Coming Out: On Having Bipolar Disorder

To my friends and family who might frown upon reading this… this is not for you. This is for the lives that are about to be reaped if the stigma of mental health continues. This is me doing my part for the world.

For more information on Bipolar Disorder, click here: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/bipolar-disorder/bipolar-disorder-signs-and-symptoms.htm


The day I decided to be myself again was the day I first sat down on my psychiatrist’s chair.

Yeah, I can remember that day.

Her office was clear. She had faint-colored walls, panoramic windows and behind me was a frosted glass divider which may or may not have shunned the sounds of our conversation.

There was nothing too medical in it. No charts that I recall, no brain model. Just your regular office with a desk, a chair behind it and two chairs for visitors.

But I knew that day… that day… It was the day I clung for my dear life.

And no, not in that terminal sense of clinging. I wasn’t exactly extremely physically sick. Sure, I looked drained. My hair wasn’t shiny and my skin was rough and pale – a side effect of less nutrition. I hadn’t been eating and sleeping properly. I had the bruises, the scratches and some little scabs on my arms – but it wasn’t like I was sick to my bones and needed transfusion.

Or so I thought.

Blood transfusion? Nope.

Hope transfusion? Yes.

You see, I needed hope. Lots of it. I was running out of my will to live.

How, you ask, does a person go from normal to willful dying? Simple.

3 things are not present: sense of self, support and proper care.

Looking back on that day I’ve realized I’ve come so far. After years of battling depression, highs and low shifts of mood, hyperactivity that was mistaken for my bubbly personality… a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder hit me like a forceful but reassuring ocean wave.

She said my brain wasn’t producing the proper amount of hormones needed for my mood stability and that my neurotransmitters don’t align as they should be. It’s all about the chemical mixture in my brain, she said. And that there was nothing to be ashamed of.

Her first impression on me was stoic. But surprisingly, she was warm and compassionate, like a caring aunt who wanted to help. I could say I finally found my doctor and my diagnosis.

“Finally, I know what it is. But wait I’m not crazy. This information could be too much to handle.” I told myself.

I’m not crazy. I’m not crazy. I’m not crazy. I KNOW I’m not crazy.

What the hell are you talking about, Iris? Get yourself together!

What I said above won’t suffice what I have been through for 5 years in the secret lairs of the dark. But to summarize it in reactions you may be able to understand, yes that’s what it was like.

Depression and having a Bipolar Disorder is like being a hermit for so long.

A hermit that, by the time you’ve been rescued, you don’t know whether to accept help or trust it. It’s all too unfamiliar. It’s so easy to just crawl and cradle back in the dark. The new age out of the cave doesn’t make any sense – with all these cures and terms and contraptions… being a hermit was so simple:

You just stay hidden.

And that’s what’s like being depressed and Bipolar. You can NEVER tell if someone is hurting by the looks of where you’re standing.

Heck, if there was a dark cave I doubt you’d wander in it, am I right?

To a passersby, a cave is just a cave. You couldn’t tell if someone was living in its deep abyss unless you go and take a closer look.


Anyway, back to my story…

It was August 2016 when I was sitting in my psychiatrist’s chair. Prior to this I had gone to another psychologist in June 2016 when my symptoms started getting worse, but unfortunately he wasn’t able to help me.

I had been through a lot since 2012 but I never sought professional help.

“I could do this on my own,” I muffled. I was too proud to seek assistance. As much as I don’t want to admit it, my inner being tells me it’s a sign of weakness. I always believed in myself more than anyone. Maybe as much as my mama does.

This was the first time I’m seeing a mind doctor. He was okay; however, I needed someone with a more passionate concern with me. I couldn’t feel that with him.

Every session felt like a chore that made me anxious, a box to tick off.

One down, few more to go.

I know I needed a person I feel I can fully trust and open up to. Someone along the lines of a friend, a family and a doctor all combined into one.

I think that was what was lacking: he was just a psychologist to me.

The therapy with my prior caregiver was warm but insufficient. It lacked a solution that worked for my case.

2 weeks after my first few sessions with that psychologist, I was back at it overdosing and researching ways on how to die. I even texted him that I needed help. I just wanted to talk.

No reply.

I took that as him glancing away.

“Maybe my situation wasn’t an emergency. Maybe my life wasn’t so important.”

 

It’s interesting how the brain goes from one thought to another in a snap.

According to Dr. Divi’s healing class I enrolled in May 2016 (yes I did enroll in this in the hopes of finding a cure and a way to understand myself), we get about 60,000 to 70,000 thoughts per day. Fascinating, isn’t it?

But wait.

From Thought #1 to Thought #2 all the way to Thought #4, it takes 17 seconds for it to materialize in our head.

And 68 seconds in, it gains momentum.

From that momentum, we react.

“Thoughts,” she said, “think for themselves. Therefore they are instantaneous.”

So to say, one trigger could definitely launch a thousand ships.

Our mind is the Helen of Troy!

All I knew in June was that I just wanted to stop the intense pain I’m feeling inside.

Warning: Triggering suicidal details. Read at your own discretion.

I ended up overdosing several powerful medications, like ibuprofen. I was sent to the nearest emergency room several times in months.

And then one time, I paused my plans for the moment and looked at my daughter.

“She’s so precious. How I wish she knows how to heal me.”

But I can’t put that pressure on my daughter either.
I didn’t create her to be my first aid kit.

People said that I should just look at Avis and be thankful. They said I shouldn’t even “be depressed” and to stop it because I have her.

