journal https://www.mahabis.com/blogs/journal living the mahabis lifestyle Thu, 01 Dec 2016 13:49:17 GMT en-us sit less. stand more. https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-guide-sit-less-stand-more sit less. stand more.
sit less. stand more.
sit less. stand more.
mahabis

sit less. stand more.

 

In today's world of ongoing technological advances, an average of 70% of people sit for most of the working day. More technology inevitably means more work enabled by computer, and less manual, physical work necessary to get us out of our chairs.

 

mahabis guide // sit less. stand more.

However, the effects of a sedentary lifestyle are not to be envied; stiff joints, weight gain and muscle loss, to name a few. With ever more of us spending significant time in offices and at desks, it forces physical activity onto a checklist. Gym memberships, running clubs, and exercise classes all become one extra thing we have to squeeze in before or after work, because activity is no longer part of our day.

A lack of physical stress can have a profound effect not only on our bodies, but on our minds too. Without the endorphins induced by exercise we are prone to lethargy and even depression. 

The science behind the benefits of sitting less may be surprising; it's all to do with astronauts. Sitting simulates a low-gravity effect on our bodies, which exacerbates cell deterioration. The good news is that to reverse this, you won't need to squeeze in extra time at the gym. All you need to do is stand. 

 

mahabis guide // sit less. stand more.

 

Bending, stretching, and simply standing up increases the force of gravity on our bodies. Although vigorous exercise (and plenty of it) is great for your body, studies have shown that your sessions at the gym will do little to combat the effects of prolonged sitting. Interruptive, intermittent periods of activity need to be introduced to your day to allow your body some respite from the punishing conditions of sitting. 

Recommendations are that of each 30 minutes, you should spend 20 sitting, eight standing and two moving around. For those working the average eight hour working day, this will add up to over two hours of standing time. In the long run this could translate into lower diabetes and heart disease risk, and improved metabolism. If you'll struggle to get into this habit, most smart watches have a function to remind you, and there are desktop apps available too.

 

 

"The reason [standing could be good] is because when we stand there are many muscles working to keep you standing... whenever muscle is used, it consumes sugar and affects triglycerides," - Dr. Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, director of preventive cardiology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester 

Activity throughout the day also gives a temporary increase in blood flow and boost in endorphins, which in turn leads to hyper-oxygenation of the brain. Whilst the actual activity may only last a couple of minutes, the effects on your concentration and productivity can last a lot longer. 

 

 mahabis guide // sit less. stand more.

 

It's safe to say that the toll from extended periods of sitting can be dangerous to your ongoing health. You don't need to abandon your desk altogether, but take the time to move. Do it sooner, rather than later, and you will reap the benefits for your mind and body. 

 

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share it via our ready-to-go tweet link.

 

photos via unsplash
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sunday guide to // san francisco https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-guide-sunday-guide-to-san-francisco sunday guide to // san francisco
sunday guide to // san francisco
sunday guide to // san francisco
mahabis

sunday guide to // san francisco

 

San Francisco has had many nicknames during its rich history; 'Fog City', 'The City by the Bay' or even 'The City that Knows How'. These days it's mostly known for tech start-ups, the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz, but none of this goes even halfway to accounting for its charm or authentic feel.

 

 

stay //

Some things never fail to woo, and the skyline of a vibrant city is one of those things. So how about staying somewhere where you can have all that without leaving your hotel? You're in luck. San Francisco has a plethora of hotels with incredible rooftops views. The Loews Regency has a bar with a vista across the bay to Oakland with Treasure Island in the middle ground. Alternatively, stay in the luxury of the Fairmont, where you can surround yourself with lush greenery on top of the city in their stunning roof garden. The garden is complete with Palm trees, water fountains and a view all the way to Alcatraz.

 

sunday guide to // san francisco

 

ride //

Normally the best way to explore a city is by foot, especially in European cities where the alleyways are tiny - barely made for cars. However, not recommending a ride on San Francisco trams would almost be negligent. A city of the New World, San Francisco is relatively spread out - not to mention the hills! They're pretty tough on the legs so take a tram in order to put your feet up for a sec and enjoy the view across the bay peeping through the buildings. 

 

sunday guide to // san francisco

 

wander //

One of the most spectacular things about San Fran is probably the landscape. It sits on the San Andreas fault line which created hills like Mount Davidson - the tallest one at 928 feet (283 m) high. Other funny quirks to see include the most crooked street in the world; Lombard street. It contains 8 hairpin turns on a steep block, mimicking the slalom of a ski slope. Despite the cliché - the Golden Gate park is actually an incredible walk. Across from the city, you'll find succulents galore, growing on the side of tiny walkways to lighthouses. Look out upon the surf and the little boats in the channel and remember that Japan is the next land they'll see. 

 

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share via our ready-to-go tweet.

photos via unsplash
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in a world of black, white, and colour. https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/julian-schulze-black-white-colour in a world of black, white, and colour.
black. white. colour.
in a world of black, white, and colour.
mahabis

in a world of black, white, and colour.

We look at the work of photographer Julian Schulze. Focused on geometric abstraction and minimalistic compositions, this particular series captures the interplay of colour in a world of black and white. Fluctuating between abstract and concrete architecture, Schulze's series also challenges our perspectives and understanding of the world around us. 

 

black. white. colour.

 

black. white. colour. 

black. white. colour.

 

black. white. colour. 

 

black. white. colour. 

black. white. colour.

 

black. white. colour.

 

black. white. colour.

 

black. white. colour.

 

black. white. colour.

 

black. white. colour.

photos: via behance

 

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share via our ready-to-go tweet link.

 

 

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5 ways to use 5 extra minutes https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-guide-5-ways-to-use-5-extra-minutes 5 ways to use 5 extra minutes
5 ways to use 5 extra minutes
5 ways to use 5 extra minutes
mahabis

5 ways to use 5 extra minutes

 

No matter how thorough the planning and organisation, our daily life involves wait time. The inevitable late train, heavy traffic or delayed meetings could leave you twiddling your thumbs for 5 minutes here and there, but, it need not be time wasted. We share 5 ways to make the most of your wait time and improve your day to day.

 

stretch // 

This is something you can do anywhere, anytime you arrive early or your appointment arrives late. Stretching is a simple exercise that will give you a rush of endorphins, a boost of energy and, over time, improved flexibility. 

Take five minutes to begin at the bottom circling your ankles, pointing and flexing your toes, and working up through your legs, mid-section arms, shoulders and neck. Finish off with a deep breath and release your tension. Not only have you filled your wait time, you've de-stressed before the next commitment.

 

 

look //

The word 'flâneur' is a french term for someone who absorbs their surroundings. Too many of us are constantly on autopilot throughout our day and throughout our incredible towns and cities. This is understandable considering we are so busy and the need for efficiency grows every day. All the more reason to take your wait time and use it to observe and marvel at the architecture, the humanity or the beauty around you. 

 

5 ways to use 5 extra minutes

 

integrate //

This especially applies to those who experience the daily anonymity of living in a big city. London is guilty of alienating its residents, rarely do people talk to strangers on the tube. There could be an alternative ending to that scenario though; you could hear an interesting story or meet a new friend. For the introverts amongst us, this can be a little daunting but stepping outside of your comfort zone has its own benefits.  

 

communicate //

Have you ever felt an unadulterated smile creep across your face upon receiving a text from an old friend? Our busy lives often result in neglecting the people who matter most, as much as we may aim to avoid it. Familiarity provides comfort, and feeling loved is something to cherish. Taking your extra five minutes to respond to a good friend or call your parents will enrich that time and the future of your relationships. 

 

5 ways to use 5 extra minutes

enjoy //

We all punish ourselves for some kind of guilty pleasure. Whether it's obsessively checking your phone, extra sugar in your tea or online shopping on your lunch break, instead of punishing yourself for it - revel in it! Allow yourself the me-time. Enjoy your guilty pleasure and you won't feel like it's five minutes wasted again.

 

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share via our ready-to-go tweet link. 

photos via unsplash
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minimalist lighting collection, by michael anastassiades https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-journal-minimalist-lighting-collection minimalist lighting collection, by michael anastassiades
minimalist lighting
minimalist lighting collection, by michael anastassiades
mahabis

minimalist lighting collection, by michael anastassiades

 

Today's post looks at some of interior designer Michael Anastassiades's work. Starting out with his first studio in 1994, Anastassiades was interested in using his art and design skills to create thought and discussion. Still today, his eponymous brand succeeds in drawing those around into his engaging arrangement of physical materials.

Whilst these objects might initially seem minimal, on reflection they have an underlying layer of energy. Why not take a look at a collection we've put together and enjoy the refreshingly timeless nature of his designs. 

 

mahabis journal

 

mahabis journal // minimalist lighting collection 

mahabis journal

 

mahabis journal

 

mahabis journal

 

mahabis journal // minimalist lighting collection

 

mahabis journal

 

mahabis journal

 

Click here to see more of Michael Anastassiades's work.

If you enjoyed our post, feel free to share via our ready-to-go tweet link.

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top 5 island retreats https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/113988868-mahabis-retreats-relaxing-island-getaways top 5 island retreats
nanuya lailai // mahabis journal
top 5 island retreats
mahabis

top 5 island retreats

 

As our day to day lives seem get gradually busier and busier, there’s often nothing better than packing a bag and escaping from it all for a couple of weeks. Although slow city breaks and relaxing road trips can be great, sometimes only an isolated island retreat will do. We’ve pulled together a list of some of the most relaxing islands in the world to take your pick from.

 

Lizard Island, Australia // 

If it’s an isolated island paradise that you're after, with crystal clear waters, almost empty white sand beaches and an endless ocean to explore the depths of, then head to Lizard Island, situated in the Great Barrier Reef. Here you can spend long lazy days unwinding on the beach, cooling off inside a private villa, and enjoying luxurious spa treatments. Experience the underwater beauty of the reef by snorkelling or scuba diving, or take a boat trip out over the water, lying back and relaxing with the sea breeze in your hair. For the ultimate in luxury, witness the reef from above by taking a helicopter ride over the ocean.

 

lizard beach // mahabis journal

 

 

Bequia, the Grenadines, the Caribbean //

The smaller of the Grenadine islands, Bequia is an idyllic destination for those seeking a chilled out getaway. Spend your days relaxing or walking on the pristine beaches, before retreating to a hilltop villa to watch the sun set over the ocean from the comfort of an infinity pool. The island is relatively undeveloped, and it is easy to discover secluded beaches with the absence of beach bars or tourist traps, such as Princess Margaret Bay and Friendship Bay.

 

bequia // mahabis journal

 

 

Ariara, Philippines //

This private island on the Calamian archipelago is surprisingly affordable to hire for the week for a group of eighteen. Enjoy the privacy and peacefulness of being the only guests on the island, taking your time to explore the palm tree lined beaches, turquoise waters, and inner jungle. A dedicated team of staff are on hand at all times to pamper you with massages, candlelit meals on the beach and morning yoga sessions, and there is a fleet of boats available to take out onto the water to see the island from a different perspective.

 

ariara // mahabis journal

 

 

Alonnisos, the Sporades, Greece //

The quietest of the Sporades, head to Alonnisos for an alternative island getaway. It might not be as exotic a destination as the other islands mentioned, but this Greek island is packed full of natural beauty and secluded beaches. Unlike the more touristy Greek islands, Alonnisos is filled with dense pine forests and a mountainous interior, although there are still plenty of picturesque sandy beaches. Enjoy the range of fresh seafood on offer across the island, making time to visit some of the smaller villages to experience an authentic Greek way of life. Take a boat trip from Patitiri harbour into Greece’s first National Marine Park for the chance to spot dolphins and seals frolicking in the wild.

 

alonnisos // mahabis journal

 

 

Nanuya Lailai, Yasawa Islands, Fiji //

This beautiful Fijian getaway is a desert island dream; white sand beaches with a central jungle, surrounded by turquoise ocean. Home to the famous Blue Lagoon, this is where the majority of tourists will flock to in search of the sparkling blue water. Stay in the Nanuyan Island Resort for a luxurious and relaxing getaway with its own private beaches, an onsite spa and the opportunity to partake on a sunset cruise to witness the sun setting over the surrounding islands. 

 

nanuya lailai // mahabis journal

 

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share it via our ready-to-go tweet link.

 

photos via: cory doctorow, size4riggerboots, wikipedia publicdomainpictures

 

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mahabis journal // the house of the infinite https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-journal-house-of-the-infinite-by-alberto-campo-baeza mahabis journal // the house of the infinite
mahabis journal // the house of the infinite
mahabis journal // the house of the infinite
mahabis

mahabis journal // the house of the infinite

 

Alberto Campo Baeza is a Spanish architect and professor, whose works have been widely recognised. Inspired by his innovative designs, we decided to look at one of our favourites from his collection, known as 'house of the infinite'.

Built in the earthly paradise that is Cádiz, this particular house faces towards the infinite Atlantic Ocean. The house embodies the idea of infinity with its extensive horizontal stone platform looking out to sea. Alberto described his wish for the house to be capable of making time stand still, and as we look through these stunning images of vastness, it seems his wish has been granted.

 

 

mahabis journal // house of the infinite

 

mahabis journal // house of the infinite

 

mahabis journal // house of the infinite

 

mahabis journal // house of the infinite

 

mahabis journal // house of the infinite

 

mahabis journal // house of the infinite

 

mahabis journal // house of the infinite

 mahabis journal // house of the infinite

 

If you enjoyed our post, feel free to share it via our ready-to-go tweet link.

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mahabis visuals // abstract architecture, by johnny kerr https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-visuals-abstract-architecture-johnny-kerr mahabis visuals // abstract architecture, by johnny kerr
mahabis visuals // abstract architecture
mahabis visuals // abstract architecture, by johnny kerr
mahabis

mahabis visuals // abstract architecture, by johnny kerr

 

We look at the work of fine art photographer Johnny Kerr, who has been interested in the world of art since he was a child. Now, it is his interest in graphic and minimalist design that greatly influences his photography. 

We've picked a few of our favourites from his project 'Abstract Architecture.' Interested in how people react differently to abstract art, Johnny's ongoing abstract series aims at opening up people's appreciation of beauty.

The simple monochrome colours combined with distinctly shaped buildings creates a very different, but refreshing view of our world. So, why not take a break from your day, sit back, and allow yourself to appreciate the beauty that lies in these abstract images.

 

mahabis visuals // abstract architecture

 

mahabis visuals // abstract architecture

 

mahabis visuals // abstract architecture

 

mahabis visuals // abstract architecture

 mahabis visuals // abstract architecture

 

mahabis visuals // abstract architecture

 

mahabis visuals // abstract architecture

 

If you enjoyed our post, feel free to share via our ready-to-go tweet link.

 

photos via behance
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mahabis travel // polar nights in tromso https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/polar-nights-in-tromso mahabis travel // polar nights in tromso
mahabis travel // polar nights in tromso
mahabis travel // polar nights in tromso
mahabis

mahabis travel // polar nights in tromso

 

Winter in Scandinavia is unlike any winter season found around the globe. It's frozen cold months feature daylight hours so short they've been forced to create words which don't translate, in order to weave a more liveable lifestyle. Hyyge has been touted as a "vague cultural concept which doesn't translate easily into English, but it has helped Denmark become the 'happiest country on Earth' despite long, dark winters" [1]  Undoubtedly, it works. Rather than enduring the winter as other countries do, they revel in it.

 

 

In Tromso, Norway, this is demonstrated even further by the fact that the sun doesn't rise at all between November and January, yet its residents do not suffer for it. Far from hibernating alone, they embrace the months in which the polar circle is engulfed in darkness. The Norwegian version of hygge is 'koselig'; directly translated as 'cosiness' but evoking much more. No word in English quite covers the closeness, togetherness and warmth of koselig; a Scandinavian world lit by the northern lights and a huge emphasis is placed upon spending quality time with loved ones. 

If the delightful hygge/koselig outlook isn't tempting enough, winter in even the darkest of winters is truly magical and full of life. For the exercise fanatics, the Tromso half marathon is surely one to cross off the list; like no other run, it's entirely in the dark, illuminated by the glory of the northern lights. For those with little ones in tow, embark on a short trip to light the magic of Christmas by helping Santa prepare for the festive season at Nisse weekend in Berg, a farm cluster just outside of the city. Alternatively, the northernmost city in Europe also holds a film festival. Outdoors, of course, you'll become enamoured with the idea of living in the dark when outdoor cinema wrapped in blankets captures your heart and imagination.

 

 

In a trip bound to be punctuated by reindeer burgers and festive markets, races and movies, Tromso's polar nights are also a natural sight to behold. Despite the sun never rising above the horizon during this time you can expect a full spectrum of colours due to various phenomena. When the sun is just below the horizon you'll see bright pinks, blues and yellows which mimic a sunrise or set with a clarity of colour you won't find elsewhere.

You may also catch 'the blue hour', between 1–2 o’clock in the afternoon. It feels as though you are looking through coloured lenses when the landscape is filtered by a deep midnight blue. The blue hour occurs at this time as sunlight is reflected off the sea and snow.

 

 

Of course the most spectacular of light shows is the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights. The increased hours of darkness heightens your chances of catching this natural wonder of the world. The phenomenon was named after the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, combined with the Greek for the north wind, Boreas, and cannot be adequately captured by photo or video. We've all seen incredible photographs of it, and been amazed by the colours dancing in the sky, but nothing will match the experience of being bundled up in the snow and seeing for yourself. 

