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What To Do When You’re Overwhelmed

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School, jobs, relationships, socializing. All of these can cause stress when not managed well. For me, this past week was the hardest. I had to juggle multiple assignments due on the same day, homecoming, and having to go to work. I was exhausted. I felt like I had no energy to do anything. Knowing me I love talking and texting my friends, and last week I didn’t do any of that. Things I love doing like posting on my blog and writing for the paper were dreaded and ignored. I had no energy to do anything and was just waiting for the week to be over.

While it’s normal to be stressed we shouldn’t let it ruin our week. We need to own it and accept it as part of the process, but not let it control us. Here are five things we can do to help us make stress our bitch.

EXERCISE

I know what you’re thinking, “Chile if I don’t have time for the stuff I HAVE to do what makes you think I have time workout?” Well working out has multiple benefits. Not only does it help us get a sickening body, but it also releases endorphins that produce positive feelings in the body. Notice how you always feel good after a workout? According to WebMD, exercising “reduces stress, wards off anxiety and feelings of depression, boost self-esteem, and improves sleep.” Next time you’re feeling stressed take out all of your frustration in the gym.

MINDFULNESS

Mindfulness is getting more recognition outside of the spiritual community for its benefits for those with anxiety. You don’t have to be a monk or go to a sacred temple to practice mindfulness. You can do it from the comfort of your own home. Being mindful can help lower your stress levels, increase attention and focus, make you feel calm, and so much more. In order to be mindful, all you have to do is focus on your breathing. You can do this while walking, eating, taking a shower, or whenever you have free time. It only takes 5 minutes to drastically change your day.

GRATITUDE

Oprah says, “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” When the hustle and bustle of life get to you it’s hard to just settle down and be grateful for what you have. At the end of the day write down three things that you were grateful for that day. It doesn’t have to be anything big. It can be as simple as waking up that morning. You will feel so good thinking about all of the great things that happened to you that day. It will be a positive way to end your day.

JOURNALING

Writing in a journal is so liberating. You are able to get all of your thoughts out on paper and feel a sense of clarity right after. Journaling has been proven to improve memory and comprehension, spark creativity, and communication skills. Most people struggle with journaling because they feel like it has to be done consistently. Journaling is for YOU. There are no rules for how you should go about it. Write when you feel like it so that it doesn’t feel forced. If you feel stuck there are plenty of journals prompts on Pinterest you can try. I find that the most interesting part of journaling is looking back at your old entries and seeing how much you’ve grown from a situation.

TALK TO A LOVE ONE

“Reginae call your daddy!” No, but seriously, talking to a loved one will help you put things into perspective and make you realize that there are bigger things in this world than what you’re stressing about. Talking to a friend is the perfect distraction from your situation. By venting to someone you are able to sort out your feelings and feel calm. No matter how overwhelmed you are you know that you have the love and support of those you care about the most.

Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed know that “this too shall pass.” Break down your tasks into sections and prioritize the list from “most to least important.” Use the tips I talked about and know that you got this. You will be okay. It happens to all of us.

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Advice

John Gray, We Are not Raising Men

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While looking through Twitter today, I came across an excerpt of Pastor John Gray on Sister Circle. What I saw disappointed me. A choir of sisters sat beside him advocating for women sidelining themselves to raise adult males. I was tight. Speaking about his wife, Aventer, Pastor John Gray said:

She’s a covering not a lid because if a man marries a lid she’ll stop your dream. But if you marry a covering, she’ll push you to your destiny.

To that, I say men who believe this are lids.

Not Your Mama, #NotYourMule

Women are burdened with confining gender roles that minimize the freedom women have in an oppressive patriarchal world. We are seen as lovers, maidens, mothers, queens, huntresses, sages, and mystics. Women are expected to be therapists, expert chefs, maids, and submissive to their significant others, at least in heteronormative relationships. We are expected to stay youthful, speak little, spend nothing, and be grateful for the opportunity. Not only are women subjugated to lives of servitude at their own expense, its due to the emotional immaturity of their spouses.

Men are particularly guilty of exploiting the maternal strengths many women possess. This notion that “a woman will inspire me to be my best self” is pure narcissism. Stringing women along with “I know I’m not perfect” or “I’ll make it one day” is manipulation. Judith Orloff, author of ‘The Empath’s Survival Guide’, says:

What narcissists see in empaths is a giving, loving person who is going to try and be devoted to you and love you and listen to you. But unfortunately empaths are attracted to narcissists, because at first this is about a false self. Narcissists present a false self, where they can seem charming and intelligent, and even giving, until you don’t do things their way, and then they get cold, withholding, and punishing.”

