What you actually need in life

I’ve been really inactive lately, but I’ve been super busy with UNI, life and self care. By the way, I’m back, and, if there’s something that the beginning of UNI and the last months have taught me, it’s what you actually need in your life.

I know that a lot of you will be tempted to answer “love” to this, but, you know, most of the time the love of your life has little to do with your own happiness. Watch out: I’m not saying that relationships are useless or that you cannot find happiness in them, what I’m saying is that there’s more to life than romantic love. This is my ultimate list in five steps of what it takes to build a healthy, fulfilled life.

  • Self love. Self love and self acceptance are the keys to happiness. No one was born perfect, but it’s up to us to understand how fantastic we are. Here is a post that can help you with getting better at accepting yourself.
  • Mutual respect in relationships. No matter if you’re talking about a romantic relationship or a friendship: respect is a necessity when it comes to the way we treat people or we’re being treated by them. Respect comes in different forms: understanding a person’s needs, boundaries and accepting the time they require to grow.
  • Support. This is an absolute need: having someone who’s there for you, no matter what, will make a difference. No wonder you’re a strong, independent person, but we all have our bad days: support is something that does, in fact, make a difference.
  • A dream. Call it how you want: a dream, a purpose in life, a reason to live: you need something that makes you jump out of bed in the morning and gives you enough strenght to get through the day. If you’re struggling with finding your own place in the world, I suggest you read this article.
  • Courage. Life will never be perfect, and not everything will go as planned, but there’s no reason to give up on your dreams. Challenge yourself once more, it takes courage and bravery to get up everyday and start again, but, remember, you can do this: I believe in you, your strenght, you got this!

What else do you think you need to live a happy life? Let us know in the comments below!


Secrets of confident people

You know that girl in your class, who raises her hand even though she’s not sure about the answer? And that woman, who walks proudly down the street, even though her hair is absolutely messy, and you can’t help but loving her and her confidence? These are the reasons why we’re here: to work on your self confidence. But this time, we aren’t going to explore what you should do to boost it: this time we’re going to talk about those things that confident people try to hide. If you’re interested in little steps to take to boost it, I suggest reading this article.

Ready? Keep reading to find them out.

  • No one was born with their confidence completely built. The one to self confidence is a long, hard journey. Nobody’s going to help you, and someone is going to tear you down, but, believe me, it’s worth it. Don’t think that others had it easier: everyone had to go through their own journey and face their difficulties.
  • Sometimes you’ll look like the evil one for respecting yourself. Yes, that’s true. You don’t feel like doing something that makes you uncomfortable, and suddendly you’re the evil one. The one who held the group back. You know what? Keep doing what you want to and don’t even pay attention to the comments of people who know nothing about your journey.
  • There will be ups and downs. One day you’ll feel like the work is done, like you can do everything and unconditionally love yourself. But the day after you’ll feel like shit, and wonder what happened. That’s ok, that’s normal and you’re doing nothing wrong. Everyone experiences it, and you’re on the right path. Keep going.
  • You’ll lose friends you thought you loved. When you move on, someone will notice the change and tell you that you have changed. That’s what you want, but it’s not always what they want, too. They were friends with your old self, and may have some difficulties accept your changes. Let go of those people who hold you back and make you feel like you’re doing something wrong. Here’s how to start again, if you need to.
  • You’ll notice toxic behaviours more. Something that hardly even bothered you befre becomes something you cannot stand anymore. What your parents do, how your friends call each other, a lot of little stuff becomes suddendly unbearable. You may even notice that people close to you are getting extremely toxic. Here’s what to do in case that’s what happens. Speak up for yourself and keep going.

Which of these situations have you experienced? How did you react? Share it with us in the comments below!

How to find your place in the world

Ever wondered why you don’t feel like you belong anywhere? Yeah, same. I wrote this article especially for those of us who always feel in the wrong place at the wrong time, stuck in a life they don’t feel like theirs.

This is a guide in 8 steps to help you find out what you really want from your life: what you want to achieve, what you are longing for, I mean, your place in the world.

First off, let’s make it clear that nobody has it all figured out. Most people don’t know where they belong and have no clue what their life’s purpose is. And you know what? That’s ok. We are human, we have a lifetime to find out what we’re on this earth for, we cannot have all the answers immediately.

Anyway, if the challenge of understanding what our life’s purpose is takes a whole lifetime, we can take little steps to walk there (which is what this article is for). Keep reading to find out.

