Self-reflection Sunday: 21 Journaling prompts

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’ve been working on these prompts for the past 3 weeks and I wanted to share them with you.

1. Write about a time that you felt proud of yourself.

When I published my 1st book on Amazon.

2. If you had 3 wishes for this year, what would you wish for?

That covid would disappear. That the economic crisis would end. That my books would sell and that I would start getting clients on Upwork.

3. What’s on your mind right now?

What am I going to eat for breakfast? Because I wake up hungry but with no appetite, and I’m often bloated but still think carbs when I think breakfast. Nothing else satisfies me, not even eggs. Eggs fill my stomach but leave me with a feeling that I need something sweet afterward. What baffles me the most is how my appetite grows progressively throughout the day. Last night, I had 3 sandwiches, with only an hour in between them. I usually have none or one. I drink coffee to suppress my appetite basically because it hasn’t been doing much to wake me up lately.

4. Write about something or someone that you miss.

I miss having friends. I miss having people to hang out with and go places.

5. What do you value most about today?

I value prayer. The ability to pray. Also, the people in my life. Despite feeling lonely often, they make me feel like we’re lonely together.

6. Write about a moment in your life that makes you happy when you think about it.

The morning walks along the beach I used to take in Turkey when we went to Selge Resort in Antalya.

7. If life stopped today, what would you regret not doing?

I would regret not living fully, not having enough adventures, not being spiritual enough.

8. How do you want people to remember you and why?

I want to be remembered for the good things I did. I want to be remembered for my smile, for my kindness, for my humility. Ironic that I don’t think I’m very kind, but I want to be.

9. What aspects of yourself do you need to show more love?

My body. I criticize my body a lot.

10. What would your perfect day look like?

A morning walk alone along the beach. Then a good time with my family. Then reading a good book alone. Then a movie with a friend. Then going on my phone for hours. Then a good night’s sleep.

11. Write all the things you want to achieve this year.

I want to finish my novella, all 10 chapters of it. I want to sell a few more books on Amazon, and I want to achieve my health goals. I want to finish reading all the 9 books I’m in the middle of. I want to grow and mature more as a person and overcome my social anxiety which has been exacerbated since the pandemic.

12. What do you need more in your life?

I need inner peace and outward adventure.

13. Make a list of things you would do if you weren’t afraid, and how would they impact your life.

I would pursue my dreams relentlessly. I wouldn’t avoid confrontation as much. I would act more assertively. I would procrastinate less and do more.

14. What piece of advice would you give to ten years old you?

Don’t chase friends and don’t settle for any less than you deserve, and you deserve the best, so live accordingly.

15. How can you make tomorrow better?

By doing an act of kindness a day. I know it sounds cliche, but kindness makes the world a better place, and it will improve my well-being and help others.

16. Write about all the things that make you nervous and how could you change that.

People make me nervous. I spend so much time worrying about saying the right thing and acting the right way because when I make a mistake, everyone remembers, but other people make social mistakes out of meanness and I’m just supposed to accept that. The plan is to interact with people as little as possible and to not take it personally when people are jerks to me.

17. What is something you learned yesterday?

I learned that I’m very dramatic and my overthinking will be my pitfall if I don’t keep it in check.

18. Write about a past struggle that you overcome. How has it made you stronger?

When I think of past struggles, I can only think of when I studied for my Masters’s degree, in French, while I was a newlywed and pregnant. I mean pharmacy was a breeze compared to this, but I did it and I got my master’s degree while taking care of a newborn. It has made me stronger in the sense that whenever I’m about to give up, I remember this, and I tell myself if I could do that, I can do anything I set my mind to.

19. What is something you are looking forward to right now?

My morning coffee.

20. What brings you the most joy? How can you make more time for it?

Self-care. I need to schedule it into my day.

21. What is something that’s missing from your life? And how can you change that?

Freedom. Only time will tell.

How to protect your energy

If it costs you your peace, then it’s expensive.

With everything becoming more and more expensive in Lebanon, I’m doing a different kind of saving. I’m saving my energy, and I’m avoiding spending my time and energy on things and people that drain me or kill my vibe.

I’m also avoiding talking to people when my vibe is low so that I don’t affect anyone negatively. I’m trying not to vent or complain.

I’m working on being mindful. My diet and sleeping habits are a work in progress, and exercise is so so at the moment, but I’m trying. I’m avoiding the news, but not completely. I’m learning to listen more and talk less.

My patience still needs some calibration but using my energy on things like monopoly with my son and eating ice cream and reading and writing.

