Learn from your envy (and make life easier)

How to learn from your envy | Hanna's Places

You guys probably know by now that I’m a little bit obsessed with listening to podcasts. One I especially enjoy is ‘Happier’ by Gretchen Rubin. She and her sister share life stories and little tricks to make life easier and well – happier!

One trick they recently shared really struck with me: Learn from your envy. I know, being envious is one of the worst character traits so I’m not promoting that, BUT if we want to or not, there’s always certain people who have/do/make things we wish we had too. This is why Rubin is suggesting that instead of pushing these feelings away and ignoring them, we should actually sit down and write a list of people we are envious of. Then, in the next step, we should write down why exactly we are envious of them. This can help to take steps towards those goals as well and thus overcome our jealousy. So if, for example, there is this one friend who seems to be having all those meaningful relationships with people and you want that too, start reaching out to others, be the kind of friend you are looking for and pray for deep relationships with the right people. Or if there’s this other friend who has the most amazing instagram account and you MUST have that too, then read up on instagram tips and tricks and work for it (or find out that it’s actually a ton of work and you’d rather just take snapshots and chill ;). Whatever it is, instead of passively grumbling and being envious, find out which dreams in yourself are causing that feeling and work towards them.

What do you think? Will you try this ‘life hack’? I’ll definitely sit down with pen and paper after finishing this post!

Picture via Stocksnap.

How I manage stressful times

Strategies to manage stressful times | Hanna's Places

The last few weeks and months have been pretty full for me. Between starting full-time work, writing my thesis, still going to university courses, moving to a new city AND still hoping to see my friends and have some free time, getting organized was pretty much key to survive without going crazy. I’ve worked out a few strategies to manage stressful times that I wanted to share with you today – none of these are brand-new and never heard of, but this is I’ve combined the tips (of all the tips out there) that work best for me:

How I manage stressful times

Keep a list with all your tasks | First of all, I put together one list with EVERYTHING that needs to get done. There’s no real structure to this list – the tasks are big and small, they concern university, thesis, home or general life organisation topics, everything. I keep this list so I don’t forget anything and have everything written (without having to think about it anymore). I regularly go through that list to see what could get done now and what’s done already, so it actually gets used.

Put together a daily list | At the beginning (or end) of my day, I put together a smaller list of tasks I want to get done on that one day if everything went ideally. A doable list where it’s possible to check everything off, but still a list that I have to work on. Tasks that pop up spontaneously (like going food shopping) go on this list as well.

Pick three tasks to get done | Still getting more specific, I pick three tasks of my daily task list that NEED to get done. No discussion there. If these three tasks aren’t done, I won’t stop working – they are important of course and really mean an achievement apart from just ticking of something of my list.

Find out when I work best | For me, that’s in the morning between 8 am and 12 pm. I tried being really strict and not make plans for any breakfast dates or meetings in the morning because I know that’s the time I concentrate best. You just have to find out what that time is for you – if you’re a night owl, you can have as many brunch dates as you’d like to but maybe shouldn’t go out at night but work instead.

Still do fun stuff | This goes hand in hand with what I said before – once you’ve found out when you work best, make fun plans for things to do – or just relax with a great book or other hobby – in the remaining hours when you’re not able to work anyway. Nobody can survive with only work for extended amounts of time, so take care of yourself and your body and make time for fun as well. Trust me, you’ll work better in the remaining hours anyway.

Get some air, get enough sleep and relax| Last but not least, the last thing I’ve tried to do every day no matter how many tasks I had to finish is go for daily walks or jogs outside – with a good podcast and just your thoughts it’s a really great way to clear your head and feel ready for whatever task is waiting ahead. Also, try to relax and wind down before going to bed so you are ready for the next day – and get your seven to eight hours of sleepy time!

And there you have it – these are my top strategies for a productive day. What about yours?

Picture via Stocksnap.

 

The Year of Focus

The Year of Focus

Happy New Year! I hope you had a great first few days of 2016, enjoyed them with your family and friends and that you are still going strong on your resolutions ;)

Did you choose a word for the year ahead? I think the concept of having kind of a theme for your year is really interesting (you can read more about it here), but I have never participated since nothing naturally came to mind. This year I instantly thought of a word and it felt totally obvious: ‘Focus’. I want to focus more the most important relationships in my life and stop investing into those that just hurt and feel more like work than friendship. I want to focus on my relationship with Jesus and spend my time with the things that are truly important to me.  I will stop chasing after every ‘thing to do’ and ‘place to visit’ etc in fear of missing out. Let’s see what happens and where I end up in 365 days.

What about you? Did you choose a word for 2016?

Picture via Stocksnap.

Eco-friendly ways to survive the heat wave

8 eco-friendly ways to survive the heat wave

Happy Monday! How was your weekend? What can I say, mine was H-O-T! We had a heat wave in Germany and there weren’t many things we were able to do apart from trying to keep cool. I’m not complaining though, I love that it’s finally summer around here! Since showering all day or blasting the (in our case non-existent) AC aren’t really eco-friendly or sustainable, here are my top tips how to keep cool and not put more pressure on our environment.

Surviving the heat wave

+ Have a cold foot bath! This is especially helpful if you are working/studying from home and  already have to sit at your desk.

+ Make home-made iced tea. One bag of mint and one bag of black tea in a bottle with cold water in the fridge for an hour: Perfect iced tea.

+ Take a trip to the library. Or Ikea. Or the grocery store. Anywhere it is cooool.

+ Resist drinking ice-cold beverages all of the time. Your body uses energy to warm these up to your body temperature so you will feel hotter despite drinking something cold. Same goes for the ice-cold shower.

+ Draw the blinds as soon as the sun comes around (and open everything up early in the morning when it’s still cool). (more…)

Products on my (organic) beauty wishlist

Products on my organic beauty wishlist | picture by @Helena La Petite | TME

As a part of my living a bit more environmentally conscious this year (next to going vegetarian + avoiding conventional retail) I also want to try to use as many organic and preferably  vegan cosmetics as possible. Sadly I’m often struggling with allergies, especially when it comes to natural cosmetics, so I always have to be careful about what I’m using (getting dry skin and itchy eyes from your face cream is probably not the best outcome). Still, there’s some I’m already using and I can’t wait to try the following:

1 | Soapwalla Deodorant Cream

First of all, I’m not the biggest fan of natural/aluminium-free deodorant since it frankly just doesn’t work as good. Sadly, conventional deodorant is connected to a higher risk of getting breast cancer (among other things). I’ve read amazing reviews about this deodorant so far, so I can’t wait to give it a try soon.

2 | The Body Shop Colour Crush Lipstick in The Right Mauves

I already own this lipstick in Enraptured Red (a darker shade of red perfect for winter) and can’t recommend it enough! It’s got a really nice texture and actually survives a whole day (if I’m not going out eating greazy food that is). A few weeks ago I tried my friends plum/mauve lipstick and loved it, so I have to get my own soon.

3 | The Body Shop Tea Tree Range

As with the lipstick above, I already own the Tea Tree BB Cream and I’m quite pleased with it. It keeps my skin clear without drying it out, the smell is fresh and nice and it lasts all day. I will definitely get the rest of the tea tree range once I use up the products I already have at home. By the way, don’t you just love the Body Shop? Best value for money with organic, fair cosmetics in my opinion.

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