S.L.E.E.P.S. 7-Day Challenge | Day 3

Today is Day 3 of the 7-Day S.L.E.E.P.S. challenge! I took an iron supplement last night but it takes weeks for supplements to work their magic. The iron supplement that I take is a prescription that has a higher potency than regular iron supplements. Usually, I am exhausted, but today, I forced myself to take the bus to the clinical placement. I got lost getting there but managed to find the location nonetheless. The bus stops aren’t conveniently located so I ended up getting a good workout.

If you would like to read about the S.L.E.E.P.S. 7-day challenge, you can find my first posting here. This challenge was originally mentioned on a podcast called Operation Self Reset. The purpose of this challenge is to document personal progress, crush goals, and conquer fears for a week. Here is the breakdown from Day 1:

The acronym is S.L.E.E.P.S.

S – Smile: what made you smile yesterday?
L – Learn: what did you learn today?
E – Exercise: how did you exercise?
E – Execute (x4): what are your goals and what are you doing to achieve them?
P – Phone call: who did you call/text today? Show them gratitude.
S – Smile: what made you smile today?


Day 3 ~ May 20, 2018 

S – Last night, I ran out of crackers and had to get creative so I made toast. Usually, toast tastes bland and dry but the bread is delicious. I also ate a few tomatoes and am feeling more energized. I’m trying to eat everything in my apartment before buying more food to include food in the fridge, freezer, pantry etc. Yesterday, I enjoyed a bottle of Grapefruit Perrier that has been in my pantry for months and it was delicious! 💖

Here is a big reason for me to smile. This morning, I received a notification that I reached a new milestone of 50 followers! Woooot! I would like to thank my lovely followers for joining me on this journey towards self-awareness and personal growth. Thank you for all of your support including your comments, likes, suggestions, and emails. This blog is alive and thriving because of you! 🧡 🧡 🧡

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Thank you for following Sereneluna and giving this blog some L.O.V.E. ♡♡♡

L – I learned that I still have cravings for steeped tea. I was planning to treat myself today if I found the clinical placement, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I could smell the aroma of coffee at a nearby Tim Hortons and I even sat in the chair by the fireplace. Just as I was about to buy a steeped tea, I left the store and took the bus home. I am only human and seek comfort food from time to time, especially since my family isn’t here. But then I remembered that I still have Perrier in the fridge it is just as good.

E – Like I mentioned above, I took the bus to the clinical placement and did a lot of walking. I walked in circles trying to find the place LOL. I don’t know what I would do without the GPS on my phone! Also, I hid the keyboard and remote for the TV because I have been spending way too much time being a couch potato. As tempting as it is to watch reruns all day, this activity is the king of procrastination. I won’t be watching any more TV since I haven’t been doing my homework all week. Oops.

E – Here are my plans for the rest of the weekend:
(1) Clean the apartment. Clean the dishes.
(2) Take a 3 km walk to MCDs for iced coffee
(3) The stove is still broken but I’ll live without it
(4) Write a to-do list for week 2 summer semester

P – So far, I only talked to my husband on the phone today and he sent me a very cute photo of our baby girl, my sister-in-law, and brother-in-law. I also received a couple text messages from acquaintances/friends but I’m in no hurry to keep the conversations going right now. Texting is dying and I find very little joy via texting these days. Phone calls would be more ideal but I feel like most Millennials are not inclined to call people.

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S – I am happy that I haven’t run out of food yet and don’t need to make a trip to the grocery store. I will put off grocery shopping for as long as possible and I have been eating mostly nutritious healthy food. Also, I am happy that I banned myself from watching TV because I know that deep down, limiting distractions will help me become more productive. Last semester, I didn’t have the TV and as a result, I was actually productive. Drop the excuses! 

Will you join me on this 7-day challenge? Please leave a comment below ↓ and feel free to leave a link to your blog if you decide to join me. I would love to read about your S.L.E.E.P.S. Let’s spread some love while crushing our goals!

