Counseling 101: Amazing Things You Can Achieve Due To Real Happiness

“Are you happy?”

That is a question that I had been getting all my life from my parents, my relatives, and sometimes even my friends.

I knew the reason behind it. You see, my mom and dad often called me a blessing in disguise because I was conceived when they were dating. However, they were not in love with each other, so they decided to co-parent instead of marrying each other out of responsibility. It was a bizarre setup even back in the 90s, so the people around me often felt the need to tiptoe or ask about my feelings to ensure that they were not overstepping any boundaries.

Most people seemed not to realize that my upbringing was different from that of a child whose parents went through a divorce. I grew up knowing that I had a mom and dad, but they were not together. I had a room in both their houses and never felt alienated in any way. If I had a school recital, both would be there, and they would be I supportive as any other parents would. I had always been aware that they were not meant to be, so I never felt any resentment towards either of them for not trying to make their relationship work. So, to answer the question, “Yes, I am happy.”

What Real Happiness Lets You Do

Of course, I am sensitive to the fact that I was technically an anomaly, considering I had many schoolmates with the same family setup who hated their parents for it. They would do everything to make sure that their parents would get together and hopefully reunite with each other to the extent that they would get themselves in trouble. Sometimes, it worked, but most of the time, it did not.

I honestly felt sad for those kids because they did not know what real happiness meant. It can open you up to a lot of things that bitter, jealous, or self-centered people might never experience, such as:

Have An Excellent Karma

Happy individuals are contented with their own lives, so there is no room for revenge or negative feelings in their hearts. The result is that they don’t feel the need to hog all their blessings. Everything they do is for the benefit of others.

I have proven it one too many times whenever I came across people who questioned my decision to volunteer at homeless shelters, build houses for low-income families, or donate clothes to orphanages. I would not always have free time, yes. I could not splurge like the others, yes. But I was often drowned in more blessings than they ever got, thanks to my good karma.

Become Lovable To Everyone

If you have not noticed it yet, many adults in the neighborhood tend to be indifferent to teenagers. After all, they have a terrible reputation of being rebels and not caring about manners. However, since I was always happy, I never got intimidated by them. Instead, I would even wave, say hi, or strike a quick conversation with any neighbor I would see on the street.

Soon enough, I became the most loved teenager in the neighborhood. I only learned about it when one of my schoolmates came up to me and told me to quit greeting the elders because her mother wanted her to do the same. All I said was, “Mommas know best, don’t they?”

Find Success In Life

Whenever I talk about finding success because I am happy, some cynical people argue that they know vile folks who have amassed more money than they can ever spend. I would reply, “Yes, but I am not talking about the financial aspect alone. Being successful means you find success in all facets of your life – be it career, love, and other respects.” Then, the conversation would end there because the cynics would leave, unable to come up with another snarky remark.

This is the reality that stumps most people. They always make the word “success” synonymous with “financial wealth” when there are more invaluable treasures in the world. In my case, for instance, I had two sets of families caring for me. They made it known from the start I would have a home with them forever. Then, since my happiness improved my confidence, I rose to the ranks of the corporate world quickly, which made my career successful, too. Having both treasures tends to be impossible when you’re sullen or constantly think about money.

Final Thoughts

There are more amazing things that a person can achieve in life as long as you are happy. Happiness means accepting everyone and everything on a positive note, after all.

I know that being happy does not always come naturally to everyone. That’s especially true for teenagers and young adults who blame their parents for all their issues. However, when you feel ready, find forgiveness in your heart and move on. That’s the start to experiencing real happiness.


Why You Should Never Rule Out Counseling To Be Happy

I will never be proud to say it, but I used to be a firm believer in stigmas. To be specific, since I grew up in a household where everyone believed in white supremacy, I was afraid to be around people of other ethnicities. I could not take the school bus because of that when I was younger. It did not help that my parents insisted that I would only be educated with other white kids; otherwise, they would stop all their donations to the school.

Back in the day, I also believed my grandparents went they said that gay people were sinful. I heard it so often that I tried my best not to be associated with any of them. It was hard to do that even when I studied in an all-girls school, but I somehow did it.

Then, the most prominent stigma that my family taught me believed that there was no such thing as a mental illness. They told me that the people who claim to have such a disorder were merely looking for attention. They were furious at psychiatrists, psychologists, and counselors for riding the mental health wagon and pushing others to believe those posers.

When I Realized How Awful Stigmas Were

As you may have realized at this point, holding on to such stigmas turned me into a social pariah. No kid at school wanted to play with me in fear of being ridiculed by my family. 

