Happiness at your Fingertips

I’ve recently had some bad days where I constantly felt down, unmotivated to do ANYTHING, and it just felt like I wasn’t really myself. And so, I got up one day and decided that it has to stop & I needed to take control of it.

I started noticing some simple situations that happened randomly but still made me feel energized, happy, or care-free. And so, I created a list!

This list has some things that can make my day slightly better and maybe yours too! But, watch out, there might be a couple of contradictory points so just do the opposite of whatever that you usually do! (If that makes sense)

  1. Update your music playlist. Image result for music sign png

    Yes. This works. Listening to music can cheer you up but listening to different genres and songs every once in a while can have a greater impact. If you’re feeling down, avoid listening to sad music. Don’t make it worse for yourself! Listen to music in every chance you get. It can help block your thoughts and keep you in your own bubble whenever you’re in public.

  2. Smile. Image result for smiley face sign png

    Most of the time, our faces frown without us being aware of it or even without a valid reason, it’s just our resting “frowning face”. Be aware of your frown & try to smile even if you’re not really in the mood for it. In other words, fake it till you make it. 

  3. Be kind & spread love on a daily basis. Image result for heart sign png

    Remind your friends and your family of how much you appreciate their existence in your life. Even when it’s uncalled for in the middle of the day. You’ll be surprised of how much love you’ll get in return.

  4. Invest in something you love. Image result for fun sign png

    No matter how crazy things can get sometimes, give time to something that you love even if it’s as small as buying a book, going to the gym, or even starting a project you’re passionate about.

  5. Be lazy. Image result for lazy sign png

    Doing absolutely nothing on a Friday night is socially, mentally, and physically OKAYGive yourself a break without having to think about deadlines or evening plans. Almost anything can be postponed for later. I’ve been doing that a lot in the past few months and it feels GREAT.

  6. Be productive. Image result for work sign png

    It really cheers me up when I tick off my “to-do” list. Yes, I have a to-do list because I tend to forget a lot of things and I try to organize my thoughts as much as I can. So, finish up your assignments, or plan that trip that you wanted to go to, or go watch your favorite movie!

  7. Socialize. Image result for socialize sign png

    Spending time alone can be great for you but too much alone time can turn you into a loner! Surround yourself with people who enjoy your company and turn down plans that don’t interest you. Don’t waste your time on negative or fake people just for a “fun” night out.

  8. Don’t open any social media for a day. Image result for no social media sign png

    Sure, social media is fun and helps us feel connected to the world. But taking a break from it can be great for your mental health. It can give you a chance to look at your own life without having to constantly compare it to what you see on Instagram or Facebook. I have actually noticed a shift in my mood when I stopped using social media for a DAY. I just didn’t care how everyone’s day was going, I needed to focus on mine.

  9. Cook. Image result for cook sign png

    This has got to be the hardest thing for me but one of the things I mostly enjoy. Although it doesn’t happen often, but cooking your favorite meal is way more satisfying than eating it in a restaurant. Search recipes and start exploring your kitchen!

  10. Let go of everything that is beyond your control. Image result for let go sign png

    This took me a long time to work on and achieve. If you’re facing a problem, fix it. If the problem cannot be immediately fixed or if it is beyond your control, then stop worrying about it for the time being. I can think of many problems that could happen tomorrow or even months from now, but worrying and obsessing over them won’t help. Everything that happens, happens for a reason. And believe it or not, it is for your best even if you don’t see it right now, you’ll find out why it happened soon enough. So be patient.

The New Normal

My study away experience has started three weeks ago and I’ve never felt this confused in my life like I’ve been feeling lately. Although I’ve been to the U.S four times before, I’ve never visited this part of the country, The Midwest.

I often ask myself …

Where am I? What have I done? Why did I do this? What now?

Before my arrival, I had different expectations of the city and the people I’ll be surrounded with, let alone the weather. And everyday that passes by, I’m still learning how to adjust these expectations and make the best out of it.

