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!

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.
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!

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.
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

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!

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

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!

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.
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

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!

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

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:


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

Get for free the amazing 30 day self-care challenge + a printable calendar

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!

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.
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.

Namaste my loves,

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!

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.
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!

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.
4 Types Of Apps You Can Use To Support Your Sober Journey - phone and notebooks

4 Amazing Apps That Can Help You In Early Sobriety

4 Types Of Apps You Can Use To Support Your Sober Journey

The number of available mobile apps present today is huge. Depending on how we use them, they can be just a distraction or they can actually be a helpful sober tool. If you’re just starting out on your sober journey and you are looking for some addiction recovery tips, or you’re a sober curious person (or maybe you’re still a drinker, but you’re researching and considering sobriety), this post is for you! Learning how to navigate an alcohol-free lifestyle in a booze-driven society can be challenging, to say the least.

There is a lot of things I want to say about sobriety, like what you’re going to be missing out on, or how it can fundamentally change your life – and there are already a couple of posts I wrote on these topics, so I definitely recommend you take a look. Here I want to talk about how you can use technology (precisely, apps on your phone) to help me you out on your quest to live a more mindful and intentional life. These are just my own views and opinions and this is not a paid ad, I just genuinely find these apps very helpful.

Top Apps To Boost Your Recovery:

Guided meditation apps

Where to even start with all the benefits of practicing mindfulness meditation! It is a great tool to help you stay grounded and be more present. To stop worrying about the future (or to learn how to worry less), or dreading over the past. It is a powerful way to deal with cravings and anxiety. And thanks to technology, there is a great deal of guided meditation apps on your phone for you to choose from. I personally tried a couple of them, and all of them got the job done.

What is a good meditation app?

Waking up – By far my absolute favourite app for guided meditations. It is created by Sam Harris, and it offers you a 28 day introduction into meditations, where the idea is for you to learn the basics of meditating and mindfulness. After that, you can continue with the apps daily meditations (which are updated daily 🙂 ). Beside that, the app offers a theory section, where you can learn more about the theory and general ideas of the meditation practice.

Calm – My second favourite app, and probably the most famous one is Calm. Beside being a meditation app, Calm also offers sleep stories (which I adore and listen to almost every night), breathing exercises, music, and more. You can also enter your mood each day and that way track your moods. You can even choose meditations that focus on certain aspects of life – for example, you can choose a series of meditations focusing on anxiety, performance, relationships, etc. It really is a multipurpose app.

Journaling apps

In those early stages you can sometimes lose perspective, feel down, and question your decision. All of these are normal, but remind yourself of why you made your decision. Remind yourself of all the things that bring you joy, and what you are grateful for. I keep a gratitude journal where I write in every morning 3 things I am grateful for. And yes, there is an app for that as well 🙂 There’s a bunch of them also, and you can find the one that best suits your needs.

The best journaling app?

Since I have only tried one journaling app, I can tell you about that one, and that’s pretty much it. But not to leave you hanging, here is a great list of journaling apps you might want to try out – go give it a look. As for me, I stuck with the one I tried first, the Five Minute Journal app, it is super easy to use, and takes very little time.

Fitness apps

I started my sober journey when the corona lockdown was active, so physical activity was a bit challenged. I first used a fitness app with a variety of workouts, and later on I switched to a yoga app, and I fell in love with it. Whichever it is, choose the one you’ll enjoy the most. This way, workout can become your new and healthy way of unwinding and relaxing. Evening glass of wine can become a vinyasa flow, or a cardio workout – your body will be grateful for this change, and you’ll love your decision in the morning!

What is the best fitness and exercise app?

There are so many different workout apps today, that I am positive you will find the one that fits almost all of your needs. I have tried so many fitness apps I stopped counting, but two always come to mind when I think of functionality and simplicity:

Down Dog – to be fair, I am a yoga enthusiast so I am definitely bias here, but this app is just amazing, and my top pick for a yoga app. It offers numerous ways to modify and customize your yoga practice so it can fit your needs almost perfectly. A bonus is that beside the voice that guides your practice, the app also has built in music playing in the background – and the tone follows your flow which is just brilliant.

