Things that Make Me Happy

I recently published a blog post about the Things that make me unhappy and it seemed to have resonated with a lot of readers. If you haven’t read it yet, here is the quick link to that blog post so you can catch up:

♡ Related Blog Post: Things that Make Me Unhappy

Naturally, it made sense to make another list, but this time focus on the Things that make me happy. Such an original title, I know! 😅 Anyway, here is my list of 11 things that make me happy. Please keep in mind that this list is not presented in any particular order. Each list is unique to the individual, so my list will likely differ from your list. Let’s get started, shall we?

A List of Things that Make Me Happy

1. My cat, Timon. Timon is an absolute blessing in my life. We adopted him in Spring 2019, when I was really depressed and feeling overwhelmed with anxiety. Even now, when I’m anxious, the warm cuddles from my cat bring me immense comfort and joy 🐈‍⬛💕

2. My family. Apart from my immediate family which includes my children and husband, my parents who live across the country are also a key part of my family. Despite our past issues, we try to stay connected through phone calls and have found that it is much easier to get along when we aren’t living together.

3. Steeped tea & MCDs coffee. I’m a huge fan of Tim Hortons steeped tea and McDonalds coffee. Even though I can make the coffee from home, nothing beats the joy of buying it. Steeped tea is something that I simply can’t replicate and will go out of my way to get, even though these feelings of happiness are fleeting.

4. Bubble tea. I think I enjoy bubble tea more than the average person, even though the pleasure is only temporary. Unfortunately, I can’t afford it on a regular basis, so it has become something of a guilty pleasure! Although I can make it at home, I still prefer to buy it at a tea shop. It’s more fun that way!

5. Bubble baths. I absolutely love taking hot, bubble baths to warm up on cold days where I live. They give me a much-needed break from the chill and serve as an escape for some relaxation and self-care. Not only that, but it also helps to reduce stress levels and soothe my mind.

6. Walks in nature. On a beautiful day, I will take a pleasant stroll outside. 🌞 Walks outside are far more enjoyable than walking on the treadmill. I try to limit my indoor time to three days or less, as feeling trapped indoors for extended periods of time can be mentally exhausting. The longest period of time that I stayed indoors without going outside was a depressing 3 weeks – something that I never want to experience again!

7. Saving money. I tend to prioritize saving my money rather than spending it because the feeling of having a substantial amount of money in my bank account is much more satisfying than the fleeting pleasure of buying something. Moreover, I enjoy living a debt-free life as I have worked hard to get to this point and would like to maintain it.

8. My iPhone. Despite my struggles with smart phone addiction, which I previously mentioned in [this post], I am incredibly thankful for my iPhone SE. While it may not be the newest model on the market, it still works and brings me immense joy every day. My iPhone allows me to stay connected with people all over the world! 🌎

9. My blog. I am eternally grateful for having my blog and access to the awesome WP community, as it has allowed me to build strong connections with people who share similar interests and passions. I’m filled with joy to respond to comments and connect with my friends on this platform. Every single one of you leave such beautiful and kind comments, which I always look forward to reading each day.

10. Podcasts. If you see me with airpods in my ears, it’s almost certain that I’m listening to an educational or self-development podcast. Podcasts are my go-to source of entertainment and I often find myself learning something new. Occasionally, I’ll listen to some music, but almost exclusively instrumental pieces; lyrics tend to distract me too much.

11. Animal Crossing. Animal Crossing: New Horizons (ACNH) has been a source of great fun to me. Even though there’s other games to play on the Nintendo Switch, I still find myself playing ACNH often. Animal Crossing has provided me the opportunity to step away from my depression and concentrate on building something beautiful.

Screenshots are my own → I am always improving my 5-star Island!🏝️🍒

(っ◔V◔)っ Please Note: Unfortunately, I cannot give players a tour of my Animal Crossing Island without renewing the online subscription first, which is a scam in my humble opinion. I am not paying for it this year! 🙇‍♀️


(っ◔◡◔)っ ♥ FINAL THOUGHTS ♥

As you can see, there are 11 items on my list again which was intentional btw. I wanted to ensure the negative list and positive list were evenly balanced. And like I said last time, if I sat down for an hour to really reflect and journal about it, the list would be much longer. Overall, I think that it’s important to take time out of your busy day to think about the things that bring you joy and to practice gratitude. I highly encourage you to create your own list of the things that make you happy.

Thanks for stopping by! ❤️

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Things that Make Me Unhappy

I noticed that there is a tendency for people to post about the things in life that make them happy, and while that’s a great thing to do, I thought it would be interesting to identify some of the things in my daily life that make me unhappy. Now that I am home, I want to “reset” my life and start taking back control. Lately, I have felt like my life is out of control which can be problematic if it’s not dealt with right away.

Here is my list of 11 things that make me unhappy. Please keep in mind that this list is not presented in any particular order. Each list is unique to the individual, so my list will likely differ from your list. Let’s get started, shall we?

A List of Things that Make Me Unhappy

1. Drama. I’m not a fan of drama and I prefer leading a life that’s peaceful and serene. It’s amazing how drama keeps finding its way into my life, yet all I wish for is peace and quiet.

2. Arguing with people online. it never makes me feel good afterwards even though I might feel better about myself in the moment

3. Wasting time. Nothing feels worse than realizing I’ve squandered my day away doing absolutely nothing constructive, especially on my days off. It’s such a waste of time and energy when I’m being unproductive.

4. Eating too much junk food. A little junk food feels good in the moment and usually doesn’t affect me too much, but binging on junk food makes me feel like crap afterwards.

5. Health issues. Health issues like chronic fatigue, stomach pain, and mood swings give me feelings on uneasiness and make me unhappy. What’s worse is that it’s harder for me to get things done.

6. Wasting money. Instead of wasting money on short-term pleasure, I prefer investing in things that will give me long-lasting joy. Spending money on items that just offer a fleeting dopamine rush does not make me happy.

7. Smart phone addiction. Spending too long on my phone or the internet can have negative impacts on both my mental and physical health. Without any restrictions, it can cause feelings of despondency and will often make me feel distressed. Unfortunately, I’m not the only one grappling with this issue.

