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How the year 2020 forced us to adapt our lifestyle

How the year 2020 forced us to adapt our lifestyle

The year 2020 was for many people a disaster. People lost their income and a large part of the year restaurants and cafes could not open their doors to the public. Kids changed to home schooling and university students had no choice than to study online. You could not travel unless it was essential. Several countries closed their borders, and many citizens are on waiting lists to return.

We stopped hugging and kissing, started wearing masks and dozens of people got ill. For some getting Covid was a breeze while others are still fighting the aftereffects. The year 2020 – a year that many wish to forget and instead set our hopes for 2021.

So far the year 2021 is not proving to be any better. Where I live, we are still wearing masks and all cafes and restaurants seem eternally shut. Non-essential shops are closed, re-open and are forced to close again. Certain parts of big shops are a no-go area.

The year 2020 seems to go on

We may think the pandemic is more or less over, but the little corona critter is a champion at mutating. More contagious corona strains are looming and are waiting to spread as soon as borders loosen their restrictions. Some countries keep their borders closed but in Europe it seems that travel, albeit under certain conditions will be easier for the summer months to come.

It is understandable as for instance South European countries are close to bankrupt. They need tourist income, and the hospitality industry all over needs a huge boost. Certain age groups have been vaccinated while others are still waiting. Test labs will continue churning out the PCR test results as many countries require that as a condition of entry.

The fact that travel will be easier is an attractive thing but also very worrying. The Indian virus is only one flight away from entering Europe. In fact, supposedly it is already in a few European countries. So if travel is allowed it may reach other countries and it will start all over again.

It must be very hard to be a leader nowadays because whatever they do, it could be the wrong decision. The bottom line is that many people have had enough and are ignoring the restrictive rules more and more. Yet the danger of corona spreading further is not a thing of the past.

It is also interesting to see how Europa suddenly has become a continent with individual countries again. Every country seems to have different rules and criteria. Restaurants are open in one country while others are still in lockdown.

How to adapt your lifestyle

Despite all what happened in the year 2020 and seems to continue in 2021, we can still make the most of it. When you can’t sit on a terrace, you can have a picnic outside or with bad weather inside your own house. If there is a curfew, do things during the day. If the travel limit is 10 km, find a nice hike within that distance.

There are always options although you may have to be flexible and resourceful to see them. The issue is whether you are willing and capable of doing this. If you are struggling to find a way to adapt to the unexpected and ‘forced upon us’ circumstances, it may help to reach out and seek advice.

If you, as a result of the pandemic find yourself stuck professionally, emotionally or in any other way, get guidance and let us help you find a way out.

Easy Done Change can help you to deal with change.

If you want to discuss this further, contact us to schedule a 30 minutes FREE call

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How to deal with unhelpful negative thoughts that make you feel bad!

How to deal with unhelpful negative thoughts that make you feel bad!

Let’s talk negative thinking

It happens to all of us whether we like it or not. Every now and then, we can’t help having negative thoughts about a certain situation in our lives or about or ourselves. We are totally aware it is not helpful, but it seems there is nothing we can do to change it. Our thoughts seem stronger than ourselves and keep popping up even when we don’t want them.

It may help to put pen to paper and start writing down our negative frame of mind. Assess it and ask ourselves what the evidence is for such thoughts and if it is based on facts. Could it be that we are misinterpreting the situation? Can we imagine how other people would view this situation? Even more to the point, how would we view this issue if it happened to someone else?

Would we be as negative when it concerns a friend or are we naturally biased towards our own situation? Do we instinctively believe that we are the cause of the problem, that the issue is unchangeable and may ruin our whole life? We may have a pessimistic view and see only the factors we can’t change and control.

The good news is that we do have the power to deal with negative thoughts! We have the ability to change the way we perceive and experience these pesky thought patterns. If we cannot think them away, we can at least take charge and reduce their impact on our wellbeing. Let me share a few tips on how to do that.

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How to counteract any negative thoughts!

