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Strategies to Reduce Anxiety

If you suffer from anxiety, it can be crippling on a normal day. Throw in a worldwide pandemic, and that can blow your anxiety through the roof, even for those of us who don’t normally have anxious tendencies.

Today I’m sharing a few tips with you to help you manage anxiety during these uncertain times. I have come up with my list, both from my own research, and also from crowd-sourcing on social media to learn what others do to help them manage their anxiety through this global stress.

Strategies to Reduce Anxiety

Distract Your Anxious Mind

When you feel your anxiety building to a point of becoming overwhelming, try this exercise to distract your mind away from your triggers:

  1. List 5 things you can SEE
  2. List 4 things you can FEEL
  3. List 3 things you can HEAR
  4. List 2 things you can SMELL
  5. List 1 thing you can TASTE

This exercise is intended to distract your mind from whatever thoughts are creating your anxiety by bringing your thoughts back to the present moment. I encourage you to try this when you feel overwhelmed.

Turn Off the News

The worst thing we can do right now is to constantly watch or listen to the news. Fear multiplies fear. Uncertainty breeds anxiety. Watching the suffering of others is only going to magnify the anxiety you are feeling.

By turning off the TV and not focusing our attention on news outlets and sources, we can minimize our triggers.

Move Your Body

Exercise is my number one way to reduce my own stress and anxiety. Every afternoon I take my dogs out for an hour-long walk in the woods. The combination of movement and nature ground me and bring my mind back to the present moment, back to reality, rather than allowing my thoughts to wander and overwhelm me with things that may or may not be real.

If you have trouble getting yourself off the couch to get moving, I encourage you to read The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins. A simplified explanation is that you count down from five and when you get to one, you MOVE!
5, 4, 3, 2, 1 — GO!

Journaling

Writing down our thoughts and feelings is a great way to get them out of our heads and to process what we are thinking. If you don’t know what to write about, just spend 5-15 minutes just dumping your brain onto paper. I find it most effective when it’s through pen and paper, rather than through a keyboard. There is something about the movement of putting pen to paper that connects my thoughts more clearly.

Once you have written your entry, read it and re-read it to help you think about and process what’s going on in your mind.

Practice Gratitude

Our minds cannot focus on worry and gratitude at the same time. By listing off the things we are grateful for it distracts our minds from the things we are worried and anxious about.

Some ideas are to do a gratitude rant – set your phone’s timer for one minute and rant out loud, “I’m so happy and grateful for ____________! I’m so happy and grateful for __________! I’m so happy and grateful for ___________!” Until your timer goes off.

Keep a gratitude journal, and everyday write down the things you are grateful for. It doesn’t matter if it’s the same things everyday, that’s ok! As you do it more and more, you will notice that your list will begin to expand.

Humour!

If you find yourself bogged down by all the darkness and negativity surrounding the current global pandemic, hop on Netflix or Amazon Prime Video and search for your favorite comedy. Laughing is a huge stress reliever, and we all need to be laughing more!

L-Theanine Supplement

Go - Natural Energy Drink with L-Theanine

L-theanine is an amino acid that is said to help reduce stress, anxiety and even sleeplessness. When paired with caffeine, it has also shown to improve mental clarity and focus.

L-theanine can be found in green and black tea as well as in some mushrooms, or is also available as a supplement. Personally, I drink a collagen coffee (USA coffee link) that contains L-theanine every morning to help manage stress and boost my mental focus and clarity. And if I feel my anxiety creeping in in the afternoon, I drink a delicious natural energy drink (USA energy drink link) that contains L-theanine to help keep it in check. — If you have questions about either of these products, please do reach out.

I hope these simple strategies to reduce anxiety are helpful for you. If you have your own to add to this list, I would love for you to share them in the comments!

Wishing you a happy and anxiety-free day!

What is the “Gig Economy”?

Since the pandemic hit about this time last year, more and more people are not only taking advantage of the Gig Economy, for many the gig economy is the ONLY way they have managed to earn an income to survive. Many jobs have been put on hold or have been straight up eliminated from the economy all-together, and people have had to get creative to find another way to earn an income.

What is the Gig Economy?

