Monday Reset

Good Monday morning.  I know its hard to start your week off right on days when you don’t feel you are at your best.  Today is one of those super soaker rainy days when all you want to do is get in bed.  I right now want to be curled up in my bed with my laptop and a few magazines but life calls.

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I remember on days like today when I want to escape that Mondays are the beginning to the end of the week. I can’t get to Friday without starting my Monday off right.  I have a lot on my plate and that means that I need to push forward and pass how I feel.  I have to reset my thinking to crush these goals.  I still have to show up.  Above showing up on a Monday, I need to be clear.  As much technology that we have, I still thrive on to do lists.  I still thrive on writing down goals so when I complete them I can go to the next goal.  So with that being said, reset your thinking. I looked back at things that didn’t work last week and made changes according to what will set this week on fire. Is it getting up earlier and getting things done?  Is it preparing things differently?  Whatever that looks like for you, you have to do.  Your week and life depend on changed attitudes and mindsets.  So set yours on fire by shaking the Monday blues and getting clear on what you want to do and what it will take to get there!

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Power in the Clouds…..

So I am feeling a lot better. I was under the weather taking care of my sick husband and I ended up getting what he had.  I do not think it was the flu as I was able to recover a lot sooner than he did.  I am grateful for being able to have a little down time but now as I get better its time to work.

There has been a lot going on in the world. So let’s dive in. I  was able to catch the 60th Grammy Show this past Sunday. There were a lot of great performances and of course the Me Too movement continues on as it should.  I haven’t made a public statement on it but it’s about time that these men who are using their power against women be stopped.  So many women endure so many things ranging from sexual harassment to rape to get ahead or simply exist. I wish above all that young ladies and women weren’t subject to this type of behavior.  It sickens me to think of my own daughters having to endure such abuse in any form.  However the down side to it too is that there will be a few women use this movement for the wrong reason. My prayer is that all women would be safe no matter where they are.  Shout out to all the ladies in the world taking a stand in public and in private! May the fight continue!

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So I wasn’t able to do a Sunday message or a Monday motivation message due to me not feeling well.  Let me say that discouragement is always around us no matter what.  It’s hard to do but we must all constantly check the messages we surround ourselves around.  What we listen to and entertain is super important.  No matter what type of journey in life you are on, discouragement is always in our faces.  Look at how the world is shaped, you log onto your computer and negativity is always present.  I try my best to be sure that I change what I take in and especially what my kids take in. I shield my spirit first.  This way I can assist them in what they need.  Be careful to clean up your social media actions.  Stop debating with everyone. Everything ain’t a fight. Sometimes letting someone have that last word is necessary for your own growth. Do you know how many people get off on saying they told you off? A LOT. Let them eat cake! You got enough time on your hands to build you.  You don’t always have time to build others.  I am not saying don’t be inspirational, I am saying your cup has to be full.  Drink from your cup.

I find that the mind is the playground of excuses too.  Sometimes you are having a bad day not because of the outside elements but because your mind is telling you something is going to be a certain way.  Doubt and fear are festering in an unchecked mindset.  You and you alone have the power to check that.  So check it! This may be a Tuesday but to someone they struggled hard during their Monday not because it was a Monday but because they are overwhelmed emotionally and spiritually and feel lost. Feeling lost is real.  It’s a feeling of despair.  It robs you of joy and happiness and it makes you scared.  Fear is debilitating. I have felt that pain many times.  That pain that makes you want to stay in bed and cry.  Getting up is easy but hard at the same time but you have to get up.  This isn’t just in the physical sense but the mental and emotional sense of the word too.  Whatever you lack can be fixed.  It can be achieved.  It is there inside of you.  Just do what you feel you must and try. If you woke up your answers are going to come to you as you make moves.  You were given a unique opportunity to make today better than yesterday.

I have had times when trying was all I had and then something happened, I got stronger. I had one situation line up and then slowly sometimes like a crock pot slow, things lined up.  It wasn’t a fast fix.  It wasn’t a microwave, convenient fix, it was a slow fix. The light didn’t shine when I woke up, sometimes only a few clouds move. If you are there you know what I am talking about.  The same power that comes in the sun is the same power in the clouds. never forget that!  Be encouraged today and everyday!

