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!

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!

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!

Morning habits to start your day right

When you don’t feel like getting up, the struggle is real. Here is a list of 10 habits to start your day with full energy and keep yourself productive through the whole day: let’s start!

  • Get up early. How earlier, how better. Waking up early allows you to prepare yourself for the day and to wake up together with the sun.
  • Don’t snooze. When your alarm rings, no matter how you slept or how tired you feel, you must get up. You don’t wanna be late, and you don’t want to lay in bed the whole day. Come on, open that window and smell the coffee.
  • Drink water first thing in the morning. You already know how important it is to keep yourself hydrated. Take care of your body and drink water after a long night of no water.
  • Make your bed. Making your bed gives you a good feeling about the room, and gets you in the mood of doing useful stuff.
  • Work out or meditate. Working out boosts your mood and makes you feel full of energy for the day. Working out in the morning is also more effective than doing it during the day.
  • Wash your face and/or your body. Make sure to wake yourself up through a cold shower, and wash off the fatigue.
  • Eat a healthy breakfast. Though it’s not true that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it still covers our need of energy for the morning. Make sure to nourish your body: prefer fruit, smoothies, yogurt, dark chocolate and wholegrain bread to snacks and heavy ingredients. You can find a guide on how to eat better here.
  • Wear clothes that make you feel comfortable and proud of yourself. Looks aren’t everything, but they help. Make sure to wear something that makes you feel at your best and walk proudly into the office. You can find a guide on how to reorganize your closet and make sure you’re wearing what fits you best here.
  • Boost your mood with music. Music is great to start the day right. Listen to it while you get ready or drive to your workplace and sing along if you feel comfortabe doing it. Want some suggestions for music? Here are 5 songs for social change.
  • Repeat a mantra. Believe in yourself and remind yourself what a beautiful person you are every morning. Try something like this: “I am proud of myself for how far I’ve come. I’m grateful for who I am, what I have and the people I’m surrounded with. I’m working on myself, for myself, and I’ll succeed in improving who I am and in reaching my goals.”

10 steps to gain control of your life

This is something that has happened to me a lot: I had dreams, I had goals and I had ideas, but I had no clue how to build my own life and finally take control of my time. Luckily, after a year of preparation and tests, I was selected to go abroad for a year. My routine got broken down and I had to rebuild it all little by little in another country. When coming back to my homecountry, by the way, I had forgotten what my routine looked like before leaving, and, once again, had to find ways to form a new one.

Now, after a lot of meditation on the changes that have turned me into the person I am, one of the things that I underline the most is the interruption of a non-effective routine I had chosen for myself. By it, I don’t mean that we all have to spend a year abroad in order to change our lives, but I’m really convinced that breaking our habits is a great way to start.

Here are the ten most effective steps I took in order to take control of my life and finally achieve my goals:

  • Define your goals. This may look like a stupid start, you’ll probably be questioning yourself on why you’re still reading this article, but what I ask you is to simply take a moment and think about your goals for real. Do you have them all figured out? Can you actually see who you want to become? The reason I decided to start like this is that a lot of people have a vague idea of their goals, but never really took the time to think about them, and, I believe that’s irrelevant to say, you’re not going anywhere if you don’t know where to go.
  • Write your goals down. Different researches show that writing down your goals makes you more likely to accomplish them. I’d like to highlight, anyway, that writing your goals on paper helps you analize them in an objective way and, consequently, decide if you’re willing to spend your time and, often, your money, to achieve them. You can find help on how to write your list of goals here.
  • Do something everyday to get closer to one of your goals. You know what? You’re not going to get where you want by sitting on the couch. You’ll have to work hard and sacrificize something in your life in order to be successful. Tomorrow is already too late, start now.
  • Stop wasting time. I don’t want to make you anxious, but you don’t have plenty of time. If you don’t do what you need to now, you’re going to regret it later. Toxic relationships and a job you hate are, in fact, a waste of time. It can be hard to get out of a toxic relationship, especially when you’re still in love or when you have hundreds of memories with that person (this also applies to friendships). At the same time, it can be hard to quit your job, when you don’t know what the future will look like, but let’s talk about dreams: is this what you have always wanted? Is this the life you were dreaming about? Believe in yourself: you’re a strong individual, you’re going to be alright even out of that relationship. There are plenty of jobs out there waiting for you, apply for a new one. You have the power to change your life: make changes happen.
  • Take care of your body. Your body is as important as your mind, the Latins were right: “mens sana in corpore sano” (a healthy mind in a healthy body). Eat nutritious, clean food, commit to that workout routine, do whatever works for you, but don’t understimate your health. Know your worth.
  • Feed your mind. Your mind needs to be fed just as much as your body needs to. Switch the TV off and read that book. You can find a list of narrative books that will help you see the world with different eyes here.
  • Listen to your soul. You can be the smartest and most beautiful person on earth, but, if you don’t keep your soul green, no flower will grow from it. Take time for yourself, meditate, take a yoga course, heal your wounds. Spend some time alone, listen to yourself: find out who you are and where you are right now.
  • Work on your self confidence. You can find tips on how to improve your self confidence here. Remember that you are the first one who should believe in yourself.
  • Surround yourself with positive people. You have to be in a great environment if you want to have success. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and your choices and are always there to support you. Cut off all the toxic relationships in your life, you don’t have energies to waste.
  • Remeber to rest from time to time. It’s great to work hard, but remember that work isn’t everything: put yourself in the first place and know when it’s time to stop. Challenge yourself, but don’t forget your needs.

