Category Archives: Self-Care

3 Steps to Begin Healing Your Whole Self Instantly!

Everyone talking about self-care but no one really says how we are to take care of ourselves. Learning how to take care of yourself involves learning who you are and what’s really ailing you. You’ll discover that many of your ailments are related to one another.

Before I begin, allow me to say that I am not a medical professional. What I am about to tell you isn’t claiming to cure, prevent, or treat any disease. I am sharing some things that are based on years of personal research.

Where to Start?

Begin with assessing yourself in the three categories of your being.
1. Spiritually.
2. Mentally.
3. Physically.

1. Spiritually:

woman wearing sleeveless dress
Photo by nappy on Pexels.com

Assess what you believe about God and what the word says about Him. Do they line up?
Do you believe that God is really providing for you? (Matthew 6:26)
Do you believe that the Holy Spirit is working on your behalf? (Romans 8:25-28)
Do you believe it when the Lord says He left to go prepare a place for you? (John 14:1-7)
Or
Do you frantically go about your day as if everything is on you?
Do you feel that all ‘good’ you do can earn God’s grace and forgiveness?
Do believe that you can fix all that is wrong in your life and the lives of others?
Are you hypervigilant in trying to prevent any and everything from going wrong?

The answers to those questions will lay the foundation of how you go about your day.

Mini Testimony: I’ve gone most of my life struggling to live in God’s grace and trust in His provision. In result, I would scramble to get into jobs that weren’t for me, scramble to pay the bills, scramble to do other things so that other’s wouldn’t think of me to be lazy, say “yes” when I really meant “no”, and I was often irritable and depressed. I didn’t realize that God wasn’t as hard on me as I and the world was hard on me.

What to do?
Grant yourself some grace = Give yourself space and time to improve.
Pray and ask God to help you see yourself and your life through His eyes. Ask Him to help you endure this temporary hardship and trust Him. Ask Him to keep you from doing something horrible and permanent during this temporary hardship.

Related Post: Self-Care Saturday! Self-Care 101.

2. Mentally:

oval brown wooden framed hanging mirror
Photo by Nadine Wuchenauer on Pexels.com

“Who do you think you are taking too?!”
A phrase many black mothers and fathers have iterated after we’ve allowed our words to fly too loosely.
However, this applies to us for us. We can be quick to downplay who we are, what we look like, what we’ve accomplished, and worst of all, what God has done for us. We do this to attempt to be or seem humble. In reality, our harsh words can dissolve us from the inside out and discredit what and who deserves credit.

Mini Testimony: I was a pro at downplaying my looks in order to avoid being made fun of about my size. It was my way of  ‘beating someone to the punch’.
I had often assumed that if I wasn’t overweight, they wouldn’t make fun of me. I had often wished I wasn’t fat. I used to call myself “stupid”, “fat and ugly”, “too dark”, etc.
If anything went wrong, I assumed it’s because of what I did or didn’t do. Which is why, I still battle with feeling like I could have prevented all the bullying, sexual harassment, loneliness, and more.

What to do?
Try to catch yourself calling yourself names.
Catch yourself about to turn down a genuine compliment on your smarts, efforts, or looks.
Catch yourself comparing who you are and what you have to others.
Know that you’re worthy of respect, love, honesty, joy, peace, health, and wholeness.
Grant yourself some grace when you do mess up.
Treat yourself like you would a ten-month-old baby learning to stand and walk.

3. Physically:

photo of woman wearing eyeglasses
Photo by Mike Sho on Pexels.com

Did you know that it is possible to get headaches from normal foods you eat or drink? Did you know that chronic stress can cause hair loss? Did you know that anxiety causes sleeping problems and sleep deprivation can cause an anxiety disorder? (Anxiety & Depression Association of America, www.aada.org)
Most doctors would scoff at those kinds of questions, but they’re not exactly science-fiction. It’s recognizing which auto-immune issues you may have. Auto-Immune is when the body makes the error of attacking itself. Anywhere on your body can become inflamed causing pain, swelling, growths, and other problems.
Some Common Auto-Immune Issues:
Alopecia
Lupus
PCOS
Rheumatoid arthritis
To see a longer list of autoimmune diseases visit the American AutoImmune Diseases Related Diseases Association. (www.aarda.org)

Related Post: It Was Time For Change. So, I Cut My Hair. My Mission to Self-Heal.

Mini Testimony: If I consume too much dairy I’ll have back pain, headaches, persistent mucus that will interrupt my sleep and my speech.
If my diet has been really poor, my menstrual periods are extremely painful.
If I get too little sleep, my anxiety and depression will shoot through the roof.
I’ve had an ob/gyn refuse to remove my birth control rod after I told her that I didn’t want it anymore and it caused me to bleed for up to 17 days.  She laughed and wrote me a prescription for another birth control pill.

