Life · Running · tips

Run Baby Run: Getting Back into the Swing of Things And Silencing my Inner Critic

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I have fallen in and out of love with running for over four years now. Here’s the thing: running isn’t enjoyable when you first start, but the more I do it – especially combined with some strength training and yoga – the more I love it.

But over those four years, I have pressured myself when it comes to fitness. I constantly had a voice in my head saying ”sure you ran 8km today, but someone else ran 16km at a much faster pace. So you need to work on that.”

And that little voice, that inner critic, is what made me quit all these times. I’m a pretty competitive type A person, and without noticing I was constantly competing. With myself more so than with others. And although that is a great source of motivation, getting myself down because I wasn’t where I wanted to be fitness wise is not healthy. Not if it actually makes me feel worse about myself.

But I’m done with that critic, it does not fit with my 2018 resolution of being kind to myself.

I have been getting back into my running routine for the past few weeks or so. And I’m trying really, really hard to just work through it and have patience, without feeling like I’m never doing enough. I want to be better, sure. I want to improve my PR’s and run races again. I still have the dream of running a full marathon someday, something I haven’t been able to get out of my head in the past few years.

So here’s to actually running on a regular basis. Trusting the process. Being okay with where I am. Being kind to myself.

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personal · Personal Development · tips

Why I Decided To Go Back To College At 21

It’s funny to think of my sixteen year old self. I had just graduated high school, and I went to college for the exact same reason everyone else goes to college here: Because it’s the logical next step. It’s what everyone else does. Because where would you be without a college education?

So I went to college. Knowing that I had a knick of writing and at that point, had been published in a few (online) magazines, I went into journalism. Looking back, I loved my degree and the school I went to. I’m happy I chose to follow my degree at an art school, because my college was very open, creative, and we got lots of space to work on projects with students who were in completely different courses than we were.

I learned a lot about myself in those years, and I remember how proud I was (and am!) for getting that diploma at the very end. But I also remember myself thinking: now what?  Continue reading “Why I Decided To Go Back To College At 21”

tips

6 Reasons Why You Should Learn To Play An Instrument In Your Twenties

As a child, I always wanted to learn how to play guitar. Ever since I was ten years old, I’ve been obsessed with Taylor Swift, who was still America’s country sweetheart back then.

She looked so cool with her guitar, and I really related to her songs. When I was seventeen, I picked up a guitar for the first time in my life.

And that shit was incredibly hard to teach yourself. I didn’t have the money for guitar lessons, so I tried to teach myself. It didn’t work.

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It really wasn’t as easy as it seemed. C, D, E, A, and then all those chords in minor. Not to mention the dreaded G and F chords. And I gave up, only to pick up the guitar again three years later. Only to give it up again. 

But I’m proud to say that now, at 21 years old, I’ve finally taught myself how to play guitar half decently (Justin Guitar’s beginners course is my favorite free online resource). I also understand quite a bit about musical theory, which is awesome when you actually listen to music. It’s like looking at a piece of art in a whole different way.

Here’s why you should learn to play an instrument in your twenties.

Playing a musical instrument relieves stress

Playing a musical instrument helps to lower the blood pressure and heart rate, and with that, it’ll help you relieve stress. Listening to music already helps, but playing it is like a whole different feeling. I remember the first time I experienced the rush and happiness of playing an instrument: when I nailed a simple verse and chorus for the first time. It’s a sensation that I’m now addicted to.

Somehow, making music makes me happy, and I can’t even explain why.

Playing a musical instrument helps you build confidence

Once you are aware that you are able to do something well, like play the flute or guitar for instance, you naturally become more confident of your skills. This is why learning how to play a musical instrument can help build confidence skills in both children and adults. It teaches you that if you practice and keep at it, your skills will improve and you will be better.

”Strive for progress, not perfection.”

Continue reading “6 Reasons Why You Should Learn To Play An Instrument In Your Twenties”

personal · tips

Personal Update: Happiness, Life Choices And Football

If you’re someone that regularly reads this blog, you’ve probably noticed how awfully quiet it was on here in the past three weeks.

I could start apologizing and making excuses for why that happened, but I really shouldn’t. The truth is that I went through a phase of rapid self-discovery, and my mind was completely occupied with my future, my happiness and my choices.

Sometimes, I struggle putting these thoughts into words, or I’m just not happy with what I write. I’m convinced it’s part of my writing process, and I will always have to deal with that.

My happiness

I’ve always said that I aspire to be happy, but recently I’ve come to realize that happiness isn’t some place that you arrive at, it’s part of the natural flow of emotions. For me, happiness isn’t constant, and I can only strive to feel that way as often as possible, while still being okay with it if I don’t feel amazing.

It’s hard to choose what’s best for yourself, especially if those choices will cause others to feel pain and sadness. But it’s even harder to live a certain way if you know you would be happier if things were different. I recently chose for my own happiness, and although it’s incredibly hard, it’s worth it.

Making life choices

I struggle a whole lot with making choices that will heavily affect my future. I very recently decided that I want to go back to school, and that was a very tough choice to make.

It’s hard for me to make these decisions because I don’t feel qualified to make them, even though they’re about my own life. How am I supposed to make these life decisions if I don’t really have much life experience to help me decide what’s best for me? But in the end, I did it, and I’m proud of myself.

