Think about you, too.

She was thinking about the chaos in her country. A group of terrorists attacked and almost got a hold of an entire city. It has been days and yet the war still goes on. There are still some civilians trapped in the area.

She was thinking of her family. They are not currently in the best condition. Being unemployed bother her and she feels like she’s no use in their house. She was also thinking about other people and how they view her and how they may judge her for her life decisions.

She was thinking too much. She was thinking a lot but snap! Why was she not thinking about herself?

For how many times, I’ve talked about how life can get painful. I’ve also talked about self-love. Sadly, when the former becomes too much, the latter hides behind the curtains. We tend to forget about ourselves when utter chaos hit our world. Actually, even the act of thinking too much about so many things is in itself destructive to ourselves.

If the things you worry about need your attention, let me tell you and so do you. Other people can attend to those other things but who will attend to you? It should be you too.

What we should do is to detach. Think about you and detach from everything else for a while. Detach and de-stress. Give yourself a permission to do these not just because you want to but because you need too. We all need to relax and re-energize.

Whatever would make you feel relaxed is up to you. You do it. You do it, especially during those times when it seems to be the least important thing to do because your plate is full. If you miss to find relaxation during those times, stress may build up in you.

Just don’t forget about yourself. Go backstage every time you have a chance, and do what you could do there to give yourself the love and care that you need and deserved.

24 New (and not-so-new) Habits

As I’ve mentioned in my post, Decluttering, I’ll be turning 24 next month (specifically on the 7th). I want to improve myself and my life now that I’m becoming a fully bloomed adult. I want to be proud of myself and inspire others too. For me, that’s my main goal in life – to be of inspiration in any positive way.

To achieve my goal, I’ve decided to pledge to observe 24 new and not-so-new good habits. This is also my way of becoming aware of the things that I do wrong and then ultimately stop myself from doing them.

I want to share to you these 24 habits. You can borrow some or you can also create your very own established habits. I think the last one is the most important of all.

1. Be Less Digital

I will be honest, every single day, I’m in my phone the most. And I’m pretty sure I’m not alone. I’m pretty sure there are a lot of us who prioritize social media. It’s like missing out on a news about our idol or about the person we care about is the greatest sin of life. In my case, it’s getting out of hand. All I want to do is be on social media all-day everyday. It’s such a bad habit.

From now on, I will only go on social media whenever I’m in my desk. I will also try my best to not be on my desk all-day everyday. This is only the first step.

2. Stop being lazy for myself.

I take a bath twice daily since I’m living in the hot and humid Philippines. But I know, that’s not enough self-care. I really get lazy to put on mask, to clean my nails, and the likes. This time, I’d be more industrious and willing to be more physically pleasing. I will tend to my nails once every two days and I will do mask twice a week. I’ll do other hygiene tasks more often.

3. Eat clean.

No more junk food. No more fast food. I’ll eat more vegetables. I will stay away from fatty and salty food. I will also drink lots and lots of water daily.

4. Be fit and physically confident.

I will workout even if I don’t feel like it. I’ll get back to my morning walks. My body clock has quite been messed up for a couple of weeks and so I wasn’t able to get up early. I’ve forgotten the day I last did a morning walk. But, I’ll get back to it. I really would.

I will make my body stronger through strength training and yoga and then, I’m certain that I could be confident with it. I will also be able to maintain my blood sugar at normal level.

5. Stop making excuses.

For the longest time, I’m not making any progress in my life due to excuses that I’m making up. I always say I can’t because of this and because of that. This time, no more excuses. I will be a doer now.

6. Stop complaining.

I don’t know why but I always find time and reasons to complain. I complain about my life the most and complaining does not benefit me. So, I would stop. I will also stop comparing my life to others’.

7. Use my time efficiently.

I will find new things to do that will make me more productive. I need to find something that I will enjoy so that whenever I feel bored, I will not resort to using my phone. Hopefully, I could find something profitable.

8. Read more.

I really want to gain more knowledge about anything, but mostly those I could use practically. I also want to enter new worlds and meet new awesome people by reading fictional stories.

9. Write more.

Well… 🙂 I also want to create new worlds and new people.

10. Listen more.

This is another way for me to obtain useful information. I also want to understand other people better. And maybe, just maybe, by listening more to other people, I’d be able to understand myself better. Listening, I know, is also a way of doing someone a favor. Let’s admit it, we are all longing for a person who’s willing to listen to us.

