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Little Things 266 : My Numbers

June 03, 2023


On my odd Thursday :

I paid my first bill at 11:13 am, which subtotaled RM 113.00, and the net total was RM 131.10.

When I saw the watch during our lunch stop, my step count was 11,313 steps. Later I was bragging to my brother about it and coincidently when I looked at the watch again, the time was 01:31:31 pm.

Later that day, I paid some bills and my balance was RM 1,313.15. I even texted my brother telling him that my numbers were still appearing. 

Notes: I called them my numbers because I was born on the 3/1 - so I love mentioning the number when it appears around me. I don't know what the universe is trying to tell me on that day.

Event : The Event this Weekend at CAFKL

June 02, 2023

This weekend I'm joining CAFKL at The Starling Mall. It doesn't even make any sense. I didn't manage to create any new pieces of stuff like I planned, at this moment, I feel like I made a mistake by booking 2 tables and don't feel like going anymore. I feel like this would be one of the last few events that I'll join.

This time I'll be alone, and if you want to come and meet me, please do. I don't know when will I join again, I don't think I would be up for the Comic Fiesta this December as well. So, yeah. Come and support 200+ individual illustrators/artists at CAFKL.

Here's the floorplan and I'm at D27-D28 :

Random : End of May Post

May 28, 2023


The books I consumed :

  • Notes on Grief by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (recommended*)
  • No Happy Ending by Nora McInerny
  • Good Girls Don't by Mara Wilson
  • Cassandra Speaks by Elizabeth Lesser (recommended*)
  • Transit by Rachel Cusk
  • Happening by Annie Ernaux
  • Yasmin, How You Know?
  • To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara
  • Anxiety by The School of Life (recommended*)
  • Wandering Souls by Cecile Pin
  • C. G. Jung: The Basics by Ruth Williams
During Ramadhan, I hardly finish any books. I can only start but can't seem to finish it (that's why reading To Paradise took 6 weeks). But I'm no longer fasting so I've been listening and reading to books again at my normal pace. So those are all the books I finished since Ramadhan. 

I'm reading 50 philosophical classics (a summary by Tom Butler-Bowdon), every day familiarizing myself with 1-3 philosophers and their most basic ideas/teachings. Some are pretty basic, some are interesting and some are just a bit too hard to chew. I'm almost halfway through and I found some that I would be interested to dive in, so I scribbled in my commonplace book for more reading. 

Wait, I actually want to say that, even with my reading intensity, I realized that there are so many things that are still hard to understand; reading philosophy is one, reading scientific articles is another, and not starting on educational textbooks yet. At most, learning is always a humbling experience, because you are being reminded that you are not that smart ALL THE TIME. So I'm being left feeling dumb every day and demotivated because I don't know who to ask? 


Waking up:

I've been having a nice daily routine of sleeping at 8.30 pm and waking up early for a few weeks now. But lately, I always wake up around 2.30 am and then again at 3.30 am, but I'm training myself to wake up after 4.30 am instead. That's an ideal time. The subconscious realm is a bit calmer during those hours. Maybe because people sleep much later than that (possibly after 12 am?), and by the time they start to dream, I'm starting to wake up. 


The pain:

8 days in, the muscles around my shoulder and neck are still tight. I still can't draw and it is annoying but healing takes time. I know I've been extra tense lately, and I try to move to destress but heyyy, I need to rewire my mind. 


Trying Out Fujifilm X30:

Miss Chin wanted to sell her camera and asked me to help. I went on a short outing to take some photos and it turned out so good. I want it instead! But I don't have the money yet.


On Joining Sofi's School Picnic:

If it is not for Sofi, I don't think I would enjoy an outdoor activity with the crowds. But this is special, it was her first picnic with her school (and I promised I wouldn't be my parents - so I'm making an effort). Thank God my brother was there to accompany me, then also my sister and his husband as well or I don't know how would I survive it.



I think I'm dwelling well, the right amount of sadness, the right amount of grief, the right amount of stress, the right amount of effort to keep on moving to cope, the right amount of study and reading to distract, the right amount of isolation and the right amount of socialization. 

