10 solo date ideas that will cheer you up this Valentine’s day.

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smiling girl with sunglasses at the beach

Hello, dear readers! Now, when this post is going live, it’s Valentine’s day already and, as we know, there are two types of people on Valentine’s day – couples and singles. Also, it’s widely known that singles must hate this day. We are brainwashed with the idea that our self worth depends only other people opinions about us and the amount of attention they give to us which is completely wrong and unhealthy. I am currently single, even though with a possibility of dating someone in a near future, and I’m not filled with joy on Valentine’s day either. To make the situation better, I decided to come up with few great solo date ideas for you and me to try. Admit it – doing these will be way better than drinking wine, eating ice cream and crying in front of a TV while watching “Titanic”. It’s time to stop feeling bad about your relationship status and enjoy the day like you deserve. So here are some of the best solo date ideas.

  1. Solo movie night with your favorite home-cooked food. Pick a movie or few from any genre except romance and cook something. Nothing quite tastes like self-made pizza, tomatoe soup or any other healthy version of a food you truly enjoy. Just stay away from junk food, don’t punish your body with that crap.
  2. Try out new restaurant you’ve neve been to. If you live in a city, this is a great opportunity to explore it. You don’t have to go to the fanciest restaurant nearby, just find a place you have never been to. Even better, if it has some foreign cousine and a dish you haven’t tried before.
  3. Buy yourself a nice piece of clothing, maybe even whole outfit. When was the last time you have felt like a godess in your clothes? Now is the right time to get that feeling back.
  4. Go to a movie or theatre play alone. Who said you always need someone to come with you? Looking from the bright side, this activity can be even more enjoyable without someone sitting next to you and commenting on everything that happens on the screen or on the stage. Side note: Try to avoid anything romantic, if you can.
  5. Go to a pilates, yoga or zumba class. Or anything else that makes your heart beat faster. Most likely you won’t see any couples there and, as you already know, phisical activity makes you release endorphins and that makes you feel great. Isn’t this option way better than eating whole tub of ice cream while watching “Titanic”?
  6. Create at home spa day (or evening). Buy yourself a nice bath bomb, face mask, scrub, body cream or anything else your heart desires. Then treat your body with all of those things, paint your nails, maybe try out new make-up look. Why drown in self pity, if you can get busy with self care?
  7. Plan a date with your single besties. I know that I have said “single date” ideas. While you can’t make this idea come true on your own, at least you don’t need a lover for that. And there’s not greater way to rebel against Valentine’s day than to embrace your single life with your single friends.
  8. Go for a walk in parts of your city you don’t usually go to. I have lived in my city for almost four years but even I don’t know all the nice coffee shops, cafes, shops and bookstores it hides. It easy to think your city has nothing to offer, if you’ve lived there for years and walked the same road thousands of times. Get out of your comfort zone and explore. Who knows, what you might find!
  9. Go for a walk with your camera and take photos of everything you find interesting and beautiful. It does not matter, if you are an amateur or pro – enjoy your walk and perpetuate all the amazing moments.
  10. Get in touch with your inner child. I know we are adults now but do you remember what you enjoyed the most when you were seven years old? Maybe twelve? Did you used to enjoy jumping rope, learning dances from tutorials or singing? Maybe drawing, coulouring books or trying out different DIY’s? Try doing that now and don’t be ashamed – no one is watching. Sometimes it feels good to bring back certain childhood memories.

That’s all I can offer you today. 🙂 What are your plans for Valentine’s day? Let me know it the comments. Until next time on Dolls Have Hearts!

Love, Porcelain Doll.

The less visible sister of fat shaming – skinny shaming.

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Skinny girl with brown hair in sports gear, walking

Hello, dear readers! By now I think you have all heard of fat shaming. Curvy people, especially women have raised awareness about it a lot during last few years. It is no secret that media has been pushing the image of “perfect woman” onto us for quite a long time. We are still drowning in magazine articles about getting beach body and different diets that will help us lose x amount of pounds every month. However, there is one side of body shaming that has not been covered as much and it is skinny shaming. Yes, that is really a thing! Why am I writing about this? Well, because I have been fat shamed as well as skinny shamed.

During my childhood years I was somewhere in the middle – not really chubby but also not skinny. However, I despised PE lessons and ate what ever I wanted, so I was no way considerable as the fit one. Being a kid and hating sports was not cool at all, so I quickly became the main object of mockery in my school. Most of my bullies were boys, who were skinny and loved sports. They could eat all the junk food in the world and still stay the same way. However, if I would eat too much pizza or cookies, my body would show it after some time. I was a girl and being tall and thin was not in my genes. I was jealous at girls, who were like that. The self consciousness made me feel terrible about my thighs, who seemed way too thick at the time (I mean, how thick can be thighs of a ten-year old, who is not overweight?) and small stomach roll that I had while sitting down. For nine years straight I was laughed at because of my body and fat shamed almost every day. It did not mater, if I tried eating less or dressing differently – I was still the ugly, weird and fat kid. This nightmare ended after middle school.

