all the good things – check

I have not drafted any joy journal entries in the last few months. This feels weird…

I often do this exercise to remind myself about the beautiful and nice things and experiences I have had during the day – this immediately lifts my mood. Hence, especially when I need to feel better, it is one of the things that helps me. Today, however, I am writing this entry to share the things and experiences that make me feel excited, happy, and elated!

All the good things:

  • sleeping well, safe and sound – check!
  • waking up early, taking my time to get ready, and taking the bus – check

getting up early gives me the freedom to go to office early and do work without any distraction. I am very pleased with this habit (which is newly formed in the last year or so). Taking the bus is great as it helps with my financial plans by saving money. Lovely 🙂

  • walking back to home in the afternoon – check

I have been walking in the last two days. It relaxes me and it is so good for my body; bone, heart, cardiovascular health, etc. I know that it will also help me lose weight. I am grateful to be able to do this

  • enjoying the great cool but bright day – check

We have a cool summer here this year. I do not complain as someone who just came back from vacation from somewhere with a sunny and warm climate. Cool weather (around 18 – 23 C) is the best for me to function. I am happy with this year’s summer!

  • eating a healthy meal at home with raw radish as salad – check

radish is one miracle food for me. It helps me feeling better and with my digestion. I believe it also helps with my blood sugar levels, and as such, helps control my appetite. I love it 🙂

  • realizing that there are too many things to do at work and as such getting a little bit stressed and organized – check

this is a good type of stress that drives me to do what needs to be done smoothly and effectively. After dealing with a couple of things in the evening that are urgent, I now feel much accomplished and less-stressed 🙂

  • taking time to reflect on all the positive things in my life and profession, and being content with them – check
  • opening a new box of a hand soap with a wonderful scent – check
  • drinking a tall glass of milk – check

it is good for my bone health and my doctor recommends taking the Calcium supplements and drinking milk interchangeably to help with my bone density. Will do! 🙂

  • accepting an invitation for a committee membership by a national organization – check

great for my development and to help demonstrate my organization my valuable contributions to other organizations 🙂 Score!

  • taking things easy generally – check

even for a short time, to be able to approach life and especially my work with such a mind-frame is a huge success and blessing! I will savor this feeling as much as I can 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

all the good things – check

Do not get me wrong; it has not been bright lately, but I make an effort to recognize the good and positive in my life (this post is a good example).

  • I think I am going through a down episode and am highly suspicious of my mental health, but at least noticing this tells me there is still some logical side in me, which I would like to invest in more – check

I increasingly recognize that I have anger in me that waits to be released. If I am not pissed with a work that does not go well, then I am pissed by an encounter, and if not, then by my memories. I know that I must let go off the memories and emotions attached to them, but it is not easy or permanent.

Just yesterday I decided it was okay to have this state, which now is becoming my “normal”; “I cannot sleep well – so what? It has been like this for now and it is okay”. Or, “I cannot change myself or my life the way I ideally would like, and that is okay too as I have been trying to do this my entire life”. Or, “I do not eat well as well as I want to or exercise to give my tired body a chance to relax, but that is also okay”.

These are the thoughts that go through my mind. I think I am either accepting the conditions and make peace with them, or really started to quit my ideals, plans, or efforts. Hard too know for sure. But somethings are not working. They have not been working for a long time, and this may be a chance to actually let life fix what I could not.

  • meeting with a new staff at my work-place and clicking right away – check

what a positive person! one of those individuals whose eyes are radiant with joy and positivity. It was such a pleasure to meet and chat with her. We have some common interests and background, and today I just learn that she was into plants as well. So I gave her a couple of plants and cuttings, and she was excited about them. This feels great in so many different ways; sharing plants is always joyful. But seeing the joy of the person getting them is extra joyful. I made a great memory today, thanks to her. I also felt my energy lifted after interacting with her, as this person has the most positive and happy vibe I have ever seen in someone. I fell quite lucky and I thank life for this.

  • becoming a member of the library and having access to digital books and audiobooks – check

this is fascinating! why did I not try this before?? It is such a great service and I immensely enjoy reading the books by my favorite writer and having access to audiobooks, which I am highly curious about. Magnificent development in my life – that is for sure.

  • eating fruits and yogurt – check

it has been sometime that I enjoyed these. They are healthy, tasty, and make me feel better

  • realizing that nothing is written in stone and I too can let go off some of my beliefs and find a balance in life – check

I do not know why, but all of a sudden this past Saturday morning, I got stressful again and worked the whole weekend. It went well, only slower than I wanted to.  With my stress came my internal pressure and turmoil, and I became more and more aware of the fact that I must release this internal pressure somehow (see above the 1st point). How exactly?

I know what work:

  • walking everyday
  • not working every weekend
  • mingling with people and making better memories
  • doing new or spontaneous things
  • affirmations and being grateful
  • kindness – first to myself and then to others
  • eating well and healthy
  • taking time to release daily pressure
  • traveling
  • etc.

Questions is whether I can keep up with these…

I know that if I repeat them to myself, I will. As soon as I let the work to be the most important thing in my life, inevitably, my personal life and wellness become not important at all. I do not know why I cannot find a balance; one can work and then take care of themselves at the same time, right?

  • Being kinder to people around me today – check

This kind of experiences also humble me and make me more compassionate of others. Today I was extra kind to people around me, which felt wonderful.

 

 

 

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 🙂

 

 

 

very random thoughts

It has been a day alright; I have done work, managed to walk for half an hour during the lunch time, managed an aggravating situation better than how I would normally do, did not eat well, took a painkiller for my lower back, and am ready to go to bed for a healing and resting sleep.

