Walhallavagen

Just an ordinary girl's life

2017 Asian Dramas

 

You already know what I’m going to say: I could have done better this year (again). As much as I like watching them, for some reason Asian dramas never get to the top of my priorities list. I regret it every year, but the following one I do the same.

Things are changing though, (hopefully) for the better.

I mentioned before that one of the reasons I don’t watch that many dramas is because I don’t like using weird streaming websites. But recently Netflix has started taking an interest in them (even directly producing a few), which makes it much easier for me to get access and watch.

It also means shifting my attention away from what the people that I trust are watching (Asian dramas on Netflix are not exactly mainstream, at least for now) and from the most popular ones in general. But I can still make a lot out of it, especially in terms of language learning (subtitles options!!!).

So this is what I’ve done this year.

A good wife (finished). It took me ages to finish this drama – which is a pity, because in the end, I quite liked it. I had a few totally unnecessary stereotypical drama-like situations that wish they had left out, but overall it was a good sentimental drama – not too cheesy, but not too dry either. I particularly appreciated the fact the in the latter episodes they focused more on the wife/husband feelings towards each other.

The good wife (finished). I talked briefly about this drama here. Apart from the storytelling and directing style (with I loved), it was super interesting to see the cultural differences in adapting an US story to a Korean environment. The anthropologist that is in me couldn’t help noticing all the social and cultural nuances of workplace, family and gender interactions. I would love to see more Korean adaptations of western tv series. Plus Korean dramas are just the best, did I mention this already?

9 Seconds / Eternal Time (finished). A suuuuper mini series on Netflix. The ending was a little meh IMHO, but the project per se was well written and well directed. And being somewhat experimental, I appreciated the fact that they kept things short.

The day after we broke up (finished). Another Netflix production. I watched this one without particular enthusiasm. There were a few nice moments and some scenes were pretty hilarious, but in general the story was too much angst on one side, and not enough characters introspection on the other. Forgettable.

Goblin (sort of watching). I started watching it in August and then the wedding and everything else happened and I just lost track. I like it, but I’m finding the episodes a little too long to bear. I want to try and finish it before the end of the year though.

CSIC (currently watching). I think it’s pretty clear that I generally enjoy crime stories (both in books and on the screen), and since I can’t stand 90% of romance dramas out there, I tend to fall back on this genre when I just want to watch something to train my Chinese listening skills. This series is pretty average, but the characters don’t bother me too much and some of the cases are quite interesting. I’ll strive to finish this one before 2018 as well.

 

It’s not a drama, but I would like to mention that I also managed to finally watch an anime I’ve been willing to watch for a very long time (Ano Hana). I discovered it through its soundtrack many years ago, while I was in the midst of my Japanese crisis. This song has a special sentimental meaning for me and I’m happy I finally got the chance to watch it (on Netflix Italia, curious enough).

Let’s look forward to a better drama and anime season in 2018!!

 

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{Books} Clearing my reading list & TBR bookshelf project

Since my last post on the topic, I’ve been trying to read as often and as widely as I can. I’ve started a few novels that had been sitting on the shelf for too long and picked up a couple of non-fiction books as well.

I’ve also tried to fit more reading time throughout the day. In my living room I have a huge window facing the woods and that tiny waterfall where I often spot herons busy fishing (the beauty of living in the Highlands, ha!); sitting on the windowsill with the book-blanket-teacup trio is the uttermost pleasure for me 😆

This said, I think I’ve thrown even too much on my plate in terms of reading materials, so I would like to clean things a bit. Plus, I had a kind of revelation book-wise yesterday, which is going to become my next personal reading project.

I was printing off a couple of reading lists / challenges (like the BBC ‘100 books to read in your life’ list, or the Rory Gilmore book list), and going quickly through them I realised with a certain degree of bitterness that I haven’t read most of those books. But then I thought struck me – how many books have I read of my own reading list? Meaning, how many of the books on my bookshelf have I read so far?

The answer is even more depressing 😅

I think it’s a little weird that I keep reading what other people are reading without taking much into account my own taste and interests. I’m always open to new discoveries and I love book recommendations, but honestly, what’s the point of having a bookshelf full of books that I never read?

In my defence, I can say that

1. 90% of my actual book property is still at my parent’s house in Italy; when I moved to Scotland, apart from a couple of titles I really really love, I made sure to bring with me only those books I hadn’t read yet (hence the low percentage of completed books)

2. some of the unread books I have here are actually original versions of classics I read in translation when I was younger. I remains true though that they still count as books I haven’t read yet.