What to Do?
It’s imperative to know our bodies better than anyone else.
Study and research your pains, moles, patches or rashes, menstrual irregularities or confusion, etc.
Read about the Auto-Immune Protocol (AIP) to understand how common foods affect how we feel.
Shop around for healthcare providers that will take your symptoms seriously. The ones who brush off your problems, but are quick to prescribe a pill are the ones you don’t need.
If your health isn’t taken seriously, speak up! Notify the hospital and notify your insurance company so that when you go for a second opinion, the insurance will cover the visit.

This isn’t a perfect formula, but it’s one that will help you assess who you are and help you to be more comfortable in your own skin.

bareMinerals

CoilySue86/ Ebony Glass Co.

My YouTube Channel.

Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram.

cropped-anitablack.jpg

Heal Thyself

0% Chill. My Mission To Self-Heal.

DERMAE

Yo! How’s it going? How’s life?

I wanted to talk to you all about what I’ve been doing to help with my endometriosis symptoms and other problems I’ve been having with my body in general. I really hope that I can help you too!

Over the past few months, I’ve been trying different ways to stay active, to relieve pain, reduce stress, and boost my energy and fertility.
First, I’d like to talk about how I have been able to reduce the hip, pelvis, abdomen, and lumbar pain.

My tank says 0% Chill and that’s exactly how I feel at this point. I’ve been so frustrated with my health, I’ve been stressed about how I could afford to get help, and I believe that I’ve been stressing out about it instead of actually staying calm and learning about what I COULD afford to do about it.

Shameless Plug: Ebony Glass Co. Tees & Tanks!

Paying to see a specialist, hoping that insurance would cover certain specialists and procedures, trying to find affordable insurance, and trying to find doctors and practitioners to take my symptoms seriously are things that take too much money and time. I needed to figure out what I could do TODAY. Right now!

20180709_134806 (1).jpg
0% Chill Tank & Peace Yoga Mat

*This post contains affiliate links. Clicking on them are FREE. If you choose to make a purchase, you’d be helping me keep my blog up and running. Thanks, Love!

Things have worked so far:
1. Yoga & Pilates Videos.
I’ve been dealing with hip pain off and on for years since having my son. I DO also have a herniated lumbar disc, along with endo causing me even more pelvic, hip, and back pain. So, I’ve found YouTube videos to help me relieve hip pain, loosen tight muscles, strengthen the surrounding muscles, and improve my body’s response to stress.
These videos have been the most helpful.

I was doing most of these without a yoga mat or any other type of cushion and that was causing pain and discoloration on my knees, making them tender and dark. So, investing in an affordable yoga mat has been extremely helpful!

20180709_135758.jpg
Peace Yoga Extra Thick 3mm or 6mm Pilates Exercise Yoga Mat with Printed Design

Prime Day

20180709_140924
0% Chill Tank

Go ahead and give them a try!

Related Post: It Was Time For Change. So, I Cut My Hair. My Mission to Self-Heal.

2. Supplements!
I knew that my body had (and still has) a hormonal imbalance. I’ve done thorough research and carefully considered which supplements and the dosage would be right for me. If you have a practitioner or a naturopath that you can discuss supplements with, I STRONGLY suggest doing that first. For me, I made the personal decision to try taking any of these supplements.
DIM: A supplement that aids in reducing excesses estrogen and Xenoestrogens that can make anyone estrogen dominant. I took this and noticed reduced pain during my cycle.

It is only within this month that I have stopped taking this supplement because the option to try to conceive is now on the table and from my understanding, estrogen is needed for my future pregnancy. I’ll blog more about that soon.

Pure DIM Supplement 250mg Diindolylmethane Plus BioPerine and Dong Quai - Hormone Balance for Women and Men, Hot Flashes Menopause Relief, PCOS, Acne - Estrogen Blocker and Natural Aromatase Inhibitor

*NOTE: For the few weeks of taking these, I had headaches while doing strenuous activities like HIIT cardio and during sex. It went away within 3 weeks. Make sure to drink a lot of water while taking this supplement. That’s the ONLY problem I had with this.

All Natural Progesterone Cream: Taking this supplement, along with taking the dim helped to reduce my heavy flow and shortened my period from six days (5 days bleed/ 1-day spot) to five days (4 days bleed/ 1-day spot).
*NOTE: If you have the same problem I have, you’ll notice within your first or second month of taking these two that you’ll pass really large clots during your period and then they become normal months after. I would have had photos of those clots, but I didn’t want to be gross. But they were huge and at least a quarter-inch thick and two to three inches wide.

