Kamfy Living

How to Deal With a Layoff

08.25.18

Hi friends! It’s been a long time since I’ve been on here but I’m back and ready to get back into a regular routine. It’s been a stressful month for both Gursheel and I. I got a layoff notice from work and Gursheel quit his job at around the same time! I just wanted to come over here and talk about my experience with dealing with the layoff notice because it is something people don’t talk about often. Fortunately, my employer did give me a 2 month notice, however, I was still shocked and quite upset upon hearing the news. Because Gursheel quit his job at around the same time I heard the news, my biggest fear was us both being unemployed at the time, which led to my stress levels being on high!

how to deal with an unexpected layoff from work

I was reminded of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs where the basic needs at the bottom of the pyramid are food, shelter and water and then security and safety. Because I didn’t feel secure, I couldn’t think of anything at the higher levels of the pyramid such as the psychological and self-fulfillment needs. That’s the reason I didn’t even think about the blog, which I love working on! So, when I heard the layoff news, I got to work right away. And today I will break it down with some suggestions as to what to do when you are dealing with a layoff.

Don’t Panic – a Layoff is not the end of the world

When I was first told about my layoff, I started crying and I couldn’t stop. At the core, I’m a planner and this was one thing I didn’t plan. So, when I heard the news, immediately my brain started to think about what to do. I was fortunate to be given a 2 month notice vs. 2 weeks, so I should not have panicked the way I did.

After a couple of days, the initial shock started to wear off and I started to write things down and plan. I made a list of companies/institutions in Google Sheets which linked to each of their job boards. I started talking to people around the lab if they knew of any companies/people looking to hire. And I became more active on LinkedIn as well. Again, just take step back, write things down and take everything one step at a time. You WILL eventually find a job!

Have an Emergency Fund

Gursheel and I are fairly good at budgeting. We are able to live comfortably off of less than one persons take home income. However, with Gursheel unemployed and me losing my job soon, I was worried about how we were going to pay for monthly expenses like property taxes, utilities, gas, groceries, donations and life without having to dip into our savings if both of us were going to be unemployed at the same time. Thankfully, we do have an Emergency Fund just for this reason. This money is more liquid and easily accessible as compared to our long term savings and is enough to cover 3-4 months of living expenses. Looking back at our experience, I definitely want to increase this amount so I can feel more secure/safe if this happens again in the future.

See what options you have

If you have been paying EI through your paycheck, then you are most likely eligible for Employment Insurance (EI). You can apply for EI after you finish working and will just need a letter of employment from your employer. Then just go on through the Government of Canada website and apply using this link. In 2018, the maximum insurance earnings amount is $51,700, which means a maximum amount of $547/week. I believe this amount will vary on a number of things, so just be sure to explain everything in your application. $547/week is around $2188/month which is definitely not a number you can live off here in Ontario, however, it is a bit of a safety net if you are unable to find another job quickly.

bogle seeds sunflower farm

Re-evaluate your budget/spending

You really want to sit down and look at your budget and see where you can cut back for a short time, until you find another job. I knew our emergency fund was built just for emergencies like this, however, I just really didn’t want to dip into it unless it was my last resort. So, I cut back on things like eating out, buying anything that we didn’t absolutely need and entertainment. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun. Try to find budget friendly activities.

During this past month, Gursheel and I went to Bogle Seeds (an amazing sunflower farm, that had a very low entry fee), David Dunlap Observatory (which was free to visit) and Forks of the Credit Provincial Park (which just cost parking to enter). There are so many cool places out there that cost little or nothing at all to visit, so this was the time to take advantage of that.

Visit the Doctor

I think this point is quite important. During this past month, with the layoff looming over my head, the only thing on my mind was to find a job. Things like drinking my green juice, exercising, reading, listening to podcasts and rest were not even on my radar. And to top it off, I was in a continuous state of stress. This is exactly the time to see a doctor and make sure everything is alright. A lot of people do get sick from stress and that was the last thing I needed. Make sure you take time for YOU!

