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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Sickly People Everywhere

I initially wanted to write about paying it forward, because I have been blessed with little acts of kindness by people lately. This post ended up being completely different than what I had initially planned to write about. I do not post often because I am in school right now while trying to juggle family and school life. I am aware that I focus most of my attention on other areas of my life, and consequently, this blog suffers because of it.  And I am genuinely sorry for my absence. Unfortunately I will be MIA until April 18, 2019.

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Here is the dilemma that I am dealing with. If you are a student, you may have seen this before.

I want to update you on how I have been doing. In December, if you had read my cookie post, you would have known I was really ill. I ended up getting bronchitis which took additional time to recover. By the time I started feeling human again, the winter semester had started so I needed to focus my attention on school. FOCUS is important to me and school is my top priority. I get criticized for saying this my daughter should be my top priority, right? Right. I devote time to both school AND my daughter but it’s really hard to balance things. I cannot be present 100% of the time for my daughter and I admit I am probably not the best mother in the world right now. But if you are going to judge me, try going to nursing school yourself while trying to devote all of your time to your toddler without encountering these problems:

In February, I was hit with the flu and ended up with recurrent bronchitis. Bronchitis seems to linger in sickly Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (Alpha-1) carriers like me. It is an inherited condition which presents itself similar to asthma. I noticed that my lungs are worse in my late 20’s than they were in my teenage and childhood years.  For this reason, I cannot participate in activities that require running or any strenuous physical activity or I’ll have air hunger. Believe me, it’s awful.

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Sometimes I escape to this place to get work done. Let nature heal you 😊

I thought I was over being sickly and that my body had enough antibodies to fight off whatever sickness lingers on doorknobs and cursed sneezes. The university is full of sickly people. Students feel the need to attend class despite being ill, which I am guilty of myself. Nursing students cannot afford to skip school. I caught something a few days ago which presented itself as a persistent, uncomfortable sore throat and horse cough. I already know how this is going to end which is likely a head cold and sleepless nights. Fun. Now pair this with conjunctivitis (pink eye) and you really have something going for you. I’ve had conjunctivitis for a few days now and saw a doctor yesterday. The doctor advised me to stay home today so that the medication can work its magic. Hopefully my eyes will be less swollen and red by tomorrow!

How do you find balance in your life? How do you balance personal life with school? Please leave a comment below↓

Thanks for stopping by!

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S.L.E.E.P.S. 7-Day Challenge | Day 7

53893244-businessman-feeling-tired-and-low-battery-This is the final day of the 7-Day S.L.E.E.P.S. Challenge and I am happy that some of you want to try the challenge too! If you end up participating in this challenge, please let me know by sending me a link to your first day so that I can follow along. I am currently experiencing an ocular headache so my vision is really wonky right now. However, I need to finish the 7-Day Challenge regardless of how I’m feeling. I have a lot of respect for bloggers who write on a daily basis. How do you do it?

The rest of this journal entry is practically routine by now. I don’t know if I will have time to blog this weekend since the semester is starting to become more intense. After typing up a schedule for Term 4 yesterday, it finally occurred to me that I actually have homework to do. I am a visual learner so I need calendars and charts to keep me on track.

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 over the duration of 7 consecutive days. 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 7 ~ May 24, 2018 tired-and-gaining-weightS – This morning was a blur. I struggled to fall asleep last night and I am still full of worry and doubt. I worry about clinical and keeping up with school. I tried to calm my nerves by taking a shower before bed but I still couldn’t fall asleep 😴 I also tried drinking some strawberry rhubarb parfait tea for the first time and it was delicious. I have several tea samples so I am planning on trying something new tonight.

L – Today, I learned a lot of new skills because I spent the day at my clinical placement. I have very long clinical days which is another reason why I wasn’t in the mood to blog tonight. I have readings to do for tomorrow and need to get ready for bed in a couple of hours. I cannot tell you what I am doing for confidentiality reasons, but clinical is interesting and scary at the same time. I was surprised by the amount of psychology that is directly related to the nursing field. I am actually starting to apply the knowledge that I learned from my psychology classes and I’m using it in real life!

E – I spent the entire day at clinical and have been awake since 5 AM this morning. When I got home, I had zero motivation to do any homework and wasn’t in the mood to blog. I should be doing readings right now but I’m too damn tired. I’m fighting to stay awake as I write this blog post. Also, the dress that didn’t fit me 3 months ago fits me now, so I must have lost weight. I wore this dress two years ago so it makes me happy that I am closer to reaching my pre-pregnancy weight.

