random thoughts

After a couple of days with temps around 30C, I welcome the cooler and slightly rainy today 🙂

I continue to sleep well – the last 2 weeks since my vacation. I hope it will continue like this for ever. I really do! Insomnia and waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to go back to sleep have been such a recurring and annoying theme, in the last year particularly… I am grateful for the comfortable and easy sleep I have in the last while.

This is the 5th day that I gave up junk food (yes, again. I am trying again).  It is hard. Very hard. I know after a few weeks, I will get used to living without them, but the first days are the hardest – especially at around noon. Then, I crave for them. Yesterday and today were particularly difficult. I believe with each day it will get better, but goodness, is there a medication or something like that to get rid of the cravings!!!

It is quite a mental judo. But, I want to be in control of my life and quitting junk food is one the ways to do it. The second one is to lose weight. Interestingly junk food addiction and weight gain are linked, right?

Right.

And both of them have been a struggle for years (or decades). They both made me feel dissatisfied/angry with myself and with my life. Five days ago I decided that I wanted to remove these from my life, be content with myself, and take control of my life back. Do you think I can do these?

No more junk food (how am I going to “gift” myself when I am stressed or want to enjoy my moment?), eating better and cooking at home (I actually do this and enjoy it as long as I have time), looking better with better outfit (yes, I want to buy new ones as soon as I start losing weight; I have not updated my wardrobe in the last while) and a better hair cut (boy, I love my hair but it really does not look good in this humid weather. I want a short, modern cut that I will wear with love and confidence), and feeling more confident and self-pleased as a result.

I really want to do these, but it is hard, especially with the cravings I have for junk food during the afternoon.

I have little confidence in me that I will get over these and reach my objectives, but hey, maybe I am in a lucky period of time.

 

 

Life-related objectives following a vacation

I just returned back from a family visit – it was great!

I found a chance to see my family and friends, and I have had a great time. Food, conversations, and visited places were all awesome. I am glad I have done this trip!

I also found a chance to stay away from work, especially in the last half of the vacation. I did not access and respond to emails, which was a blessing! I like this improvement in my approach to work.

My work-induced stress levels were down to zero as soon as I stepped on the plane. I still feel positive and relax. I hope to be able to respond to work related feelings and pressures better. I want to convince myself that I can do this.

One of the best things about having a break from the routine and engage in activities and thoughts that are different than what I usually have (mostly work related issues) is that it is a good opportunity to formulate new plans to remove the negativity of the past activities and have a chance to improve things that do not go so well. Today is a good day to do these:

Aims related to personal life:

1. Going back to frugal and abundant life-style.

I have been quite successful with this a couple of years back and then I broke it with junk food and can-fare expenses… I want to go back to that as of today.

My specific aims are:

  • to spend no more than 100 bucks a week on grocery and other needs (cleaning products, personal care products, etc.). This does not include medication and health-care related expenses (e.g. physiotherapy)
  • to utilize what I already have (dried food, frozen food, etc) to reduce my food cost, while not sacrificing from healthy and diverse food
  • to have another shopping freeze for flower pots, shoes/clothes, books (occasional ones are okay) and furniture
  • to keep all other frugal activities I already have (e.g. use of coupons/discounts, points, etc.) to maximize the value of my money
  • not to make any pre-payments unless an unexpected sum of money finds my way. This is to ensure that my chequing account will remain at a healthy level. I feel quite strongly about this because when it dips, first I pay extra money to the bank each month, and second, it makes me feel like I am in a financial crisis – not a great feeling
  • to eat the food that I have in the freezer and pantry (I have a lot of dried legumes/beans/rice that are waiting to be enjoyed)
  • to save around 7K bucks till December
  • to make a prepayment in December with the money I will save till then while also keeping around 5K in my chequeing account. This is an ambitious but doable aim. I feel like this will give me the best motivation to move forward and keep my frugal spending habits.

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2. Having a healthier body and weight

I have gained quite a bit of weight this year and its negative effects on my health were noticeable during my vacation: my feet ached a lot, my back gave me trouble (twice I have had my back pain/sciatica – they were minor compared to last year, but still I did not like having two episodes in a short time…).

I am aware of two reasons as to why I have gained weight this year: I did not walk as much as I did in the past years (I used to walk from office everyday – rain or shine) and I ate quite unhealthy food (pizzas and prepared food…). I still have two boxes of frozen pizza and some frozen, pre-made dinners in my freezer. I will consume them as well but with the understanding that my priority will be not to purchase them anymore so that I can eat better.

Thus, my specific aims are:

  • not to buy any pizzas or other prepared meals
  • to eat at least 6 different food (veggies, fruits, or dried food) every week
  • to cook meals at least 3 nights a week (I often consume them in two-three days)
  • to eat apples everyday at the office and to continue to eat carrots and radishes that I love so much (for some reason, these veggies made me feel much better and help me lose weight at the same time)
  • whenever feasible, to walk in the morning to office and in the afternoon from the office (this will help me feel great, lose weight, and also save from the transportation – win-win situation!)
  • to shop at the farmers’ market to have fresh local and affordable food
  • to keep take my calcium supplements and drink milk to keep my bones healthy
  • to re-start doing my back exercises to help strengthen my abs and my back muscles
  • to do light weight-lifting at home to keep my muscles and my bones healthy and strong

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3. Heaving a healthier mind and higher quality of life

I wish not to have stress and anxiety to my best anymore…. Work-related stress, sleep problems, and problems related to relations with the colleagues have hit the ceiling last couple of years… I am better at managing my anxiety by means of the worry journal exercise. But in terms of stress management I have not been much successful.

