Nine Life Tips To Take With You Into 2020

With 2019 almost at an end, a new decade is nearly upon us. Like its previous comrades, this year has been a doozy in more ways than one. I don’t know about you but I’ve been stressed out, disappointed, angry, sad, heartbroken, and a few rare moments happy.

While I’ve barely been writing on this site, I have been writing and working on things to improve my life since last year. And so far that’s been going well-it hasn’t been easy in fact it’s been very stressful, so much so that I became physically ill because of it-but I’m far from being done. I’ve still got a lot of hard work ahead of me and I’m up for the challenge.

2020 brings a brand new decade and much uncertainty as we’re gearing up for an election here in the U.S. and many things-hopefully good and not bad-in our personal and professional lives. So today’s post is an encouraging one-its somewhat a complication of things that I’ve written in the past of what I’ve learned whether it be from writing or from other life experiences. But I wanted to share them with you to encourage you and to get you ready for whatever may come in the new decade. So without further ado here are nine life tips to take with you into 2020.

Stop comparing your journey to other people’s journeys.

Ever looked at what other people in your age bracket or career field are doing and wondering why you aren’t where they are?  Raises hand, guilty as charged. For a long while I would do this and think to myself that I should be farther along.  Comparing myself to others didn’t do me any good, in fact it stressed me out.

Don’t rush.

When you see other people succeeding at a faster pace in the same areas that you’re working on, it can be easy to compare yourself to them.  It’s not healthy to do this. A lot of times when we look at other people we may feel inclined to play catch up. When we rush, we make more mistakes and set ourselves back even further.

Everyone has their own roads and paths created for them and each one must travel at their own pace. It’s important to remain focused on where we are right now.  Don’t worry about what other people are doing, focus on what you’re doing and what you want to accomplish.

That being said,

“Never give up, never surrender.”

This phrase from Galaxy Quest has become one of my favorite life lessons. In my writing journey there have been multiple times where I become frustrated and wanted to throw in the towel. However, I learned to put my work aside and take a break from it. Then I could return to it later with a fresh approach in hand.

Disappointment is a part of life.

It’s either predictable and preventable or unavoidable and beyond our control. We need make sure that our expectations are reasonable by keeping them realistic, making sure that we didn’t set the bar too high or low, and asking ourselves if this was the outcome that we wanted.

We must deal with disappointment in a positive way by channeling our energy into other endeavors, reevaluating our perception and behavior, and redirecting our energy and focus on positive solutions.  It’s important to avoid self-loathing, blaming ourselves and others.

It’s okay to complain (Sometimes).

Look of course there are people who are in worse or better situations than you, that’s how it is. But that doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to vent or complain.  It’s okay if you need to vent or complain about something-big or small, insignificant or important, do it. Get it off your chest (while having the understanding that things could be worse of course) in a constructive manner!

Change is a necessity for growth.

Change is hard but a lot of times in life it’s necessary for growth to happen.  Sometimes change involves leaving things or people behind that have weighed you down and kept you stagnant.  Or it may involve you never settling in different areas of your life and knowing your value. It might also help you become picky in deciding who or what deserves your time, energy, and cash. Change can help you be sure that you’re investing in things that are worthwhile and or save for important things in the future.

Practice self-care

The world can be a chaotic mess and there are days that you’ll feel overwhelmed, overworked, underpaid, etc.  It’s important to take time out for yourself, especially whenever you feel stressed the f***out.Stress is a part of life and there are many ways-negatively and positively-to deal with it.

Whether it’s listening to your favorite artists, watching a film, exercising, aromatherapy, writing your thoughts out in a journal, and or practicing mindfulness, find time to take care of yourself.

No matter how small, an accomplishment is an accomplishment.

While I might not have accomplished much according to society’s standards, there are many goals that I’ve met.  I wrote and self-published a novel and two novellas, among  other things that I’ve accomplished. Big or small, celebrate your accomplishments! You did that! All that hard work has paid off and has finally come into fruition.

Always forward, forward always.

As I continue my life’s journey, I’m both anxious and hopeful of what the future has in store for me. I can’t give up nor can I surrender. There will be days when I want to and there will be times when hope seems lost, but I must move forward. Even if I must take some steps backward, I’ll continue to move forward, no matter what. And I wish for you to do the same in your own journey.

