“How much can an extra hour’s sleep change you?” Response

I found this article to not only be very beneficial, but also saddening. I am a victim of sleep deprivation and it is most defiantly not my choice. I used to have extreme anxiety before going to bed when I was in elementary school. When I was at my father’s home he would always, each and every night, read my a book until I fell asleep. At my mother’s house, because she was a student at San Diego State at the time, she would be up late studying downstairs in the living room and I would take a blanket and sleep on top of the carpet, enjoying the reassurance of her company and the lamps that kept the room lit and my anxiety away. During my progression through middle school, I began to take steps away from my sleep anxiety and go more towards insomnia. I could not sleep and that caused me a great deal of frustration and anxiety. I would always be scared when night fell because I felt extremely pressured to fall asleep before anyone else did, that way I wouldn’t feel so scared or anxious- this obviously caused many issues. I fell asleep during class, I had mood swings (probably a factor in my depression), and one fact I found interesting from this article was that a lack of sleep caused inflammation. Many of the dermatologists I would go see for my skin would tell me that I needed to sleep more, but they never really went into detail as to why I should. As soon as I read this BBC News article I was shocked to see that a lack of sleep really plays a major factor in skin impurities. However, my major issue is time. I honestly have no time for a good amount of sleep (8 hours). I usually have an average of six hours of sleep because of school work, personal stress, and other time consuming factors. After reading this article and realizing how important it is to have a healthy sleeping schedule, I am saddened because I wish the real world, including the UC system, would take this into consideration. Having a job, family responsibilities, personal issues, school work, and worrying about the future, takes up SO much time and creates a lot of stress, which for me personally prevents me from sleeping. I know it is clearly stated that the “real world” does not frankly give a fuck about a student or worker’s sleep schedule, but I wish they would realize we are all human and we all have a lot of responsibility, so taking that into consideration when dispatching class times or job times would truly help the health of our nation and probably even improve/extinguish many of the health and psychological issues we are facing today.

Frustration

This world is beautiful. The nature, the continents, the animals, are all simply fascinating and unique in their own way. However, why did humans have to ruin it? Why did we have to evolve into such selfish, greedy, hateful creatures? Not all of us are composed entirely of that negativity, but the majority of our species are. Governments, corporations, rapists, murders, and a bit of individuals have not only destroyed the homes of other creatures (including our own species), but have destroyed the peaceful stability that nature originally produced for us. I decided to write about this as my blog post for the week because being a student at Cal and coming from a variety of backgrounds I have witnessed and experienced multiple things. But one common factor that I always see is the greed, close mindedness, and hatred many human souls possess. I cannot deal with the vast amount of stupidity much of species posses. Why can we not be satisfied with what we currently have? Why do we need to destroy the homes of animals and low income families just to benefit the corporate world? Why must be go to war and drone or shoot innocent people, instead of peacefully making amends- which we are fully capable of? Why must we suck up mother nature’s resources and not recognize the big issue of global warming?

All I can think is why, why, why? It is so frustratingly saddening to me…

The phone call

So, for this blog post, I wanted to express the phone call that impacted my life greatly in a positive manner. For years, ever since middle school, I have constantly been bullied on multiple factors of myself. Whether it was my acne, my height, my body hair, my style, my fierce tongue when it came to snapping at people who were judgmental or close minded, etc. Anyways, recently I’ve been down and feeling hopeless, worthless, and useless. I never seemed satisfied with my looks. I constantly dyed my hair, bought new clothes, and put on makeup to try and attempt to feel good about myself. I would dive into the problems of others and work tirelessly until I created a solution to them, just so I could feel like I had purpose and power in my life. I constantly felt out of place, not just by my unique sense of style or personality, but by my 5’7 height as well. I know it is not “Eiffel tower” type of tall, but compared to most girls it was extremely tall and I felt that I wasn’t cute because most guys would say how they found short girls cute. But that was it-the word I just said-“compared“. I compared myself constantly. I compared my tattoos, my height, my style, my hair, my skin complexion, my life experiences, my family, my relationships- EVERYTHING. I was so insecure and depressed about every aspect of myself because I drowned myself in the sorrows of my bitter past. The bullying, the shitty relationships, the abuse, the homelessness, the lack of love- it all kept swarming in my head and was pulling me away from ever achieving the feeling of worthiness and acceptance. Until my homie gave me a call and spoke to me for almost 4 hours on the phone. The phone call that changed my life. During this conversation he was extremely blunt, and although it felt as if my past wounds were being slit open again, I listened. His words were like a sludge hammer that were breaking through my gray walls of regret, sorrow, pain, and bitter memories. He exposed me to the sunshine that life has to offer, and that I would’ve missed if I continued to lay inside the shadows produced by my own walls. Although I’ve been more loving to myself and appreciating things in life on a greater basis, I can’t help but cry, or ponder in my thoughts, or feel negative emotions because of the current situations I have placed on just my shoulders.

Nevertheless, his words, his time, and his phone call, changed my life for the better. Thank you Abraham,

Mindful Eating

Eating impacts not only the body but ones mind as well. For example, eating a Big Mac, a chocolate shake, and desert after will impact not only your weight, but can affect your skin, organs, energy level, and mentality. I noticed that when I choose to eat something that was equally as bad, not only do I gain weight and feel shitty, but it impacts my already low self-confidence by causing my skin to break out. I know that good foods (fruit, vegetables, and a well balanced meal), help improve skin conditions, energy levels, positive mentality, and body functions, however it is so hard (for me) to achieve this on a daily basis. Not only am I strained with  money, but I also do not have a lot of time to go and purchase decent groceries. Based on my schedule right now, I only have access to the Bear Market, Walgreens, and the Dining Commons. These three places not only have shitty processed foods but I also always wind up getting or eating the same things- cereal, apples, and pizza.

