Hello and welcome to my blog! Lately I haven’t been eating healthily, I haven’t been sleeping well, and I’ve been overwhelmed with negative thoughts. I stay up all night reading a novel, or I watch a movie, and I call it self-care. But what is self-care?
It is the practice of taking an active role in protecting one's own health, well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.
By that account, I’m not practicing self-care. So I decided to do a self-care at-home challenge on the 21 days challenges app, especially since I’m staying at home a lot.
21 self-care ideas to do at home:
1. Catch up on your favorite TV show.
2. Journal, log your emotions and experiences.
3. Practice a hobby you really enjoy.
4. Read a good book.
5. Exercise at home (you can find workout videos on YouTube).
6. Try cooking something new.
7. Bake a cake/make a dessert.
8. Clean and organize your space.
9. Call your friends and family.
10. Do a puzzle.
11. Create art (try some DIYs that you can find on Pinterest).
12. Listen to your fav songs.
13. Play board games.
14. Write a letter to someone special.
15. Take an online class.
16. Watch a film.
17. Take a nap.
18. Listen to a podcast.
19. Meditate- calm your mind and anxiety.
20. Take a relaxing bath.
21. Set your goals for the future.
Self-care is also eating healthy foods, sleeping early, reaching out to family and friends, etc.
Hello and welcome to my blog! Happy Monday! I’m not on a happy pill. This is just how it feels when my depression gives me a break. It’s like I was drowning and I got up for air. I take a deep breath, feel it fill my lungs, and slowly let it out. So much better than the feeling of my chest caving in.
Also, you know me. I get super excited when I’m ready to show you something creative I made. I’m working on a few projects at the moment, but this post took me 3 weeks of preparations, with no wifi or electricity 10 hours a day. I present to you a few positive affirmations for when your brain feels numb or you are overwhelmed with negative thoughts and you want to replace them with positive ones. I even made canva designs of each affirmation so that you can download and maybe even print. I didn’t come up with these affirmations. I did a 21 day positive affirmations challenge, but all the designs were made by me. I hope they help.
You are doing your best.
Choose to be happy.
Love yourself today.
Your possibilities are endless.
You are worthy.
You are talented and intelligent.
You can and you will.
You are unique and powerful.
You are in love with yourself and your body.
You are in peace with your past.
You will be kind to yourself and others today.
You are worthy of love and respect.
Today will be a positive day.
You are grateful for all that you have.
You are more than your negative thoughts.
You accept yourself unconditionally.
You’re healthy and happy.
Everything that is happening now is happening for your ultimate good.
You are in charge of how you feel and today you’re choosing happiness.
Today you will not compare yourself to strangers on the Internet.
You have the power to create change.
Your feelings and thoughts are valid.
I hope these affirmations helped. Not all of them work for me, but it’s much better than negativity.
Hello and welcome to my blog! Today I want to share with you 21 things you can do before bed in order to get a better sleep. I finished the challenge last night. However, there are 2 things on the list I didn’t do, one of which is the reason why I can’t sleep well at night.
Can you guess which one it is?
A routine is very important, whether in the morning or in the evening. You may want to have the same routine everyday (shower, read, sleep for example) or you may want a weekday routine versus weekend routine, or you may simply want to try out these things one thing at a time, like I did.
1. Reflect on the day. Write at least one thing that went pretty well.
My son ate his meals without a fuss. He also went to karate class without nagging. Even though he didn’t sleep until after 11 pm and misbehaved a bit, he was relatively well behavedtoday.
2. Do something relaxing. Have a facial mask, do some painting, take a bath. Whatever helps you relax, do it.
I took a shower (I don’t find baths relaxing).
3. Avoid your phone at least 1 hour before going to sleep.
I wish I could do this, but I’m addicted to my phone. I pick it up as soon I wake up and as soon as I get into bed. I’ve been going to bed around 11 pm but end up on my phone for 1 to 2 hours. The closest I got to giving up my phone at night was when I hopped into bed a few days ago and my phone was 17%. Within 10 minutes, it became 3% and I had to get up and put it in the charger. I fell asleep almost immediately after because my phone wasn’t next to me. I really need to work on this because at this point, I’m self sabotaging and I’m aware of it but not actively trying to stop.
