Lifestyle, Mental Health

Stagnancy

In the last couple of weeks I’ve been feeling a bit…stagnant, which got me thinking, why do we feel that way? At what point does everything we have experienced pile up and make us feel…motionless?

It’s so easy to look at other people’s lives and think, ‘Wow they really have their life together. What am I doing with mine?’ and to forget that we very rarely see the true nature of someone’s daily lifestyle. We don’t see their struggles if they choose to keep those aspects of their lives private. There’s something so  fascinating with that fact because we’re all aware that no one’s life is all sunshine and lollipops, but we are so quick to push that little reminder out of our minds and to focus solely on the things we don’t have but that someone else does have.

Stagnancy is a horrible feeling, especially in a world where everything travels at the speed of light. To feel that you are stuck in one place while everyone else around you are progressing takes a toll on your mental and emotional health.

I do think stagnancy, as uncomfortable as it is, is also somewhat a blessing in disguise. It forces you to evaluate your lifestyle choices, to really sit down and look at what’s working and what’s not working in your life. Sometimes what we need is that swift kick to the butt from reality, and I think stagnancy is one of those kicks.

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Lifestyle, Mental Health

Falling: A Valley

Recently I’ve been going through a bit of a rough time and I’ve reached a point where I’m simply not that happy, both with myself and my environment. During this time, as much as it was disheartening, I did discover a silver lining. I became more honest with my flaws and I think that was the step I so desperately needed to take. It wasn’t that I didn’t know about them, but rather I was scared of confronting them.

Taking that plunge and admitting to yourself that you need to better yourself takes time and is a conscious effort. I may be in an extended valley for now, but I hope that I’ll be moving onto a peak in the near future.

How do you deal with personal disappointment?

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Lifestyle

The Act of Thrifting

Thrift stores and Salvation Armies galore. Having recently cleaned out my wardrobe, it occurred to me that by us consumers “thrifting”, how much are we taking away from those who are in need?

Now let me clear something up. By ‘us consumers’ I mean the average working individual who has the financial means to support him/herself. When we go thrifting how much of an impact do we make? On one hand our second hand purchases helps bring profit to the organization, who then in turn use it to support themselves and their community. On the other hand, when we purchase these inexpensive goods what message are we sending across to individuals who do depend on thrift stores? Are we unintentionally saying, “Look, I thrift because I can” ? Naturally when we thrift we take away available stock but my concern lies in what are the consequences of our actions? Or are there no consequences?

I don’t think we approach thrifting with the intent of embarrassing or hindering others who need the help, but I also don’t think we have really considered anything beyond “just thrifting.”

This is just a little food for thought, so feel free to give me your thoughts.

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Lifestyle

Lifestyle Change: Summer Diet

Hello ladies and gents, I’m here to bring you some of my summer diet changes. And no, diet here means your eating habits, not those infamous weight loss restrictions. Here’s to a healthier you, one season at a time.

Homemade Frozen Treats                                                                                                                                                                                                 That darn mercury keeps rising, so why not make your own sweet treats? Not only will you be saving yourself some major cash, but you’ll be consuming less artificial sugar and more real fruit.

  • Fruit popsicles – Chop up some of your favourite fruit(s) into bite sized chunks and put them into a popsicle mold. Then pour in some sparkling water and freeze! This will have less calories than your store bought popsicles but more importantly, you will have cut out artificial sugars. You can also swap out the sparkling water for a smoothie or plain yogurt.
  • Ice cream – Yes you can make ice cream at home but that still contains quite a bit of sugar and cream. Why not use a frozen banana? Cut a banana into thin slices and freeze. Once frozen, throw them into a blender and blend until creamy. Throw it back into the freezer for the ‘ice cream’ to harden back up a bit and voila! Top this off with some fruit and you have yourself a healthy ice cream. If bananas aren’t your thing, you can use frozen berries and make a sorbet.