 

images // paul itkinjovi waqajames studarus

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mahabis interviews // stefaan and sarah https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-interviews-stefaan-and-sarah mahabis interviews // stefaan and sarah
mahabis interviews // stefaan and sarah
mahabis interviews // stefaan and sarah
mahabis

mahabis interviews // stefaan and sarah

 mahabis interviews // sarah and stefaan

 

Before we begin, could you introduce yourselves and talk us through what you do?

Hello! We are Stefaan and Sarah, travel photographers and co-founders of Miles & Miles, an interdisciplinary brand that creates beautiful stories across media. In 2012 we left our design jobs in NYC to travel for over a year and haven’t stopped since. We use photography, videography and social media to collaborate with brands we believe in and to share our experiences traveling the world together.

 

You've traveled together all around the world, which destinations were your favourites?

There are so many it’s hard to choose! But, a place we haven’t stopped thinking about since we left is New Zealand. If you love amazing food, mind-blowing geography, and insanely friendly people you will be in heaven there.

 

mahabis interviews // stefaan and sarah

 

 

Where on your travels did you find most relaxing?

We traveled all over Southeast Asia for three months, our route taking us through Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, and finally Thailand where we stayed for 3 weeks. Although being on the move constantly is very exciting, it can be exhausting as well. Sometimes you just need to stop and enjoy where you are for a while, and Thailand was where we felt most relaxed doing just that.

 

Where do you plan on wearing your Mahabis? Will you take them with you on your travels?

Surprisingly we just bought our first home! This of course won’t slow down our travels, but we are certain we’ll be wearing our mahabis at home and while we’re traveling too. Being comfortable while we’re on the road is a must, so having elements that bring a sense of home with us no matter where we are in the world are crucial.

 

mahabis interviews // stefaan and sarah

 

Which countries are you planning on visiting next?

We have an ongoing list of places to see, next up we’re hoping to get to Japan, Scandinavia, and Mongolia!

 

How do you like to relax when you are traveling?

Sometimes the most exhausting part of travel is the sense of urgency to see everything. After years on the move we’re able to accept that we won’t always see it all, so we make sure to take the time to slow down and enjoy where we are in the moment. Even if that means skipping the Eiffel Tower to stay in and watch movies all day! Also, we always make time to be close to the ocean, that’s the most relaxing place in the world for us.


How do you balance your work, personal life and time to travel?

We feel very lucky that our work and travel go hand in hand. When we’re traveling for a job we do our best to extend our trip and make our own time to explore. When work slows we plan personal adventures to places we’ve been wanting to visit and always make sure to surround ourselves with friends and family no matter where we are.

 

mahabis interviews // stefaan and sarah

  

What three non-essential items do you always take with you on your travels?

You learn to pack light when you travel, so non-essential items rarely join us for our adventures. Three things I (Sarah) absolutely cannot leave home without my Nemo travel pillow, chapstick and my camera of course.


When you're at home, how does your downtime differ to when you are travelling?

When we’re home we cook a lot and get our fill of friends and family. When we’re traveling we always embrace the food and culture of wherever we are so that inevitably involves eating out a lot more. Although we do cook when we have an airbnb somewhere new, we spend a lot of our time exploring the foods of the country we’re in.

 

mahabis interviews // stefaan and sarah

  

If you had an extra hour in the day, how would you spend it?

The more time outside the better, so an extra hour exploring somewhere new everyday would be wonderful!

 

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share via our ready-to-go tweet.

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mahabis travel // new year. new getaways. https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/new-year-new-getaways mahabis travel // new year. new getaways.
mahabis travel // new year. new getaways.
mahabis travel // new year. new getaways.
mahabis

mahabis travel // new year. new getaways.

With the first days of winter now behind us, you may be questioning how long we will have to endure the drizzle and wind. Fortunately, not everywhere in the world is subjected to ambiguous seasons and winter can be a magical time of year. Whether you prefer stars and snow or sun and shining seas, we've put together a further selection of winter retreats to escape to.

 

mahabis travel // relaxing winter retreatsphoto: © courtesy of Luxury Retreats

 

switzerland //

Favoured by ski-bunnies and hikers, Switzerland has plentiful lesser known areas to offer, full of peaceful cabins and spas. High above Verbier and far from the apres ski, find yourself a spacious villa with an outdoor spa and a heated pool where you won't be disturbed for weeks away from the rat race.  

 

france // 

If snowy mountains aren't for you, avoid harsh climates in the ever-sunny French Riviera. This microcosm on the med gets an average of 330 days of sun per year, meaning your chances of a bad spell of weather are pretty small, no matter what time you visit. From Monaco to Marseille, the coast is littered with spas, villas and contemporary boutique hotels. Nab one like Tiara Miramar in Theoule-sur-Mer, with a heated infinity pool overlooking the Mediterranean sea to make you feel as though you're experiencing the ocean waves, without the chill. 

 

photo: © courtesy of Tiara Miramar Beach Spa 

russia //

 Whilst Russia may feel like an unlikely retreat recommendation, the 'Black Sea Riviera' is a destination not to be missed. Encompassing not only Russian coast, but parts of Ukraine and Bulgaria too, the black sea coast sounds as though it should be ominous and overbearing. To the contrary - the coastline is, in parts, subtropical and mild and sunny year round. Sochi in particular is full of Neoclassical buildings to explore and the fated Olympic park to marvel at. 

 

new zealand //

Fancy celebrating christmas cheer with a BBQ on the beach rather than turkey by the fire? You're in luck. Its varied and changeable climate makes New Zealand a wonderful place to visit year round. The NZ winter brings snow from June to September, but Christmas and New Year will be bathed in sunshine. Explore the tumultuous landscape famous for the backdrop of 'Middle Earth' or immerse yourself in a yoga or surf retreat for true relaxation. 

 

photo: unsplash - Mathew Waters

 

canada //

 If it's snow you're looking for, the eternal winter of Vermont will not let you down. It's more than just fondue and mulled wine though. Holistic resorts like the Topnotch resort offer reiki, aromatherapy massages and hot tubs with a view of the mountains. Retreat here to escape the chaos of ski lift queues and snowball fights.

 

mexico //

Lastly, we take a skip, hop and a jump over the U.S.A and head to Mexico. Aside from some of the freshest, tastiest food in the world you will find a plethora of choice when it comes to relaxation. Ayurveda, yoga, surf or stay on an ecological reserve - Mexico has a little something for everyone. To step away from the beaten track, surround yourself with nature on Holbox Island. To be the social butterfly soak up the sun in Sayulita.

 

photo: unsplash Clem Onojeghuo

 

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share via our ready-to-go tweet link.

 

 

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mahabis guide // 'no interruptions day' https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/no-interruptions-day mahabis guide // 'no interruptions day'
mahabis guide // no interruptions day
mahabis guide // 'no interruptions day'
mahabis

mahabis guide // 'no interruptions day'

As we draw close to the end of the year, it's easy to crave the feeling that something has been accomplished. Although in all likelihood the year has been filled with hurdles and successes, it's easy to allow small tasks to hang over your head like a grey cloud.

 

 

why //

Feelings of a lack of productivity can lead to low morale and malaise, and that's no way to feel when you're about to enter a brand new year. Luckily, there's an easy fix to tie up those loose ends; add a holiday to your calendar. Perhaps not an all-expenses paid trip to Hawaii (although that would do the trick too), we're talking about joining in celebrating 'No Interruptions Day'.

 

when //

For many, it’s just another day at work or running errands, but the last day of the year has now been unofficially dubbed 'No Interruptions Day'. We have to admit, December 31 is as good a time as any to find time to hunker down and tick of any pesky 'to-do' items that have been nagging in the back of our minds. 

 

mahabis guide // no interruptions day

what //

Searching for the origins of No Interruptions Day draws a blank and yet it seems to be a fairly widespread tradition: 'Although this day has no official origin or proclamation, essentially it came about due to those in the workforce. Unfortunately not everyone has this day off and for many folks it’s just another day on the job.' [1] 

 

how //

A study at the University of California found that people struggle through as many as 20 interruptions an hour at work, and especially around the end of the year it can be difficult to concentrate. Efficiency expert Edward G. Brown said in interviews that when someone asks for a minute of your time that 'a minute is never a minute'. These so-called 'time bandits' could be anything from phone calls, idle chat, unnecessary meetings... so allow yourself to be closed off. Give yourself enough time, quiet and space to feel accomplished for the end of this year.

 

who //

Although this seems to be a trend that began in the workplace, work productivity is not the only thing that can suffer from constant interruption; our personal relationships can be easily affected by constant interruptions and distractions. Dedicate your No Interruptions Day to quality time, face to face, with friends and family. Alternatively, after a hectic festive season, maybe the someone who deserves an uninterrupted day to themselves is you.

 

So take a break. Put your feet up. And let yourself unwind ...uninterrupted. 

 

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mahabis lifestyle // six perks of winter https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-lifestyle-winter-perks mahabis lifestyle // six perks of winter
mahabis lifestyle // the perks of winter
mahabis lifestyle // six perks of winter
mahabis

mahabis lifestyle // six perks of winter

In the depths of winter, especially in colder countries, it's often tempting to be sucked into wishing away the time until spring. Bonding over complaints about the weather and succumbing to colds and sniffles almost becomes commonplace. However we'd like to explore a more positive side of winter and share some of the things we enjoy about the chillier months. 

 mahabis lifestyle // our 6 winter highlights

1. clear air //

With the absence of sunshine and the appearance of frost, comes a crispness to the air. Somehow the cool air tastes and smells fresher. The summer haze replaced with snowflakes and visible breath may be cold, but when you wrap up warm you can go for long walks unfettered by pollen, allergies or sticky heat.

 

 

2. health benefits //

Winter brings to mind months of sniffles, the endless cold that sweeps the office over and over, and little red noses sneezing on the train. Contrary to popular rhetoric, the cold can be good for your health; it reduces inflammation and swelling, kills off disease carrying bugs and increases the chemical responsible for pain suppression. You may be battling with a cold for a little bit, but a little exposure to chillier climates can be good for you long term. 

 mahabis lifestyle // the perks of winter

3. long evenings //

Rather than focus on the shortening day, why not envisage a season full of longer evenings. Allow the magic of the night to befall you - more time to stargaze, to wander by moonlight, or to cuddle up by the fire. There's something quietly calm about the long nights of winter, and of stepping from the cold into a toasty home.

 

4. increased energy //

Studies have shown that exposure to cold can boost energy, not just whilst exposed, but for some time after. This means a brisk walk on a chilly morning should be enough to help fend off the fatigue of the 2pm slump. 

 mahabis lifestyle // the perks of winter

5. people time //

In the depths of winter, when you really just want to stay curled up in bed, you're more likely to reach out to friends and family for comfort and conversation. With less motivation to get outdoors and doing stuff, we automatically allocate more time to the most basic of activities - talking. This, combined with less busy schedules, fewer bank holidays and an absence of conflicting vacations equals more time connecting with loved ones. 

 

6. hearty food //

Nothing can be more satisfying that a delicious hot meal on a bitter cold day. With a plethora of winter recipes using fresh seasonal food, you'll have plenty of excuses to host friends in the comfort of your own home. For those who do want to venture out, a steaming hot mulled wine in a christmas market will satiate the need for warmth.

 

photos via unsplash

 

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mahabis sounds // winter playlist https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-sounds-winter-playlist mahabis sounds // winter playlist
mahabis sounds // winter playlist
mahabis sounds // winter playlist
mahabis

mahabis sounds // winter playlist

 

Now that we are getting well and truly into winter, we thought we'd put together a playlist that you can listen to whether you're staying cosy indoors or out walking in the fresh winter air. So, headphones in or speakers on, listen, and relax. 

 

1. kiasmos - looped 

 

2. kidnap kid - moments

 

3. aphex twin - flim

 

4. shura -just once

 

5. the xx - on hold

 

6. bob moses - stealing fire

 

7. lucy rose - till the end

 

8. bonobo - kerala

 

9. gold panda - in my car

 

10. moderat - running

 

Feel free to share this playlist via our ready-to-go tweet link.

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mahabis lifestyle // feet up. book open. https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-lifestyle-feet-up-book-open mahabis lifestyle // feet up. book open.
mahabis lifestyle // feet up. book open.
mahabis lifestyle // feet up. book open.
mahabis

mahabis lifestyle // feet up. book open.

  

Today's post takes a look at how short fiction might be the ideal way to relax this winter. With dark nights drawing in, temperatures dropping, and our lives getting constantly busier, what better way to switch off from it all than to get lost inside a fascinating fictional world.

The winter solstice falls on 21st December, coinciding perfectly with Nancy Christie’s Short Fiction Day. A short fiction author herself, Nancy hopes to promote short stories by encouraging a day spent enjoying easily digestible tales. And when it is a dark and gloomy winter day outside it's almost the perfect setting for such an event.

 

mahabis lifestyle // feet up. book open

 

Whilst a longer tome might be a daunting task to embark on, short fiction is ideal for our increasingly busy lives. Collections of short stories are becoming ever more popular as they can be enjoyed in short bursts, rather than dedicating a prolonged period of time to completing a full-length novel. And it isn't just that the length that is short, but also the fast paced action and lack of excess characters mean that you'll most likely have to try harder not to finish in one sitting.

Commutes to and from work, the odd hour in the evening or even a relaxing twenty minutes on your lunch break are the perfect times to peruse a couple of pages. 

Short stories aren’t the only way to stimulate your brain with a short period of light reading. Magazine articles and blog posts also fit the bill. Short, snappy and to-the-point articles are perfect for those who prefer fact to fiction but still like to read.

 mahabis lifestyle // feet up. book open.

 

Reading fiction has long been described as the perfect escapism, allowing our minds to wander to a complete different world where we can forget any stresses as we become absorbed with the story. Loosing yourself in a book or article can help to refresh, inspire and challenge your brain.

On December 21st, why not try dedicating an hour or so of your day to reading. Arm yourself with a collection of short stories, a favourite magazine or an arsenal of word-rich blogs and allow yourself to become consumed with the written word.

 

mahabis lifestyle // feet up. book open.

 

Wondering what to read? Here’s a little inspiration.

 

Treats, by Lara Williams

Treat yourself to the debut collection of short stories by Manchester-based author, Lara Williams, a witty and relatable collection of tales about contemporary life for twenty-to-thirty year olds, covering sex, love and friendships. With 21 stories squeezed into just 224 pages, you’ll find the separate tales quick and easy to read; perfect for your commute, although you’ll be left wanting to read more. 

 

The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis

The complete works of short fiction by Man Booker prize winner, Lydia Davis will provide you with hours of reading. With some tales only one sentence long, you’ll have something to read however long your break.

 

Carve magazine

One of the leading printed publications focused on short fiction, Carve magazine is dedicated to ‘honest fiction’. Read stories for free on their website or purchase their magazine if you prefer leafing through pages.

  

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share with our ready-to-go tweet link.

 

photos: via pexels, unsplash
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mahabis visuals // silence series, by claire droppert https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-visuals-silence-series-by-claire-droppert mahabis visuals // silence series, by claire droppert
mahabis visuals // silence series, by claire droppert
mahabis visuals // silence series, by claire droppert
mahabis

mahabis visuals // silence series, by claire droppert

 

"Silence is the lack of audible sound or presence of sounds of very low intensity."

We look at the work of Claire Droppert, a photographer based in the Netherlands. Claire's work focuses on simplicity and minimalism, and this week we chose to pick some of our favourite shots from her two 'Silence series'.

From the Netherlands to Greece, these images all capture desolate places that embody stillness and tranquility. The lack of distractions within these images allows us to appreciate the serenity that exists in our world. So why not take just five minutes to sit back, scroll and enjoy that tranquility that we rarely have time to acknowledge in our busy day to day lives. 

 

mahabis visuals // silence series

 

mahabis visuals // silence series

 

mahabis visuals // silence series

 

mahabis visuals // silence series

 

mahabis visuals // silence series

 

mahabis visuals // silence series

 

mahabis visuals // silence series

 

mahabis visuals // silence series

 

mahabis visuals // silence series

 

mahabis visuals // silence series

 

mahabis visuals // silence series

 all photos: claire droppert

 

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mahabis ambassadors // downtime in december https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/downtime-in-december mahabis ambassadors // downtime in december
mahabis ambassadors // downtime in december
mahabis ambassadors // downtime in december
mahabis

mahabis ambassadors // downtime in december

 

With Christmas almost upon us, we thought we’d find out how some of our mahabis ambassadors choose to spend their festive time. The holiday season can often be crammed full of festivities, and a hectic time of year, so we’re focusing on how people choose to unwind amongst the chaos.

We spoke to some of our favourite instagrammers to hear about what their best part of the holiday season is, and how they like to spend their downtime in winter. From curling up on the couch, to going for long walks in the crisp air, everyone has their own way of relaxing and enjoying themselves this time of year.

 

mahabis ambassadors // seasonal downtime 

Mary Maddocks 

 

"I love getting crafty at this time of year - something about the cold weather just makes me want to nest and get creative. I love gathering foliage and making messy wreaths to decorate the house, and I also usually make my own Christmas cards and tree decorations. I also love getting out of the city and exploring the countryside - those frosty sunny days in winter are so beautiful. We wrap up warm, give ourselves the whole day and always take a big flask of hot chocolate."

 

mahabis ambassadors // seasonal downtime

mary’s choice of mahabis: larvik dark grey x ilen ivory

 

"I love Boxing Day when all the craziness of Christmas day is over and there's a chance to relax, spend time with my family and eat copious amounts of leftovers in front of the TV. There's no need to get up at a certain time, no big meal to cook and no pressure to do anything. It's just a lovely unstructured day." 

