So a few weeks ago I blogged about my weighted eye mask and a little over a week ago I received my weighted blanket. Since the start of Covid-19 stress and anxiety has gone way up! I’ve been up later than usual. When I do finally get into bed at least before the weighted eye mask, I would be awake every hour on the hour no matter what I did.

Sleep Tips Before the Weighted Blanket

I did things like working out before bedtime. Read the Bible or other book. Listened to music to bring a sense of calm. Nothing worked. I even adjusted my sleep time to match the kids and all of us were up for some time. I tried dark chocolate and red wine and I would fall asleep on the couch but once I went to my room I would be up hours at a time.

Weighted Eye Mask

Once I got the weighted eye mask I was able to go to sleep immediately but I would still toss and turn. I made the decision the first night of the weighted mask that a weighted blanket had to be on the list. So I wanted one that had glass beads as I had used one of a friends before this past Summer. I also wanted one that was under 15 pounds and didn’t cost a lot of money. I found one at Target! It was perfect 12 pounds with glass beads and affordable as it was under 50 at the time of purchase they had a 15% off and I’m a Target red card holder making it an even bigger discount too.

 

Personal Benefits

For me not only immediate sleep happened between the combination of the weighted eye mask and blanket but that good deep sleep. I was able to wake up and feel rested. I can’t say how much sleep aids in the brain’s renewal but it aids in helping to maintain weight loss as well. So I didn’t have to wine myself to sleep. Now don’t get it twisted I still love wine but I didn’t have to drink it to help me fall asleep. After a long day I looked forward to going to bed and before I knew it I had to go back to setting my alarm.

 

One size does fit all, not!

The weighted blankets comes in sizes. However it’s not a fix the world type of situation. So although I would suggest getting a weighted blanket, it may not be for you and that’s okay. It helped me and some others but that doesn’t mean this blanket is going to send you into this deep sleep as everyone is different. I know that it worked for me and the benefits were enough for me to keep using it. Some people don’t like to feel bound when sleeping. Some people also don’t like things over them especially with the Summer months ahead. For me I need a blanket all year round so sleeping under this weighted blanket isn’t going to be an issue for me.

 

Homeschooling Mama

Also keep in mind with so much going on in the world today with stress all over the place it’s perfectly normal to feel that in your life. Not to mention, we are in a pandemic and just the thought of death occurring around us is super overwhelming. No way will a blanket act like a genie and make life’s problems simply go away. However I am the type of person who can deal with regular stress but in order for me to provide a home where we focus on surviving in a healthy way I am attempting to eliminate as much outer stress as possible. With homeschool as the new wave I can’t maintain work and their work with a lack of sleep. They don’t make enough coffee pots for that.

 

So do you have a weighted blanket? If so what are your thoughts? Did you enjoy your experience? Sound off in the comments!

FYI this wasn’t sponsored in any way with Target!

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Good morning. How are you doing? Like really doing? Not the one word answer of fine we give to one another just to say we answered. How you are doing is important. Sometimes pausing is necessary. Pausing gives you time to think. It gives you time to retreat. Whatever the reason for pauses we are going to explore it!

Pause for A Cause

You ever date someone and they hit you with that let’s be friends line. It’s a line that both men and women use when they want to take a break. The let’s be friends line is so you can be on an emotional retainer. These types of pauses are well within your control. The second someone ask for a pause, don’t fight it. Let it happen. However the friends part drop it. Not because you want to be malicious or petty but because you don’t need an emotional retainer. Use this pause in your life to reflect if the time invested was worth anything. The pause doesn’t have to be a detriment but don’t allow the person to believe that like a wondering 2 year old you will be waiting for them to pick you up when they are done! Nope! You aren’t! Pause with intent on moving towards your future. This pause should make you smarter and reflect on any red flags you might have missed. This is a pause for protection.

