Be Inspired

Be Inspired

Forever a dreamer

Goal setting seems to be a huge trend today. Whether it’s losing x number of kilos, get that certain promotion at work, get more active or get rich. Whatever the goal is, it’s in fact a dream with a deadline, and why add that type of stress to your life?

I have always been a dreamer. For as long as I can remember, I would have these visions of doing and achieving tons of different things in life. I still do. And turns out there are enormous benefits to dreaming often and dreaming big. It for example provides us with a platform for growth and success.

The same goes for goals. Except they come with that deadline.

Just taste the word: DEADline. The word itself is negatively charged. And with a deadline comes pressure, and with pressure the possibility of failure. And we all fail, at some point. And then we get upset, punish ourselves and get demotivated. When we in fact should try to accept it, and ask ourselves what we learned from it. Move on, continue our journey.

 Goals may give focus, but dreams give power

I am not saying goals are bad, but why not embrace dreams instead? Because they come without pressure, timelines and rules. Dreams are all about kindness. Maybe try to get yourself a dream diary, put your dreams down on paper. Visualize and embrace creativity, but without the time pressure.

If you on the other hand love goals and have tons of them; That’s great too! Just remember to be kind to yourself. Because the kinder you are, the more efficient you will be and the better you will feel. Skip the rules of what you MUST and SHOULD accomplish and simply trust your journey. Let what is supposed to happen, happen. Preferably without a deadline.


By: Henriette Danielsen

Be Inspired

From couch potato to a more energized self

We have all heard it a hundred times; moving more equals better health. You get more productive at work, you sleep better and you feel more energized and happy. But then there is the hard truth that getting up from the couch is easier said than done. And the gym frightens many of us.  

The good news is that the benefits of physical activity are not restricted to exercise performed only in the gym. There are other steps you can take to increase physical activity that don’t involve hours lifting weights or running on a treadmill.

Simply be on the lookout for little ways to move more.

The small things that can increase your everyday exercise. And you just wait and see; it will do wonders to your overall health!

Use your legs
Get up and start walking. It is as simple as that. Walk to the store, suggest a walking meeting at work if possible, take a Sunday walk with a friend instead of meeting over lunch, get off the bus one stop before home, choose the stairs instead of the elevator. Nothing you probably haven’t heard before, but try it. It really works.

House chores
Cleaning your house or apartment can definitely get your pulse up. Vacuuming, mopping floors, scrubbing the shower, wipe dust, all of it requires movement. And why not add some music and dance around a little while doing it? Makes a boring chore more fun in an instant.

Make time
This is key people. Try to move at least 30 minutes every single day. Might sound a lot, but try to shift the focus of it being something you must do, to something you want to do. Maybe event write it in your day planner, make an appointment with yourself or with others.

Stay motivated
How, you might wonder? Try different things. We have a tendency to stick to what we know and what we are good at, but why not try out new things. Why not give dance class a try, or choose a new route for your Sunday walk? Or why not join your friend for a new activity?  Variation being the key word. And never underestimate the value of the small stuff. As long as you move, your body will thank you for it.

Bring others in on it
Have a family, why not play around in the snow or dance around the house? Have a partner? Why not motivate each other for a little sit up competition? Have co-workers? Why not suggest walking up and down the stairs together, twice a day during your workday? Live alone? Why not call a friend and suggest trying a new activity rather than a movie night?

Don´t limit yourself. Be open for new things and you will see how you will feel better and get more motivated to keep it up. But most importantly; don´t end up punishing yourself if the couch wins over your willpower. Just get up the next day and try again. And remember; start small.


By: Henriette Danielsen

Be Inspired

Is social media messing with our health?

Daily we mindlessly scroll through our social media feeds, being subconsciously fed with a portrait of the perfect life. We start comparing ours with others, getting caught in the delusion that life is flawless. Which is fair to say is a tad unhealthy.

Sometimes it can be just a little sting of jealousy over someone’s vacation photos. Or from someone’s amazing party, event or girl’s night. Or it can be the beautiful clothes, the perfect boyfriend or the fun job. Other times it can be the pressure to post the right picture in order to get enough likes. Everything must be perfect, because while in reality perfection doesn’t exist, in the virtual world it can be achieved simply with the right filter.