 

mahabis ambassadors // seasonal blog 

Oliver Hooson 

 

"The way I like to relax in the winter is I go for a run every morning (the colder the better) and upon my return home stick the fire on in my small front room."

 

mahabis ambassadors // seasonal downtime

oliver's choice of mahabis: larvik light grey x larvik grey

 

"Cosy doesn't come close to explaining how relaxed a place it is to be, logs crackling in front of me whilst enjoying properly garnished porridge... For me that is making the most of freelance life!" 

 

mahabis ambassadors // seasonal downtime

Duygu Ntagkala

 

"During my off times, I usually like going to small and cosy cafes around my neighbourhood and gather with my very close friends. Also, one of my favourite activities is to wander around streets to discover small and lovely boutiques for inspiration for my own brand."

 

mahabis ambassadors // seasonal downtime

duygu and elise's choice of mahabis: larvik light grey x rjukan red

 

"My favourite part of the holiday season is having my family around and all the decorations in the city."

 

 

mahabis ambassadors // seasonal downtime

Tommaso Baldi 

 

"In winter during my downtime I like to watch tv series or films, and also surfing on internet on design website to increase my creativity and inspiration."

 

mahabis ambassadors // seasonal blog

tommaso’s choice of mahabis: larvik light grey x borgen blue 

 

"My favourite part of the holiday season is the lunch with my relatives which makes me feel a part of a big family."

 

 

mahabis ambassadors // seasonal downtime

Caroline Birk Bahrenscheer 

 

"During the week and when it's really dark in the afternoon, I love curling up on the couch after a long day with a good magazine or a good series. At the weekend I take a walk if the weather is nice, to get the last sun of the year, or maybe visit a Christmas market."

  mahabis ambassadors // seasonal downtime

caroline's choice of mahabis: larvik light grey x ilen ivory

 

"My favourite part of the holiday season is that it's all about "Hygge". A danish expression that is hard to explain but it's all about spending time with your loved ones, picking up the Christmas tree, go ice-skating and just have a really nice time."

 

mahabis ambassadors // seasonal downtime

Mohammed Aneez

 

"I always like to start by making a to-do list for my downtime. I used to think the point of having free time was to avoid having a to-do list. However, I've found that as with my job I'm far more productive if I set out goals for myself at the start of the day. Even if an item on my downtime list is as simple as, "Read for an hour," at least I know I'll feel accomplished when I get to cross it off."

 

mahabis ambassadors // seasonal downtime

mohammed’s choice of mahabis: larvik dark grey x skien black

 

"My list during the holiday season tends to include things such as: plan a winter party, explore a neighbourhood, try out new techniques in photography."

 

mahabis ambassadors // seasonal downtime

Ilenia Martini 

"I travel a lot for my work, therefore whenever I have some downtime, I like to spend it at home. I like to unwind with a nice cup of tea and a book or a good tv series."

mahabis ambassadors // seasonal downtime

ilenia’s choice of mahabis: light grey x skien black

 

"My favourite part of the holiday season is definitely the crisp air, chestnuts and the smell of Christmas. I love to indulge in long walks whilst sipping a chai latte and just take as much time for myself as possible (before all the family shenanigans begin!)."

 

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share via our ready-to-go tweet link.

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mahabis lifestyle // dining culture around the world https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-guide-dining-culture-around-the-world mahabis lifestyle // dining culture around the world
mahabis guide // dining culture around the world
mahabis lifestyle // dining culture around the world
mahabis

mahabis lifestyle // dining culture around the world

Here in the UK and in America, it’s often customary to eat your dinner on the sofa whilst catching up on your favourite TV show. If you have guests, you may set the table and indulge in dinner time conversation, but allocating an hour each evening to simply sitting and dining has generally become a thing of the past. In order to reclaim our meal times and get used to enjoying our food rather than rushing through it, we’re taking a look to other cultures to see what good habits we can pick up.

 

mahabis guide // dining culture around the world 

 

spain //

Lunch is typically the largest meal of the day in Spain, coinciding with their siesta. In smaller Spanish towns, many people still take a 2-3 hour break in the middle of the day to rest, although it is more likely that they will return home to enjoy a prolonged meal with their family rather than taking a nap. Lunch is normally served after 1.30pm, and includes several courses intercepted by large glasses of red wine. Rather than rushing through the different courses, Spaniards take their time over lunch, indulging in lingering conversation and savouring the taste of their dishes.

 

dinner culture around the world // mahabis journal

 

 

italy //

Eating a large meal in the middle of the day followed by a lighter late supper is typical to other Mediterranean cultures, including Italy. Again, Italians like to linger over their meals and often enjoy at least two courses for lunch. Most Italians who work close to home will take a long lunch break to return home and enjoy their lunchtime meal with their families. In the larger cities where people typically have longer commutes to work, families will enjoy a lingering multiple-course meal in the evenings instead, using the opportunity to catch up about their days. 

 

israel //

Jewish households all around the world observe the Sabbath from sundown on Friday until sundown on Saturday. Friday nights are subsequently reserved for relaxing meal times with the entire family, where everyone is encouraged to unplug from technology and to enjoy the company. The table is set, candles are lit and conversation constantly flows around the table during the meal.

 

mahabis guide // dining culture

 

china //

Many cultures around the world encourage people to come together and share a variety of dishes from one table (tapas, meze, etc.) but the most iconic meal time ritual has to be dim sum. Originating from the Silk Road, where teahouses would host both travellers and farmers, dim sum has evolved to become a time-honoured tradition that is enjoyed all around the world. Typically served as brunch, the small rolls, dumplings and buns are presented in bamboo containers, designed for a group of family and friends to sit around a table together and share.

 

dinner culture around the world // mahabis journal

 

 

What can we learn from other cultures?

  • Why not take more time over meals, rather than rushing, using it as an excuse for conversation, catching up with your family and friends
  • Make an effort at weekends to sit down and enjoy lunch as a family, rather than grabbing a snack on the go
  • Dine up to the table, rather than in front of the TV
  • Set aside one evening a week for a formal dinner where everyone sits around the table and enjoys each other’s company
  • Prepare meals such as tapas, meze or dim sum that are designed to be shared, creating a more social dining occasion

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share via our ready-to-go tweet link.

photos: via unsplash
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mahabis visuals // breathtaking views of the universe https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-guide-insight-astronomy-photography mahabis visuals // breathtaking views of the universe
mahabis visuals // breathtaking views of the universe
mahabis visuals // breathtaking views of the universe
mahabis

mahabis visuals // breathtaking views of the universe

 

In light of the announcement of this years winners of Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2016 competition, a fascinating exhibition held at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, we thought we'd share some of our favourite images from this years winners and runners-up. 

From China to Norway, the exhibition features work by photographers from all over the world, all capturing the incredible nature of the universe that we live in but do not see. 

Sit back, relax and take in these stunning images of the moon, galaxies, aurorae, and more.

 

mahabis guide // astronomy photography

photo: Black and White Aurora - Kolbein Svensson

 

mahabis guide // astronomy photography
photo: Twilight Aurora - György Soponyai

 

mahabis guide // astronomy photography

photo - The Rainbow Star - Steve Brown

 

mahabis guide // astronomy exhibition
photo: M94 Deep Space Halo - Nicolas Outters

 

mahabis guide // astronomy photography
photo: Binary Haze - Ainsley Bennett

 

mahabis guide // astronomy photography

photo: Baily's Beads - Yu Jun 

 

mahabis guide // astronomy photography
photo: Maurolycus to Moretus - Jordi Delpeix Borrell

 

mahabis guide // insight astronomy photography

photo: Man on the Moon - Dani Caxete

 

mahabis guide // insight astronomy photography

photo: Antlia Galaxy Cluster Extreme Deep Field, 152 Hours - Rolf Wahl Olsen

 

The exhibition runs until June 2017 so why not head to the Astronomy Centre to see more breathtaking photography, or, if you're interested in entering next years competition, find out more here.

 

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share via our ready-to-go tweet link. 

 

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work-life balance in // belgium https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/work-life-balance-in-belgium work-life balance in // belgium
work-life balance in belgium
work-life balance in // belgium
mahabis

work-life balance in // belgium

 

When considering which country has the best work/life balance, most of us would immediately think of one of the Nordic countries boasting the happiest people in the world: Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, Norway or Finland. You may be surprised to learn that recent studies placed Belgium in the top five for a healthy work/life balance.

 

work/life balance belgium // mahabis journal

 

belgium //

Ranked behind only Denmark, Spain and the Netherlands, Belgium is currently in fourth position on the OECD’s (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) list of the countries with the best work/life balance. Based upon average working hours, pay, quality of life and several other criteria, this ranking places Belgium at leaps and bounds in front of other nations, including the UK, the US and even Sweden.

It may be because the Belgians offer up to 30 days of annual leave a year (including public holidays) or linked to their shorter working hours; but it is likely also linked to their general attitude towards work. Similar to other countries that rank highly on the index, Belgian’s see work as a means of living, rather than allowing it to consume their lives.

 

 

work/life balance belgium // mahabis journal

 

holidays //

One of the most important factors in determining the perfect work/life balance is how many holiday days’ workers are entitled to each year. Belgians who work five days a week are entitled to 20 days of annual leave a year – plus a generous 10 public holidays based around the Catholic calendar and important historical events.

In a slightly unusual twist, annual leave is calculated on the amount of days that employees worked during the previous year. However, measures are in place to ensure that those who start work at the beginning of January are still entitled to holidays.

Most people take their annual leave as a full months summer holiday in July or August, coinciding with school holidays to enjoy a well earned rest from work. Rather than having to beg your employer for longer holidays, the Belgians encourage taking your holiday allowance all at once to spend quality time with your family.

 

work-life balance in belgium

 

pay //

The salary system in Belgian is far from typical. Rather than being paid monthly twelve times a year, employee’s salaries are divided by 13.92 with two extra pay days each year at the times when expenses are most likely to soar.

In May, you are given an extra 92% of a month’s salary as vacation pay, to fund your expected month-long vacation over the summer. At the end of the year, around Christmas time, an extra month’s bonus is given (known as the 13th month’s pay). Rather than saving for holidays or for Christmas, this helps Belgians to organise their finances.

Salaries are also indexed, automatically increasing each year based on rising living costs. This inflation is based upon the health index (consumer price index minus tobacco, fuel and alcohol), and essentially means that the government assess the rising cost of living annually to raise salaries accordingly.

 

work-life balance in belgium

 

working hours //

Belgian law fixes typically working hours at 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week. These hours can be reduced by mutual agreement, but are rarely increased and it is a seldom occurrence for staff to work longer days.

The working day is typically 8.30 – 5.30 with an hours lunch break as standard. Occasionally management may exceed these working hours, but it is very rare for staff to work through their lunch break or stay at the office late into the night.  In fact, only 5% of the population work exceedingly long hours.

The OECD observed average of daily time off is 15.46 hours, a figure which rises to 16.61 hours in Belgium.

 

work-life balance in belgium

 

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share via our ready-to-go tweet link.

 

photos: via upsplash
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mahabis visuals // architectural dreaming, by kim høltermand https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-visuals-architectural-dreaming-by-kim-holtermand mahabis visuals // architectural dreaming, by kim høltermand
mahabis visuals // architectural dreaming
mahabis visuals // architectural dreaming, by kim høltermand
mahabis

mahabis visuals // architectural dreaming, by kim høltermand

 

We look at some of Kim Høltermand's work, an award winning Danish photographer who captures some fascinating architecture and landscapes. Wrapped up in the busyness of our everyday lives, we often don't take the time to look around and appreciate our surroundings. So why not put your feet up and relax by gazing at some of the breathtaking architectural visuals that Kim has captured here. 

 

mahabis visuals // architectural dreaming

  

mahabis visuals // architectural dreaming

 

mahabis visuals // architectural dreaming

 

mahabis visuals // architectural dreaming

  

mahabis visuals // architectural dreaming

 

mahabis visuals // architectural dreaming

 

mahabis visuals // architectural dreaming, by kim høltermand

 

mahabis visuals // architectural dreaming

 

mahabis visuals // architectural dreaming

 

mahabis visuals // architectural dreaming 

 

 

All photos: Kim Høltermand

 

To share Kim's incredible shots, click on this ready-to-go tweet link.

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mahabis interviews // arrested development https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-interviews-arrested-development mahabis interviews // arrested development
mahabis interviews // arrested development
mahabis interviews // arrested development
mahabis

mahabis interviews // arrested development

 

Trailblazers of the hiphop scene in the early nineties, Arrested Development pushed the boundaries with the messages their music conveyed. Songs such as Mr Wendal and People Everyday are still enjoyed years after release, not just for their melodic mash-up of different genres, but also for the fact that they deal with social issues that are relevant today.

We talk to two members of the band, Speech and Fareedah, to find out more about what their lives are like after having released 12 albums. With much of their career spent busy touring and living on the road, the band share that there's rarely time to sit back and enjoy where they've got to. But when there's a chance for downtime, it's either spent in mahabis, meditating, unwinding to their tracks, or hiking.  

Read on to find out who they look to for musical inspiration, as well as what their alternative career paths might have been...

 

mahabis interviews // arrested development

 

before we begin, tell us about the path that led you guys to forming the band, and getting to where you are today?

FAREEDAH: In my case, the band was already formed, by the time I came along. I was selected from an audition process, to fill in for Eshe, while she was pregnant with her beautiful daughter. From then on I was an understudy and I would fill in for shows that she was unable to do.

 

Most of our readers will be familiar with your work, but if you could sum up Arrested Development in just three words, what would those words be?

SPEECH: Uplifting and lively.

FAREEDAH: Positive, energizing, consciousness.

 

mahabis interviews  // arrested development

Speech's choice of mahabis: gya grey summer

 

Known as trailblazers of the hiphop scene in the early nineties - how has your music evolved over the years since Mr Wendal and Tennessee?

SPEECH: Similar but updated!

FAREEDAH: I think the sound has evolved into a more eclectic mixture of all genres of music along with hip-hop and so there are elements of pop rock jazz Neo-Soul some of everything. The subject matter has evolved as well. Speaking to many issues occurring within our society that affect people all over the world, as it did back in the nineties the music reflects issues of the time and addresses them or at least sparks a conversation.

 

Who have been your biggest inspirations? and which emerging artists are you keeping an eye on at the moment?

SPEECH: Public Enemy to Prince. New artists: Drake to Jay-Z.

FAREEDAH: I absolutely love Michael Jackson I grew up listening to all of his albums and I loved watching him perform and his stage presence and his amazing dance moves. I also loved how his songs told a story. As I got older I also gravitated toward his sister Janet Jackson, for the same reasons. However, visually, I could relate to Janet even more because she was a beautiful young black woman doing all the same things which made me feel like I could do them too.

 

arrested development 
Fareedah's choice of mahabis:  summer black edition 


If you weren’t musicians, which other routes do you reckon you’d have gone down?

SPEECH: A depressed teacher ! Or a journalist.

FAREEDAH: Previously had I not been able to be a part of Arrested Development I probably would have been working a corporate gig somewhere in an office. Now however I've become a part of the circus I've become a part of the circuits Arts community studying aerial dance on silks, trapeze and Lyra... so if I wasn't a musician with Arrested Development I would probably be performing in that capacity.

 mahabis interviews // arrested development


There must have been some pretty hectic times in your career, did you have many chances to sit back, and enjoy where you’d got to?

SPEECH: Rarely. But Australia & Japan are exceptions.

FAREEDAH: Unfortunately we don't really get that much time to actually sightsee and explore the cities that we go to as much as we would like there were a few times in Australia where we were able to sightsee a bit, it doesn't happen that often, but I'm super excited when it does.

 

What tracks do you reach for when you want to relax?

SPEECH: Ours, or literally massage type music.

FAREEDAH: Pretty much anything from Alina baraz Sade Erykah Badu India Arie or some Jazz instrumentals.

 

mahabis interviews // arrested development

 

How do you fit in downtime when you’re in the studio/ on tour? 

SPEECH: Insist upon it, I like enjoying life in the moment.

FAREEDAH: I really don't like a lot of downtime. Whenever I'm not working I like to spend time with my family or check out a movie with my friends and just hang out. I really enjoy what I do for a living so I love spending my days doing it. Either rehearsing, training or teaching. 

 

When and where do you wear your mahabis? 

SPEECH: I work from my home recording studio, so I'm able to relax in what feels like house shoes while I'm tracking, but when I need a break from music, my wife & I LOVE to do a nature walk. Wearing my mahabis it's as easy as slipping on my soles and I'm off.

FAREEDAH: When I'm at the studio teaching Aerial dance, I'm usually barefoot. It's nice to be able to throw on some comfy slippers in between classes or while training. The removable soles make it so convenient to go from outside to inside, without having to completely take them off to walk through the space. They're especially nice in the winter months, I love them!

TASHA: When I'm home from being on the road, I teach voice lessons from my studio. I love wearing my mahabis because I can still look professional while wearing my slippers.

 

mahabis interviews // arrrested development


What are your tour essentials? The things you can’t leave behind.

SPEECH: Phone, computer and various cords!

FAREEDAH: My tour Essentials are definitely my phone so that I can take pictures, listen to music, and stay connected via Wi-Fi. I also like to make sure I have an extension cord with an array of power adapters. Headphones. I tend to pack a few snacks from home that I may not be able to find out on the road. I always pack a bathing suit, flip flops, my own soap and toothpaste.

