Lifestyle Category

How do you know you’re burnt out? Part 1

About four years ago, I started working in the field of psychology. A job I thought would be a lifelong lasting career. A few months ago, after I began my masters program in clinical psychology and became more familiar with the field of clinical psychology did I realize that hmmm… I don’t quite know if this is something I would love to do for the rest of my life. I was starting to get frustrated and over-worked. I began not to enjoy my job so much, and I was resentful of every aspect of it. I felt like I was not making any difference in the patients’ life. I also began to observe the political aspect of the work environment, and I never understood why things were the way they are.

I had a different perspective; I was under the presumption that we are here to help and make a difference. Starting at an entry level, I had little experience, but I gained more experience along the way. Don’t get me wrong, I love helping people and making a difference in their lives but I was so fixated in this belief that I will be able to make a difference and help every patient attain their utmost life experience but, that’s not the case. The truth is, it made me unhappy, unsatisfied and burnt out!

What is burnt out?

I have been doing some research on this topic for quite some time now because I wanted to write about it and I wanted to be somewhat thorough with my information. During my research, I came across a few articles that talk about millennials feeling burnt out at work. I was happy to learn that it’s prevalent amongst many individuals. It turns out that many women are feeling burnt out even before turning 30 (wow!).
Psychology today defines being burnt out as a state of chronic stress that leads to physical and emotional exhaustion, cynicism and detachment, feelings of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment.

What are the signs that you are burnt out?

Several signs conclude that a person may be feeling burnt out. Some of these signs are listed below:

Lack of sleep: Not being able to sleep at night because you are always thinking about work and how unsatisfying or overwhelmed it has become. Lack of sleep is one of the early signs that you may be feeling burnt out.

Chronic Fatigue: Feeling tired often can be a sign that you are burnt out. I have experienced this myself during my early stages of feeling burnt out.

Lack of concentration/forgetting any and everything: I’m the queen of this behavior. Sometimes I don’t even understand how I make it through the day. Granted anxiety does not help with this issue, I have taken steps to make my life much easier by making a checklist and creating a set routine for myself.

Physical symptoms: When you feel burnt out, there is a higher chance of experiencing heart palpitation, dizziness, gastrointestinal pain (just had this last weekend and it was terrible), feeling like fainting, frequent headaches, and shortness of breath. These physical symptoms are almost similar to experiencing an anxiety attack keep a look out for them.

Frequent illness: Feeling sick more than usual can be an outcome of being burnt out, and it just might be time for you to take a break to recoup yourself back to your regular healthy self. At this stage, you might be more prone to catching the flu/cold, and other immune-related sicknesses due to high-stress level.

Depression: Depression is one of the emotional exhaustion that indicates burnt out. You may feel mildly unhappy, valueless and guilty that you are not doing enough at work. Sometimes you may feel trapped and believe that you are better off not being productive or doing anything with your life – can be a sign of severe depression.

Isolation: This is a sign of detachment. At this stage, you may start to detach yourself from everyone else around you and unwilling to participate in anything enjoyable. All you want to do is be miserable and alone. I have had to take a day off from work because I just couldn’t get myself to go and I wanted to isolate myself from people.

Feeling hopeless and angry: This sign is not any different from when you are the depression stage. At first, it may appear as something ordinary; oh, I just had a bad day at work but, with time it can get to the point where you start thinking like there is no point in being productive because you feel your work is ineffective.

Lack of appetite: Feeling burnt out can result in lack of appetite. I love food so when I started feeling like not eating, I knew something was wrong. Some people may consider this as an early sign of feeling burnt out, but for me, it was a sign that I needed to seek help and rethink my career path.

Frequent irritability: Irritability due to feeling burnt out can be due to feeling valueless and unsatisfied with your work performance. When irritability is not addressed, it can destroy work relationships and relationships you have with your loved ones.

Do you find yourself experiencing any of these symptoms, it may be time for you to readjust your life and seek help.  Spend some time with yourself, write down your thoughts and feelings and possible reasons why you feel the way you do. One of the best ways to avoid getting burnt out is to understand what your stress threshold is and how to prevent yourself from getting to that threshold.

 

“Do your best and let the rest go. You can’t be perfect no matter how hard you try, so give yourself credit for making an effort, try to stop stressing about the outcome”

 

How to develop the courage to say the n-word (no)

This is for all my fellow people pleaser out there.

I sense that you probably opened this post astonished and eager to learn how to develop the courage to say the n-word (no) so hopefully you find my personal stories and tips very helpful. I know some of us are suckers for pleasing everyone around us, always willing to say yes to everything so that all can love us. The truth is, we don’t want to say yes all the time but, we can’t help but feel bad when we say NO!