4. Drink some camomile tea or other herbal tea (decaffeinated) before bed.
I drink green tea every night before I sleep.
5. Have a good sleep environment. Keep the bedroom at a good temperature, use blackout curtains or a sleep mask to block the light.
This is a given, except I don’t like to use sleep masks, even though I have one.
6. Journal. Take the time to pause and reflect.
I journalled about something that is bothering me. I wrote it in my notebook with a pen! Not on my phone.
7. Light some scented candles and play a relaxing playlist.
Scented candles are not my thing. I don’t think I own any. However, I did play relaxing nature sounds so I’m counting this as done.
8. Do some stretching/yoga before bed.
I have been stretching more and more lately because my muscles are so pulled they hurt.
9. Write a gratitude list:
I’m grateful for my husband. He is my confidante, my advisor, my twin flame.
I’m grateful for my son. I love his hugs and kisses. He is so cute and smart and kissable. He is sometimes funny and tries to be brave and wants to be strong. I see in him great potential.
I’m grateful for my parents. Despite everything, they are there for me and they love me and want what’s best for me.
10. Read a good book before going to sleep. Helps you unwind and sleep better.
I read a chapter from the book “The 3rd Girl” by Agatha Cristie. I’m usually a romance novel girl but this mystery is keeping me on my toes. I finished the book and wrote a review about it here.
11. Plan your next day. Your tasks, outfit, snacks, …
Some days I plan my tasks as soon as I wake up. Other days I plan the night before.
12. Send a special good night text to someone you love.
I bid my best friend goodnight.
13. Take a nice hot shower or bath.
I took a hot shower.
14. Cut out caffeine, alcohol, or sugar at least 3 hours before bed.
I’ve been drinking coffee once a day for months, and in the afternoon I drink black tea. I usually drink green tea in the evening but last night I had black tea at 8pm and I went to bed at 11 pm but didn’t fall asleep until half-past midnight.
15. Meditate/pray. Just be alone with your thoughts.
It’s scary for me to be alone with my thoughts. I often distract myself with podcasts, YouTube videos, TV shows, and books. That night, however, I put my phone aside for 2 minutes to appreciate how much I have and list them in my head.
16. Tidy up your space. You’ll be able to feel calmer and relaxed.
I generally keep my space tidy.
17. Have a light dinner before bed.
I try not to eat before bed, but if I must, I try to keep it light.
18. Set intentions for tomorrow.
This seems similar to task 11 but I set my intention to be productive.
19. Diffuse some essential oils to improve your sleep quality.
I don’t do essential oils. I shower with lavender scented body wash but that’s about it for me.
20. Avoid checking emails, news, studying, or working before sleep.
Lately I’ve been going on twitter before bed to promote my books but that night I didn’t.
21. Don’t go to bed hungry. Eat some almonds, a banana, or porridge to help you sleep better.
I go to bed hungry a lot, and I wake up starving! Sometimes I eat a banana, porridge or a sandwich before bed to help me fall asleep.
I hope these tips helped you. Do you follow any of these tips? Do you have a nighttime routine?
I write to-do lists to motivate myself to be productive. Otherwise, I give in to laziness and depression. I get anxious if I don’t write what I need to do because as a stay-at-home mom, I have a lot to do. Some people may think I just sit around and do nothing, and even though I do waste my time binge-watching sometimes, but I do get a lot done in a day. Maybe not as much compared to those housewives who cook and clean all day, but my productivity is about balance. For example, today I exercised and read Quran and prayed, and made sure my son studied. I did the dishes and laundry, watched 1 1/2 episodes of The Good Doctor, and did other little things, like making the beds and tidied up, and listened to my son, and assessed my goals for last week (something I usually do on Monday).
I write my goals to keep myself focused. Otherwise, I’ll just wander through the day passing the time. Besides being a mother and a housewife, I consider my writing my job. I take it very seriously, but I don’t force myself to do it. Yesterday I didn’t feel like writing, so I didn’t. I was in a mood all day because I hadn’t gotten any sleep the night before, and I was also trying to be productive while spending less time on my phone (I’m currently doing a productivity challenge on the 21 days challenges app).
