Self Care/Self Improvement

September is a lot of things.  I don’t know what it is about September but its a jammed pack month.  However this month is self-care and self-improvement month.  So if you follow this blog, and on any social media feed I am always pushing self care.  I think it’s becoming a thing or a term that is thrown out a lot but not a lot of people understand what that means.  Although it can mean different things to the person who is using it, the bottom line is you have to care and love yourself enough to engage in what YOU need or disengage in the things YOU don’t want to be involved in.

The opportune word is YOU.  That is essentially what self-care is all about.  Only you can determine what you need or what you don’t need.  For instance I can go to an event and if I am ready to go I position myself to know what type of environment I am going to be in to know if I should drive myself or not even for family events.  I try to in the instance of family events to stay as long as possible especially since my husband attends my side of events without issue and I do the same for his side of his family events.  However depending on what the event is he and I have it set that if one of us is not wanting to stay longer to communicate and make an exit.  If the individual wants to stay than its fine too but we make sure that no one person can put pressure to stay longer than mentally capable.  Sometimes walking away, leaving, or excusing yourself is self care.  I literally refuse to stay in a place I do not want to be in.  I used to feel guilty however I have learned to do whats best for me.  Self care may be not attending an event.  I can’t tell you how many times I have not gone to something because I may have needed to relax or do my own thing.  I may have needed not to be in an environment that is toxic.  I happily will decline an invitation at this point.  If asked I will say sorry but not sorry I can’t attend.  A part of self care especially for me is realizing I am an adult I don’t owe individuals an explanation.  If someone sends an invite its my decision to politely decline.

Another part of self-care is knowing when enough is enough.  I had someone contact me. I didn’t even respond.  I knew I may have responded wrong or come off as if whatever was done in the past was an issue when reality is the person didn’t add or take away from my life.  However silence is always golden and I didn’t even need to engage so I didn’t.  It doesn’t have to make sense but it was to continue in my peace.  Anything that will have you mentally up in arms I don’t engage in.  Anything where I would give more than 15 minutes to hash out is probably not for me.  That’s why I am clear and don’t go back and forth with adults.  There is no need to.  That is a right that I have earned from stepping into adulthood.  I can’t think of a reason for back and forth at this point in my life.  I can agree to disagree and still go home and love on the ones I interact with daily.  I can even disagree with the ones in my home without messing up the atmosphere of my home.

Self care may look like disconnecting.  I am a lover of social media but I take small breaks away from it.  Yes its great for pushing my blog, interacting with family, but sometimes it can be doing the most so I disconnect.  I had a situation where I was arguing with a family member that I would have argued with offline but the point was, online for what?  That one was on me.  I was offended, but so what offenses will come. The world didn’t need to know that I was mad.  I could have handled that better so I take ownership of it and will not allow it to happen again.  I simply state what I feel and if someone comments, oh well.  There are probably screenshots of that very conversation floating around and for what?  So sometimes I don’t delete my social media that’s just crazy.   I am in control.  I never understood why adults can’t simply just not get on an app but that could be a part of their self-care so it is what it is. It’s no different from deleting or blocking.  I could just not engage but for me blocking works.  For me its simple my rule is simple I don’t socially block who I wouldn’t block in real life.  I check my block lists every now and again and if I sit and engage with you than no need to block you.  If I don’t and don’t plan on breaking bread with you, and I block your access to my real life, you can stay blocked on social media.  I don’t need a door opened where I wouldn’t give you access to me otherwise.  So no you don’t need to know about what me and my kids do when I don’t even reach out to you, talk to you, text you, email you, etc and don’t want to.  Its simple.  My life is simple these days because of the steps I take to keep it that way. Do you know the quietness but fullness of life I still have?  Trust.

Self care and self-improvement by far is the biggest goal in life outside of raising healthy children and having a good marriage between my husband and I.  It’s self-care daily practices that I use ALL the time.  I buy myself weekly flowers, I love them and they make me happy.  I journal daily because it keeps me grounded.  I work out 2-3 days a week because I am maintaining a healthy lifestyle and it keeps stress down.  I will go to bed and be okay with my husband putting the kids to sleep because I don’t have to do it all.  I can take a mental time out because that is what is necessary for me.  I can make sure that I am engaging in the little things that make me strong and healthy.  Please find that out for yourself and instead of engaging in bad behavior. Find and engage in what is going to make you a better person.  Also remember it may not make sense to a single soul, but if it makes sense to you, is keeping you grounded, positive, and hurts no one else than do it.