I hope these tips were beneficial to you and if you have any suggestions please share in the comments below or on my Facebook page.

Remember your existence is important and I’ll see you soon.

When You’re Stressed the F**k Out… Part II

Back in August, I wrote a brief post about being… well let this gif express how I was feeling:

Well things got worse after that and I was feeling… well the following gifs capture how I felt very well:

 

You get the idea. Yes, once again I was stressed the f**k out and I mean all the f**king way out. So much so that I got physically ill! This all happened in October and part of November.  Things were just going haywire, I was frustrated and apprehensive on the thing I’ve been working on, work was cutting my hours, family stuff, finances, and things going on in K-pop community due to cyberbullying.

It was a lot and it wasn’t a fun time for me. I don’t think I’ve ever been that stressed before in my life. Thankfully, I was able deal with the stress in a healthy way and while I’m not extremely stressed as I had been during this time period I’m still a little stressed and anxious.

So I’m back with seven more tips to help alleviate your stress and anxiety:

From WebMD:

Get enough sleep

Six to eight hours is recommended. Our bodies and minds need time to recover from stressful events.

Don’t use alcohol, drugs, or compulsive behaviors to reduce stress.

These things can stress your body even more. You might end up like Sylvester here if you:

Breathe deeply:

“Take a 5-minute break and focus on your breathing. Sit up straight, eyes closed, with a hand on your belly. Slowly inhale through your nose, feeling the breath start in your abdomen and work its way to the top of your head. Reverse the process as you exhale through your mouth.”

From VeryWellMind.com:

Create Artwork

Reconnect with your creative side and draw, paint, or color in a coloring book as all of these can be great stress relievers.

Give yourself a regular pep talk

Instead of speaking negatively about yourself, speak positively.  This can help you develop a healthier outlook on life and can help manage your emotions and take positive action.

Get social support

Having supportive people in your life is essential to managing stress. Reach out to someone in your existing social networks be it a family member, friend, etc. If you don’t have emotional support or friendship you may need to expand your network by joining an organization, attending a support group, or getting professional help.

That being said…

If there are things or people adding to your stress, CUT THEM OUT! 

This is one of the best ways to reduce your stress and give you more peace. Sometimes shitty people come into our lives and we need to cut them off.  We also need to get rid of bad habits and make way for better ones that can help us feel better.

I hope these tips can help you alleviate your stress and anxiety. With the new decade approaching we’re going to need all the help we can get. I wish you love, peace, and health in 2020. Remember your existence is important and I’ll see you soon.

 

 

When You’re Stressed the F**k Out…

Hey everyone hope you’re doing well. Let me ask you something:

Have you ever felt like this?

Or this?

Or maybe even this?

Have you felt the urge to do this:

If so then you’re not alone.  Welcome to the stressed out club. I’ve been stressed out for a few weeks-no scratch that-months now. My current state of oblivion is due to a combination of things: life, family, work, etc… Stress is one of those unfortunate things about life and there are many ways to deal with it-both positive and negative and we don’t want the latter.

So here are five positive ways to relieve stress and anxiety.

Exercise

This is a good way to relieve mental stress.  If you exercise regularly you’ll lower your stress hormones, improve your sleep quality and gain more confidence.

Aromatherapy

Light a scented candle  or Use essential oils. According to Healthline.com, these are some of the most common scents:

  • Lavender
  • Rose
  • Vetiver
  • Bergamot
  • Roman chamomile
  • Neroli
  • Frankincense
  • Sandalwood
  • Ylang ylang
  • Orange or orange blossom
  • Geranium
Write

Jot your thoughts down in a journal. Whether it’s a notebook from Dollar Tree or a kawaii stationary journal, writing can help relieve stress.  Focus on what you’re grateful for or write about what’s troubling you.