We carefully select and portray pieces of our lives which are simply a fraction of what our days actually look like. We choose the best outfits and the best selfies, rarely tapping into the more common moments like sitting on the sofa in sweatpants. Or burring our face in chocolate, or skipping yet another gym class. And we sit on the other side of those screens, swallowing every image, every word.

All of this is not to say that there are no benefits to social media. On the contrary. It keeps us connected across great distances, helps us stay in touch, inspires us, let’s us unfold our creativity and be part of a community. There are so many reasons to why we love it! We just want to give you a friendly reminder that in those moments when you find yourself envying someone, or feel like a failure due to a status or image update, keep in mind that those moments show only a fraction of reality and are usually staged, photoshoped, filtered and styled.

So, consume with caution, and when an account or person makes you feel low, it´s time to defriend or unfollow. Life is too short to be comparing yourself to others and social media should bring you joy and inspiration, not anxiety and depression. Remember; you being you is your superpower!


By: Henriette Danielsen / Photo cred: planoly.com

Be Inspired

Time to embrace those darn feelings

Do you ever wake up and just feel “blah”? Don’t feel like doing anything else then watch meaningless TV shows and even that feels unsatisfying? Our emotions vary and our mood swings, but it is how we deal with them that determines the result of our wellbeing.

We can experience a range of emotions; happiness, sadness, anger, confusion, anxiety, you name it. And there are many things that can affect our mood. Hormones, expectations, our inner critic, lack of Vitamin D or simply the fact that some brains are more sensitive to the effects of stress then others and can end up giving you the blues. Life is like an eternal rollercoaster. Some days you wake up all bubbly and happy, the next you might feel sad or angry. And when we feel out of sorts we often avoid our negative emotions. Hide them, stuff them away in the back of our emotional closet, hoping they will go away.

But as it turns out; negative emotions don’t harm you. It’s your resistance that does.

Not sure you know what I am talking about? Well, let me ask you this: have you ever been afraid of being unhappy, sad or depressed? Have you ever tried to stop yourself from feeling insecure or anxious? Ever resisted grief, shame or guilt?

The more you allow your feelings to be, the easier it is to let them go.

Resisting “bad” feelings actually intensifies them. The best way to heal your emotions is to embrace them. But how the heck do we do that?

Observe
When a negative emotion rises to the surface, try to observe. You don’t need to act on it, just acknowledge it and most importantly, feel it.

Accept
It is what it is. Love it or hate it, but at least embrace it. You can´t (and shouldn’t) change it. A negative emotion will not last forever and most certainly not define you, so worry not. Try to accept that it is what it is.

Release
Feel like crying or screaming, do so. Want to hit something, do it (something, not someone though). Want to talk about it, turn to a friend. Want to work through it, write it down. Whatever releasing it means to you.

Negative emotions are a natural part of who you are and with that awareness you will more likely respond to whatever is aroused in your behaviour. Accept that life is not perfect and you will feel so much better.


By: Henriette Danielsen

Be Inspired

Winter survival mode

Even though winter can be breathtakingly beautiful it can also be a pain in the ass. However, we will not let the winter darkness dampen our mood (any longer).

Keeping your spirits up during the last weeks of winter can be painfully hard, but we are willing to give it a try. Are you? How on earth are we going to do that you might ask? Impossible you might say. Njaaa, there are some small things you can do that might brighten your mood. Let´s take a closer look:

Stay active
Ok, we know some willpower is required here, but try to fight the urge to sleep the winter away. Because it is actually a vicious cycle: the less active you are, the less energy you have. So do what you need to do to get going and remember: working out from home, some yoga or pilates or even walking to work counts as movement. No need to go “die” at the gym.

Stay social
Again, some willpower is required (might do a post about how to turn on your willpower)! There is nothing more tempting them jumping into your warmest pyjamas, get under a blanket and dig your face into that bag of candy when the cold is raging outside. But booking in some social activities in your calendar will help brighten your spirit!

Fake the sunshine
Due to less exposure to sun during the winter (read: no sun what so ever) can lead to seasonal depression. Yup, turns out that is a thing people. Several studies show that decreased sunlight leads to increased depression. Depressing, right? So, a little daily dose of Vitamin D pills does the trick.

Smile
Yup, just turn that frown upside down! Amazing how your day and mood changes by just smiling. And I am not talking about walking around like a frowning idiot (people might think you´re crazy for heaven’s sake), but just smile when you greet yourself in the mirror, smile to an colleague and/or a stranger and see what happens.

