Can people change?

Theoretically, I have been on a self-improvement journey since 2016, and I’ve read self-help books, listened to podcasts, done quizzes, made charts, downloaded apps, all to give me the premise that I am changing.

Practically, though, I’m still standing with the set of flaws I started with 5 years ago. I still have the same dissatisfaction with my life, the same intolerance to those around me, and the same, if not more, level of complaining. So have I changed? I don’t think so. I tried. Maybe not hard enough.

I expect people to act a certain way, and when they go off-script, I become angry or unhappy. For example, I sit next to my husband because I feel like spending time with him. He is satisfied just sitting in silence on his phone holding my hand because he is stressed and tired from work and the situation in Lebanon, but I want to engage in conversation. However, there is nothing to talk about because he doesn’t care about what books I’m reading or what shows I’m watching, or how my blog or podcast is doing. I want to know how his day was but he doesn’t like to talk about his day, at least not to me. He may share an anecdote from his day with a friend or his mom or sister, but not with me. He doesn’t care how my day went. He just cares whether our son behaved and ate his meals or not.

I like my life, kind of. I’m comfortable in my house. I have my routines. I thank my husband when he helps me out. I’ve been on my A-game in parenting lately, but when it comes to my marriage, I don’t know my head from my heels. I can tell my husband is unhappy, and I know it’s partly because of my nagging. I want to stop nagging. I want to be a ray of sunshine. I want to make him laugh, but he doesn’t like to do the things I like, like going out and playing board games. We have different senses of humor. To him, riling me up is funny, unless I get too angry and explode.

I don’t know what to do. I want to be a better wife, a better person.

Tell you a secret? Sometimes I feel like I don’t like people at all, and I fear I may be antisocial. I’m reading a book called “How to make friends and influence people” by Dale Carnegie and he said that to get people to like you, you must like them 1st and give them what they want, but I noticed that I’m the type of person that if I see you giving me, I’ll give you back tenfold, but if I feel like you’re not giving me enough or I’m unsatisfied in the relationship, I feel reluctant to give. Or am I? I don’t know…sometimes I feel like I’m a nice person and sometimes I feel so selfish.

So my question to you is:

Do you think people can change?

Because there is a saying that people don’t change, they just show their true colors over time. In that case, what ARE my true colors?

Theoretically, I know if I stop nagging, things will get better, and when I nag, things don’t improve. It just creates drama and heartache. I keep poking the bear, even though I know I shouldn’t. I keep trying to make my marriage superb instead of settling for an okay marriage where we get along more than half the time. Why do I do this? Is it my perfectionism? Theoretically, I know once I accept my husband as he is, he will start to improve, but if only I could stop complaining, criticizing, and condemning him…

I did a poll on Twitter and it was a unanimous yes that people can change, so there is yet hope for me…

The Best Ways to Perfect Your Nighttime Routine

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 behaved today.

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?

To do this challenge, go to: https://21dayschallengeapp.com/app/challenge

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:

Promo for “We all have a dark side, the key to happiness, and more” and free sample

Hello reader and welcome to my blog! In case you’re new here, or you forgot because I’m bad at marketing, today I released my 10th book on Amazon (it was available for pre-order for a few days now).

https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy80ZjQyMDYxOC9wb2RjYXN0L3Jzcw/episode/NGJhMDRhZDItOWZhNC00YmJjLWJkMDgtNzQ5MjIxYjM1ZTQ4?ep=14

I feel like I haven’t properly marketed my previous books, so while I’m trying to promote my newest book on Instagram, I wanted to promote the newest 2 here and let you know that I have provided a free sample of these 2 books on kindle.

The best advice to improve yourself and your relationships was released today on kindle.

As for We all have a dark side, the key to happiness, and more, it’s available on kindle and as a paperback.

I deleted all the posts that are now in this book so you won’t find them on the blog anymore, except for the poem “We all have a dark side” which is the most viewed and still frequently viewed post of all time. Thank you for that.

Please go check it out on Amazon and if you read it, let me know what you think.

I think you might like this book – “WE ALL HAVE A DARK SIDE, THE KEY TO HAPPINESS, AND MORE” by Sajida Haddad.

Read a free sample of the book here:

https://a.co/1B8f3ZS

You can also buy it for just 4.99$ on kindle!

Or for just 9.99$ as a paperback.

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-order here.

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

Can you help me write a title for my new book?

Hello and welcome to my blog! My mind is going a mile a minute, and I would like to unveil a project in the works. I’ve gathered my blog posts about advice (at least the ones I wrote after I started using tags and categories in 2020) but I have no idea what to name the book.

I still haven’t published the book and I still need to paraphrase some things because some of the work was researched so it must be 💯 my words, but I thought I’d give you the titles of the content to find a catchy title because the title can make or break the book.

The book will include:

Part 1: Improving yourself

To change a situation, you need to change yourself

You are learning, not failing

Tips to avoid burnout

How to express your feelings

Do you self-sabotage?

How to self-regulate your emotions

We can rewire our brains!

Pros and cons of wearing your heart on your sleeve

How to become self-sufficient

What to do when you’re feeling lonely

How to be more organized

If you don’t love yourself, you can’t love others

Enjoy the little things

How to deal with circumstances out of your control

What to do when you feel sad

What does it mean to relax?