Their parents were also mad about the things that my family believed in, specifically since they involved racial discrimination, gender inequality, and mental health issues. Because of that, I felt sad for many years.

It became evident to me how awful stigmas were when I saw one of my Nigerian schoolmates get picked on in the playground because of her skin color. For the record, I had never done that. I had only stayed away from people of color, but I had never bullied anyone. Seeing someone experience that even when I knew that their only crime was joining the rest of the students outside during recess was upsetting.

I did not know what got to me, but I came up to my schoolmate to comfort her. I thought she would accept me warmly, but she looked at me with sharp eyes and sad, “Are you here to rub more salt in my wound, Miss KKK?”

That stung. My family had never been involved in that terrorist group. However, I could see why people would think that way, considering they were against me studying with people of other colors. I knew that my parents would get mad at me in that instant, but I went against their rules and sat next to my Nigerian schoolmate. I tried to console her even if she did not want to because it felt like the right thing to do.

From then on, I began to question my family’s stereotypical beliefs. Although I was still slightly apprehensive initially, I introduced myself to kids of all races at school. They did not want to talk to me at first, but Bella – my new Nigerian friend – helped me win them over. And when I got my parents to let me attend a co-ed high school, I also befriended some members of the LGBT community, who all proved that there’s nothing wrong about living their truth.

But the last stigma that I managed to debunk revolved around mental health. You see, my closest cousin died in a tragic car accident when I was away in college. She was only 17 years old – full of dreams and hopes. No matter how much my family said that the culprit was already paying for his sins behind bars, I could not get over my grief. After two months, I decided to ask my parents to let me seek counseling.

Why ask for permission, you might ask? That’s because counseling was not free, like befriending people of all genders and colors. I needed my parents to get on board with the idea.

Getting Counseling

Of course, mom and dad said no initially. In their minds, I was insinuating that I was crazy or something. I got so frustrated that I yelled, “If you keep up this nonsense, you should just let me die like my cousin!”

The horror on my parents’ faces at that moment was unforgettable. But I also saw in their eyes that they were willing to give mental help a chance for my sake. The only thing they asked was for either or both of them to be present during the sessions to ensure that I would never be in harm’s way.

I wanted to protest, but that must be a blessing in disguise. My parents held their chins up so high during the first consultation. However, the more sessions we attended, the more they lowered their chins. It signified that they no longer thought counseling was a waste of time. That’s especially true when they realized that my happiness returned. Soon enough, they were encouraging our other relatives to try counseling, too.

Final Thoughts

My family does not consist of white supremacists anymore. That tradition died with my grandparents, and none of the remaining adults wanted any part of it. More importantly, they have grown to accept everyone – all thanks to counseling.

Frequently Asked Questions About Halo Effect

As humans, we know that each of us is different. Though there are chances that we somehow look, dressed, think, behave, and respond the same way, those things will still have a slight difference overall. There are only quite a few instances where we tend to be identical with another individual, and it probably is just one in a million. Still, we are all unique individuals with different personalities, traits, and perceptions.


I seem to emphasize this because I want to discuss few things with human nature. As much as we love to stick with good and likable personalities, we often judge impressions. In fact, every time we give our opinion about a person, we always start with what we first know about them, how we look at them, and how others also view them positively or negatively.

Speaking of positive impressions, we, humans, are somehow bound to focus and look at the good things that other people want us to see. That sometimes, even if that individual turns out to be one of the worse, we still can’t shrug the idea that he or she is still capable of doing bad, hurtful, and devastating things out of nowhere. And that leaves us with the halo effect.

What is the halo effect in psychology? 

The halo effect is a well-recognized social-psychology phenomenon where one characteristic or trait of a person is used to construct an overall judgment. It causes people to become biased due to the transferring of unwanted feelings about one unrelated quality. But the Halo effect is not all bad as it promotes the inclination for assertive impressions of an individual that can also undeniably influence one’s opinion or feelings in other areas.

But the halo effect is not limited to humans. It also describes the tendency to let a single positive attribute guide the people’s overall opinion on a product or experience. One of the good things about the halo effect is that it limits negative judgment. It allows viewers to see the good side of about despite the presence of negativity.


 What is an example of the halo effect? 

One example of the halo effect is when a person assumes that a well-dressed and good-looking person in a photograph also has an overall good personality. It is a typical error in judgment that relies only on the reflected beliefs of an individual’s ideology, prejudices, preferences, and social perception. With the Halo effects commonality, the best example that is obvious is in action is people’s overall positive impression of TV personalities, politicians, social media influencers, and celebrities.

