Un-suck life

We sometimes go through phases of life that straight up sucks. When habit gets the best of us and we get so consumed by our daily routines that we forget to take a break and connect with ourselves. Suddenly we are working on auto pilot and before we know it we are playing VR Yatzy (because hey there future) with our elderly friends with our boobs hanging down to the table.

Times like these are energy draining, uncreative and bland. It’s like life took away all the spices from your cabinets leaving behind nothing but salt and pepper. I mean, sure, it flavors a little bit, but everybody likes a pinch of spice in their life.

Me, myself, and I hate these periods in life. I know that hate is a strong word, but yes, I hate it. From being an energizer bunny on cloud nine, nailing everything I set my mind to, to all of a sudden trip over a big fat leg that life throws in front of me. Yes, I do think it is necessary to go through these phases because they make us appreciate the sweet spots of life, and it usually force us to take our thumbs out of our butts and take actions towards changing our shitty situation. These actions comes with growth and suddenly we’re there again, enjoying the sweet juices of life while skipping on rainbows. So, what can we do to pimp up our lives when we feel down and lower than Flo Rida’s T-Pain’s apple bottom jeans girl? (for any generation unfamiliar with this, click HERE to get the context) Just continue reading!

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Find a hobby outside of work.

Work, eat, sleep, repeat (put a techno beat in there). Does this sound familiar? For most people this is their day to day routine. The same tired faces in the early mornings, living for Friday and dying on Monday. You all know the faces I’m talking about. I’ve more than once had the urge to go up to a particularly grumpy face and pull up their mouths into somewhat of a smile. But then I realize I’m a germophobe and I don’t want my fingers in somebody else’s mouth (hopefully they don’t want my fingers in there either).  No matter if you love or hate (I would hope you don’t!) your job, it’s important to have something outside of work that’s completely your own. Find a hobby. Instead of spending an hour in front of Netflix every night, use at least 30 min of that hour to spend on something that will nourish your soul. Start a blog, read more books, cook something new, draw, take photos, perfect your massage skills, take up boxing, you name it! spend at least 15-30 minutes on something that you really like. Doing this will make you feel accomplished and create a sense of pride.

Read and learn new things.

School is great in the sense that it forces us to learn. After graduation most of us take the hat of our brain cells and let them die. Brutal, but true. Education doesn’t stop just because you said “so looong suckaaas!!” to your teachers. Learning is a lifelong process and you will never be able to learn to much.

When we learn new things it sparks a passion in us and creates a sense of joy and purpose. It allows us to connect the dots between a variety of subjects and creates a larger understanding of the world, not to mention ourselves. Now I’m sure you’re thinking “girl, when am I possibly going to find the time to learn new things?! I barely have time to sleep!”. Time is funny like that. We never have any time, but then again we always find time to spend three hours every day on our phones or manage to watch a whole season of a TV show we’ve seen five times already.

We all have 15 minutes to spare each day to learn something new. Luckily for us, learning has never been as easy as it is today. You can watch a 10 minute video on YouTube while taking your morning shit, listen to a podcast on your way to work, or read a quick article as you’re waiting for the bus. We live in the age of technology. Learning is power, and with power comes purpose. So keep that brain fresh and so clean clean!

Write.

Keep a journal that you take out each time you feel like you’re stuck in a rut. We often get caught up in lifeless routines because we tend to bury thoughts and feelings, put projects on hold as we starve the little person in us hungering for passion and aspiration. This can in turn lead to buried feelings of guilt. To write down anything and everything that’s on your mind during these phases are super effective.

When we start to write, and by write I mean old school writing with pen and paper, no smartphones or laptops, we give our brain and our subconsciousness time to self reflect. It allows us to see the bigger picture of our situation with logic rather than emotion. This leads us to 1, usually laugh at ourselves because we tend to be overreacting, and 2, to kick ourselves in the butt with a big dose of motivation to take on the things we left “for later”.

Set goals.

Goals are not just something you should set for work. Your life should be a beautiful canvas and your goals should be the brush strokes. Because without any brush strokes we’ll never finish the painting. Most people hear goals and they’re painting up the picture of a mansion in Bali, with five Lambos pulled up in the drive way. Don’t get me wrong, this is a great long term goal to have if that’s what you crave in life, but you’ll never get there without short term goals. For other people goals have the opposite effect. They sound to huge, unrealistic, scary and we can just see ourselves failing. But goals doesn’t have to be major things. Small, easy things that can help your daily life go smoother is a great place to start, and just as effective!

It can be to set a specific day each week for grocery shopping, it can be to call your mom at least three times a week, preparing your clothes the night before, tell your self you’re a hot mama every morning, the list goes on! Goals stir us in the right direction and give us a purpose. Human beings are made to evolve and get better. If you find it hard to stick to your goals, it can be a good idea to share them with someone who can watch your back and support you. Write down a few goals each week and enjoy the satisfaction of checking them off. That simple action right there, ticking off a task gives the brain a straight shot of endorphins.

Visualization.