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S.L.E.E.P.S. 7-Day Challenge | Day 2

Today is Day 2 of the 7-Day S.L.E.E.P.S. challenge! Like the acronym suggests, I am actually feeling exhausted today. My iron deficiency anemia has caught up with me yet again and I crashed on the couch this afternoon. A trip to campus and local mall this morning was exhausting for me and unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take the bus to find the clinical placement today. I wanted to go there and had good intentions, but battling anemia is another challenge. I think I need to start taking my iron supplements in order to be a somewhat-functioning human.

If you would like to read about the S.L.E.E.P.S. 7-day challenge, you can find my first posting here. This challenge was originally mentioned on a podcast called Operation Self Reset. The purpose of this challenge is to document personal progress, crush goals, and conquer fears for a week. Here is the breakdown from Day 1:

The acronym is S.L.E.E.P.S.

S – Smile: what made you smile yesterday?
L – Learn: what did you learn today?
E – Exercise: how did you exercise?
E – Execute (x4): what are your goals and what are you doing to achieve them?
P – Phone call: who did you call/text today? Show them gratitude.
S – Smile: what made you smile today?


Day 2 ~ May 19, 2018 

S – I did something spontaneous today and got my eyebrows waxed and tinted. They were unmanageable and I finally decided to pamper myself. I also got a second pair of scrubs for clinical and found some nursing shoes. 👠These shoes are funky and I was unsure about the pattern. However, I think that these shoes will help me stand out from the other students! These Alegria Debra Water Baby shoes are super comfortable to walk in because they have cork soles.

I shouldn’t be a Debbie downer but I lost my tracking mouse, which is inconvenient to replace. Ironically, I still have the marble and the piece that connects to the laptop, but it’s useless without the mouse. 😭 Everyone disliked my mouse because they couldn’t figure out how to use it. I am sad to have lost it during the lecture yesterday but my husband is relieved that I have to use a “modern mouse” now.

L – I learned that I need to start treating my iron deficiency anemia because it’s affecting my productivity. I also learned where the lost and found is on campus. I will check it out next week but I doubt that the mouse will be there. I pray that some kind soul returns it to its rightful owner.

E – I walked to the bookstore and wandered around campus today. I then took the bus to the mall and spent 3 hours there. This mall is kinda lame, however, they had everything I was looking for. By the time I got home, I took a nap and didn’t have the energy to leave the house again. I also realized that I need to get groceries or I will be living off of Kraft Dinner next week.

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Sorry MLP lovers but I am not a fan of ponies or cartoons featuring ponies. I don’t get what this GIF means. I like D.W. even though she loves ponies so she is an exception.

E – Here are my plans for the rest of the weekend:
(1) Take the bus and find the clinical placement
(2) Need groceries for next week or get creative with pantry food
(3) Let the landlord know that the stove is broken
(4) Clean the apartment. Make some overnight oats for tomorrow morning.

P – I called my mom today and also chatted with my husband on the phone for a while. I miss my husband and 18-month old daughter terribly and I wish they lived here. I didn’t talk to any friends today and I’m not in the mood to text people or check social media. I am feeling antisocial this weekend which is usually a sign that another depression wave is looming. Isolation usually makes the situation worse so I try to leave the house once a day.

S – Well, at least I left the house today even though it’s the only productive thing I did all day as well as writing this blog post. I always feel better after publishing a new post and will try to keep up with blogging during the summer semester. Right now, I feel like a bus ran me over because I am so drained of energy. Here is another thing to smile about: thank goodness for autosave. I accidentally closed the tab which is another sign that I desperately need caffeine!

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Will you join me on this 7-day challenge? Please leave a comment below ↓ and feel free to leave a link to your blog if you decide to join me. I would love to read about your S.L.E.E.P.S. Let’s spread some love while crushing our goals!

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S.L.E.E.P.S. 7-Day Challenge

Today, I was searching for new podcasts to listen to and I stumbled upon a podcast called Operation Self Reset. Immediately, I was hooked because this highly-engaging podcast focusses on personal growth and development which happens to be my favorite genre! There was a specific episode that made me think deeply about finding the motivation to gain more balance and happiness in my life.

