Quarantine Life Part 3: Embracing Change

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I understand that people need things to return to normal. Keep in mind our previous way of life wasn’t all that glamorous. We worked long hours, hardly spent time with family, gave away our dreams, and for some trying to keep up with the Joneses. This quarantine time has been very reflective for me, reflecting on my life pre-COVID to now. I don’t want things to go back to how they were. Yes, I’m looking forward to getting back outside, but I want things to be different. In the coming paragraphs, I’m going to discuss why change after the COVID pandemic is a good thing and what I expect to change. With the current reset, we’ve now is the perfect time to examine our lives to see what changes we can make for the better. 

Family Time

I’m close to my family, but if I’m honest, we could be spending more time together. I can’t remember the last time I’ve spoken to my family this much. We’ve been reaching out more via phone calls and video chats. We even made plans to do more traveling and spend more time together very soon. This ordeal made us realize now more than ever the importance of family. Having loved ones who genuinely care for you is so amazing. You have to embrace and cherish those moments. Anytime that we get to spend together is a blessing that we mustn’t take for granted. Life is fleeting, and this quarantine is proving that every day. Live in the moment for as long as you can and let go of unnecessary baggage. Move forward in love is the best option and provides a more fulfilling life. 

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Work/Life Balance

Before COVID, I was working a lot. Not as much as I’ve been in the past but enough to interfere with my life. Cue in traveling, which helped to break up the tedious daily routine. I would have fun while enjoying a break from work. Now during this quarantine, I’ve had time to reflect on the things that matter in this world. Honestly, work is not as important as your life. Anyone working until oblivion makes no sense, especially since these companies will replace you in a heartbeat. Supporting yourself and your family is critical, but there needs to be a balance. Take those vacations, sick, and personal days. Work will be there once you return. Burning yourself out will only cause resentment, depression, and anger into your life. You don’t want to look back on what you should’ve done. There are no do-overs in life, so it’s best to live it to the fullest. 

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Dream Chaser

I’ve wanted to be a writer for as long as I could remember. Unfortunately, I didn’t follow my heart as I believed that I could never make a living doing what I loved. Instead, I took up a more practical skill to make an honest living. The projections that others put on you is more of a reflection of themselves than you. I wish I would’ve listened and followed my gut instinct years ago. My regret as far as writing goes is that I should’ve started sooner. Anyway, it’s better late than never. I’m telling you that narrative as an example to chase your dreams. Sure, people will think you’re out of your mind, but so what? Do you want to look back on your life and wish, or do you want to live for you now? That’s your only option as you can’t go after your dreams and please people. If people are going to be mad, at least be winning at your goals. During this quarantine, you see how quickly things can change in a matter of minutes. Chase your dreams with the highest amount of urgency and give people something to discuss. 

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Love Unapologetically

One thing that saddens me during this time is the lack of empathy for others. I hear people say I don’t know anyone impacted, so the virus isn’t that serious. That is beyond disrespectful to the men and women who risk their lives daily as essential employees. I know four people who suffered from COVID, and one person still battling it. I never thought I would live in a world where this would be the norm. As a human being, you need to show compassion to others. You are blessed not to know anyone personally, but don’t be miserable about it to others. Also, let’s please learn to celebrate someone else’s successes. The number of negative responses I see regarding someone saying they purchased a new home, a new promotion, etc. is unwarranted. Have some of you lost your humanity? That’s why things aren’t going right for you because you can’t be happy for others. When someone is in their winning season, cheer them on. I’m sure you want the same thing when it’s your turn. Learn to be happy for others and watch how you become blessed—being mean spirited blocks your happiness every time. Don’t be afraid to give and spread love. Love is something that we all can’t get enough of, and it’s best when shared among many people. 

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That concludes the last part of my quarantine life series. I hope you all enjoyed reading as much as I had fun writing it. I understand how easy it is to look at this from a negative vantage point. My intention with creating this series was to show the positive aspects during the quarantine life. This reset button, as I like to call it, allows us to reevaluate our lives for the better. I understand the difficulties many are facing, and I pray that things turn around very soon. I hope that this series gave you some solace of better days ahead. If I learned anything, it’s that perception is everything. If I perceive it isn’t good, then it is. However, if I believe things are lovely, then they are. As the old saying goes, perception is reality. It’s up to you which reality you want to represent you. 

Don’t forget to check out the discussion question before you go, and I’ll see you next time!

What do you want to change or stay the same after quarantine? Why or why not? 

