I have been absent for what feels like a long time as my thesis draft deadline approached sooner than I anticipated then a few days later, I was on a plane to Cuba.
I am back and I am starting this Motivation Monday off on the right foot.
Going to Cuba for a week was like pushing a reset button. My stress and anxiety had been slowly approaching peak levels but I escaped just in time. We were away for a full seven days. For four of those days, I completely unplugged. No phone use (except for occasionally using it as a clock) including no emails, no social media, nothing. I, along with other individuals my age, have become increasingly dependent on my phone. I use it for work constantly – we have apps for communication, scheduling, and timesheets. I use it for emails and texting and social media use. Not having access to these things was refreshing. Yet I come back, and I look through my photos and wonder which one will I post on instagram.
You would think I would’ve done a better job of embracing the lack of social media when returning but I think that will be a goal for May – to use social media less.
I am happy to have returned back home and have the weather be sunny and warmer than it was when I left it. I can’t wait to go on my evening or early morning walks (we’ll see how ambitious I get).
I hope you did some sort of self-care in the past week. We all need it. Have a wonderful week!
I think I get so caught up in the moment, especially while I am running on the adrenaline rush of an anxious moment (fight or flight), I sometimes forget to stop and realize that although I have moments where I feel like nothing is right, everything is wrong, and things are falling apart, in the grand scheme of things, it isn’t all that bad.
(Can you tell by that run-on sentence I still have residual anxiety from the weekend?)
Here are a few of my “It ain’t all bad” thoughts, in no particular order:
I have a job I love with people I love working with.
My clients may have bad days, or bad moments, but they are humans too, just like me. I have bad days. I have bad moments. I am making a difference in their lives. But life, as we know, can have its share of hiccups.
My thesis is hard work right now, and I may feel like I don’t have much of a social life because of it, but in the future, I will be looking back, not remembering the negative feelings of it all, but just the satisfaction of getting my master’s degree that I worked so hard to get.
I don’t feel guilty about eating that chocolate chip cookie because it was delicious.
I get to hear birds singing out of my window every morning. Nature is beautiful.
Money can be earned and saved in the future. Seeing the world and traveling with my best friend has greater value than the cost of the trip.
My car gets me to and from the places I want and need to go.
My friend group talks every single day in a group chat and I think that it’s wonderful that even though we are growing up and don’t get to see each other all the time that we still make time to send funny pictures or share things about our lives each day.
I love having friends who know that even though we don’t talk every day, love and support is just a text or call away no matter what.
The same is true for my family members.
I’m learning to accept a lot of different things in my life. I am stronger than I ever was.
I have access to delicious food each day.
Soon it will be summer and I will likely be complaining that it is too hot rather than it being too cold like it is now.
My boyfriend makes me feel loved, respected, and beautiful. I have never felt so comfortable being myself with someone. I wish everyone had the chance to feel the way I feel just by hearing his voice.
I am 25 years old and I still call my mom for help with things like making gravy. She also knows how to pick my clothes out for me better than I can. My mom is my favourite person in the whole world.
Happy Easter, everyone! Here we are in a new month and with a new month come new opportunities and new goals to be set.
This month’s focus is: eliminating distractions.
Like the rest of us (probably…I shouldn’t generalize), I enjoy unwinding with a Netflix show or spending countless hours on Pinterest pinning recipes or clothing ideas or exercise ideas (rather than actually exercising).
This month is going to be a busy one:
My first draft of my master’s thesis is due in three weeks from today.
I am going on a trip at the end of the month
My friend is visiting next week
I am helping develop a training guide for work
Get work done each night.
No Netflix as breaks, unwind at the end of the night when productivity has decreased
Take breaks with music, short youtube videos, or stretching. If surfing on Pinterest, set timer on phone
Go to the gym 2-3 times a week
Reduce the amount of dairy and grains I am consuming – perhaps reintroduce a paleo-type diet.
Use the Self-Control app when working on my thesis so there is no access to social media during that time.
I downloaded an app called HabitBull to track my good habits. I love it because I’m very data driven and it creates graphs based on your performance!
I’ve started breaking down more of my tasks into smaller parts to make them easier to complete. I have completed quite a bit of work on my dissertation so far because I’m made it seem more manageable.
I have tried to take on more of an active role at work while also trying not to spread myself too thin. I know when to say no and how to prioritize things a little better.
To keep myself engaged in what I’m doing, when I do work at home (school or otherwise), I set a timer for about 30-45 minutes. I work on one task for that time, take a break, and then switch gears to something else. It seems to be working so far.
Focus on my health:
Well, if you asked me how my immune system is doing, I’d say not great. But judging by the last three months, I’ve started seeing a pattern of when I start getting sick: the week leading up to my menstrual cycle. In the past few days, I’ve started taking supplements daily to help kick my immune system and overall health into gear: probiotics, Omega 3’s, Vitamin D, Calcium, Magnesium, iron, and a multivitamin.
I got a gym membership at a new gym this month and have been twice already and have created a fitness journal and written down workout ideas. I am hoping to start going 2-3 times a week (perhaps more).
I started stretching every morning!
My skin care routine is great! Feels like a normal part of my morning and evening and it feels so soft.
I have written in my Five Minute Journal every day this month so far! Haven’t missed a day. It has been a great, positive way to start and end the day and it has become more of a habit than it was in the past.
My anxiety has been up and down this month with a few more down times than I was expecting. Meditating and remembering to stay grounded has helped and I have been looking up other strategies to get through tough moments of panic.
Focus on my relationships with others:
I have taken more of an active effort in my friendships – spending more time answering texts, talking to them on the phone, and making plans to see them.
