Newcastle Photographer and Content Creator, Mandy Charlton, Always on a quest for adventure, often seen on buses, trains and planes. On a quest to be happier and healthier. Lives in Newcastle with her 3 cats, Iris, Maggie and Arthur. Loves good vibes, musicals and cakes. Full time professional wedding photographer in the north east of england alongside content creator on Tiktok, Instagram and Facebook

Thursday, September 21, 2017

How practicing Hygge helps me deal with anxiety.

Holly Bobbins sits in the Neyladn Star Tartan Fabric Wingback Chair, Mandy Charlton, Photographer, writer, blogger, a place to hide from the world

If you have read my blog for any great length of time you'll be aware that I have anxiety, it's actually been much improved over the last couple of years but every now and then, in times of stress, it rears it's ugly head.

The beginning of September was so full of change with no back to school, a massive change in routines and business took a dip with everyone returning to school and the world at large not having time to think of anything other than getting the kids back into routines.  I always worry when my income suddenly drops, it's essentially not really something you can plan for and part of the rollercoaster of self employment but it really hit me when I was down to the last £35 of my savings, I guess at least I had savings but scary as I'd just taken on the responsibility of home education and it's not like it's cheaper than state education, the costs are just different.  I'm also still supporting Iain who is trying hard to get an apprenticeship but because of Aspergers, well it's just tougher and that's without going into the fact that the job centre refused to accept his proof of id all of a sudden when they went online and so currently he's not receiving any benefits at all.  He does have a charity helping him to find an apprenticeship now though and came home from a day of work experience at the amazing tech firm Accenture so excited about the possibility of working there, I can only hope they see how brilliant he actually is because I think if they give him a chance, not only will they not regret it, it will be the making of him.

Suffice to say, this month has been tough although in the last week things have been getting better, at least financially, autumn is coming (tomorrow in fact) and so my calendar is getting very busy again, so much so that some dates are now close to full and I can relax a little knowing that I have a ton of hard work ahead but that also it's one less thing to worry about until the winter hits.

This week in home ed, Looby has been looking at Hygge, the Danish art of making cosy, it's something I've practiced for years, loving my home during autumn and winter, I hate it in summer as it's set up to be so dimly lit and cosy it doesn't really fit with summer so well, luckily I'm not often around in summer so I've just learnt to ignore it.  With the arrival of the cosier season it's meant I can truly embrace my love of all things Hygge so candles lit, new cosy throws for the sofa and this brand new chair courtesy of Sloane and Sons.

When Sloane and Sons got in touch to ask if they could gift me a chair I jumped up and down with utter happiness, our previous wing back chair was a little past it's best after spending a couple of years being Holly's favourite chair and I have to say after I took the photos of her in this one she quickly retreated back to the sofa, she hates the smell of new, I'm delighted!! I chose the Neyland Star tartan fabric wingback chair and it's the perfect size of chair to cuddle up in with a cuppa and a book and it goes with my lounge so well that it was just meant to be, I'm going to have many happy hours sitting in it and though I don't want to pre-empt the white stuff, it'll be the best chair to sit and watch the snow falling outside of the window.  Should you want to indulge, the regular price is just £299 but they have an offer on at the moment and they're just £245, plus they come in different fabrics so you can choose whichever style fits your own comfy sanctuary, I just give fair warning that when it arrives you'll want to stop everything and sit in it for just a little while, have that pot of tea or coffee ready to go!

My lounge, is really my place to escape to, to hide from the world and to feel rested and relaxed, it's the place where my anxiety subsides, where I feel safe and warm, I suppose you could call it my sanctuary, every home should have one of those.

Also in home ed we've been really upping our game with cookery and baking, I have to say that Jamie Olivers 5 Ingredients book is amazing for someone like Looby who is really just learning to cook, every single meal we have tried has been fab and she's needed no help at all because the recipes are so very simple, she even cooked when Harriet came over last week, if you have kids who are keen to cook or you just want simple and easy recipes which don't mean extra trips to the supermarket for exotic ingredients, this really is the best cookery book I think I've ever bought.

I think both building our own cosy sanctuary and cooking/baking more I'm easing us into the season of increased darkness, the lower light levels don't have to mean depression and the more I practice Hygge, the more it helps with my own seasonal affective disorder.  I'm lucky really, I can occasionally hide from the world, work in pyjamas and no one knows, well no one apart from Looby and Holly and to be honest, they like to embrace the cosy just as much as I do so I think, dear reader, my secrets are safe for now!

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