What I Learned from my Social Media Detox

Hey my loves,

So, it’s been a while, huh? Now, I wanted to share my experience about my month off of social media with you. I decided at the end of December 2018 that I needed a little break from social media, just to focus on my work for College as well as to concentrate on my mental health. 

Here’s what I did:

  • I rearranged all my apps into folders on my phone and shut down all notifications. The only noise my phone was making was when I got a phone call.
  • Rather than to completely shut of the notifications from WhatsApp and iMessage I let the messages pop up without making a sound, just so that if I were to pick up my phone I would see that somebody messaged me. I didn’t want to cut of contact to my friends, since I am not in school anymore so I rarely see everyone.
  • I also did not go on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Snapchat for an entire month. I did open Instagram once, but mainly because I’ve forgotten to turn of the notification count on it and got a message and it drove me insane not knowing what was going on. After that I turned that off, too.

Here’s what I learned:

  • Taking time off of social media is extremely hard and you need a lot of self-control. For the first few days I felt so much FOMO (fear of missing out) that I almost quit, but I kept telling myself: “Girl, it’s just pictures, it’s just some stupid news. You don’t have to see everything.” And that actually helped quite a lot.
  • I learned that I cherish a message a lot more when I actually take the time to properly read and answer and that I don’t need to answer right away. That the “sorry for answering so late”-feeling I got before, what just absolute garbage. I am not obliged to answer my messages with a certain time frame, I am not obliged to answer them at all. I answer, because I want to.
  • A lot of social media is fake. A lot of news are fake. A lot of what is shared is absolute nonsense.
  • I miss sharing moments with friends who cannot be there.
  • I like being connected to the world.
  • Being “offline” is the best way to re-center yourself and get a fresh perspective on things.
  • Sometimes a little deflection isn’t the worst, but not always necessary.
  • Put your phone down, when you want to go to sleep.

Have you ever gone a month offline? Tell me in the comments, I would love to know what your experiences were.

I wish you all a wonderful day!

XoXo, Jasmin.

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How I Dealt With Stress While Writing 3 Papers Simultaneously

Hey my loves,

Last week I talked about my personal development story so I thought it would only be fitting to talk about how I deal with stress in a little bit more detail and especially focus on how I managed to write three papers simultaneously and prepare an oral exam.

Now the ideal procedure is to write one paper after the other and have about two months to finish each of them. Well, I didn’t have that pleasure, I had to write them simultaneously and two of them actually had their due date in the same week. But I managed to do them, and I actually did pretty good.

And here’s how I did it.

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I made an individual plan to follow for each of the papers, as well as one for the oral exam. The only thing I didn’t to is set myself due dates for certain aspects, because I, for myself, know that it does not work for me. And, because usually you have at least two or three problems with the paper – may it be just phrasing problem or a blockade.

Here’s what I did before I enrolled my papers:

  • I discussed with my lecturers possible topics and then I researched it.
  • I compiled a list of literature that I wanted to check out and then I actually went into the library and copied anything that was remotely connected to my thesis.
  • After reading all of the secondary literature I wrote out the citations on my computer and then organized them after the sub-topics. That way it was easier for me to keep an overview of the citations.

I did these steps for all four exams. And then I enrolled my papers, the enroll-time for the oral exam is only four weeks before the date.

Here’s what I did after enrolling:

  • I made sure to only work on one paper on a day. This meant that I wouldn’t have as much time as I should have, but allowed me to have a better overview of my work.
  • I also made sure to spend some quality offline. Meaning I spent time with friends or family that gave me enough space to never feel burned out. I feel like the time I spent with them or went into the gym gave me the needed energy.
  • I am a person who works and does not like to stop until a certain thing is achieved. So on the day I was working on a paper I set myself mini goals, approximately so far apart that I could take a break for lunch and be finished around dinner time. That way I was able to finish two to four sub-items each day, sometimes more, sometimes less.
  • I also made sure to write with the correct formalities, so that I would not have to alter them after I was done. Furthermore, I made sure to write down every secondary literature into my bibliography as soon as I used one. Also in the correct and asked for formality.

I also had a friend proofread for me, which was super helpful, because most of the time after writing so much, you don’t see your own mistakes anymore.

