If you read my recent blog post about joining Medium, well I did another thing and decided to try my hand at publications. It had been a while since I wrote anything worth sharing, so I thought I might try this as a way to garner more traffic. You can read my previous blog post here:
I often find myself complaining that my blog is not getting many visitors these days, and I was looking for a place where I could improve my content and build a more engaged audience. Even though I’ve been really nervous about branching out and trying something new, I decided to try publishing on a popular platform that has been around for years. My experience so far has been a rewarding one, though it was also nerve-wracking when I had to go from making $0 on my hobby blog to joining the Medium Partner Program (MPP), not knowing what to expect. I am still on the journey of earning enough money for a cup of coffee. ☕💕
Anyways, I submitted an article to a publication on Medium last night and was nervous about the whole process. I chose a publication where the owner personally reached out to all of her contributors. She seemed nice and I wanted to help out. This publication seemed to be the least intimidating out of all the ones I have seen on Medium. Long story short, my article got added to the publication!
Normally, I would re-share my articles on my blog but I decided to put my most recent article behind a paywall. With the great amount of changing trends, publishers have been forced to consider paywalls as a response to the growing subscription economy. In this case, I wanted to implement this feature especially since I published this article exclusively for Medium. You can read my latest article here:
Depending on how this goes, I will probably be posting most of my articles on the Medium platform. However, I will still share the links on this blog so you can read them.
Medium is a free platform and anyone can join, but if you decide to get a membership, you’ll have access to all the paywall content I’ve published at your heart’s desire. Your membership fee directly supports me and other writers too. You’ll also get full access to every story on Medium.
Interested in getting a Medium membership? You can click here to get started. Thank you for supporting me on my writing journey!
(っ◔◡◔)っQuestion:Are you familiar with the saying, “Don’t feed the trolls?”
The saying is essentially telling you that the best way to deal with trolls or people who are deliberately trying to provoke or anger you is to ignore them rather than give them a mature response. This means that any time a troll pops up online making inflammatory remarks, you are supposed to ignore them because responding would derail the thread and give them the attention they want. Or so they say.
I use a similar saying, “Don’t feed the bears,” which is essentially the same thing as “Don’t feed [or provoke] the trolls.” Seemingly innocent people online can be trolls. Thus, if you let them live rent-free in your head, then you are letting them win. I recently wrote an article where I talked about the concept of letting someone live rent-free in your head you can read more about it here:
I recently encountered a blogger who took to her personal blog to wish me bad karma. She also left some inflammatory remarks that she later deleted. I, of course, saved screenshots to my phone which I can share if needed but I am not going to do that. I am not going to be the one who ruins the chance for peace in this person’s life. I have never met her personally, but I know that she has left a deep and lasting impression on my heart that is unlikely to heal any time soon. I am probably being overly dramatic, but my feelings are valid and her words cut deep.
Learning how to protect your energy, whether it is online or offline, is important for your mental health. Sometimes, the best way to help combat internet drama is to take a step back and find something that will distract you from it. Sometimes, this is as simple as taking a bath or going for a walk, but other times it may be necessary to find new activities that are calming. The last thing you want to do (as tempting as it is) is to interact with those who aren’t respecting your energy.
“You can’t protect your energy, but you can protect your peace.”— Unknown
Should You Have the Last Say?
I advise you to do your best to avoid interactions with negative or argumentative people either online or in the real world as much as possible. Doing so will help you maintain your sanity and keep your energy levels up without becoming too drained and frustrated. Trust me, I know that it is very tempting to try and seek revenge on the person who has wronged you and wants to make your life difficult, but believe me when I say that it isn’t worth your time or energy. Though we cannot go back and change the past, we can always protect our energy now by walking away from people who no longer serve us.
👉 So you might be wondering what to do if you cannot let them go. Well, you could try blocking them.
It might sound harsh, but you could try blocking them on all of your social media accounts. Try to think of it as ripping off a band-aid — it’s going to hurt for a little bit, but you’ll want to get it over and done with as soon as possible. Sometimes, blocking is simply not enough. If you have been as fortunate as I have (sarcasm), then you may have encountered a leader bear and her follower cubs. I bet you didn’t see that coming! The best way to make the mother bear and her cub followers back off is to block them, as they will eventually lose interest and stop trying to contact you.
Hopefully, you realized by now that Mama bear is the troll and her cubs are the loyal followers who will always stand up for her, no matter what.
“We’ll never turn on Mama bear, she’s our best friend!”
(っ◔◡◔)っ ♥ FINAL THOUGHTS ♥
With the rise of social media, people now have the ability to comment on anything they want. This means that people are able to express their thoughts and feelings publicly and openly. Comments can be hurtful, offensive, or just plain rude. There will always be people who you like more than other people and some of those feelings may not be mutual.
Whether it’s because you are too good or maybe you just rub that person the wrong way, it doesn’t matter. I am giving you the permission to do everything in your power to stop whoever is making your life miserable online. At the end of the day, you are responsible for what kind of space you want to create on the internet. You also have the ability to block anyone who is not respecting your boundaries, even if they refuse to listen to your request for them to stop. Remember, YOU are in control!
On WordPress, I have encountered a few trolls and rude bloggers, but my overall experience on this platform has been mostly positive. Have you ever had to block someone on WordPress? I am curious to know what your experiences were on this platform. Feel free to let me know by joining the conversation and leaving a comment below. I know I haven’t been great at replying lately but I plan on catching up with comments later this week. Thank you for continuing to read my blog posts.
No, I am not talking about the literal definition of living rent-free. If you are allowing someone else to live rent-free in your head, that could be a problem.
Disclaimer: I believe this idea is more of an advanced concept in personal growth and development because the hardest part is being able to identify and address it as it is happening. This means that we need to already have developed a type of mindfulness that is often found in more advanced personal-development practices. It’s also a lot harder to teach people about the benefits of this concept for themselves, so I want you to keep an open mind while reading. Let’s begin, shall we?
