woman looking happily into her reflection

How to Challenge Negative Self-Talk and Find Inner Peace

Identifying negative thinking and achieving inner peace and happiness

If you struggle with negative self talk and wonder how to change it, this post can be your starting point for understanding how to deal with and respond to those negative inner thoughts. Having an inner critic is part of being a human, and at times it can be helpful (like when you are indulging in something that might not be healthy for your mind or body). However, if that voice turns out to be more harmful than helpful, if you notice excessive negativity and it creates significant stress, then that inner critic might be limiting you and making you doubt your every move, making life painful and unfulfilling.

Fortunately, there are some good news. The fact that you are reading this post, means you are aware of those limiting beliefs and negative thoughts going through your mind, and that is the first step in dealing with them. Not noticing the negative train of thought can lead to a spiral of damaging thoughts and emotions. By noticing them, we are able to contain them and deal with them. There are many different ways of trying to minimize negative self talk, and I will be listing the ones I found helpful in my own experience.

By dealing with our inner critic, noticing when it is being destructive and working on challenging those negative thoughts, we are heading towards a place of self-compassion and love. I like to refer to that place as my inner peace – a state of spiritual calm despite the potential presence of stressor. Sounds like a wonderful place to be, doesn’t it?

6 tips to try out in order to minimize negative self talk and work on building inner peace:

Stand up to your inner bully

Challenge that negative self talk and stand up to your inner bully. One of the biggest issues with negative self talk is that nobody stands up to it and question its validity, and those thoughts go unchallenged. Just imagine someone said those things to someone you love, what would you say to them? Now act as if they did say that to someone you love, and defend yourself. Be to yourself who you are to those you love.

Ask for help

See a professional. If things seem too hard, don’t wait for it to get worse. Asking for help makes you stronger. Therapy can be helpful for everyone, and you do not have to wait for things to get unbearable. A mental health professional can help you understand and explore your relationship with yourself, understand yourself better. Therapy can lead the way towards healing and creating a better home in your mind.

Live according to your values

Determine your values and act accordingly. Why is this important? When we don’t live according to our values, we can’t be entirely happy and content with our lives. This does not mean live blindly according to something, but that your general direction through life should follow your inner values. Once you start living in alignment, life shifts in the most beautiful of ways. You stop holding on to the things that no longer serve you and reach within yourself for whatever you may need. Living in alignment brings inner peace – and it all starts with you asking yourself “What is important to me and how do I want to live my life?”.

Set boundaries with others

Set firm boundaries with other people. Don’t give your energy to them. Avoid those that stress you out and bring negativity into your life. Surround yourself with supportive people you are able to depend on to give you helpful advice, having your best interest at heart. Choose those that bring light into your life, not darkness, and be that person for them too.

Practice self compassion

You will not always get everything right, and that is okay. You don’t work towards perfection, you work towards progress. Wherever you currently are, accept yourself. Accept that you needed more or less time for some things and that you might even change your mind along the way. You are doing your best and that is enough. Give yourself a hug (a physical one, just try it, trust me) and forgive yourself. Remember: failing at something is a normal part of being human. This does not mean that you are a failure, but that you simply failed at something. Take that experience as a lesson and ask yourself – what is it that I can learn from this?

Take good care of your whole self

Exercise, eat nourishing food to fuel your body and mind, and learn how to deal with stress in a healthy way. Create healthy evening and morning routines to help better your sleep and manage your energy throughout the day. Following a more healthy lifestyle can have a huge impact on your overall well-being. Exercising can positively affect your mood, along with a healthy diet which will energize your body and give it the necessary fuel.

These tips are aimed at those wishing to improve their general well-being. However, if you are overwhelmed by your negative self talk, feel like you cannot cope, you should seek help right away. Ask help from a health professional, and/or call your local hotline.

With love and compassion,

Common Unicorn

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picnic setting on grass with a blanket, a book and a picnic basket

10 Best Solo Date Ideas to Try Now

Self dates to take yourself on

First, there was self-love. In order to grow long-lasting and meaningful relationships and friendships, you should first learn how to love and spend quality time with yourself. Solo dates are a great way to reconnect with yourself, focus on all the aspects of self-care. Find the time to focus on your relationship with your inner self, no matter your relationship status! Learning how to have genuine fun, to be honest, compassionate and loving with yourself is crucial – this is after all the longest relationship you’ll ever have, so make it count.

It might feel weird in the beginning, but that is totally normal. After all, in a society focused on achievements and status, focusing on inner peace, self-kindness, and just spending some time with yourself, making yourself happy might seem even a little extravagant.

Hopefully, I have convinced you to take yourself out on a proper date, but now you’re wondering what are you supposed to do on a self date? Worry no more, here you can find a list of 10 beautiful activities you can choose for your next solo date! Before jumping to the list, there is only one rule you have to follow: chores don’t count as dates! So no, going grocery shopping is not a proper date. Just think of it as your usual (more than 1 person) date. Okay, now you’re ready!