The thing though is, I didn’t want to be around anymore not because I wanted to abandon her. I didn’t want to be around because she’d deal with a mom who can’t take care of her most of the time. A mom who has swift mood swings and a mom who has intense anger. A mom who couldn’t deal with stress like normal people. A mom who’s now depressed.

Most of all, I didn’t want her to deal with me. Imagine having someone’s life be impeded because of my disability? My depression? I can’t even take care of myself now, how am I supposed to take care of her?

I just felt guilt all over.

“I can’t even be the right mom.”

While all our pictures smile and cuddle… what people don’t know is that behind those photos I’m struggling in between. I only have them to remind both of us that I love her. I had hoped she would take a look at it in the future and wouldn’t hate her mommy for leaving before she could go to school.

School.

I will miss her going to school.

Tears rolled down my cheeks.

“Shit, I will miss a lot if I die. I wish I could just stop feeling depressed. Why can’t I? What’s wrong with me?”

Anytime someone would tell me to get over it, be something, do something or feel something, I would be very offended to the point that I’d get into a heated argument and prove I’m not the one who started it. That it’s harder than just saying it. And usually it’s with my parents.

I’m angry for being misunderstood.

I’m angry because there’s no place I could run off to.

I’m angry because I can’t tell anyone.

I’m angry because there’s a lot to be expected of me.

I’m angry because I expect it too, and I can’t fulfill those expectations.

People think I’m this A-lister, multi-talented, success-driven, positive and cheery girl but that was only my shell.

I’m angry.

I’m angry.

And while I thought about that, I remembered that angry people are hurt people. I don’t quite know where I got that knowledge but it has always been my belief system.

Anger isn’t the end emotion. It’s either confusion or pain.

So for a while I cooled down and thought about my pain.

Pain.

“I’m back!” it said.

“Why won’t you just leave me alone?” I told Pain.

“Because silly, if I wasn’t here you wouldn’t know Strength.”


There are a lot of things you don’t know about a person.

I’m not writing all these things so you can pull out your judgy eyes and your gavel as I become vulnerable.

No.

This post is for those who are going through or might be going through this.

I went into treatment for a week in August, immediately a day after my diagnosis. I was classified under “intensive care” and was actually put into ICU while I wait for my private room.

To be honest I liked being in the hospital. I’m the only one I know who doesn’t dislike it. There’s a sense of urgent care everywhere. Something you don’t get at home or at school, at work or at public places. It’s so comforting.

But then again, I was classified as a mental health patient.

Mental health patient. What does that even mean?

To society, that means I am branded as an outsider.

To me, I felt what society might look at me as.

So there I was in the ICU. I told my doctor and the hospital staff to keep my records confidential. Most of it is. But I’m telling this part because I want you to have a glimpse of what it’s like in this situation.

While I liked hospitals, I didn’t want this. This. This depression. It’s so depressing.

And I do not take that word lightly. It’s not some sort of sadness that goes away. It stays with you for weeks, months and even years.

I’m going to give another analogy.

Think of sadness as the yeast in the bread. It’s always been there. Always have, always will. Without sadness there won’t be joy. You need joy to be you. Like the yeast is needed for the bread to be a bread.

But if the yeast grows older, the bread goes stale. Stale = sadness.

Once that stale bread grows mold (aka depression) you can’t have that bread anymore. That mold takes over that bread (aka you) and everything is obviously, by the looks of it, ruined.


I stayed in the hospital for 7 days. We did MRI, CT scan, blood work, urinalysis – the whole nine yards. And then they gave me antidepressants and some anti-anxiety medications on a daily basis. My doctor told me I would have to take this for life.

My beautiful and kind nurses from Asian Hospital

I spent the hours sleeping and watching TV. Killing time.

I even brought my laptop because I still wanted to do work.

Workaholic. That’s another trait I have.

I just love being productive.

It’s another symptom of Bipolar Disorder actually. Mania. When I’m too high on my happy hormones and I just feel like I can do anything, be anything. It’s probably why I started so many start-ups and never got around to finishing them yet.

Oh yeah, those things that people admired me for? They made me depressed too.

I didn’t feel accomplished. I felt half-baked.

Mania is when I don’t sleep because I HAVE TO do something. It’s this productivity itch that won’t go away unless you clear off the to-do’s. Frankly, it’s supposedly a positive symptom but too much mania makes me scattered.

I lack focus.

You can actually see as to how I wrote this article.

And then those aspirations turn into frustrations and my mood swing goes from up to down. This can happen in a day or in 3 hours, but I never really paid attention. I had a hint before that I might be Bipolar (props to Google for helping me find some symptoms) but self-diagnosing is just too risky so I said, maybe I’m not.

The day before I was admitted to the hospital, I thought I saw my dead ex-husband by my bedside. He used to be my best friend. He died in 2015 from suicide and we never found out why.

That was one of the hardest parts of my life I guess.

The other one was when we separated and it took me a year to accept that.

Everything in my life seemed so fleeting. So hard. I didn’t quite get the challenges being thrown at me. And most of all I didn’t understand myself. I didn’t know how to handle all the pain anymore.

If it wasn’t for my daughter, I’d feel that life was a blank page I’m stuck on writing.


Fast forward September, I moved to a new home to change up my environment. My psychiatrist said this is a good move to start anew. I lived in Alabang for a month or two and made new friends. I ran with a running group and it was awesome. I felt so alive.

