how i reduce stress in 10 steps

good morning everyone!

today’s post is all about stress. this time of the year is probably stressful for everyone: holiday shopping, prepping for exams, finishing tasks before the winter vacation…

i’ve come up with 10 easy ways to reduce stress that usually work for me. it’s normal that sometimes the stress is overwhelming but it is tamable. i hope these thoughts can help you manage whatever is stressful in your life!

1. breathe, smile.

easiest but also the hardest step. by breathing i mean, taking a moment and reflecting on the world around you. send away negative thoughts and invite positive ones. smile gently as you realise that there’s more to your stressful moment.

if you have the time, meditate simply by focusing on deep breaths. i find it extremely calming and it tames down any usurping thoughts that may corrupt what you have to do.

2. eat mindfully

when i am stressed, i definitely overeat. sugar and carbs are high on the list and i will reach for anything in my pantry that checks those boxes (bread, crackers, cereal…).

my tip for this one is to first ask yourself if you’re hungry (the answer is probably yes) and if you really have to eat something, eat it mindfully. do nothing else but eat what you have to eat and recollect on the taste and pleasure it gives you. one serving of what you are snacking on will probably suffice.

(this tip applies to every meal but by good habits start small!)

3. drink tea

tea is a wonderful way to wind down. i love drinking hot beverages when i’m feeling stressed. coffee and hot chocolate don’t cut it and i find tea to be the perfect answer to almost any problem. i always have a cup on my desk when i’m working.

i recommend a floral oolong like the tie guan yin (smells like lilacs!). excellent after a meal and very delicious.

extra tip: every time you’re taking a sip, breathe and recollect!

4. exercise

that’s something i still need to work on. exercise is the first thing off my list when i feel stressed/busy/overwhelmed. the feeling of exercising, however, is so therapeutic that it should be on top of my priority list! if i feel that i simply can not have a run in the morning, i try to walk a few extra bus stops or take breaks outside to have some fresh air.

5. make a list

this tip is tricky because seeing what you have to get done may be very scary. i like to make a list and list the items in order of priority. get things done in order and leave the best or easiest for last.

if you’re struggling with procrastination, i recommend the pomodoro technique which is essentially 25 minutes of uninterrupted work and a short break in between. after four “pomodoros”, take a longer break.

be careful when you’re taking a break. i often find myself gravitating towards blogs to read or other stationary activities. i realised that physically getting up (or the opposite if you’re working physically) and moving a bit really helps me to relax.

6. envision yourself getting it done

very simple and quite effective. what will you do after? how will you feel? thrive to a successful completion of your tasks and do them well so that the satisfaction is greater when all is finished.

7. take a good look at the world

when i’m feeling stressed i often feel very self-centered. “i” am stressed, “my work”, “my time” are all things i think about when i feel pressured. you are not alone and this is a good time to realise it. i love to take a moment and call friends and relatives to see how they’re doing and connect with them. it feels very refreshing to hear about someone else’s day and usually puts things into perspective.

8. give yourself limits

don’t overwork yourself! if you know that you need a good night’s sleep, make sure you get all of your hours. i usually like to stop working around 9PM. when i fail to meet that limit, i know i won’t be as effective the next day.

9. don’t neglect other tasks

cleaning, walking the dog, being part of a family…they all seem to be “unimportant”. take the time to really see what are your priorities in life, not just in your work life.

10. plan a reward after the big event/period

the best tip! after your stressful moment, plan a treat that will motivate you. i usually like a nice meal at a restaurant or a night in with a good movie and a hot chocolate. do what you love to do and make it grand! by that time, you will most definitely deserve it.

so those are my tips! hopefully they are helpful!

take care and don’t forget…breathe!

hugs,

marie

winter skin

good monday morning to you!!

today i wanted to share my winter skin essentials and what’s currently on my personal wishlist when it comes to skin care.

here goes!

1. drink water/tea

my new habit is to drink water as soon as i wake up. i used to drink water or tea in the morning but never realised how thirsty i was until i gulped down two glasses of water one after the other! water keeps you alert and hydrated and we should all make sure we get at least 8 glasses of it a day.

2. hydrating toner

i am a huge fan of caudalie’s beauty elixir but realised it wasn’t doing much for my skin when the temperature suddenly dropped.

my current favourite is clarins’ toning lotion with camomille. i can not express how dramatically hydrated and plumped my skin feels after using it. i’ve also noticed less breakouts after it being the only thing i changed in my routine. i use it after my exfoliating toner and before a face oil & moisturiser which brings me to…

3. face oil

i use face oils all throughout the year but add a drop or two more during the colder months. i even like to apply it in the morning, even if i’m putting makeup on. the one i am currently using is the clarins’ lotus face treatment oil. it’s a nice oil that smells wonderful and that is targeted to oily and combination skin. i have combination skin and found it to have been light enough for daytime and hydrating enough for bedtime. the essential oil blend may be too much for people with sensitive skin or eyes but the clarins counter is very generous and gave me a nicely sized sample to try beforehand.