 What is meant by Halo Effect? 

Though there is nothing wrong with having an impression on the person, the “halo effect” is something more unrealistically inappropriate. It relies only on an individual’s trait to secure an overall assessment of his personality, ability, and character. It continues with prompt decisions, even if those are biased ones. The halo effect is where people always form positive opinions and impressions of another person or a group without even checking their backgrounds and whatnots. It feels like these people’s decisions are often perceived as the right ones and that what they say is always true.

Halo effect, for some, can cause exaggerations. That is because the general opinion of something or someone can impact how much the individuals outlined an overall positive impression. It is like hearing someone say that when a person dressed very attractively, looked good and behaved well, he or she is a well-educated and good-hearted individual. The irony here is the tendency of the attitude does not back up the claim.

 What causes the halo effect? 

People experience the halo effect differently. But most of the time, once they form an admirable early impression of someone, they often try their best to prove that those impressions the individuals have are always right. It somehow adds to an advantage as it gives the people who created that impression a positive feeling of accomplishment.

However, the effect can turn out bad due to undesirable approval given to those persons or things that somehow do not deserve to be favored. Thus, it creates an imbalance in treatment and evaluation of the ones that need recognition.

 What is the difference between the halo effect and stereotyping? 

A stereotype is the accepted belief about a group, a thing, or someone with only a little basis in reality. It s purpose is to stick with the gross generalizations. On the other hand, a halo effect is when one good quality stands out and is used to make good generalizations with no evidence or basis.

Sometimes, it seems to be taking the metaphor too far because people cannot properly use it for negative biases. It leads to unfair differences in how other people are treated, especially in social connection, boundary, and disciplinary issues.


 How can we stop the halo effect? 

Though people are used to generalizing ideas, beliefs, and options, it is vital to minimize unhealthy preferences. Thus, they should look for various cognitive debiasing techniques to validate or slow down one’s sometimes too-good-to-be-true or unrealistic reasoning process. For example, if an individual is aware of the halo effect, he should decrease the prejudice by considering two possible impressions of someone when he first meets him.

It would be best not to immediately end up judging someone’s attitude just because they look nice and neat in person. There should be at least a small percentage to give a benefit of the doubt, just in case.

 What is the difference between the halo effect and the horn effect? 

While the halo effect is a cognitive bias that relies on someone’s positive traits or something, the horn effect is its opposite. It is the cognitive process where one instantly judges a person based on one unwanted and unfavorable trait.

 How do you make a halo effect? 

To make a halo effect, one should put a good impression first. A person should manage his reputation and consider it a full-time job. Thus, he needs to be well-groomed all the time, needs to hang around with high valued individuals, and boost his confidence.


Frequently Asked Questions About The Effects Of Long-Term Depression

Getting diagnosed with depression at 11 years old was supposed to be a good thing, considering the problem became known sooner than later. At least, that’s what my first psychiatrist told my parents. However, I would say that she was not excellent at her job, considering it made my life worse than it should be.

Because of my psychiatrist’s words, my parents became extra protective of me. When the diagnosis was still fresh, they thought it was best to hide everything I could use to cut myself. They replaced the cutleries with plastics; they hid the knives and scissors God knew where. Mind you, I was not even a cutter, nor did I have tendencies of becoming one. But that did not deter my parents from going to extra mile to ensure my safety.

Depression caused me to lose my privacy, too. I stayed in the same room in the other wing of the house for as long as I could remember. It had an adjacent door because my parents thought they would have another kid, and it would be fun if we could go through the walls without using the main bedroom door. But since they found out that I had depression, they decided to move into that empty room and kept the adjacent door open 24/7.

Worst of all, upon the psychiatrist’s insistence, I had to take antidepressants. If the new antidepressants were questionable, think of how much worse they were back in the 90s when I had to take them. They made me feel sluggish and disoriented. I had wanted to flush them in the toilet since the first day, but my mother made sure I swallowed the pill on time.

Effects Of Long-Term Depression

Did I get better immediately?

Heck, no. The six-month medical treatment did not work, but my psychiatrist said it was normal, so my parents urged me to do the same thing for six more months. I did not want to do it because I felt like it made me more depressed than ever, especially since the drugs were so strong that I could not do much in life. However, my folks insisted on it, so I was left with no other choice but to go through the same ordeal again.