I'm suffering, but I'm managing it. I don't know how I do it, but every day is another challenging day to endure. I know this will pass and I know it's going to be okay.  

Little Things 265 : The Freedom of Choice

May 22, 2023


Last week's question: 

is it possible that people these days are more anxious because we have the freedom of choice?


Here are the writings I found on the topic:

1) The Dizziness of Freedom, by Soren Kierkegaard, 

the dizzying effect of looking into the boundlessness of one’s own possibilities. Without anxiety, there would be no possibility and therefore no capacity to grow and develop as a human being. What was striking to Kierkegaard was the individual’s complete freedom to choose one’s options; it is this freedom to choose that creates dread and anxiety. 

He claimed that our freedom of will and choice, make us responsible for who we choose to be. We have the freedom to reconstruct ourselves, leave our past selves, and evolve for the better. But this comes with a price: we must be responsible for all our choices and actions. It is a blessing and a curse. 

I love these quotes: "Freedom comes with responsibility which is the opposite of freedom." and "Choices come with consequences, good and bad which are the opposite of choices". 


2) The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz

"It is an observation that having many options to choose from, rather than making people happy and ensuring they get what they want, can cause them to stress and problematize decision-making." In his theory, he said that choice has made us humans not freer but more paralyzed, not happier but more dissatisfied. 

  • the more options we have, the fewer decisions we tend to make
  • the more choices we have, the more we feel about missing out on something 
  • more inclined to dissatisfaction, disappointment
  • more prone to anxiety

A small example on this topic:
Last week I wanted to eat a cake. This rarely happens because I'm lactose intolerant, but on that day, I even decided to eat lactase enzyme just so I could enjoy the occasion. We had 2 options: Secret Recipe and Richiamo. So SR was located a bit farther from where we were at that time, so we chose R instead. I ordered my slice of cake and ate it. But unfortunately, it was terrible. So due to my anticipation and preparation to eat that slice of cake, my expectation was high, and when it didn't reach my expectation, I was disappointed. Truly, disappointed and I kept on thinking "Why didn't I choose Secret Recipe instead"?

Even after a week, I still remember the incident and wished I chose better. 

Imagine, if there were no options, only one cafe is available and the choice I have is either to have a cake or not. I would have nothing to compare it to, and the decision-making would be much easier. 


So what's the correlation here? 

I've been thinking about how many options we have nowadays. We can be whoever we want to be, we can eat whatever we want, and we can choose what to study, what to read, who to marry, where to go, and who to be friends with, with the modern world and the internet everything is almost limitless.

Everything is a choice and there are just too many options. Every choice that we make might tell us who we are, who we choose to be, and who we want to be. It's a responsibility in every choice. No wonder we are often anxious, it is hard to have to choose all the time and we expect it to be the best choice for us. 


So if having the freedom of choice is making me feel dreadful and more anxious, my question now is, how to find the balance? How much freedom we are supposed to have to be content with our lives and not be taunted by other choices? Do I need to create my own limitation? Am I anxious because I have too many options to choose from and I'm scared of choosing the wrong ones? Will I be more content with life if I have limited freedom instead? 


Thank you for reading my questions of the week.

Little Stories 250 : Omg the Muscle Strain & Stiff Neck are back

May 21, 2023


Hey heyyy, it's back guys!

My first muscle strain & stiff neck incident since 2021. I woke up this morning and I can't move my upper body. I have several reasons to blame: whether because of the accumulated stress since early this week, I already felt it tense up yesterday but I managed to finish up 3 sketches and 2 illustrations (in the same pose - for several hours), then I went out running later that evening even though I know my body was tired, but in my defense, the run was good. 

I didn't even use the acupressure mat this week even when I saw the signs, now it's too late. It happened, I have to go through a painful week until it recovers. Cafkl is coming up so soon, and I haven't even started planning.  

Then here I am now, my half-upper body paralyzed and in so much pain (I cursed and cursed like my mouth forgot its 'manner' filter). I found my painkiller and muscle relaxer medication from the 2021 incident and ate it because I needed it. And I'm sitting in front of my screen thinking how on earth will I survive today with an active toddler needing my attention. I'm trying to avoid more stress, so I will try to endure this one step at a time. But God, why does this have to be so physically painful.

