The 5-Minute Journal #4

I am grateful for:

  • Be able to donate blood 3rd time in my life- I am healthy!
  • Able to return home soon- with my brother this time round
  • Being healthy- I used to have stomach discomfort quite often, just threw all the medicine cause I no longer need them

Today’s affirmation:

  • I am doing better than I thought, God has better plans for me 🙂
  • I have people loving, caring for me more than I thought
  • Self care is not selfish, it’s okay to prioritize myself

Amazing things happened today

  • I managed to do another difficult yoga pose today
  • Managed to eat dim sum today, I have been craving
  • Finally kick start last paper of the year, I can’t wait to get over it!
  • Scribble itinerary for my friend’s visit and Perth trip

Journal Prompts for 2022

1.     What are 10 great things that happened or that you accomplished in 2021?

  • Successful internal mobility
  • Passed ICA advanced certificate
  • Met someone who changed my perception of love  
  • Blood Donation
  • Candlelight concert
  • Ocean restaurant
  • Take good care of my mental health
  • Having good boss & considerate colleagues
  • Love what I do at work
  • Signed up 2 years gym membership- best investment of the year

2.      What do you want to celebrate?

  • I made promise in doing things even though I am not sure if it is right or it will succeed, at least I took that leap of faith. And I did it!

3.     How do you want to approach 2022?    

  • Remain fearless, to live with no regrets!

4.     What qualities do you want to cultivate?

  • Let things happen, trust the process, and enjoy the ride.

5.     What bad habits do you want to leave in the past?

  • Punctuality
  • Egoistic
  • Splurging

6.    How will you commit to yourself?

  • To remember that no matter how hard it gets, I will continue to remain true to myself

7.    Where will you pour your attention?

  • Physical & mental health. Body management. Career. Education. Relationships.

8.    What habits or practices nourish you?

  • Write journals. Read books.

9.    What do you want more of in 2022?

  • To allocate more time for relationships & myself, aside work.

10.    One small thing you do everyday to be your best self?

  • Reflect/ Pray

Finding Comfortable Shoes

Well, please don’t get confused or misunderstood. Obviously, it is not a blog teaching you tips on how to find a pair of comfortable shoes here. Pretty much just a metaphor.

Hmm how do I even begin. The more I grow, the more I put myself first before others. Putting yourself first is not selfish. When your needs are well taken care of, you can give genuinely, and without expectation, that’s what I thought. I actually learnt a lot during pandemic, for example, able to acknowledge, control and deal with my emotions. I find time to decompress and recharge. Be kind to myself, and celebrate tiny milestones!

Younger Self

We used to choose pretty shoes over comfortable ones. If they are cheap, we would buy them, and then continue to buy more. We don’t appreciate, prolly throw them away after worn only a few times. It doesn’t matter if they hurt us really bad, leaving us scars or blisters. If they are super fancy or branded ones, it doesn’t matter if we really suit them, so long we are able to show off our social status among friends, they are good enough.

Older Self

Now that we are more financially independent, regardless they are cheap or expensive ones, we only buy if they are comfortable. Why spending money on something that might hurt, leaving scars or blisters on our feet? The more we grow, the better we style ourselves. We prolly have found styles which suit ourselves, be it casual, minimalist etc. We feel good when we dress well, most importantly wearing something we are comfortable with.

When we were young, we sought to please people to adore us. We change ourselves so that we fit. Fit that friend, fit that circle. Otherwise, we are loser, we are not cool friends. Been there done that. Why making ourselves miserable when life is kinda rough already?

I stay away from the circle I do not belong. I focus more on myself, my career, ambition, mental health. Or rather continue to nourish those who stay, somewhere I have sense of belonging. Prolly we are already too busy with work, life, studies, we now put more effort into those who put effort into ourselves.

I learnt that people might walk away at certain point of our lives, prolly we are chasing different things, having different values, or priorities. Don’t chase people when they walk away. I believe God puts people in our lives for a reason, and removes them from our lives for a better person. But you should know that there is difference between being ignorant and having self love.

Just had a conversation with a friend today. She was too busy that she no longer groom herself.

“Beautify yourself! Put on some make up and go out!” we (me and another friend) said to her.

“I am not dating, hence no make up. And if I put on make up, people might think I am out of my mind!” she replied.

“Actually it will indirectly affect your mood. For instance, you will feel good when you look good, boosting your confidence. You should prioritize yourself over anybody else!” I told her.

Maturity is learning to walk away from people and situations that threaten your peace of mind, self-respect, values, morals or self worth.