 

Pause for Protection

We just mentioned how a pause in a relationship can create protection. One or both of you have invested more than the other. To continue you would have been too invested and might not see the person for who they really are. It’s like a kid who is about to run in the street. The pause in the adult grabbing the child often times saves them. The pause from whatever you have going on often times saves you from making mistakes you would have continued to do. Pauses are like time outs for adults. Often times like a stubborn child we dislike them because we only focus on one side of the equation.

Pause for Self-Care

Yesterday I was so irritated with myself for resting for the day. I usually like to get so much done. This pause was great for restoring. We can’t always be on; not even in a pandemic. We may need to take a break to do absolutely nothing. I mastered the nothing part but I did what most do, complained about why I paused. One of my great friends had to remind me to let that go. It’s ok to pause for self-care. It was good to relax. When I looked at the to-do list the things that truly needed to get done was done. So all of that complaining wasn’t necessary. I was accomplishing my goals thinking I was behind. That rest was everything! I enjoyed my children and we had time outside all weekend long. It felt great to not be on a schedule!

 

Pause In Decision Making

I am a planner by nature but big decisions out of fear will make me be impulsive. I do not like that I operate like this and often times instead of reacting out of my gut reactions, I like to bounce decisions off of those I respect to be able to soundly help me pause. I don’t have to give an answer all the time right off the cuff. It’s okay to give a decision a full thought especially when it could affect your future. This is a great pause that we need. Don’t think about just the here and now. How will you feel about a decision if all things stay the same in 5 years? Can you live with the decision? These are important questions to ask yourself!

 

So today as you continue on with the to-do list, working from home, home schooling the children, managing anxieties, surviving with limited resources…put a pause in your day. What can wait? What needs an answer right now versus later? What can you eliminate out of your life to accommodate the change you want? You have to be able to pause. Pausing is healthy. Pausing is protecting. Don’t always be so far on go-take that pause today!

When I first had my oldest daughter it was a hard pill to swallow. I wasn’t expecting the pregnancy but when I found out I did everything I could to ensure the baby would be protected. In my mind I was well ready to take on this blessing but I didn’t realize that changing diapers and feedings was the least of my concerns.

 

Raw Truth

When people talk about motherhood they talk about all the beautiful moments. It makes people who want to be a mom gush. However my life changed in ways that I wouldn’t understand. My oldest was born 6 weeks early and was in NICU. I was devastated. Everything I had done to keep her safe I felt immediate guilt. No one I had personally known had to leave their baby at the hospital. After leaving her I learned my twin and I was in NICU but at the time of leaving my baby it felt lonely. I had a great support system but the tears were there, and that didn’t stop me at night when I wondered what was happening with her. It was difficult.

 

Homeward Bound

When it was time to take her home I was overjoyed. She had so many future hospital visits but I just remained steadfast in knowing whatever she needed it was my job to be there. I had no idea about self-care like I do now. I didn’t take mental breaks. I was like a winding clock. By the time I moved to Philadelphia, pregnant with her brother I was in deep, deep mess mentally and didn’t know it. No support system and feeling alone my oldest daughter felt the brunt of my pain. I never hit her because I didn’t believe in for her but I was angry and didn’t realize that she was observing me and absorbing my anger. My oldest is the happiest child and I couldn’t understand what to do with this happy baby beyond keeping her alive.

 

Kids Are Smarter

One day I was so angry over my decisions and indecisive and my daughter looked at me and said “mommy why so sad?” I looked at her and said I don’t know! I knew without knowing what a trigger was that I was off. I knew she couldn’t understand adult issues but she was smart and could feel me. At the time I called very small amounts of trusted friends to help me. One of them suggested counseling. I laughed because I was always taught to keep your business indoors. However at the birth of the second child that anger was a force and I was beyond small mood changes.

My oldest daughter and middle child my son

 

Therapy Works

Therapy isn’t something you do and all of a sudden you’re better. The guilt of what damage I had done to my oldest in just her seeing me a mess would make me feel so bad. So I got her child therapist to see if they could determine if she was affected. Although it was minor I made a decision to deal with my issues. I needed to be the mom my kids needed and not the mom I told myself they needed. I had to mirror wholeness for them to walk in it! Pictures I posted showed this mom who was mastering meals, field trips with the family, smiles all around and I was healing. My healing didn’t appear overnight. Seeing my kids happy actually was a trigger. Although I haven’t spoken on my why, one day I will, I’m grateful for having to use the tools of therapy.