Note: The current painkiller kicked in after almost 3 hours. Oh, and I also had to chew the pills, because like seriously, tell me how to take pills without movements?

And I am so hungry.

Since I started running, I'm so hungry, all the time.


Things that can help: eat pain-killer, wear neck braces (but not too long because you still need to move and stretch to recover faster), rest, and yes, those painful stretches. I had this ugly neck brace since 2015 kot, rarely wear but huge help when needed to limit head movement and for support.

Here's me this morning, chose this shirt because it's easy to sarung with fewer movements:


Updates :

Day 2: In pain and I supposed the painkiller worked yesterday but the pain was too strong so I thought it didn't work. Today my pain subsided after less than 2 hours and I felt really sleepy so I walked around the house to finish up my Move ring and to avoid falling asleep.

Day 3: Still in pain, but I really want to drink coffee this morning. So, I chose to drink coffee and try to endure the pain until later this afternoon then I'll consider taking the painkiller, because, I am a flawed human and sometimes I do stupid things for the things that I love.

Note: I survived without consuming a painkiller but then I used a Salonpas pain-relief patch and it worked wonders.

Day 4: I changed into a sitting position by myself when I woke up this morning. I can now lift my hands. But there is still slight soreness in those areas and also a throbbing pain on the upper left side of my head when I touch it (just like an early migraine symptom).

Day 5: Just soreness and slight of a tight muscle alongside my right neck and shoulder. The rash from the pain-relief patch is starting to show, even though I wore it 2 days ago, only for 6 hrs or so (I'm allergic to the glue). The throbbing pain on the upper left side when I touch it is still there. 

Day 6: Same as day 5, with soreness and tight muscles, and throbbing pain on my head. I started laying down on the acupressure mat today.

Day 7: Same as yesterday, the soreness and tight muscles are still there. Less, but unfortunately still can't draw. 

Little Things 264 : Let Me Share with You a Secret About Running

May 12, 2023

I want to share one of my good methods for recovering from a broken heart. Heartbreak is a unique kind of pain, it hurts but you can't see it, some studies even show that it actually activates the same areas in the brain as physical pain. Whether it is from a major life crisis, death, breakup, any kind of loss, or dealing with a serious illness. The pain, you don't have to explain it to people, it is valid, if it is there, it's there.


My way of coping with heartbreak is by running. Not running away from the heartbreak itself, but physically running. I know, no one wants to work out when they are in pain. But, it helps, it seriously does.

I want to write this down, so that if you are still young and you don't know how to cope, or perhaps if for Sofi, one day, when you have to face your first heartbreak, remember, to start running. Take out your running shoes, and go outside. Do it 5 times a week, do it consistently, and take how long you need to recover.  It might take months, it might take years. But it is one of the best ways to cope. 

I went through a serious phase of running from 2013 - 2017 to deal with heartbreak, cope with major life changes, and get through the change of phases in my life. Running helps me be in control of my own body, it gives me some space to have a serious conversation in my mind, it gives hope, it shows me that I can get through the phase, and whatever pain I was having, I will recover.

Running also releases endorphins and serotonins, so you'll get the 'high' - BUT you won't feel this on your first run, or even your second one, you'll probably start feeling it after a month of running consistently. You don't have to push yourself (some people like those challenging runs), I don't, I run really slow, but consistently and hopefully much longer soon. I love the runner's high, it gives me hope.

All these will help you get through your pain. 

Whatever problems you might have to deal with at this stage, running, might help you cope with it. But you need to remember to at least give a month of consistent running before deciding that it is not working for you. That's the catch.


For a while, I didn't want to write about this. But it's been 10 years, and I feel like this is something that people actually might benefit from. That when you are in pain, in distress, or in any complicated phase in your life, you NEED to start running to cope. Don't binge-eat, don't abuse alcohol, drugs, or any form of addiction, and don't channel it towards something that can pull you in inside the deep hole. Find a way for you to make it work. 

Go outside and run. You'll feel like shit.

But it gets better.