My husband often tells me that I unintentionally give other people free rein to live rent-free in my head and it has been really affecting me in a negative way. I know he is right, and that’s why I want to address what living rent-free actually is and how we can catch ourselves doing it before it consumes us. It’s not just about mental health — living rent-free is also very taxing on the human body in all aspects. It takes up space in our brains, causing us to not have the energy or room to be the best version of ourselves, and drains our stamina to do more productive things. Yikes.
It’s important to always stay aware of the cause and identify what you can do about it so that you get relief. Figuring out how to break the cycle of negative thoughts is hard, but it does get easier the more you work at it. Furthermore, it’s important to know that there are a number of ways to help you break out of this cycle by learning the underlying causes behind your energy drain and where this “energy zap” is coming from.
(っ◔◡◔)っFYI: What does it mean to live rent-free?
Rent-freeis a term used by young people to mean, “allowing someone to occupy your thoughts.” It is also a slang expression and catchphrase used to describe how someone holds a grudge or allows an individual to occupy their thoughts, often meant to mock that person. This can be seen as an insult because it suggests that the person does not have any control over their own mind. Believe it or not, this is becoming a major problem in today’s society and people are too lenient with themselves and others. It’s interesting to think about how negative energy affects our mental state.
Living in someone else’s head can be difficult to deal with, especially if the relationship is one-sided. One of the many side effects is constantly thinking about them and letting their presence linger in your thoughts. This can be very difficult to live with, not only because it feels like you’re never getting a break from that person, but also because it tends to make your mental state worse. If you don’t do anything about it, it could manifest into feelings of guilt, self-doubt, and depression — all of which are detrimental to our mental health.
Struggling with these thoughts and feelings can be a painful experience, but the only way to truly move on is to process them. Other people may struggle with intrusive thoughts and feelings as well, but this doesn’t mean that they are alone because there are many ways to overcome these difficulties. Trust me — I have experienced it first hand. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be writing about this topic.
“Hanging onto resentment is letting someone you despise live rent-free in your head.” — Ann Landers
If you are experiencing intrusive thoughts and feelings, it is important to be aware that these can really leave you feeling overwhelmed and weighed down emotionally. However, the most effective way to deal with these emotions is to learn how to process them and understand them. If we try to ignore these negative emotions or push them down, then they will continue to live in our heads.
Remember, you are not weak because you have let someone live rent-free in your head. You have been strong and you have prevailed. The last thing I want you to think is that you’re the victim because that’s just not true. You have more control over the situation than you might think! 💪
(っ◔◡◔)っ ♥ FINAL THOUGHTS ♥
Finally, I can’t tell you how to process this stuff. All that I ask is that you get the help you need if therapy is a good option for you. Everyone has their own way of dealing with people, but if your strong and negative emotions are making it hard for you to function, then therapy could be the right option for you. Thus, I encourage you to explore different options and find what’s best for you.
If you have any thoughts that you would like to share with me, please leave a comment by joining the conversation below ↓ I had previously posted this blog post on Medium, which now has a paywall. If you want to support me on my writing journey, I would greatly appreciate it if you read my articles over at Medium(a starving writer needs to eat), but if you don’t have a Medium Membership that’s totally understandable.
First, let’s start with some housekeeping. I have reached an impasse, and I believe that it is the best of both worlds to share my thoughts with my readers on this blog and my readers on Medium. I would be limiting myself if I did not post on both platforms.
In my last blog post, I mentioned that I would love to earn some $$$ by setting up paywalls via the Medium Partner Program, but there aren’t enough readers who are willing to invest their time in me on either platform……yet. Obviously, I need to keep practicing my craft, and if the topics I am writing about are appropriate for this blog (and 99.9% of the time they are), then I am more than happy to share my musings here with you all.
(っ◔◡◔)っThis is the main reason why I am re-posting the article that I recently shared on Medium. If you commented on Medium, you do not need to comment again unless you really want to! Thank you for your support!
I Tried Waking Up at 5 AM
As many of you already know, I have been struggling for the past few months to maintain a healthy sleep schedule. I even shared two related blog posts which you can read here if you haven’t done so already:
Let’s be honest, I have a hard time getting adequate sleep and it takes me a long time to get back on my feet in the morning. When I first heard about the 5 AM Club (0500 if we’re using a 24-clock), I was very intrigued because I’m typically not an early riser. The only time I wake up early is when I have morning shifts at the hospital, which requires me to wake up at 0430 in the morning. 4:30 AM work mornings can be a real struggle — no joke!
Even on my days off, I find myself struggling to wake up before noon on my day off, even when it was my own will and not because I have to be somewhere. When I do have to work a day shift, though (which thankfully does happen less often) I always manage to start racing out of bed and out the door!
I would like to share the details of a recent podcast that I listened to by Robin Sharma. He led a Mastery Session Podcast series (free on iTunes) where he shared insight on how you can be more productive and create more success in your life. As I listened to him, he kept my attention by using the term “5 AM Club” which was unknown to me. After listening to a few episodes, it became apparent that he was likely the one who coined the term. Who doesn’t want to experience increased levels of productivity? 🙋♀️
The 5 AM Club in a Nutshell
Robin Sharma states that the 5 AM Club includes 3 critical tasks that he does every morning when he wakes up at 5 AM, which are the following:
1. Exercising for 20 minutes 2. Journaling for 20 minutes 3. Learning something new for 20 minutes.
He is able to get his morning routine done in just 60 minutes, which allows him to have 1 hour of extra time in the day to pursue other activities that are very important to him.
I remained skeptical of the genuine benefits of the 20/20/20 rule and preferred to test out the theory that waking up earlier for all non-workdays and remaining productive during the day would be beneficial to my long-term productivity levels.
(っ◔◡◔)っBefore I continue, I just want to clarify one thing I did differently: I did not use the 20/20/20 rule at all — I only wanted to wake up at 5 AM.
How It All Went Down
I had to wake up at 0500 for seven consecutive days and felt both physically and mentally drained, but I was able to push through. The first few days were fine, but as the week went on I started to get tired. It was very hard to find the motivation to do anything in the evening as all I wanted was to sleep. As the rest of my family usually stays until midnight, it became very challenging trying to coordinate our schedules. I hated forcing myself to go to bed early when they were still awake and forcing myself to wake up early when they were still asleep. I continued waking up at 0500 every morning for a week before I went back to my usual dysfunctional sleep schedule.