 

New Mom

Every Mother’s Day I use as a reset. I communicate with my children about therapy and let them know they have to be able to talk to me and their dad or we would help them get answers if they needed it too. I can’t say I don’t experience triggers even with therapy but I will say I recognize them much easier. I am able to go right into a plan to help push through and deal with them. So many would say why speak on it but there’s another triggered mom who doesn’t understand her own pain and is holding that in. I believe emotional and mental abuse is real and if I can be honest and give her the strength to get help than so be it! I would rather be honest than lie. I would rather say yes the struggle is real but my kids are worth my wholeness! If I can keep them in a true happy environment it would mean more to me than anything in life.

My oldest in daycare

So if you are that mom not even understanding your own pain, please understand I get you! I get that above outside filters when you close the door of your home you have to be able to make sure your home isn’t a house of horror. I want my kids to respect me and love me not because of pure fear but because they know I truly care and show my love in how I deal with them! My daughter saved my life! My mini me keeps me accountable! I admire her beauty for the truly beautiful soul and I am honored I was chosen to be a tool to her and her siblings greatness!

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Now before you start giving me the ultimate side eye let me ask that you read all the way through! In this time of staying home and staying safe the whole world is doing all they can to stay sane and sometimes that means eating or drinking a lot more than one normally would. The snacking demon as I call it has taken over my home like I’m sure it has yours as well!

 

Snack Attack

So for me my ideas of snacks are things like craisins, dairy-free yogurt, fruit, occasional chips and if I’m feeling adventurous I might go hazelnut spread, ice-cream, and Oreos. It’s not that I don’t have a wide selections of snacks that I want to eat it’s just that for me, I keep my snack vices contained. If I keep my stock to certain selections I won’t feel the need to fall off the wagon. Plus if I’m wasting calories it’s most likely on wine or other adult drinks!

Vegan Lifestyle

One of the first things I learned when I went vegan over a year ago was to commit to it and after I committed to find substitutes of the things I loved. This appeal was to help me not fall off the wagon. I’m blessed with many of the restaurants that I blog that there’s usually some great vegan options so that when people ask me where to eat and I’m tagging along, I get to control the locations. Pork rinds used to be my thing. I haven’t had one in so long but let me tell you what happened to me the other day when I found Pig Out by Outstanding, pure happiness!

 

Friends don’t let Friends Snack Alone!

My girl Kyla was all over her social media ranting and raving about how good it these vegan pigless pork rinds were. She was making videos and such. She had also sent me the information and I was intrigued. I told her how I hadn’t had pork rinds in so long that I probably wouldn’t know how to act if I had them. She swore these were the move so I accepted the challenge. Took a few days but low and behold they came earlier than I expected!

First Impression

The crunch is not a game. It’s that good. One of the best parts is eating them without any guilt. Also the other blessing is the taste comes without all that extra salty aftertaste you get with regular pork rinds. Just pork rind taste and satisfaction! So they got me hooked off the first bag. I was sent a variety box and that includes four flavors: Original, Hella Hot, Texas BBQ, and Nacho Cheese! Talk about a blessed variety set! They are good especially the Texas BBQ!

 

So great taste!

Great crunch!

Variety!

Permanent Fixture?

Where can Outstanding Foods go wrong? Not sure! I’m impressed! So will I be adding Pig Out to my list of Toi Approved Snacks? You bet I am! This has to be in my rotation! I’m not easily swayed by snacks too much as again I like to keep my snacking boring as my kids call it but my palette is mostly geared toward meals over snacks! I wouldn’t even have imagined finding a new snack especially since my husband is our household Covid-19 grocery shopper. These can be ordered and shipped safely to your home.

