This weekend, I’ve spent some very needed quality time with my family in Malmö. The weather has been amazing and we have had such a great time. Yesterday we took the car and drove a few minutes outside the city to a place called Alnarp. It’s on the beautiful countryside and they have a very well known school there called SLU for all kinds of nature related educations. The school has the most amazing parks and gardens that’s also open to the public. My mom studied landscape design there once upon a time and she was so excited being back at her old campus. She went complete Inspector Clouseau on the parallel bars; “Yes, it’s all coming back now!” (those of you who gets that reference, I like you a little extra).
We had a picnic in the park and strolled around trying to absorb the beautiful sights. I took some pictures but they don’t even make this place justice. If you’re ever in southern Sweden during summertime it’s definitely worth a visit.
I sometimes get the feeling of being stuck inside my mind. It’s one of the most unpleasant feelings I’ve ever experienced because it makes me feel like a victim of life. It makes me feel as though everything and everyone is out to hurt me and I must spend all my energy just to stay alive. It’s like a war that happens within me but in that moment I don’t realize that it’s all happening within my mind. It makes me literally scared of life. At the same time, I’m terrified of death. Where does that leave me? Well, it leaves me stuck in a bubble of terror because there is no place that feels safe.
Just to make things clear, I love life. I love to live but when my brain gets stuck in this mode I become scared of life in a way. Not of life itself but of all the dangers and misery that can potentially be a part of one’s life. I always say that I am so grateful for life. I like to think that I’m this humble person who really appreciates life. But am I really though? I want to be, for sure, but by not enjoying life to the fullest and by not trusting in life I’m not really appreciating it. I’m actually wasting it worrying about things that might happen. Ram Dass says: ”Worry and fear are not tickets to the express train. They are extra baggage. You were going the way anyway”.
There are things I can’t affect yet I still spend way too much time worrying about those things. By doing so I’m not living in the moment because I’m living in a state of a fiction future. I’m also not at all appreciating life because when you do, you feel grateful and at peace and by worrying you have no room for those feelings. I also don’t have any trust in life because I am full of fear.
So how do we reverse this feeling of being a victim of life? How do we avoid getting stuck in our minds? Here’s what I’ve learned helps:
Appreciate life. I mean genuinely appreciate life. It’s easy to say but in order to really do so, you need to actively tell yourself how much you appreciate life as it is right now, how grateful you are to be alive. To allow yourself to feel blessed for being alive right here, right now. When you do this you will feel a gratefulness and a peacefulness and the more you have of those feelings the less room there will be for worry and fear.
Trust in life. Whether you’re religious or spiritual or none of the above you need to feel trust and find comfort in life. Trust that the universe wants the best for you and that things will always work out. With this mindset, it’s almost impossible to have irrational worries. Most importantly, when you trust that you are held and cared for, you won’t let yourself get carried away by fear and worry. They can always arrive but once they do you feel secure enough to not let them overwhelm you.
Zoom out. This is something I find helpful when I just need to snap out of that bubble of terror asap. You see, there is something very harmful about limiting our view. This tendency we have of getting soaked up in our own ego and drowning in our thoughts is absolutely devastating. When we allow ourselves to zoom out, look at ourselves and our problems from a distance there comes an instant clarity to our minds. You’ve probably heard people say this before but it deserves to be repeated: Try visualising how you zoom out from yourself, watching yourself from a distance. Then keep zooming out more and more and continue to zoom out until you are out in space, watching earth from above. Up there you will see how small you are and how insignificant your problems are in the big picture. Our ego has a tendency of inflating more and more until its almost too big to carry and by visually zooming out you burst that overinflated ego, sending it straight back to factory reset mode.
Turn to NASA. This might sound a bit weird but something that helps me snap right out of a stuck mindset is to watch youtube videos from NASA. Those videos were an astronaut show you’re around on the International space station. Giving you a tour around the station and showing the claustrophobic spaces where they eat, sleep, work and pee. Showing you the window where you can see the earth from space. This helps me so much partly because it lets me to not only visualise earth from space but actually see it in front of me. It makes it easier to realise how small I am. Another way these NASA videos help is they put my fears in such a different perspective. When I get to see and realise that there are humans going up to live on a space station and work there for months at a time with no possibility to get back whenever they want to, I become freaked out of my fucking mind. The thought of doing that is so terrifying and the fact that those people do so voluntarily makes me feel like a tiny little chicken for being afraid of whatever it is that scares me here on earth. If they are able to go to space I should be able to handle anything down here. Hello new perspective.