Hydration                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Drinking enough water to keep yourself hydrated is something we all know we need to do but sometimes plain water is kind of boring.

  • Jazz things up by adding in some sliced fruit for some added taste and vitamins. If you choose to add into sliced fruit, make sure you only reuse the fruit twice. Anything more than that doesn’t add any benefits. Another drink I like to make, especially in the hotter months, is lemon water. It clears out your insides but make sure you don’t use too much lemon juice. It is acidic on your teeth after all!
  • Frozen bottles – Fill up a freezer safe bottle with at least half of its contents with water and lay the bottle on its side. The water will freeze and cool the remainder of the water you add in later. You can also freeze an entire bottle of water. If you decide to freeze the entire bottle of water, bear in mind it may take a little bit of time for it to melt back into liquid for consumption.
  • Frozen grapes – Using frozen grapes instead of ice in your drinks keeps your drinks from being watered down! You can also freeze juice in ice cube trays and add that to your juice of choice.

Swap Dinner Options                                                                                                                                                                                                      With rising temperatures, one of the last things I want to do is cook. Standing in front of a hot stove at the end of the day? No thank you.  So to compromise, I try to make dishes that require little to no stove top work or cook at a different time of day. My go to dinner is a small, cold pasta salad with a ton of veggies. What I like to do is cook an entire box of pasta, or however much you like, in the early morning when the heat hasn’t really hit. I let that cool and then store it in the fridge. Then when meal time comes, I’ll add in chopped up veggies and a light homemade dressing. Sometimes I’ll add in some bocconcini balls or some meat. And depending on how much you eat, this can last for a couple meals.

  • Skip take out! If you can, skip take out. I’ve had experiences where I’ll order take out or premade dinner options and they would be near spoiling. Some take out places don’t have adequate air conditioning, so there’s a chance the food you order has been out in the heat for some time.
  • Carb cutdown – Personally I cut down on carbs during the summer months because I don’t crave it as much. During the summer I find that I tend to go for lighter options. For example, I’ll have a smaller portion of pasta salad and load up on different in-season veggies. This is by no means medical advice, so listen to your body and if trying this out for a week doesn’t feel right, that’s ok!

I hope this was helpful in some manner. Let me know what your diet is like in the summer!

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Lifestyle

In A Funk

Recently I’ve been in a bit of a funky mood. You know, days where you’re like a leech to your bed, sofa or chair. Not really having the desire to get up and go out, even when you’re in need of obtaining essentials. I find that sometimes you just need to give in to those days, just to get it out of your system; and other days you need to just drag yourself out of the house to clear your mind. Funny how our moods work huh?

How do you get yourself out of a funky mood?

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Lifestyle

Take a Step

With the rates of obesity and health conditions on the rise, I think we can all benefit from taking a step. Yes, we all know it is better to take the stairs than to take the elevator, or to opt for a lighter dressing for our salads, but overtime these repetitive tips lose their appeal. It is not to say that they are not effective, but I know that I, for one, turn a blind eye to these tips because of how repetitive they are.

Instead, I think a more interesting way to incorporate physical activity into your day is to change things up. Circuit training if you will, but without the darn gym equipment. By challenging yourself to try different activities, you don’t get bored of them as quickly, and for me, I find that I’ll continue to work at it for longer.

Apply those lessons you’ve learned to become an efficient busy body at work and apply it to your exercise habits.

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Lifestyle

Wash Your Hands: Think About It

Being a stickler for hand washing, it still amazes me how far the extent in which washing your hands can eliminate common health problems. However, what really shocks me is that healthcare facilities themselves don’t always abide by this rule.

Our hands touch nearly everything in sight. By not washing them, we transfer whatever bacteria that is on our hands onto another surface. This is such an easy way for cross contamination. Not only can you get sick from this, but as a whole for a country, this means dollars going down the drain to treat diseases that are easily preventable in the first place.

So do yourself a favour, as well as your cheque book, and wash yours hands.

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