My personal story and struggles being a people pleaser

I have had to put myself in many unpleasant situations because I didn’t dare to speak up and say exactly how I feel. A few years back, a friend of mine asked to borrow some money from me. I knew I didn’t have that much money to give away since I planned to use it to pay for some of my classes. Guess what I did, I gave the money to my friend and left myself hanging simply because I couldn’t speak up by saying”no, I plan to use the money you are asking for to pay my tuition.” Eventually, I was able to pay my tuition after several weeks of zero payment from this friend and working extra hours.

Here is another story for you guys. Many years ago, I was in a relationship that I didn’t think was ever going to work out. It was somewhat toxic to me because I was unhappy and I knew it would be in my best interest to break it off but, I was unable to express my true feelings. Instead, I stayed in the relationship until it became unbearable and he had to break things off with me. I wish I dared to say “no, I don’t want to be with you anymore, I’m not happy, and I need to move on”. After a few months of thinking, I decided to see it as a blessing in disguise and a lesson well learned. I have learned how to speak up for myself at all times and use the “n” word (no) when necessary.

Below are some general tips that I used to achieve the courage to say no and always put myself first.  It was challenging for me to attain but, I am very proud of myself for continuing to say no when I feel it necessary to do so.

First, you have to put yourself first at all times. Self- preservation comes a long way if you want to be happy with yourself and everyone around you. People pleasers like myself, always want to make everyone around us very happy that we forget about ourselves. By putting yourself first, you can say no when the request does not fit your current situation or desire.

Second, you have to learn how to stand and speak for yourself. Sometimes as a people pleaser, we forget it is okay to say, “let me think about it and get back to you.” You don’t have to give a definite answer the minute someone asks you for a favor.

Third, set a time limit for yourself and when you feel comfortable enough to give a definite answer. I had a big problem with this step because I always thought I had to answer immediately to make the other person happy. By setting a time limit for yourself, you actually have more time to think about your decision. Write some pros and cons on a sheet of paper if needed.

Fourth, consider if the person asking for a favor is taking advantage of your kindness. Sadly, a lot of people try to be manipulative by taking advantage of a people pleaser and not giving anything in return. Remember you are not their lord and savior so don’t feel obligated to be their hero and helper. And always consider if it is worth your time and energy before agreeing to anything.

Fifth, Do NOT give that person asking for a favor a reason to think that you can do it later. Don’t give them any explanation as to why you can’t do what they are asking of you. Keep in mind that you don’t have to be any less empathetic when you give that person the no answer but, don’t feel like you need to explain your reasoning to them.

I hope my tips help anyone who struggles with saying no when it necessary for them to do so. Remember that you can still be a very caring person without having to make yourself uncomfortable or unhappy. Always put yourself first.

Don’t forget to share and comment.

XX

  • How do you deal with weather change?
  • How do you deal with weather change?
  • How do you deal with weather change?
  • How do you deal with weather change?

How do you deal with weather change?

I have been living and experiencing the New England weather for over 11 years, and I am still not used to the weather changes. Sometimes I think it might be as a result of the tropical climate where I grew up for 15 years that makes me despise everything about the weather changes (summer, spring, fall, winter). I hate the way it changes my overall mood to something unpleasant. In the winter time especially when it snows, I get lethargic, depressed and sometimes medically sick (flu/cold). And as a runner, my knees hurt more than usual in the winter time. This led to my research and curiosity on how do you deal with the weather change and its symptoms.  My research led me to discover how to deal with weather changes and how to manage the symptoms of it. Experiencing Weather change and its symptoms can be medically diagnosed as meteoropathy.

 

Meteoropathy is the different reactions and symptoms that we experience due to weather changes. Some of the weather factors that affect our moods/feelings include temperature, wind, thunder, humidity, and air pressure.  Due to change in weather, we can experience migraines/headaches, mood swings, depression, increase in anxiety, lack of concentration, lack of coordination, sleep disturbances, increase in asthma attacks and inflammation of the lungs and bronchi.

 

The next question is, how do you deal with weather change or meteoropathy. I’m not exactly an expert on this issue, but I was able to research different options and ways to deal with weather change/meteoropathy.