Mindfulness

This is an excellent way of combating anxiety-inducing effects of negative thinking. Mindfulness is a series of practices that keep you anchored to the present moment.  Ways to practice mindfulness include yoga and meditation. Here’s a brief list of resources:

Free Audio Resources for Mindfulness Meditation via Mindful magazine

Mindfulness Resources [pdf] via Stanford

Free Resources via The Free Mindfulness Project 

Listen to Relaxing Music

Music is another method to help relieve stress as it can have a very relaxing effect on the body. Slow paced instrumental music is highly recommended.  Here’s a few playlists via Spotify:

Best Relaxation Music

Calming Music

The Most Relaxing Playlist in the World

So how to do you feel? Still stressed? No matter here’s a few more resources for you:

16 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress and Anxiety via Healthline.com

Stress and How to Lower It via Center For Young Women’s Health

1o1 Things To Do When You’re Stressed via Care.com

18 Ways to Calm Down When You’re Stressed – Entrepreneur

I hope this helps.  Have a wonderful weekend and please remember your existence is important. I’ll see you soon..

Three Tips For Dealing With Disappointment

Well folks we’ve finally made it. Tonight 2018 comes to an end and we’ll have survived the second year of the orange troll’s reign in one piece more or less. This year was one full of disappointment in numerous ways.

  • A few of those we stan shocked us with their dismal words and actions, while other people’s problematic faves proved to be too problematic and entered the sunken place choosing to be enslaved to ignorance and mediocrity.
  • A segment of society showed their ass by continuing to act out their racism at the polls while another segment remained shocked and in denial that this was America-even though we know this IS America.  Children and their families have been tear gassed, separated, and abused.
  • Our actions have resulted in Mother Nature giving us wildfires, horrible hurricanes, and other turbulent natural disasters. And we lost some of the best among us great and small…
I miss him.

I could go on but it’s not my intention to sink you further into the mire of this disappointing year. What I want to know is…How are ya’ll feeling? 

Mood

Like it or not disappointment is part of life. Doesn’t matter  whether it’s personal, professional, relationship, etc.  It exists (Read this infographic from  bestpsychologydegrees.org on the psychology of disappointment).  As I stated three sentences ago, disappointment is an inevitable part of our lives, there’s no avoiding it.

So with 2019 looming around the corner, I wanted to  give you a three tips on how to handle disappointment.

1.Understand what’s taken place.

  • Disappointment can either be predictable and preventable or unavoidable and beyond our control.

2. Were our expectations reasonable?

  • Keep it realistic.
  • Did we set the bar too high or too low?
  • Is the outcome what we want?

3. Cope with it in a positive way

  • Channel your energy into other endeavors
  • Reevaluate perception and behavior
  • Redirect our energy and focus on positive solutions
  • Avoid self-loathing, blaming yourself, or blaming others
Here are a few helpful links:

How to Get Back on Track After Disappointing Yourself

4 Steps to Deal with Disappointment

Dealing with Disappointment in Life

11 Ways Emotionally Intelligent People Overcome Disappointment

A Letter To INFJs About Dealing With The Pain Of Disappointment

Feeling better? 

That’s pretty much what I expected. But don’t worry we’ll get there. It might take a while but we’ll get there, I promise.

Whether great or small, when life disappointments come at us how we choose to respond is vital in becoming better people and improving our lives and the world.  As we enter 2019 I hope that when disappointment comes knocking at your door-cause it will come-you’ll be able to weather the storm.  And when you’re feeling down remember:

Until we meet again…

 

 

 

Welcome 2018: My four goals for the new year

Happy New Year everyone!

I hope you had a great start to 2018. As with every new year, there are the new year resolutions that many people make.  Some are kept while others are thrown out like bath water due to various reasons.  Like most of you I’ve created resolutions-or goals  rather-for 2018 that I hope to accomplish.  I’m not going to list them all because some are personal and I rather not air them out in public lest adversaries that come in many shapes and forms disrupt and prevent them from coming to past.  So without further ado, here a few goals for the new year.

  1. Read 20 books for the year.

If you’ve read my previous post , you’ll see that I accomplished my 2017 reading goal of 100 books by reading 127.  This year I wanted to scale back and just read only 10 but doubled my efforts for 20.  Given my track record it’s safe to say that I’ll read at least 20 books in 2018.

