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Life Honestly

The easy shortcut to happiness

It could be finding an unexpected fiver in your jeans pocket, or waking up to a sunny morning – the secret to beating the January gloom is simply about appreciating the little moments

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By Emily Baker on

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It can be hard to find joy on a cold, dark January day, when all you want to do is retreat back to bed and inhale the last of the Christmas chocolates. Instead you drag yourself into work and get yourself through as much of the day as you can without your now-daily nap. But, by giving in to the January misery, we’re at risk of missing some of life’s most treasurable pleasures – little unplanned things that can lift our spirits, the micro thrills that make our day just that little bit brighter.

While not as exhilarating as winning the lottery or getting a promotion, micro thrills are much more common than you think. They’re those blink-and-you’ll-miss-it surprises, like the feeling of a freshly turned-over pillow, knowing the answer to a colleague’s question or simply finishing a chapter of a book. All it takes to make the day more bearable is a moment to stop and appreciate those tiny things that often go unnoticed and unappreciated. Here are some of Team Pool’s most cherished micro thrills:

A PERFECTLY TIMED TRAIN

“It takes me two trains to get home from work and my second train doesn't run as frequently, so often there's a wait of 10 minutes or so on a cold platform with no mobile signal. As silly as it sounds, I am always quietly delighted when the second train pulls in to the platform just after the first one, so instead of having to hang around, jostling for space with lots of other cross commuters, I can jump off one and neatly on to the other. It makes me feel like Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the fantasy dance scene of 500 Days Of Summer, all choreographed and slick – and, of course, it's always nice to get home a bit earlier.” Amy Jones

FINDING THE PERFECT VINTAGE DRESS

“There's a dress in my wardrobe I covet more than any other item I own. It's not particularly fancy. It wasn't expensive by any means, but my friends and I call it The Dress Of My Life. What makes it so special? That it fits like a dream, yes, but also because finding it was a complete surprise. Shopping for vintage clothing is notoriously hit and miss, and even more so, I've found, when you're 6ft tall. But it also makes those rare times you find something utterly perfect all the more sweet. This was one of those unexpected times – when you begrudgingly haul something to the changing rooms, fully expecting to find it’s too short/small/big/damaged, only to discover a wardrobe staple, which no one else owns, and for £8, no less! That day – and every time I happen across a vintage treat that fits just right – I walked out on a tiny wave of fizzy joy that comes back with each wear.” Zoë Beaty

All it takes to make the day more bearable is a moment to stop and appreciate those tiny things that often go unnoticed and unappreciated

AN EARLY NIGHT

“There's a lot in life that gives me a little thrill – waking up and remembering I don't have to wash my hair, emptying my inbox (doesn't happen often), getting a seat on the train, two-for-one on my favourite chocolate mousse at the supermarket. But if I had to pick one thing, it would be getting everything done so that I can get into bed and read a few pages of my book before the clock hits 11pm. That's the marker of a successful evening.” Frankie Graddon

A FREE COFFEE

This morning, everything that could go wrong went wrong. The alarm didn’t go off, the dog jumped up on my just-washed sheets with muddy paws, and my husband and I had a humdinger of an argument (I can’t even recall why). And then, to cap it all, the train was late, then when it did come, it was so full I spent the 45-minute journey in with my nose pressed into someone’s armpit. My one and only saving joy was haring into my local Pret (now in a terrible mood) and the nice barista lady saying, “Coffee’s on the house.” Believe me, after such a terrible start to the morning, that tiny little thing made everything better. Bad mood? Gone. Husband? Forgiven. Dog? No longer in the dog house.” Lucy Dunn

A FRESH NEW NOTEBOOK

“There's nothing like getting your hands on a new notebook full of crisp, empty pages, especially at the start of a new year, when you're still under the illusion that you'll do things differently this time around. Of course, what often ends up filling those blank pages is often far less interesting than the wildly romanticised scribblings I imagine myself filling them with – random phone numbers, illegible writing, the odd torn page when I can't find anything to spit my gum into – but it's a lovely feeling nonetheless.” Kuba Shand-Baptiste

COMING HOME TO A FULL FRIDGE

“I’ll be the first to admit that my propensity for planning isn’t the best and never is that more true than when it comes to cooking. I am incapable of doing a big shop without forgetting at least one or two vital ingredients, leading to a nightly rush around the supermarket at 8pm while my tea burns on the hob. But sometimes I come home to find that I have exactly what I need in the fridge, meaning I can get into my pyjamas and relax as soon as I get home. When that happens – though admittedly it’s not very often – I give my more-organised past self a little pat on the back.” Emily Baker

Add a little sparkle to your January with Aqua Libra, a new range of infused sparkling water, available in 330ml premium cans in 550 Boots stores nationwide. RRP £1.25

@emilyrbakes

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Photos: Getty Images, Stocksy
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