Mind your Snacking Business

So I should tell my husband to mind his snacking business when this box pulls up to the door because these are going to be a permanent staple! Thanks Outstanding Foods and my girl Kyla for putting me on!

 

To order your own go here! You are found to love these high fiber and plant based snacks even if you’re not vegan and just want a snack that cures your need for extra snacking that you can eat without guilt!

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Monday Motivation: National Weigh In Day

Good Monday morning to you. How are you working through your first week of the New Year? I am hoping your motivation is still going strong. I hope to use this platform to encourage you to live your best life. With that in mind, let’s talk about National Weigh In day and how that can be a great motivation for this fine Monday.

For one Weigh In day is about checking in on your weight. Although you can be any size that you want to be, we all know that a healthy lifestyle filled with balance is important. Skinny doesn’t always equate to health. Skinny folks can be super unhealthy. How you manage your weight will have an adverse affect on the quality of life that you lead. I know some folks that their weight prevents them from enjoying life. They can barely walk without catching their breath, can’t go to amusement parks, have a slew of health related illnesses that could be better managed or even eliminated. With that in mind, there has to be a way to be able to step it up.

I have shared many times before about after the birth of my youngest who by the way will be 5 in a month, I struggled up and down with my weight. There is no such thing as baby weight once the baby is no longer a baby. We love to say that because its true having kids takes your body through it. It takes more than 9 months to restore your body back to pre-pregnancy weight. Beyond weight being an issue for me I found my body not responding to things the way I needed to. I was miserable. I wanted to wear my clothes better and everything was “when I lose weight, I would.” However many years later I still had this baby weight that was being compacted by depressive moods and unhealthy eating habits. I went to work and at  a health fair and almost busted out crying after realizing I was over 200 pounds. Regardless of BMI, I knew I wasn’t healthy. So after that devastating blow, I got into action. I changed my eating habits and on my own lost 20 pounds.  I decided I needed more support so I joined Weight Watchers and lost more weight until overall I had lost almost 60 pounds.

It felt great to see my feet. It felt great to be able to see my body change over time. It wasn’t a quick fix. It dropped it  over time and that is how I have been able to maintain it. I still do weekly weigh ins on myself. I still watch how I eat and the reasons behind it. I have had a few stressors happen in life and anyone who eats for emotional reasons know that you have to be vigilant about your emotional and mental health in order to forego eating for the wrong reasons which is usually the number one reason behind gain weight. Food doesn’t solve your problems. Food isn’t going to help you if eaten wrong.  It will make things in your body go left real quick. The freedom that I feel now that I have a healthy relationship would food is amazing.

How can this motivate your Monday?  Attack your weight head on. As devastating as it to see that number, get on the scale and find out where you are. Once you know the number, what is your plan? Do you need help? Can you change how you eat? The answer is yes you can. Meet with your doctors and get a physical. I did that right off the bat. Knowing my numbers and what I needed to do was great. My doctor supported me through my whole process. I was able to be honest and open with her and myself. That honesty helped me to get my life in check.

Beyond the Scale

What I learned in Weight Watchers is off scale victories. Sometimes that came in with how my clothes felt on me even if I got on the scale and didn’t see a big decline in my weekly numbers. I learned that my new bad wasn’t as bad as my worst. So when I found certain weeks eating more than one treat I didn’t beat myself up. Also getting my emotional and mental health in order actually helped me a lot further than counting points for chicken and any other food I ate. Eliminating things in my life that triggered me was key. Eliminating bad snacks from my sight and packing my food for my full day to prevent me from letting the fast food demon take over, was key.

Also what weight is on your heart? I attended counseling, a lot of it, over the past 2 years. I needed help to see people in a different light. I needed time to really get over some pain and hurt that I wasn’t doing a good job getting past. Anytime you find yourself snapping out, speaking out of a disrespectful tone, etc. its time to face the music. I did that and together I would say over the weight of a scale, I was able to conquer me.

What do you want to under control? What areas are you overweight in? Work? Relationships? Stress? Work on those areas. Work on yourself. Work on what you need to be successful!

