Increased Self Care

Who doesn’t love getting a mani/pedi? How about a salon trip? It feels amazing to pamper yourself or just continue your up keep. As much as these activities are awesome and can be forms of self-care, do not limit that to your only self-care. Increase self-care to those things that bring joy into your heart and life.  What about that hobby that brings the type of smile that can’t be wiped away?  What about making time with friends a priority? What about going back to school to accomplish a goal you left sitting? What about making time for rest and unplugging? We all need to dip deeper into self care now more than ever.

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When I hear older folks make complaints such as “what is this self-care business, we didn’t have that growing up,” it irks me. Those be the same women that have the most insecurities, the most hard battles in their spirit that have gone unchecked. When you know better you do better. Why aren’t you practicing it yourself or encouraging the younger generation to focus on their mental health just because no one encouraged you? You remember them lonely battles you fought? Remember that feeling of being overwhelmed? Why would you want another woman or man to go through that?  Even it made someone 5 seconds better, it’s worth it. Encourage and then practice it yourself. 2019 is about accountability and that is even in how we treat ourselves. We can’t expect anyone to treat us well when we treat ourselves badly. Think about it from head to toe. What are you doing to make you whole? If you are still eating, drinking, not working out, have a thousand bad habits that contribute to your body and mind’s demise, these things need to be worked out.

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Self care is about self-preservation.  It pulls you out of darkness and makes you alert. When you don’t practice self-care often times you are numb to things and people around you. It doesn’t stop bad things from coming but it can help you deal with it that much more. Think about the times you let yourself go mentally. You weren’t even ready for hits that life was about to throw. Self care is super important. I don’t care what you call it.  You can call it self-care, self-love, me time, whatever it is find it, be consistent, and then add some more. There is no such thing as too much self-care. That is impossible. Having joy in this world is what keeps people from feeling hopeless. That hopeless feeling leads people into paths that don’t bring about positive results. People need hope. Joy isn’t about walking around with a smile 24/7.  It means that you have things in your life that bring you real happiness no matter what. Self care is about preserving peace in a world full of chaos. Self care is about loving yourself even when the world wants to make you feel unlovable. Self care doesn’t care what your status is in life. Self care is important. Please invest in yourself. Practice some more self-care!

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Counseling Days

I know I am going to say a few things that may come off of a few folks.  Whenever it rains it makes me pull out my journals.  I have been in counseling on and off for a few years. So when rainy days it takes me back to that moment. I believe in counseling by licensed counselor.  I am not all for folks running to everyone with their issues.  The reason is everyone don’t have the license and mindset to rightly divide where a person is.  So it’s not that you can’t run to a friend, or a pastor but you just got to be careful.  I do love licensed pastors because they can be a jewel to the community having the spiritual understanding with the licenses can be super helpful. So for some they get so upset the second you say don’t run to the pastors. I didn’t say don’t I said be careful. It could be from my level of hurt that I am openly saying I am still working through since my old pastor tried it.  I will say is some folks will talk to you and then have their message be your life on Sunday. Some folks like to do that prayer list conversation and reality your life becomes the tea of the week.  So be careful. People are messy individuals in real life no matter what their title!

In counseling I noticed that my days that I would go in was on rainy days.  It wasn’t that many sunny days. It really could just be that during those times I noticed the rainy days because of the down place that made me go there in the first place.  I can admit that made a lot of sense.  However today’s rain made me pull a few lessons for my current life. Not that life has totally went left, but emotionally I really want to respond to those around me in the proper way even when my petty, smart assed mouth yes I said smart assed mouth is ever-present.  I really struggle with balanced my life in those regards.  I really am sweet but if pushed or provoked or I just want to let loose, I can and will and I know deep down in my heart, that life will not bring me any good down the line.  So I dusted off a few techniques so I could find the place where I needed to be.

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I was asked  in my Facebook message what reasons have I gone to counseling a few weeks ago and I acted like I hadn’t seen the message, but I seen it. I have gone initially for postpartum.  So a few years ago after the birth of my son, moving from one city to another and being a stay at home mom of 2 under 2 my life was under pressure and after almost calling the police at my fiancé at the time, I called me a counselor who saw me stat.  Ever since then I have gone for various things. If I feel triggered about something in my childhood, issues within myself, or issues with motherhood or being a wife, I stroll right down.  My last session was almost 2 years ago with a counselor in person.  I also have done some pick me up sessions with a mobile counselor meaning I call them and they say hey Toi, what’s going on how can I help.  I prefer in person counseling but it is hard to do with working full-time, and being a wife and a mother that the mobile counselor is what I rely on.  Now I don’t call every time something gets on my nerves. I only call if I feel like I am overwhelmed and reaching out to strategic friends and family who are not the cause in my head of the trigger doesn’t help, I will call my mobile therapist.  They are wonderful. Always warm, and if they are judging you it’s in their head and not out their mouths. They give you real life tips and they have been helpful to and for me.

