La joie de vivre

Little rituals for a gezellig (cosy in Dutch) life

Happiness is really in the little pleasures of life. And everyone has his/ her own little rituals that make one feels happy and fulfilled. Going to the gym, reading or just spending time with friends or beloved ones have a huge impact on our well being. Today I am going to share with you my tips for a happier everyday life.

1.Coffee in the garden: that’s my favourite morning ritual. I am an early bird even on the weekends and no matter the weather, I have my cup of coffee in the backyard. OK, if the Dutch weather really sucks, I just open the door to the backyard and breathe the morning freshness before embracing the new day.

It's coffee time

2.My bowl of fruit: I eat only fruit for breakfast, this is a part of my diet. My bowl of fruit is the “energy pill” I take on a regular basis. Of course, I break the rule when I am on vacation, but seriously, who would resist a French croissant?

3.Books, Books, Books: commuting to and from work by public transport is a great opportunity to read more. And is a way to switch from work mood to home mode.

4.Planning trips: that’s a very exciting thing for anyone. No matter if I plan a vacation or just a day trip, it makes me feel so good, so I really look at every opportunity to do it.

Weekend adventure

5.Having a detox bath: this is my Friday evening ritual. My alone time to relax, detox and make weekend plans…

6.It’s time to walk: walking is the best therapy to clean up your head after a long working day. I walk as much as I can. My regular walking time is after dinner. The stunning Maximapark is just around the corner and the little farm there brings the good mood in my life immediately.

Walking in the park

7.Organizing and sharing of get-togethers: I not only like travelling, but also visiting museums, going to different kind of festivals or just organizing get-togethers with my friends. Share a meal or a new experience with someone is way more fulfilling rather than do things on your own.

8.Cooking: this is a way of living for me. I like cooking and I am definitely not a fan of pre-prepared food and snacks. It’s true that it takes more time, but it’s a matter of choice.  Good food, good life for you and your family.

9.Flowers: having fresh flowers at home creates a totally different atmosphere. Don’t just buy flowers on occasions or wait for your birthday to get some. Treat yourself with a lovely bouquet on a regular basis.


10.Dark chocolate: Dark chocolate with a pinch of salt? One little block of chocolate from time to time evaporates any desire for a sugary piece of cake! And it’s a healthier version of pastry! Just try out Excellence Sea Salt by Lindt!

11.Saturday market: I am talking about a regular fruit/ vegetables/ fish and cheese market that takes place every Saturday in the city centre of Utrecht! I really enjoy choosing fresh products and taste the local delights! It’s a totally different experience from just going to the supermarket!

Fresh Saturday Market

12.Massage or spa: I go to a massage treatment every month. It helps me combat stress and back pains. Spa with a friend is my favourite way to relax, but unfortunately not always possible.

13.Movie marathons: This is a must-do on the weekends during the cold seasons. Watching an entire season of House of Cards during the winter time or Mata Hari at one go is such a delight! Can’t wait for the winter!

14.Biking: this is a part of Dutch and Scandinavian lifestyle! The best way to do the groceries, to go to work, to go wherever you want to! I cannot live without my bicycle! When I am bored, I just take it and go!

Ride your bike

15.Keeping up-to-date my blog: this is a new totally new to me. I just started my blog and still have a lot to learn and do. I was thinking about creating my own blog for ages and now it’s a reality. I still have a lot to learn, but this is the real charm of starting a new project, isn’t it? If you really want to start a new project or try something new, read the quote below and make the first step!

Create your blog.jpg

“Start now. Start where you are. Start with fear. Start with pain. Start with doubt. Start with hands shaking. Start with the voice trembling but start. Start and don’t stop. Start where you are, with what you have. Just… start.” –
Ijeoma Umebinyuo


La joie de vivre

Re-build yourself….or how to handle your own bullshit?

How to rebuild yourself

Self-development, self-help, positive thinking books, movies, podcasts, coaches and all kind of gurus and tips are just blooming nowadays. A lot of people even go further and quit their jobs and lives and decide to run away to find themselves….. Feeling bad or anxious or not very well is baned and considered as something that one should not talk about and just avoid the subject. But the reality is that not everything and every day is roses and unicorns. I do not pretend to know all about it, not at all, I even struggle to take care of myself sometimes, but in order to find the best possible way to handle my own shit, I am going to put in writing all my thoughts and enlightenment on that thing. Am I on the right path or all I am saying is a complete bullshit…It’s up to you to decide…

It happened to all of us just not feeling well without any particular reason. On the surface, it looks like everything is fine, but a big black hole opens inside….What the hell is going on here, I have my job, my partner, my home, my friends, my car, all the necessary stuff to feel and be awesome…But that’s just not the case.