Happy Monday! It hurts to be honest with yourself about the things that are weighing you down in all aspects of life, but its necessary to deal with and put a real life mirror up to the areas that you hide behind. Work though them and know it’s not an overnight process.  It’s going to take some time but you got to take your life back! You got this!

PS. I know going to the gym is scary but so is that number climbing up each week. If the gym gives you anxiety do work outs at home. There are cds or even YouTube that can assist you but you have to be vigilant to get them done. When you get home, don’t sit down. Get right into your gym clothes and do it before the “I’m too tired” to work out excuse takes over.  Dedicate and stick to a schedule and do not take NO for an answer!

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Fight Procrastination Day

I’m really glad that there are days like this. They help us to get our minds together and what a day than fight procrastination day. We all at some point have procrastinated about something. From weight loss to grocery shopping to laundry, procrastination takes many forms.

Fighting procrastination means making an attempt to do the things that we all need to do but have been putting off. What do you need to stop putting off? Have you completed your 2018 resolutions if you made it? This is something you need to get back on track. All of the promises made to yourself need you to bring life into them. It’s easy to let a few goals slide. However depending on the level of procrastination, the guilt that comes from it can be unbearable.

Waiting and putting off grocery shopping until you have literally no food may not stop the world but depriving yourself for example your education, and making excuses year after year could affect your quality of life. Not washing your hair a few extra days may not end world hunger, but putting off going to the doctors could put your life as risk. Counting up the cost of what you choose to ignore is a part of prioritizing. Some of the little things we ignore can add up.

Take some time to make new list and instead of ignoring, avoiding, or crossing off altogether prioritize what matters to you in the long run. Sometimes procrastination comes from putting yourself last. You are important and nothing you do for others will matter if you can’t find a way of pouring into yourself first! Your goals and dreams need you and you need to fight procrastination and make it happen!

Here is a small helpful listing of what you can do to help fight procrastination:

  • Make smaller goals from large goals

  • Reward yourself

  • Make realistic goals

  • Eliminate people or things around you that are triggers of distraction

  • Set time restraints around your goals

  • Write your goals down
     

I hope that today and everyday you take the time to make one step towards each goal you set. We all can get caught up in life . What we do once we get caught off guard, matters. Fight procrastination and hit it hard!!

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To church or not to church…

Your choice but heal from past hurt!

I get a lot of people are hurt by the church body. If you don’t understand what church body that means that 9 times out of 10 they went to a church who has left a bad taste in their mouth and now feel like the church as a whole has failed them. This isn’t one of these blogs that says you have to go to church. This is for the folks that I know that are like me who have been burned and want to go. So miss me with the whole “omg I don’t want to listen to a sermon.” That ain’t how this blog is rolling!

There are a lot of truth to the pain that folks have endured especially depending on where you go and who you are under. Every church body that identifies themselves as whatever they choose have certain rules and regulations that can be harmful for people who are hurting to begin with. I grew up in church all of my life. I’m talking about that bible study twice a week, usher meeting, choir rehearsal no family time on Saturday and all day Sunday type of church. Being a child and not able to govern what I wanted to do in the case of church or spirituality there were zero options. I was in the building even even I didn’t want to be.

A lot of principle I have taken with me. I choose now not to take like the be in the building every day principle. I think that is team too much but I don’t knock those who insists that works for them. I too have been burned by church folks aka the folks in the building. It’s no secret. I’ve had to block many of the folks I’ve once attended services on social media. Why? Real simple any time I’ve spoken on my experiences it’s been an issue. No harm no foul I get it they are deep in. Kudos to you. I choose to live with balance. I choose to make sure that with all of the hours of being inside of the building that my life outside of the building looks right on and off social media. Most importantly I am grown. As much as I want to blame God or the people in a particular church, I’ve since moved on from that target of pain. I still don’t deal with my old pastor however I have said my peace about it and him. I wish him well but he’s not my spiritual leader. There’s nothing wrong with that it is what it is.