Where to go on a solo date: 10 amazing ideas for your next self date

1. Check out a local museum or an art gallery

Have a solo date dedicated to admiring some art or learning something new about the past, science, architecture, etc. Choose something you’ll enjoy and just wonder around for a bit.

2. Take yourself out on a picnic

Prepare yourself a delish meal (maybe even multiple courses), something yummy to drink (infused water, a soda, maybe some juice), pack it all up and head to you fav park for a solo picnic date!

3. Buy yourself some flowers and head to your favourite cafe for a cup of coffee.

Who says you can’t buy flowers for yourself? Go to your local farmers market, buy yourself your favorite flowers and then head to that cute coffee place and enjoy yourself a cup of freshly brewed coffee or tea.

4. Grab that book you’ve been meaning to read and head to a quiet outdoors spot.

Grab a blanket as well so you can get extra comfy! Choose a spot where you’ll be able to read and head there for a couple of hours of undisturbed bliss.

5. Have a spiritual retreat day!

Dedicate your day to your spirituality. Meditate, practice some journaling (write down whatever feels right), do yoga, diffuse some essential oils, and simply be. Reconnect with yourself by staying present and grounded. 

Related topic: How to develop a more spiritual yoga practice

6. Get crafty.

Do something creative on your next solo date. Try photography, make a photo album of your favorite memories, paint, try out a new recipe, try a DIY you’ve saved for later. Choose an activity you’ll enjoy, and dedicate your date to your creativity.

7. Check out your local theatre and go see a play.

Instead of the usual binge watching Netflix, for your next self date go and see a play at your local theatre. 

8. Watch the sunrise from your favourite local spot.

I love waking up while the rest of my city is still sleeping and enjoying some time alone. Wake up before sunrise, make your drink of choice to go (coffee, tea, juice) and head out to your fav spot to watch the beautiful sunrise by yourself. Alternatively, if waking up that early seems like something impossible, do the same, but for the sunset.

9. Have a spa day.

Doesn’t have to be something fancy and expensive. You can have a spa day at home: light some candles, put on a face mask, enjoy yourself a bubble bath. Put on some relaxing music and diffuse some essential oils. It can be as simple as that.

10. Go on an active outdoor date.

Go for a bike ride and explore your city. Maybe go for a hike, or walk by the sea or river. Pick your favorite, get your body moving, and enjoy that quality solo time.

There you have it! You can go through the list and pick one for each time you take yourself on a date. Remember: the love and connection you have and nourish with yourself is the starting point for all the other relationships in your life. Set the foundations for them by taking care of yourself.

Let me know if you tried any of these and whether you liked them! Also, I’d love to hear about your own solo date ideas you’ve been to. 

With love and compassion,

Common Unicorn

If you enjoyed this read, subscribe to my mailing list so I can keep you updated with the latest posts, regular freebies, amazing opportunities, exclusive discounts and more. Also, by joining the list, you receive right away for FREE the amazing 30 Day Self-Care Challenge and a Printable Calendar!

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a girl running on the beach in summer

7 Healthy Summer Habits to Start Practicing Today

Simple and Effective Tips for Summer Self-Care and Wellness

Summer is here, my friends! Time to dust off your sun hats and restock your sunscreen supply. Whether you plan on spending time on the beach or in the city, summer’s long, sunny days and warmer weather offer a variety of beautiful new opportunities for relaxation and self-care ideas.

Many health benefits can be found in a consistent, daily self-care routine. Taking care of our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being is essential to achieving overall wellness and life balance. While self-care can and should be practiced all year long, today I want to emphasize the wonderful habits for you to incorporate into your summer self-care and warm weather wellness activities.

7 tips to help you maintain your health and wellness this summer

Stay hydrated.

Hydration is crucial in maintaining your health ALWAYS. Warmer temperatures force your body to work harder to stay cool, resulting in an increased fluid loss. To prevent this, always stay hydrated and carry a bottle of water with you wherever you go.

Add some flavor to your water.

Except water, our taste buds usually crave for some flavor too. Replace soda drinks with some water infused with a fruit or a herb. My go to is lemon-ginger-mint infused water, both sparkling and still are absolutely delicious! Take a look for more infused water ideas here.

Wear that sunscreen. Always.

Although sun can be your friend in helping you produce vitamin D, sunburns are your enemy! Protect your skin from premature ageing and skin cancer by using a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects the skin from both UVA and UVB rays. Also, look for 30+ SPF.

Use all the advantages of a farmer’s market.

Get to know your local farmer’s market. Summer is a beautiful season for all the different kinds of fruits and veggies! So many color and flavor in one place, and every week something new is coming in. What’s not to love?

Be more mindful about your eating.

Gain control over your eating habits, restore your attention and slow down. Make eating an intentional act, instead of a mindless one. This means actually noticing your bites, the flavours you taste, how your body feels while eating. In addition to that, take advantage of all the seasonal fruits and veggies available. Summer is my favorite season and one of the main reasons is all that colourful food that is available. Peaches, watermelons, cherries, berries, you name it. All that taste, oh my!