I’m not naive. I know the situation in Lebanon is really bad, and I am affected by it, but what use is it to panic or mope? The body reacts to stress in fight or flight, but it’s possible to protect your energy and not let the stress of your environment get to you as much.

How to protect your energy:

Inspo from Pinterest by The Elevated Life

1. Cut down on social media use:

Facebook and Instagram can be addicting. You can go on for a minute and end up scrolling for hours. That’s a lot of time wasted when you could be doing something productive or spending time with your family. What’s worse is seeing other people doing things you wish you could do but can’t, like when I see other people traveling and hiking and going out without kids, I feel a pang in my chest sometimes. To protect yourself, don’t go on social media when you are feeling discontent or vulnerable.

2. Set healthy boundaries:

Our loved ones are the most people who push our boundaries. They invade our space, offer unsolicited advice, and feel entitled to control our decisions, all in the name of love. It’s tricky dealing with people who operate under “if you love me, you’ll do as I say”. It’s important to set boundaries without cutting ties with your loved ones. I can’t exactly tell you how to do that because I’m still working on it, but being assertive, kind and persistent are key. If you let a loved one cross a boundary once, they will do it all the time.

3. Practice self-care:

I have multiple blog posts on this topic. There are so many ways in which you can practice self-care. Some examples are taking a nap when you need it, going out for a walk, and talking to a loved one.

4. Meditate:

This is something I have tried but have not managed to master. For the time being, I’m not meditating, but given my elevated stress levels and my resting heart rate being 86 to 92, a meditation session may be overdue. I have recently downloaded an app that mimics nature sounds for a scheduled time to help me sleep. It helps and is one form of meditation. Other forms of meditation include but are not limited to focused breathing, body scanning, and yoga.

5. Spend time in nature:

I recently went to the beach and it is so relaxing, minus having to supervise my son and make sure he didn’t drown. There is something magical about waves and how they manage to wash my worries away. The horizon is so far away, it makes me feel like possibilities are infinite, that everything is possible and no problem is too big. Trees are another story. The rustling of leaves against the wind are music to my ears.

I tried to share the audio that I’m currently listening to but I wasn’t able to. It’s a mixture of birds chirping, leaves rustling, and a waterfall. Imagine that! How calm and serene.

Throwback Thursday: Worrying about the future

Hello and welcome to my blog! We’re almost halfway through 2021 and the pandemic isn’t over yet, but we have bigger problems here in Lebanon.

Lebanon today is reeling from a crushing economic crisis that pushed more than half its population into poverty. On top of having to cope with a local currency that has lost more than 85 percent of its value in just over a year, people also struggle to afford basic food items that have become 400 percent more expensive.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/5/24/little-hope-left-lebanons-paralysis-and-a-collapsing-state

That’s why it was suitable

to find that a year ago, I wrote a post about worrying about the future. Oddly enough, I’m not worried about the prices and being able to buy necessities. That’s for my husband to worry about.

I’m worried about the effect the situation has on my husband’s mood, which in turn affects my marriage.

I’m worried about how I’m going to keep my anxiety and depression in check when I’m not getting much me-time or going out.

I’m worried about my mental health and how it’s affecting my physical health.

I’m worried about the effect of my son staying long hours at home with no playmates.

I’m worried about not being able to visit my family every Saturday because of the fuel shortages.

I’m worried about not being able to work on my blog and my books if the motor in our building shuts down. Nevertheless, I’m reading and trying to find ways to deal with the worry, and the best way I found is to practice mindfulness and gratitude.

A year ago I wrote:

Worrying about the future

“I don’t want to turn 6 years old!”

That’s what my 5-year-old son announced to me the other day, and when I asked him why he said “because I don’t want my teeth to start falling”.

He is now six and has lost 2 teeth and was very excited to lose more but for some reason never did.

It fascinates me and freaks me out that my son is thinking a lot about his future. He wants to be a policeman (I hope he changes his mind) and he tells me to keep the clothes that are small on him for his kids. He wonders what being an adult is like, and when he asks too many questions, I tell him “just think about reaching 6 years old. Eat, sleep, and pray, and don’t think about anything else”.

He currently wants to be a zookeeper but for dinosaurs. He isn’t convinced they are extinct.

The reason why I say this is because my son worries so much about the future, I feel like he is missing out on the now. Where have the times gone when our kids could just play freely without worrying what job they’re going to have and how they’re going to get enough money to feed a family?

I’ve been worrying about the future a lot lately. The future seems bleak, especially in Lebanon. But that’s my job, to worry. My son’s job is to have fun and be carefree.

Two things come to mind when I think about this situation:

The 1st is a poem I adore “I want to be six again”.

