Coping with bad weather/bad moods

The weather was so messed up in the last 3 weeks. It rained like crazy, day and night, for about 3 weeks until the soil couldn’t absorb the water anymore and even if the rain stopped in the last 3 days, there is still a lot of water in our yard.

Ironically enough, before the “rainy season” started, I watched the anime Weathering with you. This anime shows us a Japan where it rains everyday and is threatened to be englobed by water. When I was watching this anime I was thinking how difficult it would be to live in a world where it rains daily and the sun can’t be seen anymore. Thanks God my imagination doesn’t transform into reality.

However soon it was the time rain play its role. After only one week I was tired of it but I still took it as it was. Unlike the girl from Weathering with you, I couldn’t pray and stop the rain. So I just waited, the only thing we humans can do. Then it rained more and more. Some nights I would wake up hearing the rain and would feel disappointed that it wouldn’t stop. I hoped that when I woke up in the morning, the rain would stop. But it didn’t. It rained and rained for a few more days. I was tired and depressed. I love rain, but that wasn’t rain. It was something else. I have no name for it. Unfortunately, in this region we have many periods like this. Thus, whenever it rains for a long time I get a little depressed. However, I can’t stay depressed all day just because it rains. Thus I started to think about what I could do to improve my moods when I am down, no matter the reason. This is what I do:

Analyze the cause of my mood. Whenever I see that I am down, I try to think of the cause that’s influencing my mood. If I know the cause, I can find the proper solution. Let’s say it’s weather the reason I feel down. What I do is try to make inside the most comfortable environment for me to get better. Cleaning, changing the bedsheets, using perfume for my room, lights and listening to asmr of a day I miss are some of the things that help me cope with a bad mood.

Accept my mood. Hey, it’s not like life is only made of good days. Sometimes we also have a bad day, or more. So what? It’s not like life is made only of bad days either. Bad days are there so you can enjoy your good days. Bad days can teach us valuable lessons. All we have to do is to accept them as part of our life.

Meditation and journaling. These two are the most important practices for self-development and healing that I like using these days. While journaling is not something that I do daily, meditation became part of my daily life. Trough meditation I can easily calm my mind full of thoughts, because I mostly concentrate on breathing.

Listening to music. Music has healing effects for me. Whenever I listen to music it’s like I am opening a door to another world. It’s healing and relaxing.

Planning. Yes, the best time to plan is when you have not much to do. During those rainy or cold days I planned the most: how my vegetable garden should look like, what vegetable seeds I should buy, how I should design my relaxation space in the garden outside and I even found the time to learn more about gardening, a hobby I enjoy very much.

Relax. Finding the time to relax is not something I am very good at. However, I am always trying to get better at taking breaks, better at slowing down, better at taking care of myself. What better time to do this than when you feel shitty. Only by applying a face mask or wearing some perfume you can change your mood by a lot. We need to feel pretty outside as well in order to feel pretty and healthy inside. Use your time wisely.


I admit, it’s not easy to get to feel better when you have a bad day. One day might start as a bad day, but finish as a good one. In the end, it is our efforts that make a difference. We can accept that we have a bad day and that tomorrow could be a better one, or we can try to make a bad day ends well. That’s a possibility too. You don’t have to do it well from your first try. You shouldn’t force yourself, instead you should constantly try to get better at healing yourself and loving your bad moods as well. That’s how you can enjoy life with everything it has.


Thanks for being with me today as well.
Stay positive and healthy and I’ll see you around.

Closing another chapter – 2020, a year of first times

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Again the end of the year has come. The last day of the year always makes me go back and think about what I’ve done good and about what I can do better next year. The end of the year is not the end. Today one year ends, tomorrow another year begins. There’s hope and many things I want to do next year. However, before talking about new plans, I want to fill today’s page with words about the current year, a year that was full of first times.

Last night, while preparing to go to sleep, I had this sudden thought that this year I tried many things for the first time. Some were successes, others were failures. No matter how I look at these experiences, I really learned a lot about me and other people as well.

It was my first time deciding that I had to stop waiting to lose weight later. I used to say this all the time: tomorrow, from Monday, next week and so on. It was my first time deciding to go on a lose-weight-journey right now. That decision is still rewarding.

