Posted in mental health, Personal Reflections

Let’s Be Honest

The Power (and awkwardness) about being completely honest

What do you think life would be like if you were always completely honest?

Like, if you were to go up to the barista that you think is so cute and tell him or her that you have a big, fat crush on them? That is why you go to their coffee shop every Tuesday, right?

Or, would you tell the girl in your chemistry class who randomly hates you that you didn’t do anything to her and you don’t know why she’s mad at you without letting your pride getting in the way? You don’t want her to know that you care about what she thinks- that makes you look weak and scared. But it really does hurt to know that someone who doesn’t even know you that well acts like they hate you and doesn’t tell you why.

Would you be honest when someone asks you what your most embarrassing memory is? Or would you tell them the second or third most embarrassing memory instead?

Many of like to think that we are open and honest with other people.

But to be honest, that’s a lie.

Continue reading “Let’s Be Honest”

Posted in D.I.Y's and Advice, mental health, Personal Reflections

Bloom

Hey everyone!

I hope everyone is having a fantastic LAST WEEK of November!!! Can you believe how fast this year has gone by? Needless to say, so much has happened in 2017. This last week, I’ve been thinking about how much has happened for me this last year and starting to think about what goals I want to set for myself this next year. Everyone knows that new year’s resolutions can be hard to plan and accomplish, most often because we don’t start out with a plan on how we want to accomplish our goals. Whether the goal is to eat healthier and work out more, manage time better, getting better grades, earning more money, reading more books, or even just making more of an effort to look put together, a lot of the times we see the difference in the pictures of where we are and where we want to be in a few months, and we completely ignore the part in the middle where we plan out how exactly we are going to get to where we want to be.

One this thing that I’ve learned this year as a blogger, as a student, and as someone who consistently reflects on her actions and choices, there is no way to get from the start to the finish line without planning the steps you will take in between.

And based on that, here is a step-by-step guide on how to set goals and achieve them without driving yourself crazy or getting discouraged, illustrated through a series of flower metaphors.

Part I. The Seed 

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Posted in D.I.Y's and Advice, mental health, Personal Reflections

The World Through Opaque Glass Windows

When you look in my eyes, you enter my world.

When I look you in the eyes, I enter yours.

Or do I?

… do you?

Continue reading “The World Through Opaque Glass Windows”

Posted in mental health, Personal Reflections

Glow

Hey lovlies,

This post was inspired by a couple of friends and a holiday that is important to my family- Diwali. I wanted to use the concept that this holiday celebrates to talk about something I, and many of my loved ones, have realized recently- why it’s so important to talk to other people about the negative things that go on in your life. I wanted to shed some light on why I think these things are part of the things that make your voice so significant- why you need to be heard, and why other should listen to you. These are the things that make you glow- they are how you share your light with the world. 

Continue reading “Glow”

Posted in D.I.Y's and Advice, mental health, Personal Reflections

Productive Anxiety

Hey Loves!

So for two weeks before this I was on vacation, and last week I was moving back to my University’s campus and I didn’t get any time to write! I had all of these ideas going in my mind and I’m so looking forward to sharing them all with all of you- this is the first one!

This one goes out to all of you who struggle with anxiety. Whether you’ve been diagnosed or you just easily get anxious like me, I hope this helps in some way.

Most of the times, I get anxious about my expenditure, my grades, and the my impressions on other people. When I’m anxious, it feels like both my mind and body are frozen in time, like I can’t move or think about anything else but that which I’m worried about, or like anything that I do could lead to some other things falling apart, crashing and burning. Sometimes I vent out my worries to someone. But mostly I sit and stare for a long time. I imagine what will come next, and what I can do if it doesn’t go the way that I want it to. I’ve done this as long as I can remember struggling with anxiety, but I never realized how very unproductive it was until a few days ago when I was worrying about something irrelevant and my sister said to me: “Aarti, don’t just sit there and worry. DO something about it”

When it comes to my anxiety, my sister is my biggest supporter So I listened to her, and ever since then when I’ve felt anxious, I’ve also remembered to tell myself to do something about it.

Of course there is no general formula for solving all issues of anxiety, but there is a general formula that I like to use for dealing with anxiety. The first step is the one that I struggle with the most: talking to someone about it. I hate talking to other people about the things that make me anxious, because it seems like almost anything can make me anxious: awkward encounters, busy schedules, uncertainty, hard tests, and everything above and beyond that. Sometimes its hard to find someone to talk to about anxiety too, since it’s given that not everyone is going to understand how you feel, since what you get anxious about is not something that someone without anxiety troubles also gets anxious about. Sometimes, the most someone will be able to give you is “Relax, you’ll be fine”. At times hearing this from someone you trust can make you feel better, but not always. If you haven’t found someone in your life yet who you can vent out to, diaries work great too. Even though you can’t necessarily bounce ideas off of them because diaries can’t talk back, they are great for self-reflection- talking to yourself! And since you know yourself better than anyone, it’s definitely something that could work.

