Blog Posts

Surviving The Holidays

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It’s that time of the year where it can be stress-inducing or fun times with family/friends. Some people look forward to the holidays while others look for an exit. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, the holidays either gives you feelings of intense joy or misery. No fear because I’m going to help you with surviving the holidays. Take a look at my six steps below to have the best holiday ever! As always, let me know your thoughts and share your tips with others to help them improve their holiday as well.

Time Limit

If there is a particular family member who pushes your buttons or you can only handle them in small doses, then you need to set a limit on how long you will stay. You can schedule prior engagements around family time so you can give a heads up that you will be leaving early. For example, you can let the family know ahead of time that you will stay one to two hours. This way, people won’t be surprised once you head out of the outing. You will create a win/win situation. You get to hang out with family, but you don’t have to stay longer than required. Great way to keep your mental health in check while getting that family time in for the holidays.

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Self-Care

One thing people tend to forget about is self-care during the holidays. It’s essential to listen to your mind and body during this time. If your body is tired, it’s best to get that much-needed rest. Remember the old saying health is wealth. If you aren’t feeling your best, you won’t be interested in spending time with friends/family. Of course, the holidays adds even more stress that you don’t need. Start to use some self-care tools such as journaling,  spa, meditation, etc. The point is to get centered and feel great, so you can be your best while enjoying the holiday season.

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Significant Other/Children

One of the biggest reasons people dread being around family is annoying questions about children and a partner. I get these questions often, and I brush it off. It took me a while to get to that point, but no worries if you haven’t reached this level yet. People are naturally curious and nosy. Once you reach a certain age, people expect these things to have occurred. Remember doing something in your own time is okay. It’s nobody business why something hasn’t happened yet. Just because everyone has done it,  doesn’t mean something is wrong if you haven’t. Don’t even engage when these conversations come up. I noticed that the more you focus on it, the more people would poke at you. Once you ignore people, they tend to leave you alone. If you find that doesn’t work, let this person or people know if they don’t back off, then you will limit your interactions with them. Once folks see you mean business, that should get them to back away. If not, these are people you need to move away from your life.

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Budgeting

When it comes to Christmas people, tend to go all out. At the same time, it’s important to remember your life outside of Christmas. Don’t go broke playing Christmas as your bills aren’t interested in the gifts you brought for others. The bills are still due regardless of the holidays coming up. If you have to set limits for how much you can comfortably spend, speak up about it. The true meaning of the season is the thought, not the amount of the gift. If it’s going to cause you financial hardship, it’s not worth it. Let people know upfront about your budget requirements. The folks who love you won’t mind if you require a cap on the gifts this year. If anyone does give you grief, that’s someone to take off your list. You don’t need ungrateful people in your life.

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Creating New Traditions

One of my favorite things about the holidays is existing and creating new traditions. As we age-previous traditions may lose its luster or it doesn’t hold the same significance. The great thing about the holiday is you can always create a new tradition. You see more instances of Friendsgiving is becoming more popular is a result of new traditions. People also have ugly sweater parties and girls night in Christmas pajamas. It’s another way to get into the holiday spirit while creating a new tradition that can get passed down. I created new traditions myself. I ask friends to come over to help me decorate for Christmas, and I wear Christmas pajamas on Christmas Eve while wrapping last-minute gifts, and I have my friends (myself included) wear ugly sweaters during our gift exchange. These little joys help to get me in the holiday mood and avoid being a Scrooge. Helping to create traditions has helped me with learning to appreciate Christmas more than I have. As a child, you focus on the gifts, but as an adult, it’s more important to spend these precious moments with loved ones.

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Cherish The Moments

I saved the best for last. I know the holidays can be a drag, but remember, it’s a blessing to have folks who get on your nerves. I know a few of you of said, “What,” but hear me out. Some people have nowhere to go on the holidays. That could be due to circumstances or life in general. The beauty of you having friends/family is that you can change things for the better at any time. These moments you can’t get back. There are no rewinds or do-overs in this life. If a simple sorry or I forgive can change the outcome, then let it. It’s not worth going through another holiday being upset with each other. Love a little more, and spread good holiday cheer. If you need encouragement, volunteer at a soup kitchen this holiday season. That would quickly help you to put things into perspective. Enjoy your time with your family, especially if you only see them once a year. That’s even more of a reason to cherish every moment.

