A Sister Roundup-Don’t Fall Off

Good morning all!

We should at this point have gotten our Valentine’s Day our of our systems and continue on showing love to the ones in our lives daily.  If you didn’t have the Valentine’s Day you wanted I get it, at this point, refocus from this one day and find ways to use self-care to get through.  You still have other days ahead that are going to need your attention.and dwelling on that one day past the 24 hours that followed means that you are allowing this to overtake you.

I wanted to do something different today to have a check in of sorts but instead of highlighting my highs and lows, let’s just talk about various aspects of our mental health.  One this has NOTHING to do with the allegations of mental abuse with the recent school shooting.  As much as I know mental disease played a part in it, I am one for calling a spade a spade and say that premeditated homicide is a different type of beast.  That is a blog for a different day.  However I send prayer and love to the community of Parkland and pray that with prayers, we have an action plan in place and sooner than later.  I am one for prayer but faith without works is dead, we need action.

Love Life

All of us regardless of where we are need to heal and have some closures in a few places.  Let me be clear that this has NOTHING to do with your tax status. A hurting heart will not heal from a wedding ring.  I know we have been conditioned to believe that marriage is the answer to love woes but it’s actually not. Marriage is like having a constant mirror walking around.  A lot of wounds that you haven’t dealt with will come up during marriage.  So if you are looking for marriage to complete you, this is misguided thinking.   It will not.  It will make you face yourself.  The issue with having someone to face yourself is that not all marriages are strong enough for the depth of junk that people bring into them. So I would suggest that you work on the things that you need before.

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Also there are some folks that would rather be single.  There is nothing wrong with that.  That’s not different then the folks that don’t want to be parents.  Your life, your choice.  Just be sure that wherever you want love not to go down the wrong path.  If you constantly see a pattern in whom you are choosing, don’t blame the people you dated, take accountability.  Remember self-care and self-love go hand in hand in your love journey it’s not something to attempt to do after you have entangled someone with you.  Also have a plan or list that you have in the back of your mind but make the non negotiable things that deal with character above physical in your mind especially if you are dating and looking.  I know women who have these laundry lists of their wants and needs and they are superficial to say the least.  Often times they don’t take character into play.  If you have a good-looking liar, you aren’t winning.  However you should be attracted to the person you are with.  So balance it!

Friendships/Sister Friends

I am in the process of weeding out a few bad apples. I find myself doing this often.  As I take accountability for my own actions one of the actions is my actions for friendships. It doesn’t matter how long I have been friends with them either.  Zero passes need to be given.  Since I have gotten older, my desires have changed.  With that some friendships were great for the phase of life I WAS in but not for where I am now nor for where I am headed.  With that in mind let’s cut away the leech friends.  The ones who have zero problems taking but do not ever give.  It’s not cool and as everyone is working on themselves the excuses has to stop.  You can have a million and one excuses but if you are out here being a bad friend, own it  and decide do you really want to change?  If yes then do so if not then be honest and let the friendship fizzle out.  Also friends shouldn’t get so comfortable that you take friendship for granted.  This means thank you, and please go a long way.  I think above all we have to remember that when we deal with others in general.  You’re not so much of my sis that you can forget that.

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We want to be connected but having bad connections is bad for your life in general.  Oh and be extremely leery of these friendship circles.  I was invited to one that I accepted because I know they are about building up.  But I declined one because it was really about selling stuff.  Listen, sis I love to shop but I am also on team savings too.  I want to help you build your brand but you can’t fill my inbox with let’s make money quick schemes and have me stay.  Not one time was it about praying, lifting another one up, or even about making sure everyone felt loved and secure.  I pass on these types all the time. This was one of the major pushes for cleaning up my social media.  I had way too many groups talking about helping that turned into everyone thinking they knew everything, let’s talk crap about another sister, or finding out the tea in someone’s life.  I got a healthy life, so I don’t have much time for the foolishness. I spend more time with solid relationships, my family, going to church, self-care and the gym that’s plenty for me.