 

Ways to reduce symptoms of weather changes/meteoropathy

 

For headaches/migraines related to weather change/meteoropathy, it is recommended to drink lots of water to stay hydrated. Staying hydrated is bad for humidity and dry weather but good for your overall health and can decrease the negative effects of humidity/dry weather . Also, invest in a humidifier and be sure to keep track of the weather with a weather tracker for your home and on the go. Accuweather is a good tool to utilize. Siberian ginseng helps stimulate and strengthen the body and can be helpful supplement for those who suffer from meteoropathy by helping the body adjust to stress.

 

For anxiety, depression, and mood swings due to weather change, try lavender oil or plant, participate in a physical activity like running, hiking or jogging. Studies have shown that exercising can help reduce depression, stress, and anxiety. Lavender oil can help you stay relax and stress-free.

 

For asthma attacks and inflammation of the lungs and bronchi, avoid triggers such as smoking/ second-hand smoking, allergens such as food, pollen, mold, dust mites and pet dander, air pollution and toxins. Use your asthma inhalers as prescribed by a medical professional, consume foods that help fight inflammation such as dark leafy greens, nuts, salmon, fruits, tomatoes, and beets.

 

Fighting any of these symptoms will take time before you start noticing significant changes. Be persistent with your methods, and you will most likely see results.  If you have any suggestion on how to deal with weather changes, please feel free to share.

 

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional so don’t feel mandated to try any of these tips. They are simply what I have implemented and used to fight some of the symptoms I experience due to weather change.

 

XX

Five plants for a better night sleep

Are you having trouble staying asleep at night? Well, the plants I’m about to introduce you to might just be what you need. Sleep problems have become familiar for many Americans. According to a recent consumer report, 68 percent or an estimated 164 million Americans, struggle with sleeping or staying asleep throughout the night at least once a week. Not being able to sleep can be a combination of many factors including stress, an uncomfortable pillow or mattress, and restlessness. Included in that same report is that approximately 41 percent of people who bought over the counter sleep medications administered it for longer than a year and in some cases abused it. It is also important to note that these drugs can have side effects that are detrimental to one’s health. For example, Ambien can lead to memory loss, mental/mood/behavior changes such as new or worsening depression, abnormal thoughts, thoughts of suicide, hallucinations, confusion, agitation, aggressive behavior, or anxiety. Learn more about the side effects of sleep medications.

Below are a few plants that are known to help people sleep better at night without causing any adverse side effects.

Lavender

Lavender plant is commonly known for its ability to aid in relaxation. It can also help with restlessness, headaches, joint pain and anxiety.  I also wrote about the benefits of lavender. Learn more about lavender. 

Aloe vera plant

Aloe vera plant is everything you need in your kitchen and anywhere in the house. Aloe vera plant can be found in many food and beauty products because of how beneficial it is to the human body. Although many people tend to use on their skin and in cooking, it is also used to improve the quality of sleep by fighting harmful toxins that float around the house or bedroom where you sleep.

English Ivy plant

This plant may be beneficial to people who have asthma or any breathing problems. Studies have shown that English Ivy plant can help reduce air molds up to 60 percent in six hours. After six additional hours, more than three-quarters of the airborne mold was removed. The study reported 94 percent airborne feces (ew) were eliminated after using English ivy plant.

Sage plant
Sage plant is not just for seasoning your food. It has been used for many years for medicinal purposes, for ulcers, cognitive disease, inflammatory problems, and as a relaxant. However, you need to be careful with sage; do not take it with any sedative drugs.

Gardenia plant
Gardenia plant is not just a plant that produces beautiful flowers. It also serves as a natural sedative and has a similar effect as valium that can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep for an extended period.

    “Sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together” – Thomas Dekker

A girl’s guide to maintaining a healthy body weight

A girl’s guide to maintaining a healthy weight.

Let’s be honest with each other, at least for the sake of feeling and looking good.  Maintaining  a healthy body weight can be challenging especially when you start getting ‘less younger.’ According to a recent study, approximately one in six Americans who were overweight can maintain their weight loss after losing weight. That is not a high number. Why? The problem lies in discovering your body type and metabolic rate. Some people can go on a diet for an extended period and still not lose any weight because they don’t understand their body type and what it needs to maintain a healthy body weight. Keep in mind that this post is not intended or guaranteed to help anyone lose weight; I’m not a nutritionist. However, I have for a very long time kept a healthy body weight without depriving myself of any food or snack that I enjoy. My goal is to share with you different ways to maintain a healthy body weight as you age gracefully.

Drink up!