 

How important is downtime for you all as individuals? What’s the ideal way you choose to to unwind?

SPEECH: Extremely important! Bike riding, hiking, eating.

FAREEDAH: If I'm not sleeping trying to rest and rejuvenate my body, I like to listen to music or sometimes I just sit in silence just to clear my mind in prayer and meditation.

 

mahabis interviews // arrested development

 

What it’s in the pipeline for the year ahead?

SPEECH: More projects and a possible motion picture. 

FAREEDAH: I'm looking forward to more shows traveling to more places that I haven't been yet I'm also looking forward to performing some of the new music that we've been cooking up and have yet to perform live, I think it's going to be really exciting.

 

If you had an extra hour in the day, how would you spend it?

SPEECH: Sleeping.

FAREEDAH: Soaking in a jacuzzi! 

 

 

 

 

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share via our ready-to-go tweet link.

 

 

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mahabis guide // how to live in the now https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-guide-how-to-live-in-the-now mahabis guide // how to live in the now
mahabis guide // living in the now
mahabis guide // how to live in the now
mahabis

mahabis guide // how to live in the now

 

‘Live in the now’ is a phrase that you probably hear every single day, as we are starting to become aware of our tendency to focus more on our past and future, rather than living in the moment. The idea of being mindful isn’t a new one; it’s all to do with being more conscious of your life as it actually happens. It is, however, a way of life that is becoming more relevant as we are increasingly bombarded by temptations from our past and for our futures.

 

mahabis guide // how to live in the now

 

Consider a typical working day. You might be the kind of person who likes to make lists and plan ahead, which isn't a problem unless you discover that all you seem to do is plan for the future, and that you don’t have any time left to actually do your work. It can be the same with the past – rather than constantly analysing results or performance from the previous weeks or years, you could be getting on with the task at hand.

This can be applied to all aspects of your life. By being present and living in the now, you will find yourself enjoying the simple things in life more: eating meals, relaxing with family and friends, taking a walk.  Unsure how you can stop thinking about the past and the future and live more in the present? We’ve curated a collection of simple tips to get you started.

 

single task, don’t multi-task //

When you attempt to do too many tasks at the same time, it’s hard to focus your brain on just the task in hand. Rather than trying to do too much at once, strip things back and concentrate on one thing at once. Cook your meal, then sit and eat, then have a conversation, then listen to the radio.

 

live in the now // mahabis journal

 

take your time //

Don’t rush over tasks, however mundane they may seem. If you’re rushing to complete something and thinking about what you are going to be doing next, it’s even harder to live in the moment and fully concentrate on the task in hand.

 

put your camera away //

We’re not saying don’t take photos, but sometimes it's nice to not document every thing that you do. Eat your meal as soon as you sit down to the table, rather than pausing to document it. Go for a walk and simply enjoy the scenery, and being among nature without feeling the need to constantly take photographs.

 

live in the now // mahabis journal

 

do less //

If you’re going to be taking your time and concentrating on just one task at once, it stands to reason that you may well have to cut down on your daily job lists. You might think this is impossible, but if you write a list of tasks, it is easier to work out what is high priority and what can then be carried over onto another day.

 

love your job //

If you don't enjoy your job, you are likely to spend the working week counting down until the weekend and wishing your time away. It’s difficult to live in the now when you’re not happy. So, try to find the positives in your daily tasks and concentrate on enjoying them.

 

try not to worry //

If you are a natural worrier, you will find it hard to concentrate on the present when you instinctively fret about the future. Try to take things as they come rather than thinking ‘what if’, and worrying about what might happen.

 

live in the now // mahabis journal

 

concentrate on the task in hand //

When you’re talking to someone, fully invest yourself in that conversation and don’t let your mind wander to think about what you need to do next. When you’re working on something, allow 100% of your thoughts to concentrate on the task. Don’t let your mind wander and you’ll find that you become more productive and finish tasks sooner.

 

 

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share via our ready-to-go tweet link.

photos: via unsplash
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mahabis travel // best european squares https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-travel-best-european-squares mahabis travel // best european squares
european city squares // mahabis journal
mahabis travel // best european squares
mahabis

mahabis travel // best european squares

 

All across Europe, towns and cities boast squares or piazzas where locals flock to sit al fresco and relax, whilst tourists swarm to admire the architecture. This culture of lounging in chairs outside cafes watching the world go by is quintessentially continental, associated with a slower pace of life.

When visiting cities across Europe, why not visit the local squares to soak in the architecture and culture, but also to sit with a cup of espresso and spend some time simply watching the world go by.

Wondering where to visit? We’ve curated a list of seven of the best European squares, selected for their atmosphere, architecture and culture.

 

Piazza Navona, Rome 

piazza navona // mahabis journal

 

Although St Peter’s Square in Vatican City may be Rome’s most famous square (and we do recommend paying a visit), Piazza Navona is our favourite Roman destination for soaking up the local culture. Originally built as a stadium for chariot races, the Piazza is now used as a meeting place for locals, lined with dozens of cafes whose alfresco seats are always filled.

Street performers, painters and musicians fill the Piazza with life, tempting visitors to stroll around before settling down into a seat to enjoy a cup of coffee. Spectacular architecture lurks behind every corner in Rome, but Piazza Navona is particularly special with its fountains, Baroque buildings and surrounding palazzos creating the feeling of an outdoor museum.

 

Red Square, Moscow

red square // mahabis journal

 

One of the most iconic city squares in the entire world, Moscow’s Red Square is a pilgrimage for architecture lovers who seek to admire the iconic domes of the Kremlin and St Basil’s Cathedral. Lacking the cosy cafes and street performers of other European squares, Red Square can seem quite forbidding on first glance, but its awe-inspiring structures rarely fail to impress.

The Kremlin and the Cathedral (best viewed when lit up at night) aren’t the only important buildings on the square. Lenin’s Mausoleum, the Kazan Cathedral and various bronze statues all tempt history buffs to visit the site of many of Russia’s key historical moments unfolded. 

 

Piazza del Campo, Sienna

piazza del campo // mahabis journal

 

One of the most enchanting medieval cities in Italy, Siena is home to a delightful square which still fulfils its original function as the heart of the city. Locals gather here to eat brunch and catch up with friends, but also for the Palio di Siena horse race which takes place in the square twice a year.

A casual, relaxing atmosphere flows through the square, encouraging visitors, but the grand buildings that surround it also draw in the crowds. Gothic houses, medieval structures and the Fountain of Joy attract interest from tourists seeking the historical buildings that Siena is famed for.

  

Rynek Glowny, Krakow

rynek glowny // mahabis journal

 

Krakow’s Main Square sits in the heart of the city’s Old Town, surrounded by a melting pot of striking architecture from different eras of the city’s history. Colourful and decorative buildings, including the 13th Century Town Hall Tower and Gothic churches tower above an array of cafes and restaurants that spill out onto the square.

During celebrations such as Easter, the Rynek becomes a bustling hive of activity with festive markets and outdoor concerts hosted in the centre of the square. An enchanting destination all year round, the square thrives during the lead up to Christmas as with one of the most vibrant Christmas markets in Europe.

 

Plaza Mayor, Salamanca

plaza mayor // mahabis journal

 

Spanish cities are famed for their plaza mayors, similar to Italian piazzas where locals meet to catch up over a few drinks. Salamanca’s plaza mayor is renowned throughout the country as one of the most beautiful public squares in Spain, even gained UNESCO World Heritage status thanks to the Baroque architecture that surrounds it.

In the past, the square may have been used for bullfighting but that is now a distant memory, with locals and tourists filling the space with laughter, conversation and a party atmosphere. Merry-makers linger here until the early hours of the morning; in summer simply perching on the pavement with a group of friends and bottles of beer.

   

Grand Place, Brussels

grand place // mahabis journal

 

Brussel’s Grand Place is perhaps most renowned for its bi-annual Flower Carpet event, where over 700,000 blooms are crafted into a statement carpet design that covers the floor leading up to the Town Hall, tempting crowds of tourists to descend on the city.

Even if you don’t manage to coincide your visit with the flower festivities, the Grand Place is a favourite location with visitors thanks to the fusion of Baroque, Gothic and Louis XIV architecture that surrounds the square. Another city square that boasts UNESCO World Heritage recognition, the Grand Place is the perfect destination to soak up the culture of the city by visiting the cafes, shops and important buildings that surround it.

 

Old Town Square, Prague

old town square // mahabis journal

 

Filled with character and culture, Prague’s Old Town Square demonstrates the diverse array of beautiful architecture in the city’s Old Town. Gothic and Baroque churches sit side by side, nestled below the iconic Prague Astronomical Clock that delights tourists and locals alike.

The pavements are filled with friendly little cafes, their tables spilling out onto the streets to allow the perfect setting to simply sit and people watch whilst enjoying local delicacies and a refreshing drink.

 

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share it via our ready-to-go tweet link.

 

photos: via wikimedia
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mahabis lifestyle // embracing the unknown https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-lifestyle-embracing-the-unknown mahabis lifestyle // embracing the unknown
mahabis lifestyle // embracing the unknown
mahabis

mahabis lifestyle // embracing the unknown

 

Being in one’s comfort zone implies familiarity, safety, and security. Creating a comfort zone is a healthy adaptation for much of our lives. But so is stepping out of our comfort zone when it’s time to transition, grow, and transform." - Abigail Brenner M.D

 mahabis lifestyle // embracing the unknown

 

Stepping outside of your comfort zone is something that doesn't come naturally. Whether it's a physical challenge like a skydive, or a mental one such as a discussion with a stranger, it takes an element of self awareness that many lack. Fear of failure is inherent in our society, which discourages us from trying new, scary, things. In some ways this can be excused on the basis of self preservation. On the contrary, once you've mastered the art of identifying the comfort zones in which you reside, the ability to push yourself to diversify and grow becomes exciting. Personal growth can be one of the most fulfilling feelings there are. 

 

accept change //

Those who create challenging situations and choose to experience new things within their control are actively training themselves to deal well with change. Unexpected changes to our circumstances can be extremely stressful, but those who have chosen to let go of the reins can be better prepared when control of a situation is taken from them forcefully.

 

 

improve performance //

Psychologists have found over and over again that stress, albeit a word with negative connotations, can actually help us to outperform ourselves. The right amount of anxiety causes the mind to focus, and perform at a level which is much higher than that which we run on autopilot. 

 

improve creativity //

It's a hard hurdle to get across, but once we shed our fear of failure, and frame it in a context of a journey to improvement, it's known to improve the creative process by encouraging unusual thought. Allowing your imagination to run totally wild creates a certain vulnerability to your ideas, but equally heightens the chance of a 'eureka' moment. 

 

mahabis lifestyle // embracing the unknown

 

slow the aging process //

This idea sounds a little far fetched, but is based in logic; as we get older we become set in our ways. The situations we feel comfortable in become less. We end up doing less, thinking less creatively and our minds can easily become stale. A young person with broad spectrums of experiences, challenges and thoughts will lead to an older person with a more active, working mind.

 

create interest //

Challenges, new experiences and conversations with people who don't think the same way as you all add up to a person with crazy stories to tell. Feeling interesting and interested in life will help you feel confident, and sharing your experiences with others can change others perceptions of you. 

 

 

live life to its fullest //

Quite apart from all of the psychological and physiological benefits, one reason to push the boundaries of your comfort zones is because living life to its potential is a gift. With a little self awareness, anybody can jump onto a more fulfilling journey.

 

If you enjoyed reading our blog, feel free to share it via our ready-to-go tweet link.

 

photos:  HelloquenceAlexandre ChambonLukas BudimaierDmitry Kotov
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mahabis lifestyle // 10 ways to inspire creativity https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-lifestyle-10-ways-to-inspire-creativity mahabis lifestyle // 10 ways to inspire creativity
mahabis lifestyle // 10 ways to inspire creativity
mahabis lifestyle // 10 ways to inspire creativity
mahabis

mahabis lifestyle // 10 ways to inspire creativity

 

Creativity comes natural to some people, waking up with their heads brimming with ideas and inspiration every morning. The rest of us sometimes need a little help with encouraging our creative juices to flow, whether that involves adhering to a routine or allowing yourself moments of spontaneity.

 mahabis lifestyle // 10 ways to inspire creativity

 

You learn with time what inspires your own creativity – what works for one person may actually suppress inspiration in another. Once you’ve sussed out the habits, conditions and triggers that incite creative thought processes, write them down and keep a log to help you to recreate the conditions in the future.

To get you started, here are a collection of patterns that creative people often follow to inspire their creativity.

 

daydream // 

Creative people know that working a solid eight-hour shift is no way to inspire creative thoughts. Allow your mind to wander frequently, stepping away from your tasks and letting your thoughts drift off in search of inspiration. You’ll find that your thoughts begin to meander away from the task in hand, allowing your mind to open up to the possibility of more creative ideas. After all, the best ideas frequently appear out of the blue.

 

get outdoors //

It’s often hard to feel creative when you’re stuck inside all day. Try walking to work instead of taking the bus, take a break in the middle of the day to go for a stroll or fit in walking your dog around your peak creative hours. Getting outdoors for just a short time each day helps to clear your head whilst the exposure to nature will incite your creativity. Read our post about the calming effects of hiking to discover more benefits of being outdoors.

 

inspire creativity // mahabis journal

 

be flexible //

Not everyone feels inspired during the hours of nine and five. Some creative folk do their best work in the dead of the night or in the early hours of the morning. Learn when you feel most creative and where possible, choose to work during this time period, leaving the rest of your day free for other activities.

 

work from a cafe //

Complete silence doesn’t do anything for creativity. Try working from your local café for a couple of hours every day to surround yourself with ambient noise to help to promote creative ideas. If you can’t get to a café, have gentle music on as background noise, or turn the radio on at a low volume.

 

inspire creativity // mahabis journal

 

learn to embrace solitude //

There’s no need to turn into a hermit, but in order to stir up your creativity through processes such as daydreaming or napping, it helps to feel comfortable in your own company. Don’t be afraid to book a weekend away by yourself to stir up creativity in a new environment.

 

embrace new experiences // 

Routine can be one of the biggest dampeners on creativity. It’s important to mix things up a little and try out new things that could inspire you in different ways to what you are used to. Travelling to new places, meeting new people and engaging in different activities can all help to inspire.

 

mahabis lifestyle // adventure

 

take naps // 

Taking power naps throughout the day has been shown to unlock creative thoughts, especially inciting inspiration just before you drift off. Set your alarm, get comfy on the sofa and allow yourself a short doze whenever your creativity is feeling stifled.

 

put pen to paper // 

If you keep all of your thoughts locked up inside your head, they’re more likely to get jumbled up or you may forget something. Keep a notepad and pen with you at all times, ready to roughly jot down ideas whenever creativity strikes.

mahabis lifestyle // putting pen to paper 

 

be curious // 

The most creative people are those who wonder ‘what if’ rather than simply accepting things at face value. Allow yourself to wonder how something works, why someone has a particular view or why an artist chose to paint a specific scene.

 

discuss your ideas // 

Don’t keep your ideas close to your chest; discussing and debating with those whose opinions you respect can help to further evolve your ideas. Ask those you trust what they think of your ideas and allow their responses to inspire your thoughts.

 

If you enjoyed reading our blog, feel free to share via our ready-to-go tweet link

 

photos via unsplash, ben moore
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mahabis travel // inspiring views from around the world https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-travel-best-views-around-the-world mahabis travel // inspiring views from around the world
mahabis travel // inspiring views from around the world
mahabis

mahabis travel // inspiring views from around the world

Travel destinations are chosen on a variety of merits: tourist attractions, culture, ancient monuments, weather. When searching for a stillness rarely experienced in the daily grind, you may want to plan your next trip to absorb the awesomeness of one of these amazing views from around the world. From city, to snow, to sea, they all have one thing in common; the ability to stop you in your tracks, allowing you to take the time to truly appreciate the grandeur of the world in which we live.

singapore // marina bay sands 

Usually tipped for a spectacular view from the Singapore Flyer, an alternative in Singapore is the more relaxed view from the Marina Bay Sands. Whilst relaxing on a sunbed or in the worlds largest infinity pool, you'll feel a step removed from the chaos of downtown. Look upon the lights from afar and take a moment of calm to enjoy.

 

ireland // west coast

Green is the colour of Ireland, in more ways than one. The west coast of Ireland is known for its wild weather, crashing waves and incredible panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean. Take a road trip around the expanses of rolling hills to truly appreciate the rugged landscape, smattered with idyllic cottages.

 

bolivia // salar de uyuni 

Amongst the largest salt flats in the world you'll find a truly unique view in Bolivia. As though a giant has knocked over his salt pot, the flats will douse you in ethereal magnitude. The crystal clear reflections of sky play amongst the salt creating optical illusions, take a moment to capture them in a photograph or in your mind for safekeeping.

 

norway // preikestolen

Those who suffer from vertigo or acrophobia may want to steer clear. For those who enjoy standing on the precipice, this 604m sheer cliff may top the list. Roughly translated to 'Preachers Pulpit', Preikestolen may even grant you the sight of a base jumper or two leaping to the depths of the Lysefjorden. Peering over the edge can bring a great sense of clarity to those brave enough.

 

bhutan // paro taktsang

This sacred Buddhist site, known as tiger's nest, is settled deep in the Himalayas. The myriad of temples perches precariously on the mountain face, and takes some hiking to get there. Any visitors who do make the journey will be in good company, as Wills and Kate also completed the trek in April 2016. Explore the temples and take a moment to absorb the arduous feat that went into the creation of the tiger's nest. 

