Hoover Lifestyle Blog

Technology, Inspiration, Recipes, Competitions

Browsing Category

Inspiration

Inspiration

10 life-enriching experiences to add to your bucket list

July 5, 2019

Experiencing life to its fullest can play a large part in our mental wellbeing and the enjoyment of the world around us. From losing ourselves in nature to plucking up the courage to try a new challenge, the UK alone has a rich variety of opportunities and areas to be explored, so we’ve pulled together a list of experiences to add to your bucket list.

Live abroad

If the opportunity arises, the chance to live abroad can be a fantastic, transformative experience. Experiencing different cultures, ways of life, and with a little bit of luck, some more pleasant weather is something which can only benefit your experience of life. Even if it’s short-term, you’ll return to the UK with memories to last a lifetime.

Go to Glastonbury

Love live music? Glastonbury Festival is the ultimate music festival, renowned the world over for its immersive, magical atmosphere and the sheer depth of art and culture on offer. It hosts some of the most well-known musical acts to weird and wonderful discoveries off the beaten track. 

Run a marathon

Exercise is one of life’s most important, yet often neglected, activities. Unfortunately, the perceived difficulty often looms in our minds and we end up putting exercise off completely. One way of building and maintaining motivation is to set goals to achieve. If you’re taking up running, build towards 10km, then if you’re hitting your stride aim for a half marathon and eventually a full marathon. The positive feeling of completing such a demanding physical feat will stick with you. Once you’ve worked up a sweat, you’ll need a suitable washing machine to take care of your gear.

Learn a language

Physical challenges are essential for our wellbeing, but a regular mental workout is also vital to us. The more opportunity we have to mentally focus on tasks with rewarding outcomes, the more satisfied we can become. Learning another a language is a fantastically rewarding skill. Whilst the learning curve may be steep, the rewards outweigh the effort when you can hold an off-the-cuff conversation on your holidays.

Perform on stage

Hold fears about your confidence and performing or speaking in front of a public audience? Most of us do, but facing up to these fears is not only the best way to defeat them, performing in public can build confidence throughout many different areas of life, from work to socialising.

Go scuba diving

If you want to open a window to a rarely explored part of the world, scuba diving is the activity for you. The calmness of exploring below the sea’s surface and the richness of life to discover is an exciting prospect. Look to European locations such as Malta, Croatia and Greece for some stunning diving locations.

Climb one of the UK’s highest mountains

The satisfaction of reaching the summit of a mountain can’t be topped by many experiences in the UK. In Britain, we’re lucky to have plenty of mountain ranges which are accessible to most people – you don’t need to be a mountaineering expert! Snowdon in Wales, Scafell Pike in the Lake District and Ben Nevis in Scotland, are the highest peaks in Britain, offering truly breath-taking views.

Visit the Highlands

We often forget how close to home the magnificent landscapes of the Scottish Highlands are. From the mountains to the sea, to the Highland Games, Loch Ness and a wee dram of whisky, venturing deep into Scotland is a rewarding, eye-opening experience. Just watch out for the midges!

See the summer solstice at Stonehenge

For a spiritual moment close to home, join gatherers overnight to mark the summer solstice and see the sun rise over the ancient prehistoric monuments. A place of worship and celebration for thousands of years, Stonehenge is renowned throughout the world as one of the UK’s best-known landmarks.

Learn how to be mindful

Paying attention to the present moment without judgment is what we hope to achieve by being mindful. It sounds simple, and to some extent it’s a simple idea, but the business and stress of everyday life regularly distracts us from enjoying the present – we often find ourselves dwelling on the past and the future. Taking time everyday to focus on your breathing will help you develop a regular practice for mindfulness, which will hopefully help you build a strong foundation for positive mental wellbeing. If you’re taking a more mindful approach to eating, the revolutionary Vision oven is the perfect appliance to help. With its WiFi-enabled touchscreen display, you’ll never be short of recipe inspiration.

Life is already complicated enough, so we pride ourselves on developing innovative products which take the stress away from household tasks, make your life easier and ensure you have plenty of time to make the most of life. From the high-tech, ergonomic H-FREE 700 vacuum cleaner, to the AI-equipped AXI dishwasher and fridge.