I’m definitely going to keep looking for book recommendations and borrowing new stuff from the library – but I want to balance it more with what I already have. Plus I’ll be moving again in 8 months, I definitely don’t want to keep packing and unpacking books I’m not even reading!

10 points for those who spot all the typos

 

So, sorting out my current reading list:

. a few weeks ago I finished two of my Hallowreadathon picks (it was about time -.-), which I really enjoyed reading.

. I also finished Never Let Me Go, which was on in my October subscription box. I loved it this time as much as I did the first one. It’s simple one of my favourite books of all times.

. I’m now pretty much focusing on finishing the books I picked up at the library last week. I have two novels and one non fiction on Celtic culture, overall they’re not particularly huge but still I have work to do.

. as for non-fiction, I’ve shared on my socials that I’m currently on a self-learning journey about Scottish history. I think there’s no point in moving to another country when you don’t even try to know its past and culture (plus history and national identity are huge here in Scotland). Around this time last year I also started reading one of the Oxford Very Short Introductions on Postmodernismso I would like to retrieve that at some point in the near future.

. for my upcoming TBR list, I was lucky enough to win the Hallowreadathon hashtag giveaway (my very first one 💜and lovely Imogen sent me The Proposal by Tasmina Perry, together with quite a few reading-time refreshments – so that will be on my list of books to read for December for sure.

. I also plan to pick up a couple of new titles at the library – I promised my dearest Chloe to watch Alias Grace on Netflix and I want to read the book first – plus there are a couples of books by Neil Oliver that I’d like to put my hands on and a book about new religion cults in America as well (my latest obsession) 🙈

 

I’m having my parents visiting for Christmas (thankfully, since the plus one is working BOTH on Christmas and New Year, lucky to be a doctor in the Uk uh?) so let’s see how much time I’ll have available for reading. It’s also almost time to think about my reading goals for 2018, and I couldn’t be more excited about that!

Getting serious about studying: HSK3 prep and Chinese study in general

 

I think I get it now.

After my resolution about getting serious in studying for HSK3, I spent 3 or 4 days wasting time while trying to figure put the best approach to learn new vocabulary / grammar / whatever.

But now I get that HSK3 is a completely different experience from HSK2, for a number of reasons, and I should adjust my study process accordingly.

In essence, my approach ‘if you want to study for HSK3, don’t study for HSK3’.

I’m not trying to be smart or anything 😅

The point is, HSK2 was pretty much at my reach. Considering that at the time I hadn’t been studying Chinese seriously for almost a couple of years (the only activity at the time was RSH), but also considering that while attending classes I studied hard and with a lot of motivation, I had retained enough knowledge to approach that level of examination. And in fact I did pretty well.

All I actually needed to do was reviewing things I already knew (vocabulary and grammar alike); in the vocab section there were 5 or 6 words max that I didn’t previously know, so there was no huge amount of study or memorisation.

HSK3 is a whole different story.

First of all, my classes experience further away in time now – with all their flaws and limits, classes are still a good source of language immersion and self discipline.

HSK3 has three new challenges for the Chinese student: the sentence order exercise, longer texts to read and character writing practice (+ 300 new words and 汉字 to learn by heart). This is not reviewing anymore for me, it’s actual study and memorisation material – and there’s a lot of it.

So here’s my take on the subject: you can study for a specific exam if your overall preparation is more or less at the same level; you can’t do that if you know you still have to progress a lot in the language before reaching your target.

That’s why I was saying I can’t actually study for HSK3 at this time: I need to study Chinese overall, with characters and sentences and listening and reading and grammar and everything else I would do in class. I can keep HSK3 words and characters lists as a reference guide but I can’t focus only on that.

I have to get my bearings of Chinese study in general; then, I will be able to focus more closely on examination papers. And move forward.

 

{PlannerManiac} My planner system for 2018

If 2016 wasn’t that great in terms of planner use, 2017 has been undoubtedly my worst year so far. I’ve switched planners and systems so many times these last 8/9 months that I honestly lost count.

This is the number one paradox of the planner lover: wanting to try so many different things that you end up undermining your own planning system.

The internet is not of huge help in this regard, considering that in the planning community switching your planner like your switch your handbag is pretty much daily business. But I blame it all on myself as, I mean, I should have known better.

It’s no wonder that in the last 4/5 months I’ve cut drastically on the quantity and quality of planners videos / blog posts that I decide to consume.