Now growing up the general message was that you don’t share your business. I now know that is wrong information. You have to be strategic in who you share. If I am not comfortable and for me I choose male or female depending on what’s going on.  So shout out to my counselors because altogether they have been super bomb. Let me encourage a few of you who have never gone but are super on edge on if you should go.  Consider asking your insurance who to go to so it’s covered.  Watch your coins. Sometimes it ain’t free and you need to know that.  You can get services through your job at times.  Even them free 6 sessions can be the difference between bail money, suicide, a fight, or a mental meltdown.  Trust me-no shame at all.  If you know of someone in your inner circle who is getting counseling unless they tell you to give that information out to others its imperative to shut your mouth and let people be great.  I had that happen the first year that I went and someone super close to me told others how I was in counseling and taking meds at a time where I wouldn’t have shared the information with anyone.  I hadn’t even told my momma and two its super personal and set me to trigger even more. But counseling is necessary for those who need it. I honestly think that everyone can benefit going at least once.  Even the super happy folks have things inside of them that need worked out.

Benefits of Therapy

  • Having a 3rd party call you out without having a personal relationship
  • Healing whether mental or emotional healing
  • Consistent sessions give you something positive to look forward

Pitfalls of Therapy

  • Opens other wounds as you process
  • Emotionally down for about an hour after session and having to recover
  • If not taken serious or stopping too soon can make things work, so commit

The pitfalls aren’t anything that is super detrimental but needed to be said.  You may go to counseling and think you will leave skipping and jumping and that may not be the case. I have left therapy mad more times before because of the assignments given after you leave make you think.  That is what the counseling is supposed to do.  So be aware that its work.  It’s not a great high time like the movies show you.

The other day I wrote about national family day and then this week I felt like just unblocking folks, and walking in full healing I just wanted to be sure that it was for the right reason. I called my counselor and letting him/her know about it.  She was so happy about it but the reality is I have been walking in but these last steps of speaking openly about my family was super good for me even if no one else felt what I was trying to say. Not to say that no one does because I love reading your comments as well as your emails about some of the issues you may have had in your own family.  That made me feel good knowing that I wasn’t the only one who had to be tried in that area.  Also today the rain allowed me to write.  It allowed me to share with my therapist about a few things that transpired and helped me to find ways to be a help to those around me and not give into things I know will trigger me.  Also I find that a lot of techniques I end up practicing on those around me even if they don’t know I am.  But the results is the only thing I am looking for. I am looking to be the right that I want or need in my life.  I really don’t want to be a hinderance to myself and especially the ones I live with. If I am walking around mad, pissed off, yelling, testy, what will that do for anyone?  No!  So although I am not perfect I am very grateful for balance and attempting to balance me in all areas.  I am really not working towards perfection.  That perfect life for me just doesn’t exist.  However if I can balance things better than that works for me.

Shout out to all of you who like me are a work in progress and rely on therapy or ever had it to make you whole!

Check Your Own Body

I have so many tips for doing different work outs but I am not a professional so I really have what works for me.  I don’t even act like my fail proof plan is a Godsend for all, however there comes a time when you have to be on top of things because let’s face it, who else will?  I remember a reader asking an Ask Toi about gynecological exams and if they should continue to have them done after they were married. My answer then and now is an absolute YES!

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Marriage doesn’t mean you sexual health is perfect. You as a woman need to be aware that now that you got the ring and are one, you can still be one at risk woman.  I always wish happiness and great sex for married couples but if anything you should know right now, everyone ain’t on the up and up.  Not only that outside of getting an unwanted and unexpected non gift from a mate, is the risk of ovarian cancer. It is your job to do all you can to live a happy and healthy life.  Part of living a healthy life is to be about your health and sexual health is important.  No ring or marriage certificate will keep you safe.  So my advice is simple, get checked.  I’ve told the story before how when I was pregnant with my youngest, my OBGYN asked me if I wanted to get the STD panel done.  My answer was hell yes. Her response is well you’re married and you have kids.  I asked her who licensed her again because if you are giving me of sound mind this advice what in the holy hell was she telling other women.  Ladies get checked regardless of your status even my born again virgins that ain’t had none since Jesus was a baby, you need to get things checked too.

