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5 places to visit in 2018

Credit : Google

Traveling is good for the mind, body and soul – it’s the whole package! Taking some time off to explore and discover new places will boost your energy reserves and significantly lower stress. It also expands your mind, and feeds your creativity and inspiration.


We decided to share 5 destinations that are on the top of our 2018 list of places to see. We hope you get a chance to experience one of them yourself!

Credit: Google

NORWAY, Tromso (or Svalbard)

If you’ve felt yourself craving a piece of that Winter Wonderland this year, why not plan one for next winter? Going to Norway is like walking into a fairytale, with a colorful sky included. It’s perfect for those winter nights when you just want to cuddle with your loved ones, but instead of watching TV you’ll be watching colors dance across the night sky. There’s no way you can take this vacation and not come back with your batteries completely recharged!


Credit: Google

GREECE, Santorini

Santorini is well known for being one of the most Instagrammable locations – for a good reason! A mainly white and blue city built into a cliffside overlooking the sea will make you forget where you are and exist only in the moment. It’s a vacation not just for you body and soul, but your eyes as well!


Credit: Google

CROATIA, Plitvica Lakes

A truly unique place worth a visit regardless of the time of year! With it’s unique beauty, it shines during any season, and is worth a visit. If you decide to take this trip in winter, we recommend stopping by the capital, Zagreb as it has won the best European Christmas Market for 3 Years in a row now. Maybe you’re not really one for cold weather and would prefer to see this beautiful site in summer, you can stop by any of the numerous coastal cities located in Croatia, and take a dip in their clear Mediterranean sea.


Credit: Google

CANADA, Moraine Lake

Just seeing this picture makes us feel calm and at peace. Imagine being on this lake, silence around you other than the sounds of nature and the water gently rocking against your canoe. Surrounded by mountains, nature and fresh air, it’s the perfect place to find the peace within you. This gem of nature will provide not just a physical escape, but a mental one as well.

Credit: Google


Is fall your favorite season? Well, you’ve never seen a fall quite like the one in Bruges, Belgium. Walking down the pink and red streets that looks like they came straight out of a movie scene, are sure to make you notice and enjoy the little things in life. Not to mention all the beautiful pictures you will have to look back on in 2019.

Credit: Google

EARTH, Anywhere

Travel isn’t just about the place, it’s about the mindset. When we travel your brain lets go of the stress of daily life and takes a breather. That pressure on your chest goes away, at least for a short while, and you enjoy exploring and discovering new places. However, we can’t always afford a fancy holiday abroad, especially when you have a family to take care of (and can’t imagine going somewhere without taking them with you) which ads additional costs that can’t be avoided. There is a way you can experience ‘travel’ without completely draining your savings account. This is our suggestion.

Decide on a weeked with friends or loved ones. Pack a backpack with the usual travel essentials, and set off for the bus stop. Choose a random place within your travel budget that you’ve never been to before and prepare to explore! Being in a new surrounding will give you some of that travel-feeling without having to travel far, and it will be a fun memory to cherish.


*All photos were taken from Google Images and belong to the original photographer. 

January 10, 2018

Meditate into a New Year


How does a stress-free New Year sound? Like heaven, right? Unfortunately, we haven’t discovered the secret to a completely stress-free life (yet) but there are ways to improve your mental and physical health, as well as lower any unexpected stress. Strengthening both your body and mind is the perfect way to reduce the strain stress has on you. Our favorite ways to do this is yoga, and meditation.


If you’ve been pushing back meditating, don’t think breathing exercises can do much good… well, we’re about to blow your mind.


Have you ever heard of Wim Hof?

If not, it’s prime time to hear about this amazing man! Wim climbed the Mt. Everest… in shorts. Yes. You read that right. The only piece of clothing he had was shorts. No shoes, no shirt, no jacket. Just a pair of shorts. While this may sound completely crazy, it’s true. Wim attributes his ability to withstand extreme colds to meditation and his breathing exercises. He has also started teaching breathing classes that he claims will help you achieve the same cold-resistance as him.


Now, we’re not saying that you need to meditate so that you can climb mountains naked. But we’re using this as an example of how much of a difference meditation can make. Your mind is your greatest weapon – and it is up to you whether you will use it against yourself, or to conquer the world. Meditation helps bring you peace and clarity, along with strengthening your mind.

Still not convinced meditating into the New Year is for you?


Well, there’s only so much we can do to convince you to give meditating a try. But hopefully this list of benefits might do the trick!