Did the experiment work?
So you might be wondering why I am such an insomniac at night and why I don’t go to bed when they go to bed. There is one thing I know for sure, and that is that I enjoy how peaceful the world looks when it’s late at night and the sky is dark. It’s because of this vantage point that I’m looking at it from that everything outside my window seems so tranquil and pretty. This allows me to have time to think about what I want to do with my free time, or if I should try and get some rest.
I like the idea of being still with my thoughts, which I can do in the late hours of the night. The quiet hours allow me to be with my thoughts while everyone else is asleep. There is something very magical about this that I have come to love. As such, being able to stay up late at night or occasionally wake up early in the morning has enabled me to reflect more upon my life and personal experiences.
(っ◔◡◔)っ ♥ FINAL THOUGHTS ♥
In conclusion, I realize that there are plenty of benefits to waking up early in the day, including a more productive day, increased focus, and increased cognitive function. I do believe that some of my efforts were in vain because I chose not to follow the 20/20/20 rule, but this was more of a side-effect than the reason for my lack of success.
I listen to my body, and my body tells me that late-night hours provide me with more benefits as opposed to early morning hours. Therefore, I think that I shall always choose to stay up late and that this is the way my body is wired. I am interested in knowing what your thoughts are on the benefits of waking up early and if you are a morning lark or night owl. Feel free to join the conversation by leaving a comment below ↓
I have been blogging since Spring 2016 and I have to admit that the novelty has worn off. Blogging has been my creative outlet, but recently, I found myself getting bored of sticking to one type of blog post, specifically listicles and practical guides. At the time, I didn’t even know that I was looking for a new platform that would allow me to express my thoughts and ideas in a diverse manner. Naturally, I am curious and I knew I wanted something that would enable me to make my voice heard by people who might not have listened otherwise. I would be lying if the potential to monetize wasn’t one of the primary drivers for my decision to join Medium.
Curiosity killed the cat but satisfaction brought it back! —Proverb
Don’t get me wrong: I still love blogging on WordPress. It is a great way for me to share my thoughts and opinions with the world. I enjoy writing about my experiences, as well as sharing some of the things that I am learning along the way. But right now, blogging on WordPress is just not fun for me. I have tried to keep up with writing engaging content, but I just can’t seem to find anything worth sharing most of the time. I was always excited whenever I received a comment on my blog because it meant that someone had read what I wrote. Due to a lack of new visitors, I’ve been really feeling the burn lately and don’t want to do anything anymore. When this happens, it can be virtually impossible to put the same amount of energy into this blog like I once did. 🙇♀️
But It Gets Worse.
I also want to point out that there are only so many topics that I can write about before it becomes repetitive and boring. When you are writing on a weekly basis, it is hard to come up with original ideas that haven’t been covered before. It’s a shame that engagement on my blog is good but traffic and Domain Authority (DA) is pitiful. To be completely transparent, I don’t think I’ll be able to monetize anything on my site at this rate which is discouraging considering the money I’ve sunk into it. Oftentimes, this is a common problem for WordPress bloggers and I am feeling frustrated because of it. When it comes to blogging, I’m just not sure what I should do anymore.
Ideally, I want to find a writing space that allows me to grow and share my ideas with an engaged audience. Most of the time, I feel like I am not targeting the right audience on my blog which is incredibly frustrating. I do want to thank all you people who still come by and read my posts. You’re the reason why I haven’t given up yet and I really appreciate that. This blog wouldn’t be alive if it wasn’t for my loyal readers and followers! Thank you from the bottom of my heart! ❤
Now I find myself sitting here, wondering what exactly I’m supposed to do now. Do I just stop blogging altogether or find another way to make it fun? I feel like I’m in a bit of a slump and I don’t know how to get out of it. I’m sorry this wasn’t a happier blog post filled with unicorns, rainbows, and good vibes only. 🦄🌈
P.S. In case you didn’t know that I have a Twitter and Pinterest account, you can follow me on these platforms too by clicking here and here.
As I cozy up to my laptop while sipping my second cup of caffeinated orange pekoe, I contemplate what to write for my next post. Lately, I have had many days where I feel like my time could have been better spent (I’m looking at you, Twitter). Do you ever feel guilty for not doing the thing that you know you should be doing but really don’t want to do it? It is becoming increasingly more difficult for me to stay focussed and motivated to write blog posts, let alone log into WordPress. I am very behind on replying to comments, visiting other blogs, and interacting with other bloggers. It has become more of a chore which is not a good thing, especially since I still need to flex my writing muscle. Blogging can be a lonely path but it’s the path I choose to take.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF-REFLECTION 🍵💕
If you have been following me on Twitter @hellokitty8404, you’ll know that I am struggling to find significant meaning and purpose as I am grappling with difficult circumstances in my life right now. I use Twitter mainly for habit tracking and weekly updates. It has gotten to the point where I am more of an open book on Twitter than I am on my blog, which is kinda ironic considering that social media is the thing that kills productivity and keeps us distracted in this already highly distracted world.
If I have the slightest chance of succeeding as a hobby blogger, then I need to have a list of habits that help me stay focused, especially when writing is the last thing on my mind. Even though I no longer need to focus on studying for exams (I graduated in December 2020), I understand that working on a writing project or reviewing notes for work requires a similar level of discipline and focus. If you have a similar desire to be the best version of yourself, then you too will need to learn how to develop strong discipline skills and a constant desire to learn new things. Personally, I feel like this list I have created below ↓ applies to university students as well as ambitious Millennials. Let’s get started, shall we?
