huge part of finding happiness is forgiving people and not holding grudges. The fact that you’re spending some of your brainpower worrying or thinking about someone who has wronged you just gives them power over you. In life, there will always be people that upset you, but I think being able to overcome that and forgive them is one of the most important life lessons you can learn.

Going off on the people tangent, finding a group of people that support and care for you, will also affect your happiness. Surrounding yourself with people who know the real you, and are always there for you, is one of the best things you can do. Friends should be happy for you when you achieve something, but also able to cheer you up when you’re feeling upset. Honestly, your vibe does attract your tribe, finding people who share the same values as you, and who constantly brighten up your day, can change everything.

The last thing I want to mention is gratitude. Being thankful for what you have is probably the most important component of happiness. Something as simple as acknowledging what you’re thankful for can make the biggest difference. Realizing what you have, compared to others allows you to see a different perspective, and truly be happy with yourself.

I thoroughly enjoyed being able to share some of these thoughts with you guys! There are so many articles and resources on happiness out there that you can take a look at if you’re interested, I would really recommend it! I would absolutely love to hear your ideas and what you think about this post in the comments!!!

Have a happy week!

Little Miss Expat

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The perfect study spot – Wild & The Moon Dubai

Hey Guys!

I have been super busy recently, and I am really excited for Spring Break! I have a tonne of really exciting and helpful posts planned for you guys, that I hope you’ll enjoy. Something else that I’ll also be doing during Spring Break is preparing for my AP exam, if you don’t know what that is, it’s the big examinations that all students in the American curriculum take if you’re in an Advanced Placement course. I’m really nervous for this exam, as I have a lot of content to study, but I’ll take you guys on that journey with me and give you guys some of my tips about studying for a big exam.

However, something that I’ve really been practicing recently is taking breaks. Usually, I like to get everything done early on the weekends, and I don’t get to spend time doing things I like and just giving myself some time to chill out. I talked about this a bit in my ‘February In Review’ post, but one thing that I’ve been doing to give myself more relaxation time is to schedule in breaks. Now… I LOVE food, I’m always up to try a new cafe or restaurant, and any place that makes a decent matcha latte is practically heaven for me. And I love being able to bring my laptop along so I can get a bit of work done while I wait for my food. Not in an unsociable way, but sometimes you just have a lot to get done! I have been looking for the perfect ‘study cafe’ for a long time, and I think Wild & The Moon wins.

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It literally has the cutest interior and gives off calm and relaxed vibes. I love being surrounded by plants and greenery, so as you can imagine this cafe is my dream. It’s very peaceful and simplistic, but there are lots of plants dotted around the place. It’s the perfect place to bring your laptop and get a change of scenery while you’re studying and have a delicious drink.

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If you know me at all, you know I love supporting ethical and environmentally friendly companies, and Wild & The Moon is perfect. It’s full of organic and plant-based foods, made from simple and fresh ingredients. I love this line from their philosophy “We need nourishment to grow, blossom, seed and spread…” Isn’t it just beautiful? It’s honestly my new favourite spot in Dubai, and I’ll definitely be back during Spring Break while I’m studying for my big exam. I really want to try some of their cool juices and smoothies next time I’m there, and I’ll let you know how they are.

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Let me know if you try this cafe and what you think!

See you next week for a super exciting post,

Little Miss Expat

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Words From Inspirational Women

Hey everyone!

As you know, this week was International Women’s Day, and to me, this day is something to celebrate how far women have come and how much we’ve achieved, but also to recognize inspirational and motivational women. There are some pretty amazing ladies out there, and I wanted to share some of my favourite quotes from them with you guys!

  • “We are not kind to the Earth, and that makes us awful at our jobs: taking care of it. Especially after all it does for us. See, this place provides us with life, and all we do to repay that is slowly kill it. It’s a slow, painful death: torturous. We throw our waste all over it, or into the oceans. We slay trees to make more space for ourselves. We pollute the air with our machines, we cover the ground with terrible things to allow cars to drive around a little easier, a little faster. We fill the skies with big buildings, instead of big trees. And the worst part is, in my opinion, that we forget to give anything back. We forget to say thanks. We forget the Earth is even there.” Chelsea Diehm (@feedingmindbodysoul) I honestly could not put this into better words, since I read it, it’s all I’ve been thinking about. As some of you know, environmental change is something that is very important to me, and I have not yet found anyone who I can relate to as much as Chelsea. She puts her ideas out there and turns her powerful messages into words that everyone can understand. I don’t know about you guys, but these words certainly inspire me. (you should really go take a look at the rest of her writing here, it’s always so well written and interesting)

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  • “Ultimately we are all just tiny bundles of cells brought together, spinning around together on a flaming ball of gas floating in the universe. Each one of us is a living miracle.” – Leanne Maskell (I would really recommend going to read the rest of her post here) I love this quote because it just puts everything into perspective, when you think about it, her words are completely true and they make you see how small your problems and anxieties actually are, and how lucky we are to be here. I would have loved to put all of her writing in this post, but obviously, I can’t do that. She has a way of writing that makes you see things in a different way, it’s really amazing.