If this doesn’t work, well then get back to Netflix and we will see you in a couple of weeks. Good luck, whatever you choose.


By: Henriette Danielsen 

Be Inspired

One bad day doesn’t make a bad life

Sometimes when the rain is pouring, it´s important to remember that there is sunshine hiding behind those clouds. And it’s going to shine again.

We all have those days. The ones when nothing goes your way and staying in bed under the blanket might be the best thing to do. Sometimes it’s easier to deal with and other times it can be a real nightmare. But, no matter how bad things may be, it is always important to remember that it’s just a phase, and like anything else in life, it too shall pass.

From stress, to hormones, and things not working out as you hoped, there are many factors that can turn your mood sour. A bad meeting, not getting the job you wanted, traffic jam, family drama, heartbreak – the list can go on and on. Some days it may be none of it. Maybe you are just in your PMS or the Mercury is retrograde and you are not feeling it.

When the bad mood sets in, be extra kind to yourself

When the bad mood comes, with or without a specific cause, it is crucial to be extra kind to yourself. Instead of being harsh, try to be your own best friend. Play your favourite song, treat yourself to some ice-cream, light some candles, get a glass of wine or do whatever it is that gets you to relax.

Cry it out if that helps, or call your best friend and confidant that you know will listen to you and try to cheer you up. Sometimes just talking it out can do wonders. Be extra attentive to yourself and give it some time.

Even when the bad day stretches into two or three, just know that it all must end and better days are awaiting just around the corner.


By: Ivona Josipovic

Be Inspired

Spurtee- Powerful sportswear for powerful women

With a vision to help ladies release their inner power and share that feeling with others, Mina Lindman founded the brand Spurtee. By wearing Spurtee sportswear you share your power and encourage others to do greater things.
By: Henriette Danielsen Photo: Spurtee

We met Mina at Clarion Hotel Sign in Stockholm on a cold and wet January day. But with her positive energy and big smile she instantly brightened up the room.

So, who is Mina Lindman? Mina has done a lot of different things throughout her career. Everything from being a consultant to working with sales, being marketing manager and lastly CEO. But she didn’t feel happy, so she decided to quit and become an entrepreneur. Today she is the brains behind the sports brand Spurtee.
– I had a vision of finding a fun way to support girls and women to release their inner powers. I am also very much inspired by the whole start-up scene here in Stockholm. There is so much potential and possibilities and you get encouraged to try your own thing. Which I did, Mina says.

Spurtee´s first collection was “The Power Collection”. A collection of workout clothes made of organic materials with inspiring quotes, putting Spurtee on the map and encouraging you to do greater things through their powerful messages. And most recently they launched a more niched collection, focusing on yoga.
– Imagine the feeling when you can take that yoga pose a little bit further, when you run and reach the top of that steep hill, when you score a three pointer or when you finally get the hang on how to do a deadlift. When you have that feeling you want to share it with the world, and you want others to experience the same feeling of euphoria. That is what my brand is all about!

If you can dream it, you can do it

The brand name came from the two words “Spurt” or “Spur” and “Tee”.
– To spurt means to sprint like you do in short-distance running, and the idea is that you get an extra spurt when your read the message on the back of our shirts. But you can also read it as Spur, with the meaning of encouraging someone. And, tee is of course short for t-shirt, she explains.

And what makes Spurtee the brand to choose when it comes to fitness clothing?
– Apart from being edgy and empowering, we think the design is very flattering, bringing out the best of you. And, also, the materials we use are soft, light and has natural thermal qualities to keep you cool when exercising or just strolling around on a hot day.

Besides focusing on her new collection, Mina has many exciting plans for the brand in the future. They are for instance soon launching a possibility to pre-order your favorite Spurtee, in addition to preparing for shipping outside of Sweden and the launch a new collection called “Runner’s Collection”.
– We hope to launch the Runner’s Collection together with an influential runner that really loves and lives our brand. In addition, we are continuously looking for other brands that will supplement Spurtee, and sell them on our online store. Much fun  awaits, Maria says.

Want to learn more about Spurtee? Check out their website and Instagram account for more inspiration.


Facts
Name: Mina Lindman
Age: 42
Lives: Stockholm, Sweden
Favorite quote: “Just Do It” is my all-time favorite, it’s so much me!