6 HABITS TO STAY FOCUSED IN A DISTRACTED WORLD: A PRACTICAL GUIDE
1. Log Out of Social Apps. You have no reason to be on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc. Log out before these addictive apps take you down a rabbit hole that not even Alice in Wonderland wants to explore. Once you’re an active member of these apps, it becomes even more difficult to leave – good luck with that. Seriously. Don’t kid yourself. 5 minutes turns into an hour. An hour turns into 3 hours. Using your smartphone? Even worse. It’s almost impossible to put the phone down so I suggest hiding it so it is out of sight, out of mind. Log out of the messenger apps too while you’re at it (texting is just as addictive). These apps have no place on your phone which brings me to my next point.
2. Take a Social Media Hiatus. I promised myself in January 2017 that I would not download any more social apps. I seldom keep social apps on my iPhone and use my phone for what it is: a phone. There seems to be a new app released every 6 months and it’s exhausting trying to keep up with them all. This is similar to having a second job but this “job” doesn’t pay your bills. So unless it is a passion with a purpose, why bother? Btw, I am still taking a hiatus from Facebook and Instagram and have no immediate plans to return to these platforms. You can still follow me @serene_hilz so that you’ll receive updates when I eventually decide to return to Instagram. I haven’t posted anything new in years but my thoughts remain the same about social media. Thank goodness I’m done nursing school! 👩🎓
3. Go to Bed When You are Tired. Tired at 10 pm? Go to bed. Don’t make the same mistake as me where I end up laying on the couch at night, mindlessly playing Candy Crush or watching dumb TV shows on Netflix. I enjoy staying up late at night when it’s quiet and there are no distractions, but at the same time, extra sleep is really important for mental health and concentration the following day. Nights when I do not get enough sleep, I end up sleeping in and wasting the following day or week playing “catch up.” Go to bed and take cat naps if this is an option for you.
4. Make a Plan every day. This one seems obvious. My MIL suggested that I get a planner. Planners can be purchased from a Dollar Store and it doesn’t have to break the bank. I also bought a journal to write in whenever I am not using the notepad on my iPhone. It helps me stay in the present moment and keeps me focused on important tasks. When I complete a task, I highlight it in bright yellow which gives me a sense of accomplishment. The dopamine rush I get from doing this is much healthier than the brief adrenaline surge from Facebook or some other addicting app. At the end of the month, I review everything I completed plus I don’t feel the temptation to wander mindlessly through my notes, older blog posts, etc.
5. Email is Your New BFF. Forget texting and FB messenger. I once used texting as a way to have deeper conversations with online friends. I thought that these conversations were meaningful but I don’t have a record of them; only a virtual footprint 👣 If I want access to my past conversations, they are buried among hundreds of thousands of text messages that probably won’t be looked at again. I like e-mail because I can keep the important files and discard the rest. The email I use is the same one I had since I was 12 so if a classmate or long-lost relative needs to contact me, they can. Looking back, I remember when we used to send chain mail to our e-mail contacts. It’s bittersweet digging up old emails but I have deleted the majority of them.
6. Classical and Chillstep. If you have a hard time staying focused like I do, try listening to music. Not just any kind of music, preferably instrumental music. My muse is classical piano music, Lofi, and Chillstep (it’s an acquired taste). YouTube makes it incredibly easy to stream playlists so I recommend starting there. I also used to be into this weird sub-genre called Nightcore, which is another acquired taste. I cannot believe I am saying this, but I even made my own Nightcore songs and upload them to YouTube. At one point, I was so bored that I spent a few weeks pretending that I was DJ Hilz or something.
Note: You can find my YouTube channel @hellokitty8404. I guess people seem to like this music because my channel currently has 538 subscribers to date, and my most popular video has 269,712 views. 💁♀️
(っ◔◡◔)っ ♥ FINAL THOUGHTS ♥
The world is full of distractions, especially in this digital world, and it is becoming more and more difficult to stay focused. I believe that if you are able to implement my list in your own life, you will be able to focus on the task at hand. ✍📝
If you enjoyed reading this blog post or would like to share some nuggets of wisdom with me, please join the conversation below ↓ in the comments section. I know I haven’t been the greatest at replying to people in a timely manner but I want to get back into blogging again. However, I am always open to discussing this topic with like-minded people who are also motivated and driven to succeed!
P.S. You can now easily save this blog post on Pinterest by clicking here.
(っ◔◡◔)っWhat do you think it means to be resilient or have resiliency?
The word “resilience” is derived from the Latin word resilience, which means “to jump back.” Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity and challenges. It is the ability to recover quickly from setbacks and to return to your previous state of mind. Resiliency is not a trait that everyone possesses, but it is something that you have to develop and cultivate over time.
If you imagine what a resilient person might look like, a resilient person is someone who can face adversity, uncertainty, and change with confidence. A resilient person is able to adapt to challenging situations and they have the skills needed to manage their own emotions. These people also have a sense of control over their lives, they can take charge of their circumstances and make things happen. Thus, resiliency increases their chances of success in whatever these people do, and this is something that we should all strive for!
(っ◔◡◔)っDo you wish you had this superpower?
The power of resilience can be developed and strengthened through lots of practice and patience. Resilience is a skill that can be developed, and it doesn’t take long to see some of the benefits. First, you need to know what your strengths are. Then, you can focus on those areas or develop new skills in order to improve weaknesses and challenges.
Before we get started, it is important to note that not everyone has a naturally resilient disposition and that it takes time to develop this skill. All of us have different levels of resiliency which we should try to improve on when possible. Below is a list of 7 key things that you can do to build your resilience. Let’s get started, shall we?
🔑 7 Keys to Unlocking Your Resilience
🗝Develop healthy coping mechanisms: To succeed in life, we need to find a way to be more resilient. It’s easier said than done when you don’t know the benefits of using healthy coping mechanisms. They might include exercise, meditation, and eating healthy foods.
🗝 Work on self-confidence: Resilient people are able to overcome any challenge and have a positive, can-do attitude. They believe that with enough work, they will be successful in the end. One way to increase your resilience is by being confident in who you are — focus on developing your self-confidence by learning about yourself on
🗝 Create support systems: Networking with friends and family can be quite beneficial. They provide emotional support when you need it and can also help you recover from a difficult experience.
🗝Develop self-efficacy: People who are resilient have a positive outlook and understand that they have the ability to overcome challenges. If you don’t believe in yourself, it will be difficult to get back up when faced with adversities.