  • Write a list of what you have accomplished until today. This may seem useless, but you should consider that what you actually write down is what you are most proud of. Start looking at the past to understand what your future should be like.
  • Figure out what the main elements of your life are. Understand where you are, what you are doing and who you are and move forward.
  • Divide the elements of your life into two categories: a good and a bad. There are some things in our lives that make us feel stuck at times, and other that keep making us proud of who we are. Figure out what things in your life belong in the two categories.
  • Write a list of goals for the future. If you need help, take a look at this post I previously wrote.
  • Take a look at what makes you feel good. So, you love volunteering? Or do you prefer writing? Consider what makes you feel good and try to incorporate it into your goals for the future. Check the list you’ve written before: is there enough space for what you love? Is what you love already in the list? If not, try to think about your life in a couple of years and imagine what you will be doing. Are you still volunteering? If so, it does belong in your life.
  • Get rid of toxic habits. About this topic, I suggest reading this article where I explore ten habits to improve your life, and this one about toxic habits that hold you back.
  • Keep your goals in mind. Move a step forward everyday to get closer to your goals. Whether what you do is read (then check this post out), meditate or work, stay focused on your goals.
  • Track your progress. Whether you’re losing weight, studying to get that bachelor degree or working to become CEO of your own company, track your progress. See what works and what doesn’t and be smart when you make a decision.

Did you find these tips helpful? Do you have other tips to share? Do you already know what your life purpose is? Share it with us in the comments below!

What holds you back?

We’ve all been at a point where all we wanted was to move forward, but something kept holding us back. What was it? How can we get rid of it and keep growing? I’ve decided to make a list of the main reasons that hold people back, and looked for ways to overcome them. Keep reading to find out more!

Procrastination. This is the main reason why people who have got great potential don’t achieve success. Most of us have wonderful ideas, but, when it comes to real work, at times we “just don’t feel like doing it”. How can we stop it? There’s no magic here, the key is hard work. As soon as you have that great idea, start working on it. Don’t waste time, don’t postpone: there’s going to be no miracle unless you do something. To help you stick to hard work, you can schedule your tasks and make effective lists of goals. Learn how here.

Distraction. Distraction is a killer for production. How many times do you find yourself wondering what you’ll eat for lunch, or answering your e-mails, in place of actually working on your project? I know, right? Too many. How can you avoid distractions? Keep your workplace clean and tidy, switch off your phone, set internet controls, and, most importantly, write a list of the 5 main things you want to accomplish in your life. The rest is bullshit, don’t waste your time with projects that don’t help you achieve your dreams.

Fear. You really want that job, but you’re afraid that leaving your current job for an uncertain one could lead you to disoccupation. Well, you know what? You can settle, if that’s what you want. But don’t look back when you’re 50, don’t blame yourself for the decisions you did not make. Or, you can risk. Are you going to make it? Maybe. Are you, if you decide to settle? Surely not. This is your life, nobody can choose for you. Nobody has all the answers, but no great conquer comes without risks, remember it.

Doubts. You’ll have probably heard that, if you’re not sure about something, that’s not really what you want. Well, forget that. It’s normal to have doubts: about what you want, about yourself, about your possibilities. When I was fifteen, I wanted to go a year abroad. I went through hard selections and tests, and, at some point, started having doubts. Two days before the deadline, I decided to go for it ’till the end, and I made it, I went a year abroad, in Belgium, and it turned out to be the best decision I had ever made. This is what I mean: do I really want to go to that university? Is that the career I want? Will I be able to do that? Nobody knows, except you. Sit in the woods and ask yourself what it is you want. Camp outside, if you need to, but don’t head home without a decision.

Remember you are the one in control: don’t let procrastination, distraction, fear and doubts hold you back. Go for the life you dream about.

Did you find this article useful? What holds you back? Do you have tips on how to overcome it? Share them in the comments below!

How to set healthy boundaries

The relationships we build in our lives affect the way we feel towards ourselves, the way we see the world, and the way we deal with our emotions. Having strong, healthy relationships is the key to improve our lives, and to understand who we really are. In order to make relationships work, we have to set boundaries, no matter if we’re considering the relationship we have with our lover or the one we have with a toxic person. Boundaries are what makes it possible for you to get the best out of every relationship, to feel respected, loved and wanted, and to spend time doing what you love. Boundaries are our borders, they help us define who we are and what we want. The question is: how do we set healthy ones? How can we manage to stay away from a loved one for a bit, or not to get a call from our mother during a meeting?