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For self-improvement we all can improve on ourselves, daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly.  Everyday you should be striving to be better than your last.  With that in mind I don’t really ever feel like I have fully accomplished my goals.  I may complete some of them but there’s always another goal right in its place.  Even in relationships I know there will come a time where the relationships that need mended will mend.  The ones that don’t won’t. Everything is up to be changed and I am more than willing to walk in that change.  You have to do the same for what your life needs.

So again as this month is supposed to encourage you to be about self care and self improvement.

Life Lessons from a Former Stay at Home Mom

Listen having a child is a Christmas miracle. It is not to be taken for granted. Every time I hear of a Mom who lost their life-giving birth it hurts my heart. Women and their bodies go through the most to bring forth children that you hope will be productive citizens.

As a former stay at home mom I got lost many days. Between food on my clothes and wipes in my hand I had no idea what days were what at times. I learned so much about myself that I thought I had mastered until I was home with tiny humans who needed me for everything and I STILL apply the lessons to this day.  Even if you don’t have kids these are all lessons we can gleam from:

1. Time outs are not just for kids

Yes it’s okay to take a mental time out. I found I got mine when the kids went down for a nap. Now that I am back to working full-time I find that I have to push to get a time out but they are super necessary. You need to sometimes unplug and catch your breath. Life throws curb balls and in order to be ready I need a clear mind. Take a break and catch your sanity.

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2. Keep yourself fabulous

This is hard in this age at times as body issues and time can sometimes not be on our side but the years I spent complaining about what I looked like I could have done better by getting my entire life together. Listen in my stay at home days I couldn’t afford nail and salon appointments so I had to get creative. There are alternatives but keeping yourself “up” isn’t about a spouse or the world. It’s about you. It’s also for the little people who are watching you and taking in what you say and more of what you do. Hard times don’t have to show up in our appearance. My mother and I lived in a shelter and everyday she spoke over us to not look like where we lived. Has anyone not known we didn’t even look displaced. That takes strength even with your strength is depleted. Thank you Mom for that lifetime jewel.

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3. Exercise your NO muscles

Do you know how many times you have to tell a child no? Too many to keep track. Why do you get as an adult and feel like you on a yes choir?! No is powerful and one of the first words we learn as a child but is sometimes the hardest to exercise.  Your no is valuable but you have to use it. NO you can’t get up and do for another able-bodied adult. NO you can’t be used today. NO you can’t be a punching bag physically or mentally. NO! Use it! It will save you time, stress, and heartache.

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4. Have a plan and work a back up plan

All moms know what I mean when you have a toddler with a soiled outfit but no extra outfit. In life you will need the same plan. Things fall but you don’t have to fall with it. Failure isn’t failure until you give up or in whichever you allow first. Get up and work!

5. Don’t sweat the small stuff

Life is life.  Its designed to change at a moment’s notice.  Do not waste your energy or time on things that you can’t change.  Unless you are a breastfeeding mom, don’t cry over spilled milk.  If you take the hurt and pain to channel that into positivity your day will be that much better.

There are times when life will be super rough. Like 3.36 in your account, Ramen noodle eating, marriage on the brink, need a vibrator, and deadlines at work type of tough.  It will seem to be closing in at any given moment. However it’s not what’s happening to you that is the issue it’s what you allow in your response that matters. Get up, get dressed, care about life, work your plan, back it up and if your back is against the world well stand and make something happen.

Weekly Wrap Up: May 12, 2017

So another week down and another weekend on the horizon.  It’s been a very good week thus far.  I am hoping that you have had a chance to catch up on any of the blogs missed.  If you are a mother I pray that you have a blessed day and weekend.

News

  1. James Comey, former FBI director has been fired.  This comes as the continued probe into the Russian voting scandal that is still continuing to unfold.  Be on the look out for more of this story and how it will affect the Trump administration.
  2. 1300 people have been arrested in the largest anti-gang operation according to ICE officials.
  3. Venezuela’s President fires health minister after it was revealed that 66% rise in pregnancy related deaths.
  4. Just breaking-gunman shoots new police chief dead before killing 2 nursing home staff in Kirkersville.

Personal Highs

This was a great week.  I celebrated my 36th birthday. In doing so I took the best trip with 3 other girlfriends including my girl Toi whose birthday was a week from mine. We had a great time in Chicago. Toibration as I called the 10 day celebration is a way to celebrate me.  Everyone should celebrate themselves.  If you can’t who will?  I had the best time, ate great food, talked smack and hung out husband and kid free-see my blog on my trip! I want to thank my friends and family who celebrated with me in some way.  Every call, text, social media shout out, gift, and card was appreciated!

