Improving Sleep Hygiene

As somebody with a history of depression and the tendency to stay in bed all day if only my toddler would let me, I struggle with sleep hygiene. During my second cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) session last month, my therapist gave me a list of ways to help improve my sleep hygiene. I want to share these helpful tips with you, especially if you deal with frequent bouts of insomnia or have mild to moderate depression.

Improving Sleep Through Behaviour Change

Stimulus Control Procedures

  1. Go to sleep when you are sleepy.
    The longer you stay in bed, the more the bed is associated with a place to be awake instead of asleep. If you need to, delay going to bed until you are sleepy. No, this does not mean watching TV or using your smart phone. Screens emit a blue light which messes with your circadian rhythm.
  2. Get out of bed when you cannot fall asleep or go back to sleep in 15 minutes. 
    Get out of bed if you cannot fall asleep after giving it your best effort. It is better to get out of bed than it is to keep laying in bed with your ruminating thoughts. Once you are out of bed, return to bed when you are feeling sleepy again. The goal is to associate your bed with sleepiness.
  3. Only Use the bed for sleep and sex.
    Avoid other activities that do not involve sleeping or lovemaking. Activities to avoid include watching TV, listening to the radio, eating, or reading in your bed.

Sleep Hygiene Guidelines

  • Caffeine Avoid consuming caffeine 6-8 hours before bedtime. Caffeine disturbs your natural sleep rhythm. I would suggest cutting off caffeine consumption around 1700 (5:00 PM) so you will feel sleepier prior to bedtime.
  • Nicotine Avoid nicotine before bedtime because nicotine is a stimulant which keeps you awake. Avoid tobacco before bedtime and during the night as well.
  • Alcohol I don’t know about you, but alcohol makes me drowsy. Even though alcohol promotes the onset of sleep which makes you feel sleepy, alcohol also interrupts your natural sleep pattern. Avoid consuming alcohol less than 4 hours before going to sleep.
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Because we don’t get this drink in Canada. If it’s fruity and sweet, I’m probably going to drink it.

  • Sleeping Pills Sleep medications are an effective short-term treatment for people who struggle with falling asleep at night. However, sleep medications lose their effectiveness in approx. 2-4 weeks when they are taken regularly. Over time, sleeping pills may actually make sleep problems worse due to dependency; withdrawal from the medication can cause insomnia. Use sleep medications only if you need them and avoid relying on them long-term.
  • Regular Exercise Do not exercise within 2 hours of bedtime since exercise excites the nervous system and interferes with your ability to sleep. I am guilty for exercising right before bedtime…
  • Bedroom Environment Your bedroom should have a moderate temperature and it should be quiet and dark. Personally, I leave the window open at night and close the blinds. Also, I sleep with earplugs and an eye-mask which helps a lot.
  • Eating A light bedtime snack, such as a glass of warm milk, a banana, or a piece of cheese can promote sleep. Avoid eating snacks in the middle of the night because awakening may become associated with hunger.
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Eat all the yummy things; my mom really knows how to host a party! 🥳

  • Avoid Naps OK, I am totally guilty of this one! I love afternoon naps and will occasionally take an afternoon nap, typically lasting at least 1 hour in length. Now that my toddler lives with me 24/7, she doesn’t let me take naps. The sleep you get during the day will essentially take away from the amount of sleep you need that night. If you must take an afternoon nap, schedule it before 1500 (3:00 PM). Do not seep more than 15 to 30 minutes, according to doctors’ recommendations.
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Now that is the biggest yawn I’ve ever seen! 😂

  • Unwind Before Bedtime Allow yourself at least 1 hour before bedtime to unwind. Find what works for you to wind down, and give yourself an hour to do so. Consider reading a book or writing in a journal before you fall asleep.
  • Regular Sleep Schedule Keep a regular time each day (7 days a week) to get out of bed each morning. Keeping a regular waking time helps set your circadian rhythm so that your body learns to sleep at the desired time each night.
  • Stick to the Plan Set a reasonable bedtime and rising time, and then follow through with the plan long-term. Set the alarm clock and get out of bed at the same time each morning, regardless of your bedtime or the amount of sleep you got the previous night. This guideline is designed to regulate your internal biological clock as well as reset your sleep-wake cycle.

Monkey Business by Rebecca Tan 🐵

I would greatly appreciate any feedback or tips that you have for fighting insomnia. Let me know if anything on the list has helped you achieve a good night’s sleep by joining the conversation and leaving a comment below ↓

Thanks for stopping by!

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C’est La Vie

English translation? That’s life.