It was my first time trying to change my lifestyle. Minimalism and journaling had extremely beneficial effects on me and I also changed my eating habits. I stopped eating meat and I started doing research about what a balanced and healthy diet means, but I wanted to make changes while enjoying food because I am really happy when I eat good food. Thus instead of I can’t do it, I can’t give up on it I started to say more Let’s try or I want to change that. There are no magical words, only a strong motivation behind achieving one’s goals.

I had a lot of first times while cooking. I tried recipes like Korean cucumber kimchi, Korean seaweed soup, Korean rice cake, Japanese fluffy pancakes, Japanese omurice, humus and so on. I became culturally richer every time I tried something new. I also improved my cooking skills and made people happy with my food.

I read for the first time a book entirely in Korean and I became more confident that I can do more and better. What followed next? I started watching Korean series without English subtitles and somehow I became comfortable doing it. I did well (patting my head).

I made homemade soap for the first time and I had a great time both while preparing and using them. I got closer to the person I want to become and I feel I became more responsible for my actions toward nature.

I started learning Japanese. A new world was waiting to be discovered. I opened a new door to another beautiful culture. My goal was to get to read Japanese and it was possible to read a few children stories after learning Hiragana, one of the three writing systems in Japanese. There is a long road ahead of me but I feel ready to go with the flow and to have fun while learning.

Starting a blog was also a first time, a very beautiful and rewarding one. Through my blog I was able to learn more about myself, to discover new things I want to do next, to meet beautiful people, to learn from them or to just share stories with them. For this I am always grateful and happy to have started this journey.

It was a great year, full of unexpected situations and decisions that I had to make. It was a challenging year and I have to admit I am curious about what comes next.

This is the last story of 2020. Thank you all for being here with me, for reading my articles and for sharing your stories with me. I will be here next year too, waiting for you to come by. I hope you stay healthy and have a year full of first times. Happy New Year!

My evolution in 2020 – an overview

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2020 remains for me the most challenging yet the most fruitful year. I believe that all the difficulties that came into my life challenged me to change in order to grow. I had to react, if not I would have been in extreme depression right now.

Today’s post is not only an overview on my progress for this year, but also a post to express my gratitude for the good things that happened to me and for the goals I have achieved. It is the first time I write more elaborately about my achievements and this is partly due to my journaling journey I started almost a year ago.

This time of the year I usually think about my goals for the next year, but this year it came to me that thinking about what we already achieved can help us check our development map and motivate us to continue the great work. Also it shows us where we are now so we can pick goals that would helps us continue our work and grow even more.

So without further ado, I will list the achievements that give me so much satisfaction and motivate me to keep making efforts:

I finished writing my dissertation. I postponed writing my dissertation because I felt extremely overwhelmed with a full-time job, a part-time job and school. I really felt I needed a break or at least postpone writing my dissertation for one year. I am glad and proud I finished writing it.

I started keeping an everyday journal. This is something I am very proud of. Journaling helped me in so many various ways and I think it is a habit that doesn’t feel like routine. I do it because I like it, I write whenever I feel like it. Journaling is like a friend you drink with, it never betrays you.

I started doing yoga and cardio exercises to lose weight. I lost 6 kg. I am very proud of me making efforts to lose weight. I really loved the process of me becoming healthier and more responsible for my life.

I started my blogging journey. Writing is really healing for me and I wanted to write a blog since I was younger. I wanted to have a cooking blog, but it turned out writing about lifestyle. I am still thinking of starting a cooking blog, but now I have other projects I want to focus on. It will happen one day if I still want it to happen.

I started my minimalism journey. I really consider this one a real achievement. Getting to know more about the minimalist lifestyle also changed me and challenged me to make changes where I felt I had to change. Since I started learning more about minimalism, I feel like I became more responsible toward the environment and toward myself. I started consuming less and more responsibly and thus I could save money more easily. I started keeping a track of my finances and say stop when I felt I spent too much. I gave up on eating meat. I don’t know if it’s because of minimalism, but it came so naturally after I got into minimalism. There were also a lot of other circumstances that made me choose this way of leaving. I am not a vegetarian yet because I still eat fish but I am quite happy with my choice of not eating meat. However I never pushed myself doing something I don’t like so if I ever feel like eating meat again I will do it. Right now I am quite satisfied with my lifestyle, but there is always a place for improvement and this is what I am looking for. Continuous improvement and a happier me.