Workout in the morning.

If you don’t already, think about working out in the morning. Get up a little earlier so you don’t rush through your morning routine. It’s still not that warm so you can enjoy your workout more and you’ll feel so much more energised throughout the day. Did I mention the positive mood boost you’ll get out of it?

Related topic: 4 reasons to include yoga into your morning routine

Spend more time in nature.

Go for a hike, ride your bike by a lake, have a picnic in the park. Be mindful of the temperatures (avoid middle of day, very hot days, etc.) and wear bright clothes. Once you’ve taken care of that, just enjoy your nature time, let that amazing energy in and just be. The amazing benefits for your mind, body and soul of spending time in nature are just numerous.


Lastly, remember to smile and enjoy the little things. Stop to smell that flower. Watch that sunset. Dance. Laugh your ass off. Hope you have a great summer loves!

As always with love,

Common Unicorn

If you enjoyed this read, subscribe to my mailing list so I can keep you updated with the latest posts, regular freebies, amazing opportunities, exclusive discounts and more. Also, by joining the list, you receive right away for FREE the amazing 30 Day Self-Care Challenge and a Printable Calendar!

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Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies

Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies | The Only Cookies Recipe You’ll Ever Need

The Easy Plant-based Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies Recipe You’ll Love

This amazing chocolate hazelnut cookies recipe has everything you are looking for in a homemade sweet treat recipe! The rich and complex flavor of the cookies that are chewy on the inside and crisp on the outside will satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth. On top of that, it is easy to make and doesn’t require any chilling of the dough or some heavy machinery. It basically comes down to mixing the ingredients, shaping the cookies and baking them!

The ingredients are simple and wholesome. It is mostly things you’d usually find in your (vegan or non-vegan) pantry. The list is also flexible, you can replace ingredients according to your own preferences (or the current content of your pantry). For example, if you don’t like hazelnuts (or you’re allergic), you can simply replace them with almonds or another nut. Same goes for flour. Another upside is the preparation time which is super short, only 15 minutes, and then another 15 minutes for baking the goodies.

Now that you got all the info, let’s dive into the ingredients and instructions on how to make it!

Total time: 30 min (prep: 15 min, baking: 15 min) | Serves: depends on you 🙂 you get about 30 cookies

How to make vegan chocolate hazelnut cookies

Ingredients

  • 200 grams / 7 ounces whole grain flour (I usually use spelt or rye flour or even half of each)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda (in addition to the baking powder for some extra puffiness, it is not necessary though)
  • 100 grams / 3.5 ounces hazelnuts (chopped or whole)
  • 85 grams / 3 ounces coconut sugar (or some other less processed sugar)
  • 3 tbsp / 45mL plant-based milk (I really use whichever I have – soy, almond, oat)
  • 115 grams / 4 ounces of high-quality vegan dark chocolate (I usually use the 85%)
  • 100 grams / 3.5 ounces of coconut oil

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 180°C / 350°F.

2. If you got whole hazelnuts, chop them up to pieces by using a “bat” or alternatively a food processor (I prefer the “bat” because you get coarsely chopped hazelnuts, but this is up to you and your preferences. Since going completely vegan I just repurposed my old meat tenderizer and now I use it for crushing different nuts). When your hazelnuts are chopped, mix them together with all the other dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, coconut sugar). Mix until well incorporated.

3. Now to the liquids. Using low heat and constant stirring, melt dark chocolate together with plant-based milk and coconut oil. This will liquify the coconut oil and the chocolate. Mix it all together nicely. Be careful not to overheat it, just enough so that the chocolate melts.

4. When the liquid part is all combined and the dry part is well mixed, it is time to connect the two. Mix in the liquid with the dry ingredients and keep stirring until fully incorporated (I use a mixer with dough hooks, but hands will do).

5. Line your cookie sheet with parchment paper and using a spoon or your hands (my preferred way) form cookies as seen in the picture below.

6. Place the cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 14-15 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the sheet for a couple of minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to completely cool down (if you don’t have a wire rack, a clean dishtowel will do the job just fine).

Couple of notes here:

  • Instead of hazelnuts, you can use almonds and it works perfectly – just replace the same amount.
  • For a lighter version, you can remove 20 grams of coconut oil and add one more tablespoon of plant-based milk.

Now that your yummy cookies are ready, all that is left for you is to wait for it to cool down and enjoy this delicious chocolate and hazelnut treat 🙂

vegan chocolate hazelnut cookies

As you always should, check all the labels, product quality and possible allergens of the ingredients you’re using.


Hope you enjoyed this recipe! Please leave your feedback and let me know if you tried it. I’d love to hear how it turned out.

Click here for more easy and delish plant-based recipes!

Check out also these tips on how to declutter you mind, body, and soul – nourishing foods are important in fuelling your body’e energy and these tips on what could be draining your energy levels – sometimes poor diet can be the culprit.

With love,

Common Unicorn

There will be a lot more plant-based recipes coming on the blog, so be sure to subscribe with your e-mail so you won’t miss it! Also, by joining the list, you receive right away for FREE the amazing 30 Day Self-Care Challenge and a Printable Calendar!

