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What I read this month : October edition

I am always curious to snoop on what others are reading. One of my favorite authors, Gretchen Rubin, started sharing a monthly recap of what she’s been reading and it made me think that you might also benefit from book recommandations! So I’ve decided to start my own monthly recap! I hope you like it! So onwards with what I read in October. It is a melting pot of personal development and productivity, sprinkled with a touch of whimsy : 1. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness This is my touch of whimsy for the month! October being Halloween month, I read this little gem of a novel. We follow the adventure of a scholarly witch who falls in love with a vampire and thus provoke a war among creatures. Punctuated with history tidbits and lots of books, I did not expect I would enjoy this one so much. It is the first opus in the All Souls Trilogy and I already bought myself the second tome! 2. The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll I have been on […]

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My Health and Wellness journey : the Keto Diet

My face after losing 65 pounds

For the past few years, my main goal was to overhaul my health on all levels. I was feeling sick, I was morbidly obese and disgusted with my appearance. My fibromyalgia was flaring up on a daily basis. I did not know what to do to feel better but something needed to happen. I’m only in my thirties and the future was not so bright. I could see the specter of diabetes and heart disease looming above me. I wanted things to change. Last year, I had to take many days off of work because of intense gastrointestinal pain. My doctor diagnosed a gastritis and I tried to figure out how my diet was influencing the way I felt. I went to an acupuncturist and a naturopath and they both recommended that I quit dairy and investigate gluten sensitivity. I went off both for two months and my gastritis went away. My naturopath suggested that I take a food sensitivities test and the results were astounding. I was sensitive not only to gluten and dairy, but also to soy, eggs, […]

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Back from my annual silent retreat – Lessons learned

Once or twice a year, I like to rent a small apartment for a few days and reflect on my life, my goals and aspirations. March and September are my favorite time of year to go on a silent retreat. This year was no exception. A few weeks ago, I was having dinner with my family at my father’s place when someone asked us where we’d see ourselves in 5 years. I was very uncomfortable with the question, because for the first time in years, I had no idea. My hubby said he was hoping we’d still be together in 5 years, but of that I had no doubt. I know that I love him and that I still want to live my life with him in the forseable future. But professionally, where do I want to be? Do I still enjoy my career as an executive assistant? Is it what I truly want to be doing with my life? When I feel confused, uncertain, I like to look inward, journal and reflect. The best way that I know of […]

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A peek inside my morning routine!

a peek inside my morning routine

Morning routines are a great way to start your day on a positive note and, when running smoothly, they can make your whole day more productive. I’ve been interested in successful people’s morning routines for as long as I can remember. Over the years, I’ve discovered a method that included everything I wanted as far as routines go and I’ve been practicing the same routine for the past 4 years now. Today’s post is a peek inside my morning routine. Let’s dive in! Since 2014, I’ve been on a personal development journey that brought me to discover podcasts and self-help books. In one of the podcasts I’ve listened to, the host interviewed a man called Hal Elrod who was talking about his morning routine, the now very popular Miracle Morning. Hal explained that hitting the snooze button is like hating to wake up, yet doing it over and over again. That was my ah ha! moment. I was snoozing like crazy and I dreaded mornings. But when I heard Hal describing my habit, a lightbulb went on and I decided […]

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My Favorite Productivity Tools – 2018 Edition

My Favorite Productivity Tools

Well, well! Hello again! I know that I’ve been MIA for the past month or so, and let me tell you that it has been most rejuvenating! I’m ready to dive back into productivity with you guys and today I start with a round up of my favorite, and most used productivity tools! Are you ready? 1. A good calendar app Everyone needs a good calendar app. To jot down your appointments, but also to create a template of your ideal week! My calendar of choice, after trying so many out there, remains the good old Google Calendar. Easy to use, this calendar will sync across your devices and allow you to create multiple calendars that you can share, or not, with your colleagues or significant other. I don’t need a ton of bells and whistles with my calendar app, so this one is still my favorite. 2. A task manager Here again, I’ve tried a fair share of task managers that integrate well with the Getting Things Done methodology. Some were clunkly, others were truly ugly, others were way […]

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Nonviolent communication : problem-solver and happiness booster