Adidas Boost Manila | Run This City
Adidas Boost Manila | Run This City

But I had to move back to Cavite by November. Money was running tight and renting an apartment was just out of my league anymore. My parents said that I’d be able to save better if I just returned. I was hesitant at first, but they were right.

By the time I finally got my company’s website (Tavolozza) running around December 2016, in the second most chaotic year of my life (2012 was the first one), I was accomplished – nay – elated that I have done something! I DID IT. I actually did it!

It took me such a long time (almost 6 years tbh) to even rebrand the whole thing because I “didn’t feel like it”.

And to think that almost 3 years ago, I started to quit on my life. Well since then and every week, or every other week from that time. I thought as the months progressed, so will my courage to leave this world.

But no, I’d love to say I’m not a chicken.

Though I will say that yes I was afraid of what is beyond death. I will say that I was afraid of what I might regret to leave. After all, I am the person who still chooses to see goodness in people and things. I still see good in this world and that was what was preventing me to just give up.

But I wasn’t afraid to die anymore.

And now that I think about it, this is actually a gift: Not being afraid of death.

When you have another chance to live, it’s a call to change something and make better circumstances.

People say that those who try to commit or have committed suicide are cowards but I say this:

Dying takes more courage than living. It’s easy to continue what’s already been started but it’s harder to die. It takes more courage to pull that trigger, drink that poison, swallow those pills and choose to end your life than continue living it.

So really, we should stop this stigma once and for all. Let people who are affected come out and get the help they need without fearing to be labeled and judged.

It’s 2017 now, and I believe I’m starting the year well. I remember the nights I wanted to delete my accounts and cut off everyone because “I wasn’t doing everything right.”

Funny how time, faith and the right help can turn things around.

And thank you to my wonderful, loving, beyond compassionate and amazing boyfriend M for holding me through it all.

I’m not saying depression will not come back again, but when it does at least I know now how to better handle it. Ganun pala yun (so that’s how it is). 🙂 Happiness and fulfillment are possible. God is so kind to spare me my life. He must have more reasons than just giving me talents.

I believe I’m meant to be here for you.

So from hereon out, I’m planning to write more about the highlights and contrasts of my journey – from depression, suicide, diagnosis, getting help and having hope – trusting that it will inspire others to hang on and create the life they want to live.

For now I hope this story shows that even an ordinary person can have Bipolar too. And despite my diagnosis, it’s not my weakness but a strength for my creativity. (I actually get more done when I’m in my mania, and more rest when I’m depressed. I just have to change my perspective and see it positively. 😊 )

Now I am free.

I’ll see you in more blog posts,

How To Set Goals With The Gear Yourself For Success (GYFS) Method

Knowing how to set goals is important in getting what you want and succeeding in life, especially in entrepreneurship and self development – for example, learning a skill or building your own business.

However, not many people can do goal setting right for them. Some know how to set goals but don’t seem to find the result they want right away. This is because the goal setting methods that are being used don’t apply universally.

Each person is unique and therefore, have different needs when it comes to goal setting. Here I’m going to show you how to set goals simply with a 5-step process I personally use: The GYFS Method.

How To Set Goals With A Simple 5 Step Method - The GYFS Method | goal setting, personal development, how to set goals, simple goal setting #bossbabe, #girlboss

What is the GYFS Method?

GYFS Method stands for Gear Yourself For Success.

It’s a system I’ve developed for myself after having so many planners and journals on my arsenal; none of which worked to fit my needs and lifestyle.

The best part? This planner is only 5 pages.

Whoaaaa. 5 pages?! Are you sure???

Technically it’s 4 pages – because the planner really is just 4 pages. The 5th page is a bonus page of 30 tips for success. It comes in handy, I promise. 😉

How does that work if I only have 5 pages?

Glad you asked! What makes it different is that majority of the GYFS workbook focuses on habits, reflection and macro goals. By setting the foundations, you’ll eventually learn how to set goals properly and suitably for you.

I’ll teach you how that works in the later part of this post.

Note: Before you start, it’s essential to know that this workbook is designed for an annual goal setting. Your goals may or may not change over the course of 1 year so it’s best to mark the workbook with the year you’re doing it for.

 

Page 1: Strengths, Weaknesses and Inspirations

The first part of this goal setting method focuses on your strengths and weaknesses. Page 1 is all about knowing you and your skills.

Learning how to set goals with strengths and weaknesses makes your character stronger because you know which areas you have to improve and keep on improving.

It consists of 5 boxes:

  1. The 5 skills you know and love to do
  2. The 5 skills or experiences you lack
  3. The things you can do with your 5 strengths
  4. The things you need to overcome your 5 weakness
  5. A list of your inspirations to be checked daily

 

Page 2: Triggers and Major Monthly Goals

Page 2 enlists your triggers – both positive and negative triggers and your monthly goals.

By being aware of what motivates you and ticks you, you will be more wholly prepared in knowing how to set your goals.

The monthly goals tab focuses on one goal per month. This way, you can fulfill your goals in a more convenient fashion. It trains your mind to take on one big project at a time instead of being caught up in multiple confusing tasks.

Feel free to adjust your goals as you see fit.

Move them, switch them or even delete them… it’s up to you. The point in having these 12 boxes is for you to have a space of purpose for the year.

 

Page 3: Habits, Rewards, Consequences & Support

Page 3 concentrates on the four aforementioned elements: habits, reflections, rewards and supporters.

Habits

95% of goal setters fail because of one very important trait: habit.

I personally experienced this when setting my fitness goal. I realized that while I was motivated to lose and maintain weight, my exercise habits and grocery shopping didn’t reflect my goal. So I relapsed.