Think Uber, Door Dash, AirBnB, Task Rabbit, Lyft, Skip the Dishes, network marketing, etc. — How many of these services have you used before? These are all part of the Gig Economy.

The Gig Economy is an online economy that is allowing regular people, who may or may not have a professional education, to earn an income online from anywhere. They are businesses that anyone can start from home from their smartphone.

Many of these businesses are run through apps, like Uber and AirBnB, and some are product companies who, instead of spending their money on overhead for brick and mortar locations and on marketing, they pay fair commissions to people like myself to share information about their products with others. And when someone chooses to try the products, I get paid.

Why Do People Join the Gig Economy?

Why do people join the gig economy?Some may do it to earn an extra $100-$500/month, and some may do it to replace their full time income and to make a living online from home or from anywhere with wifi. And then there are all sorts of other reasons in between.

For me personally, I looked for an online option a few years ago because of my severe boss allergy and my desire for independence and control over my own time and income. I wanted control of my schedule, I didn’t want to be told when I could eat my lunch, use the toilet, take time off, go for a walk, or be told how many days of vacation I was allowed to take. I didn’t like spending hours in the car everyday commuting to and from the office. And I REALLY didn’t like leaving my poor Roxidoo (my chocolate lab) home alone for 10-12 hours a day while I spent my days at a job that I no longer felt any passion for.

Projected Growth of the Gig Economy

Projected gross volume of the gig economyThe Gig Economy has become more popular for a variety of reasons, and, in a lot of cases, it has becoming NECESSARY.

Statistics are predicting that by 2027, 60% of the US workforce will be independent.

And the gross volume of the gig economy will grow to $455 billion by 2023 – that’s only 2 years away, and nearly double what it is now!

Now, I don’t know about you, but I see an opportunity in that, and want a piece of that pie!

My Experience in this Economy

I have done the AirBnB thing and it was amazing! Some months it helped us pay a good chunk of our mortgage payment! But the thing about AirBnB, especially during the pandemic, is that it can be very inconsistent income, depending on the location of your rental property.

For me, the answer came in the form of network marketing, and I’m so grateful that I have found a company that I love and am proud to partner with. They are innovative and forward thinking, not only with their award winning products, but also in their business model.

Having worked with a couple of other companies before this one, I can honestly say that I feel like I have gone from the sandbox to the boardroom with this business, and I’m here to stay.

Let's chat about joining the gig economy today!

I wanted to leave my corporate office job for all the reasons I listed above. I did it to own my time and create financial freedom. What I did not expect was that I would connect with a community that is kind, encouraging and uplifting. I have found my home.

Another statistic to throw out there: 85% of women have never been asked to take a look at a business opportunity like this one. That blows my mind!

So, with that in mind, I am committed to helping as many women as possible become financially independent through health and online business.

If you are one of the 85% who have never been asked if you’re open to some information, then let me be the first to invite you to take a look. This industry has completely changed my life, and I know it can change yours too! It’s time to take control of your future.

Let’s chat!

We Only Get ONE LIFE! Are You Happy?

I have been reminded so often this past year that we only get ONE LIFE! 

This is not a practice run, it’s not a dress rehearsal, it’s the ONE LIFE that we are given and our responsibility to make it the best life possible!

  • Are you doing what you love to do? 
  • Do you love your job? 
  • Do you love your home?
  • Are you surrounded by people who inspire you?
  • Do you love your life?
  • Are you happy?

We get ONE LIFE, my friend. If you are not happy with something about your life, it’s time to make a change. No more excuses. 

I have significantly changed my life and happiness over the past few years, since firing my boss and working in online from home. It has literally changed EVERYTHING!! 

If you are in a place where you feel stuck, you are in a rut, if you are in the hamster wheel or Groundhog Day of life, if you are drowning in bills, or if you simply have dreams of a bigger life for yourself, then it’s time we had a chat. 

The World is Changing. 

The gig economy is growing. Statistics are showing that 60% of the workforce will be independent by 2027. And the gross volume of the gig economy will grow to $455 billion by 2023. (That’s only 2 years away!)

We can’t continue to turn a blind eye to what’s right in front of us. Business, the economy and income opportunities are changing fast! 