Maybe I’m the only weirdo here and all of you reading are wondering why I’m not yet in a mental hospital. But if this can help even one single person cope with a difficult mind I am beyond happy. Stay strong and remember that the reality is rarely as bad as your mind sets it out to be so every minute you spend worrying are 60 seconds of peace lost.
In the meantime you can look at this superwoman showing you around the ISS (seriously though… How can she be so chill? Which drugs is she on and where can I get them?)
Ps. The selfieboom at the top seems totally irrelevant to the post but I looked cute and thought it would be a good reminder that you can be real cute and still be mentally unstable. Ok bye.
I just can not for the life of me understand how a person doesn’t want affection when they’re feeling stressed or sad. I feel like I’m literally dying when people decide to “leave me alone” or “give me space”. Like what the fuck, come back here and love me…
Because I’m a person who needs 100 times more love, affection and attention when I’m sad I just don’t understand people who are the opposite. People who want to be left alone and deal with their issues by themselves. Who wants to just lock themselves in a dark room and think with nothing or no one to disturb them. I also happen to live with a person like this. I happen to have chosen to spend my life with a person who sometimes doesn’t want my affection and attention when he is sad and stressed.
As I’m writing this I can see that it’s silly to make any fuzz about this. I can understand that others would have a hard time understanding how this could be such a big deal. People are different. Deal with it. But there is a tiny insecure part of me that just takes over my whole body at times. When I am faced with struggles and differences in my relationships I have such a hard time being rational. I’m not really blaming myself for having issues with this though, because if I was sad I would want all the love and attention possible from my boyfriend. If I ever genuinely preferred he left me alone when I was feeling sad, if I honestly didn’t want to be around him at that moment, then it would mean I either didn’t love him or I was pretty damn pissed at him.
So when my boyfriend is feeling sad and stressed and doesn’t want my attention, affection, or even want to be next to me every second, of course my brain can’t understand it. How could my brain think anything else than that he has an issue with me? Now before we get all carried away here, of course, I know this is not the case. Because I have a rational part of my brain too and that part can explain to me that we are just different people with different personalities who handle things in different ways. That doesn’t mean we love each other any less and all I can do is accept that this is just the way it is and get on with my life. The issue is, the rational part of my brain is not as eager and annoying as the emotional part. Before the rational part has even had a chance to clear its throat and tell me all its wisdom, the emotional little sucker is already screaming its fucking lungs out, telling me every reason why someone could not possibly love me, all the reasons why someone would be upset with me and all the reasons I am doing something wrong.
The only thing I’m actually doing wrong though is listening to the emotional part of my brain, letting it get me carried away in this downward spiral of irrational thoughts.
I just have to practice accepting the fact that everyone does not think or act the same way I do and honestly, we should all be very thankful for that. A world full of Belindas would be rounding up World War 458 just about now.
We are so busy in our search for happiness that it stresses us out, making us feel frustrated and inadequate for not being happy. Our constant longing for happiness is literally making us miserable. Just let the irony of that statement sink in.
We are so many people in this world who are on a constant quest to find “happiness”. I’m no exception. I have literally typed “how to be happy” on Google more times than I’d like to admit. I obviously never found the answer to this question on Google. At best, I would come across yet another website by some money hungry American douchebag who created a program that promises to accomplish miracles. Just pay 300 dollars for his life-changing E-book and you will have all the answers. (That’s a small price to pay for happiness he says). I could just roll my eyes so hard they’d get stuck in my eyebrows.
But what if we just take a breath and ask ourselves what it is that we are really looking for. What is “happiness” really? Our modern day world is throwing peoples “happy” lives in our faces 24/7 and while most of us have realized by now that what we see on Instagram is only the perfected show and not the “behind the scenes”, it still causes this manic desire to be as happy as that acai bowl-eating, gluten-free influencer you follow #goals. Or more accurately be as happy as they pretend to be.