E – Here are my short-term plans:
(1) Attend the [protest] meeting tomorrow
(2) Complete Week 2 lecture notes
(3) Finish EBP readings/worksheet for Monday
(4) Write Week 2 anecdotal notes

P – Yes, I actually made several phone calls today! I’m hoping to continue to build on my social skills. Also, I hope to improve my listening skills. If anything, I learned that I shouldn’t be too hard on myself. At least I am taking action by doing something about it. At the end of the day, I can feel good about stepping outside of my comfort zone and trying new things. I believe that uncomfortable situations will eventually become comfortable to you as you continue to make positive changes in your life. You will acquire a higher threshold for tolerance and over time, you will adopt a new level of “normal” in your life.

S – Treating myself from time to time actually puts me in a better mood. Think iced cappuccino. I don’t treat myself very often but if it’s linked to a social event of some kind, then I will allow myself a small treat. I went out with my clinical group so it ended up being a social gathering. Also, given the fact that I was suffering from an ocular headache, the temporary boost of dopamine and sugar spike did help.

Summary

Why did I try this challenge? What was the true intention behind it? Ideally, I wanted to become a more consistent blogger by writing consistently for 7 consecutive days, regardless of my schedule. Also, I was hoping to improve my social skills, focus on fitness, as well as brush up on my writing skills. Because the semester is still young, this was the only opportunity I had to partake in this journey if I was going to do it at all.

I believe that we should start journalling about our S.L.E.E.P.S. on a daily basis. The limitation of this experiment is the time frame. 7 days is not long enough to develop long-lasting habits or do deep reflective work. It takes a lot longer than 7 days to grow as a person and develop long, lasting habits. On a happier note, having the ability to envision your future and develop a detailed plan of action will help you accelerate your progress and enable you to get the results you desire.

I hope that you decide to try this challenge! 😊 Please leave a comment below if you are interested ↓ and feel free to link me to your Day 1 of S.L.E.E.P.S. I would love to read about your journey. Let’s spread some love while crushing our goals!

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S.L.E.E.P.S. 7-Day Challenge | Day 5

Firstly, I want to thank everyone for visiting this blog. Without your support, I wouldn’t have had the motivation or energy to blog consistently. I am amazed that you want to read about the musings of my fantastical life as a nursing student, wife, and mother. If you are new here, this blog is not only focused on personal growth and development but it also highlights the typical struggles of a 20-something Millennial. My goal is to connect with people who may also be dealing with similar issues. I want you to know that you are not alone in this world. And it is okay if you don’t agree with my values and beliefs. To each their own.   

Secondly, if you would like to read about the S.L.E.E.P.S. 7-day challenge, feel free to keep calm and read on. 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 over the duration of 7 consecutive days. 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 5~ May 22, 2018 

S – I have tried convincing friends to blog, especially those who may feel stuck in life, suffer from depression, and/or possess creative writing potential. Personally, writing is very therapeutic for me and it has helped me untangle many complex thoughts that would have otherwise continued to make me depressed and hold me back from challenging the unknown. Last night, I tried convincing a friend to blog again and today, she told me that she wrote a new blog post. I am happy that she took my advice and I hope that she continues to write more often.

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LWhat did I learn today? Where to locate the lost and found. When you are as forgetful as I am, it is important to be able to solve your own problems. The lost and found didn’t have my computer mouse, but I ended up finding it nonetheless. It turns out that kind souls really do exist! My husband was less than amused since he was so adamant that I needed to welcome modern technology into my life. During the long weekend, he even jumped on the opportunity to convince me to buy a brand new mouse. First, there was one mouse. Then, there were two mice. Gosh, I’m turning into a hoarder! 😱

E – Lots and lots of walking. I’m less lazy this semester because it is summer. Actually, I am less lazy because waiting for the bus while the sun beating down on me is actually worse than walking to campus. We didn’t even get to enjoy spring this year. I wasn’t prepared for these drastic temperature changes and I’m still trying to adjust to the unpredictable weather here.

E –  The week has been one big blur so far:
(1) What am I doing again? Not homework, obviously.
(2) Yeah, I’m not filling this out today.

P – I called the in-laws today and Rebecca is adjusting well. She’s a very independent 18-month old and I think she bypassed the shyness stage that most toddlers experience. Also, she’s very comfortable around people so I’m confident that she will enjoy staying with her grandparents. I’m also trying to set up a Skype date with a friend but it’s very difficult to arrange. We have very busy schedules and I am terrible at initiating social events. Sometimes, being extremely introverted which borderlines #hermit-life is safer than being a social butterfly.