For more information on our range of innovative appliances, like us Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Inspiration, Tips and tricks

Key improvements to transform your home

July 5, 2019

When the time comes to decide on making improvements to your home, it’s important to consider your motives, the central of which should always be your enjoyment and satisfaction. A recent GoodHome report highlights how important this is, finding that 73% of people who are happy at home are happy in life.

Certain improvements can also prove to be a smart choice for adding value to your home, but value should come second to using the work to enhance your life.

Let us help you explore some of the ways you can boost your enjoyment at home with key improvements…

Convert your loft

Open up a new bedroom by converting loft space. This can be one of the least complex home improvements as it often falls under ‘permitted development’, meaning you don’t need planning permission. Of course, you will need to consult an architect to fully establish what work can be done. Roof light conversions tend to be relatively straightforward, but mansard conversions often require planning permission.

Decorating/indoor maintenance

How frequently depends on the space, its use and the traffic it sees, but our homes need decoration updates from time to time. This opportunity can be a nice way to refresh your home and revitalise your enjoyment of the space with new colours and interior styles. Here are some areas to pay attention to:

  • peeling paint
  • squeaking or sticking doors and windows
  • mouldy sealants in kitchen and bathroom
  • loose tiles
  • cracks to ceilings and plasterwork

Replacing windows

If you’ve got old windows, you can quickly improve energy efficiency by replacing them with contemporary windows. PVC windows are available in a range of different colours and finishes, such as woodgrain, allowing for stunning aesthetic updates as well as the functional improvements.

Kitchen makeover

The kitchen is one of the first places first-time buyers look to improve. The heart of homes, our kitchens are spaces to cook, eat, entertain and socialise, and they benefit hugely from some care and attention when being designed. Whether you like minimalist Scandi vibes, a traditional country kitchen or an ultra-modern feel, once you have the general look and feel decided, you can think about the practical elements, from hobs and ovens to efficient storage.

Bathroom makeover

New bathrooms, and adding en-suites in particular, are a huge draw for many homeowners, but bathrooms are one of the most expensive investments. Keeping your existing layout will keep the price down, but aesthetically pleasing options like concealed or frameless showers are likely to ramp the price up.

Garden makeover

Homes with garden space are a fantastic asset. Regardless of size, they can provide a personal outdoor sanctuary and added space for socialising when the weather is nice. Keeping on top of your garden is low cost and can be a pleasant experience. Mowing the lawn, pruning bushes and planting flowers are the key ways to keep your garden in tip-top shape during the spring and summer months. If you’re looking to make more significant changes, water features, patio paving, and decking can transform your garden into an outdoor haven.

Exterior maintenance

Maintaining your home’s ‘kerb appeal’ helps to add value, as well as simply ensuring you’re happy with the way your house looks every time you come home. Some small and some large, there are plenty of jobs you can carry out to spruce up the exterior of your house:

  • repointing brickwork
  • repainting doors and windows
  • replacing an old garage door
  • replacing roof tiles
  • changing/repairing windows
  • repainting walls
  • repairing/replacing cladding such as render or timber
  • removing stone cladding
  • adding a porch
  • adding climbing plants/trellis

Add a conservatory

One of the most popular home improvements for many years, conservatories allow us to flood light into our homes and create another living area to enjoy. They’re also a great way to get a little closer to nature if the conservatory extends into a vibrant garden. Different types of glazing are available to suit your needs, with certain choices impacting energy efficiency and cleaning requirements. Adding a conservatory is ‘permitted development’, but you still may need to comply with building regulations.

Budget updates to consider

‘Wow’ factor is what many people strive for at home. Thankfully, there are countless smaller areas to pay attention to. If you want a more affordable update, take a look at these options:

  • repainting throughout in neutral shades
  • reopening fireplaces
  • decluttering
  • upgrading lightbulbs
  • cleaning windows
  • sanding floorboards
  • creating storage
  • stripping woodwork
  • styling with furniture, lamps, accessories and flowers

Once you’re happy in your home, we’re on hand to ensure you can preserve it and the positive wellbeing that comes along with a space you’re proud of! Home improvements are bound to throw up a bit of dust and dirt – this is where an easily accessible, lightweight-yet-powerful vacuum cleaner, such as the H-FREE 700 or H-FREE C300 comes in handy. Both vacuum cleaners offer excellent cordless power on all flooring types, whether they are hard wood or thick pile carpet.