Yes, drink up! Drink lots of water; not juice, soda, or alcohol. I actually recommend you stay away from alcohol or drink in moderation. Drinking a gallon of water a day can help nourish your skin, keep you less hungry, energetic and satisfied. Drinking a gallon of water is only healthy if you drink it across the day. Do not drink it within an hour or within an unreasonable length of time. Remember that sixty percent of your body weight is made up of water and your cells need it to survive. Start by replacing all liquid drinks with water or drink your favorite juice/soda/alcohol in moderation. If you find that drinking a gallon a day is too much for you as a beginner, I recommend starting with at least sixty-four ounces a day and work your way up to a gallon (128 ounces). It may sound like a lot at first, but you will get used to it in no time.

Be mindful of what you consume.

I know it can be difficult sometimes to do meal prep and eat healthy all the time. Some days I struggle with watching what I eat  because I love sweets, and I can never give them up. I have tried it before, and it did not work. Nonetheless, I am still able to maintain a healthy weight because I eat those sweets in moderation by consuming a minimal amount and occasionally I pick a healthier alternative. For example, if you love chocolate, you can replace it with dark chocolate which is a better choice because it is loaded with fiber, iron, magnesium, manganese, copper, vitamin k, calcium, and is good for the heart. To learn more about the benefits of dark chocolate  click benefits of dark chocolate. Being mindful of what you ingest includes understanding that you need to incorporate lots of leafy green vegetables into your diet. Ensure that every meal contains green vegetables, fewer carbs, and more protein. Use less butter and oil in your cooking. I don’t use coconut oil in my cooking because it contains saturated fat which is solid at room temperature, and it’s simply not the best oil choice for cooking if you like to maintain a healthy cholesterol level. For cooking, I use extra virgin olive oil in almost every dish I make. Another way to ensure that you always have a healthy snack is buying them when you go grocery shopping. If you buy a ton of junk food when you do your grocery shopping, you are most likely going to pack that for lunch, but if you replace those salty chips and sugary snacks with fruits and vegetables, you don’t have to worry about any unhealthy temptation. So make sure you add more fresh fruits and vegetables to your grocery list next time you go grocery shopping. Remember portion control plays a vital role in maintaining healthy body weight and please NO late night snacking.

Don’t eat because you are stressed or bored.

I know some of us engage in stress eating because that’s how we’ve learned how to cope. It is unhealthy and should be avoided. Eating just because you are stressed is not ideal, especially if you are trying to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. Finding other ways to occupy yourself when you are stressed or bored that doesn’t involve consuming calories should be part of your healthy body weight rules. Discovering new hobbies can serve as a novel activity to keep your mind occupied. Another thing that I utilize daily is chewing gum!. This is my favorite way of suppressing hunger and preventing myself from eating all day. Chewing gum keeps your mouth moving and can stop you from eating unnecessary calories throughout the day.

EXERCISE regularly.

Exercising regularly is essential when it comes to your overall health and wellness, not just for maintaining a healthy body weight. I’m a workout junkie. I love it to the core! It keeps me busy, motivated, and happy. It is very relaxing and is one of the coping skills that I utilize daily. I spend at least 90 minutes at the gym every day working out, but I don’t lift weights. Instead, I run a lot because it’s one of my favorite things to do. I have a philosophy that you can eat as much as you want as long as you can burn it off. Some days I do overeat, but my secret is going to the gym and working off most of the calories I consumed during my pig out. I understand that many people might not be able to work out for 90 minutes, because they have kids to take care of, or have other demands on their schedule. However, I do believe that starting with 30 minutes a day can make a difference. Remember that exercising can be any physical activity you enjoy.

Please be advised that the list above are the different strategies that I use to maintain healthy body weight. Feel free to share any strategy that you use to maintain a healthy body weight in the comment section below. Always remember that taking care of yourself is part of self-love and don’t ever believe you are too busy to treat your body right.

To learn more about your ideal body weight click BMI

I adore you guys, and I hope your today and tomorrow is brighter than your yesterday.

A MUST try aloe vera citrus face toner

 

Aside from writing about my struggles with anxiety, I also enjoy trying out novel ways to stay away from using too many chemicals on my skin; so I started leaning towards making a few body beauty products of my own. This past week, I learned how to make my own aloe vera citrus toner. I was inspired by my best friend who made her own aloe vera face moisturizer. To learn how to make this aloe vera moisturizer in the comfort of your own home click here

Making this toner was super easy and less time consuming than any DIY I have ever tried. The toner consists of fresh aloe vera juice, fresh lemon juice, lemongrass essential oil and fresh mint. Interesting, right? But I promise it smells great, and you will love the citrus fragrance and freshness you will feel on your skin after you try it out.

