Health is Wealth, Follow up to Probiotics-Make a Decision with Guest Blogger S.L. Efua Joe

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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.

Protect your Spirit

Happy Monday to you.  Happy I am just making it Monday.  Happy I am alive Monday. Whatever your Monday looks like to you, make it that and rise above it.  Yes the weekend has left some of us dry.  If it wasn’t the news that is constantly being pushed in our faces, to relationships, situationships, kids, jobs, etc you may be at wit’s end.

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So we all know that we need to protect our spirit.  Your spirit is your essence.  It’s your wits.  It’s you in a nut shell. I know there are many times when I have to take a time out. I give my kids one and have no shame in taking one.  You need to protect your essence. All of life’s drama can take the beauty out of you if you let it.  Today I am even more guarded to keep being informed but to filter some of the junk to avoid getting too overly emotional or let things take me out of my element.

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Life is hard but cover yourself today and everyday.  Cover your children who don’t fully understand but are in the presence of the same junk you are touched with.  Never underestimate that they are able to pick up on negative vibes just as much as you do. Protect what they see and hear.  Protect who they are around.  Who you allow your kids to be around speaks volumes as they take on what on who is around them.  Protect what words you say around them as well.  Words have life and death in them and you have to be careful that the tearing down isn’t occurring in-house.  We are worried about the outsiders but truth be told you can cause more damage in house than you will ever know if you aren’t careful.

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Filter what you take on when it comes to social media. I love social media but the down size is that it doesn’t always allow you to be social.  It can become battle grounds.  It can become warfare. It can zap your energy.  It can take up so much of your time.  It can allow you to not be able to disengage with those around you.  It is a choice and you must make good choices on what you entertain on social media.  Everything isn’t worth a response. Everything doesn’t need a clap back.  You have to clean your social media act up. Delete some accounts you don’t need.  Take a few folks off that you allow to get you all up in arms.  Learn to take a step back with who you call friends on your social media accounts.  Never post anything you don’t stand by 100% and be prepared to live with any backlash.  Learn that some things that inspire you may just be for you.  Learn that you can choose to spread hate or love.  Love on yourself.  Practice self-love everyday.  Mental illness is real and it can be elevated by social media because when the mind is weak it allows the defenses of everything to be low.  Be careful.  Speak life today.  Speak life into your situations and find ways to make your bottom line better.  Reach out to help others when your able.  It’s no different from when you’re on a plane, they tell you to put the oxygen mask on you first.  Same rule applies in life, stop handing out all of your resources to others and leave yourself depleted.  Help you than you can help someone else.  Have a great Monday and practice self love and love on others around you.

When Basics are Celebrated

Please do not get me wrong.  I think anyone doing anything positive is good news.  I love that people are attempting to move past the backward thinking that has seemed to take this world over.  However, can we just be real for about a few seconds?  When basic behavior is like the best thing since sliced bread than we have a problem.

You are in a dating situation the man of your dreams is wining and dining you and pulls your chair out, etc now you are like see my man loves me?  I don’t doubt he does.  In a world where men and no not all men are too busy getting caught up in the negative things, playing video games and no job, making babies with no responsibility this could seem like a breath of fresh air.  However the issue isn’t in the mere manners, it needs to be our own personal standards that have gone on a decline. Even when I dated the most thugs of boyfriends they pulled my chair out.  It was the way I carried myself that lead them to know from the gate that if they never pull a dime like myself they was going to step it ALL the up.  So opening up doors is normal for me during my dating processes. Opening doors was basic.  It wasn’t because I carried myself in a stuck up way, I didn’t I was laid back but my mere demeanor said hey buddy, this is going to be a classy outing. Now this didn’t always mean I was at 5 star restaurants all the time either.  I could go to a night of dancing in the hole in the wall but still be treated like I wasn’t living in the hole of the wall.  I set the standard!

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If you are married and your husband is super caring, we uplift them. We start labeling relationship goals right off the bat because a husband kissed their wife.  Okay I get there are sexless and boring marriages (all by choice) but a simple kiss even a romantic passionate one making relationship goals only means that there are a lot of married couples who do not enjoy the union they are in. Kisses are done simply at the altar or union as a seal of commitment.  So….yeah we have got to raise the standard.  I had a conversation with my own husband and we acknowledged the highs and lows of our relationship and how outside things and distractions are often celebrated when we lack the self-sufficiency to love on each other and ourselves in the way it should be.  A husband who simply comes home is celebrated as if he isn’t supposed to return home after his outside of the home obligations are done.  He is celebrated and the phrase, “well at least he’s not cheating” comes into play. Like is he supposed to be cheating?  I know cheating is big but let’s not give more respect to the cheater than the faithful?  We live in a messed up world.  The only way to make the world smaller is to learn to leave the outside world OUTSIDE. Spend more time making YOUR world what YOU want it to be.