11. Talk more.

Since I am an introvert, I tend to be really quiet. This is why people label me as weird and why they cannot understand my personality. I need to talk more. I need to adjust to them so that we can understand each other. I need to do this for myself. I need to learn how to express myself, how to translate my thoughts and emotions into spoken words. I need to finally speak up.

12. Be more open.

Another strong characteristic that I have is being sensitive. It hinders me from growing because I tend to close my ears than listen to criticisms. Let’s be honest, some criticisms are important. They’re our push to improve. I will now be more open to hear out what people have to say about me and think about them rationally.

13. Say “yes” more.

I will also become more open to opportunities. I will explore the world. I will explore my potentials. I will be willing to try on new things. I will no longer let myself regret not doing this and not doing that.

14. Be more myself.

Most people who know me think I’m serious. I’m really not. Although I’m quite temperamental, I also have a goofy side. I believe I can also pull of a good sense of humor. I can be a little cray in public doing unexpected things for fun. People see me as a complicated person but I’m just really a simple human being. I get happy over the simplest things and get sad over the silliest things. I’m just like everybody else. 

15. Take care of my inner self.

I will continue my habit of meditating daily and doing yoga. I will also pamper myself every once in a while for utmost relaxation. I will also attend to my inner child by playing with my nephews and cousins, by watching cartoons, and many other ways.

16. Always be joyful and thankful.

A grateful heart is a happy heart. Instead of focusing on the things that I don’t have, I will always put in mind how fortunate I am for having everything that I have. Everyday, I will take time to thank God.

17. Be thoughtfully honest.

I am honest, sometimes too painfully honest that I already hurt other people. It’s time I change my ways. I’ll find the right words to say before ending up saying the wrong words. I will always consider other’s feelings. I now realize that it’s not enough to be logical, we also need to be compassionate. We cannot straighten a mistake with another mistake. And the reality is, people will only appreciate honesty if it’s kind.

18. Be optimistic.

Despite being an idealist, I admit I’m extremely pessimistic. I worry about the silliest things and did it help me? Absolutely not. From now on, I’d be more positive. I’ll let myself think more of the positive results of whatever that I want to do and be excited about it than of the negative results and just be discouraged.

19. Help more.

Whenever I can, I’ll extend my hand to anyone who’s in need. I’ll make it a part of my nature to help. And I will help without asking for any repayment.

20. Be kinder.

I feel like we all need kindness. Since we’re all going through some tough times in our lives, an act of kindness these days is much appreciated. I will smile to strangers more. I will be more polite and respectful.

21. Be more patient.

I know I need more patience in dealing with difficult people and difficult situations. I also need the longest patience to wait for my destiny to unfold before me.

22. Spread more love.

The world needs more love. We need more love. I want to share more of the amazing love God has for all of us. I also want others, especially those who feel alone, to feel that they are loved. We all are loved.

23. Love more.

I’m scared to love because I’m scared of pain. But maybe if I love, if I only love without expecting anything in return, there’ll be no more pain. I’ll love more without any inhibitions, I believe all of us should.

24. Be committed.

This is the most important because if I’m not committed, I won’t do all the other 23 habits and I wouldn’t be able to reach my many dreams. 🙂

Use Your Pains as Motivation

I have been bullied. I have been laughed at. I have been an outcast. I have been rejected. I have been ignored. I have been hurt a lot of times.

I know, we all have been. We all once cry or simply bow our heads. We all had that time when we lose our confidence or it was taken away from us. We have been hurt physically, mentally, and emotionally. We have all been bruised yet we’re all still standing.

Despite all those pains, we are all standing. We are all here, bruised yet alive; bruised yet alive.

We will feel all the pain or some of it at certain times. Something or someone will make us remember those times when we got our hearts broken or torn apart. Those times will surely come not just once… not just once.

What should we do if we reach that point in our lives? We always have a choice. But I hope we always choose to turn our pains into motivations. Let them motivate us to love ourselves more and no longer let anybody or any criticism from anybody affect is. 

Let’s let our pain be our motivation to excel in our lives and be the happiest we can be. Let’s let the pain and all our current and past destructors be our motivations to be strong, strong enough to always choose to forgive rather than hold useless grudges; strong enough to control our emotions rather than let them sweep us away; strong enough to always choose love and peace instead of hate and depair.