Disclaimer: I have a lot of my home family and friends who will read this blog and would love to spin this into a thing. I have like a lot of my blogs edited it. I will not edit myself in person if you attempt to try me and make this into more than it is.

People we’re all in their feelings with gospel singer Le’ Andria went left but she spoke no lies it was her delivery that folks was up in arms over. We have to stop thinking that folks hurt and pain can be wiped away with a prayer alone with the ones who are out here hurting don’t take responsibility for their actions. Charity or love starts at home and needs to be brought back in the households of faith. If the world is hurting, surely coming from dysfunction into a spiritually dysfunctional place will not heal them just cause you use Jesus name. That was a word for some that didn’t catch it. Also leaders are flawed. Leaders are men and women and outside of Gods hand will do, and do things they shouldn’t. We got to stop setting these pastors on peddle-stools. A lot of folks know what the pastor said and none on what God says. We don’t even study we just go with the flow. We don’t ask questions because asking questions is disrespectful. This mindset is one tootsie roll to that of a cult!

I no longer use my old church, the folks in it and anything that happened while I was there in my youth to sway me from my spiritual journey. I used to use that excuse but after awhile even I had to come to the realization that folks is going to be them. If they off at home no wonder they spew offness over a whole congregation and their people live off lives outside the building. Listen I got a slew of flaws. I got folks that would be deaf to anything I say or do based upon old interactions. I could give them the opportunity to start over again but the reality is when folks don’t like you no matter what you say or do they won’t receive it! So I choose to live life in balance.

If you are struggling with going into the house of God or at least where man has placed his name, dont go back to the place that hurt you. You don’t have to vomit and go back to it! If you’re sick, there are a million and one other hospitals to go to. Find your spiritual path. Make sure not to drag the pain with you forever. I promise you, you can live a balanced life, and still find what you need.

To the past church members that I have offended let me say I’m sorry for my actions as well. However when I wish you well I mean it. To the ones who have offended me I have dropped the charges mentally and emotionally.

I know that Sunday morning plays all kinds of games on those who struggle to find their way! I am a living witness that you can move past pain that the good “church folks” have given you! It doesn’t have to end your church career. However I would caution you from church hopping to avoid what you left. I would employ you to deal with it. No matter how messy it is, or how painful it is. You deserve to be made whole and understand that may not come from the ones who hurt you! Don’t do like me and attend Bedside Baptist to avoid folks! Folks is folks they gon be them until the end of time. Find what works for you that is your initial direction. It’s not about having “itchy ears.” It’s about finding a place that will guide you and that won’t put a stamp of approval on your stuff but also isn’t afraid to admit when they too aren’t aligned and then do the work to get aligned!

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Love is…Intense

Tonight was on one. As I always like for you to go back and rewatch, these are my thoughts and reactions:

  • Nuri knew damn well she shouldn’t have gone on that ski trip. Keith wanted to hit. Men ain’t inviting you to read scripture. It’s definitely understood. And before you hit me with the whole women don’t have to give it up we know that already. It’s just not the first thing that comes to mind

  • When Keith gave Nuri that Keith’s girl sweater, I literally died on the inside. Nuri wearing that sweater was a sign of when women settle.

  • Spoiler alert: Keith confesses to being gay. There is nothing wrong with choosing a life that you want, but back in this time it was even more taboo to “come out.” But let me say I wasn’t ready but I wasn’t surprised

  • Angela told Nuri right, never put another woman in a position to be fighting etc over a man. Nuri feels so desperate that she’s willing to “call” Yasir but let’s not forget he has a “roommate.”

  • Keith who by the way was high and drinking now wants to back peddle his gay confession. Let me help a few folks out, two people who don’t lie and that’s children and a drunk! Keith meant that and wants Nuri as his beard!

  • Angela is that friend you need. I’m more than willing to do what I can but I accept gift cards too

  • Yasir reminds Nuri that he made space for her and it’s true! Nuri I’m true fashion hit him in the one area he has a deficit in and that’s his lack of employment

  • Nuri goes to the place where Yasir and Rubi share but handles herself in a classy way

  • The end, all I’m saying is Janet Jackson got some definite sexy hits. I’m about to hit up Amazon prime for bulk candles, and a soft rug!