Be Inspired

7 ways to be your happier self

Some people think happiness is something that just happens or comes naturally. It is widely believed that it is elusive and needs to be chased, but cannot be created. Many people view it as a temporary state, something to be achieved and worked to maintain. Each year, people spend millions of dollars and hours of labor trying to achieve things they think will make them happy.

However, happiness is found within. Some of the happiest people in the world have very little in the way of material wealth, yet they live in a state of serenity. The Kingdom of Bhutan even accounts for its people’s happiness before installing new public works. Happiness is a state of mind, and while it does need to be maintained, it’s not as elusive or fleeting as you think!

Here are seven ways to find your bliss:

Eat right
The old adage says “You are what you eat.” This is actually true. The foods you ingest release vitamins and minerals into your body that trigger the release of hormones, for good or ill. Many processed foods and refined sugars cause the release of stress hormones on the body, which contributes to low mood and larger health problems in the long term. Eating leafy greens and drinking a lot of water is better for your mood because stress hormones are not released by eating them.

Mindfulness practices
Mindfulness is a type of meditation that teaches us to observe our thoughts and emotions in a non-judgemental way. There are many types of mindfulness practices, such as meditation, yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi/Qigong, and martial arts. These practices help build emotional intelligence, called EQ, which is the ability to observe, identify, and appropriately express emotions. Building EQ can help teach us why we become unhappy and how to cope with those feelings.

Practice gratitude
Often we take the things we see every day for granted, making it difficult to realize how important they truly are. Many spiritual traditions practice gratitude, and while the simple act of saying “thank you” may not seem like something that will usher in happiness, it is actually one of the most powerful methods of building happiness. Even just writing a few sentences of gratitude in a journal each day can go a long way.

Happiness is not a secret that has been kept from people or a prize that is difficult to attain!

Be in nature
Exposure to plants, flowers, and natural light has been shown to release stress and have a calming effect upon the mind and body. Even having a photograph of plants and flowers was shown to increase productivity in offices that had no windows. Getting outside for some fresh air can also provide a literal breather from dust and mold that can collect indoors. Having plants inside the house or on the desk of your office can bring a little of the power of flowers to you when you can’t get outside.

Get some exercise
Whether at home, at the gym, or around the neighbourhood, getting plenty of exercise is a must for a happier you. Exercise has obvious health benefits, such as burning calories and building muscle, but even a little exercise each day can also help reduce stress. This happens in two ways: first, exercise burns off the stress hormone cortisol, which raises blood sugar and pressure in preparation for an emergency, but stores fat and sugar when released over a long term. Secondly, muscles (as a result of cortisol) hang onto tension and become tight; exercise releases that tension naturally.

Play with pets
Our furry, finned, and feathered friends can bring a lot of joy to our lives. Pets have been used to assist people suffering from illnesses such as blindness, epilepsy, diabetes, PTSD, and anxiety disorders for years. More recent studies found that caring for a pet, even temporarily, teaches children compassion and empathy, and reduces bullying in schools. Having and playing with pets can bring a long term happiness to the whole family.

Go offline for family
Social support is an important coping mechanism for social animals like humans. It means getting together in person with friends or loved ones and talking about your feelings, problems, and happiness, and listening to others do the same. Family is one of the best ways to connect socially because they are the first agents to teach kids to socialize. Listening to and connecting with family can offer a powerful alternative to the fleeting happiness of television and digital devices. Empathizing with and being compassionate in person is one of the best ways to be happy.

Happiness is not a secret that has been kept from people or a prize that is difficult to attain. It is the product of simple practices that cost very little and can be done by anyone. It is easily within your grasp, so be your happiest self by practicing happiness.


By: Freelance writer Ashley Smith 

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Keeping the stink out

When hitting the gym, we naturally sweat! And sweat is good! Except for when the odor gets stuck in your clothes. Like really stuck. 

We all sweat! It´s a natural part of working out and nobody frowns upon that (if they do give them a little kick in the butt). However, it can be very frustrating when freshly laundered athletic gear retains the smell of your sweatiest gym sessions. But worry not,  it’s totally common and very treatable.