By embarking on a 7-day challenge, this challenge will help me reflect on my daily activities and pinpoint areas that need improving. I want to do this challenge because I need to make positive changes in my life, and most importantly, maintain long-term positive vibes. I feel like the main points of the acronym cover all of the areas that I need to focus on. NOW is the time to start. Not tomorrow. Not next month. No matter how many excuses I have, I need to start this challenge today.

The acronym is S.L.E.E.P.S.

SSmile: what made you smile yesterday?
LLearn: what did you learn today?
E – Exercise: how did you exercise?
EExecute (x4): what are your goals and what are you doing to achieve them?
P – Phone call: who did you call/text today? Show them gratitude.
SSmile: what made you smile today?


Day 1 ~ May 18, 2018 

S – I don’t remember what made me smile yesterday because I had a bad day. I was so tired and lethargic and I slept for 12 hours last night. I was worried about my clinical next week. I was worried about my husband and daughter flying on the plane. I was praying that they would arrive safely at their destination. I was full of worry.

L – I learned about Family Assessment Models and Intervention Models in lecture today. The material is dry but I managed to get my readings done for the week. I was able to follow the lecture because I read ahead earlier this week. It is rare for me to work ahead so I guess that is something to smile about. ☺️

E – I walked to school and wandered around campus today. I think that the campus is big and my classes are spaced relatively far apart. Ever since moving to this new city, I started engaging in a great deal of walking. There is no need for me to join a gym because I get adequate exercise when I’m outside.

giphy1.gifE – Here are my goals for the weekend:
(1) Need nursing shoes for May 31
(2) Need another pair of scrubs
(3) Take the bus and find the clinical placement
(4) Finish cleaning the apartment

P – I tried calling my husband but he seemed busy. I texted a friend and she seemed annoyed that I sent her an article to read. I don’t like texting because it is difficult to read body language. Usually, I don’t call people unless it’s my husband or my mother. It will be hard to reach out to people through phone calls but I understand the impact of a phone call vs. a bland text message. At this time, I don’t see myself executing phone calls to friends yet.

S – I broke my Tim Hortons steeped tea fast today after my 21-day ban. Society’s belief system suggests that it takes 21 days to break a habit. However, I was miserable without my steeped tea and the caffeine withdrawal headaches were unbearable. It is not worth being miserable so I will allow myself 3 large steeped teas per week and the occasional iced coffee at MCDs as long as I walk there and back (3 km total distance).

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Will you join me on this 7-day challenge? Please leave a comment below ↓ and feel free to leave a link to your blog if you decide to join me. I would love to read about your S.L.E.E.P.S. Let’s spread some love while crushing our goals!

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Happily Ever After

sunset-hands-love-womanThis post may be a day or two late, but I can explain. Still, I am not the proud owner of a laptop and am having a difficult time blogging from a cell phone. When will this madness stop?! May 7 is a special day for my husband and me because it marks our 2 year anniversary. When people ask me how I know that he is my soulmate, or ask me for relationship advice, I tell them this:

“I just know he is right for me because my heart says yes. I do not have to think about it or question where we stand in our relationship. It feels right to me so therefore, it must be.” -Hilary Tan

Love is simple, love is kind, and love does not have to be a complicated hot mess. A relationship is only as difficult as the two persons make it out to be. Your fate is manifested by the mutual exchanges between you and your partner. A relationship cannot work if both parties aren’t committing to each other or communicating effectively.

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Our 2 year anniversary and 5 years of being together is another reminder that we are doing something right. ❤︎ ❤︎ ❤︎

I am writing this post on our anniversary, May 7, but it still needs editing and further tweaking. Tonight we binged on Limoncello cake from Costco. Oh Costco, you really do have the best cake. I love this cake! 🍰 So much for my diet and my goal to quickly lose the rest of my pregnancy weight this summer.

Who says you have to get fancy cake at the bakery? Costco is where it’s at; not to say that the Costco bakery isn’t fancy but you know what I mean.

