An App that Helped Me Wake Up Early

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I am happy to tell you that I have finally found a way to wake up early in the morning without feeling lazy, sleepy or tired. I’ve read some articles on the internet on how to keep a routine of waking up early, and watched videos on YouTube as well. Almost all of them have the same strategy on how to wake up early. One thing that really worked on me though is just an app. Yes, an app!

I’ve downloaded the app, unplugged my night light, started tinkering our actual digital alarm clock (which I haven’t used since I bought it), tried to set the alarm at 4:30 am, not sure if it will work; I also tried to wind down 1 hour before my bedtime (10:00am). I did bedtime yoga, using my yoga app called Daily Yoga, meditated, closed our bedroom door to keep the noise out (my husband likes watching basketball before he sleeps), and turned off the light so the room was in total darkness. Then I set off the app that helped me wake up.

I’m sure you’re dying to know what that app is. It’s called Sleep Cycle.

It’s a really wonderful app. It’s not just an alarm clock, it also analyzes your sleep cycle. It will show you a graph of the times you are in deep sleep and the times when you’re sleeping lightly. It will also show you when you snored and I did! You can listen to it but then you have to pay for the subscription. The app is free, but if you want more option, then you have to pay. The good thing about it? It wakes you up in between your preferred alarm time when you’re in your lightest phase of sleep, so it feels like you’re just waking up naturally. It feels amazing! A regular alarm clock will go off and can wake you up whether or not you are in deep sleep. That is why you tend to hit that snooze button a couple of times before you decided to finally get up and still feel sleepy, lazy and tired.

So that very first morning when Sleep Cycle app woke me up, I didn’t hit the snooze button. I didn’t feel like going back to sleep. It woke me up around 4:15 am. I got up and was able to do some yoga and meditation before going to work.

I just can’t tell you how much this app was able to help me. Today is my day off and I still managed to wake up early and it feels so good! I was able to do a lot of things and it also kept my mood in checked. I have plenty of time to do my check list.

It’s unbelievable how an app can help you. I’ve also downloaded an app to help with my weight loss. It’s called Lose It! Everyday when I wake up, I check my pre-breakfast weight and record it on the app. Then it allows me to log all the foods that I eat and calculates my calories. Based on your height and weight, it will calculate your ideal caloric intake. It tells me whether I’m over my daily calorie requirement and I can make my own adjustments. Like, I can either, eat lightly at night when I ate a lot during the day, or I can exercise more to compensate for the extra calories I’ve eaten.

I am so proud of myself! Good job, me! 🙂

Aja, fighting!

(BTW, our digital alarm clock didn’t work. It must’ve been set up at 4:30pm instead of 4:30am. Who knows?)

 

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Online Decluttering

Yesterday, when I said I deleted my social media apps, I know that my account is still intact (as opposed to being active), but I just don’t have them in my cellphone anymore. That way, I won’t be able to access it as easily as before.

The good thing about it is that, since I don’t see any social media apps in my cellphone and I don’t know what’s going on with everyone, it leaves me with a feeling of being completely unaware of my surroundings. When I was constantly checking my FB and Instagram account, I always see what’s going on with everyone. And when I see them in person, it’s like, I knew something about her/him; I knew what she did last weekend or I knew who she/he was with last night. Each one of us in FB and IG becomes a stalker of one another. One may not admit it, but what does it say when a person knows what’s going on about you when you don’t even talk?

Scary, ain’t it?

We went to a Filipino birthday party after work today and the food was overflowing as usual. Everyone was taking selfies and group pictures. Everyone was updating their social media apps and uploading pictures. Looking at them buried in their cellphones and knowing that I won’t be able to see any of my pictures there, didn’t make me feel like an outcast. In fact, I feel so proud because I’m not one of them anymore.

I may have to post some vacation pictures for my upcoming birthday week this May, just for the sake of my online photo album. But, I may have to keep this up. It’s been great.

I’ve finally deleted my YouTube app as well. I realized I’m using our smart TV to access YouTube for TOEFL reviews and never use my cellphone for it. I also had the time to delete some emails in my inbox. It’s time to sweep up and do some online decluttering. Delete apps that you haven’t been using for a long time and keep the important basic apps.

Happy deleting! Aja, fighting!

 

Social Media Apps Deleted!

Last night, after posting in this blog, I went over my cellphone and tried to see how I can deactivate Facebook. I couldn’t see it in my mobile device. So what I did was, I just deleted all of my social media apps one…by…one.

