365 ways to energize – a daily companion to living with health, purpose, and joy

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DAy 145Hormonal mood swings can turn a woman very emotional and, in some cases, into an angry bitch.

I have for the last few days been writing about relationships, intimacy and love, and yesterday’s blog was about being a bitch – which jeopardizes many relationships.

What I did not mention in yesterday’s blog was that many women suffer from PMS or even worse, Premenstrual dysphoric disorder, PMDD. Those with PMDD can experience dreadful mood swings, which can last for as long as up to two weeks per month – puh – as PMS can begin 10 days before a period and last a few days into the period.

Most women do feel that their mood changes with PMS. Many feel that it is not their fault if they turn into a mini bitch or even a super bitch during their PMS. It is true that women truly have to deal with tough challenges with their PMS and period every month, but is this ‘an OK excuse’ to act out and behave badly? Is it possible to be more in control of ones emotions? And is there something that can be done to ease the hormonal roller coaster?

First of all, there are things women can do to alter their life style that can have a major impact on their wellbeing. Exercising can help a lot, as well as finding out which type of food that nurtures them the best. For some, eating small portions of carbohydrates throughout the day can help. Also taking supplements of Vitamin B-6, magnesium and L-tryptophan may help. Some take birth-control pills to regulate their hormones and in more severe cases, prescription drugs might be needed.

I also think that mediation and mindfulness can help to bring an awareness of ones emotions and provide opportunities to make conscious choices in the emotional responses. A committed willingness to be our best self, and consciously think and be positive, instead of giving in to our immediate emotions and acting them out, both strengthens our character and can ease the mood swings.

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Dress up your gadgets

DAy 118Stylish gadget accessories for men and women

I am a proud owner of the most gorgeous ‘smartphone cover’ on the market from The Case Factory, a company that my gorgeous Italian friend Angela Martarelli and her darling Swedish husband Mats formed a few years ago. Yes, I know that I committed in yesterday’s blog to not spend as much time on my tech gadgets and I have followed my commitment. But talking about gadgets does not go under my new rule…

I get hugely inspired by entrepreneurs and the guts and courage they show daring to go after their passions and dreams, which is why I would like to introduce Angela and The Case Factory to those of you who are into gadgets and who also appreciate quality and style.

What inspired Angela and her husband to form their own company in 2012 was her great grandfather, who himself started a business from scratch transforming leather into beautiful products in the early 20th century. Angela and Mats decided to follow in his footsteps and their company is selling gorgeous unique high quality leather cases all over the world from Japan to London and New York.

Angela and Mats have passionately invested themselves into creating an extraordinary leather accessories company where they design, create and sell handcrafted exclusive leather cases and covers for smart phones and tablets. Their cases are in; calf and nappa leather, printed animal cases, real reptile skins and even fur cases. These cases are beautiful, nice to hold, and also work as great protection; for example my phone has fallen on the floor many times and has never caught a scratch.

Angela and Mats won a Swedish award in 2014; The Best Accessory Price of the leading Swedish fashion magazine Damernas Värld – and I think that it is just the first of many more awards to come. I am so happy for them that their hard work has paid off and for their success..

Wherever I go with my phone, people comments on the beautiful case shown in the picture with the quote above. It is possible to view and order their products online at

I wish you the best of luck Angela and Mats in living your dream and with continuous success.


In control…or being controlled?

Day 117

My name is Anine Ekelund, and I am a tech addict…

Well that is perhaps an exaggeration … because I do have the ability to turn my gadgets off, and I am not on them non-stop. But still – I think that I do spend too much time on my phone and laptop. If I was to count how many times I look at my phone throughout the day, it would be many. Too many!

How about you? Are people complaining about you being on your gadgets? How efficient are you with your time? How about counting the number of times that you look at your phone or Ipad, and how many hours you spend on the computer daily! Then compare that time with how much undivided attention and time you give your family members and friends. Try guessing your ratio today and then write down the actual figure after you count tomorrow. I think that you will most likely be surprised – if you are anything like me, or perhaps most people in today’s tech dominated world.