Oh, and I added a pun too. That’s Vee, the blogger who runs a site called milleniallifecrisis.org. In case you haven’t seen her blog yet, please do me a favor and check out her blog. This blog post will make more sense if you read her blog post first (see image below for a preview). Thank you, Vee, for your lovely shout-out! ❤

 Meeting Vee

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We both happened to be in the right place at the right time. The other day, Vee and I agreed to meet each other and chat over coffee at a local Starbucks. There is something quite relaxing about the smooth jazz usually playing in coffee shops, muffled chatter, and the smell of fresh brewed coffee. Vee is the first blogger who I had the privilege to meet in person from this wonderful WordPress community, so I am feeling very #blessed right now. Did I seriously just use the word #blessed in a sentence? Yes, yes I did.

I believe that every friendship needs to be built on a foundation of trust and respect. Meeting Vee made me feel at peace, and my social anxiety quickly subsided. In a way, I feel like we have been friends for a long time even though we had just met. Also, I felt a strange sense of familiarity as if we crossed paths before.

Fortunately, I learned that socializing with new people does not have to be scary. I often let social anxiety dictate my life so last week, I was really impressed by myself for stepping outside of my comfort zone. Because I am an introvert and a bit of a recluse, I prefer to hide in my house all day, everyday. However, I know that hiding is not a healthy coping mechanism. Not only that, but I recently learned that I actually prefer talking to people in person rather than video chatting or calling them on the phone. There is a stereotype that Millennials dislike making phone calls, so I guess I fit that stereotype! 🤷‍♀️

Finally, we should all celebrate our victories in life, no matter how big or small. As someone who deals with social anxiety and shyness myself, I understand how liberating it can be to push boundaries and face fears. In fact, I was initially drawn towards nursing school because I wanted to see if I could get comfortable with social anxiety.

“Every worthwhile accomplishment, big or little, has its stages of drudgery and triumph: a beginning, a struggle, and a victory.” ―Mahatma Gandhi

I am grateful that I had the rare opportunity to meet Vee in real life, and I hope that we will see each other again in the future. I am wondering if YOU ever met someone from the WordPress community. Who did you meet? Where you excited or nervous prior to meeting them? Please join the conversation and leave a comment below ↓

Thanks for stopping by!

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28 Life Lessons Learned

I had good intentions to publish this blog post on August 4 which was my 28th birthday. Fast forward two weeks, only to realize that I had forgotten to edit it. Now I am finally getting around to publishing the damn thing. 5+ hours later, my back aches, my feet hurt, and I am surprised that nobody has kicked me out of the food court where I am mooching off of A&W’s WiFi. My husband is meeting clients today so I really have no excuses while I wait for him downtown.

It’s the Thought that Counts!

Overall, my birthday was OK. Nothing too eventful happened unless travelling 7+ hours counts as an exciting trip. Even tough I only flew across Canada, there were many stops along the way which extended the trip. Since moving out west, flying has become the norm for me so my birthday was just an ordinary day. To celebrate my very belated birthday, I wanted to share with you 28 things that I learned in 28 years. This list is in no particular order since I wrote the outline while waiting in the airport, but each item on the list has shaped me into the person I am today.

28 Life Lessons Learned in 28 Years

1. Life is unfair. Get used to it. #tough-love  

2. Insomnia is real and can be really debilitating if you let it rule your life. 

3. Cats and dogs make fantastic friends. Lizards….not so much. You can’t cuddle with a lizard but they make great conversation starters when forced to awkwardly engage with people.

4. And you fall, and you crawl, and you break many times over. Avril Lavigne got it right. #complicated

5. Life isn’t static. It’s constantly changing, so it’s better to change along with it than to resist change.

6. Being uncomfortable is a GOOD THING. You need to step outside of your comfort zone in order for real growth to happen. And you’ll be one step closer towards reaching your goals.

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All credit goes to Sarah Andersen → Sarah’s Scribbles

7. Quality over quantity. The number of likes and followers does not matter in the grand scheme of things. Social media is also quite meaningless unless you’re trying to brand yourself or provide value to people. Blogging provides tons of value IMO and it took me several years to discover that I really enjoy writing for an audience.

8. Minimalism is a great concept and we can all benefit by learning how to live with less stuff. If you would like to learn more about how minimalism has positively impacted my life, you can read about it here.

“The secret to happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” —Socrates

9. Don’t treat your body like a dumpster. Respect yourself by being kind to your body. 

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10. Learn to accept and make peace with yourself because nobody else can do that for you.

11. You don’t need friends to be happy and being extremely introverted is not a flaw in your character. 

12. Most people will lie to you or let you down, including family. Be prepared for friends to disappoint you as well. If anything, lower your expectations to live a happier life.

13. There is truth to meditation. We should learn to embrace this ancient practice. 

14. I am scared of aging and looking my age. I really don’t want to live to be 90+ years old. Genetics suggest that I will live well into my 90’s. A vivid dream I had when I was a little kid suggests that I will live to be 64 years old.