 

canary isles // chipeque point

Whilst Tenerife does not always inspire images of luscious views and magical moments, Chipeque couldn't escape this list. Standing above the Orotava Valley and looking out to the Atlantic Ocean to one side and the majestic Teide volcano on the other, it provides a panoramic aesthetic journey to embark upon. 

 

canada // cn tower 

One more city view to take you high above the masses, this Toronto landmark is unique in that it features a glass floor and a daring observation pod rail walk. It's the highest full circle in the world, therefore another unsuitable for anyone afraid of heights. Lucky photography have caught some stunning imagery of lightning hitting the 3rd tallest building in the world. For a little less thrill, perhaps just take a moment to revel in the view. 

 

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share via our ready to go tweet link.

 

images // Silas KhuaIan SchneiderLuca Galuzzi, PixabayVIkramjit KakatiRaico Bernardino RosenbergWade Gardner

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mahabis interviews // eric pilon-bignell https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-ambassador-eric-pilon-bignell mahabis interviews // eric pilon-bignell
mahabis interviews // eric pilon-bignell
mahabis interviews // eric pilon-bignell
mahabis

mahabis interviews // eric pilon-bignell

 

eric pilon-bignell // mahabis journal

 

We talk to adventurer and explorer Eric Pilon-Bignell and find out how even the most fearless people need their downtime too.  Eric tells us how, in between ascending some of the world's tallest peaks and spending time participating in high-adrenaline sports including wakeboarding, snowboarding and surfing, he too likes to chill. Keep reading to find out more about Eric's latest adventures, how he likes to relax and when he wears his mahabis.

 

Before we begin, could you describe what you do in one sentence?

Oh wow, good question, can it be one long sentence?

Project7 is the adventure of a life time, in which I will be working on climbing the 7 highest mountain on each continent in an effort to raise money and awareness to help us better understand the most important part of the human body, the Brain. 

 

eric pilon-bignell // mahabis journal

 

What has been your most challenging climb?

Still being early in the project, I would say the hardest climb to date was Russia (Mt. Elbrus – 18,513’) which we summited this August. 

What made things difficult was our weather window closed on us. We were expecting to use 4-5 days to summit, taking a few days to do some acclimatisation hikes and a rest day. However a serious weather system was moving in over the last 2-3 days when we were planning to summit, and mountain rescue was informing all teams to call off their summit pushes on those specific days. Meaning we had two options: try to make a 2-day push, or wait a week. 

I was fortunate to be with my friend Vitaly Stegno, who is one of the best guides on the mountain. After assessing the situation and our condition, we opted to try and summit in the next 30 hours.  We did an acclimatisation climb up over 15,000’, came back down to camp (12,500’), ate dinner, tried to sleep for 2 hours or so and left some time around midnight for our summit push. 

If you haven’t seen a sunrise at 18,000’, it’s a surreal experience of this pink and purple sky that emerges from the dark; it’s incredible. We summited that morning, it was awesome.

 

mahabis interviews // eric pilon-bignell

 

When you're not climbing mountains, hiking or snowboarding, how do you like to unwind?

I don’t have much of an in-between. I am usually super intense in my activities and extremely relaxed and chill in my free time.

I like relaxing with friends and family. I’m going to get big brownie points here, but I like just relaxing with my wife on our patio, in ski villages, by the lake or camping.

 

When and where do you usually wear your Mahabis?

I wear them anywhere, but I would say I wear them most often around the house. 

There is something about disconnecting from all the noise we surround ourselves with in our daily lives. I’m not sure why but putting on slippers helps me reconnect with that and disconnect a little. Plus they are extremely comfy!

 

eric pilon-bignell // mahabis journal

 Eric's choice of mahabis - larvik dark grey x larvik grey sole

 

How do you like to spend your time relaxing when at base camp?

Eating, sitting around talking and drinking tea, and dance parties…I am a terrible dancer! Since it’s difficult to sleep at elevation, we tend to goof around and rock out to music like Nirvana, the Lumineers and Barbra Streisand …don’t ask, long story!

Looking back I have no clue why; it’s strange how you act hyper and funny when you’re really tired, you know what I mean? Anyway, lots of hanging out and chilling. You learn a lot about people when on a long climb. Since you are experiencing new things together you seem to find a connection and confide in each other, and you find yourself talking about things that you might not otherwise normally talk about.

  

What three non-essential objects do you carry with you on expeditions?

A hat (baseball cap style) which I use strictly for when I’m not climbing and just hanging around, and an iPod & iPhone. One could say my mahabis, but I would argue they are not a ‘non-essential item’ because they are multi-purpose. They are great for inside use or even inside your sleeping bag, but if you want to step outside then you can simply throw on the detachable sole!

 

eric pilon-bignell // mahabis journal

 

 

How do you relax/celebrate once you have reached the peak of a mountain?

Once I reach the summit, I take it all in for a little while, then turn my attention to the descent. It is funny how quickly my mind turns to focusing on my next challenge.

I really measure the success more based on the experience, making the summit is definitely a nice bonus though.  Once we get back down, I like to eat a nice celebratory meal with some drinks and talk about our summit/adventure!

 

What would be your ultimate mountain to summit?

Cho Oyu, Makalu, and Everest.  An 8000m peak is the ultimate goal for sure, there are only 14 of them in the world, all located in the Himalayas.

 

eric pilon-bignell // mahabis journal

 

Where is the most unusual place that you have worn your mahabis slippers?

Oh boy, where haven’t I worn them?! Honestly though, I wear them around my place a lot and if I need to run out, I just pop on the detachable sole.  It sounds strange to think about wearing slippers at a gas station or picking up food but why not be comfy if you can! 

 

 

What would you do with an extra hour in the day?

Another good question. Get in an extra training workout, or sleeping for extra hour would be nice as well.  

 

eric pilon-bignell // mahabis journal

 

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share via our ready-to-go tweet link. 

 

all photos via eric pilon-bignell

 

 

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mahabis guide // reclaiming meal times https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-guide-reclaiming-meal-times mahabis guide // reclaiming meal times
mahabis guide // reclaiming meal times
mahabis guide // reclaiming meal times
mahabis

mahabis guide // reclaiming meal times

 

All too often we rush through eating, grabbing a breakfast bar during the morning commute, eating lunch at our desks and ignoring the dinner table in favour of consuming our evening meal in front of the television. In keeping with a slow living lifestyle, it’s time to reclaim our meal times and rediscover eating as a way of enjoying downtime.

 

breakfast // mahabis journal

 

Rather than rushing, meals should be savoured and slowed down. Never mind the physical health benefits of eating slower and taking more time to consider the food that you are putting on your plate – we’re more concerned with enjoying meal times as a form of relaxation.

Dining should be a social occasion, no matter the size of the meal. Whether you’re meeting a friend for a slice of cake in a local café or hosting a dinner party, eating has the power to bring people together and to incite conversation. You always make time to eat at least three times a day, why not allow yourself more time to actually appreciate the experience?

 

mahabis guide // reclaiming meal times

 

Start things off slowly with breakfast. Rather than snoozing your alarm clock until the last possible moment and eating on the go, train yourself into rising earlier each day so that you don’t have to rush out of the house in the morning. Pull together a simple breakfast for your household and sit down to eat together before you leave the house. Taking this time to slowly wake up whilst enjoying light conversation will put you in a much better mood for the day ahead.

 

mahabis guide // reclaiming meal times

 

Why not take lunch away from your desk - sit and eat in a communal area with other members of your team, or take a walk to a local eatery. We ought to remember it’s called a lunch break, and so we should resist the temptation to check our emails whilst eating.  

Mid-afternoon, it's often easy to be tempted to pop open a bag of crisps at your desk. Instead, take a lesson from the Swedes and allow yourself a short break for fika. Nip to the closest coffee shop or even just catch a five minute break with a colleague in the kitchen over a steaming cup of coffee and a cinnamon bun.

Rather than searching Deliveroo when you arrive home in the evening, it can be equally, if not more enjoyable, to pull together a meal that you can share with a partner, family or friends. Sit up to the table and turn off the TV so that you can focus on the food in front of you and the conversation with your peers. Savouring each course and appreciating the food as much as the company makes the moment all the more enjoyable.

 

salad // mahabis journal

 

It isn’t all about learning to let go of modern distractions and concentrating on company. You can still enjoy your meal times if you dine solo. Many of us automatically turn on the television as a distraction when dining solo. If you must have entertainment, why not try listening to the radio as an alternative, so that you can at least look at your plate whilst you eat. Otherwise, simply relish the experience, paying more attention to the flavours and textures of your meal than you would usually.

Linger over meals, allowing your food to settle before leaping up to take care of the washing up. Enjoy a glass of wine or a cup of coffee at the table after dinner, extending the experience. Think of meal times as a highlight of your day, when you can forget about the stresses of work and fully unwind.

 

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share it via our ready-to-go tweet link

photos: via unsplash, pexels jay mantri  
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mahabis journal // our guide to zero tasking day https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-guide-zero-tasking-day mahabis journal // our guide to zero tasking day
mahabis journal // zero tasking
mahabis journal // our guide to zero tasking day
mahabis

mahabis journal // our guide to zero tasking day

 

Historically, most countries in the world adhered to daylight saving time as a way of maximising productivity during daylight hours. And yet, each year, more countries abandon the tradition, as it becomes less necessary in the modern world. As many countries still adhere to it, however, we focus on the benefits of having an extra hour, and how we can make the most of these benefits all year around.

 

mahabis journal // zero tasking day 

In the spring we tend to punish ourselves for the 'lost hour' - intent on getting more work done, ignoring the inevitable loss of an hours sleep. Those affected by upset sleep patterns force their bodies to work through it, focusing on the positive - the imminent arrival of the summer sun. The steady increase in daylight hours serves as the literal light at the end of the tunnel of winter. This helps somewhat to ease us through the spring time change.

Surely then, when it comes around to gaining the hour back in the autumn, that means we've already done all we need to do in it? Far from squeezing in an extra hour of work or chores, it's an hour we've earned of freedom from thought, stress and work. With no extra sunshine on the horizon, just early dusk and long nights, the autumn time change is traditionally the more difficult of the two. It needn't be.


mahabis guide // zero tasking

 

This is where the notion of Zero Tasking Day arises. Created by Nancy Christie, author of The Gifts of Change, Zero Tasking Day is 'a day is to fill that extra 60 minutes with nothing. In other words, take this "extra" time and rest, give yourself a break from all the hustle and bustle of your everyday life.' Much akin to the processes she discusses in her book, we are encouraged to take time to adapt to change, instead of ignoring or working through it. Christie believes we have more to gain from change if we re-evaluate and gain new perspective.

As a result, regardless of whether it's when we're getting that daylight savings hour back or not, we should try to grasp an hour where we can with both hands and claim it all to ourselves. In our ever-connected world, it is possible to underestimate the advantages of taking an hour to switch off. Indulge yourself for an hour in a book you've had on your shelf for a while, listen to some new music with a glass of wine, or go for a fresh winter walk, wrapped in soft wool crunching through the last of the autumn leaves.

 

mahabis guide // zero tasking day

 

There are many ways to switch off, and as with most things, it's important to find what works for you. (Our notes on downtime have inspiration on that topic.) This Sunday, why not forget striving to be more productive, and instead, why not strive to make some time for yourself. Find yourself clarity, relaxation and empty time. You may find your body and mind will thank you for it all winter.

 

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share it via our ready-to-go tweet link.

 

images // kari shea, nomao saekialejandro escamilla, worthy of elegance
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mahabis kids // stories from mini mahabis ambassadors https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-kids-ambassador-stories mahabis kids // stories from mini mahabis ambassadors
mahabis kids // stories
mahabis kids // stories from mini mahabis ambassadors
mahabis

mahabis kids // stories from mini mahabis ambassadors

 

mahabis kids // downtime activities

 

In light of our kids launch, we decided to hear from some little ones themselves about what they think of their mahabis, and what they like to do with their playtime/ downtime.

From drawing to reading, we find out that no matter how old you are, having fun, wearing comfy slippers, and enjoying your downtime is just as essential.

 

 

 

mahabis kids // stanley

Stanley, (3.5y)

Stanley, son of photographer and designer Fiona Burrage, now has matching mahabis with his mum. Since his speech is still developing, Mum fills us in on why he loves his mahabis, (or ‘swippers’ in Stanley's words). Having chosen the larvik light grey and borgen blue combination, Stanley tells us he's a fan because they are 'grey and furry', and enjoys wearing them whilst snuggled up on the sofa watching programmes about trains in his dressing gown.

Even at the age of just 3 and a half, Stanley is no stranger to minimalist design, since Mum Fiona is also the owner of the lifestyle brand Nor-Folk. Their apparel is designed with a timeless, minimalist aesthetic, and is available for the whole family. We love their Dot Tee in Mint, (it's a great match for the aqua kids slippers). 

 

mahabis kids // downtime activities photos: @nor_folk

more from mum: 

"As a parent, I think they are beautiful quality and the sole being blue is a really nice touch. Better yet we have matching pairs and they blend seamlessly into our apartment."

 

 

mahabis kids // edie

edie, (4y)

Edie, daughter of award winning dad blogger Jamie Day, likes her mahabis because they’re cosy and soft, but mostly because they’re the same as her dad’s. Jamie elaborated for us a little - she has been wearing her Mahabis ever since they arrived. Every night they're placed neatly beside her bed, ready for the morning. Edie’s choice was larvik light grey with skane yellow soles. And whilst younger son Arlo (11 months) falls a little out of our size range, he's also a fan! You can check out Jamie's blog on his matching classics here, and why he thinks they are the perfect gift for the hands-on dad. 

 

mahabis kids // downtime activitiesphoto: @dayjam

more from dad... 

"She likes them because of the cosy lining, but I actually think the main reason she likes them is because they're the same as mine - I think children love this kind of association with their parents (it's a bit like pretending to put make-up on when my wife does).” 

 

mahabis kids // s 

S, (8y) 

S, son of Laura Pashby, tells us how he likes spending his downtime. Just as mother Laura blogs at Circle of Pine Trees, we find out that her son also likes being creative, as he tells us “when I'm at home, I love to read, especially Harry Potter. I always build stuff with Lego, and I like drawing too. Dragons are my favourite thing to draw”. S went for larvik light grey with borgen blue soles.

 

mahabis kids // circleofpinesphotos: @circleofpines

more from s... 

“I like my Mahabis because they're furry and warm inside. I keep them next to my bed so I can put them on in the morning."

 

 

mahabis kids // edie and astrid

astrid, (6y) and edie, (8y)

Astrid and Edie, daughters of journalist and interiors editor Ciara Elliott, have matching pairs of mahabis classics. Astrid went for larvik dark grey x rjukan red, whilst Edie chose the light grey x skane yellow. When not not reading or watching Harry Potter, Ciara informs us that they are both obsessed with gymnastics, and are constantly cartwheeling and doing flips in the garden. 

 mahabis kids // downtime activities photos: @ciaraelliot

more from edie...

“I don't want to take them off! Do you think I could wear them to school?" - Edie
 
 

 

mahabis kids // reuben

reuben, (6y)

We also caught up with with Reuben, son of one of our earliest ambassadors, the lovely Tiffany Grant-Riley. Her blog Curate and Display is a source for all things minimalist, beautiful design, and slow living. Tiif tells us that Reuben has been walking a little taller since his 'grown-up slippers' arrived, and you can check out more photos of how he's been enjoying his mahabis here. 

 

mahabis kids // reuben photos: @curatedisplay

more from reuben... 

“I like to sit down in my slippers in my favourite spot on the sofa. I like the green on the bottoms and I also like the grey. They feel nice.”



 

mahabis kids // bailey

bailey, (4y) 

Mother, writer and photographer, Melanie Barnies embraces slow living culture. Daughter Bailey’s is shown below cosied up in her mahabis. She chose the ilen ivory to go with her larvik light grey classics, which also match Mum's pair!

 

mahabis kids // downtime activities photos: @geoffreyandgrace

more from bailey... 

"I like them coz they're fluffy and they keep my feet warm"

 

 

mahabis kids // oliver and sebastian

sebastian, (4y) and oliver, (8y)

Sebastian and Oliver, sons of lifestyle blogger and photographer Deborah Gordon, are also wearers of the new mahabis kids. Sebastian insists on having his ‘swippers’ right by his bed, whereas Oliver loves being able to go outside without having to change his shoes! You can see the larvik dark grey classics with ilen ivory soles below.

 

mahabis kids // downtime activities photos: @apieceofcake82

more from oliver and sebastian:

"Mama, put my swippers right beside my bed so when I wake up, I can put my toes in my comfy swippers and be all warm " - Sebastian, 4.

"Does that mean I can go outside with my slippers on and not have to change my shoes" - Oliver, 8.

 

Take a browse through our all new kids range below, and feel free to find out more here

  mahabis kids // downtime activities

 

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share via our ready-to-go twitter link.

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work-life balance in // brazil https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/work-life-balance-in-brazil work-life balance in // brazil
mahabis lifestyle // work-life balance in brazil
work-life balance in // brazil
mahabis

work-life balance in // brazil

 

We have delved into the work life balance in Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands. All three have systems which promote a healthier distribution, but what about countries outside of Europe?

Of the entirety of North and South America, Brazil is second only to Canada according to the Better Life Index. With only 9.5% of its residents working long hours, the Brazilians put more emphasis on leisure time in order to boost productivity during work.

