When you hear the word self-care what comes to mind? For me, it’s something that I don’t do enough. I’m always running around but never take the time to focus on myself entirely. We all need time to ourselves to unwind from the stresses of the day. You can’t be fully present for others if you have yet to be there for yourself. I’m learning that I can’t give my all and saying no is okay. I still feel guilty when I do however not being there for myself is even worse. How can you say you love yourself if you don’t give yourself the same care as everything else? Internally you deserve the same amount of attention as your job, bills, etc. No more excuses! From this day forward self-care will no longer be a slogan but a complete lifestyle change.
I concluded that I lacked self-care while being on this leadership council for a non-profit organization. I tried to make myself available to all the meetings and any activities that came up. Due to my work commitments being on this council was proving to be quite challenging. It didn’t matter however because I was determined to give back even if meant hurting myself in the process. Since this council is new, it requires a lot of time and effort. I could provide support but only in a limited capacity. I started to see that my availability and the council needs weren’t in alignment. I kept forcing myself to fit into a puzzle piece that doesn’t fit. I realize that honestly, I could give my all but at what cost? Sure I would be giving back, but I won’t be fully present as I would be exhausted. I have to take better care of myself if I’m going to be an asset. Until I cater to my needs, I can’t possibly be there for others.
Putting others before yourself is selfish because as a human you have needs as well. Not catering to your own needs creates resentment. Taking time to recharge your batteries gives you the space you need so you can get in touch with yourself. Also, it’s okay if you can’t be involved in everything. It’s better to dedicate yourself to a few events as opposed to every occasion and not enjoying it. Be honest about what your schedule permits. People may expect more but don’t let guilt deter you. Don’t let others have free reign over your time as you don’t get that back. You should be happy and excited anytime you are spending time on something. If your energy is continuously depleting that means you are neglecting your needs and you need to look into that. I’m practicing self-care currently, and unfortunately, it’s taking some adjustments on my part. I’m hoping you do the same if you haven’t started already. What are some of your self-care methods that you tried? Please share your comments below. Don’t forget to fill your daily dose of self-care or seek your treatment as needed.
Until next time,
When you reach a certain age particularly in your thirties, you start to wonder where your life is going. Often you will question if the choices you made previously impact where you currently are. You have to realize that you made the best decisions you could at the time. You pray for the best and hope that if the worst comes that you deal with it the best way possible. I look at my personal life, and I wonder where precisely did I fail? I seem to have everything going right professionally but not so much in my romantic life. If I’m honest, I feel this way due to society and family pressure. I don’t think some of my family members realize how hurtful it feels to continually state where are my husband and children. It makes you feel like as a woman if you don’t have either then you have failed in life. I’m not saying I don’t want them, but it will happen in due time. It would be nice if some people in my life would understand that and support where I am currently.
I still have so much traveling to do, and I’m currently working on living my best life. I haven’t done much of this in the past. I’m living, but I’m not living my life to the fullest. I’m becoming a complete bore with just working and going home. There is more to life than working and sitting around waiting for something or someone to come into my life. I decided I needed to start trying to keep myself busy. I kept myself busy by planning more activities and stop making excuses when I get invited out. Surely I won’t meet my future husband in the house, so I have to live a little to meet him. Comfortably being in a routine doesn’t allow for change to occur. You have to break the cycle to see growth and development. I started to break the habit by coming out of my shell by doing the things I enjoy more often. I began to spend more time with friends, working out again, getting back to my writing, planning vacations, and trying new activities such as painting.
To be a great wife and mother, I need to be a happier person. Once I work on this then whomever I am supposed to be with will find me. I’m not going to rush a relationship because people around me feel that I should. Until that time comes, I am going to continue working on being a better me and having a more fulfilling life. The addition of a husband and children will aid in that happiness. The most important part is that I need to be happy beforehand. If I’m not open and willing for love to come into my life, then the things I’m looking for won’t happen. Get right within yourself before getting into a relationship and never stop improving on yourself once you are in one. Doing this will aid in the longevity of your relationship for years to come.
Until next time,
I can’t be the only person who has this issue. I have the hardest time saying no to people. I believe deep down I’m afraid of disappointing people if I say no. It’s as if I’m letting people down by not doing what they ask of me. However, what I’m realizing is that I’m causing more harm than good. When you put others before yourself, you start to neglect your wants and needs. There is nothing wrong with helping others, but it can’t come as a detriment to yourself. Here are four questions to consider before agreeing to assist someone with their affairs.
- Will this put my aspirations on the back burner?
Remember it is admirable for you to help others, but, if your own goals are affected, think before taking on more than you can handle. You will become resentful and bitter if your goals take a backseat due to helping others. It is best to make sure that you have the time available to continue to pursue your goals while supporting others.
