Mindful Monday: 9 Ways to Be Happy Now

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Todays post is late because I’ve been chillaxing and enjoying 27 C summer weather.

First I  did my regular work out in the morning (I got no gym but I got creative instead….will tell later). After that, we left to a summer house and spent the whole day there. Imagine…….barefoot in grass, yum salads, berries,sunshine and my laughing kids in playing in water. That’s my day…pretty much.

I can tell ya, there is no better recipe for happiness than this combo. It’s summer vacation time and the time just seems to flow at much slower paste.

Anyway…

I still keep up with some of my regular routines like exercise, meditation, yoga because these just make me feel sooo good.

I created a reminder for myself which is a no brainer, but this list has become an essential part of my day.

1. Meditate (nothing….absolutely nothing can replace meditation for me). I just do 5-10 min normally in the morning. I’ve had difficult time finding time for it during the day, so now I just do it right after I brush my teeth.  I view it as time when I  tune in and get in touch with what’s important

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2. Eat well. I don’t do diets….like ever. Never had backbone to stick with any of them. I just like to eat well= healthy , but yummy food.

3. Sleep more. I take naps. Seriously, I’m not kidding. There are few things better than Sunday afternoon nap.

4. Exercise (at least 10 min). You knew this one was coming. I’m by no means exercise freak…. :D but I’ve come to appreciate my sweaty work outs. Whether it’s running, yoga, swimming or good old abs+lifting weight+some cardio. I normally do like 30 min but to be honest I don’t even look at time anymore. It’s just another ME time that I absolutely l-o-v-e.

5. Practice gratitude. Any time I’m in semi-bad mood, I try to remember gratitude and count the people & things I’m crazy about. It works every time.

6. Help others (as often as you can). This point is on my list, but to be honest, I wish I could be able to do more. I hold doors for others, smile when I can see someone needs it and I do help out mothers with kids…you know everyday stuff. But I guess it’s small gestures that really matter too.

7. Go outside and spend time in nature

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8. Spend time with family and friends. I think this one is BIG one….this is what counts…that we spend time with those we love.

9. Plan a trip. This one makes my soul so happy…..I mean who doesn’t like travelling, right?!

Tell me :D ………………….

What’s you favorite daily routine?

Best summer vacation you ever had?

Next country you want to visit?

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Photo source

Simple Living: Traveling Lightly (with 2 kids)

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Whoop, whoop …we’re already in Estonia (for those who are new here…I live in Denmark). I’ve missed my second home. Guess what…I’m already stuffing my face with all sorts of fresh berries..it’s the season for blueberries and raspberries here. I promise, I got like 100000 photos to show you already…as soon as I figure out how to connect wi-fi to my smart phone (=camera).

But for today’s simple living post I wanted to address a skill of travelling lightly.

I’ve always wanted to learn how to carry light luggage with me, whenever I’m travelling, but I’ve always ended up having 1 suitcase for myself and 1 for kids.  I always over pack too many things (read way too many clothes)and travelling with 2 kids has not made travelling lighter any easier.

But this year I’m at least trying.

Ok, I’m not gonna lie …if you’d see my (our) suitcase looks like ….you’d probably go like….who is she kidding….that’s not travelling light like at all… and I bet you’d roll your eyes.

But compared to what I normally carry with me when I travel….I’ve truly come a long way and become (sort of) a minimalist. It’s a process.

Check this…

unnamed1Half of the suitcase is filled with gifts and the other half with (mine & kid’s)clothes (and my 3 pairs of shoes….I know!).

But, I can proudly tell you, that I got only the right corner of my suitcase for my clothes.

Early morning conversation from the airport….between me and my hubby.

Me: Aren’t you proud that I packed so lightly this time? (so you don’t have to drag like 3 suitcases to check-in).

Hubby: (Rolling his eyes and smiles…) Hmmm, if you think this is light..then yeah. But I think you’re just lucky, it’s summer.

We arrive at the check-in counter…

Me: Here is our luggage.

Airport Lady: Suprized…Is that all your luggage?

Me: Yeah.

Me to my hubby: Told ya, no sane woman with 2 kids travels only with 1 little suitcase (for 14 days)….you see, I’ve made progress.

Hubby: Gives up and smiles…if you think so.

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Tell me…..:D

What’s your fave berries?

How many pieces of bags or suitcases to you carry with you when you travel?

Do you have any good tips how you travel lightly?

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Great articles:

36 Great Tips for Keeping Travel As Simple As Possible

Travel Lightly and Be Where You Are

Traveling Lightly Through Life

 

 

Mindful Monday: Love Means…

Love-means-finding-the-beauty-in-someones-imperfections

 

And radical self-love requires we accept our own imperfections….we must learn to love ourselves, before we can truly love others.

A lesson I continue to learn.