15. Failing at something does not make YOU a failure. I still haven’t made peace with my failures yet, since my recent experience with failure is still raw and painful.

16. Not everyone is going to like you no matter how hard you try to please them.

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17. There is truth to mindfulness and finding greater consciousness. Make it your ultimate goal to aim for self-actualization by referring to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. At one point, Maslow’s Pyramid was the background image on my desktop. Can you tell that I like psychology? 🙊

18. After all these years, The Amazing Race is STILL my favourite reality TV show. I watch the Canadian version as well even though it’s not as good as the original series. I don’t keep up with the latest TV shows on Netflix because TV is a HUGE time waster, but I will make a scene if I miss out on watching “The Great Race.”

19. Strong negative emotions are meant to protect you, that is, if you are still living in the stone age. 

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You can find my latest Instagram stories @serene_hilz

20. There is no need for cookbooks as long as you have an internet connection. You can find everything you need online for FREE! I enjoy learning how to make delicious recipes that are kinder to my body, since I am intolerant to white flour, dairy, and refined sugar.

21. Sugar is highly addictive and should be considered a drug. It’s impossible to quit. I even published a post about how to give up sugar, and even I cannot follow my own advice. Hypocritical of me, eh?

22. You can grow bean sprouts in a jar. Bean sprouts are not only cheap, but they’re also nutritious. You can find affordable jars at your local dollar store. You don’t need a special lid or anything fancy to grow bean sprouts. I used a tutorial from YouTube to grow beansprouts. The whole process is very easy and straight-forward.

23. If you don’t have dental insurance in Canada or the US, do yourself a favor and get dental insurance. Since the problem wasn’t resolved years ago, I’ll have to spend thousands of dollars to pay for orthodontic treatment and jaw surgery. I have no choice but to go back to nursing school and face that beast. These “luxuries” in life cost $$$.

24. I don’t drink alcohol and I don’t smoke. Marijuana recently became legal in Canada but I still have no desire to smoke weed. The cannabis culture does not appeal to me and actually disgusts me. NO THANKS. 👎

25. It is OK to spend money on things that bring you joy. Cats, unicorns, steeped tea etc. Cats bring me joy so we adopted a kitty in April 2019. Steeped Tea from Tim Horton’s also brings me joy. I stopped buying steeped tea in April 2019 to save some pocket change but later decided that the benefits of saving money did not outweigh the enjoyment I get from drinking my favourite beverage.

26. Have a growth mentality instead of a shrinking mentality. Do not settle for less than you deserve in life. Always look for opportunities for growth, whether that means aiming for financial security or finding a career that will sustain you. My husband deserves credit for teaching me this life lesson.

27. I believe that there is a soulmate for every person on this planet. Ladies, if you are still single, consider this as a plausible reason:

“Someday my Prince Charming will come. Mine just took a wrong, got lost, and is too stubborn to ask for directions.” —Unknown

28. It is OK to be yourself even if people don’t always get you. For example, I am hypersensitive to noise and a little neurotic at times. My automatic response to loud noise is to cover my ears and cry. I have cried at a loud football game, I have cried at a loud pub full of drunk people when I was 3 years old and when I was 23 years old. Oh there ain’t no other way because baby, I was born this way!

img_2937_19727604261_o.jpgWell, there you have it. I could keep going but I am feeling 28 right now. Which life lesson(s) did you relate to the most? Please join the conversation and leave a comment below ↓

Thanks for stopping by!

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Breaking Trust

1:00 AM: My heart is pounding through my chest and anger rages through my veins like a forest fire. I’m not angry – I’m furious. I feel like the carpet has been pulled out from under my feet by some prankster. Right now, I’m sobbing like a 2-year old who desperately longs for a comforting hug and a popsicle to soothe the pain. In reality, I am an adult and I won’t be eating any popsicles tonight to help me self-soothe the pain away. The pain I feel is emotional and I’m not the type to eat my feelings anyways.

I apologize for wasting your time with another depressing post. If you would prefer to read something more uplifting and positive, feel free to click away. Because this is the internet and everyone can read my blog posts, I cannot openly express who hurt me or share the juicy details with you. That being said, this post isn’t directed towards you or anyone else in the blogging community. I am writing this blog post because it’s incredibly painful for me to fathom what happened last night and I just want to be understood.

As some of you already know, 2019 has been a bad year for me. I try my best to stay positive but it’s difficult when I’m dealing with $hit that is VERY triggering to my mental health and well-being. Tomorrow, I have my first cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) session on campus so I plan to discuss my anxiety and trust issues with the therapist. I have been on a 3-month waiting list so I am grateful that I am finally getting some professional help.

