Do you have a kudos file at work? Make one!

It’s been some time since I sat down and wrote about self-help tips. Most of my blog has been focused on travel, which is fantastic, but I originally started KeepitKassual to share happiness tips with others that I have found helpful. This particular topic has been on my mind for a few months and I am super excited to share it with you—especially if you need a happiness boost in your job!

In any day-to-day, it’s hard to press the pause button through all of the meetings, to-do lists, and big projects that eat up your day at work. One day, I found myself troubled with my “go go go!” lifestyle at work and realized that I wasn’t taking time to give myself a mental high five at all of the awesome work I was doing. Whether it was a well-crafted press release or a beautiful creative project, I was not sitting back and appreciating a job well done. So, I started to give myself a pat on the back and recognize when I did something well by writing myself “thank you” and “awesome work” messages in my journal I keep at work. It really did help!

I also noticed, however, that I was not necessarily tracking the positive feedback I was receiving from my co-workers and other employees at my organization. I am lucky to be in an organization where we do congratulate each other and I realized it would be of great benefit to keep track of the compliments I received at work.

One morning, I created an electronic folder in my email and titled it “Kudos.” From then on, every time I received an email detailing positive messages like “great job!” or a “thank you so much!” I would file it in that folder. It’s such an easy way to track how much others appreciate you!

Since then, I’ve collected a handful of emails from my teammates, to my supervisor, and from our CEO with positive messages about my work ethic, teamwork, and work quality. Rather than skimming over the email, taking those as an “OK to proceed” and move on to the next project, I started to save them. I have found this ritual to be super fulfilling for it offers a sense of positive closure to a project. I take time to appreciate my hard work, someone else appreciates what I have completed, and I file it in a folder that keeps track of all my accomplishments!

It’s also a useful tool for when you may start to feel down at work. During the busy seasons at work, I start to feel run down and sometimes hopeless that I won’t get all of the tasks done on my to-do list. The moment I start to lose faith, I skim my kudos file and I immediately feel confident and motivated that I can not only get the job done but also get it done well!

If you find yourself feeling down at work, try to find an innovative way to file your “kudos.” Do you write it down on fun sticky notes and place them in your office or on your desk, or do you file them electronically so you can look at them wherever you are? Whichever way, filing your kudos and successes will help boost your happiness and make you feel fulfilled in your job! And don’t forget to share the love as well!

Cheers to 25 Years!

Hey all—today is my 25th birthday!

This morning I woke up next to my amazing husband and I took some time to be mindful and reflect on my life so far. I thought about all of my achievements, but I also reflected on the challenges and obstacles I have faced. Everything that I have experienced has made me the person I am today. Even in the last few years, I have experienced growth that I could have never imagined. This past year, I started graduate school, grown in my profession, celebrated my one-year wedding anniversary, traveled, improved my habits, developed a steady writing ritual, and so much more. I am extremely excited to see what 25 will bring!

I thought it would be fun to write down 25 things/values that I have learned and practice. I hope you have fun reading them, and that they have an impact on your life as well. Enjoy!

  1. Take care of yourself first.
  2. You are not defined by the way you look or how others perceive you.
  3. The best way to escape is to get lost in a good book.
  4. Sometimes there will be people who are in your life for a short amount of time. Let them go, but appreciate the time you spent with them.
  5. Show up. Be present. Work hard and show initiative.
  6. Always keep a journal.
  7. Your siblings are a true gift, and they are your best friends for life.
  8. Be humble, but recognize your successes too.
  9. Your family is not just blood; you choose your family.
  10. Eat that piece of cake!
  11. Find something that is good for your soul. (For me, it’s crafting.)
  12. Watch the movies you love and read the books you love—even if it is the 20th time.
  13. Don’t tweet that. Write it down instead.
  14. Forgive yourself for your past mistakes.
  15. Take time each day to write down what you are grateful for.
  16. If someone has a different opinion, listen to them. Talk and compromise.
  17. Travel!
  18. Everyone has a story. Be patient.
  19. Hold on to friends who check in on you. Your best friends are those who you see every now and then and nothing changes.
  20. Success isn’t measured by the size of your home, your car, or material objects. It is measured by the quality of your character and your treatment of others.
  21. When you’re making coffee, always add an extra scoop for good luck.
  22. Put your phone down. Look around you. Live in the moment. Sometimes the best pictures are those you keep for yourself.
  23. Advocate for those who can’t.
  24. They are PHOTOSHOPPED. You are beautiful!
  25. Always stay true to yourself.