I’ve found ten key steps to take in order to set healthy boundaries in our lives and improve the quality of our relationships. Keep reading to find the out:

  • Ask yourself what you want from every relationship you have in your life. Is it love you want? A deep friendship? Help with your work? Someone you can share ideas with? Every answer is fine, be honest with yourself.
  • Ask yourself why you want it. Do you feel alone, and therefore are looking for a partner? Consider working on yourself before getting out there and possibly hurt someone’s feelings. Is it more space you want from your parents, because you feel suffocated? What exactly would you want to change?
  • Focus on how to get what you want. If it’s love or friendship you want, be clear about your intentions. People are going to appreciate it, and nobody will get hurt. If it’s help with your work you want, don’t pretend to be looking for a friendship. Arrange meetings and appointments to get to know each other, but don’t make them look like you’re having dinner together with any other interest than work.
  • Try to understand what other people are looking for. I know you’ve heard you should always put yourself first: nothing more right than that, but remember that there are two people in every relationship, you can’t expect it to work if you don’t find a good compromise with people and try to understand their needs.
  • Give yourself permission to refuse something. If you don’t feel comfortable with what someone else wants, say it. You have the right to define your relationships, and decide how much to get involved.
  • Analyze people’s behaviour and avoid what you consider toxic for your energy. A good example is a toxic relationship with your parents. If you feel like shit every time you see them, then maybe it’s time for you to show up less at their house and focus on something that makes you feel better.
  • Set visible limits. If you find it particularly hard to deal with a person you cannot avoid, let them know when, where and for how long you’re going to see them. Tell them you’re busy if they call, or simply avoid answering. You don’t have to force yourself into something you don’t feel comfortable with.
  • Consider your behaviour. At times, we are the toxic person. If you see that someone avoids your presence or doesn’t answer your calls, consider asking them what’s wrong with the relationship you have, if you think you two know each other enough. If you don’t, try calling less and not forcing them into seeing you too much.
  • Find new hobbies and activities. If you are the toxic person, or the one who always looks for the other, consider finding a new hobby. In this way, you’ll meet new people, learn new skills, get to know your own self better and let other people breathe. On the other side, if you feel uncomfortable with a relationship, keeping yourself busy will make it harder for them to reach you. By the way, remember that finding new occupations is not the key to better an unhealthy relationship, and, firstly, you should point it out.
  • Seek help. No matter if you’re the toxic one or the uncomfortable one, talking to a therapist about your relationship will surely help. At times, we cannot solve our problems by ourselves, and talking to someone qualified about them is the most important step we can take.

Did you find the article useful? Do you have other suggestions? Experiences to share? Feel free to write them in the comments below!

Housework schedule

How often do you find yourself overwhelmed by all those occupations and activities you have in your life? How often do you need to take a break, even just for a day, to catch up with the ironing, the washing, cleaning the bathroom, prepping meals for the week?

Breathe: we’ve all been there. No need to stress out: have you ever thought that, if just you were able to copy with those things one by one, your life would be so much easier? At times, the easiest hacks can have a great impact on the quality of your life: once, when I was overwhelmed by all the occupations in my life, I decided to write down a list of what I really needed to do (if you need help on writing your own list, you can find it here). I suddendly felt better: the anxiety of forgetting something was gone, and writing my list on paper made it possible for me to organize the tasks one by one.

This article is especially written for all of you who struggle with time management and getting all the little occupations in their lives done. The idea behind this is easy: break the tasks into little steps everyday, and don’t miss out day by day. If you cannot do everything you planned, don’t stress: we’re human, and, remember, your house won’t fall into pieces if you don’t clean the bathroom for once.

Housework is something we all have to do, so I’m going to use a housework schedule to provide an example of an effective list of stuff to do: you can use it too, or adapt it to your needs, adding or letting stuff out.

  • Monday
    • Wash blankets
    • Get rid of dust
    • Tidy the rooms
  • Tuesday
    • Vacuum
    • Mop
    • Take rubbish out
  • Wednesday
    • Bills and taxes
    • Check the kids’ grades and extra activities
    • Laundry
  • Thursday
    • Clean the kitchen
    • Water plants
    • Do the ironing
  • Friday
    • Clean the bathroom
    • Tidy the rooms
    • Take the rubbish out
  • Saturday
    • Laundry
    • Grocery
  • Sunday
    • Do the ironing
    • Meal prepping for the week
    • Water plants
  • Every evening
    • Load dishwasher
    • Quick tidy of rooms

This one works pretty well for me, since everyday I only have small tasks to do, and in that way I manage to run the house without overstressig. Remember that, on the same level, you can write your own lists of goals to accomplish and organize your life completely. (Check out this article if you need help).

