Sunday, June 17, 2018

Daily Dosage | GYST DAY

What does GYST stand for? I'm so glad that you asked. "Gyst" is a term I learned from one of my favorite Youtubers and Bloggers, Kalyn Nicholson who wittingly coined the term that designates any particular day out of the week to focus on what you need to get done so you can get your shit together for the coming week! I decided to document my first designated gyst day that helped get my house back in order and clothes cleaned for the week! This is what my day looked like...

Thursday, May 31, 2018

My Traveling Diaires | 2018 | My Solo Roadtrip to Yellowstone

I've been keeping my eye on #61 from my Bucket List for quite some time now and it only took me half a second to decide that this year I was crossing it off. For 3 weeks I saved up a budget, ordered some gear and plotted my course for exploring one of the most iconic National Parks in United States history...

I was finished packing my car with the essentials I needed for a memorable trip to Yellowstone. I had a map, compass, camera, binoculars, food, clothing and decided to convert my jeep into a 'camper-for-one' for the weekend. I was so nervous but excited before I left the house. I downloaded a few movies, a handful of Spotify playlists and a couple of podcasts to start my 500 mile drive. Once I reached West Yellowstone, I had a quick dinner and found a place to park for bed. I was anxious to be alone in the car at night, falling asleep was not as easy as I thought it would be. I decided to call Seth to soothe my worries. His idea of helping me fall asleep was to recount the entire plot of Billy Madison from start to finish, not leaving out any of the best jokes. After a few minutes, I buried my cheeks into my pillow and I drifted off to sleep.

The next morning I woke up with the sun. I put on a fresh pair of pants, socks and my trusty NASA baseball cap and opted for a cheap breakfast at McDonald's. I checked in with Seth for the morning knowing that service in the park would be very limited. As soon as I got my pass for the park,  I'm not exaggerating when I say this... everything about the park is so beautiful that I felt like I was stopping every few minutes to snap photos of what I was seeing. Even with the cloud cover, I loved being there. The air was so clean and the smell of fresh earth was exactly what my soul was looking for. 

I had decided to head South towards Old Faithful, but not without making a few pit stops to some geyser basins! I stopped at the Fountain Paint Pots and Biscuit Basin. I never expected Yellowstone to have so many different colors. I loved walking around the boardwalks to see spouting geysers! You really can't find anything like this anywhere else, it's no wonder that people from all over the world come here.

The Red Spouter

Fountain Paint Pots

The Silex Spring

I also didn't realize how massive the park really is. I loved that I could stop and take a snack and open up the back of the jeep to enjoy the view. Taking deep breaths, listening to some music and just enjoying the great outdoors. I was about half way through the day, I knew I couldn't leave Yellowstone without heading to Old Faithful first! I hiked a quick trail surrounding the geyser, bought some souvenirs and was stopped to take pictures with a group of rambunctious Asian women!

I was able to stop at Gibbons Falls on my way up to the Canyon Falls up North near Canyon Village. A lot of trails that I wanted to go on were unfortunately closed due to snow covering the steps. I still managed to snap a few photos and made a few friends along the way.

I'm so glad that I went on this trip... to think that I would've let the fear of the unknown stop me! I recommend anyone and everyone, if you're looking to recharge your batteries or do a little soul searching, you just need to hop in the car and drive. That's all there is to it. Get out and go wherever you want to go! I'm so glad I got to spend some time in this incredible place, I don't think it could've gone any more perfect. All that's left is crossing it off my bucket list! What should I do next?

Thanks for Reading
Love, Nick

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Why Do I Want To Travel Alone?

What a strange feeling it is to be going against advice you've been given your whole life that is designed to keep you safe from strangers and potential threats. Today is the first morning of my solo road trip. I'm getting ready to cross state lines to a place I have never been before. I have been planning a trip to Yellowstone National Park for the past few weeks. I'll be bringing my sleeping bag, blanket, camera, binoculars, compass, map and phone, but it will only be me for the next few days. My emotions are doing some traveling of their own reaching checkpoints like overwhelming happiness then a sharp left turn over to heart pounding stress.