8. Working too much. There is a fine balance between work life and personal life. If I work more than 30 hours a week, I will be miserable.

9. Menstruation. Every month, I’m faced with something that makes me incredibly frustrated and irritable. When I’m on my period, having to deal with the cramps and the pain puts me in a bad mood.

10. Being disorganized. By nature, I tend to be quite messy, which is incredibly frustrating. Despite my best efforts, keeping everything organized is a real challenge for me.

11. Having too many social obligations. Being an INTJ, I find social activities quite tiring. Therefore, I’m more selective with the social obligations I take on nowadays.

👉This explains a lot about my personality type. I’m not surprised that I am an INTJ.

(っ◔V◔)っ Did you know? INTJs are analytical problem-solvers, eager to improve systems and processes with their innovative ideas. Source: www.truity.com

(っ◔◡◔)っ ♥ FINAL THOUGHTS ♥

This is merely a concise overview of the things that make me unhappy. If I sat down for an hour to really reflect and journal about it, the list would be much longer. It’s important to take time out of our busy days to really think about what it is that causes us distress and unhappiness so that we can work towards finding solutions. I highly encourage you to create your own list of the things that make you unhappy.

Thanks for stopping by! ❤️

You Cannot Pour from an Empty Cup

Regularly taking the time to look after yourself is absolutely essential for your physical and mental health and well-being. This has been a hot topic of discussion online, however, this does not make it any less important; in fact, it only further demonstrates the critical role self-care now plays in our lives. Don’t ignore the importance of taking a moment out of your day to focus on yourself and prioritize your own health and happiness.

That is why I felt that it was important to re-share my Medium article on the blog. If you use the following link to read this article and you are already a Medium subscriber, I will earn a small commission. It might be only a few pennies but it’s better than earning nothing at all. This article is behind a paywall on Medium but I want to make it available for everyone to read.

♡ Medium Article: You Cannot Pour from an Empty Cup

Photo by David Mao on Unsplash

Taking care of yourself with self-care 🧘🌱

I recently saw this topic appear in my newsfeed and it made me contemplate the meaning, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” This phrase can be used when considering your relationship with yourself and the importance of self-care. As much as I think the word “self-care” is grossly overused, I don’t have a better word for what I am describing here.

(っ◔◡◔)っ ♥ Taking care of yourself is essential before you can pour your energy into anything else ♥

In order to be there for others, you need to make sure you first take care of yourself. Moreover, when we are not taking care of ourselves, it can be extremely difficult to show up at our best in all areas of our lives, whether it is for ourselves or for others. This is why the expression “you can’t pour from an empty cup” also applies to you as an individual, and not just when discussing how it is important to show up for the people around us. Sometimes you need space to do your own things and focus on yourself, which doesn’t make you selfish.

The importance of self-care

One of the most effective ways to do this is by engaging in self-care on a regular basis. Self-care is defined as any activity that someone does deliberately in order to take care of their mental, emotional, physical health, and overall well-being.

Photo by Ivan Samkov: https://www.pexels.com/photo/

By taking the time to prioritize your well-being and spend time with yourself, you will have the energy and motivation that you need to be present in each of the different areas of your life. Thus, it is important to show up for yourself in every area of your life that is important to you. The following quote resonates with me:

“Self-care is not about self-indulgence, it’s about self-preservation.” — Audrey Lorde

I will tell you one thing many people get wrong about self-care. Self-care should not involve self-indulgence, which entails lavish massages, expensive hair appointments, and other things that require spending a lot of money to temporarily make oneself feel better. On the other hand, self-care is about doing things naturally that will help you to feel good. Spending more time outdoors, exercising, etc. are great ways to look after yourself.

Remember, self-care can be done without having to break the bank. There are a number of ways to make self-care a priority and you don’t need to spend money in order for it to be effective. If you’re in need of some affordable self-care ideas, you might want to check out my hobby blog, www.sereneluna.net, for a few ideas. You can check out my list of affordable self-care ideas here:

♡ Related Blog Post: Affordable Self-Care Ideas

Take It or Leave It

It’s natural to want to be there for your loved ones and friends at all times of the day. However, it often leaves us feeling a lack of balance in our lives which can lead to neglecting our own needs and health. It’s important to take some time for yourself from time to time, so that you can be a better person for the people around you. Moreover, as we all come to rely more and more on ourselves in a world that encourages self-sufficiency, the importance of self-care becomes even more important. We need to have our cups full before we can start achieving the things that we want. Thus, self-care is a fundamental part of our lives.

If you found this article interesting, or even if it just changed your perspective on things, please let me know in the comments below ↓ Your feedback really matters to me.

P.S. You can also connect with me on Twitter (@hellokitty8404) and I encourage you to subscribe to my website at http://www.sereneluna.net so that you can receive the latest updates from me.

Thanks for stopping by! ❤️

10 Self-Improvement Habits to Make You Happier

Background: It is my pleasure to have Davis return as a guest blogger for the third time. You may remember him from his first and second guest post appearances in July 2022 and September 2022. Davis has two previous blog posts that you might be interested in and you can read them here and here for some insightful advice on how to improve yourself!

Disclaimer: Davis runs a blog called https://businessisfun.net that I highly recommend you check out and follow him if you haven’t done so already. Since Davis wrote the following guest post, I cannot take credit for it. While you are here, I would love to hear your thoughts about this article. Let’s get started, shall we?

Image via https://www.pexels.com/

There are many things you can do to make your life better, and the good news is that it’s never too late to begin. In today’s article, Davis shares ten things you can start doing today to improve your life and make yourself happier. Whether you want to feel better about yourself or your career, or you are just looking for some inspiration in everyday life, these tips will help guide the way.

10 Self-Improvement Habits to Make You Happier

1. Start a Morning Routine. Sticking to a morning routine can help you start each day with greater focus and productivity, ensuring that you begin the day right. 

2. Journal Each Day. People who journal have increased happiness and lower levels of stress. By putting down on paper all your anxieties and worries from your day, you take some power back from those worries — and gain perspective, too. 