What the hell is happening to the world?

Everyone handles anger differently. My anger accumulates in the pit of my stomach which makes it difficult for me to eat after experiencing hurt or betrayal. My negative emotions feel like a tangled ball of anger, envy, jealousy, and frustration towards everything that’s wrong in my life right now. It is like I am drowning in my own sea of negative emotions and I have lost the ability to breathe.

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This elegant image of Miku Hatsune illustrates depression in an artistic way. Source: https://weheartit.com/entry/253679447

As Sheldon states from The Big Bang Theory, “Everything is changing and it’s simply too much!” After being mislead and lied to by my loved ones this week, I don’t know who I can trust anymore. I have been lied to by friends in the past which seriously sucks, but loved ones… really? Am I destined to be lied to by everyone I encounter in my life? What other secrets have they been keeping from me?

10:00 AM: In my book, lying is NOT okay. From the moment I met you, I made it very clear that lying is unacceptable and that I won’t tolerate it. However, you made the choice to keep me in the dark by making me oblivious and ignorant to the world around me. Like they say, ignorance is bliss…. but is it really bliss? Even though you felt like it was best to protect me during my most vulnerable moments, you still lied to my face and broke the foundation that we worked so hard to build. You probably felt like I was too emotionally unstable to handle the truth, but you also kept me in the dark. Right now, I’m having a hard time trusting anyone including you.

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Trust is a fragile thing – difficult to build and easy to break.

How does it feel when you realize that you’ve been lied to? Do you believe that it is ever OK to lie to someone? Please join the conversation and leave a comment below ↓ I really enjoy reading your comments! ❤️

Thanks for stopping by!

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🌞The Sunshine Blogger Award 5.0🌞

Whoever is reading this post, thank you for taking time out of your day to connect with me! I hope you are all doing well. In case you missed my last post, here is a link to my last blog post titled 3.2.1 Quote Me! – love. 

screen-shot-2018-03-23-at-8-2116615623 (1)The Sunshine Blogger Award is per recognition award for bloggers who inspire readers by promoting positivity and bringing joy. Thank you, Steve, from Steve’s Country, for nominating me or the award. Your blog really does make me smile “as wide as a country sunrise.”   

I highly recommend that you follow Steve if you haven’t done so already. His collection of beautiful flora and fauna photography, as well as vivid imagery he creates through poetry and personal experiences is sure to take you on an adventure while you sip your morning coffee. We also live in the same country which is pretty cool! Oh Canada! 🇨🇦

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🌞Sunshine Blogger Award Rules🌞

The Sunshine Blogger Award has rules (surprise, surprise!). These rules ensure the success of this award, providing exposure to all the award winners. The rules are quite simple and straightforward.

Rules for Award:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog so others can find them.
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
  • Notify the nominees about it by commenting on one of their blog posts.
  • List the rules and display a Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post and/or your blog site.

Questions I was asked:

1. What is your favourite fruit? Personally, I love them all so it’s hard for me to narrow it down to just one. I can narrow it down to my top 3 favourite fruits: peaches 🍑 mangoes 🥭 and raspberries😍

2. What one place in the world would you like to visit, outside your own country? The cherry blossom festival in Japan!

3. Do you like pets? As a matter of fact, I like cats and dogs. At one point, I wanted to be a veterinarian but I feel like this is every girl’s dream. I co-oped at a veterinary clinic and got to adopt a pug from a litter of pug puppies after witnessing a disturbing euthanasia that left me in tears. I named my pug after the pug that was euthanized in memory of that dog. My pug is now 9 years old and she lives with my parents in Ontario. Recently, my husband and I adopted a cat from a local animal shelter to help me deal with my depression. I love this cat so much and he puts up with a lot of toddler shenanigans….

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Zoë is a 9 year old fawn pug who lives with my parents. She enjoys spending time at my dad’s boat on weekends.

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My boy, Timon, chilling in his cat tree.

4. Do you like beetles? I don’t mind The Beatles as in the band, but I am terrified of creepy crawlies. I get itchy just thinking about beetles.

5. Do you enjoy flower gardening? Honestly, I’ve never tried to tend to a garden. Considering how terrible I am at keeping house plants alive, I rather not chance it. A few potted plants is all I need to be happy.

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I wouldn’t mind having potted plants like these! Courtney S. is the owner of this photo (we were neighbors a very long time ago) but I don’t have a link to give her credit.

6. Do you enjoy yard work? My mom complains about the weeds, so I probably wouldn’t enjoy yard work. I didn’t mind mowing the lawn as a kid because my dad paid me to mow it. Now that I’m an adult, I would prefer to own a property that requires little to no yard maintenance.

