Don’t Feed The Bears

(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.

Image source: https://pixabay.com/

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:

♡ Related article: Living Rent-Free


Beware of the Bears

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.

♡ Related blog post: Lingering Hope

Your Energy Is Sacred

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!”

Image source: https://pixabay.com/

(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.

Thanks for stopping by!

Living Rent-Free

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?

♡ Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

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-free is 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.

♡ Related Article: Boundaries Matter


What are the consequences?

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.

Thanks for stopping by! ❤

I Tried Waking Up at 5 AM

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:

♡ Redefining Sleep: 8 Ways to Sleep Better

 Best Quiet Activities for Insomniacs

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 ↓

Thanks for stopping by! ♥

How to Strengthen Your Resiliency

(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.

Thanks for stopping by! 💕

Best Quiet Activities for Insomniacs

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 schedule and 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 about Improving Sleep Hygiene and 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.

♡ Photo by Miesha Maiden on Pexels.com

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:

♡ Photo by Yuri Yuhara on Pexels.com

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.

♡ Photo by Ivan Samkov on Pexels.com

(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

Thanks for stopping by! ♥

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March Recap | Spring 2022

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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 😔
  3. 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

Career Goals:

  • 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.

Personal Goals:

  • 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.

Health Goals:

  • 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.

Photo taken on March 14, 2022 (Pi Day)

Thanks for stopping by!

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8 Ways to Sleep Better

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 about Improving 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 enough REM 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 out this 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

Thanks for stopping by! ♥

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March Goals | Spring 2022

This is the beginning of a new month which means that we have a fresh start (yet again). I am not waiting another day for a fresh start, since we already know that January and February 2022 were bleh months for me. I am still catching up on the comments from January. No, I have not forgotten about you all. To all of my loyal readers and blogging friends, thank you for putting up with my sloth-like self. What I really need right now is a steeped tea and a calm place to escape to which does not exist in my world. As I continue to search for my quiet sanctuary, I often think back to life before the pandemic started 😷 When I was at U of Calgary B.C. (before Covid-19), I used to escape to the arboretum on campus. I really miss that place. *Le sigh*

If you knew me IRL, my life would probably bore you. If I am not doing mundane, mind-numbing chores, I am probably working or taking care of my 5-year old kinder and 9-month old baby. That being said, I want to be more organized this month so I think it’s only fair that I hold myself accountable somehow. Since I haven’t used Instagram since 2019, I don’t see the point of using IG stories, even though I have had some success with it in the past. Right now, blogging is the main platform that I use so it makes sense to share my goals here with my readers. Just a quick note that my goals this month are rather vague and I have not gone into much detail yet regarding my current diet. Perhaps I will elaborate more about my weight loss journey and plans in a future blog post if anyone is interested. FYI I am not overweight but I want to lose belly fat, specifically visceral fat. I fit the definition of skinny fat which is annoying because I cannot wear cute clothes without hating myself. 😓

The Daily Grind ☕💕

By now, we all know that I lack the motivation to grind away at writing, editing, and uploading new content for this blog. Even on my days off, I am too lazy to get off the couch and actually do something productive. The recipes I made earlier this week were not “Insta worthy” so I didn’t bother snapping photos. I would like to share my low-carb recipes with you, but the perfectionist in me is stopping me from actually following through with it. Perfectionism is a B.I.T.C.H. 🤦‍♀️ I currently have 31 drafts on WordPress + ideas in my head + ideas that live on a notepad on my iPhone. That being said, I refuse to upload half-baked blog posts just for the sake of gaining more views and followers.

Old News is New News

In other news, I was sick (again) during the month of February. To add to this series of unfortunate events, I was unable to find a habit tracker because Costco didn’t carry them this year and the calendar store is closed until further notice 🙇‍♀️ I am a visual learner and seem to do better when I can physically see what goals I need to achieve. Right now, I lack direction and feel a bit lost when it comes to setting short-term and long-term goals which is no surprise considering that I haven’t been using a planner at all. At this time, I am thinking of sharing my goals with you to keep myself accountable for the month of March. I really seem to struggle with finding the energy and motivation to stop being a lazy potato.