I don’t know about you, by I want a piece of that pie!! And I’m so grateful to be partnered with a forward thinking company that gets it, and is creating innovative solutions to help normal people, like you and me, thrive! 

Your Time is Now!

Today, you are the oldest you’ve ever been, and you will never be this young again. What are you waiting for? 

Information doesn’t cost you a thing, and I am here to share it with those who are ready to create a new version of themselves and a new version of their life. 

It’s time to #livealifeyoulove.

The Importance of Gut Health and Signs that You May Have an Unhealthy Gut

Did you know that many health conditions stem from our gut health?

Let's Chat About Gut HealthIt kinda makes sense, if you think about it. Our gut is where the nutrients from our food is digested and absorbed. And depending on what we are putting into our body, our gut health reflects that. 

Research in the past two decades has shown links between gut health and the immune system, mental health, mood, autoimmune issues, skin conditions, endocrine disorders, and even cancer.

Our “gut microbiome” consists of about 300 to 500 different kinds of bacteria the our digestive tract. Some are very beneficial, and some can be harmful to our health. Having a wide variety of the good bacteria in our gut can enhance our immune system, improve symptoms of depression, help against obesity, and many other benefits.

What we eat has a dramatic impact on our gut microbiome. So if we eat a lot of processed foods, high sugar foods, take a lot of antibiotics, this can negatively affect our gut health, and in turn our overall health.

So what are some symptoms of an unhealthy gut to indicate that it might be time for a change?

Symptoms of an Poor Gut Health

  1. Stomach issues like gas, bloating, heartburn, constipation or diarrhea
  2. Sugar cravings – If you’re eating a lot of process foods and sugars, this can decrease the good bacteria in your gut, which can cause cravings. High amounts of refined sugars (particularly high fructose corn syrup) has been linked to increased inflammation, which has been linked to several diseases and even cancer. 
  3. Unintentionally gaining or losing weight without changes to your diet or exercise habits can be a sign of an unhealthy gut.
  4. Insomnia and poor sleep leading to chronic fatigue can be a symptom of poor gut health. Most of the body’s serotonin (a hormone that affects mood and sleep) is produced in the gut.
  5. Skin irritations like eczema may be related to a leaky gut. Inflammation in the gut caused by a poor diet or food allergies may cause increased leaking of certain proteins from the gut into the body, which can irritate the skin and cause skin conditions.
  6. More and more research is linking the impact of gut health on the immune system. An unhealthy gut can cause inflammation which can lead to autoimmune diseases where the body attacks itself.
  7. Food intolerances (not to be confused with food allergies) are the result of difficulty digesting certain foods. The theory is that food intolerances may be caused by poor quality gut bacteria, which can lead to difficulty digesting the trigger foods and unpleasant symptoms like gas, bloating, abdominal pain, nausea and diarrhea. 

Are you experiencing one or more of these symptoms? If so, it may be time to make some changes to your health habits to bring your gut back to a healthy place.

Our Immune Health Starts in Our Gut

Did you know that our immune health starts in our gut? I makes sense, if you think about it, since the gut is where everything we eat gets absorbed. So if we have an unhealthy gut, we may also have a weak immune system.

With this in mind, I wanted to provide some tips to help you IMPROVE YOUR IMMUNE HEALTH BY HEALING YOUR GUT, that you can start doing today to reduce and reverse illness.

1. Take a Probiotic 

Probiotics can assist in rebalancing your microbiome.

I have finally found one that I love and I can actually feel the difference since I started taking it. It comes in a powder pixie stick form. Just open it, pour it into your mouth and it melts away. It’s a yummy sweet cucumber flavor. Click HERE for more info.

2. Eat Fermented and Cultured Foods.

Foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, and fresh pickles. Not only do these foods contain probiotics, but they are also full of digestive enzymes, which can compensate for your stomach, liver, or gallbladder.

3. Eat Sprouted Vegetables.

Sprouted veggies contain dramatically increased amounts of enzymes compared to their unsprouted counterparts.

4. Eat radishes, artichokes, dandelion, and chicory.

These foods and other bitter greens stimulate the liver to create bile.

