Disbelieving What You Cannot See: A Reading List on Ableism and ‘Invisible’ Disability

Start your unlearning here.

Disbelieving What You Cannot See: A Reading List on Ableism and ‘Invisible’ Disability

These stories were incredibly moving, invoked deep thoughts and never-before asked questions so I’ll be sharing them as my first reblogs ever.

I Choose To Love

I was in the company of some friends this past week and in the middle of something I was saying, someone suddenly interrupted me asking; “why do you always say you’re too busy to have a steady relationship?”

So I started to defend myself as usual but somewhere along the line, I realized I wasn’t fooling anybody, not even me. How in the name of all that’s good do you not have time to connect with other people?

I had gotten so used to ‘being too busy to love’ that I’ve alienated my friends, and even myself from making new friends. But the truth was that somewhere deep inside, it boiled down to being afraid of being hurt.

This is an emotion we all feel, the fear of hurt. we are afraid to be hurt or perhaps have been hurt before and so we mistrust our instinc and build walls around our emotions and feelings.

Many of us can relate to the challenges that life imposes on our time and health (mental & physical), and it’s easy to use this as as excuse to isolate ourselves from the people in our lives when what we need most is a little joy and understanding from loved ones.

I incidentally came across a message by Michelle Obama that made me realize how much we cheat ourselves by refusing to truly share ourselves with others. . .

Do not bring people in your life who weigh you down. And trust your instincts … good relationships feel good. They feel right. They don’t hurt. They’re not painful. That’s not just with somebody you want to marry, but it’s with the friends that you choose. It’s with the people you surround yourselves with. —Michelle Obama.

Of course this is not to say that it’s feeling good all the way once you decide to share yourself intimately with others. I’m sure there’ll be hurt here and there, but the good moments should outweigh the bad.

And so for the chance to make cherished memories, to live a worthwhile life and to leave lasting impressions in the hearts of the people I encounter in my life’s journey, I choose to love!

5 Easy Habits That Naturally Boosts Your Motivation

So you dragged yourself up from bed after barely enough sleep and you wonder just how you’ll make it through the day? Or perhaps through the week? Well, you’re not alone and I must confess I know exactly how you feel most days.

Considering how tough it is to stay on track, and how tempting it can be to take the easy way out and just go with the mood of the day (unfortunately, we wouldn’t get anything done that way); How do we ensure that we do not lose our momentum more than half way through the year? And that we achieve everything we set for ourselves this year?

Just remember that each moment you’re still in the race is already a victory.

Here are 5 easy tips to help you keep the momentum and stay motivated

Make a habit of waking up an hour or 2 earlier everyday

Avoid having to rush through your morning routine and starting the day without a plan.

alarm clock analogue bed bedroom
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Visualize your day

It’s not enough to list just the tasks you need to accomplish, but it’s important to visualize the time & resources needed to accomplish each task.

my secret plan to rule the world book
Photo by Ann H on Pexels.com

Cultivate a positive mental attitude using affirmations

These affirmations will not just help you develop a positive mental attitude, but also boost your self confidence and keep you motivated.

photo of a sign and eyeglasses on table
Photo by Binti Malu on Pexels.com

Eliminate distractions & interruptions

Set out some time each day when you’ll allow no interruptions from people or technology.

clear glass with red sand grainer
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Self Reflection

At the end of each day, dedicate some time to reflect on what you accomplished or didn’t, and things you could have done better. Cultivate a habit of gratitude.

affection appreciation decoration design
Photo by Carl Attard on Pexels.com

Remember that being a work in progress is a victory too! So celebrate each day as it comes.

Have a productive week!

Here’s How I Make Sure My Weekend Is Rejuvenating and Productive

Lately I find myself feeling like a fraud whenever I join the throng of workers to “Thank God it’s Friday” in celebration of the coming weekend.

You can check out my podcast on How to maximize your weekend

Of course I’m just as excited for the end of the work week and the coming rest days, or day in my case…and that, exactly is the problem – I work 6 days a week including Saturdays!

So for anybody who like me has a very very short weekend, ever wonder how to fit in all you have to do and still be able to have some time for yourself?

For me I use a weekend bucket list!

Of course it doesn’t mean you have to set some stiff goals for yourself for the weekend, but more like a wish list plus some necessary chores you have to take care of over the weekend.

This way you don’t feel overwhelmed through out the day or 2 you have, and wake up to the new week feeling just as tired as the end of the previous week.

Google Keep: My Weekend Bucketlist

This is basically my weekend bucket list, simple and relaxed. Courtesy: Google Keep

The wish list is important to remind me of things I want to do (and will definitely do) once I get any opportunity to – like a work leave or vacation!

You can create yours however you like, as long as you keep in mind to make it simple and practical.

