Increased Self Care

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

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

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

two woman doing exercise

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Ask Toi: How to Forgive a Cheating Parent?

Reader’s father cheated on their mother and reader needs help….

It’s hard to not have your parent on a peddlestool especially a father. As a kid you may have been sheltered from the things that were really going on. That’s understandable, that’s what adults should do. They shouldn’t be as open as they want with their lives for the sake of children. We know in these times some folks don’t care and do whatever they want to do. With that in mind, you’re an adult now. The wounds don’t hurt any less by finding out about your dad’s infidelity. Keep things in perspective. It’s okay to feel like you have lost respect for him. That’s actually quite normal. You’re not a kid you can express how you feel. You can also make a decision if you want to continue a relationship. I am not on team cut him off in any way. I don’t know him enough. I know in time it can be repaired if he’s willing to do the work to do so. If you’re willing to forgive and move forward is going to be key as well.

Also keep in mind that at the end of the day, your dad has to live with his decisions and most importantly your mother is dealing with it mostly. Take some time to process it. Deal with it and do not wave it under a rug like it’s no big deal.  As an adult it may help to speak to your dad one on one. Remove him from your mom and have an adult conversation. Speak candidly and maybe even go to a public place to keep you in aligned to attempt to remain calm when you speak. Remember you don’t have to take his issues on as your own but you can be verbal about where you stand.

You may hear, I am your father respect me. You can respect title and lose respect for your dad. He has to work through earning respect as harsh as it sounds.  Keep in mind that his pain doesn’t just sit with your mom and him but the kids adult or not feel the brunt of the betrayal of the family too. I don’t get why people don’t see the other side of it. Talk to someone you trust that can be a sounding board to help you through and not just someone who wants the details of what happened. If your mom and him work it out that’s great.  If they do not, that’s their marriage to work through. Support your mom in what she needs too. She is hurting too. Take a break from trying to fix it all. You are their child but not a child. You do not need to bandage this in any way to make it okay. It’s not your fight.  Be firm when you speak, say what you mean but don’t be mean when you say it.

I pray you receive closure. I send love your mom’s way and clarity to your dad. I pray he is remorseful and willing to do whatever it takes to restore balance in the family structure without taking offense to the responses. I find men tend to think that once the cheating comes out, the children and women are to GIVE this level of instant respect without ever acknowledging the pain. I find it hard to understand the lack of understanding of the pain of the betrayal. Your dad can’t shrug this off like no big deal. The family ideology has been broken. He needs to be in the forefront to fix it. Everyone will need grace during this time!

Monday Motivation: To Do List

Happy Monday. It’s a beautiful day this morning. As I look through my calendar I was reminded of something so simple but necessary and that’s the to do list. We have strayed away from them because we have technology, alerts and alarms. The to do list is still a necessary way of organizing our lives. It takes what we need to do and allows us to prioritize them.

To do list also helps as a secondary back up so those forgotten things can remain at the forefront of our minds. Even with how busy life can be I’ve been known to be forgetful. So let’s take it back and gather that to do list. There’s so much pride crossing things off. It makes you feel a sense of accomplishment. It pushes you to get more done and it really takes a load of off of you! So what is on your heart and mind to complete? Write it down! Did you know that successful people are the ones who write down their goals? To do list can be for the day, week, month, or quarter. I’ve started with master lists and tweak it as necessary.

Today my to do list looks a bit crazy and the reason? It’s Monday! Monday are how I set my week up instead of starting it with negativity and complaints. Write that to do list and get in the habit of goal setting. Trust me it will make your days, week’s, and months go that much smoother even on hectic days!

Also to do list can help with self care as the ability to feel like you’re in control of the things you can control helps in moments when life can’t be controlled!!