Self-Care

What have you done this week for you?  Literally I found that I was super agitated more this week wondering if and why someone else hadn’t poured into me.  Totally selfish of me but it happened. One thing to note is never do anything for anyone and look for something in return.  The second thing that it showed me is that I lacked something that is within myself and I sought after that instead of wasting time being upset at someone else.  I have what I need inside of me. Do not tax others to do for you what you wont do for you.  It’s that simple.  Self care comes from various sources from free to lavish. You find where you can and what you can and you do it.  You really should be finding something you can do for you daily not just weekly.  If you have gotten to this Friday and can’t name one thing you did for yourself that made you better, than you have some catching up to do.  Ladies and gentlemen, self-care is not an option its a must.

Health

I can not stress enough getting ALL of your tests done.  Have you made an eye appt?  What about a gynecological exam?  No physical?  No follow-ups done either?  What in the real world are you waiting for?  You do realize that putting it off will not make anything go away?  Be vigilant about your health and what you want.  Be vigilant in making sure that you will be here in the future.  Go and be seen.  There is no reason to have something sneak up on you when we have the technology to do something about it.We need to make sure that our health is fully taken care of. How active are you?  How many hours a week are you putting into an active lifestyle?  Have you substituted the stairs for the elevators, maybe do a work out tape or a free YouTube exercise instead of constantly sitting in front of the television?  Maybe substituted a bad snack for a better healthier option?  Whatever you are not doing, let’s change that.  Let’s get up and move a bit.  Sitting is the new smoking so let’s end these bad habits and do it now.

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This has been an interesting week to say the least and remember it’s February so all the hoopla from the New Year’s wears off this month.  Don’t let the momentum stop you.  Renew your mindset and refocus on your goals.  Don’t let this super short month get you.  I know even with the flu it was hard to recommit but I did it and so can you.  Bad habits only last as long as you want them.  Good habits can do the same.  Make yourself a priority.

So I am hoping that with everything that is going on personally and professionally that you find a way to recommit to having the best life you can. No things aren’t perfect but you can have a better life if you make the right choices.  Sometimes those choices mean that you may need to say no, turn a few things off, say no to a few invitations and maybe even cut off a few along the way, but whatever it is that you need to do, do it and do it well!

 

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Ask Toi: How Do I Work Through Loneliness?

Its hard.  Let’s acknowledge that.  Sometimes we dive into things so I wanted to acknowledge that frustrating feeling. It can be an uneasy feeling to feel like you have no one in your court. In order to work through it you have to work on it and do it actively.

So let’s help you:

You have to be clear what you mean when you say you’re lonely.  Do you lack friendships?  Do you lack companionship?  Is it both.  Knowing what you lack will help you attack the problem and at least become less lonely.  There is no way to fill all voids and some people would tell you to make yourself busy but I find that is only a very temporary fix.

The key to being lonely is to find out if you’re willing to take the steps to become less lonely.  It’s 2018 and a lot of folks say they are lonely and do not really want to fix it.  They like to be lonely and miserable.  You don’t have to be both.  You can have lonely moments but not have a miserable existence. So if you want to be around where people are, you have to get around the people.  This takes courage.  You have to be willing to try new adventures and new places.  You can’t simply wish and pray about it, you have to get up and get to where new things are.  Have you tried a new place in your city?  Taken a trip to a place you have never been? Gotten a hobby?  Any of these things will give you a step in the right direction.  You have to be willing to be open.  You can go to a new location and keep yourself secluded.  In order to have a friend or a romantic interest you have to come off as someone approachable.

Another issue is to deal with what lead you to being lonely.  There are seasons of our lives that won’t allow us to be able to be attached to a lot of people. You also need to look at what having others around you looks like.  Is it that you only have a few friends and you want more?  Have you outgrown where you have been in the past?  Think about these things.

  1. Get out: do not overbook yourself but try to do two activities that make you step out of your norm.  Be engaging while there!
  2. Get to the bottom of what you really want. Sometimes the loneliness will make itself known but reality its unfulfilled issues within yourself that you need to deal with.
  3. Are you just a talker or a doer?  If you simply want to complain about the boredness or do you want to resolve the issue?
  4. Are you boring?  Sometimes we want others to make activities for us and we aren’t willing to set our own activities or follow through any of them as well.

Loneliness hurts.  It sucks at times.  You have to be willing to do some looking in to ask yourself a lot of the key question.  You may need to be real as to what your goals really are? You may have to be willing to step out of your comfort zone.  You need to lighten up and step out and be willing to take a few risks.

