Friday, April 12, 2019

The Social Media Rule of 3s for Greater Happiness and Productivity

Original Image by rawpixel from Pixabay 

At some point, we've all found ourselves complaining about how social media has negatively affected both our productivity and our moods. Numerous scholarly articles have been published on these areas, but you don't have to be any sort of expert to acknowledge that you can easily get sucked in some social networking vortex and then easily experience 'missing time phenomenon'.  (Thanks for the abduction, Mark Zuckerberg!)

Not only do you end up wondering where time has gone, you also suddenly question why your fingers are tired, your eyes are dry, and you're inexplicably feeling a bit more angry, depressed, or anxious. At that point, it doesn't take long for any of us to realize that instead of getting on with our days and accomplishing real tasks, all we feel like doing is grab a brownie or a bag of chips, and let the chair or couch swallow us whole. 

Personally, these feelings apply to me in relation to Facebook and Twitter, where people are allowed to elaborate on whatever they wish to share, or put out links to their news headlines of choice. 

Because of this, I've come up with a system that has proven quite effective although it definitely requires self-discipline and integrity since you'd have to strictly monitor yourself if you truly want this to work for you. 

It's my Rule of 3s: Three minutes, or three 'upsetting' information on my news feed, which ever comes first, is my limit.

This means, when I go on Facebook or Twitter, and start scrolling on my news feed, I keep in mind that I only have three minutes to spend there. However, if even before my three minutes are up and I've already scrolled through or read three headlines, news bits, or updates from contacts that upset me, made me angry, depressed, or negative in some way, I would have to shut it down and get on with my day.

I allow myself to go through this process about three times per day, on average. So far, it has worked wonders for me, especially in terms of my mood. 

I know that three minutes are not enough to allow you to go through your contacts' updates, but that further forces you to focus on what's truly important to you. Let's be honest, not everyone on your friends' list carry the same weight of importance in your life. If there is someone you truly care about or want to be updated on, then go on their page and spend time there. Message them personally, or give them a call. Hang out if you can. Let the Rule of 3s help you filter through the rubbish so that you don't carry that with you and allow it to affect your mental and emotional health. With my Rule of 3s, I've found that I'm able to easily shake things off by taking a deep breath at the end of it, and then walking away, either physically, or just detaching mentally so I can focus on other goals for the day. 

I hope you can give this a try if you still find yourself drowned by the social media abyss. You can do this, and hopefully have more energy for the things that truly matter in your life. 













Friday, April 5, 2019

5 Simple Things That Surprisingly Bring Me Joy as a Homemaker



The terms 'homemaker' and 'mundane' easily pair together. I mean, how much excitement can there really be if your work is home-based and for the most part you're alone all day? Don't get me wrong, every aspect of that previous sentence is nourishment for my introverted soul. However, I still can't deny that looking for motivation, no matter how silly or trivial, is essential for me in my line of work if I want to look past the drudgery of it all. The fact is, there is no paycheck for me to look forward to, and the intrinsic rewards are vastly different from those gained by employed people. 

So let me share with you a few things that I realized put the 'happy' in my otherwise boring and predictable days:


The melodic song of my washing machine 
letting me know its job is done

I love the sound of my washing machine when it finishes a cycle and it belts out this ice cream truck-sounding melody. If you think about it, it's really just saying, "Hey, get your butt here and clear me out. Get on to your next chore", only it's doing it in such a polite and cheerful way. What more can I ask for?


When I have to pee so bad and find that the toilet is ready for use, no quick cleaning required

What I mean is, (and I say this as the only female in my household) there are no pee drops on and around the toilet, the toilet seat is down ready for the queen, and there's toilet paper for me to use...installed on the holder.


Discovering that I can adapt a traditional Filipino dish for my newly acquired Instant Pot and be done in half the time

A lot of people have raved about this pressure cooker and it intimidated me for the longest time. However, a couple of months ago, my mother-in-law gifted it to us and since then I've made the effort to search for recipes online to see how creative I can get with it. There are a ton of Instant Pot communities but mostly sharing Western or American recipes. So when I experiment with Filipino staples and find that it works just as well, I am thrilled to the core.


When I discover a new cleaning product peddled by some social media influencer, find it in my grocery store, and then end up loving its scent and cleaning performance

Cleaning is a big chunk of my daily routines, and if I see something that might (a) ease my job at a reasonable price, or (b) make the job a bit more pleasurable, then I'm all for it. I'm also very olfactory and so finding products that perform well but don't smell like they're trying to simultaneously dissolve my internal organs is a win-win!


And this last one is certainly not the least...

When I hear the door open in the afternoon and my middle school son walks in

To be home when my child arrives from school and greet him with the best smile I can offer regardless of how my day went, if only to let him know how he lights me up, is a gift I never ever take for granted. Truly, this highlight just never gets old and I thank God every day for this simple joy.