🗝 Set goals and work towards them: If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s that anything is possible when you have a resilient attitude. With goals and hard work, you can get past any obstacle and make progress on your goals no matter what challenges arise. When you have a long-term goal to focus on, it will help you stay positive and motivated.
🗝 Improve your problem-solving skills: Resilience is an important quality to have in order to overcome obstacles. People who are resilient are able to identify and solve problems when they arise. They also stay positive and motivated during hard times, which is crucial for developing a resilient mindset.
🗝Be adaptable to new situations: People who are agile and adaptive thrive under change, they aren’t afraid of new challenges and have learned to roll with the punches. If you want to develop your resilience, it is important to improve your adaptability skills, so that you will be able to manage difficult situations.
(っ◔◡◔)っ ♥ FINAL THOUGHTS ♥
Our society has a tendency to glorify resilience and make it seem like we all have it, but in reality, resilience is not something we can acquire overnight. It takes time and hard work to build our own personal resilience. Even if you don’t like your circumstances or think that they are fair, resilience means that you accept it for what it is and stop trying to play the victim. How do you cope with tough times and overcome obstacles? Do you want to read more blog posts like this in the future? Feel free to join the conversation by leaving a comment below ↓ If you enjoyed this blog post, you might also enjoy reading 10 Ways to Change a Negative Mindset.
Are you surprised that I pulled an all-nighter last night? Apparently, I give good advice but I seldom follow it despite my best intentions. I write about this topic a lot because insomnia is currently something that I am majorly struggling with these days. I absolutely hate the feeling of being wide awake when I should be sleeping, which really throws off my sleep scheduleand negatively impacts my #mood. Whether or not we are conscious of it, everything from the air we breathe to the things we do are interconnected.
Whenever I have insomnia, I know how tempting it is to just lie in bed and do nothing. However, doing nothing often makes my insomnia worse. Last night, I was up until 0600 after I promised myself that I would be in bed by midnight. Not gonna lie, I can barely function today. However, on rare occasions, insomnia has been a creative outlet for me. For instance, I often end up writing #poetry when I can’t sleep, which you can find under the page titled “Poetry.”
REDEFINING SLEEP [CONT…] 🌙✨
In case you missed my previous blog posts aboutImproving Sleep Hygieneand 8 Ways to Sleep Better, I highly recommend reading them first. Now that we got that out of the way, what do you do when you have tried everything and still cannot sleep? 🙄 What do you do when you find yourself tossing and turning in bed at 0200? If you happen to be scrolling through your phone at an ungodly hour because you cannot sleep, then you picked the right blog post to read! 💁♀️ In this blog post, we will discuss five quiet activities that you can try when insomnia strikes. Hopefully, these tips will help you get the sleep that you desperately seek.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor and I am not here to give you medical advice. Please talk to your doctor if insomnia is a persistent problem to rule out any underlying medical conditions. There may be an underlying cause for your insomnia that can be treated. Additionally, your doctor can recommend other treatments or strategies that may help you sleep better.
Redefining Sleep: Best Quiet Activities for Insomniacs
1. Write in a journal. Keeping a journal is one of the best ways to work through anxiety or stress and fall asleep. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try writing out your thoughts in a personal journal. The act of writing your thoughts down will help you organize your ideas and let go of some stress that may be contributing to your insomnia.
2. Listen to instrumental music. Listening to calming music when you’re trying to fall asleep is a great idea, in theory. Studies suggest that vocal-free music can actually help keep you awake since it activates our brain’s auditory cortex, which is known for being overactive in insomnia sufferers. Instrumental and/or ambient sounds like rainfall, wind chimes, or nature sounds (ocean waves, anyone?) tend to be more soothing. Personally, I love listening to BTS piano music on YouTube and the best YouTube channel in my opinion is Smyang Piano 🎧 Here are some songs that I listen to on repeat:
3.Read a book. Books are one of many quiet activities you can do when you have insomnia. Books don’t require all your attention, which means you can easily read one while also doing another task that requires less focus. This makes it a great activity for winding down at night before bed. Plus, reading about topics that interest you may help get your mind off any problems keeping you up. That being said, try not to read anything that is too exciting or makes you think critically.
4. Take deep breaths. Breathing deeply can help you relax and fall asleep faster, which is important if you have trouble falling and staying asleep. I cannot stress this enough, but it is best not to look at your phone, TV, or computer while practicing deep breathing—all of these activities stimulate your brain and body. In a previous blog post, I talked about using the 3-7-8 breathing exercise which you can read more about here.
5. Clean the house. Keeping your house clean isn’t just good for your mood; it can also help you de-stress, clear your mind and possibly even improve your sleep hygiene. The habit of cleaning before bed is a useful one because it can prevent unwanted distractions at night and make you feel more peaceful when it comes time to fall asleep. I recommend checking out this related blog post which includes a daily checklist to help you stay organized and in control of your environment.
(っ◔◡◔)っ ♥ FINAL THOUGHTS ♥
Insomnia can be a frustrating condition that makes it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. When you find yourself tossing and turning in bed, you can refer to my list of five quiet activities to help you wind down and drift off to sleep. Do you agree with this list of suggestions? Is there anything that I missed? Feel free to join the conversation by leaving a comment below ↓ #Sweet-dreams
Earlier this week, I received a lovely notification from WordPress that sereneluna.net turned 6 years old! 🥳 Admittedly, I didn’t do much with my blog until Spring 2019 and at that time, I had approx. 20 followers. Since having a quarter-life crisis in Spring 2019, I started taking blogging more seriously. It didn’t take long to realize that writing is a therapeutic outlet for me. I know that I am still a newbie blogger, but it feels really good to have people that are interested in my writing. I’m so grateful that anyone reads my blog, and I really hope that my follower count continues to grow! 🌻🌻
What Makes a Blog Annoying?
