Spring & Health

18 days into the month of spring but today was the first day signs of spring were in the air. It was warmer, the wind was fierce and musty as it carry’s particles of pollen on a journey to a place to begin anew. Spring makes me feel happy and light and just as it is new beginnings for nature, it feels like new beginnings to me too.

2 days ago I decided to stop putting a price on my health. There was an exercise regime I have wanted to commit to for awhile now however the price tag pushes me away. I am generally healthy, I try to be however over the past year I have definitely had too many meals that don’t do much benefit to my body and I am starting to feel the consequences.

I put all the guilt that comes with investing in my health aside and signed up for it. It’s funny because I’ve probably spent many dollars on gym memberships and never gone or not made the most of it without feeling guilty. I decided that I rather pay for something more expensive that I know that I will do than something that isn’t, which I won’t end up using anyway.

Money is complicated and I am trying to develop a healthier, richer mindset about money. I think not putting a price tag on my physical or mental wellbeing is a step in the right direction. Afterall, putting in the effort to be healthy now, means less bills later in life, bills that will probably come in big lumps. Your body is all you have got till the end of your life, it can enhance the way you live or limit it and you are stuck with so it so best take care of it.

So what shifted my mindset?

  • Reading ‘How not to die’ by Dr. Michel Greger – He goes through the top non-communicable diseases in society, addressing why they are present and then how to lessen the chances of an early death.
  • Downloading Dr. Michel Greger’s Daily Dozen app (it’s free) – it provides a rough estimate of how much fruits, vegetables, nuts and all the good stuff you need daily to maintain your health. The more things you tick off the list, the better your gut will feel.
  • Reading ‘You are a badass at making money’ by Jen Sincero – I don’t agree with all she says but I have taken on board the good bits. I have become aware of my own negative mindset when it comes to money and am slowly shifting it.
  • Reading ‘Gut’ by Guilia Enders – this book provides the science behind how your gut works, the mechanisms and its importance in our function as humans.

I don’t think any one of these resources on it’s own would have really helped me. I think it’s the combination and holisitic understanding I have now that has shifted my mindset. I am so glad because better late than never plus my degree is coming to an end so fulltime work means i’ll have to manage an income wisely. No better time to learn about money and health than now.

(Note: Only spend money on things that are within your means. Just like your health, your finances are important too. If you want to pay for something that you feel you can’t afford, perhaps analuse your spendings and see what ‘luxury’ items you can sacrifice to allow space for other things in your life. That is what I did. )

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5 things I am grateful for today:

Spring

My Determination

Relaxing days

Being alive

Books, books, books

 

 

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Breathe.

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breathe in, love.

breathe out, hate. 

breathe in, gratitude.

breathe out, resentment.

breathe in, joy.

breathe out, hostility. 

breathe in.

breathe out.

Clarity. Carefree. Content. 

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5 things I am grateful for today:

Life

Love

Simplicity

Chance to relax

Books that are practical

Possibilities.

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The year coming to a close has been stressful for the past few years. It comes with so much uncertainty. This year marks the final step before I enter the professional world and embark on an adventure that will hopefully allow me to help others while I continually grow.

For the past month, I have been worrying about what my life will look like next year or even after November. I picture it and all I can imagine is emptiness. I don’t know where I’ll live or what job I’ll be doing, (or if I’ll have a job at all) if I’ll be travelling or if I’ll find another volunteering opportunity. Such simple things that are all in my control causing me so much misery, because I let it. 

I know the worrying is wasteful and the stress that comes with it I can definitely do without but I still continue to wonder with anxiousness what my life will look like.

The uncertainty is perplexing; should I not feel like the possibilities are endless and be excited about the certainty that anything could happen! In fact, I should be grateful and feel privileged that I have options, my path is not set and it never will be. I do have control.

