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5+ Ways to Calm Your Anxiety and Get a Good Nights Sleep

I’m pretty sure I have already told you guys that I suffer from anxiety. Couple that with being an introvert that would rather stay to themselves and the conversations that I have in my head are non-freaking-stop. I’ve learned to cope with it pretty well (and even have tried out some apps that help) but my anxiety and overthinking usually brings another friend along with them. Hello insomnia. Anxiety and a good nights sleep do not couple well. Some nights it seems like no matter how much I try to relax my mind, I cannot turn the switch off in my brain and go to sleep. I’ve come up with some easy and effective methods to calm myself down, shut the switch off and at least get a couple hours of sleep.

Journal before bed – This helps to get the ideas out of my head. I find that if I write down at least some of the trillion things that I am thinking about, they stay out long enough for me to fall asleep. Journaling also helps me remember things because… mommy brain. I come up with some pretty good content ideas when I can’t sleep. Write it down so it’s out of your head.

Listen to music – And then my focus is on one thing. Music has always been one of the ways I was able to get out of my head. We cosleep (unfortunately LOL) so I’m not in the bed doing any late night karaoke. But singing along in my head helps zero in on one thought.

Read until you’re asleep – That probably sounds bad. And I’ll admit I don’t read nearly as much as I used to. But I used to love reading. I’m able to block everything out around me. Just like listening to music it helps my thoughts zero in on a specific thing so I’m not thinking about 8297008980420 other things.

Meditation and Relaxation – This method actually takes a lot more effort for me. Calming myself down is a process. Since meditation involves actively focusing on one thing I have to actually WORK to make this work. But coupled with deep breathing it not only calms my mind but my entire body.

 

No caffeine a few hours before bed – My insomnia in my 20s used to be WAY worse than it is now. I quickly found out that caffeine any time after 6 is my enemy. I cut out the red bull (I know, don’t judge me) and I make sure to limit my soda/coffee intake. If you already have problems getting to sleep on your own you don’t need any assistance.

These are only a few ideas that help me but when researching I’m sure you can find a ton of other ideas. Aromatherapy, essential oils and weighted blankets are all things I have heard great reviews on but have not tried myself. I do recommend trying out a few different methods and seeing what works for you. Everybody is different, and every night is different. Some nights I can write and go to sleep and some nights I have to try 3 different methods before I am able to calm myself down. Anxiety and a good nights sleep don’t often go hand and hand but it doesn’t have to be crippling. And of course, if you feel like it’s something you cannot manage alone then you should definitely seek professional help.

Do you suffer from anxiety or insomnia? What are some things that help you get to sleep?

 

 

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AirPods Are The Mom Accessory I Didn’t Know I Needed

We are an Apple house! A little while ago I told you about all the amazing family benefits of iOS 12. Now I want to put you on to an accessory you probably hear about all the time. But seriously, AirPods are the accessory that I never realized I needed! As a mom, I am frequently using headphones. I use them when I’m listening to podcasts, when I’m cleaning, or when my kids have taken over the TV and I want to watch Netflix on my phone and actually be able to hear. AirPods are a mom accessory. They changed the game!

About Apple’s Second Generation AirPods

AirPods revolutionized the wireless audio experience with a breakthrough design and the new AirPods build on the magical experience customers love. The new Apple-designed H1 chip, developed specifically for headphones, delivers performance efficiencies, faster connect times, more talk time and the convenience of hands-free “Hey Siri.”

The new AirPods come with either the standard charging case or the new Wireless Charging Case. Each case holds additional charges for more than 24 hours of total listening time, ensuring AirPods are charged and ready to go whenever you are. The Wireless Charging Case is designed to offer the freedom of wireless charging with Qi-compatible charging solutions. An LED light indicator located on the front of the case conveniently shows the charge status with just a glance.