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Daily affirmations list - a hand with a bird tattoo and clouds in the background

20 Daily Affirmations for Self-Love and Acceptance

Powerful Affirmations to Build Self-Worth and Confidence

Chances are this is not the first post about affirmations you are reading. There is a growing buzz around using positive affirmations to promote self-confidence and acceptance. However, you might have already asked yourself, do affirmations really work? What can I achieve using affirmations? Which affirmations should I use? How often should I affirm myself? All of these are valid questions, and in this post I will do my best to help you finally answer them.

Let’s start with what are affirmations. Affirmations are positive and uplifting statements that are used to promote self-confidence, embrace self-love and acceptance. They are a self-help strategy used to overcome self-doubt and negative thoughts.

Do affirmations actually work and what for?

Affirmations generally work as a tool for improving your mindset, but they are not a magic spell for instant success or healing. Because our brain can sometimes get a little mixed up on what is reality and what is imagination, we are able to use this to our advantage when it comes to affirmations. With regular repetition and affirming statements about ourselves, we can encourage our brain to take those statements as the truth, and that is pretty powerful if you think about it.

Repetition + Action = Successful Affirmation

Reaffirming yourself of something is usually one of the steps towards self-acceptance and love, you also have to take some action. For example, say your affirmation is “My body deserves love and respect”. If you’re actions say otherwise (you stay hungry and skip needed meals as a form of self-punishment, you’re obsessing over calories and weighing yourself constantly), then your affirmation is not enough.

Consider affirmations as a light shed over your actions and thoughts that are lowering your self-worth and confidence. Once you bring them out into the light, what are your next steps? How will you use those affirmations in your actions? Affirmations together with your actions make those changes towards self-acceptance and love. This is why affirmations themselves aren’t a magical spell you chant and it makes everything better. YOU are the magic that will make everything better, your words AND your actions.

To get the most out of your affirmations, make them a regular habit, a part of your daily routine. Almost nothing worth building can be built fast, and this also applies here. While working towards self-love and acceptance using words of affirmation, by being respectful of the process and the time it needs, you also practice patience and self kindness. The benefits just keep piling up, don’t they? 🙂

Daily affirmations - a woman walking on the beach with her shoes in her hand

Daily affirmations list for embracing self-love, confidence and accepting yourself

Here is a list of some of the beautiful affirmations you can use on a daily basis. Pick the ones you resonate with mostly or use them as an inspiration to write down your very own affirmations.

1. I deserve love and joy in all areas of my life.

2. I choose to respect myself and be kind to myself.

3. My body deserves love and acceptance.

4. My mind is brilliant and powerful.

5. I am grateful to be where I am and have what I have.

6. I trust myself to do the best I can and that is enough.

7. I value my time and energy and put it into the things that matter to me.

8. I accept all of my emotions, I let them evolve, be, and eventually pass.

9. I am not who I was and I am not who I will be. The only way to embrace myself is to stay present.

10. I am proud of myself, of who I am today, and of what brought me here.

11. I am beautiful inside and out.

12. All the love that I need is in me, all I need to do is look inside.

13. I respect and hold my boundaries.

14. I am not my thoughts. I let go of the negative thoughts as they do not define me and are only temporary.

15. My body is my home and I take good care of it.

16. I am a spiritual being and I value my spirituality.

17. I trust myself to make it through difficult times.

18. I write my own story and I am the main character in my life.

19. I let go of all the negativity that rests in my body, mind, and soul.

20. With kindness I forgive and let go all of the past.

There you have it my loves. You are worthy. You are strong. You are beautiful. You are capable (and responsible) of making your life your dream life.


If you enjoyed this read and found it valuable, you’ll also like these:

Everyday habits that drain your energy

10 things you can do to improve your mental wellness

How to declutter your life

Looking for a way to establish a healthier relationship with yourself? Check out 10 beautiful solo date ideas to build a better relationship with yourself.

With love and compassion,

Common Unicorn

If you enjoyed this read, subscribe to my mailing list so I can keep you updated with the latest posts, regular freebies, amazing opportunities, exclusive discounts and more. Also, by joining the list, you receive right away for FREE the amazing 30 Day Self-Care Challenge and a Printable Calendar!

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Plant-based pasta ragu recipe - a tomato and some pasta

Delicious Vegan Pasta Bolognese Recipe

How To Make a Plant-Based Bolognese With Tempeh and Dried Soya Mince

Ever since turning to a plant-based diet, I have been looking for new ways to prepare my favorite dishes. I grew up eating a lot of Italian meals, and pasta bolognese was a regular in my home. I tried a couple of vegan versions, and using soya mince (texturized vegetable protein or tvp) and tempeh as a base for the bolognese sauce is the one that hits my taste buds just as the original meat version. I also learned a couple of tips and tricks on how to make the sauce more ‘meaty’, and I am here to share that with you 🙂

I love this plant-based bolognese recipe because it is simple and budget-friendly. There’s only a handful of ingredients which you’d usually find in a vegan kitchen, and it’s a one-pot recipe (the sauce recipe). It is suitable for both vegans and meat lovers, because it is an absolutely delicious and nutritious meal. Another upside is that, unlike the meat version, it takes a lot less time to prepare it.

