2018 Review and Why I’m Taking A Break From Social Media

Hey my loves,

Last day of 2018: Can you believe it? And what a year it has been.

2018 changed a lot for me, I changed a lot. I grew immensely with each challenge I have tackled this year and I have managed to find a new way of living a much happier lifestyle. Each struggle made me stronger and each new chapter enriched my life so much.

I am also thankful for all the people in my life. My best friends, who I consider family, are always there for me and lift me up. They are right beside me through the good and the bed. And my family, my heart, who endlessly support me in everything that I do. I have so many wonderful people in my life and I couldn’t be more grateful for that.

A lot has happened this year, I wrote a lot of papers for College this year – and I mean A LOT. But I also found out that I am actually pretty good at writing. I also found a job which has me filled with so much joy and excitement, because I am constantly learning new things and get to experience a lot of things I wouldn’t have before. I also met some of the nicest colleagues and boss you could ever ask for. And I am super excited for all the things that will come up next. I also spend a lot of time on myself, eating healthier, exercising, making better choices. All of which lead to a much, much happier me.

Now I am not the biggest believer in New Year’s resolutions, so instead I always set myself goals that I want for the next few years that I can achieve and which I truly want to do. I won’t share my 2019 goals with you, those are my personal ones. But I am sharing with you something I will do for myself starting with January 1st. Social Media is a big part of my life, so is this blog and for that matter my phone. But I don’t want my life on these platforms. I want a life in real life. So in order to see if I have forgot how to actually life I will take some time away from Social Media and my phone. 

I decided to mute all my notifications, put all my apps except the ones I actually need for my lifestyle (like phone, calendar, mail and to a certain degree messages) into a folder and don’t touch them. First I was going to set myself a time frame, but I think I just have to see how long I can live with the FOMO. It’s going to be hard not to see what everybody is up to or answer all messages right that second. But I believe for myself, especially for my mental health, this will be good. This also means taking a break from my blog, I will probably still write some pieces, or write down ideas, but I won’t publish anything. At least for the entire January. This also gives me much more extra time in January since I have a million to-do’s for College and I want to focus my attention on these things. I obviously will write about my experience, but I don’t know when this will be. I don’t want to put any pressure on me, I just want to see, how I change and how my lifestyle is changing.

Would you do it with me? Like and share this entry and participate in your own way. And get back to me with your experience when you’re ready.

Guys, thank you for an amazing year for my blog and I wish you all a happy New Year, may all your dreams and wishes will come true!

I wish you all a wonderful night!

XoXo, Jasmin.

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How I Deal with Stress – An Honest Answer

Hey my loves,

a couple of weeks ago I talked about how I managed to write three papers simultaneously, as well about my personal development story, so I thought it was about time that I talk about how I deal with stress. This also comes at a time where a lot of things are happening and I am under a lot of stress.

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As I am writing this I am laying in my bed dealing with the last bits of my cold that knocked me out an entire week and has put me back with work for college a lot more than I would like. The past three, almost four, weeks haven been stressful on so many levels. About three and a half weeks ago I had a bad fall, which ended with me in a cast on my foot and pain in my arm. My doctor prescribed me rest and I took it, for three days instead of the two weeks he told me to. But I am almost healed now and do not have much pain anymore, so all is good. But that kinda just started a mountain of new stressful things. As college has started again in the beginning of October I found it hard to find a balance between eating right, taking time for myself, working out, as well as maintaining the oversight about the work I have to do for College. So instead of using my new learned tools I tumbled down a path of unhealthy choices and no-time spend for myself which ultimately led to me being irritable, in a bad mood and not taking care of myself enough. The stress level only got higher when I was not able to workout because of my fall.

Well, long story short, PMS kicked also in, harder than it had been the last six months and I was, and for most of the week, I still am a mess full of anxiety attacks and mood swings, but weirdly enough this week of being sick with the cold is turning everything around again. Last week I turned 27 and I had two of my best friends with me and we had the most fun I had in a while. We had a dance session for almost an hour and it just felt so good to feel my body and to exercise, quite frankly. But the day after, I got sick and hit with it hard. But instead of letting myself get dragged down by it even more I decided enough is enough, the moments I feel better I do something for myself. In the past two days, where I have been feeling a lot better, I even had mini dance session of ten minutes for myself. And, let me tell you, how good that felt, even though I was exhausted after it and fell straight asleep.

Now, this post is supposed to be about how I deal with stress, but the truth is: I do not know. Because every time I think I have an answer to it, something new comes up and throws me off-balance. But what I do know is that if you keep a positive attitude a lot of the things might not be as bad as they seem. And sometimes it is okay, not to be okay.