Very often, these depressive states are simple alarms that our inner “self” send us to point out that a change is needed. Unfortunately, the signal is often misunderstood. If a depression comes to visit us, it means it’s time for a change – to stop working too much, to have a rest, to learn how to enjoy life, not forget to appreciate people around us and so on. A depression is considered as something really bad, but on the long run is actually a blessing. It just takes time to come to this conclusion. As Elizabeth Gilbert writes in her book “Eat, pray, love”: “Ruin is a gift, ruin is the road to transformation”. Depression or not feeling well morally means you are on your way to change.

All words, all quotes, all good advice are good and true, but how to deal with all these feelings, anxiety, anger, desire to cry while the change is making its way? You have to continue to go to work, to do the groceries, to support your family and friends, no matter how you fell and very few are the lucky ones that can stay at home and endure the pain.

That’s the reason why I would like to talk about re-building yourself. This describes what is it all about. Here are some tips to overcome a little bit the shitty feelings on a daily basis.

1. Consult a specialist. The first and the ultimate thing to do. Friends and family members will be there for you, but they will give you unprofessional advice based on their own experience and that won’t make you feel better in the long term. Consulting a specialist is not easy as in some cultures/ countries it’s considered being crazy…So a hard decision to make..but necessary.  And you’ll feel much much better after the first visit.

2. Exercising helps a lot. Especially outdoor sports. Jogging outside can save you from your own thoughts and reduce dramatically the pressure. Thanks to yoga and meditation, you’ll be able to shut down your own flow of thoughts and stop overthinking. Or just stop thinking too much…..

3. Reading books, watching movies, seeking help from peers has its beneficial effects and are positive forms of distraction as well. Use them carefully and don’t be influenced by everyone or everything coming your way…

4. Take action. Or just do one little something every day. Make a to-do list to keep yourself busy or just active. This is a very powerful tool as we all need to do something. If you manage to do a list with your tasks for the day and accomplish them all, you’ll feel a great amount of joy even happiness. And this will help you in your endeavour.

5. A lot of people think that hyperactivity will make them forget about everything. I am a big enemy of hyperactivity. For me, that’s the shortcut to depression. It’s overrated nowadays and leads to exhaustion. Doing a lot of stuff, having a lot of friends, being somewhere all the time, being occupied with exciting things without allowing yourself a time to relax and enjoying your own company is just too much to bear…

6. Be ready to give up on things or people on your way to rebuild yourself. You will change, as your perception of life, beliefs, important things, friendships. Not all your friends and people you care for will appreciate the new you…and the new you will not like all your old friends…So keep in mind that, but don’t worry….the cleanup actually will do its job….

7. Write. Having a diary or just a notebook can be a door to understand yourself. It can be a way to exteriorize all the heavy luggage you keep internally only for yourself. Just take a pen and write down how you feel. It is not meant to be a high-level literature and fancy, it’s meant to help you rebuild yourself.

8. Set a routine of activities. Routine is considered being boring, but….a big but here….it helps you to organize your day and to prioritize what to think about – work, groceries, family time. It’s a kind of a compass to show you what to do, what to care about and makes you feel useful and contributing to bigger projects as work progress and family happiness.

9.Smile, smile, smile. Smile to the world and it will return your smile back to you. Smile to yourself and for yourself. A smile can efficiently fight one’s bad mood, creates an easy-going rapport with others and makes you look more likeable in the eyes of your peers. Think about it and…smile!

10. Give yourself time alone. It might sound weird, but try to listen to your inner voice or your soul’s voice. Get rid of all the noise around and go for a walk and talk with yourself. Treat yourself the same way you would treat your best friend. Be your best friend and appreciate your own company!

Hope my own enlightenment will give you an idea how to fight crapy feelings. Do not hesitate to share your don’t know who it can help and put on the way of joy!

Thanks for reading!