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If you are married and have kids and your husband doesn’t lift the finger to assist you with the kids some of it on you because you won’t speak up and other reasons is because he doesn’t think he should, I hear well at least he’s in the home.  So many men are locked up or leave after they make the babies.  This is true.  However him being in the home still living like an absentee father is even more crazy.  You do know they exist.  They are simply bodies but they don’t do a thing but get the greatest father in the world book just because they stayed.  Um, if you have a baby and make a baby it is YOUR responsibility to be there, provide, and dare I say interact and assist in the raising of that child.  It is simply not okay to come in the home, say hi, watch tv and send the child to bed and think you have arrived in parenting.  NO you need to be a force in the home.  You need to be helping with whatever it takes to make sure you have healthy, loved and supported children.  Ladies, if you have a man who is simply there don’t expect it.  Also speak up and don’t berate him because he doesn’t do things like you do either.  It’s give and take once ALL parties pay their part.

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I believe in rewarding kids but kids are supposed to do good things if they are influenced in the right way.  For instance every time your child does something he/she will NOT always be rewarded.  Teaching integrity means that at some point they learn to do the right thing simply because it’s right and not because someone is watching them or will give them something.  This is why some kids feel a sense of entitlement because you love your little love muffin and use rewards for everything.  Reward systems are awesome.  It can be used to motivate but should not be in the place of all parenting techniques. These little angels grow up and think the world owes them something and you and I both know that really isn’t how it works.

Like I have always pushed, balance is key.  Never do more on one side over another. I know this whole not wanting to be “basic” is a thing but the reality is there are times when going back to the old landmark really does still work.  The standard you set in your life and how you work through it should still be set by a measurement.  If a person is worth your time they will know what your standard is.  That is why some people go ga ga over things like good sex.  Is sex supposed to be bad?  Yes there are some sexual partners that don’t always do it right off the bat and you have to set the standard even in that on what you will accept or not.  However some folks get one strong sexual partner and will throw caution to the wind over some wet sheets and weak knees.  It’s like having a stack of cards and as long as one suit is good, you don’t pay any attention to anything else.  Set the standard.  Know you are worth to be treated the way you want and make no excuse for it.  In time once your basic needs are met the other items will line up because you are looking through balanced eyes.

Protect your Babies-Step it up!

I was watching a video of a judge that was reprimanding a couple.  The mother of the child that was brutally beat and killed was held responsible too for the heinous death as she should be.  However the part that stuck out to me is the fact that while the mother was working the man was home not working.  Now do not confuse this with men being stay at home dads because the wife has a higher paying job. I understand that.  I was a full-time stay at home mom for many years.  The cost of daycare can be a person’s whole salary or very close to it.  Sometimes it’s not cost-effective to have two people working if the income coming in will not put a dent to anything.  If the man is the one making the less money it makes sense to have him stay at home and keep his kids no different from it is for a woman.  I do not think it makes him any less than a man to do so.  I would rather somebody be financially responsible than struggle any day when you don’t have to.

My issues aren’t with the stay at home dads but the fake stay at home dads we have in the society is who I am coming for.  You are not a stay at home dad because you don’t want to work and are comfortable with your woman taking care of you.  I don’t know where we strayed with the next generation but if there was ever an epic fail like it is today, men are missing it.  This is not a hate men blog.  No this is hey get it together blog. There is no need for any man sitting at home waiting on his woman to bring home a check while he does nothing.  You not even selling lemons on the highway?  Not flipping a burger?  My husband has worked 2 jobs to make things work.  Not because he wanted to but because he had to. You won’t be able to convince a real woman to a man not working is a good thing.  I have a wonderful father who barely took 5 days off of work since I was a preteen.  That speaks volumes.  My grandfather is in his 80s and he is “retired” but still works and does odd jobs like busting concrete and ground work.  For lazy men let me school you that means the government says you have earned your keep you can relax and he says naw son let me get out here so my wife can relax and make sure she good. His kids are grown.  He is still out here doing what needs to do to make sure there is steady money coming into his home.  I spoke to him last week and told him he really could give a few young cats a lesson on what hard work looks like. So from where I sit I am not here for no non working, sitting on his ass, don’t want to work but would rather play video game man.

The toddler was mostly in this do nothing man’s care as she endured over 50 injuries and most of the injuries were brutal even for an adult.  So this man didn’t work was a monster and decided to beat the hell out of a child.  Too much idle time on his hand.  A job would have not given him that much access to that child.  Would he still be a monster?  Most likely but damn he literally day in and day out over a short period of time beat a child.  I can’t even fathom that baby’s last moments.  I look at my kid and they frustrate me like no one can. To think I would lose control and inflict pain is unimaginable.  I barely beat their behinds let alone abuse them.  We have to step it up. Both the mom and dad was wrong if that was her dad.  The amount of men who are beating and killing our kids don’t even be the dads.  It’s usually a no account boyfriend that we freely turn over our kids to so they can rape and hurt them.  Let me school you like my momma would school you, there ain’t that good of the D to allow me to put my kids in harm’s way.  I will not turn a blind eye to my child over a man.  These babies are defenseless and we are the ones leading them to the foolishness.  We already have to wonder if a stranger is going to manipulate and mess with our children however its the monster you know.  Let me say I can’t tell you as a woman how long you should date a man before you allow them around your child.  I do say you need to spend some seasons with him before you leave them unattended.  Watch how he looks at your child.  Watch and see what he does when he gets angry.  Listen to your child.  Check your children.  Be prayerful.  Stop getting a new man and being so head over heels that you leave caution to the wind.