Something else that works in helping with anxiety is working out- go jogging or do some yoga, and, if you really don’t want to get of the house to do something, clean your room and the kitchen! While working out doesn’t involve doing anything about your problem at the moment, it does give you time and space to actually think things through, while allowing you to be productive and do something good for your mind and body and something that will undoubtedly make you feel better about your health.

And of course, for those of you who love to write like me, write about it: use your anxiety productively by figuring out what you need to do through writing. Pass on what you learn to your fellow bloggers and writers, and use the lessons you have learned because of your anxiety as ideas and inspiration for future writing projects!

And lastly, the best way to deal with something that you don’t get know how to tackle is to plan for it. Lay out everything you need to do to accomplish the task, and then direct yourself, step by step, on how you will accomplish it. If you worry about little things at a time instead of freaking out about the big picture, your anxieties will be a lot easier to deal with.

Anxiety often doesn’t feel great to have, but I’ve slowly come to realize that my struggles with anxiety have made me the person I am today- someone that I couldn’t be more proud of, even though she still has a lot to learn and a long way to go. So, loves, if you struggle with anxiety at times, make sure you keep reminding yourself that you are strong, you are loved, and you will get through it.

That’s all for now! Till next time.

Posted in D.I.Y's and Advice, Healthy Eating and Healthy Mindset, Personal Reflections

Loving your body just like you should

 

Hi friends!

With only a couple of days left in the beautiful month of August, and the next year of school just around the corner (some of y’all have probably already started), I thought that I post about body image was in order.

I’ve actually been waiting to do this post for quite a while now- at least 3 months. Even though body image is an issue that many people have trouble dealing with, there is no doubt that it is a difficult one to talk about. My size and my weight have been two of my biggest insecurities since I was about 5 years old. Since then, it took me 16 years of many attempted diets, many tears, and many moments of sadness to realize that regardless of what happens on my journey of health, I need to love myself anyways.

Whether you are fat or skinny, tall or short or medium-sized in every respect, whether you are light-skinned or dark-skinned, whether you have dark hair, light hair, curly hair or straight hair, thick hair or thin hair or any other outstanding characteristic, the it’s likely that you’ve faced some type of body image issue at some point in time. Despite all the media promotion about loving yourself and how important it is to do so, I’ve never found one that effectively explains why it is important to love yourself, no matter what your current form might be. In order to share why I think it’s important to appreciate your body in any shape or size, I’m going to be sharing a bit of my story and struggle with you.

The story begins with a conversation I had with my sister just a few months ago, in May. After months and months of my cheapest and most appetizing dining options being pizza, burgers and salads- mostly made of dressing, croutons and fatty dressing- not only was I sick of most of my eating options, but I also felt hopeless. My schedule for the last year not only prevented me from seeing my friends regularly, but the amount of work I had on a daily basis made sitting inside and studying seem like a better option than going outside for a run. I’ve opened up a little bit before about my struggle with congenital hypothyroidism before. In essence, what this means is that regardless of how often I exercise and how healthy my diet is, it will always be harder for me to lose weight as compared to other people. But remembering this at that time only made me sink deeper into my hopelessness. A few days after I began to feel this way, I had a very meaningful conversation with my sister, and that’s when my whole perspective changed.

As I sat with my sister, I broke down. I told her that I felt like I was completely out of options, and I didn’t know how I would ever be able to feel good about myself. It was completely possible that I would never be skinny or even the “right” waistline for my height and age. It was completely possible that I would never look the way that I’ve always wanted to, that I would forever be subject to feeling bad about myself when I heard fat jokes, and, worst of all, I would never be happy with who I was. That is just about how hopeless I felt. That’s when my sister pointed something out to me that no inspirational speaker, writer or celebrity has ever pointed out before: the only way I would ever be able to love myself is if I made the necessary choice to do so.

My sister pointed out to me that my ability to think and my ability to do were only possibilities for me because of the body that I have. And regardless of all of the mistakes I’ve made in my life, I still have done a lot of good, just like most people. Regardless of whether or not I have a thin waist, I am able to move both my hands and my feet, and I was to get as far as I have in life; I am able to think because I have a working brain, and even though it is possible that I will never look exactly how I want to, it is because of my mind and my body that I’m even able to try, and I have to respect that.  And more importantly, after all my body has done for me, I have to take care of it and treat it with kindness.

This summer was truly an emotional journey for me- one that finally allowed me to come to terms with who I am and what I look like. And what I’ve realized is that I’m going to look different in many stages of my life. In the end, though, it is my body that is going to get me through all of these different stages, through my happiest moments and my sad ones. Even if I have nothing else left it is the one thing that will get me out of everything alive and well so long as I take care of it and respect its ability to do so.