And here are some tips to have a successful weekend (finish your tasks, have some well deserved rest and be ready for the new work week)

Wake up at the same time

Resist the temptation to stay in bed all morning and you’ll find your day will be longer and more productive. Dedicate some hours in the morning as me time. You can choose to dance to a playlist, do some exercise or self care. Whatever will kick-start your weekend in a happy and relaxed mood.

Minimize chores

We all think we have far more things to do than actually needs to get done at that particular time. So it’s best to make a list of everything you feel you need to do, then minimize the list as much as possible. The absolute worst way to spend a rest day is to cram it with chores.

Spend quality time with loved ones

The weekend is undoubtedly a good time to reconnect with family and friends. My family lives far away so I can’t see them as much as I want to, but I dedicate some time on Sunday afternoons to have long, refreshing phone calls with them, and I can assure you it’s a wonderful feeling.

Disconnect from the internet

So you have a day or 2 to refresh yourself, and you spend most of it answering work emails or stuck in the social media web – very bad idea! Best thing to do for yourself is disconnect temporarily while you mind other more personally rewarding activities.

Tips on How to Make the Most of Your Weekend

Finally, don’t forget to rest!

No matter what else you have planned, try to find the time to just lay back and rest.

For most of us, the weekend is already in full swing so enjoy!

Reminder! Keep Your Heart Healthy This February

February is more than just the month of love, it’s also the; Heart Health Month which makes it a great time to make sure your ticker is ticking properly.

We’ve all heard it:

Change your diet, maintain a healthy weight, be physically active, quit smoking, go for your annual check-ups.

These may seem small, and you may ask yourself if this advice can really help you improve your heart health? The answer is YES!

Making small changes in your daily routine can add up to big benefits and help you live a healthier and longer life.

Here are some simple tips for a healthier heart;

  • Be active – move more, sit less.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables
  • Eat whole grains for natural fiber & vitamins.
  • Take less salt – you can substitute with herbs and spices instead.
  • Eat healthier fats like in avocados & fish.
  • Surround yourself with loved ones as much as possible.
  • Find an activity you love, it’ll keep you young.
  • Go for regular checkups.

In a heart health check-up, your doctor will check your risk factor for heart disease and help you minimize or manage them. Some of these factors include:

  • Cholesterol
  • Blood pressure
  • Weight/Diet
  • Family & medical history.

So invest in yourself this love month by making your heart health a priority.

Happy Heart Health!

Boost Your Productivity By Taking Back Your Mornings!

So after a good look at my first half of this month, I realized that the greatest challenge I faced was in one word – distractions! Particularly minding other people’s businesses, and having my mornings snatched away from me.

Having a schedule to follow is obviously a great way to manage your time, but sticking to it sometimes could seem to require a bit of divine intervention.

Using myself as a case study, a typical day goes like this;

I create my to do list and schedule my more important tasks. I plan to start my day off with some writing, then just as I come into the office I get a consuming phone call from family or a friend. Dropping that, I find myself dragged into resolving somebody else’s problems, and for the rest of the day I’m putting out other people’s fires and trying to solve problems that are just popping up out of no where. Just like that my well laid plans go up in flames!

Many of us start out our days with a pretty good plan, and a resolve to make the best of our time, but in reality our well meaning intentions are usually short lived.

So how do you prevent your own distractions or the needs of others from impeding your plans?

  1. Prioritize your tasks by making a list:

This is basically a list of the tasks you need to accomplish for the day arranged in order of importance, difficulty and urgency. This helps you feel less pressure and more in control of your time. It also constantly keeps you mindful of what you have waiting for you to do.

2. Eliminate all interruptions:

This may include unannounced visits from people, calls, emails and so on. Give yourself some time during each day where you restrict all outside interruptions. You absolutely should not start the day with checking emails. Best time to do that is while having breakfast, commuting, at your break time or at a fixed time you set out particularly for it.

Unless its your job, stay as far away from social media as possible!

3. Set targets & deadlines:

If you don’t deliberately make a task a necessity, then it almost always doesn’t get done.

Set a target/deadline for your tasks by deciding for example; a certain task must get done before you have lunch or before you get up from your seat. This will help you focus more on the task at hand.

You can use rewards (i.e lunch) and punishments (i.e not getting up before a certain task is finished) to motivate yourself into much higher productivity levels.

Taking control and effectively managing the first few hours of your day is the trick to becoming far more productive than ever, so give it a real shot and you’ll be surprised where it takes you this year.

Perfectionism or Self-Sabotage?

For years, I struggled to begin my writing journey. I would write something I thought was good in the heat of passion, just to rewrite it again and again and again. My attempt to not settle for mediocre work meant I was not making any progress at all. This desire for my writing, font size, blog theme, color and everything else that (quite frankly) wasn’t relevant at all to be perfect kept me from taking that first step to accomplishing my dream.

