Quarantine Life Part 2: Glow Up

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With all the time we have to think and focus on what’s to come. Now is the best time to work on the things you’ve been putting off. There’s only so much television, social media, and phone conversations you can have. At some point, you have to take action. While everyone else is focusing on mundane things, you can be working on your glow up. Yes, there is no time like the present. I was moping around complaining about what I’m going to do? There’s only so much working and Netflix I can take. Besides the fact of being alive (Thank God), I have too much free time to waste. I’m not bashing anyone who may feel that surviving is good enough for them. I hope nobody feels slighted or ridiculed in any way. This post is for those people who want to glow up and need an extra incentive to do so.

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Fitness

I’ve been talking about wanting to work out again for a while. I felt the pounds coming on, and I was over it! Through the power of the Internet (via Facebook), my former boot camp coach contacted me after reading my comment about exercising. It started as a 21-day calorie quarantine crusher challenge. I’m currently on the 21-day 2.0 version, and this week I started the healthy living portion of the program. I’m addicted to working out again in a short amount of time. I’ve continuously been exercising since April 6th. I lost 4 inches so far, and I can’t believe how strong I’m becoming. I’m pushing myself like I never have before. I have more motivation behind why I’m taking this fitness journey seriously this time around. I may or may not share some time in the future. My main point is to set a realistic goal of getting into shape, and you’ll become addicted as well. Fitness has helped to improve my mood, which brings me to my next point of self-care.

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Self-Care

I speak about therapy often on this blog, so there’s no surprise why it’s apart of this post. Mental health issues are skyrocketing during this time. The self-isolation alone is enough to drive anyone crazy. Be sure to check in with yourself daily. Whether you decide to seek therapy or not, you need to have an outlet. The self-isolation isn’t the time to hold your emotions in as it can have dire consequences. You can journal as well if you don’t feel comfortable sharing with others. Anything to express how you feel will do wonders. The main point is to get rid of those negative thoughts in your head. Be careful how you speak to yourself and what you allow yourself to hear. Negative talk can seep into your brain and get into your sub-conscience. Then ultimately, it will manifest into disruptive behaviors. Now is a perfect time to work on self-care if that’s an area that needs improvement. You have loads of time to practice, so get to it!

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Career

I wrote a few posts back about my plans to get a new job this year. I started the process, but so far it hasn’t panned out. Rejection is redirection into an area I need to be. I began to look inward at my network for a job as I would like to have a regression proof career. That regardless of what’s going on in the world, I would still be able to support myself. I had two informational interviews so far, and I’m currently working on the third. I struggled to try to secure these networking opportunities before coronavirus, but now it’s happening—the exact definition of a blessing in disguise. Based on the feedback I received, I need to get additional training under my belt to aid in securing a new job. It will show future employers that I’m capable and ready for the new role. I know which training I need to take because it’s what’s required/most requested. This information is critical because, without these informational interviews, I wouldn’t have known. When the next job prospects come along, I’ll be more prepared. My biggest takeaway was if I want to get to the next level, then utilize my network. You never know who someone knows or how that one interaction can bring you closer to your dreams.

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Finances

It is sad to hear on the news about the unemployment numbers. I’m grateful I can work from home and still receive a paycheck. The quarantine shed light for me about how I need to create a better financial safety net for myself. As the old saying goes, if you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready. I recently checked my 401(k) to see when the last time I re-balanced it. (If you aren’t familiar with the term, research it.) That is something that you should check periodically. You have to change your elections to receive the maximum benefit. Any safety net you create has to be under constant review. The safety nets include (in addition to 401(k)) Roth IRA, savings account, CD, stocks and bonds, 529 plans, Simple IRA, SEP IRA, traditional IRA, and Roth 401(k) to name a few. I’m not trying to provide any financial advice. This information is provided strictly as informational, and it’s up to you to decide what’s best for you and your family. Having these safety nets removes the worry about what will happen in the event of an economic downturn. Even if you aren’t in a position to participate now, you can still learn for later use. The more you know, the more informed financial decisions you can make in the future.

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Your idea of glowing up can be completely different from mine, but you get the picture. It is a blessing to have this much free time on your heads. You can concentrate on all the things that you swept under the rug. Glowing up isn’t limited to clothing/appearance (I have purchased new clothes, so stay tuned world) but about what you’re feeding your mind and soul. I’m going to leave you with a quote my fitness coach told me. “If you don’t feel like doing something, then now is the best time to start.” I couldn’t have said it any better myself. Now go out there and glow up like a diamond!

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Don’t forget to check out the discussion question before you go, and I’ll see you in the next post.

How do you plan on glowing up during this quarantine?

Quarantine Life Part 1: Relationships

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I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted here. It’s been a lot trying to get through the current stay at home order. I’ve observed something about relationships during this quarantine life. I’m going to write a three-part series, including this post about my direct and indirect experiences that the quarantine life has impacted. I was in a relationship before this coronavirus changed our lives drastically. Once the stay at home order started my relationship eventually changed. I let him stay with me (in hindsight, that was a bad idea)for three weeks. Honestly, I learned an infinite amount about myself into two categories, what I did well and what needs improvement. I realized within those three weeks how incompatible we were. He was happy as he got everything he wanted, but my needs not so much.

