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I’m not buying it!

It’s that time of year again and my inbox is filling up with ‘BLACK FRIDAY EVENT’ emails!

I won’t be setting my alarm early to hit the shops and I have a few good reasons why…

1. I don’t enjoy shopping, I used to love it before I had kids but now it’s a chore that I just don’t have time for.

2. Busy shops are my worst nightmare, long queues and people pushing and shoving to get the last [ever so slightly discounted] thing off the shelve. It reminds me of Car Boot sales – people pushing and shoving to get my second-hand junk and that’s if they haven’t already pulled it out of the boot of my car for me!

3. It doesn’t actually do anything for businesses, most of the larger discounted items are outdated items that are at least a year old and need to be cleared from warehouses.

I would rather spend a bit more this weekend and support my smaller local businesses that don’t have the budget to spare on marketing for black Friday or the flexibility to drop prices.
If you hadn’t guessed already – I’m not a fan. I’m not sucked in that easily. The whole point of black Friday is to get you to consume when you wouldn’t normally.
As I am sat here writing this, I get another email notification ‘Black Friday Bonanza Begins’. I’ve even had an email off our compliance company titled ‘Black Friday Special Offers’…. I opened that one as I was intrigued by what they could possibly have on sale!

But just because I’m not sucked in, it doesn’t mean we all aren’t, Black Friday is the biggest shopping event of the year.

For me, the only black thing this Friday will be my mood. I’m already sitting here beating myself up for not taking the time to opt out when GDPR came in – fortunately it’s never too late so later this evening I’m going to have a culling session. Black Friday you have at last been of use to me! May cyber Monday be a more peaceful day for my inbox.

Smile – It will make you happier

I’m a self-confessed people watcher, it’s a bit of a game, guessing what each person’s story is.

My chosen times to people watch are in the car on the way to work, in a coffee shop and on the train.

Some people may think people watching is a bit creepy, but I believe we all do it to an extent and I find it gives me inspiration.

But what is the main trend I find – lack of smiling faces. Most of us are guilty of not smiling enough and we all need to smile a bit more because smiling is contagious, no truer words were ever spoken.

But what other super powers does a smile have?

Smiling elevates your mood and sense of wellbeing. Each time you smile the movements in our muscles send signals to our brain and these signals release endorphins and serotonin which are ‘feel good’ chemicals for the brain. These chemicals make us feel happy and reduce perceptions of pain when they are released.

Smiling is good for your immune system; your body is more relaxed when you smile which contributes to good health and a stronger immune system.

It is said (and I agree) that you are better looking when you smile, people treat you differently you are viewed as attractive, reliable, relaxed and sincere, its is even said that smiling makes you look younger.

Smiling apparently induces more pleasure in the brain than chocolate. It is said that smiling can generate the same level of brain stimulation as 2000 bars of chocolate. I have no idea how this study was conducted but think about the party your brain would be having if you were eating 2000 bars of chocolate whilst smiling!

I would love the entire population to read this blog so that when I travel into work on Monday morning everyone will be wearing their happy faces and my people watching stories will all be positive ones.

Sadly though, not everyone on Monday morning will be smiling – mainly because my blog isn’t going to go global but also because we aren’t always going to be happy at the same time. Some people will be travelling into work on Monday after having argument with their partner, some people will be grieving after the loss of a loved one, some people will be feeling under the weather, some people may be stuck in a job that they don’t enjoy so Monday mornings are tough for them.

And then there’s the person who doesn’t like their smile, so they do everything in their power to hide it. Improving your smile can be a beneficial investment as making the most of your smile is good for you and those around you.

Sometimes there’s no reason to smile but I’ll smile anyway because guess what?

Smiling is free and if it makes one person’s day that bit better – I’ve achieved something.

Smiling your way out of those back to work blues

It’s time of year again, the nights are drawing in and the prospect of autumn is looming.

My car was reading 6⁰C on the way into work this morning, the kids’ school coats are out and I’m back in tights for the first time in months.

I work pretty much full time, so September doesn’t fill me with as much dread as it did in my younger years. I chanted the words ‘I hate school’ throughout most of my school years – I don’t think I really hated it, but I hated thought of it as having fun over the holidays was much more appealing. I remember my mum regularly saying, ‘you don’t know how lucky you are, school is the best years of your life’ and, as always, she was right, being an adult, I now realise, mum is always right!

Going back to school after a break was a chance to catch up with friends that I hadn’t seen for weeks, and compare all the fun I’d been having, plus I got to see that cute guy in the year above that I had a crush on. School was pretty much carefree.

I love my job. I had a couple of weeks off over the summer – which I needed, working a 30.75-hour week, building a house and being the mother to 6-year-old twins had well-earned me a break. We spent much of our time off moving into the new house and had some days out here and there with the kids. I had time to relax and recharge and I didn’t dread the thought of returning to work, I embraced it and came back fully charged and raring to go. However, even the most satisfied employees get the back to work blues – and without a positive mental attitude I could have been one of them. September isn’t the greatest month to return to work as those evenings do start drawing in and the colder mornings make getting out of bed in the morning that bit harder – the list of excuses is endless but ultimately, it is what you make it.