So now that I’ve hyped you into making this delish vegan ragú, let’s dive into the ingredients and instructions on how to make it!

Total time: 40 min (prep: 10 min, cooking: 30 min) | Serves: 3-4 people

How to make a simple and nourishing plant-based bolognese sauce

Ingredients

  • Tempeh (200 grams / 7 ounces), or dried soya mince (140 grams / 5 ounces), or half of both (100 grams of tempeh and 70 grams of soya mince)
  • Sun-dried tomatoes (8 pieces, or 15-20 grams), diced
  • 2 onions (I like to use one yellow and one red, but depends on your preferences), diced
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Tomato passata (300-400 grams or 10-14 ounces; if you like a more ‘saucy’ bolognese, go for 400 grams, if not, then 300)
  • Salt, pepper (to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon of chilli flakes (or adjust according to how spicy your chilli flakes are)
  • 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon od dried basil
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil or preferred oil (I like to use coconut oil as well)

Instructions

How to make vegan bolognese sauce

1. If you’re using tempeh, marinate it in a soy sauce of your choice for at least a couple of hours (I like to leave it overnight). After that, you can either break it using fingers or a fork. If you’re using dried soya mince (texturized vegetable protein or tvp), then just follow the simple instructions on the package (pour boiling water over the tvp and let it do its thing for a couple of minutes). After rehydrating your tvp, I like to drain it as much as possible (using a spoon to “push out” the extra water). If you’re using both tempeh and tvp (as I did in these pictures), then just perform these steps separately for each and combine them together afterwards.

2. Once your ‘meat’ of choice is ready, mix in the seasoning (oregano, basil, smoked paprika, chilli flakes, salt and pepper).

3. Chop up your garlic, onions and the sun-dried tomatoes. Heat up the oil in a saucepan and add all the chopped ingredients together. Fry on medium or low heat for 10-15 minutes, while stirring frequently.

4. Add the seasoned ‘meat’ to the saucepan and fry it all together with frequent stirring for another 5 minutes.

5. Add the tomato passata to the saucepan and stir it into the rest. Let it cook for another 10-15 minutes. Stir it occasionally and add some water if needed, if the sauce seems to ‘thick’ (don’t overdo it).

6. Let it rest in a closed saucepan while you cook the pasta, letting the flavors fully connect.

Couple of notes here:

  • I like to mix tempeh and dried soya mince together because their texture and flavor complement each other and as a whole they really hit that meaty spot. However, using just one of them is equally good and definitely less time consuming!
  • Always adjust seasoning according to your own taste. The soy sauce I usually use is quite salty so I don’t use any additional salt. If you don’t like spicy, adjust the amount of chilli flakes accordingly, and so on. You know your own preferences the best!

How to cook the perfect bolognese pasta

  1. Boil a lot of water in a big saucepan. Wait for the water to fully boil before adding pasta.
  2. Add some salt before adding pasta.
  3. Cook the exact amount the box says for it to be cooked al dente.
  4. Drain it immediately after and stir it back in the saucepan with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil before mixing it with your tasty vegan bolognese sauce. Adding olive oil prevents the pasta from sticking and adds extra yummy flavor that goes well with the bolognese sauce.

Couple of notes here:

  • I prefer mixing pasta and sauce in my plate because everyone has their own preference for the sauce-pasta ratio. I am a big saucy pasta fan, so I prefer a lot more sauce than your average person.
  • As for which kind of pasta to use, any kind of whole-grain should be fine. In these photos I used corn pasta (you can see its extra yellow).

Now that your vegan bolognese sauce and pasta are ready, all that is left for you to mix them together and enjoy this delicious meal 🙂

As you always should, check all the labels, product quality and possible allergens of the ingredients you’re using.


Hope you enjoyed this recipe! Please leave your feedback and let me know if you tried it. I’d love to hear how it turned out.

Check out also these tips on how to declutter you mind, body, and soul – nourishing foods are important in fuelling your body’e energy. Also check out these tips on what could be draining your energy levels – sometimes poor diet can be the culprit.

With love,

Common Unicorn

There will be a lot more plant-based recipes coming on the blog, so be sure to subscribe with your e-mail so you won’t miss it! Also, by joining the list, you receive right away for FREE the amazing 30 Day Self-Care Challenge and a Printable Calendar!

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Energy draining activities to avoid - woman tired in bed

Everyday Habits That Drain Your Energy

10 Energy-Draining Activities to Avoid

We are a result of our habits, whether they are good, or bad. Whether we notice them, or not. By recognizing which unhealthy habits might be draining your energy and are bad for you, you can improve your well-being by replacing them with healthier ones and by focusing on a more healthy lifestyle. Making simple, yet powerful changes in your everyday routine can drastically improve your overall wellness and quality of life, so why not give it a go?