I want to change my behavior to be more efficient with my time, and even more importantly – to be completely present with the people I meet – without checking my phone, texting or reading anything (unless I am with my father – who also loves to socialize and is as bad as me when it comes to being on his phone :)).

The only way to get a healthy relationship with tech gadgets, I think, is to have certain rules; in the same way, as it is good to set some guidelines for how often and how much we drink alcohol. And as I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, when we get lost to our gadgets and they take over the control of our lives we will suffer consequences, which sometimes can be quite severe.

Children carry their teddy bear just as adults walk around with their phones, Ipads and other gadgets. Is there any difference to a teddy bear and our gadgets? They both give a sense of satisfaction and security. A teddy bear is soft and cuddly and quite innocent, but our gadgets – when used in excess – create a false sense of security.

Our ability to let go of our gadgets says a lot about our personality. If we cannot let go and be fully present with people or with tasks – without checking our tech gadgets often , we have a problem that can have dire impact – to ourself. It can also impact our relationships – who most likely suffers from lack of attention, attentiveness and courtesy..

To those of us who argue we have to be available and check our phones or answer them, despite being with other people, or when working, ought to rethink! WE DO NOT HAVE TO BE AVAILABLE AT ALL TIMES FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO CONTACT US. We decide when we have time and would like to be available to answer.

One rule in our family is that we do not use our phones during meals. We do not answer a phone ringing or send an sms while we are enjoying each other’s company and conversations. It is very hard to have a meaningful exchange with someone who is half there with their attention.

Some rules that I want to live by – from now on…:

  1. My phone should never be at table when I eat with others.
  2. While having a conversation with someone, I will not check an sms or answer the phone if it is ringing. ( or I will have my phone on silent  and in my handbag).
  3. In the evenings, I will not be on my phone or on the laptop – except for max 30 minutes to attend to urgent matters. I will remind myself, that there is always a tomorrow when I can answer people.
  4. In the evening, I make sure to spend time with my family or friends, read a book, watch a film or the news – in order to invest in my relationships and in myself.

Do you have ideas on rules which you would like to commit to?

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The devil’s in the details

Day 99nDo you have mind fog when you get sick?

I have been very excited about reaching the milestone of 100 days of blogging and I believed it was today. Then I discovered that I have forgotten to count one day somewhere – and that today is the 99th day of the blog, not the 100th. What did I miss? I went back to look at how I could possibly have missed a day and learned that it was the day when I succeeded to beat a bad cold, which I excitedly wrote about ‘Day 85’, which actually was ‘Day 84’.

One possible reason why I missed that day is that my body was a bit ‘under the weather.’ I succeeded beating the cold/flu from developing – yet my mind became less observant and sharp, which is what happens to us when we get sick.

I spoke today with a lady that has been sick for the past two weeks and who complained that she was not “with it” and not as sharp as usual. She seemed embarrassed about coming across a bit confused and helpless – I think we can all relate. No one enjoys showing up less than what we are capable of.

Another possible reason to why I made a mistake is that I was not attentive enough to detail. When we work too fast, or under a too tight time pressure, it is easy to make mistakes. Attention to detail is something that has been growing on me and I increasingly appreciate the experience of getting things right.

My husband is a master at paying attention to detail – to the extent that his family and employees lose patience with him and jokingly call him the “ 1, 2, 3, a, b, c guy” but then again he rarely makes mistakes and this saves him so much time and energy in the long run.

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Around the world in 80 days & The power of goals

Day 80No one had yet travelled around the world in 80 days before the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869. An American entrepreneur, George Francis Train took on the challenge and was the first man to make that 80-day journey in 1870. This achievement most likely inspired the author Jules Verne to write the book with the same title published in 1873.In 1890 Mr. Train made the same around the world journey in 67 days.