I think along the way I lost track of that a planner really is – a tool to make your life easier. I thought I knew that, but I clearly didn’t.

So.

Back in August/July, I picked up a bound planner at a central bookshop in Florence. It’s a 16 month Legami day-per-page planner. Now, I never used day per page before. I never even had a 16 month planner (I still don’t get it, to be completely honest – though it doesn’t bother me either). I don’t know exactly what I was thinking, as this is not something I would normally do (when I switch planners I always tend to use what I already have, I never buy new inserts). But it happened anyway, so here I am.

Legami is an Italian paper-products brand, based in Milan like Moleskine. Both me and the significant other have been using their products for many years now (I especially love their bookmarks, look at these beauties! This has also been my iPhone case for many years), and overall I can say that I’ve always been happy with their performance. I cannot express an exhaustive opinion on their paper quality because I’m not much fussy about that (I don’t usually use fountain pens in my planner).

This said, the planner that I picked up is just gorgeous. It has a dreamcatcher on the front cover and it says ‘Dream big, because dreams do happen’. This is SO my style and it speaks so much to me, I honestly couldn’t have left it there. The inside is pretty straightforward – after a few general-use pages like your contact numbers, 2017 and 2018 yearly calendars, international holidays etc you have your proper planner pages, from 1st September 2017 to 31st December 2018.

Each month has a page for notes/to do lists and a monthly calendar (on just one page, which makes it very tiny and thus quite hard for me to use at the moment). Saturday and Sunday share the same page (not ideal, but I can make it work just fine). As expected is quite bulky so it’s not ideal to bring it out everyday, but it’s actually not too heavy to bring along if I know I’m really going to need it.

I have to say, since I bought it I’ve been using it virtually everyday (there are a few occasions in which I don’t actually need to write stuff down). I thought day per page wasn’t for me, but, actually, it is. I’m honestly surprised by how much easy it is having a new page every day to write things down. Daily tasks organisation was something I never managed to get right in my previous systems, and surprisingly this looks like the best solution at the moment.

So this will be my planner for 2018. I’ll use it the way I’ve been using my Paperblanks this year – appointments, due dates, deadlines, beauty and skincare regime, nice things (or horrible ones) that happened and I want to remember [like when I start reading a certain book / watch a certain show]. Plus I guess I’ll use it for my daily house chores since I’ve never been able to make those work on a digital task manager.

For random lists or small projects I’ll use my notepads, my A6 Muji squared notebook and my Agenzio notebook (which is small and light and perfect to be carried around). Everything else (master to do list, reference materials, weekly tasks, lists of books to buy or tv series to watch, project management, study-related to dos etc) will be on my digital tools, mainly Wunderlist and Trello.

Is this the perfect paper planner for me? I have no way of answering this question at the moment, but generally speaking this is certainly a huge improvement compared to what I did in 2017 (plus this time I’m not going to waste more money for another half-used planner). I picked it up, so I’m using it up. No more excuses or self justifications: next planner set up will be in December 2018, period.

And tbh I’m enjoying my system way more than I expected 😛 Now I just have to stay away from every video entitled ‘2018 planner set up’ and avoid every other possible source of planner FOMO 😅

Pausing and reflecting

I think it’s time for me to seriously reflect on what the hell I wanna do with my Chinese study, once and for all.

It’s that time of the year again and I find myself reflecting on the way I spent my time language learning wise in 2017. If I were to die tomorrow, would I be happy with myself?

Honestly, not much.

Let’s be clear, I don’t hate myself and overall I don’t think I suck at my life. But I have a problem I haven’t found a way of overcoming yet – I busy myself everyday with daily life chores and I forget about my goals.

And when 31st December comes, I feel like I’ve waisted yet another year of my life doing something meaningless.

Because that’s what tricks me, I’m not actually doing nothing. I never spent a single day of my life lounging on the couch binge watching tv series (not even for Stranger Things). So yeah, at the end of the day I feel like I’ve done quite a lot, and I actually have – just, not in the right direction.

The ending result is that I keep being mediocre at the things that I care the most about and this sucks all my motivation out.

Let’s look at my Chinese study for a second. I passed HSK2 in February and that was a huge accomplishment for me – than what? I finished RSH in July, ok, but do I really know how to write all the 1500 characters taught in the book? Hell no, and I haven’t even started a proper revision yet.