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  • “At times I feel my soul is scattered all over the globe. Broken up into tiny pieces, thrown across oceans and left behind with people I love or places and moments I’ll never forget. I suppose this is a less violent way of creating Horcruxes?”Ally Sheehan (@agirlnamedally) How beautiful are these words? Especially for any Harry Potter fans, you’ll get the ending. For an expat and a traveler, this is something that I can really relate to, and she managed to capture the feeling perfectly. Ally has to be one of my greatest inspirations, just go over to her Instagram take a look at some of her thoughts, she always has something positive and interesting to say.

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  • “When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.” – Malala Yousafzai. How inspirational and simple are these words? Malala managed to spread such a powerful message through her own experiences, she is definitely one of my greatest inspirations.

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  • “You can never leave footprints that last if you are always walking on tiptoe.” – Leymah Gbowee. This quote will always be one that touches me and empowers me to be bold and make a difference. How can I make a change, if I’m not bold enough to put everything I have into it? It constantly reminds me to take risks and go for what I believe in.

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Please note: These quotes are not mine, I credit them to their authors (who I have linked so you can take a look) These are just women who inspire me through their words.

Isn’t it beautiful to look through this post and see strong, powerful, and eloquent women, whose words can change the world? In the past, these words wouldn’t have even been heard, but now the earth echoes with messages like these, spread by women, and it will only continue to. These quotes are some of my favourites, however, there are so many more inspirational words by women, please share yours in the comments. Happy International Women’s Day!

Little Miss Expat

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February In Review – Finding Balance

Woah where did February go? I can not believe we’re already 2 months into 2018, that’s crazy!!! This month has been a quick one, and I think I’ve managed to keep my calm pretty well. From running in the MESAC Cross Country Competitions at the beginning of this month, to spontaneous Desert adventures on a Friday morning… #justDubaithings, and reaching 300 followers on Instagram, a lot has been happening.

In case you missed any of this months blog posts here’s a little review of what I’ve posted:

In my January post, I talked about being a bit overwhelmed with the beginning of the year, and jumping back into the craziness of school. But this month I think I have found a balance, and have been much more relaxed. In this post, I’ll tell you guys a bit about what I’ve changed up in my life, and what products I’ve been using a lot this month. I hope you enjoy!

Changing up the weekends

I mentioned on my Instagram yesterday, that I have really been taking some time to just relax and unwind on the weekends recently. In January I hardly got any weekends, as I always had something going on, and on the days I was home I was trying to finish all my homework. This month things have started to get a bit calmer, and I’ve really been enjoying getting some time to myself. If you know me at all, you will know that I am an organizational and scheduling freak, I like to get things done and I don’t like leaving tasks until the last minute. This month I really challenged myself to just CHILL OUT. Taking Friday mornings off, going out to eat breakfast, having a movie day with friends, or even driving around Dubai looking for camels (yes, weird right?) have just allowed me to regain that zen feeling and in fact I feel much more productive once I’ve had some time to myself.

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Maintaining a balance

Because I’ve been challenging myself to take it easy and live in the moment a lot more this month, I’ve come to feel a new sensation of balance. A balance between work and leisure. I give myself time to relax and do things that make me happy, but when it’s time to study I use my time effectively. I think this is much healthier than just being constantly on the go every day, and I feel so much happier and calmer about everything that’s going on in my life. I’m thinking of writing a post on finding balance soon, would you be interested?

Becoming one with… Nature?

I’ve always loved spending time outdoors and being surrounded by nature, and this month I’ve rekindled this love. I’ve been doing my homework outside, listening to the birds and the sound of water flowing, or even just sitting outside reading a book has been really relaxing. I’ve also got a few new plants on my desk which create a nice green space for me while I’m working, and thankfully they haven’t died yet. I think creating a natural and green environment can be really calming and also quite fresh and motivating if you do your work in it.

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This months scents

I’ve always been one of those people that has to create a nice environment to be able to be productive, and one of the things I like doing is burning a candle while I’m working. I’ve been loving the new aromatherapy scents from Bath & Body Works recently, they have blends such as ‘relax’ or ‘focus’ that smell AMAZING and last for a long time. I’ve also been really into my essential oils this month. Someone gave me an ‘energy’ one from Neal’s Yard Remedies for Christmas, and I got a ‘relaxing’ one from Bath & Body Works and I have been using them a lot this month. I like putting them on the insides of my wrists, and I usually use the ‘energy’ one before I do my homework, and the ‘relaxing’ one before I go to sleep. They’re a nice alternative to perfume, and you can never smell too good right?

Staying hydrated

Something that I’ve been doing almost every day is using my cup from Becky Broome and my reusable straw I got from Etsy and putting a bit of mint in my water, which changes it up a bit. It looks really cute, and also motivates me to drink more water throughout the day, so that’s always a positive!

Beauty Products

Lastly, I just wanted to talk about one makeup product that I’ve got back into using. I really don’t wear that much makeup, as I prefer the natural look. And when I do wear makeup it’s usually natural and non-toxic. But this month I dug out my old blush from Bobbi Brown and I’ve actually been loving it. I haven’t worn blush in a while and I forgot how much I like the way it looks. However, if anyone does have any recommendations for more natural beauty products I would really like to hear them! I’m always on the lookout for more natural products to try.

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That’s it! That’s everything that’s been going on with me this month, I hope you enjoyed. As always, please let me know if you liked this kind of post and if you like hearing about my life. Also please tell me what kind of blog posts you want to see in March, and I’ll get right on that. If anyone also has any natural beauty recommendations I would love to try them, let me know in the comments.

See you soon!

Little Miss Expat

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