ways to SIMPLIFY your LIFE

Feeling a little overwhelmed from time to time? Read and find out my favorite ways to ease my life.

largeLife can be overwhelming, who doesn’t know. Sometimes it can already be overwhelming to come home into a space filled with clutter and loud colors. I found that when I started to simplify my life and my environment, I found a certain sence of calm. These days everyone wants more, everyone wants to be louder and everyone wants to tell you that you have to do more and more and more. But not anymore.

 

“All your little life choices made it so that you would be reading this article right now. One different choice and you would have never landed here. Take this as a sign to breathe and let life be a little simple today.”

Say NO to things that don’t please you

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This is the first thing and one of the most important. You have probably heard this one a thousand times, but hear me out. If someone asks you to do something, that you really don’t want to do. Then say no. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am encouraging you to be and stay polite. But your own happiness comes first.

These days, all the influencers, your family, your friends, everybody, tries to tell you what to do. “Wake up early, wake up earlier, wake up earliest.” “Read a book, read two books, read ten books.” “Eat healthy, eat vegeterian, eat vegan.” NO. Find whatever suits YOU. Find what makes you happy and do exactly that. Your life is about finding YOUR happiness and YOUR purpose. Find your own habits and your own sparks of joy.

Fill your life with joy

Now, simplicity is often mistaken for throwing everything out. Instead, look at is as only keeping what serves you. Only filling your life with little pieces of joy. Here are a few excersizes I did:

  • Take everything of your surfaces in a room and lay everything in the 900808db33ccfd235fb0adc703a6bb9cmiddle of the room. Now sit down and one by one grab something from the middle of the room and think about wether or not it truely makes you happy. If it does, keep it. If it doesn’t, throw it out.
  • Quality over Quantity. Back in the days I loved to shop shop shop, the more the better. But lately I have found that I enjoy long lasting, high quality pieces way better.
  • Stop constantly trying to figure out who you are.

 

 

“Stop saying ‘yes’ out od obligation, fear or guilt.”

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Find what calms you down

For me, it is white and cleanliness. Whenever my surroundings are minimal and clean, my mind is so too. Find what makes you feal calm and find a way to surround yourself with exactly that.

Bye Bye to the toxic

Take a little moment to write down what makes you feel held back. Sometimes I get just get this stressed and overwhelmed feeling. Whenever I get that feeling, I take a moment and write down all the things that make me feel that way. It can be a person, a task, a situation, anything. Then I write down what I can do about it, and i do that, IMMEDIATELY.

Sometimes it can be hard to eliminate the toxic. Especially if it is a friend or family member. But remember, you are the only one who carries the complete responsibility over your situation.

Do one thing at a time

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Watching netflix while summarizing? Listening to a podcast while trying to finish that assignment? It is so easy to try and multitask during boring tasks. But let me tell you. Whenever you focus on one thing at a time, you will be way more focussed, get your boring task done faster and your mind will be clearer and less stressed. Taking your time to do one thing at a time may feel less productive at the time, but you’ll get way more done.

“It’s never too late to become who you should be.”

Take some time to do soulsearching

5d5072fe5fc661bc645e35f555febdd5This may sound a little too spiritual for you, and that is okay. All this means is take some time, everyday, to focus on you. Do something that get’s you in a flow where you can simply be. This way it is easier to find out what makes you truely happy and find your peace throughout life. For me it really wors to take some time to write, read or meditate. Dancing and writing also brings me in a good flow. Feel free to experiment and look for different kinds of excersizes and flows

 

 

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Know that you look absolutely amazing, whatever you wear. You don’t have to wear clothes that are in style to fit in. Wear what makes YOU feel good and confident. Less is more, and more is more. It is up to you.

These are my tips for simplifying your life. Let me know if you have any more tips!

I wish you all the stars,

-N

To sleep or not to sleep: HACKS

how to sleep peacefully every night.