Continue Reading →

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5 Ways to Stay Genuinely Happy When Everything Feels Negative

I’m not sure what it is but I feel like everywhere you turn on social media someone is posting or sharing something that just doesn’t vibrate on a high frequency. I feel like we all have that one Facebook friend that is the constant bearer of bad news. Or the person that comments on everything trying to negate someone else’s opinion. And if thats not the case the state of the country alone is enough to make you want to sleep until everyone gets it the hell together. I have had people comment on how positive I am and even ask what I’m “so happy” about all the time and honestly it’s been a big mental shift that I committed to working on myself. Staying genuinely happy is a decision. And it’s one that I decided to make for myself. Continue Reading →

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What to Do When You Suspect Abuse at School

When I picked RJ up from school a few weeks ago he was sitting at the table in his classroom pouting. This wasn’t that much of a shocker to me. He’s a moody 4 year old, he’s whiny and he’s a pouter much like most kids his age. But when I found out the reason he was pouting I was surprised. He told me he was in trouble for punching his teacher. Ummmm, what?! Of all the adjectives I just used to describe my child aggressive was not one of them. My child isn’t nor has he ever been a hitter. He’s a sweet kid, he’s a cuddler and sometimes he is just too dang friendly. So if I had to pin down one word to express my feelings in the exact moment he looked me in the face and told me he punched his teacher it would be… CONFUSED. 

In the moment all I could say was exactly what was in my head…. WHAT??? Why would you punch the teacher. I questioned him repeatedly once we got home about what exactly happened in the situation that would lead him to believe it’s OK to put his hands on anyone, much less an adult. The only thing response he gave me or his father as much as he asked was that he was afraid. This happened on a Friday and Sunday night rolled around and I mentioned the incident to his grandmother and in front of me he gave her the same response.

When I left, he had a completely different story.

RJ told his grandmother, after I had been asking him all weekend that he was afraid to go back to school because the teacher hit him. *cue another Ummmm, what?!* This time I wasn’t confused. The maternal instinctual feeling was rage. I had no idea how to even begin to process the 100% emotional reaction that I was having to my preschooler telling me that his teacher put their hands on him. Thankfully, the incident was resolved quickly and I’m comfortable with the outcome however, in the time we live in these happenings are become far to frequent. The news stories are highlighted everywhere and I’m wondering if people are listening to the cues from their children so that we can prevent these things from happening as much as possible.

What Do You Do When You Suspect Abuse at School?

Take a deep breath – I almost added this as the last tip but it needs to be said first. Breathe, assess and don’t react. Easier said than done, but reacting without assessing the situation could be detrimental in many aspects. It’s so important to collect yourself first so that you can respond to the situation as calmly as possible.

Watch your child – Children don’t always have the words to express what is happening. And even if they do, they may be nervous to share what they are experiencing. RJ repeatedly told me he was scared and refused to say anything else. Up until this particular incident he never expressed any anxiety about going to school. He loves to play with his friends and he loves the interaction he gets with both his teachers. Him expressing fear about school was definitely a behavioral shift, something that couldn’t go ignored.

Speak to the teacher privately – And when I say privately I mean without your child present. RJs situation turned out to be a misunderstanding (trust me, it was investigated fully) but I believe addressing the situation with the teacher privately is one of the most important steps. You want to be able to get a full scope of the situation without causing any more adverse negative effects. So in this instance, I didn’t want RJ to feel even more uncomfortable with being in the classroom in the event that he was to remain in that class.

Speak with school administrators – You want to have everything on record in the event that another situation happens. So even if the situation is “resolved” within the classroom it should still be brought to the attention of someone else and a formal report should be made.

Don’t feel any type of guilt. The safety of your child comes first.

Document everything – This again is merely another step in covering yourself in case you need to escalate. If you can have each meeting documented and signed by all that were in attendance so that there are no discrepancies.

Utilize the open door policy – I know in most cases we send our children to school with the expectation that they’re going to be well taken care of and you don’t have to worry, but if you worry then check in. My son’s school has an open door policy which I definitely utilize. Don’t feel bad about popping up unexpected. If you can check in unannounced, you may feel. It also gives you a chance to see the true classroom dynamic at any given time.

Change your child’s class – If it comes down to it, have your child moved to a different class. Both you and your child deserve to be in a situation you feel comfortable with. If you suspect or have a fear your child is being mistreated or treated differently after investigating the event, a change may be needed.

