Top Tips for Readers

As an avid (and quite frankly, obsessive) reader myself, I’ve spent a lot of this summer with my nose in a book. I go through books like food and often don’t know what to do when I don’t have a book I’m reading! I’ve been trying to find new ways to indulge myself and immerse myself even more into the books I read, so here are a few tips for book readers who want the books to leave an impact.

  1. Before starting a new book, sleep on the one you just finished. Oftentimes, I finish a book in a day and then I want to keep reading and pick up a new book. I usually stop myself from doing that, because sometimes it’s best to just let the book marinate – sleep on it, think about it, give yourself at least a night before starting a new one.
  2. Write what you learn. In my journal, I like the create lists (Can you tell I’m a list person?) of lessons I learn from each book I read. Now, not every book inspires me enough to create a journal entry like this, but I think it’s important to think about and reflect on what you learn from each book you read. Then, you can always look back when you’re looking to re-read a book, or when you’re looking to recommend a book to a friend!
  3. READ OUTSIDE. I am so much happier when I read outside, especially in the summer!
  4. Paper books, paper books, paper books. I refuse to use a Kindle (although it would be much more convenient for travel…) because I still can’t get over the magic of turning the page and holding a REAL BOOK in my hands.
  5. When you feel yourself going into a reading dry spell (we all get this…when you just can’t get yourself to finish, let alone start, a new book) pick up an old one that you love. Re-read your favorite book to get you back into the swing of reading.

What are your reading tips? Let me know in the comments!

How to Help: Panic/Anxiety Attacks

Every word feels like it weighs a thousand pounds. Every decision feels like it is life-threatening. Every move feels like it is the most important thing in the world. The world feels too bright and the light hurts my head. Everything is spinning. I cannot breathe. I cannot think.
I get anxiety and panic attacks a lot. Lately, it has been daily. It’s been hindering my writing, hence the lack of posts in the past month. Thank god for my dog, who always seems to know what’s going on, and cuddles me even though I can’t stop hyperventilating. When I’m able to clear my head, I realize what I must look like from the outside, and how hard it must be for the people who love me to see me like this. I’m writing this for anybody who loves someone who suffers extreme anxiety attacks, and for those of you who suffer attacks like I do, I would suggest creating something similar to show your loved ones.
A few simple steps to help somebody having an attack:
1. Listen to them. If they tell you to stop talking, do. If they tell you to leave them alone, do. Don’t completely abandon them and walk away, but take a step back and be there to listen.
2. Get them water I know it’s something very simple, but it helps a lot. Especially if they are dry heaving or hyperventilating. They need water. It can help calm them down.
3. Remember, this is NOT who they are The person they become when they are having an attack is not who they truly are.
4. Do NOT downsize their problems While the situation at hand may appear easily fixed from your point of view, to them, it’s the scariest thing in the world. Do not downsize or try to fix their problems. Listen to them. If they want to think of a solution, you can help, but do not try to fix everything yourself because you do not see the problem the same way they do.
5. Be there Honestly, that’s the best you can do. Sit with them through it. They will appreciate you so much for it.

Hope this helps somebody. Will try to write more these coming weeks. xoxo

Accepting Introversion

Growing up in a society where the word “quiet” has a negative connotation is hard. In fact, it’s hard for at least one third of the population. One third. Likely more! Yet nobody does anything to change the way this is because, well, it’s been like that for a long time. In school, you’re taught to work in groups. They force everyone to sit in tables facing each other, to work together, even for creative endeavors that really should be individual. When I was younger, I was painstakingly shy. People would tell me that I was “too quiet” like it was a bad thing, and as I got older, teachers acted as though I must had some sort of psychological issue because I didn’t raise my hand to answer every question like the favorite class know-it-all. I overcame my shyness with age. I do not consider myself a shy person at all anymore. Yet still, I would prefer to keep quiet and only share what I see as applicable to the situation. I am still, and will always be, an introvert.
Shyness and introversion are very different. Shyness is a fear of talking to and interacting with people, whereas introversion isn’t so much a fear but more of a lack of the need to always interact with people. In class discussions, I would much prefer to watch. And this doesn’t mean I’m not participating, in fact, I’m participating just as much by observing and coming up with my own thoughts and opinions. Friday nights, I would much prefer to have a nice night out with a couple of close friends, rather than a crazy party with thousands of people I barely know. Introverts value close friends, time for reflection, and quiet environments. This doesn’t mean that introverts never go out, in fact, I usually go out once a week. We just prefer not to. But I know, personally, as long as I’m feeling like it, I will go out and do things.
It’s taken a lot of time for me to accept my introversion. For years, I kept trying to be the extravert that I could not be. I deemed myself as lesser because I wasn’t as talkative or couldn’t handle as many social activities as my extraverted peers. It’s time that people stop valuing extraversion more than introversion. Both types of people bring wonderful things to the table, and growing up as an introvert is becoming increasingly hard, especially in schools. Both types deserve to be respected. Quiet should not have a negative connotation to it. People can only control who they are to some extent, and there is no point on deeming characteristics like quiet to be negative when people cannot control that part of who they are.
It’s time society recognized that the talents of extroverts and introverts are equal.

The Calorie Counting Craze

400 calorie cookie, 500 calorie sandwich, 300 calorie smoothie. “You’ve reached your calorie limit.” “Your calorie intake is too low for today.” It’s those damn calorie counting apps that are getting to me this time. Society has this constant obsession with weight and with fitness. I spend way too much time staring at long legs and thin waists wishing I looked like them. I don’t spend enough time embracing and being glad I look like ME.
Being hungry isn’t fun. Neither is the anxiety that stems from eating more than a small snack. When did this happen to us? When did we become so focused on weight that it takes away from focusing on our own happiness?
I know it’s hard to shift your focus away from calorie counting to happiness counting, but here are a few tips on how to get there:
1) Delete the damn calorie counting app. Get rid of it. It’s only making anxiety take up more time of your day.
2) Eat until you’re hungry. Try not to think about numbers. Just think about how you’re feeling.
3) Don’t try to be like other people just because they look the way you want to look. You look wonderful the way you are.
4) In order to accept that you are wonderful the way you are, here is an extremely helpful daily activity that I would suggest: get a jar, rip up tiny pieces of paper for it, and each day write something that you love about your body on it. It can range from your hair to the color of your toenails. Something small or something big. Just something to remind yourself that every part of you is beautiful.

Hope these help. Will try to write more consistently. I have been very overwhelmed with schoolwork and anxiety levels are increasing. Taking care of myself. Until next time xxoo