The best thing to do is preventing the stink from developing in the first place. But how can we do that? Let’s take a look:

  1. Let the clothes air dry before putting them back into your closet or in the laundry bag. Why? Because when sweat-soaked clothes are stuffed into a humid and cramped little space you create the perfect environment for bacteria to throw a big party, which will smell!
  2. Turn your gym clothes inside out before washing. A little party trick to get rid of all the bacteria and sweat from your body, which is naturally on the inside of the clothes.
  3. With detergent, less is more. Using to much detergent will leave soap residue on your clothes, which will contribute to the development of odor-causing bacteria. Kinda weird, since it is quite the opposite of what you think adding extra detergent will do.

If non of the above work and the smell is already there, and it is there to stay, well then; time for step two! How to defunk your smelly gym clothes:

  1. Power wash your clothes with one cup white vinegar and one tablespoon baking soda. It will help separate the bacteria from the fabric.
  2. Don´t forget that the stink, odor, nasty smell (whatever you like to call it) can be stuck in your gym bag. So giving that a wash every once in a while might help!
  3. If nothing else works then turn to our last, very magical solution: buy new clothes #sorrynotsorry
    Or ask Doctor Google for some more advice!

Good luck!


By: Henriette Danielsen / Photo cred: Pinterest 

Be Inspired

Innsider tips: Leadership

In January our four amazing coaches are giving you some pointers to make this year your best one, and last one up is Anna Johansson.

Anna works as a leadership coach and is passionate about your development. Her coaching is about expanding your comfort zone, getting your relationships to work, reach your goal on work, manage your stress level and become a better leader. Here are her insight tips:

Some people claim that certain people “are born leaders”, and that you have to have some kind of specific trait in your personality to be a good leader. Oh well that is true for some, but the first thing you have to understand about leadership is that when you lead you are doing. That means that leadership is an activity and therefor it is something you can practice. As with everything else some people have a natural talent and some people have to work harder to accomplish their goal. But that doesn’t mean them can’t learn.

Start with yourself
To succeed as a leader you have to start with yourself. If you want to perform you have to take care of yourself. The most basal thing you have to have in order is sleep (6-9 hours/day), eating healthy and exercise regularly. I’m sure most of you guys already know this, but if you lack inspiration in this department, Best of You is a really good webpage for information findings regarding health.

Be authentic
Today it is really important to be authentic. So again, start with yourself. Explore your inner motivation, what drives you and what’s of great significance to you? Know your values and your “why”. There are lots of exercises you can do for personal development, just Google or go to my blog ledarskaphalsa.se.

And I just want to add that the idea that you can be one person at work and another person at your spear time is really outdated. What you do at your leisure does affect your work performance and vice versa.

Dare to be vulnerable as a leader!

Leadership is a partnership
You are not the only one responsible for being a good leader, the people in your group also have a responsibility. If they don´t like something or have an idea, make sure that they dare to speak their mind freely. A lot of people complain about their leader instead of taking action to change things. This is something you should talk with your group about. Let them know that you think this is a partnership and you expect them to be open with you. Dare to be vulnerable as a leader and if you are unsure about anything, say so. The team is there to help, remember it’s a collaboration between you guys.

Make a psychological contract
Expectations are SO IMPORTANT. I highly recommend you sitting down with each one in your group and talk about anticipation. Be clear with your expectation on them, and then let them say what their expectations are on you. Be really clear and discuss what this means for both of you, in everyday work and in the long run. This exercise is also good for your authenticity. It gives the group guidelines for in which way you will behave. When they notice that you actually do what you said you would do it builds trust.

Educate yourself
Make sure to educate yourself on psychology and pedagogics. There are a lot of young professionals having high demands on their leader. They won’t tolerate if you don’t have basic knowledge about leadership, relationship, teambuilding, performing and well-being. There are many blogs, YouTube-videos, TED-talks and books of leadership. Here are some I recommend:

  • Book: “Samtal på jobbet” – Kerstin Ljungström
  • Book: ”Creating Effective Teams” – Susan A. Wheelan
  • Book: “Building agreement” – Roger Fisher and Daniel Shapiro
  • Book: “How to Win Friends and Influence People” – Dale Carnegie
  • Webpage: motivation.se
  • TED-talks: Your body language may shape who you are – Amy Cuddy
  • TED-talks: How to speak so that people want to listen – Julian Treasure

If you want to know more about Anna you can follow her on Instagram or you can visit her webpage or leadthefuture.se


By: Anna Johansson / Photo cred: insightsforleading.com