My trip to Switzerland

I think that it goes without saying that when we “truly love Nature, we find beauty everywhere“. Just under two weeks ago, I went for a a family roadtrip around Switzerland and it was oh-so-lovely to get reunited with my parents and sis in a country where there’s so much natural beauty. Exploring new territories always gets me pretty stoked but, as the outdoorsy person that I am, I love to wandering off the beaten track. Being completely out in the Nature is just Paradise to me and let me tell you that the landscape of the Swiss Alps is as jaw-dropping as I had imagined. ♥

Since we rented a car, we got to visit aseveral places in Switzerland and it was great to see so much of the country in just 5 days! We went to Lausanne, Interlaken, Broc, Zurich and Geneva. Sadly, we did not get to see much of Lausanne because we just stayed a night there. We did get to properly explore Zürich and Geneva, two cosmopolitan cities by the water that result in a beautiful combination of urban life with nature. Even though there is a lot going for both cities (Arts, Sciences and Design-wise), it would have been a shame to travel to Switzerland only to visit them. The highlight of our trip was definitely wander around the splendid countryside. The beautiful image of cows grazing on the mountain prairies with the Alps as a backdrop is still stuck in my mind! Also, all the hiking lovers out there, please take note of this: Switzerland is like paradise on Earth! There are plenty of hiking trails that have stunning scenery all along the way and that will make you feel glad to be alive.

I thought I would share with you the things I loved the most about Switzerland (hoping I can convince those who haven’t had the chance of visiting it, to do it)!

  • Inhaling the fresh pure air from the Swiss Alps
  • Being surrounded by plenty of greenery untouched by man
  • Breathtaking landscapes over Swiss mountains
  • The beyond beautiful crystal clear lakes that are just awe-evoking
  • The spectacular scenic roads
  • Cows roaming freely in the beautiful alpine landscape 
  • The pituresque wooden chalets
  • The delicious high-quality Swiss chocolate that is so worth indulging in
  • Hiking trails that take you through breathtaking views

Because Switzerland is world famous for its chocolate, in our third day there we decided to visit the Cailler Chocolate factory. I’d totally recommend it to anyone who loves chocolate and wants to learn more about it. The tour is very interactive and lasts for about 1 – 1.5 hours. It takes you on a very interesting, insightful and literally delicious journey through the history of Cailler, which for those of you who do not know, is the Switzerland’s oldest chocolate brand. You get to learn everything about the different stages of chocolate production; from cocoa plantation to the finished and packed product! There is a free chocolate degustation at the end of the tour, where you have the chance to try all the chocolates produced by Cailler. It is any chocolate lovers’ dream, am I right or am I right?! The tour is so insightful that makes you see and appreciate chocolate in a whole new way. It made me feel like I was trying chocolate for the very first time. The tour guided us to use all our senses (sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste ) so we could get the real chocolate experience! It showed us how tasting chocolotate really is an experience; it is all about looking at it and trying to make up how it tastes , inhaling and pondering the aromas we can sense, sensing its texture, tasting its rich flavour and enjoying its aftertaste.

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Here are are some more of the photos taken during my trip that I found worth-sharing with you guys:

Interlaken

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Broc

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Zurich

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Geneva

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Have you had the chance of visiting any of these places? If so, how did you like it? Would you recommend visiting any other city in Switzerland? 🙂

 

Much Love,

Blissfully Grateful

A cotton candy sunset.

You know when you are just having one of “those” days and feel low in spirits? Well that was Monday of last week for me. Because I was not feeling physically great (thanks to a cold that persisted to stick around for way more time than it should), stopping some negative thoughts from spiralling out of control was a particularly harder task.  As an attempt of relieving some tension and giving my mind some clarity, I decided to go to my usual strength training class at the gym after work. However, it did not really work. On my way home I kept on thinking on everything that was not going my way but…when I looked up to the sky, I was left in awe this cotton candy sunset:

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I guess that this is living proof that “if we keep our HEAD DOWN, we will miss on LIFE’S GOODNESS”. #sothankful

 

 

Much Love,

Blissfully Grateful

 

 

Sunday morning in Paris.

Sunday morning in Paris 🌸

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Sundays are my favourite, especially when I get to wake up in a beautiful city that is not my own, like it happened last weekend. My boyfriend and I flew out to France on Wednesday, the 12th September, in order to celebrate my 25th birthday in Paris, which turned out to be an amazing and very memorable one. 💛

The five days spent in Paris were so healing for my monkey mind. These holidays were a welcomed break in my usual work, fitness routine and overall day-to-day life as well as a break in my mental chatter and in the not-so-positive spin of thoughts and emotions that I sometimes experience. Plus, my boyfriend and I spent a lovely time together exploring the beautiful city of Paris.