We all know the sleepless nights. You keep tossing and turning and eventually you can see the sun starts to rise again and the birds start to sing. The next day you feel TRASHED and need the whole day to rest and sleep and you won’t be productive. I have dealt with TONS of those nights. Sometimes I would even get into a routine of having these nights regulary. At first, I tried fixing this with sleeping pills and trying to exhaust myself during the day. I would get into bed and feel so frustrated that eventhough I was exhausted, I couldn’t sleep. So, you may wonder, how did I fix this? Let me tell you all of my favorite hacks that I use daily to get a good night sleep.  But first, lets do a little digging into what a good night of sleep actually can do for you.

“As the night gets darker, let your worries fade. Sleep pecefully, knowing that you have done all you can do for today.”

Sleeping is extremely important for your productivity and overall happiness. Science has proven that bad sleep can have numerous negative effects like weightgain, lack of focus and a weakened immune system. Sleep deprivation is caused by getting les than 7 hours of sleep on a regular basis. Here are some health problems that can come from sleep deprivation:

  • Memory issues
  • Mood changes
  • Poor balance
  • Weakened immunity (that can lead to diabetes and heart disease)
  • Low sex drive
  • High bloodpressure

Disclaimer: these are just hacks that work for ME. I am not telling you that you have to do these NOR am I responsible for your actions. Some people who suffer from sleep deprivation can have a sleep syndrome. A few of those syndromes are: restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea, seizures and movement disorders. If you can’t seem to get enough sleep during the night I reccomend talking to a doctor or specialist.

Now, how do I manage to get a good night of sleep?

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I use lavender. TONS of lavender. I find it really relaxing. 

I put a little of some lavenderessential oil into my airdiffuser at night.I also recentlybought a lavender essential oil roller which I roll behind my ears, on my wrists and on my chest. If you want to use lavender oil, make sure to get one that is safe to use on your skin because some can be toxic to use and can cause irritation. I use the “organic lavender sleep therapy aroma ball” by Dr. Organic. I have one on my nightstand and one in my purse.

Meditation or breathing excersizes. When I lay in bed and find my mind wandering around I like to focus on my breath. Since I meditate in the mornings I don’t do a full meditation, but by focussing on my breath I help my mind relax and it helps me get to sleep. If you find it hard to just focus on breathing it can help to count your breaths or quietly say a mantra.

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Get this beautiful sage bundle at http://www.cabinemonde.com

Burn sage. Now this one it a little odd. But in the days where I found myself awake during the night, I had a lot of nightterrors. I don’t know where they came from but I everytime I closed my eyes I would see horrible images of demons and whenever I would fall asleep, every dream would turn into a terror. I was terrified of going back to sleep. I found that burning some sage really cleanses the energy in the room and by trusting it’s work, I found myself falling asleep easier. I also bought an angel crystal (Coelestien) and I found it really worked for me.

Digestion. So, whenenver you read a little about sleeping well, you often read “don’t eat for two hours before bed”. But yah, I can’t. My family often has dinner between 8 and 9, and I am going to bed at 10. But what I found really worked for me is moving a little before bed. Sometimes I walk but often I do a light strech which makes me feel less full and makes me fall asleep easy.

“Put your thoughts to sleep, do not let them cast a shadow over the moon of your heart. Let go of thinking.”

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I use these glasses from Charlie Temple. 

Something you also read often is putting away screens and hour before bed. But late night studies or work can make that difficult. That is why I always wear blue light glasses whenever I am working on my laptop or watching TV. I also like to read for 15 minutes before going to sleep to put my brain into rest-mood.

Create a sleeping schedule. This hack worked for me since the MOMENT I tried it and I have a really hard time giving up my schedule. I like to go to bed at 10pm and wake up at 6am every day. Your body will get used to your chosen time and going to sleep and waking up will be way easier. Ofcourse it is not always possible to maintain your sleeping schedule. For me it is whenever my boyfriend stays over that my schedule gets broken. But if you can maintain the schedule during the week and on the weekends cheat a little, it will still work.

So, these are the hacks I am currently using. I hope you enjoyed this article. If you have any tips or tricks for sleeping make sure to let me know!