In recent years, Brazil has gone through a period of rapid economic growth which has had knock on effects, such as different requirements from the workforce and changing family dynamics. They have been forced to adapt, but remain insistent on maintaining policies and initiatives which strive to achieve healthy balance.

 

mahabis guide // brazilian work life balance  

work hours

Despite the recent drastic change, many of their policies to improve the balance have been in place since 1988. Although Brazil isn't amongst the lowest when it comes to hours worked, their rules to enforce maximums are much stricter. These policies may seem unfair on businesses but the commitment to improving citizens lives is refreshing.

The upper limit on the working week is 44 hours, and the average closer to 40. The biggest benefit of these laws regards overtime; any hours worked past 44 must be paid at time and a half, on weekends or holidays it is double. This encourages businesses to ensure employees have enough time for leisure, for family and for themselves. 

 

mahabis guide // work life balance in brazil  

 paid vacation

Whilst shorter working days and weeks are important for the everyday balance, real time away from the office is key to authentic relaxation. When we are on vacation many of us tend to take a little while to snap out of the work mindset. Pushing to the back of our minds the minutiae, and resisting checking emails is often difficult.

For these reasons, Brazil's incredible 41 days holiday most certainly impacts upon the high satisfaction reported by Brazilians. The 11 federal holidays are mandated. In addition to the 30 days of vacation, this allows for real downtime. 

 

bonuses

In order to truly enjoy all of that incredible vacation time, many of us tend to feel pressure to work overtime in order to feel financially secure. In Brazil, prior to taking vacation, employees receive a bonus equating 33% of their monthly pay. 

For many, it's also common to feel the pinch around the holidays. In Brazil however, a 13th month bonus paid in December enforced by law allows all employees are free to enjoy Christmas without concern. 

 

mahabis guide // work life balance 

family time 

There's no time when family is more important than with a new child arriving to the family. The time to share and connect with a new child, and with well-wishers and extended family is not overlooked in Brazil. In 2008 maternity leave was extended from 120 to 180 days. Although the extra sixty days is optional for private companies, it is heavily adopted. 

 

sacred lunch breaks

In the UK, America and much of Europe, lunch is an unceremonious affair. The pressure to continue working can be so high that many eat at their desk or on their way to meetings. Akin to the French, don't expect it to be business as usual between 12.30 and 2.30. For Brazilians, lunch time is extremely important. A cold sandwich or a salad eaten at your desk will not suffice. Breakfast is a lighter affair and may simply be french bread and coffee, which allows people time to work up an appetite before they pour from offices with colleagues in order to chat and unwind at a churrascaria.

 

mahabis guide // work life balance 

coffee and conversation 

Coffee is not simply a form of caffeination, but a form of olive branch. It's known that a coffee can conclude the most heated of arguments. If someone offers you coffee it can be taken as an invitation to converse, to solve a dispute or to get to know someone better.

Of course, that's not the only aspect in which coffee has infiltrated Brazilian culture, but the emphasis on the accompaniment of conversation with coffee rids their people of the 'on-the-move' attitude. This allows for more pauses, more time to digest and enjoy company.

The appeal of Brazil is undeniable. If you want to read more, take a peek at curitiba here.

 

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share it via our ready-to-go tweet link


images // felipe G, martin ezequiel sanchez, caleb jones, andrew neel

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mahabis guide // the calming effects of hiking https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-relax-the-calming-effects-of-hiking mahabis guide // the calming effects of hiking
the calming effects of hiking // mahabis journal
mahabis guide // the calming effects of hiking
mahabis

mahabis guide // the calming effects of hiking

 

Fresh air, dramatic views and a chance to stretch your legs; we all know that walking is good for your physical health, but were you aware that taking a long walk in the countryside can help to clear your mind and relieve stress?

Being cooped up indoors can hinder your creativity and reduce your productivity by limiting external stimulation. Nobody feels inspired by staring at the same four walls all day long. Taking a small break for a brisk walk around your local park can help, but there’s nothing quite like packing a backpack and setting off on a long hike to clear the cobwebs.

 

the calming effects of hiking // mahabis journal

 

Picture the scene. You’re in the wilderness without any phone signal, hiking at a leisurely pace. Surrounded by snow-capped peaks, misty moorland or luscious forest, every vista is a photo opportunity. Whether you’re walking in a group or on your own, you have the time to appreciate your surroundings and gather your thoughts. Inspiration hits with every step you take, and the longer that you walk for, the further away the stresses of daily life seem to be.

  

the calming effects of hiking // mahabis journal

 

The health benefits of getting back to nature have become more apparent in recent years. Doctors are prescribing 'nature therapy' to help reduce stress. Research demonstrates that people who have access to email have higher heart rates than those who are cut off from the internet. Unplugging, switching off and getting back to nature allows a well earned break from the chaos of modern life.

Wandering through the countryside, whether that’s a leisurely stroll through fields or a challenging climb up a mountain, helps your brain to become calmer, relieving brain fatigue and aiding concentration. The sound of leaves crunching underfoot, the feeling of the sun shining on your skin or, the smell of wild flowers in bloom; the bombardment of stimuli to all of your senses and the exertion from the physical effort all help to abolish stress and allow your mind to relax.

  

the calming effects of hiking // mahabis journal

 

So, where are the best places to hike to clear your mind? We recommend getting out of the city and heading to your nearest national park. In the UK, the likes of the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales, the Cairngorms and Snowdonia beckon with their rolling hills, towering peaks and ancient woodlands. Further afield, the Norwegian fjords and Iceland’s Highlands provide ample hiking opportunities far removed from busy cities.

 

the calming effects of hiking // mahabis journal

 

The USA and Canada are home to an abundance of both short and long hiking trails. The likes of the Pacific Crest Trail and the Appalachian Trail are more suited for serious hikers with several months to spare, but there are endless day or half-day hikes all across the continent. Some of our favourite hiking trails are along the Columbia River Gorge in Washington, in the Great Smokey Mountains, at Yosemite National Park and in British Columbia.

 

If you liked our post, feel free to share via our ready-to-go tweet link

 

photos via unsplash

 

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mahabis guide // winding down at the weekend https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-guide-winding-down mahabis guide // winding down at the weekend
mahabis guide // winding down
mahabis guide // winding down at the weekend
mahabis

mahabis guide // winding down at the weekend

 

It’s a common experience to feel like your weekends are slipping away. With working hours creeping later and later, weekends should be our respite, where we don’t have to feel guilty about relaxing. But in fact, for most people it seems to be the opposite; Saturdays and Sundays are spent rushing around and attempting to cram in as much as possible. It’s time to reclaim our weekends for ‘me time’.

 

mahabis journal // slow weekends

 

Traditionally, Saturdays and Sundays have been seen as days of rest. They were the days that would be spent at leisure with the family. Over the decades, they have lost their meaning and have become associated with catching up on chores and making up for lost time in the week. Even those who seek to spend their time embracing a slower lifestyle can attempt to cram too much into their two days off a week.

When we work busy jobs and have little time to spend with our family and friends during the week, it can often become increasingly tempting to try and do too much at the weekend. But weekends are for winding down and recharging. So why not embrace a slower weekend and reclaim more time for ourselves? Whether that be lounging on the sofa, having a drink with friends, or getting out of the city - winding down can be whatever works for you. 

 

mahabis guide // slow weekends

 

It's sometimes a good idea to keep things to a minimum and allow plenty of time to yourself to rest and recuperate ready to face another working week. You don’t always have to have company to enjoy your weekends. Spending an evening on the sofa with a good book or catching up on your favourite TV series is more than fine. If your weekdays are a bombardment of people and information, then the weekends are the perfect opportunity to switch off and enjoy a little ‘me time’.

 

mahabis guide // winding down

 

There’s no reason to feel guilty about indulging in a lie in at the weekend. Most of us tend to wake at the crack of dawn during the week, so what are a few extra hours of lounging around or enjoying breakfast in bed on a Sunday morning? There's no need to make plans until early afternoon; instead why not enjoy long, lingering slow mornings where you take your time to rise, reading the Sunday papers in your slippers as you enjoy an indulgent brunch. It’s moments like these, when we slow down, and concentrate on the moment we're in, that we end up enjoying the simple pleasures in life. 

 

mahabis guide // winding down at the weekend

 

To get the most out of our weekends, and to really wind down, it makes sense to void your time of distractions, and simply focus on yourself. Of course, make time for family and friends, but be prepared to say no when you feel like you’ve taken on too much and you just fancy some me-time. Take things back a couple of decades and revisit the traditional use of the weekend; days of rest.

 

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to share via our ready-to-go tweet link

 

photos: via pexels, unsplash, flickr, elisabet dominguez, basti93

 

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mahabis guide // does coffee boost creativity? https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/coffee-culture-how-caffeine-can-boost-your-creativity mahabis guide // does coffee boost creativity?
mahabis guide // coffee culture
mahabis guide // does coffee boost creativity?
mahabis

mahabis guide // does coffee boost creativity?

 

There’s nothing better than a steaming hot cup of coffee to wake us up in the morning, another one half way through the morning to help retain our focus at our desk, and perhaps a third several hours later for an afternoon energy boost. But can your daily coffee fix also enhance your creativity?

The studies are mixed. There are decidedly two camps in the argument, one recommending caffeine for a creative spurt and the other insisting that coffee actually stifles creativity. Coffee has certainly been the drink of choice for many famous artists, musicians and writers over the years, and there is no doubt that it is a stimulant. But can a simple Cup of Joe really make you a more creative person?

 

mahabis guide // coffee culture

 

A recent piece in The New Yorker by Maria Konnikova (‘How Caffeine Can Cramp Creativity’) argues that drinking coffee can actually make us too focused. Our most creative ideas tend to occur when our mind is wandering and we are subsequently less focused. When we attempt to concentrate on a problem in hand, aided by extra stimulation from caffeine, it can have a detrimental impact on our creative thought process.

However, it’s no secret that drinking coffee (in moderation) each day boosts our energy levels and makes us feel more awake. Caffeine can also aid our concentration, enhance our performances (both physical and mental) and aid our decision making processes. It helps with initiative, commitment and self-doubt – barriers that need to be broken down in order to think creatively.

 

coffee // mahabis journal

 

Perhaps the main benefit of drinking coffee for a creative boost, however, is more to do with the rituals and routines involved, rather than with the substance itself. Getting together with a colleague for a meeting over coffee, pouring yourself the perfect drip brew before settling down to your laptop, taking a coffee break when you start to feel overwhelmed and uninspired at your desk; it is often the association with preparing a cup of coffee that reinvigorates your brain to spark creative thoughts. Having daily rituals is an essential part of the creative process, after all.

So, perhaps the creative boost happens before you even take a sip of coffee. The association with taking a break, the routine of making your perfect brew in your preferred method, the way your mind drifts when you’re sat in a bustling coffee shop waiting for your drink to cool; these all spark creative thoughts.

 

coffee and laptop // mahabis journal

 

Studies have shown that a certain amount of ambient background noise is a much better cue for creativity than complete silence. Picture the scene: perched on a stool in a busy café, your drink steaming on the table and a pen in your hand. Throughout the ages, writers have retreated to coffee shops to write award-winning tomes, for the atmosphere as much for the caffeine. Being surrounded by sounds, sights, tastes and smells can only encourage creative thoughts.

And what happens once those creative thoughts have sparked and your mind begins wandering? You start to sip your cup of coffee and become gradually more and more focused, perfectly poised to put pen to paper and write down your thoughts.

 

mahabis guide // caffeine and creativity  

Perhaps this is the solution: placing yourself in an environment that encourages creativity, then drinking your coffee as the second stage in the creative process, helping you to streamline all of the thoughts that are firing around your brain. Perhaps a cup of coffee is the focus that you need to channel your thoughts, and it is the environment in which you drink it in that sparks the initial creativity.

 

If you enjoyed reading our post, feel free to tweet it via our ready-to-go tweet link.

 

photos via: unsplash, life of pix, marcus spiske, bench accounting, kaboompics
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mahabis guide // the art of visual note taking https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-guide-visual-note-taking mahabis guide // the art of visual note taking
mahabis guide // the art of visual notetaking
mahabis guide // the art of visual note taking
mahabis

mahabis guide // the art of visual note taking

 

When we pick up a pen and notebook it's easy to be inclined to stay between the lines and ignore the blank pages. However, visual note-taking or sketch-noting is a technique that allows your notes to be more engaging. Reams upon reams of text in clunky handwriting is hardly aesthetically pleasing, so why not make your journaling or note-taking more pleasurable to look back upon? In this guide we take you through a few techniques used by visual note-takers and we look at the impact it may have upon the creative, organisational or therapeutic process that note-taking may become.

 

mahabis guide // the art of visual note taking

what //

Visual notes are the translation of content into a visual language that you can absorb, understand and process better. This may include some filtering of unnecessary thought in order to focus on the most crucial information, or to allow you to get different perspectives on creative ideas. Although the focus is on the visual aspect, it is really a tool to get the most from the text.

 

why //

Creatively, restricting yourself to traditional note-taking enforces linear thought, linear records and an 'end point'. Allowing your personality to seep into your notes will free your thoughts and allow you to process them in a holistic way, organise them into a hierarchy that makes sense to you, and easily highlight points you want to emphasise. Scientifically, visual thinking increases retention and recall of information by up to 30%, increasing the depth of understanding of your notes. 

 

 

Sunni Brown, author of Visual Notetaking 101 insists that visual and verbal thinking open different doorways in our mind; "Having access to both modes ultimately elevates the capacity of the person to think, feel and experience in more diverse and substantive ways. It strengthens a mental muscle that is currently drastically underused." [1]

how // 

  • Create 'containers' which represent the content inside. For example, write quotes inside speech bubbles. Using shapes and colours as containers to differentiate ideas or sections, can help to bring structure to your page.
  • 'Connectors', such as arrows, trails, or sequencing can tie loose ends and create a logical flow within the notes.
  • Icons may be used to highlight titles or sections and make notes easier to scan when you look back upon them. For example, some haphazard social icons, banners, or even a different font can bring life to the page.
  • Revisit to refine. Allow your notes to be spur of the moment, and follow your tangents of thought organically. Don't stress over each little detail initially; there's always time to review your page at any point. 

 

 

The wonderful thing is visual note-taking doesn't require any real drawing skill, just a little creativity and insight into your own mind. It doesn't matter if your notes don't look perfect, what matters is that they are stimulating and work for you. They should make you want to re-read, revisit and rekindle your creations, sparking your creativity all over again. 

 

If you enjoyed reading our guide, feel free to share via our ready-to-go-tweet link.

images // unsplash romstudies, studyingg
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mahabis guide // idyllic winter escapes https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-travel-winter-escapes mahabis guide // idyllic winter escapes
mahabis guide // winter escape
mahabis guide // idyllic winter escapes
mahabis

mahabis guide // idyllic winter escapes

lake bled, slovenia 

Bled is a small town in northwestern Slovenia, overlooked by mountains and forests and bordered by a uniquely stunning lake. Curious and picturesque, Lake Bled is warm enough to swim in summer, yet also freezes for ice skating in winter. It was formed from the melting of the Bohinj glacier and is fed (and surrounded) by natural springs.

 


The 2km wide body of water holds a tiny islet with several buildings in the middle. Known as 'Bled Island', it's most notable building is the church. Frequently visited, weddings are held there regularly. Amongst locals it is considered good luck for grooms to carry their brides up the 99 steps to the Chapel of St Maria, ring the bell and make a wish inside. 

 

Taking a stroll around the lake would take around an hour, but a traditional Slovenian horse and carriage ride, or 'fijaker' is also available. Stay in the wooden Ribno Cabins, complete with private wooden jacuzzis, or Grand Hotel Toplice for it's panoramic lake views.

 

cappadocia, turkey

The mystical Cappadocia region is known best for its 'fairy chimney' rock formations. As the cooler weather sets in Turkey it becomes a winter wonderland. A stark contrast to the blazing summer heat in Istanbul; Cappadocia is a haven of intrigue. 

 

 

Carved by natives from the volcanically-formed landscape since the 4th Century, 36 underground cities spread far and wide, tunnelling through the soft rock. With its 'open air museum' formed of caves and beautiful colourful churches set in stone, one stop that tops the list is Goreme. It also features a charming little centre where you must be sure to grab a hot Salep. The traditional drink made from orchid and cinnamon will warm you from the inside out. 

 

 

Whilst some guides say that all of the cities look similar, there are other sights to behold. Topped with snow, the region is breathtaking. Imagination valley is known for it's animal-shaped formations, and the views from Three Sisters is unparalleled. If weather permits, the chilly (but so worth it) balloon rides allow you to take in the aerial view of the unique landscape.

 

ullapool, scotland

Known as 'the gateway to the Northern Highlands', a little fishing village called Ullapool sits on the shore of Lochbroom. The town itself is bustling, but never overbearing. Touched by scandinavian influence, the fresh Scottish wind will undoubtedly put the colour back in your cheeks. 

 

 

When it comes to choosing where to stay, The Stone Houses are a stunning option. Featuring stone walls combined with floor-to-ceiling windows, and built using local materials and architects, they sit perched above Ullapool. A truly stunning view of Lochbroom is at your window - on a clear day it stretches all the way out to the Summer Isles. If you're lucky you may even be able to see the Aurora Borealis.

 

 

The highlands present a photographers dream, and in the local area there are walks, nature reserves and Stac Pollaidh. And for those inevitable days on which the rain is beating upon your window? A book by the log fire and an incredible view is still guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. 