But one thing I want to make sure is that my PMS is not getting as bad next time as it was this time, and in order to do so I have to make sure to put my health, mentally and physically, first again. As soon as I am no longer sick, I will get back into a routine workout situation and as of this week I am trying to figure out a way to incorporate healthy lifestyle and food choices into my busy life again. Basically, I started WW again, just to keep myself motivated to eat healthy and to eat at all. Most of my days I simply forget or am too tired to cook or eat at all, and that’s not a lifestyle I want to live.

So I guess my tip for you would be to take it one step, one day at a time and just realize that you do not have to be on your A-game all the time that it is okay to put yourself, your health and your mental health first.

I hope you all have a wonderful day!

XoXo, Jasmin.

27 Things I learned in my Twenties

Hey my loves,

on Friday the 9th of November I turned 27 years old. So I thought why not share some things I learned in my 20s so far. I thought this would be quite fun to share with you guys, since I’m sure we all have different learning experience during our 20s.

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  1. Make Mistakes.
  2. Try everything once.
  3. You cannot please everyone.
  4. It’s okay not to be okay.
  5. Taking care of yourself is important.
  6. Being honest and open does not make you less strong.
  7. Appreciate the people in your life that care.
  8. Don’t ever stop dreaming.
  9. Don’t be afraid of new things.
  10. You can handle more than you think you can.
  11. You stronger than you think you are.
  12. Being an adult sucks, but it’s also the best time of your life.
  13. You’re never too old to have fun.
  14. It’s okay to talk about mental health.
  15. It’s okay to have an opinion.
  16. Love yourself.
  17. If there’s a will, there’s a way.
  18. Create a life you believe in.
  19. Feeling lost comes with the territory.
  20. You don’t have to have a plan for your life.
  21. Don’t care about what other people think.
  22. If you feel like giving up, don’t. You might surprise yourself.
  23. Don’t compare yourself to others.
  24. All things happen for a reason. You might not see it right away.
  25. Patience can be learned.
  26. You create your own happiness.
  27. Being single isn’t a failure.

What are some of the things you have learned? Tell me in the comments I would love to know. I hope you enjoyed today’s entry.

I wish you all a wonderful day!

XoXo, Jasmin.

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 Two

If you haven’t read part one, check it out first:  Going on Vacation – When Everything Goes Wrong – Guest Entry by Miri – Part One

The Weather

The weather is the one thing no human can influence, so I couldn’t be mad about that at anyone. Weather is inherently unpredictable. When we got there, the sky was partially blue, partially cloudy, and it wasn’t hot, but it wasn’t cold, either. Perfectly acceptable weather for bathing, one may assume, but the issue we had was that there was a chilling, unforgivingly sharp wind that made you feel like you would freeze to death when you got out of the water if the sun wasn’t shining on you in full blast. Therefore, whenever there were clouds in the sky, swimming in the ocean was out of the question. One day, I still went ahead and swam in the ocean anyway, because the clouds in the sky were so few and the water looked so enticing, and wasn’t swimming in the ocean what I was there for in the first place? The thanks I got was a cold. Runny nose and sore throat that I still haven’t managed to shake. But that is nobody’s fault.

The Area

The area of Albena is divided into two kinds. Walking toward the southern end of the beach, there is nothing but hotel after hotel after hotel (it is a hotel city, after all), and after the one five-star hotel we saw, the hotels get shabbier and shabbier. It is kind of depressing. Walking toward the northern end of the beach, however, leads you into a completely different world. The supervised hotel beach areas come to an end, so you enter the unsupervised, natural beach. At some point a sign tells you that you are leaving Albena, but it doesn’t tell you where that leaves you, just that you are not in Albena anymore. It leaves you in a kind of zero zone, away from civilization. Since there are barely any humans around now, you hear nothing but the rushing of the waves. The nature here was undisturbed. My mother and I were suddenly surrounded by butterflies, almost stepped on a lizard, collected some seriously beautiful seashells, found the seagulls’ secret hangout spot and a small waterfall. Peaceful, idyllic, that was the kind of place where I could have stayed forever.

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Then we also made a trip to Nessebar, which is a gorgeous little peninsula in the southern corner of Bulgaria, and this was a truly wonderful place. Full of old churches, and so small you could not get lost even if you tried, it was just lovely. We ate the best food of the entire stay in Bulgaria in a restaurant directly by the ocean, on a veranda that gave us a view of the water with the sun’s rays dancing on the waves. The sky was blue, and the ocean was calm, and to round it off, we did a short trip around the coast on a small boat. In short, I loved it.

We visited Nessebar on Saturday, and on Sunday I already felt a little sniffly, yet I couldn’t help it—I still needed to go swim in the ocean. I got stung in the foot by a jellyfish, but it was one of the harmless kind, blue-purplish as they occur in large numbers in that area. At first, my foot burned quite uncomfortably, but soon the burning only returned sporadically, to give way to an annoying itchiness later on, and the next day everything was fine, so that didn’t spoil the rest of our stay. We left on Tuesday.