How to apply

As much as I think this is a great face toner for most skin types, I first recommend applying a sample somewhere other than your face, just in case you have any reaction to it. Apply face toner with a cotton pad and let it sit overnight. No need to rinse off. Below are the benefits of each ingredient that I used to make the toner

Benefits of Aloe Vera on the skin

Aloe Vera is a cactus plant that belongs to the lilaceous lineage. Several studies have found Aloe Vera to be very beneficial to the skin. It can be used to treat dry skin, sunburn, it can act as a moisturizer, an anti-aging agent, it can help fight acne, it helps in digestion, and it can serve as an excellent hair conditioner for hair growth.

Benefits of Lemon juice on the skin

Lemon juice is very beneficial for skin care and overall health and wellness. Lemon juice can help remove acne scars, brighten teeth, get rid of oily skin, heal chapped lips, removes dark spots and blemishes, and can be used to cleanse the face and body by itself.

Benefits of lemongrass oil on skin

The primary benefit of lemongrass oil is its ability to heal the skin. It is also known to be an effective skin cleanser; its antiseptic and astringent properties make lemongrass oil one of the best for achieving an even and glowing skin. It is also known to fight bacteria and can be used to fight acne.

Benefits of fresh mint on skin

Mint is a very popular herb and easy to grow inside the house or outside in the garden. The juice obtained from mint serves as an excellent skin cleanser. It also has antiseptic and antipruritic properties that can help reduce pimples. Fresh mint can also help cure skin infections and itchiness.

How to make it

First, you have to ensure that the container you will be using is very clean. Rewash it if you have to. Remember this mixture is for your face so try to avoid any dirt particles.

1 cup of fresh aloe vera gel

1 table spoon lemon juice

5 drops of lemongrass oil. The first time I made it, I used 10 drops but I think it was too strong. You can try using 10 drops and let me know how it feels. You can also use lavender oil if you prefer that.

3 fresh mint leaves chopped.

Puree aloe vera gel and lemon juice with a blender, then add lemongrass oil and mix thoroughly. Add mint and let sit overnight. You also have the option to blend everything together like the picture on left.

And that’s it! You are done.

Below is what it looks like after the fresh mint is removed and when mint is blended in together. I know its not the best picture but it will give your skin just what it needs..

Now that I have lectured you on the benefits of each ingredient in my DIY aloe vera citrus face toner, I hope you try it out and leave a comment with your thoughts. I highly recommend you give it a try. It is simply amazing…….

 

         “Invest in your skin. It is going to represent you for a very long time” – Linden Tyler.

  • WAR Against Anxiety

WAR Against Anxiety

WAR Against anxiety

10 ways to Fight Anxiety

Anxiety cannot always win. Yes, it’s true that some days you might just feel overtaken by it, but you can still fight it. How? Well, let’s talk about it.

  • First, you have to stop judging yourself and feeling embarrassed about your anxiety because you are worth more than your diagnoses.
  • Don’t be victimized by anxiety. You are stronger than it will ever be.
  • Stay active, exercise regularly, and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  • Take a deep breath.
  • Connect with your inner self.
  • Connect with someone other than yourself. This is probably going to be the most challenging one to try, and it’s okay if it feels that way at first.
  • Practice grounding techniques on yourself. Think about a place or something that makes you happy. It can be, the beach, your favorite color, food or a book. Focus your attention on it.
  • Seek help.
  • Don’t over think anything. I do this a lot and it really does trigger my anxious self. This is also something that I’m working on.
  • Be at peace with yourself, love, and be compassionate to yourself.

XOXO,

ChiChi

  • DIY Cranberry Sugar Body Scrub

DIY Cranberry Sugar Body Scrub

Today, I feel very relaxed which has not happened for a while now. I guess it’s a combination of a stressful holiday and work. I did enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I hope you enjoyed yours as well. Since I don’t have work today, I made a cranberry sugar body rub using some of the leftover fresh cranberries I received from my boyfriend’s mother.  You can make one for yourself too. It’s super easy to make, and most of the ingredients are probably in your pantry. Below is the recipe that I used to make my sugar cranberry body scrub. I noticed that my skin felt very soft after using it. Let me know if you have any suggestions and don’t forget to like, comment and share! 🙂

Ingredients

1 cup Raw Shea Butter
2 Cups of Brown Sugar
20 drops of Lemon essential oil Or any of your favorite essential oil will also work for this
1 cup of fresh Cranberries. It can also be frozen Cranberries.

Direction
Add Shea Butter, cranberries and blend together.
Then add the rest of the ingredients and puree them together.

Yup, that’s it! Enjoy your relaxation time.

XOXO,
Chichi

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