It is hard to believe that one year has passed since I last posted my goals for March 2021 🌸 You can also read about how that went down here. 🌸 I have decided to keep the same layout this year. Below ↓ I will show you my list for the month of March 2022. My daily lists are very similar except that daily lists include mundane tasks like cooking and cleaning. So what does my list for the month of March look like? Here, let me show you:

March Goals 2022

Career Goals:

  • Continue to work weekends and Fridays, preferably evening shifts
  • Bid on shifts so I average 7-9 shifts per month
  • Renew and review courses on MLL
  • Attend 2 online wellness seminars

Personal Goals:

  • Publish 1-2 blog posts per month
  • Publish 2-3 recipes and/or poems
  • Keep tabs on doctor’s appointments/pending appointments
  • Continue to declutter house every day
  • Have an IRL meeting/get-together

Health Goals:

  • Follow a low carb diet for 3+ months
  • Continue Intermittent Fasting (IF)
  • Slash 90-95% of wheat products. Slash 70% of refined foods including refined sugar 🧁
  • More cooking and baking at home
  • Daily walks and sunshine if weather permits ☀️

Not that anyone cares: My scale needs new batteries so I don’t know my actual weight. The way my clothes fit is a better indicator than a stupid number on the scale. I don’t care about weight as much as the way I feel on the inside and I know that my BMI falls within the healthy range of 18.5 – 24.9. And yet, people often tell me that I do not need to lose weight, but they aren’t me. What I do know is that I don’t feel good on the inside. I want to feel healthier and my body looks (and feels) tired. Ideally, I would like a flatter stomach by summer so that is what I am working towards. More importantly, I want to get rid of my inflammation as a result of sensitivities to certain foods. The last time I felt comfortable in my own body was in 2015. I know this is an unpopular opinion, but affirmations and mantras about body positivity do not make me feel better about myself. I also came to the harsh reality that I haven’t made much progress since 2017 when I wrote a blog post about my dieting woes called No Carbs, No Life.

“Oh I don’t need real food. I’ll just live on this raw cabbage. I’m so happy. This is fine. Everything is fine.” — Jenny Lawson

Do you have any goals that you are trying to achieve this month? If you do, what are they? Feel free to join the conversation by leaving a comment below ↓ I look forward to reading your comments. I am working this weekend, so I will reply to your comments and catch up on blog posts when I have time.

Thanks for stopping by! ♥

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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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Surviving January

(◔_◔)っQuestion: Is January a depressing month for you?

It is the beginning of a New Year and I am already off to a rocky start. I have been depressed since New Year’s Eve. I wasn’t planning to stay up past midnight but my husband and daughter insisted that I watch the fireworks with them… on TV. We had planned to watch the fireworks IRL but plans were canceled due to extreme weather conditions, which is not surprising to anyone who lives in western Canada. Okay, maybe I am being a bit melodramatic, but to give you an idea of how cold Canada is, I wanted to share a photo with you that my husband took on his phone. Just looking at this photo makes me feel cold! #brrr

I am Feeling Blue (SAD)

The New Year is meant to be a hopeful time for us all. Many of us have ambitious goals and feel motivated to crush our goals or face our inner demons. How many of you are familiar with the saying, This will be my year? or New Year, New Me? As tempting as it is to push the reset button on January 1, reality does not have a reset button. January 1, 2022, is no different than December 31, 2021, unless you decide to make a change and take action to make it different. Usually, I am motivated enough to make a list of resolutions for the new year, but this year, I am struggling with my mental health which includes Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). It could also be due to the fact that the holidays are over and there isn’t Christmas to occupy my mind anymore. It could also be due to the fact that I have to go out in the real world again and I have the harsh realization that I am still dealing with social anxiety. To be honest, I haven’t done much to overcome that during the Christmas holiday. 🎄🎁

❄ The Long, Long Winter ❄

I want to hide under the blankets and hibernate until spring 2022. Nothing about winter feels rejuvenating to me. I cannot wait for spring because spring brings me hope. I need longer days, warmer weather, and sunshine in order to thrive 🌞🌻 In the meantime, I know that routines are essential when it comes to surviving the long, long winter. Last year, I distracted myself by doing a No Spend Challenge in January 2021. However, this year, I don’t even have the motivation or mental energy to participate in this challenge. When I tried the No Spend Challenge last year, I enjoyed it very much so I still recommend checking out this challenge if you want to save some money and/or get out of debt. I am 30 years old and live well below my means. Both my husband and I are frugal people and we are actively saving for a brighter future. I might write more about frugality and money-saving tips in future blog posts 🤔