So, to my readers, don’t love yourself because it’s a trend and the internet is telling you to do so. Look at yourself in the mirror and take in every single color and curve; the texture of your hair, the way that you walk, and the way that you smile or frown or whatever other expressions you make. Realize that all of these things and everything about your body is what has gotten you to this very moment and that is why you are beautiful. And this is something that no one can appreciate the way you can.  Love yourself for who you are, work towards becoming the version of yourself that you want to be, and love your body for allowing you to get there.

Even though body image is something that has always been hard for me to talk about, it’s something that I love talking about now. Be on the lookout for more writing about healthy eating habits and having a healthy mindset. And on a related note to having a healthy mindset, check out my last post

If you like my writing, feel free to subscribe via email by scrolling all the way to the bottom or, you can follow me via WordPress! If you feel have any tips or other thoughts for me, feel free to leave me a comment here on this post, or you can reach out to me via email. Thank you to everyone for supporting my writing, and I will be back next week!

Posted in D.I.Y's and Advice, Personal Reflections

We Could (All) Be Heroes

Learn to draw your own wings and fly

My part time job at my university involves me doing writing consultations. The other day, I was helping a student who was trying to come up with a topic for a personal essay- he could choose absolutely any topic. I told him that if I had to do that, the topic of my essay would be superheroes.

S u p e r h e r o is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as a fictional hero who has extraordinary powers, and also, an exceptionally skillful or successful person.

My educational experience this summer has involved a lot of time for binge-watching shows on Netflix, and my latest binge has been Supergirl. A year back from today, I would have never thought that I would find myself watching Supergirl or the Flash, my other current favorite. I’m not big enough of a nerd to be dressing up as either of those characters next Halloween, but when you watch someone who has the ability to run really fast, to fly, or melt metal with laser vision, it’s impossible not to wonder what it would be like to have superhuman abilities. I’m sure anyone would love to know what it would be like to be a superhero for a day, and while it’s slightly annoying to know that we most likely won’t be seeing flying, super-strong individuals in real life anytime soon, what annoys me a little more is the way these shows portray the other characters- the ones without power. Why aren’t they the stars of this show? Is it really wrong to consider them superheroes too?

An obvious answer to this question is that people often watch shows about individuals with supernatural abilities to escape reality- not to live it again through a screen. But people also are attracted to shows about concepts they can relate to. And that includes things like working as IT, or as a journalist, or as a medical doctor- even as a garbage truck driver. All of these professions are places where people can make a difference, yet the whole time we are paying attention to the white male or female flying, running or riding a badass motorcycle around town in a weird suit.

Of course, every superhero’s story is more complex than fighting bad guys; they are individuals, with individual, weird, complicated lives. And though I know that these heroes are in fact just television characters, it boggles my mind how one person could possibly have time to go to college, found a significant other, run for a political position or work for a demanding corporation, get drinks with friends on the weekends and party away their 20s all while chasing down the bad guys during the day. I barely have time to sit down for coffee during the day during the rest of the year.

If I’m tearing apart one of your favorite shows and ruining it for you, I do apologize. But the part that I want to come back to here is that in the end, superheroes do bring hope- something that everyone needs to survive. Maybe you could even consider this a universal human right. We all need superheroes in our darkest days, but more importantly, we all need to find ways that we can be our own superheroes for ourselves and others.

Everyone is exceptionally skilled at something, and no matter what this is, I do believe that any and every skill could be put to good use. We all need the people around us, and if everyone is able to find their exceptional ability, we can all fit the definition of a superhero. While we wait around for the invention of a suit that can fly or a pill that can give you heat vision, we need to draw own wings and fly.

Posted in Healthy Eating and Healthy Mindset, mental health, Personal Reflections

Jump Then Fall

What to do when you don’t know what to do

Jump then Fall is the title of one of my favorite Taylor Swift songs. It tells a different sort of story, but expresses the same sentiment as the one I’m interested in- jumping into an opportunity that you’re curious about, and figuring out what exactly you’re doing as you go. 

Jumping then falling is exactly what it sounds like: forcing yourself to jump off a metaphorical cliff by making a sudden, spontaneous decision, before taking the time to calculate your actions.  As an avid and self-proclaimed lover of planning, jumping then falling has always been something that I’ve been scared to do until now. What changed my outlook was finally realizing that life is a lot more worthwhile if I choose to be excited about my next steps instead of being too scared to take them at all.

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Posted in mental health, Personal Reflections

An Honest Discussion About Self-Expression

Hi everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve been able to sit down and right in the midst of taking summer classes. My summer this year has been full of empowerment because I’ve gotten the chance to see the bigger picture of how the world works. I’ve been granted the opportunity to reflect on how the way I think about myself, and the way I act as a result not only influences my mental health, but the mental health and lives of everyone else around me.

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Posted in Personal Reflections

Reflection

Staying positive in sometimes negative environments

At the end of every school year, I always like to take a minute to reflect on everything I’ve learned. Staying positive is probably the most important thing I learned to do this year.

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