Blogs

  1. My annual birthday message-36 is young but there is always something I have learned and share during my birthday.  I am still on self love-that message will never change.
  2. Single mom survival kit-there are a lot of things that single moms struggle with but there are a few things that we need to make sure we keep in the forefront with single moms and all moms in general.
  3. The wind has been taken out of our sail-this is a special tribute to my mother in law who recently passed.  This will be my husband’s first mothers day without her.
  4. Do everything mom-this is a #tbt that we talk about learning to lay the cape down and take the pressure off.
  5. Mother day do nots-there are a few things that we all need to keep in mind so don’t get caught on the list making errors for your mom’s special day.
  6. Mother’s Day gift giving guide-make sure you make mom feel special!

Personal Lows

This has been a good week.  I did eat a lot in Chicago that could have been a low but I worked out at the gym and did a LOT of walking.

Well until next week when all of the celebrations will come to an end.  Please mom or not, do something good for yourself.  To all of my followers who are moms enjoy your day.  If you are experiencing Mothers Day without your mom or mother figure in your life my heart and prayers are extended to you all.  If you have lost a child and the holiday affects you, I do understand and my prayers to you as well.

Weekly Recap: April 28, 2017

Well I hope all is well.  We are ending April on a pretty good note I think.  I hope whatever you didn’t get to accomplish that you take some speed into May.  It’s a new month around the corner. In addition to that it’s time to see where we did well and where we could have done better this week.

 

News

  1. It’s been a full 100 days in office for President Trump.  No matter if you like him or hate him there has been more going on with his first 100 days than most full presidencies.  For one we have had so much threats and rumors of wars.  This is not something that we can act like won’t affect the world because we all know it will. So I don’t know what the next few years will look like, but you can best believe we will remain prayerful, vigilant, and woke.
  2. This week has been filled with sports hysteria.  We are in the middle of the 2017 NFL draft weekend.  I live in Philadelphia and let me say the buzz is not an overkill. People are out enjoying the full weekend events and it has been going well.  If you haven’t already catch up on the picks and events.
  3. There has been more children being abducted in this week than before.  Now that’s not saying I am supporting that statement with full facts.  But there has been an increase of children all over my social media, in the news, and its getting crazier day by day.  No matter how great of a parent anything can happen but please be more vigilant with your little ones now more than ever. Do not leave them unattended not even in the backyard.  Keep them close to you when you are in stores and do not let them walk behind you on the streets.  Grab your little ones hands.  This may require that you take phone calls and text messages later but it’s better than putting up flyers.  Pay attention to them.  Some people are so evil that they watch how interactive you are with your children only to scoop in when they think you don’t care.
  4. R.I.P Robert Godwin Jr.  If you do not know who he is he was the man who was walking home from an Easter dinner with his family and was shot at point-blank range by Steve Stephens who chose him randomly and killed him on Facebook live. It ensued a national manhunt that ended when he took his own life as police pursuit.  I know this has story is slowly becoming yesterday’s news but out of respect please stop sharing these videos and videos like it.  These are real life people who families would appreciate that you find a piece of morality and care.

 

Personal Highs

This week I am down another 3.5 pounds.  Won’t He do it?!  Yes!  I am super excited.  I also did one of my own suggestions in a previous blog about keeping your mental sanity by buying flowers and placing them right on my night stand by my bed.  When I have gotten up this morning I smell them.  Let me tell you how much a store-bought 7.99 bouquet has done for me.  Amazing things for my entire mood. Every morning after I have smelled them things have gone immediately crazy.  I have little kids from bathroom accidents, to refusal to get up, to finding missing items it hasn’t affected me one bit.  The flowers aren’t magical in the least bit.  They just provide a place for me to go to my happy place as I start my day.  Try it!

Blogs

As always if you have missed a blog you are missing out so get caught up.

  1. How to deal with a jerk.  It’s a quick reminder that adjusting your attitude can go a long way.
  2. Ask Toi: pet names and how speaking up can work wonders even in new relationships.
  3. Keep your knee pads-this was the #tbt of the week and we were talking about equality and the things that some men expect but wouldn’t do for themselves
  4. Dragging Lala: the internet was having a field day with the actress because in spite of Carmelo being wrong for infidelity she was supposed to forgive and forget.  That is craziness.  No woman should be cheated on and take it and especially when rumors of babies being added in.
  5. Single and married is the response to Carmelo’s rumored line that Lala was married he wasn’t.  If you’re married you know right well you can’t openly cheat and that be okay unless you have an established open marriage that both parties agree on.
  6. Stress management-emotional stress can be a killer.  All stress tugs on the matters of the heart.  Deal with that to deal with the stress.
  7. Leave the kids out of it goes out to the rude comments made about if Serena Williams who we now know is pregnant while still competing.  No her baby is not going to be made of chocolate milk but if it was it was be the best chocolate milk.  Never talk about kids regardless of how you feel about their parents.
  8. Weigh in: 04/26/2017 this is where I share my newest update on my weight loss journey.  PS. I also drank a unicorn frap, donuts and some wine.  Learning to be normal and balance working out, eating right and indulges is a great tool.