What can you say if you aren’t mindful of your child when something happens.  Yes its the monster who did wrong but if you didn’t pay attention you bare the responsibility. The mom knew that the child had at least one serious head injury.  This man with blunt force hit this baby so hard that she had at least 10 dents in her skull.  Think about that for a moment.  She was hit that hard and no one noticed negative signs from that?  Or it was noticed but the care level wasn’t there.  I shutter sometimes when I read these headlines about abuse and death of children.  Everytime one of these precious babies die it only shows the potential the world loses for these beautiful lights to have given something back to it.  We need our babies but the only way to guarantee that is to do better and screen who we allow them to be around.  Let me also tell you that you got to watch friends or family.  There is not one member of my family or set of friends that I would put anything past.  That doesn’t mean I have them pegged as anything that simply means that I will never allow my relationship with them cloud my judgement. If my child said something happens I got their back first and foremost.  I will never take anyone else other them as they were given to me to protect.  I won’t even allow them around folks who I have tested myself and see they don’t add up.  I do not make one apology for that.  I could care less about your spoiled adult feelings on that.  They are mine and my husband and there are no do overs.

Weekly Recap: April 14, 2017

Happy Friday ToiTime readers!! Can you hear the joy in my voice?  That is what happens when you have been working 12 hour days all week and you finally get over 9 hours of sleep.  I am refreshed and will need it for the Easter weekend.  Anyway.  There has been a lot going on this week so let’s recap.

News

  1. United Airlines out here handing out ass whippings for not giving up seats.  The company is in a full-blown mess these days.  I expect a large payout and for the company’s bottom line to suffer behind the mess.  Little tid bit, do not ever release statements that victim blame.
  2. Second week of bombs from the United States.  Trump’s administration has dropped the largest non nuclear bomb on Afghanistan.  The only issues with all of this bombing is that I fear retaliation against the United States.  For the sake of the world I pray I am wrong.
  3. Woman stabbed to death by Palestinian man on a train in Jerusalem.
  4. 2 Georgia police officers were fired after a video surfaced of them punching a handcuffed man.

Personal Highs

I had a great weekend this past weekend.  I was able to get some me time which was not planned for a full day but definitely turned into a beautiful full day.  I enjoyed the quiet, some adult music and just some down time.  I have been working 12 hour days almost everyday for the past 2 weeks so it felt good to recharge.  I also enjoyed some family time with own family.  We enjoyed some time at Comic Con in Philadelphia where I took some amazing pictures and met some amazing people.  This week has been a little crazy with the mandatory overtime.  However I was able to get some rest last night and I swear it felt like I slept for an entire week in one night.  I expect to have a good weekend this weekend with my kidlets.  They love holidays like me so we will have a blast celebrating. I wish you all who celebrate Easter to remember what it’s all about and have a great one!

 

Blogs

  1. Stress awareness-phyiscal stress.  We talk about what makes us stress out and what that looks like in our physical body.  How we can grab the stress and turn it around in our lives.
  2. Let’s get physical-not everyone enjoys going to the gym even if its good for us.  It’s like veggies but not liking all of the veggies that there are.  You can find physical enjoyment in getting up and finding activities that you enjoy.
  3. Humble my ass, we talk about Lamar Kendrick’s newest hit Humble.  It’s a great record except for all of the men who think this is the song of all songs but don’t truly apply to the words they spit.  It takes more than a dope song to apply it.  We also talk about Tyrese and his ability in his own mind to tell women what they should or shouldn’t be doing while flaunting his 46% Black wife.  Love is love it doesn’t matter what color or race she is but he felt the need to tell the world and down women while uplifting us too as if that can be done at the same time.
  4. TI-Marriage is a distraction: This sounds horrible and it is.  It is horrible if he didn’t have this conversation with Tameka “Tiny” his wife prior to the interview and even worst if he didn’t have this conversation with her before he began acting single. Truth in marriage is hard and it’s not always beautiful.  However honesty should never take a back seat to feelings because in the end no one wins.

Personal Lows

This week I would say pushing myself more and not listening to my body.  I have had a series of headaches and stomach ache this week due to my change of schedule.  And this is the very thing that stress even if it’s not bad stress can do.  I should have slowed it down a bit.  Although the overtime was mandatory this week, little things like going to bed when I got home instead of watching an hour of television and being on my phone could have helped.  Instead of rushing slowed it down and ate at the times I needed and took my medication at the time I needed to would have helped greatly.  These are all things we need to do to make our life even with change run a little more smoothly.

 

I do hope that you all have a good weekend and can say that even if you have a lot of events that you have to be at or have a lot of things to do that you slow it down and get something out of this weekend for yourself.  You have to fill your own cup before you can do anything else for others.

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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