For more information on our range of innovative appliances, like us Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Inspiration, Tips and tricks

10 British summer activities for the family

June 17, 2019

We all deserve our summer holidays, but it’s not always easy to decide how to make the most of the sunnier months. The hustle and bustle of everyday life often means we neglect some of the small pleasures, so we’ve rounded up some family-friendly activity inspiration from physical challenges to leisurely days enjoying the outdoors.

Go kayaking

For the adventurous, physically active and up for a challenge, kayaking is a fantastic way to spend a summer’s day. From quaint lake and river locations to the open ocean, there are countless locations to explore the UK via the water. Take at a look at this National Trust round up of some of the best kayak and canoe spots in the country – be prepared for a tough upper body workout!

Take a dip in the outdoors

Open water swimming is becoming a popular activity for keen swimmers and leisurely splashers alike. Offering unique locations and the invigorating sense of experiencing outdoor swimming spots can often be found in spectacular locations.

Go hiking

Experiencing nature is well known to have relaxing, peaceful effects on the mind. On top of this, is there anything more satisfying than a well-earned, ice cold drink and a pub lunch after an afternoon spent hiking? In the UK, most of us are lucky enough to be relatively close to vast expanses of countryside with hills, moors and mountains to be explored. Unsure on the best walking spots? Here’s a list spanning the breadth and length of the British Isles.

Go cycling

If you want to take in the countryside, but walking is too much of a heavy strain, jump on a bike! You can take in the peaceful scenery as you glide by. If you’re with children, there are plenty of car-free cycle routes to explore around the UK – take a look at this round up.

Head to the seaside

It doesn’t get much more British than a brisk walk by the sea, with fish and chips on the promenade topped off with an ice cream. Trying to locate the ultimate chippy? Delve into this list: https://foodandtravel.com/travel/inspiration/the-uks-10-best-seaside-fish-and-chip-shops

Music festival

Love the vibrant festival atmosphere during the height of the summer? There are a number of boutique festival experiences available throughout the UK, many of which are family-friendly affairs. Here’s a list of some of the top small festivals.

Visit a stately home

Britain’s aristocratic heritage is stamped all over the countryside and visiting these impressive homes is a great family day out. As well as the historic architecture, these sites are often packed with activities and attractions. Explore the best spots to visit here.

Head to an open-air museum

Ever wished you could time travel? Get closer to history than ever before by immersing yourself in the preserved or recreated environments of the UK’s open-air museums.

Take a cooking course

Looking to improve your cooking skills? Always wanted to make pasta from scratch or master cake baking? A summer cooking course could take your dishes to the next level.

Crafting days out

Creative pursuits are a great way to relax and unwind, and lots of fun for the kids. Try signing up to a crafting course.

We pride ourselves on developing innovative products which take the stress away from household tasks, make your life easier and ensure you have plenty of time to make the most of life. From the lightweight, ergonomic H-FREE 700 vacuum cleaner and the revolutionary Vision oven, to the AI-equipped AXI dishwasher, fridge and washing machine.

For more information on our range of innovative appliances, like us Facebook or follow us on Twitter or Instagram.

Inspiration

Nature-inspired interior design for your home

June 4, 2019

Natural interiors are hugely popular within interior design and are a great way of making your home feel connected to the great outdoors. Nature inspired hues and textures, along with organic materials such as wood, cotton, leather and bamboo are firmly cementing their selves as go-to materials.

Working natural colours into your home

Foster a sense of serenity in your home with natural shades of ecru, ochre, beige, cream and grey as the backdrop to your design scheme. For those with a love of colour, these shades also make a great backdrop for a scattering of colour.

To make sure it still works, choose accessories inspired by the outdoors, opt for azure pieces to replicate the sea and sky, while the colour green is a nod to leaves, trees and plants. For those who want to make a bolder statement, yellow is reminiscent of a ray of sun, or a bunch of fresh flowers.

Texture is just as important as colour, with the fabric focus on is on velvets and leathers, with materials such as wood, cork and terracotta coming into play with some classic chunky knit too.

Why we are loving plants

Plants provide so much more than a pop of colour. In a time where our connection to nature is diminishing, and with the rise of urban spaces, incorporating elements of nature into our homes has been proven to reduce stress and blood pressure levels, whilst increasing productivity and creativity*!