I really want to make time to make myself healthier through a well balanced diet, exercise, and whatever else I can do to improve my skin conditions. It is the one thing that truly impacts me in a harsh way and I’m tired of the lack of self-confidence. 

Work Out: Week 2 (The first time)

Workout #1, 9-25-2013, 8am-11:30am: The vibration of my phone caused me to hesitantly open my eyes- just a slit. I dragged my eyes to the corner of my bed and threw my phone on the floor to shut the alarm up. I pulled myself up and began to work on my paper that was due in two hours in my psychology class. When I blinked and looked up to check on the time, I became infuriated that the clock was about to hit 11am! I began cussing to myself in four different languages as I ran to put on clothes and head out of my dorm at Clark Kerr. With my 10 pound backpack crashing into my spinal cord and shoulder blades as I sprinted on the slim sidewalks that zig-zagged past frat row, I felt so angry. My stomach felt heavy with all the negativity that was boiling up. I not only screwed up on my paper (I did not know how to do APA format and my material was rushed and sloppy), but I had to find a place to print my paper for free, and finally, make it to class on time. As I was rushing to the OCF room to print out my paper, I had started off extremely upset at not only myself, but at everyone and everything around me. But as I entered the OCF building I realized I had released most of the negativity that was building up inside of me. Exercising my leg, shoulder, and back muscles had allowed me to let off some stressful steam and inhaling the cool morning air (using mediation techniques that I learned from “The Art of Living” club), had calmed me down quite tremendously. As I was walking over to Dwinelle Hall, I felt way better than I had when I originally began my day, my thoughts were not as painfully sharp and my negative aurora began to diminish, but I still felt down and pressured by the outcome this paper will have on my grade. As I continued walking up the steps to Dwinelle Hall, the exercise made my mind think even more. I convinced myself that through every problem is a lesson. And I realized- 1. Do not procrastinate to the morning before class (at least do it the night before) and 2. School will not rule over my life. It IS important to do well but it is also important to learn real world skills and grow as a person, rather than stress out about midterms, grades, and papers. The exercise really helped me release the heavy negative burden and when I arrived to class, I felt that burden be released. 

Workout #2, 9-26-2013, 7:30pm-10pm: Every Thursday I attend a meditation class called “The Art of Living”. There is so much chaos in my life that I haven’t felt happy or at peace with myself for years- since I was a young child. Last Thursday, before I attended the meditation course, I was overflowing with pain from stressing about not having clear skin, getting bullshit from my ex-boyfriend, having my mom call me just to talk shit to me for no reason, and think about my 74 year old father who is living alone and is suffering from many problems (cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, prescription pill addiction, depression, etc). I feel alone in my problems and when they creep up on me because my room mates, friends, or anyone I’ve met, have no experience when it comes to harsh issues like any of the ones that I’ve been through or am continuing going through. I felt extremely lost and depressed and as I walked to the class, I was smoking. Walking and smoking during the night calmed me down a bit, however when I arrived after the 20 minute walk, I felt empty still. After the meditation course I felt much more released and content with myself. Walking back I did not smoke and instead breathed in the fresh air and enjoyed the temporary peace of mind that the mediation course gave to me. 

Workout #3, 9-27-2013, 9pm-11:45pm: Living in Clark Kerr is difficult because of the distance it is away from everything, however I feel as though that aspect of isolation is really beneficial when it comes to self-healing and personal time. I’ve been dealing with multiple harsh issues, regarding family problems, an ex-relationship, struggling to make friendships, and especially loving myself and feeling beautiful. All these factors have such depth that I failed to meet anyone that can even somewhat understand or relate to my feelings. Anyways, sometimes these issues have a harsher impact on me and I feel extremely depressed to the point where I either think (but won’t) about giving up, or cry. So, I decided to take on the hike behind Clark Kerr. I felt extremely sad and confused before I went for my hike. I had endless thoughts running through my head and putting pressure on my heart, like why me? Why do I have to go through the  relationships that just end in extreme heartbreak on my end, or why do I have to have acne and can never even look in the mirror or be close to someone and make eye contact, or why can’t I have a stable family that did not put me through such hell when I was growing up? As I left my dorm room and walked behind the other buildings, my footsteps felt extremely heavy. I noticed my breathing was short, my feet were dragging, and my head was angled downwards. As I approached the beginning of the hike, I noticed the hills were super steep, and when I began to climb them, my blood was pumping, my muscles were burning, and my mind felt as if something was thumping against it. The farther I got up the hike, the more I worked out, and the more I worked out, the more the anger and bitterness washed away. When I finally reached the top, the air was so cold and fresh. I felt happy inhaling it because my favorite thing to do is walk in the late or early hours of the day and feel the freshness of the air. Looking down at the view of the city, my angry emotions turned into sadness as memories flowed through my mind. I began to cry and felt weak, so I sat down on the hill. I tried to block off the memories because my fierce heart felt like it was being crushed, however I knew it was healthier to embrace the sadness and just let it out. After staying up there for approximately three hours, I felt more stable and calm in myself. The intense exercise, the fresh air, the beautiful view, and having my thoughts run in and out of my mind, made me feel more secure and stable. As I began my descent back down to reality, the continuous movement of my feet side-stepping down hill, my arms swinging past my sides, and my long inhales/exhales, allowed not only the anger but the sadness to slowly be released from my body. When I got back to Clark Kerr, I still felt that sad empty feeling, but I know that will not leave for a while, I felt way better than I had when I was first struck by the emotional event.