I want to be six again.
I want to go to McDonald’s and think it’s the best place in the world
to eat.
I want to sail sticks across a fresh mud puddle and make waves
with rocks.
I want to think M&Ms are better than money ’cause you can eat
them.
I want to play kickball during recess.

From the poem “I want to be six again”

My son doesn’t want to turn six because he is afraid of his teeth falling. I think this whole not going to school is taking a toll on him. He is spending a lot of time with a parent who has anxiety and another who is constantly worried and deep in thought. It’s hard to be carefree when the overall mood is as if someone died.

The mood is still the same most of the time. I tend to hide from my family to be on my phone peacefully. The difference is I think I have a better grip on my mental health than I did last year.

I feel like I lost my smile. I used to be so perky and joyful. The book I just finished reading had a father who was too carefree, bordering on carelessness. There was a mom who was always worried about what might go wrong, so uptight and busy and tired all the time. It’s sad but I saw myself in her. Then there was the grandma, who was a ray of sunshine. I saw my late grandma in her, may she rest in peace.

I’m currently reading 100 simple secrets of happiness, but it’s taking me forever because the one I have was translated into Arabic.

I played scrabble and uno yesterday, but even while playing, I noticed I’m somewhat on edge and serious. I’ll try to loosen up more, for the sake of my son. He seems to be freaking out all the time lately, worried and scared. I wish I could distance him from me and get him in contact with a happy soul. I’m not in despair, but I feel not so optimistic, and somewhat numb.

We played monopoly yesterday. My son has been occupied with arts and crafts for hours lately, but once he gets bored, he becomes very annoying. I’m trying not to get annoyed by him, but to be mindful instead.

Another thing that comes to mind is a poem I wrote a long time ago. I think I called it “Give me the heart of a child”.

You can find this poem in my 2nd poetry book “Heart on my sleeve and other poems”.

I used to be just afraid of the dark

I’d ask my mom to keep the lights on

Afraid I’d fall off the swing in the park

I’d clench both fists and hold tight on

But now I’m afraid of bigger things

Like heartbreaks, earthquakes, poverty

Growing old with no one taking care of me

Give me the heart of a child

And I’ll live my life like a man

I’ll love my life like a child

Enjoying it while I can

From “Give me the heart of a child”

So I spend my days writing to-do lists, seeing family, doing some housework, procrastinating other housework, watching The Vampire Diaries, sometimes exercising, sometimes reading. I’m practicing The art of getting by. If you didn’t watch the movie, you should. I think there’s a book too, but I haven’t read it.

Last night, my son was really worried he’d be bit by a mosquito in his sleep. He was terrified. I told him “You need to have faith that God will protect you and that nothing can harm you unless God wills it to”. Maybe I should internalize my advice. I’m good at giving advice but terrible at following my own words.

Are you worried about the future?What are you doing to cope?

A strategy I use when I’m worried about something. The 1st part is to imagine the worst-case scenario, then make a plan on what you will do if the worst were to occur. Finally, imagine the best case scenario and hope for that.

Promo for “The best advice to improve yourself and your relationships” and free sample

Hello and welcome to my blog! Yesterday, I released my 10th ebook on Amazon. I worked a lot on this book. Checked it through a plagiarism detector site, then paraphrased the plagiarized phrases, and finally checked it with Grammarly to make sure it was 100% my original words and up to standards.

This book is a collection of advice posts that I previously posted on the blog. Soon I will delete the blog posts, well, most of them.

So hurry up and buy it on kindle for 9.99$

Or start reading it for free here: https://a.co/6WpM14M

I hope you enjoy this book. If you’re waiting for the paperback version, please be patient. I’m working on it.

Finally, some snippets from the book:

You can preorder my new book today!

Guess what?! My book “The best advice to improve yourself and your relationships” is available for pre-order in the Kindle Store. It is available* for customers to pre-orderĀ here.

Customers who pre-ordered the book will receive the content on the release date, 06/01/2021.

New month, New challenge: Day 14

Hello and welcome to my blog! Welcome to the new month, new challenge series. I’m not forgetting to write these. I’m just not being able to do each challenge as it comes. I guess it wasn’t such a good idea to do this day by day.

Anyway…

Yesterday’s challenge was:

Make time for a wholesome breakfast today.

I had a wholesome breakfast with my family today. It was very nice. We had fatte and it was delicious!

Do this challenge with me: https://21dayschallengeapp.com/app/challenge

New month, New challenge: Day 9

Hello and welcome to my blog! Welcome to the new month, new challenge series where I do 1 challenge a day and share it here so you can do it with me.