Here’s how I dealt with the stress:

  • As I said I made sure to spend quality time offline with friends and family.
  • In also liked working out on the days I worked on my papers or go for a walk just so I get a little bit of exercise that day.
  • Furthermore I made sure to eat good and healthy meals, so my brain was fueled with energy and had the tools to work in overtime.
  • I also made sure to never work longer than 9 pm. So that I had enough time to switch off my brain and have some me-time before bed.

I hope that this gave you a good insight on how I deal with stress especially in regards to College time management and stressful finals time.

I wish you all a wonderful day!

XoXo, Jasmin.

My Personal Development Story

Hey my loves,

Last week I talked about my final year of College and mentioned my personal development story. I thought I would touch on that a little more and tell you what I mean with that. 

This year has been a year of change for me. I do not even know where I should start, but I guess I start with the beginning.

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I always said that I felt comfortable in my skin and while to a certain degree that was true it changed in the last three years. I was getting to a point where life just seemed to throw bigger and bigger rocks at me. And last year towards the end of it, I decided that it is enough.

I didn’t want to live in a world where I felt displaced and out of order yet alone not in control and I started to look what I can change and I found myself at a mountain of possibilities. So instead of changing my surroundings or dive into something that I would not have been able to do, I decided in order to better my life: I HAVE TO BETTER MYSELF FIRST.

So I did, am still doing.

I decided that I would start with seeing everything as a challenge that I can do, instead of letting myself be muffled by anxious feelings. It was hard at first and to some degree still is, so I would say it’s a work in progress. Everything that was thrown at me I started to handle with these thoughts in my mind:

Will it affect my life in two years?

If it does not matter in two years, why make a big scene? Just accept that something is going wrong or not going the way you imagined it to be. Learn that not everything is in your control.

Will it matter next week? Next month? Next year?

This is basically the same thing as I said before, but in a short period of time. Is it just bad right now? Or will it be bad for a longer time? What can I change? How should I deal with it?

What can I do to make the situation more comfortable for me?

Obviously this won’t make everything go away, but I have found that talking about why I am uncomfortable or that I do not wish to do a certain things is more likely to be accepted by my friends/family than I ever thought. Just be honest to yourself and to the people in your life. They won’t judge you for what you’re feeling, even if they don’t understand it.

What can I change about it that I can do right now?

Is there a way that I can change the situation and if so what do I have to do to make a change? Should I maybe start with myself? Or does the problem lie somewhere else?

While early on in my life I would have had a freak-out or a desperate crying session I now surround myself with tools to handle these types of situations. Sometimes a big old breathing in session is all you need, trust me. Just give yourself a couple of seconds to think about it, to let it sink in. It might not seem as bad a couple of minutes later.

Another thing I changed in myself is my body.

And that started with my mind. While I’ve always been comfortable in my skin, I always felt like an outsider simply because of my weight. But here’s the thing, if you don’t care about it, it’s more likely that everybody else won’t care about it either. What I mean with that is, I let myself be strung back by my weight, I pushed myself down and had thoughts like “Well they wouldn’t like me anyway!” or “Nobody that looks like me would do that”.
So I changed my mindset, I told myself:

Your weight does not define the person you are. You do.

Your weight is not holding you back. You are.

And I tried to figure out what I can do to change my thinking. And for me it was pretty clear that in order to change my thinking I have to lose some weight, because, truth be told, I did not feel comfortable in my skin anymore. In order to lose the weight, in a healthy and continuous way, I had to change my lifestyle. I want to be as healthy as I can. I have not set myself a goal weight, because I believe that the number on the scale should not define the way you feel. I don’t count calories or follow a diet or at least no longer. But that is a story for another time. Instead, I am going to the gym and portion control my food and I chose healthier options.

My body has changed, my mind has changed.

I’ve lost over 20 pounds so far. I am proud of my achievement, but what I am more proud of is that I managed to stay on track, that even though some day might not be a good and healthy day, that as long as I am active and live 80 percent of my time healthy that it was okay. I am a happier, more confident and a more positive person: and I did that.

I got a job beside my studies, I can barely sit still and I do much more with my friends than before. I pulled myself out of hole and plastered it up. And I am still working on it, on me. I have so many more things I want to do to change my life around, but I will do it one step at a time. For now, what I am doing is working and in a year’s time, who knows where I’ll be at.

I hope I could give you somewhat of a good insight into my personal development story. If you have any question, feel free to ask them in the comments or DM me on Instagram or Twitter. You’re also more than welcome to shoot me an Email if you prefer that.