I haven’t started studying grammar and/or vocabulary again, let alone doing listening practice. I started an HSK3 prep course a few weeks ago and, guess what? I got busy and just put everything on hold. I could have done so much this year – and I didn’t. And this is definitely not the first time I’m moaning about this.

It’s the same about reading (I already talked about that), I know that I have the time but I just don’t bring myself to do it. I keep myself busy doing God knows what and everything becomes increasingly irritating.

I know I have to change things. I tried, I could have tried harder. I have to learn how to be more focused and, yes, how to manage my time more wisely. Seems like all the planners in the world are still not able to teach me that.

I keep being distracted by a lot of things, even wonderful ones, but the truth is that I don’t have the time to do everything so it’s either being productive or wandering around aimlessly.

So from today – yes, TODAY, not next Monday or January the first – I’m taking responsibility for my own learning and I’m keeping myself accountable for HSK3 preparation. I know it’s not too late yet but I have to really, really work my butt off this time.

Who’s with me? Accountability pals seeking!

 

Hello December

November review

November goals

I’ve done a lot this month. I have to quote my October’s review post and say that yes, my attention is still scattered in too many directions; I’m actually working hard in order to further narrow down my field of action as I feel I really need to create a more focused environment for myself. I’ve been working on my productivity workflow pretty consistently and I also started re-organising my overall planning system in order to make it more effective and streamlined for the new year. I didn’t get to finish watching Goblin but I’m going on with a couple of new Asian dramas found on Netflix. I’ve been doing well with my night time routine and sleeping pattern, and I also completed all the preparations for Christmas, cards to family and friends included!

How I spent my time

Blog 18h28m
Chinese 6h14m
Productivity 24h37m
Wellness 1h31m
+ 5h17 of History of Scotland book reading!

The thing I’m most proud about is the way I used my blog time this month. I was able to make good use to it, regardless of the hours I actually spent writing. Chinese wasn’t bad either (I’m trying to study 1.5h everyday from now to the next HSK session – with the exception of mid December, when my parents will be visiting), and I’m huuuugely happy about my latest study project (more on that soon).

How I spent my money

I had a few splurges this month, mostly for Christmas shopping (so I can avoid going broke in December). Apart from Xmas presents and decorations, I rewarded myself with a book haul over on Bookdepository (they sent me a coupon, how could I have said no?) and a candles/scents haul at T K Maxx.

How I did with my Study

I’m struggling to find the right way to study all new 300 words/characters for HSK3, but I think I’m getting there. Studying everyday is definitely the best way to improve and consolidate vocabulary. In November I also started studying seriously the history of Scotland and I can’t even start explaining how much I’m enjoying it. I seriously wish I could spend my days just studying history, anthropology and Asian languages 🤩 what a life would that be.

Personal/Misc

November has seen the weather changing significantly here in the Highlands,  so much that we went from fall to winter almost overnight. I love this climate and I’m so so so happy that I finally get to live in a place with a proper winter time (on the 23rd we also had our first snow!). I know that usually people raves about milder weather conditions but I’m definitely not that kind of girl and I’m enjoying my time outside, and even more inside, immensely 😀

 

December’s goals

I talked specifically about the things I want to accomplish during the last month of 2017 in this post so I won’t repeat myself =)

Habit of the month : open the daily box on the Advent calendar every night before bed ^^

 

18 Before 2018

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Last year I shared the four things I wanted to do before the end of 2016 and I’m doing it again this year, as I find it both fun and productive to have a clearer idea of what I want/can accomplish. With just 33 days to go before the New Year it’s definitely the case to be realistic 🧐

1. complete my 2017 reading challenge (I don’t think it’ll be a problem – thought it feels a little like cheating considering that 4 of my finished ‘books’ are actually comics)

2. organise The Last Jedi + Burger King (veggie burger of course) night – though it won’t be on the 15th as we have a gala event with the hubby’s coworkers -.-

3. take an afternoon off to tidy/declutter closet, chest of drawers and pantry in order to have a perfectly clean and organised home for the new year

4. don’t wait for January 1st to revamp my yoga practice, let’s just start now!