About a year before graduating from middle school I started working out. Of course, results did not show that quickly but I was getting there. After middle school I decided to continue my studies in a different city and different school. Things seemed to get better – my schoolmates did not care about my looks at all and the fat shaming was over. However, soon after that when my workout results finally started showing, I experienced something as uncomfortable which was skinny shaming. As I continued to workout, my stomach rolls disappeared, hip bones, ribs and collar bones started showing a little bit more. I was eating healthier than before and still had normal BMI, however, my parents started getting worried with no apparent reason. I started getting a lot of comments from them that I workout too much and suggested me to workout less and eat more. I could not understand their reaction. I finally started feeling better about my body after all the fat shaming and now this? My parents have never been on the thin side, so this fact made me nervous from early childhood. Will I look like this when I grow up? I didn’t want to. I wanted to be like one of those fit, happy girls you can see on Pinterest and Instagram. Why was is such a bad idea? My parents should have been happy that I wasn’t one of those girls, who look at thinspo every day and starve themselves.

During last  4 years I’ve been working out and eating healthier but their remarks didn’t stop. Especially from my dad. I wanted to feel better about my body and love it but comments like: “You should eat more. Your breasts have become smaller. Your hip bones are showing too much. Your ribs are showing too much. Are you trying to starve yourself? The way you look isn’t healthy. Stop starving yourself. Stop working out so much.” made me insecure and unhappy. You might think that having a slimmer body would make me more confident. It didn’t. I still listened to what people are saying about it. I felt insecure about my hip bones and the fact that I sometimes got bruises on them after workouts, I felt stressed out because I couldn’t find pants that fit me just right. Most of them were too tight in the area of my thighs and too loose around my waist. I felt insecure about my breasts that were never too big but now got even smaller. I was jealous to girls, who could wear nice lingerie, push up bras and actually have something to put inside them. I was almost flat, I still am.

I shouldn’t hate my body, I should love it and you should do the same with yours. It’s okay to have thick thighs, it’s okay to have tiny breasts, it’s okay have boyish body with no curves or very curvy one without small waist. I’m here to tell you what no one has told me – love your body the way it is now. It doesn’t matter, if people tell you that you’re too skinny, too muscular or too chubby. There is no such thing as perfect bikini body and you shouldn’t stress about getting it. There is not one universal body shape everyone should and would be able to fit. No matter what body type you have, it has its own beauty. Stop listening to media and society in general, who’s telling you that you need an ass like Kim Kardashian or body like Keira Knightley, or that you can’t wear crop tops because your stomach isn’t perfectly flat. Wear what makes you feel good, don’t torture yourself in order to look like someone else. You already have a full package of what you need. Sure, you can do some ab workouts or squats, eat more veggies and treat it like a temple but… never take it for granted. You are beautiful in your own skin – embrace it here and now.

That’s all for this week’s blog post. I hope you have enjoyed reading it as much as enjoyed writing it. See you next week with another great article. 🙂

Love, Porcelain Doll.

5 amazing tips that will increase your productivity instantly.

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HealthBenefits ofOranges

Hello, dear readers! If you are anything like me, you have had big goals as long as you can remember. However, there might be times when you feel tired, unmotivated and just want to procrastinate. Well, you are not the only one, I tend to struggle with this, too. So I decided to take some time to observe and analyze my own behaviour during those times and figure out, how to get out of it. Here are 5 amazing tips I came up with that increased my productivity instantly and can increase yours, too!

  1. Make sure your room / workspace is warm enough. One odd thing I noticed – if it’s too cold in my room, all I want to do is sit under comfy blankets, watch TV series and procrastinate. For a while I didn’t even notice that this is a problem but when I finally did, I realized it’s time to turn that heater on, get out of my bed and get stuff done.
  2. Make sure you don’t have lowered blood pressure. If you do, get some coffee. This is a huge one for me. I used to feel tired almost every day for years and couldn’t figure out why. One day my doctor told me that it might be because most of the time I have lowered blood pressure. That turned out to be the reason why I wanted to sleep most of the time and felt exhausted. How did I fight this? Simple, with coffee. I know that some people are pretty skeptical about it, mostly because of the thing called “caffeine hangover” which tends to have similar effects as alcohol hangover. I experienced only once in my life, after about 5 or 6 cups of coffee when I really wanted to be creative & productive. So, friendly advice – don’t drink more than 3 cups of coffee a day.
  3. Make a to do list. This might be such a cliché but it actually helps me. Every morning I make to do list and try to cross out aismany things as possible that day. Somehow it us super fun for me. And, as someone, who used to struggle with depression, this is a great thing for me. Now I can realistically look back at what I have done that day and say: “Wow, I was very productive today!”Create a Girlboss (or Guyboss) playlist. It’s crazy how much music can affect your mood. If I have some sad, calm songs in the background, I honestly feel like crying instead of getting stuff done. Sad music might be acceptable only when I’m painting or drawing (sometimes). In case you need some ideas about songs that will make you feel pumped, check out my “Playlist of a Girlboss” on Spotify here:
  4. Stop over thinking and complaining, just start doing it. It’s crazy, how much time we spend wondering, if we should really do something and trying to find reasons for procrastination or not doing it at all. The best way, how to do something is just to get up and do it. Turn off all the thoughts that make you want to procrastinate or doubt yourself and just get to work!
  5. Plan a day or few every month for relaxation or a quick getaway. It doesn’t matter, if you go to school, work or do both – this routine can be exhausting. Every week is pretty much the same and, especially if you have to do something on weekends, burnout can become a real threat when you don’t plan some time for recharging. Only since September I planned some “off days” in my monthly schedule and it has been very helpful. My stress levels are not as high anymore and I don’t get ill as often.