Random : May Post

May 07, 2023

On Running :

That morning I ran again and it felt good. I haven't run early in the morning for quite a while. 

Whatever problems and pain I had were all forgotten during the run, it was just running bliss. The morning mist, the playlist, the cold, all just perfect. I can't believe it was that special. I started running at 7 am and ended the run by 8 am when it started getting hotter. I ended the run with this song.


On Taking a Walk Alone and Books :

The day before I walked alone at the mall after meeting up for coffee with Miss Chin. Only managed to get a 5 km indoor walk that day. 

I bought 2 books: Beyond Order by Jordan Peterson and A Brief Guide to Philosophical Classics by James M Russell. I noticed that there weren't that many female philosophers or books written by women writers on topics that I want to read - and I wonder why that is? In A Brief Guide to Philosophical Classics, there are introductions to 66 of "the most thought-provoking books ever written" and among that, only 6 were written by women: Ayn Rand, Tove Jansson, Emma Goldman, Naomi Wolf, Luce Irigaray, and Julia Kristeva. 

I haven't finished reading To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara yet, it's been more than a month. I started early in April during Ramadhan and I enjoyed the slow-reading process whenever I feel like reading it. I am now in chapter 3, the final story based in a dystopian world about 100 years from now (and I don't like reading about a dystopian world because it gives me anxiety).


On Working During PMS :

I think it's fair to say that the only person that can decide whether they can work during PMS is the person enduring the phase because everyone has a different level of pain and stages. For me, sometimes the cramps are so bad, my face winces for having to hold in the pain, and sometimes my migraines are as bad as feeling like someone is hammering my head while having to focus on a task, not only that, sometimes it is not only the cramps and the migraine, there are few more other worst symptoms to have to deal with along with that: like the painful bloat, or the swelling in certain areas, nausea or fatigue. 

I mean, aren't we all superhuman for having to deal with this as a daughter, a student, a worker, or a mother. We can't simply ask for a 'rest' whenever we are in pain, we probably feel ashamed to even voice out about this and we have to deal with this, for most of our lives, every single month. Imagine that. 2 weeks of rest, and 2 more weeks of pain - every month. 

Our bodies are built differently. Yes, it is definitely not as 'physically' strong as men, but look at how much pain can we women endure throughout our lives. The monthly pain, the pregnancy phase, the childbirth, and the menopause. 

We are superhuman.

On Raya :

Like all of my raya, it was mostly an anxiety-filled celebration packed with dramas and crowds. We went back to Raub, then Pekan, Kuantan then Nilai. A week of food and people. Sofi fell sick soon after, she had a really bad loud cough with phlegm and cold, a minor fever. But only for a week, then she recovered - quite fast. I don't know whether this was a help, but we gave her pure honey 3 times a day when she was sick. It worked, always. 

Oh yes, I posted a Raya reel on my personal IG. Made a personal IG so I could still post my older version of obnoxious selfies and personal photos (like beautiful foods - haha). The older I get, the more self-conscious I get about everything so I created another IG just purely to self-indulge.


On Going to KLIF :

I didn't decide on going until the very last minute. Why? Because it was located in the middle of the city center during a heatwave, I had to walk in the heat if I want to only take MRT (the paths Google Maps shared were not fully reliable), and it was my 2nd day of period. 

But, somehow, I bought the ticket and I was there on the first day. Thankfully, I didn't get any headaches until much later in the evening. 

In my mind, I wanted to spend time there, get inspiration, meet like-minded people, and support other artists or anything equivalent to that. But apparently, I'm still in my depressive mode - I didn't feel like anything had changed at all. I just felt old and I felt like I rather spend time reading somewhere silent, nice, and cold. I rather write and listen to poetry music. I rather not mingle with the crowds. 


On Annoyance :

It has been 12 days since the alarm goes off (probably at one of the factories near my house). 12 days of the sound of the siren-like alarm repeating throughout the whole day, nonstop.

I can't wait, for someone to buy this house. 

I can't wait to leave. 