7. Do you like winter? If yes, you obviously don’t live around here. By winter I mean at least 5 months with snow on the ground and temps getting as cold as -30°C. NOPE! 👎 I dislike climates that are too hot or too cold. Canada is way too cold for me and our winters/cold temperatures typically last 8+ months of the year with approx. 2 months of scorching hot summers. When it’s -30°C outside and I’m with you, I literally cannot feel my face. Seriously, who thought that living in Canada was a good idea?

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Summer vs. winter in Canada. Don’t let the pretty snow fool you.

8. Do you enjoy traveling? Yes and no. Travelling is a bit stressful and I usually don’t find it relaxing. I haven’t done a lot of travelling so my views might change once I start exploring more countries. This summer, we will be flying across the country to visit our families and honestly, even these “mini vacations” are mentally draining and physically exhausting.

9. Do you enjoy moving? My husband and I move around A LOT. Honestly, I don’t know what home is anymore. Within the last 5 years, we have moved house a handful of times. We will be moving again in a couple of years, hopefully to our forever home. My husband wants to leave Canada for several reasons but I am not thrilled about moving to a foreign country.

10. Do you prefer sunrise or sunset? Notice the word prefer, means pick only one. I prefer sunset because most evenings, I get to watch the sun set. Usually I am still asleep when the sun rises.

11. How many hours of sleep do you prefer to have? Ideally, 8-9 hours of sleep. I can easily sleep 13+ hours on any given day, so I have to force myself to wake up at a reasonable hour. I don’t know why I’m always tired but it’s probably a result of food allergies or intolerance.


🌞Sunshine Blogger Award Nominees🌞

https://thelawofattractionandmylife.com

https://gcerrato.home.blog

https://huguetteantoun.com

https://easydiet.blog

https://mynamaste365online.blog

http://jennylouise.blog/category/healthy-mind

https://vihani.home.blog

https://ashokwahi.wordpress.com

https://sensiblyfrugalliving.home.blog

https://discoveringyourhappiness.com

https://miscellaneousmichelleca.wordpress.com

Questions for the nominees:

1. What country do you live in?
2. What year did you publish your first blog post?
3. What is your favorite blog post you’ve written and why?
4. What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned from blogging?
5. What book has influenced you greatly?
6. What is the meaning of life?
7. If you could eliminate one thing from your daily routine, what would it be and why?
8. What is the scariest thing you have ever done for fun?
9. Are you a listener or a talker?
10. Would you rather have more time or more money?
11. What song best describes your life right now?

And….GO!! There is no pressure to respond to this nomination, as I know you have very busy lives outside of the blogging world. I look forward to reading your answers if you do decide to participate in the Sunshine Blogger Award. I am curious to know what your answers are!

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3.2.1 Quote Me! – Love

I was nominated by the lovely Ilona Madam, who is one of my favourite bloggers in the WordPress community. I love the casual, French vibe she brings to her blog and I feel like we share a lot in common. For example, we are the same age, we are only children, and we are cat moms. She’s also an aspiring model and I’m like, totally not a model.🤷‍♀️

Mes amis, we can all learn from Ilona Madam to dream big in life and persue our passions. If you haven’t already done so, please take a moment to check out her blog. Merci beaucoup! 

Rules: 3.2.1 Quote Me!

“3.2.1 Quote Me” was created by a guy called Rory https://aguycalledbloke.blog/

⭐ Please note that Rory will be re-blogging your responses unless you wish for him to NOT do so 

“Once a week, I will pick a random topic, post two quotes on that topic and nominate 3 bloggers, who in turn will post 2 quotes on the topic and nominate 3 bloggers of their own.” – Rory 

  1. Thank the person who tagged you.
  2. Post two quotes for the dedicated Topic of the Day. → Topic is LOVE ❤️
  3. Select three bloggers to take part in “3.2.1 Quote Me!” → I’m keeping the same topic: LOVE ❤️

➡️ My 2 quotes for the dedicated topic Love:

“Love is like the wind, you can’t see it but you can feel it.”
– Nicholas Sparks, A Walk to Remember

“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.”
 John Lennon

➡️ My nominees:

Huguette

PoojaG

Michelle

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Meeting you 6 1/2 years ago was the best thing that ever happened to me ❤️

♥ HILARY TAN ♥

Manifesting Money Using LoA

Disclaimer: I haven’t read the book, “The Secret,” so I don’t know what I’m doing regarding manifestation. I’ve read a few articles in which I am basing my general knowledge plus guidance I’ve received from bloggers who are more experienced with the Law of Attraction. Thank you, Nova’s Namaste 365 Online, for reassuring me that I really did manifest something on Friday! ♥️

To be completely honest with you, I feel like I am not knowledgeable enough to be writing a post about how to manifest anything using the Law of Attraction (LoA). However, yesterday evening I had a very real and freaky experience where I manifested money within 24 hours after having a dry spell of zero Kijiji sales this past week. I even considered deleting my current ads or significantly lowering my prices to hopefully increase leads.