Those are all the productivity tips I have for you today, that I have tried myself. It would be easy just to look something up on the internet but sharing my experience seems way more genuine. Have you tried any of these productivity tips? Or maybe you have your own favorite productivity tips? Share in the comment section!

Until next time on dollshavehearts.com !

Love, Porcelain Doll.

#GirlbossSeries: How to create kickass morning routine.

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fruits that you need to try

Hello, dear readers! Have you ever dreamed about living happy and organized life? Most likely you have. But have you ever tried to plan everything and just live the life you want? I bet there will be two types of answers to this question: “No, not really.” and “Yes, but it didn’t work out for me.” No matter which answer did you pick, you still have a chance to take one step closer to living your dream life. At the beginning we will be starting out small, so that’s why today I decided to talk about creating a morning routine.

“But what’s a morning routine? Don’t I already have one?” Those are the questions you may ask. Well, if your morning routine includes snoozing the alarm at least five times, hoping out of bed the very last minute and skipping breakfast, then no – you don’t. To have an amazing life, you need to start with making your day awesome. Firsyou have to start it the right way. Morning routine isn’t only about getting dressed and making coffee. It’s way more than that. To give you an insight into this, I will share some things that you could include in your own morning routine.

  • Write. If you’re a blogger or a writer like me, morning is the best time to write. Your mind isn’t cluttered with daily worries yet and you’re just one coffee cup away from getting into your “getting shit done” mode. So try to set aside at least 15 minutes in the morning to get some writing done.
  • Exercise. You have probably heard a lot about morning yoga, running in the morning etc. Pick any type of physical activity that makes your heart beat faster and body move. If you don’t want to include exercising in your morning, you can make it a part of evening routine.
  • Write something in your journal. This one is very similar to the first idea, however, you don’t have to be a writer to write in a journal. This is for your personal well-being. Just reserve some time in the morning to write everything that is on your mind, things that you are thankful for etc.
  • Make some coffee or tea to take with you. It seems like no-brainer to some people but have you ever thought how much money you spend when you buy coffee or tea in a coffee shop? Just make a hot drink in the morning, pour it into you thermos and you are good to go.
  • Make your bed. Another no-brainer but it is nice to do it right away, so when you come home, you don’t return to messy rat’s nest.
  • Read few pages of a book. Just few months ago I unpleasantly surprised myself with the fact that I could not find a time to read. At all. I used to be such a bookworm in elementary school, I barely could put a book away but then high school happened. Most evenings I was too tired after school that I went straight to bed. However, I missed reading too much, so I created a morning routine in a form of a checklist and included reading in it, too.
  • Wash your face. Especially, if you are a teenager and have a problematic skin like I do. I never had a time for some complicated skin care routine but as soon as I started washing my face every morning with some face cleansing gel, my skin got way better.
  • Plan your day. It’s your choice, if you decide to plan your day in the morning or in the evening before but I highly suggest you to do it. Planning not only makes you get more stuff done but also makes you feel better about yourself when you have completed the tasks and seen, how much you have done.
  • Take a shower. For some people it helps to feel more refreshed and ready for a new day. For me it only puts in my “I am ready to go back to sleep” mode. Take a risk – maybe morning shower is all you need to be the best version of yourself for the rest of the day.
  • Have a cup of coffee. This is a suggestion for those poor people just like me, who have low blood pressure all the time and, if they don’t get their daily dose of caffeine, they might as well cast in Walking Dead.
  • Watch Girlboss series type of video on Youtube. Just one video can inspire you for the whole day if not longer. My favorite Youtubers, who post a lot of girlboss aka boss babe related stuff are Hannah Ashton , Kalyn Nicholson  and Nika Erculj . Just don’t get caught up, they are pretty addicting!

Now that I have shared the most popular ideas for your morning routine, it’s time to make it. You don’t have to include everything I mentioned in this post, just pick whatever is closer to your heart. The main goal of a morning routine is to prepare you emotionally and physically for a productive day. Stay awesome and see you on my next post on dollshavehearts.com !