Let us know in the comments if this schedule works for you too, and, if you have ideas to improve it, don’t be afraid to point them out!

Self care ideas for this fall

Fall is without doubts my favourite season: think about all the colours, the sweaters, warm coffees, pumpkins, candlelights and chocolate, how could you not fall in love with it? You can dress up again, walk around in the rain under your colourful umbrella, wear that warm coat and spend time indoor during a thunderstorm.

Since there’s so much I love about this season, I decided to make a list of activities that I always make sure to do during autumn, to take care of myself with a little free time: hope you’ll enjoy them too!

Here you go:

  • Go apple picking
  • Bake apple pie
  • Visit a pumpkin patch
  • Go leaves picking and create a journal
  • Drink hot cocoa
  • Go out for a walk in the rain
  • Make chocolate cookies
  • Light up candles
  • Decorate your house with fall decorations
  • Have a movie marathon while it rains outside
  • Carve a pumpkin
  • Go for a walk in the woods
  • Build a scarecrow
  • Find a colourful scarf you love
  • Roast marshmallows
  • Jump in a paddle
  • Buy candy
  • Create your Halloween costume
  • Have a table games night with friends
  • Make jam
  • Drink apple cider

What’s your favourite activity during fall? Do you have other ideas to share? Write them in the comments below!

Where to do charity work

When I first decided that I wanted to do something for my community, I had no idea where to look or who to talk to. I had tried looking it up on the Internet, but all I could find were big charity groups far from where I lived. So, in this article we’ll explore the possibilities of charity work, in order to understand where to look for when we decide to take up this new activity.

Also, it happens at times that people decide to volunteer their time, but cannot find the right activity for them: keep reading to find out how you can be helpful in the most different fields.

If you’re not sure about getting involved in charity work yet, you can find more information on the topic here.

Here we go:

  • Distribution of food and clothes. This is something that you’ll probably have heard of a few times: there’s probably an organization based near a church in your city where people in need can get free food and clothes. Remember you don’t really need to be religious in order to help there. If you go for this one, be prepared to deal with different people who have different needs and characters, but who can warm your heart with a smile in return everytime.
  • Help in a local school. In my city, kids who find it difficult to do their homework can get help in the afternoon twice a week. They go to their school and meet a teacher who can help them understand. If you think this may be the right activity for you, all you have to do is simply reach out and ask the director of the school if your help would be needed. Most of the time, the answer will be yes, and all the school will have to take care of will be a couple of papers. Remember that this option better applies to students, since they actually know pretty well what they have to teach.
  • Help in places that are run by a charitable organization. An example may be a cinema owned by a non-profit organization: sometimes the staff working there isn’t really working, in fact, they’re volunteering their free time.
  • Help an organization that prevents a particular disease. Sometimes they’re fighting AIDS, other times they’re raising funds against leucemia or cancer. If you’d like to offer your help, often all you’ll have to do is look it up on the Internet and fill out a form or call someone from the organization.
  • Offer your help during sport events. If you’ve played a sport or you have kids who play it, don’t be afraid to ask your/their trainers if they need help during a particular event.
  • Help in a centre that rescues animals. There’s probably a doghouse near where you live, right? If you love animals, this is probably one of the best activities you can do: you’ll get to spend time with different pets and take care of them. All you’ll have to do is call them, send them an e-mail or get there and talk to the people you meet.
  • Help in an organization that fights against climate change. If you live in a little city, this will be quite difficult, but in a big one you’ll surely find this kind of organizations. Get involved and be ready to educate people and, irst of all, yourself.

Was this list helpful? Do you have other suggestions or experiences to share? Write them in the comments below!

The 21 days-glow up challenge

I was scrolling through Pinterest yesterday and got into a 30 days-glow up challenge: basically a challenge that helps you better yourself, physically and mentally, through 10 actions that you have to repeat everyday for thirty days. What came to my mind is the fact that it’s hard, at times, to focus on many different things at once, especially when you’re going through a difficult period in your life. Therefore, what I decided to do was to write my own glow up challenge, and substitute the ten actions with one single action everyday that helps you better your life.

How it works

Basically all you have to do is to accomplish the goals set for everyday. The tasks are simple and don’t take too much time, so that everyone can partecipate in the challenge. Are you asking yourself why I chose to make it last 21 days? The answer is that human beings need 21 days to make or break a habit. So, what’s the habit you’re going to build? The habit here is simply to take care of yourself, doing something for you and you only, understanding your worth and your possibilities.