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#positive-vibes

A couple days ago, I noticed that I was low on cash and down to my last $5 bill. It’s a personal choice of mine, but I try to pay using cash as much as possible to encourage more mindful spending. Later that day using silent prayer, I asked the universe for some money and I specified exactly how I would obtain this money, down to the minute details such as $amount and type of bills. Usually, I will focus on what I want and try to channel my energy so that I have a clear vision of what I’m trying to manifest.

This step is VERY important. You need to create a clear image in your head and believe that what you’re trying to manifest is abundant and available to you. 

I have experienced these little “miracles” on multiple occasions, but I did not connect the dots until now. Most of these miracles involved money manifestations since money makes the world go round, so I am starting to understand why so many people believe in the Law of Attraction. I celebrated my little victory by treating myself to a delicious Jasmine Green Milk Tea [bubble tea] from Chatime at a local bubble tea shop in the heart of downtown Calgary, AB.

img_3305_19712725211_oIf you are feeling adventurous and would like to learn how to make bubble tea at home, I posted a Mango Coconut Bubble Tea recipe listed under the “Smoothies” tab. If you are currently using the WordPress Reader, you will need to open a new window in order to access the page.

I am curious to know what awesome things you have manifested using the Law of Attraction. Please join the conversation and leave a comment below ↓

Thanks for stopping by!

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Practicing Gratitude 🙏🏻

I used to think that keeping a gratitude journal was silly and a waste of time. However, I’ve learned that practicing gratitude can positively influence one’s mental health and well-being. Since having a major depressive episode on April 4, 2019, I started being more mindful of my negative thought patterns as well as making mental notes of the good things that are happening in my daily life. Now, I really wish that I had written these good experiences down. As I continue to gain control over my mental health and work on managing my depression, I plan to eventually quit my antidepressant medication for good. I have a doctor’s appointment scheduled this Thursday to discuss options.

Previously, I haven’t been keeping a physical list of the things that I’m grateful for in my life. Rather than thinking of obvious things that most people are grateful for like food, shelter, family etc., I’m trying to dig a little deeper by appreciating some of the mundane things that many people take for granted. Remember Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs that I previously talked about? Let’s assume that my physiological needs (food, water, sleep, sex etc.) as well as safety needs (roof over my head, resources, property etc.) have already been met.

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My Gratitude List:

1. I tried meditating outside in the courtyard for the first time. The view is quite pretty, especially in the evening. Will I be meditating in the courtyard tomorrow? Probably not. I prefer to meditate from the comfort of my balcony.

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Beautiful view from my balcony this evening. I walked barefoot in the grass today which felt rejuvenating.

2. My husband strongly encourages me to go back to nursing school in January 2020 even though I am afraid of failing again. He suggested that I follow a study schedule by studying for 2 hours a day. So far, this is day 3 and I like to take my sweet time reading this textbook. If I follow this schedule, I calculated that I will have the entire textbook read in three months. A lot of students use this textbook to help them study for the NCLEX-RN exam but I plan on using this textbook to brush up on the fundamentals of nursing and re-learn concepts that I may have missed in school.

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This is the textbook I am using. Right now, I am reading a really boring section about ethics. I have to study ethics each semester which is a requirement by the University.

3. My husband and I walked to the mall this afternoon (and back home again). It takes half an hour to walk there and I was initially reluctant to go. I told him that he owed me a Starbucks beverage if I dragged my ass there. On the bright side, I survived the heat wave and also got my 10,000 steps for the day.

4. When we finally arrived at the mall, I tried the Strawberry Pink Drink from Starbucks and it was really yummy. 😋 Since I’m frugal AF and rather not blow all of my money on Starbucks drinks, I’m going to try and replicate this delicious beverage on the weekend. The DIY recipe that I found comes from www.nutmegnanny.com and their photos are mouthwatering! 😍

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DIY strawberry-coconut refresher recipe and photo credit sourced from nutmegnanny.com

5. I scored some good deals today at Bath and Body Works. Even though I really cut down on my spending over the years, I still buy things from time to time as long as these items are on sale. Today I saved $19.51 because both items were discounted at 75% off which makes me happy. Also, I broke even on some lottery scratch tickets and yet, I still got enjoyment from scratching the lottery tickets without taking a loss. For some reason, today I felt like treating myself!

What are some things that you are grateful for today? I am also curious to know whether or not you keep a gratitude journal. Please join the conversation and leave a comment below ↓

Thanks for stopping by!