When my friends and loved ones feel sad or worried, I tend to feel very powerless. I just don’t know how to react! I would like to show support but only seem to spurt out unwanted advice. I know that’s not what they need, but I don’t know how to offer the empathetic ear they are longing for. While doing research, I recently stumbled upon a technique that teaches us how to listen to our friends’ needs and truly show them that we care. It is called nonviolent communication. I must say that I am not in love with the term. Coined by psychologist and author Marshall B. Rosenberg, nonviolent communication refers to a way of communicating that will cause no harm to its recipient. I did not believe that giving unwanted advice was “violent” in any way, but it can surely harm a relationship if the person manifesting sadness is only wishing for closure and connection. So what is this communication technique that does no harm? Nonviolent communication is a technique that can be applied towards others or ourselves. […]

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Stop comparing your Bullet journal!

3 Leuchtturm notebooks

In the many Bullet journal Facebook groups I am a part of, I hear people complain about comparing their bujo to the highly creative and ornemented ones you see on Instagram. They say that they can’t draw, that their handwriting is awful, but they still want to take part in the hobby. I hear you. Today, I’d like to give you permission to do what works for you. You don’t have to keep up with the Joneses! Keep it simple I wrote about my recent journaling slump lately. Since I’ve fallen into a rut, to keep up with the habit, I’ve decided to simplify my spreads. What I see around are intricate, highly decorated spreads, lots of drawings, washi, stamps, and more! If you have fun creating these intricate spreads, do not hold off! But if you feel like this is too complicated, too much work, or just not your style, you can do very simple spreads, in black and white or with a simple splash of color, and leave the decorating aside. Lately, my designs have been really straightforward. […]

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How to stick to your good habits in times of change

Recently, I wrote about my existential crisis and my decision to get a day job. I started my new position at the beginning of April, a month ago. No need to tell you that switching from working from home to go work in an office an hour away from home makes a big change in my daily routine! And this change has impacted my habits in many ways. In today’s post, I want to share my tips to stick to your good habits in the midst of change. Let dive in! Protecting sleep and recovery I am now working full time, which means I’m working more than I had in the past 10 years or so. I’m waking up earlier because my commute takes an hour each way. Waking up earlier means going to bed early. I used to need to sleep 7 hours a night to get a good night’s sleep, but since I’ve started working, I find myself sleeping 9 hours on average as my Fitbit reports keep telling me. I guess that my body is adapting to […]

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Hygge : Happiness is a Danish word

Hygge : happiness is a Danish word

As far as I can remember, happiness has always been a source of wonder for me. Last year, a new concept came to the awareness of the general public, the Danish principles of happiness called Hygge. I am a bit late to the party, but I have been thoroughly seduced by this concept and today I’d like to share with you the basic principles of this art de vivre. Hygge has no direct translation Hygge, pronounced hoo-gah, is a complex concept coming from Denmark. Hard to describe in a few words, it doesn’t have a direct translation in any other language. It describes a feeling of well-being that you can experience in a variety of situations. A few elements can contribute to this well-being and I will try to help describe the concept by sharing these elements. The Basics of Hygge 1. Soft Lighting The Danes are the largest consumers of candles in Europe. They would say that the soft glow of a lighted candle can bring Hygge to any situation. For a hyggleligt ambiance, choose diffused lights similar to the dawn […]

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8 ideas to put your notebooks to good use

If you are a regular here at Productive Happiness, chances are that you are a stationery afficionado. Do you have a tendency to collect blank notebooks, just because you find them pretty? I certainly do. At any given time, I might have a dozen notebooks laying around, most of them still empty. In today’s blog post, I wanted to share a few ideas to put your blank notebooks to good use! Diary This is the most classic way of using your lined notebooks. During my Miracle Morning, I use a fancy notebook by paperblanks that holds my fountain pen ink beautifully. I write about the previous day and about anything that’s weighing on my mind. I write for only a few minutes but it helps me process any difficulties I might encounter and find perspective in the midst of chaos. Gratitude log Keeping a gratitude log is becoming very popular nowadays. Positive psychology has popularized the idea that we tend to experience more of what we focus on. By writing a few things each day that you are grateful for, […]

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