Hey what happened to the summer?! :) It’s raining in Copenhagen. My little family is in vacation mood….we enjoy long mornings in our pajamas and allow time to flow without any specific agenda. Very soon we’re gonna visit Estonia to hang around with my family. It’s going to be fun.

Today we’re just baking cinnamon rolls and hanging out….because rain and baking just go so well together.

I let the kids mix the dough and they just love it. Now they’re waiting for it to rise and then we fill it with cinnamon, sugar and butter. Yum.

sandhiracinnamon%20roll13859833365480In our house vacation means baking, hanging, watching football, reading books, going outdoors, beach, daily ice-creams  and just being together.

 

 

Have a great Monday!

Tell me………

What vacation plans do you have?

What’s your favorite activity on a grey rainy day?

Where are you from? How is the weather?

What’s your favorite baked goods?

 

 

Simple Living: How to Downsize Your Life to What Really Matters (and Feel More Content)

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I intend to write posts about my simple living (every Friday).

As a child from Soviet Union time, I grew up with what is now called simple living or minimalistic lifestyle. We didn’t have many material things, but we had each other, lot of time, nature and  all the essential things to life a happy life.

But as a grown up, chasing the idea of success made me forget my roots and where I came from.

It wasn’t until recently, when stressful lifestyle started affecting my health, that I needed to pull the breaks.

 I decided to cut the noise out, focus only on what matters and embrace the principles of more simpler life.

This is how I define noise:

  • appointments I don’t really look forward to (I emptied my calendar and I now only take 2-3 pr. month to leave time for other important things I love to do. As a bonus downsizing my appointments to only 3, forces me evaluate tougher what I commit myself to. I practice saying YES or NO and mean it with every fiber of me and feel OK.)
  • over booking my time (doing that leaves me for no time to do stuff that I really love (reading, running, swimming, yoga, meditation and baking yum cakes….my fave is classic cheesecake with raspberries.)
  • negative habits that drain me of energy (too much TV, coffee, consumerism, Facebook,  news, violent movies, negative people)
  • shallow friendships (you know those “friendships” that don’t really give anything but are just there….I later realized that I attracted some people to my life, because what mattered to me then)
  • clutter (one of the first things I did to deal with stress was to clean up my closet, I got rid of all the clothes that I just tolerated but didn’t love…still cleaning up….it’s a process of letting go and making space)
  • work that sucks energy out of me (I too have a mortgage, daycare bills and I need to feed my family, but I realized that I can never compromise myself and my health again and take a job…. to just pay the bills. I’ll rather live on less, on savings, cut costs but never work to JUST pay the bills. I’m still struggling with this one. I’m trying to integrate the concept of meaningful work in to my new lifestyle.)

The noise doesn’t allow me to live life fully, be fully myself and do what really matters to me, because it distracts my focus from what’s really important.

This is how I keep myself in check.

I wrote a reminder to myself, that keeps me focused on what matters.

  • Take care of myself (emotionally, physically, spiritually, practice being present).
  • Spend fun time with House Bond aka husband :D.
  • Mother my kids well (spend time with them & read books)
  • Build work that allows me to inspire and create a more positive world (the tough thing is that, it starts with myself)
  • Travel (I used to shop a lot, but now I’ve decided to use that money on travelling more….I even changed the name of my savings account to “Travel Savings”, to remind me of this anytime on netbank or want to buy another blouse on sale).

Keep in mind that simplifying doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process. I downsized my life to what matters to me over a period of 1 year and I’m still not done, because it takes time to rebuild. I spent a lot of time (like months) asking myself what I feel like doing, but I couldn’t answer that question before I made up my mind about what matters the most.

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Tell me………….. :)

What’s your favorite cake?

How do you keep sane during busy periods of life?

What matters to you?

How do you take care of yourself?

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Related articles:

A Day in the Life of a Minimalist

Declutter in Your Life and Embrace Minimalism This Weekend

7 Tiny Steps for the Beginner Minimalist

 

On the Road: Running Gear, Running Injury &Time Off (And Help Needed)

great-motivational-quotes-to-lose-weightJust want to share some running stuff I’m dealing with.

Ok, I have to admit.  I love pink running stuff. Don’t quite know what’s up with that.

I have 2 pairs of Nike Free 4.0 in neon orange (pic below) and one pair in pink. I absolutely in l-o-v-e with Nike Free running shoes.

They’re flexible, very light and just call me to run. I’ve used them for about 6 months now. I never experienced any problems with them.

Recently I got a calf strain, just 1 week before 10 K race, which I couldn’t run.

I took (no…was forced to take) couple of weeks off from running. I really missed my exercise and the endorphin high I get after running. So, I replaced running with swimming and yoga for those 2 weeks. Man, I missed the road feeling of freedom.

So I started slowly again, the pain was gone, but I was still sore. I started with just 5 min and very, very gently. But now the pain is back.