5. check my master to do list and do one thing I’ve been postponing forever

6. check my master to do list and cross off one thing I know I’ll never do

7. write and post my first Christmas cards ever! (we don’t have this tradition in Italy so it’s kind of a first for me)

8. finish 1 tv series, 1 Asian drama and 1 book that have been neglected for too long

9. make sure I set aside 1h per week to move my body, be it walking into the wild or rolling my yoga mat on the floor

10. set aside an afternoon/evening to hugely declutter my photo roll on both iPhone and iPad (a general digital space cleaning would be optimal but let’s just not be sententious)

11. finalise my wardrobe for the cold season (I’m almost there, so proud of myself this year)

12. schedule a New Year’s pampering/spa night at home (I’ll definitely need something to cheer me up since the significant other will be working FOR THE SECOND YEAR IN A ROW)

13. try the Chinese buffet restaurant that faces river Ness (the view must be spectacular)

14. Glasgow/Edinburgh trip!

15. draft and implement a serious HSK3 preparation plan. You hear me?

16. start doing a consistent weekly review of all my tasks, projects and so on (I’ve meant to do this for ages and never really got to it)

17. go ice skating (though this will be tough as for some reason the ice palace in my city opens to the public only a few hours during weekends and the significant other is working every possible weekend from now to 2018 and beyond)

18. think about, plan and design all projects I want to carry out in 2018 (photography, journaling, etc.)

 

I’m now off trying to accomplish some of these things reading blog posts on how other people plan to spend the last month of 2017! 🤓

Memories and motivation

Sometimes it feels like it was a century ago.

I still remember the moment I discovered Samainee’s channel while I was browsing I can’t even remember what on yt. At that time I had a very faint idea of what an Asian drama actually was, and I still couldn’t figure out what all the fuss was about.

But that one drama looked kind of appealing, and I decided to give it a try. I wasn’t my first drama actually, I had tried my luck with the Korean period drama Gu Family Book (still have to finish it, lol), which was a bit too much angst for me tbh.

But In a good way was another story, and that was the moment I decided I wanted to learn Chinese.

I had been toying with idea for a while, my Japanese was a mess and I felt like I needed a fresh start. But I hadn’t made up my mind 100% yet. Then a couple of weeks later, the plus one told me that Confucius Institute was starting Chinese courses in Florence. And my fate was written.

Today, I still feel that motivation.

I’m definitely not successful in the language, I’m not either proficient or confident, but I still love it (everything of it), and even more I love the process.

Learning a language for me is not only about being able to communicate with others, but also (even more?) to communicate with myself. I like the way I am when I’m studying, I become more curious and more open minded, and in spite of everything I immediately feel like the world is an amazing place.

As long as I’m able to sit at me desk and study Chinese and Japanese, I’m able to experience true happiness. And I’ll never get sick of it.

{Books} Better reader wannabe

Today I want to talk about a personality issue the I have: the book reader impostor.

Beware, I’m not talking about reader impostor syndrome here; I’m talking about being someone who really loves books and really loves reading, who profess being a bookworm, who prefers shopping for books than shopping for clothes, who has a home literally full of the most interesting volumes – but who doesn’t put enough daily reading time as he/she should.

This is me. Welcome to my world.

Books are not the main focus of this blog, but they are definitely a huge part of who I am. Apart from a very brief phase when I was around 6/7 years old, during which I repeatedly stated that I hated reading, I’ve always been a booklover and an avid reader.

This said, I’m realising I’m not that good at reading after all.

In the last couple of years I’ve had quite a few months jam-packed with commitments, appointments and pretty busy work schedules – followed by few pretty relaxed months. Someone would naturally think that I used that time to immerse myself in my favourite activities – language learning, Asian dramas, books and graphic novels.

But that’s not what happened, for one reason or another.

I did a bit of all of the above, but not nearly as much as I wanted to (but who was stopping me? No one can say). I wasted a lot of precious time doing something that was clearly not that significant, since I can’t even recall what it was now.

Let’s be clear, I’m not saying I totally suck at reading. But I’m just decent, when I would like to be great, super cool, Rory Gilmore level.

But here’s the good news: I can change this, any moment, any time. I don’t have any physical impairment, any moral or ethic constraint: I can become an A level reader whenever I want, If I really want to. Hurray!

Second good news is that, in light of my current spending ban and my long term simple life project, I don’t even need to spend a dime in order to become Reading Wonderwoman. I already have all the resources that I need: a comfy couch, a cozy bed, tons of blankets, reading background music playlists on YouTube, endless variations of black tea and two amazing book repositories (aka, my own bookshelf and the local public library).

As everything in life is connected, I know that by becoming a better reader I will also improve my language learning skills and my overall well being. If there’s anything that I learned from this year’s Hallowreadathon i that immersing in reading activities for a prolonged period of time is one the best self-love act we can carry out.