I hate to burst your bubble but the human race is not biologically wired to “be happy”. The human race is wired to survive. That’s it. You are meant to survive, not to float around on an imaginary cloud of fairy dust, feeling no fear or anxiety or worry. That being said, I’m not at all stating that you can never “be happy”. But happiness is a feeling, just like anger, sadness, and worry. You are meant to feel all of them at different times depending on outer factors. That is being human. Spending your whole life searching, to “be happy” is such a waste of time and is actually only causing you to feel worse. For some reason, we see other feelings as something temporary. Take worry for example. You may say “I am worried” but you do not identify with the feeling the same way you do with “I am happy”. You, for some reason, expect or at least wish for happiness to be a constant feeling while you know that worry is something that comes and goes.
I would like to change the term of “finding happiness” to “finding balance”. Because that is what we should strive for. We should treat happiness as a feeling that comes and goes, just like all other feelings. It’s like that free bird that you fed in your garden a couple of times who became almost tame. It keeps coming back to you but it can also leave at any time and it’s not always in your control. Sometimes it leaves for a longer time and you may start wondering if you’ll ever see it again. But then one sunny afternoon its there again, singing outside your window, hoping you have some breadcrumbs to spare.
So the summary of all this is we need to stop imagining a life where happiness is a constant state of mind. Happiness is not constant for anyone and it’s not natural neither possible to always be happy. However, there are a lot of things we can do and work on to make happiness occur as often as possible because it is, after all, the best of all feelings. But we need even the negative emotions in order to feel and appreciate the happiness once it arrives. So by all means, strive to feel happy as often as possible and work on turning your thoughts from negative to positive. But don’t let the strive to feel happy cause you stress and pain. When you constantly work on finding happiness you are more likely to punish yourself. You may feel like a failure for never achieving this impossible goal you set for yourself. It takes no Einstein to understand that this vicious cycle will only give you the opposite of happiness. That’s why I say we should work towards finding balance instead. Balance is something we can control because it comes from within. Sure, outer factors can make it more or less difficult to find balance but it still always comes from within. It’s your ability to stay on your feet when life is throwing you challenges. It’s your ability to show yourself love and to appreciate yourself. It’s your ability to have faith even through the hardest emotions and most importantly, It’s your ability to feel a deep appreciation for the times you do feel happy. The irony in all of this is when you stop searching for happiness and start working towards balance instead you will most likely be happier than you’ve ever been.
I have created my own store here on the blog. It’s a selection of all my favourite products, easily accessible for you.
You’ll find it under “SHOP” in the top right corner of the menu. I will add more and more products as I go along so be sure to check in every now and then to find more amazing products that I truly love. Simply the best of the best, collected in one place.
I have been quite careful with sharing my break-up story and I know many people have wondered what’s really going on with me and my ex. I haven’t talked very much about it to my friends and family, only to some really close girlfriends. I wrote a short post about self-love, just after the break-up but I was very vague on the blog with what had actually happened. After that, I even closed the blog out of complete lack of creativity. I realize now that I needed to vent on the blog more than ever at this time but I was dealing with my pain the opposite way. Keep reading and you’ll understand why.
When my ex broke up with me, I went through the worst emotional rollercoaster. Not the fun kind where you can just throw your hands up in the air and laugh at the tickle in your stomach. But the scary kind that makes you question your sanity, wondering why you ever decided to get on it in the first place and then running off to vomit in the nearest trash bin. At first, it was just pure pain. I’ve never been so sad in my life. I honestly believed he was the one I would spend the rest of my life with. I know that sounds so naive to say, being only 23, but during our whole relationship, I never doubted he was the one. Everyone who’s ever experienced a break-up knows the pain. The feeling of no control. The rug being swept away under your feet. I always felt that what I went through was worse than the regular breakup. He still loved me when he chose to end our relationship. And still to this day I know he loves me. He broke it off because he had to. Because we were stuck in a downward spiral of toxicity. I knew it myself but I was too scared to do anything about it. I would never have broken up with him no matter how bad it got because I loved him too much. I often threatened I would leave him during some of our nasty arguments, but I knew deep down I could never actually do it #wifematerial.