                    2. Publish at least 3 books.

After four years of blood sweat and tears,  I was hell bent on publishing my first novel and succeeded in doing so. This year I want to continue to pursue my writing and release more books. I’m close to achieving this goal as I’ve got 2 books ready to go in April (so look forward to that). I think I can rise to the occasion but writer’s fatigue has settled in so we’ll see how I make out.

                 3. Attend a concert and a convention

I have social phobia which means in my experience:

a.  I don’t have friends (I know folks but they’re not friends just acquaintances) which is both a good and bad thing (honestly who wants to hang out with people who don’t care about you?).

b.  And aside from going to work and the occasional trips to the movies, doctor and shul, I don’t go anywhere.

I hope to change that (I’m talking about b. as far as a. goes, I’m to the point in my life where I don’t care about making friends and believe that I’m better off on my own.).

So here’s hoping there’s a convention that invites awesome guests who’ll come so I can venture out and get my picture taken with them (honestly that’s the only reason I go to these things).  Concerts can be hit or miss (mostly miss) as the artists that I love often skip the big city closest to me and head for Tampa, Jacksonville, or Miami.  Last year I got to see Norah Jones so who knows perhaps the odds are in my favor.

                   4. Practice self-care.

Things are rough all over so it’s important to take time out for yourself and do things that help your well being. I hope to do this through a number of ways, and I suggest you do the same. Find activities, books, music, people (if you wanna go that route) etc. that’ll rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul.

I know where you been, where you are, where you goin’
I know you’re the reason I believe in life
What’s the day without a little night?
I’m just tryna shed a little light
It can be hard
It can be so hard
But you gotta live right now
You got everything to give right now

-Logic’s 1-800-273-8255

I hope to accomplish these and other personal goals this year. Wish me luck and I wish you all the best in accomplishing your goals as well.

7 Tips to carry with you into 2017

It goes without saying that 2016 was a clusterfuck of a year.  I’m not even going to rewind and go over the bad, the ugly, and the horrible.  Instead, I wanted to share with you 7 tips to carry with you into the new year.

  1. Never settle.

I might have mentioned this before, but I’ll say it again. NEVER SETTLE. Whether it’s a relationship, job, etc. Know your value.

2. Self-care.

With the many bad things that  happened this year, I’ve learned more about self-care and how important that I engage in it.  There are various ways to self-care, you must find the way that works best for you.  I find listening to music, watching a movie or a something online that I find interesting, helps me.

I’m also going to focus  more on myself and what I want to do.

3. Leave it behind.

2016 was the year I left stuff behind that I didn’t need anymore. Whether it was bad friends, bad habits, etc. I’m leaving behind those things that have weighed me down and kept me stagnant.

4. Don’t rush.

When you see other people around your age succeeding or doing awesome things that you’re not , it’s easy to compare yourself to them.  It’s not healthy to do this. We each have our own roads and paths to travel at our own pace.  A lot of times when we look at other people we may feel inclined to play catch up.

When we rush, we make more mistakes and set ourselves back even further.

5. Be picky

With who you give your money to.

There are so many companies and individuals pulling at us to buy and or invest in their goods and services, it can be hard to discern which one deserve our hard earn cash. I’ve decided to be picky with who I give my money to.

I want my money to go to individuals and companies that are inclusive and champion the causes that I support and are concerned about.  There are too many businesses out there that want me money but don’t give a damn about people who look like me or support the issues I’m concerned about. They don’t put their money where their mouth is, or they do so in a half-assed manner and then want a pat on the back.

I work hard for my money, I grind from Monday to Friday work from Friday to Sunday.  Also I don’t make a lot so my money is precious. I want to be sure that I’m investing in things that are worthwhile.

About who you share your projects/goals with.

Some folks don’t care about your projects/goals.  They won’t support it in any way and they might be jealous of what you’re trying to do.

6. Save! Save!

I’ve got a few goals that I want to accomplish, but I need the monetary funds to do so.  This year I hope to save enough so I can take the next steps.  I spent a lot of years not saving so that ends now.

7. Always forward, forward always.

Though I’m anxious and scared of what the future will bring, I intend to continue to move forward. I can’t give up nor can I surrender. There will be days when I want to and there will be times when hope seems lost, but I must move forward. Even if I have to take some steps backward, I’ll continue to move forward.

forward-quote

 

 

Living Green: 7 Tips to help you have a green home

I originally wrote this for Uncanny Pop.