I hope you found your pair of comfortable shoes too! 🙂

Raindrops on Window Panes

A mini staycation of mine has finally come to an end. The weather was cooling and breezy that I have actually been snuggling under a blanket for the past few days. Occasionally, some hot tea session while doing revision. It was quiet, a moment I have been looking forward to spend a little me time away from home.

I looked out the window. The sky turned greyish-blue and large clouds began to gather. I heard raindrops were softly tapping on the windows. In my reflection, they were weaving with the wind. Passersby quickened their pace and umbrellas were opened as the clouds spat out mizzling rain. I grabbed my sweater and had some hot Jasmine tea to keep myself warm in the room.

The sound of the rain was so soothing that I gain so much inner peace. I have so much thoughts running through my mind, mostly reflecting and planning for second half of the year. Many people were cheering for me at the same time telling me that my next job scope will not be easy. Well, we always challenge ourselves to grow as a person, to take baby steps out of comfort zone, aren’t we?

People began to send wishes and congratulating me on LinkedIn after updating my latest posting. Toast for new beginnings! I have been keeping up to my promise by taking leaps of faith regardless in life, relationships or career even though I am not sure it is right or will succeed… Looking forward to more new adventures!

Just received a bad news today. A news that many might not know of yet… My uncle was being diagnosed with Covid, even after his first jab. He got it when he was trying to help an old lady who fell at home previously. He cried over the phone earlier despite being a man who is so tough in front of his children. I wasn’t shared with much information earlier today, but I will check and update again. He has been keeping this secret from his children (my cousins) as some of them are currently working overseas. He doesn’t want them to worry.

Will you want your loved ones to know if you got Covid-19? Is it selfish to keep it as a secret? Is it redundant to tell them by making them worry? What would you do?

Navigating Emotions during Pandemic

Stepping into Covid-19 pandemic for more than a year, most of us have found ways to cope and adapt the new norm. However, despite how hard we work on adjusting new routines, our mental health somehow got affected. At times, I feel less motivated, or worse when homesickness hits. I miss travelling, miss exploring new countries, and mostly, I miss my family and friends.

Classes, meetings and social events are moving to virtual platforms. Having digital life is more flexible and convenient at times, but, it can be exhausting and tiresome too. I recalled the days when I was asked to work from home. Yes, I don’t need to wake up at 7am, rushing for work, I thought.

Got disconnected from the world (not meeting people), having gastric (eating irregularly), being less productive (distractions at home), backpains (non-ergonomic sitting), wearing pajamas all day, thinking what to cook for the next meals or expensive food delivery etc. Pretty sum up how I spent my 2 months working from home. Aside being able to wake up 10 minutes before working hours, not commuting for more than an hour to office, I really can’t think of other pros working from home (wfh). Maybe I just need a separate space to work.

Slowly, I began to realize how blessed I am, not required to travel to and fro, having lesser contact with humans. Singapore was having records of more than thousands cases daily back then. Few friends of mine are actually working in healthcare industry, standing on the frontline amid Covid-19 to help others. As compared to them, I am nothing. Things got better eventually. For instance, end of circuit breaker, small groups of gatherings are allowed… And now, people start getting vaccinated.

Acknowledge Emotions

Let’s just admit that global community is suffering due to Covid-19, be it physically or emotionally. Retrenchments, pay cut, not able to return home, anxious about health etc. We have to acknowledge that it is beyond our control, and all we can do is to accept the fact and move on.

Albert Einstein said, “in the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity.”

Some lost their jobs but started small businesses, hobbies turned side hustles, learning new skills and so. To be honest, I was quite anxious at first. Being an idealist, I like getting everything well planned. There is a lot of uncertainties, and no one can foresee what’s coming as we have never come across pandemic before. We all learn to be more resilient, better crisis management. Like how we work at alternate sites with limited resources under split operations, but we somehow survived and became stronger. We came out with ideas to speed up the processes, shared opinions and knowledge together, mingled with new colleagues at alternate sites etc.

Sometimes, I do feel little overwhelmed in life, which leads to having negative vibes. I try to avoid meeting people as much as possible, as I believe it may affect others too. It is okay to feel bad, anger, sorry or upset. We are all humans, and we have emotions! I work on self recovery by having me time and do some thinking. I listen to music, sing or read books, to make myself feel better before I am ready (to meet people).

Personally, I don’t really like the idea- ranting when I am having issues. I believe everyone has problems in life. Ranting to others, is like throwing mess to others. No one takes responsibility for your emotions, not even your family. This is your own emotional response, and it is not someone else’s fault that you are sensitive to particular behaviors or actions. Well, it may be uneasy, feeling not comfortable in the beginning, but trust me, you will get better eventually.