I wish you all a wonderful day!

XoXo, Jasmin.

Going on Vacation – When Everything Goes Wrong – Guest Entry by Miri – Part One

Hey guys, this is Miri. I recently went on a trip to Bulgaria with my mother, and what looked like a wonderful, relaxing trip to the ocean turned out more or less a complete failure. But let’s start at the beginning.

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How it began

January this year, my mother and I decided to go on vacation together. We’d flown to Egypt together back in 2012, and that turned out to be one of the most beautiful trips I’ve ever made. It started with a negative event, because originally my sister had booked the trip and wanted to go with my mother, but briefly before they were scheduled to leave, her then-boyfriend (now husband) had a motorcycle accident, so she stayed and I got to go on the trip in her stead.

Now. Egypt was a dream, but it was way too expensive for my mom and me. So was Spain. The travel agent we were corresponding with suggested Bulgaria, a place we had never considered before. She said that Albena is a hotel city, but that it has a beautiful beach, and that she had been at this particular hotel before and that it was up to standards. The hotel had four and a half stars, and the entire trip was really cheap, so we agreed. We picked September because the summer holidays would be over by then and off-season vacations are infinitely more comfortable (less people, lower price).

Cut to eight months later. About three weeks before our flight, we got a call from the travel agency, saying that our hotel had been overbooked and that we would be relocated to the hotel next door. I asked which consequences this would have, and we were promised that the only consequence would be that we would be sleeping in a different hotel with basically the same standards (half a star less), that we would be allowed to use all facilities of our original hotel (restaurants, pool area etc.), and that our new room would still have a balcony with ocean view. It still sounded like an acceptable arrangement, but really we didn’t have any other choice if we still wanted to go on vacation, so we said, okay, we’ll do it. There wouldn’t have been any other way but cancelling and getting our money back on such short notice, and we really needed that vacation.

Now the next thing that happened didn’t directly have anything to do with the trip. About a week before our flight, my father was involved in a terrible accident and sustained a number of potentially lethal injuries. I don’t want to go into too much detail, just know that he will be fine, it will just take a while until he’s healed. The point is that, a week before our flight, there was yet another thing to be considered. Should we really go on vacation while my father was hospitalized? Then again, there wasn’t much we could do either way. The accident occurred very far away from home, and the hospital he was taken to by the rescue helicopter was even further away, so that it took a 2-hour drive just to get to him, and neither me nor my mother have a driver’s license. Thus, visiting him was almost impossible, and we could be either worried about him at home, or worried about him by the ocean. My mother was agonizing over the decision, while I was not, at least not a lot, because the accident had been partially his fault, I felt, and I was (am) rather angry with him. Eventually, my mother decided that she still wanted to go because, as I said, there wasn’t anything we could do, and we had been looking forward to this trip since January.

The Hotel

Thus, we flew to Bulgaria. The first thing we realized upon arrival at the hotel was that our room was absolutely tiny. Sure, we had a balcony with a view of the ocean, and that was beautiful, no doubt about it. Still, our room was basically a large bed with a door. There was a small couch, and a small table, and in-between those there was a small space for moving around, and that was that. Well, okay, we wouldn’t be spending too much time in this room anyways, since it was only for watching some Netflix (we were on season six of Orange Is The New Black at the time) and sleeping. Life on vacation takes place outside the hotel, so who cares if the room is smaller than advertised?

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The bathroom was nice, with a very spacious shower, the door of which didn’t close completely, so you had to adjust the shower head in a certain direction so as to not cause a flood, which I discovered that first day. There was a small bundle of hairs in the shower when we moved in, which stayed there the entire time until we moved out, so I reckon the shower wasn’t cleaned once while we were there. There really wasn’t much cleaning going on, as far as I could tell. The guy responsible for cleaning the rooms on our floor (we bumped into him a couple times in the hallway) apparently only folded our blankets and left it at that. I think he at least cleaned the toilet, but I’m not one hundred percent sure.

However, our room wasn’t terribly dirty to begin with. It wasn’t like a cesspool of diseases or anything. I reckon the rooms were cleaned thoroughly whenever someone moved out. I would have just wished for some more rigorous cleaning while we were there. Well, anyway. Our towels were replaced every day, which was nice, except for the towel used to stand on when getting out of the shower, which was only replaced when we explicitly asked for it at the reception desk. People were nice when talked to, but otherwise not especially forthcoming, which didn’t bother me at all.