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Do you think any of these tips will help? What are some tips you use to survive the holidays? Share your thoughts below.

 

 

Protect Your Energy

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Being an empath can be incredibly exhausting. I feel other people’s energy, and if the vibe isn’t right, it throws me completely off. I have been meticulous lately about who I let in my life. I don’t want to be in a situation where my energy is draining, or I feel uncomfortable around someone. I never want to make people feel uncomfortable, even if that’s my current emotion. Fast forward to recently; I started to date again. I know the dreaded dating scene. However, I’m going into it with a fresh perspective. I have a clear mindset of what I’m looking for in a mate. Previously I said I was looking for XYZ, but my potential suitors didn’t fit that match. That was my fault and not theirs.

I have an issue with saying no to people. My biggest fear is making someone feel like I don’t care for them or for them to feel useless. When it comes at the expense of your sanity, it’s hardly worth the effort. Saying no isn’t selfish, but saying yes to everything is. Think about it for a second. If you answer yes, even when you aren’t in the mood or not feeling the environment, who is hurt by this? Anything that directly impacts your mental health is not worth the effort.

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You aren’t meant to be everyone’s cup of tea and vice versa. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this. You can meet someone and instantly develop a connection, and for other people, it doesn’t exist at all. That doesn’t mean that something is wrong. All it means is that the two of you didn’t hit it off. Why force something that’s not working? I have never understood that way of thinking. Protect your energy and peace. If someone doesn’t understand this, then that person shouldn’t be in your life. The worst thing to be is misunderstood, and having someone not trying to understand you is even worst.

It’s a better use of time to spend it with like-minded people or people who have your best interest. Time and energy are very sacred pieces of yourself. Share life’s experiences with people who want to understand and have a place in your heart. Don’t hold onto temporary people as you will end up hurting yourself in the end.

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What are some ways that you practice protecting your energy/peace?

Let Go of Temporary People

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Not sure if any of you seen the video circulating of Madea (Tyler Perry) discussing letting people go. If you haven’t seen it, I’m sure you can find it on YouTube. It’s a fascinating video. The jest of it states that you need to determine who’s in your life for a season or a lifetime. Some people’s primary purpose is to teach you a lesson. Not necessarily to spend the rest of their life with you. It’s up to us to learn the difference.  However, we hold a tighter grip on that person when we need to let them go. Madea also mentioned that’s why people are having a difficult time because they’re keeping a dying relationship alive. I understand some folks don’t want to be alone or start over. I think we have to stop looking at this as a bad thing. It is more of an opportunity for you to grow and move in a more positive direction. Staying with someone for the sake of having someone is plain dreadful. That’s a miserable existence that I don’t want in my life.

These life lessons are too valuable to miss. I had two people that I used to have as friends. We had a falling out that, to this day, still doesn’t make much sense. I didn’t realize at the time that those friendships ending turned to be blessings in disguise. The lessons I learned from those relationships I still use to this day.  If one friend is playing both sides and keeps the drama going, then move right on past that person. A real friend never wants to pin two friends against each other. Their main objective would be keeping the peace. Also, watch how friends treat you after a romantic relationship ends. When my ex-fiancé and I broke up, I noticed a shift in two of my friendships. It came across like they didn’t know how to be my friend anymore. We all spent time together due to the fact we all were couples. I guess since now I wasn’t a couple, I no longer fit the image. Of course, this isn’t how friendships should be at all.

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I discussed the shift with my two friends at the time, and they were gas lighting me, of course. Other friends warned me to be careful, and something seemed off with that situation. Of course, I didn’t listen, and ultimately the friendships fall apart. One friend was increasingly becoming distant, so I knew something was up. One day I finally called her out and asked her what’s going on? She said she wants to move on and gave a bogus explanation of moving away from friends who also knew Sharon (not her real name). I thought it was silly, but she wanted to leave my life, so I let the door wide open for her. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t hurt. However, I wasn’t begging for someone to stay when their actions proved otherwise. I wish both of them the best, but it was time for us to part ways.