When it comes to emotional and mental benefits, they can include:


  • Lessening worry, anxiety, impulsivity, fear, loneliness and depression
  • Gaining a new perspective on stressful situations
  • Enhancing self-acceptance and self-esteem
  • Increasing patience, tolerance and optimism
  • Increasing imagination, memory, creativity and focus
  • Helping to prevent emotional eating or smoking

And then there are physical benefits which include:


  • Improved immune system and energy levels
  • Improved breathing and heart rates as well as reduced blood pressure
  • Lessening inflammatory disorders and asthma
  • Lessening premenstrual and menopausal symptoms
  • Helping to prevent Arthritis, Fibromyalgia and lessening symptoms of HIV

Hopefully by now, we managed to convinced you to give meditating an honest chance. You can start easy and try some of the meditations you can find in your Leaf app. If you aren’t fond of guided exercises, we also have 3D ambient meditations that you can use to create the perfect mood to take your mind on a relaxing journey.

Give it a try, you won’t regret it!

We’d love to hear which your favorite meditations are, share them in the comments below!


December 27, 2017

New Year, New You? How about old you, but better!

Old You but better

“New Year, New You!” is probably something you hear and see in forms of hashtags or posts quite often around this time of year. The meaning behind it is lovely – start the new year on a new slate, make a change.

But on the other hand… why does it have to be a NEW you? You’re enough just the way you are, no need to change yourself into someone completely different or new. Maybe you can just be the old you, but better.


How about New Year, Fresh You?


Sometimes the problem isn’t in you so much as it is in your surroundings. The wrong people can bring out the worst in you, as well as unnecessary stress, and even change the way you see yourself for the worse. The most difficult part of this is that most people will find it easier to give up on themselves than they do on others they care for – no matter how bad for their health they are.
We decided to share our thoughts and a few suggestions on how to press a refresh button on yourself and cleanse your life from toxicity.

Accept yourself.

In risk of sounding clichè, the first step coming into the new year should be to accept yourself. Sure there are things you would like to change, you’re a work in progress! We all go through life trying to lead a better one and become the best version of ourselves. Everyone has flaws or things they dislike about themselves. However the important thing is – you’re trying! You’re doing your best to work on yourself, and actively thinking of what you can do or use to make a healthy change. That is the only thing that truly matters! It doesn’t even matter how long it takes, change can be a slow process. So accept yourself. You’re good enough. You’re trying, and that by itself is already good enough.

Think about situations that caused you the most stress or pain this year.

It might not be a pleasant topic to look back on, but it can be very important. While you go through the memories, you might notice a certain person or situation that keeps reappearing. Is it the friend that somehow always seems to find drama? Or the job you’ve had for years that just seems to drain you more each day? Once you’ve identified the main problem, you know what you should work on changing next year! If it’s your workplace, make a promise to yourself to start applying for new jobs next year. Even just proactively applying for other positions might make you feel better about going to work next year – knowing it might soon be the last time. If it’s a friend or loved one that has been causing you pain, try talking to them honestly and expressing how you feel and how their behavior makes you feel. In case that doesn’t make a difference, or even makes things worse, it might be time to consider cutting that relationship out of your life. Mental health is just as important as physical health.

Try something new, or something you’ve been wanting to do for a while.

Perhaps you’ve always wanted to try yoga, but never took the time to enroll into a class. Or maybe meditations always seemed interesting but you never put in enough time to give them an honest try. There is no better time than today. You don’t need to change yourself completely, but adding a fresh new aspect to your everyday life can definitely be good for you. Do something you’ve always wanted to try, but kept on pushing back. The gratification will be an amazing motivation to keep going.

We hope this helps be that final push to make a change in the new year, and make the old you an even better you.

December 27, 2017

4 tips for a stress-free holiday season

Stress-free holidays

Time to spend time with family and loved ones, share tasty meals, exchange gifts and have a good time. We’re talking about the holiday season, of course.


Naturally, as they say, with the good times comes the stress. Alright, maybe that’s not exactly how the saying goes, but close enough, right?

There are many aspects of preparing and living through the holidays that might trigger unnecessary stress, and you might find yourself in the middle of a holiday meal, overwhelmed and wanting to scream.


We hope this advice might make it easier for you to escape any stressful situations.

Don’t take too much on and make a plan.

Rushing and racing is sometime unavoidable during the holidays, and maybe you accidentally take on more than you can comfortably do. The best way to avoid that happening from the start is making a list of everything you need to do before Christmas. Think about how much time each task will take, and if you find that it will consume 90% of your time consider delegating some of the tasks to your family or loved ones.


Remember to take care of yourself and unwind.

It’s easy to put yourself on the back burner during this time of year and forget to make some quality you-time. Make time to read that book you started but never finished. Relax and finish a few meditations from your Leaf app. If you feel like you’re getting overwhelmed try getting rid of the bad feelings by exercising, dancing around to your favorite tools, or even screaming your lungs out into a pillow. Whatever helps you release the stress and feel more relaxed.


Stress-free holidays

Don’t overspend on gifts.