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There were red flags that kept coming up that I tried to look past. Let’s say something came up that I couldn’t ignore anymore. With the help of the quarantine, it allowed us to speed things up and notice that we weren’t right for each other. No love lost as you live and learn. The pro to this situation is that it saved me heartache later on. I discovered this information in less than two months as opposed to four/five months down the line. That sounds like a blessing to me. I’ve never lived with a man before, so that was a significant growing pain for me. I have to be with someone I’m compatible with, as it will be much easier to compromise within a relationship. When you’re with someone, you have a deep connection with compromising will come naturally. Unfortunately, my newfound relationship was short lived. I gained knowledge that now I know the changes I’m making are in the right direction. Now I need to find someone I’m more connected with, and that will be my last relationship (God willing!).

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I notice that relationships are taking a toll during this time as well. I heard my neighbors arguing across the hall the other week. I never want to be in a relationship like that. The way the woman was yelling at her boyfriend, I thought I was in trouble. Sorry not sorry, but if someone can yell at you, then it’s time to go. I always believed that if someone could yell, then they can raise their hand to you. I don’t have time for either situation, so I’m out, no, thank you. I can see why domestic violence is going up if this is the situation folks are experiencing. I know a few people who’s relationships have ended due to the quarantine. I guess their relationship couldn’t handle the proximity to each other. That’s something I don’t understand either. If you’re with someone you can’t stand, then how did the relationship occur? The new criteria to add to your dating questionnaire is, can you be quarantine with this person? If the answer is no, then keep it moving. You’re going to be spending massive amounts of time with this person, so you should want to be around them.

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Stop getting into relationships with people you only spent limited amount of time getting to know. I have a few coworkers who were complaining about not being back at work. I asked them why, and the response was they couldn’t stand their spouse. Again I’m confused as to why a person would marry someone they don’t like. The quarantine life is going to show different aspects of a relationship. Either it’s stable, and this situation will only make things healthier, or the relationship will be coming apart at the seams. Of course, this time will be difficult on everyone, and it’s essential to be with someone who will help you through this event. I suffer from anxiety, and while I was still in my relationship, it took a beating. It was something about that relationship that was bothering my spirit. God has a way of telling us things if we would only listen. It took me going through that rough patch to realize it was time to move on. Better late than never as it could’ve been worst.

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Being in the home 24/7 is an emotional blow to anyone, particularly those who suffer from mental health issues. My anxiety was through the roof for the first few weeks of the stay at home order. I would have panic attacks, and I had trouble sleeping. What has been a tremendous help to me is exercising, yoga, meditation, reading, writing, virtual happy hours, and my all-time favorite therapy. There are so many other things you could be doing during this time. I’m sure there is something you want to do that you’ve been putting off. Now is the perfect time as any to focus on those goals that have been on the back burner. The bright side of this is that it will give you something else to discuss. Talking about the same thing over and over becomes tedious, especially during this time. Bringing something else to the table will break up the monotony. Let’s try something different since you don’t have anything better to do. You mind as well be more constructive with your time. I saw someone who made a dress and put braids in her hair, thanks to YouTube University. Be creative and Glow Up! By the way, that’s the title of the second part of this series.

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Don’t forget to get involved in the discussion questions below:

Has the quarantine impacted your relationships in a positive or negative light?
What steps are you taking to help keep yourself sane during this time?

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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?

New Year, New Beginnings

What a ride 2018 was for me and I’m sure for many of you as well. As I look back on the past year, I made a lot of strides both personally and professionally. I started a new job which next month will make it a year within the role. My blog is turning one year old next week. I traveled to four different places. I met new and old friends along my journey throughout the year. I further my love for horror by attending three horror conventions. As humans, we tend to focus on the negative and completely negate the positives that have occurred. One thing, in particular, is how much I’ve grown throughout the year. I first started this blog as a way for me to help others by sharing similar situations and feelings. Little did I know that the person who would benefit the most would be me. I learned so much about myself through this journey of being a blogger for a year. I learned that to be successful; I would have to open myself up to how and why I’m at this point in my life. There were things that I allowed to hold me back from accomplishing my goals. I had to go through a self-discovery where I had to look myself in the mirror and be honest. I had things about myself that I didn’t like and I needed to correct. I’m still a work in progress, but the most important part is that I’m working on making the necessary changes.

Instead of waiting for the “New Year.” I started to implement those changes before the start of 2019. It was the best decision I ever made. It’s not perfect by any means, and unfortunately, I do fall short here and there. The critical piece to remember is to continue to try your best at whatever you are doing. Obstacles will come your way but keep it moving as not to derail your purpose. Keep your eye on the prize and never forget the reason why you are going for the gold. The difference between the person who goes after their goals and the person who doesn’t is all about willpower. Mental willpower to be exact. Mentally you will have to push through as there will be times when you will want to give up. There will be times when you are tired, unmotivated, uninspired, and don’t want to do it. Those are the times when your mental willpower will have to kick into overdrive. We are human, and of course, you may want a break. However, taking a break can turn into a few days, weeks, months, and then years. You don’t want time to pass by, and you are still waiting for “next year” to achieve your goals.

The power of the mind is mighty as well as the power of the tongue. Think it and then speak it into existence. You manifest what you get in life. It sounds insane to say that your mind is powerful, but it’s a very true statement. If you think and speak negatively, that will consume your life, and that’s all that you will become. Change your mindset towards a more favorable outcome, and you will yield different results. Manifest what you precisely want and watch it blossom. Nothing good will come unless you believe it first. Cheers to 2019 and to all the wonderful blessings to come!

Until next time,