“I had to grow into her”

Empathetic people are patient to a fault and believe they can fix people with compassion. As John continued, he mentioned the pain he caused his wife because of his failure to heal himself.

My wife has endured more pain birthing me than both of our children. She has sacrificed these past 8 years, uncovering the painful areas of my manhood and covering the areas that could have exposed me.

That’s not her job! Toxic masculinity and the rejection of feminine energy has convinced men that they can wait until they’re in a relationship to deal with their baggage. While we frequently refer to this as a woman raising a man, its actually trauma bonding. Trauma bonding is when a victim and an abuser form a connection that makes it impossible to leave the relationship, no matter how much damage it’s doing. Much like the relationship between Michelle and Chad, these bonds are formed by the tactics narcissists use.

In situations like these, you just have to be prepared to say those people aren’t healthy for you. Let them go.

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Y’all Weren’t Going to Tell Me My Baby Was Ugly?

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After 28 hours of labor and an extra week of pregnancy, I was exhausted. That extra week messed up all of my plans! Having a natural birth didn’t happen. My husband had to leave in less than 24 hours after I gave birth for work. My sisters that came to help, had to go home. Not to mention the lack of breastmilk for the first 48 hours. The only help I had was from my 60-year-old father-in-law who hasn’t dealt with babies in over 25 years. Moments like this made me wish my mother was still alive. The stress of the situation didn’t really give me a chance to embrace my baby and motherhood. I looked at my son, but I didn’t really look at my son.

When I finally got a moment to soak in motherhood and embrace my baby, I thought something was wrong. Why does he look so old? I read overdue babies sometimes look a little wrinkly, but this was looking a little extreme. I could have sworn I saw a 5 o’clock shadow. I started to wonder if the Curious Case of Benjamin Button was happening to my child… Read the full blog at SimplyLizLove.com

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Yes, Check On Your “Strong Friend,” But First, Have You Checked In With Yourself?

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With the passing of celebrity fashion designer, Kate Spade, the dialogue around mental health and suicide prevention has re-surfaced. Also, it’s been a popular posting among social media groups and an overall cultural push in asking, “Have you checked on your strong friend? “I too believe it is important to reach out to those who would not traditionally appear to have struggled with mental health; Yet, I have a more pressing question to ask, have you checked on yourself? Too often, we become busy and caught up in everything around us and forget to take care of our own needs until we feel stressed and overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of the world we live in.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2010), suicide was the 16th leading cause of death for blacks of all ages and the third leading cause of death for black males ages 15–24. Additionally, although research indicates that suicidal behaviors occur at a lower rate than their high school counterparts, attempts at suicide among black high school students is increasing at an alarming rate.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2010), suicide was the 16th leading cause of death for blacks of all ages and the third leading cause of death for black males ages 15–24. Click To Tweet

For many, especially within the black community, misunderstand the importance of mental health. Thus, many members of the black community are reluctant to discuss mental health out of cultural conditioning, shame, and stigma regarding the signs and symptoms as less critical than they really are.

Checking on friends and on those who are close to us is all fine and dandy, however, before you can be there for someone else you need to take care of yourself. And remember, it’s not selfish or crime to ask what you need, you just have to be aware of what your own needs are.

Now, don’t get me wrong, as humans we long for the connection and empathy from others, but before we can make sure we truly support others with their struggles, we need to make sure we are there for ourselves. So, I ask you, when is the last time you took time out for yourself? When was the last time that you honestly took care of your needs, not just physical, but emotional as well? When was the last time you intentionally engaged in self-care?

              

 

Let’s end the stigma and continue to have these courageous conversations. No one is exempt, anyone could struggle with mental health.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, there are options available to help you cope 1-800-273-8255. You can call the Lifeline at any time to speak to someone and get support. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.

As always, bring your ideas and thoughts, let’s have a civil conversation. I would love to hear your thoughts. Emphasis on “civil,” because the block game is S T R O N G. Find me Instagram and Twitter @TheCarterReport, as well as [email protected] I am always interested in hearing about what you all what to hear about.

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