I snapped a few photos of this lovely cake at home but I don’t think that the photos turned out well. We recently moved a bunch of stuff into the apartment so it’s very disorganized and cluttered right now. It’s not the most ideal place for snapping pics that are supposed to last a lifetime. However, there is one noteworthy photo to share – the lovely orchid that my husband got me to celebrate our anniversary! He is so thoughtful 🌺

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The orchid is cut off in the photo (left side). This is the extent of my photography skills. My hubby seems to be enjoying the cake very much 🍋

Anniversaries don’t have to be expensive or extravagant if you don’t want them to be. For us, we are perfectly happy with our $17 cake that tasted amazing and the lovely orchid thank you very much. I am slightly annoyed by the Mother’s Day advertisements that were shoved in my face last weekend while we were at the mall. It’s just another reminder that we must BUY ALL THE THINGS!!

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I could not find a decent BUY ALL THE THINGS! meme so I give you The Simpsons.

Why are we celebrating our special moments in a simpler way? Less stress. More savings $$$. We are embracing life as frugal Millenials not because we have to but because we want to. The cake was our splurge and it was totally worth the money and the calories. This purchase wasn’t senseless. When we see most of our peers living paycheck to paycheck and struggling to make ends meet, we realize that this is not the lifestyle that we want to manifest for ourselves. We are willing to embrace the frugal life if it means living more comfortably. Having a bunch of expensive jewelry and other bling that we apparently desire based on what society tells us we want won’t make us happy in the long run.

 

 

RIP Old Friend 💀❌

My poor MacBook had an unfortunate encounter with my beloved steeped tea the other day. Steeped tea has always been my stress reliever go-to drink whenever I needed a caffeine buzz, and admittedly, it’s still my favorite caffeinated drink to this day, mainly because it’s still cheaper than anything else to be had on campus. Therefore, I learned to love this comforting drink despite the price hikes because of #Canadian-inflation. Tim Hortons, you need to redesign your lids. Seriously! They are the flimsiest lids compared to the lids from other coffee chains and they’re not very ergonomic in my humble opinion. Although I’m a devoted steeped tea lover, I learned a valuable lesson this week; that Apple products cannot handle the tiniest spill of tea or water. It doesn’t matter how fast you are to react and clean up the spill because you can kiss your Macbook goodbye. I know other people who have also experienced the unfortunate deaths of their MacBooks so I understand their losses on a personal level.

To the few kind souls who read my posts, I have not been able to write as religiously as I would like to. Now that the semester is finally over, I have no more excuses, except for the fact that I am without a laptop for a while. As I madly type away on the school’s computer, I am once again reminded of the fact that this problem could have been avoided had I not been overly-anxiously-stressed-to-the-max in study-cram mode. I don’t know whether to blame Tim Horton’s for their horrible cup design, or the fact that Apple products are unreliable. Or maybe this mess really is my fault and I’m just too damn klutzy.  It’s just not the same typing on a desktop computer but I better get used to it quickly. Like any proper funeral, I went ahead and wrote a eulogy which is “a speech or piece of writing that praises someone or something highly, typically someone who has just died.” The reference came from Google search.

Dear CrapBook, 
Even though you could barely hold a charge and I was forced to sit at the back of the lecture room in order to survive the 3 hour lectures by arriving half an hour early to guarantee my spot next to the ONLY outlet available to 110 students, even though my back killed from dragging you to class in which I had to resort to a really lame reusable grocery bag to carry you in, even though I was always the last one out of class because of the unnecessary bags that I had to drag around thanks to you, even though Nicholas stayed up all night to install Windows on you because I couldn’t operate your iOS interface, even though you crashed a couple of times and I lost all of my lecture notes and photos more than once, you were still my laptop. Even though you were a pain in the neck and I only had you since 2014, not having you at my convenience made me realize that I live in a society that takes technology for granted.