Here are some daily habits that can be adding to your low energy levels you might want to avoid.

Inconsistent and insufficient sleep

Research shows that sleep is essential at any age. Sleep powers the mind, restores the body, and fortifies virtually every system in the body. To get most of the benefits from sleeping, make sure you’re sleeping patterns are consistent and that you get enough of sleep each night.

Poor diet

Your diet plays an important role in keeping your energy levels high and stable throughout the day. Try smaller and more frequent meals and focus on a more balanced diet. By limiting the intake of refined sugar and starches you can avoid quick boosts that fade quickly and leave you depleted and craving more.

Dehydration

Your energy levels can be affected by your hydration status, so be sure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day. To remind myself, I like to keep a bottle of water on my desk, next to me. This way the bottle is a reminder I should have a sip. If this doesn’t help, you can try setting a couple of reminders on your phone or laptop throughout the day – when you hear the ‘ding’, it’s time for a sip!

Drinking alcohol

Drinking alcohol before going to bed can affect your overall sleep quality, which can result in shorter sleep duration and more sleep disruptions. Instead of having some wine in the evening, try replacing it with a soothing herbal tea – unwind in a healthier way and prepare yourself for some good night sleep.

Overthinking and constantly worrying

If something is out of your hands, excessive worrying about it does you absolutely no good, it just drains your energy which could’ve been used on something productive. Going over the things you could have done differently, said something differently in a past argument, imagining worst-case scenarios in life can be tiresome. Overthinking is different from problem solving and it is not productive. If you’re not sure whether you are an overthinker, you can check this read. If you conclude that overthinking is taking a toll on your well-being, you can practice doing it less – check out these tips that can help you move in the right direction

Related topic:
10 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Mental Well-being

Energy vampires

While some people bring lightness and comfort to your life, there are also those who leave you feeling stressed out and emotionally exhausted. The popular term for those types of people – energy vampires. It is important to realize who around you is only draining your energy and leaving you with nothing but the bad stuff. When you detect who that is, it is okay to walk away. You might struggle, feel guilty, impolite. However, your well-being should come first, and in time you will find a way to move forward, leaving them behind.

Related topic:
4 Ways To Handle Intrusive People – Setting Your Boundaries Today

Lacking physical activity

According to experts, the less energy you expend, the less energy you will produce. Turns out that the way to beat fatigue and boost your energy levels is to exercise more, not less. So move your body, go for a lunchtime walk, try different workouts, and find the one that suits you best. Spend weekends in nature, hike, ride bikes. Energize your body by moving it more.

Related topic:
4 Reasons to Include Yoga in Your Morning Routine

Not letting go of anger and resentment

Anger and resentment are generally tied to ‘living in the past’, and they can be extremely counterproductive to your energy. Let go of the things that are behind you and focus more on the present. If you are struggling with living in the past and handling negative thoughts, mindfulness meditation can be a great tool to achieve that.

Always checking your phone 

Excessive time on your phone can take a toll on your energy levels. Set time intervals where you will put your phone away from you. Also, use it less in the evening, as it can affect the quality of your sleep. I also like to incorporate one day in a week where I disconnect completely and recharge – sometimes it is particularly hard to do so, but the benefits on the overall well-being are greater than the cost (which is essentially none).

Taking things personally all the time

It is an exhausting way to go through life. Taking things LESS personally can save you a lot of energy and give you more time to focus on other things which deserve your attention. When we take things personally we are giving certain individuals more power over us than they deserve or should ever be allowed to have – find out here ways to stop taking things personally.


If you found these tips helpful, I recommend looking into this topic as well:

8 Simple Lifestyle Changes to Help Reduce Everyday Stress

With love,

Common Unicorn

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8 Simple Lifestyle Changes to Help Reduce Stress

How to Relieve Stress and Anxiety in a Healthy Way

Stress is our body and mind’s normal response to challenges in our daily life. Short term, it can help us perform better when the clock is ticking and we are under pressure, and it enables us to respond quickly to threats and danger. However, longer or constant exposure to stress can pose problems for our overall health – it can affect our physical health, our mental well-being and emotional state.

While we may not (to the full extent) be able to change what causes stress, we can focus on our reaction and our stress management. Now you’re probably thinking ‘easier said than done’, huh? Well here I offer 8 simple and healthy lifestyle changes you can implement into your daily routine, slowly and steadily shifting your mindset towards a slower, lighter, more mindful, and healthier way of living. Why do I think that can help in reducing and better managing everyday stress?

Just imagine 2 scenarios: in one, you woke up in a rush, you ate some pizza from yesterday for breakfast, while scrolling through social media, and you quickly got dressed and rushed off to work. In the other, you woke up in time, even earlier, you didn’t look at your phone right away. You stretched out a bit, meditated for a couple of minutes, and made yourself a healthy breakfast, which you ate mindfully, without any distractions. You had enough time to get ready at your own pace and went to work. Which of these two scenario-people do you think will handle that day’s work stress better? The second one, without a doubt. The cause (outside element) might be the same, but the person managing it will be different.