7 ways to write effective lists of goals

Do you ever write down a list of goals but get just half of the work done? Keep reading: in this article we’ll find out how to write goals so that you have no other choice but to accomplish them.

I’ve always loved making lists, and, in particular, lists of goals, but somehow I often ended up with so much stuff on a page that crossing off half of it was the best I could do. Lately, some new ideas came to my mind, and actually worked when I tried them out.

  • Divide your goals into urgent and non-urgent ones. Start by listing the ones that you absolutely need to accomplish.
  • Choose three goals from the first category. Don’t fill your days with useless stuff, think and act in a smart way.
  • Select one important goal and get it done. Write it at the top of your page in capslock or in whichever way catches your attention. Remember that this is what you’re going to be the most proud of at the end of the day.
  • Make a list of stuff that you never get done and insert one of these goals everyday into your daily list.
  • Try to figure out how much it will take to accomplish the things you’ve written down at this point and add less important stuff that you can still get done by the end of the day. If you have a job interview, remember that you can find ten minutes to do the washing-up when you get home.
  • Divide the big goals into smaller ones and get every part done on different days.
  • Plan in advance. Remember that you cannot get a hundred things done on the same day. When writing lists, take into account the fact that you’ll probably need to rest a bit during the day and will have to make small changes in order to make the best out of the week.

8 ways to start again

We’ve all been through those periods of life in which everything seems wrong and we constantly feel like we’re missing out on something. It doesn’t matter if it’s been after a mental breakdown, a period of stress or the end of a relationship: that’s when we need to start over.

I’ve always had this idea that to start over you need a special day: the first day of the year, a Monday or a Sunday, the first day of the month. I don’t know what it was with me, but guess what? You don’t need a particular day to start over: a first something or anything like that. Everyday is a great day to start over, everyday is a special day, in which you can make a difference in your life. You shape it, little by little. Here are some tips on how to start again after what you went through.

  • Go for a radical change on something. It can be your hair, your wardrobe or your house: change it. By it, I don’t mean that you have to buy a new house or throw away all your pieces of clothing, but that you have to start rethinking your whole self. Declutter your room, donate those clothes you don’t wear anymore and make space for all the new ones. You’re going to start a new chapter in your life, make sure that it looks like it. A radical change helps your mind with staying focused on the goal.
  • Get rid of all the things that caused you pain or were linked to your suffering. Who cares if it was a bracelet or a shirt? If everytime you look at it you suffer again, it’s not worth it.
  • Set goals. Planning is a great way to keep your mind busy and focused on who you really want to become. You can learn how to write down your goals in an effective way here. I’m sure there’s something you’ve always wanted to do and never really went for. A useful tip is to learn one new thing every month. Have you always wanted to learn how to cook? Do it. This is the right time.
  • Figure out what you have learnt from the lesson life has given you. Did you understand who, between your friends, you can always count on? Did anything help you get out of the situation? What did not work and consequently led to that issue?
  • Take care of yourself. How long has it been since you had that hot bath? Make yourself your priority.
  • Set boundaries. I know you end up thinking about the past at times, but try to focus on the present. It’s ok to check on your ex co-workers or on your ex, but don’t become obsessive. The past can be appealing, but remember that you walked away from it for a reason.
  • Appreciate your progress and your strenght. You walked yourself out of a toxic situation: you’re much stronger than you think. I know you don’t feel like you have your life together, but I promise that you’re much closer to your goals than you think you are.
  • Don’t quit. This means: don’t look back to that toxic ex you just walked away from. Don’t try to stalk those people who you cut all the bridges with. Don’t walk into a new toxic situation just because you think you can’t make it by yourself: you can. Believe in yourself.