5. Try a Demulcent.

Demulcents soothe irritated or inflamed tissues and include foods like almonds, barley, coconut oil, figs, parsley, prunes, and sage.

6. Avoid Alcohol and Coffee.

These substances can adversely affect your microbiome — the balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut.

7. Try Ghee.

Ghee (clarified butter) has been used in India for thousands of years to treat digestive problems. It can reduce inflammation and is high in gut-healing butyrate.

8. Eat More Fiber.

Fiber helps regulate your digestive tract and also acts as food for your good bacteria.

I hope these immune health tips are helpful for you. Personally my best and favorite tip is to add a probiotic to your daily supplement routine.

Stay safe out there, friends – Keep that gut and immune system in good health!

(Source: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/arthritis-and-your-immune-system)

Recipe: Gluten Free Banana Protein Pancakes

Me and my sweet tooth LOVE pancakes! But gluten is a problem for me, so I found this flourless banana pancake recipe and I’m OBSESSED!

They are super easy to make with only 3 ingredients, and they have a serving of protein, carbs and fruit to help you get your day started right!

Recipe Details: Prep time: 5 minutes Cooking time: 5-8 minutes

Shopping List:

  • 1½ large bananas, ripe to overripe (200g; 7 oz)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Maple syrup, butter, or fruit of choice, to serve

Flourless Banana Pancakes - Ingredients

Directions to make your gluten free protein pancakes:

  1. In a mixing bowl, crack the eggs and add in baking powder. Whisk or beat with a fork to combine.
  2. In another bowl add in 1½ large bananas. Lightly mash with a fork or potato masher, but not too much. There should be chunks of bananas to make fluffy pancakes. And use only ripe bananas.

    Flourless Banana Pancakes -  Mashing Bananas

    Flourless Banana Pancakes -  Mashed Bananas

  3. Pour egg mixture into mashed bananas and stir to combine.
  4. Heat a frying pan to medium high heat and add a bit of butter or oil so the pancakes won’t stick.
  5. 2 tablespoons of batter is enough for each mini pancake.
  6. When the baking powder is activated, flip it over and cook for about one minute more.
  7. Serve immediately, when hot, and add maple syrup and your fruit of choice for added deliciousness!
  8. ENJOY! 

Gluten Free Banana Protein Pancakes

Social Distancing – A Test of Humanity

Mariska in the woodsToday, I am doing my best version of “Social Distancing,” due to COVID-19.

Getting my Sunday therapy session in the woods. Sunshine. Fresh air. Peace and quiet. Beasties. It’s all I need to get me through another week for my 14 days of self isolation.

It feels like all the relaxing and rejuvenating I did in Bali for 4 weeks has already unraveled and melted away this past week, with the craziness that’s going on around the world, and in my local community.

I sure am glad to be home, considering the current state of air travel and borders closing and the insane costs of changing flights, etc.

The mass stockpiling of supplies is not something I expected to see when I got home, especially after spending a month in a country where most people are barely getting by, earning the equivalent of just $300cad/month.

I had a bit of culture shock coming home to people lining up before stores even open to literally run and almost trample each other to buy up toilet paper, hand sanitizer and food like it’s some kind of apocalyptic event. (I still don’t understand the toilet paper part…)

I mean, I get it, to a certain extent, but at the same time, not EVERYONE is being quarantined. If you’re not sick, you don’t need a 2-4 week food supply. The stores will remain open, and the supply chain will continue to operate. You can still have stuff delivered right to your door.

Everything that’s going on around us, for the most part, is precautionary to work toward flattening the curve and avoiding a potential outbreak. We are not at a point where we are all going to inevitably get sick to the point of requiring critical care if we run out of toilet paper. Just sayin.

PLEASE be conscious of others when you are loading your shopping carts. Buy only what you need just like you would for a regular shopping day. Everyone out there needs their weekly food supply.

Think of your parents or grandparents or elderly friends who may be on a fixed income and are only able to grocery shop a few times per month and are only able to purchase what they need. Imagine them going to the store to find empty shelves when their cupboards at home are bare as well because they don’t have the means buy in bulk.

Social distancing is suddenly a thing, but being socially conscious and caring about others, and taking care of others is ALWAYS a thing.