My next natural steps in order to keep me engaged will be:
🍂 download reading lists challenges to give me a feeling of achievement and spicy things up a bit
🍂 connect with other readers in the blogosphere (there are such amazing and inspiring people out there)
🍂 read during the day, not only before bed!
🍂 reduce time spent reading articles online – I already cut down enormously the time I spend watching YT videos, I can do this too.

If anyone is looking for a reading partner let me know, I would love to be in a tandem!

My night study routine

I’m not a night person by any means. After 6pm I start feeling hungry, slack and distracted. After 7pm I’m usually sleepy and slobby and I categorically refuse to talk about anything mentally challenging. By 8pm the only activities I can bare to carry out  are crawling from the kitchen to the bathroom (skincare!) and then from the bathroom to the bed.

Still! Sometimes I can find my night owl stamina and be productive language learning wise even after 9pm. (This usually happens when the significant other has the night shift at work and I find myself wandering and wondering how I should put this me-time into good use).

It still doesn’t mean I’m working all my way up to 12am, let’s just be clear; by 10 I’m usually off smearing my face with Banila Co. Clean It Zero anyway . But since I can’t stand doing many consecutive hours of Chinese study, it’s an additional time frame that I dedicate to reviewing the day’s lesson and consolidate some learning material.

So here’s how I like to do things recently:

a. first, tea (or herbal tea). I have plenty to use plus I need the warm kick if I want to face an additional study session (it’s almost winter here people). Hot beverages have the psychological power of helping me keeping my focus for a little longer, and they always make me feel motivated. So, yes, tea is a must.

b. second, ambient music. This is one the biggest arguments between me and the plus one, as he claims he can’t concentrate while listening to music. I’m exactly the opposite, nothing distracts me more than silence and music has always helped me to isolate from everything else that’s happening around me. Of course not all type of music will do [I’ll probably avoid something like this], but I have plenty of chill out / Buddha bar / study and concentration playlists to choose from. Lately I’ve been a lot into synthwave, and this is definitely one of my staples in my language learning routine [plus those endless videos are so hypnotic 😵].

c. third, a process to follow. One of the reasons I’ve been progressing so slowly in these Chinese learning years is that I’ve often found myself at a loss to what to do exactly with my Chinese resources. I haven’t figured out completely my  LL style yet [grandma here is slow you guys], but something that I know for sure is that I need a mix of writing [not necessarily fancy notes, or notes that I need to keep/revise] and repeating, otherwise nothing will stick. I’m trying a mixed approach of studying grammar, vocab and sentence patterns through phrases and context, and for now it seems to work. So instead of losing 20+ minutes trying to figure out what the best way of using my time would be, I just sit down, drink my tea and get sh0t done.

d. create the right ambient: physically, but also mentally. When I sit at my desk and before start studying, I like to lit a scented candle, turn on my Himalayan salt lamp and tidy up my space, so that I can have a clear and nice environment to get to work. But candle, tea, relaxation music: they are not just terribly mainstream [I am no innovator here], they are also extremely mundane. What is really essential, the point of all this, is my motivation and my love for the language. It’s the feeling I get when I remember a certain word, when I’m able to write down a 汉字 without having to look it up, when I can translate a complete sentence or I get a tone right. It’s the profound feeling of connection that I feel with the language, the culture, and the other people in the world who share the same passion I have. Candles and teas are just appendages, surely nice and cozy, but still appendages.

e. feel good about myself. This is my time, my space. I’ve shared it already in my post about the perfect drama night: I’m not just looking to feel good in the moment while I’m actually studying, I want that feeling of wellness to linger – because I’m time time off to do something good for myself and I want to savour it. I’m dedicating time to my passions, meaning, I’m actually sitting at my desk at 9:17pm doing something engaging for my brain, instead of just crashing on the couch with a cream soda watching yet another episode of whatever on Netflix. So yes, I think I deserve to feel good about myself.

f. go to bed before it’s too late. Studying at night it’s great since it’s one of the quietest times of the day, but overdoing it can have some unpleasant side effects. I know roughly how much time it takes me to go through my skincare routine so even if I feel like going on studying,  I always ensure to have enough time to complete my skincare routine and read my current novel before going to bed.

I guess I can consider this as a sort of self pampering activity: I dedicate time to something I love doing (studying Chinese) while listening to good, relaxing music and drinking my fave beverage; it’s also something that makes me feel good about myself so definitely improves my overall mood.

This just goes to show how we can pamper ourselves without spending a dime by just focusing on the things we really love and need in our life 🙂