3. Exercise Regularly. Daily exercise improves your mood and gives you extra energy to tackle tasks. Psychology Today notes that exercise is a natural antidepressant and can make a huge difference in your happiness quotient by easing stress, relaxing tense muscles, and helping you sleep better. 

4. Set a Fitness Goal. If you have a fitness goal in mind, it’s easier to start and stay on track. Set your fitness goals with a coach or trainer as they can help keep you accountable for your workouts and ensure you use proper form. Once you hit a milestone, such as running your first 5K, you may consider a nutrition plan to further enhance your health. 

5. Spend Time in Nature. Cornell University cites research showing that spending time in nature reduces stress and anxiety, lowers blood pressure and heart rate, improves mood, boosts your immune system, and helps prevent dementia. Try to spend some time each day walking around Midvale, Utah, or sitting near a window with a view of trees or other greenery.  

6. Take Regular Breaks. Taking breaks throughout your day, even if just 5 minutes long, can help improve productivity and decrease stress. 

7. Remove Toxic People From Your Life. Some people bring a sense of harmony to your life, while others cause discord and unhappiness. Find out which kind you’re dealing with, and start changing your social circle. By removing toxic people from your life, you can reduce stress and increase happiness. 

8. Organize Your Home. Remove negative energy from your home by having a deep cleaning and decluttering session. Not only will it look much better, but you’ll also feel more relaxed and stress-free.  

9. Start a Business. Starting your own business can be scary, but it also has many benefits. You’ll learn new skills, set your own hours, and gain the freedom to make decisions as you see fit. If you’re looking to change your life for the better, starting a business is worth serious consideration. Online resources, such as website builders, and templates for invoices and business cards, can all be a big help. 

Starting a business doesn’t have to be an overwhelming endeavor, because you have a lot of resources at your disposal. For example, if you want to learn about content marketing (a specialized area of advertising), check out CornerstoneContent.com. Or, you can reference DreamHost.com for a complete guide on how to launch a business, including what goes into a business plan.  

10. Get the Right Amount of Sleep. When you’re well-rested, you can concentrate better and see situations clearly. Less sleep impairs concentration and memory, making it harder to problem-solve and think critically when issues arise. 

And most importantly…..


░E░n░j░o░y░ ░y░o░u░r░ ░n░e░w░ ░l░i░f░e░!░


Good habits are essential for self-improvement and it can be tough to build them up, but all it takes is a small change and even one small, permanent change can make a huge difference in your life. Why not challenge yourself this month to start using your new habits and see how you feel?

If you’ve enjoyed this article and would like to read more posts from this blogger, you can visit their website at https://businessisfun.net. Finally, if you learned something new from this blog post, feel free to join the conversation by leaving a comment below ↓ Interested in writing a guest post for www.sereneluna.net? If you would like to write a guest post, please email me your idea by filling out this form.

Thanks for stopping by!

10 Ways to Change a Negative Mindset

When I was still active on Instagram @serene_hilz, I posted an IG story about my struggle with handling strong, negative emotions. I realize that I am naturally drawn towards negativity, so perhaps that is why I attract more of it in my life. Lately, I have been reading more negative blog posts than usual, and I believe that this could be due to my newsfeed. Not surprisingly, I tend to follow like-minded individuals who seem to be negative like myself. After all, misery loves company.

(◔_◔)っSerious Question: How are we supposed to embrace negative emotions so we can get on with our day and have more mental clarity? To answer this question, I have compiled a list of 10 things that can help you change your negative mindset. Let’s get started!

10 Ways to Change a Negative Mindset

1. Check your attitude. The way you think about your life, goals, dreams, and desires can make a difference in how you live your life. Think about it: If you ruminate on the things that you do not have in your life, then you will subconsciously attract more of these things in your life. Not only that, but you will also create more frustration which is harnessed from negative energy. You are ultimately doing yourself a disservice by being a Negative Nancy and there is nothing cute about whining to me or to anyone else.

2. Think Better Thoughts. What is the difference between people who feel stuck in life and people who go on to accomplish great things? Successful people think differently than the rest of the herd. Often, successful people have already changed their mindsets, whether they are aware of it or not. The good news is that it is never too late to transform your thinking patterns too. One way to adopt a growth mindset is to become aware of your negative thoughts and actively choose to think better thoughts. Stop ruminating over the things that went wrong or believing that you are a victim in life. Instead, you can channel this negativity into a creative outlet, like blogging.

3. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others. Yikes. I think this one deserves its own blog post. I cannot stress this point enough but comparison really is the thief of joy. We live in a society where social comparison dominates, and whether we admit it or not, humans love to compare and judge. Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and other social media platforms really do bring out the green-eyed monster in people. Next time you feel tempted to compare yourself to someone you envy, try shifting your focus. Instead of focussing on others’ achievements, turn inwards and start focussing on your own unique qualities. I know this is easier said than done, but try counting your blessings the next time you catch yourself being envious of someone else.

4. Cry It Out! 😭 They say that “good girls don’t cry.” I hate to be the person to tell you this, but mentally stable girls cry. Big boys cry too. There is nothing bad about having a good cry. Most of us are taught that crying is immature, uncool, and a sign of weakness. If that was the case where we weren’t allowed to be vulnerable, then I would not be writing this blog post. More than ever, we need to allow ourselves to feel these feelings, both good and bad, and tears are a natural, emotional release. This, crying is a healthy way to let go of bottled-up feelings and emotional pain.

5. Forgive Others. How much time and energy do you spend being angry towards other people? Anger is obviously serving some kind of purpose in your life; otherwise, you wouldn’t be projecting anger into the universe. That being said, what good does it do for you to hold a grudge against someone who has done you wrong? Learning to forgive others is easier said than done, since negative emotions often cloud our judgment, thus making forgiveness seem like a waste of time. However, learning how to forgive others will give you peace of mind and, in turn, you will become mentally stronger.

“Unforgiveness is like drinking posion and hoping the other person dies.” – Margaret Stunt

6. Forgive Yourself. Do you say cruel things to yourself that you would never say to anyone else? Would you speak to your friends the same way you speak to yourself? Chances are, you probably judge yourself too harshly. AmIright? If you think that you are being too hard on yourself, maybe it is time to practice self-compassion and forgive yourself for being the imperfect human being that you are. We cannot undo our past mistakes, but we can choose to make better choices in the future if we can forgive ourselves and learn to trust the universe.