Love, Porcelain Doll.

10 important things every classical guitarist should know.

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A man, playing classical guitar

Hello, dear readers! Today for a change I decided to use all my knowledge and experience in classical guitar field to share 10 important things that can be very useful. I have talked to so many people, who told me that they have tried or have picked up playing the guitar but the mistakes they make are so ridiculous that I decided to write this articles and lay out some basic life hacks that might be useful, if you want to start playing the guitar or are already doing that. Some of these might apply not only on classical guitars but on acoustic, too. So, let’s dive right in!

  1. Change the strings of your guitar in the evening. If you can change guitar strings on your own, do it in the evening when you have already finished practicing. Right after changing them, tune the guitar, play a little, tune it again and then put it to rest. Strings need some time to adjust to the tension and playing right away after changing them is kind of difficult because you will probably have to tune guitar every minute. Just let it rest and pick up in the morning.
  2. For classical guitars there two types of strings – work strings and concert strings. If you are a beginner, you probably don’t need to use concert strings yet because you’re only learning right now. But to those, who are already more or less performing, I will explain the difference between these two types of strings. Work strings, just like the name says, are meant for work and work only. Of course, you might play with them in a concert but don’t expect the most amazing sound. Work strings have to be changed every month or two, depending on how much you play. Concert strings, on the other hand, have an amazing sound, however they have shorter life. After some time they lose their full sound potential. Some concert strings sound good for about one week but others are meant just for one 2 hours long concert and then they are done.
  3. Don’t leave your instrument somewhere too cold or too hot. If you leave it somewhere hot, for example, near heater, the guitar might get too dry and it might cause it to develop cracks. That’s why you should buy a guitar humidifier for hot summers to avoid damage. It has a sponge inside that you make wet in water, then squeeze out all the spare water so it’s a little moist, then put back in the container and carefully insert  between guitar strings above the hole. (There different models, not just the one I inserted as an example.) Also, one thing to remember – if you take a walk with instrument in the winter and the temperature is below zero (the lower, the more dangerous), don’t open the case as soon as you enter the room. It might cause the guitar to develop cracks because of sudden temperature change. Wait 5 – 10 minutes and only then take the guitar out.
  4. When changing strings, don’t take off all the old strings before putting on new ones. Same warning – guitar might develop cracks and if that happens, the sound won’t be the same. So be careful, no matter if you have a 150$ guitar or 2000$ guitar.
  5. Don’t put any stickers on your instrument or draw on it. Especially, if you are going to participate in a contest or play in a concert. That just looks cheap and is a bad taste. Sadly I’ve seen so many people do it and it looks terrible. Just don’t. It’s not cool, it just looks like you are kind of disrespecting your instrument.
  6. Do not put your guitar anywhere where it might fall, for example, support it against the chair. If it falls, you will end up with stack of  firewood for your fireplace just because you didn’t think twice.
  7. Pay attention to your posture. I will show you two correct ways, how to sit while playing classical guitar and two incorrect ways. I know you want to look “cool” but there’s nothing cool about developing acute back pain.

    Correct ways to sit.

    sofia-sitting-footstool-2016

    maxresdefault

    Incorrect ways to sit.

    aa-neck-down

  8. Don’t bother with tabs, that will lead you nowhere; learn notes instead. Playing every piece from tabs and not knowing notes consumes too much time. Also, if you want to be a decent player, learn notes. Tabs won’t be that great in a long run. Start with learning which free string is which note and go from there.
  9. Cut nails of your left hand and grow nails of your right hand. This is kind of controversial fact for both – girls and boys because girls usually like to have long nails but boys want to keep them short. I remember when I first told my friends that boys, who play classical guitar have long right hand nails, they exchanged confused looks and giggled. It might seem weird because “it doesn’t look cool or right” but if you have long left hand nails, you’ll have trouble pressing down strings and if you have short right hand nails, you will have trouble playing with lively, bold and beautiful sound.
  10. Your fingers will hurt at the beginning – it’s normal. A lot of beginners complain that their fingers (especially fingers of a left hand) hurt when they are playing. No worries – it’s part of the process and after practicing consistently for a while it will go away because the skin will simply get thicker.

So that’s all for the most basic advice in starting out as a classical guitarist. There are lots and lots of other things I know, and I could write a book about them but this is not a classical guitar or music related blog, so I will keep that knowledge for myself… Unless you really want me to write another post about some guitar life hacks or go in-depth in some of the things I already mentioned in this post. If you do, let me know in the comments!

Love, Porcelain Doll.

 

Being fit does not always mean loving your body.

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Girl preparing for a run.