Think of this whole mess as a test of our humanity and social conscience. Selfishly stock piling is not the answer. Taking care of each other and making sure we all have what we need is.

#livealifeyoulove

Identifying Toxic Humans, Bless and Release

It has been quite a while since I have had a toxic human in my life that upset me in a way that rocked me to my core.

I’m learning that despite hopes and wishes and long periods of time, some things simply never change. As humans, we just simply clash with some other humans in life.

We may care for them. We may wish things were different. We may have hopes that things will change one day… but in the end, it’s better for our own mental wellbeing to move on, let them go, and walk away.

Identifying Toxic Humans - Bless and Release

How to Identify a Toxic Human in Your Life

How do you identify someone who is toxic to your wellbeing? It’s all connected to how you feel when you are in their presence.

Column A:

  • Do they speak to you with love and respect?
  • Do they treat you with kindness?
  • Do they make you feel good about who you are?
  • Do they encourage and support you in your goals and dreams?
  • Do they make you feel loved and appreciated?

Column B:

  • Do they compare you to others and make you feel less than?
  • Do they make you feel anxious and make your stomach tie in knots?
  • Do they make you feel like you can’t do anything right or like you are always doing things “wrong”?
  • Do they criticize and judge the things you do or say, or the choices you make for your own life?
  • Do they just generally make you feel shitty? Even with a simple text message?

If you answered mostly “no” to column A, and mostly “yes” to column B, then you are more than likely in a toxic environment that you would be better off walking away from.

It may be difficult.
It may be painful.
It may even be the hardest thing you have ever done.

However, for your own sanity, wellbeing and personal growth, you must distance yourself. Even if it’s someone you have known for a long time, or it may even be a family member you have known your whole life – distance yourself.

Walking away is the only way you are able to grow into the person you are meant to be without being held back by the toxic energy from this person.

You will thank yourself for it in time, I promise you this.

My Experience with Toxic Humans

I have personally had several toxic people show up throughout my life. I will be honest, at first I was blind to it. I had no idea why I always felt drained, grumpy, and lacking confidence and belief in myself while in their presence. Why did I always feel like I had to walk on eggshells, or behave a certain way to make them accept me? It wasn’t until I forced myself to walk away, and the “smoke” cleared, that I realized the connection around why I was feeling that way.

Contact MariskaSince then, each time it becomes easier to identify the traits of a toxic human, who I am simply not meant to have in my life, and it has become a little bit easier each time to walk away.

It doesn’t mean I have ill feelings toward anyone. It simply means I am better off to send them love and light, bless and release them and their energy from my life.

If you feel that this post resonates with you at all, or if you have questions, please comment below or reach out to me on Facebook, or by commenting on this post.

You deserve a life you love, surrounded by people who care about you and truly have your best interests and success at heart and speak to you with respect and kindness.

Bless and release. Live a life you love.

The Decline of Common Courtesy

This is going to be a bit of a rant. I’m frustrated.

Frustrated with how common courtesy simply doesn’t seem to be a THING anymore.

What happened to asking someone how they are doing or how they’ve been before asking them for something you want from them?

Is common courtesy is fading away with the advancement of technology?

Thanks to technology, people have become instant gratification junkies and have almost forgotten that there’s actually a human being with hopes, dreams, feelings and a life at the other end of their text message. Someone who might be having a shit day, or could really use a friendly message from someone in that moment, only is made to feel insignificant when there is no regard for them as a human being.

It’s no longer a “Hi! How are you? How have you been? What’s new?” society, but more of a “Hey, I need something from you right now!” society. Sometimes the “Hey” is even totally omitted too. 

What has happened to the idea of actually caring about the human being on the other end of the message?

Common Courtesy

I’m not going to claim to be completely innocent of this, I’ve done it too. 

However, over the past few years I have been making an effort to connect with people on the other end of my messages before I ask them to go out of their way for me, or ask a favor of them. Sometimes – and I know this is totally crazy – but sometimes I just message them to see how they’re doing and don’t actually want anything from them at all!

There are people who sometimes reach out to me after months or even YEARS of no contact and and without so much as a “how have you been?” they ask me for a favour. 

Please. People. Be humans. Be kind. Connect. Interact.