3. Therapy & Journaling: In the past, I’ve mentioned my history with mental illness, but I haven’t been to therapy in years. Well, I’ve just started therapy again. At first, I was feeling hopeless about finding a therapist without insurance. Until I got an email from Nicole Walters, because… you know? I’m a #Richfriend. And even though we are both God-girls, we both agree that our pastors and pastor’s wives are not our therapists. In the email, she mentioned this website called Open Path. This site helps you to find an affordable therapist in your area.


I’ve found a therapist in my area that only charges me $50/ session AND she does phone sessions. After one session, I already have homework to do that helps me to conquer fears, address past trauma, and journal my feelings and to label my worries.

Things that I will be attempting soon, but haven’t started.

1. Trying to switch to an AIP Diet: I know that many people have tried this to relieve many autoimmune problems and endo is one of those problems. I struggle with compulsive eating and it’s been extremely hard to control myself with junk food, sweets, and other inflammatory food and drinks. I have found some books about it that I will begin reading very asap!
Please pray for me! That’s all I can ask.

2: Seeing a specialist and a naturopath. I DO need to work with professionals who take my kind of matters seriously and will help me.

Have you ever been on a journey of self-healing? If so, how did it work for you? How is it working for you?
I look forward to hearing from you.

Talk to you later!

Ebony/ CoilySue86…

cropped-anitablack-2-e1527797326610

My YouTube Channel.

Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram.

4 Ways You're Already Sabotaging Yourself This New Year! Self-Care Saturday.

Hey! Happy New Year!

This is the time we will start seeing the Twitter and Facebook posts with folks saying, “New Year, New Me!” [insert eye roll here] Then, there is the increase in gym membership sales across the country as people attempt to change and refresh themselves as we go into the new year.

self-care-saturday2

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to change yourself. However, that all starts in the mind with the renewing of your mind.

Are you sabotaging yourself?

I’ve written previously about sabotage from outside sources, but most of the sabotage we face in life comes from ourselves.

We want success so bad and we want to succeed at everything we do. We have hopes and dreams and we write them all down and just leave them there. Or we get started and quit within weeks.

We can be our biggest obstacle to overcome. I’m not going to smack you with the “you need to stop making excuses” line because that doesn’t break down what needs to be done or what we need to stop doing. It doesn’t allow one to do a self-assessment and it only makes room to be down on yourself.

So, you ask “How would I sabotage myself if I want to be successful so bad?”

Well, it’s all about what we don’t recognize that we do. It’s the habits that are a societal norm that slows us down or bring us to a complete halt.

Related Post: Practice Patience While Goal-Setting. 

pexels-photo-266623
Photo courtesy of Pexels.com.

Here are the 4 ways you are sabotaging yourself every day.

1. Distractions and Time Wasters.

The right thing (or not so bad thing) at the wrong time is the wrong thing. Social media, YouTube videos, mobile and console games, etc all are cool up until you’ve lost track of time and are late for work or have missed pilates at the gym. Or until it makes you forget what you were supposed to for that blog post, school project, or audition for the third time this week.

There’s nothing wrong with social media because they keep us informed and games keep us entertained. However, it can make us forget all that is necessary to remember, respond to, and complete.

 

Click here! It’s legit. I shop with them.

 

Social media is a trigger for many to constantly compare ourselves to someone else. Personally, I find myself comparing my home, my body, my motherhood, my marriage, and my career to others whom I have never met, but have assumed their lives are better than mine.

Social media is also notorious for sharing horrific news (real or fake) and they can disturb your mood and your sleep. Also, lack of sleep can make it more difficult to wake up and be on time for work or school as well.

Solution: Pick certain times of the day or week to scroll through social media or play games and stick to them. The best times are during lunch or after work before dinner and on your days off when you’re not busy.

Try skipping scrolling and playing games before bed. Unless your projects are social media related, don’t scroll until you get done with homework.

Stop comparing your life to others. You can succeed like many others in just about everything you do. However, your success isn’t supposed to look like anyone else’s.

pexels-photo-131023.png
Photo courtesy of pexels.com

2. Overthinking/ Feeling Inadequate.

It’s an easy thing to do when you are the type that wants to do everything, but feel like you don’t have enough time and the nothing you have is good enough to start the process. The time isn’t right. The space you have isn’t right. You aren’t right or good enough or perfect. This usually stems from playing the comparison game. We compare ourselves and what we have to others.