Yes!

Well, I kept Pinterest, because it’s where I find great ideas for everything; Twitter because I don’t have that many friends there; and YouTube, because, you know, YouTube. I have an account in YouTube but I never use it. I don’t even know my username and password. And Messenger, of course. I still need a form of communication with my family and friends. So there you go!

So this morning when I woke up, I didn’t try to look on my cellphone because I know I have nothing to check. I took my Synthroid then I went ahead and took a shower, got dressed for work and ate breakfast. Then I checked my cellphone because of the messages from my family, checked our bank account and went off to work.

At work today, I didn’t check my cellphone. I saw text messages from J when I went to the break room. But other than that, I haven’t checked anything else. Good job, me!

It feels so liberating. It’s like I have all this time in the world. I can feel the present moment. It got me excited to write something that feels like an accomplishment.

I’m doing this because I always see us (me and J) together with our noses buried on our cellphones. I don’t want us to be like the other couples who are together physically but separated virtually. I’m also doing this because I need to focus. I am pursuing my career as a Physical Therapist. I needed discipline to be able to study. I’m also studying for TOEFL. An English prerequisite for the Foreign-trained Physical Therapist. So I need a lot of practice writing and answering “Ms Universe” type of questions.

That’s it for today! Aja, fighting!

 

 

 

 

 

Distractions: Social Media & Smart Phone

I got inspired reading someone else’s blog, so let me try to rekindle my long lost love affair with writing.

I used to love writing. I would write just about anything. I would write in a journal, a piece of paper, a notebook, this blog. I would have thoughts about writing. And I would have been itching to write down my thoughts. It would be nonstop once I started writing. The thoughts will just start pouring and I would just be contented writing and thinking about writing the next day.

And reading. I mean, I still read. I still hoard books even if I still have a pile high of other unread books collecting dust in my book shelf waiting to be read. I get comfort in buying books knowing that I would eventually read them all someday. I miss that feeling when I sleep late because of reading, and then wake up grabbing my book first thing in the morning before I get up from bed and start my day. And then I would make some coffee. That feeling when you sip your bittersweet coffee, not taking your eyes away from the book that you’re reading, because you don’t want to miss any event that’s happening in a different world contained in the pages you’re holding at the very moment. And then you just suddenly snap out of that world and realize that you have to deal with the present moment. You have to prepare for work. Grabbing your book with your bookmark in place, carefully placing them in your bag because you know you’d be reading it inside the bus on the way to work.

Whatever happened?

Social media happened. Smart phones happened.

It has a lot to offer. Suddenly, you have this smart phone that contain e-books, blogs, online diaries, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest. It took away my precious time. It has been my constant companion. I am aware that I’m hooked but I couldn’t let go. I’ve invested a lot in it: memories, photos, keeping track of my friends, acquaintances, family, co-workers. I can talk to anyone by just sending them messages over the phone. I can search anything in it. I can access my email, my bank account, pay my bills, shop etc. It’s one heck of everything in one smart phone.

I admit I have thoughts about deleting everything and just buy myself a flip phone where I can call people in my phone book or send them text messages. But that would mean not being able to see what my friends are up to or chat with my family anytime on messenger. Not to mention all of the photos I’ve uploaded. J even challenged me to delete our Facebook account. Don’t get me wrong, I’m up to that challenge. I’m just thinking about all of our photos on Facebook. It has been like my virtual photo album.

I do have constant thoughts on how to avoid checking my phone. But once boredom kicks in or lack of things to do, I find myself checking my cellphone.

The first step to cure addiction is acceptance. Accept and let go. Find other (useful) things to do. Things that you used to love doing. Those things considered old fashioned or old school. Stay away from your phone. Start using your laptop. It’s really useful. In fact, I’m using it right now. I will try to document, as much as possible, the steps I will undertake to get rid of this smartphone/social media addiction.

Aja, fighting!

 

 

 

 

 

The Return Of the Dead Blog

I have been markedly absent. Thinking of ways to rekindle this flickering love affair with writing.  I feel compelled to blog.

But where do I start?

Well, I’ve been married for almost 7 months. How is life treating me? I have to say, I have my own share of ups and downs. It’s not always easy but I’m happy for the way things are turning out.  I finally learned how to cook (Yay!). My husband saw how I transformed from an angel to a monster in a span of 5 seconds during my bouts of PMS. He had a hard time, I know. Poor guy. He’s just so clueless trying to understand my mood swings. But, he’s a very patient guy and I love him for that. We’re still waiting (patiently) for a baby to come. It’s really stressful when all of our friends are asking about it and I see my other friends getting pregnant and having babies. I didn’t know that that would be the second stage after, when-are-you-getting-married phase. I try not to think about it too much because I’ll just end up questioning myself. For now, my husband and I are just trying to enjoy our married life minus the baby. It will come in time.