Upon reflection, I know that the life I have now and who I am, I could have never dreamed up 5 years ago. I can imagine and wonder about my future for the rest of my life but as I live it every moment, my imagination will never be a mirror image of reality, it can’t be, uncertainty is life’s beauty.

It is so hard to shut that worry button right off, be in the moment and be content with whatever will be, will be. 

I will aim to think of all the possibilities than lack of and let life run its course like it always has regardless of my worrying thoughts. 

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5 things I am grateful for today:

The time I get to spend with different children while on placement – I love their honest, innocent and genuine personalities.

Freedom to learn – I am constantly exploring new modes of learning and new things to learn. I am grateful for the evolution of learning and the freedom to do so. 

Grateful for life and the opportunities it has brought me thus far. 

I am grateful to have had a supervisor who was present, interested in my learning process as well as learning with me in an interactive, joyful and carefree manner.

I am grateful for growth. 

Till soon?

 

Without you, there is no us.

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January 2016 – Sri Lanka

In times of stress and worry, I fail to look after myself. Sometimes the pressures of life make it seem as though you come last, everything else matters but you. I am here to tell you and myself that this is not true, even though you may feel otherwise.

Whatever your worries and/or stresses may be, there are some things we all have to do to take care of ourselves. Not only will these things alleviate your stress but also prompt you to formulate more logical, objective and structured answers to your problems.

  1. Eat – nourish your body to nourish your mind. Eating is vital. Your brain is already on overdrive in times of stress, not eating will cause a malfunction. So do not forget to eat. Balanced meals would be ideal, but eating in general is a good place to start. (unless you are a stress eater, which in this case probably doesn’t apply to you)
  2. Sleep – my simple rule when making big decisions or when trying to get through something, is sleep. No better way is there to shut yourself off for a few minutes or hours, to rest and settle and approach the problem with a better mindset.
  3. Go outside – extremely overlooked when stressed is nature and the calmness it can bring. I find going for a walk (doesn’t have to be long) and focusing on the sky, trees (especially leaves) and the weather extremely relaxing. It also puts things into perspective, that this world is full of great simple things, you just have to notice them.
  4. Take a shower or bath – this is almost ritualistic to me. After a really bad day or situation, I take a shower almost to signify getting rid of negative emotions and thoughts and moving on refreshed.
  5. Read a book – sometimes I know that my problems are small and easy to deal with but I am still upset and overwhelmed, I have a go to book called ‘Opening the Door of Your Heart: And Other Buddhist Tales of Happiness’ by Ajahn Brahm who is an English buddhist monk that writes short thoughtful, quirky and light stories that gives you a change of heart. That is just my go to, whatever works for you is good.
  6. Journal/write things down – Externalising your feelings and thoughts is so helpful when you are overwhelmed and confused. You can reflect on what you have written and even make your own prompts/questions to answer, to better understand how you are feeling. I journal a few times a week and this space is also an outlet for me, writing what I am going through is a release.

 

And those are my 6 strategies that may or may not work for you, but they work for me. There are many others and not every problem in life can be solved with these. I acknowledge some problems are extremely complex and terrible, but for day to day get downs, these work well.

Take care of yourself and love yourself, you are important. 

Mothers.

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To the strongest women, I dedicate this post to you.

You are all inspirational. The sacrifices you make, the hardships you encounter and how you continue to love endlessly and unconditionally through it all, I am yet to understand. 

From the moment you decide to have a child, you give yourself up as a person and you become two people, a difficult but empowering transition that many women of this world choose to make.

Sometimes, I think of my own mother, all the times she has had to remain strong for her children, the emotional strength she must have to continually love and smile to prove to her children that everything is alright.

I do not disregard the role of fathers, who make an equal contribution to their children, to those fathers who fill the gap of absent mothers. To those mothers, who are not mothers by blood but through love and compassion. To those sisters and brothers who are more like mothers to siblings when parents are missing. To anyone who has had to love, care and support a child, you are champions.

Happy Mother’s Day! Without you, we would not be!