4. moisturiser

i used up my kate somerville goat milk cream which was perfectly suited to my combination, acne prone skin. however, i am currently on the hunt for something more nourishing and am eyeing the aesop camellia nut facial hydrating cream or the primrose facial hydrating cream. both products were given to me in a gorgeous little sample routine the aesop rep gave me and i loved them both! i vaguely remember the camellia nut being more potent and extremely effective for dry patches.

so there are my current winter skin favourites! will keep you updated if i try new products as the season unfolds!

have a jolly day!

marie

little changes

hello everyone!

it has been a busy week for me, november is definitely hectic over here! i’m looking forward to winding down with my family and cats when the winter break comes around.

today’s post is inspired by zen habits. i am currently going through leo babauta’s blog and love his simple, straightforward advice. i have been trying to find more balance in my life and trying to get rid of negative habits.

in order to avoid relapsing into old habits such as binge eating, procrastinating and being critical towards myself and others, i am starting with small, manageable steps:

1. drink more water

i have a little passion for skincare and beauty products but found that my diet and water intake didn’t really reflect that interest. instead of changing my whole diet in a single day, i am starting by being more mindful of the amount of water and tea that i drink.  i have done this in the past and saw dramatic differences in my skin’s condition and my general well-being. also, by making this small change, i saw myself drinking less coffee, and more tea. tea is truly a wonderful way to drink slowly and enjoy subtle flavours and sometimes i forget that and reach for coffee when in need of a caffeine boost.

2. make a realistic checklist of things to do

i have really high standards of what i want to accomplish in a day and to be honest, i almost never achieve what i thought i was capable of doing. i realised it wasn’t a question of potential or laziness but mostly not knowing how long a task takes to be successfully and satisfyingly accomplished. i really dislike finishing something for the sake of finishing it and i am trying to find balance in my everyday schedule to get things done properly and efficiently.

these days i find myself to be working at a slower pace but i am definitely more aware of how my attention span deviates and when i need to take a break. i hope that by studying how i work i can find a happy medium between being efficient and finishing tasks properly. making a checklist helps me keep track of my progress and see what truly fits in one day and what doesn’t.

3. meditation and spiritual time

november is slowly becoming more and more stressful and since i have the tendency to be quite anxious, i am working towards clearing my mind and thinking outside my (sometimes) overwhelming schedule. by meditating a few minutes a day, i feel more connected and compassionate to those around me and less anxious. i sometimes have days where i can’t seem to overcome the stress but i am finding myself generally calmer than previous busy months.

i also like to have spiritual moments where i recollect with my own faith and also by exploring what other faiths have to say. i have discovered really interesting and optimistic thoughts which do help me in everyday living. my spiritual life helps me to be thankful, optimistic and to open my heart to others. 

4. spend more time outside

cold weather tends to shut me in and while i love being at home, i also love seeing what the world has to offer. also, getting some sunshine is very important for me when i’m feeling stressed and i found that by taking the bus to commute (instead of the subway) and walking a little more helped me feel better physically and mentally. this asked for a little time management but i’ve found it to be completely worth it. i also like to be in a sort of meditative state where i channel my thoughts towards others and think optimistic thoughts. it helped me relieve stress and selfish thoughts and be more loving towards my family & friends as well as strangers.

5. no more sugar after lunch!

i’ve been trying to cut back sugar for the longest time and i’ve been having such a hard time. this baby step on the road to no-sugar living has helped me feel on top of the cravings. i’ve been doing research on the effects of sugar on our health and it’s not a pretty picture. thankfully, i stay away from most of the “super bad sugar” but do love fruit and chocolate and can binge on them like there’s no tomorrow. 

so that’s it! i hope this post is inspiring for those who struggle with a busy schedule. 

have a great day!!

marie

gifting: etsy finds

hi, hello!

today i wanted to get started on a little series of pre-holiday ideas. i love to find inspiration online to find gifts for friends & family, whatever the occasion! one of my favourite websites is most definitely etsy. here are some of my finds so far! (click on the product image to be taken directly to the listing)

1. for the traveler

jenna rose handmade: trees & stars large pouch

https://img0.etsystatic.com/044/0/5572143/il_570xN.507630086_rw5j.jpg

i absolutely love this shop! handmade in canada (woohoo!), jenna rose’s products are hand screened on organic materials. i’m a huge fan of this pouch and plan to purchase some items for friends who travel often or love to store their stuff in different pouches. i also love that the prints aren’t too feminine and could cater to male friends as well! the shop also features loop scarves, bags, hampers and other wonderful giftables!

*see also, the weekend bag!

