Health & Wellness

  • 10 Self-Care Tips To Help You Get Through Election Day Anxiety

    Election day anxiety is a real thing and it’s at an all-time high. Listen, I am stressed in ways I didn’t think possible and that’s saying something considering 2016. I’m trying to be calm about it but it’s really hard. And I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. People around me are on edge. Everything is at stake here and if it doesn’t go well who knows what that will mean for us.

    So how do we get through this day without driving ourselves mad? There are 10 things I plan on doing today and throughout the rest of the week if [redacted] is reelected.

    Stay Off Social Media

    As much as I love Twitter I’m shutting it down by 5pm and I suggest you do the same. As much as you may want to be on Twitter all day long keeping up to date I highly recommend that you don’t. Consuming too much that’s shared about the election, especially distressing videos won’t do anything to help your anxiety. Instead, pick a single trusted news source and sporadically keep yourself abreast that way but after a certain time turn it off completely.

    Go To Bed Early

    With daylight savings in effect and it’s pretty much pitch black at 4pm so why not just call it a night. There’s no rule that states you have to stay up until the wee hours of the morning to find out who the winner is, and with as much stress as this election is causing why would you. Watching the numbers crawl in will only make your anxiety worse, trust me I was an emotional mess in 2016, don’t do your mind and body the way I did mine – go to bed.

    Oh, and turn off your wifi so that you get no breaking news disruptions while you sleep. Which leads me to my next point…

    Meditate As Soon As You Wake Up

    The first thing I do in the morning after turning off my alarm is scrolling through Twitter to find out if the world is ending and it’s worth getting out of bed. Instead, on Wednesday morning I will meditate silently before I turn my wifi or television on. I want to lay in silence and enjoy the peace that my home brings me before I jump into the chaos of whatever the election results bring me. You should do the same. If you’ve never meditated before Headspace has you covered with some meditation basics. I assure you it’s not hard and you’ve done it many times before you just didn’t realize it.

    Now that I’m thinking about it you might want to set your phone so that your text messages don’t appear displayed on your front screen. Don’t allow yourself to see anything before you’re mentally prepared.

    Binge-Watch A Show Instead of Watching The Election Results

    Instead of watching those numbers come in choose a show on your watch list (I know you have one) and watch it. A series can have between 8-10 episodes. That’s more than enough to keep all of us busy starting around 4 or 5pm or pick 4 movies to watch, whatever floats your boat. Don’t have anything on you list? Popcorn and Tequila has a great list of shows to watch when you need a break. But the goal is to watch anything but those incoming poll numbers.

    Don’t Go Outside On Election Day (But If You Have To Stay Local)

    I have to get some food tomorrow cause I forgot over the weekend but I’m going to stay super close. I don’t like the market around the corner from me cause it’s ridiculously high, but they’re going to get my money because I will not go any farther than that. Cause let me tell you something, the actions of those deplorable [redacted] supporters over the weekend showed me that people are unstable and they will attack you without provocation.

    Don’t think because I live in New York City that I’m immune, no. There are communities here in all five boroughs that I wouldn’t deem safe as a Biden/Harris supporter or as a Black woman. That said, no matter where you are in the country if you have to go out be brief about it and get enough food to last you a few days.

    As a matter of fact, if [redacted] gets reelected again (Lord please don’t let these people be that stupid twice) I would even refrain from going outside the rest of the week unless you plan to protest. In which case, please be safe.

    Election Day Anxiety mommyrandr

    Clean Your Space

    When your space is a disaster your whole emotional well-being will be a disaster too. Turn on some music and use this time to give your place the deep clean it’s been begging you for. It’s colder now use this time to pull out your winter clothes and pack up your summer stuff. Donate anything you no longer want or anything that doesn’t fit. Rid your bathroom of products you purchased but you know you’re never going to use. Vacuum, clean windows, and dust your furniture. Leave no stone unturned.

    Download Music To A Playlist

    Speaking of music, make a playlist, and listen to it. The great thing about making playlists is that you can make them for whatever mood you’re in. According to Get Healthy Stay Healthy, listening to music has many benefits such as, improves mood, reduces stress, eases pain, and provides comfort among other things. As an alternative, there are a number of great health and wellness podcasts that you can give a listen to.