Stick to your guns and follow your instinct – This is a two in one tip. As a parent no one in the world knows your child better than you. Follow their cues, and your instinct if you feel something is amiss. You deserve to be comfortable with the care your child is receiving when they are away from you.

You’re doing amazing mamas! I’m so proud of you!

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10 Self Care Apps You Can Use in Case Therapy Isn’t Your “Thing”

Not everyone has the time or the means to get to therapy. You may not be able to afford it or don’t have the time between working and mommy duties. I also get that unfortunately especially within the black community there are still so many stigmas revolving around the idea of seeing a therapist. So many people will be quick to tell you to pray, give it to God or straight up dismiss your problems as a problem that black people don’t have. So you may feel embarrassed about wanting to ask for help (but you totally shouldn’t be).

Whatever your reason is for not being able to make it to lay on somebody’s couch, we thankfully live in the wonderful age of technology. There are a plethora of apps that are available to make self care easy on the go. Whether you need someone to talk to, or just need a few daily reminders to keep you energy positive there’s an app for ALL that.

For When You Need to Talk

Talkspace – Talkspace was actually the first app that I heard of that provided online therapy. I’m not saying it is the first of it’s kind but it’s definitely the first that was marketed in a way that caught my attention! Talkspace provides you with 24/7 access to a licensed therapist and costs WAY less than traditional therapy. This is great for moms on the go who can’t make it in to traditional appointments, those who may feel embarrassed or just someone that may need someone to talk to at an untraditional hour. Talkspace also offers therapy for teens and couples therapy.

7 Cups of Tea – 7 cups of Tea provides you with 24/7 access to talk to someone in case you don’t have the time to get in an office. What makes 7 cups different is for free you can talk to what they call “trained active listeners”. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I could use a good vent and 7 cups is looking to provide that service for you. They also have the option to connect with a licensed professional for $150 a month.

iPrevail – iPrevail is different in that you answer a series of mood based questions, and then you are connected anonymously to a peer counselor for free. They have a large community in which you can choose to connect with others who may be experiencing the same type of feelings/situations that you are. You also have the option of speaking to a licensed professional for $9.99 a month.

For When You Need Verbal Positive Reminders 

Happify – Happify is an app designed for stress and worry. They send daily reminders, games and other activities to get you into the habit of thinking positively. The cool thing is that the activities are designed specifically for you based on what you input. I just started using the app and I like it. It doesn’t feel like it’s too hard and it’s not too cheesy.

Gratitude Journal – Because I truly believe in starting each day with a grateful heart. This app gives you reminders to practice gratitude on a regular basis, not just once a day. You can input the things you’re grateful for daily with pictures and share them if you chose via social media.

Sprinkle of Jesus – I know some people aren’t feeling this app but honestly, sometimes these just make me giggle. The notifications are definitely marketed towards todays generation and are looking to spread the love and light of Jesus in a way that will reach a younger market. I ain’t mad at them. They more often than not do get the message across and I’m not ashamed to say most of the time they are timely.

When You’re Ready to Take Your Self Care to a Physical Level

Breathing Zone – It may sound crazy but as someone who suffers from anxiety, sometimes I need help remembering how to breathe. Voice instructions and animations guide your pace; timed sessions from five minutes to one hour are available. Breathing zone is said to defuse stress and decrease blood pressure.

Plant Nanny – I can’t keep a real plant alive for anything but I do pretty well with plant nanny! This app is the cutest reminder ever to make sure you’re hitting your water goals (and if you need water bottle inspiration I have a post on that too). I love that you set your individual goal, and thats your focus.

Flo – If you happen to be reading this post and you aren’t a woman, you can skip this. Flo is a daily cycle tracker most use for period/ovulation. As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized knowing your cycle helps predict your moods pretty well. Hormones are real y’all, don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.

Mealime – Mealime takes the stress out of meal planning. You input your food preferences and mealtime gives you a grocery list AND recipes. Food affects your mood. The better you eat the better you will feel and if you struggle with low moods, you may want to take a look at your diet. I’m the first to admit that I don’t always eat the best. But when I do eat better, I do notice a shift in how I feel.

Are you using your phone to help boost your mood ? What is your favorite self care app?