“You’ve been criticising yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” – Louise Hay

7. Learn to Let Go. There will always be things that you cannot control no matter how much you try to micromanage or wish for a more desirable outcome. And sometimes, feeling out of control can be overwhelming. If you believe that you are a #victim, I cannot deal with you right now. Seriously, nothing annoys me more than people who have a victim mentality. That being said, learning to let go and surrender to the universe is not the same as playing #victim. The universe works in mysterious ways and it is okay to surrender to the divine universe. Acknowledging your weaknesses and letting go of the things yet you cannot control will, in turn, make you a mentally stronger person.

8. Accept Life As It Is. Accepting reality can be scary because it means being okay with the way things are in the present moment. If you have been fighting reality, you might not be ready to accept your life as is. Similar to Point #7 it means surrendering and letting go of your fantasy self. It means facing and accepting what is, which allows you to make wiser choices in the future. Resisting reality might seem like the easier choice, but avoiding and resisting the truth has negative consequences.

9. Do Nothing. What do I mean by this, exactly? Doing nothing seems counterproductive, doesn’t it? However, doing nothing is similar to sitting in a silent room and meditating. I understand that meditation isn’t for everyone, nor am I telling you to meditate. People who have kids and/or busy schedules might not have the time to “do nothing.” A calmer mind can do wonders for your mental health if you are able to shut off the monkey chatter. The brain is not meant to run on overdrive all the freaking time!

10. Practice Mindfulness. If you haven’t been practicing mindfulness on a regular basis, start reconnecting with it by first silencing your mind. By living in the present, you break away from focusing on the past or future. If you have a philosophy background, you’ll know that the past and future are not real; the present moment is real. Since mindfulness enables us to bring our attention back to the present moment, perhaps we should start focussing on the things that are right in front of our noses. Just saying.

“Peace of mind arrives the moment you come to peace with the contents of your mind.” – Rasheed Ogunlaru


(っ◔◔)っ ♥ FINAL THOUGHTS ♥

When you are feeling more relaxed and calm, you will be able to focus your energy on the things that actually matter. Best of all, you will be able to think more clearly which enables you to plan and better organize your thoughts. Remember, insanity is the definition of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, so I challenge you to try something different today. Feel free to join the conversation by leaving a comment below ↓ if this blog post taught you something or made you think about things differently.

This image was edited by me aka. Mama Hillz

Thanks for stopping by! ♥

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My 10 Favourite Feelings Tag

Pink and Yellow Shapes Birthday Pinterest Graphic (1)I want to thank blogger Pooja for sharing this tag with me! If you aren’t familiar with her blog, then I highly suggest that you check out her creative musings over at Lifesfinewhine. A while ago, I promised her that I would [eventually] complete this tag which dates back to May 27. 2020. Even though I had good intentions and even jotted down a list on my phone’s virtual notepad, the note accidentally got deleted. I am now writing a new list which is in no particular order. Today, I spent some time reflecting on the things/feelings that make me happy. I purposely left out some of the obvious things like spending time with family and friends.


Rules for Award:

  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Share your list of 10 Favourite Feelings. 
  • Nominate other bloggers. 

My 10 Favourite Feelings Tag

1. Spending time with my cat. As many of you already know, I really adore my cat. I adopted him last year when I was dealing with major depression that was quite severe. If you need some happiness in your life or feel like your mood is $hit most days, then I highly recommend adopting a cat! Not every cat is friendly though, so take your time choosing the right one. Adopting a cat is a big decision, but it is a decision that you probably won’t regret! ❤🐈

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Morning cuddles with my boy, Timon ❤

2. Connecting with WordPress bloggers, both online and offline! I am very fortunate to have this blog, where I am able connect and chat with other like-minded bloggers. Blogging has been incredibly rewarding and it only keeps getting better. I never imagined that I would end up receiving personal emails, end up receiving snail mail, and even meeting Vee in real life, who is one of my favourite bloggers.

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Before I started blogging, I used to send snail mail to online friends on Facebook. I am still taking a FB hiatus and have no plans to return to that platform any time soon.

3. The smell of the Earth after it rains. Am I crazy, or is there a distinct, earthy smell after it rains? Do you know what smell I am talking about? Because that’s the smell I love! It’s a refreshing feeling after it rains ☂

4. Reaching a destination after walking for what seems like 500 miles. If the destination does not include coffee or tea, then it is a waste of my time 😂 Most of my destinations are food-related. If I didn’t walk to these places, I would probably be obese by now. I choose to walk even though I have a driver’s licence. Personally, I do not like driving a car and I will avoid driving as much as possible.

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This is one of my favourite bubble tea places. Even though I took the Light Rail Transit (LRT), I technically walked there. Since the COVID-19 lockdown, I have not taken the LRT 😷

5. Having fresh-cut flowers in my house 🌻 My mom lives across the country, and she surprised me with a dozen sunflowers for my birthday! Best birthday surprise ever ❤Sunflowers are my favourite flowers and I associate them with the month of August. They’re so sunny and cheerful. What’s not to like about sunflowers? 😍

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Not my birthday sunflowers. This photo was taken at my mom’s house, Summer 2019. Look how big and gorgeous these beauties are! 🌻🌻

6. Sunsets from my balcony. You do not need to go to the beach to enjoy a sunset. In fact, you can view beautiful sunsets from the comfort of your balcony or backyard. Some sunsets are quite stunning. My favourite kind of sunsets are the cotton-candy colored ones 🤗

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This is what I call a cotton-candy sunset ❤

7. Finding $$$ in random places. It might be money laying on the ground (I wish), money in my coat pocket, or finding money in a drawer etc. Finding money I didn’t even know I had is a great feeling! Once I found $200 cash while cleaning the house, which was money I made from Kijiji sales. I had stashed it in an envelope for a rainy day and completely forgot about it! I’m also bad for accidentally leaving money in my coat pockets. Once my mom found a $20 in my coat pocket, so she kept it. It was an old coat that I no longer wanted, but I guess it still had some value.