Granted some thoughts make sense to have. For example, you want to start a YouTube channel. You look in the description box and begin to take note of what camera and editing software your favorite YouTubers use to create the videos you love. Then, you notice that they use a camera that costs over $800, lights that cost over $60, an editing software that costs over $200, and then there is the cost of what you want to show on your channel. (Hair products, makeup, clothes, shoes, etc)

You think, “Holy crap! I can’t afford any of that! Now, what will I do?” You being to think that you have to have thousands of dollars to start a YouTube channel. Since you don’t have it and don’t know when you will, you begin to feel down and hopeless.

Solution: First, know that the situation isn’t hopeless and thousands of dollars aren’t needed to start a YouTube channel or to start anything for that matter. Take note of the things that you are able to afford. If there isn’t much, then use what you have until you can afford it.

Stop comparing yourself to people who have been in the game for many years. You’re probably comparing yourself to them in their prime. If you go to someone and ask them to show you pictures or videos of how things were when they first started, it would probably look exactly the same as it does for you right now. Basic, boring, cheap, and everything we think it shouldn’t be. When you build something from the ground up, there will be dust. Accept that!

Personal Tips:

  • Every smartphone has a camera and you can find boxes or books to prop it up. If you have a little cash to your name, say like $25. you can invest in a tripod for phones.
  • You want to eat better and begin working out? Most insurance companies pay for visits to the nutritionist and doing workouts at home via YouTube is free. I’ll write more about how that has actually worked out for me.
  • You want a more organized house? Pick one room in your house to work on for the week. I recommend starting with the room with the least traffic. Work in that room for about one hour a day. If you want to do longer, it’s up to you. Ask for help from a friend to help you organize your home. Two pairs of hands are better than one.

pexels-photo.jpg

3. Trying to be 100% Independent.

Yep! I said it.

There is no such thing as being completely independent of anyone. Period!

We like to admit that we’re independent of the ones we don’t want help from. However, I understand why people try to be “independent” of needing the help of others. We get too proud to ask for help and don’t want to deal with being let down or mistreated while being in need. In fact, the latter feeds the previous.

You don’t want people to think that you are a bum and a moocher who doesn’t want to try, but your struggle is over 9000!

So, you either ask for free help or you pay for help. Neither of which makes you less or more independent because help is help. Help is you NOT doing it all by yourself. We need to get over being afraid of asking for help.

Solution: Admit you need help to people you trust and to those who have experience with your problems. They may be able to offer help and recommend solutions, products, or services to relieve you of some of your struggles.


pexels-photo-326642.jpeg

4. Fear.

I’m scared. You’re scared. We’re scared.

Fear is a natural emotion and it serves a purpose in dangerous situations. However, if we continue to operate in fear a number of problems arise that will sabotage just about anything. It will feed overthinking and feelings of inadequacy. Fear can cause you to fight, flight, or freeze. Living in fear will taint your relationships. It can make it hard to say “no” when we really mean NO. It’s an emotion that tricks you into thinking that your anxious thoughts are correct about your future.

Solution:  Do a ‘Fear Breakdown’.

A fear breakdown is something that I do to get to the heart of why I am fearful. It breaks apart the cluster of fear into bits more understandable and to be more quickly dissolvable by the truth.

Example:

Fear: I’m too afraid to go into acting. 

Why? Because I’m afraid I won’t be hired because of my color and size.

What will happen if I’m not hired? I will be extremely hurt.

Why? Because it’s been a big dream to be an actress since I was a young girl. If I don’t become an actress, I’ll be devastated.

Why? Because if I don’t become an actress, I’ll feel like I haven’t accomplished anything and I’ll be on my death bed wishing that I could have been an actress. I’ll be forced to spend my life wishing that I could do what I love to do and forced to watch people do what I love with every movie, show, and commercial I see. It will hurt.

  1. I fear to be on my death-bed and feeling like I would have missed out on a dream that’s been with me my whole life. I fear the pain and assume that it would be impossible to heal from. That’s not true. I’ve survived 100% of my worst moments. I’ll survive that too.
  2. It shows that I think that I am not attractive as I am and not attractive enough to be seen with other actors and actresses that are thinner and lighter in complexion. That’s not true, there are more dark-skinned and curvy women on tv and in film. I can be one of them too.
  3. It also shows that it’s the only thing I assumed would make me an accomplished person. I have to recognize that this isn’t a fact. I have many accomplishments already. All of which I was fearful that I would fail at or miss the opportunity of having. Yet, here I am.