The biggest lesson I learned from this is when someone starts to treat you differently, pay attention. That person’s feelings toward you are changing, and if you aren’t careful, you’ll be shocked by what comes next. When someone is genuinely committed to you, they will have your back no matter what. That’s what true love is all about with your flaws and all. If nothing else, I learned who truly cared for me or who was ready to discard me when I didn’t fit their image. It’s sad when things end, but not everything is a loss. Some things work out for the better only when you allow it and stop fighting the process.

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How did you move on from situations that no longer served a purpose in your life?

Stop Wasting Your Own Time

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I’m sure by now you saw the pictures of the singer Cassie who is now married and pregnant. She spent the last ten years dating Diddy. Everyone kept saying that Diddy wasted her time, and they’re happy she moved on. I’m delighted for her as well. Judging by the photos, it appears that she’s in the right place. I would be remiss if I didn’t bring up the elephant in the room. Diddy didn’t waste her time unless she permitted him. That statement may be triggering for some but hear me out first. At any time Cassie could’ve walked away. Once she saw Diddy wasn’t going to give her what she wanted, then exit stage left. We can go and go about what people are doing to us but what about what we allow? You tell others how to treat you by what you will enable them to do. It’s easier to curve behavior when it’s not a habit. Once it’s committed to memory, it’s challenging to get someone to change.

I’m sure Cassie spent many days telling Diddy her expectations. I remember Diddy stating in interviews that he didn’t want to get married, nor did it appear that he wanted more children. The ball was in Cassie’s court to decide the next steps to make. She decided to stay, and now ten years later, she wanted out to pursue what she wanted. Nothing wrong with moving on, but she allowed herself to wait that long. Going after what you want is a smarter choice to make, as it will make you much happier. Telling someone that you aren’t buying what they’re selling is a liberating feeling. Remember, you aren’t asking for too much, you’re asking the wrong person to provide it. Maybe Cassie stayed to see if things would turn around. I’m not going to fault her for that as we all did that at some point. There comes a time when you have to accept responsibility for your actions. You don’t have control over anyone else but yourself. If someone isn’t doing something to make you happy, it’s time to move on.

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That’s the reason why a man can date a woman for six months and propose whereas he’ll date another woman for ten years. Men know who they want when they want. Ladies, we need to notice when the writing’s on the wall, it’s up to us to make a decision. The decision isn’t always up to men, and women have a say as well. You can’t stay in a sub-par situation and put all the blame on the other person. You decided to stick around, so you have to own your consequences. I get the feeling that Cassie knows this, and that’s why she’s not bashing Diddy.

I’m writing this for the folks who blame Diddy when Cassie wasted her own time. Person accountability is a step that most people won’t take. However, it’s smarter to own your part instead of playing the blame game. Learn from your mistakes so you can avoid this same mishap in the future.

What are some examples of you wasting your own time, and how did you resolve it?

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One Day Mad Rule

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I recently instituted a new rule in my life called the one-day mad rule. That means that I allow myself only one day to be upset. I have that whole day to work through whatever issues I’m having. Once I wake up the next day, it’s old news. I can no longer be upset about what happened yesterday. I have to exercise, hike, or anything to get my mind off what’s bothering me. The main objective is not to carry that anger with me through the next day. I’m telling you since I forced myself to adapt to this rule it’s been a complete game-changer. I had to get used to the idea, so it was a huge struggle at first. I’ve been following this for a month, and it increased my mood drastically. I’m in a much happier place, and most importantly I stopped getting on my nerves. Yes, that’s an authentic thing!

When you learn how to manage your emotions, it makes you a more pleasant person. People want to be around you more, and you overall give out positive vibes/energy. Plus, life is too short so what’s the point of holding onto all that negative energy? If you’re upset with someone forgive them and let it go. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to allow that person to stay in your life. It just means you won’t let that person remain rent-free in your head. When you’re holding all that toxic energy, you’re the one impacted. Whoever hurt you most likely doesn’t know nor care. There’s no point in wasting precious time on things that aren’t aiding your mental health. The one-day mad rule will take getting used to, but the benefits are worthwhile.