My Morning Routine - Weekday Edition

DO ARDAAS and count your blessings

Gursheel and I have read so much Baani this past month and started going to the Gurdwara almost every single day. And the only reason I mention this is because I hate that we only thought to do this during this stressful time. But this is a lesson to myself to think of God always! During the hard times AND the good times. I hope we continue to read Baani and make going to the Gurdwara a regular part of our daily routine. Be grateful for what you do have in your life and don’t forget to thank God for everything.

Kamfy Living

My Morning Routine – Weekday Edition

07.15.18

My Morning Routine

I love mornings and a good morning routine! I get up early, accomplish a lot, and by the time I get to work I feel I’ve already been so productive. So today I will share with you my morning routine, starting from when I get up to when I reach work!

My Morning Routine - Weekday Edition

It all starts when my alarm clock starts beeping at 5:25. I go to snooze it and the second one I have set for 5:27 (27 is my lucky number) is the one that gets my morning routine rolling. This might be super early for some people, but I actually really want to try getting up even earlier so I can accomplish more in the morning.

One thing I have started doing is pulling up the blinds in our room, and just using the thin white curtains. These bring in a lot of light and in the morning the light starts coming in around 5 am and this makes it so much easier to get up. I don’t even feel like not getting up! This is definitely not going to be the case in the winter when the sun rises later. But you can get those alarm clocks that start brightening up a room the closer to your alarm time it gets (my sister has one of these and loves it). I found this one on Amazon, so it might be on sale for Prime Day tomorrow!

I would love to say that when I get up, I get straight into the shower, however, I do spend a couple of minutes just checking to see if I got any messages/emails. This is one thing that I definitely want to change. It would be great if I had zero screen/phone time in the morning.

Then I head to the bathroom and spend around 20 minutes showering, brushing my teeth and getting ready. Yes, I do take a quick shower, I don’t have the luxury on weekdays for longer showers.  I also start to do my Japji Sahib as I am getting ready and making the bed. This is when I get Gursheel to get up and head to the bathroom.

Then I sit down and spend 30 minutes finishing the rest of my Nitnem. I have been trying to just sit down with my eyes closed and doing my Nitnem out loud and I have been loving it! Before I would do it on the go and didn’t pay attention to what I was saying. But making sure I have the time to sit down is really making a huge difference in my focus. Jaap Sahib is still one baani that I do need to take a peek to make sure I am doing it correctly.

Okay, around 6:20 I head down to the kitchen and get some hot water from the tap and add some lime to it. I have been drinking this first thing in the morning because I have heard of amazing benefits to your digestions because of it. As I drink my lime water,  I start packing our lunches. I have done a post on the Bento boxes we use for lunch and I have to say they are still an absolute favourite! Sometimes I pack the lunches the night before, but it doesn’t take long at all! We always take leftover dinner for lunch and we always have fruit and vegetables cut up in the fridge so it is super quick to just add it to the lunch box!

My Morning Routine - Weekday Edition

My Morning Routine - Weekday Edition

My Morning Routine - Weekday Edition

For breakfast for the past couple of weeks I have been drinking green smoothies/juices! I make it in the Vitamix and usually make 4 servings worth in one go. This means I only need to make the smoothie/juice every other day for both me and Gursheel. This past week I added spinach, kale from our garden, pineapple, cucumber celery and water and it was sooo delicious!

My Morning Routine - Weekday Edition

Once I’ve made the green smoothie/juice, it is usually around 6:30 am and I sit down with my laptop and get to work on the blog. I drink the smoothie as I work for the next 45 minutes. Every day I have a different goal I work towards and this holds me accountable and keeps me focused on one task. I have so many goals I want to accomplish for the blog but I also love my day job so I really need these focused 45 minutes in my morning routine to get things done.