You may be fearful, but don’t bank on it. We fear losing money, losing our homes, looking and sounding foolish, and public humiliation. Most times what we fear won’t happen and if it does, we will survive that too AND we will succeed either way.

Tell me in the comments. 
Are any of these something that you do to yourself or have done?
What are your plans to overcome them?

Thanks for reading!

Take care!

Ebony/ CoilySue86

new-small-logo-3

Ibotta Logo
Ibotta!

 

5 Holistic Approaches to Goal-Setting You Should Do This New Year!

bareMinerals

New Years is the perfect time to reset and reflect on your plans progress. It’s a great time to set new goals. But numbers and history don’t lie. Most people don’t even take action towards their goals for more than a few weeks. Then it’s back to where they started. I want to help change that. Here is a holistic approach to goal setting that will help you stay on track and complete your goals!

pexels-photo-733857.jpeg
Photo Courtesy of Pexel.com

1. Figure out the different areas of importance in your life.

All of them are equally important and if we want to think in a holistic way, we can’t focus on creating success in just one area of life. You have to find balance.

There is one exception from that rule though-if you feel like you have been neglecting one area of your life, go and fix that part first. For example, if you are in debt- try to fix it first. Still, this does not give you the green light to eat unhealthy food and stop working on other areas of your life. It just means that most of your efforts and goal setting should be focused on fixing what needs to be fixed first, so you can focus on other things later. Otherwise, you won’t be able to create progress with other things.

2. Write goals that are aligned with your passions and vision for life.

Think of something that excites you. Think of activities you enjoy. There is no point in forcing yourself to do something just for the sake of doing it. Your goals should serve you as a map to get you closer to your vision.

3. Attract and attach yourself to your goals.

Say and write all your goals in the present tense and express gratitude. This is important!

4. Take Action

Take meaningful and purposeful action, if you are not too sure what to do, or you feel you are not on the right track, step back, re-define your vision or change it, re-align yourself moving forward and start again.

5. Write your goals down on paper.

Go old school! By writing your goals down, you set yourself up for success. You are more prepared to deal with bad days and difficult moments. I believe that working on my body, mind, and soul, guarantees holistic balance and success. Try to center your goals in those categories. You are the creator of your life. Don’t overdo your goals lists. Less is better.

After that, I decide what the major steps are to complete my goals and I divide them into quarterly tasks. Then, on a monthly basis, I divide them into weekly and daily tasks and goals, and I also have a clear vision for my life, going through the process of “New Year’s Resolutions” is just like creating the next step for myself. I go through my regular process. It’s about building a habit and making it apart of your daily routine.

Finally, make copies of your goals and put them in major traffic areas such as the bathroom, your bedside table, on the refrigerator, and your steering wheel. Keep them visible, so they are always on the forefront of your mind.

Hope this helps! Enjoy, and Happy New Years!

Written by: Columbia Johnson

Related Post: Six Ways to Practice Patience While Goal-Setting.


Blog: http://thedomesticatedpeach.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thedomesticatedpeach/?ref=badge
Twitter: https://twitter.com/misscocoj

12 Tips for Holiday Self-Care in Memoriam: The Holidays, Mourning, & Self-Care.

**A throwback post I have previously written for another blog over a year ago. Originally written 11/17/2016**

Personal Testimony:

This will be the fourth holiday season without my mom. The fourth year I prepare food she alone taught me how to cook. The fourth time I wish I could call her for some tips because I still feel like I am “mixing it wrong”. Even though it always turns out just like hers or very close to it. I miss her and it makes it very hard to enjoy the holidays without her. At times, I get sad and angry. Or I may feel nothing. Within all the memories, the good is mixed in with the bad. Good holiday moments and bad holiday moments. I won’t mention all the memories but dealing with them hasn’t been easy this year.

Since my last mental health-related post (here), I have been newly diagnosed with PTSD and recurring depression while getting treatment after having a panic attack and injuring myself. The day that it happened was July 24, 2016. That day would have been my mother’s 70th birthday. I thought I was okay most of the day. I didn’t cry or feel sad.

I don’t recall even thinking about her a whole lot either. But that day, a family member posted on Facebook a picture of her at her old job, wearing a very familiar wig and a pair of glasses, and she was smiling her beautiful smile that I miss so much. Unfortunately, seeing the picture lit the fuse to a lot of negative emotions that were piled high like sticks of dynamite. Without going into too much detail, I lost it. I was throwing dishes and I injured myself on my wrist. I spent the night in the emergency room and voluntarily spent just under a week at a local psychiatric crisis facility.

