Self Care: Why You Need It and How to Obtain It

I don’t know about anybody else, but the holidays have been draining for me- even though I was a self proclaimed Grinch seriously it was the first year I did not put up a tree and Christmas music was driving me insane! Lol- After gift shopping, holiday parties and celebrating the New Year I’m exhausted!

This year, like most, I have set some goals for myself; 3 specific goals. If you refer back to my very first video, I talk about keeping the goals to a minimum of 3 and elaborating on them. Too many goals split your focus or can become overwhelming-and I am already overworked! – try to do things to work toward your goals daily, weekly, and monthly. For instance, if your goal is to write a book; write a little each day, set a goal of a chapter a week by the end of the month you should have 4 chapters and that much closer to completing your book.

As I’ve gotten older, I have become a bit more private about the goals I set; they are very personal to me-and hello boundaries! – But I do want to share one I think everyone should be doing in some shape or form: Self Care.

Towards the end of the year things got super crazy for me mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. One thing that falls to the side when things get crazy is taking care of you. This is definitely a moment to be selfish. My grandmother always tells me you can’t take care of other people if you can’t take care of yourself. It starts with you. You can’t pour into other things if you’re empty. Self care is more about working on the inside rather than outside- but don’t get it twisted keep it cute on the outside too boo-

Creating a stress free environment and setting boundaries are definitely important steps for self care. I believe your job plays a major role in stress. I personally decided to make a role change at one of my jobs. I was an admin to a director which was great for my resume, but super stressful, not at all flexible and I was slowly becoming unhappy. I took a promotion to processing behavioral medical claims. Even though it’s considered a promotion I will be doing much less than what I was doing in my other role-which I am super excited for frees up time for me to do things I want to do- also, I was being constantly consumed by work thoughts that it was clouding my mind!

Your peace of mind is yours and yours alone! It’s especially important if you suffer from mental illnesses or disorders. After my last flair up with PMDD I decided that my peace of mind was most important. I practice meditation which I get into later, but I haven’t been incorporating those tools into areas of my life outside of the physical act of meditating. I think practicing mindful meditation would help with dealing with stress throughout the day. You should be protecting your peace of mind at all cost. –Boundaries people boundaries!- 

So going forward in 2018 here are some things I am incorporating to help me protect my peace of mind and continue to work on my self care.

  1. Meditation and Reading

I talk about meditation a lot in my blog, but it’s so good for you! After a meditation session I feel refreshed. I feel mentally relieved. –Like when you got to take a nap in kindergarten – it’s totally brings the focus back to the forefront. I do my meditation sessions at night right after doing yoga and sometimes during my breaks at work. However, it’s not something I practice constantly.

After the last PMDD episode I had, I found that I was having constant anxiety and mini anxiety attacks – and for myself I want to learn how to deal with it naturally vs. taking medication, that’s just for me– I researched ways to deal with the anxiety thoughts throughout the day and one of the things I found for practicing mindful meditation. Meditation is the act of clearing your thoughts; mindful meditation is the act of training your thoughts. So whatever I’m thinking about that is causing my anxiety, I’m training myself to be aware that I’m having those thoughts and redirect my thoughts to more positive thinking.

I read books… and I’ll read you if you try it!

Reading is another way I train my mind. I lovvvvvvveeeeee to read- I’m especially attracted to books about magic and wizardry– but I will read almost anything. Reading provides me an escape that nothing else does. –That feeling when you get caught up in a good book, it’s nothing like it! – I’m particular about how I read as well. I prefer physical books over reading on my phone or a kindle –and it’s something about the smell of a book– since I love to read so much I decided to create a space in my house that I could read.

So for 2018, I’m in the process of converting a corner in my bedroom into a reading nook. I’m getting a big comfy chair, pillows, and a comfy blanket, light, the whole 9. I will be sure to keep you guys updated.

  1. Yoga and Exercise

Yoga and meditation go hand in hand. Practicing meditation is a part of yoga, which is why every session ends in a 10 minute meditation-but don’t you leave feeling relaxed and refreshed?!-

Exercising is just great for you period. –Do I really need to tell you all the benefits from exercising? – I will say I like to end a great workout in the sauna for 15-20 mins. If you have asthma like myself this helps your lungs after an intense workout. The sauna is great for colds/sinus as well. I also like to put a deep conditioner in my hair and sit in the sauna-yes with my bag on my head daring anyone to say anything! – But it’s so good for your hair and really helps the product work.