For many, one of the great moments during the holidays is the excited and happy face of their loved ones once they open the gift you bought them. Which is why people sometimes get swept up in gift buying and spend more than they should. However, many forget that the holidays can also be the perfect time to get a bit creative with gifting. You can do some DIY projects and make something, or think of IOU types of gifts. For example, your friend loves to go to salsa dances but no one really shares her passion. Why not give her a ‘coupon’ that says you will go with her to any salsa party that happens in the next year? It will make her excited, it’s free, and also provides a lot of future bonding chances.


Do some outdoors exercise.

Yes, it’s cold outside. Yes, you’d probably rather cuddle under a warm blanket and binge-watch Christmas movies. It might be hard to force yourself to leave the comfort of your house, but if you put in the effort you’ll reap some amazing rewards. In fact, studies have found being active outside is more enjoyable than doing the same activity indoors and will lift your mood after just a few minutes. That means that even taking a family walk before or after dinner will benefit your mental and physical health. Being active is one of the best ways to get rid of anxiety and stress as it promotes the release of endorphins and decreases the effects of stress hormones such as cortisol.


Some stress is unfortunately, not as easily avoidable, such as unexpected family arguments. So make sure you keep your Leaf app close, and the meditations at the ready. Just in case.

Stress-free holidays

December 20, 2017

What you need to know about stress

about stress

Stress, the enemy of the modern woman. The truth is, not all stress is necessarily ‘bad’. Stress is a physical response of your body to an unexpected situation that causes the fight or flight response. It demands you kick into action and react. Sometimes that can be a good thing. The point at which stress goes from being that additional push to having a negative effect on your mind and body is when it becomes chronic. Chronic stressors include a variety of things such as an overload of work, financial difficulties, marital arguments, family problems or even the frustration of traffic jams. It is the cumulative effect of all the minor situations that you push down during the day, that end up summoning forth the stress monster.

How does stress really impact your body?

Chronic stress will weaken the immune system and cause high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, and even heart disease. The impacts of stress on health vary amongst people, but what most have in common are feelings of anxiety, depression and sleep problems. Things that can greatly impact your everyday lifestyle and hinder you from fulfilling your true potential. Luckily, there are ways to combat stress and lessen its impact on your mind and body.

The first step is determining which physical aspects will make you more susceptible to stress. While we are unable to predict external stressors or create an emotional barrier that would be able to serve as protection, we can train our bodies to be better resistant to stress.

Leaf to the rescue!

Therefore, step one is becoming aware of which aspects of your physical health will impact your stress levels, and how.

A good tool for that is our health tracker, Leaf. It will track your activity, sleep, reproductive health and use the cumulative data to estimate your physical resistance to stress each day. It helps bring awareness as to which areas of your health have room for improvement, and how much each factor contributes to your decreasing stress resistance. Perhaps one of the best parts of the Leaf is that it doesn’t just stop there. It offers a way to de-stress, if you ever feel overwhelmed, in the form of meditations.

about stress

Meditate the stress away!

It’s possible you’re rolling your eyes now, or just very convinced that meditating isn’t for you. Many assume that they simply can’t meditate, because they don’t like what they are currently familiar with in terms of meditation. Maybe you just can’t relax when someone is talking, or you find it hard to clear your mind especially when someone else tells you to. Maybe you see no point in repeating some mantra all the time in your head because it just makes your mind wander away more. Everyone is unique, so why should the way everyone meditates be the same or similar?

The goal of meditation is to push other thoughts out of your head, and exist in the moment. Why is that important in relation to stress? Stress is caused by worrying about the future, about the way a current or past situation will impact the following days or even the next few hours. Which is why stress usually comes hand in hand with anxiety – creating additional worry about the future and your place in it, and depression – there to help you convince yourself of failure before you’ve even started. That’s why meditation is the perfect tool to fight stress away. Meditating will help you stay in the present, without overthinking about the future, and often once you’re done with your meditation things will seem a bit clearer and less dark.

Give it a chance!

Hopefully this has at least made you consider giving meditating an honest chance. Now, the trick to doing it successfully is finding what works for you. Audio guided meditations aren’t your thing? You don’t like continually repeating the same mantra in your head?

Have you tried playing ambient sounds and just focusing on your breathing? Sometimes that is all it takes, just taking deep breaths and relaxing with sounds that will take your mind away from the present. If you feel your thoughts drifting, don’t try to force yourself not to think. Focus on your breath, and let the inhale and exhale take over your mind. After a while your thoughts should start fading out.

Try this method the next time, or use it to find one that works for you. Meditation is for everyone, but not everyone meditates the same way.

About stress

The meditations in the Bellabeat app come in a variety of forms – those that are guided by a soothing voice, or simply 3D ambient sounds that can take you on your own journey. All meditations are monitored by the Leaf which tracks your breathing and determines the quality of meditation you’ve accomplished. You also have the ability set your own meditation goals and enhance them as you progress. A great tool to help you improve on your meditation step by step.



December 6, 2017