On the Memory of Smell :

Do you know that you can keep memories in smell? Sometimes I walk in crowds, my nose captures a smell that I used to know, and I remember these memories far from my past. Then I go to Sephora and asked the seller to give me a smell from a certain tester perfume. I keep the fragranced thin paper as my bookmark because what else can I keep except for the memories? 

Run - Running Again after Almost 5 Years (but during Ramadhan + heatwave)

April 28, 2023

Personally, I don't suggest anyone starts running for the first time during Ramadhan (plus during one of the hottest seasons in Malaysia)  - it's demotivating. But I'm not new to running and I used to run during the fasting season, so I hope, this would be okay for my body.

This is what my training calendar looked like in April :


First week :

I started my first week of training based on my female monthly phases because I read that we have different bodies than men and I need to put that into account. During the menstrual phase, I started with low-intensity exercise, so I did around 20-30 mins of yoga stretches daily on those bad crampy days. Honestly, I didn't feel like doing anything. 

Please read more on exercises based on your menstrual cycle.

Here I compiled for you :

I think it is helpful because the female body reacts differently to our fluctuating hormones: for example, during luteal & menstrual phases, I am prone to migraine, fatigue, and cramps. It is also a bit demotivating because I usually don't want to go anywhere (due to the fatigue, bloatedness & cramps). So based on the cycle itself, we should only do simple low-intensity exercises such as pilates, yoga, and walking to accommodate the bad weeks. 

Work with your body, not against it. 


Second week :

  • First jog: I tried my first run after 5 years ±, it was supposed to be a 3 km light jog but Sofi insisted on tagging along on her bike then after 2 km she was tired and cranky, so I had to just walk afterward to push her bicycle back to the car. So roughly 2 km of jogging and another 4 km of walking were achieved that day. Love that I walked 10,001 steps on that day :

  • There were missed days when I didn't have a chance to go out because I took care of Sofi at home, but I managed to at least get my minimum walking distance reached while pickup up Sofi from daycare or a home workout. 
  • I started running during one of the hottest heatwave seasons - so it is a bit tough but the heart needs what it needs. On Thursday, I managed to run for 3 km starting at 6.30 pm and accumulated another 4 km of walking distance. I finished the entire track and decided that I needed to make another new music playlist so I could take turns listening to a different playlist. Also, that day was really hot, and my breathing felt dense and heavy - I mostly drank water after berbuka and didn't feel like eating that much. No migraine.
  • I also noticed that I am feeling extra hungry on the fasting days since I started running and I don't think I can fuel up my body enough because the eating window during Ramadhan is small. I usually don't feel like eating most of the time. So this might affect my energy and recovery process. But that's okay, Ramadhan is almost over and this is a one-month experiment.      
  • Body-ache wise was still manageable. It was not too bad considering I haven't exercised for a while. I managed to run for 3 km non-stop on Thursday and it was still fine on Saturday. So I hope it is recovering fast & well. 
  • I think the first running week went well. It was a bit too hot and too hungry, but I managed. 
  • Total Run : 8 km + Walk : 16 km


Third week :

  • I hardly had time to go out and run this week - it's balik kampung time !
  • Checkpoint: Ran in Raub and walked alongside the Pahang River in Pekan
  • Raya weekend in Pahang  
  • Total Run : 3 km + Walk : 15 km

Fourth week :
  • It was still travel and raya week. So I hardly have time to run.
  • I also did blood donation at AEON, I saw their notification on IG and went there straight away. I donated a whole pack of blood and put myself on rest for 3 days
  • I had migraines because it's my PMS week (as expected)
  • My brother and I registered for a half marathon in 100 days' time: Putrajaya Night Race 2023
  • So this would be my resting week and the new cycle begins !

I think the first month of training went well, considering I started during fasting month and Raya season. I hope I can improve the training momentum next month, now that we signed up for a half-marathon.

Little Things 263 : Decided to Formally Study UX

April 19, 2023
In conjunction with my depressive phase, I decided to put myself on a challenge to formally learn UX. I've taken a basic 1-semester course in UI/UX during my degree. I've done some UI projects with startups in my previous jobs but all based on learning by experience and current projects during those times. I mostly referred to all available products in the market (directly or indirectly), did comparisons, and used reverse engineering to design the products. 