  1. Nature

Hitting the gym is great but I prefer to run outside. Something about physically being able to see how far I’ve actually ran and see nature rather than the person’s butt in front of me or smelling that sweaty gym smell- you know what I’m talking about! – A walk in the park, a hike, walk a trail, ponder life at a stream, or bicycling around the city, fresh air is definitely another good way to clear your mind, focus on your thoughts, and gain some clarity.

  1. Spa Day

Specifically a at home spa day- because we ballas on a budget over here! – I believe pampering yourself is essential. Manicures, pedicures, body butters, massage oils, massages, eyebrow threading, waxes, I need all of that. ALL. OF. THAT.

I do have a nail tech that I go to for my nails– shout out to Venus K. at Nail Lounge in the Boro! She keeps my nail in check- I also hit up the European Wax Center in Brentwood for any waxing I get done. Other than that I mainly do everything else myself. Yes that’s right, I have learned how to do my eyebrows and my own pedicures, every now and again if I’m feeling fancy I may go and get a pedicure done but I never let anyone touch my brows!!- I had 1 bad brow experience, learned my lesson, and taught myself!-

When I was younger I constantly made everyone in the house mad because I was a bathroom hog! I loved taking long hot bubble baths and listening to music- and you know singing along to all the songs- unfortunately we lived in a 3 bedroom 1 bathroom house sooooo naturally if I was in the bathroom for hours on end no one else could use the bathroom –muahahahaha- As I got older and busier, I settled for hot showers over baths and occasionally took bubble baths. This year I am bringing them back! the goal is for 1 to 2 nights out of the week dedicated to a night of relaxation. A glass bottle of wine –or cherry juice– candle lit bubble baths with neo-soul radio station. –I mean how could you not?!?!

  1. Therapy and Journaling

In case you haven’t notice blogging is kind of like a therapy for me. Of course it’s condensed but none the less. Therapy helps me work through my problems the best. It’s a nonbiased opinion. My therapist suggested journaling because I have a hard time with my thoughts as far as tracking them or remember certain things especially if my anxiety has kicked up.

Thinking about something isn’t enough for me I have to get it out, write it down, and say it out loud, let my thoughts flow until I can figure it out or work through it. The longer it stays in the more it festers, the more toxic it becomes… –let that shit out

Boundaries, self affirmations, living stress free, and protecting your peace of mind are so vital in the day and age. How someone treats you is what you allow and no one will treat you better than you treat yourself! Make sure you are at the top of your list because like I said you can’t take care of others if you can’t take care of yourself. So be selfish with you, your energy, your time, your attention.

What are some things you do for self care? Let’s talk about it!

Oh wait before you go, I have updated my closet on Poshmark and dropped some prices, you can download the app here and shop my closet- @lilvee08 or you can click the link on my home page titled “shop my closet”

Until next time!

XOXO

Respect these F*cking Boundaries

The latter half of 2017 was really rough for me, personally, spiritually, and mentally.

Words I would use to describe it; reckless, passionate, irresponsible, wild, unhealthy, unrequited, challenging, contradicting, and confusing just to name a few.

Since turning 28 I feel like I am stepping from a woman to a grown ass woman and all the universe is pushing me towards something. –has anybody else had this feeling before? Usually when I hear people talk about this it’s at the 30 mark, but baby I’m telling you I feel different!?  943fbd8450531a4095b8fb1f05972b5883433736_hq

I’ve talked a lot about vulnerability, navigating and figuring out what worked best for me- and I’ve brought you guys along this journey as I figure it out– while doing some research, I came across some blogs that really brought some things into perspective. BOUNDARIES. Something that was so simple, yet very much needed. While figuring out being vulnerable I had to figure out what my limits are and what I will and won’t allow. Unfortunately, everything is trial and error and boy was it trial and error-and is still a work in progress– but ultimately it’s about knowing yourself and having standards.

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Set the boundary, live the boundary, respect the fucking boundary. Boundaries teach people how to treat you. If there is one thing I have learned, it’s that people will only treat you how you allow them to. Boundaries are not only important to have in your personal life, but in your dating and career life.