Make the person on the other end of your text message feel appreciated, cared about and important. Not just a means to an end (yours).  

Kindness costs nothing. Asking someone how they are, costs nothing.  Asking how life is treating them, or how their vacation was, or how their work is going, costs nothing! Making someone feel good and appreciated, costs nothing. 

My Courtesy Challenge to You

I challenge you to catch yourself, and not just go straight in for the end game of getting something from the person you are contacting. Start by asking how they’re doing and connect to something in their life first, wait for a reply, and only then decide if it’s appropriate to ask them for whatever you need from them.

You just might help someone have a better day. You just might have an unexpected impact. You just might still get what you’re after, and this time that person just might be happy to help you out, rather than feel used and unappreciated.

And after you get what you want, PLEASE express your heartfelt thanks. Yes, HEARTFELT thanks, it’s a thing. Drop a comment below, if you accept the challenge!

Common courtesy. Let’s bring it back. Let’s make it a thing in 2020. 

Life a Life You Love

end rant —/

Allow Me to Introduce Myself: I’m Mariska Richters!

Happy New Year, Friends! 

With a new year, a new DECADE, and so many new visitors to my page, I thought it a good time to re-introduce myself. I’m Mariska Richters, and this page is where I share my life adventures, travel addiction, my loveable fur babies, Roxidoo and Cash, health/wellness and positivity tips & all the delicious food my husband, Adam, cooks for me. 🙂

I’m a Dutch/Canadian, a Leo, a wife, a daughter, a sister, and a beastie mama of two. I love to travel, love food and wine (especially pink wine with bubbles) and am passionate about location independent business.

Mariska Richters - 2020

Why a Freedom Lifestyle?

One of the reasons I’m so passionate about creating a freedom lifestyle is because I have an allergy to bosses, daily commutes, and being told when I am allowed to eat, nap and pee. 

I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit. I grew up in an entrepreneurial family, and it has always been my dream to earn my living from anywhere – like a beach!

About 3.5 years ago I stumbled into an online business opportunity that opened my eyes to a whole new way of earning income. I dove in and I haven’t looked back… I never imagined that sharing my story and passions on social media would allow me to help so many people while allowing me to live life on my own terms. It has been an absolute game changer, and now I can’t imagine living life any other way.

I’m a woman that just wanted to find my purpose and live a freedom lifestyle where I was not stuck commuting 2+ hours per day to work in a stuffy windowless cubicle for the rest of my working life. I was sick of feeling guilty for leaving my Roxidoo home alone for 10+ hours a day.

So I found a way to create the freedom lifestyle I always wanted through an online health & wellness business, where I teach busy working women (like you) with no experience how to earn extra cash online by leveraging social media. I help them find their purpose, which creates an online marketing machine! I also love helping people achieve their health & wellness goals, allowing them to live their best and most energetic life.

My goal for 2020 is to support women reclaim their freedoms and power, step into their greatness and to help them create a life they love!

Fun Facts About Mariska Richters

  • My biggest loves in life are dogs, travel, wine, fitness and sunshine.
  • My biggest fears are heights and water splashing in my face.
  • I have a rosé and prosecco addiction. 😉
  • I have solo traveled through Thailand, Costa Rica, Bali, Europe, and Morocco.

I started my journey in Online Marketing in 2016 just wanting to pay for my health products – today, I have fired my boss and this business is my main income gig.

Please, be curious!! Ask me about online marketing, how to start a business from the ground up with zero experience, health tips, fitness, travel, how to get back on track after a setback and how to step into your courage when you’re scared shitless!

I get PUMPED to share my hacks of what drove me to create the successful business, impact, positive mindset & freedom lifestyle.

One thing I have realized throughout this journey, is that we REALLY do create our own reality through our thoughts and our language. And I truly love helping others come to the same conclusion, help them shift their mindset and as a result: Change Their Life!

I finally found a way to break out of the hamster wheel of the monday-to-friday 9-5 grind, feeling lost and having no real purpose. So it’s now my mission to help other women do the same.

Now it’s your turn:

  • Tell me one fun fact about YOU below!
  • Share fur babies’ names with me (and your human kids too, haha!!)