Although it worked and was one of the fastest ways to create a product, I realized that I still have a lot of things that I don't know about especially the current trends, the latest UX rules, keeping up with the latest tools, etc. It is a field that is constantly changing, and I always have these working gaps that I didn't fill in with the 'latest' knowledge. So I'm not confident enough because there's so much that I still don't know. I didn't even put UI projects in my online portfolios even though I worked with these fintech companies and created several websites and apps for them from scratch.

It's always the imposter syndrome dilemma


In the industry :

During most of the interviews that I had with companies when I apply for  UI/UX jobs, they usually ask whether I'm familiar with their choice of tool, and most of the time I'm not. In one of my previous projects, I worked on Sketch, and in the other next project, I worked on Adobe XD. The current hype is Figma (and most companies expect us to familiarize ourselves with the most latest tool). I am expected to keep up with the trend, and when I said that I can learn the next tool just like I learned the other previous tools used in the industry, they weren't convinced. But maybe I wasn't convincing enough la kan. 

Side note: Figma is acquired by Adobe in Sept last year and this could mean many things. Remember web designers used to use Dreamweaver to design websites and it is then replaced by Wordpress? Or people use to rely on Photoshop/Illustrator to design and illustrate, but now it is replaced by Canva/Procreate?

The industry is constantly changing and I think being able to adapt is one of the most important skills needed. Companies need to prepare to accept this learning period when they hire someone new. 

Wait, I'm not explaining why I choose to learn UX. Well, when working in a team, I realized that I don't know a lot of the 'terms', UX rules, and current trends, that are used in the industry. Although you can learn all these slowly by experience, UX still has a part that needed to be learned (I mean, we need to read/study and familiarize ourselves with) - it isn't like in design. The UI part is mostly the creative design part and the UX part is where we get to be a nerd, making sure there are reasons behind the design. 


Before deciding on taking the cert, I was spending time taking classes on Skillshare :

Beginner's Class :

Intermediate :

But all were just a bit too basic. So I came across the Google cert and decided to enroll in the course. I finished 2 courses from my Google UX Design Professional Certificate and I am currently on my own cuti raya holiday from my studies, I will continue course 3 after raya next week. In the course, I am expected to spend around 10 hours per week and finish each course in a month. But, I finished 2 courses in the past 2 weeks because this is my coping mechanism in dealing with emotional breakdowns for now. Hahah.

Course 1 (I finished in 18 hours) and course 2 (in 28 hours) are basic on the fundamentals, briefing about UX, the UX types and work positions in the industry, design sprints, research part, and the ideation process. If you took IT in your previous lifetime, surely this is just a refreshment. I think this whole course is a refreshment from the semester I took in UNITEN. But the main difference is it is introducing Adobe XD in the ideation process and Figma in the prototyping process. 13 years ago we don't have these tools to play with.

Anyway, it's a good refreshment and a nice distraction for me.

So I hope it is useful in my resume if I want to apply for a UI/UX job in the future.


Would I recommend this certificate to people?

Probably, especially if you want to work with bigger corporate companies. Most of the time, only bigger companies have a dedicated UX posting. I don't think smaller-size companies will care about Google certifications or even have a dedicated UX posting (UX analyst, UX researcher, UX designer, UX writer, UX architect, etc), they usually combine UI/UX and they care more about your portfolio, yes. Whether you can design or not.

So if for example, you want to work with Google, this would be a nice certificate to have because they have different job roles for UI/UX in the company. Also, if you want to work with larger-scale corporate fintech like Maybank/CIMB, the certificate would definitely help in your application too.

Oh, and if you don't have a background in UI/UX, or you are a self-taught UI designer, this would be fundamental knowledge as well. This is useful and you can learn about the important jargon in the industry.


Is it hard?

If you are studying during the fasting season and you are hungry all the time, yes, it is hard to focus. If you are over 35 and you feel like your youthful brain is slowly disintegrating, perhaps yes, it is hard to change your mind. If you are a mom of a toddler that loves to crawl on your lap while you are completing an assignment, perhaps, yes, it is challenging.