Dating

Having standards and boundaries while dating or in a relationship is very important. I’ve talked about my dating lifeor lack thereof– before and how I’ve never actually had a legit boyfriend, I think the last time I had one of those was 8th grade? Does that even count? NO! Every since this “talking” or “we not together but we know what it is” phase it seems that people are more interested in that rather than having an actual relationship- I can go deeper into this on another blog, but for now I digress– while in high school and a bit of college, I too, dabbled in it – it’s very convenient for that period of your life– but damnit after 25 if you’re still on that move far away from me. I’m at the point now where I want something real, someone I can grow, build, and explorer exclusively with – not knocking anyone that prefers to “talk” or “be together with no title” I just realize it’s not for me, it’s too confusing and way too many open questions for me and if you read my last blog that’s just asking for a panic attack I don’t have time for that, but to each its own right?-   I’ve been on a few dates in the past, but as I began to really analyze my dating life, I began to question do I really know how to date?suits_403_jeff_jessica_boundaries

Dating feels hard confusing not fun right now. I’m the single friend, so getting advice from my girlfriends that aren’t dating like me was hard, so naturally I looked for reading material and articles online. I have read The Conversation by Hill Harper before, but the details were a bit foggy to me. So I took the dust off the book and reread it. I instantly remembered why I loved the book so much. I even made notes and highlighted areas the first time I read it. –I read this book when I got out of my last “we not together but togetherrelationship– I also came across a blog post on XO Necole which came back to boundaries. I loved the idea of treating everybody of the opposite sex like a friend until it’s crystal clear that they want something more. I could go deeper into this, but honestly the post says everything I would say, take the time to read it if you have the chance. Between the book and the article, it definitely put things in perspective and gave me some things to keep in my arsenal when it comes to this dating game.

Career

I’m always going to be very vocal about purpose and passion, I feel like I was dead before I found it. Its hard work when your purpose and passion don’t make you those coins to stay alive, however. I talked in a post about how unhappy I was in my job because the job itself is stressful and it was taking away from my purpose and passion, which I care deeply about.  I decided for my sanity to take a step back out of management–although it’s considered a promotion– but it’s just a simpler job and it offers me more benefits, such as working at home.  Your job is such a huge chunk of your day, you should be happy doing whatever it is right? For someone like me it’s a means to an end, but I also need to be happy and not stressed doing it so I am able to do my passion and purpose. It’s a fine balance to it. It’s a boundary to it.giphy (1)

I follow Halfietruths’ blog -and honestly if you don’t you should, she’s amazing!- and she did a video over boundaries, where she talks about  what boundaries are, why to have them, and how to set them. One of the things she talks about in the video is how setting boundaries protects your energy, which for me is why boundaries are so important for me right now.

I’ve always been very open about suffering with PMDD I will be doing a video on this soon so keep an eye out- Fortunately for me, I know I’m very sensitive to hormones, so taking birth control with hormones in it, Plan B, or anything with added hormones will trigger a “crazy” lady – seriously shit gets REAL!- So setting boundaries helps protect this very important space for my sanity.

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It’s also so important for you and others to respect the boundaries you set. I’ve been guilty of setting boundaries and then going back on them to please someone or to please myself.-temptation is a bitch am I right?–  How confusing is that right? If I show I don’t even respect the boundaries or standards I set, how the fuck am I supposed to expect someone else to respect them?

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Going into 2018, I challenge everyone to really get to know who you are. We are ever evolving beings and we are constantly changing and one day you look up and you realize you don’t know who you are anymore. I challenge you to be the best version of yourself daily. I challenge you to find you purpose and your passion and go for it, but live in the moment and enjoy the journey. What is living if you’re not having any fun? Have fun. but also RESPECT THESE FUCKING BOUNDARIES with positive vibes only. tenor

Let’s talk: What are some boundaries you’re setting for yourself in the New Year?

Until next time,

Happy Holidays!

Over-Thinking

Hello, my name is Veronica and I’m an over-thinker. I haven’t always been this way or maybe I have and I’m just now fully aware of it. I find if I am having a PMDD (which you can read about HERE) episode my over –thinking can kick into high gear or during times of high stress I can find myself questioning everything.img_7440

In this blog, I am going to be talking about ways I have learned to deal with my over-thinking- which I have now accepted as a part of me

It wasn’t easy getting to this point, honestly still a work in progress. Here are the things I have found help me the best.