I wish you all the stars,

– N

 

My happy morning routine

my blissful morning routine.

“Flow, not Force”

Routines have always been a big part of my day. I love routines and everything surrounding them. But there was always one main factor that made me resent my routines: force. I used to think that I had to force myself into doing everything that succesful people were doing and my forcing myself to do the things that didn’t bring me joy, I would start the day off in a negative mindset.

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But that all changed when I really started to understand the concept of “flow not force”. It is not about making excuses, it is about finding joy in life. So, what I decided to do is to create a new morning routine, containing only things that make me happy and make me feel calm. Let me show you what I created.

“The aim of life is happiness, not perfection.”

Now, right before we dig in to the morning routine I wanted to quickly explain something. I don’t go to work or school so I have a ton of time to have a slow morning routine. I understand that not everybody has that time so every habit I describe from my morning routine will include a tip on how to fit it into a quick schedule. Also, I highly recommend not just plain following my routine if it inspires you, but to be inspired by it and find out if there are habits that I am describing that YOU like and that make YOU feel happy. 

06:00AM

I like to wake up really early in the morning because I find that I am way more productive during the day when I had an early start. When I wake up I aways take ONE look at my phone, just to make sure nothing urgent came in at night, before putting it away until I finish my habits. 

The first 45 minutes of my morning is dedicated to cleansing. I love starting my day with a fresh clean slate.  These are my cleansing habits:

  • Water and coffee: to reset my body for a new day I like to start my day off with drinking some water. Your body hasn’t hydrated in over 8 hours so this I necessary! I find that drinking water really wakes me up and makes me feel amazing. I also like to drink a coffee in the morning. It also wakes me up and it, well, cleanses my body and makes me feel ready for a fresh new day. TIP: this one is fairly easy to include in your morning routine because it is simply a drink. But, if you don’t have time in the mornings to drink your coffee, make a homemade icecoffee and put it in your bag the night before. Then you can drink your daily caffeineboost in the car or on the train.
  • Writing: after I made my coffee, the first thingI do is grab my notebook and writeeverything down. I am a very vivid dreamer so I like to write down all my dreams and analyse them for a bit. I also like to focus on how I am feeling thatday andwhat my intentions are for the day. TIP: Writing is one way to clear your mind. If you don’t have time to write in the mornings, then self-talk could be an option to you. Actlike you’re recording a podcast and simply talk oud loud to yourself. You can also record this if you’d like to listen back. This you can do in your car, on your bike or even walking.
  • Yoga: I NEED to strech in the morning. Usually when I wake up I feel a little soar from my workout from the day before and my muscles feel really tight from barely moving for 8 hours. I like to follow my own yogaflow and really feel what my body needs at that moment, but you can also follow a Yoga Youtube-video. My strech-routine changes every day. There are days where I love streching for half an hour and really take my time, but there are also days where my streches are about 5 minutes long. remember: flow, not force. TIP: like I said, your streches can only be 5 minutes. When I have a busy morning I also like to do this when my water is boiling for my tea, when my shower is heathening up or when my coffee is in the making.
  • Meditation: I love how clear my mind feels after a meditation. Now, I am not a patient person so meditating can be a struggle for me. But just 5-10 minutes of a guided meditation makes me feel SO good. I use the app “Calm” and it is rated as one of the best mindfulness apps. I have a subscribtion, but there are also tons of free meditations you can use. TIP: meditation does not just have to be sitting with your eyes closed and breathing. The app ‘Calm’ that I am using also has walking meditations or mindfulness meditations for when you are at work. You can do this on your lunchbreak or whenever you have a second to spare.

