Sunday, 29 December 2019

My 2019 and goals for 2020: Lessons of self-acceptance, facing loneliness and the unknown

Hand holding a sparkler
Photo by Rathnahar Sriom on Pexels
The end of the year is the best time for self-reflection right? It's all about thinking about what you have achieved and setting new goals for the year ahead. I have actually done one of these posts last year, where I reflected on 2018 and ended up with a bunch of 'SMART' goals to work on. As always, I am critical of the whole 'new year - new me' mindset. 

For me, setting goals for 2020 acts as a structure or guidance for my actions. I think it's more important to dedicate our lives to self-acceptance rather than constantly working on change. 

If you take anything from this subjective account of my year and future objectives, let it be this - let go of this idea that you are not good enough as you are. We are all unique individuals, living our lives, depending on our personal circumstances.

I know that you will be bombarded with countless posts to inspire you. The media will be packed with motivational ideas, screaming into your face that you need to work on yourself. 

There is nothing wrong with self-improvement but this cycle of not being satisfied never ends, without self-compassion, you will always be chasing for so-called perfection. It's a difficult thing to get your head around, I get it. It starts with appreciating yourself as you are. This is one of the main things that I have learned in 2019. You should learn this lesson as well, to have a great 2020.

Monday, 23 December 2019

Hating Christmas does not make you a scrooge: 9 stress-free ways to make the festive period more bearable

Illustration of sad and happy gingerbread men

There's no time to waste, I am not going to drag this out...the festive period is not my favourite thing and you know what. it's okay to not be a fan of Christmas. There is this stereotype, partly due to The Christmas Carol and the good old Grinch, that people who detest Christmas are cold-hearted scrooges. I mean, how can it be possible to dread Christmas? Indeed, for people who live and breathe Christmas, this is a mystery. 

Everyone is an individual, they deserve to have a right to love or hate Christmas. If you don't like Christmas, there could be hundreds of reasons why. I personally believe that one of the worst things that people can do is drag each-other down for having clashing opinions about the festive holidays. I used to feel guilty for disliking Christmas. As I got older, I suppose I have learned to celebrate Christmas in my own little way.

In this post, I will emphasize that disliking Christmas does not make you a bad person. I will go through some personal reasons for not liking the festive holiday season (hopefully you will relate!). Most importantly, I will offer solutions to make your Christmas more bearable and hopeful. 

Saturday, 14 December 2019

List of books that I have read in 2019: The good, the bad and the ones that will expand your mind

Flatlay of books on gold tinsel

At the start of 2019, I promised myself that I will work on reading more books. I felt like I needed to lose myself in literature, to teach myself new things and grow as an individual. The value of books can be easily lost in this digital world.

I'm sure you are like me, books give me a sense of inspiration, I benefit from escaping to various fictional worlds as it lets me forget my worries. Reading is like a pause button - it stops my hectic thoughts. 

This year, I lived like some kind of caricature, sitting in libraries and coffee shops with a book in my hand. I've done my best to dedicate time to reading. I'm definitely not the quickest of readers, I've seen people who have read hundreds of books this year, madness! I just wanted to expose myself to more literature and less social media nonsense. The grand total of books that I have read this year was only 13, but I think I have managed to read a variety of genres. 

Anyway, this post is quite unusual for my blog, but there is no denial that books and self-improvement go hand in hand. I have also read a few books related to Psychology. Everyone loves a good list post! Without further ado, let's have a look at the books that I have read this year and what I thought about them. 

List of books that I have read in 2019: The good, the bad and the ones that will expand your mind 

Sunday, 8 December 2019

13 self-compassionate things that you can do when you feel stuck in life

Person in front of a window
Photo by Sasha Freemind on Unsplash

Life progress is like an addictive drug. We always crave it and do everything in order to get it. We keep pushing ourselves to the extreme to maintain steady life progress. You know, moving through life, achieving our goals and constantly improving.

It's almost as if moving in life is something you should always be doing. You are wired to work tirelessly to prove your worth. Unfortunately, the expectation for immediate progress can have a negative effect on your mental well-being.

I'm sure that you have already been at the point of realization that constant progress is impossible. At some point, you can get stuck, unable to move from where you are. It's like getting surrounded by unbreakable walls. You can keep hitting them, but they just won't break. The most difficult thing at these points is not knowing what lies behind those walls. We fear what we don't know, especially when it comes to our life journey.

Life is not easy, it does not morph to your wishes. I often feel like there is a ticking time bomb inside of me, I feel like that if I'm not progressing - I'm wasting away. When we experience a sense of limited progress, it may be difficult to perceive success. It can get frustrating, lack of progress can make you feel desperate. It can make you question your life decisions and worth. 

This post will discuss some ways to accept the times when you get are stuck in life. I will also describe how to deal with a lack of progress with self-compassion, instead of self-criticism.

Sunday, 1 December 2019

We need to talk about the dangers of sugar-coated self-care culture

Woman in a floral bath water
Image by Hanna Postova on Unsplash

Let's get real about self-care. I know what you're thinking, is there any point to talk about self-care at this post, when the topic of self-care has been discussed to death? Despite the popularity of self-care related posts, I think there is something that people tend to overlook when it comes to self-care.

The meaning of self-care is broad, it is pretty much all about taking action to improve or maintain your health and well-being. Unfortunately, self-care is now synonymous with bubble baths and cups of tea. In other words, the culture of self-care has turned into a sugar-coated mess.

This post will discuss the dangers related to the sugar-coated self-care culture. I will also explore the idea that genuine self-care relies on your determination to dwell into the darkest parts of your mind and personal responsibility.

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