 

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

 

Monday Push Through

So this has been an interesting weekend to say the least. Today I wanted to talk about anxiety and how it works to hinder you but can be overcame.  I went to a funeral over the weekend by myself and before you even think NO I am not about to blog the funeral.  This is more about me getting through it.  No one likes funerals.  They aren’t designed to be liked.  However for me they are a place of extra anxiety.  I remember as a kid going to maybe 2 or 3 funerals.  I can tell you who they were and the relationships of the people.  My very first one I was an usher and I fell into some vomit and let’s just say I was super embarrassed.

The second one I got sick physically and I still do when I go.  To view a person’s body makes me sick thinking of it.  Even when my mother in law passed almost a year ago, the fear of the whole situation made me frozen.  I got through it because just like on Saturday, I had to.  My stomach was hurting. I felt like I had to go to the bathroom a thousand and one times.  My hands were sweating.  I was having several panic attacks.  I want to shout out my support system who talked me through it because had it not to be there for a good friend, I wouldn’t have gone or I would have gone, felt sick and left. I am super glad that I pushed past it.  See anxiety is an awful feeling. If you let it ride your life you will find that you miss out on so much. I know this to be true because I have missed so many social activities behind it.  I would agree to go to something, get anxious and then back out. I would never tell people why it was just too much of an overcoming feeling for me to deal with so I wouldn’t.

Then others would get tired of asking me to attend so they wouldn’t. I knew why so I never asked or even pushed the conversation.  Also some people would invite me to something never tell the dress code and here I am showing up to something under dressed and knowing all eyes were on me and making me feel like running or not going to the next event.  All of these can be debilitating.  They cause you to lose out on life.  I have been pushing myself in the last few months to push past it but I can’t say it has been easy.  It’s hard to go to things alone but its something that is necessary so I have been doing it.  I feel great and I feel like every time I do it, it makes me stronger for the next event.

So if you are dealing with anxiety, go in your time but push through. You will feel super sick, maybe feel like you are going to throw up, but its the best to accomplish the goal of attending whatever would have normally held you back.  So for your Monday motivation, acknowledge wherever you are feeling in adequate and take one step to beat it and you will amaze yourself at what you can do if you push through!

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.

Losing my Mind

So as we continue in the stress management month and talk about mind issues, what happens when it seems you have lost your mind?  You know that feeling where the very fiber of your being has fallen and you are at your wit’s end.  You have taken the time to meditate and pray and you still seem lost.  What does one do when you are in this state? You reach out for help.  We all have feelings of being helpless at times but if you truly can’t shake this feeling and you feel overwhelmed then help is your next move.

Talk to your doctor.  Yes your doctor the man or woman in charge of your health.  Talk to them about what you have been feeling, how long you have been feeling this and what are the attributes of how you feel.  The attributes of how you feel could be more tired, sick with no explained reason for being sick, worried feelings that take up a majority of your day, helplessness, stomach and headache pain that doesn’t go away, etc.  These will be vital to see how your mind is taken on your situation and you may need some assistance. This could come in the form of getting involved in a support group for whatever is troubling you.  It could come in a form of meeting with a therapist or even medication if its determined you need it.

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Let me take the time to crush some misguided information:

  1. Seeking help doesn’t make you a failure or weak
  2. Contrary to popular belief especially with minorities, seeking help doesn’t mean you are letting folks in on your business to harm you.
  3. If you take medication it doesn’t mean it has to be ongoing or something you take for a lifetime.  Some people use it temporary and are weaned off it and go to live productive lives.
  4. Therapists are just like pastors without sometimes the spiritual apathy.  You can still pray and see your therapist.  We need to knock this one out of the park.  You don’t need to listen to someone tell you that therapy is against God’s will.  This is simply not true and watch your leadership that tells you that.

I have said many times and will continue to push the importance of mental health.  It isn’t something that is geared toward “weak-minded” folks.  If you are one who think this way please change your own way of thinking.  People from all walks of life can have a moment when they can lose their way.  I believe in encouraging people to do what is best for them.  I would rather have someone get the help that they need than to harm themselves or someone else just to save face in their community.  Having good mental health can be the catalyst for having a better life.

If you are suffering from mental health and you need help please and are having suicidal thoughts please call and reach out:

Call 1-800-273-8255

There are resources that can aid you regardless of your ability or inability to pay

Here are some ways that people can encourage those around them to get help:

  1. Never minimize how someone feels-phrases like “get over it,” “it ain’t that deep,” or “suck it up” never works.  You are not helping you are only perpetuating that their issue is not a real concern which discourages others to get help
  2. Encourage someone to get help and let them know you care.
  3. Smile more-some people are really in a bad place dealing with some sad things so a smile can be one of the most encouraging forms of medication someone may need
  4. Don’t tell someone to call you anytime or talk to you when you really don’t mean it.  People don’t always have a sounding board so if you are really not equipped to handle someone in their lowest moment don’t offer and then not support them. This can be worst than not having someone to support you in the first place.