5 things I am grateful for:

  1. My mother
  2. Homemade coffee – was good if not better than cafe coffee.
  3. Old family photos
  4. Sisters – during difficult times, who else would I turn to.
  5. Boyfriend – for always being supportive and kind.

 

Yes!

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I recently challenged myself, not in a big way but a small one that matters to me. I said yes to something I wouldn’t have ever considered a few years back. I suppose that is what growing up is all about.

A friend who is part of a committee, recently asked if I would be interested in speaking about my volunteering experiences at a university event. Surprisingly, I didn’t think twice about it and said yes!

With that one small word, I bound myself to a commitment, one that I cannot passover or change my mind about last minute. What surprised me more than my response is that I was asked in the first place. It sparked joy (remember those moments of joy I was talking about in an earlier post, this is it!).

Leading up to this speech, I was worried, hesitant, a little nervous mostly because I was underprepared and wondered whether I would make a fool of myself in front of strangers.

The day before my speech, I sent it to my friend so she could have a look over it, for feedback and advice. I was worried she would hate it and wouldn’t know how to tell me not to speak at all. That wasn’t the case, I was being extremely harsh on my self, she said it was ‘awesome!’.

On the day I hadn’t practiced much but I didn’t feel nervous at all. I was confident. I don’t quite know why I felt so sure of myself at that point in time but I was, I trusted myself. 

The speech went smoothly, I wasn’t speaking too fast, I made eye contact, I saw a few smiles amongst the crowd, I felt good.

I used to hate public speaking, everything about it frightened me. I am proud of myself for saying yes, for speaking voluntarily, for taking on the challenge, for trying something different and most importantly trusting myself.

I urge all of you to try something different. you will be giving yourself the gift of growing, learning and believing in yourself. 

5 things I am grateful for today:

  1. Avocados – delicious!
  2. Youtube videos – Some youtubers make great content and are so inspirational!
  3. Days off – lately I have been exhausted, today is a day off to myself.
  4. Clean homes – my home is not clean, it is everywhere, I hate untidy spaces but I am so tired of always cleaning and am trying to give myself a break. So grateful when homes are clean.
  5. Books – I work with books while at work and I truly feel at peace being surrounded by them!

Till again!

Blooms.

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I recently read this quote:

“There is literally nothing in nature that blooms all year long, so do not expect yourself to do so” – liryae

& I feel as though truer words have not been spoken.

We all need to take a step back and remember that we are all still natural beings, organisms, just like animals and plants who are gentle to themselves, we too must be gentle as we progress through life.

As the seasons change, plants and animals go through different life processes, humans pack on clothes during the winter months and shed them slowly as the snow melts away, we go about hoping to bloom everyday, feeling guilty if we don’t, resting our heads at night thinking ‘tomorrow I will try harder’.

Being passionate, hard-working, dedicated and committed to making the best life is a quality to admire but we must realise that life cannot always be great and we shouldn’t expect it to be, because that isn’t natural.

We should accept the days we feel down or are under performing because no thing can always be or feel on top. 

So let us not be so hard on ourselves, although humans have altered their way of living greatly, we are all still a combination of cells, full of mutations and errors alongside our perfections.

We are a part of nature, we don’t have to bloom everyday and that is perfectly okay. 

5 things I am grateful for today:

  1. A home – like many things we take for granted, today I am grateful that I have a place that I can come back to every night and call home.
  2. Tea – its warm and delicious!
  3. My heater – as the colder months approach, I find myself glued to the heater.
  4. Perseverance – I have been trying to accomplish a fitness goal, and approaching the last leg where I am almost there but not there yet, it has been a challenge, I’ve been failing but I am still going to keep going, I am grateful that I have the willpower to try again.
  5. Myself and my body – lately I haven’t been feeling all that great about either of these things, I think reminding myself to be grateful for me will help in appreciating and cultivating self-love.