2. for the child (or the adult who won’t grow up)

the butter flying: peach cloud and star mobile

https://img1.etsystatic.com/000/0/5405288/il_570xN.249834275.jpg

mobiles are absolutely perfect for expecting parents or children of any age. i’m always nervous when giving toys to a child since i’m afraid that they might not like it or that it is unsafe for their age. this mobile is absolutely adorable and is beautiful enough even for a grown-up’s room! i love the calming colours of this particular one but the montreal-based shop also offers a wide variety of colour selections.

3. for the gentleman

hank’s haberdashery: black gingham bow tie, diamond point

 

https://img0.etsystatic.com/010/0/7505297/il_570xN.426400178_j07l.jpg

this fun shop offers bow ties and pocket squares in a variety of colours and patterns (gingham, check, plaid…). i find bow ties so darling on men..! this one is fun but still understated and could work for many different occasions.

4. the stocking stuffer

crafty japan: mt ex washi tape

https://img0.etsystatic.com/013/0/5501924/il_570xN.435513016_a7l1.jpg

washi tape is simply the best crafty accessory there is! i love using it to wrap presents (how appropriate!), hang posters and postcards on the wall and decorate everyday objects. surely this will be a lovely little surprise for the crafty one amongst your friends and family!

5. the cat lover

herman marie: cat face

Cat Face

we all know a cat lover (i’m one myself, if you don’t!)! here’s a jolly piece that will brighten up any space! i love the bowtie, of course but also the simplicity of the cat’s features.

hope this post inspired your holiday shopping! please do share your favourite etsy finds, i love discovering new shops!

with love,

marie

link love #1

hello, hello!

sad to have missed my monday post after a little episode of feeling under the weather but back with a jolly post today!

we all have our little corners of the internet that make our everyday just a little bit better. in this series, i’ll be sharing my favourite links of the past week. hope you’ll enjoy!

1. leo babauta of zen habits: 12 indispensable mindful living tools

this blog is one of my favourite reads. i always feel refreshed, motivated and calmed by leo babauta’s words. this post is no exception. his 12 indispensable mindful living tools can be applied to any lifestyle, any situation and any relationships. this week, i am trying to apply them as best as i can, especially “letting go of control”, “be compassionate” and “be curious”. also, i have tried to meditate in the past but haven’t been able to keep it up consistently. as per leo babauta’s recommendations, a few minutes in the morning should be enough to implement a positive change to my routine.

2. martha rose shulman: gluten-free chocolate buckwheat biscotti

the new york times’ recipes for health series has been one of my favourite recipe database online. martha rose shulman has innovative combinations but always manageable and, most importantly, delicious & healthy!

i have yet to try these biscotti but the recipe looks absolutely wonderful. i plan to try this recipe this weekend and will keep you posted on twitter!

3. vivianna does makeup: a skincare update

anna from vivianna does makeup is one of my favourite beauty blogger and youtuber to follow. her recommendations always seem to suit my tastes and needs and her recent skincare blogpost got me particularly interested in the british brand aurelia. skincare is definitely something i love to indulge in, especially if the brand has a great ethos.

4. angie stone ft. snoop dogg: i wanna thank ya

my jogging track of the week! this groovy song gets a little pep in your step instantly.

hope you enjoyed this new series! i love discovering new lifestyle blogs so if you have any recommendations, please do share!

until next time!

hugs,

marie

 

friday beauty recommendations

hurray, it’s friday!
do you have fun plans for the weekend? i plan to have a little shopping spree with my mother and catch up on some reading i’ve been meaning to do.

today’s post features beauty products i’ve been enjoying recently. let’s start!

1. origins peace of mind, $12,00

for those who are feeling a bit stressed, congested or want to unwind on the go or right before bed. this little product is truly wonderful, it smells of eucalyptus and peppermint and upon application on tension spots (temples, ear lobes, nape of the neck), a cooling sensation instantly relaxes muscles.
i’ve been using it on special occasions but mostly when i’m feeling under the weather or when i sense a headache approaching.
also, the tiny packaging is perfect to throw in a bag or in a travel pouch!

2. aesop parsley seed cleansing masque, $39 & aveda hydrating masque, $22

these two masques used one after the other are truly skins saviours! the aesop really helps clearing congested skin and the aveda is simply hydrating. i use this combination once a week to indulge, and wake up the following morning with smooth and plumped skin! i also follow up with my moisturiser and am very generous with a face oil.
i thank caroline hirons for this combination inspiration. i highly recommend her blog for amazing skincare advice and reviews as well as her hilarious comments!

3. the tangle teaser

i got this highly popular gentle hair brush at the hair salon i go to and am not disappointed! i often feel that when seasons change my hair seems more brittle and this hairbrush is so gentle that it can be used on wet hair. i feel that my hair doesn’t fall out as much and love to be able to use it instead of a wider-toothed comb.

hope these little beauty luxuries will inspire you to unwind!

much love,

marie

*this post is not sponsored and all items were purchased by me!