Emotionally hungover

How to stay focused

How to deal with emotional pain

How to bring more peace into your life

See no evil; hear no evil; Speak no evil

Tips to look after yourself

How to be more patient

How to be more productive during quarantine

Happiness starts with contentment

What do you want for you?

What is taking you so long?

How to turn a bad day around

How to be more optimistic

Healthy tips for a more energetic you

How to be more grateful

Part 2: Improving your relationships

A lesson in tolerance

What value do you add to your relationships?

The 3 Cs that ruin every relationship

How to become more mature

Don’t judge a book by its cover

What to do if a loved one is feeling lonely

All the relationship advice you need

All about anger

How to deal with people who talk about you

How to stay married during quarantine

How to get along with your family during quarantine

Great minds discuss ideas

Social rejection: The truth about making friends

7 things I learned from 7 years of marriage

Giving advice on sensitive topics

Conflict resolution

So what do you say? Will you help me find a catchy topic for my new book?

Motivational Monday: On Mindfulness and Minimalism

Hello and welcome to my blog! Welcome to motivational Monday. Today, I’m ridden with anxiety and need some motivation as well. I didn’t write a to do list on Saturday nor on Sunday because I wanted my schedule to be free.

Today I wrote a to do list but kept feeling suffocated by it. It’s wierd. Sometimes to do lists relieve my anxiety, other times they give me anxiety. I know that I preach about picking 3 items and prioritizing your tasks and all that but I’m easily distracted and keep feeling like everything on the list is equally important. It’s hard to decide whether I should exercise or organize my miscellaneous items drawer 1st, so I have done neither so far.

Also, we have no electricity at the moment so I can’t work on my laptop (its battery is ruined so it must be hooked to the charger to work) and that’s looming over me. I’m not one to go overboard with editing but I’m working on a project (stay tuned) and it’s really important that I make sure the work in it is 100% original, no plagiarism. It’s causing me great anxiety that I’m avoiding working altogether. I mean, if I didn’t procrastinate so much, I would have accomplished so much more in life by now. Anyway, now that I got all that off my chest…

Get motivated with me on motivational Monday!

Mindfulness is an attitude rather than a skill. It’s about making our everyday lives more pleasurable and present.

This is so true. I struggle to be mindful but I’m really working on it and I’m getting better. I’m not really being mindful today but I try to be.

You are enough. Every morning, every sunrise, every day.

This is so hard for me to grasp sometimes but I have been raised to the concept that my value as a person increases with my accomplishments. I even unconsciously judge my siblings sometimes based on their accomplishments. I’m still being judged my my loved ones based on my accomplishments or lack thereof (they’re not impressed by my master’s degree anymore since my younger sister is getting her PhD and my blog doesn’t phase them because I don’t get paid for it).

Remember that everything you do contributes to where you are going.

Best selling author here I come. One day.

Gratitude and mindful self-compassion can heal and bring peace to you. Gratitude comes when we are mindful, observing the simple beauty in our lives.

I always pray “God make me content with what you have given me” and right now, as I read this reminder, I slow down and feel so grateful. I have a lot of gratitude moments during the day, but only when I slow down and am mindful of my surroundings and my life.

You can start over any time. Just don’t stop being you.

I wish I could start over. But usually when I imagine starting over, I imagine creating a new identity some place new.

Your body loves you, love it back.

I’m not there yet. I can’t tell you how much I hate my body right now. I lost 6 pounds during Ramadan and everyone complimented me for it. What did I do as soon as Ramadan was over? I went back to emotional eating and I’m pretty sure the weight is back.

Living moment by moment and seeing everything afresh without judgement and worry lets us experience life rather than simply get through it.

So true. I have no comment for that.

Under the influence of clutter, we may underestimate how much time we’re giving to the less important stuff.

I’m not a minimalist but I admit my mind and surroundings get a bit cluttered sometimes and it really gets me off track.

Reminder:
You’re stronger than you think you are.

I hope so.

Outer order contributes to inner calm.

Try it. Tidy up your space and notice the impact is has on you.

Remember: you are not what you own.

I wish a lot more people knew this…

Update: I finished almost everything on my to-do list. I exercised, worked on editing a bit, but I’m leaving the organization of my miscellaneous items drawer for tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Daily Reminder

Hello and welcome to my blog! Welcome to the daily reminder series. I get these reminders on the 21 days challenge app at least twice a day. In case you didn’t notice. I’m loving the app. I can’t talk about it enough! I wish I talked about my books as much as I talked about this app.

Speaking of my books, here’s a shameless plug:

Buy my books on Amazon!

Oh and also…

Today’s reminder is:

Asking for help does not make you any less independent.

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

This is so true! I remember when I was in school I was discouraged by my peers to ask the teacher a question if I didn’t understand. Later on I realized many adults have the mentality that it’s a weakness to show you don’t know something, that you must appear that you’re put together all the time. I agree that you shouldn’t be falling apart all the time in public. That’s what drama queens do. But if you feel like you need help financially, for example, it’s okay to seek someone you trust and ask for help. The people too proud to ask for help usually end up in more financial trouble. If you need help with your mental health, it’s okay to seek a trusted friend and open up or go see a therapist. If you need help moving into a new house, it’s also okay to ask for help.

Some people are very dependant on others and come out as needy and others are too lazy to do things themselves and always rely on other’s help. Avoid helping those people or at least establish boundaries with them. However, it’s usually the ones who don’t ask for help who need help the most. Seek those out and help them.

Are you too proud to ask for help when you need it?