Pains, what do you know, could also be positive. It just goes to show how perspective could change everything. Let’s always go on the side that’s best for us. Let’s always choose where light shines and where we can shine the most. 🙂

Stressed or Anxious? (Part 2)

On part 1, I talked about what I know anxiety is and the ways that can help us prevent it or prevent anxiety episodes or anxiety attacks or panic attacks. On this part, I want to share with you the thing when I do when I am so stressed out and anxious.

Anxiety is like any other illnesses. We need to get through some tough times. We also need to take extra care of ourselves and when we experience attacks or when our “visitor” came, we got to do something. If I am having headaches, I drink paracetamol. If the visitor visited me, here are the things that I do. A disclaimer: I am not any expert, okay? What worked for me may not for everyone else.

  • Acupressure

This is very helpful when you’re out, in a public place for instance. When you felt the visitor, you can press the pressure points that may help relieve it. Refer to finebalanceacupuncture.com to know these points.

Using your knuckles, you can also try gently tapping the top of your head in a rhythmic manner to lead your visitor out the door.

  • Breathe

This was what my diabetes doctor told me, when I’m having my visitor, I can get a brown bag and breathe in it. According to him, the air I exhale should also be what I inhale. Get a brown bag and cover your nostrils and mouth with it; make sure no air’s coming out or in. Breathe in the bag through your mouth for 10-15 minutes.

There are also a lot of mobile applications that offer anxiety relief using different breathing exercises. Check them out. I suggest that you also read on their reviews just so you’d see that you’re never alone in this. The apps I’ve used were “Prana Breath” and “SAMapp“. The latter is also a great application that may help you understand anxiety better.

Without the help of anything, you can also breathe deeply on your own accord. Concentrate on your breathing as you deep in and out slowly and deeply. Count your breaths to deepen your concentration and get away with the visitor.

  • Mind Games

The main purpose of this is to distract our minds. Download mind games on your phone. I personally like Sudoku and Word Search, but Sudoku works better for me. Choose something really challenging.

  • Focus Elsewhere

If your phone’s not available to help you, just focus on whatever thing you can see. Examine that thing like as if you’ll be writing a dissertation about it. What is it? What color is it? Is it soft or rough; huge or small; round or whatever? What does it do? Done examining it yet you still feel the visitor? Find something else.

  • Talk

You could either tell someone that you’re stressed and then talk about it or start a conversation with someone about the first thing you’re able to think of apart your visitor. I hope both or either can help you.

  • Pray

When you don’t have someone to talk to, pray. I pray the rosary and recite a prayer in my mind over and over again. Sometimes, I write my prayers. This one’s very helpful to me. Have the faith and pray. Believe that all will be well.

After an episode, learn to stand up. Don’t be afraid that another one will come up. Stand up; rise up every after a fall. We can do it.

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. (Confucius)

It’s difficult to be strong, I should know, but all the time, it is possible. Yes?
It is also extremely important to keep a positive mindset. I know it’s not easy. It’s like drinking a really bitter medicine or going through painful operations when you have other diseases. It’s difficult yet a must. We’ll get better. Everything will be better. Believe

If there are a million reasons to be afraidthere are a billion reasons not to be.
*Hey guys, if you are going to comment, please be very careful as I am pretty sensitive. I’d like to be of help by sharing to you the knowledge that I have acquired. For now, that’s all the help I could offer.

Stressed or Anxious? (Part 1)

Ever since I’d begun this blog, I am hesitant in writing about this topic for the simple reason that while talking about it, I may feel it. Stress and anxiety were two of the not good things in life. Just the word anxiety makes me anxious tbh so let’s see how far I’ll go with this post. I’m hoping that it could be helpful still. Alright…

Since I’m scared of the word “anxiety”, I referred to myself as so stressed whenever I feel anxious. It’s almost the same anyway. Stress is one of the causes of anxiety. When you over think, you get stressed. When you get too stressed, you get anxious. Over thinking, I personally believe, is the main cause of anxiety. Other causes include physical condition, tension (which may also be caused by stress), fearful incidents, and genetics.

Anxiety can be felt mentally, physically, and both. When thoughts come in and in and in, and you feel like you’re losing control over them, that’s anxiety. When your heart’s palpitating with no reason and you feel an unexplainable tension, pain, or any physical sensation, that may also be anxiety. It’s different for everyone. But if you experience it, hey, you’re not alone. Also, don’t worry too much. There are ways on how you can cope with it. You’ll be well. Every episode shall pass.