  • Accept and take ownership of your worries and acknowledge that you are in a negative cycle or mood. Accept them for what they are and let them be.
  • Consider yourself as your own best friend and ask yourself the following. ‘What would she do in this situation?’ I can guarantee you that you will be less hard on a friend with similar issues than on yourself.
  • Challenge your negative thoughts and stop seeing them as a threat. Rewrite your story from the viewpoint of a neutral observer and with the encouragement you would give a friend.
  • Don’t linger on the negative situation how bad it may be, but instead focus on the steps you can take to change and improve the situation. Seek information how to make things better or understand the situation you are in.
  • Do not blame the cause but focus on what is going to help you as a person. Believe there is a way and implement little things to make it better bit by bit every day.

Practice this consistently, become more resilient and let yourself be transformed!

Easy Done Change

If you struggle to get a grip on this and you like more guidance, get in touch and we can explore further. Easy Done Change can help you to deal with change.

If you want to discuss this further, contact us to schedule a 30 minutes FREE call

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When you’re passionate about moving to a different country?

When you’re passionate about moving to a different country?

Are you dreaming of moving abroad and settling in a different country? Chances are you are perfectly happy with where you are but sometimes you can’t help craving an image of life abroad.

Longing for a different and better life for yourself and your family is often the initial inspiration for a move abroad. Maybe you like a cultural or climate change, want to immerse yourself in another language or just crave for an adventure.

Reasons for moving to a different country

Many people from the ‘New World’ countries have a romantic presupposition about moving to older cultures. For instance Australians tend to see spending a period in France or Italy as one of the ultimate goals in life. While many retired Americans move to France for a longer period to find out whether such a move could be off permanent nature. British people have a reputation of seeking out a new beginning in many South European countries.

Such moves are all driven by positive motives. However on countless occasions more critical reasons come into play. War, recession and wanting to escape a political regime could all be reasons why people consider moving abroad.

The dangers of moving abroad

Aside from the romantic notion, the practical consequences of ‘moving abroad’ can be daunting. Settling in another country could strip you from all your professional credibility and your qualifications may not have the same status as they have at home.

If your new country has a different language, it is likely to cause you severe stress. It will frustrate you that you don’t know how to do things. Your new local community might not immediately accept you or with great hesitation. These are just some of the ‘issues’ that may arise after jumping on the plane and settling elsewhere.

Whatever your motives are for moving abroad it is wise to spend time reflecting on a couple of essential things. Firstly moving to a different country requires a lot of preparation, organisation and the willingness to start from scratch. Secondly take your time to prepare yourself mentally and physically. Above all be willing and prepared to adapt to habits and customs in your new country.

Tips to consider

  1. Take time to assess your big ‘WHY. Brainstorm your motives, emotionally and rationally. Assess the things you will lose or gain and how you and your family will handle that.
  2. Plan a temporary move. Rent a house in the country of your choice and live the local life for 6 months and see how you fit in.
  3. Consider the practical and emotional consequences for you, your partner, your kids, your jobs and other essential things in life.

Easy Done Change can help you to plan your move. If you feel you would benefit from discussing this further, contact us to schedule a 30 minutes FREE call

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How positive do you feel about life after 50?

How positive do you feel about life after 50?

Suddenly whether you are positive about it or not, you find yourself in your fifties or sixties!

They say that ’60 is the new 40′ or ’50 is the new 30′! I don’t know what you make of such claims, but they sound attractive to me. I personally have never made an issue out of ageing and accept it as a natural and positive thing that happens to us in life.

It may be the practical Dutch woman in me, but let’s be honest there is not much you can do about ageing. We all grow older in years and honestly, we should be happy that we get the chance!

It is all in the mind!

You can’t stop time, but you can be in charge of HOW you grow older! After all you are the director of your ageing process and you can tweak your perception of it in any way. If you do happen to have ‘hang-ups’ about it consider WHY. I believe it is all in the mind and in the eye of the beholder.

