i know i should…

happy monday everyone!

i took a short break to sort some things but am back with observations i’ve made along the way.

my last post was on how i reduce stress in 10 steps. today’s post is getting to the root of the problem.

when i’m in a stressful situation (or difficult situation in general) i sometimes find myself trying to ignore the fact that i may not be dealing with it in the best way. there is a bunch of “i know i should…” that i am confronted with everyday and to be honest, in times like these, i don’t always have the courage to get over the fear of not getting something done.

so here goes…i know i should:

1. do things properly the first time

this applies to cleaning up, prepping for something in the future, explain something that bothers me to someone and many other things. sometimes you don’t want to deal with an outcome that you can’t control or you don’t want to deal with the task that seems too big to even begin. this is a vicious, vicious circle of procrastination and i am tired of it!

2. eat right/exercise

this is particularly obvious because i have been getting awful breakouts from the sugar i’ve been having! i have these periods where i have no problem cutting back on sugar (my favourite indulgence!) but then some little voice in my head will tell me “it’s okay to just have one….or another one…oh and it’s okay not to do that work out that you’ve been putting off! you deserve to rest!”. the thing is, that’s not resting. i always feel great after a light workout and a healthy meal and when i “rest” by doing nothing worthwhile, i find myself finding no true satisfaction whatsoever and consequently feeling stressed by what i could have done with my free time…

3. start a task right away

this is one step that i have been told since my early school years: do it now, not later. start now and get the most done. that’s incredibly true and even if you’re not able to finish something the first time around, at least you have something to build on the next time.

i will stop my “ease into things” method since it really does not help me in any way. i’ll keep that for lazy sunday mornings or a day where i’m planing to take it easy.

4. not over-think things.

do it, try and do your best. easy to say but takes a lot of practice!

whew! that’s about it! i hope that by putting all of this out there will help me even more to take the steps to prevent a lot of suffering! let me know how you prevent stress.

now i won’t tell myself “i know i should…” but rather “i will:”

lots of love,

marie

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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

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

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

 

on bad weather.

hello everyone! happy halloween!

i wasn’t planing on writing a post like this today but i decided on a whim to talk about how bad weather affects the best of us and how i like to embrace it.

today was a rainy and cold day. i love rain when i’m indoors. there’s really something about rain & autumn that gives a cozy air. however, my perception completely changes when i feel like it burdens my daily routine.

after lunch, i realised how grumpy i felt and how that was affecting my posture and my interactions with others. this doesn’t only apply to bad weather, but i felt like something as uncontrollable as nature couldn’t justify my grumpiness.

i took a moment to focus on how i really wanted my day to be and my frustrations on carrying a sticky wet umbrella and my bangs curling up from the humidity went away. by simply taking a moment and observing the world around me, bad weather didn’t seem so bad after all. i found myself breathing better and smiling more often. it makes a world of a difference and i hope i can return to this observant and compassionate state whenever i’m feeling stressed, frustrated or sad.

how do you deal with bad days or bad weather? did you have a good halloween?

hugs,

marie

nice to meet you!

dear all,

how nice to meet you! my name is marie and i’m on a journey to make the best out of the everyday.

joli lundi will serve as a kind of journal which will follow my discoveries and hopefully we can share what makes today and tomorrow an even greater day! i chose the name joli lundi (french for “lovely monday”) because i thought mondays needed a little more love.

i hope to share different things that make me (as well as others around me) happy. you will surely find a collection of books, health, beauty & fashion and other bits of my everyday on this blog.

of course, please feel free to share & connect!

with love,

marie