If you have been blogging for a while, you’ll know that blogging can be hard work. The worst part about blogging is that there is always a risk of your content being ignored. You’re constantly coming up with different ideas to create compelling and high-quality content for your audience. Despite all of your hard work, there is no way to know for sure if you are doing the right thing. The worst part about blogging is that it’s not easy to keep your readers engaged. However, there are some things you can do to make sure your blog posts are not too annoying. Below ↓ I want to show you 6 types of blogging styles to avoid which can be annoying for your readers. Please note that the following list is in no particular order. Let’s get started, shall we?
The 6 Most Annoying Types of Blogs
1. Blogs with no images. A blog without pictures is not engaging for the reader. Adding photos helps increase readability and breaks up the text, so go ahead and add some pictures! Increased readability may be due in part because readers don’t need to read as much text, which is often more difficult and time-consuming than looking at a picture. It’s also possible that readers are better able to remember the information shown in pictures than those seen only in text.
2. Blogs that are poorly written. Sadly, poorly written blogs are a problem that is not going away. The problem is not just the content but also the formatting and organization of the blog. It is not surprising that a poorly written blog is more likely to have lower engagement rates and fewer shares across social media platforms. As a result, this can lead to less traffic and less visibility in search engines. Okay, so how do you spot a poorly written blog? For starters, poorly written blogs usually contain a lot of spelling and grammatical errors, which can make the blog difficult to read and ultimately discourage readers from returning.
3. Blogs with no information about the blogger. Bloggers who do not have an “About” section can be sort of mysterious. It’s clear who’s behind the text that was posted, but one can’t help wondering about their motivations for doing so. These blogs might be interesting in some ways, but they will not have a built-in audience, Furthermore, these bloggers may end up having more difficulty getting their posts shared. Blogs with an “About” section are better for building an audience, attracting more followers, and reaching more readers.
4. Blogs that lack original content. There is a trend in social media to share blog posts that have been written by other people. This is being done for many reasons, but most commonly it is to build traffic for the author of the post and/or to share a person’s opinion on a topic. The problem with this practice is that it discourages original content from being created and shared, which could have consequences for the blogger down the line. Personally, I have unfollowed bloggers who do this because I think it is a lazy and unnecessary practice.
5. Blogs that are written like a diary. This blog is usually just a list of random things that this blogger has done during their day or week, such as what they ate for breakfast or what they watched on TV last night. This type of blog is not helpful to anyone and honesty, nobody cares that you had chocolate ice cream in a waffle cone and your boyfriend had vanilla frozen yogurt. Please keep in mind that your audience is not limited to yourself. I follow a few bloggers who write a lot of diary-style blog posts, but it doesn’t bother me because these bloggers have been blogging for years and I know what to expect from their work.
6. Blogs with too many ads. Bloggers who create blogs that have too many ads in them are trying to make money off of the people who visit their blogs. This can be annoying for other bloggers because a lot of advertisers are targeting these types of blogs, which could mean having to scroll through the endless amounts ads just to see what their original point was. A lot of bloggers who create blogs with too many ads in them are trying to make money by posting the “sponsored content” that they are given by their advertisers or sponsors. Some bloggers or non-bloggers might feel this way because they believe these blogs are being made for the purpose of making money.
(っ◔◡◔)っ ♥ FINAL THOUGHTS ♥
Whether you are just starting to blog or you have been blogging for a while, it can be a daunting task to come up with fresh and engaging content. If you want to have a successful blog, don’t let these 6 common blogger mistakes get in your way. Sure, I could be a bit too cynical, but I hope that you enjoyed reading this blog post nonetheless. If this blog post taught you something or made you think about the way you go about blogging differently, feel free to join the conversation by leaving a comment below ↓ I will try to reply to your comments during my free time.
Although this blog post is overdue, the important thing is that I finally uploaded it in response to my previous blog post, March Goals | Spring 2022. Hey, at least I showed up and followed through with what I said I was going to do, even if it meant not following through with ALL of my goals. March was a very difficult month for both my husband and me and I am honestly surprised that I haven’t abandoned my blog yet. When I first started blogging, I promised myself that I would not quit no matter how I was feeling. Over the years, I have seen so many bloggers quit which is another reason why I make sure that this blog is updated at least once a month. ✍️
During the month of March 2022, I started off with high hopes and big goals to get healthier, but I quickly lost momentum after I kept receiving bad news throughout the month. It’s been hard to stay motivated and positive lately, but I’m hoping that April 2022 will be a better month. Here’s a recap of what happened during the month of March regarding my personal life:
My husband was in a car accident and fractured his wrist. His work car was also totaled so now we only have one vehicle to drive.
My 10-month old son needs urgent eye surgery, which was postponed last week. I am still too upset to talk about this. If you’re curious about the condition that my son has, you can learn more about it by clicking on this blog post (skip to #7 for details). Unfortunately, both my daughter and my son have inherited the gene from me 😔
My husband and I have to make a very difficult decision regarding future plans involving the family. I am gutted and not handling this well….
A Small Victory
It wasn’t entirely doom and gloom this month. I finally found a planner at Staples out of all places, which I started using to keep track of things. Having a planner has helped me organize my day and prioritize my tasks better. I am able to see what needs to be done and what my deadlines are. This particular planner is really helpful because it keeps me on task with my work schedule, hobbies, and home life. I am trying to remember to write in it daily but most days I forget to fill out the pages. I didn’t think that it would be hard, but I guess I’m still a little lazy.
March Goals 2022
Continue to work weekends and Fridays, preferably evening shifts I only worked evening shifts during the month of March. Friday-Sunday is my typical work week.
Bid on shifts so I average 7-9 shifts per month I worked a total of 9 shifts during the month of March and I did not have any sick days. I did not bid on any additional shifts because all of my shifts last month were scheduled ahead of time.
Renew and review courses on MLL Everything is up to date ✔
Attend 2 online wellness seminars I only had 1 online wellness seminar to attend. In April, I have 2 online wellness seminars to attend.
Publish 1-2 blog posts per month I published 4 blog posts during the month of March.
Publish 2-3 recipes and/or poems I published 0 recipes and/or poems during the month of March because I wanted to write more long-form blog posts instead 😅
Keep tabs on doctor’s appointments/pending appointments I went to all of my doctor’s appointments this month. Aaron’s eye surgery is still pending so I am eagerly waiting for more details regarding how we proceed from here.