2017 ReCap Greats, Misses, Lessons Learned!

It is that time of the year.  We are almost to Christmas and with that signal means that the New Year is soon here as well.  Although this year like with every year has had its challenges, it also has had some very good points as well.

We will always love you Mom Mom

As we began 2017 we were dealing with the death of my mother in law and trying to get through with everything you can imagine going along with it.  We were all over the place physically and emotionally. We pulled through and continue to make strides as we keep her legacy alive.

Kids

Also each of my children’s health has been A1! Let me insert a praise break here.  Both of my older kids have asthma and if you have a child with asthma you know that any and everything can trigger things to go left. They were in school all year and they didn’t miss many activities and that in itself is a blessing. Also along with my kids, my son started his first year of grade school aka kindergarten.  I am proud of his transition to grade school. He is doing a great job.  For my youngest she has been able to transition between daycare and is doing well.  My oldest is doing well and is super active in Girl Scouts.  I can’t say enough I am proud of this year’s progress!

Marriage

We finally was able to take a long needed baecation.  We celebrated 5 years of marriage and although its had a lot of down within our marriage, we are glad to say that we are making it through and are at peace and in love with one another. We had a blast on our baecation.  We were able to do what grown folks do, lounge around, sleep in, eat well, drink well, and enjoy some sun and fun.  I pray that 2018 allows us to go to a few more places, but 2017 you did your thing.  Shout out to my sister in love and brother for keeping our little people as we enjoyed some much-needed time away.

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Also of trips and time together we also are getting on the same page.  That in itself is a blessing. It’s hard to keep the love flowing from a place of contention.  It’s one thing to argue but to have a continual flow of dislike or disagreement and nothing being resolved, it wears you down as a person and wears at your union.  We have a few goals that I won’t talk about but just know that marriage is work and we are doing our work daily and checking in with one another more!

Family

Our family have been good.  Shout out to a new baby on the way. My brother and sister in love are having a new addition and I can’t wait for the Spring to get here so AT can love on another little.  Also shout out to my brother and mom who both graduated this year!! Yall better keep on going and getting your education.  Also to my twin who is making some awesome strides in her life and is doing an awesome job raising my niece.  Also I am making sure to do all I can to open up more to family.  I am not one usually to do that.  I like being in comfort of others but there are times when I absolutely need my space.  This is why it’s super easy for me to dismiss others quickly. My introvert ways creeps up way more than my extrovert ways will ever.

Health

I have been able to maintain and keep my work out schedule tight.  I actually have made changes to my settings on my Fitbit.  If you have one you know that you can make it really challenge you to be super active. Shout out to my Fitbit family for the step challenges-yall motivate me to keep moving and claim that top spot.  Also this year thanking God for getting that hysterectomy and FINALLY not being anemic.  To be able to be cold when you’re supposed to be instead of all day long is a blessing. To be able to not have ice in your cup because ice is life is great too.  Also just the general ability to be able to walk around knowing that you are healthy is a blessing. Please understand that so many wish this was their life and sadly it’s not.
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For 2018 I will be making or should I say already making changes to the way I work out.  When I first got my Fitbit this year,  I only set it for 7000 steps even though I was doing more than that.  I made the change to at least 10000 steps a day since I am confident with my history that 15000 steps is more likely what I will achieve daily.  I also will be doing more challenges within the Fitbit community.  I also will be signing up for barre classes instead of Soul Cycle.  My doctor has suggested that this will alleviate some of the injuries that Soul Cycle has given me. Not to say that Soul Cycle isn’t a great work out because it is but with me working out 5 days a week, running one day a week, I need to add more core training to my regiment.  So that is the goal for 2018 if I could set a fitness goal for the upcoming year.  I still will be keeping a journal of my workouts and what I eat.  This is not for calorie counting.  This is to continue in my Weight Watchers.  Any time that I haven’t written things down, I have noticed that I will not be accountable for what I eat.  I am looking forward to some new menus for myself as well.

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Anxiety

I have talked about this numerous times and I plan on opening up about it a lot more in the future.  When I was in college I was the epitome of the college student.  The one you could find on top of a bar, never missed a party, always ready for whatever and whenever.  I find now that part of my life is downsized, that going out especially doing anything where I attend something by myself makes me freak out.  This year, I have stepped out and attended a lot of events by myself. I have traveled a lot more alone and I have taken chances by being more visible.  I have named 2018 my personal Eat, Pray, and Love year and with that in mind, I am in the works with a lot of activities that will allow me to attack this anxiety and get passed it.