06:45AM 

After the first part of my morning routine that focusses on cleansing, I start ‘putting in’. I know this sounds really weird but bare with me. The first part of my morning is centered about cleansing my body and my mind, and the second part is all about putting the good information and food in again. These are my ‘putting in’ (lol) habits:

  • Hot lemon water: When I start the second fase of my morning, I like to have a comforting drink with me. I love hot lemon water because it is so easy to make and it kinda feels like it is ‘coating’ my stomach. It is full of antioxidants and it prepares your body for breakfast. It is really good to have some kind of fruit first, before breakfast, to prevent bloating and stomach aching. I also find it really southing todrink something warm while doing my next habit. TIP: now I understand that if you have a busy morning, you certainly do not have time for TWO drinks. So, bring some slices of lemon with you in your lunchbox. If you go to work or school they often have an option for tea in the lunchroom. Put your lemon slices in there instead of tea and you’re good to go.
  • Reading: This is probably my favorite habit. Processed with VSCO with a6 presetI love love love to read in the morning and put positive thoughts and information into my mind. I always love to read a fiction and a non-fiction book at the same time so I don’t ‘get bored’. I read one chapter of each book in the morning and it sets me of to a good start. TIP:another way to fuel your mind with books is listening to audiobooks. I won’t start rambling on about audiobooks as I am certain that you’ve already heard about them. I also really like to listen to podcasts. My favorites are: the health code, kalyn’s coffeetalks, potterless, your own magic and the mustards.
  • Breakfast: I absolutely NEED to eat a good breakfast in the morning. I don’t have one breakfast I eat everyday, but I mainly just listen to my body and what I am craving that day. But, I always love some avocado toast, oatmeal, yoghurt or a fresh smoothie. I love to create a healthy breakfast to fuel me and get me going. I generally never crave things like chocolate or pancakes so it really isn’t that hard for me to start the day healthy. TIP: now, I’ve heard SO many people tell me that they don’t have time to make breakfast in the morning. If intermitted fasting is your thing than you should definitely do that. But if you’re like me and simply can’t go without a good breakfast then I can highly recommend you one simple thing. meal. prep. I KNOW, eyeroll , eyeroll, because you’ve probably heard it everywhere. And I understand that you don’t have the time or energy to spend your free time making meals for the whole week. But this does not have to be hard. The night before, put everything for your smoothie in a bowl. Make some simple overnight oats, or take 15 minutes to bake a simple bananabread that you can take to work every day of the week. (This recipe is Dutch but I have been making this bananabread and it is AMAZING: https://www.lekkerensimpel.com/bananencake-met-blauwe-bessen/ ).

09:00AM 

GYM-TIME: I know, you probably think: “What happened between 07:30AM and 09:00AM?!” but let me explain. After my breakfast I usually put on my workout-clothes, brush my teeth and wash my face. And then I start working on my to-do list. But at 9AM I like to go to the gym. Because I work from home, I have the freedom to make my own schedule and I always go around 9AM because that’s when a lot of people go to work and there are a lot less people at the gym. Because I live in a small village, the gym is very small. It is basically one room with all the equipment in it, so it can very easily become very crowded. I love to workout in the mornings because it gives me the endorfine-boost to go through my day with an extra big smile on my face. Also, if I postpone my workout until the evening, I most likely end up making an excuse and then not going. TIP: working-out can be quite a struggle for some people, which is totally understandable. I have the time to go to the gym and have a 60min+ workout, but if you don’t have that time HIIT work-outs are the perfect solution for you. HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. HIIT workout are often short (10-20min) and keep your heartrait really high. If having an intens work-out just isn’t your thing, it may be nice to go for a walk on your lunchbreak or take the stairs a little more often. Just simple everyday things to keep moving!

After my work-out I just get ready and get on with my day. Now a little disclaimer: I do not do this every day! This is more or less a guideline for me to follow and something I naturally love doing. But if I wake up and I am super soar and feel like I just need a stretch, THEN I GO AND STRETCH. Remember, it is all about feeling good and being happy. 

So, to wrap this routine up, I highly encourage your to feel your flow and make yourself happy. If you haven’t heard this today: you are valuable by simply being you. You don’t need to achieve high standards or look a certain way to be loved and valuable to this world.

“If flowers can be beautiful by simply existing, then so can I”

I wish you all the stars,

-N.