Filling our homes with a plethora of succulents, cacti, orchids, wreaths and faux flowers is a great way of boosting our mood, and real blooms even act as a natural humidifier. All forms of foliage are great, and even faux plants can make a room come to life.

Go green

While nature-inspired interiors create tranquil spaces in our home, there is also potential to help save the plant. Conserving and looking after the Earth’s precious resources is at the forefront of millennial living, and a renewed interest in finding products that have been recycled and used in new ways, reclaimed from other building projects or repurposed into new functions.

Recycled furniture and materials can also have a rustic, worn look which closely follows what we’d expect to find within nature and is a great way of instantly bringing the outdoors in.

Finishing touches

Bringing nature indoors doesn’t mean you have to completely redecorate. Adding a few finishing touches to your home can add instant impact and create a soothing environment. A great way of doing this is to update accessories throughout your home.

Setting your dining table using texture – table linen with tactile surfaces such as woven place mats – can bring a natural feel, while a sprinkle of foliage completes the look.

In the bathroom, invest in luxury cotton towels, and add in smaller details, such a wooden toothbrush holders and soap dispensers.

Bedrooms should be kept free of clutter so careful consideration as to what accessories work best are crucial. A textured rug is the ideal finishing touch in a bedroom, great underfoot in the morning and an easy way to pull together the natural interior design feel.

From revolutionary touchscreen ovens to AI-equipped fridges, dishwashers and washing machines, we have developed a full range of appliances for 21st century life. Explore our innovative selection of home appliances and how they could transform your home here.

*Research conducted by The World Health Organisation

For more information on our range of innovative appliances, like us Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Inspiration

A guide to brightening up your garden

June 4, 2019

The glorious days of sunny weather and alfresco dining are fast approaching. As the summer season approaches, there’s plenty you can do to brighten up your garden. Whether you own a large lawn or a compact courtyard, these inspiring summer garden ideas will make your garden stand out and turn it into a heavenly space.

Go bold with colour

Bold colours are just about everywhere within homes & interiors and your garden needn’t be the exception to the rule, in fact, the brighter the better.

Leading garden designer, Sue Townsend, predicts the vibrant jewel colours are set to dominate our gardens this summer; think hot colours such as orange and yellow combined with sultry purples and blues.

It won’t just be when it comes to plants either, that we’ll see a rise in colour in the garden. Coloured porcelain, including tiles and pots will feature heavily as more people move towards styling their outdoor space as they would an indoor room. To make colour work, simplicity and repetition are the key things to remember.

Add a splash of water

Using water in your garden can instantly brighten up the space as its reflective surface helps to bounce light around. If you have the space, introduce a water feature that reflects the light upwards, and depending on your personal preference it can become a haven for wildlife – attracting birds, bees and insects which bring life to a garden – or something a little more formal.

If you are tight on space, consider a bird bath. While only a small area of water, it will attract plenty of birds whose feathers can add splashes of colour and whose bird song can lift the mood of your garden.

Hanging plants

Traditional hanging baskets are a great way of brightening up your garden, but these will get a 2019 makeover.

Sculptural plants will dominate this trend, with the popularity of houseplants being translated outside into exotic-style plants with architectural leaves and stems making a bold statement.

Hanging plants also offer the benefit of not taking up valuable floor space which is often at a premium for those lucky enough to have an urban garden, and instead can be hung from wall brackets.

Crazy paving

You heard it here first… crazy paving is making a come back after being consigned to the history of the ‘90s.

If you have the time, money and space, crazy paving and stepping stones in large irregular slabs – the bigger the better – can be a great way of brightening up your lawn or garden. If you only have a small patio space, porcelain paving, and tiles can be used outdoors and can be bought in an array of patterns or can replicate real stone but has a non-slip quality.

Gardening is, of course, quite messy work! If you’ve been moving in and out of the house whilst doing the work, you’ll no doubt have trailed in some soil and dirt, no matter how hard you’ve tried to avoid it. This is where an easily accessible, lightweight-yet-powerful vacuum cleaner, such as the H-FREE 700 or H-FREE C300 comes in handy. Both vacuum cleaners offer excellent cordless power on all flooring type, whether their hard wood or thick pile carpet.

