The UN’s International Day of Happiness is on March 20th. Author Natalie Savvides is lending her support to this vital awareness day as part of her mission to help every girl, teenager and woman feel less alone, and happier, by living their life their own way and being true to themselves. Her book, Full Circle (2016, Pegasus), is a refreshingly honest and raw account of growing up, and includes a series of unedited diary extracts taken from her journals from the age of 13 to her 30s.
1) Plan: By planning and organising our time better we rush around less and therefore stress less. Feeling and being in control of our day naturally enhances a sensation of wellbeing, encourages the day to go well and cultivates happiness. There is also less room for error, which can cause problems and worries for you.
2) Don’t wait for a special occasion to dress up: Wear your favourite underwear, your best skirt, or your special dress. Don’t wait for the right time, just go for it. Use your ‘special’ make up, wear your favourite shoes, put that flower in your hair. It will make you feel as special as the occasion you were waiting for. Life is now – it is not a dress rehearsal.
3) Eat slowly and mindfully: Mindfulness is, of course, all the rage now and not all of us can get our heads around it (no pun intended!). But eating slowly and thoughtfully is crucial and incredibly beneficial to our wellbeing. Attention to what and how we eat makes our bodies better able to absorb the nutrients and minerals from our food. Food is broken down into smaller particles and is therefore more easily absorbed into our bloodstream. Rushed meals result in poorly digested food and lower nutrient absorption, which can lead to sluggishness, tiredness, sugar cravings and a less than happy existence.
4) Keep your mind active: Boredom can be a real happiness buster. Bored to death? Now, I’m not saying that boredom can kill you – but the phrase exists for a reason - and boredom certainly doesn't bring happiness. Research shows that boredom can lead to dangerous vices such as drinking, smoking and drug taking. Few of us are happy when we have nothing to occupy our minds for lengths of time. Discover a new hobby, an interest, something to focus on, to learn, to read, to enjoy. Busy people tend to be happier.
5) Help others: We can’t overlook the good feelings generated by helping others. The joy we give to others is contagious and comes right back to us. Giving triggers the part of the brain responsible for feelings of reward and releases 'feel good' chemicals. The more you help others, the happier you feel.
Natalie Savvides is a married Mum of two young children under five who lives in South-West London. She is the author of Full Circle, published in 2016 by Pegasus, which is a memoir with a difference. Natalie Savvides, now in her early 40s, has been called ‘the real Bridget Jones’ on many occasions, but the difference between her book – Full Circle – and the likes of Bridget Jones is that it’s 100% real!
Her book is packed with unedited extracts from her diaries from the age of 13 through to when, through a chance meeting, she fell in love with her husband, as well as memories and reflections on the different times of her life – from school playground politics to leaving home for university, finding her place in a different town, then in a different country, meeting new friends, discovering truths about people she thought were friends, battling an ongoing problem with her weight by eating erratically and drinking too much, the infamous dating game we are all too familiar with, launching onto the career ladder, burning the candle at both ends, and much more, Natalie’s life story is told with such raw authenticity thanks to the diary extracts.
Natalie now dedicates her time to helping others with their problems, much like a ‘happiness coach’. While she may have been brought up in a ‘nice’ part of London, given opportunities to go to university, travel and enjoy exciting new experiences, Natalie also went through myriad challenges of growing up, finding her place in the world, and looking for love, like so many of us do (and quickly forget/erase from our memories as we get older!).
Her ability to recall the exact language and feelings of times in our lives that so many of us choose to forget gives her an incredible empathy with teenage girls, those in their early 20s living away from home for the first time, through to women in their 30s on the dating bandwagon trying to find love after a string of bad relationships!
In honour of International Day of Happiness Natalie will, on the morning of March 20th, be giving away free copies of Full Circle to teenage girls, career women and Mums on Kensington High Street. Her aim is to show these women that they’re not alone in their problems, that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and to give people another reason to feel happy on this International Awareness Day.
She is also going to be visiting secondary schools throughout south-east England, starting in March 2017, to talk to them about the experiences and emotions that are so overlooked and not commonly discussed in schools, from bullying to eating issues, drinking to friendships, drugs to anxiety. She will be gifting each school a copy of her book – Full Circle – for the library. She aims to continue this connection with the teenage students by returning to the school to answer their questions after reading the book (the content usually sparks a series of questions) and to offer one-to-one support when required.
Genre: Biography, Self-Help,
Publisher: Pegasus Elliot Mackenzie
Publication Date: Jan 2016
We join Natalie on her mission to find true love and harmony. She allows us to read her diaries as she tells how her life unfolds, giving a unique insight into her enjoyable but mostly unfulfilling encounters with men - and all that life throws at her. Will she find what she's looking for?
Natalie holds many things dear: family, friends, Italy, parties, Tarot, and God. But what she wants most is a lasting, meaningful, loving relationship.
Despite her difficulty in finding "the one" she does get to know herself better, and lets us watch and learn from her experiences.
She asks many questions of herself, and encourages us to do the same, helping us realise that we all take similar journeys of self-discovery - and that this is normal and necessary.
"Each relationship we have changes us in some way and some have the power to change us forever..."
About the Author:
Natalie Savvides is married to a wonderful man and lives in South West London with their two children under five. She works from home, mostly writing and being a Mum, and has written diaries since the age of 13, documenting almost every thought, feeling and experience since then. Natalie is a self-confessed ‘observer and contemplator of life’. Her ultimate goal has always been to find true love and harmony. She has strived for what she calls ‘perfection’ for many years believing it to be the key to happiness. This has often been incredibly draining, even debilitating, but time taught her that perfection is neither the answer, nor entirely possible.
Natalie is regularly called upon for advice both within her own network in London but also further afield via her social media platform and blog, and now specialises in supporting women and teenage girls in their pursuit of happiness. “I don’t judge and I believe that the way I have lived my life until now, and what I have learnt, put me in a credible position to write the book and to help people live a happy, fulfilling life”.