S – I am grateful for my health *knock on wood.* Last semester, I became very sick near the beginning of the semester. I encountered a couple of sick people today and had to sanitize my hands 10 times. Are they unaware of herd immunity? Please do us a favor and stay home if you are sick. In terms of stress, this week is like the calm before the storm. I don’t know what I should be doing or studying right now. It is difficult for me to stay focused on anything without a visualized plan. Am I about to face another wave of depression or am I drowning in an ocean of uncertainty?

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Is this really what depression feels like? Sometimes I feel like I am drowning underwater. Source: http://i.ntere.st/a/170318124/p

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 4

Today is Day 4 of the 7-Day S.L.E.E.P.S. challenge! Ahhhh! I almost forgot to write an update because I was too immersed in my errands. That being said, today was quite adventurous for me. I finally took the 3 km hike to MCDs. There was a trail to follow alongside the busy highway. Even though there was lots of traffic at 9am in the morning, the view was very scenic. The sun was shining, it wasn’t too hot but warm enough that I didn’t need a jacket, and the grass was green. However, there was one disturbing thing that I saw below the bridge. I saw what appeared to be an empty backpack with clothes that were scattered on the grass next to it, but there was nobody in sight. It made me think very disturbing thoughts. Was someone abducted? Murdered? *shivers*

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 over the duration of 7 consecutive days. 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 4 ~ May 21, 2018 

S – Last night, I listened to some self-help podcasts (thank you, Leo Gura, from http://www.actualized.org) while I cleaned the apartment and worked on my upcoming lecture notes for the week. I had a very lonely evening last night and couldn’t help but cry. It was just one of those depressing nights where the world seems to be turning but your world stands still. Whenever I feel this way, the last place I want to be is on social media so I avoid it like the plague.

When I am feeling sad, one thing that helps me feel better is the WordPress blogging community. Most of my readers and fellow bloggers live on the opposite side of the world so they are usually awake when I should be asleep. It is nice being able to vent about my problems to people who are experiencing similar hardships. Even though this community exists online, I am grateful to have encountered some wonderful people in this blogging community! 💖

Thankful-quote-hd-wallpaper-2015.jpgL – I learned that I can do more than one thing in a day lol After the refreshing walk to MCDs and back, I had the energy to bus to the nearby lame mall again. There, I ended up running some errands that I had put off last week. I also forgot to eat breakfast and lunch today.🤷‍♀️ I also forgot to eat dinner but today I am not hungry, and when I am not hungry, I don’t force myself to eat.

E – I think we covered this one for today. This also fits under Learn: I learned that I am very capable of getting bikini body ready for the end of summer/early fall. It won’t happen right away but I am not far from reaching my goal. The weight is coming off naturally ever since I gave up junk food. It may only be 10 lbs that I need to lose because I am a small person, but getting toned is what I am working on right now. Today, I feel like I got a solid workout from walking and carrying 5 heavy bags of groceries back home. That’s called weightlifting, my friend.

E – Here are my plans for tonight/tomorrow:
(1) Prepare meals for tomorrow
(2) Pack everything and try not to forget anything
(3) Does my hair smell? No. Well, have a shower anyway
(4) Make a document with due dates because I dunno wtf is happening anymore

P – I was planning to call the in-laws but they were at their cottage today. My mother had to tell me to call them because it didn’t cross my mind to do it myself. Does this forgetfulness make me a bad mother because I didn’t think to ask how my daughter is doing? I know that Rebecca is well taken care of and that she’s probably having way more fun at the cottage than she would be having at home. Here are some photos that they sent me and I wanted to share them with you!

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My baby girl is hundreds of miles away but she doesn’t seem too upset. Here, she is enjoying the sunshine at the in-laws’ cottage.

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Baby Becca has always had a love for shoes! She’s going to be a shoe lover when she grows up…. just like her “nan” (my mother)

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I love this photo so much! ❤️ I didn’t have this toy car as a kid and always wanted one. They look like so much fun! ❤️

S – I am happy that I have a new laptop mouse that is easy to use, that my daughter had a good day at the cottage and that my husband made it safely home. My husband and I are not living together right now (we both live in separate provinces with no family) but he is working on getting transferred here. I miss him and my baby girl a lot, and the way I cope is through nursing school. Nursing school keeps me on my feet and it is very fast pace, so I have no time to feel sorry for myself. I’m not sure if this coping mechanism is healthy or not, but having a blog where I can express my feelings when I am feeling vulnerable helps me feel better.

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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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