I keep thinking that whatever is happening in my life is happening for the best. I know that my life is unfolding around me and I can watch, reflect, and adapt. I know that I am getting more interested in keeping my wellness and my family a priority. Work and the issues related to it has much less, but still huge, effects on me. I will take it one thing at a time. Maybe I will learn not to care about it that much eventually. I believe I will be better and my life will be better. With or without this job.

Sigh… The job. The best job in the world, but so much struggle to do things right and on time, with enormous effort on my side..

One thing I am noticing more chronically is that people around me think that I know everything and I do everything effortlessly. So whatever they may need, or cannot do and need a help with, it seems they are sure that I will fix it. Has this ever happened to you? How did you manage these situations and start protecting your time and well-being?

……………………………..

At least, thinking and seeing my plants make me very happy 🙂 I have always had plants at home in the last 10 years or so, but I had not paid that much attention to them until the last one year. I owe it to succulents, and one haworthia one of my friends have gifted me with. It grew fast and made me joyful. I was then hooked to succulents and cacti. According to my estimates, I have around 40 different species of plants between my office and home. Seeing all the colours, vitality, and energy steaming from them is priceless. Loving them fills me with love, happiness, and excitement.

The best of therapy, my friends 🙂

What comes first? Me, me, me, or my wellness?

It has been somehow stressful day; I have so much to do! 🙂

Yet, I also felt like I could use my time better and I could award myself for doing well as well. This is really lovely – I think I have started to support and value my efforts a little bit better. Self-care is here 🙂

One thing I am doing this week is to cancel showing up in events that celebrate the achievements of my team members. It was a hard decision to make, but I am glad I have as it gives me the much needed time. It is a first too. I talk to my team members and they understand the reasons well as well. I would think this was selfish, but maybe I should be a little bit. In order to protect my time and reduce my stress levels created by the lack of time to recuperate.

I have been to my counseling session yesterday. I talked for 40 minutes. How lovely 🙂 Was I reserved? I was. But I also talked. I did not get a huge number of new thoughts/realizations out of the session that I did not already know -main points were:  mental health is important; I worry all the time; I am not interested in getting medication for anxiety or depression unless it is the last resort; I am close to burn out because of the intense work and stress (my counselor’s assessment); I must eat better; and I must exercise. And, time to care for myself – physically and mentally.

It is always good to hear from someone else that I must care for myself. This makes me feel supported in my decisions to not attend extra events this week and the weeks to come. This does not mean that I come first all the time, under all conditions – that would be selfishness and being self-oriented. It means my wellness should come first.

I like that.

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life priorities

I woke up feeling a little bit lost thinking that my life priorities need to change and I should re-prioritize what are important.

For my entire life, my work was prioritized mostly because I love what I do (mostly).

In the last 3 years or so, I prioritized my personal and financial health over work a little bit after I purchased my home: I was not highly successful in terms of personal health (I had a lower back problem that ended me in the emergency, which still acts time to time; I have not lost the extra weight I am carrying around even though I am 5-10 pounds lighter than 5 years ago; and I have not been consistent about eating a variety of food every week). But I was more consistent with the financial planning, frugal spending/budgeting, and savings.

The last 6 months, I became agitated by the toxic work place and all the pressures. One solution to overcome this feeling was working more (irony, is it not? 🙂 ). So I worked almost non-stop since the beginning of July. I feel tired, stressed, and somehow more accomplished. Sadly, working hard and stress also means eating junk and getting lazy and not walking as much as I would. Also not saving as much as I would.

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Thus, I realized this morning that sometime setting priorities do not work and we may not be able to keep up with all of them at the same time. It does not mean we cannot try. It just means that realistically it may not be possible and that can be okay.

In other words, I forgave myself for eating junk food! 🙂

Joking.

I forgave myself for changing priorities and not sticking up with the most important one.

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I know that my traditional annual reflection time (aka holidays ) is coming and it is only natural to realize these now that we are close to it.

For 2018 I would like to prioritize my health and well being, work, and family; they go hand-to-hand. Financial plans will be my least of priorities this year. This does not mean that I will not be budgeting and aiming to save; just reminding myself what is important more.

Family cannot be prioritized enough. We as mortals are here for this moment and may not be the next one. What $ and work can replace the people we love? They will be on top of my list.

I enjoy not having a chronic disease, but who knows what will happen next year? Probability of having one increases with each age. Thus, I will care about my eating, exercise, and lower back as much as I can. 

And work? I can continue to work but maybe a little bit less intense and more effective. What I need is a way to control my feelings and find a venue to vent them out and clarify my mind. The yoga classes offered close to my home always relaxed me, yet looks like they also exacerbated my lower back problem. Goodness knows, I want to start again to feel that way. I wonder whether there are programs designed specifically for people like me having back problems? One thing to check.

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exhaustion and taking time to recuperate

Argh.. I am feeling tired. It has been a roller coaster run at work in the last few weeks and I have started to feel its effects.

Things are moving and going well albeit they exhausted me. I have 2 weeks till my vacation, which gives me the extra kick to take care of tasks and projects. Along the way I did not eat well so my body is feeling the strain. This afternoon I have decided to take a break from long hours of work and thoughts and stress that accumulate as a result of it. This decision is healthy and I am pleased I came up with it 🙂 The first thing I have done this afternoon was to eat well 🙂

I will not work or think about work tonite. Tomorrow, with a refreshed mind I hope to feel better and focus on stuff more easily – that should help with the performance and progress.

Have a great day everybody! 🙂

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