My advice is Smile. If you look on the bright side of life, there is always a reason to smile. The only reason not to smile is if you’re hiding it because you don’t like it – and that is something that we can help you with.

Too Busy being Busy

Its crazy how busy life is and how quickly time seems to fly by when you are busy.

I would say that I’m going through the busiest and most stressful time in my life.

My husband and I embarked on a full house build around 3 years ago. I think most people have the ‘I want to build my own house’ dream and we have been lucky enough to have made that dream a reality. However, it certainly hasn’t been plain sailing and this ‘end part’ has been the busiest yet.

I haven’t yet mentioned that we have been doing all of this whilst both working full time in managerial roles and as parents to very lively five year old twin girls.

The twins are now on their summer holidays and we are both still working and due to move into the ‘dream house’ in 2 weeks and I’m just too busy being busy.

So what’s happening to all the other stuff whilst this is all occurring? My hours of sleep have dramatically reduced, my husband well knows that me and sleep deprivation don’t mix, referring to me as Medusa when I am tired. We are currently living back in the countryside with my mother-in-law in these final weeks which is the perfect excuse to go for a run, but I just can’t fit it in and I had a text reminder through that I’m due a dental examination, but I just can’t fit it all in.

So what is taking a backseat? My general health and wellbeing.

Fortunately, I can see light at the end of the tunnel, we will be in the dream house in around 2 weeks and in 3 weeks I am on annual leave, so I can finally get back on track.

We all have busy periods in life, some last longer than others, it’s abnormal not be busy these days.

If you look up the meaning of the word ‘busy’ synonyms include occupied, crowded, hectic and tiring – all pretty negative words, if you are asked to describe a piece of artwork and were to say it looks a little busy, it means you think there is far too much going on. Would you say that these words are an accurate description of how your feeling right now? Are you constantly hectic?

What are you sacrificing? Is a dental appointment one of those things?

For many, going to the dentist is at the bottom of their to do list – be it fear of finding out about their failing dental health, not feeling they need to or that ‘it can wait’.

We send text/email/letter reminders to our patients when they are due for their dental examinations or hygienist visits or when they haven’t returned for some outstanding treatment.

If you want to maintain a pain free and problem free mouth, then it is important to regularly see the dentist so that he/she can catch a problem before it develops. Tartar can cause gum disease if it is left too long so it is important to regularly see the hygienist. If you are delaying a treatment appointment because you can’t fit it into your hectic schedule then don’t delay as it may become painful – we can all find time when something becomes painful but by that time, its become a bigger problem.

We all need to stop being too busy and take some time out for our own general health and wellbeing. I’m not going to wait until I’m ‘less busy’ before I book my dental appointment, I’m going to book myself in for the next available slot.

Will I ever be happy? Will anyone ever be happy?

I was on the Chris Barrow Extreme business course yesterday in London.

I faced a gruelling commute home in the evening, standing on the train by the doors like a dog at a car window trying to get some air because the cabin was just too hot and stinky left me with a sour taste in my mouth.

We had a very cold spell in March/April and I was left wondering if it would ever end, and once again complaining that I wanted some warmer weather. Now that summer is most defiantly here – I’m complaining again that it’s just too hot. Will I ever be happy? Will anyone ever be happy?

Each and everyone one of us goes through life complaining about something, there is always something that isn’t quite right.

I’m sure there is an instance where you have set yourself a goal, achieved it and went looking for the next best thing. You get your dream job and soon enough you begin wondering when the next promotion will be. You buy your dream home and a few years later lose the contentment there and start thinking about your next dream home. You lose 2 stone but decide, that’s just not enough, you want to lose 2 more or you looked much better a stone heavier.

We are half way through Love Island and all the lads that watch it (admit your guilty pleasure boys) are all upping their game at the gym and hitting the sunbeds and the girls are all on a diet of salad and carrot sticks in an attempt to get one of those amazing love Island bodies that we all perceive (wrongly or rightly) as ideal. I even want Megan’s eyebrows, let alone her hair and body – see never satisfied!

Many people will be queuing up at our doors to get teeth like Jack and Megan. There will be people queuing at the door of a Facial Aesthetic to get fuller lips and a Plastic Surgeons for bigger boobs!

We all climb to the top of a mountain, only to realise that we wanted to climb the bigger one next door, so we start again and when we reach the top, we feel a sense of accomplishment – and so we should.

If you are climbing the ‘tooth mountain’ we can help you there, you will be surprised how many different options there are to reach the peak and its advisable to have a professional with a great team behind him to help you reach it – that’s us!

There will always be something more for us to reach for but the question remains, will any of us ever be fully content and grateful of where we are? How do we balance being content but also striving for something greater?

Its admirable to have new goals and to look for the next best thing but we need to appreciate the view during the climb, take time to pause and have a good look around and to realise how far you have come, enjoy the hot weather during the climb, because the last part of the climb will be cold and wet but the view might be better. There is always something to see from each point in that climb and you might just stop and think – I’m happy where I am – now that’s contentment at its best!

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