Continue to declutter the house every day This really depends on how I am feeling, and whether I have the energy to declutter. These days, I am focussing more on organizing and cleaning than selling and/or donating items. I did manage to purge 3 large bags of junk though.
Have an IRL meeting/get-together I attended a 100-day parade at Rebecca’s school and that’s the only social thing I did this month. I am quite disappointed in myself for not making more of an effort to meet people. I think my social anxiety has been a major problem in the past. Thus, my fear of meeting new people has prevented me from stepping outside of my comfort zone.
Follow a low carb diet for 3+ months Low carb made me miserable but I can see why people do low carb diets. I had less brain fog and felt better both physically and mentally. I ditched the low carb diet mid-March after my husband was in a car accident.
Continue Intermittent Fasting (IF) I still do intermittent fasting, but usually on workdays. I don’t bother eating at work so I end up unintentionally fasting for 9-10 hours.
Slash 90-95% of wheat products. Slash 70% of refined foods including refined sugar. I was doing really well with this up until the end of March when I received the bad news about my son. One thing I managed to cut out of my diet was store-bought bread, although I still eat pizza crust and other wheat products. I’m trying to be more mindful of what I am consuming and how it makes me feel.
More cooking and baking at home I have some amazing wheat-free cookie recipes that I want to share with you! However, the photos I have are crappy and I have been unable to get good quality images. Idk what it is about recipe pics, but I am not talented at food & drink photography 🙄
Daily walks and sunshine if weather permits 🌞 I have been making an effort to walk to Tim Hortons or the plaza at least once a day, but I still feel like I am not spending enough time outside. Canada’s weather is notoriously unpredictable. In the winter, we can experience severe snowstorms and biting cold, while in summer we may experience scorching heatwaves.
(っ◔◡◔)っ ♥ FINAL THOUGHTS ♥
I had a lot of bad things happen to me last month and I don’t know how I feel about April yet. I think that April will continue to be a challenging month for us, but at least my husband’s broken wrist is healing and he is able to drive again. As for my son’s upcoming eye surgery, please pray for him and keep him in your thoughts. I hope that April will be a better month for everyone.
Some of you know that I struggle with depression and it seems to come in waves. I am going to be totally honest when I tell you that I am struggling with situational depression this month. If we were having coffee and you asked me how I was doing, I would tell you that I am not fucking fine. I don’t swear a lot so I want to emphasize and drive home the fact that things are not sunshine and rainbows over here. Mentally, I am struggling to come to terms with things. I am in no mood to explain what these things are but I might write about it in an upcoming blog post. I am just tired of receiving bad news all the damn time and I do not want to drag all of you down with my negativity.
Whenever I am really struggling with situational depression, my sleep schedule is usually the first thing to go. This week, I have been extremely sleep-deprived as I was staying up until 0500 – 0600 and waking up at 1030 to send my daughter to school. It is hard to find balance when I am dealing with these strong, negative emotions and lack of motivation. I am barely functioning from lack of sleep. Last Wednesday, I missed sending my daughter to school because I slept through my alarm. I feel like I am failing as a mother and this is not one of my prouder moments.
Redefining the Way You Sleep ✨🌙
In case you missed my post aboutImproving Sleep Hygiene, I highly recommend reading it first. From years of struggling with insomnia as well as excessive worrying, I know that sleep is vital for a person’s health and well-being. I also know that sleep is even more important for those who struggle with #mental-health and mood regulation. If you are currently experiencing sleep problems, then I suggest checking out my list below ↓ Here are some ways to help you get some sleep for a more productive day! 💁♀️
Redefining Sleep: 8 Ways to Sleep Better
1. Figure out how much sleep you need. If you are not getting enough sleep, then your body and mind are not going to function the way they should. You will feel tired and groggy, even when you wake up early. If you don’t address it now, then sleep deprivation can ultimately wreak havoc on your health. If you want to get some rest, you can start by making a plan to determine how much sleep is right for you. While some people can get away with 4 hours of sleep each night, others require more sleep.
2. Have a nighttime routine. Do you find yourself waking up during your sleep cycle? Chances are, you’re probably not getting enoughREM sleep. During REM sleep, your body is working hard to replenish and repair itself. Having a nighttime routine can help get you into bed faster and fall asleep quicker, and it may even help regulate your circadian rhythm by teaching your body to start winding down at the same time each day. This might sound counterintuitive, but having a set bedtime and morning routine can actually make it easier to fall asleep at night.
3. Be consistent. We are all guilty of not always following what we say we are going to do. However, one good way to keep a consistent sleep schedule is to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, including weekends and holidays. Also, don’t doze off for an hour in front of your computer or TV late at night; if you can’t fall asleep by 2200, get up and go to bed anyways.
4. Hello, sunshine! 🌞 If you’re having trouble sleeping, then a lack of natural light might be to blame. Spend some time each day getting at least 15 minutes of sunlight and your body will get used to feeling more awake (and alive) in the morning. Sunlight also helps reset your circadian rhythm, which is your internal clock and plays a role in sleep regulation. Since we associate darkness with going to bed, getting sunlight will trick your brain into thinking it’s time to wake up! ☕💕
5. Reward Yourself. When you are struggling to get a good night’s sleep, make it easier on yourself. You could try starting your day with a refreshing shower or a short walk outside. Exercise can also help improve your quality of sleep as well. Making time for #self-care is an important part of sleeping well at night. If you still can’t fall asleep, try adding some relaxing activities before bedtime such as taking a bath or listening to relaxing music.
6. Plan the Next Day. It is natural to have an off day or a bad week from time to time, but it can also be difficult to get back on track if you fail to plan for these mishaps. Instead of waiting for the morning, plan your next day prior to bed. In 30 minutes, you can figure out what needs to be done tomorrow and how much time each task will take.
7. Turn off social media. The blue light from social media keeps you up at night. If you have trouble sleeping, I suggest that you deactivate your account and read a book. And please don’t bring your phone with you into bed. If you must use your phone as an alarm clock like many people do, then you need to check outthis blog post for a sans phone solution.