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People don’t even know that I suffer because once I am in a place and I am comfortable I am fine.  However I get sick, I feel like I can pass out, I don’t want to go, I try to back out, I go through it often.  I know that others like me are out there.  Although I have found ways of pressing through it I never want to act as if I am just this bundle of joy all the time.  Social anxiety is very real however I choose to be present and push past fear.

Social Media

Listen, when I tell you I could tell you every tea on most of your celebrities trust I could.  I could blog on that all day long since just like our lives, they are messy too.  However I have taken such a huge step. Often times it doesn’t show up or isn’t trending I won’t really know about it.  I have cut the fat on what I watch, what I entertain, who I engage in.  This has been super helpful.  I am not saying I am perfect but what I will say it has allowed me to be calmer in my own personal life. I don’t feel the need to clap back at things or people as much because I am not watching these images all the time.  This is my PERSONAL choice and not one that I would say hey you need to do at all.  This walk has always been personal but if you’re wondering the benefits of cutting back, they do exist. I also stop following a lot of pages, etc.  I used to make sure I aligned myself with a lot of drama and lately the cut back has served my personal space well.  This spillage has done well in almost every area of my life.  I let a lot of battles go and just realized that not every battle is mine.  Most of the time it’s almost like fighting air. Folks gon be folks.

Relationships

I had the pleasure of reconnecting with my aunt this year.  Again this has been over 30 years in the making. Since that reunion I make it my business to be sure that I communicate more with her and do what I need to do on my side when it comes to her.  Also I have noticed that I have finally taken more steps to find that some relationships I had in the past have served their purposes.  I am not saying that discovering that has been fun.  I feel like there were a few snubs, a few disappointments, a few folks that I didn’t realize I missed and will attempt to reconnect with soon.  This is a part of adulting that people don’t talk about. Letting go is hard.  It is not always easy but it is always necessary.  So to the chapters that got closed, I don’t understand it but soon I am sure I will or maybe I won’t.  To the new chapters that have opened, I have found some awesome new contacts.  There are a few relationships that I closed that I am soul searching to discover if it was me closing it just to be petty or was the pain that was caused needing this close.  There is a large chunk that will remain closed.  I have made sure that I keep in contact with those that I needed to.  I really used to have a bad history of just being a one-sided friend.  I have stepped it up because in reality its necessary not just for what those friendships or relationships give to me, but what I give to them as well.

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Career

I will be starting a new position within the same company starting at the beginning of the year.  Won’t he do it! It’s a bit bitter-sweet but welcoming new challenge.  I also interested in continuing to learn more, grow, and always secure my coins. I got a lot of things to do and planned for 2018 and its going to take all of my coins to do it.

This year has been like I said filled with some ups and downs.  There are things that have happened that has caused me to figure out my life more. I really just want to drink water, mind my business, keep that credit score going up. continue to be debt free, be an awesome mother, a dynamic partner and wife to my husband, a great daughter, awesome aunt and sibling, make sure my career takes off, and be a great blogger! That alone along with keeping this body fit is more than enough to get me through 2018.  So as we soon say good-bye know that I have a lot of goals that are an extension of the work I have been putting in from 2017.  I have some travel goals, some more me time activities planned, and just looking for the yearly renew.  I have always said and its true, birthdays and New Year Day is always the best time to hit the reset button.  I also practice hitting that reset button daily as well.

 

 

 

 

Ask Toi: Christmas Concerns

It’s 7 days before Christmas and with that in mind, let me answer a few Ask Toi that have been sent my way these last couple of days.  Keep in mind that in order to submit a question, please email them to toitimeblog@gmail.com

Although I am preparing for Christmas, end of the year, etc I will always and forever be available via email or any of my toitimeblog social media sites