I don’t want myself or anyone else to go through what I went through. I want to help ease the angst the holidays can bring to those still in mourning. I’m not a professional counselor, therapist, psychiatrist, or psychologist, but I do believe in bearing one another’s burdens for the sake of making them a little lighter.

Related Post: Afros and Mental Peace.

The Holidays Without Them

Holiday Milestones:

Ever since my mother’s passing, the months of February, July, November, and December have been tough. February is my birth month. July is her birth month and the same month she passed, 4 days after her 66th birthday to be exact. November and December are, of course, the holiday months’ families get together.

Empty Seat

For you, it may just be the holiday season, but whatever time of the year it is, it’s okay to acknowledge that they aren’t here anymore and that you miss them. It’s okay to cry or not cry. It’s okay to want to skip the holidays with family, but try not to. My next point will explain why.

All Too Familiar Faces, Sights, & Sounds = Triggers!

It’s hard to see and hear from family members who will remind you of your lost loved one in some way. They may speak of them because they miss them too. You may remind them of the one who is gone because you could have been raised by them, look like them, talk like them, etc. You may have a family member or two that look like your loved one, sound like them, etc.

In my case, my aunts and uncles may do or say something that will remind me of her. One of my aunt’s voice sounds just like her, except she speaks a little slower. Also, the older I get, the more I begin to look like my mother. My young son also looks a lot like her too.

Set Table

Then, there are the family members that will remind you of what was wrong with the loved ones that are gone or what went wrong while your loved one was alive. Those are very hurtful and draining moments. Whether they’re truthful comments or not, we aren’t obligated to deal with any of it.

There is also the music, there are shows, and movies that were their favorite and they heavily remind you of them. You hear their voice, their laughter, you see their smile, and you want it all back.

Holiday Milestone Plan of Action:

I’ve concluded that every milestone after my mother’s passing shouldn’t be ignored anymore. No more pretending I’m fine. Even when I don’t feel sad, I should still do a little extra to make sure I am still intact mentally and physically. The very thought of a lost loved one is a trigger.

Black and white candles

It’s important to find or create ways to continue mourning in a healthy way because the stages of grief have no special order, no expiration date, and they may reappear. I understand that every person is different in how we deal with missing someone, but I would like to share 12 different ways that we can make sure we remain whole during this holidays season and the others to come. I believe that the piled sticks of dynamite can be diffused days or weeks before the holidays come around.

**Just to let you know, I may mention some spiritual/religious things. Please know that I am not trying to offend or force anything on anyone. They are just some ideas and I will be exercising with you and will try to share the results on my blog.**

Related Post: My Holiday Self-Care in Memoriam Journal.

12 Tips for Holiday Self-Care in Memoriam:

  1. Make sure your basic needs are being met. Your basic needs are non-negotiable. Do not skip meals and water, bathing, sleep, and trips to the bathroom during this time or at all. Making sure you are well fed, rested, clean, and refreshed will help to keep up your resilience during some of the most draining moments of the year. So, even if you are the holiday host this year, don’t neglect yourself for anyone. Have a shower or soak in the tub while the turkey is roasting. Ask someone to come over to help you cook or have them bring something already made.
  2. Journal your good memories of your loved one. Decorate the journal and make special doodles in it that relate to him or her. Make that one specifically for the holidays and keep it in a private place for the next milestone.
  3. Keep a box of tissues near for when you feel like crying. An empty room and a thick pillow are awesome for when you feel like screaming.
  4. If you are lacking emotions but still want to keep yourself whole, do something that day that will make you feel good. Take the day off work or do a half day, go to a movie, have a snowball fight, jumping on trampolines, visit an old friend, look for free or darn-near-free stuff to do on Groupon, etc.
  5. Write down all the movies, shows, and songs you’ve enjoyed together. Make a playlist, Netflix list, or Redbox Rental list and plan to listen or watch them this year. If you don’t remember what they liked, pick something you think they would.
  6. Write a letter to them or to God about how much you miss them. Pour your heart out about the good and the bad about them. Say what you’ve always wanted to say. Update them on what’s been going on since they’ve left. Write a letter of forgiveness, if needed. Some of the loved ones we miss have hurt us and it’s time to work on letting it go.
  7. When the words escape you, look up bible verses or in memoriam quotes about mourning, sadness, family, and forgiveness. Then write them down in your journal.
  8. Wear their favorite color during the milestones. My mom’s favorite color was blue.
  9. Avoid storing those clapbacks in your mind. The bag of clapbacks can be heavy during a sensitive time. When the family gets disrespectful, attempt to drain your energy, and try to bring up the past about your lost loved one, either walk away, walk completely out, or shut it down and let them know that they are being rude and it’s not the time or place to bring up some mess. Then, say nothing else to them about it.
  10. Briefly share good memories about your lost loved one to your children, friends, or partners who may not have met them or have known them well. Share photos and share advice they used to give to you with others.
  11. Attempt to talk about how you feel (or don’t feel) with a licensed counselor. They are skilled professionals who may be able to give you tips on how to cope in a healthy way during the holidays.
  12. Start a new holiday tradition in their honor. It can be anything. It can be a combination of any of these tips. Try attending a play or an orchestra concert wearing their favorite color and afterward eat some of their favorite snacks. Or visit their grave site and leave flowers in their favorite color or a color that represents how they left. For example, my mother passed of a cardiac arrest. Therefore, I would wear red or leave red flowers and ribbons for women’s heart health.