8. “Kodak” moments. Let me be clear about something: I am aware that I am not photogenic. My dad thinks that I love taking photos of myself but I seldom take photos of myself. Yes, I have a profile picture of myself only because I rather see an actual picture of the face behind the blog, even if that profile pic happens to be filtered. Most of the photos I post on this blog are my own, such as this adorable pic of Rebecca and Timon the cat 💕 I am really beginning to loathe royalty-free pics because every blogger seems to use them nowadays 🙄 #unoriginal

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Photo taken October 16, 2019

9. Donating/selling items. Knowing that my stuff is going to a better home is a very satisfying feeling. Meeting the buyer in person also gives me reassurance that my stuff is actually wanted, especially since I know that they want to buy my stuff. I find it much easier parting with sentimental items if I sell them, compared to donating them. For all I know, donated items could be going straight to the landfill, which I find a bit disturbing.

10. Spousal business travel. I really enjoy taking advantage of my husband’s travel excursions whenever the opportunity arises. Usually, our schedules clash and I have to stay home, but sometimes I am fortunate to join him on his adventures! That being said, I can no longer tag along on his business trips because of the pandemic 😭


My Nominees:

https://popsiclesociety.com/

https://simplychronicallyill.com/

https://renardsworld.wordpress.com/

https://mymartialpath.wordpress.com/

https://inhisserviceandlovingit.wordpress.com/

And….GO!! There is no pressure to respond to this nomination. I am curious to know what your answers are if you decide to participate! Whether or not you were nominated, you are still welcome to join in on the fun!

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Goodbye Materialism, Hello Happiness

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2017 was the year that I finally set myself free from materialism and it was the best decision I ever made 🙌.

Believe it or not, there was a time when I spent [most of] my birthday and Christmas ca$h on materialistic items in an attempt to momentarily feel happy. Over the years, especially during my college years, I learned that wasting money on impulse purchases not only burns a hole in my wallet but my bank account takes the final blow as a consequence for my poor decisions.

Luckily, I learned the value of money from an early age. My parents taught me that money does not grow on trees and if I want something badly enough, then I need to work hard for it. There is a misconception that only children are spoiled, selfish brats, which may be true for some kids, but I do not consider myself to fit that stereotype. Honestly, it infuriates me when people assume that I possess this quality just because I “appear” to be spoiled, whatever that is supposed to mean.

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Window shopping at the Mall of America in 2017. I left the store empty-handed even though these stuffies are cute. 🍌🎂

Be-grateful_Daily-Inspiration_The-Red-Fairy-ProjectA turning point occurred prior to moving out and living life as a 20-something independent post-graduate just trying to make it on her own, alongside her soulmate. Honestly, I could not imagine my life without my husband. I often wonder, where would I be today had I not met him? Would I still be living with my parents, hiding in my room all day, while caught in a mess of never-ending-drama-infused-quarrels among my friends, especially online? Social media was definitely my fuel for real-time connection, but was I really connecting authentically?

Unlike most of my peers, I try my best to detach myself from ego, likes, and popularity contests. Seeking approval and searching for happiness that is purely ego-driven is a pathetic way to live and sadly, too many people choose to base their happiness on external validation. I see it way too often, especially among my close friends, where their motives are purely ego-driven and they base their self-worth on the number of likes they get on an Instagram or Facebook photo. Personally, I am relieved to have left this realm where I no longer have the need to participate in this glass-ceiling dream of egotistical satiety or having to impress people I don’t like with stuff I cannot afford.

News flash! the ego is never satisfied. 😱

Throughout my young life, I have been trying to please other people and conform because I wanted to fit in. If normal is seeking everyone else’s approval while failing to love ourselves, if normal is relying on external validation such as the number of likes or comments or shallow happy birthday wishes we get once a year from people we barely know IRL, if normal is wasting countless nights dwelling on our past mistakes and wondering why we were ghosted by whatshername, then I don’t want to be normal. I don’t want that extra baggage weighing me down. The moment you realize that none of this stuff matters (external validation) is the moment you will set yourself free and start living a better life.

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I’ve only been to the Mall of America once in my lifetime and I would like to go back one day.

I am curious to know whether or not you embrace minimalism. Also, what are your thoughts about seeking social media validation? Please join the conversation and leave a comment below↓

Thanks for stopping by!

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S.L.E.E.P.S. 7-Day Challenge | Day 7

53893244-businessman-feeling-tired-and-low-battery-This is the final day of the 7-Day S.L.E.E.P.S. Challenge and I am happy that some of you want to try the challenge too! If you end up participating in this challenge, please let me know by sending me a link to your first day so that I can follow along. I am currently experiencing an ocular headache so my vision is really wonky right now. However, I need to finish the 7-Day Challenge regardless of how I’m feeling. I have a lot of respect for bloggers who write on a daily basis. How do you do it?

The rest of this journal entry is practically routine by now. I don’t know if I will have time to blog this weekend since the semester is starting to become more intense. After typing up a schedule for Term 4 yesterday, it finally occurred to me that I actually have homework to do. I am a visual learner so I need calendars and charts to keep me on track.

If you would like to read about the S.L.E.E.P.S. 7-day challenge, you can find my first posting here. This challenge was originally mentioned on a podcast called Operation Self Reset. The purpose of this challenge is to document personal progress, crush goals, and conquer fears over the duration of 7 consecutive days. Here is the breakdown from Day 1:

The acronym is S.L.E.E.P.S.
S – Smile: what made you smile yesterday?
L – Learn: what did you learn today?
E – Exercise: how did you exercise?
E – Execute (x4): what are your goals and what are you doing to achieve them?
P – Phone call: who did you call/text today? Show them gratitude.
S – Smile: what made you smile today?


Day 7 ~ May 24, 2018 tired-and-gaining-weightS – This morning was a blur. I struggled to fall asleep last night and I am still full of worry and doubt. I worry about clinical and keeping up with school. I tried to calm my nerves by taking a shower before bed but I still couldn’t fall asleep 😴 I also tried drinking some strawberry rhubarb parfait tea for the first time and it was delicious. I have several tea samples so I am planning on trying something new tonight.