  1. What do I do if I am early in the dating stage and the new boo family gives a gift to me? ANSWER: One I would always go to a family event even as a new dater, with a hostess gift. Ask the boo if the family drinks, or bring something that can be used in the home. It doesn’t have to be expensive. This holiday season I bought these wine bottle holders from Michaels for 3 for $5 and one bottle can be around 10 so there’s a gift for under 20.  Do not feel the need to get anything that is too personal yet.  You want to be appropriate and welcoming.  Be yourself and enjoy the time.
  2. Do I have to go to all of these holiday parties? ANSWER: No.  I would get the list of parties that you are going to and go to the ones of those who you are the closest.  I know that some folks will be bummed but the reality is no matter how much money you may or may not have, holiday parties can become expensive.  You have to be smart in how you do them.  If you want to go to them all, then do.  Find a black number, and dress that same outfit a number of ways.  If you are asked to make something, find a signature dish that you know will take little to no effort like a pasta salad.  Make sure you know how long you want to attend and make an entrance as well as an exit.
  3. My family can be a handful, how do I politely tell my new boo that I do not want him to interact with the fam bam just yet? ANSWER: Go to your individual celebrations with your own family and meet up and do something that is just for you and the new boo.  Let the new boo that you don’t want to bring them around just yet.  This will only work if you are being truthful and honest.  If you have multiple boos and you trying to be slick, trust and believe things will reveal themselves.  Don’t ghost you’re new boo just because you aren’t sure of where you, spend time with them and make them feel like you are trying to put in the energy you want in return.

Keep in mind that no matter what stage of life you are in, not everyone is in a jolly spirit.  This doesn’t mean you need to water down who you are and what you want to please them.  Be yourself and enjoy or not enjoy it as you seem to fit. If drama is on your menu, kindly exit stage left.  People all around the world are practicing self-care and don’t be surprised if a few of them look at you sideways or exit left.  Don’t nobody have time for the foolery any year.

Stopping Through: December 13, 2017

So we are about 12 days to Christmas and the excitement, tiredness, and joy are all mixing over. Some moments I can’t even tell you which one I am in.  I am also finding that I also have had mixed moments of sadness too.  So for all of those who are having to push through this season, push on through.  It can be hard because everyone wants you to be super jolly.  I am more jolly because of my kids but if I am honest, the jolly times can fluctuate often.

I was reminded of how pushing through is a necessity when I had to deal with my kids. They keep me grounded because I can’t tell them to come up to where I am not.  So that within itself, keeps me on my toes. However I have increased a few things along the way that help me keep it together.

Podcasts

I am starting to get into podcasts. I listen during my first machine of working out.  Then I switch back over to music for my second machine. I listen during work as well with one headphone in and one headphone out.  I am hoping for cordless headphones for Christmas to make listening so much easier and fluid.  However yes, podcasts are doing it for me.  I love them.  I haven’t found one I can recommend yet, I feel like I have to go through many in one series before I can just put my stamp of approval.  When I do, I will recommend some for you.

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Planning

So I am a planner by nature.  Although we are knocking at the door of 2018, my first quarter calendar is already super full.  I am going to have to be at the point, to say no to a few invitations going forward.  I love doing things but doing the most is not happening in 2018.  I need to have some me time, family time, and bae time.  I can’t come to everything and I am not going to feel guilty about it.  So if you get a decline this year or even next year, know I love you, but being thinner is in my waistline, not my mental state or my pocket.  I am making sure that I plan a lot of fun things I want and fitness classes, etc My goal is to work on being whole this year.  I finally got a good balance in all areas now we going to be whole and balanced.  Also I am in the early stages of planning a me trip. I thought about opening up to others and I haven’t fully ruled it out, but I will begin by planning and then opening up instead of having a full pow wow getting opinions and then going from there.  I want to do activities that I want this year and I am going to do them.  I love people but times I am an introvert and I want what I want.  This is the year of going after it all!

Coming Late, Leaving Early

I hate being late for something. I will be the type that will once late not come because I hate all eyes on me.  However I am enjoying attending things late and leaving early.  I have not been able to fin a way to multiply myself so all of these events are doing the most.  We are at points where I have to literally stop through.  I can’t be at full events unless it’s a wedding.  I am like at best 2 hours. I had someone get mad that after they had a function they wanted everyone to get together and shop afterwards.  I was like, Sis, this is a no.  I have somewhere to be even if that place is home with my shoes off watching football. Let me live!

Some folks stay getting offended, I going to need some understanding especially those who consistently text you or make a group invite a week before your event.  If you have a December event, and you trying to make numbers, you are going to have to tell folks in a timely manner. I feel too at times, those who are going to be there will sacrifice but let’s keep this all the way real, this type of mentality is out-of-pocket.  Yes, those who will be there but that type of word choice, is stale and I hope folks realize the power of invitations and giving out the information early in 2018.  I used to think that but then again I also give folks information early as possible.