What an exciting goal Mr. Train had! And it was S.M.A.R.T = Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. If our goals are created SMART – the likelihood of achieving them increase significantly.

But why should we even bother to set goals?

Because – goals transform us! They bring out the best in us! They stretch us! They bring joy, energy and confidence. They open us up to live our full potential.

Yesterday I wrote about how it is hard to create change and reach our goals.

Before we go on, let’s identify some of our goals – and which goals we are struggling with?

Are you trying to learn a new language, loose weight, write a book, or find a more meaningful profession? Or are you dreaming of a more loving relationship, to feel more inner peace, or happiness in your life? Perhaps you long to find a life partner, start a company, become stronger, more patient and less critical, drink less alcohol, stop smoking, – stop loosing your temper? Or may you want to climb a mountain, travel around the world, begin meditating, or get fit by doing sports on a regular basis…?

Before analyzing further what we possibly can do to approach difficult goals, let us first categorize some different types of goals

  1. Easy goals 2. Compelling goals 3. Forced goals 4. Dream goals

Tomorrow I will explore these goals further

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DAy 76Yesterday, I wrote about various ways to become and stay focused.

What I did not mention was the link between focus and hydration. We all know that our body consists of 70 percent water. That percentage is even larger in our brain. Our brain consists of as much as 85 percent water and depends on a daily good intake of water in order to keep fueled and energized!

According to research, most people drink way too little water for their brain to function optimally. What about you? Are you drinking enough water?

Lack of focus can be linked to dehydration. Also “brain fog,” memory, sleep issues, anger, headaches, depression, ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), ADD (attention deficit disorder), are connected to drinking too little water!

Not only do our brain need water to function optimally, even our nervous system needs water and our digestion works much more better when we drink enough. Water is also great for our skin.

To only drink glass after glass of cold water might not seem appetizing. Therefore it is easy to go for juice, coffee, tea or soft drinks. However none of those drinks hydrate us optimally, rather the opposite. We need to drink water of high quality preferably! Filtered water is mostly better than your tap water. Bottled water from glass bottles is great – not from plastic bottles as these carry toxins.

I have a morning routine that I can recommend. I begin my morning drinking two large glasses of warm water. I mix cold water with tea water. Warm water helps me drink more and it also feels good in my stomach. Lately I have added a teaspoon of bio honey, as it supports digestion and the skin further. I always carry a bottle of water with me everywhere I go, and I drink regularly and before I get thirsty.

When you are showing sign of being thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Therefore, get into the habit of drinking water every hour or so. Your brain and body will get thrilled when you do.

You find out how much you need to drink per day by measuring:

Your body weight in kg X33ml= daily water requirement

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Let’s get focused!

Day 75Many of us know how frustrating it can be when our mind is scattered and we find ourselves all over the place; beginning one task, and forgetting what that was, as we get distracted doing something else.

It can feel disheartening when we have loads to do, or are in a hurry and we can’t find our keys, phone, passport, credit card, or some clothes we want to wear, or we forget to do something important because we failed to prioritise.

A scattered mind is a clear sign that we are not grounded in our bodies. If you were asked for example, how you were breathing, or how your body was feeling this morning while you were looking for your keys or phone, you will most likely have no idea – because you were all “up in your head.”

The best way to get focused is to slow down your mind by “getting physical” through meditation, consciously slowing down your breath, exercising and engaging in some form of physical touch – such as giving or receiving warm hugs.

Removing tight time constraints by setting goals and planning your time and “speaking your mind;” having an open dialog with people you live and work with – also makes a difference.

To maintain a focused mind, it is key to be mindful about what we do, to do one thing at a time, and to finish what we start before we move onto the next thing. A clear plan and to do list (that we also use and check off) can make a big difference – provided we do not put too many things on that list. Eating hearty food/meals and maintaining an even blood sugar level throughout the day also ground and support our ability to have a calm and focused mind.