L – Today, I learned a lot of new skills because I spent the day at my clinical placement. I have very long clinical days which is another reason why I wasn’t in the mood to blog tonight. I have readings to do for tomorrow and need to get ready for bed in a couple of hours. I cannot tell you what I am doing for confidentiality reasons, but clinical is interesting and scary at the same time. I was surprised by the amount of psychology that is directly related to the nursing field. I am actually starting to apply the knowledge that I learned from my psychology classes and I’m using it in real life!

E – I spent the entire day at clinical and have been awake since 5 AM this morning. When I got home, I had zero motivation to do any homework and wasn’t in the mood to blog. I should be doing readings right now but I’m too damn tired. I’m fighting to stay awake as I write this blog post. Also, the dress that didn’t fit me 3 months ago fits me now, so I must have lost weight. I wore this dress two years ago so it makes me happy that I am closer to reaching my pre-pregnancy weight.

E – Here are my short-term plans:
(1) Attend the [protest] meeting tomorrow
(2) Complete Week 2 lecture notes
(3) Finish EBP readings/worksheet for Monday
(4) Write Week 2 anecdotal notes

P – Yes, I actually made several phone calls today! I’m hoping to continue to build on my social skills. Also, I hope to improve my listening skills. If anything, I learned that I shouldn’t be too hard on myself. At least I am taking action by doing something about it. At the end of the day, I can feel good about stepping outside of my comfort zone and trying new things. I believe that uncomfortable situations will eventually become comfortable to you as you continue to make positive changes in your life. You will acquire a higher threshold for tolerance and over time, you will adopt a new level of “normal” in your life.

S – Treating myself from time to time actually puts me in a better mood. Think iced cappuccino. I don’t treat myself very often but if it’s linked to a social event of some kind, then I will allow myself a small treat. I went out with my clinical group so it ended up being a social gathering. Also, given the fact that I was suffering from an ocular headache, the temporary boost of dopamine and sugar spike did help.

Summary

Why did I try this challenge? What was the true intention behind it? Ideally, I wanted to become a more consistent blogger by writing consistently for 7 consecutive days, regardless of my schedule. Also, I was hoping to improve my social skills, focus on fitness, as well as brush up on my writing skills. Because the semester is still young, this was the only opportunity I had to partake in this journey if I was going to do it at all.

I believe that we should start journalling about our S.L.E.E.P.S. on a daily basis. The limitation of this experiment is the time frame. 7 days is not long enough to develop long-lasting habits or do deep reflective work. It takes a lot longer than 7 days to grow as a person and develop long, lasting habits. On a happier note, having the ability to envision your future and develop a detailed plan of action will help you accelerate your progress and enable you to get the results you desire.

I hope that you decide to try this challenge! 😊 Please leave a comment below if you are interested ↓ and feel free to link me to your Day 1 of S.L.E.E.P.S. I would love to read about your journey. Let’s spread some love while crushing our goals!

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S.L.E.E.P.S. 7-Day Challenge | Day 6

comfortableToday is day 6 of the 7-Day S.L.E.E.P.S. Challenge and it is bittersweet. In a way, I am relieved that this challenge is almost finished because my schedule is starting to get busy again. After this challenge is over, I need to complete a few collaboration posts (did I say that right?) that I have been putting off for way too long. But once I have published these posts, I don’t plan on posting for a while so that I can focus on school. You can still find me in the WordPress community but I probably won’t be creating much content.

Last night, I was in physical pain and had a difficult time falling asleep. I knew that there was only one thing to do – call the doctor’s office this morning. It is better to nip it in the bud now than to ignore it and make a trip to the ER later. My schedule doesn’t allow for much free time so I knew that I had to get this issue taken care of now. Like anything in life, nothing happens without action. You can talk about making a change but what good is it without taking action? Ignoring the issue or procrastinating isn’t going to make the problem go away, so you are better off taking care of the annoyance now.

If you would like to read about the S.L.E.E.P.S. 7-day challenge, you can find my first posting here. This challenge was originally mentioned on a podcast called Operation Self Reset. The purpose of this challenge is to document personal progress, crush goals, and conquer fears over the duration of 7 consecutive days. Here is the breakdown from Day 1:

The acronym is S.L.E.E.P.S.
S – Smile: what made you smile yesterday?
L – Learn: what did you learn today?
E – Exercise: how did you exercise?
E – Execute (x4): what are your goals and what are you doing to achieve them?
P – Phone call: who did you call/text today? Show them gratitude.
S – Smile: what made you smile today?

Day 6 ~ May 23, 2018 

S – Have you ever taken the time to appreciate the little things in life? This week has required me to tap into my emotional well being and do some deep reflective thinking. We are wired to avoid deep thinking and instead, we prefer to take the easy route, to distract ourselves, and to avoid conflict. By working on personal development in order to become your best self, you have to become uncomfortable. Most people don’t want to feel uncomfortable because being in a vulnerable place feels wrong to them.

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This is exactly why I love podcasts so much. Usually, I would dive into a good book but this conflicts with my best interests. I am trying to practice minimalism which means that I try not to buy paperback copies anymore. Besides, I never understood the point of a kindle when the iPad does the same thing. Over time, I have learned to embrace audiobooks and podcasts. I also find that I pay more attention while listening to a podcast than I do from reading a good book. This is how my brain is wired, and in case you are wondering where my advice comes from, I did not make this stuff up. Nobody on this planet is born full of knowledge. We learn from others. I can only tell you what works and what doesn’t from my personal experiences.

L – What did I learn today? To take action when there is a problem! My main reason for taking action was physical pain, and fear of being in even more pain by Monday. Don’t procastinate. It is only the mind’s way of playing a trick on you. Procrastination is nothing more than an illusion that tricks you into feeling fine when in reality, you will need to face the problem eventually. Chances are, the problem will escalate into a worse case scenario the longer you put things off. Now if only I could apply this to school work. I came up with a plan last night to make a chart on the computer that includes all of the due dates week-by-week, similar to the one that was provided to us last semester.