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Take a Deep Breath

Also I take time to enjoy my favorites.  I probably working out more because it’s a great stress reliever. In addition that has allowed me to enjoy a glass of wine here and there and a donut too.  I enjoy my favorites around this time.  I am not going to kill myself while I am trying to maintain my sanity and waistline.  So with that being said, if you see me with a piece of cake, charge it to the game.  It is what it is and happiness for me comes in many forms.

So I really take it up a notch for the next few days leading up to the holidays.  I still have to do my movie night with the family with my hot cocoa bar.  Today is national cocoa had I been in the full mindset, I would have had it prepared but I am not so I will do it next week!  Enjoy this time. Take it from me and don’t let anyone take you there to where you are super angry over a thing. This means in driving too, parking spot wars, get together at family and friends, nothing.  Take this time in.  However if you are struggling know you’re not alone.  Do what you need to do so that the time of the year is overwhelming you.  If you are constantly saying I can’t wait for it to be over, there may be a few self-care things you aren’t employing and you need to do so quickly.

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As far as updates on what I am the fam bam are doing, you can catch them here, ToiTime Blog

Our weekends are super full so there will be more to post as they happen.  Other than that, have a great holiday!

Over 30 Years in The Making

Well last night I was able to see my Aunt Starlett.  The overall happiness that I still feel even as I type this blog, can’t even be captured. To see someone I haven’t seen in over 30 years is amazing.  I am 36 by the way if you need to put things into perspective.

Why I haven’t seen my aunt is mostly location.  She lives in California and my entire family leaves on the East Coast.  She works hard like two jobs hard to make ends meet so vacations aren’t even on the radar for her.  So this was major for her to get here.  I am super grateful for the strides that both my mom and aunt are making in their relationship.  Whatever may have happened prior to the best reunion ever doesn’t matter to me. I have done my job as a niece to keep up with my aunt and that is all that matters to me.

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I am also glad that my mom, aunt, and grandma will reunite together as well.  This is major too.  I don’t have a lot of family on my mom’s side so anytime we can get together is a big deal to me.  I am also glad that my husband and kids were able to meet her.  It helps for them to see parts of me and not just my husband’s side.

So what was going on in my mind the moments leading up to the reunion?

  1. Would see look like I remembered her?  She did and then she didn’t.  I only remember what her face looked like but our interactions growing up weren’t that strong so the memories of doing fun things with your aunt I don’t have.
  2. Would we receive each other warmly?  We absolutely did.  Hugs and kisses all around and my kids received her just as well.  That warmed my heart.
  3. Would everything go smoothly?  Absolutely.  Shout out to my mom for making her infamous lasagna.  Nothing can go wrong with momma’s cooking and a few drinks.
  4. How to pull this off-I live Philly my family doesn’t. So an hour and a half car ride during a school week for my kids, with homework in tow, grabbed some dinner because kids can be picky, and the sounds of New Edition we were on our way. This takes organization to the next level.  I dressed the kids in their pajamas, and this made it easy to get back late, transfer them to bed, and let them be rested for the next day. Super glad that we had very little tantrums during or after.
  5. I took the deepest breath and said a prayer that all would go well.  Not that anything would happen but again anxiety and this was a major event for me so I wanted to be on guard a bit until I saw her, it went away.

Shout out to my job for allowing me to leave early to get on the road so I could get the kids and my husband ready to travel.  Everyone knows I have a do nothing policy during the week when school is in session, but this was a must attend event.

I am super glad for the memories that were made.  The pictures that were taken.  The continued relationship that she and I will have.  I look forward to more reunions.  This was like Christmas and Thanksgiving all rolled into one. My night was forever made.  The kids were excited both leading to and after they met her.  That alone made me feel super good.  I couldn’t never imagined the moment but I am super glad the moment was had.

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One suggestion I would make is to try your best to make good relationships with family.  As I type this I will keep it all the way real. Even though I am all about family, I must say that there are several family members that I don’t have a relationship with anymore for various reasons.  So I will not write this and act like I just have the best relations with all of my family because that would be a lie.  If and when the time is right I am more than willing to make things right as they need to be in their proper place.  My reunion with my aunt lets me know that healing can still happen.  No matter what is said and done there is a slight chance if you’re open to it to make things better.  So I will encourage others as well as myself to try to make things better.