Now that I see everything on paper, I realize that this year was quite a good year. If I don’t think about the challenge that we all had to face since February, 2020 could be my year. I did more than I wished that night when I saw the fireworks. The fireworks were like flowers on the sky and so my wishes bloomed in my heart. And now I know that I am capable of doing everything I want if I put my mind and my soul into it. I am waiting for another great year.

I hope you had a great year too. Feel free to tell me about it in the comments if you feel like it.
With infinite gratitude for reading my words I hope you stay healthy and positive and as always, I’ll see you around.

The little things that matter

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Because we live in very difficult times, not losing our motivation and taking care of our mental health have become daily challenges. More than ever before, we are forced to make even bigger efforts in order to stay on track and keep doing what we usually do.

I myself have many days when I feel down and lose my motivation. However, it helps a lot to think that better days are yet to come. We must convince ourselves that everything will get better if we don’t naturally believe so. I like to apply the yin and yang principle especially when I find myself in difficult moments. The bad times are only here to teach us something and to announce that better days are yet to come. There is no absolute good or bad here. In my case, this mentality helped me especially in the moments I wanted to give up. Maybe those good days I was expecting didn’t come when I wanted, but I like to believe they came when I needed. Just because I think this way, it felt easier many times.

Building a stronger and a more positive mentality is the key point when dealing with stressful situations, but it takes time and patience to get there. You can call it a personal training. You train yourself to become stronger and more prepared for when the problems hit you. You learn from others how to train yourself or you learn by yourself, from your own ups and downs. Either way is fine as long as it works for you.

It is strange that most of the times, when we are cornered and we feel everything is lost, we dont see any way of how we could handle a certain difficult situation, it is exactly the time we become the strongest, we focus with all our strength and we find the best solution. It is the preservation instinct within us and the efforts we made until that point in our life that gets the best out of us.

Talking about efforts, I am not saying that we should move the mountains every day. Most of the times, the little things we do every day matter more than moving a mountain once in a while. The power of habit is stronger than you think. Depending on what you want to achieve and on your personality, you can do small things at a time and step by step you will get there.

In my case, staying positive and motivated are extremely important and therefore extremely difficult. These two aspects are not only important for my mental health, but also for my personal development journey. Thus I put a lot of effort into making habits that I can keep and that can help me become more resilient and more focused on what really matters. These are the activities that I enjoy the most and the ones that help me deal with those bad days I was telling you about at the beginning. And they are helpful because I enjoy them. Make sure to find the ones that you enjoy the most too.

Not reading the corona news. Unless I need to be informed about some of the latest regulations, I don’t read the news about the virus anymore. I used to read the corona news very diligently. The result? Of course I couldn’t find the cure, instead I had to deal with anxiety and insomnia. Until I said stop and started focusing more on what I can do rather than stressing over things that I can’t control.

Journaling. This is definitely one activity that I enjoy and that helped me greatly with anxiety and stress. Journaling worked like counselling for me and I always encourage the people I know to try this method in order to organize their thoughts and to relieve stress. I also like to re-read my old journals because this way I can see how much I improved and what else I can improve when analyzing objectively. Also, journaling helps me detach from my problems. I don’t forget about problems, but at least I put them on paper so they won’t make a bigger fuss in my head. When you put your problems on paper, you will have a better view on them like you would if you could see yourself from outside.

Reading books out loud. I love reading books out loud, especially when I am alone because I can get as silly as I want and I can focus better. This activity is quiet healing for me because when I read out loud I put to sleep the noisy thoughts inside my head. It also helps with improving your pronunciation if you are practicing a new language.

Listening to music and singing out loud. Listening to music is extremely healing in my case because I have a special place for music in my heart. Music has been my strongest ally when I was studying and even when I wrote my dissertation. Singing is even stronger because it relieves stress like no other activity. No wonder Koreans love going to karaoke when they want to relieve stress. I couldn’t relate more.

Watching movies and Korean dramas. I am a big fan of Korean movies and dramas and I must say they are like headache pills when I don’t exaggerate :)) I feel refreshed and motivated even after watching 10 or 15 minutes of an episode. This method works without fail even after 10 years.

Clean the house. It might sound strange, but I find cleaning quiet healing. When I clean I feel like I also clean my mind from stressful thoughts. Also, cleaning is that physical activity that can actually stop me from overthinking. At the end, I win. I am refreshed and I live in a cleaner space.

Burning incense sticks. This method is very helpful when I have a bad mood. Nice smells are especially helpful for a better concentration, for relieving stress or when you simply want to change the atmosphere in your house. It is not only relaxing, but your house will also smell amazing.