Work consumes the most out of me. I usually come home tired and cranky. Being a Nurse is a really, really stressful job. It burns me out easily. But it finally paid off. I got an increment in my salary (Yay!). That’s why I’m glad I finally had my annual vacation leave. I got to see my family for a brief period of 25 days. It wasn’t really enough but it’s all worth it.

Right now, I have books waiting to be read, recipes to try out, downloaded movies and TV series to watch, and keeping in shape by running again. Hopefully, I could try to write even just a few notes on this blog every now and then. I intend to keep this personal blog as my Pensieve or like a diary of some sort.

I think that’s it for today. 🙂

Write. Right!

The invitation was out. A lot of our friends whom we didn’t expect to come, would come, as they RSVP’d right away. Jess and I were both surprised. We definitely have to extend our budget. It’s okay, I guess. The more, the merrier.

I was just planning to wear jeans and a decent top on my after-the-wedding party when all of my friends who were invited were so excited and started planning on their outfits. I was like, should we really dress up for this? And they were like, it’s your day! You should wear a nice dress! Uh-oh.

9 more days and I’m getting married. I still don’t have the right shoes. And now I have to buy another dress. I’m not really a dressy kind of person. I buy dress on special occasions but I’ll never wear it again the second time. I’m not really comfortable walking around the streets wearing a dress. I’m also terrible in wearing high-heeled shoes. Really! I can’t walk on those so-called shoes.

I slept my worries away only to dream about it. I woke up thinking what I should do. Whenever I’m stressed, I find cleaning and organizing my things therapeutic. So I did my laundry and reorganized my closet. I found my 4 barely touched journals. I stared at it and started reading the things that I wrote. The other journals I found doodles of grocery list, budget list, to-do list and some random numbers. One journal contains some notes on my IELTS exam. The other one, I wrote about the things that happened on a day-to-day basis. The smallest journal contains my random thoughts. What would I do with 4 journals when I barely write anymore? It will just collect dust and I don’t need any more clutter lying around my closet. I decided to throw away the 3 journals and keep the smallest one as I don’t want anyone reading my private thoughts.

I miss writing. I miss writing down my thoughts. I have a lot of things in mind that I like to write about. Things that are meant to be read by me alone.

Can I just marry in my thoughts? That would save me time worrying about a lot of things.

9 more days and I’m getting married. This is it. There’s no turning back.

A Visit to an Old Friend ~ Oh, I have a Blog!

My blogging skills became rusty as I don’t get much inspiration to write anymore. Hence, an abandoned blog site. Most of the time, when I’m driven to write, my mind works nonstop. Whenever I observe something funny or interesting, I try to remember to write something about it. But as most bloggers, being on blog hiatus is inevitable. I truly admire those bloggers who can still write regularly. I don’t gain anything (monetary) on blogging. I just do it to satisfy myself, as I love to write down the things that are running on my mind.

So what happened in the past 3 months?

April: (1 month local leave)

1. I had to study for IELTS for the renewal of my Visascreen Certificate.

2. Jess arrived and got a job as an Architect.

3. BFF’s Heidi & Sharon moved to my flat.

4. Cut my waist-length hair to shoulder-length hair.

 

May: (Back to work and 2 kg heavier)

1. Another year is added to my age, which is conflicting because I’ve stopped aging *cough!* (Seriously, I’ve stopped counting).

2. Had to struggle another LDR, which is funny because I thought we’d be together when he got here. (But seeing each other 3x a week is better than seeing each other once or twice a month).

3.  Back to running and some other things: badminton, rollerblading.

4. Got sick: cough + low-grade fever + malaise

5.  Got my IELTS result with flying colors. 😉

 

June: (Do I hear bells?)

1. Plans (getting married &/or getting pregnant?)

2. Facing problems (cold feet? fear of being tied down? leaving my friends, [foster]family & roommates?) ~I still can’t get used to us being together.

3. My career misfortune will be over soon (hurrah for positive insight!) as I’m waiting to be transferred to another ward, leaving my Pediatric/Female family.

4. Still anxious at what the future will bring.

 

Is that 3 months already? Boring, ain’t it?