Have people every snapped you out of a day dream and told you to “get your shit together?”, or are you familiar with the saying “If I could have one dollar for your thoughts?” If you are, you’re doing something right! Day dreaming often involve visualization, and visualizing yourself in certain situations helps you to actually make them happen. It might sound like some voodoo magic bullshit, but trust me this is true. Ever heard of the Law of Attraction? What you believe, you will become.

Write down your future, think about it, see it, believe that you already have it, and you’ll subconsciously make choices that stir you in that direction. I’m not saying that you should sit on you couch all day just visualizing and expect your dreams to knock your door in. You do need to take actions. The funny thing about the law of attraction is that when you have somewhat of an idea about where you want to end up in your future, life just seems to hand you everything you need. I can’t explain this in words to give it the power justice it deserve, you simply need to trust it and try it out for yourself.

Be grateful.

When life gets caught up in routines it can be hard to do something so simple to say thanks. Honestly, how many of us ever take a moment to simple be grateful and appreciate life and everything we have? When we put some positive gratitude on our situation it’s easier to zoom out and look at everything we have that’s frickin awesome. Challenge your brain to see the positives. Every night when you’re snuggling up in bed make it a habit to think about three things that have been positive with the day. Maybe the sun was shining, you had a goo hair day, that mid afternoon Belgian waffle made your taste buds say halleluuujaa!

Gratefulness is easy when we realize all the amazing things that we are blessed to have in our life. Make it a habit to say thanks, gracias, tack, or whatever “thank you” is in your language. What the heck, scream it out in all languages while you’re at it!

Change your environment.

Life tends to go fast because we see and do the same things over and over again. You take the same route to work, your stuck inside the same four walls day in and day out at the office. Lunch? Oh, it’s the same meal at the same table, on the same chair, in the same dining room like always. No wonder life gets dull and goes fast when we do the exact same things everyday! We already know what to expect. That thrilling feeling of surprise and not knowing what to expect is a feeling long gone down the drain. So shake it up! Twist it, twerk it, go down low on it! Do whatever you can to change up your every day. Take a spontaneous weekend trip, shop at a different grocery store, hey, maybe try to sit at a new spot in the lunch room! What a thing?! These small actions will spice up your life like an authentic tikka masala, and who doesn’t like a good tikka masala?! (Veganized obviously)

Spread love.

Team up with Amour and sprinkle love on everything and everyone around you. Smile at people, wish them good morning, give out authentic compliments, be a bundle of joy. The energy we give out is the energy we receive. If you feel low, grumpy or just fed up with life, that’s the energy you’ll get back. Life will stop trying to give you joy and be all like “well okay, sorry for not pleasing your picky ass! I give up!”.

Making other people happy is the easiest quick fix to feel happy yourself. It sounds a bit condescending writing it out like this, but it’s true. Try it out, if you start becoming the reason people smile you will feel like Superman on ecstasy. He’s probably a blast to party with in Vegas.

In the end life happens. It will be amazing, it will kick us in the balls and it will sometimes make us reach for the tissues and wipe away our tears. If you were on your A game every single day from birth, I would highly question if you might have been hanging around to much with Vegas-Spiderman…

Even the happiest person will have lower times and how weird as it might sound we need to appreciate those moments as well. When life gives us a hard time it’s because it needs you to grow, so you can tackle the next chapter of your life. For some reason life likes lemons, so get our there and grow yourself a God damned lemon tree!! (Maybe God blessed tree would be more appropriate for this post.) 

Longevity is more than a kale salad

We eat our greens, we sip our water and we sweat like a beast in the gym. We look good, we feel good, and on top of that sweet cherry we know that we are improving our health together with our longevity.

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Forever young – We can unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) not stay literally young forever but with the right lifestyle choices we can feel, and let’s be honest, look the part for as long as possible.

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The holy authorities of the health world have always preached a consistent healthy diet, exercise, and some good sleep to stay young and healthy. These are all very important factors in staying fresher than a motherf*ucker, but there’s actually an additional element which we don’t really put that much “health craze” around – our social life.

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In the era of “one man shows” and individualism, a trusted wolf pack is the missing piece of the puzzle for optimal health. I think most of us can relate to the fact that when you spend time with people who make you happy and inspire you, you feel really good. It gives you a sense of belonging. No matter how much of a “lone wolf” you might consider yourself, it’s a basic human need to feel loved and belonged. The lack of this feeling isolates us as tight as a tight ass, and we slowly turn into the feelings of loneliness. We all know that loneliness comes as a package deal together with a bunch of negative psychological illnesses like anxiety and depression.

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Social media – In the era of social media we are actually becoming less social and our real social connections are dropping like it’s hot on the dance floor – meaning that we are loosing them. We create isolation and start to “exist” in a virtual social community instead of actually interacting with people face to face. Don’t get me wrong, social media is amazing when you actually take these new connections and build real intimate friendships. If not, you’ll simply feel more lonely and isolated.

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Drop the text and make a call – Life is hectic and we don’t always have time to meet our friends and family as often as we wish. To check in with a simple “how was your day?” text can go a long way, but what’s better than actually picking up the phone and giving the other person a little hotline bling? A simple phone call has a lot of mood boosting benefits. Why? When we exchange a conversation, even if it’s just over the phone we hear the persons voice, we feel the emotions from the other person in a way a text message really can’t provide.