I come from Dubai, a modern and diverse city with a luxurious lifestyle that we often take for granted because we forget that it’s an added value. But on the other side of the world, it’s the exact opposite. Springfield is pretty much flat to me. It’s a simple city with everything just around the corner. Surprisingly, many people knew what Dubai is and a lot of its attractions like Palm Jumeirah but many others thought it was located in India.

Being an Egyptian girl who was raised in Saudi Arabia and currently lives in Dubai, I feel like wherever I go I’m breaking the stereotypes.

According to them, I have all the answers!

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I’ve never felt like a freshman at AUS, even when I was one 3 years ago. I’ve known my way around campus, I knew a lot of students, and I wasn’t seen alone on the first day of classes back home. But it took me around 3 days here to get to know my way around and how the system works. Luckily, I don’t think I’ve experienced that much of a change academically compared to other international students.

Springfield, Missouri is a quiet city with not a lot of places to explore which is why the campus is full of life and lots activities to do. My day starts at 8 AM and pretty much ends at 5 or 6 which means I get to go to bed at 9 or 10 pm (no more dark circles under my eyes).

There are a few Arabs on campus (Saudis mainly) but the majority of students are American which kinda makes international students feel outnumbered in classes. People are generally nice and welcoming but they’d never initiate a conversation. My favorite thing is that I’m spending time alone without having people stare at me as if I’m a loner or a freak! (Yes, people do that in the Arab world or come up to you and ask you, why are you sitting alone? Do you wanna join us? No, I’m not depressed and I’m totally fine staying here, thank you…)

Over the next few months, and when the weather gets warmer, I plan on visiting nearby states to get to know this side of the country better.

Getting out of my comfort zone wasn’t the easiest thing for me and I pretty much have to remind myself daily that this WILL be the best experience of my life. I’m still learning how to adjust my expectations and how to avoid any negative thoughts like feeling homesick. And I know that by the end of this semester, I’d be a master in controlling my thoughts and making the best out of anything that comes my way. & this, to me, is why people call it the best experience of your life!

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You’re All You’ve Got; 2 0 1 7

Wow, can’t believe 2017 is almost over, felt like it was yesterday. The new year is always an excuse for people to upload funny memes, resolution posts, and complain about how 2017 was the worst year of their lives. However, this day can be used as an opportunity to look back and reflect on everything you’ve been through and everything you would like to change.

For me, 2017 was one of the most peaceful and stable years in my life. It’s the year that I’ve decided that I’m all that I have and I’ll continue to choose my happiness over everything and everyone.

Here are some of the things that I learned throughout this year and things I hope to change:

  1. Ever since the beginning of 2017, I decided to say NO to the things that I don’t want to do and to stop faking it! What’s the point of doing something you don’t truly believe in? What’s the point of pleasing someone while annoying yourself? So, if you haven’t learned to say no yet, please do yourself a favor and start doing so!
  2. Every day, I still try to believe in myself and the things that I can accomplish. Although no one can be productive or motivated 24/7, taking one step at a time is always better than standing still. No matter how many people try to make you believe otherwise and belittle your baby steps, remember that their opinions reflect on them and not on you. This is why I started this blog. With small baby steps, and with every post,  I believe I could influence someone to do something they’ve always wanted to do.
  3. As cliche and redundant as this phrase might sound, “keep your circle small and stay out of toxic relationships”, it has changed my life to the better. It’s ALWAYS about quality and not quantity. Having a few people that support, love, and care about you is sooo rare but it’s all you may need. What’s better than detoxifying your life from all the negative people who smile in your face but secretly wish they had your life? NOTHING. This was one of the things that I’ve done a few years back and has made me value the people in my small circle. So, if you decide to do that, look closely and pick wisely. Look at your friendships and your relationship and decide if you would want them in 2018. If not, don’t feel guilty about ending it & refer to number 1.
  4. I think at this point of my life, I’m in full control of my thoughts and emotions. Being self-aware of your actions and the words you speak is a skill that I’ve mastered. Every word you say and action you do counts. And before you judge someone, always put yourself in their shoes and think of what they might be going through. I also learned that stressing about the small things is pointless and at the end everything will be okay and you will make it through. So have hope and know that putting your mind to something and working towards it, will get you what you want.
  5. Be independent and make your own decisions. Don’t stress over things that are beyond your control. I always follow the “five” rule. If it won’t matter in 5 years, don’t spend more than 5 minutes worrying about it.
  6. Do not listen to what people have to say about you. The people who are close to you already know who you really are and for the people who don’t know you, their opinions are irrelevant.
  7. I learned that getting close to God is the best investment and the most guaranteed one. It’s the only one that will last and add value to your life. So pray when you’re in need and pray when you have it all…

