Friday, November 25, 2016

What I Won't Miss About Europe

I made this really quickly for anyone interested.  More crap coming soon.

Tricks to Stave off Depression/Negative mental states?

Things to stave off depression in a pinch:

These are a few (non-medical) suggestions that I’ve found help pull me out of negative, depressed states.

  1. First and foremost, just get up. Walk around the house. Start exercising vigorously if possible. I’ve found that exercise/movement is the best strategy to get out of the cycle of depression and anxiety. In my interactions with people, I’ve found those who spend more time sitting each day are more likely to be depressed than those who spend less time sitting.

  1. Write, write, write. Write down all of your painful thoughts and purge out the depression like a juicer squeezes out the juice from a fleshy fruit.

  1. Do not eat. And, most certainly refrain from eating sugary foods. These clog up my brain and make me feel worse. I used to think this was some sort of pop-psychology crap that everyone repeats, “Avoid sweets if depressed”. This is actually true for me. If you eat less you will also feel better…freer. It’s weird, but it works. It’s liberating to feel like you’ve lost a pound or two.

  1. Avoid people. I used to say “Avoid mean people” or “Avoid critical people” or “Avoid other depressed people”. Now I just say “avoid people” (if possible). People often stir up more anger and depression because they inevitably say something that makes you “Overthink what they said or felt”. Think about it. Almost every time you’ve ever felt a twinge of anxiety or a negative state—you can trace it back to someone else—to what someone else said or did.  Also, when depressed you will tend to interpret most of what other people say from a negative or condescending standpoint anyways.   Your brain will make you think the worst about yourself. Close down comments. Don’t read things on social media. Get off facebook. Feel free and vent and express yourself online. Employ your freedom of speech but realize you can control your own platforms online as other people can express themselves online and control their own platforms too. You are not forced to go to their websites/social media pages and they are not forced to go to yours. If you’re not some big celebrity online and not asking for money—you do not owe anything to anyone. Period.

  1. Try to exercise your willpower. Strengthen your resolve for whatever tempts you. You may have a piece of cake in front of you and you’re hungry. The temptation will be to eat it so that your reward center is momentarily delighted. Exercise resistance and delay your desire for instant gratification. You will build up an internal feeling of strength that can grow with more attempts like these.

  1. Give to charity. Help someone else out.  I volunteer.

  1. Get out into nature—surround yourself with the glories of the natural world.

  1. Focus on your family. These are the most important people in your life!

Monday, November 7, 2016



Selfie from the Tokyo Dome Hotel :)

My baby looking out the window at our hotel in Tokyo! 35th floor.

As I write these words I am on a plane, flying over Russia. My husband, baby and I just had a trip of a life-time.  We went to Japan. Now we are headed back to Europe.

It is just days before the big United-States election.  This past year has been an intense roller-coaster ride for everyone on planet earth—especially Americans. If there is one fact that I can make about this election and about the status of America, it would be that America and Americans are MORE DIVIDED than ever before. Everything from racial and cultural divisions to ideological, religious and political tensions are increasingly rife among Americans. This is undeniable—(unless you are one to maintain a homogenous group of friends and intolerant to diverse political views.)  I reflect upon my conversations with people, to watching videos on YouTube to scrolling through my facebook feed, talking to people in other countries and on airplanes, people disagree with each other! There is a branching between two (maybe three) camps.

I believe Donald Trump is going to win this election. I’ve thought this since the beginning of the election but I wanted to make my formal declaration now, before the election. I’ve actually thought this from the very beginning when there was a truckload of Republicans running for the nominee. I knew that Trump would win the nominee. I even had a big argument with one of my more liberal Christian female friends. We made a bet. We both agreed (back in August 2015) that Clinton would be the Democratic nominee but she thought Marco Rubio would be the Republican nominee and I said it was going to be Donald Trump. She and her sister both mocked me for my prediction. I further suggested that trump would be the next US president. I have not retreated from my initial position.

I think Trump will win this election. The American populace is looking for a change. We are looking for improvement in the political sphere but also in the economic one. More and more Americans are out of work. If Trump can be trusted, it appears that he wants to improve the job situation for Americans. He has also taken a strong stance on immigration—something that hasn’t been discussed very much from US presidential candidates for a long time.

Trump has suggested that immigration is a big issue for America and that it impacts Americans—especially American citizens who are part of the poor and middle class. The reason why so many people want to move to America in the first place is precisely because of the comparatively better job/career/education opportunities than in their own countries. However, in the past decade, jobs and working opportunities are harder and harder to find, even for American citizens. More and more millennials are living with their parents well into their 20’s and even 30’s. Something is going wrong here.

 To claim that current immigration patterns have no net effects on American citizens—when jobs and resources are in finite supply—needs to be proven. The one making the claim needs to offer the evidence for the claim.

After recently spending some time in Japan, I am amazed at how pro-Japanese it is. I wouldn’t call this country “racist” or “xenophobic”—I would simply call it “Pro-Japanese”. Japan is a rich, successful, organized country. I told my husband that in the rank of countries, I would call it “superior” to America on several fronts—its low crime rate being a major one.  Our tour guides informed us that Japan is very difficult to immigrate to; it allowed 11 immigrants entry last year.  Is Japan xenophobic? Use whatever words you want to suit your biases (because we are all biased) but I’m going to stick with “Pro-Japanese”.

Trump has touched upon a similar notion in America. I don’t think Trump’s immigration policy will be anywhere as extreme as Japan’s but it could be an improvement to what currently exists.

America DOES need to be more selective in its immigration and travel policies. I still have vivid memories of being unable to enter Nigeria because I didn’t have the proper documentation. The guards at the border of Benin/Nigeria would not allow me entry—without a smidgeon of hesitation they sent me back to Cotonou, Benin while my travel party made their way to Lagos. Were the Nigerian guards just racist…because I was White? Well, I guess that is a possibility. After all, I was the white person and Nigeria is full of Africans. The other possibility is that they were just following the laws of their country and they weren’t acting upon racist impulses. I will let you be the judge.

Trump has tapped into a line of thinking that has been suppressed in the collective American subconscious for decades: Isn’t it Americans citizens, in aggregate, who should be the priority of the American government? Why should we vote for officials who institute polices that give recent immigrants from Third World countries the benefits of affirmative action (in both employment and education opportunities) over American natives whose parents, grandparents, great grandparents, great great grandparents have been paying taxes into the system? We need a system that works for American citizens—not for American elites who use a globalist system to stay in power at the expense of the rest of us.

Trump is no where near perfect but he will be an improvement to the system that currently exists.  Don’t get me wrong. Trump SHOULD BE PRO-IMMIGRANT (of any ethnic background), provided they bring job opportunities to American citizens and benefit America.