"It's like a jungle sometimes, it makes me wonder how I keep from going under... "
This year has been one for the books! So much has happened (like… a LOT) and we’ve all been left trying to figure out what to do in the aftermath of each blow. It’s almost like every month tried to outdo the previous one. With every blow came readjustment, realignment, and sometimes, complete abandonment. For me, the fight to maintain my cheerfulness and sanity has been a battle. Oddly enough, not as hard as the years prior to this one. (the last 5 years have been ROUGH)!!
And then came February...
And I knew if I was going to survive, I was going to have to figure out what I needed to do in order to make it.
Nevertheless, when 2020 rolled in, it came out swinging. And I knew if I was going to survive, I was going to have to figure out what I needed to do in order to make it. Not just because I have little people who were depending on me, but I was depending on me too. The future me needed me to survive not just 2020, but everything the last 5 years had dealt me. And so… I came up with a plan (several actually but this is the one that I worked on the longest). If I’m nothing else, I’m a fighter. And though every good fighter needs periods of rest (cuz I don’t have “superwoman syndrome”), the point of the rest is to get up to fight another day. And so… here are the tips I used to stay sane in 2020, and every year before that one.
For every hour you spend on a screen, spend 3 hours doing something that disengages you from the force-fed information that we had to receive on a daily basis. This not only helps those of us who might not be faring so well during this quarantine but in any instance where your life is abruptly changed.
Create Pockets of Joy
there’s a difference between happiness and joy. Happy can sometimes be circumstantial, like… if things are well for you then you can be happy. (I wrote another post about this. Our happiness is our responsibility). However, joy is an intentional state of being. You have to choose joy. You have to decree joy. You have to tell your head and heart that it will fall in line with joy. For me, it means no matter what, finding the bright side. Now, that doesn’t mean that if your lights get cut off because you chose to spend your money on non-essentials that you should be like, “Que sera sera!”. Nah shorty, pay yo light bill!! Joy is focusing on what you have versus what you don’t have. It’s being content with what exists in the face of what was taken away. It’s knowing that what’s happening is temporary and it CANNOT have the real estate of your brain for longer than it’s supposed to. Joy means overriding discontentment when it tries to invite itself over.
Spread Love (IT’S THE BROOKLYN WAY!!)
Don’t act like you didn’t know I wasn’t gonna say that. LOL. Nah but for real though, showing love to people outside of yourself changes your perspective tremendously. You’d be surprised how giving someone a hug who needs one changes your mood too! Now, I know the introverts are probably hyperventilating right now (don’t worry Shuga, you ain’t gotta hug nobody). What I am saying is, finding someone who needs to feel the warmth of your presence, kind words, or phone call is necessary. Call your grandmother to see how she’s doing. She’s probably lonely and needs your time. Catch up with some friends you haven’t spoken to in a while. Bake some cookies for your children. Think about someone you love and write them a letter (or send a text but – IMO – there’s something about a handwritten letter that just says, “I care”).
Hit the Mute Button
Mute people, posts, programs, and anything else that incite toxic behavior in you. So… unfollow your ex-boyfriend, ex-best friend, ex-boss, ex whatever else. Be careful what you plug your headphones into. Everyone has a platform now, so everyone has an opinion. My suggestion: do a social media audit. Anyone who heightens your anxiety is probably not good for you in the long run. (Unfollow the entire administration… you just gon end up with high blood pressure, boo). I have several podcasts that I listen to that are so helpful to me. I’ll link them below. (LINK TO PODCASTS). **covering ears pic**
Engage Those Around You
Say hi to your neighbors. See how they’re doing. We can’t really be all up in people’s houses, but you can leave a note or text. One of my neighbors brings me chocolate, or when she’s out shopping and sees a cute shirt or something, she’ll pick it up, put it in a gift bag, leave it at my door and then send me a text with a picture of the package outside my door. It’s such a small but beautiful gesture! If I’m outside and see my neighbors, I always stop and chat for a minute. If you don’t like talking to people, send a quick text. It can literally be “Hey! Just checking to see how you’re doing. If you need anything, don’t hesitate to text me.” My texts usually look like, “Hey girl, so… are we still fleeing the country at the end of the year or nah?!!?” You don’t have to be as “extra” as I am, but you should engage your neighbors. I hope during this quarantine, you at least got to know one of them since you’ve been in the house for at least the last 6-8 months. **neighborly pic**
Dance, exercise, walk, run, jump on a trampoline… I mean… twerk if you wanna. (I can’t but if you can, go ‘head witcho bad self!) It’s proven that working up a sweat, releases endorphins or “happy hormones” that help regulate your mood. I have dance parties with my little ones at least twice a week. Or we play dinosaur tag (don’t ask), or “the Floor Is Lava” or some game that causes us to exert energy. It’s helped me tremendously in times when I thought I heard my brain about to snap. I wanna take this time to shout out my friends who took this SERIOUSLY and worked themselves into being parents. Y’all the real MVP’s!!!
Love The One You’re With
This is for those of you who are boo’d up, engaged, or married. (You entanglement folks might need a different set of rules). Take the time to cultivate the relationship that you’re in. If you’re married or have a SO, don’t let this time be a time where you focus on what works your nerves about your partner. Take this time to highlight and heighten what made you like them to begin with. Share your appreciation, express your love, show your support if they’re learning a new hobby cuz… quarantine got us all being a self-taught everything! It might be time to take another love language assessment again. Get some conversation starters, order some Doordash or Uber Eats, and have a date night on the couch. Take the time to get to know your SO again. These are some excellent tools to assist in the loving!!! **boo loving pic**
The goal is to come out of this better, happier, and refreshed. I hope I helped anyone who reads this. Times are VERY strange right now, and no matter what the future holds, we need to come out on the other side with as much of us as we came in with. And if not, I hope the parts that you lost were left behind for better parts that serve who you are becoming.
I'm in these streets!!! Catch me on Instagram.