For more information on our range of innovative appliances, like us Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Inspiration

Kitchen design trends for your summer home renovation plans

June 4, 2019

Whether your current kitchen needs a complete overhaul, or you simply want to refresh a tired scheme, there are plenty of new and exciting kitchen design trends for 2019.

From curved edges, fluted glass and exposed kitchen storage through to state-of-the-art appliances, there is plenty of choice whatever your personal style is.

Fluted glass

A trend that keeps making an appearance, fluted glass, is a revival firmly cemented in kitchen design. A great option if you are wanting to give your kitchen a quick update, fluted glass is best used on cabinetry. Providing plenty of texture and interest, it can help to bounce light around while still providing plenty of simplicity for contemporary design. Oh, and it offers a certain degree of privacy, so if you’re cupboards aren’t the tidiest, this is the option for you.

Smart appliances

Own an Amazon Alexa or Google Home? Well get ready to start controlling your kitchen appliances using it! 2019 is set to be the year when we fully adopt smart technology into our home, and the opportunities it presents are plentiful.

For your cooking needs, Hoover Vision is the perfect companion, allowing you to store your favourite recipes or browse the internet for new ones. Hoover Vision is also equipped with an integrated HD camera, meaning cooking can be monitored remotely via a tablet or smartphone through the Hoover Wizard app. Learn more about Vision’s innovative capabilities here.

We have also recently launched our first collection of artificial intelligence-led kitchen appliances – the Hoover AXI range. Full of lifestyle-friendly and time-saving features, users will be able to activate their washing machine using voice technology, while the AI aspect will take into account the weather forecast as well as knowing the best wash programmes for the type of laundry and tips for stain removal.

Patterned flooring

This trend has been around for a while and it continues to play a prominent role when it comes to the finishing touches of your kitchen design. Geometric patterns still remain the go-to pattern, but we’re seeing a wave of new colourways with a focus on blue and teal.

Patterned flooring can come in the form of many different materials, so think carefully which will suit your lifestyle best. Vinyl can be a cheaper option, while ceramic tiles are mid-market and porcelain high-end. The great thing about porcelain is that it can be used outside, so you can continue your patterned flooring to merge two spaces.

Benches and banquet seating

We know that having a kitchen island features on most people’s wish list when it comes to kitchen design, but a new trend is emerging for informal dining.

Built-in benches and booths are now the go-to seating option for kitchens, as we spend more time living in them. Maximising available space, this style of seating offers a more comfortable choice over bar stools at a kitchen island and provides plenty of opportunity to relax.

For more information on our range of innovative appliances, like us Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Inspiration, Tips and tricks

How to grow herbs and vegetables at home

May 14, 2019

Can you think of anything more satisfying than enjoying a meal with ingredients you’ve grown yourself? Whether you have a spacious garden or have limited space in an apartment, it’s possible for us all to grow our own vegetables. From low maintenance herbs to consecutive potato crops, you can become a gifted grower in no time.

Indoors

Chives

Pot: 6-inch clay pot
Soil: Well-draining potting soil that is pre-moistened

Chives’ versatility makes them the perfect herb to have on hand in the kitchen. They require around six to eight hours of full sunlight, so growing them on a south-facing windowsill is ideal. Chives also love company, so surrounding them with other indoor foliage will increase humidity and allow them to thrive. If you can’t offer your chives enough natural light, don’t worry, as a 6-12 inch fluorescent fixture with two 40-watt bulbs can provide what’s necessary. You can begin to harvest chives once the leaves are at least 6 inches tall, cutting these down to 1-2 inches will encourage regrowth.

Mint

Pot: A wide container with adequate drainage

Soil: Moderately rich potting mix

Mint can grow happily in the garden or indoors and is a fragrant delight to have in the kitchen. Complementing a wide variety of food and drink, it’s a fun and easy herb to grow. A window with indirect light is preferable, with moist but not overly wet soil, are ideal growing conditions for mint. As the plant often grows towards the light, rotation every 4-5 days is recommended. You can maintain your mint with regular pruning, as soon as leaves come to fruition they can be harvested, with young leaves having more flavour than older ones.

Lettuce

Pot: A pot slightly larger than 8 inches, with drainage holes and a saucer.