    Ask A Family Member Or Friend To Check On You

    Having someone to check on you is always a great thing. This can be in the form of asking about your well-being and/or someone telling you what the results were. I have a group chat that I live in. It’s my safe space that’s free from the outside world. Make a pact with your group chat members that you’ll keep the chat free of the results until a certain time and have one person share the results. This way you can have the support of those in it helping you get through it should the results not be in our favor.

    If He Wins Again Give Yourself Time To Heal

    This is so important. If this fucker wins again allow yourself time to grieve. There is no time limit on how long you have to be saddened by the news. Allow yourself to feel and go through all the emotions you’re feeling. You’re entitled to feel that way and no one has the right to tell you how long that process should take as the healing process is for you, and only YOU. You’ll emerge from your healing process when you’re good and goddamned ready.

    Call Your Therapist

    If he wins and your emotions are a wreck then I would absolutely recommend calling your therapist. Election day anxiety coupled with a (dreaded) reelection win would be enough for anyone to make an emergency appointment. Talking to a therapist is great because you are able to express things you can’t to your friends and family, especially if you’re the only one feeling the way you do. There is nothing wrong with allowing a professional to help you get through whatever hell we’re going to face.

    Now if he loses, pop champagne – and STILL call your therapist. Why? Because this election tore families apart and you may not be speaking to loved ones and you still have to work through not having those relationships in your life.

     In what ways are you planning on getting through your election day anxiety?
  • Creating and Maintaining An Emotionally Soothing Home Environment

    Eight years, one month, two weeks, and one day. That’s how long I lived with my mother-in-law. What was meant to be a quick two-year pit stop to save money to buy a home turned into the darkest part of my marriage and my life. Last year, my word of 2019 was happiness and I spoke briefly on how living with my in-law was difficult for me. That’s why moving out was so imperative. It took a lot of work and sacrifice on Jeff’s part to make this happen for us. It was a long time coming but I’m grateful to finally be free.

    It’s said that your home either nurtures you or leaves you exhausted by depleting your energy. After a full day of dealing with life and Coronavirus, everyone awaits the moment to enter their comfort space and have a relaxing ever after. But if your home is full of negativity, chaos, stress, and disturbance, it would be impossible for you to fully release and relax. Therefore, it becomes necessary that you create and maintain an emotionally soothing atmosphere at home.

    This is one of the many reasons why it was imperative that we got out of my in-law’s house. The juju there was negative and far from relaxing, no matter how tranquil I decorated our rooms. The space overall was full of stress, resentment, and anger. It took nothing for me and Jeff to argue or for me to have to yell at my in-laws, especially my no-account brother-in-law. That’s why once we moved it was imperative that I create a home environment that was emotionally soothing.

    These are the things we’ve adapted in our new apartment:

    Soothing Atmosphere at Home mommyrandr

    Speaking politely and calmly

    One of the prime foundations of a soothing home atmosphere is everyone being polite to each other. At my in-laws, someone was always speaking unnecessarily loudly or rudely. Which caused me to develop the same habits out of frustration. That’s not good because loud and irritating sounds create a stressful environment between family members – me towards Jeff and the kids. So I vowed not to do this in our new home. It must never be forgotten that people tend to react better to tones that are respectful rather than shouting and overreacting. I’m naturally loud, so coupled with my tone, I sound angry all the time. It’s important for me to work on being more mindful of how my volume and tone. It’s all about more listening and less shouting.

    Keeping our surroundings clean and appealing

    A chaotic surrounding leads to an annoying and tired atmosphere. So this time around I’ve ditched all my old stuff furniture and decor and added mindful art, plants, and reduced the clutter inside my home. Clutter will make your surroundings uninviting and confined. Hence, the reason I’ve been on a trash/donate kick. Why am I keeping those old DVDs or knick-knacks? They don’t do anything but collect dust. I lived cramped, compact, and in clutter for so long that I refuse to do it now. I have a huge space and I want to show it off.

    Incorporating relaxing colors

    In my 20’s I was all about dark colors and woods. Now as I near my 40’s I only want bright colors. While my couch may be grey I’m all about adding colors and prints that move me. I have white walls and accent furniture but I also plan to add bits of pinks, teals, and greens. The key is to not go overboard with super bright tones keep it to peaceful calming tones.