But, it is just a state of mind. 
Go slow, crawl if you need. Instead of stalking people online, use your time to finish up the lecture, and endure the boring moment, answer the quiz, share your opinion, submit the assignment, eventually you'll be at the finish line. 


Free Sharings on Youtube :

Little Things 263 : Depressive Mode On

April 17, 2023


I'm usually quite a productive person.

It's one thing that held on to, that I assume is linked to who I am as a person, one of my traits maybe. But I've been spiraling down for the past 3 months - I can't create, I can't read (as much), and I spent a lot of time being stuck in this weird limbo.


So what should you do when you are in a challenging phase? When you are depressed, when you can't do anything because you stop feeling like you want to do anything, life is bland, you can't eat and everything feels worthless. I'm going to share some of the things that I do to accommodate this giant kaonashi until I recover.

Kaonashi is a character in Spirited Away. When they first met, Chihiro avoided him. Then Chihiro saw him again waiting under the pouring rain, and she opened the door to let kaonashi into the bathhouse. After the chaos and troubles at the bathhouse caused by him, Chihiro accepted kaonashi as her responsibility and let him follow her around for a while until Chihiro accomplished what she needed to do. In the end, kaonashi decided to stay with Zeniba, Yubaba's twin sister. No longer interested in Chihiro.

So, this depression is my kaonashi

I'm acknowledging him and I'm letting him follow me around for the time being.


The things that I'm doing:

  1. Acknowledge. I know this is hard to accept, but being aware of the situation is the first step in helping your mind to recover. You need to acknowledge the elephant in the room. Saying "Yes, I am depressed" is the first step, give yourself a breather, accept it T^T
  2. Small goals. I try my best to tackle one thing at a time, with smaller goals to achieve so that I can collect these miniature 'goal-completed' trophies to stimulate my dopamine on daily basis. Dopamine is your achievement hormone, it's your booster, it's your caffeine, your 'kick'. I make smaller daily goals like "reading 1 chapter of a book", "listening to at least 1 sub-course in my UX studies", and "walking at least 2 km per day". Manageable smaller goals. 
  3. Try writing. Ok, this is why this blog is getting its 2 posts per week this year because I'm pushing myself to sit, reflect on something and actually finish writing. 
  4. Exercise. I'm also starting to exercise back again this month, after the 4 years of running hiatus. Running helps me feel joy for a while, you know, the feeling you get after 15 mins of running, when endorphins and serotonin are released in your body. If I can't run that day, I do my minimum 2 km walk at home or some yoga stretches. Anything, as long as I move. I know, it's the last thing you want to do when you are feeling low. But I've already created a running schedule and daily goal on my Notion, downloaded Strava, and make a new playlist, I look forward to clicking on the tick button every day. That's my boost for now. 
  5. Get enough sleep. Well, it's Ramadhan so I sleep in early. I usually sleep in at 9.30 pm and wake up at 4.30 am. If you get sleep disturbances, exercise will help, and also avoid caffeine and processed sugar completely. 
  6. Challenge yourself. Ok, I know, it is hard to even care about anything at this phase. But at this point, you only have yourself to hold on to, so you need to step up and persuade yourself to do something. Even if it is small, challenge yourself to something small, but daily like taking a cold shower early in the morning. 
  7. Meditate, pray, and believe in the process. 
Oleh itu, maka (tetapkanlah kepercayaanmu) bahawa sesungguhnya tiap-tiap kesukaran disertai kemudahan. (Sekali lagi ditegaskan) bahawa sesungguhnya setiap kesukaran disertai kemudahan. 30:94  - twice mentioned. 

This is not a fun phase to be in. But I know it's normal, we will feel it perhaps several times in our lifetime because we are human with emotions. Thank God I am not stressed out about it, or worst, anxious. The mix of those turbulences would be awful. So I'm glad that I can be this much aware of my emotions, hopefully, I will recover soon. 

It's a phase, I'm just processing my emotions.


Note: If you are managing your depression or you've been feeling low and can't get out, go seek professional help. As for me, I have my reasons, I'm aware of this phase that I'm in because of my personal situation that I'm dealing with. So I'm accommodating this phase with the healthy tools that I know might help with my own condition.