Soil: Seed starting soil mix

 

There are several types of lettuce that are more suited to being grown indoors; Garden Babies, Merlot, Baby Oakleaf, and Lollo Rosa. Placing them in a space that gets 12 hours of bright light each day, such as perched in front of a south-facing window is ideal if this is unachievable in your home investing in table top grow lights is advised as these are perfect for growing smaller vegetables, such as lettuce. Mist your seeds daily until they sprout, then ensure soil is constantly moist – not overly saturated or too dry. If your plant is in a particularly warm spot or there is visible wilting your lettuce will need some extra hydration. 30-45 days after planting, you should be ready for your first harvest!

Outdoors

Basil

If you’re a pesto lover, basil is a must-have home-grown herb! Whether it’s Sweet, Purple, Lemon or Thai basil, the most important thing to remember is this herb only grows during the height of summer – once the frost has past and the soil is warm (around June). Scatter your seeds over your chosen location and water frequently, once these begin to germinate spread them to 6 inches apart. The more basil is harvested, the more it grows. Pinch the stem off directly above where leaves have grown, this will encourage two new stems to grow and your plant will become large and abundant. Once flowers begin to grow, this can reduce the leaves flavour, cut all flowers off to help direct the plant’s energy to the foliage and maintain the authentic taste that can complement almost any Italian dish.

Potatoes

If you’re lucky enough to have a larger garden, you can grow potatoes with just a few essential elements; potato starts (or those potatoes you forgot about that have started sprouting will work just fine), a shovel, garden soil, water and sunlight. For a single potato plant dig a 3-inch hole, if you’re feeling more adventurous create straight, well-spaced rows with each potato start placed 12 inches apart. There are 5 types of potato crop through-out the year based on planting dates, you can find out more about these here.

Courgette

Courgettes can be sown directly into soil enriched with manure or compost from late-May to early summer. If your soil is heavy and fertile, this won’t require additional feeding, however sandy or light soil should be topped up regularly with liquid feed. It is essential to water your courgettes regularly, especially when they are in flower. As a rule of thumb harvest your vegetables when they’re 10cm, at least three times a week during the height of the season to keep the plants productive.

To ensure maximum freshness, vegetables such as lettuce and courgette should be stored in the fridgeDesigned to keep food fresher and help to reduce food waste, the innovative AXI refrigerator is our first-ever truly intelligent Food Manager. Using Artificial Intelligence, it puts you in complete control of everything you store and provides a bespoke experience to help you to reduce food waste by keeping track of when items are past their best. Fully Wi-Fi connected, you can also control and manage all AXI’s functions via the Wizard App.

For more information on our range of innovative appliances, like us Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Inspiration, Tips and tricks

8 key tips for stressbusting

April 18, 2019

Although stress can be beneficial in certain situations such as helping us complete a task efficiently, meeting deadlines or excelling in sports, too much stress in our everyday lives can be detrimental to our wellbeing. With the line between work and life becoming increasingly blurred, the idea of a work-life balance in the current always-on culture seems less of a reality than ever before. This, combined with managing finances, health concerns, maintaining some form of social life and adult life are small stress triggers that easily accumulate, taking a toll on us both emotionally and physically in the long-term. Follow the tips below to help manage life’s everyday stresses.

Go outdoors

Making time to go outdoors can significantly lower stress. Something as simple as sitting outside in the sun for 5 minutes or walking through your nearest park can help to relax you in a way that a bustling city environment can’t. With too much stimulation at once (social media, emails, people) our brains can feel overwhelmed and constantly on the go, whereas nature helps to capture our attention in a gentle way making us more relaxed.

Get a good night’s sleep

Sleep is fundamental to our health and wellbeing, having a direct impact on our stress levels. It’s easy to feel overcome by your problems when you’re feeling tired, so making the time to have a good night’s rest is one of the most important steps to take when stress busting. Unfortunately, stress can also impact the quality of sleep we get, if you’re struggling to sleep and overthinking at bedtime you may want to consider meditation, breathing exercises or visiting your GP if the problem persists.

Exercise

Exercise encourages a healthy body and mind, so is a superb stress buster! If you are struggling to understand where exercise would fit into your routine, just remember you don’t have to run miles every day. Something as simple as an after-work swim or going for a couple of brisk 10-minute walks each week can make you think more about your body’s movements and park the problems of that day – the endorphins released during exercise are also a natural mood improver.