1. You have to learn to be ok with questions you’ll never get the answers to.

This one was a big one for me, especially during a period of rejection or dating. I’m constantly trying to figure the situation out. Beat the game before it can beat me, but life doesn’t work that way. I had to learn to let it flow, be present in the moment, and let it work itself out – I recently learned this lesson by causing myself all this confusion by over-thinking the situation when the answer was simple, I don’t need all the answers let it flow naturally, but hey I’m only human– I tend to ask questions to the point of insanity for some people.  I’ve mentioned in a previous blog that I’m not the person you take to the movies, I know we are both seeing the movie for the first time; however, I will ask questions. I ask questions even if it’s a movie I have already seen.- It’s pretty ridiculous.- I like to know things fully before I give all of my attention to it, which I find to be a positive thing, but rather than being present in the moment and letting it flow, ill question it to death.  I’m learning to silence the thoughts by practicing mindful thoughts and countering them with positive thoughts-not saying my thoughts/questions are negative, but they can drive me to the point of insanity.

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2. You will have to work hard to change your thinking

This was also another gem I recently discovered. Your thoughts control your actions and reactions to situations and the way you perceive things. Over-thinking can make you think things are one way when they aren’t and vice versa. I’m a Libra, so I try to see situations from all sides. I try to put myself in the shoes of others and see things from their perspective. Sometimes this creates more questions because I can also see it from my perspective. I can literally flood my mind with thoughts and it’s not even that deep. In times where I’m dealing with rejection or some sort of “loss”, if you will, I have to constantly train my mind to go from over analyzing to words of positive affirmations, because I can be my own worst critic.-but hey aren’t we all?

img_72743.Write it out!

Rapping, writing, poetry, song writing, listen whatever form you have to use to work it out use it! Journaling for the win “What you reveal, you heal”-Jay Z (and some others I’m sure) but it’s true. How can you heal from something if you’re not willing to reveal it? Not reveal it in the sense that you have to declare it to the world, but to yourself. Sometimes we will deny our own truths or suppress them thinking that if we ignore them we’ll get over them. –Boy are you wrong– all you’re doing is giving it power to fester. Would you get shot and not have it checked out? Would you find out you have cancer and just ignore it thinking it’ll go away if you act like it’s not there? No. So why would you deal with your problems like that?! Therapy works, but if you really don’t want to share express it some way, better out than in.

4. Distract yourself

Constantly over thinking, over analyzing, dwelling is not healthy for the mind, clear it out and focus that energy on self. In times of rejections, break-ups, self doubts, and life’s little curve balls will throw over-thinkers, like myself, into overdrive. We are determined to figure out why? What happened? How can I fix this? What can I learn from this? How can I make this better or change it to my favor? The answer is simple: you don’t.  Let’s circle back to #1, You have to accept that you don’t have all the answers. You HAVE to let it flow.  How does an over-thinker let it flow? Starve that part that you’re dwelling over, distract yourself. Something I learned from baseball, when the pitcher is getting ready to throw the ball he focuses on where he wants the ball to go, he feels the energy flow through ball, he twist it in his hands, gets it ready to throw, and just before he gets into motion he looks away. There’s a study that says for perfect work productivity you work 52 mins and walk away for 17 mins. You have to stop thinking about it, to think about it. –Crazy I know– I have found that I have figured more out while not thinking about it than I did overt-thinking it. I have found that by distracting myself with meditation, yoga, getting outdoors –because I work 24/7 365, its very important to stop and get fresh air– dance, reading, working on my craft, music, coloring- yes this helps– exercising, and becoming my best self has helped me more than constantly mulling over a situation. Once I find myself completely distracted I somehow have an “ah ha” moment.img_7463

5.Appreciate the “ah ha” moments

Sometimes you have to go through it to grow through.  That last sentence was an “ah ha” moment within its self. Be careful with the “ah ha” moments. Sometimes they can throw you back into thinking about a situation. “Ah Ha” moments are beautiful when they happen. They make you appreciate everything you went through to get to that moment. More so because it allows you to finally see why you had to go through that situation. Leveling up, struggle moments, moments you feel like you’re being tested, they mean something in the long run. It’s important to appreciate them for what they are, but don’t let them drive you back down the road of questioning everything.

These 5 tips have helped me tremendously, but like I said before definitely a work in progress. This is probably something I will always have to work on, learning to be quite and realize I don’t need the all the answers especially because time reveals all.1000_mean-girls-try-new-thing

Are you an over-thinker? Comment below some of the things that help you be still in calm your mind. Let’s talk about it!