Today’s challenge is:

Wear your favorite color today.

Do this challenge with me: https://21dayschallengeapp.com/app/challenge

I was doing this already before it was a challenge. I was already dressed in ourple, but I changed into a different purple outfit.

What’s your favorite color?

New month, New challenge: Day 7

Hello and welcome to my blog! Welcome to the new month, new challenge series where I do a challenge a day and share it here so you can do it with me.

It’s been a long busy day. I’m glad to say that today was one of the days when my in laws felt like family. I don’t know if anyone can relate, but some days my in laws feel like in laws to me, distant and like I can’t be myself around them and I get extremely bored and frustrated. Other times, like today, I get wrapped up in their care and it just feels natural to be there with them. I’m grateful for these days. Anyway…

Today’s challenge is:

Go to bed 1 hour early than usual if possible. And try to sleep 8h every day.

Do this challenge with me: https://21dayschallengeapp.com/app/challenge

I’m half asleep right now but I need to put my son to bed then pray before I can sleep. Last night I slept at 11:30 so if I sleep at 10:30, I did the challenge. It’s 9:45 now.

Do you think I’ll make it?

What time do you go to bed?

Daily Reminder

Hello and welcome to my blog! Welcome to the daily reminder series of the blog. Today is a weird day in my head. I’m beginning to suspect I’m a bit of a drama queen. Or maybe a drama magnet. I’m not sure if that’s my low self esteem talking or my low self control issues. Anyway, I’m learning not to beat myself up about my flaws and be more accepting of mysekf while maintaining a griwth minsdet that there is always room for improvement. So today I avoided saying what was on my mind, acknoledged that I was itching for a fight, and decided to let it go for my own inner peace (when I try to let go of something, I usually make a point of telling the other person that I’m letting it go, which it in fact, not letting it go).

Anyway, I have made it a habit to talk about myself at the beginning of the daily reminder posts. I’m nit sure how you feel about it. I’d appreciate your feedback, because part of me feels good letting these things out, although they’re unrelated to the reminder, but part of me feels it’s a bit egotistic of me to do so, so I don’t know…

Today’s reminder is:

Self-care is not selfish.

Reminder from: https://21dayschallengeapp.com/app/challenge

There are many forms of self care: physical like sleep, healthy eating and exercise. Emotional like creating boundaries and going out of your comfort zone. Spiritual like praying and meditating.

What self care activities have you done today?
Do you plan your self care time or do you play it by ear?

Ramadan Series: Jealousy and Envy

Hello and welcome to my blog! Welcome to the Ramadan series where I discuss universal concepts like kindness and inner peace from my experience and share my insight with you. Today I will be discussing jealousy and envy.

Comparing yourself to others breeds insecurity. This insecurity can develop into jealousy, where you want what the other person has. The saying “The grass isn’t always greener on the other side” is so true. We all have areas where we thrive and areas where we could use some improvement. It’s hard to focus on yourself in the age of social media. Many people try to show the glamorous side of their life, some going to the extent of editing their images to look picture perfect. There has been a rise of authenticity lately when it comes to stay at home moms specifically (at least that’s why I see) and speaking up about mental health. This is good news.

However, humans will be humans and even with the rise in authenticity, we still compare our lives to others, claiming everyone else has it all together. This gives one of three reactions.

The 1st, the person comparing their life to others will feel the need to show the glamorous side of their life on social media, hence feeding the cycle.

The 2nd, the person comparing will feel depressed because they’re not satisfied with their own life, and this will breed self blame and self loathing and other problems caused by depression. This is because the person comparing is jealous of what they see and want the same but feel like they can’t get it.

The 3rd, the person comparing will feel anger and resentment towards the other person and wish that the other person isn’t so pretty or rich or has the ability to travel etc… They will feel like the other person doesn’t deserve what they have and that they are more entitled to it. This, my ladies and gents is called envy. This is a disease of the heart.

It is normal to feel jealous once in a while. The solution is to:

  1. Limit your time on social media. Don’t stalk other people on social media. Unfollow accounts that make you feel insecure about your life.
  2. Resist the urge to beautify your life on social media. Either post something beneficial and uplifting or post something authentic. Don’t photoshop your pictures to make your life look glamorous.
  3. Work on yourself. Make goals and work on them. Practice self love and self care. If you’re not satisfied with something in your life, either work on it to change it or try to accept it.

If you feel envious about someone else, seek help. Tell someone and read about gratitude. Learn to be content with your life.

If you have someone envious in your life, limit your contact with them. Don’t let them in on details of your life, at least not the parts you sense they are envious about.