Connect with people

Building a strong network of family, friends and colleagues that you feel comfortable and safe to discuss issues with can significantly help decrease stress levels. Without these connections, it’s hard to find somewhere to vent about the day’s stresses, whether that be work, finances or relationships. Having people to share problems with often brings new solutions, self-confidence to deal with said issues as well as just having people to relax with.

Have some ‘me time’

In the modern age, it can be easy to be tuned into work 24/7. With the introduction of smartphones and social media, the always-on culture of today often means we prioritise work over making time for ourselves, but this can have a detrimental effect on stress and general wellbeing. It’s important to make time for yourself – this could be as simple as taking one night a week from your schedule to take part in something you really enjoy; sports, music, film. ‘Me time’ could even count as taking 5 minutes out of your day to enjoy a cuppa.

Listen to music

Listening to music has been proven to reduce stress in many ways both physically and emotionally. Research shows it helps to slow your pulse and heart rate, lower blood pressure and decrease levels of stress hormones. Classical music is tipped to be the most calming of all but if you don’t class yourself as a classical fan, singing along to your all-time favourites can provide a great release of tension.

Help others

Helping other people has been proven to reduce stress and increase happiness. Through focussing on the problems of others, it can put your own issues into perspective. It may be hard to fit volunteering into your schedule but even small acts of kindness such as buying a co-worker a coffee, baking a cake for your family or donating small change to charity can help boost your wellbeing and lower stress.

Avoid bad habits

During our most stressful times, it’s easy to turn to alcohol, smoking and caffeine as avoidance mechanisms. However, these will only help you feel good in the short-term and not actually help to solve your problems. Instead, try to implement the tips above, stop thinking about the things you can’t change and focus on the things you can control in a situation.

It’s easy to let the burden of housework build up and leave you feeling overwhelmed, with household chores being one of the most common causes of stress in the UK. Take a weight off your shoulders with our innovative selection of appliances, developed to simplify everyday home tasks and chores. From the lightweight H-Free C300 vacuum cleaner that makes cleaning the whole house quick, easy and cordless to our revolutionary Vision oven with touch-screen interface, we can help you tick more off your to-do-list, so you can enjoy extra ‘me time’.

Inspiration

5 examples of everyday mindfulness

March 5, 2019

The complexities of the modern world can often be a burden on our mental health. The Mental Health Foundation’s 2018 study found that in the past year, 74% of people surveyed have felt so stressed they have been overwhelmed or unable to cope.

In order to deal with stress and build resilience to stressful situations it’s important to gain an understanding of the proactive ways in which we can build the foundations of positive mental wellbeing. One method cited by the NHS, which could reap positive benefits for many of us, is what is commonly referred to as mindfulness. You may have heard about mindfulness in the news, but what exactly does it mean?

Mindfulness is the process of paying more attention to the present moment, to the world around us, and to our thoughts and feelings, and using this practice to improve our mental wellbeing. It allows us to enjoy the everyday world, gain a better understanding of ourselves and become more in tune to when we may be suffering from stress.

So, how can we become more mindful in practice?

Watch your thoughts

Take a moment to pause and take stock of your thoughts, how you’re feeling and remember that mindfulness isn’t about forcing unwanted, negative thoughts away. Rather it’s about acknowledging these thoughts and watching them as they come and go.

Stop and tune in to the environment around you

A hiker and their dog walking along a wet dirt track at sunset in the English Countryside. Edmondbyres Common.

Wherever you are, stopping and tuning into your environment can be beneficial. We very easily fall into ‘auto-pilot’, especially when life is particularly busy and stressful, and this is when we don’t recognise when we might need to take positive action. These may seem like small actions, but they’re important in interrupting routines which may be detrimental to our wellbeing. Next time the weather is pleasant, take a moment to enjoy the sunshine and a clear blue sky.

Pause before responding in a conversation

It’s easy to start formulating what you’re going to say in response to people in conversations, rather than really listening and absorbing what they have to say. Taking a moment to give a considered response is a fantastic way of being fully engaged and giving the person talking to you full attention. The give and take of a mindful conversation can help leave both parties feeling enriched.