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Spongebob Squarepants speaks to me on a spiritual level •◡•

E – I saw the doctor on campus today and got some exercise. I could feel the tingling in my legs while I was walking home. Every day, I can feel my body becoming more and more toned which is definitely a result of my walks to and from campus. My clothes are starting to fit better and I am feeling more confident these days. If you are trying to lose weight, ditch the scale. You can tell if you are getting healthier based on how your clothes fit along with knowing where you stand in terms of Body Mass Index (BMI).

E – Here are my plans for today:
(1) Figure out a carpooling schedule for tomorrow morning
(2) Write up a document with week-to-week due dates
(3) Call in-laws to see how my daughter is doing
(4) Send some important emails this week

P – I haven’t made any phone calls yet because the day is still young. I am planning on calling the in-laws again to see how my baby girl is doing. I decided to write this blog post earlier in the day so that I am not overwhelmed by it later tonight. Tomorrow is a very busy day for me and I need to prepare for it. Also, I have been thinking about a family friend who is expecting. I often wonder how she is doing. As much as I dislike making phone calls, I really think that I should call her. I have been putting it off due to social anxiety but this is exactly why I should do it. Getting uncomfortable is the key to becoming a better person.

S – What made me smile today? Today, I talked to another student who is in my program and she was very friendly. We chatted for a while and I learned that we share a lot in common. Talking to her made me smile. In contrast, the doctor who accompanied me wasn’t particularly friendly. I could tell that she was in a hurry and didn’t tell me why she was taking my blood pressure, which is very unprofessional in my opinion. I believe that all healthcare professionals need to show more compassion towards their patients which should be their primary focus prior to providing treatment.

Will you join me on this 7-day challenge? Please leave a comment below ↓ and feel free to leave a link to your blog if you decide to join me. I would love to read about your S.L.E.E.P.S. Let’s spread some love while crushing our goals!

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S.L.E.E.P.S. 7-Day Challenge | Day 3

Today is Day 3 of the 7-Day S.L.E.E.P.S. challenge! I took an iron supplement last night but it takes weeks for supplements to work their magic. The iron supplement that I take is a prescription that has a higher potency than regular iron supplements. Usually, I am exhausted, but today, I forced myself to take the bus to the clinical placement. I got lost getting there but managed to find the location nonetheless. The bus stops aren’t conveniently located so I ended up getting a good workout.

If you would like to read about the S.L.E.E.P.S. 7-day challenge, you can find my first posting here. This challenge was originally mentioned on a podcast called Operation Self Reset. The purpose of this challenge is to document personal progress, crush goals, and conquer fears for a week. Here is the breakdown from Day 1:

The acronym is S.L.E.E.P.S.

S – Smile: what made you smile yesterday?
L – Learn: what did you learn today?
E – Exercise: how did you exercise?
E – Execute (x4): what are your goals and what are you doing to achieve them?
P – Phone call: who did you call/text today? Show them gratitude.
S – Smile: what made you smile today?


Day 3 ~ May 20, 2018 

S – Last night, I ran out of crackers and had to get creative so I made toast. Usually, toast tastes bland and dry but the bread is delicious. I also ate a few tomatoes and am feeling more energized. I’m trying to eat everything in my apartment before buying more food to include food in the fridge, freezer, pantry etc. Yesterday, I enjoyed a bottle of Grapefruit Perrier that has been in my pantry for months and it was delicious! 💖

Here is a big reason for me to smile. This morning, I received a notification that I reached a new milestone of 50 followers! Woooot! I would like to thank my lovely followers for joining me on this journey towards self-awareness and personal growth. Thank you for all of your support including your comments, likes, suggestions, and emails. This blog is alive and thriving because of you! 🧡 🧡 🧡

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Thank you for following Sereneluna and giving this blog some L.O.V.E. ♡♡♡

L – I learned that I still have cravings for steeped tea. I was planning to treat myself today if I found the clinical placement, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I could smell the aroma of coffee at a nearby Tim Hortons and I even sat in the chair by the fireplace. Just as I was about to buy a steeped tea, I left the store and took the bus home. I am only human and seek comfort food from time to time, especially since my family isn’t here. But then I remembered that I still have Perrier in the fridge it is just as good.

E – Like I mentioned above, I took the bus to the clinical placement and did a lot of walking. I walked in circles trying to find the place LOL. I don’t know what I would do without the GPS on my phone! Also, I hid the keyboard and remote for the TV because I have been spending way too much time being a couch potato. As tempting as it is to watch reruns all day, this activity is the king of procrastination. I won’t be watching any more TV since I haven’t been doing my homework all week. Oops.

E – Here are my plans for the rest of the weekend:
(1) Clean the apartment. Clean the dishes.
(2) Take a 3 km walk to MCDs for iced coffee
(3) The stove is still broken but I’ll live without it
(4) Write a to-do list for week 2 summer semester

P – So far, I only talked to my husband on the phone today and he sent me a very cute photo of our baby girl, my sister-in-law, and brother-in-law. I also received a couple text messages from acquaintances/friends but I’m in no hurry to keep the conversations going right now. Texting is dying and I find very little joy via texting these days. Phone calls would be more ideal but I feel like most Millennials are not inclined to call people.

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S – I am happy that I haven’t run out of food yet and don’t need to make a trip to the grocery store. I will put off grocery shopping for as long as possible and I have been eating mostly nutritious healthy food. Also, I am happy that I banned myself from watching TV because I know that deep down, limiting distractions will help me become more productive. Last semester, I didn’t have the TV and as a result, I was actually productive. Drop the excuses! 

Will you join me on this 7-day challenge? Please leave a comment below ↓ and feel free to leave a link to your blog if you decide to join me. I would love to read about your S.L.E.E.P.S. Let’s spread some love while crushing our goals!

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S.L.E.E.P.S. 7-Day Challenge | Day 2

Today is Day 2 of the 7-Day S.L.E.E.P.S. challenge! Like the acronym suggests, I am actually feeling exhausted today. My iron deficiency anemia has caught up with me yet again and I crashed on the couch this afternoon. A trip to campus and local mall this morning was exhausting for me and unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take the bus to find the clinical placement today. I wanted to go there and had good intentions, but battling anemia is another challenge. I think I need to start taking my iron supplements in order to be a somewhat-functioning human.

