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New year, happier you? Our top tips

As new year’s resolutions become a distant memory, the days are cold and short, that Christmas excitement feels long past and the next holiday is a long way off, February can be a tough month.

But don’t despair; our super-simple tips can help you stay happier (and healthier) this February…

1. Go outside (more)

No excuses, it can’t rain for the whole month. Take a ten-minute stroll on your lunch break, ditch the car for short journeys, or swop the treadmill for a run in the park - search for your local Green Flag Award-winning green space or park. And if nature inspires you, you can get involved in helping it. Many parks have ‘friends’ groups and other volunteering opportunities available.

2. Read happy stories

Combat the media’s doom-and-gloom by reading some good news stories. We’ll share tales of our #LitterHeroes, amazing school children and wonderful volunteers, who all have the feel-good factor. Keep visiting for the latest stories.

3. Spend time with others

Whilst the urge to hibernate can be strong, spending time with others will actually help you feel better. Don’t know people who share your interests? Volunteering can be a great way to meet like-minded people or help you settle into a new area.  “I love it, the people are lovely and it makes me feel good about doing good before I leave the planet!” – one of our many happy volunteers. Find out more … 

4. Get involved with your street (or building or local patch) 

Sharing tools, skills and good company, can help your happiness and cut your waste too. Does everyone on the street really need a hedge trimmer or could you share? There are lots of groups online to help you get started, or try putting up a notice in your local newsagent asking for others to get involved.

5. Donate

Giving some time or money to charity can make you feel great. Short on both after Christmas? Then be generous with your smiles. And consider donating your unwanted items (or gifts) to charity shops, swopping events or other people, where they can have a new lease on life. If you would like to support our work further, you can donate here – thank you. 

6. Feel good by doing good

Doing good makes us feel good, whether it’s a random act of kindness to a stranger or doing some good for your local community. Lots of us want to do something but don’t have much time or don’t know where to start. If you want to do something good, that will make a massive difference, join our Spring Clean where you can feel good by doing some good on your own doorstep.

7. Tidy up your doorstep

Nice surroundings can lift our mood, and other people’s. Plant a pot of flowers or bulbs to put by your front door or window box. Have a pot plant or bulbs on your desk at work or kitchen table. Seeing your bulbs grow will help remind you that spring is round the corner.

8. Be part of something bigger

It’s easy to feel alone sometimes (even when you’re surrounded by others). But involving yourself in something bigger than just you can help combat this feeling. Get involved in a national movement, join our Spring Clean and you’ll know you’ll be one of tens of thousands of people, making a difference together.

9. Save the seas (without leaving home)

Wherever you live, everything from your street can end up in our seas. Think about what you flush and what goes down your sinks. When it comes to flushing stick to the 3Ps (pee, poo and paper) and after you’ve cooked, don’t let your fats, oils or greases slip down the sink.

10. Spend time with friends (or make new ones)

Want an excuse to catch up with friends, why not suggest something different this time. Join your local spring clean event with friends and catch up as you pick up. 

11. Save yourself some money, without missing out

Every house throws away an average of £470 of food a year – just think what else you could spend that money on. Follow these simple tips next time you go shopping and you’ll be throwing less of your money in the bin this year. Then you can start thinking about what else you can spend that money on.

12. Say thank you

It’s one of the best phrases in the world, next time you see someone litter-picking, or doing anything to improve their local area, don’t be shy … say thank you. You’ll make them (and yourself) happier.

And to make yourself even happier, try combining these tips together. Maybe save yourself some money by cutting your food waste, then donate your savings to your favourite charity. Or if you want to get outside more, take some friends along (and maybe even a litter-picker and bag).

Wishing you all a very happy February. And thank you for getting involved with our work.

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