    Allowing natural light and air to flow through the house

    There’s no other more enormous source of relaxation than nature. And this is where a lot of my arguments with my in-laws stemmed from. I am someone who needs the curtains and the windows open at all times no matter the season. My mother-in-law disagrees. If it’s below 70 it’s deemed freezing and all the windows must be closed and locked. I can’t function that way. I require fresh air to keep my health, energy, and positivity up. Also letting air flow through will take out stale smells and bacteria. In our new home, I’ve had my curtains and windows wide open since we’ve been here. It’s a wonderful feeling to not worry if someone will come behind me to shut them.

    Eliminate noise and interruption

    Though a well-ventilated house is a source of calm and freshness, it can sometimes bring unwanted noise and disruption. Traffic noise, construction noise, and loud neighbors can make you more stressed. My in-laws were always loud and loved to interrupt you no matter what we were doing. To overcome that situation, I used blackout curtains, candles, and played soothing music. Jeff knows by now I put my calming music on low enough for me to hear it as a way to help me block out the noise around me. For me, scent and sound promote relaxation even in stressful environments. Especially, music. It works as a therapy in helping me to bring down stressful chaotic thoughts. In my new place, I still listen to calming music cause I have kids, so, I’ll never not need it but it’s not as frequent when I was living with my in-laws.

    Limiting screen time and talking as a family

    Before the move, we could hardly talk about anything without my brother-in-law chiming in with noises or an opinion no one asked for. Now that we have our own space we can all have constructively fun conversations without his unwanted interference. It’s crucial that we as a family show care to everyone’s thoughts, opinions, and ideas. It’s also not about what we say in the house but what we do. We’ve also been spending more time playing, being silly, and doing fun activities. This will not only have a positive impact on my mental health but also Jeff and the kids too, thus leading us to create an emotionally soothing atmosphere at home for all.

    What tips do you have to create an emotionally soothing atmosphere at home?
  • 10 Coronavirus Self-Care Tips To Help You Survive Self-Isolation

    Coronavirus has swept across the globe leaving chaos and death in its wake. We are consumed with fear of catching it while being consumed with grief over those we’ve lost to it. The stress and worry, if we or a loved will be this virus’ next victim, is so thick in the air that you can cut it with a knife. We know what needs to be done to help prevent the spread of this virus but what about the mental and emotional health as a result of this prevention? Here are some Coronavirus self-care tips to help all of us get through this scary time.

    Turn Off The News

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    I don’t know about you but I’m sick to death of the news. So much so that I cannot bring myself to watch it all day long. Between 45’s stupidity coupled with how quickly this virus is spreading across NYC, for my sanity, I turn it off. Yes, it’s important to stay informed especially with ever-changing information but taking in too much or even excessive information will add to my stress, worry, and anxiety.

    Now, this is not to say that I’m not following the news. I’m just doing so in moderation and using Twitter for up to the minute news and Google breaking news notifications. This allows me to stay informed while also holding on to what little bit of sanity  I have left.

    Block Social Media Negativity and Misinformation

    Speaking of social media, I follow a lot of different people resulting in a diverse timeline of news, memes, religious, family fun, and work from other bloggers. But what you won’t see on my timeline is negativity or people who have beliefs and values that differ from mine. There was a time when I would just scroll past their posts and act as though I don’t see it but we no longer live in a time where that is an option. Hence the reason why I use my mute button to hide posts from people I don’t want to unfriend and my block button for those who cross the line.

    This is the beauty of social media, I control what I see on my timeline. During times like this, I’m only interested in people who are interested in sharing lifesaving misinformation, uplifting words of wisdom and comfort, and yes a meme to or two cause a little bit of laughter can go a long way.

    Declutter

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    Yeah, I know the last thing you wanna hear is doing a deep clean but I swear to gawd it’ll make you feel better. I’m a total clutter bug so trashing old shit I don’t need is the best thing for me, and you too. I mean, what else have you got to do while the kids are in Google classroom? You don’t have to start large just pick a room, then an area, and get started. Do a little bit of decluttering every day and by the end of the week, you’ll see that room in a whole new light. I finally shredded a stack of junk mail that I’ve had for the past year. Seeing that small edge of my desk for the first time in months felt great!

