How To Practice Mindfulness In the Middle of COVID- 19 Pandemic

We know with the occurring news that pandemic continues to kill people and badly affect other people’s lives. It’s the sad reality of the world that we are currently living in. Some post says that back then when 2019 starts, you shouldn’t be around negative people but now in 2020, you shouldn’t be around positive people.

I have been reading the news lately about the USA’s current condition and how the COVID pandemic affects American’s mental health. Staying inside their houses can surely provide protection from the virus but in another way, this also caused bigger problems that were already present even before the pandemic started: depression, anxiety, substance abuse, suicide.

In my country, the Philippines, many are feeling grief because of how the pandemic has caused in their lives. The loss of a loved one, canceled plans, meetings, events, etc has all caused Filipinos to feel distressed in one way or another.

I want to share how can we all feel secure with everything going on around us. I know that some may think that feeling relaxed while others are in other difficult situations can be a bit opposing, this has already been a fact before COVID started and these are some of the things that we cannot completely control. Thus, we must take care of ourselves and, if we can, help out people in any way possible: big or small would equally do big.

So let’s talk about mindfulness and what can it do to help me?

Mindfulness is the act of becoming aware, consciously, and unconsciously, of what is happening at the present time. It can greatly improve your mental state providing calmness and relaxation.

Now when we talk about mindfulness, we may feel a little alien to the word. That’s okay! Everyone feels awkwy trying out new things at first and I promise you that practicing daily mindful routines can help you in so many ways.

1. Write it down

Whenever I try to write a post about anything that relates to anything close to self-improvement, I always include writing/journaling. Writing whatever is in our brain cleanses our thoughts. We are capable of making thousands of thoughts every single day: good or bad. And because the pandemic death rates continue to strive, maybe a couple thousand of our average thoughts revolve around the worsening of the situation, that gives us anxiety and stress.

2. Change your routine

Maybe you’re like me that’s never a morning person, I wake up around 9 to 10 am around regular days due to sleeping late at night. And let me tell you, doing nothing, spending the entire day on social media, and waking up without a goal affects mental health. There is already enough research that supports the claim that too much usage of social media can cause anxiety and depression. I suggest that you assign simple tasks that you must complete each day, I’m not suggesting to do anything big or too out of reach (but if you really wanna, hey, do it). Don’t just stay in bed all day, create a new habit, a routine, something small that you can easily manage just to help you kickstart your day. Do something that will make you feel just a little bit better which leads me to my second point.

3. Work on your personal projects

Probably most of us have wanted to do or try out something but never had the time to finish it due to our schedule. Well, now you have so much! Make use of every day to learn something. For example, try learning how to play the piano (this helps to improve your mental state), try taking a course (I am currently taking skillshare), try blogging/vlogging anything basically! You name it! In 1665, a pandemic caused by what’s known as the bubonic plague has started spreading. Around this time, Einstein made most of his amazing insights about mathematics and natural philosophy while in isolation. Keep yourself busy.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Plague_of_London

4. Avoid too much news

I know that news plays such an important role today but believe me, you don’t need everything the media tells you. Because you risk your mental health in doing so. Humans are naturally born to react to anything given to them. Some of our reactions could be laughter, rage, mourning, grief, sadness, etc.

5. Try self-care apps

I personally use a bunch of apps to help me with my daily mindful routine. All of these apps are free on android:

  • Questions Diary

This app is a journaling app that gives you a different set of questions whenever you want. You can choose to journal about it or pick a different question. You can also change the theme and it has its own community where you can post and answer questions made by other users anonymously. It also has a security feature which is what I’m always looking for when I’m downloading a journaling app.

Link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.pione.questiondiary&hl=en

  • Presently

This app is so simple and unique. It’s basically similar to Questions Diary but it asks you questions that can guide you what you can think of being grateful today. You can also change the theme but unlike Questions Diary, you are only permitted to journal once every day and it doesn’t have a security feature.

Link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=journal.gratitude.com.gratitudejournal&hl=en

  • Daisy

Daisy is a minimal-looking journaling app that lets you write whatever you want. It has a security feature and you can put picture and works everything you need in a journaling app.

Link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.albatrosslab.www.daisy&hl=en

  • The pattern

Before going to bed, I like reading something about myself. The pattern gives you great content texts that you can choose to read by clicking “go deeper”. They also customize your pattern based on your birthday and time of birth. I believe that this app works based on your zodiac sign but idk. You can also communicate and interact with other users through this app and it features romantic compatibility between your chosen friends that also uses this app.

Link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.thepattern.app&hl=en

And that is all! I hope you enjoyed this blog post and helped you in any way.