My Morning Routine - Weekday Edition

A side note, as I work on the blog during these 45 minutes, I also use my jade roller. This is something I just started doing and I’ve noticed a little bit of my difference on my face in terms of puffiness and redness. Have any of you heard of jade rolling and do you do it as well? Let me know in the comments below! I have this green one but this pink one is super cute as well!

My Morning Routine - Weekday Edition

Around 7:15 am we get into the Jeep and head towards our bus stop. This is usually a 25-30 minute drive! So, we take advantage of this time and listen to katha. Currently we are listening to Pracheen Panth Parkash katha by Giani Sher Singh. I want to learn and understand more of our history and I have found katha has so much to offer. It also is hard for me to understand completely, so I love listening to it with Gursheel in the Jeep. If I don’t understand something, I pause the track right away and we discuss it. We have been doing this for a few months now and I have been loving it! Once we reach our bus stop, we just stop the track and continue on the next day.

We usually get to the bus stop around 7:45 am and because the bus schedules are so unpredictable, it really is variable when we actually get on. I have to say though it is pretty great that Gursheel also works downtown now, we literally do almost everything together! Usually I get in to work between 8:45-9 am and spend that hour reading on my Kindle! I am reading the Stormlight Archive right now by Brandon Sanderson and I am hooked! He seriously is my favourite author!

By the time 9 am hits I feel like I’ve already accomplished so much, but my day just starts! I love working in research and because I do enjoy what I do my day goes by pretty fast! Let me know if you want me to share my evening routine (it’s not as productive). I hope you found my morning routine useful and inspiring and not too long and boring! Haha! Anyways hope you all are having a wonderful day! Love you all!

Kam Travels

Toronto Fashion District – What to Do and Where to Eat

06.28.18

Hi friends, I just realized I had written this post a year ago but never posted it! Some of you always message me for things to do and places to eat in Toronto and I think this is a perfect post all about Toronto Fashion District. Hope you enjoy!

Toronto Fashion District

This past weekend, Gursheel wanted to go to Graffiti Alley and I wanted to check out some fabric stores that a local fashion designer told me about that are on Queen Street. Little did we know that both Graffiti Alley and the fabric stores on Queen Street were not only part of the Toronto Fashion District (or Garment District), but were on the same street! It was a win win! We parked a bit further away so had to walk in the intense heat to get to Queen street.

But Queen Street was so cool! There are so many garment stores that I was reminded slightly of fabric stores in India (just not as messy). The selection was pretty good and I bought some zippers for an upcoming project. They had brass zippers for $1 (all varying sizes from 3”-12”)! I have bought brass zippers from amazon for $6/each so this is an amazing price! I’m so excited for my next sewing project! Be on the lookout, it’ll be great.

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So, Graffiti Alley aka Rush Lane is an alley that is a few blocks long that was painted by a non-profit organization called Style in Progress. All the graffiti is completely legal and every summer they take over the alley and paint for a 24-hour period. I definitely want to check out them painting next year because the graffiti art is so so beautiful! The good stuff is near the end and so worth it.

 

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Food in the Fashion District

In terms of food, there were a couple of vegan friendly restaurants in the area, but we decided to go to Fresh. Fresh has four locations in Toronto, but we went to the one in the Toronto Fashion District on Queen Street West. I wasn’t too hungry so I got the bread, olives and dukkah which was an appetizer. Personally, I thought the olives and dukkah were way to salty, but I really did like the bread. Fresh is a vegan/vegetarian restaurant with a ton of selection, so I kind of regret not trying something else, because I definitely wasn’t a fan of this starter.

Gursheel, however, ordered a burger and his food looked and tasted amazing! Definitely want to go back and try everything off their menu, they even have a dessert menu. Too bad I was too full to try anything else!

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We also went to the Kupfert and Kim across the street from Fresh, another vegan restaurant that serves quick-serving items like coffee, sandwiches, and their best seller: waffles! I loved the aesthetic of this place and have been to some of their other locations as well.

Happy exploring!