 

 

If you enjoyed reading our blog, feel free to share it via our ready-to-go tweet link.

images // Oliver-BonjochMihael GrmekAnne Dirkse, Travel Coffee Book, The Stone Houses, ManoloFranco.  

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mahabis guide // the upside of downtime https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/the-upside-of-downtime mahabis guide // the upside of downtime
mahabis guide // upside of downtime window space
mahabis guide // the upside of downtime
mahabis

mahabis guide // the upside of downtime

 

“May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children.” Rainer Maria Rilke

 

We live in a hectic world where moments of relaxation are often limited, and those that we do have are frequently spent worrying about what's next. Although the hustle and bustle of today’s society means we don’t have limitless free time, it is important that the time that we do have is filled with a creative productivity, making it feel endlessly rewarding. We all have these moments of blissful creativity, inspired by the world around us - we just need to take the time to appreciate them. These moments of quiet enliven us, and connect us back to our true creative selves.  

 

mahabis // guide to downtime // coffee

 

The time we spend on a creative project in the middle of a busy life is a moment of luxury. The benefits of creative downtime are plentiful: it’s good for the mood; we feel alive and connected; we have produced something just for us. Even the act of exercising in our downtime helps our brain to grow new brain cells, revitalising us. The joy of trying something new in our downtime is in itself an exercise in brain development - be it writing or trying out a new recipe - it all helps the brain to generate new ideas.

 

mahabis // guide to downtime // painting

 

Creative downtime is wonderful for the body and has a myriad of benefits. Not only does it build better relationships by awakening our capacity to empathise, research has also shown that creativity in our lives increases our observational skills, our sense of wellbeing and even makes us braver.

The world of technology is left behind as we work on the graphic novel that we find inspiring, or pick up a guitar to finish that song. The range of skills we bring to our creative life reflects on our work life. Using our hands differently, and filling our minds with imaginative rather than administrative thoughts nourishes us and renews our essence. The focus on process rather than result lets us enjoy the moment we’re in. The range of small decisions we make as we connect to our creative centre leads to larger decisions. As we continue, we build confidence in the decisions we make, the result opening us to a calming awareness that we are able to deal with more than we think.

 

mahabis // guide to downtime // creativity

 

Our society may not have always prioritised creativity in our lives, but it’s becoming clearer that the way we use our time affects who we are and how we grow. It builds our personalities just as it did when we were children, playing in sandpits or with blocks, creating rich narratives from the tools in front of us. This creativity does not stop at school though. Our creative productivity enhances our abilities, sharpens and hones them, whilst also allowing us to find the balance we need in our day to day lives. The time is well spent.

  

If you enjoyed reading our blog, feel free to share it with our ready-to-go tweet link.

 

photos: via unsplash
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mahabis guide // how to find your creative space https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/finding-your-creative-space mahabis guide // how to find your creative space
mahabis guide // creative space gallery
mahabis guide // how to find your creative space
mahabis

mahabis guide // how to find your creative space

 

‘To be creative you must create a space for yourself where you can be undisturbed…separate from everyday concerns.’ - John Cleese

 

During the day our thoughts come and go, a relentless chatter in our minds. We become used to the chatter as we take in our surroundings, thoughts of things we must do, work concerns, messages and notifications. Our everyday white noise can be stifling for our creativity. In the busyness of life it can be difficult to find a space to relax in our thoughts. Yet space is one of the most pertinent things that affects our thought-scape.

 

mahabis // spaces of creativity

 

We react instinctively to space. Open doors can leave us uneasy and unfamiliar darkness can cause disquiet. The space we exist in affects the shape of the thoughts we have. Finding spaces which allow the fluid movement of our thoughts, stretching outward like a yoga pose, enhances our creativity. The mind, like a muscle, enjoys being stretched out, allowing thoughts to drift, and feel their way into the space. When it is not bound by the built walls around us or constrained in a highly focused task, it allows the thoughts we have to reach their natural conclusion, not cut off by pressing matters or interruptions. The links which allow our thoughts to gently move from one to another become more tangible, and ideas flow.

Inspiring environments are those which allow for thoughts to have the space to develop - such as the stimulating space of an airy library filled with the smell of travelled books and potential. Surrounded by knowledge and thought, the seemingly unending collection of ideas stimulates our own creativity. The museum gallery. A white and airy space containing hours of creative work, which can be contemplated and enjoyed, unencumbered by the everyday.

 

mahabis guide // creativty in museum space 

 

Spaces of inspiration often provide a space of potential. Potential can be seen as openness, a minimalistic environment which allows our thoughts to drift and fill the space, uninhibited. Crowded, cluttered spaces often leave us feeling the pressing weight of the objects around us. Inspirational spaces exist all around. Rolling waves of a beach, woods filled with life and nature, rainfalls that rush down on everything, leaving us to smell the freshness it has left. Spaces of potential are those which open us up, allowing us to have the room to think, feel and most importantly relax.

The spaces we create for ourselves are so valuable in our own lives: the relaxed, minimal bedroom which allows for rest; the organised kitchen which opens our creativity to cook and experiment with flavours. The commonality between them is that they are not overbearing, they allow us to exist within them rather than shaping our existence.

 

mahabis // room for creativity

 

The relaxed, inspired creativity that comes from free thought gives our lives the ability to operate on a range of volumes. The high volume of our busy daily lives can be countered by the soft muted background of our creative, lives. The spaces we exist in shape us - therefore creating our ideal spaces and visiting them often can help us truly realise our potential.

  

If you enjoyed reading this blog, feel free to share it with this ready-to-go tweet.

photos via unsplash

 

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visual guide to chill // part five: on the horizon https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-visual-guides-to-chill-on-the-horizon visual guide to chill // part five: on the horizon
visual guide to chill // part five: on the horizon
mahabis

visual guide to chill // part five: on the horizon

There’s little more relaxing than the feeling of looking out over the horizon. That’s why, for this edition of visual guides to chill, we selected photos to make you feel free, taken in positions where the line of sight is unobstructed for miles.

 

Osman-Rana-Unsplash-Mahabis

Jenn-Richardson-Unsplash-Mahabis

Dyaa-Eldin-Moustafa-Unsplash-Mahabis

petradr-Unsplash-Mahabis

Carlo-V-Unsplash-Mahabis

Quino-Al-Unsplash-Mahabis

Tetiana-Syrova-Unsplash-Mahabis

Tim-Wright-Unsplash-Mahabis

 

Sweet-Ice-Cream-Unsplash-Mahabis

Kalle-K-Unsplash-Mahabis

Matthew-Bedford-Unsplash-Mahabis

Tom-van-Hoogstraten-Unsplash-Mahabis

photo: osman rana, jenn richardson, dyaa eldin moustafa, petradr, arnaud mesureur, carlo v, quino al, tetiana syrova, tim wright, sweet ice cream photography, kalle k, matthew bedford, tom van hoogstraten
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mahabis guide // the power of putting pen to paper https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-guide-putting-pen-to-paper mahabis guide // the power of putting pen to paper
the mahabis notebook
mahabis guide // the power of putting pen to paper
mahabis

mahabis guide // the power of putting pen to paper

A creative outlet. A repository for thoughts, ideas, memories. The written word, treasured. 

The mahabis notebook, available now

 

 

Writing can be many things to many people; a creative outlet, a learning tool, an organisational crutch. For those whom creativity flows from unexpected crevices of the world, whether the most mundane commute to work or upon summiting Everest, it is invaluable to always have the ability to create a record of whimsy or wonder. The simplicity of pen on paper holds great appeal. It won’t run out of battery or distract you with an ad. It provides you a clean canvas, and a reliable one.

 

 

 

A notebook purveys privacy and intimacy in the age of digital, where the value of pen on paper can become somewhat lost. The plethora of apps available to take in your every thought, idea, snapshot and memory is overflowing. What they lack though, is the charm and tactility of a simple note in your own handwriting, in a real book. Much akin to the ongoing existence of magazines, books and newspapers, a notebook is a tangible weight of pages and ink for you to hold.

 

mahabis notebook

 

What’s removed is the distraction. To be faced with a white page, empty of notifications, is refreshingly clear. A blank space for you to fill with observations, thoughts and ideas will allow your own words to take you on a journey. One which may lead to a brilliant discovery, a sense of clarity or direction unguided by external influence. A commonality is held in reluctance to begin a fresh notebook, borne of an anxiety to make mess of a shiny new possession. On the contrary, by the time a book is full, each crease, page corner and ink mark will be so full of character and personality, it will be unmistakably ‘yours’.

 

Pen on paper can also be one of the most valuable learning tools; revision need not be left behind in exam days of school. Many find the act of simply writing something down can be valuable in committing it to memory, which can be helpful for those more forgetful amongst us. And of course, it will still be there to refer to should you need to fact check at a later time.

 

mahabis notebook

 

We are so used to live-editing ourselves before we publish, that it can be daunting to go back to analog, to have the first draft in paper and ink just as soon as it pops into your head. In an instant, a thought becomes real, something you’ve created. Therein, lies the beauty of it: nothing is lost in the process of editing for its platform; there’s nothing so honest and raw as a written word.

 

To share this post, simply click on this ready to go tweet. You can also take a look at the mahabis notebook range here

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mahabis retreats // the minimalist chapel https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-retreats-minimalist-chapel mahabis retreats // the minimalist chapel
a chapel // mahabis journal
mahabis retreats // the minimalist chapel
mahabis

mahabis retreats // the minimalist chapel

 

a chapel // mahabis journal

 

Although it is named ‘A Chapel’, Predrag Vujanovic’s minimalist structure does not adhere to any particular religion; rather, it provides a tranquil space for people to gather or meditate.

The Stockholm-based architect drew inspiration from American sculptor Richard Serra when designing his minimalist retreat. Serra famously works with large steel sheets, making them appear much lighter than they actually are by moulding them into softly flowing curves. His most famous works sit in the New York and Bilbao branches of the Guggenheim, providing an amalgamation of sculpture and architecture.  

 

a chapel // mahabis journal

 

Vujanovic referenced Serra’s work with steel in his design for A Chapel, crafting the angular roof of his structure from steel sheets, intercepted by a floor ramp constructed from core-ten sheets. Sitting somewhere in between a building and a work of art, it parallels the multifaceted view of Serra’s structures.

 

a chapel // mahabis journal

 

A Chapel was designed with peacefulness and respite in mind. A ‘beacon of light’ in the middle of a barren plain in northern Serbia, it beckons visitors with its striking stature and softly lit interior; providing a place for shelter and a quiet space for reflection. A local place of pilgrimage for architecture-enthusiasts, minimalist advocates and seekers of silence, it gains visitors of non-religious persuasions who wouldn’t consider worshipping in a traditional religious building but nevertheless come here in awe.

The triangular structure does resemble the steeple of a traditional western Christian church, but the similarities end there. The interior is stark, minimal and holds no pews. Rather, this is a space to sit outside or to perch on the floor of and marvel in its silent splendour.  

 

a chapel // mahabis journal

photos: predrag vujanovic
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mahabis candles // creating hygge in your home https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-guide-creating-hygge-in-your-home-with-candles mahabis candles // creating hygge in your home
mahabis candles
mahabis candles // creating hygge in your home
mahabis

mahabis candles // creating hygge in your home

 

There’s something about lighting a couple of candles that can transform any space into a cosy sanctuary. The combination of soft flickering candlelight, subtle fragrances and a tranquil ambiance creates the perfect ingredients for the Danish tradition of hygge.

 

Hygge. It’s a word that’s getting thrown around a lot lately. But there's little wonder that we’re all seeking a little inspiration from the happiest nation in the world. Commonly misconstrued as a purely aesthetic conception, there is much more to hygge than simply placing blankets and lanterns around your living room. To truly invite hygge into your home, you have to evoke a sense of warmth that touches upon all of your senses.

 

mahabis candles

 

This is where candles come in as a key feature of hygge. The visual appeal of candles is obvious; the warm wavering light emitted from the flame of a candle is a much softer and ambient way of lighting a room, instantly encouraging cosiness. Close your eyes, though, and you’ll still feel the essence of hygge smoking its way out of the wick. A carefully selected scent can make you feel content, as can the soft sound of a cotton wick crackling. Physical warmth radiates from the flame, as does a sense of calmness.

 

Picture a room in winter with no candles in it. Cold, unwelcoming and with harsh overhead lights. Even if piles of blankets, throws and cushions were nestled on comfortable armchairs, it would still feel like there was something missing. Prior to this current fascination with hygge, candles were always considered an essential item when creating an essence of calm. Hygge takes ‘cosy’ one step further, and turns a simple feeling into a fulfilling lifestyle, but candlelight is at the base of both feelings. 

 

mahabis candles

 

Introducing candles into your home can do more than just create hygge. The gentle element of candlelight helps with focus and concentration, providing the perfect conditions for anyone who works from home during the winter months when the light starts to fade mid-afternoon. Basking in warm, flickering candlelight can also relieve stress, as you instantly feel calmer in more relaxing surroundings.

 

Choose your fragrance carefully when selecting a new candle. Your sense of smell is connected to your emotional receptors and different scents can actually evoke different emotions in people. Soft floral fragrances such as jasmine are calming and tend to have positive effects on those smelling them, helping them to relax. Warm, musky and spicy scents, such as cedarwood are ideal for creating a cosy ambiance in a room.

 

One of the most endearing attractions of candles is how they can help you to achieve a sense of ‘home’ no matter where you are in the world. Try taking your favourite candle with you on a work trip, and your impersonal hotel room will immediately feel cosier. Lighting a familiar scent in an unfamiliar space can help transport you back home through memories and association, relieving homesickness.

 

mahabis candles

 

It’s little wonder that we have all become so reliant on candles during the winter months. This season’s fascination with hygge is only serving to further endorse the importance of candlelight in transforming your home into a cosy sanctuary. Learn from the Danes and fully embrace candles in your home, placing an abundance of candles in the rooms that you spend the most time in.  

Strike a match, light the wicks, and sit back and relax whilst watching the flames flicker.

 

mahabis candles

 

Check out the latest addition to the mahabis classic range: the mahabis candle. Available in six relaxing scents, our candles are the ultimate accessories to your downtime. Match with your mahabis slippers, or buy multiples to qualify for a discounted price. Find out more here

 

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visual guide to chill // part four: desaturate https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/visual-guide-to-chill-part-four-desaturate visual guide to chill // part four: desaturate
visual guide to chill // part four: desaturate
mahabis

visual guide to chill // part four: desaturate

 

 

In a world so overwhelmingly full of colour, contributing to the ever-present sensory overload, sometimes it’s good to pare back. For this edition of the visual guides to chill we remove a level of the composition and allow ourselves to appreciate the structure of the image; the line, curve, and space.

 

 

 

photo: billy lam, mike wilson, samuel zeller, julian bock, chris roe, colin carter, olivier miche, tim marshall, olya valoshka, elijah flores, joel herzog, dmitriy karfagenskiy, paulina jadezsco, felix russell-saw, tim allen, alession lin
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mahabis guide // preparing your home for the winter months https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-guide-how-to-prepare-your-home-for-winter mahabis guide // preparing your home for the winter months
mahabis guide // preparing your home for the winter months
mahabis guide // preparing your home for the winter months
mahabis

mahabis guide // preparing your home for the winter months

  

The days of lounging outdoors and soaking up the evening sun may be gone for another few months, but don’t dismay. These early autumn days are the perfect time to transform your home to embrace hygge and unwind indoors, no matter how bad the weather seems outside. What are you waiting for? Slip on your mahabis and put your feet up.   

 

mahabis guide // preparing your home for the winter months

 

Hygge, the word on everyone’s lips this season, as the Danish secret to a content winter finally makes itself known to a wider audience. The high season for hygge is Christmas, but there are plenty of ways to embrace the tradition in Autumn, from supper clubs to ski resorts. But firstly: hygge begins at home.

 

mahabis guide // preparing your home for the winter months

 

Textiles are integral to creating a cosy and welcoming home. Think of scattering a range of blankets, throws and cushions in a variety of soft textures. Add cushions to your sofa and armchairs, keep a stack of blankets within easy reach and drape throws over the back of less welcoming items of furniture. If you have wooden or tiled floors, try introducing thick rugs to lock more of the heat into the room.

To bring warmth to a minimal home, there's no need to paint over white walls. Introduce textile wall hangings, paintings, or bring warmer colours into rooms with your choice of furnishings. Yellow ochre tones will make your rooms feel cosy whilst retaining a sense of calmness.

 

mahabis guide // preparing your home for the winter months

 

Avoid harsh overhead lighting and keep table lamps dotted around the corners of your rooms to offer a softer and warmer light. Try replacing your usual bulbs with filaments that create a less harsh light. Place candles inside glass lanterns and on your mantelpiece to create the perfect lighting for cosy nights in. With minimal natural light, draw your curtains when the sun sets and embrace the candlelight.

 

mahabis guide // preparing your home for winter months

 

If you have an open fire or wood burning stove, keep your wood pile replenished and light the fire when you have company. The aroma of wood smoke and flickering light will instantly help you and your guests to unwind. Compile playlists of your favourite relaxing songs and allow your home to become flooded with music.

 

mahabis guide // preparing your home for the winter months

 

Keep your mahabis classics within easy reach, ready to slip on when the temperatures drop. Likewise, now is the time to relocate your sweatshirts and cable-knits to the front of your wardrobe. Keep yourself comfortable and bundled up to reflect the ambience of your home and to allow yourself to fully unwind.