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I love my Aunt Star and I am glad that I was able to spend time with her.  God bless her in all that she does.

The Cold Weather Depression

Did you know that as it gets colder outside that people’s mood shifts?  This is super true and super real.  People start to go down and depression is at an all time high. It could be the weather, it could be the changes in the leaves and things slowly doing their dying/vegetation stage or the fact that as it gets colder the closer we get to the holidays.

I am generally a holiday person but I notice too that I have to be mindful of my moods more often during the colder months.  My kids are what balances me.  They don’t allow for me to have too much of a down time and that’s super great.  Although I know my husband and I are great parents and we push through, let’s get it real I get in the dumps often.  So what do I do during the months leading up to the holidays? I get aware like never before of my triggers.

My personal triggers:

  1. My mother in law being gone has been one.  The year is slowly approaching like in a few days, and that alone has me shifting as I watch my husband and kids shift.  I can see pain and I am dealing with my own.  For that reason, we have made sure to be careful of any extra drama into our home.  This means in conversations, deeds, petty arguments etc.  We are aware.
  2. Holiday commercials.  I think they are great. But the onset of them being super early even for me who is a planner gets to me.  I was in the store and I am still grabbing things for Halloween and I saw Christmas stuff and I am like are you serious?  The reason is it sets my anxiety and now I am trying to focus on meal planning for Thanksgiving and these stores and shoving Christmas at me and I can’t take it.
  3. Drama-Any onset of drama gets me.  To elevate that, I don’t allow it. This is major.  Had this been a few years especially before my kids were born, I would have popped popcorn, and starred in it.
  4. Cold gloomy days-rain is a mood downer on its own, but… cold rainy days or snowy days that don’t produce enough snow to get me or the kids a day off is a downer.  I do not like snow.  I do not like cold.  So I really make sure that I am upbeat, play different music, whatever it takes to get through.  Perception is always key to get through.
  5. Black or dark grey-it works great in the Winter to layer but I will intentionally add color even if it’s in scarf to avoid my mood shifting.
  6. Complaining-I could be a professional one however even I get sick of it.  So now instead of complaining or being around complainers, I just figure out what the core issue is and handle that.
  7. Lack of physical activity-take that how you like. I try to keep my workout strong because with all of the comfort foods you kind of have to.  I tell myself that working out allows me my wine moments.  When activities get low as snow piles up I get my wine in.  This is why babies are born conceived the most during the Winter months.  So be careful.
  8. Social events-I love the idea of dressing and getting ready to go somewhere until its time to go.  Days before my stomach starts to hurt.  The day of I start to get sick or my head starts to hurt. To push past that is simple as going, but pushing past my thoughts are harder to do than slipping on a pair of heels.

Whatever your personal triggers are, be aware.  Have a plan in site.  Speak to someone you trust.  The list of mine may seem trivial but if I let myself go, the outcome of that can be devastating to myself and my family. I know for a fact I am not the only one.  This is why you need to be connected to the right people who can recognize that you are spiraling or you are withdrawing too.

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Make sure that you find what makes you happy.  Get healthy.  The second I get sick, it doesn’t help my mood.  Not only am I focused on getting better but it takes me 3 times harder to get out if I am having a depression trigger right before I get sick.  Sometimes I can get sick, if I allow myself to get too boggled down.

Even after you notice your triggers and work really hard not to allow them to get to you, it still may.  Knowing what you like that can get you out before you get in is key. Not everyone is the same.  Sometimes music does it.  Sometimes being outside helps.  You may need to get counseling during the Winter months.  Whatever it is, get it and make sure you are clear on what that looks like and get it.

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Things you can do to get ahead of it:

  1. Write and keep a gratitude journal
  2. Buy flowers for yourself
  3. Meet up with a special friend once a month
  4. Purchase a special drink
  5. Have a certain go to song
  6. Do something for others
  7. Wear a color that reminds you to stay focused
  8. Bright Nail colors or color art
  9. Keep healthy
  10. Eat right
  11. Do not-self medicate
  12. Talk to someone
  13. Reach out to one person
  14. Check in on others

IF you experience at any time not just when the Winter months come a slight or even worse case of suicidal thoughts please contact the Suicide Prevention Hotline