So put your angst regarding ‘Life after 50’ to a stop, throw your negative thoughts aside and be open-minded for what could be waiting for you. Start believing that you can do anything at any age. Admittedly there are a number of health problems that may be restrictive. Yet one Google search will show you that many people with severe health issues manage to do the most amazing and inspiring things.

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Dream or reality?

Making the most out of your later years is a wonderful positive thing we all should aim for. Whether you want to stay where you are, seek more adventure, move abroad, start a business – it is all possible!

You may have to assess your health, your finances and social connections before you start crushing such changes. However, if you dream of becoming a grey nomad, travel or buying a beach hut in Thailand, it is all within reach!

These things may seem like dreams, but they can become reality. It requires belief, patience, guts and courage but they can be a course of action! It ultimately depends on your mindset and your willingness to change and adapt. See it as an adventure and make the most of it! That attitude will eventually dictate whether it becomes a success or a failure.

On a positive note!

If you like to venture into such dreams, my advice is to start with some soul searching. Do this before you throw yourself into adventures that may or may not resonate with you. If you, after some self-scrutiny feel that you have an adventurous streak in you, say YES to it! Because if you don’t, you may regret it at a possibly ‘too late stage’!

Imagine yourself as a 100-year-old looking back at your 50+ year old and saying……If only!

If you still have your doubts, here is how we can assist!

Easy Done Change can help you to deal with change.

If you want to discuss this further, contact us to schedule a 30 minutes FREE call

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Does the prospect of change excite you?

Does the prospect of change excite you?

Change is a fascinating topic and the prospect of change may not be appealing to everybody. It may excite some while it terrifies others. I personally thrive on change: it motivates me and causes me take initiatives.

Since 2017 my life has been full of change and I mean rather big lifestyle changes. I used to live in Brisbane, had a house full of teenagers and ran a garden business. I exchanged it for an indoor career, being an empty nester and moved from a big city in Australia to a small town in France.

Our lifestyle changes in a nutshell

This all happened within a few years. We made the decision, sold our house and rented instead, bought a house in France and turned it into a holiday rental.

When we set the date to leave, we sold most of our belongings as shipping them to France would be expensive. Also, we weren’t sure whether the furniture we had in Australia would be attractive in an historical French house. It was a curious process to sell things we had for years. Some were easy to leave behind while memories of others still give me a stab of nostalgia.

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Some of the changes we made

  • I gave up a thriving garden business that I can’t replicate in France because of the differences in climate. Also, I feel that gardening professionally may not be a long-term solution for someone in their sixties.
  • We sold our car and made do without one for a year but realised that the limited local public transport was restricting us to make the most of the beautiful area we now live in.
  • In Australia we used suntan every day of the year and avoided the sun while in France we seek out the sun to soak up enough Vitamin D.
  • Brisbane gave us killer mosquitoes, sticky flies, plenty of spiders and huge cockroaches while in France we hardly ever see an insect. A huge difference is the birdlife – the sound of a flog of cockatoos waking you up is rather different than the soft tweak of the local French birds. I definitely miss the unique call of the Kookaburra.
  • In Brisbane we had two daughters and usually a home stay student or two living with us. A full dinner table every night with great meals and chatty cultural exchanges. Now we are empty nesters and have ‘Diner à Deux’ unless we socialise.

The prospect of change in retrospective

Lots of changes and a totally different life as a result. I am not saying it is better, but it is certainly not worse. It is different, exciting and on many occasions incredibly challenging because of the language.

Would I turn back the time or wish I had never made these changes? Only on occasions when French bureaucracy is playing games with us, but mostly not. Life has become simpler, cheaper and in many aspects much more pleasant.

So, if you feel the thrill of change knocking on your door, don’t ignore it but explore it!

If however, the prospect of change makes you feel uneasy, contact us for a FREE call to explore this further.

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I would be thrilled if you take the effort to leave me a comment or even better share my article!