For the better part, I think this year I’ll start taking my goals more seriously but still with fun of course.

However, I’ll keep in mind that through habits, knowing how to set goals will be much much easier.

The first box requires you to set at least two (2) alarms daily.

Research shows that a daily reminder is appealing to effective goal implementation.

How To Set Goals With The Gear Yourself For Success (GYFS) Method

Rewards & Consequences

For this part, it’s all about knowing the WHY behind your goal. Aside from the HOW, it’s also vital that you are clear on the purpose of what you intend to do.

What is your “why”?

A clear path is the best path so writing the reasons & consequences will help you know how to set goals better.

This section is composed of the next three (3) boxes:

  • Your major why and its impact or the “how”
  • Future introspection or “What would happen? How will you feel?”
  • 12 monthly rewards

Major why measures your drive and how badly do you want this goal to happen in your life.

How does this also impact you? How drastic will your lifestyle change positively if you do this goal?

Future introspection is a future reflection on what might happen if you do not take action on your goal.

What will be affected? How will it make you feel?

12 monthly rewards is my favorite! This part is where you get to reap all the rewards of your hardwork! Goal setting ain’t fun when you get nothin’ right? *snap snap* So I deviced this part for you to write each of the month with a reward sitting right next to it.

Support

What’s goal setting without support, am I right?

It can be very lonely when trying to learn how to set goals for yourself and follow through. So what’s the remedy?

A strong social foundation for what you want to do!

This may or may not be the same social circle you have now, but most likely I can tell you that it will be SO MUCH fewer than what you typically socialize with!

Why?

It’s because of this word: niche.

A niche is a particular interest narrowed done from one vague topic.

Think of the term goal setting. That’s the general thought. The niche could be fitness, business or education – it depends on what you’re going after.

So say, if you’re into fitness… a rather narrower niche in it could be running or jogging. And if you’re into these activities you need to find friends who are also into running or jogging too. Find a running group or jogging group near you and enjoy participating in activities.

RELATED: How To Find Your Tribe, Wellness and Empowerment

 

Page 4: Staples & Pick-Me-Uppers

This page gets you workin’ on your feet!

It consists of the following boxes:

  • Ideal work places (places of concentration; where you work best)
  • Optimal work schedule (times you work best)
  • Essential tools you need before working (so you can prep and get straight to your thing right away!)

The last two are crucial so pay attention to these too:

  • Activities you can do when you are low on motivation
  • A message to yourself

These two are powerful because if you know what you can do on days where it’s all monochrome, you’ll know how to bounce back to your goals much quicker than the last time.

 

Page 5: 30 Tips For Success

I’ll keep this a secret so you’ll have some surprise but trust me this page is waaaaaaaaay too good! I’d suggest you print two copies – one in your GYFS workbook and the other for your wall as a poster.

That way, your mind is constantly reminded to read them when your alarm rings for the GYFS reminder.

So that’s it. Congratulations on reaching the end! Now you have a more simplified way of setting goals and in turn you now know how to set goals short term and long term!

Get your Gear Yourself For Success Workbook Now

 

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Honestly, this blog post was way longer than the workbook itself. I figured it’ll just be a great expansive guide for you in case you need me to explain further. 😀

If you have questions on the workbook or the method itself, just hit me up in the comment section, tweet or send me a message on Twitter/Instagram (@earthloveskin) or email me here.

Again, thanks for sticking out! Paalam!

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Take A Break: 12 Ideas To Deal With Your Day Off + 5 Energizing Habits To Get Over That Slump

What do you do on your day off? Does work pour over and spill on your supposed leisure time? Are you unaware of how to spend your free time?

I know, some days you just don’t feel like doing anything and you’d call it a day. If you’re remotely like me, sometimes it could even extend to a week. It’s a hiatus that’s hard to deal and break.

And I’ll tell you that’s okay. Don’t feel guilty at all!

Because after weeks of hard work and constant movement, our body will eventually say, “Yo, I need a break. Can we stop and catch up for a while?”

But oops, if this “break” is too long and you feel you’re in a rut, what to do?

 

➡️ Just a heads up: The following post contains some affiliate and promotional links. However, I recommend them fully because I really love them and find them extremely valuable. 😎

1. Watch and binge!

You’ve heard of “Netflix and chill” right?
Or iFlix. Or Google Movies.

via GIPHY

Whatever your provider is, you get the point.

This one may be a cliché but the first thing I do when I’m exhausted is enjoy some visual entertainment. I go on an adventure with a movie like The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, be swept away by romance like City of Angels, Little Manhattan or Chasing Liberty, or ride on the thriller train with Stranger Things and Lord of The Rings.

Binge for 3 days to a week if your body is really needing a wind down. Listen to it and it will tell you how much time you need.

After that, the negativity you’re feeling is out of your system.

It’s a decent purge, I tell ya.

 

2. Catch up on what you saved

Saving too many bookmarks full of blog posts, articles and videos that you thought you’ll ever watch but never got around to? Me too.

Since I use Pomello, a little Pomodoro timer when I’m working, the pockets of 5-10 minute breaks are then my chance to catch up on some of them.

You can do this too and set aside a minimal of 20-30 minutes. And if you’re ever more vacant than that, go for an hour or three.

 

3. See the sun and feel the outdoors

So much immersion plugged all day to the internet can wear you down. Break the cycle for a bit by enjoying the outdoors and the sunshine.

You’d be surprised at what 20 minutes of walking or playing outside can do to your mood.