Hello, dear readers! Social media, magazines, commercials and movies are full of images of hot bodies. More concretely – fit bodies. We are overwhelmed with titles of blog posts and magazine articles like “How to get in shape for summer”, “How to lose 10 pounds in 4 weeks” etc. Even more – authors of these resources are trying to tell us that, if we lose 10 pounds, get a flatter stomach or thinner thighs, we will like ourselves more. Hell, we might even love ourselves. However, that’s not true. Let me tell you my story about how I tried to change my life by becoming fit.

I was never the sporty type of kid in school. In fact, I was the one, who was hiding behind all others and hoping that somehow the teacher would not notice me and I could skip high jumping or rope climbing. Maybe I would have tried but the teacher just didn’t care enough to motivate me. Maybe… but the others would have still laughed at me, right? I grew up hearing phrases like: “Ew, she’s fat.” , “Oh my God, look at her ugly face!” and other similar ones every school day. I am pretty sure that I could count the days that passed with no such comments on fingers of a one hand. Not many, honestly. I kind of knew that my bullies weren’t right – I was not fat, just a little bit chubby like a lot of kids in their childhood and early teenage years. However, at that point I didn’t pay much attention that it was normal. All I kept hearing were those mean phrases, repeated every day. And not by one or few people – at least ten if not more of them. These thoughts got stuck in my head and I started to feel more and more uncomfortable in my own body. “Damn,” I though to myself. “my thighs are actually huge and I hate that my stomach isn’t as flat as it should be.” I started to hate what I wear and how I look because so many people reminded me, how much they hate it. Around the age of thirteen I started spending about a half an hour, sometimes even more on my makeup, trying to make it look as good as possible. I thought that maybe it could help me cover up my insecurities and make my, so-called, ugly face more beautiful. I did my best to look better, naively hoping that it will make them stop. How foolish – nothing changed. I hated myself and constantly asked myself: “Why me? Why am I the ugly one? Why can’t I look like my friends? They don’t get even the third part of the mean comments that I get.” This first part of the story continued until the age of fifteen.

One summer I thought to myself – enough is enough. I don’t want to be the ugly girl anymore. I’m sick of having huge thighs and a little chubby belly. I am going to workout to get the body I want and that will make me feel more confident! I started out small – with about 30 squats, 30 sit ups and 30 reps of some other kind of exercise daily. There was nothing more I wanted than just to get those results. This was kind of similar to the makeup part – I hoped it would make me feel more confident and keep the bullies away. Side note – if kids have no apparent reason to be mean to you, they will make something up in their heads. It doesn’t matter, if you have glasses or not, if you’re fat or not, if you’re teacher’s pet or not – they will come up with something. Like Dita Von Teese said: “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be someone, who hates peaches.” However, I didn’t know that at the time. So kept trying and pushing harder with every month. I used work out every day and sometimes I skipped a day or two, or ate something unhealthy, I hated my guts for some time. How did I dare to do this to myself? I need to reach this goal, I can’t self sabotage myself right now! My workout plan changes with time but I still managed to exercise more than 2 years straight in a row. My body looked better than ever but I still didn’t feel confident enough. I used to look in the mirror and look for imperfections. “My abs are not showing, my arms are too thin and shapeless…” I used to think to myself. I was on this journey that should have been incredibly exciting but somehow I wasn’t excited. Even though I noticed that I had made some kind of progress, it was never enough and the feeling of frustration never really left me.

Some time in November of 2016 I gradually stopped working out at all. I was so sick of this endless frustration and never feeling confident about my body. Whenever I started exercising, there was a little voice in my head that said: “You hate doing this and you still haven’t gotten your dream body after two years. Why even bother?” So I quit and focused on eating less and healthier while I lost about 8 kg until May 2017. Month later I got off the meds and started recovering from everything that had happened. I’ve spent way too long time in this trance-like state, not really caring about anything, not really wanting anything and sleeping way too much. I couldn’t help but sometimes wonder – is this how my life is going to pass? Am I going to exist all the time that I have left in this world?

Getting off meds wasn’t hard but I really had no idea what to expect afterwards. Will I need to use them again? Hopefully not. So I got the courage and told myself: “Listen, you need to get your life together. It’s not going to be easy but you can do it. Stop putting yourself down. Some other person is probably doing it, so why join them and make yourself feel even shittier?” Later on I came up with the 3 task idea. As you probably know, depression basically turns you into a zombie. You don’t care about anything, you don’t want to do anything but sleep and it’s not easy to get out of this cycle. The 3 task idea is pretty simple. Just wake up in the morning and get 3 things done that day. Even if it’s just watering your plants, washing two dirty plates and making your bed. It’s small but it’s still a progress. Later, when I felt like I’m ready to do more, I added more tasks and – voila! – now, in September I’m pretty well-functioning average person. The fact that I came to this point has already raised my self-esteem. When it comes to body image – I realized that I am a human being. I don’t need to be perfect. In fact – I don’t think there are people in this world that have naturally perfect bodies and who maintain them without doing much. Some of as have huge thighs, some of us have small breasts, some of us don’t have perfectly flat stomach but hey, it’s okay! For example, yes, my thighs are still not on the thin side but at least my waist is slim. Life is just way too short to worry about my imperfections and constantly blame myself for not fitting some unrealistic standard. Also, this reminds me one quote I recently found on Pinterest and now it’s added to my cork board in my work room.