8. Eat light before bedtime. While a few crackers won’t hurt, too many late-night calories could lead to weight gain. It is important not only to avoid eating close to bedtime but also skipping meals altogether, as that leads your body and mind into starvation mode, which can leave you feeling tired and cranky in addition to losing precious hours of valuable shuteye.
(っ◔◡◔)っ ♥ FINAL THOUGHTS ♥
Sleep is a critical part of staying healthy and it is not just limited to your physical or mental well-being. Like eating well and exercising regularly, it is important to make sleep a priority in your life. If you want to be at your best, then you need your beauty sleep. And while everyone has their own way of sleeping better, there are some general tips that can help you start getting more—and better—sleep every night. Do you agree with this list of suggestions? Is there anything that I missed? Feel free to join the conversation by leaving a comment below ↓ #Sweet-dreams
っ(◔_◔)っQuestion: What are some items that you no longer buy?
A few months ago, I stumbled uponthis blog postwhich made me reflect on my own life and spending habits. My intention was to answer her question in a timely manner, but we all know how long it takes me to post a blog post response. Bee is a 30-year old blogger who runs a popular blog called Mind. Beauty. Simplicity.She writes blog posts about intentional living, self-growth, lifestyle, and anything in between. I recommend checking out her blog and following her if you haven’t done so already.
These days, I am on a similar journey as Bee. When it comes to living intentionally, I am still far from perfect but I have learned to be more mindful about my spending and to avoid buying things that aren’t going to add value to my life. Keep reading if you are interested in learning what I added to my list! 🙌
•✽ 5 THINGS I NO LONGER BUY ✽•
1. Bath & Body WorksI have nothing against Bath & Body Works. In fact, it is a great store and I still like their products. I am wiser now that I am older, but when I was a teenager, my life revolved around this store. I was in love with their products and the shopping addiction got pretty bad whenever there was a sale, which was pretty much every week 😆 I would buy all sorts of things: lotions, shower gels, candles, fragrance mists —you name it. When I couldn’t go through the products fast enough, I would make lists of the products that I wouldn’t have to replenish. The lotions and body mists lasted so long to the point where they would expire and end up smelling horrible. Once I realized that I was wasting money, I stopped shopping at Bath and Body Works.
2. Subscription Boxes These days, subscription box services are catering to everyone’s tastes. You can pretty much guarantee that the subscription box model isn’t just limited to food and books – there are monthly boxes for everything from candles to clothes. Want new socks and underwear but don’t want to think about it? There’s a box for that. And as tempting as these subscription boxes are, it is important to note that these services usually charge an upfront fee as well as recurring fees each month. I cannot justify paying a high price for items that I might not even like or use! 🤦♀️
Note: I want to make a clear distinction between subscription boxes and subscription services. We have access to Netflix and at one point, we paid for a Spotify account. We are thinking about renewing the Spotify subscription since my husband regularly uses that platform. We also have a Costco membership and I finally upgraded to a Premium WordPress Plan last year. When I was in nursing school, I subscribed to www.nursng.com after failing a clinical rotation inSpring 2019. At one point, I also subscribed to www.coursehero.com and even uploaded my own summary notes to share with other students. Subscription services are valuable tools when used for their intended purpose.
3. Bottled WaterWhen you stop and think about it, it is pretty insane to pay for water when you can get it for free out of your tap. Sure, bottled water isn’t bad for you; there are worse things that you could be drinking such as soda or beer. If you are not active enough to need a drink with extra electrolytes and if drinking from a reusable bottle helps reduce your plastic consumption, then why would you bother spending money on something that is so easily accessible? The water you get from your faucet is much more affordable and safer for you. Also, by using a reusable water bottlelike this one, you’ll be saving money as well as doing your part for Mother Earth. 🌎
4. StarbucksDid you really think that I was only going to throw shade at Bath & Body Works? I also like the fancy coffee drinks from Starbucks, especially their Frappuccinos. The vanilla whipped cream is absolutely divine! ❤ Plus, if you are anything like me, I do not go to Starbucks just to order a basic cup of coffee. I usually go to Starbucks to spend money on these fancy, empty-calorie Frappuccinos which typically cost around $5.50 -7.50 CAD. I prefer to save these treats only for special occasionsrather than treat myself every time I go to the mall or local Starbucks coffee shop. ☕💕
If you are a coffee drinker like my husband, getting a good cup of coffee doesn’t require waiting in line. It just requires learning how to make a good cup of coffee at home. Next time you are shopping, skip the Starbucks line and make coffee at home. If Starbucks coffee is your thing (for the record, MCDs coffee is my thing), you can buy the coffee beans and make it at home for a fraction of the price. Even Costco sells Starbucks coffee beans. There is really no excuse to buy takeaway coffee anymore.
5. Alcohol This is an easy one to add to the list because I was never really a fan of alcohol. I don’t understand the hype around it, I don’t like how it makes me feel, and I don’t crave alcohol like some people do. Sugar on the other hand is a different story, which you can read about here.Personally, I think that there is too much sugar in alcohol, which is not limited to Vex, Smirnoff, and those cocktails with cute little umbrellas! I am tired of harping on the fact that alcohol isn’t good for your health and overall wellbeing. When you think about it, what kind of benefit does consuming alcohol bring? None that I can think of…. so yeah, I seldom drink alcohol 🙄 I would suggest cutting out alcohol from your budget if you are looking to save some money. It is an easy way to pocket extra cash without feeling like you are missing out on anything. There are other ways that you can socialize with people: going for walks, playing board games, or setting up a game night at home. Remember, you don’t have to stop socializing altogether.
👉 Image: I went on a trip to NYC with Nick and his friends, but I don’t remember what year this was 🤷♀️
Choosing to live a simpler, more intentional life is a conscious decision that affects each and every choice we make. Try thinking about the things that you can live without, specifically things that no longer serve a purpose in your life. What are some items that you no longer buy? Let me know by joining the conversation below ↓ I look forward to reading your comments.