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On my last morning in Paris, I decided to walk to a small and beautiful Parisian cafe and devote some time to journaling. I feel very lucky to have a boyfriend who is so supportive and caring. He always gives me the time and space I need and whenever I feel an urge to spend a couple of hours alone writing down my thoughts or doing something else, he immediately backs me up. I guess that this what love is: to be with someone who builds you up, rather that who drags you down 💛  

I have been journaling almost every day for the past one and a half months and I am planning to continue to do it so. Getting into the habit of journaling was from far one of the best things I have done for my mental health. There is so much rattling around my brain all the time and getting my thoughts out of my head and down on paper has been keeping me more grounded and helping me to tune into my feelings and emotions.

 

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Are you also into journaling? Would love to know in the comments! 🙂

Much Love,

Blissfully Grateful

My Weekend Gratitude List – July 18

Friday (27th July)

I am grateful – oh so grateful – for the last weekend in Dusseldorf and for finally having opportunity to spend time with my best friend. I am  grateful for our reunion after 10 months and for realising that, no matter how much time goes by, there are things in life that never change. I am grateful for finally getting to see her first new apartment, for our homemade 3-course dinner out in the balcony on Friday evening and for how much thought and love my bestie put into it. I am grateful for the wine drinking under a gorgeous lunar eclipse and starry sky and for deep conversation about life and the Universe. I am grateful for all the dancing, shameless selfies and moments of pure bliss we shared together.

Saturday (28th July)

I am grateful for our slow Saturday morning. What a scrumptious brunch we had at home, followed by some self-care time that involved hair skin cleansing and moisturization and facial masks. I am grateful for feeling so worriless and at ease around her. I am grateful for the lovely cafe we went to, for the super friendly and ….for the person who invented frothy dairy-free cappuccinos! I am grateful for the time we spent planning our next trip together and for seeing that she is just as excited for it as I am. I am grateful for the time spent exploring Dusseldorf, for the great food we had for dinner at a Japanese restaurant and for the beauty that the city is by night.

Sunday (29th July)

I am grateful to hear that my bestie really enjoyed my visit and to realise that we do have an everlasting bond. I am grateful for our hugged goodbye that got us a little teary-eyed. I am also grateful for having had the opportunity of meeting this other close friend of mine, who has been sick for the last 5 days but is now feeling better. I am grateful for the catch up we had over a delicious vegan brunch that involved matcha pancakes with berries and açai bowls. I am grateful for our Sunday walk by the Rhine river and for the moments of laughter we shared. I am grateful for the perfectly sunny day with a nice breeze and for having had a smooth coach journey back home.

All in all, I am grateful for having people in my life who show me how wonderful it feels to live in the present moment and intentionally. I am grateful for having people in my life who make me forget that life might be a uphill task at times. I am grateful for having people in my life who believe in me, uplift me and see in me the person I want to see too. I am grateful for having amazing friends who make me cherish and treasure life. And, lastly, I am grateful for going to sleep with a smile in my lips and a heart filled with joy. ♥

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Much Love,

Blissfully Grateful

 

Reframing my mindset.

I think we all agree with the saying that it is insane “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results“. Nevertheless, I would risk saying that most – if not all- of us have done this at some point in our lives. I know that I have done it in the past and, as a matter of fact, I was doing it not so long ago. It takes courage to admit this to ourselves and it takes a lot of will power to break the cycle and put an end to this self-sabotaging behaviour.

 

I came to realise that the reason why I was me having a self-defeating state of mind.

I have always seen myself as a positive and self-motivated girl, who tries to see the good in every bad situation. However, I must say that maintaining an overall positive mental outlook is something that I have been struggling to do over the past few months.

I want to believe that the root cause of the health issues I am currently going through is my thinking and I  mainly originated by my thoughts and  been hard to do

The health issues that I am currently facing made me realise what I mentioned earlier in this post: I have been repeatedly doing the same thing and then find myself wondering why am I not getting different results. If I want meaningful changes to happen in my life, then I need to make a daily conscious mental effort to remain positive, and in addition, take actions that support my intentions and goals every single day.  Of course that I will encounter challenges and difficulties in doing so but, I now now recognise that my reality is entirely up to me. Because my mind is the mighty force driving my life, I have consciously decided to reframe the self-defeating state of mind that I have been having lately and believe that:

  • What I am currently going through is a lesson in disguise
  • What I see as a problem is really nothing more than an opportunity to grow and do things differently
  • There is no such thing as a mistake or failure, there is only a chance to learn and to start doing things differently

We have freedom to steer our lives in the direction we want and power to choose our thoughts and who we want to be. We have this freedom and  choice every single day. How great is that?

Much Love,

Blissfully Grateful

A week of self care.