When the medication did not treat or at least reduce my depression, and the psychiatrist wanted to prescribe antidepressants again, I ran out of the room. I demanded my parents to get me another – better – psychologist. They eventually did, and we found one who focused on therapy and counseling instead of medication. 

That started to change my life positively, but I must admit that the damage had been done – I already dealt with long-term depression.

I did not notice its effects until I became a responsible adult. I was always forgetful; it was easy for me to feel hopeless. I even got that awful nickname – Sullen Sally – due to my mood. But I knew it was not because that’s who I was – it was more because of my long-term depression.

What does long-term depression do to the brain? 

Long-term depression prevents your brain from creating new neurons and shrinks the ones in your hippocampus, thus giving you memory issues.

How long does long-term depression last? 

Long-term depression can last for a couple of years at least. 

Can depression change your brain permanently? 

Yes, depression can change your brain permanently. It does not seem evident at first, but when your depressive phase is over, you may experience low concentration and memory.

How does untreated depression affect the brain? 

Untreated depression will continue to make the brain older than it genuinely is, to the extent that you will have an impaired memory in no time.

Does your brain age faster when depressed? 

Yes, your brain ages faster when you feel depressed.

What is the result of depression? 

Depression can result in hopelessness, irritability, and excessive weight gain or loss.

What is the number one cause of depression? 

A combination of genetic and environmental factors is the primary cause of depression.

What causes long-term depression? 

  • Traumatic events
  • Family history
  • Mental health history

Does depression give you memory loss? 

Yes, depression gives you memory loss. Still, you may not realize it until after you no longer feel depressed.

How does peanut butter detect Alzheimer’s? 

Scientists use peanut butter to detect Alzheimer’s as they believe that possible patients cannot smell the product through their left nostril if they are not at least 10 centimeters away from the peanut butter. 

Can untreated depression cause dementia? 

Yes, untreated depression can cause dementia, primarily if you deal with depression in middle-age or later. Based on studies, people who experience depressive symptoms mid-life have an 80% chance of having dementia.

Why am I suddenly forgetting things? 

You suddenly forget things due to stress, undetected depression, thyroid issues, or sleep deprivation. Forgetfulness can also be a side effect of some medications, dehydration, and poor diet.

What are the ten warning signs of dementia? 

  • Your forgetfulness affects your daily activities.
  • You cannot plan or organize things as you used to do.
  • You can no longer perform tasks as simple as turning on the TV or opening the door.
  • You find yourself asking where you are and what time it is often.
  • You cannot comprehend visual images.
  • You see it as challenging to read or write.
  • You do not remember where you have placed things.
  • You make poor choices.
  • You no longer feel interested in interacting with anyone – not even family or friends.
  • Your personality changes and you experience mood swings frequently.

When should I worry about forgetting things? 

You should worry about being forgetful if you also find yourself fishing for words all the time, unable to solve simple problems, or dealing with mood swings.

Why is my memory so bad lately?

Poor memory can be caused by various things, including (but are not limited to):

  • Alcohol
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Medication
  • Stress

Final Thoughts

I feel sad to admit that depression will always be similar to an autoimmune disorder that I cannot shake off no matter what healing method I try. Despite that, I try to catch myself whenever my mood dips so that I won’t go down the depression drain again.

On Retirement And Wellness: Frequently Asked Questions



You can plan your retirement as thoroughly as possible to acquire complete financial freedom when you retire. Still, you can never enjoy it unless you are physically and mentally healthy. If you aren’t, you definitely won’t be able to attain the quality of life you have dreamed of. Wealth alone is not the most significant determinant of how much you will enjoy life as a retired person. It is a mixture of wealth and health that will allow you to seize the most out of your freedom from the hustle and bustle of being a working individual.

Wellness Defined

The Global Wellness Day Organization describes wellness as “ a satisfactory or good condition of one’s existence; a status characterized by happiness, prosperity, and health.” The concept of fitness is rooted in more than achieving physical health, as it signifies something that encompasses all aspects of one’s quality of life – social, physical, and mental wellness. Hence, while creating a retirement plan helps you be confident that your financial status is ensured, it is ultimately up to you to take care of everything else.

Wellness In Retirement

The major aspects of wellness are classified into three – social wellness, physical well-being, and mental health. Maintaining these three areas in your retirement life is vital in preventing illnesses, such as depression, one of the most prevalent conditions seen among retired seniors.

