Health & Wellness

  • Confession: I’ve Been a Bad Friend. Here’s How I’m Working to Fix That

    bad friend valerie pierre mommyrandr

    I have a confession to make – I’ve been a bad friend. This is really embarrassing to admit cause I like to think of myself as someone who cares about my friends. So it was quite the shock to me when I started to feel left out when my friends would hang out. I would be home in my pj’s trolling social and see them all dressed up having a blast and I would think, why didn’t I get invited? After a while, I allowed my wonder, anger, and disappointment to take control and convince me it was them and not me.

    This is where I fucked up, cause the problem was me. It had always been me and I was oblivious to that shit. You see, my problem was that I was always on my phone. Like, nonstop. As a blogger, my phone is attached my palm like secondary growth and my laptop is never too far away. While my friends and I would be out my phone would chime away. They would always find my head down thumbs typing as they spoke. The straw that broke the camels back was when one friend really needed me during a devastating time I was unavailable to her despite standing right next to her. I was offering condolences while composing witty tweets. To say I was a self-absorbed bitch is truly an understatement. My actions that day were gross and I will always regret them.

    As I reflect back this is when my friendship with this group of women deteriorated. So you see, it shouldn’t have been a shock that I wasn’t included in their outings or that the group chat didn’t include me in it. I had my head so far up my own ass in my own shit that I lost care and concern for the shit my friends were going through. This is how you know you’re being a bad friend. But, I didn’t want to be that person any longer. These were long vested friendships and there was one thing I knew I had to do, fix what I broke.

    What are the steps to fixing broken friendships?

    bad friend valerie pierre mommyrandr

    Reach out. Despite how much I didn’t wanna make the first move I knew that I had to be the one. I sent a text asking to meet up and waited to see what the response would be. If they wanted to go great and if not then I would have to accept that. And by accept, I mean I would think of other means to try and build back the trust that was lost. They accepted.

    Meet face to face. Talking on the phone or texting is easy but when you’re trying to mend a relationship its best to meet in person. You want to be able to look into each other’s eyes as everyone shares the anger, sadness, and pain they’ve been feeling.

    Show emotion. This wasn’t a day for keeping my emotions locked up, which I often do. These women were my friends for 20+ years and they’ve never seen me shed a tear. How crazy is that? But on this day I uncontrollably wept on my friend’s shoulder as soon as I saw her. I think they appreciated seeing me with my guard fully down. It let them know Val isn’t a robot after all.

    Take responsibility.  This is not the time for excuses, not that I had any. I acted pretty badly and now was the time to own up to that. I laid out all my fuckery and how it took me a while to recognize how my actions, no matter how well intended were ultimately hurt their feelings.

    Listen. I sat and listened as each shared how my actions made them feel. There was no debating their feelings. The point was to digest and process their words and pain so I don’t hurt them again.

    Be truly sorry. If I wasn’t going to be truly apologetic for hurting the people I care about then I had no business reaching out.

    The night of our reunion was a long meaningful one. There were hugs and tears, but most of all forgiveness.

    How are we moving forward from almost falling apart?

    Communication. Talk and listen. We chat a few times a week via group chat. There are meme shares to keep the laughter going and convos about how everyone is doing. Open and honest lines of communication are truly the only way to move forward.

    Be present. While we were out I was not on my phone. I’m sure that was a shock to them. I only pulled it out to talk to Jeff about when I was coming home. I was fully engaged and in the moment which is how it ought to be. Nothing is that important where I need to work as often as I was.

    It’s been about three months since we’ve started the process of getting back to where we once were. It’s not an easy road, not that I expected it to be. I personally feel an awkwardness that never once existed, but those are the breaks when you fuck up and gotta earn your place back into the circle of trust. But, I know time heals wounds and there’ll come a time where the awkwardness will fade and this moment, while a low point in our relationship will only be a blip in a long list of happy memories.

