…you may be surprised by what you’ll find.

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Image credit: Rajeshwar Bachu, Unsplash

In ‘Untamed’, Glennon Doyle writes about how her daughter was impressed by the fact that she gets all of her ideas in the shower. She thought that the shower space was somehow miraculous or that the ideation had something to do with water.

But Glennon had a theory that the time in the shower was the only time when she was unplugged from the outside and alone with her own thoughts. Rather than being bombarded by the inputs, she was free to think for herself. …


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One major of my major pandemic problems is sleeplessness. Insomnia, should I say?

Insomnia is a loaded word because it translates into an identity- speaking of insomnia, some people start identifying themselves as insomniacs. Not surprisingly, that becomes a powerful self-fulfilling prophecy and a vicious cycle.

But let me start from the beginning.

I remember some sleepless nights as a child, being awake, staring at the full Moon before a math test. As an undergrad, I slept like a log, probably exhausted with all the partying and studying. When I started working, I was under so much stress that the…


Easy and incredibly effective ways to build better habits long-term.

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Image credit: Vlad Tchompalov, Unsplash

A lot of personal development literature sells the idea of ‘changing your life’. Although seductive, this idea can also be overwhelming, as well as unsustainable. As an antidote, we’d like to propose a different approach. Focus on small changes and tweaks that make difference and accumulate slowly. That’s a substantially more effective way to get good habits started and create a lasting change. Here are 10 proven strategies to do so.

💥1. Identify triggers

Whether it’s a good habit you’d like to instill or a bad habit you’d like to eradicate, identifying a trigger to the habit (specific…


But wait, do you know who you are when you’re not doing anything?

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Image credit: Andreas Klassen, Unsplash.

In a manner of a faithful Marie Kondo devotee, I have read her books, watched her videos and tidied up my house following her instructions. For many years now, I have been a minimalist and resistant to the accumulation of clutter. Keeping the clean, sleek look of the apartment, however, takes work. (Like anything else, if you will.) I know how much I like my space to be tidy and I am willing to the necessary work. Small tasks. Putting away glasses, papers, cleaning kitchen countertops, putting…


… although your negative thinking might make it seem so.

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Image credit: Dan Carlson, Unsplash.

I recently received the book “How full is your bucket” as a gift, mainly because it contains the famous Gallup Strength Finder test. The book itself is tiny and contains a simple message: your overall wellbeing can be represented as a bucket; positive interactions are filling your bucket, while the negative ones are draining your bucket. The simple and logical idea, so much so that it provoked a “Duh!” moment. I read this little book on the metro on the way to work and back and didn’t feel as if…


…or the art of moving slowly and steadily.

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Image credit: Jeremy Bishop, Unsplash.

Every time I go swimming, the same thing happens. On my first 400-m chunk I feel as if I am going to die, as if it’s really hard to find the rhythm, and that I won’t be able to do it. I tell myself that I should probably shorten the training because it seems like it’s not really going well, plus I am tired, haven’t slept well, worked a lot, skipped the workout last week, you name it. There is always something. But what I’ve learned after gaining some experience is that…


Challenges don’t scare us. Overthinking does.

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Image credit: Adrian, Unsplash.

Last Saturday I did something amazing. I drove myself to my swimming pool, and then when I finished swimming, I drove myself back home. Ha!

That may not sound like a major achievement and it’s probably not. I am a bit embarrassed by how small of a victory this is to celebrate. Really nothing special. But here’s the thing. Even though I have quite some driving experience, I have not driven in the D. C. area by myself. Since we moved here in January, I was driving around with my husband and this was…


Life is hard. You have every right to feel angry and frustrated.

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Image credit: Paola Chaaya, Unsplash.

It was an awful morning, cloudy, foggy, and surprisingly warm for March. It was still dark. The alarm on my phone went off. 6 am. It was time to get up for work. I cringed, took off my face mask and ear plugs. I was in my living room on my couch and I felt like shit. Another sleepless night was over and I was supposed to rise and shine. Yeah, right. I had no energy and I knew that I will just drag myself around and not…


Just because it takes work doesn’t mean you are doing it wrong

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Image credit: Christopher burns, Unsplash.

On Saturday morning, I worked on reviewing one of my research articles. There were a few reviewers’ comments, nothing too bad, and I thought of them and let them marinate so that I can think of better answers. It took me 5 hours to complete the revision. That is a lot. I wanted to do it meticulously, to answer everything and avoid future back-and-forth with my coauthor and reviewers. It took quite some time. Quite some work.

And that is the reality of life. Things take work. Period.

I recently wrote for Quora on receiving compliments and the slight…


I am not so special. You are not so special. We are in this together.

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Image credit: Larisa Britta, Unsplash.

The first time on a summer festival, I noticed something strange. Whenever I blew my nose, my napkin got black. I thought it was some weird infection and I did not tell anyone. After all, why would anyone be interested to hear about me blowing my nose? Gross. Then a couple of days later, a friend said: “This dust is really annoying, I have a bunch of black stuff coming out of my nose since day one.” I was shocked and relieved at the same…

Milena

Engineer, researcher, creator, obsessed with lists of 10 ideas.

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