Reminders, Be Grateful

Despite not able to meet my family and friends, being thousand miles away, our bonds remain strong. We had more video calls. Wrote postcards to my friends from all around the world (though some have gone missing). Reconnected with long lost secondary school friends. Surprise flowers delivery during Mother’s Day and few birthday celebrations. Learnt to cook and create new dishes, I even made desserts! Picked up hobbies again like drawing and painting at home. You will feel abundant when you appreciate little things, simple gestures in life. Happiness does not come from money or material things.

Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation of abundance.

Practicing gratitude and connecting with our loved one gives us strength, motivation and courage to stay both emotionally and physically healthy during uncertain times.

I recalled when my best friend texted me and shared she was very stressed about work. She was having hard times in hospital as she made mistakes. We talked quite a bit, sharing we should be thankful for being able to work, having roof above us, food on the table. Life can be harsh sometimes, but you need to be strong and firm. Count your blessings!

Self Care, Take a Break

Went for few staycations. I love love travelling so much, that I prolly travel to 2 new countries every year. It makes me feel alive to have a short break from work. It is refreshing after spending time in a different space. I spend 24/7 either at home or office. I am an introvert, but I still need to take a break from spaces where I carry out daily routines. I am thankful that my company offers staycation deals. Why are you spending money to stay in hotels when you have somewhere to stay, my mom asked. I need some space to take a breath, I explained. I feel a lot better indeed. It might not be a thing to everyone, but I highly recommend to stay out for few days with your loved ones. It would be a great experience. Explore something you have never done when you stay out. Of course, under safe distancing and cautious measures.

Stayed out alone last week. Yup, alone for the very first time. I was feeling very overwhelmed, had sleepless nights for few days, migraine on and off at work. Had a new haircut before checking into hotel. Sang in the room. Ate dinner while watching variety shows. Had a warm bubble bath while listening to soothing music. Read books and attended few online courses. It was nothing fancy, but I felt way better! I am back to sleeping soundly at night, no more migraine in the office, feeling happier after the staycation. Take it slow to get yourself recovered, before reaching for a new height.

Spend time doing something you enjoy i.e. making handicrafts, reading books, café-hopping etc. We all deserve to do something we love aside working hard. Get some endorphins by working out. Happy hormones they said! I run for few kilometers around neighborhood when I am stressed out. Here I am writing this, to share some experience I had during circuit breaker. Hope it helps in certain ways. I love inspiring people or spreading good vibes with others. I am happy to share some thoughts whenever my friends asked for advices or took considerations on what I said.

I wish all of us better health and all the best. We all deserve a pat on our backs and well done everyone for surviving this pandemic. Life is always challenging, but I believe we can figure out ways! Cheers !

2020 Reflections x 2021 Intentions

1.     What challenges did you face?
    –  Uncertainties, adjusting to new norm
2.      What lessons did you learn?
    –   Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice
3.     What do you want to remember?
     –  The year I had no idea when would be the next time I can meet my family and friends or travel. Never take things for granted 
4.     How did you grow?
    –  I learn to embrace when things might not turn out as planned
    –  I learn to accept flaws and not pushing hard on others and myself
    –  I learn to let go who no longer play important part in my life. 
5.    What do you want to celebrate?
    –  Thing that remains, friendships that stay
6.    What are you grateful for?
    –  A roof over my head
    –  I am loved
    –  I am alive
    –  A job that pays the bills
    –  Still chasing my dreams
7.    How did your heart break? How did your heart open?
    –  Screwed things up, and shut people off. Good thing about me when I hit rock bottom, I bury myself at work, and I will be fine eventually
    –  Knowing someone cares about me, constantly checking on me… For that, I am grateful. 

1.    How do you want to approach 2021?
    –  Remain fearless, stay calm for whatever happens. Not afraid in taking up risks, to stay focus for what I do
2.    How do you want to take care of yourself?
    –  To stay away from social media, unhealthy relationships & unnecessary conversations
3.    What qualities do you want to cultivate?
    –  Be present. Clarity
4.    How will you commit to yourself?
    –  Get honest with myself. Do something even if it is small
5.    What do you want to let go of?
    –  Dwelling on the past, worrying about future. Being a idealist.
6.    Where will you pour your attention?
    –  Mental health. Career. Education
7.    What habits or practices nourish you?
    –  Digital detox. Reflect. Journal/ blog