- Will this impact me financially?
Friends and family may fall on hard times and ask for you to assist them when it comes to money. However, keep in mind that you aren’t obligated to provide them with this assistance. If you don’t have the funds be honest and don’t give out something that you need for yourself. Your friends and family may even try to guilt you into providing them with the support. Please don’t give them your last especially if you are struggling yourself. Do you need this money back that you are giving out? If so, think about how this will impact your relationship with that individual if you don’t receive your money back. I learned a long time ago that if I give cash out don’t expect it back. Doing this will avoid many arguments that may arise.
- Will you be overwhelmed by assisting?
Despite our best efforts things in life can and will come up. Whether it be work or unexpected life events that may occur. Helping others should never become overwhelming or even feel like a burden to you. Assisting others only works once all of your related activities are complete. The reason this becomes an issue is that you are doing too much at one time. Let me tell you this is a disaster as you will become frustrated. You can even snap at a moment’s notice due to your growing agitation. The way to not feel overwhelmed is to make sure you have time to offer your support. Don’t just say yes due to the fear of what telling no would cause. Be honest if you have too much on your plate and are unable to provide support at this time.
- Are you indeed able to assist at this moment?
People will respect you more if you are honest about what you can handle. Don’t feel as if you must say yes or else. Taking on more than you can chew only hurts you in the end. When people see that you will take on any and everything they will begin to take advantage of you. It is up to you to stand up for yourself and let people know when enough is enough. If you can’t help in the full capacity that the individual is expecting, then explain what you can do. A person who loves you doesn’t care how much you will contribute when any little bit can help. If someone gives you a hard time about it, then you will know in the future where you stand with that person.
Before responding back to someone about supporting them remember these four questions and then proceed to provide your answer. Make these questions a habit of answering before agreeing to help others. The critical thing to remember is that to be of assistance to someone is to be fully available to help. Learning to say no is difficult as I struggle with it myself. But taking the time to think before saying yes is a better option. You will allow yourself time to assess in what capacity you can help and what precisely you can provide. This way you are assisting on your terms, and you will feel less inundated in the process.
Until next time,
With the growing acknowledgment of the “Me Too” movement, it has brought to light the injustices that many people face on a daily basis. Of course, this is a great thing that the issues of the “Me Too” movement are coming to the forefront. Comprising positions can hopefully be avoided in the future. Unfortunately, there are still a few issues that haven’t seen the light of day. One problem, in particular, is when a sexual violation occurs at the hands of a family member or friend of the family. One thing that I would hear often growing up (and I’m sure you overheard this as well) is don’t leave your child around so and so. I understand rumors and how you don’t want a rumor to destroy a person’s reputation. However, for speculations to grow over time, there has to be some validity to the whispers going around. Case in point look at Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby. Those rumors followed them for years, and now years later we are discovering that indeed they were correct. There were many women impacted by both these men, and if just one person would’ve spoken up, it could’ve prevented so much anguish.
It is incredible that people are finally speaking out against Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby. However, we all need to speak out even if it’s someone close to us. We need to protect our women and children better. It doesn’t matter if you knew this person for years. Once a sexual violation has occurred the moral thing to do is call the authorities. I’m aware getting the police involved particularity when it pertains to Black people can have dire consequences. Honestly, this type of matter shouldn’t have the appearance of being seen as being nonchalant. By protecting the abuser and shunning the victims, there is a horrible message that is coming across. We are telling the victims to keep their mouths shut as what they say isn’t important. Also, we are allowing the abuser to continue hurting other people. Psychologically this will have lasting effects on the victims. Victims may feel suicidal, withdrawn from society, perform self-harm, and struggle with intimacy. Depending on how young the abuse starts this will impact their development as they will be conflicted about what occurred. Their body will respond differently from their mind. Unfortunately, this type of confusion will lead them to feel like it is their fault for what happened. If the abuser admits their wrongdoing at all, it comes with an idiotic statement about being enticed. We need to change our approach to discussing topics such as this to help the victims move forward with their lives.
I understand the touchy nature of this topic makes people want to shy away from it. However, this is important enough that it needs everyone’s full attention. There are many people out there who are impacted by this cycle of abuse. One of the worst things you can do is tell someone they are lying. Please understand the amount of courage that was taken to come forward. When someone is describing in great detail what transpired, they are not lying. Keep in mind if you are telling the truth you never have to remember a lie. Also, not believing someone when they tell you what happened to them is terrible as well. It, unfortunately, relives the whole ordeal all over again when nobody trusts what the victim says. The idea reinforces the belief that the victim is at fault for what occurred to them. Giving support to this situation and being there as a shoulder to lean on is essential. Most importantly please stop protecting these abusers! Speak out and get the authorities involved as soon as possible. You will help to save someone from a lifetime of grief that some take years to overcome if they do at all.