The trial and errors of moving on

Moving on was never easy for everyone. If the emotional attachment is strong, break up would be the death of you.

I had one of those bad breakups, we lasted 6 months but he broke up with me after some time when transferred to another school. His explanation to me was never clear and so I was left with so many questions that kept me awake and soaked in tears every single night. Those nights that felt so cold and sucked the warmth out of me made me question my own self-worth; confidence sloped down, self-love, gone, and regrets burst in and ruined my entire system.

I tried.

Not to think of him as I lie down while thoughts of him flashing are killing me in my head. My internal dialogue would always be blaming myself; the thousand if only’s that I have and the million what if’s. Error

I tried.

To hate him, but every time I see him on social media, it cracks my heart. The hate that should pierce him, pierced me instead. Love is indeed a double-edged sword but the one that points to you is a thousand times sharper than what is on the opposite end. Error.

I tried so many times.

To talk to him again, I wanted to hear him explain why, how, was it me or was it you? But no, there was nothing that he could give me to ease the burning pain that I felt when he left me. There was an only ice-cold reply that made the wound in my heart even more unbearable. Error

I tried.

Flirting with other guys, but there’s no helping it. My image of myself is broken. I can’t present myself the way how I did before. I was a broken glass with millions of pieces falling apart, I was a walking mess that people didn’t want. No one wants to be with a person who is falling apart and dying inside, being sucked in by her own regrets. Error.

I tried.

Being happy, smiling to people and pretending that I’m okay when deep inside I’m not. I was dying, and smiling didn’t help much because it felt fake. Error.

I tried.

Talking to a friend. I wanted to find comfort in their words, in their arms, and in their gentleness. I wanted them to tell me I don’t deserve a person like him because I am more worthy than this. But no, I couldn’t find a true friend that understood my pain. They say they love me but they never stayed beside me. I was alone and even more hurt. Error.

I tried.

Not to show my family what I was going through and how it doesn’t bother me but they noticed. I never wanted them to worry about me because I usually could solve my own problems, this one just happened to be much bigger. Error.

I tried.

Doing all of the above over and over again. I thought that maybe I could somewhere see a glimpse of hope that would erase this pain that I have but no. So many days, nights, hours, minutes, and seconds I feel the cold of the night with my heart burning to ashes inside.

The trial and errors of moving on would mostly be errors, you may never see hope or life in everything. But don’t give up, this is just another obstacle in your life.

Try again even if you feel pained.

Try again even if you are alone.

Try loving yourself.

Try moving on.

Try again.

And don’t give up because you are so much worth than this. This pain will soon turn you into a beautiful blossoming lady: with the colors of beauty and love, with the fragrance of bravery and confidence, with the stem of wisdom, you will grow and you will see the light of hope magnified in your life. You will move on someday.


Why it’s okay not to have the most life changing routine

Lately, I have been seeing a lot of YouTube videos about everybody’s routine I couldn’t help but think that some of their routines look extremely nice and calming indeed like how they say it is. But I also couldn’t help but think how many of their viewers have tried doing one or two things in their routine and gave up. I also couldn’t help thinking that maybe some of these videos are fake, only making them look productive just for the video.

Looking at these videos, I think to myself, what is my routine anyway? Well, I wake up at 10 am, check messenger, check my Instagram, check YouTube, and attempt to do exercise. Then after that, I eat and I take a shower.

I’d always compare my morning with these almost-successful looking people with their habits and then I’d feel bad because I don’t do any of these and I know I’m not the only one feeling this way. I want to point out that it’s perfectly fine to not follow a routine, your routine is your routine. Don’t feel bad because you’re comparing your life with someone who has already achieved their peak.

As an 18-year-old Filipina, I still live with my parents, and with the demands of my parents to do chores first thing in the morning, I have no time to do a special morning routine. I am tasked to wash the dishes, hang clothes, fold clothes, mop the floor, etc. I am already bombarded with chores left waiting for me to do.

Not wanting to level up is also leveling up. How? Well, its because you acknowledge the importance of being happy and content with who you are right now.

Be grateful where you are right now and think of all the hardships that you went through before, celebrate your little success because small success is still a success and small success breeds larger ones. Sure, it’s not the best version of you but that’s okay. Growth takes longer and longer than long for others.

So sit down, enjoy the morning binge eating and watching. You deserve it.


The Journey Begins

Background Photo by Pontus Wellgraf

Hello reader! Welcome to my blog!