Before now, if you asked me, I would proudly say “I am a perfectionist”. And this was basically my excuse for why I fail to make progress in anything. But isn’t that simply self-sabotage hiding under the cloak of perfectionism?

What I learnt from my struggle with perfectionism and self-doubt is quite simple.

You do not have to be perfect to set out to accomplishing your goals.

In fact, you don’t have to be anything. All you need to do is take that first step, as imperfect and as unprepared as you may feel. Holding out for perfection is admirable, but doing so right at the start could lead to self-doubt and lots of second-guessing which is actually more damaging to your self-esteem and confidence than possible failure.

Think of it this way; giving it a shot even though you feel unprepared means you actually tried and have gained some experience, but constantly second-guessing yourself only leads to self-doubt which most often prevents us from even trying. I cannot begin to count the number of opportunities I’ve given up simply because I was too afraid of not meeting ‘imagined’ expectations to even try!

From my experience, self-doubt has killed many more dreams than failure ever will.

So how do we ensure we aren’t stuck in the quagmire of self-sabotage in our desire to awe our audience right at the door?

  • Embracing Mediocrity: Of course, nobody wants to be mediocre. And it’s perfectly understandable that we push ourselves to produce our best in order to prevent this. Not surprisingly, this same desire to accept only what we consider the best from ourselves often becomes a determent to making any move at all especially when we’re just starting out. You would be amazed at how much courage you can gain simply from accepting the prospect of being somewhere in the middle. This singular philosophy got me started on my goals, and once started I have no intention of staying in the middle!
  • Avoid being Judgemental: Yes, passion and some feelings are needed for just about anything you sincerely want to accomplish. But make sure to do without them when making your decisions. Most times, we are actually better than we think we are. Or possibly not. Either way, we need to take that first imperfect step first doing our best to be non-judgemental about the quality of our work then work our way to becoming better. Remember that perfection is relative. What seems wonderful to you may not be to the next person and vice versa, so do not let the need for perfection hold you back.

Greatness doesn’t just happen. It is built one little brick at a time. So, do the best you can right now!

How Being Too Nice Is Harming Your Happiness & Well-being

For some of us, life can seem like a constant struggle between letting ourselves look bad by saying no, and sacrificing our own happiness and independence with unnecessary commitments. Yet we have to avoid the mental trap of “not wanting to let others down” in order to make progress in our own lives.

In fact, studies have shown that taking on tasks you’ll rather avoid causes you to harbor feelings of resentment that eventually could result in anxiety disorders and depression.

So if you’re like me, and you think it’s easier to “just do it” and avoid a confrontation than to frankly say no – be warned! You’re seriously harming your physical and mental well-being.

I am so bad in fact that if I have to lead a project, I can go so far as doing the tasks of myself and my team mates just to avoid having to police others into doing their parts! And just like that, I have a solid reputation of “getting the job done” even if those responsible choose not to. But how fair is that to myself? And what a self destructive habit to cultivate!

In the end we’re all given the same 24 hours in a day, and each of us is responsible for how their time is spent, not just for a day but for the whole of our lives. It’s not fair to yourself to use your own time (which equates to your life) in taking on the burden of others.

Admittedly, it is important to offer assistance to others when we can, but we must know when to draw the line between helping others and being sucked into their problems. Or worse, becoming the go to person for others to unload their burdens on.

Ask yourself this; How high does my own happiness rank in my life?

Remember that your life and happiness are important too so don’t sacrifice them for the convenience of others!

The only way to undo the habit of indiscriminately saying yes to the demands of others is to gradually learn to say no wisely. So how do you do this?

Firstly, believe in yourself.

Believe in the fact that you deserve to come first in your own life. Believe also in your capabilities and in your value, and that you do not need others to validate your existence or importance. Understand that you are valuable.

Your time is valuable, as are your skills. Don’t sell yourself short by serving others at the expense of your own responsibilities, time, health and happiness. Pleasing others all the time is all well and good but when compared to the cost on your time and wellbeing, it’s not really worth it. Your time is a valuable commodity which you need to pursue your own goals so use it wisely.

Don’t sell yourself short by serving others at the expense of your own responsibilities, time, health and happiness.

Secondly, don’t guilt yourself into believing it’s bad to say no sometimes. It’s not!

When asked to do something you’re not sure of, take your time to evaluate the situation. Keep in mind that once you establish the habit of saying yes always, those around you will begin to feel entitled to your time and will never understand even when you absolutely have to refuse.

So don’t wait for their understanding now, instead choose the responsibilities you take on based on your availability and the cost on your time and on your life. Remember that your life and happiness are important too so do not sacrifice them for the convenience of others!

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