I’m also hesitant to share this post because I worry that someone I personally know may read it and then, worry about me. Please don’t.

Anxiety, just like other illnesses, can be prevented through the following. A disclaimer though, I’m not an expert; these information were based from my experiences and the things I read.

  • Meditation

Meditation is a form of mind training. Its main purpose is to bring us back to the “now”. It trains the mind to focus in the moment and cut the train of thoughts that do not help us. The concept of meditation is not ignoring thoughts (no matter absurd); it’s about trying not to judge them so that we’ll be able to control them and not the other way around.

I used the mobile application “Calm” to meditate every night. This is basically how you meditate: (1) find a quiet place to sit down, (2) close your eyes and begin to breathe deeply in and out, (3) put all your focus on the flow of your breathing, (4) breathe normally and concentrate on your breathing for 5-10 minutes, (5) bring your focus back in the room you’re in, then (6) gently open your eyes.

  • Gratitude

Anxiety roots from negative thinking and so, to combat it, you need to be positive. I like another mobile app, “Bliss“. It’s an app that allows you to appreciate what you have to increase your happiness and improve the quality of your life. Another disclaimer, I’m not paid by any of these applications. I find them helpful so I’m sharing them with you.

Bliss has many options. You can list three things you’re thankful about daily or just write in a paragraph form the things and people you’re grateful about. You may also re-imagine a not so good situation and turn it into good. Each activity could really help us remove our focus on the things that are not working out, in our lives as well as our daily worries.

  • Rest

So simple yet not all of us does it. I’ve read that we experience anxiety episodes when our bodies were trying to tell us something. My body told me on the last day of 2015 that my blood glucose level is high through an anxiety episode. It’s not always that extreme though. Most of the time, we get anxious because our body needed rest.

We should acknowledge that we also have limitations. A machine will malfunction if used beyond its capability and so will a human body. When you’re tired, rest. You won’t stop, you will just take a break. You don’t have to sleep, you could just take a nap.

  • Pamper Yourself

Each of us needed relaxation. Each of us deserves pampering. Not all of us has the means to go to spas or massage therapists I know. But we definitely can still relax.

Here’s what I do when I pamper myself: (1) clean my nails and paint them, (2) light scented candles [strawberry and grapes] and massage my head, (3) put on face mask, (4) exfoliate my skin with milk salt, and sometimes (5) listen to ASMR through YouTube.

  • Express Yourself

Don’t hold onto your emotions and thoughts. Release them through different mediums. You could write them in your diary, blog about them, or talk to your friends or family about them. You could also indirectly release your stressors through drawing, painting, baking, singing, or any activity that works best for you.

Let it go! Let it go! Don’t hold it back anymore. (Let It Go from Frozen)

  • Yoga

Anyone can do yoga. Everyone should do yoga. Yoga is not only a great physical activity that can help us tone our body, it is also a form of mental training and relaxation. Yoga includes different poses; each focusing on one or more organs of our bodies. It also includes different breathing techniques that could help relieve stress and anxiety.

I do yoga with the help of the mobile apps “Yoga Monkey” and “Sworkit“, and  “Yoga with Adriene”  on YouTube.

  • Workout

There are different workouts that help us become fitter. Aside from their benefits for our body, it also has positive benefits for our thoughts and emotions. Working out may help us clear our mind and whenever we work out, we release endorphins (also referred as “happy hormones”).

I know we tend to be really busy with our daily lives and sometimes we no longer have the energy to workout after a day of work. We can always start small like 5 minutes of warm-up cardio before we head onto the shower every morning. The app “Sworkit” helped me plan my workout routines for every week.

  • Seek God

To me, knowing that there’s someone out there gives me hope and security. I trust that He will always save me from my troubles. I read Bible daily and other devotional books. I also pray all the time.

That’s all for this part. On part 2, I’ll share with you the things we can do when we’re having our visitors.

I want to end this post with my current favorite quote.

*Hey guys, if you are going to comment, please be very careful as I am pretty sensitive. I’d like to be of help by sharing to you the knowledge that I have acquired. For now, that’s all the help I could offer.

A Moment of Relaxation with You

Hi! 

How are you? 

Oh.

Hmm…

Why don’t you relax for a while.