    Have you ever been a bad friend at one point or another? Any friendships that were on the brink of ending but you came together to work it out? Or are you going through a difficult moment now and you don’t know what to do? Share in the comments.
  • 10 Health and Wellness Podcasts That Will Get You Feeling Recharged

    health and wellness podcasts mommyrandr

    Podcasts have recently become my new favorite thing. I don’t listen to many but the ones I listen to on a regular are health and wellness podcasts. Why? Because my ass is tide y’all (yes, tide). So I need something that’s gonna help me get and keep my physical and mental health in order.

    Here’s the reason why I love podcasts. You can listen to them anytime anywhere. A lot of them can be found on Spotify, iTunes, and Soundcloud which makes it easy to listen right from your phone. Which is what I do. When I’m cooking, cleaning, or even in the bathroom I can just tune in.

    Now every podcast isn’t the same. Obviously. I listen to different ones that give me different vibes to go with whatever mood I might be in. Some are fun and easygoing when I want to laugh, some have soothing music and voices when I want to relax, and others are a little serious when I’m not in a jokey mood. But the one thing they all have in common is, they leave me feeling rejuvenated.

    Here are 10 health & wellness podcasts that I’m currently listening to:

    Black Girl In Om

    Hosted by Lauren Ash and Deun Ivory, BGIO’s mission is to promote holistic wellness and inner beauty for women of color. Bruh, I cannot express to you how much that I love BGIO. And it doesn’t stop at just a podcast, they have open conversations on Twitter centered around self-care, self-love, and self-empowerment. Use #BGIO to share your thoughts and opinions, as well as gain knowledge on what it means to be healthy and beautiful from the inside out.

    Listen

    Food Heaven Made Easy

    It’s got food in it so you know I’m all over it. Not because I cook, but because I eat. But this podcast is more than about food. It’s about how to take care of yourself starting with the foods you put in your mouth. They also share tips on how you can live a sustainable healthy lifestyle. There’s also a ton of healthy and easy-to-make recipes that take little to no time to prepare.

    Listen

    Forever 35

    Kate Spencer & Doree Shafrir are friends in my head. Now, be warned these ladies are all about facial serums, and as a woman of a certain age, I’m here for it. But when they aren’t chatting about facial products they discuss exercise, meditation, anxiety, and how life changes as they get older. They also have a Facebook group that focuses on self-care and wellness.

    Listen

    Selfie

    If you thinking you’re gonna get tips on taking better selfie pics then you’re in the wrong place. This podcast hosted by Sara James and Kristen Howerton is about tackling the tricky and elusive aspects of caring for ourselves. Each week Selfie tackles burning questions like: “Why aren’t I getting enough sleep?” “How do I find the perfect bra?” and every other topic from silly to serious in between.

    Listen

    Happy Place

    I’m a HUGE fan of anything British so there was no way this list wouldn’t include at least one English import. It comes compliments of Fearne Cotton who hosted Happy Place. I love happy place cause it’s based on helping you get out of your slump and into a happier mindset. Fearne interviews celebs who have either made a change in their own lives or who help people every day to find a different way of looking at life.

    *This show has ended but it’s still a great podcast to check out.

    Listen

    Therapy for Black Girls

    Dr. Joy Harden Bradford is the truth, ok. Truth. Each week for about 30-45 minutes Dr. Joy with special expert guests discuss topics relating to the everyday lives of black women. In addition, Therapy for Black Girls has a Facebook group. It’s a safe space for black women to post their inner thoughts and feelings, and we work together as a tribe to help each other out. It’s a therapeutic community.

    Listen

    Affirm Podcast

    This biweekly mental health podcast is hosted by Davia Roberts who is a licensed therapist (LPC) and the creator of Redefine Enough. Affirm centers around women of color who affirm their worth, value mental health, and seek wholeness.

    Listen

    Untangle

    I’ve recently stumbled upon Untangle, a meditation-focused podcast hosted by Patricia Karpas who sits down with real people and experts who have devoted their lives to helping others through meditation. She covers topics ranging from why it’s important to meditate to how self-compassion practices change us from the inside out to why meditation helps with anxiety in adults and kids. I can’t really say too much about it right now as I just started listening, but so far so good.