I’m also doing a journaling challenge on the app because I need to self-reflect as well. I write to let things out, but I can’t write well if I don’t know what it is exactly what I need to let out. I called my mom yesterday. My relationship with my mom isn’t one I write about on the blog, but it is a bit complex. I love my mom. I do, but I’m still working on accepting her as she is and not expecting her to be like other moms, all while trying not to be like her while finding out I’m more like her than I care to admit. As I said, it’s complicated. Watching tv shows helps me self-reflect because I observe social interactions between the characters.
I write blogs to let my thoughts and feelings out. I’ve learned the hard way that nobody cares. Rarely anyone ever wants to know how my day went, except for my older sister sometimes. I share big stories that happened during the week with my family on Saturday, like when the glass fell on my arm and bruised it a week ago, and they make good stories. I’m good at telling a story with my family, as long as it doesn’t involve deep conversation. I find strangers are more invested in how I feel than my family, and can relate more.
I write my goals and tasks so that I don’t forget.
I write about my thoughts and feelings so I don’t ruminate over them. The blog is like a brain dump for me sometimes. If you ask me to reference my blogs, I honestly can’t remember. I edited a few blogs from 2017 a few days ago, because back then I used to write one paragraph and I made many grammatical mistakes.
I started this post aiming to write my progress with my goals, but I guess I’ll just take a picture of my assessment instead, like I did last week.
I keep obsessing over my stats. On the one hand, I noticed most people aren’t getting past my home page lately, which to me is bad. On the other hand, I have more views in these 6 months of 2021 than I had in all of 2020. Just a tiny bit more but still, it feels good.
Also, I’m starving. I had a bowl of coco pops at 9 am and it’s after 1 pm. I also really need social connection but I also don’t feel like talking to anyone. Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy today. However, my son is starting to get bored, and he has been mouthy with me lately, but I don’t want to expose him on the blog. I’m hoping I’m able to deal with him with wisdom. For the time being, I’m practicing patience.
In conclusion, writing for me is a need and a want. I appreciate every one of you who takes the time to read my blogs, like, comment, and/or share. I don’t get paid to do this but I find a sense of belonging here more than I do with my friends and family. So thank you for being here with me on my rollercoaster journey, as I try to understand myself and as I reach out to you and try to give advice. I tear myself apart and bare my soul to you so you can understand yourselves better and hopefully help me understand myself better.
I write here because I need someone to write to, and in my life, I don’t have someone who will listen. Everyone is either busy or simply doesn’t care. I do have people who occasionally listen. I don’t want to sound ungrateful for the loved ones in my life, but they don’t read my blogs, so I very much appreciate that you do.
When I 1st started my blogging journey, I never imagined I’d get here, and yet here I am, with so far more to go. I just wanted to stop and acknowledge the progress I’ve made as a writer and to thank you my readers because I couldn’t have don’t it without you. With all the reasons in which I write, you are one of them. I write for myself, but I also write for you.
I’m off to eat lunch and then draw superheroes for my son because that was the deal. He studies and I draw things for him.
Hello and welcome to my blog! Have you ever noticed the sound water makes when it boils? Yesterday, I taught my son how to know when the water on the stove boils just by listening. He was mind blown. It’s the little things.
We are going through tough times, at least here in Lebanon and many other countries. Some people are thriving, but everybody has problems, even the rich and famous. The trick to getting through life with optimism is to focus on little things that help you look on the bright side.
Here are 21 little things you can do to be more optimistic:
1. Start journaling. Write down something positive about every day. I haven’t done this but during the day, I slow down and register the positive things, like a nice breeze coming from the window, or my husband and son bonding, or my son playing pretend with the cardboard superheroes I drew and he colored and cut. It’s probably better to write them down, though.
2. Appreciate what you do have. Tell your loved ones how much you appreciate them. I feel so grateful to have my husband and son in my life, and I constantly tell them that. Every once in a while, I let my siblings and parents know I appreciate them too.
