Self-Care

  • New Year’s Self-Care Checklist {FREE Printable}

    This year is FINALLY coming to a close. With everything that happened, it felt like it’s been 2020 for 10 years. 2020 was supposed to be the year we lived our best lives. It was going to be the roaring ’20s 2.0. Instead, it was the year of Murphy’s Law, and everything that could go wrong did go wrong. Despite there being some positives, the year overall was mentally, emotionally, and physically draining.

    No one wants to go into the new year feeling frazzled. That’s why this self-care checklist is crucial to getting you (and me) back on the path of remembering to do the little things. Contrary to popular belief, self-care doesn’t have to cost a bundle. At its bare bones self-care is really about taking time out to do things that keep our lives flowing smoothly. This can look like a few moments of reflective meditation, making sure all your health appointments are scheduled, taking time out to phone a loved one.

    This checklist features 15 simple everyday activities that are meant to bring peace and calm to your body and environment. The best thing about this is (other than it being free) you two designs to choose from to print, or you can save the PDF on your device and digitally check off things there. The key is ensuring this list is going to be someplace where you will see it every day.

    There is no right or wrong way to use this self-care checklist. You can simply tick off a few at your leisure and come back to the others later, you can break them up over the course of January, or you can challenge yourself to complete one new thing for 15 consecutive days. The choice is truly yours.

    On this list you’ll find the following:

    Setting goals for the new year
    Starting a new book or journal
    Scheduling work and health appointments
    Cleaning up your computer files (Shameless Maya has a great video on this)
    Meditation, working out, and eating right
    Creating morning and evening routines
    Turning off social media
    Calling a friend
    Filling your home with your favorite scent

    Self-Care Checklist mommyrandr valerie pierre

    Download For Free

    Self-Care Checklist mommyrandr valerie pierre

    Download For Free

    Also, if you haven’t done so already download my 12-month undated wellness calendar. It’s a FREE printable featuring Black women in the wellness space.

  • 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

    coronavirus self-care mommyrandr

    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

    coronavirus self-care mommyrandr

    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

    coronavirus self-care mommyrandr

    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
    coronavirus self-care mommyrandr

    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? 
  • Social Media Self-Care: Why Unfollowing and Blocking People Is Necessary

    Social Media self-care valerie pierre mommyrandr

    When I first got on social media I didn’t think of myself as someone who would block people. Back then I didn’t find it necessary and honestly, I thought it was a bit excessive. This was probably because I didn’t see any shit on my personal Facebook page that would give me a reason to block anyone.

    But when I started a public Facebook page (long before this blog was born) I quickly became aware of the negativity that can make the internet a not so fun place to be. You’d be surprised what people would say to me in response to parenting memes and other things I shared. Usually, I would ignore them. But if it got too bad I found myself having to block them.

    At first, I would feel a little guilty and told myself I shouldn’t take it personally. Then I thought, fuck that. I created this space for moms to chill and enjoy. I’m not gonna let these Debbie downers and trolls ruin my shit. So it didn’t take long for me to start using the block button more frequently, and guilt-free.

    Today, unfriending and blocking people is my favorite form of social media self-care, and it should be yours too.

    Protecting my space on social media

    While I may not be able to control the world around me I can control what pops up my timeline. And since I’m all about happiness in all areas of my life I make sure my timelines have a positive reaction on my mental and spiritual health.

    I don’t come on social media to argue with ignorant people stuck in their ways. I don’t have the time nor patience for that. Instead, when I log on I want to consume information from accounts that are going to give me educational and spiritual nourishment.

    So, yeah, this might mean you’ll have to unfriend or block relatives and friends or unfollow someone. Will they like it? Will they understand why you’re unfollowing or blocking them? Probably not. Why? Due to the ease of social media access, people often get upset or even angry when the access they once had to someone becomes restricted. But you see, I no longer care about how people feel when I deny them social media access to me. My feelings as a result of their post matter more, it’s as simple as that.

    I know not everyone is cut and dry so if blocking is too severe there’s always the mute option. Muting is great because it allows you to remain friends with someone while keeping their content from appearing on your timeline. They also have no clue they’ve been muted.

    What are some reasons for blocking people on social media?

    You may not want to see posts from certain people on your timeline for any number of reasons like:

    They’re racist, sexist or homophobic

    No decent human being wants to see that shit on their timeline. I don’t care if it’s your favorite Aunt Alma who makes the best apple pie. Fuck that shit cause there’s no excuse for it.

    They’re a negative Nancy 

    There’s always one person who should scroll past things they don’t agree on but instead will leave an antagonizing comment in the hopes of provoking a comment war.

    You’ve broken up

    If you had a nasty breakup there’s no reason to keep seeing their shit on your timeline and there’s no reason for them to see you on theirs. You living your best life without them is not their business.

    They’re creepy as fuck

    If someone is in your comments with weird comments and emoji’s or if they’ve sent you an unsolicited dick pic they should most definitely be blocked and reported.

    You don’t talk to them or don’t remember who they are

    If you’re Facebook “friends” with someone whom you haven’t spoken to since friending them or nothing about them rings a bell. You should totally let these people go if you have no shared friends.

    They spread fake news

    There’s always that one person who’s always sharing something you always feel like you have to correct despite them having all of Al Gore’s internet at their fingertips to fact check.

    I consider all my social media channels my peaceful corner of the internet. I protect that peace at all costs which is something that I hope you’ll do as well.

    What are your thoughts on this form of social media self-care? Is it something that you do or something you’re gonna start doing?
  • 10 Health and Wellness Podcasts That Will Get You Feeling Recharged

    health and wellness podcasts mommyrandr valerie pierre

    Podcasts have recently become my new favorite thing. I don’t listen to many but ones I listen to on a regular are health and wellness podcasts. Why? Because my ass be 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 easy going 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 looove 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.