hero-today-im-channelling_sarah-silverman

So that’s my journey from hating my body to finally feeling comfortable in my own skin. The moral of the story is – being fit does not always mean loving your body. It’s not about working out, it’s about putting yourself in the right mindset and accepting who you really are. Sure, you can lose those 10 pounds, if you want to but before you do that just stop and ask yourself: “Do I want to do that because I feel the pressure from others and want fit some strange standard? Do I want to do it because I don’t like my body?” If the answer is yes, you’re doing it for all the wrong reasons. You don’t have to be the next Jen Selter, you can live a great life in the body you already have. So what if those thighs jiggle a little? You’re not a Barbie doll that’s made of plastic. Let them haters talk but do not become one of them. Remember, there are only two chances – you can either be your worst enemy or your best friend. Chose wisely.

Love, Porcelain Doll.

5 steps to becoming your real, authentic self.

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Happy girl

Hello, dear readers! Today I wanted to talk about something that has been sitting on my mind for a long time, which is being yourself.  You probably want to ask: “What is there to talk about? I already know, who I am and what I want to be.” The truth is – you probably don’t. You just think you do. A little more than year ago I thought that my dream is to study classical guitar in Royal Academy of Music in London. Strange, wasn’t it? I couldn’t and still can’t imagine myself on the stage, earning living by playing in concerts. It took me some time to realize that all the years I heard my mother constantly talking about how nice it would be, if I would become a successful classical guitarist, for a while made me believe that it is my own idea. Of course, it wasn’t. I realized that even though my view to the future is not completely clear, I don’t see myself becoming a musician – performer. Performing on the stage often just isn’t what I picture for myself.

Maybe you, just like I was, from early childhood were influenced by different opinions and are taught lots of rules. Everyone – from parents and friends to media is responsible for how we see ourselves, what we believe in and, eventually, who we become. Sadly, often influence is too overwhelming and it is easier than ever to silence the inner voice everyone naturally has and blindly follow the norm. And let’s be honest – norm is boring. Besides – no great artist, musician, blogger or (insert any profession other here) has succeed by following the crowd. If you are reading this post, I am pretty sure you don’t want to be one of the crowd – boring and plain just like everyone else. However, you still don’t know, how to stand out and become a successful individual with amazing life. (Side note: when I say amazing, I don’t mean that you won’t face any hardships. You will but that’s okay.) Let me introduce you to 5 steps to becoming your real, authentic self.

  1. Stop and take a moment to ask yourself: “Where do I see myself in few years, if I keep living like this? Am I happy? Do I lack something in this future life? If so, that might be the sign that you have been taking the path others wanted you to take instead of following the real you. In the past I could picture myself as a musician on stage. I could even imagine, how happy my parents and teachers would be. But there was one thing I couldn’t visualize in the future – myself being happy in a life like this.
  2. Try to remember what you have enjoyed doing in your childhood. What was it? Did people around you encouraged you or thought it was a waste or time or outside the norm? Maybe you liked to paint but you mother told you that you won’t be able to get into art school so often that you even didn’t try? Maybe you liked to play football but your teacher or friends said that you’re just another average football player and you will never make it to the team in your country? Just think about what were you passionate back then and don’t skip the things that weren’t approved by others. Do you still enjoy any of these activities? If yes, that is a good sign.
  3. Think about all the things that differ you from others. Do you have weird laugh that you’re trying to hide? Do you never wear shorts because you think that your thighs are thicker than other girls’? Do you never speak up in class or in a meeting because you think that your voice sounds weird? Now, when you have made your list, it’s time to switch things up. Stop worrying about the opinion of others. Laugh like nobody could hear you, wear those cute shorts and speak up in class. And, for the sake of God, stop judging yourself. We all have quite a few haters, there’s no need to join the club and start hating yourself. Better be confident and fake it at the beginning, if you have to. As they say – fake it until you make it.
  4. Start doubting your limits. You probably think that you will never get rid of your shyness, clumsiness, never become successful in our dream niche and never get that dream job. What if I told you it’s not true? What if you’re listening to your inner negative voice and opinion of others way too much? A lot of famous and successful people were doubted before they made it. Take for an example Lady GaGa, Elvis Presley, Bill Gates, Albert Einstein, Marylin Monroe and many more. It’s time to become your own biggest supporter, start believing yourself and make your dreams come true.
  5. Split big goals into smaller steps. Knowing what you want and believing yourself is good but you will fail, if you won’t split big goals into small steps that will gradually help you accomplish what you wanted. Having a concrete plan will make you stay more motivated and not so overwhelmed by quantity of the work you will have to get done. For example, if your dream is to have blog with 10000 followers and have at least 3000 views daily, your smaller steps might be “polish your Pinterest profile” , “learn how to engage your Pinterest followers and turn them into your blog followers”, “find sites in your niche that accept guest posts” etc. You get the point.