3. Be kind to yourself always. Remember you can do anything and that progress takes time. Don’t be so hard on yourself for losing your patience, for procrastinating, for wanting to stay in bed all day. We all have good days and bad days. On your good days, thrive. On your bad days, if all you do is survive, you did well.
4. Make a list of things that you are looking forward to. My author copies arriving. The possibility of going to the beach. Finishing reading all the 9 books I’m in the middle of reading.
5. Think of all the reasons to be cheerful. The sun is shining and so are you. It’s a very uplifting song.
6. Don’t compare yourself to others. If you’re feeling envious about something, sit back and think about why and how they’ve achieved that. You are unique in your own way and you can achieve anything you set your mind to.
7. Take time to reflect on what you’ve achieved this year. We’re always in a rush, absorbed by the daily hustle, that we forget to look back every once in a while and see how far we have come. Emotionally, I may have matured only 1%, but I’ve come a long way with my blogs and books this year. I even have a podcast now. I still have a long way to go, and sometimes it seems daunting and far fetched, but looking back gives me the courage to keep moving forward.
8. Look for the good in every single person you see. Humans are a mix of good and bad. Some people have a hard shell but are very sweet on the inside, once you break through their walls of fear, insecurity and shame. Choose to see the good in people, even those who seem unbearable at first.
9. Listen to inspiring music or a podcast. I listen to uplifting songs every once in a while. They really help when I’m feeling down. Songs like “don’t be so hard on yourself” and “fight song”. I also listen to podcasts, such as “the happy times”, “pick the brain”, ” kaylns coffee talk” and “the science of happiness” podcasts.
10. Write down your top priorities and plans for the future knowing that you will achieve everything you want. The key is to plan your future, knowing it will come true. Not as if you are making castles in the sand, knowing the waves will just come and wash them away.
11. Stay present and appreciate the beauty of the moment. (Feeling the sun in your face, details in someone’s face, the clouds, sounds, …) Especially when you are feeling overwhelmed or depressed, be mindful of these tiny moments.
12. Be proud of yourself on the little wins in your day to day. So you’re not feeling very productive today?! Go small. Get up. Make your bed. Grab a cup of coffee. Today I don’t feel like getting out of bed. I’m tired and in pain and my mood is off, but I got up in order to wake my son and get him to eat breakfast, and that was my 1st win of the day. Then I ironed (a tedious task) and kick started my day. My to do list is a bit demanding today but I’m sure if I go step by step, I can turn my day around.
13. Shift your mood by doing something you enjoy. I watched a YouTube video while I was ironing. Then I had to turn my headphones off because my son was awake.
14. For an upcoming situation you’re worried about, write down the best scenario that can happen. I’m worried about the future of Lebanon. There doesn’t seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel and I’m torn between living it up because I don’t know what the future can bring and living carefully and saving up in case there are worse days ahead. The best-case scenario is that things turn around for Lebanon within the next few years.
15. Focus on solutions, not problems. It’s so easy to get caught up in your problems and playing the victim and feeling helpless, but it gives hope to try to find solutions to whatever irks you.
16. Let go of the expectations of others and focus on what matters. It is so easy to get lost in the expectations of our loved ones, so much so that their voices become our inner critic, and their opinions become our convictions. It’s important to find your voice and tune out most of the noise.
17. Surround yourself with optimistic, positive, kind people. There is a saying that you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. In my case, they’re 2 people, but their moods and behaviors have a great impact on me. That’s why I read a lot of positive content online, to try to make up for my lack of a social life.
18. Change ‘I can’t’ into ‘I can’t…yet’. The power of yet is so strong that a book was written about it. I’m YET to read that book (see what I did there?).
19. Take care of yourself. When we feel our best, we can see things more positively. Shower, sleep early, dress up, rest, exercise, eat healthy. I get so focused on getting my son to do all this, I forget about myself most of the time.
20. If you’re not happy with something don’t complain about it. Just change it. Complaining doesn’t yield any positive results. It just sucks you into a vortex of negativity and despair. I know because I tend to complain a lot, but I’m working on changing what I can and letting the rest go.