Hence, my specific aims are:

  • to walk everyday, to eat a healthier diet, and to exercise whenever I can find a chance to provide myself a healthier, nourishing way of life
  • to rest everyday. This I noticed is quite important for my stress levels. Whenever I am tired, I noticed I feel more pressurized and over-react as a result
  • to not access the emails in the evenings and the weekends, unless I have a good reason to do so
  • to take things a little bit lighter and not to react to problems when I am anxious or panicky
  • to trust the life and people around me a little bit more
  • to stop thinking that I am the only person who can do things well and on time. This is one of the main reasons that I feel resentment towards people I work with. Often times I have a good reason to think that the work is not done well and corrections/my involvement is needed. However, this also makes me over-work and over-stressed… Perhaps it is time to lower my standards without harming the quality of the work. I can also take it easy with relations. I can be more tolerant and less assuming… (wish me luck with this one. It is hard…. but I must do this)
  • to make it priority to feel calm at the office
  • to feel confident that I have solved many issues in the past and I can do so now and in the future as well. I must remind myself this everyday, especially when I face of an issue
  • to integrate a new walking route or an activity in my life over time – whether this would be going to theaters/shows, visiting a cafe on a Saturday morning, or reading about an entirely new topic does not matter. Something useful and enjoyable!
  • to continue to read my daily affirmations first thing in the morning to set my intentions for the day for the better

For example:

I am calm and can take care of any of the work-related issues easily

I am confident and successful

I have great work-relationships with everyone I see today

I am known by my high quality and meticulous work and I am respected for these

I am kind to everyone I meet today, especially, myself

I have time to do my work

Today has all the opportunities and beauties I may need

I welcome and appreciate the opportunities life can offer me

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Have a great Sunday everyone!

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all the good things – check

It has been a fine day, my friends 🙂

  • sleeping in till past 7 am this morning – check

this gave me much needed rest and a sense of un-urgency that I was missing lately

  • deciding to work and take care of a critical work first before anything else – check

this is a nice change in my attitude. I had planned to clean the home, but I let the idea wait. I rather focused on addressing this task while I had the time and an un-distracted mind. I am glad I have decided to do so, because I was able to get a sense of the problems associated with the task and identify solutions before noon. What a blessing 🙂

  • speaking with my family – check
  • baking two beautiful loafs of sourdough – check

always a pleasure 🙂 It has been almost 2.5 years that I have been baking bread and not have bought even a single loaf from the stores since then. I was also able to share my starter and loafs with my neighbours and friends. I love this 🙂

  • watering my plants – check
  • eating healthy with a large green/lentil salad – check
  • deciding to finish work before 4 pm and take a mini-rest this evening – check

this is again a deviation from my usual self. I would not feel good about myself unless I finish the things or work till midnight to finish things. I have been getting mini rests this past week where a mini rest would be allowing myself to get away from the stressful work or thoughts and rather dedicate my time to wind down. I think it is healthier, allowing me having a better mood and mental state. I know that my energy and time is limited. Instead of interpreting this as a stress trigger, I rather see the mini-rest as an opportunity to elevate my energy at the expense of time. The next day can evolve better and more productive this way. I hope I am not wrong 🙂

  • understanding the stress and how I manage to deal it better lately – check

I came to realize that there are good stress and negative stress. Good stress is when I feel extra motivated to address work-related issues, find solutions, and work under a time-crunch. While it does not feel great at that time and I sure would love to do other things with my time (shopping is one 🙂 ), it also helps me to move forward and faster. It also helps me to realize and tackle issues before they get bigger and more serious. Who wins at the end?? Me 🙂

Negative stress is when I feel rush, rush, rush, and panicked. It almost always create some physiological disturbance (increased heart beat being one) and overall make me feel “stressed”. It has been going on like this for the last few years; I have had many anxiety episodes, depressive mood, and lack of self-confidence and hope. It sure is toxic. While I could easily fall into such a negative stress period nowadays, I am trying new ways to handle it better and make it a “good stress”.

One trick I found is to limit the time I focus on a problem. One of my team members have a timer that we started to use (15 min episodes) while discussing and resolving the issues related to their projects. It works! It helps me to focus and take things easy and effective. I love it 🙂

  • understanding the importance of self-care, better diet, and better exercise once again – check

anything I can do to improve my well-being is good, however small they may be. Like flossing I have done or the healthy lunch I have had. I have seen my dentist and paid a visit to physiotherapy this past week, which feels like I am doing fine in taking care of my medical needs. Good job!

  • having hope and an optimistic outlook for tomorrow and the rest of the week – check

having a “to-do” list the night before helps me a lot. I am determined to use the early morning hours to address the most important things. These are the best time, free of destruction, that helps me keep moving. One caveat is that I need to pay taxi to drive me to office, as bus does not start at 5 am!! But right now, I am okay with this.

  • loving my plants and enjoying every minutes I keep seeing, caring, and thinking about them – check

plants are truly therapeutic. I have so many plants that I watch to make sure they are doing well. The succulent props and new cuttings I have acquired from someone two weeks ago are good examples. I also have plans to re-pot some of the plants so that I can save space and make use of what I have. Win-win 🙂

 

 

 

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