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No married woman should be told, you good and that’s it. Again the amount of women who die from ovarian cancer is enough for me to check.  Also like I said I do not subscribe that my husband is so perfect that there is a chance that I am going to be okay. I do trust my husband but how many women rely on trust alone and find out after it’s too late that there husband was on the “down low” and they have contracted something that a pill or a shot can’t cure.  I have told my husband plenty of times that I love me and my kids enough and I get that sometimes men take chances on getting some new %ussy but I refuse to live my life where I just throw caution to the wind. One of us has to love themselves enough to get things checked out.  So far after 5 years there hasn’t need to put the “man” between us.  I do not live my life on the edge.  If something is wrong I want to know, get a plan and keep it moving. This is why I encourage my ladies and my men to know what is going on with your health.  Avoidance is a sure fail way to not live your best life.  In order to have a good life you need to be here.

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So find what works for you in general.  I would also encourage all to see your doctor as well as a nutritionist.  These two are key to getting your health on track.  What you eat is literally a large component to how healthy your life is.  Eating the wrong things can contribute to high cholesterol, weight issues, etc.  Overall health seems so overwhelming. I think when I am trying to drink enough water, exercise, take care of my kids, go to work, have a good sex life, be good to my husband, and anything else life throws how much it takes to be on point in each other.  This is why I believe in balance.  However when it comes to my health, I believe in going in, getting things checked and then attacking each area.

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Weekly Recap: Friday October 13, 2017

Happy Friday the 13th.  Cue in the scary movie noise! I do not, let me repeat like scary movies but I am going to a scary movie premiere tonight for an amazing artist with Basement Bartle Productions; You Die First so y’all just pray my strength in the Lord.  I am a PK (preachers kid) to the bone and just recently got the courage to go out on Halloween night.  I know it sounds crazy but any of my other PKs would totally understand.

So let’s recap this week!

Personal Goals

This week has been fulfilling and tiring to say the least but that’s how life hits when you’re having fun, right?  Right. So as you know and should have read I spent one amazing weekend in Miami with friends.  I had the time of my life.  Read about it if you haven’t done so already.  However what I forget to say is that I also sprained my ankle. My husband says it happened while standing on tables dancing. I say let’s go with that if it will make it more interesting.  My dancing on table days are beyond over, but I did have a great time.

Shout out to my little brother who celebrated an amazing 29th birthday.  Yes he is my little brother even at 29.  He’s still my little baby boo and I wish him an amazing year as he ends his last years in his 20s.  Oh to be young again!

I was able to catch up on my dental appointment which as always is A1.  Which brings me to a few questions for my readers-its almost the end of 2017 and if you haven’t had the following (where applicable) you need to get on it:

  1. Physical/Check up
  2. Dental Exam
  3. Eye Exam
  4. Obgyn/Gyncological Exam
  5. Urology Exam
  6. Mammogram
  7. Blood work up
  8. Nutritionist
  9. All follow-up exams/appointments

Do not make an excuse.  Your health issues or potential ones you don’t know about doesn’t go away just because you don’t go and see about it.  Your health is your wealth.  Healthy bodies and minds are necessary to navigate in this world.  Often our failure to attack things head on prolongs our ability to fix it or get an answer.  So be vigilant and get those in your home and you care about to do the same.  I have a calendar to keep my family on track.  Everyone in my home after this month will be up to date with everything to end the year healthy.  Also if you believe in them get a flu shot especially for the elderly, the young, and those with compromised immune systems.

Blog Goals

So we had a busy week. I love blogging, it’s never a chore to me or for me.  I get asked how do you blog as often as you do, take care of you and your family, work a full-time job and still find time to socialize?  It’s called balance and perspective and saying no when I can’t do anymore.

This week we covered a lot, my blogs overwhelmingly positive, what is support, my Miami girls trip, the Blackish episode on postpartum, sexting, and finally keeping it clean-and it’s not what you think.  Catch up ToiTime

Upcoming Events

I have another 5k coming up in November.  So the training doesn’t stop.  I had to wrap my ankle and be creative with working out but I look forward to getting back into the gym and now the track with some fellow runners starting this weekend.  Won’t he do it?! I have been feeling heavy sitting during my lunch period.  It’s weird how I never wanted to be a gym rat until I became one, but gym really is life.