 

mahabis guide // preparing your home for the winter months

 

There’s no shame in relaxing on the sofa swathed in layers of wool and reading a book when there’s a gale blowing outdoors. Likewise, lighting candles around your bathroom and sinking into the tub for a long and relaxing hot soak. These are the times that a little idleness is acceptable, and preparing your home in advance will help to ensure that you can slip into a relaxing state with minimal effort.  

 

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the sunday guide to // lisbon https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/the-sunday-guide-to-lisbon the sunday guide to // lisbon
mahabis // sunday guide to lisbon
the sunday guide to // lisbon
mahabis

the sunday guide to // lisbon

photo: diogo tavares 

 

We prefer to take our time when exploring a new city, slowing things down and wandering around at a relaxing pace. Rather than rushing to tick off the usual tourist hot spots, we slow things down and dig a little deeper to find the more peaceful heart of the city. This week, we’re visiting Lisbon.

 

Lisbon

When you picture Lisbon you probably think of yellow trams, beautiful tiles and delicious custard tarts. It’s true, these are all in abundance (and reasons alone to visit Portugal’s capital), but the cultural and historical attractions in and around the city should also be explored. When it comes to relaxation, Lisbon may not be the first destination that crosses your mind, but it is a slow paced city that is known among its residents for its relaxed pace of life.

Meandering up steep hillsides, there are plenty of terraces and rooftops perfectly positioned to sit and admire the picturesque city below. Locals start their day with a custard pastry and espresso, and tend to end it in Bairro Alto, high on the hills of the city where the streets are lined with restaurants and bars that encourage al fresco dining.

Read on to discover our relaxing guide to Lisbon.

 

mahabis // sunday guide to lisbon photo: tom eversley

 

Stay

Enjoy one of the best views in the city from the rooftop pool and wine bar at Memmo Alfama. Upon arrival at this minimalist boutique hotel guests are greeted by a cosy living room rather than a traditional reception desk, instantly making you feel welcome and relaxed. Standard rooms offer views out over the Tagus River, whilst Terrace rooms boast private wooden decks where guests can sit outdoors and soak in the views.

 

Relax

It’s worth hiring a car during your stay, as there are several day trips that can easily be made. Although Lisbon is a relaxing city, if you’re craving more peaceful surroundings, the largest oriental garden outside of China is just over an hour’s drive away. The Buddha Eden Garden offers a serene space to wander around, admiring the collection of Giant Bamyan Buddhas that were rescued from being destroyed in Afghanistan and brought to Portugal to be preserved. The garden itself was designed with relaxation in mind, with winding paths leading through the grounds and plenty of places to sit and rest whilst admiring the statues. Entry is just €3 and, as the garden is located in the grounds of a vineyard, wine tasting is also available.

 

mahabis // sunday guide to lisbon photo: tom eversley

 

Visit

Another essential day trip whilst staying in Lisbon, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sintra is one of Portugal’s most impressive destinations. Nestled in and atop the leafy hills, the area boasts historical landmarks, secret gardens and a colourful palace perched at the top of the hill. There’s something for everyone here, with certain landmarks attracting more visitors than others. The 10th Century Castelo dos Mouros showcases astonishingly well-preserved stone battlements, whilst Pena National Palace is a complete contrast of colourful turrets and decorative tiles. Quinta da Regaleira’s secret grottos, tunnels, wells and statues are more peaceful to explore, and if you are in search of further seclusion, discover the natural beauty of Sintra National Park and the cliffs at Roca Cape.

 

Admire

Back in the city, an abundance of culture offers plenty of museums and galleries to choose from but we recommend Centro de Arte Moderna for its outstanding collection of both international and Portuguese art. As a bonus, entry is free on Sundays. The gallery is situated in the centre of a garden filled with sculptures, which can be explored prior to entering the main gallery. Artists exhibiting include David Hockney, Anthony Gormley and Jos de Almada Negreiros, alongside a variety of temporary exhibitions.

  

Ride

We would usually recommend forgoing public transport and strolling around the city to fully appreciate all of the small nooks and crannies, but Lisbon’s trams are all part of its charm. No visit to the city should be without a journey on the iconic yellow ‘28’ tram which winds its way up the steep hills of Alfama, passing many of Lisbon’s most interesting historical and architectural sights on its way.

 

Wander

If you prefer exploring by foot, why not take the tram up to the top of the hill then disembark to wander back down the steep cobbled streets at your own pace? Alfama is Lisbon’s most traditional district, yet to succumb to gentrification; subsequently offering a view of the city of old. Admire the pastel-hued facades and decorative tiles that greet you on every corner, and stumble across hidden cafes and bars aimed at locals rather than tourists.

 

mahabis // sunday guide to lisbon photo: tom eversley

 

Drink

Located right by the water in the Cais do Sodre district, Vestigius is one of Lisbon’s best loved bars for both its stylish interior and extensive collection of local wines. Housed in a former warehouse, the bar pays homage to the sailors that frequented this area in the past with several maritime references throughout its décor. Even if you don’t plan on drinking, it’s worth visiting simply to admire the interior of the bar which resembles a design museum with its marble floor and eclectic furniture collection. Check the schedule ahead of visiting, as the space also showcases art exhibitions, film screenings and a collection of antique books to peruse.

 

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visual guide to chill // part three: looking up https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/visual-guide-to-chill-part-three-looking-up visual guide to chill // part three: looking up
visual guide to chill // part three: looking up
visual guide to chill // part three: looking up
mahabis

visual guide to chill // part three: looking up

In the busy day-to-day we find ourselves hustling to the next meeting, looking down at our phones, or digging in our handbags for our wallet. It’s rare to take the opportunity to look up.

So, for this part of mahabis' visual guides to chill, we combined two of the most calming elements found in photography; sky and curves. Take in the sensation of looking up.

 

 

photo: scott webb, michael seh, aron van de pol, dmitri popov, bady_qb, kelly sikkema, max rentmeester, lee ferrell

 

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a slow road trip down // norway's atlantic road https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/a-slow-road-trip-norways-atlantic-road a slow road trip down // norway's atlantic road
a slow road trip down // norway's atlantic road
a slow road trip down // norway's atlantic road
mahabis

a slow road trip down // norway's atlantic road

norway road trip // mahabis journalphoto: unsplash

 

If you’re seeking dramatic scenery but looking for somewhere peaceful where you can get away from the crowds, head to Norway for an unforgettable drive. The winding road from Bergen to Trondheim includes the five-mile-long Atlantic Road, a stretch that sweeps and curves over eight iconic bridges to connect the small islets that lie in its path. The journey between Norway’s two largest cities outside Oslo takes in this road, as well as visiting some of the country’s most spectacular fjords.

 

the atlantic road

Named the ‘Best Summer Drive in Europe’ by Lonely Planet, Norway’s Atlantic Road is a short stretch of the national route 64. Only five miles long, it’s best to tie in a trip to the road with a longer route that takes in some of Norway’s iconic scenery.

Driving from Bergen to Trondheim, you'll naturally slow your pace to soak in the dramatic landscapes that you pass through. Jagged mountains, deep fjords and rugged coastlines compete for your attention with a rich cultural history as you navigate the winding roads. Take time to stop the car, hike up to snow-capped peaks and admire the unparalleled view of the fjords from above.

 

norway road trip // mahabis journalphoto: jose murillo

 

bergen to geirangerfjord

The first leg of the journey begins in Norway’s second largest city, Bergen. Despite its status and the abundance of culture to absorb, Bergen feels like a much smaller town and is the perfect place to set the mood for the rest of the drive. Spend a couple of days exploring the town at your leisure, taking the funicular up above the town to admire the view of the fjord, exploring the old wharf and visiting the many museums and art galleries.

Once you’re ready to leave, head inland to Voss, where adventure lovers will be in their element. In the winter, this is the perfect spot for skiers to spend a couple of days exploring the slopes, and in the warmer months, white-water rafting and skydiving are popular activities. Those who seek something a little tamer can explore Bordalsfjelet, a dramatic gorge 5km from Voss, or can visit the traditional turf houses that contain the folk museum.

Leaving Voss, the route passes by Sognefjord, the longest and deepest fjord in the whole of Norway. Stop to take to the water on a kayak or simply to sit on the banks of the water and admire the view. Continuing on the Fjaerlands Road, take a detour to visit the Jostedal glacier and the Norwegian glacier museum before heading to Hellesylt to take the car ferry over Geirangerfjord.

More than merely a means to continue your journey, the boat trip offers a chance to sit back and admire the dramatic scenery of one of the world’s most picturesque fjords as you sail past iconic waterfalls including the Seven Sisters and Bridal Veil.

 

a slow road trip down // norway's atlantic roadphoto: via wikipedia

 

trollstigen to alesund

After disembarking the ferry, take the steep ‘Eagle Road’ up the mountain pass to Eidsdal. Here, you will need to take another ferry over a fjord before tackling Norway’s most visited road: Trollstigen (the ‘Troll Ladder’).

Those with a fear of heights will want to close their eyes at this point, as the road hairpins as it climbs, offering jaw-dropping views of the valley below. As Romsdalsfjorden comes into view, you will want to find a place to park and spend some time peering over the precipice to admire the landscape far below.

From here on, the road weaves around the edge of the fjords, occasionally snaking inland before eventually emerging at the Art Nouveau fishing port village of Alesund. Following a fire that destroyed the town in 1904, Alesund was completely rebuilt in the popular style of the time, providing a complete contrast to the traditional Norwegian fishing villages that line the rest of the route.

Allow yourself time out from driving to explore the charming little town with its colourful buildings and surprising amount of galleries, restaurants and shops. Surrounded by mountains and fjords, there is plenty here for lovers of nature, architecture and culture.

 

norway road trip // mahabis journalphoto: jay mantri

 

molde to the atlantic road

To reach the coastal town of Molde, drive back on yourself before heading north to reach the terminal for the car ferry. In the heart of the fjords, you will find yourself surrounded by small islets and snow-capped peaks from all sides as you sail across the open water.

Plan to spend some time exploring Molde, a small traditional Norwegian town that is particularly known for its rose gardens. Wander around the gardens and visit the Romsdal folk museum, before heading to the Varden viewpoint to admire the town, the mountains and surrounding fjords from above.

Heading north, the small fishing village of Bud heralds the start of the iconic Atlantic Road. Take your time driving across the eight bridges that make up this short route, stopping wherever possible to get out of your car, take photographs and admire the view. If you’re visiting during a calm day, look out to sea for the chance of spotting orcas or seals frolicking in the waves. During stormier days, you’ll need to be vigilant as the winds are strong and the waves occasionally splash up onto the road, but the moody vistas make the drive worthwhile.

 

norway road trip // mahabis journalphoto: via wikipedia

 

Haholmen to Trondheim

Shortly after the white-knuckle experience of driving the Atlantic Road, you’ll reach Geitoya quay, where we recommend leaving your car for a couple of nights. From here, take the boat to Halholmen to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of this remote island. This tiny fishing hamlet offers the opportunity to spend the night in a traditional wooden fisherman’s cabin with no distractions albeit the beautiful scenery.

Back on the mainland, the final stretch of road takes you along the water before sweeping inland to arrive at another coastal town, Trondheim. Known as the ‘Capital of the Vikings’, this vibrant city is home to an impressive cathedral, a folk museum and many reminders of its time as the capital of Norway. Rows of traditional wooden colourful buildings adorn the harbour and out beyond the waters of the fjord, snow-capped mountains beckon.

Although we finish our journey here, the many fjords further north beckon with possibilities for future trips. Instead, we recommend sitting by the shore and admiring the views.

 

norway road trip // mahabis journalphoto: anton hoojidonk
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visual guide to chill // part two: the great outdoors https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/visual-guide-to-chill-part-two-the-great-outdoors visual guide to chill // part two: the great outdoors
mahabis // visual guide to chill
visual guide to chill // part two: the great outdoors
mahabis

visual guide to chill // part two: the great outdoors

We understand the pressures of modern life mean that you can’t always pause to read an article or absorb a book. That’s why we created our new ‘visual guide to chill’ series of journal posts, designed to offer a brief respite where you can take just a couple of minutes to scroll through a series of images selected to be calming, relaxing and ideal for unwinding.

This week, we’ve themed our image-laden post around ‘the great outdoors’. Whether you’re strolling through a park, dipping your toes in the ocean, admiring the view of a fjord from a perch atop a towering mountain, we know that being outdoors amidst nature can aid us in relaxing.

If you can’t find the time to get out into the wilderness yourself, take just a couple of minutes to admire these images and allow your mind to drift …

 

lake  // mahabis journal

mountains at sunset // mahabis journal

rugged beach // mahabis journal

forest  // mahabis journal
winter landscape // mahabis journal
snowy landscape // mahabis journal
lake // mahabis journal
fjord // mahabis journal
photo credits: toby wong, unsplash, life of pix, via unsplash, dominik dombrowski, dreamy pixel, via unsplash, via unsplash
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mahabis retreats // up in the clouds https://mahabis.com/blogs/journal/mahabis-retreats-up-in-the-clouds mahabis retreats // up in the clouds
mountain resorts // mahabis journal
mahabis retreats // up in the clouds
mahabis

mahabis retreats // up in the clouds

mountain resorts // mahabis journalphoto: igor trepeshchenok

 

As summer is drawing to a close, we're looking beyond the beach for our next relaxing getaway. Instead, we’re embracing the colder weather and plotting long weekends unwinding above the clouds in mountain-top resorts. Wondering where to head for high altitude downtime? Read on to discover our edit of the best elevated sanctuaries.

 

There’s something about relocating yourself to the slopes of a mountain that instantly evokes relaxation. Being above the clouds, looking down and admiring the views, you can’t help but feel tranquil. There’s little wonder that there seems to be an influx of spas and relaxing resorts opening atop mountains. Ideal for an autumn retreat, the vistas perfectly complement the luxurious facilities and range of treatments on offer, allowing guests to indulge in a little ‘me’ time where it’s perfectly acceptable to have your head in the clouds.

 

mountain resorts // mahabis journalphoto: via unsplash

 

Kasbah Tamadot, Atlas Mountains, Morocco

Ideal for those who wish to explore the Atlas Mountains in comfort and luxury, Kasbah Tamadot is nestled in the foothills of the mountain range with its iconic infinity pool providing the perfect spot to float and admire the views. Decorated in traditional Moroccan style, the hotel is filled with colourful textiles and authentic artefacts, providing accommodation in both hotel rooms and Berber tents. The luxurious tent suites are perched up on the hillside, offering dramatic views of the valley below from the Jacuzzi tubs on their private terraces. Divide your time between exploring the mountains and indulging in an array of traditional spa treatments and relaxing on the rooftop bar.

 

kasbah tamadot // mahabis journal

  

Wildflower Hall, Shimla, India

When you envision visiting the Himalayas, soaking in an outdoor infinity whirlpool and enjoying traditional Ayurvedic therapies may come as a surprise. Wildflower Hall offers unparalleled luxury in the midst of the mountains, fusing antique interiors with contemporary luxuries and holistic spa treatments. Those more adventurous can venture into the mountains for a guided trek, or guests can feel free to admire the views from the comfort of their own suite. Alongside the main bar and restaurant, a private candlelit dinner can be enjoyed at the hillside gazebo or a bespoke picnic can be prepared to take to the hotel’s private picnic spot.

 

wildflower hall // mahabis journal

 

Salish Lodge & Spa, Snoqualmie, Washington, USA

Perched atop Snoqualmie Falls, there could not be a more romantic location for the Salish Lodge & Spa. Devotees of Twin Peaks will delight in spending the night at the ‘real’ Great Northern Hotel, whilst others will revel in the picturesque panoramas. For a relaxing way to start the day Vinyasa Flow and yoga classes take place in the Hidden Terrace, offering dramatic views out over the waterfalls. After lunch, spend time exploring the local area by bike or kayak, before returning to the lodge to spend an afternoon pampering yourself in the award-winning spa. Soak in therapeutic pools, enjoy a soothing massage and indulge in a treatment using the spa’s own honey.

 

salish lodge and spa // mahabis journal

 

Salto Chico Lodge, Patagonia, Chile

Located in one of the most spectacular mountain regions of the world, Salto Chico Lodge is ideally located for exploring the surrounding Torres del Paine National Park. Offering a respite of luxury at the southernmost tip of the world, the hotel sits on the banks of a serene lake surrounded by boardwalks for guests to wander and admire the rugged snow-capped mountains that frame the landscape. There are over fifty different guided hikes and horseback rides on offer for guests to explore Patagonia during their stay with an extensive programme of essential oil massages available at the spa to soothe aching limbs upon return. In the evenings, soak in a private outdoor Jacuzzi tub by the shore of the lake, sipping Chilean wine and basking in the views.

 

salto chico lodge // mahabis journal

 

Vigilius Mountain Resort, South Tyrol, Italy

Only accessible by cable car, the Vigilius Mountain Resort lies high above the Tyrolean town of Lana. Supplied by a natural mountain spring, all of the water in the hotel is refreshingly pure, from the water that you drink to the water that you bathe in. This natural theme is emphasised in the treatments offered in the spa, including mountain pine peels and green tea exfoliating massages. In between treatments, guests can relax in the indoor and outdoor pools, enjoy a gentle stroll around the surrounding mountainside, or simply sit and admire the views with a glass of wine from the wine cellar. In the evenings, retreat to the glass-fronted restaurant, where you can dine on fine cuisine whilst watching the sun softly set over the Dolomites.

 

mahabis retreats // up in the clouds

 

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