After the tsunami of emotions had washed over me, I could see things with clear eyes. I realized he did us a favor by breaking us up. He got us out of that toxic loop that I was fully aware of, yet completely unable to do anything about myself. It was like a slap in the face that forced me to wake up whether I wanted to or not. The feeling that followed I remember so clearly because it was one of the most memorable feelings I’ve ever experienced. I felt total relief. It was like I had cried out every last drop of tears I had in my body and I had finally come to the realization that there was nothing I could do to change the situation. There was nothing I could say that was gonna change his mind, and honestly, I didn’t want to. I felt so small, just a tiny little spot in the universe. I only had myself to take care of and nobody else to rely on. The feeling of being so out of control, not able to change the outer factors and just accepting it was the most relieving feeling I’ve ever experienced. It’s kind of like that post-panic attack moment when your whole body relaxes and you realize you’re still alive. It was the feeling of total surrender.
My favorite astrologer, Debra Silverman says that our soul is constantly trying to get our attention, demanding us to be present. To not worry about the future or the past and being 100% in the now. It’s very hard to achieve and most of us only experience that feeling when we go through a trauma. Debra says the soul will get our attention though scaring us. It will get our attention one way or another and If you can’t actively connect to your soul by sitting your busy ass down and meditate, it will scare the shit out of you, literally forcing you to be present. That’s exactly the feeling I had. I was so present and it was such an amazing feeling. I’m not saying my breakup was amazing in any way but that feeling was so intense that I’ve been thinking about it ever since.
In the beginning, we both handled the breakup quite well. We both still had this strong belief that we would end up together one day and that made it easier to cope but harder to move on. We both still loved each other but knew this was for the best and that also made it so much harder to move on. I remember thinking it would have been easier if I could just hate him. I almost wished he would have cheated on me or done something horrible so I could be angry and get over him. But he never did and honestly, I never really wanted to get over him. I didn’t want to forget him and I didn’t want to cut him out of my life. What we had meant too much and It wasn’t something that could be thrown away and forgotten as if it was nothing. But I knew I had to move on. I was staying alive on the little glimpse of hope that it would be us one day but I knew that for now, I had to push those hopes away and just move on. I had to move on as though I would never see him again.
I thought I was doing a good job moving on and from the outside, it looked like I was. I was staying constantly busy but only because I was terrified of being alone with my feelings. I had a lot of fun during this time and I felt quite happy, to be honest. My ex and I didn’t see each other for about 2 months in the beginning and that made it easier for me to start my new life. One day we decided to meet up for a coffee and chat. I thought I had gained back the confidence I had lost during our last months as a couple. I felt confident but I realize now that I was actually just numb. I had become the master of suppressing my feelings. It was like I was made of plastic and the feelings just rolled off my shoulders. It was how I coped and it was working for a short period of time. Despite my strong attempt to numb my feelings, seeing him was a reminder of how happy and calm I’ve always felt in his presence. It was like taking a tiny little hit of that drug I had been withdrawing from for the past 2 months. It’s pretty naive to believe you can just have a little taste and then you’re satisfied. I obviously just wanted more and more. At the same time, I wasn’t ready to give up the new life I had built for myself. I still felt that I needed to be single. I needed to not rely on anyone but myself.
We started hanging out more often. In the beginning, I was being very clear that I just wanted us to be friends and we were both okay with that. We mostly saw each other outside and had some coffee. That made it easier to separate what we had from the rest of my life. I was scared of letting him in or more accurately letting myself get sucked in. At this point, I was still determined to stay single but he had reached a point where he wanted me back. Of course, he didn’t tell me so at this point. He pretended to be fine with us being just friends. The more we spent time with each other, the more our boundaries were blurred. Friends can hold hands. Friends can kiss on the mouth, right? Of course, they can, but when those two friends have been lovers before and still have feelings for each other, how can they kiss and hold hands and believe that it won’t affect them? We were just two idiots trying to trick life and we all know that bitch can’t be fooled.
The more time we spent together, the more I lost my independence. Issues I had been forced to deal with myself, I suddenly relied on him to help me with. I knew I needed to distance myself from him because the last thing I wanted was to become dependant on the person who had broken my heart. Somedays it was easier to keep him at distance but as soon as I felt weak and sad, he was the first person I’d call. I was treating him as a boyfriend but still determined to stay single. It was the definition of having the cake and eating it too. I thought he was on the same page as I was and it wasn’t until months later, I realized he had wanted me back. I felt so guilty even though I know I technically hadn’t done anything wrong. I was always clear that I wanted to stay single, even if I didn’t have a motivation for why.