The Food

The food, however, is another story entirely. The restaurant at our new hotel offered food which was absolutely inedible. It looked old and greasy, it tasted old and greasy, and we were told by another resident that the same dishes served for lunch were still there for dinner. So necessarily, we tried the restaurant at our original hotel. The food there was better, although for lunch the quality was usually better than at dinner time. Breakfast was always good. The problem here was connected to the reason why we were staying at another hotel than our original one. The travel business who had overbooked the hotel and relocated us to another one had done the same thing with who knows how many other people, and since the food at the other hotel was disgraceful, everybody was eating at the original hotel. The result was that not only the hotel’s actual residents were eating there, but dozens of other people, too. Obviously, that meant that the restaurant was hopelessly overextended.

For breakfast, coffee cups were a rare and valued currency. For lunch and dinner, getting your hands on some cutlery that included knives and forks at the same time was a fight for survival. The best meals (the chicken was usually the best) were always reserved for the ones who could run the fastest. If I’m making it sound kind of apocalyptic, that is genuinely how it was. After the first two days, my mother and I cracked the code of how to eat: for breakfast, you had to be the first there, so we got up early and trudged over to the restaurant unshowered and barely awake. That way, not only did we get a coffee cup and saucer, we also found a place to sit, which also was never to be taken for granted.

For lunch and dinner, you could never be first, because it would be so crowded you could barely move, let alone find a place to sit, or cutlery. Or plates, or clean glasses. At one point, my mother got a glass that still had dish soap in it. I’ve never seen a white wine with so many bubbles. So for lunch and dinner, you had to wait at least an hour after the official start of dining time before entering the restaurant. Usually, we waited about an hour and a half. The advantages of that were numerous. First, some of the dishes had been emptied by our predecessors and refilled, so the food was warm when we got there. Second, rush hour was over, so we usually found a place to sit. The cutlery issue was omnipresent, and I couldn’t find a solution for that except theft, so on more than one occasion I stole cutlery from reserved tables. No choice in the matter.

5 Things that make me happy right now

Hey my loves,

I thought today I would share with you a couple of things that make me happy right now. One of my goals this year is to live my life more positively and have a better and more positive way of looking at things.

Being Busy

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At the moment I am really busy with Uni stuff and I have to say I absolutely love it and it makes me incredibly happy to be so productive. Especially at the end of the week when I can look back at what I achieved and accomplished I am super proud of myself for being super productive and not procrastinating as much. I also find it always helps with overthinking if I am busy. I literally have no time to think about thinks and that means I can’t overthink anything. And that’s just awesome!

Family

At the moment I’m sitting in the living room of my grandma enjoying the few days off between the new and old year, even though I have a really long list of to-do’s I always like to make sure that I see her around the holidays. And if Uni starts again I at least get over to her place once a week, I just love spending time with her and it always makes me incredibly happy to spend time with her.

Reading

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I’m currently reading one of the books of my reading list for 2018 (make sure to check that entry out). I’m reading ‘The Night Circus’ by Erin Morgenstern and I really enjoy it. It’s very different from anything that I would normally read and it captivates me in such another way than any of my other books. I am really happy that I decided to venture out of my comfort zone and try reading something, which I would normally never and that makes me happy.

New Hobby

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My grandma is currently teaching me how to crochet and although I’m not the greatest (yet – haha) I really enjoy doing this. One of my other goals is to find a couple of new hobbies and I think I will take crocheting on. I really enjoy producing something with my own hands, and it’s also something I never thought I would do. But it makes me really happy and it keeps my mind off and with so much to do that is really something great.

Blogging

Being back on here and writing blog post is making me really happy, because I get to share things that I love and it also is keeping me super inspired. I just really missed it and hated it to be so uninspired. I also missed writing on its own. So now typing this, thinking about all the things I could write about and planning out more blog post just brings a smile to my face.

I would love to know the things that make you happy right now. You have to tell me in the comments.

I wish you all a wonderful day!

XoXo, Jasmin.

Welcome!

This is The Dawn of Inspiration. Lifestyle, fashion, beauty? You name it. Tips and tricks for almost everything you might enjoy in your free time! And every now and again some special treats. If you wanna know who we are, you’ll just have to wait and see. Because we’re all about… inspiration.
Find out for yourself!
XoXo, Jasmin