    But see the thing with ditching your shit is struggling to really ditch it. This why you should ask yourself when was the last time you’ve seen it or used it? If it’s been more than several months or covered in dust throw it out. If you haven’t used it yet, you won’t. Trust me.

    Oh, don’t forget your upbeat music.

    You Don’t Have To Start A Side Hustle

    I don’t care what LLC Twitter says I am NOT undisciplined because I didn’t use my time home to start a business, write an e-book or pick up a third language. It’s utter bullshit to think that I have to be overly productive during this time. Everyone’s stress and anxiety are at an all-time high so if I don’t want to do anything, I won’t. I have no intention of overexerting myself. I’m keeping to the bare minimum with the goal of relaxing my mind and spirit. Now if something comes to me then it comes to me then I’ll marinate on it but I’m not going to force it in the name of saying I did this while you did nothing.

    Open Your Curtains & Windows

    coronavirus self-care mommyrandr

    Since it looks like we’re all gonna spend spring indoors why not open your curtains and windows to bring the outside in. My bedroom is where I spend most of my time. My little office is here and it also the sunniest room in the house. This means curtains each morning is a must. Letting the sun’s rays wash over me and the room will give me an energy boost to get through the day. It’s more than just opening the curtains, it’s also about letting the morning air into my space. I need open windows because if they’re closed for too long I’ll find myself suffering from mysterious headaches. If my head hurts despite eating, drank water, had a stress-free day, and gave my eyes plenty of screen rest I’ll check the windows to make sure enough air is circulating.

    Open curtains and windows is crucial to helping me maintain a mood throughout the day that’s light and upbeat. I find that I get more done with the sun beaming in than I do when I choose to keep it blocked out. Closed curtains make me want to take afternoon naps. Don’t get me wrong I love a good nap but that was when the kids were in school. They’re home now and I need to be awake to help them with their schoolwork. When they go back to school I’ll resume my ritual afternoon catnap.

    Put Your Kids To Bed Early

    When homeschooling started these kids, were going to bed super late. It wasn’t a big deal since we had nowhere to go but then one night they got extra loud and that’s when I realized they needed to get back on schedule. This has a two-fold effect, 1. it keeps me from having to parent after 9:30p and 2. it gives me the opportunity to do something for me at the end of the night. You see, what I hadn’t realized was I was running non-stop all day so by the time the kids dozed off at 11p I was asleep by 11:15. It meant I had no time for me which made me frustrated. But once they got back on school sleep times I’ve been able to put my feet up at night and add something new to my nighttime routine.

    In addition to my nightly routine, I’ve started to get into listening to audiobooks at night. I listen while I wash the dishes at the end of the night. I hate doing the dishes so listening to books makes the time go by while I clean the kitchen. I’ve gone through 2 books recently and I know I would’ve been able to if the kids went to sleep when they wanted. (By the way, I’m currently listening to The Last Tudor.)

    Journal

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    I’ve found that journaling is really great way to release whatever is plaguing me. I keep two. One where I jot shit and doodle. It’s very lighthearted. But the other is emotional and darker. It’s where I let out everything I’m feeling. This one is not pretty and it’s not supposed to be. I just scribble wildly until I feel everything I feel is released. I’m not one for talking about my feelings but I also know I need an outlet to get that shit out.

    If you’re like me and you lack the ability to share your innermost feelings with anyone, even your own partner then you should consider journaling as a private release. Getting those thoughts and feelings out during times like this will help keep you calm.

    Call your family and friends

    This virus has really shown how precious our relationships are. I haven’t seen my mother in two months. Now in the past, I may have gone this long without seeing her due to schedules or seasonal weather conditions but this hits different because I’m prevented from seeing her. She’s older and works in a hospital, and I have the kids so neither one of us can risk being close. This is why it’s imperative to call, text, or video our loved ones. Check on them and see how they’re holding up, especially if they live alone. Use your group chat to easily connect with loved ones and friends.