Reinventing my love for football

This might be a weird one to include here, but I’m currently reinventing my love for sports, and football (soccer for you Americans) in particular. As a teenager, I loved the game and the culture around it, but because of a few unfortunate events, my love for football died down a little. I still liked it, but I wasn’t nearly as invested in it.

Recently, I’ve been trying to reinvent my love for the sport, something I feel weirdly excited about. It almost feels like I’m finally allowing myself to enjoy it again after such a long time of pulling myself away from it. And that’s something that makes me really happy.

I’m constantly feeling like I’m on the path of self-growth and self-discovery, but in the past three weeks this feeling has been especially strong. But I’m back on the blog and I’m finally feeling inspired again, so I hope to get back into the swing of things very soon.

Finance · tips

How To Stop Shopping And Save Your Money: 7 Tips

When I first got into minimalism, I got rid of a lot of stuff. Then, I used that as a justification to buy new stuff.. Yeah, that’s not smart. I would definitely say that I used to be a bit of a shopping addict.

Minimalism isn’t only about living with less, it’s also about being an informed and conscious consumer, and being intentional with your time and money. But how does one go about doing that?

Do you need it?

This is a pretty straightforward question, but bear with me. I notice that sometimes when I’m out shopping, instead of asking myself do I need it, I start justifying the purchase for myself.

  • I deserve to treat myself
  • It’s a very cheap item
  • It’s on sale
  • I’m sad and I want to make myself happy by buying something
  • I can always return it

By stripping away all of these justifications and being completely honest with yourself, it becomes much easier to decide if this item you’re about to buy truly has a place in your life.

Reduce your exposure to anything that’s trying to sell you something

Unsubscribe from mailing lists! Seriously, it might take you 10 minutes in total, and it will absolutely change your life for the better. Personally, I also stopped watching haul videos on YouTube. Seeing other people buy a bunch of stuff didn’t help me when I was trying to not spend money.

But you might also be sensitive to people showing off their pretty homes, walk in closets or expensive vacations, it really depends on the person. I didn’t  actually unsubscribe from many YouTubers that do hauls or trigger me to buy stuff, I just choose not the click on specific videos in my subscription box. Continue reading “How To Stop Shopping And Save Your Money: 7 Tips”

tips

FRIDAY FAVORITES #1

Happy Friday, friends! Today I’m introducing a new weekly segment on my blog: FRIDAY FAVORITES! I spend a lot of time consuming all types of content, and I want to share some of those hidden gems with you on a weekly basis!

Favorite Song

Ed Sheeran dominated my Spotify playlists this week. Eraser is by far my favorite song from his new album, and I can’t stop listening to it. –  ”I find comfort in my pain.”

Favorite Read

Lulu Wang – The Lily Theatre

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The Lily Theatre by Lulu Wang shows you a part of China you probably didn’t know about. In the book, Wang describes what it’s like to grow up in the country during a cultural revolution through the eyes of a young girl. This book was originally published in Dutch, which is my mother language (Dutch version of the book is pictured here). I normally like to read books in their original language (I can read Dutch, English and French and German on a good day) and I haven’t read many Dutch novels in my life. This one has been on my bookshelf for ages, and I’m loving it so far!

I’m slowly decluttering my bookshelves, but I want to read the books I haven’t read yet before I can declutter them.

Favorite Food

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The classic French croissant is one of my favorite types of bread ever. Obviously, they’re the best if you get them from France, but I think my local supermarket does a pretty stellar job at making their own. I love rediscovering old favorites!

Favorite Find

I have a fascination for unresolved mysteries and disappearances. Some people vanish without leaving a trace, and some people are found without any type of identification. Cayleigh Elise is a YouTuber who does an amazing job at documenting these cases. She handles the cases with respect and does the proper research. I’m not a fan of people who sensationalize stories like these, which is another reason I love her.

Favorite Quote

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This one speaks for itself! 😉

Did you discover any hidden gems this week?

Food for Thought · tips

How To Be More Positive This Month

Let’s be honest, we would all like to be more positive.

Since we just started a new month, I thought it was a good moment to start fresh & more positive. March is the 3rd of 12 chapters, what are you going to write?

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The good news is that you can train yourself to be more positive, and a significant portion of that happens in your own head. Now, being more positive doesn’t mean you need to pretend you have a perfect life, let me be clear about that. If anything, it’s about dealing with setbacks differently. Here’s how I’ve been trying to be more positive lately:

Listen to music that reflects the mood you want to be in

Do you listen to sad music when you’re sad? I’m definitely guilty of that. Time to start listening to music that reflects the mood you want to be in, instead of listening to music that reflects the mood you’re already in. Consider both the tone and type of the music, and often it will bring back positive memories of the past. Music is incredibly powerful, and listening to some happy mood-booster playlists on Spotify has truly made my life better.

Surround yourself with positive people

This has made an incredible difference in my daily life. Of course, we can’t always choose who we surround ourselves with, but just making the conscious effort to not be affected my other people’s negativity has made a huge difference for me. I’ve also followed a bunch of positive Instagram & Twitter accounts. Social media can be a big mood killer for me, but this way it actually has a positive effect on me. Continue reading “How To Be More Positive This Month”