Personal Lows

I have dedicated to getting 2 days a week of sleep and I haven’t done well with that. I have run on empty a few times by doing the most when I get home since I am still doing mandatory overtime and not enough of slowing myself down.  This upcoming week I will be able to slow down and take a much-needed vacation with my girls.  However I will not run myself to the bone before I get there.  I have done a lot ahead of time and look forward to a much semi slower week,

As always I love you all.  Get out this weekend and pour a little back into your cup.  Do not do more for others and leave yourself depleted!! Have a great weekend and I will blog soon!!

 

 

Stress Awareness: Emotional Stress

Emotional stress is one of the stressors that attaches itself to one of the other stresses we discussed.  If your mind is all over the place, allowing you to think about all kinds of thing it will affect your emotions and can cause physical stress.  You can’t really be mentally or physically stressed and it doesn’t mess with your emotions.  They are sidekicks to yourself.

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However you can calm your emotions to began to handle things and alleviate the other stresses.  One of the reasons is that out of your mouth your heart speaks.  What you talk about, give life to shows where you are.  When you say you are over something and you think you are but keep talking about it still has you.  When you aren’t phased by something is when you let things go.  So how do you handle emotional stress?  Getting to the root of what is tugging at your heart.  If you are hurt you tend to hurt others in your words, deeds, etc. Lashing out sometimes only reveals what is really going on.  However don’t expect the world to give you a pass just because something is bothering you. Everyone around is having a hard time and only really mature people even take the time to weed out your mess and want to assist you.  Others will tell you that they are here for you but aren’t.  These types of heart issues have to come from you doing some work on the inside out.

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I have said it before sometimes writing things down or even saying it gets it out.  Once out you can own it and then find ways to fix it.  Not everything can be fixed.  There will be tines when apologies will never come from the very ones who are fully aware that they did you wrong.  There are so many people in the grave who have power on those of us who are living because we won’t forgive.  And although some take it as cliché, forgiveness is really for you.  It frees you.  It makes you whole.  You can be whole without someone apologizing to you when you learn to drop the charges against them.  It doesn’t mean that they deserve it.  It doesn’t mean you will forget about it.  It just means you don’t need to carry the weight of what others have done.  Let’s be honest, people are rude People are inconsiderate and people say and do mean things.  You don’t have to like it but nothing that someone else has done should make you not live the best life that you can. It’s like being miserable while the others around you continue their life.  This happens all the time.  It’s hard to forgive and move on but its worth your peace to do it.

Take some time not to mask what you feel but to deal with it.  You may not be able to get closure but you can close the books to your heart and move to a positive place in your life.

 

Stress Awareness: Physical Stress

Stress as we discussed last week starts sometimes in the mind.  Going on and on for so long and not getting your mental health in check can lead to physical stress.  Physical stress is when your body becomes very reactive to the negativity that you in or are around.

Let me share with you how bad physical stress can be.  When I was in college I was obviously under a lot of stress to make sure my grades were good, I was dating my boyfriend and through immaturity we were that couple you never want to invite because were always fighting, and I was trying keep my parents at bay to the decisions in my life I was making.  This lead to one day me having the worst chest pains I had ever had.  I thought I was having a heartache.  I get to the hospital where they run all types of tests on me only to be cleared as one of the most healthiest the doctors had ever seen.  I was having an anxiety attack.  The anxiety attack started to mimic physical pain that wasn’t there.  If you have ever experienced an anxiety attack you know what I mean.

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Another time I experienced physical pain was when after graduating from college I had started a new job working with troubled youth. I enjoyed them but I didn’t have the life balance thing down.  I was underpaid and overworked.  There’s just no way of sugar-coating it.  There were long hours and long nights, lack of hanging with friends and family and stress was an understatement.  I was having so much pain that it felt like my stomach was in the worst pain in my life.  It was so bad the pain was so convincing that the doctors took my appendix out.  It was determined after it was out that my appendix was just fine and not in harm’s way to erupt.  Both times there were many things that could have been done to elevate the stress but I never caught on until the pain in my body could no longer be explained.  I had allowed stress to make me sick on top of it taking over my mind and thought process.