    If you want to see your loved one do a drive-by wave or park in the driveway and they chat from the porch. Do not get out of your car and don’t let them come too close to your car. Love on your family from a distance – oh, and bring them some groceries one less trip to the market they have to make.

    Host An Online Gathering
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    I’ve been thinking about hosting a happy hour with some of my girlfriends on Zoom on Friday night. We get dressed up from the waist up and just shoot the shit online for an hour sipping our favorite cocktail. Or we can have a game night where we play Bingo or Pictionary. We can also watch a movie on Netflix Party and chill. The goal of the activity is to have participants release themselves from the homeschooling and other stressors of the day and connect with other adults.

    Find An Online Therapist

    Sometimes journaling your thoughts down just isn’t enough and you need a little bit more. During difficult times there is nothing wrong with seeking out someone who can safely guide you through these difficult times. Let me just get this out of the way and say, there is nothing wrong with seeing a therapist. The stigma of seeing one whether seldom or on a regular basis is no more. Now more than ever people are openly, and happily admitting that they at one time or another have visited a therapist.

    There are a number of online platforms that you can use to find a therapist with many offering free consultations. Very Well Mind published a list of the best online therapy programs. It features the pros and cons of each platform giving you a thorough breakdown of each. While some people may not have a preference on what their therapist looks like, I, on the other hand, I prefer therapists who look like me. If this is the same for you then you’ll want to check out Black Female Therapists. It’s a directory of exclusively Black women therapists.

    Whichever route you go make sure you’re comfortable with them and the moment you stop feeling that way then choose another. Therapy is intimate and the last thing you need is to not feel connected to the person helping you.

    coronavirus self-care mommyrandr

    Do you have any Coronavirus self-care tips that are helping you survive self-isolation? 
  • Lizzo’s Live Meditation On IG Will Have You Feelin’ Good As Hell

    Let me come right on out and say that I love me some Lizzo. She had me at, “you could’ve had a bad bitch…”. I feel her spirit on a level that allows me to connect with her even though I don’t know know her. She is the friend who will tell us about ourselves when we ain’t livin’ right and hype us up when we do the damn thing. In a nutshell, she’s the friend we all should be lucky enough to have in our lives.

    The Meditation

    She opens the meditation speaking about feeling helpless in the midst of the global crises we’re currently experiencing. I, like you, can relate to that. I’m worried about my mom who lives a state away and works in a hospital. I can’t visit her at this time because either one of us could be carriers with no current symptoms. We cannot risk infecting each other. I worry about the children who are going without because school was how they got a meal. This also extends to young adults in college whose dorms are their homes. These are trying times and while I’m doing what I can for mine and for those in my community a feeling of helplessness still weighs heavily on me.

    But the main topic that she speaks on, and the basis for the meditation, is fear. Fear of the disease. She sums it up perfectly by stating fear of getting the virus spreads faster than actually getting it. And it’s true. While I have been going out on store runs (we gotta eat) I’m paranoid of the idea that I could get it or Jeff since he has to go out for work. Shit, the kids? My fear is that we may not survive it. My mom may not survive it. Worse, humanity may not survive it.

    I think that fear can spread so much hatred. Fear can spread so much negative energy. Fear can spread the disease, even quicker than the disease can. – Lizzo

    She invites viewers to visualize the Earth and the fear that’s spreading as a result of this virus. Now in order to remove the fear, we have to see it as something that can be easily removed like a jacket, sunglasses or a wig. When we eliminate fear then and only then will we be able to get through these scary times. The mantra for this meditation is: Fear does not exist in my body. Fear does not exist in my home. Love exists in my body. And she calls upon us to say these words to ourselves until it becomes a way of life.

    Watch the meditation session below 

     

    View this post on Instagram

     

    A meditation and mantra to promote healing during this global crisis. Use at your own pace. Love you!

    A post shared by Lizzo (@lizzobeeating) on

    Woo, chile, I don’t know about you but I was relaxed as hell. Her down to earthiness made it feel like it was me and my best girl just kicking it. Of, course her flute playing took it to a whole new level. I feel like Lizzo and meditation is most definitely a thing that should happen on a regular basis.

    lizzo mommyrandr

    What did you think of Lizzo leading a meditation as a way to help heal the world? Share with me in the comments below.