For the final chapter of our Empowering Women series, we’re meeting Lydia French, founder of The Brighter Times, a platform that spreads peace, love and positivity. Here, she talks to us about all things female friendship, self-care strategies and her top feel-good picks from the new-season collection at Accessorize. It’s time to make room for happy…
Tell us more about The Brighter Times…
The Brighter Times is a platform for all things positive, kind and inspiring. Life always presents its challenges and hardships, so I wanted to create a space where people (including myself!) can go for a motivational quote, a titbit of wisdom, a laugh, some escapism even just for a few minutes. From the very beginning, I had a clear vision about it being full of inspiring stories and tales of human kindness.
It’s been a long and, at times, frustrating journey but through sheer persistence, the website is finally live, greetings cards have been created and people are sharing their good stories. Moral of the story: keep going!
The message that I want to spread with The Brighter Times is simple: we are all in this crazy world together and we need to be kind to ourselves and others.
What does Galentine’s Day mean to you?
I LOVE IT! I’ve been sending my besties Galentine’s Day cards for years – it’s a moment to pause and say thank you. I will always cherish my girlfriends because of their constant support, loyalty, generosity, and how much they still surprise me with their unconditional love. Galentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to celebrate and let them know how much they’re appreciated.
Tell us the best piece of advice that a friend has ever given you.
‘To be completely and unapologetically you’. It’s totally okay to not vibe with everyone – you just need a few good’uns to appreciate everything together. You may not be everyone’s cup of tea but you’re definitely someone’s tequila!
What are your top tips for staying positive?
Make sure you have enough giggle time with your friends – the side-splitting, jaw-ache kind! If anyone is going to pull you out of a funk it’s them. Music is a big one too – for an instant pick-me-up, whack on your favourite track and let it take you to your happy place. Having a scroll through positive, uplifting, motivational Instagram accounts can also be very helpful but honestly, do whatever works for you. My advice would be to keep checking in with yourself and ask ‘what can I do to make me happy today?’. The smallest thing can make the biggest difference.
What is your best self-care strategy?
I’m a big one for feeding’ the soul… literally. Happy tummy, happy mind. I love feeling healthy… with the odd jam-filled donut thrown in for good measure of course! Taking time for myself is really important, whether it’s having a bath, watching my favourite Netflix series or sitting on my bed staring at the ceiling, the occasional bit of quiet time makes all the difference. A big thing I’m working on this year is only saying ‘yes’ to things I really want to do, prioritising myself and being okay with that. It’s made SUCH a difference already. It means the decisions I do make, I throw myself into whole-heartedly. It makes me, and others around me a lot happier. Try it!
Tell us about the pieces you’ve chosen…
I was immediately drawn to the pieces because of their colour and fun. They’re brilliantly feel good, not only uplifting an outfit but your mood too. Statement pieces can also boost your confidence and set you up for the day – there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being full of fierce.