Start small and commit yourself to make a change. Once you decide that you will make this change, it becomes easier. Also, when I see myself getting frustrated, that’s when I take a break. I go for a walk, listen to music, etc. Anything to get my mind off the anger. Putting yourself in a different mindset helps you to make decisions from a logical standpoint instead of emotions. That will keep you from having to apologize often due to hurt feelings. That’s the difference between adults and children. Adults learn when to speak, apply their emotions, and when to keep quiet. If you haven’t mastered this art it takes time and practice to perfect it. However, I committed to change my behavior. I’m going to fall short, but I’m going to keep at it until it becomes second nature. My one-day mad rule is here to stay!

What are some ways that you learned how to handle and manage your emotions?

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7 Deadly Sins of Dating

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With 2020 just around the corner, it’s becoming even more important to rid yourself of the deadly sins of dating. You must avoid these sins to have a productive relationship. The list that I compiled is by no means all of them, but the ones I feel will quietly kill a romance before it has time to bloom.

Ghosting

Come on people it’s 2019 and ghosting is still a thing. I understand not wanting to hurt someone’s feelings but trust me leaving their messages unread isn’t the answer. Of course, some folks will take the hint and move along. Whereas other people may feel desperate to continue because they aren’t sure where things took a wrong turn. My advice is DON’T DO THAT EVER! I don’t care how great the person is or if the chemistry was on 1,000. People who are vested in you don’t ghost PERIOD. If this happens chunk of the deuces and start dating other people. It is critical not to put all your eggs in one basket. Especially if that person hasn’t displayed that they’re worthy of you doing so.

Bare Minimum Standards

Let me break it down if you aren’t familiar with the concept. It is praising your dates over necessary dating etiquette. For example, texting back, opening the car door, and checking that you arrived home safely to name a few. With standards that low nobody can complain about getting less than stellar dating prospects. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have standards as they’re necessary while dating. However, set your standards a bit higher to weed out the non-committers from your dating pool.

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Being a Pick Me

I’m not going to lie I wasn’t as familiar with this deadly sin previously. I honestly had to ask a few friends what this was. In a nutshell, it’s someone who screams desperation. They will say and do anything to get someone to date them. Even if that means settling for less and not having their requirements met. Dating has become so challenging that it’s hard for people to maintain positive. It’s essential to stay with a positive mindset at all times while dating. Things can be bleak and then turn around in an instant. Never settle as forever is too long of a time to be miserable.

Holding on to Past Hurt

Remember the old saying the best way to get over someone is being with someone new. I personally only agree with that statement if you’re ready to move on. Making others pay is played out, and we’re too grown for that. Your date has nothing to do with the situation, so why should they suffer? Do the right thing like Spike Lee and don’t start until you’re emotionally, physically, spiritually, and mentally healed. Otherwise, you will be helping to create more damaged people, and there’s enough of that.

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Consistently Inconsistent

That is a term I coined to describe someone who can’t consistently be present, but who will pop up from time to time. They will send that dreaded “I miss you” text or the classic “Hey stranger.”Ugh please do us all a favor and go away like the dinosaurs. Nobody wants or needs that in their lives. If you don’t have time to date, then be an adult and say that. I have a better idea: DON’T DATE until you can devote time to it. Overly simple right. It will avoid so much drama and make dating so much easier.

Lying

Of course, this deadly sin is apparent, but I would be remiss if I didn’t put it on the list. The whole point of the dating phase is to see how things would pan out on a romantic level. If you’re dishonest during this phase that pretty much describes what someone would look forward to in the future. We all tell little white lies. For example, I ate pizza when I stated I would eat salad as apart of my new diet. If a person lies about something significant like where they work and not having kids. Those are red flags that are too glaring to be ignored.

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Rushing

It’s essential to remember that while dating the purpose is to get to know someone and see if a relationship can build based on similar interest. None of this can occur when rushing comes into play. That could mean after the 2nd date ready to move in together. Some people may feel that’s too soon, while others are all for it. You have to take the time to figure the other person out before determining the best way to proceed. Making sure both parties are moving at a healthy pace will make the dating phase more comfortable and enjoyable.

That’s my list on the seven deadly sins of dating. I’m thinking about revisiting this sometime in the future to add more. Let me know your thoughts, and what are some of your deadly sins of dating? Please rate, comment, share, and subscribe.

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Happy dating!