A solo road trip is something I have desired to do for years. I have skimmed multiple magazine articles and read countless blog posts of young female travelers braving the unknown foreign land of their choice, but always managing to make the best of any situation all the while experiencing the freedom of new places. After meeting a few solo travelers on my internship in the Philippines, I was inspired by how confident and fearless they were, and it has been a feeling I have been chasing month after month. I want to know what it's like to completely rely on myself and no one else. I want to know that I am smart enough and confident enough to understand where I'm going and what I'm doing. That whatever road I go down or path I decide to take that I can be there for myself, understanding that everything will be fine and knowing that I've got my back. All that's left to do is fill up the gas tank and hit the highway!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

How do you describe anxiety and depression?

DISCLAIMER: This post contains personal views and experiences discussing mental health. If you do not enjoy posts like this, then kindly skip over and do not read this post. 

It is very difficult to explain how to manage easy day-to-day tasks while you are combating negative and depressing thoughts. I remember days not caring about what I looked like, how I smelled or what I ate. I would try so hard to encourage myself and motivate myself to even do the simplest of tasks like empty the dishwasher, fold clothes or take a shower. I would turn on the TV, scroll through my phone and to try to drown out recurrent thoughts as to why I even tried, if anyone ever cared or why I was still "around." At one point in my life the thought of me even thinking of hurting myself was completely unimaginable; but the day that I reached that point... the day I began imaging certain scenarios in my head and how much better it would make me feel... is when I knew I needed help.

The thought of people feeling bad for me would sometimes make me feel worse. I felt embarrassed about how I felt and afraid of how I felt. I thought I had outgrown this when I had reached College. I was extremely anxious and self conscious in high school where every day I was playing defense, avoiding eye contact and discussion with classmates or teachers. After all these years, I felt like it was something I needed to conquer on my own. I had reached out to a Doctor to discuss about medication options. When she had asked me how I was doing, I began choking out tears. I had felt like I had given up, like I was one of those "crazy people" who had to take medication because they couldn't manage life itself. She had reassured me that the medication I would take and the feelings I had would not bea permanent thing. I was not the only one experiencing the same thoughts and having the same judgement against it. 

As the months go by, I began to notice small changes. Little by little things had finally began to look up. As of this month, have been off my medication for about 4 or so weeks. So far, I  am pleasantly surprised by how much more peaceful and happy I feel. I've learned that I am much more capable than I give myself credit for. Speaking to others about my situation and receiving feedback from those I trust gave me an understanding that there is no shame whatsoever in asking someone for help. Medication helped me get on my feet the way that I didn't know how to do myself. I took the time to really assess myself in my surroundings and in my relationships. Whether I needed to take more baths, read more, practice yoga or just allow myself to take a break, every day became easier and easier. The journey is far from over and I'm sure there will be bumps in the road, but this unpaved journey will turn into an adventure, and I'll take it one day at a time.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Daily Dosage | #BreakTheStigma

What is mental health? Does it mean anything to you? Is it something you struggle with? Is it something you don't understand? Do you wonder if it's real? What is the stigma behind mental health? I'd rather ask why is there a stigma behind mental health...

In my opinion, the importance of mental and physical health should be viewed equally and agreed as completely inseparable. Over the past few years, media outlets and social platforms have challenged the world's views and stereotypes behind depression, anxiety, personality disorders and even suicide. I am hear to tell you that these issues are real, and can affect you, friends, family and coworkers. It is not your place to tell anyone how to live without understanding who they are and where they come from and what circumstances they may be under.