The challenge

Here are the tasks: remember, one thing everyday. After 21 days, you can restart, or go on with your list of self-care habits.

  • Day 1: drink at least 2 litres of water
  • Day 2: tell yourself three things you like about your personality
  • Day 3: do a face mask
  • Day 4: clean your room
  • Day 5: work out for an hour
  • Day 6: cook your favourite meal
  • Day 7: start reading a book (for ideas on which books to read next, I suggest taking a look at this article)
  • Day 8: give up your phone for a day
  • Day 9: spend time with a loved one
  • Day 10: go to bed an hour earlier than normal
  • Day 11: spend a whole hour doing one thing you love (ex. cooking, drawing, working out, gardening, making music…)
  • Day 12: take a hot bath
  • Day 13: point out 3 things you’re grateful for in your life
  • Day 14: text an old friend you haven’t seen in years
  • Day 15: meditate (it doesn’t matter if it’s for two minutes or half an hour: focus on your breath, on your mind, on yourself)
  • Day 16: watch a movie you love
  • Day 17: exfoliate and take care of your skin
  • Day 18: spend at least half an hour listening to music and relax (you can find 5 recent songs that ask for social change which I highly recommend here)
  • Day 19: look up information about a issue you’re interested in
  • Day 20: eat a big and healthy breakfast (find tips on how to eat healthy here)
  • Day 21: write a page about yourself

Have you tried it? Do you need help with anything? Have you got a suggestion for a new challenge? Let us know in the comments below!

Why you should volunteer your time

Volunteer work is an activity which I find extremely underestimated. I absolutely understand that we all live in a world where we cannot stop, even for a minute. But what I’m trying to say is that, while our lives are so busy and hard to manage at times, there are people whose lives are extremely difficult due to the absence of aspects that we take for granted. Our planet is a place where there are hundreds of things to do, but only a few people willing to invest their time in them. But what only a few people know is that volunteer work pays back. And not in terms of cash or goods, but in terms of personal growth, deep relationships and self discovering, something that only meaningful experiences can provide.

What I found out during my last year of volunteer work is that, no matter how little an action may seem to you, it will make a difference for others. It doesn’t matter if you help kids, elders or clean a place, people will notice what you do and reward you in ways you had never thought about. What you find out volunteering your time is that a smile can be the most meaningful action on earth, that a word can make someone’s day, and that, no matter how much you own, you may be the person in need at times, and those people you thought you were helping are the ones who help you the most.

In this article, you’ll find the reasons why you should volunteer your time, and maybe spend a little less time worryig about your own life:

  • You create deep, meaningful relationships. When you volunteer, you meet two kinds of people: other volunteers and the people you are actually helping. Both will offer you something you never thought you needed that much: volunteers are people who are concerned about the same things you pay attention to, and will share their points of view and their experiences about them, making it possible for you to connect with them on a different level. The relationships you’ll build with them will mostly be deep, meaningful ones, and influence your life more than you thought. The people you think need help, in fact, will mostly share their own experiences and, talking to them, you’ll find out how various the world can be, and how absolutely irrelevant the problems you thought were causing troubles in your life are. You’ll find out how happy a person can be thanks to one another and how beautiful a relationship can get when people care about each other.
  • It helps you get rid of stereotypes. We all have stereotypes in our minds, no matter how revolutionary we are. Getting in touch with the people you were scared of will help you get rid of you limited ideas, of your unconscious fears.
  • You see the world with different eyes. Once you find out what some people have to go through, you rethink about everything. You understand the value of an action, you accept that not everything can be perfect and start being grateful for what and who you have in your life.
  • You understand your own worth. When someone cares about you and looks forward to meet you, you start appreciating your own self. You see yourself through the eyes of different people, of people who look at you with a smile, and notice what you are able to do and how big of an impact you have on this world.
  • You master new skills. If you spend time with people with particular diseases, you’ll learn to be understanding and open-minded; if you help kids with their homework, you’ll learn new ways of teaching, you’ll learn how to act with children and how to have their attention; if you join an association that takes care of animals, you’ll learn about different strategies to make them feel loved, as well as, for example, their needs and their reactions to people. The fact is that, no matter what you decide to do, there will always be new things to learn, and to add to your experiences.

Not sure yet on whether it is or it isn’t a good idea to volunteer your time? Feel free to ask anything in the comments, I’ll be happy to answer your questions or offer tips on the topic.