It was just over two weeks ago when things got quite tough and, subsequently, I found myself craving a reset button that I could press to escape. All I was wishing for was to get away for a few days and then come back with a fresh and brand new perspective. An entire week of holidays scheduled in Portugal could not have come at a better time. I was in need of ditching my work and fitness routine for some time and was looking forward to going back “home”. Nevertheless, after a couple of days in Portugal, I ended up by feeling quite out place. It seemed to me that “home” no longer felt like “home”? ..or I guess that I could no longer see “home” like a place but more like a feeling instead. A feeling that comes and goes and that is out of reach when life seems to be going downhill. A feeling that is unreachable when I am in the midst of – what it seems to be – an endless storm and internal battle. Seeing the positive in every situation and looking on the bright side of life can be a real challenge sometimes. I guess that I saw these holidays abroad as an opportunity to temporarily escape my reality, which is a silly thought…We can’t run away from the things we do not want to face. We need to embrace the uncomfortable and challenge our fears in order to free ourselves. We need to firmly believe that we are going to overcome whatever we are currently going through. Life gets better and this too shall pass. It is just a matter of time and attitude until we are able to get back on our feet. And, in the meantime, we are just a work in process and that is OKAY. So, with this in mind and in order to feel like myself again and get out of the rabbit hole I found myself in, I tried to practice self care every day during my holidays. Incorporating simple habits that allow myself to connect within and with the world around me helped me to find some joy and gratitude in the midst of all the chaos.

It is no novelty that by practicing self-care on a regular basis, we can ensure that we are at our optimum – emotionally, mentally and physically. Thus, I’d like to share with you the things I have done during my week of holidays. I hope that this can give you some ideas about how to give yourself the care you need when life gets tough.

  • Walks on the beach

Beach strolls are always restorative. They make me feel calmer, more at peace and aware of all the beauty and wonder that surrounds me.

  • Sea Kayaking with my family

I have done kayaking before but never in the sea. It was an overall great experience shared with my parents and sister (despite my dad’s motion sickness haha). Spending about 3 hours at sea allowed me to really dive into Nature’s true beauty (no pun intended), soak up some vitamin D and connect to the Earth’s magical, powerful and soothing energy.

 

 

  • Going to the spa

I decided to take 1h30-2hours aside to go to the spa and it made me feel so good. Because relaxation and stress management are key to living a happy life in a healthy body, mind and soul, I decided to take 1h30 – 2 hours to go to the spa .. and let me tell you how great it made me feel! My serotonin level, the “feel good” hormone, was boosted and I felt very relaxed.

I did a Spa-hydrotherapy circuit that consisted of Sauna, Turkish bath, neck waterfalls, cascade, jet showers, bubbles, cold water, Jacuzzi, bucket of cold water, pebble walk and a relaxation bed. This was all followed by a nice cup of tea to end the day in perfection.

 

 

  • Reading a good book is an escape for me. – it soothes me

Reading soothes me. I personally love to read inspiring books that flood my mind with uplifting ideas, positive thoughts and promising prospects about my future. I absolutely love to loose myself in books that contribute to my personal growth and development and that motivate me take positive actions to accomplish my goals in life.

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  • Yoga and meditation

These two practices help bring awareness to the present moment at the same time that increase stress resilience and well-being. They also restore mental clarity and improve focus, which is needed to get though difficult times.

We all know how conducive self-care is to better coping with life and improve overall well-being but … how often do we really take time to ourselves? How often do we give our bodies (and mind) time to recoup and unwind? Let’s all prioritize small habits that allow us to rejoice in hope when life gets hard ♥ Wish you all a great week ahead.

 

Much Love,

Blissfully Grateful

Pure Happiness by the beach.

Good Morning! I have flown to Algarve (South of Portugal) yesterday to spend some holidays by the beach and.. let me tell you guys:

Falling asleep listening to the sound of gentle waves crashing on the beach, waking up the next day to a view of the blue sea, stepping onto the balcony for a morning cappuccino was absolutely priceless. It gave me such a deep feeling of gratitude and pure joy. Happiness really is all about appreciating the simple things in life. ♥

 

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I am currently reading the book “Invisible Power” by Ken Manning, Robin Charbit and Sandra Krot and I am loving it so far because it is enabling me to see life in a new light. This book shows that reality is no more than our thoughts in actions. With this being said and after experiencing so much gratitude during these last 24 hours, I want to share with you a quote from the book that really resonates with me: “Your thinking shapes, colors and sets the tone and texture of everything you experience“. I find this to be so undeniably true. I feel like our perceptions, emotions and personal experiences are created within us since our mind is what ultimately creates our reality.  Hence, it is so important to manage our thoughts and be somewhat careful not to let situations that we deem to be “bad” to dominate our thinking. Our attitudes, feelings and behaviours, which directly stem from our thinking pattern, have the ability to make us go down a slippery slope into a really bad mood that drains our all our energy and focus.