If you would like to read about the S.L.E.E.P.S. 7-day challenge, you can find my first posting here. This challenge was originally mentioned on a podcast called Operation Self Reset. The purpose of this challenge is to document personal progress, crush goals, and conquer fears for a week. Here is the breakdown from Day 1:

The acronym is S.L.E.E.P.S.

S – Smile: what made you smile yesterday?
L – Learn: what did you learn today?
E – Exercise: how did you exercise?
E – Execute (x4): what are your goals and what are you doing to achieve them?
P – Phone call: who did you call/text today? Show them gratitude.
S – Smile: what made you smile today?


Day 2 ~ May 19, 2018 

S – I did something spontaneous today and got my eyebrows waxed and tinted. They were unmanageable and I finally decided to pamper myself. I also got a second pair of scrubs for clinical and found some nursing shoes. 👠These shoes are funky and I was unsure about the pattern. However, I think that these shoes will help me stand out from the other students! These Alegria Debra Water Baby shoes are super comfortable to walk in because they have cork soles.

I shouldn’t be a Debbie downer but I lost my tracking mouse, which is inconvenient to replace. Ironically, I still have the marble and the piece that connects to the laptop, but it’s useless without the mouse. 😭 Everyone disliked my mouse because they couldn’t figure out how to use it. I am sad to have lost it during the lecture yesterday but my husband is relieved that I have to use a “modern mouse” now.

L – I learned that I need to start treating my iron deficiency anemia because it’s affecting my productivity. I also learned where the lost and found is on campus. I will check it out next week but I doubt that the mouse will be there. I pray that some kind soul returns it to its rightful owner.

E – I walked to the bookstore and wandered around campus today. I then took the bus to the mall and spent 3 hours there. This mall is kinda lame, however, they had everything I was looking for. By the time I got home, I took a nap and didn’t have the energy to leave the house again. I also realized that I need to get groceries or I will be living off of Kraft Dinner next week.

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Sorry MLP lovers but I am not a fan of ponies or cartoons featuring ponies. I don’t get what this GIF means. I like D.W. even though she loves ponies so she is an exception.

E – Here are my plans for the rest of the weekend:
(1) Take the bus and find the clinical placement
(2) Need groceries for next week or get creative with pantry food
(3) Let the landlord know that the stove is broken
(4) Clean the apartment. Make some overnight oats for tomorrow morning.

P – I called my mom today and also chatted with my husband on the phone for a while. I miss my husband and 18-month old daughter terribly and I wish they lived here. I didn’t talk to any friends today and I’m not in the mood to text people or check social media. I am feeling antisocial this weekend which is usually a sign that another depression wave is looming. Isolation usually makes the situation worse so I try to leave the house once a day.

S – Well, at least I left the house today even though it’s the only productive thing I did all day as well as writing this blog post. I always feel better after publishing a new post and will try to keep up with blogging during the summer semester. Right now, I feel like a bus ran me over because I am so drained of energy. Here is another thing to smile about: thank goodness for autosave. I accidentally closed the tab which is another sign that I desperately need caffeine!

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Will you join me on this 7-day challenge? Please leave a comment below ↓ and feel free to leave a link to your blog if you decide to join me. I would love to read about your S.L.E.E.P.S. Let’s spread some love while crushing our goals!

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S.L.E.E.P.S. 7-Day Challenge

Today, I was searching for new podcasts to listen to and I stumbled upon a podcast called Operation Self Reset. Immediately, I was hooked because this highly-engaging podcast focusses on personal growth and development which happens to be my favorite genre! There was a specific episode that made me think deeply about finding the motivation to gain more balance and happiness in my life.

By embarking on a 7-day challenge, this challenge will help me reflect on my daily activities and pinpoint areas that need improving. I want to do this challenge because I need to make positive changes in my life, and most importantly, maintain long-term positive vibes. I feel like the main points of the acronym cover all of the areas that I need to focus on. NOW is the time to start. Not tomorrow. Not next month. No matter how many excuses I have, I need to start this challenge today.

The acronym is S.L.E.E.P.S.

SSmile: what made you smile yesterday?
LLearn: what did you learn today?
E – Exercise: how did you exercise?
EExecute (x4): what are your goals and what are you doing to achieve them?
P – Phone call: who did you call/text today? Show them gratitude.
SSmile: what made you smile today?


Day 1 ~ May 18, 2018 

S – I don’t remember what made me smile yesterday because I had a bad day. I was so tired and lethargic and I slept for 12 hours last night. I was worried about my clinical next week. I was worried about my husband and daughter flying on the plane. I was praying that they would arrive safely at their destination. I was full of worry.

L – I learned about Family Assessment Models and Intervention Models in lecture today. The material is dry but I managed to get my readings done for the week. I was able to follow the lecture because I read ahead earlier this week. It is rare for me to work ahead so I guess that is something to smile about. ☺️

E – I walked to school and wandered around campus today. I think that the campus is big and my classes are spaced relatively far apart. Ever since moving to this new city, I started engaging in a great deal of walking. There is no need for me to join a gym because I get adequate exercise when I’m outside.

giphy1.gifE – Here are my goals for the weekend:
(1) Need nursing shoes for May 31
(2) Need another pair of scrubs
(3) Take the bus and find the clinical placement
(4) Finish cleaning the apartment

P – I tried calling my husband but he seemed busy. I texted a friend and she seemed annoyed that I sent her an article to read. I don’t like texting because it is difficult to read body language. Usually, I don’t call people unless it’s my husband or my mother. It will be hard to reach out to people through phone calls but I understand the impact of a phone call vs. a bland text message. At this time, I don’t see myself executing phone calls to friends yet.

S – I broke my Tim Hortons steeped tea fast today after my 21-day ban. Society’s belief system suggests that it takes 21 days to break a habit. However, I was miserable without my steeped tea and the caffeine withdrawal headaches were unbearable. It is not worth being miserable so I will allow myself 3 large steeped teas per week and the occasional iced coffee at MCDs as long as I walk there and back (3 km total distance).

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Will you join me on this 7-day challenge? Please leave a comment below ↓ and feel free to leave a link to your blog if you decide to join me. I would love to read about your S.L.E.E.P.S. Let’s spread some love while crushing our goals!

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