After years of experiencing my own share of panic attacks and depression spells, I have found a few things that has helped me gain a little more control in the day to day tasks. I want to share my voice and experiences to those who want to hear it. In honor of May being Mental Health Awareness month, I'm going to be focusing on taking care of my entire body, inside and out, focusing on healthier habits, gaining more confidence and breaking through barriers that I gave myself.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Happy Earth Day | 80 Ways To Help The Environment

  1. Walk or bike instead of drive!
  2. Carpool with your friends/co-workers
  3. Use public transportation and take the bus
  4. Consider trading in for an eco-friendly car
  5. Better driving = Better care of your car
  6. Make sure your tires are properly inflated.
  7. Avoid traffic using apps to find alternative routes
  8. Keep your car well maintained and running efficiently
  9. Try booking flights that are nonstop
  10. Take shorter showers
  11. Consider taking colder shower rather than hot
  12. Install a low flow shower head
  13. Fix leaky faucets and drains
  14. Thicker curtains can help maintain indoor temperatures
  15. Turn off the facuet while your brushing your teeth
  16. Switch to LED light bulbs
  17. Use rechargeable batteries
  18. Make sure your home is well insulated
  19. Minimize use of fireplaces or wood stoves
  20. Add solar panels to your roof for a clean energy source!
  21. Don't put hot/warm foods in the fridge, it makes the fridge work harder to cool down the food
  22. Buy energy efficient appliances
  23. Wash clothes in cold water
  24. Hang dry your laundry
  25. Install a programmable thermostat
  26. Use dryer balls instead of dryer sheets (last longer and reusable)
  27. Keep your thermostat at a reasonable temperature during the seasons
  28. Turn off thermostat when you're not home or leaving on vacation
  29. During the summer, open your windows at night to cool down the house (if applicable)
  30. During the winter, keep your thermostat lower and throw on blankets and sweaters
  31. Water your lawn less or spot water dry spots
  32. Unplug electronics your not using (including cell phone chargers)
  33. Turn off lights after you leave a room
  34. Plant your own garden
  35. Plant a tree
  36. Eat local produce rather than store bought produce
  37. Don't buy plastic water bottles
  38. Filter your own water!
  39. Use your own mug/tumbler for your morning coffee
  40. If you have a Keurig, try a reusable K cup!
  41. Buy a refillable and reusable water bottle
  42. Make your own DIY laundry detergent or cleaning products
  43. Use bars of soap instead of liquid soap in plastic containers
  44. Take your own bags to the grocery store
  45. Use real towels instead of paper towels
  46. Buy food in bulk! Saves money and less plastic packaging
  47. Only buy groceries that you need, make a meal plan!
  48. Food that is in season is cheaper
  49. Consider storing food in glass containers rather than plastic bags
  50. Donate excess food
  51. Buy local and ethically sourced honey
  52. Make your own Popsicles during the summer
  53. Use silicone baking cups instead of paper baking cups
  54. Cut out more beef
  55. Compost your food waste
  56. Embrace a minimalist lifestyle
  57. Don't buy "fast fashion" 
  58. Buy better quality clothing that is more durable and will last you longer
  59. Trying buying clothing from a 2nd hand store or thrift store
  60. Ladies, give the menstrual cup a try rather than tampons/pads
  61. If you have a baby, try fabric diapers!
  62. Recycle as much as possible
  63. Participate in low energy activities like hiking, swimming, kayaking, etc...
  64. Fix as much as you can instead of buying new
  65. Choose green hotels
  66. Choose green restaurants
  67. Buy a crank-style rechargeable flashlight
  68. Turn off your computer when you're not using it
  69. Consider computer files rather than hard copies
  70. If you need to print something, consider printing double-sided
  71. At work, consider installing occupancy sensors
  72. Utilize chat services (Skype, FaceTime, etc...) to reduce work related travel
  73. Bring a homemade lunch instead of buying lunch
  74. Go try the library for a new read, instead of buying books
  75. Laptops can use less energy than a desktop
  76. Direct deposit your paychecks
  77. Set up automatic bill payments online
  78. Support companies and organizations committed to renewable energy
  79. Get involved with your community and government on climate change and environmentally  friendly lifestyles.
  80. Attend events that support the environment and creating renewable energy sources