Weekly Recap: Friday April 5, 2019

What a week it has been!! I am super glad for balance. From work, blog events, and life it has been one for the books. Let’s dive into it:

Blog Life

This week we have been out and about and there is no stop coming any time soon. I looked at my calendar I am booked and happy about it until May and June request are slowly coming in. If you didn’t get a chance to, catch up on the blog Crunchik’n. You talk about some good eating. It was amazing and they have vegetarian options and I tweaked them to be vegan. I have been going strong for about a month and some change. I am super proud of myself. I have been fortunate to find some amazing new recipes and ways to have some of my favorites without compromise. I have noticed an immediate change when I eat. I am full but not overly full and my stomach is hurting me. I have no gall bladder and a lot of foods that I was eating prior to although were in healthy portions weren’t right for my stomach. Vegan has solved a lot of that for me. This is a personal choice!

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Yesterday I was at the Philadelphia Zoo. I had an amazing time with the animals, the food was amazing and I love that the Philadelphia Zoo Key is back. It was interactive and I enjoyed going without the kids. Don’t fret as soon as they saw me they asked when am I taking them.  They should know by now, super soon. Our summer is always jam-packed with activities and the Zoo is on the top of the list. The fact that Urban Green now has amazing fresh choices and that includes vegan inspired dishes I am good to go. Toss in that wine and beer garden and I am set for a family fun day.

Fit Life

Tomorrow is race number one of the season, the Hot Chocolate 5/15K race. I am excited but super nervous. I have trained, ate well, hydrated and today I will be loaded on carbs, getting my rest, and hanging with my BGR crew as we celebrate race day! Look for the blog to follow as soon as I can.  Most likely Sunday! Send positive vibes!
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Kid Life

We are in the planning stages of my oldest soon to be 10th birthday. To say that I am more excited than she is a complete understatement.  To look at her when they told me that she may not breath on her own and to hear her screaming and progressing faster than they expected was amazing to me. I am overcome of how much her birth changed me. It made me be more responsible, cut things and people from my space, and be a better human. She is the most amazing child. My other children are doing well. We have an almost kindergarten and a rock star soccer playing son.  I am blessed beyond measures.

Personal Life

So getting my responses has been my goal. I have been tried on every hand but I can say that I am passing. I am grateful to know that responses have to be tailored in this world. You can’t in the name of keeping it real say what you want just because you are grown. There is always a price.

So as you continue to your weekend, remember to do something for yourself. I have a few events next week and you know the drill by now, blog will follow. I will continue to explore this great city. Have a great one!

Monday Motivation: Anyone But You…

I sometimes get tired of hearing about haters. Often times haters have to want what you have. There are times when that aligns. However many times, they really just would prefer if the success was from anyone but you!

They don’t think your smart enough. They don’t think you have enough resources. They don’t think you’re qualified. They aren’t necessarily trying to take resources from you. They don’t want to even always stop you. Often times it’s just about them sitting back with their knowledge of who the you they believe in or don’t believe in is enough to prevent your success. What could you possibly have to offer this world that could even be necessary as they think?! The truth is like I tell my kids, something inside of you that the world needs! Even if your world seems small!

It’s like a child when you tell them to do something they have heard you a million and one times say do. You yell or threaten but because there’s no consistency in your approach they miscalculate you. Their miscalculation is based upon their believe that you won’t come through on your word. Much like the ones who don’t believe you, it could be anyone who steps up but it won’t be you. You’re not going to finish school because in the last couple of years you picked 5 majors and still haven’t finished. You been saying you’re going to move and everyone around you has moved while you sit. So trust me often times they rejoice when you seem to slip, fall, or experience rejection.

You don’t have what it takes to make it! Wow! Let that sink in. Instead of worrying about the few things you have and thinking about those who could be jealous of you, be concerned about the ones who stand in close arms length who’s clap is quietly silent at your success. Let me give an example. You are in a group of friends. One of them gets married. You throw the best celebrations. You help them in ways to get to their beautiful day. Years pass and that friend is the only one married so they begin to act as if they are the only ones capable of being in a loving situation. You find the love of your life. Now it’s your turn but your “friend” doesn’t celebrate you.