I hope 2018 brings you and your loved ones peace and comfort. Do good and be good, and always try to be the best version of yourself!

10 EASY WAYS TO LOVE YOURSELF

  1. GO GET YOUR NAILS DONE
    Getting my nails done makes me feel refreshed. For the girls in Dubai and Sharjah, I highly recommend N-Style beauty lounge for manicures and pedicures but not for Gel/Acrylic extensions since they’re easily broken after a week or so.
  2. GO TO THE MOVIES ALONE OR WITH SOMEONE CLOSE TO YOU

Watching a really good movie can take your mind off of things that are distracting you for a solid 2 hours.

  1. SPEND TIME ALONE (USE IT TO DO SOMETHING YOU LIKE)
    I, personally, use this time to write or watch series on Netflix. And by watch I mean finishing a whole season in a day. I’m really into legal and political drama so Suits, The Good Wife, and How to Get Away with Murder are some of my favorite TV shows.
     
  2. GO SHOPPING
    Buy yourself something, even if it’s small and simple. It would make a difference and might cheer you up.
     
  3. GO HAVE A REALLY GOOD MEAL
    Food can always cheer people up. Especially if it’s sushi. One of my favorite sushi restaurants in the UAE is Mori Sushi in Downtown Dubai. 
  4. CHANGE
    Minor changes can lift your mood. Getting a piercing or dyeing your hair can sometimes make you love yourself again. I HIGHLY recommend and trust Amro Ladies Salon (Westin Hotel Branch) for cutting and dyeing your hair.
     
  5. WORKING OUT
    For the people who know me, I was never into the whole “gym and fitness” idea but I’ve recently started doing Pilates and since then it has become the highlight of my week. Working out really does release your stress and negative energy as they say. I go to Pilates Academy in JLT X2. Their prices are reasonable and their trainers are super friendly and professional. 
  6. READ
    Whether it’s a magazine, a book, or even a blog, reading allows you to enter a different world other than what you’re in.
  7. BE PRODUCTIVE
    Finish something you’ve been working on. Study. Work. Finish that TO-DO list on your desk. This will definitely make you feel better.
  8. HAVE A REALLY GOOD SLEEP
    It’s okay to ditch that Thursday night outing to stay home and rest. None of the above steps would work if you’re feeling lousy and tired. So always put your rest first!!

 

 

Desert Dunes

When I thought about my blog, I wanted a theme that would reflect on Dubai’s beauty. So when the photographer, Kavi Pradeep, contacted me for a photoshoot in the dunes, I thought that it was a great opportunity to launch my website with the theme that I always wanted.

The desert symbolizes one’s strength and control and their ability to tolerate pain and loneliness.

To be honest, the process wasn’t as smooth as we expected it to be. We planned on arriving there at sunrise but ended up getting lost for around 40 minutes, looking for a place to shoot. But it was worth it!!

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To Begin, Just Begin…

Getting your thoughts written down can be challenging but I find comfort in doing it. I’ve always been a fan of writing and kept a ‘diary’ for a good amount of my early teenage years. SO, I decided why not make a blog out of it?

Well, if you decide to keep reading this, you’ll get to know the real side of me and what really goes on in my head. I’ll be reviewing some products that I’ve previously used (including skincare, hair treatments, and makeup), some life tips from my personal experiences, and some projects that I’ve worked on.

If I could only explain to you guys how much I’ve been trying to get started on this website… it could take forever.  But here I am and I’m so excited to be sharing my thoughts with you and I hope you enjoy my blog! Please explore and don’t forget to give me your feedback on the comments section below!