Yoga. I started doing yoga almost at the same time I started journaling. I felt the need to move a bit while staying all day inside, but I didn’t like to move too much because I am quiet lazy when it comes to sports. Thus yoga was the solution to my problem and it was the best one. Yoga is extremely helpful for people who spend a lot of time standing in front of their monitors and it can also be fun when trying to find new poses.

Write to-do lists. I use this method daily in order to keep myself on track. It also helps me to stay motivated because I can visualize my goals and my results. I also like to set two bigger goals per month in order to better focus on every small step that will lead me to achieve those goals.

Write small motivational messages. I started using this method 2 or 3 months ago and I can say it is quiet efficient. I usually put a note with my motivation for a certain situation or period in time on my monitor so I can see it often.

These are the activities I enjoy doing in order to stay positive, motivated and productive throughout difficult times or when I get too lazy. These activities work like some sort of routine that helps me stay on track, but the good part is that I am also enjoying them. I feel extremely grateful that I have so many things that I like and that I find helpful. They are simple things and you might practice almost all of them in your daily life but maybe you don’t know yet how helpful they can be. Think about it. Think about all the things you like and might also help you stay positive and get over the difficult times in your life. Think about them and maybe even share them with me in the comments.

As always, stay healthy and positive and I’ll see you around.

The importance of setting priorities

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After many years of work and study in a disorganized way, I finally learnt how important and efficient it is to set priorities in order to meet our goals and expectations. The feeling I have after this lesson? I feel I finally own my time.

Setting priorities is not always easy. It comes with a determined mindset and with responsibility. Being responsible for your own time is so important and not easy things to do.

I didn’t understand in the past why other people were doing more things than I did in the same amount amount of time. I wanted to be productive too, but no matter how much I worked, my results were not what I was expecting. I thought that quantity would produce the productivity I so much yearned for. However, it was quality, in our case establishing priorities, what mattered the most, the element that had the power to produce great results.

Seeing that my results weren’t matching my efforts, I started to write to do lists for a better organization. Back then I didn’t know that lists could help one become more organized, but somehow I felt the urge to write down what I wanted to do in a day for example. Step by step I learnt how to write better lists, what to write on those lists and how to deal with those situations were I didn’t finish everything on my list. I learnt that too much can destroy all the progress and that sometimes to do lists can become overwhelming, which can lead to losing one’s motivation.

I experienced almost everything with lists. I guess in my case, it wasn’t only about writing lists. It was all about writing down my goals. I suppose it is also related to my learning style. When I start learning something new, I have to write notes or to draw any scheme as a visual translation of words according to my own logic. Also I find writing extremely helpful whenever I have to deal with making decisions. Priorities are also decisions we make for ourselves.

Setting priorities mustn’t be something that stops you from change. Priorities must be flexible. As we change, our priorities change too. It’s the right thing to do. When I was in high school, my top priority was always related to good grades and awards. As a student I knew grades were important, but knowledge and experiences became my top priorities. Now my priorities are health and interior peace. And yes! I had to write these down.

While writing down your goals and priorities might not suit your style or organization method, there are plenty of other strategies you can use to prioritize what is the most important thing for you. I want to share with you one method that was absolutely mind-blowing for me and it really showed me what I really care about right now. This method is known under the name of Stephen Covey’s four quadrants for time management, but I learnt about it from my best friend. We played it like a little game and it is an efficient method to get to own your time.

All you have to do is to split a small piece of paper into 4 equal quadrants. Then you have to write in every square, in the order of importance, 4 of the things that mean the most to you. For the next step, you will start eliminating one by one the fourth, the third and the second element from your list (I was sad when I was eliminating my other elements because they were important too :)). Now you are left with the first element which is the most important and usually the one you sacrifice the most. Mine was health, the most important thing for me, but also the one I sacrifice the most for things that can be done slowly, for things that can be replaced. It was an extremely valuable lesson for me, one that I feel happy to share with you.

I am curious about other ways of prioritizing goals or time management tips and tricks you might use. So feel free to share with me your methods in the comments.

Stay healthy and positive and I’ll see you around.

My rules to keep work-life balance while working from home

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Spending most of my time at home was never too much of a problem for me. In fact I enjoyed spending time alone at home and I still am the same introvert who prefers cozy and quiet atmospheres while enjoying my favorite activities.