    Listen

    Motivated

    This ABC-produced podcast was hosted by Emmy Award-winning ABC News correspondent, Mara Schiavocampo who shared her keys to living a healthier and happier life following her 90lb weight loss. This podcast is centered on health motivation (hence the name), to help you shed pounds and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

    *This show has ended but it’s still a great podcast to check out.

    Listen

    That’s So Retrograde

    If you’re into retrograde/astrology then you need to check out Elizabeth Kott and Stephanie Simbari. They break down everything you wanted to know about Mercury retrograde is by using humor, pop culture, and interviews with experts. It’s lighthearted, cheesy, and fun which is why I dig it.

    Listen
    Do you have any favorite health and wellness podcasts? Share in the comment below. Let’s keep the list going.
  • 10 Ways for Moms to Chillax on National Relaxation Day

    It’s National Relaxation Day. Let’s celebrate it with a collective wooosahhhh. Yeah, I know relaxing as a parent can be hard and even nonexistent, but I got you covered with some easy ways that will help you chillax on this national day of rest.

    Sleep in

    National Relaxation Day mommyrandr valerie pierre

    What are you getting up so early for if you don’t have to? If you find yourself awake early in the morning while everyone else is still sleeping then you should continue to lay right there. Get up when you’re ready and not a minute before then.

    Stay off social media

    While the innanets can be a fun place to be that shit can also be draining if you wander into the wrong parts, and sadly those parts are sometimes on our timelines. You don’t need that in your life today. Stay off for the day or at least limit the time you spend logged on there.

    Screw the chores

    Today is not a day for chores. Screw’em. You clean every day as so why not give yourself a break. No one cares you got toys in the floor. And think of it this way, if you cleaned up today the kids are gonna mess it up and you’ll have to clean again tomorrow. You might as well just leave it till then, or at least till the end of the day.

    Don’t cook

    If you’re not cleaning today then you also shouldn’t be cooking. Get dinner delivered and call it a night. Oh, and don’t forget to use paper plates and forks, makes for fewer things you gotta wash.

    Get some sun

    If it ain’t too hot take your ass outside. Go for a walk around the block, sit in the park or just go for a drive to Starbucks or something. The idea is to take in the sights, smells and sounds of the outdoors. If it’s too hot stay indoors and keep cool. Too much heat brings on headaches and makes you cranky, and there’s nothing relaxing about that.

    Listen to music

    National Relaxation Day mommyrandr valerie pierre

    Spend the day playing jams that make you feel good. They can be fast or slow. Doesn’t matter, so long as you’re enjoying the way it makes you feel. I have a Spotify 80’s/90’s list that I dance to in the house. It’s a lifesaver for me when I get in a mood and need a little pick-me-up.

    Burn a candle

    This may not seem like much but I assure you burning a candle or a using a diffuser with your favorite scent is the quickest way to get you in a calm, peaceful and relaxed state. I have tons of candles around the house each with a different scent to go with whatever mood I’m trying to set.

    Meditate

    Meditation is amazing. There are apps you can check out like Calm and Headspace that are free to use. I personally like Headspace since it breaks down how meditation eases tension and helps release stress. I use Calm when it’s time for bed to help me go to sleep.

    Be a couch potato

    Today is a perfect day to binge watch either your favorite show (I’m watching Game of Thrones season 2 as I type), or you can start a new show that someone recommended.

    Read a book

    Books are my favorite way to relax. Start a book that’s been collecting dust on your shelf for the last several months or hit up your local bookstore or library and discover something new.

    If you don’t have the whole day to yourself here are 30 activities you can do in an hour to help you relax.

    What are you doing for National Relaxation Day?
  • Wanna Survive the Daytime? You Better Get a Bedtime Routine

    bedtime routine mommyrandr valerie pierre

    There was a time where I couldn’t make it to noon without needing a nap. As hard as tried I just could not keep my eyes open. The onslaught of exhaustion became the bane of my existence. And while I love a good nap, I can’t always be sleeping cause I got shit to fucking do during the day.