There is no wrong way to take care of yourself and there’s no wrong way to mourn if you are not harming yourself and others. And no matter you much you miss them and want them back or to be in heaven where they are, it’s imperative that you are safe and healthy while still on this earth.

Your existence is important. I’m telling you what I have told myself and I wouldn’t tell you if I didn’t believe it and practice it.

I had an awesome mother. I miss her so much and because I miss her, the importance of my self-care is even higher. I know that she wouldn’t want me to neglect myself. Self-neglect isn’t an option because self-neglect is the loss of oneself. Except, the body is still present. Especially, when I have my husband, my son, my family, and friends who love me. I wouldn’t want to force them to mourn my loss whether I am alive or with the Lord.

Please let me know what self-care tips you have for the holidays. How do you celebrate the life that was once here?

This post was written in memory of

Juanita Chalmers.

(July 24, 1946 – July 28, 2012)

Mommy and Me Collage
Mommy & Me

Ebony/ CoilySue86

Follow me!

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

YouTube

www.CoilySue86.com

3 Examples of Sabotage and How to Avoid Them! Self-Care Saturday.

Yoooo! It’s been a while since I posted. I’ve been going through all the things and I have learned so much these past 6 months and I’ve got so much to share with you.

Sabotage Storm
Photo Credit: Flickr

One of them being sabotage. Whether it be intentional or not, caused by an outside source or caused by yourself, beware of sabotage.

I want to first discuss sabotage from outside sources, how to recognize them, and what to do when you see it.

Sabotage from others may come directly, passive-aggressively, or with no malicious intent at all. They may want to ruin your esteem, your day, your job, your education, your marriage, parenthood, etc just to make themselves more comfortable. They may not like what you do and how you do it or what you have and how you got it. Whatever it is about you, it makes their butt itch.


 

Here are three examples of sabotage that I have experienced.

  • You Need A Ride Today? I’ll Show Up at Never O’Clock. It happened to me in college. I was trying to snag one of those holiday season jobs. The buses were really unreliable near campus and I had no car. I asked a neighbor girl (I thought we were cool) in my dorm to drop me off to a job interview. She said “yes” and I told her that I would be ready to leave a xx:00 pm. She left the dorm and never told me. Come to find out, she left for winter break early. She never told me she was leaving or that she changed her mind or anything.

In no way was obligated to take me to my interview. It was my responsibility to get there. However, it would have prevented me from being almost an hour late to my interview if she had just been upfront with me and I could have made other plans.

  • Trying to Eat Clean? Smell My Pizza! I love my spouse dearly, but he was/is good for this (gotten better, though). During the first 3 to 4 months of me starting my health journey, I was seeing a nutritionist and working out and I was trying to avoid eating so much fast food. I told him that I was trying to avoid certain foods. He later, would order pizza, buy ice cream sandwiches, and buy brownies. I would tell him that those foods a really tempting and it would help if they aren’t brought into the house. His reply, “No one is forcing you to eat it.”

 

Eat or Be Eaten!

 

He wasn’t wrong because no one can force me to eat something I don’t want to eat. However, I did and didn’t want to eat those things. I am a food addict trying to recover. Just like an alcoholic or a narcotics user, you don’t bring around and offer them what they are trying to stay sober from. Especially, if you want to see them get better.

  • Hey, My Big Friend! I Could Never Be You. I’ve mentioned this briefly in my depression video that I made two years back. I’ve had people who I thought were my friends talk about my weight negatively in a passive-aggressive way. I have one friend who used to say things like, “No offense, but I could never be big.” She would go on to describe her reasoning of how “big people”, to her seem to always be uncomfortable, have “big bellies”, are sweaty, and breathe hard.