 

 

One of the things that I am learning is that even in the worst of situations its best to take care of your body. Remember stress can kill.  Even if things start in your mind and filter in your body, it can kill.  Balancing your world in a world that doesn’t know how to balance takes quite a lot of practice.  So when you are finding that those headaches and stomach-ache are not letting up, its time to call your doctor.  They are equipped to run test to be sure that everything is okay.  If the test show no reason as to why you are sick than its time to make some changes.

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  1. Get Physical-how does that make sense?  Being physical allows you to declutter your mind and keep your body in check.  Who wouldn’t to look good while keeping your stress levels down?  It only takes 30 minutes of physical activity a few times a week to do your body some good.  What are you waiting for?
  2. Eating Right-this is a huge help to your physical body.  Eating right helps your body respond at the top of your game.  To eat right takes discipline.  It takes preparation and having a plan.  If you’re not on board for doing a health kick, I would recommend arm yourself.  Have better snacks at your desk.  Pack your lunch. When there is no plan you will eat whatever is there just because you don’t have food to eat.  Start your day with breakfast.  Even if you aren’t a breakfast person, eat a cereal bar or granola in the am and then eat what I call a breakfast snack.  I usually eat 6 small meals a day.  This makes sure I am not hungry and will not need to go to that fast food place.  When you eat better, are full, you essentially make better eating options.
  3. Vitamins-talk to your doctor before you start taking vitamins.  Do NOT take things from others that are not approved by your doctor.  Your doctor knows what you need and you want to make sure you are operating at your prime

So we all know that we have to take care of ourselves.  We know that health is wealth. So if you don’t want to be the person who is sick all the time and unhealthy the time is now. We will be exploring a few options to make your physical stress disappear that can be both fun but health worthy.

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Weekly Wrap Up: April 7, 2017

So I am having a pretty good week.  My weekend focuses will be a wedding I am attending today, the Phillies game, and some much-needed TLC for me.  I love when I have my pamper time.  It gets me super focused on me for a little bit and always me to slip back into mom and wife mode a little happier and easier.  So this has been a little bit of a week with the news and such so let’s recap it all.

 

News

  1. Syrians were attacked by the chemical Sarin which is a nerve agent.  It killed countless innocent victims both young and old.  My prayers to those affected and their families in this senseless tragedy.
  2. U.S. launched a missile strike against the Syria chemical attack.  We will have to give time to see the ramifications of what this could potentially lead to.
  3. Bill O-Reilly has had several endorsers pull away from his brand due to allegations of sexual harassment.

Personal Highs

I lost another 3.4 pounds this week bringing my total weight loss to 32 pounds.  My clothes are still getting bigger and I am not ready to buy anything new just yet.  I am close to my goal and when I get there as promised I will update with a full body picture. I also had a good week closing the relationship I had been struggling to find a common ground with.  It was a bit of a tough situation that had too much gray area than most things I deal with.  I also was able to get some things organized.  I have had a lot of over time this week so I had to really get things in order to make sure nothing went slacking at home.

Blogs

  1. What your friends won’t tell you about marriage-this was released today and it deals with 10 things married people struggle with or know that they don’t always talk about.  People have this souped up idea about what marriage is and sadly it doesn’t always pan out the way the mind thinks.
  2. This has got to go-talking about my continued weight loss journey.  Are you interested in making some changes?  Are you trying to be Summer time or lifetime fun but find it challenging?  I talk about the piles of clothes on the bed and floor because the clothes you want to wear and what you actually can fit or don’t want to fit in are too much.
  3. Losing your mind-its stress awareness month and this week we talked about the mind and what to do if you are having a setback.  We talked specifically what to do if once you are attempting to change your way of thinking but are feeling overwhelmed and need help.
  4. Mental setback-dealing with the little ways we can reset the mind so the thought process doesn’t take over our minds to the point where we struggle to function.

Personal Lows

I am dealing with an issue with my daughter.  I obviously won’t go into yet but working on responses to your children that are appropriate and mirror what you are used to do vs what should be done for the betterment of your child. I am not a perfect parent actually no one is.  The balance of making sure everything is done to uplift a little person is a great task.  Often times it’s not as clean-cut as we hope in our minds it would be.  So if you are a parent just know there will be some lows but the key is to pick yourself up and try to continue to love.

 

So enjoy your weekend. I am hearing in Philadelphia there may be a little warm up next week and after this week of rain and cold I sure could use a little sun on my skin.  Be safe and continue to check in-blogs drop without warning sometimes.