As a mama, this part is inserted in my weekly routine when Avis insists on going outside to the clubhouse grounds. It’s really hard to say no to that kid you know? Especially if she’s been cooped up and busy with Youtube or indoor playing for days. Yikes.

If you’re totally busy like my daughter, you could maybe get the chance by walking when you’re doing your daily commute instead of conveniently riding to a near destination.

Another idea is to bike your way around if you have one. It’s effortless, laid back but nonetheless a good exercise.

Or ya know, just put the damn smartphone and go out in your yard or the curb of your street! Stand there and breathe the air, smell the earth and feel the sun. 😃

 

4. Do short minute exercises

Feeling sluggish lately?

It’s usually because of lack of exercise, just ask my friend Coach Sofia.

Lack of exercise can make you stagnant, which seems reasonable because low levels of vitamin D can lead to fatigue and depression.

To help you out, try Sofia’s 15 minute workout here.

A little bit of movement can go a long way.

Personally I like High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and plyometrics for 10-20 minutes each round. It challenges my body to rely on weight and intensity to work out my muscles especially my legs and core.

Here are other tips for you to boot:

The Prayer Pose from Anverelle.com

 

5. Go through your social calendar

Just cause you’re working or you’re busy with a project or a client doesn’t mean you can ignore your social needs.

Check your social calendar to see if you have upcoming events.

Hmm. Probably none? I hear you.

Use this time to catch up with friends and relatives. Like they say, “No man is an island”.

Each week you can rotate with different friends, sorting them by proximity or how close their location is.

Budget constraints or don’t feel like going out? No problem.

Allot one day to a particular friend you’ve been dying to catch up all year long and do just that. Choose from Facebook, Viber, Snapchat, Hangouts or Twitter. Even Instagram nowadays is picking up their game on messaging. But yo one word of advice, phone calls and video calls are so much better than typing.

 

6. Write your to-do’s for the upcoming day or week

I know this might sound counter-intuitive, but trust me, there’s nothing like a freed up schedule.

I use Evernote (get your FREE account here!) to jot down my thoughts, notes, to-do’s and plans. It’s very useful and I highly recommend it.

Another free service I use is Trello. It’s like a virtual corkboard where you can organize your tasks. They have apps for the web, the iPhone, iPad, and Android models too so you can bring it anywhere you go.

For now these are my top two, but I promise to write an ultimate list of productivity and management apps and software I use!

To get first news, sign up on my newsletter and I’ll let you know when it’s published!

Feel better about your life!

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7. Unplug and meditate

Go on a technology detox and shut off your interaction from any gadget during your day off. It’s good for the soul while it lets you reflect on your overall being.

I do yoga and pilates on my spare time, and on days where I play with my daughter or I feel down, I refrain from checking my social media.

It’s hard to keep up when you’re back but hey it’s worth it.

No confusing notifications and headaches for a while!

 

8. Attend an event

Empty days like the weekends can be repetitive. Shake it up for a change by participating in a local event like a conference, a meetup or a bazaar.

💡 Tip: Use the Facebook events feature, Eventbrite and Meetup.com to discover events near you.

 

9. Date yourself

When was the last time you went on a date?

Isn’t there something magical and romantic in it, don’t you think? While your romantic relationship may or may not exist, it’s still very important to nurture the one with ourselves.

💡 Here are some ideas:

  • Set up a cozy fine shrine for you, complete with your vision board, dreams and cut out clippings for your future better self.
  • Treat yourself to a nice hearty homemade meal – candlelights recommended.
  • Go to a place where you can be quiet and alone with your soul, like a park or a graveyard (yep! It’s not that spooky in my opinion! Famous writers do it!)
  • Buy flowers and address it to yourself, or pick some from the local flower shop. You can also buy a potted plant and grow it on your own.

 

10. Write yourself a letter

When you’re not having your best week, writing yourself a letter can be therapeutic.

There are 3 forms for this:

  1. Letter of forgiveness. Forgive yourself for feeling guilty and down. There are best days and worst ones, and from my experience, you just have to roll with life to thrive and survive. Forgive yourself for working too hard or too little, because that’s okay. Your days will vary and know that the only pressure you feel is from you.
  2. Letter of appreciation. Gratitude, they say, is the best medicine to a really bad day. Thank yourself for who you are, what you’re capable of, and how far you’ve come can uplift you.
  3. Letter to your future self. Time capsule, anyone? I was watching Peppa Pig with my two-year-old daughter and in one episode they decide to make a time capsule. It’s a really neat idea to have something from the past uncovered in the future. My best bet is you write something that you’d want to read later on. It could be like a dialogue or a discussion of your goals and see years from now if it will happen. Now, that’s magic folks!

 

11. Join a community

It’s a great feeling to belong somewhere. Whether it be online or offline, finding a group where you share common interests is fun, engaging and enlightening.

A sense of belonging is one of the cornerstones in achieving your greater self.

Remember Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs?

Yep. That one.

Find one of the strongest pursuits in your field of interests (say, fitness, blogging or cosmetics) and search a community for it. Chances are, there’s already an existing one waiting to be found.

RELATED: How to Find Your Tribe, Wellness & Empowerment

 

 

12. Do something good

Research shows doing something good makes you feel good. So why not do a little nice activity today?

[excerpt] They found that the more people participated in meaningful activities, the happier they were and the more purposeful their lives felt.

Doing good for the world or for someone increases your happiness and fulfillment. Not to mention it’s a double jackpot too!