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Blue zones – Also know as places where people live the longest on the planet. If you happen to live in any of these areas, congratulations young lad! These five places are: Okinawa in Japan, Sardinia in Italy, Ikaria in Greece, Loma Linda in California, and Nicoya in Costa Rica. What these places have in common is first of all mainly a plant based diet and regular movement. The third thing is the value of family and community. They live together in tighter communities, constantly surrounded by one another. If it’s not a spouse, you have other family members or a tight network of friends. You care for other people and you know that you are cared for.

Isolation and habituation – You are a human, surpriiiiise!!! We are creatures who adapt over time to become habituated to whatever environment we are living in for maximum survival. Isolation works the same way. Just as you can build up a habit of regular exercise and clean eating, you can as easily get habituated to your new found isolation. The more lonely you are, the more “used” to the feeling you’ll get and the more comfortable you’ll get with these feelings. After a while, isolation becomes so engraved in you that you’ll start to avoid, almost hate meeting people. This is obviously not a good trait to adapt, but as humans – this is how we work.

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Smash down the isolation wall – Since we habituate so easy it can be hard to break down the wall and start letting people in again. To break this very unhealthy habit you need to approach it the way you’d approach any kind of bad habit – small steps. Challenge yourself to call people, even send text messages to make plans. Be open and honest about the way you’re feeling with someone you trust. By doing this you will realize that people actually do care about you more than you might think.

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Appreciate people – Always appreciate people and make sure to tell them. No matter if it’s a new friendship or a life long connection. Communicate how happy and blessed you are that these people take valuable time out of their lives to spend it with you. Not only will you make them feel more appreciated, but you will also remind yourself how much other people care and appreciate you.

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A ripped six pack doesn’t mean shit to our health if they are the only friends we have. Tight social connections and a community provides just as many vitamins as your kale salad.

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Get out in the world and make some friends!

Love discomfort

Comfort. Comfort is nice, it rhymes with rice, it is pleasant, it can be cozy, a warm fuzzy feeling. We like comfort, no matter if it’s in the form of “ultra comfort soft toilet paper” or in the form of a a caressing hug from a loved one. Comfort zone is a space which sounds pretty damn awesome, but when applied to life, it can be a war zone for your personal development.

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“Life starts on the other side of your comfort zone”, “Face your fears”, “Place your bed in the snow to grow” – okay, not a real quote so please don’t do that! It can cause some serious problems, but you’ll definitely be way out of your comfort zone. If you do survive the night you’ll have built up a big dose of discipline.

All quotes aside, we know that we need to push ourselves and do scary things to become a better version of ourselves and to learn. But how do we actually do it!? It’s one thing to know what you need to do, but a totally different ball game to actually get down and do it. It’s even harder when it happens to be something that is completely foreign to you, even harder if it scares the poop out of you!

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Biology – Comfort zone is straight up biology. As anything that has to do with us humans we can study it and trace it down to our biology. Why do we like comfort? Well obviously because it’s nice and comfy, but back in the survival days the comfort zone was a safe place to be where you were able to relax with no chance of getting killed.

Optimal anxiety –  Optimal anxiety is like melted butter on toast for ourselves. It’s the stress level just beyond our comfort zone. In this zone, we go ham! We perform our best and are able to whip up greatness. Everything optimal can always be pushed a bit further, and this is when we reach complete anxiety and stress. This is not a place we want to be in! When we experience this kind of stress we turn right around to cuddle up in the comfort of our comfort zones.

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Our zones are not the same size – Every person is different, and so is your level of comfort. You might be able to do things that somebody else have sweaty nightmares about, and the opposite. It’s important to always listen and stay true to yourself when embarking upon a new challenge. If you take on a too big of a challenge too fast, you’ll end up in the blown out anxiety zone and scare yourself to ever challenge yourself again.

Change up your daily routine – Baby steps are still steps. Small changes goes a long way! Change the route you take to work, order something else from your favorite restaurant, go to a new cafe or shop at a different grocery store, do your morning routine in a different order. Small adjustments like these makes you think differently, see new things, explore new things, and make you realize that there’s so many options outside of your little box.

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Say YES – Say yes to more things. Don’t overthink a decision if it’s not a major one and simply go with it. You’ll either figure out that you hate it or you’ll, most likely realize that you love this new experience and get a new zest for life. The most spontaneous things in life are usually the ones we remember and value for a very longtime. Doing more spontaneous and trying out new things will also make your life feel more meaningful, and put a slight pause on the clock. When we get older, sucked into those routines, we all wish that time could slow down a bit. Am I right, or am I right?

Why should you challenge yourself to push your limits?

Reaching your optimal anxiety once in a while will give you confidence, increase you growth and knowledge, enhance productivity, increase your quality of life, and always make sure you are becoming a better version of yourself.

Leaving the comfort of our nests can be scary, but the gains will be as solid as a shiny, oiled up six-pack of abs! Learn to enjoy the unfamiliar, and remember that your comfort zone will always be there waiting for you with open arms.