 

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The Mangiones Take on Philadelphia!

Hey all! Ian and I are headed to Philadelphia tomorrow for a fun-packed weekend! We are ready to take in the sights, eat some delicious Philly cheesesteaks, and dive into some U.S. history! We have never been to Philadelphia before, so we are excited to explore a new city and are open to suggestions/tips.  I enjoyed sharing our adventures in Montréal and I think a lot of readers found it enjoyable to read, so I hope you can also take some time to read about our trip this weekend!

Happy November!

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8 Ways to Experience Hygge this fall

I discovered the magic of “hygge” a year ago when I stumbled across the book, The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living” by Meik Wiking. I remembered reading how the Dutch are the happiest people in the world, and I always wondered how. The answer: “hygge” (pronounced hoo-gah), a Danish word acknowledging a feeling or moment that gives you complete happiness. One can experience hygge alone or with friends; the only condition to experiencing hygge is that you are able to enjoy and recognize living in the present.

Some buzzwords that surround hygge are “cozy,” “comfort,” and “charm.” These are three elements that I take pride in when choosing my hygge. Wiking writes: “Hygge is the sensation you get when you’re cuddled up on a sofa, in cozy socks under a soft throw, during a storm. It’s that feeling when you’re sharing comfort food and easy conversation with loved ones at a candlelit table. It is the warmth of morning light shining just right on a crisp blue-sky day.” To “do” hygge is to you create simple rituals without much effort; you make your personal life an art form.

Fall has arrived—the perfect season to try out some hygge practices. Hygge is not just restricted to the colder months, but for someone like me who loves bundling up in blankets with a cup of hot chocolate, this is when I experience the most hygge. Here are some fall activities for you to try to bring some hygge into your life:

Light some fall-scented candles
Candles are already so calming and peaceful, so why not light a Pumpkin Spiced Chai Latte candle and get the full fall effect?

Read a book
As an avid reader, sitting in my comfy chair with a steaming mug of tea or coffee and a great book is ultimate hygge. Since it’s Halloween season, try picking up a horror/spooky book to get you into the Halloween spirit!

Layer up!
Three of the best things about fall: sweaters, scarves, and boots. I love bundling up with scarves and jackets and dressing for the cool weather. Did I mention flannels?!

Buy some fall decorations—or make your own!
When the first leaf hits the ground in September, I make a mad dash to the nearest craft store and load up on fall decor. I love crafting; it’s such a fun way to unwind, relax, and spark some creativity! Here’s an example of one of my fall decor pieces this year. I went to my local craft store and bought these pumpkins and leaves, and created my own chalkboard sign:

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Road Trip!
Get in your car with a friend or two and take a drive to a cool town or place and explore. Go to a trendy coffee shop or a museum; or go to a park and take in the views! Everything is beautiful this time of year—get out there and enjoy it!

Have a movie night
Invite a friend over and have a movie night or watch a movie on your own. This time of year, I love to sit on my couch after a long day with a warm blanket and watch Halloween movies—especially classics like “Halloweentown” and “Hocus Pocus!”

Go on a walk/hike through the autumn leaves
Head outside and enjoy the sweet, crisp autumn air. Going for walks gives me the chance to slow down and enjoy the beautiful foliage—and I love hearing the *crunch* of fallen leaves under my feet!

Pick your own apples/pumpkins—and get to baking!
Make your way to a local pick-your-own farm and grab a hot apple cider, some warm fritters, and pick your own pumpkins or apples. Then…make a dessert when you get home! A fall dessert favorite in our home is warm apple crisp with vanilla ice cream on top. Yum!

 

What do you like to do in the fall? How do you “hygge?”