When I started working from home I wasn’t affected as people thought I would be. Even if I sometimes miss interactions and working with people, I still believe that work from home is exactly my style. I like working from home because I can still make my own rules. I can wear whatever clothes I want or I can work in my pyjamas if I feel like it. I can sleep a little bit more and still keep a routine. I can work and still look out the window to check the beautiful sky or to see if the mountain is in holyday (this is how my sister and I joke about it when there is too much fog and we can’t see the mountain from our bedroom’s window). During breaks I can eat whatever I find in the fridge or the food my sister cooks for me. I love everything about these small habits that make work more bearable.

I have to admit though that it wasn’t like this from the beginning. It took me a while until I discovered what works for me and how I can enjoy working from home. Also, I still have moments when I get extremely bored, not because I don’t have anything to do, but because I work alone in a room for about 8 hours. Another problem I have to face sometimes when working from home is work-related stress and the fact that it is more difficult to disconnect because I live with my work in the same house. This is why it is so important to find little strategies to help us cope with working from home and even like it. So here are my tips to keep the work-life balance when working from home and why not, enjoy it:

1. Keep a routine. Since I have started working from home I have struggled a lot with finding balance between work and personal life. Now I have an experience of two years in work from home and I can say that starting a routine is a life saver. By routine I mean mainly waking up at the same hour, which means that going to bed at almost the same hour is an imperative. I wake up at 7am and I usually start working at 7:40. Until then I wash myself, I change my clothes, I apply face cream etc. And this is what I do every morning. I made a habit of not snoozing my alarm and I get up as soon as I wake up. Also, I try to maintain the same routine in the weekends as well in order to make of this routine a lifestyle that can make my life easier while working from home. However, I have one exception for the weekends: I allow myself to sleep in.

2. Take regular breaks. I can’t stress enough the importance of taking breaks. It’s good for our eyes, for our brain, for our spine and for our overall mood. When I am in my break time, I try not to use my phone too much in order to relax my eyes. Instead of using my phone I like to talk with my sister and to have a good laugh if possible.

3. Don’t skip breakfast and lunch. This aspect is extremely important to me. I can’t even imagine working without eating my breakfast and lunch. This is how I make sure I am productive while taking care of my health. Also I tend to become grumpy when I’m hungry and I am sure I don’t want to make a scene at work because I skipped a meal :))

4. Tidy work space. I like to keep my desk clutter free and I try to tidy it every day, after I finish work. I also try to organize my desk as simply as possible in order to avoid distractions.

5. Disconnect completely. This is my favorite. When I turn off my computer I try to disconnect completely from work until the next day. Thus when my program ends, I try not to think about work and not to talk about it even if it’s just complaining about how hard my day was in order to focus on myself and my personal activities. I try to avoid as much as possible thoughts like: tomorrow I have to work again and to focus on me and on what I am doing at that specific moment.

These are the most important rules I have in order to keep myself organized, productive and maintain a good work life balance. They come so naturally for me that I don’t even struggle. They are that helpful to me. I know it can be difficult to work from home especially when you don’t have a choice but it’s in most of the cases imposed. Just think that you can work, keep yourself healthy and you can even wear those lovely pyjamas you feel so comfy in while working. Stay positive. Stay healthy and I’ll see you around.

Coping with maximalism as a minimalist

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If you read some of my articles, you already now that I have integrated minimalism in my life. Though I am far from being a minimalist, I make efforts every day in terms of frugality, sustainable lifestyle, reducing objects and, most importantly, in terms of paying attention when buying something new. If you read my articles, you know that I also used to be a maximalist, mostly because I thought I needed a lot of stuff to operate properly my everyday chores and routines. Today, the same person talks about how to cope with maximalism as a minimalist.

I will give you a perfect example for this opposition: my family and I. My father is in love with shopping since forever and he is a fan of buying in bulk. That’s not always a bad thing, especially in times like these, however my father loves to buy things, often saying that: ”We might need it some day.” My mother, she is not a fan of shopping so you might think she a frugal person. Not exactly. She also likes to buy things like dishes, bed sheets, pillowcases… you got the idea.

When I moved in another city to continue my studies, I was somehow forced by the circumstances to learn how to pack less and how to live with less. But even if I left home with almost nothing, until the end of the year I would double my possessions and it would be always difficult to move back home with all the luggage and then repeat the process the next year. Every year I would promise to myself that I won’t repeat the same mistake, but guess what? I’ve repeated the process for about 5 years. It was difficult to understand how exactly to keep this promise, I thought it was because I didn’t own my house, but now I know it was only an excuse.