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Stress Month: Mental Set Backs

So it’s Wednesday and I have just gotten to getting my life together for this week I think. April is stress awareness month.  For the month we will try to break down stress in all categories possible.  This week we need to tackle the mind-set.  This is the first level of stress that actually occurs.  Yes we know that life happens and there are events that send us into overload but the reality is that the mind is the playground for most of our trouble.

So what is a mental setback?  It is usually made up of our thoughts.  We think something and then become that.  Like for instance keep telling yourself that you are fat.  You might be by scientific measures but your mind keeps thinking “I am fat” and you spend less ways trying to fix the issue, but more ways of downing yourself for the weight and nothing happens.  You will remain fat.  I know there are some who let their minds control them to the point that they can’t do anything until they “feel” it.  This is a lose lose situation. Your feelings start with your mindset.  I know you have heard at least once in your life that if you change your mindset you change your life.  It’s very true. Now we all need a come to Jesus moment every now and again where the mind is so polluted and its hard to crawl out so here are a few ways you can reset your mindset.

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  1. Think.  Yes how you think is how you are.  Change the way you think about the situation or person.  Yes your light bill is due and there is more money going out than in.  Think, what can I do?  Have you tried to call and make arrangements or find programs that can work with your income level?  Have you attempted to find out what changes in your home you can make to lower your overall cost?  Have you thought about things in your home you could see that you don’t use or don’t want and sell them? Do you have a talent such as baking that can generate extra income? These things take the doom and gloom out of the situation and makes you responsible in finding positive outcomes.  You use your mind to make a solution or progress and less time wallowing in despair over it.
  2. Clear your head.  Did you know that going outside for 5 minutes helps your self-esteem.  10 minutes and you have changed your ability to see things differently.  In 20 minutes your energy level increases.  30 minutes helps increase blood flow and decreases your depressive mood.  Wow it didn’t say you had to go out and be physical which is also a great mood stabilizer as well but it means simply being outside. Fresh air is quite a mood helper.  Get outside.
  3. Bounce off others-not literally.  However sometimes a conversation with a trusted friend may help you see things different and then change your mindset as well.  It can help you put things into perspective.  Find someone who is uplifting.  I have said this a thousand times and its true, Negative Nancies don’t do anything but bring your entire spirit down and that’s the last thing you need when you are dealing with mental stress.
  4. Take a time out-some parents use this tactic to calm a child and get them redirected.  It works the same for adults.  Corners aren’t always necessary. However taking a few moments to yourself to gather yourself can be life changing even if it’s for a few moments.  Do this often no matter how great or bad things are going.
  5. Change who you associate with-this is major.  Have you ever been around someone with a problem with someone and then you either start not liking who they don’t like or you start nit-picking others just from being in the same room or atmosphere as someone who is like that.  Change who you are around to help keep everything that you do and who you are around the way it needs to be.  This doesn’t mean life will just get better but having the right people in place is key
  6. Work on loneliness-this is true especially for single people.  An idle mind is the playground for unsavory things. I know that being single is hard.  You want someone to eat with, laugh with, and yet you go home to an empty home or home with just little people in it and have no one who makes you just want to be happier with. Well the time to change that is now.  Start finding your passion or an activity that you enjoy. The little known secret when you get married is that you don’t always have to give up your activities but sometimes you have to limit the amount of time you do them.  If you are focusing on the loneliness you will not see the beauty in coming and going as you please.  Create a little schedule and balance yourself so that you aren’t sitting around “bored.”  Trust me and its true happy people not just bubbly people attract the right people.  You are more attractive when you are happy and content.  That doesn’t mean you must have it altogether or have everything in its right place.  Being happy in your skin is an amazing and is more beautiful than any concealer or foundation can provide.

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So we will dive more into our mindsets because we have to start from the top in order to have happy and less stressful lives.  How do people who have the very bottom of their lives fall and still smile?  They don’t let things in their mind overtake them?  We will explore next what to do when after you have tried it all and you may need to see a professional.  I know its taboo to talk about it but if we were honest getting help isn’t a sign of weakness but a sign of strength.