Until next time,
For me, one of the hardest things to do is be proud of myself. I am my own worst critic. I am always looking for the next thing that I forget to stop and smell the roses. I hear all the time from family and friends about how well I’m doing. Unfortunately, I don’t feel the same way they do. I feel as if there is more I should be doing and I have to stop procrastinating to get it accomplished. In my own eyes, I don’t feel like I have accomplished much and there is much more for me to do. I had a conversation with my best friend the other day, and I realized that I am extremely strict with myself. I rarely give myself credit for anything, and I’m always trying to see what I could’ve done differently. The goals I have accomplished I failed to pat myself on the back and say a good job. If you don’t toot your own horn then who will? To be happy about where you are going, you have to acknowledge where you been.
I took time away from blogging to focus on the goals I set for myself so far this year and what I completed. While I had this time to reflect I realized that I cultivated a lot in short amount of time. I got a promotion; I started this blog which I wanted to do for years, got my savings up, and started traveling again more regularly. There are more goals on my list for this year, but so far I’m doing very well. Had I not stop to think about what I accomplished I would’ve missed out on all that I did. I must say it felt pretty good knowing what I’ve done so far this year. I finally patted myself on the back, and I deserved the recognition. Taking the time to reflect on my goals helped me to see that I am not doing as horrible as I thought. It also helped me to stop being so hard on myself. I have to stop and appreciate things more as life is too short not to.
My best advice to anyone that is in the same boat as me is to enjoy life as it is happening. Don’t be so caught up in trying to get to the next thing that you stop appreciating what’s in front of you. It is essential to stop and admire the beautiful things currently in your life. You work so hard for what you have, and it is critical to enjoying the fruits of your labor. You owe it to yourself to congratulate yourself on your current successes while looking forward to the future.
Until next time,
During this past week, Cardi B announced her pregnancy with her first child. Congratulations to her as babies are an incredible blessing. The comments that I kept seeing online were appalling to me. Many people were saying that it’s too early in her career to have a child and others were saying that her career will fail once she gives birth. These comments sadden me as comments such as these are never told to men when they become fathers. A man’s career, as well as his life, isn’t impacted at all when becoming a father. In fact, children are not only seen as a blessing but as a way for a man to mature as well. I believe the way that society views men are the reason why their lives don’t change when they become fathers. A man is supposed to be a provider, and if that role is lacking, then he is seen as a deadbeat. Whereas if women have a career and aren’t home, she is looked down upon as an awful mother. Therefore, this way of thinking reinforces the view that women should be in the house with the children. There is nothing wrong with being a stay at home mom. However, women shouldn’t be made to feel that still pursuing a career after a baby is wrong to continue.
Due to societal woes and what family may say many women will put their family plans on hold for their careers. I am one of those women as I keep waiting for a perfect time to start a family. I want to make sure that I won’t be an absentee parent. Another major factor is the financial aspect as it is very costly to raise a family. Then you want to be in a two-parent household as it’s essential to raise a child with both parents. The list goes on with how many reasons I could come up with for the waiting game to continue. Of course, waiting too long comes with its own set of challenges, but that’s another post for another day. My main point here is that women feel the need to compartmentalize their entire lives before starting the family. There are no issues with that, but one must recognize that life doesn’t fit neatly in a little box. One must be flexible as life takes on many shapes and sizes. You have to be able to roll with the punches and have faith that everything will work out. If things don’t work out as planned, you will figure out what needs to occur to get you back on track.
What I learned from this Cardi B situation is that there is no right time to do anything. Honestly, if you are waiting for a proper time, you will be waiting forever. Yes, there may be an ideal time to do something, but the way life goes who knows when that will happen. If you are ready to start having your family, then go for it. Others may feel that you are making the wrong decision, but it’s yours to make. Also, don’t believe that you have to give up your hopes and dreams just because you are a mother. Children are a blessing and not a burden. Children can be a great motivator and will energize a woman to work even harder to support her family. Salute to all the women out there who are working hard to take care of their children while still pursuing their dreams. I am proud of you and continue to shine on all these haters out there. Your motherhood is a strength and not a weakness. View motherhood as another form of representation of you but not all that you can do.
Until next time,
I write poetry as well, and I wanted to share with you a poem that I composed. Periodically I will share my poems on this blog while staying true to the relationship-centric view of my page. The poem that I am going to share today is entitled, “Paralyzed.” This poem is about domestic violence occurring within a relationship. I hope that this poem will resonate with someone and give them the courage to walk away from the situation before it’s too late. Also, please share this poem with anyone who may need to read its contents.