Having a green home gives you a lot of benefits. You‘ll save money, you‘ll have a healthy place for you and your family to live, and it‘s good for the environment. So here are a few things that you can do to fight high energy bills and climate change.

1. Check your insulation:
Insulation is important in that it keeps your home from losing heat. If you live in a house, make sure that there are no areas in your attic floor that have inadequate insulation. Follow the Department of Energy‘s recommendations.

Photo courtesy: https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=home_sealing.hm_improvement_sealing
Photo courtesy: https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=home_sealing.hm_improvement_sealing

2. Use Low-VOC products:
Always check that the paint you‘re using is a low-VOC or a no-VOC paint. When purchasing paints, you should look for the green seal. Also when you clean your home use non-toxic natural products or make your own green cleaning products!

3. Make Your Own Green Cleaning Products: Here are a few recipes courtesy of PathNet.org!

  • All Purpose Cleaner:
    Add 1/2 cup ammonia and 1/3 cup washing soda to a gallon of warm water. Use to clean floors, tiles, and painted walls.
  • Window and Mirror Cleaner:
    Put 1/4 cup white vinegar in a spray bottle, and fill to the top with water. Spray on desired surface, and rub with a newspaper or a rag. Squeegee dry.
  • Toilet, Tub and Tile Cleaner:
    Mix 1/2 cup borax and add enough lemon juice to make into a paste. Wet the sides of the surface and add the paste. Let stand for a few minutes, then scrub off and rinse.
  • Rug Stains:
    Dampen stained area with water, and rub in borax. Vacuum when dry.
  • Oven cleaner:
    Mix 1 cup of baking soda with enough water to make a paste. Apply to surface and let stand for a few minutes. Scrub the surface with a scouring pad. Do not use this recipe in self-cleaning ovens.
  • Drain cleaner:
    Three words – Use a plunger. A hand plunger used every time the drain slows down will take care of almost any problem. In you need a cleanser pour 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain, and then 1/2 cup
    vinegar. Let it fizz for a few minutes. Then pour down a teakettle full of boiling water. Repeat if necessary.
  • Mildew:
    Make a paste from salt and vinegar and rub into affected area.
  • Furniture polish:
    Add 1/2 cup lemon juice to 1 cup vegetable or olive oil. Apply with a soft rag.
  • General air freshener:
    Simmer a pot of water with cloves, an orange peel and cinnamon.
  • Natural Pesticide:
    To naturally keep ants and other insects away, add a few
    teaspoons of orange oil to your green cleaning products. To kill
    ants that are already around, just spray them with diluted orange
    oil.

4. Plant a Tree:
No you don‘t have to wait for Earth Day or other holidays such as Tu B‘Shevat or Arbor day to plant one! Planting a tree can lower your cooling costs by up to 25% while reducing heating costs by 20%! They also make your home even more comfortable and provide a habitat for birds. Trees and shrubs that are placed properly can act as windbreaks shielding your home from the cold winds.

Photo courtesy: http://www.clipartbest.com/tree-planting-clip-art
Photo courtesy: http://www.clipartbest.com/tree-planting-clip-art

5. Optimize Your Water Heater:
If you don‘t have one, purchase an insulative jacket around your water heater. The jackets cost between $10-20. You can also insulate the pipes around the water heater. You can purchase pipe insulation for less than a $1for six feet. Lastly, turn the water heater down to 120 degrees. This will save you money
and prevent scalding.

6. Program Your Thermostats:

thermostat
When you set your thermostat back when you‘re not home or while you‘re sleeping, you can save 10% on heating and cooling costs. Program your thermostat to 78 degrees F or higher during the summer and 62 degrees F or lower during the winter. You can even recycle your thermostats. For example the state government of Maine has a program. Check online to see where you can do this.

7. Change Your Bulbs:
Replace those incandescent light bulbs with CFLs bulbs. The CFLs might cost a little more than the incandescent bulbs, but you‘ll save $100 per year with them while using less electricity!

cfls
CFLs, photo courtesy of the Department of Energy