I also will be full swing into my blogiversary prep.  Can you believe it?  3 years is coming November 1st and we celebrate all month-long.  So be on the look out. I want to do it bigger and better every year.

Just like in the last update its time to shift into holiday mood. I have so many blogs on what to do during the holidays that I will be doing a lot of reposting and focusing more fresh blogs on the mental and emotional aspect of how to survive the holidays.  Fall and Winter are the crucial times for depression I want to make sure you are covered with ways to handle that and the anxiety that comes along with all of that over what sweater to wear and what not to drink at the holiday party.

So stick around. Follow me on Facebook 

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Grab a Bag

So yesterday I didn’t get a chance to blog. Okay, so I just didn’t.  Mainly because I was having a bad day and secondly after having a bad day I just wanted to go to sleep.  So let me tell you how this day had me about to grab my gym bag and no not to hit the gym but to swing.

Anyone who has ever been in a fight, when a girl grabs her bag that means she’s about to suit up to do some damage.  That was how I felt because I was all in my feelings.  All week I was super excited to see my doctor for my appointment. I was ready to see all the positive from a year ago.  Now it was positive until we got on the topic of my belly and this past surgery.  I guess because losing the weight isn’t an issue the issue is more the swelly belly.  I love when I wake up and I am all the way on.  Belly looking flat flat and my body looking good in my clothes.  UNTIL, the day I wake up and look like I was carrying a secret love child and then I am not feeling it.  Well during my appointment I was seen by a male student who I tried to explain how I felt and he gave me the most distant stare.  I was looking like really, engage, care, offer tips, do something but NOPE! He just stared at me like I had 3 breasts.

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Let’s back it up to earlier in the day I had to professionally tell someone off.  I consider myself to be queen of the go off but in certain arenas you have to behave accordingly. Well I did that until the other person went left and I had to bring them back to reality.  So I was still fuming from that interaction, the student doctor was blind and not getting it, and the night before I had gotten into an argument with my husband over trash.  Yes over a trash can-lawd save all the trash cans lids in our community Jesus! So at this point I am at take my earrings off mood.  So I did what any responsible adult would do, I just took a deep breath rolled my eyes at the student doctor, and waited for my doctor to come in.  As soon as she saw me she said what’s wrong.  I put my husband on hold, put the student doctor on hold, put the day on hold, and told her how I felt about all of this process since the surgery. I don’t think I had verbally talked about it until yesterday.  Yes I blogged about it and mostly on the physical stuff but now its been 3 months and a little over 2 on these hormone replacement therapy patches and I needed to let it out.  This was my chance.  This was the time.

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I told her the truth. I felt emotionally fine.  I didn’t feel like I had gotten out of control these days.  However there are some days when I will get a rash, or itch so bad that I want to peel my own skin off.  The swelly belly and having to be super extra careful of what I consume is a lot. I feel like there is an inward pressure from myself to get my belly back down and hope it stays down.  This is an ongoing battle that NO ONE told me about when I talked about the surgery.  She smiled and gave me a hug.  She explained about the belly swells is my body’s way of saying cut back.  Not just on what I eat, but what I am doing.  Cut back.  She said that I have artificial hormones that is making me feel emotional even though I think I am fine.  The belly is not permanent.  The weight is not an issue.  She let me know that I am still healing.  In my head, I should be over this by now.  However sadly I am not.  She also let me know that the hormones is the culprit for the belly and that is normal to go up and down for about a year.  A year I really was hoping that was a myth that I heard about before.  But nope its like having a baby they say come back to work in 6-8 weeks but it can take up to a year to get your life back under control.

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So the student said he didn’t see that it was troubling me. He based that on the fact that the scale showed the great weight loss from the year before.  I talked to him about different cues he can take even from a difficult patient like I had been.  I told him scale victories are awesome but I am also looking for off scale victories too.  I met with my grumpy intruder that I had to set straight and they apologized to me.  Reality is they were dumping their issues on me like I was attempting to do in the doctor’s office.  The difference between me and the doctor is that the doctor’s office was a safe place and on me that could get you a two piece and a biscuit and I ain’t talking food.

I had to go home, not pick up the kids and get myself together. I went into full busy mode and finally I was able to relax.  I was able to get it together. I’m still going to continue to do all the things I have been doing.  But I guess I will have to be a little less strict on myself and let myself heal through the belly swell, and eventually all things will come into place.  So if you see me in the streets and my belly is a little big just smile don’t worry the next time you see me it may or may have decided to do its thing.  Who knows!