Until next time

XOXO

 

 

Stress is a Killer

So lately in my blogs, I have been talking about being overwhelmed, overworked and stressed out. After I had my mental break I decided to put my health first-because I believe in doctors, but not all medicine is good medicine. There were some things I did when I had more time, in the past, but I have let some things go due to not having enough time- but as the saying goes, you make time for what you want. Being that I’m struggling with high stress and bad sleep habits I had to change and QUICK! So I want to share with you what I do to reduce stress and what helps get me the proper amount of good sleep.

Organic Tart Cherry Juice
Organic tart cherry juice was introduced to me, from a dear coworker, after I explained that I felt like I was sleeping, but not resting, I could not get settled down enough to go to sleep on time. Let me tell you guys this is the stuff of miracles! It gives you the mellow feeling that comes with wine without the alcohol. I had tried melatonin, however I would wake up irritable -I didn’t like it and I’m sure people I encountered didn’t either. It does have a tart taste, hence the name, but I love tart, sour foods so I love it. Plus it has some wonderful health benefits, along with giving you a better quality of sleep- it helps me fall and stay asleep- it regulates metabolism, and helps muscles repair after a workout. It also boosts your immune system! This stuff saved my life, and spared a few people’s feelings!

tumblr_mzlhrqienO1tnxzalo1_500Cardio and the Sauna

Speaking of muscle recovery, I have only recently started getting back into exercising. I notice a major change in my overall being when I consistently work out, Keyword consistently-because I start and stop and start and stop a lot and it really hurts me more than helps when I do that- but when I do it consistently I feel great throughout the day, and my energy levels go all the way up -Fat Joe voice- I mainly stick to running- because honestly when I incorporate weights I suddenly hate the gym, baby steps baby steps- also I have asthma and running helps build my lungs and airways. After a good run, I lovelove LOVE to get in the sauna. 20 minutes with just me and my thoughts, it’s so relaxing to me, I cannot explain it. I feel ten times better plus it helps with the soreness.- Bonus, I also get my stretch in while I’m in the sauna so it’s almost like hot yoga, if you will.tenor (2)

Bedtime yoga/stretching

Speaking of yoga, if I can’t make it to the gym for my workout and that lovely sauna, I will take 10-15 minutes before I go to bed, after drinking my cherry juice, I will do yoga and stretching. I will do common stretches to warm my body up before I go into the yoga poses. There’s a couple of poses I do routinely to limber up and calm me down. I stay in a pose for at least 30 seconds. The fun part about this is you can do it all using your bed-say what?!- Yes girl, the bed is my yoga mat! So when I’m all done I go straight to bed. Yoga is beneficial for insomnia and sleep problems. This coupled with my cherry juice-I’m telling you guys it is AWESOME!-

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Meditation

If I have learned anything in acting class, it’s to always focus focus FOCUS! It’s the first thing and most important thing of acting. How long can one focus though? My attention span is very very short, I’ve learned- worse than the dog in the movie Up. Squirrel! – Meditation has allowed me to clear my head and really focus on keeping it that way for I’m almost at 10 minutes now.- I know 10 minutes doesn’t sound like a lot of time, and sounds very easy, but trust me its sooooooo hard! especially for an over thinker like me.-  I like to do this at the end of my bedtime yoga or when I’m in the sauna- and sometimes in the middle of a busy work day- I usually lay in the middle of my bed, eyes closed, feet together spread eagle, and my palms facing up. It’s the most refreshing feeling to just not think about anything and focus on the breath, especially for someone who is constantly stressing.

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Reading

Like meditation, reading requires a lot of focus. However, if it’s a really good book I can get lost in the words and it’s not like I’m reading at all. I like reading as a hobby, but the plus to it is its works as a stress reliever because I get to forget whatever it is I have going on in my mind and get pulled into this other world. I always gravitate towards magic, witchery and other worlds –fantasy- but every now and then I’ll pick up a book that is just dealing with real life and drama –and it’s not mine! Ha!- the added plus to this is you get to actually learn while distressing.tumblr_inline_ogf77wP7gw1uqccih_500

 

These small changes take me from barely making it to feeling like i can conquer the world! Give these tips a try and let me know if they change your life in the comments below!

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sliding into my day like…

 

Until next time!

XoXo