Yes, relax. Sit still and if you want to, go on ahead and massage your head. Just gently press your fingers on your scalp and move them in circular motion. There…

That’s okay. Massaging your head helps with the circulation of your blood and it relaxes you.

You may also comb your hair using a fine brush or your fingers. It will also help you relax.

Breathe in and out. Deep breathing will help you release the tension in your body. It definitely alleviates stress. Breathe in and out as many times as you needed.

Do you want some tea? Green tea and mint will refresh you. Just the smell of the mint can even cure your headaches. I recommend camomile tea if you need to calm your mind. Jasmine tea would also be a great choice. Should I add a bit of lemon juice?

If it’s too warm on your location, I would give you a freshly squeezed lemon juice instead. It’s sour, I know but so very refreshing. Or I could just bring you a glass of cold water. You want extra ice?

Just chill for a couple of moments…

Don’t worry about your schedule or the things that you should do for a while. Come on, all of us need to take a break.

Are you fond of music? We can, perhaps, turn on the radio. I know a station that plays mellow music all day long. That could be good. We can change it to your type of music anytime.

Close your eyes and take time to enjoy the serenity of doing absolutely nothing, of relaxing…

Hmm…

What a nice moment.

Hmm…

Pahinga ka, Bes.

Nakakapagod mabuhay kung minsan. Nakakapagod ‘yong araw-araw, iyon at iyon din ang iyong ginagawa-gusto mo man o hindi. Minsan, nakakapagod ding makipaghalubilo sa mga tao. Nakakapagod sumakay sa pampublikong sasakyan o mag-drive. Nakakapagod ang traffic. Nakakapagod ding maging idle. Nakakapagod humiga at mag-internet. Nakakapagod tumunganga.

Bes, pahinga ka.

Pahinga as in tigilan mo muna ang pag-iisip. Just go with the flow. Huwag mo munang intindihin kung ano ba talagang mararating mo sa araw-araw na paghahabol sa oras at pag-o-overtime sa office kaharap ang computer, kasama ang mga taong sawa ka ng kasama. Huwag mo munang isipin ang ibang taong nagsasaya sa beach o umaakyat ng bundok habang ikaw, hindi sigurado kung makaka-graduate. Huwag mo munang intindihin lahat ng sinasabi ng mga kapitbahay mo dahil hanggang ngayon wala ka pa ring trabaho.

Pahinga ka muna, Bes.

Pumunta ka muna sa lugar kung saan pinakapanatag ang loob mo. Kausapin mo muna ‘yong taong pinakapinagkakatiwalaan mo. Kausapin mo muna Siya.

Pahinga ka muna, Bes.

Makinig ka muna ng paborito mong mga kanta o kahit anong music o kahit anong programa sa radyo. Magbasa ka muna ng mga nakakatawang komiks o mga contemporary novels o mga kung anu-anong magazines. Kain ka muna. Inom ka muna. Pahinga ka muna.

Bes, rest. Bitawan mo muna ‘yang stress, kahit huwag mo na ngang kuhanin ulit e. Itapon mo na ‘yang pressure, ‘yang pride, at lahat ng negativity na hawak-hawak mo. Let go na, Bes. Ang tagal mo nang hawak ‘yang mga ‘yan e. Bitawan mo na.

Sige na nga. Ito oh, tissue. Sige na nga, umiyak ka na. Oo, alam ko naman e. Alam ko naman na ang dami mong sama ng loob diyan sa loob mo. Masakit talagang pagalitan sa bagay na hindi mo naman ginawa at ipahiya sa harap ng mga katrabaho mo. Masakit talagang iwan ng taong akala mo forever mo na. Masakit talaga kapag disappointed sa ‘yo ang parents mo. Iiyak mo na, Bes. Ilabas mo na. Huwag mong kimkimin. Pagkatapos, please, pahinga ka muna.

Pahinga ka muna sa lungkot ng buhay. Hanap ka naman ng bagay na makakapagpangiti sa ‘yo. Tip lang, madalas sa mga simple at maliliit na bagay ka makakakita ng kasiyahan.

Relax ka lang, Bes, ha? Kailangan mo ‘yang pahinga.

At ‘pag nakapagpahinga ka na, sigurado ako, mas maa-appreciate mo ang mga bagay na mayroon ka.

At sa susunod na mapagod ka na naman, alam mo na, ipahinga mo lang at magiging ayos din lahat.

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