FitOn – if yoga is not your thing, that is perfectly fine, because (for me) FitOn is the next best thing. It offers a bunch of filmed workouts by talented trainers that will push you further, and the best thing – the workout part of the app is completely free! They offer unlimited free access to the various types workouts from celebrity trainers.

Social media if used wisely

The “if used wisely” part cannot be stressed enough! Before, I had all of your usual social media apps, and it was not doing me a favour. I followed people that gave me bad body image, made me feel less, etc. I completely turned my social media apps around, started following only content that inspired me and made me feel good. To be precise, if you’re in early sobriety, and especially if you’re like me and you don’t really know a lot of (or none) sober people, the online sober community, in my experience, on both Instagram and Twitter are absolutely amazing. Their messages, comfort they offer, even their cheering on, is just astonishing. I honestly made friends with people I’ve never even met in person and I can say I care for them a lot. Self-promo ALERT – If you’re struggling where to start – here are my accounts, I am happy to connect with you and offer you support on your alcohol free journey!


Early sobriety can be challenging. Always remember that addiction recovery is not linear, and we all have different paths. The most important thing to remember is to be kind to yourself. Healing takes time, and if you are considering an alcohol free lifestyle, you are already doing better than you were before.

Don’t forget to subscribe with your email to stay in touch and get the latest!

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!

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.
4 Ways To Handle Intrusive People - A person typing a response on a laptop

How To Deal With Invasive And Nosy People

4 Ways To Handle Intrusive People | Setting Your Boundaries Today

Who are we talking about here? They are those who ask inappropriate and private questions like “why don’t you have kids” or “when will you get married”. Those who give unsolicited advice and opinions. The ones you’ll catch gossiping every chance they get. Whether it is a nosy relative, an overly curious colleague asking a way to personal question, or a friend crossing boundaries and invading your privacy, dealing with difficult situations and reacting properly to nosy people takes time and practice. Don’t worry though, because if you are looking for tips on dealing with nosy people with intrusive questions, you are in the right place

I had my fair share of those interactions, and I like to think I’ve found a way to deal with those situations. Our reactions and how we handle them also depend on what the relationship with that person means to us, and if we wish to keep it.

Depending on the nature of the relationship, here is how you can respond to invasive behaviour:

1. Understand they are using that behavior to hide their own insecurities

This first step is for you to understand it was probably never that much about you, as it was a tool for them to deflect, focus on others instead of their own insecurities. I am not making excuses for them and that doesn’t make that behaviour okay, it is simply what I use to have a less emotional reaction and to, frankly, care less. It actually works, and that’s the whole point here – how you react and feel when encountered with those situations and people.

2. With kindness make them realize their intrusive actions

This one seems almost controversial, as the social norm isn’t often to be direct. But some people may not even be aware of their intrusive behaviour, and if you gently communicate your discomfort, you can clearly state your boundaries. If this seems too direct for you, you can start by practicing indirect ways of letting them know they are being intrusive (through a joke, or by letting them know that was a strange thing to ask).

3. Practice generic answers to common questions

This one is for those mainstream, but very personal questions some people just feel entitled to ask you, like “why don’t you have kids yet”, etc. If those questions are asked by people you barely know simply practice a generic, non-revealing answer, or even use deflection (and change the subject if you find a way), and avoid the question entirely.

4. Let them know how you feel

I practice this reaction when the questions are too personal, but the person asking it is someone close. For example, when my mom asks some of the above questions, I let her know how that makes me feel. I do this when I wish to maintain the relationship with the person asking it, and I feel comfortable enough to tell her how that makes me feel. They usually get it, and it helps our relationship.

Handling Difficult Situations With Nosy People

There are a lot more ways to deal with these situations, and you probably have some of your own. If you’d like to find out more ways of dealing with these situations, I did some digging and here are my top picks:

Please let me know if you found some of these ways useful, and if you’d add something else to the list. Also, you can check out the 5 steps I took to awaken the badass within, empowerment is always a good thing.

Don’t forget to subscribe with your email to stay in touch and get the latest!

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!

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.