It could have been anyone else but it’s you and what they seen and know of you they deem you unworthy. Again it goes from them simply hating your new assignment, new job, new life to them not expecting you to be able to clean up, get right, and walk in the calling that never stop growing inside of you. Your gift doesn’t turn off. They just didn’t see you as an equal recipient of goodness that was already on your way!

The best way to not entertain what they believe is to simply do! Also don’t even entertain your own thoughts of self sabotage. Monday is always a great way to reset! It’s gonna take precision, dedication, and strength. Trust me you have it! Just start walking through! Make a plan and work that plan! The same ones saying anyone but you may want to join the team! Either way rock it out this Monday and every day!

The same ones says anyone but you may find themselves having to regret the way they treated you. One thing I love is even if you never know about it, often times when in distance they know.

So it’s not about anyone but you but it isn’t just for anyone, it’s for you! No one can stop the good to come in your life! No hate, no disrespect, nothing will stop you!

Weekly Recap: Friday March 29, 2019

I’m hoping you had a great week. I know for me this week has been a whirlwind. We definitely going to get into it. I had moments of anxiety, almost late, but definitely I survived every single loop thrown to me!

Blog Life

So this week has been light but thankfully so because my personal life took off almost literally. This week I went to see How to Catch Creation. If you missed the blog click on the link to catch up. It was like always at any play I attend at the Philadelphia Theatre Company amazing. One thing I will say anytime I’ve been there from the greeter to the stage participants, everyone hands down are always engaging. Thank you again to the Philadelphia Theatre Company, the entire cast of How to Catch Creation, and Aversa PR for the invite. Make sure you check out How to Catch Creation as it ends April 14th.

This weekend I have quite a full weekend coming which means new spots to try new foods, hang out and have fun. I love that I’m touring Philly. As much as I love to travel there are some bomb places right here in the city. As a lifestyle blogger I’m committed to finding you the spots to take kids, friends, girlfriends, date nights, time with the boys, etc. We covering it all!

Fit Life

So I’ve not stopped my training. It takes a lot to break my focus these days. My first race is coming on April 6th so we are about a week away. With that in mind I’ve had one rest day, 2 run days and 4 workout days. I’m still full time vegan and I’m so super full. I’ve got a lot of support around me from friends helping me fine tune my shopping, to friends sending me recipes and ideas, and just people who aren’t sabotaging me. That in itself is a blessing!

Like I said on Instagram this pic makes me look like Rick James but end of day those 7 miles needed me to show up! Plus it was super cold. I can’t run with my neck feeling cold and since I forgot my running had I made my scarf do double time.

Kid Life

So this past weekend we really did a lot with my kids. The first thing we did is took the family to our first Philadelphia Union soccer team game. My son is a soccer player for the last few years. We wanted him to see how dedicated other players are to their craft. I know he enjoyed it because it was super cold and he was up cheering the entire time. We had them bring blankets but we could barely keep his on him. To be honest we all enjoyed the game.

Also shout out to my oldest kids who got their report cards. They definitely did an amazing job! Great grades and no issues deserves to be shouted out! I’m super proud of them and their academic efforts.

We also visited my hometown to check in on my grandparents. This means we also went to my old church. That was an experience. It’s so different seeing people you grew up with as they change. I pray blessings on the members who aren’t doing well.

Personal Life

So my love aka my husband was away on business for work. Yay! Welcome Back Sir and come get yo kids! However the challenge of managing schedules by myself was interesting. Anyone who knows us knows that both he and I are super active with the kids. It’s still no secret that because of our varying work schedules I’m physically with the kids more. There’s a huge difference from having a hands on dad in the home to having to do things by yourself. This is what real single moms deal with.

They don’t have the fortitude of having someone help with pick ups or drop offs. If someone gets sick they have to leave work and potentially lose coins to attend to a child. Salute to single moms. I was born in a single mom home. I’m familiar with the struggle. I found it difficult at points to physically navigate schedules this week. I am the one that manages the schedules with my husband but there’s help to split responsibilities. This week was limited help. It was an eye opening experience.