When I decided to move back with my parents, I had already adopted minimalism and I decided to make more efforts to achieve an easier and simpler lifestyle. But I had forgotten that my parents had another lifestyle and it was me the one who changed. At the beginning I was constantly frustrated and I still am sometimes even these days. But then I remember that I have my lifestyle and my parents have theirs. I made my choice for mine and they made their choice for their own lifestyle. Since moving back with my parents I have learnt a lot of tricks that helped me cope with their maximalist lifestyle and I hope it can help you too.

So here you have it:

  1. Expect things to be difficult and take a deep breath.
  2. Don’t try to empty their things without asking if they still need them.
  3. Understand their perception on order and cleaning.
  4. Try to accept their lifestyle as it is.
  5. Make small changes gradually.
  6. Make suggestions and don’t try to force them to reduce their things. Make their brain become accustomed to the idea of reducing possessions.
  7. Make compromises.

I learnt from my own experience that you can’t impose your lifestyle to other people, even if they are your family. Maybe I tried to do it at first, because the pile of things was just too much for the new me to handle, but step by step I learnt to look the other way. There are still days when my brain says ”Look at that pile of things” and I actually see it. But then I start laughing, thinking that I’ve been trough that a thousand times before. While our lives and lifestyles can’t be perfect, transitioning to a new lifestyle or coping with different lifestyles can’t be perfect too. It is only a matter of patience, understanding and acceptance. And time is important too. Give time to them and to yourself as well.

Productivity vs. slow living

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Living a slow paced life is often seen as the opposite of productivity. I think it is because slow is often seen as doing nothing. But this is far from the truth and it took me a while to realize this.

Actually I used to believe the same thing. Rather than a prejudice I think I was afraid of not doing my best, afraid of being unproductive. Also, what brought me closer to my idea of slow paced life is the continuous fatigue that almost ruined my health, not a high level of productivity that you might think I had, while reading this. I realized only later that even if I was exhausted, I wasn’t exactly the most productive person. This is very close related to the principles of prioritization and time-management. Stress management and mental health care are also very important pieces in this puzzle. I used to do things the wrong way, but at least I know it now and I am trying to fix things.

I talked before here about the importance of journaling in my life and how this practice helped me understand and know myself better. I am a to-do-list person since I was young. I loved having long lists about anything and I thought that keeping myself busy would only bring me benefits. Little I knew about the truth. Long lists and the pressure I put on myself only harmed my physical and mental health.

Today I am the same to-do-list person. The difference is that I have changed my mindset and my approach. Today I write better lists, with only the most important things I want to do every day.
• My lists are now shorter, and even when I put more on the list, I prioritize the most important things.
• I became more flexible and I forgive myself when I can’t finish the things on my list.
I allow myself to begin with what I am most comfortable doing first. I don’t try to get the elephant out of the room.
• I adapt my lists based on the needs I have in a certain day.
• I don’t look specifically for productivity but for self-satisfaction.

Today I believe that you can be productive while living at a slower pace. For example, if today I wanted to clean my room and I actually did it, I would be happy that I succeeded, even if on my list there was also a plan to clean the kitchen. This is also productivity in my eyes. But more than productivity, it’s my mind that is at peace because today I did something too. I receive satisfaction from doing my best every day. Also, the idea of productivity is relative and every person sees productivity in his/her own way. Thus, more important than trying to be as productive as other people are is to find what means productivity for you and to find your own way of doing it.

Hard times, our mentors in life

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If you look too deep into life, you will realize that sometimes life can be difficult. I am an overthinker and I analyze even small details. I am not proud of it because most of the times I overthink even everyday situations that makes me more stressed than I should actually be. But you see, looking deeper into life doesn’t always equate to overthinking. Sometimes you get to realize the essence of life and you get to know yourself better.

Everyone’s life got even more difficult because of the current situation and I was also affected. I had to make decisions that should have made my life easier but I don’t know if I succeeded. My social life suffered transformations too and I miss meeting people and traveling a lot. As I looked deeper and deeper I could only hear my sighs, I couldn’t even hear my thoughts as I would usually do. When this happens I panic and the unknown scares me even more. There are a lot of activities and projects I had to reschedule in an unknown and unpredictable future. But then I started having these thoughts: why think so much about the future when you can’t even predict what’s going to happen tomorrow? Why think about the things you have to give up on, the things you can’t do right now when there are a lot of other things you can do Now, even during these hard times.