💀 RIP old friend 💀

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Yes, I edited this image myself. By HILLZ

Pandora’s Box

It has finally happened. All of the sleepless nights I spent wondering whatever happened to Jenna* became very clear but only for a millisecond. I had forgotten that I buried Pandora’s Box under a pile of 0’s and 1’s, hidden in a place where boredom and curiosity finally revealed it for all its worth. In other words, I didn’t realize that I had access to her gossip and haterade. I had completely forgotten that we were still “friends” in that realm which meant I would be able to see her entire profile. However, whether or not it was my Guardian Angels or God, they protected me at that very moment. Reflexively, I deleted Pandora’s Box, where it will ultimately remain out of my reach forever, and I did this without thinking, without comprehending what had just happened. I only realized what I had done seconds later. Without reading all of the FOMO that I could have feasted my eyes upon tonight, everything vanished before curiosity could even kill the cat. In the end, I didn’t get to see or read anything, which is the irony of it all.

Spoiler alert: the cat is very much alive. Here I was, so close to getting what I wanted, and when I finally had the chance to read her latest gossip like a kid in a candy shop, I had banished it before my eyes like a parent to my inner child.

Did I do this subconsciously out of anger and loathing?

Or did I do this because, at that very moment, a spirit much larger than humankind decided to protect me? But what does this even mean?

Was there something in Pandora’s Box that would have deeply hurt me had I read it? I mean, JD hurt me terribly, and I am still trying to move on in order live a life free of drama.

But what exactly was in her box that I needed to be protected from?

Perhaps, if I am being protected for my own good, then this realization makes me even more curious about what was in Pandora’s Box. At the same time, this eye-opening experience is a reminder that I must remove my washed-up digital footprint from the universe so that another rendezvous like this one won’t happen again. People say that whatever you share online lasts forever, so if that statement is true, I will finally remove my past by locking it up for good and throwing away the key so that nobody, including myself, will have access to it.

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Jenna* is no her real name. The name has been changed because of #confidentiality 

 

What is “normal”, anyway?

I am on a verge of a mental breakdown. It has been 2 months since I moved into my apartment. During my first week here, I assumed that cats lived above me because it was quiet enough to hear a pin drop and there were no signs of obnoxious behavior. At least, not yet. This was before Godzilla moved in a few days later, prior to the start of winter semester. I am writing this post because I want my voice to be heard. I feel like the people around me don’t care or have the time of day to listen to me complain, and they don’t sympathize with me at all.

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Perhaps the downside of being extremely intelligent? 🙆

I am a 20-something female who you would call introverted, a girl who keeps to herself, a girl who suffers from social anxiety and to make matters worse, a girl who has Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) to an extent. Although my mother had me tested as a child, I do not think that the doctors were actually testing me for ADD, more so, they were looking for a learning disability. Isn’t that what ADD is, a learning disability? However, they didn’t confirm that I have ADD. It takes me significantly longer to complete assignments and tests compared to the average person, and I do not get any special treatment. People treat me like any normal person because like I said before, my ADD was never diagnosed or confirmed, and therefore, it must not exist. The world is very linear but my world is much more complex. Even though I wasn’t diagnosed with hypersensitivity, I know for a fact that I am a chronic sufferer of this condition along with social anxiety, thus, making apartment living unbearable.

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My 8-month-old daughter at the time

Apartment living is a nightmare for me, especially at night when I need to sleep for my 8am classes and 9-hour campus days. What one would call normal noise threshold, I would call loud. I cannot tolerate noise whatsoever. The noise threshold of a concert or DJ playing music at a wedding is too much for me. My ears do not shut out loud noises like normal people and yes, the doctor confirmed that I was born this way. I have autistic tendencies, but I wouldn’t say that these are necessarily bad qualities. For example, we did not have a dance at our wedding and I have no regrets whatsoever. We had a day wedding so we decided that a dance, which usually occurs at night, was not necessary. My 15-month old daughter did not inherit my genes because she can sleep through booming noises with ease. She must have inherited these superpowers from her daddy.