It made me more grateful for help. Although I do a lot for the family in making sure we have what we need when we need it, my husbands help and support is invaluable. I never want to discredit him ever. He’s a great dad and the kids and I are blessed to have him. With that being said, I’ll be at someone’s happy hour because this momma is tired for real.

In the midst of all of this, my youngest decided to throw a play date into the mix. I am the type of parent that is about preparation. So with a day’s notice I flew into action to make the play date happen. I never want anyone’s child to not have the snacks that they like when they are at my house. Even if it’s my cousin or nieces I go out of my way to accommodate. The little girl is vegan and I love it since I am too. I however don’t eat a whole lot of snacks outside of homemade granola, yogurt, fruit, hummus, etc. However I was ready to go for the play date.

I deal with anxiety and have been open about it. So when the play date started I started to get a little anxious because hey it’s another child. You want to be sure there are no injuries and that the child is comfortable. It takes a lot for me to be out of my element which is why I allowed the play date to happen even though I had so much going on this week. There’s never a right yes for me and I’ll avoid things. That is anxiety. You want to do something but your mind plays it up to be the worse thing ever. So I pushed past it and got through it and everyone had a great time.

My kids did an amazing job adjusting by the way! We have a lot of structure in our home that it was good to see that when we needed to adjust the structure we were able to! I will say the one day following the play, we woke up super late but like little kid pros, we still got to all of our destinations on time.

Upcoming events

On Saturday I’ll be going to Crunchikn with the #travelingwithchefcherryl brunch crew! Do not worry they have vegetarian options and I will be sure mine are vegan inspired. I will take pics is non vegan options so my readers who aren’t vegan can know what to ask for when you go. Of course that will be after I run about 8 miles in the morning!

The Hot Chocolate 5/15k is April 6th! I also will have 2 other blog locations coming up. One of those will be attending the media day for the Philadelphia Zoo as I attend their new exhibit, Creatures of Habitat as they bring back the Zoo Key.

Don’t forget that I’ll be at the 3rd Annual Women’s Empowerment conference on April 6th! I’ll be blogging the event and I am encouraging all women to attend. It’s free and childcare will be provided along with breakfast and lunch! Empowering women of all walks of life is important. Ladies we are more of a force when we learn to do things together!

March is coming to a swift close. I’ll be doing a thank you blog to all of the ladies who did the women’s month blogs. I am grateful for the participation!!

So my weekend is packed. I have a race coming and some media events upcoming. With all of that going on, I still have scheduled some me time and I’m hoping a nap on Sunday! I don’t get many but I’m definitely going to schedule one in!

Have a great Friday and an amazing weekend!! Do something to fill your cup.

Monday Motivation: Adjust You Got This

Happy Monday to you. It’s another week to make things happen. Today focus on adjusting. If you deal or know someone with anxiety the one thing that can be a trigger is time. Adjusting to time can be a deal breaker depending on the situation. Adjusting is hard but you got this.

Adjusting may come in many forms. It could be being patient and calm to a child. It could be adjusting to the fact that the reality of a relationship has changed or ended. That is hard. We want things wrapped the way we want them. All of us do. We get used to how things are or were and then sometimes we get stuck. Get unstuck and adjust. You can’t have it your way all the time. Sometimes not adjusting causes more headache than it’s worth.

That isn’t to belittle your feelings in the least bit. That’s not how it works. Adjusting takes taking a deep breath and understanding. Simple understanding can be hard to come by but it’s necessary. Have you ever kept pushing an issue or situation because you won’t adjust? It gets worse. It gets harder. It gets even more difficult to recover. Don’t be the reason you stay in something that you needed to walk away longer than necessary. You can be your own problem. Adjust!

Start this Monday and find ways to adjust. You’re running late? I get it! Adjust so you’re not bringing an element into your day that makes it bad for you later in the day. You got this! Adjust!! A boss isn’t listening? Adjust it could be your approach. Your child isn’t doing well in school? Maybe an adjustment in work or how work is being done could fix things. Be open to adjustment. Adjusting is apart of adulting. You got this!!