The urge to turn the switch to your brain off when you are retired can be very strong. Considering that you’ve spent years of your life solving work-related problems 40 hours a week – even more – the idea of taking a step back and relaxing in your garden or simply watching television all day can be really tempting. However, to stay mentally healthy and get rid of cognitive deterioration, it is important to include mental and physical exercises into your everyday routine. Staying keen and keeping a dynamic lifestyle in retirement can help you appreciate and take advantage of your retirement years.


Below are some of the most frequently asked questions and their corresponding answers about retirement.

How does retirement affect mental health?

Several studies showed that complete retirement led to a 5% to 16% surge in difficulties related to daily activities, 5% to 6% increase in medical conditions, and 6% to 9% deterioration in mental health within a span of six years.

What are the negative effects of retirement?

For men, retirement commonly results in a larger debility in physical health consequences, as substituted by challenges in mobility and daily activities, self-reported health, diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and other illnesses. Additionally, while not particularly an issue for retirees, retirement may also cause isolation and reduced social connections. There is solid proof that social solitude and loneliness increases the likelihood of early mortality. This risk also surpasses that of several major ill-health indicators.

What are the five stages of retirement?

The five stages of retirement are as follows:

  • I: Pre-retirement
  • II: Full retirement
  • III: Disenchantment
  • IV: Reorientation
  • V: Reconciliation and Stability

Is retiring sad?

Retirement depression, or the feeling of sadness and loss of focus and energy following retirement, is surprisingly prevalent. Studies found that retired people were two times more likely to report feeling depressed than those who are still at work.

Will I live longer if I retire early?

Retiring early, according to many subjects who were interviewed, could actually increase your life expectancy. For one, retirement can provide you with a lot of free time, permitting you with ample time to learn how to invest in your life and your health.

Is Retirement bad for your brain?

A number of studies have associated retirement with deterioration in one’s cognitive function and poorer health – oftentimes causing two times as much the prevalence of cognitive aging. This leaves retirees being more at risk of developing different kinds of dementia, like Alzheimer’s disease.

What is a good retirement income?

Most researchers agree that one’s retirement income must be approximately 80% of his final pre-retirement pay. This means that if you are making $100,000 a year at retirement, you have to get at least $80,000 yearly to live a comfortable lifestyle following retirement.

What is the best age to retire?

When they were asked what age they wish to retire, most people say that they prefer to do so when they are 65 to 67 years old. On the other hand, others say that claiming Social Security as early as 62 will lead to a lowered monthly benefit compared to what you will be receiving when you do a full retirement at 66 up to 70.

What is the 4% rule in retirement?

A rule of thumb that is often used in retirement spending is called the 4% rule. It is quite simple. You sum up all your investments and then withdraw 4% of your overall money in year one of your retirement. In the following years, you make adjustments to the dollar amount you withdraw to compensate for inflation.

Is retiring early worth it?

Early retirement is something that allows the retirees more meaningful years at their age when they are still active. However, rushing into it could also be a recipe for potential disaster in the long term. As with other things, planning is vital for success, especially in terms of retirement.

What retirees do all day?

When asked what they usually do all day, these are some of the common answers of retirees:

  • Watch television
  • Relaxing or doing leisure activities
  • Sleep most of the day
  • Work on their own businesses
  • Eat and drink
  • Doing volunteer work
  • Shop
  • Doing household chores

How do I know if I’m ready to retire?

You’ll know when you’re prepared to retire when:

  • You have sufficient savings.
  • You can regularly get it from your savings.
  • You have paid all your debts, big and small.
  • Your healthcare insurance is covered.
  • You can live within your budget.
  • You have developed a new plan for your life.

What should you not do in retirement?

Things you’re not encouraged to do after you retire:


  • Spend too much of your savings
  • Neglect your properties
  • Assume that your relationships are fine without taking care of them
  • Be scared of trying out new things and activities
  • Let loneliness destroy your life
  • Be undisciplined

How does it feel to be retired?

Retirement is not a constant vacation. It could also bring a sense of loneliness, disillusionment, helplessness, and boredom. If the retirees are younger and have family and friends who are still working, it can also feel very sad, especially if they do not plan for their lives yet.

Can someone come out of retirement?

Yes, that is possible, but you might need to repay any benefits that you have received. If you are below 70 and wish to come out of retirement within a …

Celebrating Yourself And Other Mental Health Checkpoints Towards Holistic Growth

Every day is an opportunity to learn and grow towards holistic well-being. A great way to continually learn would be through holistic growth. Through this, you can improve your overall self—from mental health habits to social skills. Simply put, holistic development is achieving the best version of you in many aspects of life. 