  • Well until next time, just know that the ups and downs of love is worth it for the one that is for you. Love isn’t always as clean as we want it to be! It’s definitely worth it!!

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The Balance of it All

 

I am so glad to be working TCP Network.  If you happened to stumble upon us for the first time, it was not by accident. It was meant for you to join us.  Stay and browse because there is a little something for everyone.  I am a lifestyle blogger.  It is my job or calling if you may to speak to you about real life.  My name is Latoi Storr and you are in for a treat.  I am originally from Lancaster, PA and currently, I reside in Philadelphia with my wonderful family.  I also blog for my own personal blog at www.toitime.com

 

As a lifestyle blogger I talk about it all.  So enjoy! Sometimes the topics will be nice and then the others ones will make you talk and debate.  That is how life works, right?  Good days, bad days, days where you have to question a few things. With all that life brings in a day, we are all connected and can provide a little nugget of wisdom along the way.

The news has been filled with all of this talk about depression, anxiety, and suicide.  All of these themes are not new.  They have been struggles that some people go through.  Some have been able to be successful in managing their stress and some have not.  Let’s talk about them- past the headlines. I am not interested in mental balance and life balance to be a hashtag alone.  In a few weeks some of the headlines will die down but the issues will not.  Above the celebrity coverage of depression, suicide, and stress are normal folks like you and me that have to be able to find balance in who we are, what we do, and what we want to become.

 

Balancing life comes with a lot of uncertainty.  You can have it all together one day and then in a blink of an eye life can spiral while from an outsider’s perspective things look well put together.  This is how pain works.  It comes to us all no matter what we do and where we are in life.  Some people are professional at looking the part. Like my mom taught me, every actor has to lay down his or her part at some point. We pretend with those around us.  We hide in shame.  We hide with failure.  We hide well until we simply can’t. We apply filters of our life like we do on social media.  I have been known to do that.  Don’t get me wrong, a cute filter can help the mood, and make things real cute, but it has its place.  However, if you find yourself putting on for the people in real life and in your quiet time, your mind is racing and you have yet to be in an Indy race, we got some things to work on. I get that you don’t want to expose a mental fight or hurt or pain because let’s face it, it’s not pretty.  We only want others to view us in a certain light.  We are concerned with the outward manifestation and in this judgy world, we keep it to ourselves.   What I need people to do is be okay with a few things dropping and find ways to manage their mindset in and out of the public eye. This is the most important task ever.  It’s not in the money you make, the title you keep, or if you are single or booed up it’s about mind management.  The mind will have you messed up.

 

 

Mind management in Private

 

This is when you ask yourself what you need to be okay.  You may have a lot going on with very few resources. What can you do now to help you later?  I am the firm believer that although it would be nice to get all of your answers NOW, you have to find what can do in your moments of stress that will help you to be a better. I think too often we just exist.  I am a planner by nature.  This is a good and bad thing. Sometimes planning everything brings stress but one thing from being a planner that we all can incorporate is writing things down. In writing things at times you will find solutions.  It also will help direct your mind too.  You can see things clearly than leaving your mind to assist you when you are spiraling.  I carry a journal everywhere I go.  Consider doing the same.  Being your authentic self behind closed doors will help you in public.  Finding out what you need in peace will help you bring those same tactics in conflict.  You need to know how you are alone.  I think this is great advice and I would suggest the best advice if you want to unite with another person.  You better know for real what makes you angry, scared, and ashamed and how you deal with them.  Also to manage your private healing you will also have to go back and deal with the scars that were left.  Scars are supposed to be reminders but sometimes scars can trigger.  Deal with the real YOU so you can be a better YOU in public.

