Thursday, January 9, 2014

Bring it on

Hello everybody! Feels a bit late to say Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year well into January, however, what other choice do I have given that this happens to be my first post since before the whole holiday shebang? So - here it is - I hope you had a wonderful holiday and I wish you all the warmth, love, success and happiness throughout the following year.

I was looking very much forward to blogging after coming back, yet was faced with the same dilemma of what and how to write. Should I tell you what I've been up to? Highlights of the last year? Resolutions for the next one? Tags? Favorite products? Jumping right back into it with a beauty post?

First and foremost (simply because I HAVE to say something), I have said this before - I am a sucker for new beginnings. I love a good Monday, a good 1st of the month, heck, I love to start up a whole new note book! So the beginning of a new year usually has some sort of an uplifting effect on me. This year, since I was home for the holidays and returned to my schedule a good week after the clock hit 00:00 on the 31st, I have been feeling refreshingly realistic and down to earth. I have successfully avoided working myself up to hoping (no, actually believing) I will wake up on January 1st as a whole new & improved Renate and will never look back, never make the same mistakes again, never be lazy, never forget important things, never stress out and never look bad. In stead, I have had the time to properly relax, have fun, charge with laughter and love, shop, catch up with my loved ones and PLAN - really, slowly reflect and make decisions and draw conclusions and for that reason have been going about my days back in Denmark with a whole new sense of calmness, gratitude and quiet enthusiasm. I am not one for regrets, but if I could do one thing differently in 2013, I'd definitely enjoy myself more, so this is something I will be focusing on as the months go by in 2014.

Now, how do I put this… I haven't done much hauls, because, frankly, I hardly ever buy stuff. After deciding to have a little shopping spree back home, I've been saving up as much as I could and ended up properly spoiling myself, which felt like Christmas, my birthday and possibly also a graduation in one. Don't get me wrong, I did buy things long awaiting on my wish list and things I actually needed (as much as anybody NEEDS to shop, obviously) - a coat, a bag, winter boots, some skin care & hair care items and after pushing a certain sense of guilt away, have been enjoying the girly effects of feeling much more confident. The problem now is proper photos, if I want to put this on the blog, which has been a big reason many of the posts I've wanted to do have been postponed, but I will surely figure it out.

After enough chatter I can sum up by saying that I am back, I feel happy, I feel in control and safe and that is a wonderful feeling, which I am willing to prioritize. I am also willing to share my findings a bit more, even though I am still very much learning day by day.

Today, going in tune with my new found positivity, I decided to list up a fraction of things that make me enjoy my days more, in case you are looking for something new to try.

1. Stand-up comedy. At first I wrote "Stand up." Then I read it and thought - what if you'll just stand up from your desk and think - well, this is grand, how in the world is this something that makes Renate enjoy her days more? Sorry. I love to laugh. I think this goes for many people and if you're a stand-up fan like my boyfriend and I, you'd enjoy prepping for a show by making a cup of tea, getting bed-ready etc. At the moment we're obsessed with Dara Ó Briain after seeing his show on the TV by accident (don't know how he slipped my radar before, even after following Mock of the Week)  but we also love Louis CK (have seen him live too - def a highlight of 2013!), Steward Francis (excellent one-liner), Jason Manford, Michael McIntyre and many more. It's a great way to cheer up and a fun way for my boyfriend and I to add to our unique weird couples vocabulary, which is a way of bonding too.

2. A good self-help book, but this could be anything, that inspires you and makes you motivated. I was lucky enough to receive this one as a Christmas present from my mom & dad and have been enjoying it very much. What I like about the 10-Step Stress Solution book is how stress is explained from a simple yet scientific point of view and offers clear and practical ways to deal with it and improve your life. I am literally sitting with two markers - a green one and a red one - making notes of things I would like to incorporate into my life and things I want to remember not to do or do differently.

3. Moving your body. For me, at the moment, this is walking. It's by far my favorite form of exercise, because I get to think whilst, I get to see things, I get to breathe some air, sometimes I get to catch up with someone, listen to music etc. I did a lot of walking back home, because my sister has three dogs that require regular exercise and have been walking home from my Danish classes here, which takes me about an hour, so that's a very nice way to incorporate some exercise into my life without hitting the gym with the whole shebang of packing, gym showering etc.
4. Having a good beauty routine. See, this is something that will sound obvious to some people, but I have always been inconsistent with my efforts. Some days I do the absolute minimum, some days (or even weeks) I focus on it a lot and spend a lot of time in front of a mirror. I feel that these days having a set, simple yet challenging enough of a routine makes me feel more confident whilst at the same time allowing me to go about my day without being bound to touching up my makeup, hair or watching my nails. A happy medium, if you will. It makes me a tiny bit happier to use good products on my skin and hair, even though I don't follow up with lots of makeup and it makes me happy to (for once) switch up my daily routine with showering every night (in stead of mornings) and basically developing new habits, that are lovely, yet easy to maintain.

5. Motivational videos. I have always been a sucker for these - they inspire me, they teach me new things, they expand my perspective and help me see things from another point of view. They improve my vocabulary, my mood and in general have positive impact on my actions. My favorite for this is, of course, YouTube, especially videos from TED, when I often get lost watching a video after video such as this, this and this. Motivation has to be refreshed every now and again. Give yourself the extra push and reminder, why you do the things that you do and how to enjoy it.

6. Organize the space around you. I don't mean a violent spring cleaning kind of crazy business - you'll more likely end up feeling overwhelmed and stressed. Take it one corner of your living & working space at a time, lets say - the book shelf or the fridge today, my desk - the other, the closet - over the weekend - and in a matter of weeks - unclutter your home and/or work, car etc., which will make you feel so much more powerful and in control.

Here you have it, my simple tips for going about your days without feeling in a funk. Feel free to share whatever helps you to motivate yourself, whether it's a good run, going out with friends, volunteering etc. There is so much more to this, but have no fear, I will definitely continue adding to this.
I'll leave you with a happy action shot of me ice skating over the holidays. Yes, I was sliding by so fast my sister couldn't catch a proper still ;)

Finally, thank you to everybody who visits, comments, subscribes and interacts, it's lovely to hear from you. I hope you'll stick around and I will talk to you soon! Have a lovely week.