I really hope that this post will inspire you a lot and make you want to change your life for the best. I might not be an expert in this area of life because I am in improvement process myself but sharing my tips and experience is great – now we can walk this path together!

However, before I go, I want to know: Does your future life vision satisfies you? Do you follow your inner voice or suggestions from family members and friends? Let me know in the comments!

Love, Porcelain Doll.

Striving for a better life.

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Striving for a better life. | It's time to get my life together, start planning and start living the life of my dreams.

Hello, my dear readers! Last week has been pretty crazy to me. After chilling all summer and mostly taking my time to rest and improve my mental health, I just realized that school is going to start soon. It feels like just yesterday I returned from summer exchange program, just few days ago I got a tattoo… but it’s a false feeling and I have little time to get my life together. Even though this school year will be free from some subjects that I used to hate (*cough* math *cough*), I will be busier than ever because crazy inner me decided that she can keep studying, get normal grades, manage blogging and teach kids to play the guitar 22 lessons a week. I went from having no students to having 16 at once. It’s funny to remember how boring my life was at the age of fifteen when I was too scared to step out of my comfort zone but now I’m doing it a lot more, yet wondering – isn’t it too much?

However, I’m determined to make this work and even more – feel happy while living like this. After getting off meds I have slowly realized how strong I am mentally and how much I am capable of doing which amazed me. Of course, it might not be a lot in eyes of some people but for me it is something. I went from trance-like state and not caring about anything to realizing my current goals and learning to believe that I can achieve them. Nevertheless, to live the life I want to live, I will have to do something I have barely done in my life and when I did – I hated it. If you have not guessed what am I talking about – it is planning. I am that chaotic person, who loves to stay up until 4 a.m., if I suddenly get inspired to write or paint and who is often running late to somewhere I have to be. Now it is time to stop this messy lifestyle and plan out everything, which is what I am doing these past few days and I still keep doing it. So far I have created my morning routine (Who knew these are so important! Mine always consisted on hitting snooze about 10 times and skipping breakfast.), got 3 planners (2 for both schools I will be teaching in and 1 for general daily tasks) and created blogging daily task list.

Also, I have figured out 7 big mistakes why planning never worked out for me in a long term.

  1. Too much daily tasks.
  2. Tasks are too huge.
  3. All of the tasks are unpleasant.
  4. No rewards.
  5. No long-term goals.
  6. I’m waiting for inspiration or enough energy to do something.
  7. Following fake goals aka goals that others have set for myself.

Now, when I know what I have done wrong in the past and how to do it the right way now, I feel much more motivated and the future just seems brighter in general.

One more thing I have been doing to change my life for the best is uncluttering my closet and my apartment. Even though I’ve been doing some closet cleaning less than a year ago, I still found myself having clothes that do not represent me or in which ones I feel unattractive. However, for a while I did not realize that the closet was not the only thing, full of old, unuseful, broken and ugly things. It was the whole apartment. For example, just few days I threw out 3 or 4 trash bags, full of old school notes that I am not going to use again. Turns out that all those small things I put somewhere away from my eyes and kept “just in case” all together created a lot of trash that I have not used for months or even years. Also – throwing out the stuff you do not need is just a part one. The second thing you need to do is stop making spontaneous purchases. This goes especially about clothes and make up. Buy something only if you need it, not because you fell in love from the first sight with it.

So that’s what I am doing to make my life better. In case you are thinking about getting your life together, too, I will leave few useful links that might inspire you to do so.

That’s all for now and see you in next week when I will hopefully have everything planned out and I start diving into this new routine.

Stay awesome, Porcelain Doll.

 

10 inspiring Tumblr tags you will love.

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Hello, dear readers! I, just like a very big part of the population, have been using Tumblr for years. have had several accounts and have taken few breaks from the site. However, I have to admit that this blogging platform is incredibly great because it takes very little effort to create your blog, it’s easy to promote it and even more – your blog does not have to be made mainly for other people’s eyes like WordPress, Blogger and other blogging platform blogs are. Tumblr blog can be like your online diary, it can be your safe place, if you are trying to lose weight (I’m not talking about thinspo, bonespo and skinspo here, those tags are way too dark.), find friends while battling a mental illness or just simply get inspired. This is why Tumblr has been my most favorite place on the internet. No matter, who you are, you can find friends there. Today I wanted to show you that Tumblr consists of more than pro ana personal blogs and a lot of teenage blogs, who are reblogging #grunge , #pale , #couple pictures. I am sharing those 10 tags to show you, why I am so obsessed with Tumblr in a good way.