I continue to reflect on these friendships and welcome new ones into my life.
I am appreciating times with my mom more. She has always been my best friend and my number one support system in my life and as I grow up, I want to return the favour and support her in any way that I can.
During this incredibly busy time of year, my boyfriend and I despite distance and responsibilities manage to appreciate the time we do get to talk and spend together even if it’s working on things together, sharing things about our day at the end of the day on the phone, and support one another with all that we do and I am so grateful to have him in my life in such a positive and loving way.
I still have some work to do this month in each of these three aspects, but there is still time to “focus” on them.
Happy Monday! Another week and this week is March Break. While I still have to work for a few of the days of the week, I am dedicating a lot of this week for working on my March goals. This past weekend, I got quite a bit of work done on my dissertation and made plans to see friends throughout the week.
Today, I am practicing some self-care with two of my best friends and we are going to a day spa to relax and have some well-deserved “me” time.
Here are some of the benefits of having some “me” time and going to a spa:
If you go with friends, it’s a great place to catch up and be in the presence of other people while also being away from the hustle and bustle of life.
Stress relief. Life is busy. Why not do something different from your typical routine and take a break from your busy schedule and go to a spa?
Increase your serotonin and dopamine levels. As someone who has has chemical imbalances in these areas from time to time with anxiety, studies show that massages release these chemicals having positive effects on stress relief.
Detox. Massages, facials, the whole deal – they all have detoxification effect on the body helping lymph nodes release toxins.
Whatever you choose to do today, be sure to practice at least one thing for self-care. Happy Motivational Monday!
Today is the first Monday of a new month March. Can you almost smell spring in the air? Other than the large heaping of snow we received on Friday, I can feel spring coming and I am nothing but excited.
I am looking forward to floral prints, sunny rays, spring flowers, rain boots, and driving around with the windows down.
This month, I have set my intention as Focus. I will Focus on the following three key areas:
Focus on my work and schoolwork.
For those who don’t know, I am currently completing my Master’s degree and am in the writing process of my dissertation. To make this task a little more tolerable, this weekend, I broke down what I need to do into smaller steps and will push myself to put my best efforts into my work and get it done quickly and efficiently.
Focus on my health.
February was a rough month for me health-wise. I had that stomach bug at the end of Whole 30 and soon after, I caught the flu and am only now feeling better from it. With being sick, however, my healthy eating habits slipped a bit. I ate unhealthy food and justified it because I was sick – a habit I thought I was doing a good job breaking during Whole 30. Well this month, I’m already back to meal prepping and sticking to an overall paleo lifestyle (with a few exceptions here and there). Tonight I prepped lasagna stuffed chicken with asparagus for the week.
Focus on my relationships with others
I have found myself to be distant from some of the people in my life. Not because I don’t want to spend time with them but because I have been busy, sick, and have spent a lot of time dedicating quality time for myself – something I have failed to do in the past few years. Over the next few weeks, with March Break coming up and Easter at the end of the month, I am hoping to spend more time catching up with friends and family as they too are a priority in my life. I am also going to reflect on how relationships in my life make me feel – am I growing as a person with this person in my life? What do they bring to my life? What do I bring to theirs?
Happy March and Happy Motivation Monday! I hope you start March off like a fierce and powerful lion!
Last year, I participated in CAMH’s event One Brave Night. CAMH One Brave Night for Mental Health™ is a Canada-wide challenge to inspire hope for those affected by mental illness. It starts now and continues through to Friday, April 6.
For those who are unfamiliar with CAMH, it is the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. It is the largest mental health and addictions teaching hospital. Their One Brave Night campaign has had the following impact for mental health initiatives:
Create three new youth clinics to help address the gap in mental health treatment.
Inspire hope through discovery by testing new treatment options for people with severe and treatment-resistant depression.
Publish over 500 journal articles, sharing the incredible discoveries made at CAMH.
Continue to redevelop CAMH facilities to build treatment, education and research spaces that reflect respect for patients and hope for recovery.
Expand effective and timely access to mental health services in remote and underserved communities around the country through technology and access to telepsychiatry.
I am proud to say that I am taking part in it again this year and have set my fundraising goal at $250.
If you are interested in supporting my fundraising efforts, you can donate at this link. If you are interested in joining my fundraising team, you may do so at this link. My Team Name is Stomp Out Stigma.
To keep me posting more regularly, I am hoping to blog Mondays and Wednesdays – Monday Motivation posts and Well-being Wednesdays with some food posts in between.
When catching up with an old friend last week, she told me about her new Happiness journal. I was very interested in learning more about it and when I did, I had to buy one almost instantly. Since I had to pay $25 for free shipping, and the book was on sale for $24.46 CAD, I also bought the book “You are a Badass” by Jen Sincero which was on sale for $11.94 CAD.
While I have not had a chance to look through all of the Happy journal, it looks promising and I am excited to give it a try.
This post is also a side-rant on reading in the bathtub. I decided to create my own happiness by having a Pukka Relax tea and start reading my new book in the bathtub with vanilla chai bubble bath and lavender bath salts. The instagram picture above is picture perfect. Looks relaxing right?
How do people read in the bathtub? Pages get wet. Even with a towel close by, it was annoying to turn the pages. I got through the introduction and my limbs started getting raisiny and overheated and I just wanted to get out. To add to it, my tea didn’t cool down enough for me to enjoy it in the bathtub so I am sitting beside it now while I am comfy under my heated blanket.
If anyone has any insight as to how to make reading in the bathtub easier, please share your ideas.
To end, here’s a Monday motivation quote I saw and love. Enjoy.