As entitled to her opinion as she was, she also wasn’t aware how that made me feel low and devalued. It showed how she saw me and what came to mind when it’s time to describe what she didn’t like about me. She had said it several times before to others in the past but would turn to me and say “no offense” before declaring how she felt about the possibility of being my size. I was already self-conscious about my size and my self-esteem was really low, too low to even stick up for myself.

We happen to still be cool. Like, we see each other every once a year because of life mostly. Not so much now because I moved to another state, but the reason why is another blog post.

There are many other ways that people will try to sabotage your life.

There will be that coworker that will claim your idea or work as their own.

There will be that one customer that will cuss and holler in hopes that you cave and give them what they want and ask for your manager in hopes that you will lose your position.

There will be people who will try to argue with you and say those trigger words and phrases to knock you off guard. They will try to get you so pissed that you will do something to jeopardize your freedom. You can just get up and walk away and never look back.

There will be folks who really don’t mean any harm, but they really don’t mean you any good. They don’t want good things to happen to you. As this one woman found out one day.

So, what can we do? We can’t avoid every single instance of sabotage, but we can become more aware.


3 Ways to Respond and Avoid Sabotage.
1. When Folks Don’t Come Through…
When you need a ride, babysitter, place to stay, etc find a way to create a plan B, C, D – Z. I know it’s harder when you suddenly are in need of those things but create a list of people you know you can count on. If the list is short or nonexistent, think of businesses that provide the help you need at the lowest price you can afford. Or create a stash just for those moments.
So, if you need a ride/ flight/ hotel, create a stash just for an Uber, a plane ticket, a car rental, an Air Bnb, etc. The same goes for childcare. Make sure you have made a list and a budget of daycare centers. Don’t be afraid of doing popcorn visits to daycare centers to see how they are when they aren’t prepared for new clients. Search out babysitters using Sittercity.com or Care.com and make a list and a budget just for their services.

 

2. When you’re trying to eat cleaner or stay sober…

First, it helps to not expect everyone to understand and comply with your health goals and how you plan to reach them. They won’t care like you care. They’ll claim they care, but if they aren’t trying to eat better, it will make their butts itch. It will aggravate them because they will have to make minor adjustments that will seem major to them. So, if you order out as much or don’t want to eat what they eat, they have to get what they want without you. Which means that you are no longer their eating buddy.

 

Some people can be avoided and you can move away from them and some you can not. One of the things that I used to do when my husband would order fast food, is to go into another room until he has finished eating and/or put the leftovers away. It helps to avoid being within an arms reach of what I want to avoid. Or when he buys cookies or brownies, I’ll put them in freezer bags and freeze them.

Or when someone invites me out to eat, I may or may not let them know how I’m trying to eat. However, I tend to look at the menus online to see if they have options that are better for me. If I happen to get tempted and want to eat a certain thing, I’ll order it and split it with a friend or ask the waiter to bring a box with my food and eat only a portion of my food. Then, I’ll box up the other half and eat it the next day or give it to my son or husband.

3. When you have a “friend” who inflicts the same wounds as an enemy…

There is nothing wrong with distancing yourself from people. There’s also nothing wrong with cutting yourself off from people. As I mentioned, there are people who don’t mean you well.

An herb that may be beneficial to one person, may poison another. Recognize how you feel after hanging around a person or a particular group of people. If you feel down and depressed after hanging around someone, it’s time to back away from them. Also, let them know their wrong. It’s very important to take up for yourself. That’s something that I wish I had done.

How have you recognized sabotage in your life?

Who did it come from?

What have you had to do to prevent even more sabotage?

Stay tuned for the next post about Self-Sabotage and How to Prevent It.

Take care!

Ebony/ CoilySue86

Follow me!

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

YouTube

Self-Care Saturday Journal: Unlearning How to Hate Me.

“I want to unlearn how to hate me.”

A sentence from one of my letters to God.

I wanted to take just a moment to express thoughts and feelings about how I have fallen into the trap of hating myself. It’s a trap that was set many years ago and we fall into it usually at a very young age. I know that I have.

That trap that’s been set to line the pockets of corporations who would benefit from many of God’s children to hate all that is themselves and all that is God. It’s also a trap set by the enemy in an attempt to get us to fall and deny God.

We really shouldn’t hate ourselves, but I have moments when I have caught me saying terrible things to myself or about myself. I’m sure that I’m not alone. So, my questions are…

What do you do when you realized you’ve been trained to be your own poison?

What do you do when you think of punishing yourself with cruelty?

What do you do when life seems the most hopeless? 

What do you do when you can’t seem to escape the thoughts that buzz loudly like a trapped housefly in an empty room with no windows?

Continue reading Self-Care Saturday Journal: Unlearning How to Hate Me.