21. Find three good reasons to be hopeful about the future. My son (I want to see him turn into a young man), my books (I want to keep writing, keep improving, and see my books being bought and hope I make a positive impact on people through my books), and friends (I’m hoping as covid dies down and the economy gets better, I get to hang out with my friends again and go places; maybe even travel).
Hello and welcome to my blog! Welcome to transformation Tuesday where I share my progress in goal setting and achieving and completing challenges.
Some challenges do take me the normal 21 days, while others lag on to around 30 days. The 21-day kindness challenge I did took me a while because while some acts of kindness are simple and easy to do, others are hard and not so practical for me.
Anyway, I finally managed to finish this challenge minus 2 acts of kindness because I don’t know any homeless people to feed and I’m scared of beggars in my area, to be honest. Maybe I’ll give money through a trusted organization. My sister is my connection for that. I’m too socially paranoid to do it myself. Also, the donating clothes, I have them ready in a bag but waiting for my husband to give them away. He knows who he is giving them to and after waiting for 2 weeks for him to give them, I’m not about to lose a kindness challenge waiting. I’ll tick that off whenever he does it. In the meantime…
The 21 day kindness challenge:
Show support to someone today
Write a thank you note to someone who made an impact in your life.
Leave your favorite restaurant/coffee shop a positive review.
Make a family member/loved one breakfast in bed.
Let someone go in front of you in line.
Surprise someone with a gift/something baked by you.
Leave your favorite app a nice and positive review.
Put positive sticky notes on mirrors.
Write a list of reasons why you love someone and give it to them.
Give someone a tip.
Spend the day saying only positive things about people.
Tell someone you love how much you appreciate them.
Do a chore that you typically wouldn’t do.
Say ‘Have a nice day’ at least 3 people.
Buy a meal for a homeless person.
Help someone before they ask.
Bake cookies and gift it to someone.
Donate clothes/books/toys to a local charity.
Call someone you haven’t talked to in a while.
Most important of all – be kind to yourself, always.
I didn’t elaborate on each challenge what I did and to whom because it’s a kindness challenge and I wanted the acts to be between me and God. Acts of kindness are not to be boasted. I’m only sharing here to encourage you to do more acts of kindness. I know one thing this challenge taught me is to reset my intentions when someone asks for help or favor and do it as an act of kindness, without waiting for a thank you or doing it with resentment. I think maybe I’ve become 10% kinder.
Hello and welcome to my blog! I hope you’re having a great month, week, day. If it’s not your day, your month, or even your year, that’s okay. You can always reset and make goals and go after them. For me, Ramadan is all about resetting my soul and reprioritizing my life. It’s about self-discipline and spirituality. For my non-Muslim readers, have you made goals for April?
Fun fact: My mom’s name was April Joy before she converted from being a catholic to be a Muslim at age 20. She was also born in April, so this is a special month for me.
As for my Ramadan goals, let’s see how I did in the 1st week of Ramadan:
I’m filling out a Ramadan planner for the ibadat part of Ramadan. It’s going well. I love ticking boxes. It’s very motivating. Different prayers (dua, sunnah, tahajjud, with, Taraweeh) and Quran (reading, Tafseer, and al kahf). I added the planner to my dropbox if you want to check it out. I know we’re a week into Ramadan but it’s not too late to make and implement goals if you haven’t already.
However, I never made a checklist for my other Ramadan goals.
As I said, I’m working on my ibadat (worship) goals, but I haven’t started on my household projects (I’m doing housework but not as much as I’d like). I can’t start the declutter challenge until I finish 1 challenge (I’m currently doing 4 other challenges and more would be overwhelming). As for the cooking challenge, I’m still cooking once a week because I’m eating at my in-laws 4 days a week and once a week at my mom’s. So I guess the cooking challenge will have to wait until after Ramadan.