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Sheldon’s struggle is real

My hypersensitivity is really starting to negatively affect my life. I started wearing earplugs all the time in the apartment, on the bus, while walking to campus etc. and I hardly ever remove them from my ears, thus exacerbating the issue of mysophobia – a sensitively/hatred to sound which has been found to be common in people with hypersensitivity. Godzilla, my neighbor upstairs, enjoys being obnoxious especially when I am trying to study or sleep and it has started to take a negative toll on my life. I still fail to get quality sleep despite the industrial earplugs, white noise machine, and fan blasting in my bedroom. As a result, my grades will pay the ultimate price due to lack of focus and concentration. Thanks, insomnia! Surprisingly, my essay writing skills have improved but writing takes significantly less brain power vs. studying. When I write essays, my mind is on autopilot while I blast Tokyo Ghoul instrumental music to drown out the elephant, er, I mean…. gorilla stomps above me. I have tried studying on campus, but at night I cannot sleep because of Godzilla’s annoying tendencies. I don’t want to complain or continue to aggressively bang on the ceiling since these temporary solutions are not long-term answers. I already requested transferring to the top floor but my request could not be accommodated for various reasons. Today I cried my little heart out. I felt defeated and mentally drained. I have even considered behavioral therapy but who has the time for that?

I’m desperate for solutions, so if you are reading my blog post and can relate to my struggle, please leave your suggestions in the comment section below ↓ I am desperate for your help.

Library Boredom

A LIST OF THINGS TO DO💡

1) Hide in the aisles and surprise people by jumping out at them – and then run away!

2) Take an elevator ride up to the top level and back down again. Repeat.

3) Climb the stairs carrying a virtual flag and pretend to stab the floor when you reach the 6th floor!

4) Order every item on the Williams menu.

5) Try to take out $1 from the ATM machine.

6) Go to the front desk and ask someone to exchange $1 for 100 pennies.

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This list was inspired by my friend Grace* while we were bored at the McLaughlin Library. Name has been changed for confidentiality. 

 

 

Less Is More

Ever notice that you have more abundance when you stop trying so hard? This is a phenomenon I have been experiencing lately. In a nutshell, if you have less expectations, you’ll naturally attract more opportunities into your life. Here are a few examples: 

Example 1 A month ago I flirted with minimalism and started decluttering my house, thanks to Frugalwoods. To this day, I am still living by these new frugal standards and believe I am starting to form a lasting habit. Even though it’s only been a month, I am feeling significantly happier. New items seem to welcome themselves into our home without my warm embrace, so I am constantly looking for old items to purge. It’s not any less cluttered in our small apartment dwelling than it was before, but I now have a grip on the stuff that naturally has a tendency to cling. And this is VERY freeing.

Example 2 I thought that it would be fun to try selling my unwanted items locally. These days, there are various apps that can assist in such a task such as Letgo and VarageSale. In theory, this concept seems pretty straight forward. 1. Post your items 2. Write a bad-ass advertisement 3. Pray that someone messages you 4. Profit $$$. What they don’t tell you is that small town dwellers will have a difficult time selling on these sites. The reality is that you probably won’t get the messages that you’ve been hoping for and you may end up wondering if your stuff actually does suck despite the great ad you poured your heart and soul into.

I have some good news for you. There is hope and it doesn’t have to be this difficult. Do yourself a huge favor and ditch the apps. Sell within marketplace garage sale groups where people actually congregate. Think Facebook garage sales. Post your ad there and walk away. It’s that simple. People will actually flock to you because Facebook is the place where most people spend their free time and likely stumble upon your stuff.

Example 3 A month ago, I also made the commitment to cut my spending habits which meant no more junk food purchases except for the occasional treat. I am very bad at keeping track of my spending habits so I write everything down. This method helped me see where I was spending money and made me conscious of the junk food I was treating myself to on a weekly basis daily basis. In reality, my “occasional treat” was really my every-other-day treat or days-when-I’m-stressed treat or I’m-freezing-I-need-a-fancy-hot-beverage treat. By slashing my spending habits in half, I also managed to lose a few post-partum pounds with minimal effort.

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Christmas came early this year 😀

Example 4 Opposites attract. Literally. After I stopped buying junk food, we still seemed to welcome a lot of treats into our house from external sources. Mall trick or treating, candy given to me parents, the in laws etc. I mean, look at this candy! This is candy I accumulated without spending a cent. I believe that if treats are given to you, then it is perfectly acceptable to eat and enjoy them without guilt. Savor the moment and all of the good that comes from giving (and receiving). Both sides can be sweet.