8 Healthy Lifestyle Habits for Better Managing Everyday Stress

Create a simple, but effective morning routine

How you start each day sets the tone for the rest of that day. Wake up early, give yourself time to wake up entirely – stretch or workout to wake up your body, meditate, and have a healthy breakfast without any distractions. Set yourself for a more mindful and focused day.

Go to bed early

Tiredness is like adding fuel to stressful situations. Having more energy is the first step in dealing with stressful situations more effectively. Also, in order to maintain a productive morning routine, it is important to get enough sleep and rest the night before. Go to bed early and enjoy your well deserved rest.

Avoid people who stress you out

Other people play a huge role in our everyday lives. Some people may not be that easy to avoid, but sometimes we keep hanging out with people that cause negative emotions in us out of pure habit. Re-evaluate your social life, detect who influences your life in a solely negative way, and re-consider how you handle them.

Practice deep breathing throughout the day

Set your timer for every couple of hours, and pause to have a couple of deep and mindful breaths. All of us easily get caught up and race through the day, this can help you keep yourself more grounded and remind you to pause every now and then.

Identify what is causing your stress and anxiety

Sometimes it takes us some time to recognize we are under huge stress or feeling anxious. Mindful breathing breaks are a tool in helping you understand your state of being – if you’re under stress, taking a pause can help you realize that. Beside acknowledging your body and mind are experiencing stress, work on identifying the cause. Look at your habits, your attitude about the cause, and the possible excuses you might be making. We often multiply our stressful response by building it up in our mind – break that cycle by observing it and calling it what it is. The purpose is not to minimize what is happening, but to minimize your reaction to it.

Get regular exercise

Except for having great physical health benefits, exercise can also be a powerful stress reliever. Whether it is a daily 30-minute walk, a fitness workout using an app on your phone, just find what works for you and stay consistent.

Reduce caffeine and sugar

If you adopt healthy habits, while still maintaining the unhealthy ones, not much can be done in managing and reducing your stress levels. Reduce your refined sugar intake and the amount of coffee you drink. Besides being your sidekick for stress relief, it can also improve your sleeping habits.

Avoid tobacco, alcohol and other drugs

Tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs, along with many other harmful health consequences, are also your enemy when it comes to healthy coping mechanisms and relieving stress. I just cannot stress enough the amount of negative impact it has on your overall well-being and how you deal with stressful situations, so here are a couple of useful links if you want to look more into it:


If you are struggling with negative self talk and wonder how to change it, this post can be your starting point for understanding how to deal with and respond to those negative inner thoughts and work towards finding inner peace.

These tips are aimed at those dealing with regular everyday stress and wish to improve their general well-being. However, if you are overwhelmed by stress, feel like you cannot cope, you should seek help right away. Ask help from a health professional, and/or call your local hotline.

With love and compassion,

Common Unicorn

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spiritual yoga practice - a girl in meditation pose

4 Ways to Develop a Spiritual Yoga Practice

Yoga for Spiritual Growth | How To Create a More Spiritual Practice

There are so many physical benefits of yoga, that even with just those, yoga is a valuable practice. However, taking a step further and embracing yoga fully really is an amazing experience and a wonderful new way to enjoy this supreme practice. When we approach our health in a holistic way, we can see beyond just physical aspects, and deepen the mind, body, and soul connection, growing and healing all three aspects simultaneously. The practice of yoga is rooted in spirituality, it teaches you patience, focus, the practice of loving kindness, and much more.

To put it bluntly, it is a shame to practice yoga and to not embrace the spiritual benefits and the dimensions of the mind-body connections it has to offer. Personally, it took me some time to see this. However, now my practices have deeper meaning, I am mindful of each asana, and I feel the full mind-body connection. Here is how I do it:

Yoga and Spirituality – 4 Beautiful Ways to Make Your Yoga Practice More Spiritual

Aromatherapy and essential oils

Using essential oils for therapeutic benefits in aromatherapy can make a positive impact on your well-being as long as it is used in a safe way. There are a lot of ways you can use essential oils and enjoy their amazing scent and therapeutic effects, however be sure to take certain precautions before using them.

In my case, before each practice, I choose a blend of essential oils and spread them using a diffuser. The scent sets a more calm and mindful tone for me to start with my practice.

Give each practice a higher meaning by dedicating it to someone or something

Now that I’ve diffused some essential oils, I get on my mat, and just before starting the practice, I dedicate that practice to someone (or to some cause) that I care for. This way, my practice has a higher meaning, and through each asana, when things get hard and I notice a little voice inside me starting to complain, I remind myself of why I am doing it, and what is the higher meaning of that practice.

Notice when your mind starts to wander and gently bring it back to the present

Mind-wandering is something we all have in common. All we can really do is notice when it happens, and bring ourselves back to the present. At least a couple of times throughout the practice I notice my mind being somewhere else, working hard on some problem in the future, or reminiscing over something in the past. When that happens, I remind myself of the importance of staying present, and slowly (and gently) bring myself back – to the breath and the position I am currently in. This way while you practice yoga, you are also practicing mindfulness – keeping yourself grounded and in the present moment, improving your overall well-being.