 

Mind management in Public

 

Mind management in public is being honest.  Instead of answering when someone asks if you are okay is to say hey I am not really okay can you keep me in your thoughts but I am working on a few things.  If you get a follow up question about what a person can do to help you, answer them. You know what will help you with a follow up, is to do some self-work. If you really need a nap and someone asks how they can help you have an answer.  It doesn’t matter what that you need in replace of the nap example you have to be able to know what you need.  We all need a million dollars but as the headlines came in the last few weeks, money isn’t everything either.  You don’t have to be okay all the time.  Your shirt if you will, can stick out and you can allow someone to assist you in tucking it back in. 

 

Stop giving these generic answers.  Spending time in private along with better communication skills will help you in public situations.  Also even if you are the “strong friend” and you keep giving “I am fine” narrative and you are not, sooner or later you will unravel.  You don’t have to have it all together.  You can have a bad day or even a bad moment or two and recover.  You need to know that.  Sometimes the “strong friend” needs to be able to receive the same love back.  If you are that strong friend, people will not judge you on how perfect you are.  You actually will be more relatable to those around you if you keep it honest. Let’s let go of the “keeping it real” narrative and keep it honest.  I was always taught that hurt dogs holler and if you look around in your life and those around you, it’s true.  Hurt people speak.  Everything about their conversation will tell you where they are.  Be the safe haven for someone.

 

Super Stress and Spiraling

 

Here are my top 5 things to do when you are spiraling. This means you may have done the work at home privately and you may have done the public mind management but something has happened on the inside that could be attributed to an event, a memory, a circumstance, a decision, etc. that is making you feel like within seconds you will lose.  This is an example of what it’s like to spiral.  You are in a rage.  You can’t think clearly.  You can’t write.  You are full of doom and gloom:

 

1. Release your feelings. Sometimes that may mean cry or even holler out.  Find a safe space to release.  If you do not, the pint up energy alone can further you into a worse spiral.

 

2. Call for help. This means that often times a simple text message, a call to a trusted friend, or someone near you can assist you.  A free nugget-when you see someone acting out and putting all of their business on social media it’s actually due to someone needing help.  They usually don’t have a source to talk to.  That was a free nugget that could change your judgment of someone to assisting someone.

 

3. Pull back-after you have released, and asked for someone for help then the next thing for pulling back is think about what led to that moment. Sometimes it’s in how someone spoke to you, something you were thinking about, maybe a song that triggered.  Whatever let’s spend a few minutes pulling it back and recognize the trigger.

 

4. Find a healthy vice to put in the place of a trigger. This doesn’t run to a negative vice.  Negative vices won’t help you they only mask the problem.  If you’re side man’s girlfriend or wife is at your door, calming down, getting into your feelings and going back to the same man will not help.  But doing things by finding out why you choose to go to the side man and then blocking communication could help.  Maybe working out could get that extra energy.  We all could benefit from a healthier lifestyle.

 

5. Surround yourself with positive people. This is a great way to stop a spiral by being around people who bring out the best in you, who will not encourage your spiral.  Who you have in your corner speaks mountains for your life.  I have recently had to cut back a few friends because I needed some folks around me that made me want to be a better version of myself.  Cutting toxic people and environments helps and works in your favor.

 

My hope for everyone reading this will make up their mind to be better with themselves. To understand that depression, anxiety, hurt, and pain are all real.  They can be managed a million and one different ways. One of the best ways is to be honest about where you are.  To deal in private and in public differently so we can have one less person who thinks that just because the very bottom of their life has dropped that they have no value.  You are loved.  You are important.  Practice self-love daily and not just when things come up.  What can you do for you that add value to your life?  If you are spiraling and say to yourself that you have tried the above suggestions and you still feel lost I want you to find someone you trust to talk to.  If you can’t find someone to talk to, contact the National Suicide Line 1-800-273-8255.  They can help you even if you think you will never take your life but to help you with resources to get you through a trigger!

Also side note for all: be the person someone can come and talk to.  Leave their business to you alone. Trust that someone will hear your heart and not betray you is a trigger in itself.  Stop running with the tea and learn that the tea you think is really someone’s life speaking and encouragement goes a long way!

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