10 inspiring Tumblr tags you will love

  1. #studyblr / #studyspo It is no secret that a lot of students are using Tumblr and yes, college students, too. Under these tags you can find pictures of neat, beautiful notebooks, bullet journals and aesthetically pleasing study spaces. Even if you do not really like school, this will make you hyped up and motivated enough to finish that homework as good as possible.
  2. #artjournaling / #artjournal You do not even have to be super creative and artsy to look up this tag and start creating your own art journal. The point in journaling is getting all your emotions and thoughts out. Do not worry about the result, enjoy the process! I consider art journaling very useful to everyone, especially from people, who suffer from mental illnesses. This will make you feel better and maybe you will want to look back at your old journals few months or years later.
  3. #booklr / #bibliophile / #bookblr If you are a book worm like me, you will love this. Under these tags you can find ideas of book to read next, some quotes from books and really beautiful pictures that will make you close the site and pick up a book again.
  4. #bulletjournal / #bujo If you love planning your day or would like to get started with it in a journal not an app, this tag will be for you. You planner does not have to be plain and boring. Get some inspiration under these tags!
  5. #fitspo / #fitfam / #fitblr If you are a fitness junkie, this will take you to all the motivation you need to push harder and get healthier. Motivational quotes, healthy recipes, before and after pics, exercise ideas and pictures that describe your dream body.
  6. #langblr / #langspo If you are a poliglot or simply decided to learn a new language, get some inspiration here, find some pretty notes and vocabularies. Who knows – maybe starting from tomorrow you will start learning Italian!
  7. #journalclub I have mentioned bullet journals and art journals before but there are even more types of journals out there: movie journals, travel journals and more. Under this tag you can find all of these and chose which type you want to start.
  8. #motivation / #inspiration / #quotes Yes, sometimes tags are that simple. Need inspiration? Look for it on Tumblr!
  9. #tumblrroom I do not know a place where to find better room decoration ideas than on Tumblr. A lot of these might be feasible in your own dorm room. Some fairy lights, photos. fluffy pillows and done! Your room is cozier than ever.
  10. #spilledink / #spilledthoughts / #spilledwords / #writersontumblr Are you a blogger or writer, who lacks inspiration? Say no more. These tags will get your mind running again.

There you go – now you know where to look for inspiration when you do not have any. I mentioned more tags here because there were many similar and related to each other. I wish you a happy Tumblr journey but beware – it can get a little addicting! 🙂

Love, Porcelain Doll.

Living with panic disorder.

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Hello, my dear readers! I have mentioned before in this blog that I am battling depression. What I did not mention before is the fact that I also have a panic disorder. What does that mean, you may ask? Having a panic disorder means experiencing sudden panic attacks, sometimes in stressful situations, sometimes at random moments for no apparent reason at all. In those moments symptoms like nausea, shortness of breath, light-headedness, shaking and derealization or depersonalization may be experienced. Personally I can go without panic attacks for weeks, even months and then suddenly have one again. I do not remember having them under the age of sixteen. When I finished elementary school and moved to another city, that is when I probably had my first panic attack. It happened in a Latvian lesson. I was called up to the blackboard to write down a simple sentence and analyze it. What could I be worried about? I was always good at languages and my native language was no exception. As soon as I walked up to the blackboard, my head started spinning, my heart was going way too fast and I was catching my breath, barely even reading the sentence. At that moment everything felt so unreal, yet I knew that everyone was watching me and I could not help but wonder – is it visible to them that I am having a panic attack in front of the whole class? How embarrassing! I just wanted to run away and hide until it is over.

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After the first attack I experienced several more in next few years. Symptoms were the same but situations sometimes changed. I had a panic attack while reciting a poem in front of a class, I had it in my guitar lesson when I did not feel physically good and was worried that my teacher would get mad at me for not trying hard enough. Also, panic attacks occurred in such simple every day cases like ordering food at the restaurant while being abroad or visiting a local bank to get a new credit card.

I wish I could just get rid of the panic disorder but I does not happen like that. I can only have good days and bad days. Sadly, I never know which one this will be. I guess, I just have to accept the fact that I am one of the people, who experience this. There is not much I can do about it, except for taking pills but I am so done with all the medication that is used for treating mental disorders. I do not want to go into the same apathetic state where I did not want to do anything at all because I just did not feel anything or care about anything. I will rather have annoying mood swings than never-ending apathy. Living with any kind of mental disorder is not easy at all. I guess, the first thing I have to do is fully accept that I have it and it might interfere with some of my every day activities. It is okay, things like that happen. I am definitely not the only one, dealing with this.

In case you are battling depression, anxiety, panic disorder or any different kind of mental disorder, do not hesitate to message me. I will try to support you the best way I can because feeling of helplessness is not new to me. We will try to live this life the best way we can. Having a mental illness does not mean you have to spend all day locked in your house and watch as the life passes by.

Love, Porcelain Doll.