Don’t skip or shorten Savasana – embrace that last asana to the fullest

It might look easy, but Savasana (the relaxation pose) is actually one of the most difficult asanas. It is also a very important one. Work on gradually entering a truly relaxed state, while remaining conscious and alert. Being aware of your body while also relaxing it can help you notice and understand certain tensions in your body and mind, making it possible to release them.


A good yoga practice is one that offers you peace and clarity of the body, mind, and spirit, within and outside the practice. Embracing the spiritual side of yoga offers you ways on how to attain a peaceful mind, while gradually working on improving the posture.

a girl practicing yoga

If you enjoyed this read, you can also check out why you should include yoga into your morning routine.

Working on your spirituality? Check out 10 beautiful solo date ideas to build a better relationship with yourself.

Namaste my loves,

Common Unicorn

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simple tips to improve your mental health - calming photo of a candle on a table

10 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Mental Well-being

Simple Tips To Boost Your Mental Health

It is easy to get caught up with work, the news, social media, and many other things that are competing for our attention. An important part of our well-being is our mental health, which can additionally be affected during extensive and multiple lockdowns during the pandemic. How to improve and maintain our mental health should be on our priority list, but still we often neglect it.

Building a routine that supports your psychological well-being can create an amazing environment for your general wellness and personal growth. Here is a list of some simple and straightforward activities you can easily incorporate into your normal routine and feel all the advantages.

How To Improve Your Mental Health

1. Start the day with gratitude and self compassion

Either by taking a mental note or writing in your journal, start the day with acknowledging at least one thing you are grateful for, and one thing you love about yourself. You might find this hard at first, but there are a lot of things to be grateful for, as well as there are a lot of things you can love about yourself. Practicing this daily can help you shift your mindset towards a more positive state, encouraging you to stay more present and feel content.

2. Move your body

Findings from research indicate that exercise is associated with improvements in mental health including boosts in mood and self-esteem. But even research aside, you alone can tell that you actually feel better after a hike, a bike ride, or a yoga practice. Whichever you find the most exciting, get your body moving and make it a habit – both your body and mind will thank you.

3. Maintain social connections

Humans are social creatures with emotional needs for companionship and positive connections. We’re not meant for isolation and solitude. Connect with friends, family, loved ones, either in person, or through a video call. Face-to-face connections are like food for our emotional mind. 

4. Read

Grab that book you’ve been meaning to read and get lost in it. Diving into a good book can calm the mind and relax the body, as simple as that.

5. Disconnect to reconnect

Go off the grid – move your phone away from you for a day (when it is possible of course) and disconnect from constant alerts, notifications, and distractions. Spend that time to reconnect with someone or even to reconnect with yourself – enjoy your me-time.

6. Deep breathing and meditation

Keep yourself grounded and in the present moment by taking a few deep breaths or by practicing mindfulness with a guided meditation. The benefits of practicing mindfulness are numerous. You can also read about my own experience in using mindfulness meditations to relieve anxiety and to deal with cravings.

7. Go for a walk outside

Especially if it is sunny outside, use that walk in the sunshine as a double mood booster. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen!

8. Do something nice for someone

Perform a random act of kindness. Volunteer to help someone else. Whichever you choose, doing something to help someone, putting a smile on their face, is a great way to feel better about yourself!

9. Get enough sleep

Sleep is essential to your energy levels and productivity throughout the day – make sure you get enough of it.

10. Replace unhealthy habits to unwind with healthy ones

Replace the unhealthy habits you use to unwind (like alcohol or smoking) with healthy ones. Replace that evening glass of wine with a soothing herbal tea – you will sleep better and feel better in the morning. Check out here other ways to unwind in the evening without alcohol.

How to improve your mental well-being - a calming photo of books, sunglasses and a candle

Mental wellness is achieved with good emotional, psychological, and social well-being

All in all, make sure you’re taking time to focus on your mental health activities, build steady healthy habits around your day, and most importantly – be kind to yourself, no matter what 🙂

Keep in mind that these activities do not serve as a solution for mental issues, they are helpful tools for maintaining a good mental health. If you are struggling, seek help from your physician or a professional and / or call your local hotline if necessary.

If you enjoyed this read, I recommend you look into more self-improvement ideas – check out these steps to take to awaken the badass inside you (a sassy spiritual awakening list). For more tips on embracing sobriety, I recommend reading my reasons to quit drinking, or to put it differently, the things you’ll be missing out on when you quit booze for good.

With love and compassion,

Common Unicorn

If you enjoyed this read, subscribe to my mailing list so I can keep you updated with the latest posts, regular freebies, amazing opportunities, exclusive discounts and more. Also, by joining the list, you receive right away for FREE the amazing 30 Day Self-Care Challenge and a Printable Calendar!

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