The kindness challenge also is waiting for me to finish one of the 4 challenges I’m currently doing. As for the box, I keep forgetting to ask my sister. Last year, my sister told me that supermarkets were selling boxes of food supplies and you could buy one and they’d send it to a poor family. I haven’t heard of such a thing this year. During these tough times, I want to help, but 50,000 (the cost of a box of groceries last year) won’t cut it this year. Prices are 10 times more than they were last year. Anyway, if you’re reading this and you live in Lebanon and you know of trusted places selling boxes of groceries for poor people, let me know, please.
As for parenting, I’m not having the energy to spend time with my son. I barely do 1 activity a day with him. He is getting so bored. We worked on the Ramadan worksheet a week before Ramadan when he was excited because it was new, and then again yesterday he colored 1 page. I feel my son mirrors my moods and energy levels. As for him reading Quraan, he is 6 so he can’t read, but yesterday I told him I’m going to start having him listen to one surah a day as a youtube video (there is a certain channel he likes called Learn with Zakaria). I’m also working on 3 other things with him but I’m keeping them low-key, especially since I didn’t write them in the goals.
As for Islamic learning, I deleted the Ramadan legacy app because it wasn’t working. I used it last Ramadan alongside a planner but this year I can’t. It’s fine though because my planner is perfect for this year. I didn’t watch any Tafseer videos until yesterday because animated Tafseer videos came up and I love animated videos. They’re short, to the point, and stick in my head longer because of the animation. As for the book Nurturing Eeman in Children, I read 1 chapter before Ramadan then didn’t anymore, basically because I haven’t been going on my laptop at all, except once to convert some blog posts into podcasts.
Last but not least, in the health aspect, I am currently doing the 21 days no junk food challenge and the 21 day home workout challenge, but I haven’t been going in the sun. I’m also doing the 21 days fix your sleep challenge and the 21-day positive mindset challenge, which also contribute to my health. So I guess in week 1, my focus has been on ibadat and health.
Oh and I’m not watching any movies or tv shows, except that one time I rewatched The Incredibles 2 with my son because I promised him. I’m also posting Ramadan-related/Ramadan-themed content so I’m on track with that goal too.
Which challenge should I do next?
Let me know in the comments below. Please like and share with your friends and family to encourage them to make and implement goals.
Hello and welcome to my blog! As you know, I’ve been really kern on doing 21 day challenges lately, and it has motivated me a great deal. I’m actually currently doing 4 challenges.
The couples challenge I was doing ended (yesterday was the last day). However, sadly, this is the only challenge I didn’t complete. The thing is, you can’t force someone to do a challenge with you, but I wanted to work on my marriage because there’s always room for improvement. The problem is, my husband hates romantic gestures and deep conversations.
The boxes I ticked in this challenge were mostly things I shared with myself on my notes. Some of the things I did with my husband, like telling him “I love you” unexpectedly and thanking him for things he did. But these are things I do anyway, so I don’t feel any different. If anything, I feel disappointed that I couldn’t do all these things.
Nevertheless, I tried, and that’s what matters, and during the 21 days, we weren’t fighting much, mostly because I was trying to make the challenge work, but towards the end, I kind of gave up on trying these things.
I still decided to share them because chances are your spouse or partner is receptive to these gestures of affection.
21 ways to say “I love you” without saying it:
These challenges will help you build a solid relationship and be more loving, kind, and thoughtful towards your spouse or partner.
1. Make a list of things you love about your partner
2. Plan a surprise date night.
3. Tell your partner you love them at an unexpected time.
4. Share a fear you have about your relationship.
5. Share a good memory you have about your partner.
6. Send your partner a romantic morning text/audio.
7. Thank your partner for something today.
8. Surprise your partner with something good.
9. Share a goal you have for your relationship.
10. Give your partner a compliment.
11. Plan a weekend getaway.
12. Look at old pictures together.
13. Reminisce about when you first met.
14. Make a bucket list together.
15. Pick a random word and start a deep conversation with your partner.
16. Do a puzzle together.
17. Write a love letter to your partner and hide it for them to find later.
18. Do something your partner enjoys doing together.
19. Make their favourite treat.
20. Tell your partner something you remember they like.
21. Give your partner a hug when they’re not expecting it.