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🌞The Sunshine Blogger Award 4.0🌞

Whoever is reading this post, thank you for taking time out of your day to connect with me! I hope you are all doing well. In case you missed my last post, you can read about my opinion about buying and selling locally here

screen-shot-2018-03-23-at-8-2116615623 (1)The Sunshine Blogger Award is per recognition award for bloggers who inspire readers by promoting positivity and bringing joy. Thank you, Snigdha Dekafrom The Soul Searcher, for nominating me back. Although it takes me a while to complete these awards, I still like to finish the ones that are awarded to me personally. 

I highly recommend that you follow The Soul Searcher if you haven’t done so already. She is very optimistic and aspires to accomplish amazing things in her life. For instance, she is currently working on obtaining her Ph.D. in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences while balancing life with leisurely hobbies to include poetry, reading, cooking, and baking to name a few! You go, girl! 💁


🌞Sunshine Blogger Award Rules🌞

The Sunshine Blogger Award has rules (surprise, surprise!). These rules ensure the success of this award, providing exposure to all the award winners. The rules are quite simple and straightforward.

Rules for Award:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog so others can find them.
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
  • Notify the nominees about it by commenting on one of their blog posts. ← I don’t leave comments on their blog posts anymore because it’s spammy. Instead, I tag them in this post so that they will receive a notification about the nomination. 
  • List the rules and display a Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post and/or your blog site.

Questions I was asked:

1. What motivated you to start blogging and still inspires you to blog? I wanted to get away from Facebook and needed a safe place to vent to the world while making sense of my life through writing. A blog seemed like the most logical outlet for my needs. Also, I had previously used WordPress for a project at university, so I already knew how to use this platform when I started blogging. [copied answer from Sunshine Blogger Award 2.0]

2. Which is your favourite book and why? I like self-help books but I don’t really have a preference. The one book that I would recommend to anyone who wants to better themselves is, “You Are a Badass: How to Start Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life” by Jen Sincero. However, there are many books just like this one on the market.

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Look familiar? I used the same image for Sunshine Blogger Award 2.0 

3. Which is that one song currently stuck in your head? The Peppa Pig Theme Song. Peppa Pig is my daughter’s favourite show so it’s usually playing on TV at my house.

4. Three things you would love to do on a rainy day? Yesterday was a rainy day. I started working on the Sunshine Blogger Award 4.0 rough draft because I had time. Later that day, my husband came home and we decided to make strawberry shortcake! Since he wanted to use the desktop computer, I was unable to complete the rough draft, hence why I am working on finishing the questions today. We still needed exercise and usually, we go for a walk outside. However, it was still raining, so we spent time at the mall yesterday evening. 

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Delicious homemade strawberry shortcake in all of its glory.

5. What is the one food in the world that you cannot live without? Fruit! I love all kinds of fruit. If Fruitarianism was an option for me, I would totally be one. #30BAD

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Look familiar? I used the same image for Sunshine Blogger Award 2.0

6. If you could travel somewhere right now, where would it be? Right now, I would like to travel to Singapore again and spend a couple of weeks in the tropics. I am tired of the cold, rainy weather in Canada.

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Sentosa Island, Singapore | Summer 2018

7. Which do you like more – Dreams or Reality? I am a realist so I see things for how they are in the present moment. As much as I like dreams, dreams aren’t real until we make them real by turning our dreams into reality. At the end of the day, we should appreciate reality for what it is, regardless of what your reality happens to be. Here is the definition of a realist, according to Urban Dictionary:

Realists have a firm grip on reality and can see things for what they are, not what they are told they are. Realists have their own views and do not fall victim to propaganda, misconception, or titles!

1. There is the Pessimist who believes the glass is half empty!

2. There is the Optimist who believes the glass is half full!

3. Then there is the Realist who knows it is just half a fucking glass!

8. Love in one word? Unconditional ❤️

9. What do you do to make yourself feel better when you are having a bad day? Usually, I make myself a mug of chai or orange pekoe tea and watch reruns of the Big Bang Theory.

10. Which is your most embarrassing childhood memory? I feel uncomfortable sharing this story on the internet. It has to do with Aunt Flo and a lack of female sanitary products while stuck in Quebec on a school trip. Nuff said. Period. [copied answer from Sunshine Blogger Award 3.0]

11. Three ways you would want to bring more happiness and peace to this world?

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🌞Sunshine Blogger Award Nominees🌞

https://newblogger20.wordpress.com/

https://laviedeuveeblog.wordpress.com/

https://bournemouthgirl.com/

https://selfcaresloth.wordpress.com/

https://sassycatlady.com/

https://retrospectivelily.com/

https://caffeinatedinlosangeles.com/

https://nicolesundays.wordpress.com/

https://renardsworld.wordpress.com/

https://rapturousretreat.wordpress.com/

https://gracethoroughgoodbeauty.wordpress.com/

Questions for the nominees:

1. Why did you decide to start a blog?
2. What year did you publish your first blog post?
3. What is your favorite blog post you’ve written and why?
4. Do you own a pet? If so, what kind?
5. Do you have any routines before you write a blog post?
6. What motivates you to write? Where do you find inspiration?
7. What is your favorite social media platform and why?
8. Are you a coffee or tea drinker?
9. What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned from blogging?
10. Are you satisfied with your blog’s progress so far?
11. What do you fear the most?