But holistic growth doesn’t mean being instantly the best in everything. The process can be dragging and lengthy, which means you have to be patient and understanding of yourself. You must practice maximum tolerance for yourself to continue being motivated towards change.

Here’s what you need to know about holistic growth and mental health. 

Mental Health Checkpoints And Holistic Growth

Holistic growth is continuously working towards becoming a well-rounded being. Because it is a never-ending process, you have to make concrete bases and timely checkpoints to monitor your progress. Break down your goals into smaller and more manageable milestones.

With these milestones and checkpoints, you can assess yourself better. You’ll know your strengths to maintain and weaknesses to improve on throughout your development.

But what are these checkpoints exactly?

Celebrating Yourself

Remind yourself of the effort you’ve poured into achieving your milestones. By recognizing strengths, you can improve your self-confidence. Celebrating your smallest of victories can give you the greatest sense of accomplishment.

Whenever you meet any of your goals, congratulate yourself. Reward yourself with something that you can really enjoy. It doesn’t have to be grand. In fact, you can even opt for a quiet day off as a reward if you wish. Meanwhile if you’re working towards a healthy lifestyle, you can reward yourself with a rest day. Avoid opting for counterproductive compensations like eating junk food because it will only defeat the overall results.  

Remember, the reward system should serve as a motivational tool for you, and not an excuse to slack off.

You can also share your significant developments with other people. Although it’s good enough to celebrate by yourself, gaining support from your loved ones can add a warm touch to your success. Just remember, you’re growing for yourself and not for anyone else!

Aligning Your Actions With Principles

When you are working for your goals, make sure they’re in line with your principles. Your beliefs are also significant when you’ve achieved unexpected results. Aligning your thoughts and actions with your principles is essential to ensure your growth toward holistic development.

Principles are essential because holistic growth means improving in every prioritized aspect of your life. Having a basis for your set goals will motivate you to take the necessary steps and changes. You have to know which parts of your life you are willing to put on hold for a while. This technique will help you create realistic and achievable milestones for your holistic growth. 

Setting New Goals

Growing is much like learning—it never stops. Once you’ve reached a milestone, start on what you need to do to reach another. But don’t pressure yourself always to be productive. Learn to take breaks after each minor victory. At the same time, keep in mind that you also have to get back to work before losing your momentum. As the famous quote said, “Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.”

So whenever you look back on your progress and check if you’ve met your set goals, try making new ones. If there are conditions you haven’t met, then you can add them to your next milestone. As long as you believe you can achieve it, you have to pursue it no matter how long the process!

Setting new goals can mean learning something new or taking a skill to the next level. For example, you value social skills, and you initially challenged yourself to meet five new people. Once you make friends with five people, you can already say you’ve achieved something. After this, you can also take it a level higher by staying in touch with these friends and learning new hobbies with them.

How Mental Health Stability Aids Holistic Growth

These mental health checkpoints will help you understand yourself better. They will also lead you to achieve a more stable mental state.

Being mentally healthy not only means being free of mental illnesses. It also means having healthy coping mechanisms, knowing your self-worth, and functioning at your highest potential. Once you have a clearer mind, you will have less trouble improving yourself.

Think of mental health stability as both a goal and a factor for your holistic development. Think of it as a catalyst for a better you.

Additionally, holistic growth will also continue to benefit your mental health. By reaching milestones and passing checkpoints, you will feel more accomplished and confident with yourself.

On your journey of holistic growth, set milestones, and schedule mental health checkpoints to monitor your development. Achieve the best you slowly and surely by celebrating yourself, aligning actions and principles, and setting new goals. Remember, you don’t have to be everything all at once, but you can be something better at every checkpoint. 


Growing Up: Moving Out Of The Family House

Moving out of the house you grew up in can be a big deal. In many cultures, parents encourage their children to be independent as a sign of growing up, and moving out of the family house is usually done once they approach adulthood.

Millennials call it “adulting,” an informal term used to describe someone’s behavior as responsible and grown-up. According to Merriam-Webster, it started appearing online in the late 2000s and gained popularity in 2016 as advertisers began to use it as a catchphrase. Independent living is one of the milestones of adulting, as well as other mundane activities such as getting a driver’s license, opening a bank account, and paying your bills on time.

How To Decide If You’re Ready

The question isn’t about whether you should leave your family home, but when you should do it. Nowadays, single adults continue to live with their parents because they can’t afford to live by themselves.