    Then one night at 3 a.m. it hit me as I lay awake trolling Twitter. This right was my problem and why I couldn’t function in the daylight hours. You woulda thought I would’ve figured it out sooner. Better late than never, right? The problem was when it was time for bed I got up from my desk from being on the internet and hopped my ass in the bed and got right back on the internet. *buzzer sound* This is not the proper way to go to bed. While I was physically shutting down my body, I wasn’t shutting down my brain.

    Enter my new bedtime routine.

    Y’all should already know what a bedtime routine is, but if you don’t, it’s a series of wind down activities you do just before you go to bed to help you go right to sleep. Now keep in mind no one bedtime routine is the same. My routine has 7 steps but yours might only have 4. My routine takes an hour and starts at 11 p.m. and in this order or I’m not gonna be able to sleep.

    Take my vitamins (multi & hair, nail, and skin)

    bedtime routine mommyrandr valerie pierre

    I always take my vitamins at night before sleep. Why? They take hours to break down in my system. What sense would it make for me to take them at 8 a.m. and finally kicking in at 3 p.m. when I need the energy before then. So I take them at night so when I wake up my struggle level isn’t 10 and I can hit the ground running with energy that will carry me through the afternoon. Also, if you wanna grow your nails get these Vitafusion vitamins. They are the business.

    Take a shower and brush my teeth

    Next, I go take a shower. I’m usually in there about 15 minutes. I alternate between hot and cold water. I let the hot run on me and I stand there as it rinses off the drama and stress of the day. Then as I bathe and rinse I use cooler water. After my shower, I’ll floss and brush my teeth.

    Brew a pot of tea

    bedtime routine valerie pierre mommyrandr

    As soon as I leave the bathroom I brew a pot a tea. I’m a huge fan of T2 teas. So I’ll make a mug of relax or lemongrass and ginger. My tea doesn’t take too long since I don’t let the water boil. It’s hot just enough. I also won’t add too much sugar since I just brushed and cause I need to go to sleep, or I’ll add a small amount of honey.

    I will drink my tea as I go through the rest of my routine.

    Moisturize my skin

    I’ll add a light lotion to my skin. My dresser is loaded with lotion. I put on whatever my hand lands on. I don’t want anything too oily or too heavy as I want to feel my skin breathing. I’ll also put on my Olay Age Defying Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream, cause I’m a woman of a certain age.

    Mist and massage my scalp

    bedtime routine valerie pierre mommyrandr

    My hair needs moisture or it’ll be hard and dry. So, with my water bottle, I’ll spritz my hair with a water and oil and water combination and add a little leave-in conditioner. I’ll rub and massage it in then put my satin lined Grace Eleyae cap on. In the morning my hair will be soft and shiny. I like this cap cause it’s got an elastic band that won’t slip off.

    Lower the air temperature

    I need the room to be cold, and I mean cold. I sleep with blankets year-round so I set the air conditioner to 67 degrees on the highest cooling level. The room gets brick quick, and no matter how cold the room may get I won’t feel it as I’m snug as a bug under all my blankets.

    Get in bed with Calm app

    I know, I know I’m not supposed to have electronics in the bed, but, I’m not actually looking at it, I’m listening. Calm app is the last step that really brings everything together. Now that I’m covered up to my neck I put my headphones in and set the app to relaxing sounds. I usually choose some sort of water sounds like rain or a waterfall. I turn the volume down low and turn over. It’s lights out in less than five minutes. Thankfully there’s a timer on the music that it cuts off after an hour.

    When I wake up the next day, yeah I’m dreading getting up, that’s never going to change but at least I’m refreshed having received almost eight hours of sleep. And that’s the key to it all – getting the proper amount of rest. By getting the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night you won’t have to worry about trying to survive the next day.

    Do you have a bedtime routine? What does it consist of?