How’s that for a change?

💡 Some ideas include:

  • Volunteering for a non-profit on your weekend
  • Visiting a local charity or orphanage on a Saturday
  • Offer to take up household chores for your family
  • Type someone’s paper
  • Buy someone a subscription to a service they use, like Spotify, Evernote, Trello
  • Bake cookies and send them in bags around your neighborhood
  • Thank the regular blue collar people who come by your house like the newspaper guy, the post man, the street vendor or even the security guard at your favorite establishments and tell them you’re grateful for their service
  • Send an e-card randomly to a friend
  • Put together a playlist

 

And if you’re still feeling a little low and can’t get over the hump, here are 5 energizing habits you can DEFINITELY do any day:

  1. Brush your teeth. 
    It sounds mundane but there’s this wonder of having clean teeth and minty breath to rejuvenate you!When I’m demotivated, it’s surprising how I break the funk once I brush my teeth. Turns out, I’m just annoyed by not having clean teeth. Maybe this’ll work for you too! 🙂
  2. Take a bath.

    Cold baths are for when you need a jolt and warm baths are for lazy, long sluggish days.

    Choosing the right kind of bath is like a make or break. Because hey, if you’re feeling lazy and you so unknowingly jump into cold shower… guess what? It’ll put your mood off even more.It’s like drinking black coffee when you’re really thirsty.
    You’re not getting what your body needs.Rather, take a warm bath to soothe your senses, open up your pores and enjoy a relaxing and healing magic of water.

    On the other hand, don’t get a warm bath when you need to hurry!
    Got it? Good.

  3. Inspire yourself. 
    Successful and goal-oriented people surround themselves with inspiration.It could be people or things, places or quotes you find on BrainyQuotes (don’t you just loooove the many quotes there?!).I, myself, use a Chrome extension called Momentum to get my day started. It’s my substitute for coffee (I quit 10 months ago) and it gives me a glimpse of the time, an inspirational quote, my to-do’s, the weather and my favorite bookmarks. It’s become my essential for the day. And no, this isn’t a sponsored post mwahaha. I wish! But Momentum is cool as a polar bear that I would absolutely suggest having on your Chrome browser. Sorry Safari and Microsoft Edge users. They’re not available for you yet.You can inspire yourself too, by talking to a living inspiration.Have you always wanted to chat with that artist or maker you admire?

    Go ahead and message them!
    You never know, they might just reply! It’ll definitely make your day.

    And while you’re at it, thank them for their talent and go ask them useful questions like what do they do when they’re down, how do they find inspiration in what they do and why they do it.

  4. Have a planner.

    I’ve heard of people who are not much of planners and all I can say is, even if you’re one of the crowd, there’s always room for a little planning.Life just calls for it if you haven’t noticed.If you don’t like the idea of dotting your I’s and crossing your T’s then think of it as a rough preparation.Planning makes your thoughts tangible, and that’s what makes it so powerful to help you get over the slump.

    I recommend one with a monthly/yearly calendar and ample spaces to write appointments as well as blank spaces for your mini and macro goals.

    A perfect example would be my GYFS workbook – did I mention it’s only 5 pages?

    You’ll love it once you get it!
    Sign up below to get it free straight to your inbox 🙂 yas, it’s fuh-reeee!

    Get your Gear Yourself For Success Workbook Now

     

    Are you stuck in a limbo? Don't know where to start with your goal?

    Master the skills of successful women today with this FREE workbook. Included is a BONUS page of 30 Tips For Success.

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  5. Laugh and get a hug.

    Watch a comedy movie – I recommend anything Jennifer Aniston, Adam Sandler and Jason Segel.Crack a joke and chuckle at yourself for being corny.Get a hug from someone you love, or even a friendly stranger. Yes, your pets count too!


    Because it’s true, laughter and hugs are the best medicine.

 

There you go! I hope these tips sincerely help you.

Let me know what worked and what didn’t in the comments below. I would love to hear your feedback!

Need help? Want to start goal-setting or figuring out your life path but don’t know how?
Contact me here and I’ll respond to you as fast as I can. 🙂

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Note: This post contains affiliate links to some services but not directly affiliated with and promoted by the companies. Read more about this blog’s partnerships & disclosure policy for more information.

Kendall Jenner Quits Social Media: What We Can Learn From Her

Kendall Jenner quits social media, but she has a point.

Not that it’s a shocking news to the world (actually it has, with CNN covering it ‘yo). If it was any other 21-year-old, it would have been watered down by the sidelines, but Kendall isn’t just any 21-year-old.

The famous younger Kardashian sister has recently flooded the news because of her sudden social media break. She has deleted her Instagram and have deleted her Twitter app from her phone.

The age of apps and instant messaging

It’s funny how in the old movies, our present was depicted as a future with robots and chrome-laden city (cue Spongebob episode). Yet even though that has not come fully yet, our generation has been taken over by technology. Startups popping left and right, apps being made into business, GPS to track our location… the endless buzz and flood of it all hangs by the thread of a pro or a con.

Kendall Jenner quits social media. Would you?

For someone who’s thinking of doing a “social media detox” I would suggest not to dive head deep into the abyss. You may relapse and regret it later, checking all your thousands of emails in your inbox. Yikes.

So how would you exactly approach the situation?

The solution?

Take a break for a day and see how it goes.

After Kendall Jenner quits social media, she says it has only been 2 days but the world is going crazy over this rather mundane event. What more if it went on for more than a month? Would there be a grave dedicated to her now deceased Instagram account?