Younger people are finding it hard to move out, mainly because of expensive property prices. Even those with modest means are having a difficult time saving money, so sharing in the family’s household costs becomes an attractive option instead. In this situation, you are making practical decisions as an adult that trumps living solo if it means being in debt and missing out on your rental payments.

However, that doesn’t mean you should stay your whole life in your parents’ lair. While there may be traditional Asian families that do this, the reasons behind it are subjective. It also depends on what life stage you’re at currently.  Are you just starting in your career or growing your business? Are you the designated family caretaker, and therefore moving out feels like a luxury?

Answering these personal questions will give you an insight on how to decide if you’re ready to move out. Once you’ve sorted out your priorities, you can then set your goals and schedule them. Here are four steps to consider before you finally give up those house keys.

Create A Mock Budget

Imagine a living arrangement that is not supported by your family. If you were to live in the city, what apartment would you get? Will you be living alone or getting flatmates to share with you? Plot out the numbers and, if possible, practice them.

  • Start to buy your daily essentials instead of including them in your mom’s shopping list.
  • Offer to pay your share in the household costs to your parents to simulate how it’s like living off your savings.
  • Do a lifestyle check and determine what you can and cannot live without.

With the rising trend of urbanization, people who move to the city for jobs look for solutions to the lack of affordable housing. Co-living is a new concept that is slowly gaining popularity among young professionals all over the world. Whether it’s living with friends, colleagues, or entrepreneurs through a residential program, it’ll somehow feel like you’re in a hotel with the same guests every day.

Find Out Your Parents’ Retirement Plans

If the original plan after you graduate from college wasn’t to stay in the family home, it’d be wise to ask your parents what they were planning to do, especially if they’re both retired. Some parents sell the house and move to a smaller home to save costs on maintenance. Other couples usually intend to move to another state or country closer to their relatives or other reasons like pursuing outdoor hobbies and better weather.

Remember that this conversation won’t be easy. The relationship you have with your parents will have a significant impact on how it will go. They may want to have you around, but be open about your plans as well. You can compromise by moving somewhere within an hour’s drive, or agreeing to visit on the weekends.

Make Safety A Priority

When you approach your legal age, it might be tempting to do everything you weren’t able to do as a minor. But consequently, the law is different for adults, giving you more reason to be concerned about safety when making any life decision.

If you are leaving home because of conflict or abuse, get familiar with the social services, and supported accommodation available to you. In the same way, balance your budget with your safety needs when looking for your next home. Having a positive community that can improve your social life is much better than risking your security for cheap rent.

Ask Yourself If You’re A Good Roommate

Sometimes, living alone can be terrifying and exhausting. But there are benefits as well that you’ll never figure out unless you move out. Having lived with your parents for years, they already know what kind of a tenant you are. However, sharing a room is different altogether, so asking yourself whether you’ll be a responsible partner in the bedroom can give you a clue on the amount of space you should be getting.

Moving in with your significant other is also part of growing up. It often tells you what role you will have in your future house. Are you the one who enjoys cooking in the kitchen but not cleaning up? Or are you the clean-freak who is crazy about doing chores? Living solo has its pros and cons, but so does living with someone else, so make sure you know what you are willing to give up to live comfortably.

If living in a family basement is something you’re allowed to do until you’re 30, make the most out of it. Build up your savings to upgrade your house or, better yet, buy your place when you’re ready. Some families have so much space that it can even accommodate extended family, and that’s okay. But the point of moving out is so you could challenge yourself in living independently. Adulting is hard, but don’t do it halfheartedly, either.


Brokenhearted And Isolated: How Can You Survive?

My boyfriend and I broke up in the first week of March after six years of living together. It was unexpected on my part because we did not argue about anything on that day. In truth, I could only count with my right hand the number of times we had a lovers’ quarrel. But when I came home from work, I saw his suitcase by the door, realizing that he only waited to tell me that it’s over between us.

No matter how much I loved that man, I forced myself not to beg him to stay. Still, I could not help but ask how we ended up in that situation. His answer was, “We have gotten too in sync with each other; the spark is already gone.”

My ex-boyfriend said that slowly, but it felt like a hard slap on my face. What I thought was the strength of our relationship, he saw it as the most significant weakness. I knew then that I could not say or do anything to change his mind, so I let him go. And there I was, alone and brokenhearted.

The breakup, however, came at the most unfortunate time. A few days after my ex left, the quarantine orders rolled in my state. At the same time, my boss decided that it was best to work from home to avoid catching the coronavirus. Most of my colleagues were glad about that, but I was not.