Walk or cycle instead of driving

Where possible, try walking or cycling all or part of the way to work on a pleasant day. Along with the added exercise benefits, you can break from routine, give yourself some new perspective and allow some time to observe your thoughts. Fresh approaches to kick off the day can also give you a sense of positive satisfaction throughout the rest of the day.

Exercise

Exercise ties into mindfulness neatly whilst also providing a wealth of physical benefits which support our mental wellbeing. As this article explains, “in the midst of a run, you are likely to be immersed in the present moment, tuned into your bodily state, and conscious of your breath. These are all key aims of mindfulness-based practices.” Physical activity can empower you to feel strong and capable mentally, alongside burning calories and building up fitness. A few simple steps to remember when exercising will help ensure you can add mindfulness into the equation.

  • Clarify your aim
  • Warm up
  • Settle into a steady rhythm
  • Push yourself
  • Cool down
  • Rest

Our innovative selection of appliances is geared towards making life easier by simplifying everyday home tasks and chores. Busy, stressful lives are the main barrier to mindfulness and positive mental wellbeing, any ways to help make everyday tasks simpler is a real benefit. Our appliances are developed with innovative new technology to help free up time for the more important aspects of your life. From our revolutionary Vision oven with touch-screen interface, to the Artificial Intelligence-powered AXI appliances and the powerful, lightweight H-Free vacuum cleaner, we can make life easier for you every step of the way.

For more information on our range of innovative appliances, like us Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Inspiration

How to maintain exercise motivation throughout 2019

January 24, 2019

New year, new exercise routine? Although we start the year with great intentions, it’s not to long until our enthusiasm wavers. No matter how difficult it seems, it can be quite simple to stay focussed and ensure this healthy lifestyle isn’t just a January phase. Follow the tips below to maintain motivation all year round.

Get a workout buddy

Working out with a friend has plenty of benefits. You’re less likely to cancel a workout if you’ve scheduled it with a friend, you’ll get support to work harder and it just makes it more fun. If heading to the gym for the first time or joining a new team, going with a friend can also relieve some of those first-time nerves.

Dress the part

Buy yourself some new training kit, whether it’s a pair of trainers or some leggings. This will help you feel more confident and positive about keeping fit. If you’ve planned a workout, but you’re feeling particularly unmotivated, get changed into your sports clothes anyway as this will give you an extra nudge to go out and exercise.

Set goals

Setting goals, both long and short term, will help you stay focused. These could range from extending your workouts from 45 minutes to 1 hour within the next 3 months, taking part in a 10k run or trying a new activity every month. Choose something realistic that you will enjoy working towards, as this is what will keep you focussed.

Think about how you feel

Along with the health benefits and aesthetic changes that come with keeping fit, it also makes you feel good. Research has shown that exercise can help you sleep better, increase happiness and reduce stress. We all have those days where we get home from work and can’t think of anything worse than exercising, but have you ever gone for a workout and regretted it?

Listen to music

Listening to music while working out can help keep you motivated in several ways – elevating your mood, getting you “in the zone” and ultimately making you work harder. Science has shown that we relate songs to certain emotions and memories, so pop on something that inspires you as this can help to improve physical performance.

Reward yourself

If you’re seeing results, achieving your goals or just working hard at maintaining your lifestyle changes, it’s okay to have a reward! Putting too much pressure on yourself and being overly restrictive can lead to a lack of motivation, so make sure you treat yourself to the things you enjoy every now and again.

Remember why

If you’re really struggling to stay focused after the “new year, new me” hype has fizzled out, ask yourself why you were exercising in the first place and why this is important to you? Remember this reason and think about it on the days you don’t want to leave the sofa for an extra boost in motivation!

Maintaining a healthy diet along with the new exercise regime? You’ll need a suitably impressive fridge. The innovative AXI refrigerator is our first-ever truly intelligent Food Manager. Using Artificial Intelligence, it puts you in complete control of all you store and eat and provide a bespoke experience that can help you to reduce food waste. Check out our full range of AI Wi-Fi-controlled appliances which includes washing machines, dishwashers and ovens, all of which can be controlled from an app on your phone, while you’re busy working out at the gym!

Keep an eye on our social channels for all the latest product news, competitions and offers. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.