Kendall Jenner Quits Social Media: What We Can Learn From Her

Social media detox can save your time and your life

I can’t recall how many times I’ve missed family moments simply because I was busy snapping away for my Instagram and Snapchat. I’m guilty of it too. But what I can tell you is that, make sure if you’re capturing something… make it count!

I have went from the social media overwhelm as well.

There were weeks when I didn’t feel like checking Facebook and any other social media at all.

When I got back on my feet and checked my inbox I had a hundred messages. Oh boy.

But the point is, taking a break can actually save you more time instead of having the fear of missing out (FOMO as what millenials call it).

 

Here are some pointers if you feel like going on a detox like how Kendall Jenner quits social media:

  • EASY: Try out detoxing from your phone and computer for a day or two.
    MEDIUM: Gradually move up to weeks.
    HARD: Until 14 days. Only check it if it’s important like urgent calls and emails.
  • If you cannot do the extreme “day challenge yet” you can start with 15-30 minute breaks, followed by an hour and then 3 hours.
  • Turn off your instant notifications.
  • Log out of your apps if you still want to retain them but don’t want to be notified.
  • Put your phone in silent (not vibrate) option. This way you won’t be tempted to check.
  • For the more temporary and better option: Turn off your WiFi.
  • Only add people you actually know and enjoy the company of.
  • Place your phone somewhere you may feel too tired to reach.
  • Or rather: Entrust your phone to another close human being and make a pact not to give it until you’re done with your detox or whatever it is that you’re concentrating on.

 

When is it best to do the social media detox?

Whenever you feel that looming sense of overwhelm, that’s when you know. But for a more intricate guideline here’s my guesstimate:

  1. Weekends starting 7AM on Saturday to 11PM Sunday.
  2. Family occasions take an hour or two break. Leave phone at your hotel room or accommodation.
  3. During travels take a camera instead of your phone. Not only do you save your phone’s battery, but you’ll take better high def pictures as well.
  4. Hikes explanatory right? Bringing a cellphone in the mountains may be necessary for survival but you’ll probably not get a decent reception.
  5. Family meals oh this one’s a doozy. Many times I’ve seen people eat at restaurants while checking their phones. I used to be guilty about this, but I think here’s where the part of “bless us O Lord for the food we eat” comes in, because how can we bless our food properly if we’re Instagraming it before saying grace? At least say our graces first, amen?

 

Anyway, Kendall says this whole phase is a “detox” as it has taken over her life quite frankly. She says every morning and before bedtime, social media is her bff. But she might be back, just not soon enough.

See the full interview below.

Well, we can surely learn from that. Thanks Kendall.

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Filling Station Bar Cafe: A Hidden Food Joint In Makati

Filling Station Bar Cafe

(Filling Station Bar Cafe: …cont’d from How To Find Your Tribe, Wellness and Empowerment)

It was dim. Bae and I decided to split the cab and go with Grab. We were both hungry so we walked back and forth looking for a good place to eat.

One of the nicest things that night was the guard telling us to go to this hidden food joint beside Royal Bellagio Hotel.

It was something called ‘Filling’. He whispered it like a hidden tip or something.

I actually thought he meant “feeling” or something (cause you get to eat to your heart’s content lol)

When we got there, it said “Filling Station” Bar & Diner. The lovely joint was tucked away at the bustling Burgos Street.

From an interior designer’s perspective, imagine my excitement just seeing the 70’s diner interior!

I LOVED everything about it!

Filling Station Bar Cafe: A Hidden Food Joint In Makati | Earth Love Skin

Filling Station Bar Cafe: A Hidden Food Joint In Makati | Earth Love Skin

Bae ordered a Mexican burger and I ordered an American pancake breakfast with sausage and bacon.

Filling Station Bar Cafe: A Hidden Food Joint In Makati | Earth Love Skin

Filling Station Bar Cafe: A Hidden Food Joint In Makati | Earth Love Skin

Not quite as healthy as I’d like but I decided it’s cheat day and I had no regrets. It reminded me of Seattle’s Coffee’s.

Filling Station Bar Cafe: A Hidden Food Joint In Makati | Earth Love Skin

The pancakes and sausages were cooked to perfection. The best part was the thick and endless flow of syrup on my plate.

Filling Station Bar Cafe: A Hidden Food Joint In Makati | Earth Love Skin

Filling Station Bar Cafe: A Hidden Food Joint In Makati | Earth Love Skin
Strawberry Slushie at Filling Station Bar Cafe

Days like this make me want to go urban exploring again. Or for the mere fact, let’s just say I miss backpacking a lot.

But motherhood also demands me, so I’m waiting till Avis is ready and we can both go on adventures.

Filling Station Bar Cafe: A Hidden Food Joint In Makati | Earth Love Skin

 

Item Price Description
American Breakfast  484  3 pc pancakes, 2 sausage links and 2 strips of bacon
Strawberry Smoothie  165  Strawberry slushie on ice

Total:   

Convenience
100%
Customer Service
100%
Price
95%
Quality
100%
Concept
100%
Presentation
100%
My Favorites
100%

Convenience

Ah, convenience.

Filling Station Bar Cafe is conveniently located at Burgos St. Makati. The best part is that if you’re into hidden urban jewels, the convenience of this diner will suit you.

Getting around Burgos St. Makati isn’t a problem, you can take a cab, Uber or Grab from anywhere in Metro Manila or Makati and tell them to alight you at Royal Bellagio at Burgos St. The restaurant is located right beside Bellagio.