So where are we now? We are still friends. We still love each other. We are still single. It’s a strange place to be in and it’s draining us both at times. We have had some episodes down the road when we’ve decided to cut each other out of our lives because that has seemed like the only way to move on. But we keep bouncing back to each other like two masochistic magnets. I still picture myself settling down with him. I still picture myself having kids with him. I still picture myself marrying him. But I know there’s stuff I need to deal with on my own before I can do any of that. I know love is supposed to be the spice that gives flavor to life. That you need to feel full by yourself and that love is that bonus that makes life extra magic but you should never be depending on it. I’m not there yet, and I feel like I need to get there before I can commit to a person I love. What scares me though is the fact that this is not all up to me. I have no control over his decisions. If he falls in love with someone else and forgets about me there is nothing I can do about it. It’s terrifying to think but I’ve realized it is the exact same situation as I was in after the breakup. I cant control the outer factors. I’m not the master of the universe. I can just surrender and trust that life will take me where I need to be.
I have always been very into astrology and the reason for that is because I’ve always wanted to understand myself and felt a need to “figure myself out”. Why am I acting like I do in different scenarios? Why do I struggle with this and that while being so good at this and that? Everyone can say what they want about astrology but there is one thing it’s taught me and that is: You can’t argue with faith. And by faith, I don’t mean what’s going to happen because of course, we all affect our own path. I mean what has happened and most importantly, what you’ve been given. You have your personality traits and those are yours and yours alone. You can and should always work on your “bad sides” to some degree but you must accept who you are and see your strengths and weaknesses in order to be the best version of yourself.
If there is something I am certain off, it’s that things never go well when you’re trying to be something you’re not. When you’re forcing another personality onto yourself because you think that’s better or more fun. I’ve done this a lot, and at times I’ve basically created a persona for myself. It may seem like a good idea in the beginning because it really gets you out of your comfort zone but at one point it becomes very destructive. Because by trying to be someone you’re not, you’re basically telling yourself that you’re not good enough as you are. There is nothing more harmful to your soul than that. I’m not saying you shouldn’t challenge yourself and get out of your comfort zone. Of course, you should do that, every single day if possible. But do it with the right intentions. Do it with the goal of developing YOUR personality and YOUR soul, not someone else’s.
I think the only way to be truly happy is to embrace all that is you. In order to do so, you need to really get to know yourself. First, you must find your strengths and embrace the shit outta them. Then, take an honest look at your weaknesses. There are so many things we hate about our personalities that in fact aren’t so bad at all. Maybe they could even be strengths if used right. Let me give you an example: I have a really high sensitivity to other people’s moods. If I’m listening to a friend talking about her problems or comforting someone who is sad, I feel drained afterwards. If I watch a sad movie (Who am I kidding, even really emotional episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians) I cry. I get so affected by other’s emotions that I physically feel it in my own body. This is something I often hate about myself and I would think “Why can’t I just be more objective and not get so soaked in?”. But why should I wanna change this amazing ability I have to sense peoples feelings? It’s a total superpower to have. I makes me caring and sympathetic towards people. It helps me sense the vibe of other people so I’m prepared for what’s coming. I can still work on not letting myself get so affected by others emotions so that it drains me but there’s a huge difference between learning to master your superpowers, rather than hating them and wishing you were different.
The lesson here is to work with what you’ve been given, not against it. It’s just like that Einstein quote: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, It will live its whole life believing that It is stupid”. You are totally unique and that should be celebrated. There is literally no one in the universe that is just like you, just let that fact soak in. I really believe that when we learn to embrace our qualities and let our personalities truly blossom, we can achieve great things. The sad thing is not many people actually do this. So many of us are constantly wishing we were different or feeling bad about ourselves for the way we’re wired. We need to stop that shit and cherish our unique qualities. “No one is you and that is your power”. (Ps. not even gonna apologize for the quote-dropping so just live with it).
I recently wrote a post about my relationship to beauty and the link between beauty and mental wellbeing (read it here). I was happy to see it got a lot of hits and I thought it would be fun to continue this post on the same track. So I decided to share some of my absolute favorite beauty products with you.