I honestly wondered what awful things I might have done in my past lives to be in this situation. As it turned out, aside from being brokenhearted, I was also isolated. There was no worse combination than that.

Nevertheless, I am writing this in June. I have survived the isolation while mending my broken heart, even though it has appeared to be impossible at first. How?

Talk To Your Closest Friends

The first and only thing you can do at the moment is to talk to your best friends. They cannot hug you or hold your hand in support due to the pandemic, but they can listen to you for as long as necessary. All you need to do is open up them so that you can go through the grieving process more quickly.

Let Go Of Everything That Reminds You Of Your Failed Relationship

My breakup has made me realize that the person who leaves never brings any item that will remind them of your relationship. They typically do not touch them and leave the other person to find them. At least, that’s what my ex did to everything we bought or collected over the years.

No matter how expensive those objects are, you need to part with them to avoid remembering your failed coupling. The most satisfying way to do that is by burning the items, of course. But if it is impossible in your location, you can send them to the Good Will or Salvation Army.

Look For New Hobbies

The isolation has been excellent, considering I have not needed to act okay in front of anyone. When I attend Zoom meetings for work, I can say that I have just rolled out of bed so I have not had a chance to dress up. After that, I get to remain silent for hours, and no one tries to shake me.

I say that it has done me good because I felt bored with this routine and caused me to look for new hobbies. The fact that there are too many choices has occupied my mind for a while, so my broken heart heals slowly but surely.

Final Thoughts

It has been almost three months since my ex-boyfriend broke up with me and the pandemic broke out. Now, I can only see both as learning curbs, and I am ready to move on with my life. If you are interested in how I managed to pull through, you can check out BetterHelp for more helpful tips as well. You can find there a lot of interesting articles about life struggles and how you can face them.

How Quarantine Helps People Who Can’t Move On

For years, my house has served as a haven for my friends who want to run away from their problems in the big city. It is smack dab in the middle of a little ranch that I inherited from my parents, and there are no neighbors who may snoop around. In truth, the closest one lives on another farm, which is only accessible by car.

Before the quarantine, I had a new guest: my best friend, Olivia. She was in a long-term relationship with Alex—almost 12 years—and we all thought that it was the forever kind of love between them. They always looked happy and sweet together, which sometimes made me question if my beau and I were that in love. However, it eventually became revealed that Alex had been cheating on Olivia in the last six years.

When my best friend was relaying what happened to her relationship, my heart broke for her. I could see how hurt she was, weeping and staring into nothingness often. It did not help that Alex had been trying to call her, begging to “fix what they had.”

As much as I wanted to see Olivia smile again, though, I could not allow her to take Alex back. Those years of getting lied to were enough; she could find a much better guy than her ex.

My best friend might have protested and left my house if not for the travel restrictions due to the coronavirus. Thus, it feels like the quarantine can help people who can’t move on by giving you the luxury to:

Not See The Other Person For A While

The main benefit of being quarantined is that you cannot come to anyone else’s house. You need to stay at home as much as possible and only go out for groceries and medical needs. That’s how you can ensure your safety against COVID-19.

Of course, the quarantine prevents your ex from visiting you. No matter how much the man wants to come and try to woo you, the strict policy forbids him from doing so. It then offers you a chance to collect your thoughts and let go of your feelings before meeting that person again.

Unplug From Social Media

Social media platforms are similar to bear traps, in the sense that they can cripple you if you get caught in them. After all, considering the years of memories that you may have shared, you can log in and look at old photos of yourselves repeatedly. That makes it practically impossible for you to get over the failed relationship.

The quarantine does not sound too bad because of this issue. Your work may halt, and your loved ones are home, so you need not be online every day. This opportunity prevents you from reminiscing and playing with the idea of getting back with your ex.

Focus On Yourself

Another incredible thing about this quarantine is that you can focus on yourself again. You have likely forgotten how to do that due to being in a relationship for a long time. But since you are no longer shacking up with anyone, it will be effortless for you to remember who you are and can be.

I understand how unnatural it may be to think only of yourself at first. We have all had our fair share of breakups; we know that some people choose to stick with a cheater because that’s what’s comfortable. Despite that, once you focus on feeling whole, you won’t regret it.

Final Thoughts

My best friend has developed a practical outlook in life after doing everything mentioned above. Oliva has realized her worth as a woman; she won’t let anyone walk all over her. Even though it may take a while before she becomes ready to find a new man, what matters is that she has moved on finally.…