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The Worst Flight Ever

The transfer bus picked us up at 5:30 pm. Our flight from Varna was scheduled to depart at 8:40 pm. We arrived at the airport in Varna around 7, and after the check-in, which took quite a while because of the sheer mass of people in line, we still had half an hour left before boarding was set to begin at 8. Thus, we picked up some snacks and a bottle of water and settled in to wait. Now, 8 pm came and went, without any sign of progress. We just sat there and waited, not knowing what exactly was going on. 8:40 pm came and went, as well, and we hadn’t even boarded the plane. One guy who sat behind us at the gate was well-informed and told us the plane we were supposed to board had not even left Düsseldorf yet. At some point after we had been waiting for more than an hour, there finally was an announcement: our flight was delayed for two hours and twenty minutes and would now depart at 11 pm. In the end, we departed at 11:30. What had happened was that the plane had been supposed to depart from Düsseldorf at a certain time, but two undeclared suitcases caused a security breach, and subsequently everybody had to leave the already boarded plane and identify their luggage.

But all of that hardly mattered to me at this point. I was sickly, my head was hurting, so was my stomach, and I was dead tired by the time our plane finally left Varna airport. I was just glad we were finally in the air. I just wanted to go home. I was also very sorry because a friend of mine (who’d also been taking care of the cats in our absence) had promised to pick us up from the airport in Düsseldorf, but of course she’d been expecting us at 11 pm, not in the middle of the night. Additionally, it was unclear whether we would still be landing in Düsseldorf, because Düsseldorf airport only accepts arrivals until 11 pm. There are special exceptions to this rule, and I was desperately hoping we would be one of those.

About half an hour into the flight, the flight attendings asked if there was a doctor on board. Three people stood up and were led to the front of the plane. My mother and I couldn’t really see what was going on, but we did see that the physicians didn’t return to their seats. Some time later, the plane started dropping, and an announcement was made. There would be an unscheduled pitstop at Nuremberg airport because of a medical emergency.

At this point, I was close to tears. I was exhausted and tired and frustrated, and of course nobody can help it if there’s a medical emergency, but that was just the cherry on the damn cake. After everything, now we had to endure this, too; as I’d told my mom when we were still waiting at the airport, this vacation was jinxed. So we landed in Nuremberg, and we were told that it would just be a quick pitstop, 20 minutes, half an hour tops. I was now nauseous from the quick descent on top of everything else. I texted my friend the newest update, who responded with tons of laughing emojis and disbelief, which was sort of the adequate response to this horror of a trip. Her laughter inspired me to make light of the situation, as well, which helped a little. As it turned out, then, the plane’s brakes were too hot, so we would be staying in Nuremberg a bit longer so they could refuel the tank, because why not, I guess. Ultimately, we stayed there for over an hour.

Finally, then, the plane was up in the air again, and we were told that we would NOT be landing in Düsseldorf anymore, but we would be redirected to Cologne, from where we would be transferred to Düsseldorf airport via bus. Another thing that almost made me cry. So we landed in Cologne at about 2:30 am, and the people just couldn’t wait to get out of this cursed plane. Baggage claim took forever and ever because while my mother’s suitcase was one of the first to be sent down the conveyer belt, mine was one of the last ones, as it always is. A baggage claim curse just follows me around wherever I go. Then we had to run toward where we were told the busses waited for us, and I ended up dragging both suitcases behind me because my mother had to light a cigarette and I was done waiting, for anybody or anything.

The bus was a giant red double decker with a luggage trailer attached to it that looked way too small, so the guy who loaded it had to play real-life tetris to fit all our things in. I didn’t stick around to watch our suitcases get smushed, however; I dragged my mother behind me to find a seat. The bus left Cologne at 3:15 am. I dosed and fell asleep, drooling on myself and feeling no shame whatsoever when I realized; I think every occupant on that bus was beyond shame at that point. We arrived at Düsseldorf airport at 4 am, and I texted my friend to let her know where we were; she’d been waiting for us for over an hour, and after we’d pulled our dented suitcases out of the pile, she found us and took us home. I was abundantly grateful to her since I knew she had an appointment in the morning, and yet she’d gone out of her way to save us from having to take a train home, which probably would have finally made me cry for real.

Thus, we arrived at home at 5 o’clock in the morning, a measly five hours later than scheduled, and the vacation was over. Surprisingly, the only thing not to survive the tetris in the luggage trailer was my mother’s small make-up mirror, which was in shards. Everything else, even the delicate seashells I’d collected made it out intact. Maybe the broken mirror was the reason for our bad luck, only it worked in reverse; we had bad luck, and then the mirror broke. Who knows. I guess the lesson here is: if you go to Bulgaria, only book a five-star hotel, and even the worst times come to an end.