My name is Gail and I am a girl that loves to journal, plan and design. But one thing that I would say that I really love is self-improvement and self-love. I figured that at an early age I should start working on improving my view about myself and other people. But I think everyone has a chance to better themselves, no matter what age, gender, ethnicity, race, class, religion etc. I strongly believe that everyone has a chance to make their life meaningful given the resources that they have at hand. And for me, I used blogging because it’s the resource that is almost available to everyone that has a device and an internet connection. My story isn’t different from other people, I am just a normal person that loves to make something beautiful and impactful. I always knew that I have the skill of powerful storytelling and the voice of a teacher (given that both my parents are teachers lol).

I want to blog about self-improvement and self-love because I want to use this platform to teach other people and myself about improving and becoming a better type of person. I know that life can be so overwhelming but I also believe that its a gift for us to celebrate it every day, we just need a different perspective on how to take it all. We need to gain lessons and insights from other people to improve our view on life. We read blogs and stories because it touches our hearts so much and we know that we can relate to it but apart from that, we read because we want to learn and improve ourselves.

So now that you know a little bit about me, why don’t you share a little bit more about you, reader? Go ahead and feel free to browse my blog and read posts, comment and share it with other people. We share lessons that are impactful and meaningful because of the delight it gives to our innermost being.

Subscribe to my blog to see more about what I post and let’s ride on this journey of becoming a better person.

How To Deal With Social Awkwardness

I am a very awkward type of person. Meeting people online is easy but personal interaction is a whole new level for me.

I spent most of my early childhood years as being a shy, timid, and socially weird because I am unable to overcome  my social awkwardness. Now, I’ve outgrown them and learned the truth about social awkwardness.

So here’s what I’ve learned:

  • Everyone feels awkward 

Yes, it is a big truth because everyone feels the same thing. Being awkward is a normal response and people talk about it all the time, they just so happen to have a different approach and coping mechanisms in dealing with it themselves.

  • Don’t sweat it

I realized that I am mostly awkward because I am constantly thinking that deep down, they are judging me base on my pose, my voice, my fashion preference, etc. But the truth is, I’m just overthinking! Sure, maybe they are thinking of things like that but most of the time they don’t!

  • Uneasiness is sometimes good

Sometimes being awkward means that you are outside of your comfort zone and being outside of it can be good.

You’ll realize that you’re being awkward just in the beginning, but slowly you’ll grow more and more open to other people after spending more time with them.

  • You’re not being yourself

Here’s what I know I’ve been doing mostly. Not being yourself means that you want to please other people and pleasing people is awkward. This time, you are not only pushing yourself outside your comfort zone, but you’re also redefining your comfort zone for other people.

So that’s only some of what I’ve learned. I hope that I helped you in any way. If you want to ask questions comment down below and follow my blog.

3 Notes On Being Patient With Yourself By An Anxious Writer

Often times, when someone tells us “be a little more kind to yourself” we tend to feel a bit disregarded because saying that is easier said than done. We know that other people’s only intent was to help us but they don’t actually know the real deal inside and how we can’t easily do that.

I am very anxious about everything in my life. I often feel like something is chasing me behind and that it will catch me if I don’t keep on running. I got this extra worry from my environment, where I was pushed to do things in an instant. Waiting is not an option because when the adults say they want it now, they want it now. The word “wait” is not allowed.

But bear with me, it’s importance is very much worth noticing and acknowledging. We may not know it but being unable to be patient with ourselves has caused us to break relationships, perform averagely in school and work, degrade our self-esteem. Which is why I am doing the best that I can to be patient with myself.

So here are my three notes on how to be patient with yourself.

  • You aren’t superman

Most of us think that we can do things in an instant and it may be driven by pride or excitement. Either way, when we don’t meet our expectations we feel bad about ourselves. Frustration kicks in and eats us up. Well, it doesn’t always have to be this way, acknowledge that you make mistakes because you are only human. It is perfectly normal to make mistakes every day. You must remember to give yourself the time whenever you feel frustrated about something. You aren’t super but that’s super okay.

  • Toxic environment

Perhaps its time for you to open your eyes and realize that your environment isn’t very healthy. People are constantly rushing and demanding from you to get things done. You are being pushed towards your limits and you develop a distorted view about the process of things outside your usual environment. This affects your perception about making relationships, your work ethic, your goals, and so much more. In that case, you need to tell the people from your environment in a calm manner that the way they are treating you has caused internal damage. Effective communication is the key to making this a success.

  • Journal

I cannot stress about telling you how important it is to write down your thoughts and worries. Writing down what makes you impatient does work by giving your thoughts an organized structure. You can identify the root of your lack of impatience, identify the solution, and plan how to be gentler with yourself. As a writer, journaling is what drove me to start blogging. The idea of writing down your thoughts and ideas is so liberating, the same goes for emotions and pains.

That is all, I hope that I have helped you in any way! Stay safe!

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