Now, I can’t run at all. It feels like I’ll never be run again, like I used to.

I’ve been tried to figure out where did I screw up. I have concluded (after talking to my physiotherapist friend and google research) that either I increased mileage of my 10 K too quick or I run in wrong running shoes. Maybe the combination of both.

Now, I’ve decided to take 4 weeks off from running and do yoga while I’m recovering.

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My neon Nike Frees & yoga mat (and music gear my hub got me).

Tell me………. :)

What’s your favorite sport or exercise?

How did you recover from running injury?

How did you manage to keep your cardio while you recovered from injury?

What running shoes do you use and why?

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Note: This is not a sponsored post.

Photo credit

 

Mindful Monday: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

 

dancingalone“Rule number one is, don’t sweat the small stuff. Rule number two is, it’s all small stuff.” – Robert Eliot

Easier said than done. I know.

Especially, when the endless to-do list and unachievable workload just seems to grow by the minute. Taking a break can be a last thing on anyone’s (right) mind.

That’s when doing-something-crazy-unusual can be the only option, to disconnect from the mind, connect to the heart and allow what feels right.

I remind myself of this line, anytime I find myself going nuts over the small stuff……

When you wanna go fast, go slow. 

Last Friday morning I just found myself doing that….sweating over the really small stuff, like toys all over the floor, growing by- an-hour-laundry-pile and deadline madly tic-tocing in my mind…otherwise also known as thesis writing pressure.

That’s when I decided to listen to myself and unplug from everything. I gave myself a permission to take a break from it all – just for 2 hours.  I went for a long walk. Normally, I’d meditate or go for a run to disconnect, but this time I needed to walk.

Came back to the small stuff with renewed energy and much fresher approach.

Then I made some a Schweppes tonic water+ Schweppes grapefruit + vanilla sugar….on rocks….I realized, I work too hard.

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Tell me….. :)

How do you remind yourself to take your breaks?

What small stuff makes you lose your cool?

What do you do when you find yourself sweating over the small stuff?

 

Great articles:

7 Healthy Ways to Deal with Incessant Worrying

Things Not to Worry About

When Is Worry Good?

On the Road: What NOT Running My First 10 K Has Taught Me (And What I Did Instead)

 

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“How you climb a mountain is more important than reaching the top.” – Yvon  Chouinard

As you might know (or not), I signed up for my first ever 10 K past January. I was supposed to run Women’s Nike 10 K race this June. But I didn’t.  Will come back to that later.

But first, let me tell you about my training process.

I trained for this race for many months, in the snow, wind and rain, honestly, I loved every sweaty fabulous second of it.  My runs trained my mind and soul as much as they trained my body. I trained 3-4 times a week. I typically did short runs during the week and one long run Saturday.

I can’t find enough words to describe the flow, that feeling of being one with the wind, road and everything around me. Freedom. The strength it gave me to practice radical-self-love and some much-needed patience. I started from 2 K and gradually increased the distance over the months.

And I reached my goal of 10 K already at the end of March this year (some boring facts for those who are interested….I’ve been running from June 2013, but started training for 10 K January 2014).

Anyway…

I’m seriously hooked, obsessed and I’ve become such a runner geek. I read many runners blogs .

So why didn’t I run?

I got a run injury a week before the race.

Get this….I just run like 2 K, but came home and my right leg hurt like hell. I couldn’t even step on it.

I didn’t increase my mileage. I didn’t over train up to the race.

But I probably increased mileage from January to March, way too quick, even thought I was extremely conscious of not doing it. I was able to run 10 K, but my muscles couldn’t catch up with the fact that I could run it.

I was very frustrated. I almost cried out of disappointment, mostly because this 10 K was an emotionally important race to me. I had told myself that 1 year after the stress chaos, I’d finally let it kiss my butt at the finish line, of course while I do my regular zigzags. So, yeah, I was highly emotionally invested. It wasn’t just a race, it was a mark of my new beginning, the new life and me. Sort of.

But I couldn’t do it because of the injury. So, I had to let it go.

I learned, that  plans are just that….plans. Sometimes we get too attached to them, that we forget that what really matters is the process, what makes us smile and not the goal.

As long I enjoy running, no race, no marathon, no achievement really can replace the joy I get out of zigzagging on the road.

So I continue with my zigzagging. Today was my first day back at road, after almost 2 weeks off. I’ve been missing it.

Tell me…..

What do you do when things don’t go according to your plans?

Do you have an hobby you just love?

P.s What do you think I did on the race day to celebrate?

Here is a little hint….. :)

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My favorite fun duo Aleks and Tiki (we also call her Tiks, Tiki princess……..)

Great related articles:

How To Not Run Your First 5 K or 10 K Race (This is seriously …HILARIOUS)

Best Tips For Race Day

Tips For Your First Race