I have tried so many different products and I’m very picky. I have very sensitive and dry skin so I always make sure the products I apply to my skin are gentle and won’t cause any irritation. For example, I can’t use foundation or skincare from the luxury fashion houses because they’re all stuffed with perfume and often very active ingredients that are just too abrasive for my skin. But I love to add some luxury to my makeup bag with lipsticks or perfume from the high-end brands. Although I love trying new products I still have some absolute favorites that I keep coming back to. Keep scrolling to see the list. YOU’RE WELCOME.
I know International women’s day was a few days ago but that’s no reason not celebrate women every single day of the year. It’s amazing that we have that day to cherish and empower women a little extra but one day is not making up for all the shit we have to deal with on a daily basis. There’s a fucking day for the cinnamon bun too but we don’t treat the cinnamon bun any different the rest of the year just to uplift it on this one single day once a year. We love the heck out of the cinnamon bun every single day of the year. We literally treat the cinnamon bun better than we treat women. Just let that sink in. Meanwhile, let’s get inspired and amazed by these magical creatures that are women.
This is a post about my relationship to beauty. I know beauty is a very broad subject and it can mean a lot of things but what I wanna write about today is the superficial kind of beauty like skincare and makeup. I say superficial but is it really that superficial?
We’ve all been raised with the stereotypes that cosmetics and skincare is something girls do. It’s vain, it’s materialistic. it’s superficial as fuck. I’d like to argue with that though. For me, beauty has never only been about vanity. I have to admit that is a huge part of it but it’s always been so much more than that. Beauty is intricately connected to my mental wellbeing. Giving myself time for this sacred ritual is so therapeutic and the ultimate act of self-love.
In times when I’ve felt really bad and dealing with depression and anxiety, I’ve become obsessed with finding little things that I can do to make me feel even slightly better. For those who never had to deal with mental illness, It can be hard to understand the importance of this. When I’ve been really low, it has felt as though I’m held hostage in my own mind. Like my thoughts and feelings want to hurt me and there is no escape because it is all happening inside my mind. It’s a terrifying sensation actually. I will talk more about this in another post but my point is: When you walk around every day with that bizarre claustrophobic feeling you’d give just about anything for a distraction or escape of some sort. Some reach for the drugs or go out and get wasted but those are really destructive behaviors that are only gonna make you feel worse and harm you in the long run. So what if your distraction could be this pampering ritual of self- love that you created for yourself. Massaging your face with heavenly scented products that for a moment could ease those destructive thoughts and let you focus on what you are doing at this moment. I’d suggest taking it a step further and maybe playing chill music and lighting some candles while doing it.
Most of you are probably fully aware of the phenomenon that is K-beauty A.K.A (Lil QT voice) Korean beauty. It’s basically (or not so basically) a skincare regimen taken to the next level. Instead of having 3 steps in your regimen you have up to 12 or more steps. Does this have any significant impact on your skin health? I really don’t know but for the sake of the mindfulness, it’s amazing. The magic is in the ritual and allowing yourself to pamper and treat yourself. If that comes with glowing skin, I’d say that’s an amazing bonus. Actually, it’s more than a bonus. You, feeling pretty could be just as beneficial as the ritual itself. The way we look has a hugemungous effect on the way we feel and that’s where makeup also comes into the picture. You’ve probably heard people say “if you look good, you feel good” and while it’s not always that simple when you’re battling mental illness, there is some truth to it. Our appearance really does affect our state of mind. Our brain may be a very complicated organ but it’s actually quite stupid sometimes. It remembers and associates different scenarios to certain feelings. For example, the thought of having a day off and spend the whole day at home in your pajamas probably sound like the coziest thing ever. But when that actually happens, you will most likely end up feeling kind of bad and confused at the end of the day. At least I do. My brain associates staying home in my pajamas with being sick and even if I’m healthy as a horse I have the same feeling in my mind as though I’d been sick all day. So If I’m working from home or for some reason, don’t leave the house all day, I still need to put myself together as though I was going to work. Have a shower, put on proper clothes, brush my hair and maybe even applying makeup. Trick your brain, fake it til you make it, etc. etc.
There are millions of things you can do to feel better and to distract yourself with. I focused this post on beauty because it’s a big interest of mine but you can, of course, take this approach with other hobbies as well. As long as it’s not crack I’d say YOU FUCKING GO (GLEN COCO).