Hard times are our teachers, our mentors in life. Humans have a powerful and beautiful skill: They can adapt to different and continuously changing situations. In these hard times the most important thing is to not give up. Every day is a new lesson for the future. Hard times make us more resilient and more creative. When things get more difficult for me, I try looking for other ways to do what I want to do, I become more creative, more frugal and I try to get more of the c’est la vie philosophy. When you cannot change the things around you, learn how to appreciate what you already have and don’t lose hope. Better days will come. Actually there is a theory I absolutely love and I apply it in almost every situation of my life. It’s Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Everything is temporary. There is no absolute hard times, no absolute good times. I believe that during hard times, us humans, we prepare the path for the good times. There are our efforts that flourish into the good times. It’s because we didn’t give up and we did our best that good times come again to us. This is also related to perspective, to how you take this kind of situations. It is important to adapt your perspective so you won’t be too affected by every change or problem that comes your way.

Knowing that nothing lasts forever, we can appreciate good times even more. We wait and hope for better to come when we have a difficult period to deal with. This is called balance. Becoming aware of all these unspoken rules can be of great help during difficult times. It will get better because it is hard now.

Lessons I learnt from minimalism

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I talk a lot about minimalism because it really changed my life perspective. Even if I used to be a maximalist before, I was a very simple person. As I liked simple things, it’s almost like I was waiting to find minimalism and it’s nice to see that there is something that suits me so well. Other than that, minimalism taught me to appreciate more what I have now and even in the difficult moments of my life I believe that a better day will come. So minimalism is also related to optimism and faith, at least to me, and it works best in difficult moments. And now that I think about it better, it’s not wrong. Actually, in his book, Goodbye things, Fumio Sasaki says that one of the reasons many Japanese chose a simpler lifestyle is because of a catastrophe, the Great East Japan Earthquake, that affected so many people and made them change their perspective on life and their possessions.

Thus minimalism taught me as well about simplicity, about appreciating the present, about not caring about things, but caring about ourselves and the people we love. Minimalism is about reducing possessions in order to simplify our lives and have more time for the important things, more time for taking care of ourselves. There are too many things to do around the house anyway, so why make our job more difficult.

Another aspect related to minimalism that I really like is caring for the nature. I learnt about ecology in school and I really enjoyed participating in projects for environment protection. Thus, while practicing minimalism, step by step I started giving up on many chemical products (for example cleaning products, shower gels etc.) and I became more concerned about plastic use. I realized that many changes were not only good for the environment, but also for me, for my health and my finances.

Speaking of finances, minimalism can be used as a way of educating ourselves on how to do shopping. Like many other people, I used to buy a lot of unnecessary things that I thought were pretty or necessary to me. I remember that once I bought online a piece of clothing that promised to make me sweat and lose weight easier. I was foolish to believe all that marketing crap, but I gave it a chance and realized that it wasn’t working the way it was meant to. It was a foolish decision but I learnt that losing weight must be done by making more efforts, by adjusting my lifestyle and by doing the sport that I actually hated. Since then I must’ve bought other unnecessary things but at some point I started to question myself more often: you like it but do you really need it? Can’t you use what you have instead? Where are you going to place it? Are you going to use it for a long time? Is it a good quality product? I would also add the things that I want to buy on my shopping list and let them there for a few days or a week. If I still felt I need them after a few days then I would buy them, but I found myself removing a lot of objects from my list as I didn’t feel the urge of buying them. I would say to myself, I don’t need this, why did I put it on my list? It works well for me because we tend to buy based on the urge we feel at that moment, or because the marketing is so good and subtle in making us believe we need those things.

Actually we don’t need many of them and we can live just fine without all the stuff they sell on the internet or in those nicely organized stores. Buying things comes with a lot of responsibility: we spend money that we can use on something that we really need, we need more space for the things we buy, they might be thrown after a few uses, the waste they produce, we have more things to organize and clean. There are many aspects to take in consideration. I believe that minimalism is some sort of self-education. It’s easy to begin with, but it takes time to adjust your lifestyle to it and a lot of effort to maintain it for a long period of time. But once you get used to it you can’t live without it. This is what minimalism means to me.