And….GO!! There is no pressure to respond to this nomination, as I know you have very busy lives outside of the blogging world. I look forward to reading your answers if you do decide to participate in the Sunshine Blogger Award. I am curious to know what your answers are! BTW, I am reusing the same questions I asked last time because I haven’t previously nominated these bloggers.

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No Shows Really Blow

My laptop is still causing problems so I haven’t been posting as often as I would like. Thank you for being patient with me as I attempt to solve these issues (thank you, handyman husband, for your help in this matter). I am in no hurry to buy a new laptop as I am taking the Frugalwoods Approach to live on a simple budget and making do with what I have.

Kijiji is a Godsend

Some of you may know that I recently embarked on a Kijiji journey as a way to embrace minimalism. I am forever grateful that such a platform exists for us Canadians, where we can attempt to hand our crap over to the next guy in exchange for cold hard cash. The truth is summed up perfectly in this famous quote:

b6e33-o2bo2bh2bh2bl2ba2bl2ba2b-2bc2bo2bmRather than pawn off overpriced junk like the majority of people like to do, I intend to sell my sentimental items at significantly reduced prices because donating was out of the question. These things are still dear to me and have a value attached to them, so knowing that there is a risk that these items could end up in the landfill if I were to donate them makes me feel uneasy. Knowing that someone actually wants to pay money for these items helps me let go of both my physical and mental clutter which is preventing me from discovering my true passions and desires in life. It is my way of saying goodbye to these things in a respectful way, which is a concept that Marie Kondo emphasizes.

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We all gotta start somewhere. During the decluttering process, you might benefit from reading this book: The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

But Then Again, No.

The thought of meeting a stranger doesn’t have to be scary as long as you listen to your intuition and take measures to protect yourself from the scammers and creepers. If anything feels off to you, listen to your gut because it’s probably right. I cannot stress how important it is to have a buddy with you if you are selling to a stranger. Never go alone because you don’t know who you’re dealing with.

🍁 Protect yourselves, my Canadian friends! 🍁

If someone tries to lowball you by offering to pay a price that is significantly lower than what you listed, kindly tell them to GTFO. Seriously, you’ll get good at saying NO to people. I block lowballers because I cannot deal with people who do not take me seriously, and why should I? Lowballing is rude, especially when I have listed my prices competitively low, to begin with. Also, I get the sense that people who cannot pay my asking price don’t actually have the money which is a red flag.

Last but not least, be prepared to be disappointed. People will inevitably bail on you at the last minute or fail to show up at all, hence a “no show.” This actually happened to me yesterday evening. I did not encounter issues with my first customer but my second customer was a different story. She texted me 10 minutes before meeting up to see if I was open to an e-transfer, mind you, for an item I was selling for $7.00. I refuse to do e-transfers because I prefer simple transactions involving cash. Cash is a language everyone understands; either you have it or you don’t.

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All the new Canadian bills looking pretty. Photo credit by Reddit User Zingledorf

I thought her request was suspicious as I proceeded to tell her that there are ATM’s where we were meeting. She gave me some lame excuse as to how she doesn’t have time to go to the bank and get the money. Not to mention that my husband and I drove 30 minutes out of our way to meet her at a location she requested, which was clearly a mistake on our end.

Anyways, I was aggravated by her bailing on me so I ended up stuffing my face with Bulk Barn treats which is something I regretted afterward. Bulk Barn is another Godsend store in Canada, for those who choose to eat their feelings when their emotions get the best of them. In my case, I felt a mix of frustration, anger, and disappointment which translated into sour cola gummies, sour berry gummies, sour cherry gummies and clusters of OMG goodness (not entirely sure what they are but they’re divine). Fortunately, the prices are reasonable and you control how much you buy since everything is weighed.

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Enjoying the beautiful Cotton Candy Sunset last night while typing out the rough draft on my balcony. Sometimes I need to reconnect with nature to overcome writer’s block! 🌸

If you are Canadian, I am curious to know whether or not you have tried Kijiji as a buyer or seller. If you aren’t Canadian, have you used Craigslist or other apps like Let Go? What were your experiences like? Please join the conversation and leave a comment below ↓

Thanks for stopping by!

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