If you’re tight on the budget, you may take the Metro Railway Transit (MRT) and take off at Buendia Station. From there you can take a cab to Filling Station Bar Cafe.

But for the walk extremists, from the MRT Buendia Station it’s an 18 minute walk to Filling Station Bar Cafe.

 

Customer Service

We waited for a while with our orders, but given the quality of food I understand why it took longer.

There were several factors that affected the customer service, such as: waiting time upon arrival, number of customers, rush hour and number of orders taken per table.

For us, I think that it was top notch.

I didn’t have to ask for the syrup at all! It was freely given and the drinks were simultaneously served. All in all, I have no complaints with Filling Station Bar Cafe.

Price

Considering Burgos Street Makati is a tourist flock capital, I understand the prices on the menu. The orders started at around PHP 300 to PHP 500. There were also group portions but I can’t remember the prices that well.

Quality

Oh yes, the quality! If I could give them more than 100% I would.

Filling Station Bar Cafe served me the best American breakfast since Seattle’s. The strawberry smoothie was also nice. I liked that they both have healthy options and (not so healthy) other variety.

Concept

I think I covered this above but yeah. The concept.

Man, I can’t reiterate how much I loved the concept of this hidden food joint! From Elvis replicas to James Dean on the walls, the vibe of this diner took my heart away. I’m not a fan of the black and white tiles generally but hey, it’s a diner so I’ll give it a break.

You won’t even know the diner exists unless you know.

That’s how hidden it is, especially at night which, I do recommend by the way for the hours of your visit. The lights at Burgos Street Makati will wow you and when you add this diner to your must-visit, damn.

Presentation

Presentation-wise Filling Station Bar Cafe served me well decent food. There weren’t any complaints at all. The butter on my pancake was cute, I even had a little American flag over it!

My Favorites

Hmm. This one’s so hard to pick! Aarrrgh. Okay okay. I guess it’s American Breakfast and the concept. You can feel right at home but at a totally different place here.

 

When you visit Makati City Philippines, put Filling Station Bar Cafe in your travel itinerary, okay?

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Note: This post was not sponsored by Filling Station Bar Cafe. But you can follow their Facebook here. Read more about this blog’s partnerships & disclosure policy for more information.

French Toast Recipe For When You’re Hungry At Midnight

Mmm. French toast recipe.

I really love making it.

And while, I enjoy them in the morning, I think midnight French toasts are the best.

If you’re living alone and forgot to buy sugar, boy, this will also make you drool. I didn’t think it was even better without the sugar or honey ? but it worked!

I used powdered chocolate because I went grocery shopping at Shopwise Alabang and forgot the damn sugar.

Good thing I did.

Just drop the pancakes and syrup for now and indulge in these marvelous triangles. They’re good post workout snacks and midnight fillers when you’re working all night on a project too. Especially when you’re still waiting for McDonald’s delivery to order your breakfast. ?

Enjoy making these and if you have your own French toast recipe, care to share them in the comments too!

I wanna know what toppings you love ?????? or how your French toast recipe is.

Midnight French Toast Recipe
Serves 2
Already love French toasts? Make them at midnight. They're the best.
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Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 slices whole wheat bread
  2. 1 egg
  3. 1/4 cup milk
  4. Sugar / honey / powdered chocolate
  5. Banana or any fruit (optional)
  6. 1 tsp cinnamon
  7. 1 tsp nutmeg (optional)
Instructions
  1. Make the egg + milk + cinnamon mixture
  2. Dip the bread and let it soak on both sides
  3. Heat the pan (no oil or butter) and grill the bread
  4. Flip over until golden brown or until edges are crisp
  5. Half the bread into triangles.
  6. Serve with fruit and top off with sugar, honey or powdered chocolate like Milo.
Notes
  1. You may use powdered sugar instead of table sugar
  2. Best to top the toasts while hot off the pan
Earth Love Skin http://earthloveskin.com/
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Design Your Health 2016

Hey Filipino dreamers!

Be part of the first Health and Wellness Fair this October!

Design Your Health is a 2-day holistic health and wellness fair that aims to promote holistically healthy lifestyle.

It showcases the importance of your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual activities that affect the overall design of your health and well-being.

Aimed towards entrepreneurial moms, young professionals, and health-conscious consumers, Design Your Health proposes a unique approach to wellness. Attendees and participants will be treated to a healthy mixture of stores, workshops, clinics, and talks that introduce and showcase a holistically healthy lifestyle.

It’s happening this October 8 and 9, 2016 at the Mandala Park, Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City.

 

The event will feature 50 bazaar exhibitors: workshops on arts, fitness and entrepreneurship; and talks by experts on health and wellness.

Click on below links to see what workshop/ class that suits your needs and preferences best:

Entrance Fee to the Expo: 150php (FREE if you register to at least 1 of the workshops)

Register here:

Design Your Health is brought to you by Unilab Foundation. All proceeds of the fair will go fund the health programs of Unilab Foundation particularly on kids’ nutrition, therapeutic and developmental play for children, and employment of persons with disabilities.

Contact:
Tiffany Vargas
09985603398
tiffany.vargas@manilaworkshops.com
for inquiries or sponsorship.

I highly recommend on going. I’m stoked to see what’s in store for us tomorrow. Remember, wellness is overall. It starts within you, through you and by you.

See you tomorrow, dreamers. Keep on thriving. ?✨

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Note: This post was sponsored by Unilab Foundation and Mandala Park. Read more about this blog’s partnerships & disclosure policy for more information.