The Downfall of People Pleasing

I discussed the importance of self-care and self-love openly on this blog page. Honestly, at times I feel like a fraud because I’m not living up to the truth that I preach. One issue is that I tend to second-guess myself and scrutinized everything. I’m so concerned with making mistakes that not only do I still make them but they are worse than I could even imagine. The reason for this stress is due to my issue of people pleasing.  I get so worried about what my family may think or believe. I know it doesn’t matter what others say and it’s important to live your life for you. Trust me I get it, and I heard all those reasons before. However, when you’re always in your head none of that matters. You believe that no matter what decision you make it’s still the wrong one. If my choices are going to cause harm to those around me, then it’s best to avoid the risk. That is a horrible way to live and not the best way to view things.

I wish that I could say that I don’t care what family thinks of me, but it’s not true. I get down on myself because I want to be happier in life. Delighted people don’t focus on the opinions of others. Their primary objective is to ensure their happiness supersedes everything else around them. I can’t wait for that to me as I’m continuously struggling with this daily. The next few paragraphs are an open letter to myself about how I’m going to not only love myself more but how I will implement these changes. I hope that reading this will help others out there learn to do the same.

Thkeya what can I say we have been on this beautiful journey called life together for the past 33 years. You have made such a positive impact on the lives of so many around you. The sad part is nobody understands the pain that you deal with on the daily. You go from happiness to sadness as the wind blows. All of this nonsense is due to you not being happy within yourself. Your wants and needs have fallen to the wayside to help those in need. Especially if it pertains to your family, you will go above and beyond to help them. There’s nothing wrong with being there for them but what about you? Are your desires not of great importance? At some point, you have to take a break from saving the world and focus on you. Since you’re responsible and reliable, your family will often overlook being there for you. They don’t believe that you need assistance. Therefore, it’s hardly granted or asked.

You’re still human at the end of the day and not a superhero. You need to take your cape off to rest and regroup for your mental wellbeing. I know you’re worried because every time you do you feel like you’re selfish. In the famous words of  Iyanla Vanzant, “It’s selfish not to put yourself first.” I understand hearing all this is a lot for you. You’re most likely furious with me for even bringing this up. I don’t care what you want to hear because you need to listen to this. If you don’t make changes NOW, it will have dire consequences for you. Resentment is close to creeping in, and that’s a horrible sign. Some changes need to occur, and I’m begging you to make them sooner than later.

Of course, I would never leave you with all this to unpack and not try to help you implement changes ASAP. The first solution is to continue with therapy. I know it’s scary and you felt like you can do all this on your own. Well, therapy will help with these new demons that are coming to the surface. You need the proper tools to help deal with the range of emotions that you’re experiencing. I know you want to say you got this, but it’s a more prominent sign of strength to say I need help. Anyone who puts you down about this decision doesn’t need to be in your life period. You will gain more confidence, and that radiance that is inside will be shining out even more.

The second solution is following your heart and trust your instincts more. You know what’s best for you so stop doubting yourself. It’s exceptionally frustrating to watch you go over and over a decision when you got this. Kill the self-doubt and follow your first mind. It’s boring not taking risks anyway. The third solution is to stop waiting for a mythical time in the future to do something. The best time to do it is NOW! If you hold on for a great time to happen in life then literally nothing will ever occur. That’s not how life works. You don’t get to follow down this smooth path with rose petals. It’s bumpy, messy, confusing and filled with heartache along the way. The best you can do is pray for a perfect outcome and figure it out if it doesn’t happen. The fourth and final solution is to stop caring about what others have to say. I don’t care if it’s your 4th cousin twice removed let that negative energy go. I know it feels like you ‘re getting picked on and that’s why you take it to heart. Stop allowing it to affect you and see how quickly those opinions dissipate. The reason why they are so prevalent is due to you giving it attention. Once people know that you aren’t breathing life into their views, then there’s no reason to share them.

That was a lot to handle so take a few deep breaths. Meditate and get yourself ready to tackle these solutions head-on. The best way to implement these changes is to start small and work your way down. As you get through the first solution, then the next will be much easier to follow. I want the best for you, and I can’t see you hurting anymore. Please do yourself a favor and choose happiness always. Like Anthony Hopkins said, “None of us is getting out of here alive.” Based on that notion living in true happiness is the only way to go.

I love you, and I’m very proud of you. I choose you forever and always without question nor hesitation.

Xoxo

Me, Myself and I

Prescription for Self-Care

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.

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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.

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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.

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Until next time,

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