De-technologize Yourself

Always Connected..
Always Sharing..
Always Online..

According to Entrepreneur.com, Millennials spent 18 hours a day consuming online content. That figure was of 2014, I’m sure it has only increased since then – I personally spend 9-10 hours looking at the screen at work alone.
After returning from work, it’s usually Netflix and Chill, otherwise I’m reading books-on Kindle.

So basically, I’m on the screen, all the time. And even when I’m travelling, the routine doesn’t change much.

Now, however, when I travel, I would limit my online time to 2-3 hours everyday. The remaining would be going “old-school”. I would opt for an actual book, to pass time on public transports, I’d take photos from an actual camera, and not my phone, and wherever possible, I’d use an actual paper-map (though I often use my phone in the end, just to make I don’t get lost).
In the beginning it was impossibly difficult to leave my phone and not constantly look at it. But sooner than I expected, I got accustomed to the fact that, well, you really don’t have to check your phone every 5 minutes.
I started noticing everything around me, started to interact more with people, and indulged myself in more creative things.

Back to routine life, it isn’t always possible to stay away from technology all together, but I try to use it in more productive way and to balance it with something non-techie, like reading or crafting, etc.

This has limited my obsession of posting everything on social media and gave me time to spare to pursue others stuff, and to live in the moment.

 

🙂 FTK

Photo via Visual Hunt

Diet and Weight Loss

Although I am of average built, with a BMI of 22-23, my weight has fluctuated almost 15kgs in the last 3 to 4 years. For my body type, I’m used to having a gradual weight gain, and even slower weight loss. But just the sheer change in my routine and eating habits lead me to loose 10 kgs in one year, and gain back almost 5kgs in the following 6 months.

I also just completed online course for “Diploma on Weight Loss”. Here are the top three things I learned:

1. Dieting doesn’t work for long-term

It doesn’t, I’ve tried to diet before, and just wasn’t able to commit to it. Other than being able to commit to it or not, dieting is a short-term fix. It will help you look good for a special occasion few months away, but sooner than later, you will return back to unhealthy eating. For a long-term, you will need to change your lifestyle, eating healthy meals regularly is better for you body than crash dieting for a week and then eating junk food.

2. Learn to Plan your Meals

It becomes difficult to meal plan when you are living with family, but living alone, I was able to plan out what I’ll be eating for next 4 days, based on that, I would know exactly what to buy when I went to grocery shop. Of course, certain ‘cheat’ days would spring up, when I don’t feel like cooking, or when I’m eating out with friends. But as a whole, eating ‘healthy’ and cooking your meals rather than ordering a takeout, helps reduce weight. Also, skipping meals is a no-no, because if you skip one meal, you might binge in the next meal.

3. Basic Workout is Necessary

I’m not a avid gym-goer, but as my lifestyle is mostly sedentary, due to long working hours at a desk-job, and then being too tired to do anything else, it is important to exercise on a regular basis,  but no need for an extreme workout. a short run would keep your calories in check, and would give you stamina.

 

“You are what you eat, so don’t be fast, cheap, easy, or fake.” -Unknown

 

🙂 FTK

Photo Credit: Visual Hunt.com

Reflections on Cross-Cultural Living

Where’s Home?

Residing elsewhere away from your ‘home-country’ has its challenges, but when you are second-or-third-generation to be born-and-raised there, that ‘new’ place soon becomes the only home you truly know and love.

You are your own kind of person – a hybrid.
You carry traditions and beliefs of both places.
But now you are to live abroad – a third ‘new’ place.

“Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.” ― Anita Desai

 

Living and Traveling
When I decided moved to Chicago to pursue my post-grad, I was a mix of emotions; which drove me half mad by the time I actually moved there. Being a frequent traveler, I thought “How hard can this really be?” I had forgotten that I wouldn’t be a tourist any longer, no room service, no bed-n-breakfast, etc. Here, I’ll have to cook, clean, and study – and most stressful aspect- for me personally – to live alone.

Cultural Shock
I found the first three months to be an educational-adjustment experience. I created my new routine. I noticed how many things I had to finish myself before they piled up and ruined my weekend. (And I found out how much a bad cook I am). Regardless, no matter how excited I had been in the first few weeks, slowly, slowly, the excitement was washed away. I started feeling homesick. Missed Home and Family. Missed having dinner conversations and planning the weekend.

Soon, I was counting down to the next holiday when I’ll be flying back home.
The remaining time, after the first three months – that had been super slow, continued at a normal pace. I got accustomed to my routine – almost to the point of boredom. But somehow started liking it, this had become “my time” – doing what I wanted – when I wanted.

Same yet Different
Soon after a better part of the year, which included often going back home on holidays, the lines blurred. Rather than finding differences and adjusting, now I found similarities between my lifestyles in both places. How the life would go on even if you aren’t in the city. The little differences in language and currency would make me adjust again to my home country, but it got easier with time.

Returning Home
I hate saying goodbyes, and it still makes me teary  when I think of my friends and the moments we shared. Even the bad days are a sweet reminiscent of the time spent there. Home, remained exactly the same. I knew what to expect when I return. The time spent in Chicago seems a distant past, like a good book or movie I lived. But readjusted was needed – to move on – back to normal life.

“When traveling becomes routine, Home becomes Luxury” – FTK

🙂

Photo via Visual Hunt

Getting Organized: Give your Mess a Facelift

Cluttered Table?
Scrambled Closet?
Mixed up Schedule?

I’ve had all three at some point, and occasionally still do. Now, however, it doesn’t end up in utter chaos as it used to. Super fancy and expensive storage boxes are the last thing that you should buy. There are a ton of DIY things you can do and make it look better.

The cluttered Table.
With studying and crafting I would do, any size of table would soon be consumed under all the mess, and cleaning it would be a nightmare. I’m using a plastic box with adjustable dividers for my Crafting materials, like threads and needles. For my notes I use simple folders and a file box. To make it more convenient, I further categorized the folders as “Subjects” and the file box as “School Term”. This is something that works for me. Of course you can store them the way you see fit.

The Scrambled Closet
Whenever I would look for something to wear, I wouldn’t find it unless I take out some ten other clothes, and putting them back were a hassle, so they ended up on the ‘chair’. I then sorted my clothes to ‘daily used’ to ‘only on occasions’. The latter ones and the seasonal ones, like heavy coats, would then be moved to the trunk, so I’ll have more space in the closet. Since I have a three-panel wardrobe, all my jeans and skirts are in the right side, and all shirts and dresses are in the left panel. While my daily wear are folded and stacked in the third (horizontal) panel. This way, if I’m looking for a dress, I’d have all my dresses next to each other and not all over my room.

The Mixed up Schedule
I used to jot down my To Do List on my phone, but that didn’t work out so well with me, especially when I was working part time with irregular flexible hours and having night classes. I used a Daily Planner (I personally like this one). I could keep my notes sorted and I view my whole week at once so it helped scheduling my other activities as well.

Have fun trying out which way works better for you, and remember being consistent is the key, not perfect.

 

🙂 FTK

 

Credits:
Photo via Visual Hunt