Insomnia Strikes Again

Confession time: I am not good with diary-style blog posts because it takes me several hours to edit them, and even longer if I am struggling to find the energy or motivation to write. I am editing this blog post on January 5, 2022, but I wrote the rough draft on January 3, 2022. To give you some context, I was supposed to work on Sunday, January 2, 2022 (day shift) but I did not sleep at all the night before. I had horrible insomnia because my 5-year old daughter kept me up until 0300 slamming doors and being obnoxious. I am a very light sleeper who needs earplugs and sleeping masks; even that doesn’t seem to help much. On day shifts, I have to wake up at 0430, so I was both physically and mentally exhausted. That morning, I had a pounding insomniac headache which forced me to call in “sick” at 0415. I feel bad for being that person who canceled last minute.

Below is a screenshot from my Instagram account. Feel free to follow me on IG even though I stopped uploading on IG a long time ago. I let go of IG because it wasn’t good for my mental health. You can only filter so much content, and even then, the algorithm is not perfect. There always seemed to be something triggering on IG no matter what I did which is why I took an extra-long, extended hiatus. Looking back, using #victim as a hashtag was a bit melodoramatic. Anywho…. as you can see, insomnia is still an ongoing problem in my life which could also be contributing to my $hit mood. 😴 I have tried everything to help me sleep and I even wrote a blog post about improving sleep hygiene a couple years ago. Insomnia is an ongoing problem for many of us who live in cold climates.

Not only am I disappointed when other people let me down, but I feel really bad when I let others down. I admit that I feel guilty for canceling my shift when I know that they are counting on me to show up and be present at work. I also noticed that this is not the first time that I had to cancel a day shift due to insomnia. What is it about early mornings that I despise so much? I call these “sick” days my mental health days or self-care days. I have to remember to be kind to myself, especially on days when I am struggling with anxiety and depression. Also, I have to remember to practice self-compassion which has started to gain more popularity over the years, especially in the mental health community. If you haven’t heard of the self-compassion movement, I recommend checking out this Ted Talk by Kristin Neff on Youtube.

I had planned to stay in bed all day but then I remembered that I had to go to work the following day (another day shift). Then I remembered that the world goes on without me whether I like it or not, and that the Earth will keep spinning regardless of how I feel. Sometimes, taking a day off after a horrible night of insomnia is absolutely necessary, but I cannot hide under the blankets forever. I know that I will have to get out of bed today and that it is only a matter of time before I have to go back to work. Tomorrow will come and I will have to face the real world once more. I might not see the light right now, but I know that there will be happier, sunnier days ahead.

Do you believe that changing seasons affect your mood? If you live in the northern hemisphere with a cold climate, how do you get enough sunlight? Please join the conversation by leaving a comment below ↓ I look forward to reading your comments. I hope that you are all staying safe and healthy during the winter season. 😷

Thanks for stopping by!

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Lingering Hope

My goal for the New Year is to upload more content without setting a set-in-stone schedule. Lately, I have been bothered by the amount of negativity taking place in the WP community. That being said, I am not going to let one Torontonian blogger dim my sparkle! ✨ I recently caught on that she has been purposely shadow-banning me on her blog by removing me from her follower list and sending all of my comments to her spam folder. Seriously, who goes out of their way to remove followers?

This past week, I have been meditating and reflecting on a few things and I realize that drama, both offline and online, negatively impacts my mental health and well-being. This week, I started cutting back on the amount of time I spend on my phone, especially social media, even though the bulk of the drama is taking place in the WordPress community. I don’t think that she and her followers (some are my followers as well) know that I have read their comments. Be careful what you say, because not only do your words dig deep but they also say a lot about your character. Personally, I love how Ryan Biddulph from Twitter handles this kinda thing.

Lingering Hope

Disclaimer: This poem was originally posted as its own daughter page, so nobody stumbled upon it. Even though this poem is unrelated to my little rant *above* I still wanted to include the poem in this blog post, as a way to bring more content to you all. If you like this poem, feel free to check out my other poetry musings here

Thanks for reading! ♡

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Creature of the Night

Disclaimer: This poem was originally posted as a separate daughter page, so nobody stumbled upon it. I am editing and re-publishing all of my poems to reflect the direction that this blog is headed in. Thank you for understanding. If you like this poem, feel free to check out my other poetry musings here.

Thanks for reading! ♡

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