Wish you all a lovely Sunday and in case you are going through a rough time, please, tell yourself to look on the bright side. Positive thinking is so powerful and it is what is going to take you through this bumpy moment in your life.

 

Much Love,

Blissfully Grateful

 

 

Letting go of the need to control what I can’t.

As a goal-setter and over-planner, I oftentimes fool myself into the faulty thinking that I can control how everything in my life unfolds. This is a pure act of self sabotage that only leads to frustration. I am sure that all of us, at some point in our life, have experienced physical, mental and/or emotional tensions that make us burn our  emotional energy wastefully. These tensions evoke feelings of uneasiness and we ended up by finding ourselves somewhat “stuck in time” trying to make sense of the chaos in our life.However, I have come to realise that in order to bring emotional well-being and spiritual freedom into my life I must let go of what I can’t control. I must learn to surrender and acknowledge that there are things in life that cannot be planned, predicted or prevented.

No matter how hard I may try to plan ahead, life is always going to throw surprises my way and that is the true essence of it. Thus, keeping this in mind, I recognise that my need to control is rooted in fear and I am letting myself be open to whatever life throws my way. I choose to let go of my need to control what that I can’t as well as to let go any thoughts that do not serve me. Of course that this requires a mindset shift that is definitely not easy. It is actually very challenging and a journey in itself. Nevertheless, it does get easier as we go.  Things in life go much more smoothly, when we simply allow them to happen instead of attaching ourselves to outcomes, push things to happen how we want them to and try to run the show of life. If we do this, we will see life as being more peaceful, effortless and overall more joyful. We will be able to see a whole new plethora of opportunities.

Letting go is not “to get rid of” because, oh well, that is just not realistically possible.What I mean by it is to become aware of it but emotionally detach myself from it. The need of control will still be there, but if you don’t identify with it or hold onto it, it can no longer hold onto you.

I have realised that in order to let go of my need of control, I must:

  • Learn to surrender to the here and now. The present moment is all we really have and can rely on.
  • Learn to trust in the Universe and to go with its flow whilst embracing uncertainty. Swimming against the current of life is exhausting and pointless and it will only bring pain and suffering into our lives. I recognise how important it is to go with the Universal flow of life, use it to pave my future one moment at a time and believe that I will be able to deal and handle whatever is thrown my way. At the end of the day, we “grow through what we go through“.
  • Learn to see life through the eyes of Love and accept whatever comes my way as it is. Accepting the unforeseen and seemingly bad situations is key for my life to fall into place. After all, I just magnify and give power to whatever we refuse to accept and resist.
  • Make “thinking positively” and “feeling great” top priorities in my life. I attract what I invest my time and energy into.
  • Be gentle with myself at all times and acknowledge that I am enough and capable to tackle and successfully overcome any setback. 

     

So when your head is spinning around in circles trying to get one step ahead of a situation that you perceive as a threat, just stop and get in touch with your inner emotions so you can grasp the reason for that need of control. Once you understand it,  then let your feelings be without acting on them. Even when you find yourself trapped in fears, anxiety and worries because something bad just happened or is bound to happen, please do not let that situation consume your thoughts. Accept it and have confidence that you will be able to handle. By accepting it, you will experience less distress and you will manage to think more clearly and reach a solution. Focus your emotional energy on what you can control, rather than on what is beyond your control.We can’t take full control over everything that happens to us but we can certainly take the steering wheel of our life and lead it in the direction we want.

I strongly believe that our thoughts and beliefs shape the way we interpret our reality, and, ultimately, help to create it. From my standpoint, there are only a few things in our life that we can control. They are our thoughts, actions and how we react to what happens to us. As a direct result, by taking control of these things we might indeed control what happens to us.

Our frame of mind dictates the way how we live our lives so let’s wrap our mind in a cocoon of positivity and acceptance of what is beyond our control and let it take an active role in shaping our reality. ♥

Much Love,

Blissfully Grateful

Nature is love.

Funny as we, humans, crave deep nature connection but often times forget to notice its reaction to our presence. We tend to undervalue it but Nature is really a true gift. Why? Because:

Natures gives without demanding

Nature listens without interrumpting

Nature heals with no side effects

Nature cares without having second intentions

Natures exists without destroying

Nature speaks without making sound/in silence

What Nature will not do though, is to be forever here for us if we do not treat her right.

Let’s not forget that what we do to Nature, we do ultimately to ourselves. So let’s protect it. Let’s take very good care of it. Let’s cherish it every single day of our lives. As Gary Snyder once said, Nature is not a place to visit. Nature is home.” ♥

Much Love,

Blissfully Grateful