S.S That’s a Thought
S.S That’s a Thought (A Lot of Thoughts)
I got to admit last year was completely bizarre, quarantine and lockdown, not being able to go out, not being able to socialize as much as I wanted to.
The whole world changed and shifted politically, spiritually and everyone’s world was falling apart, just our whole lives upside down. There was a shift in everyone and I could see it happening right before my eyes and even now it is still happening.
Lockdown has pros and cons and still having pros and cons within our personal and work life. I may not be able to relate to a work-life, I have been a single mother for two years and counting and this is was an extreme change for me.
Never mind the fact I had to adjust my personal life, not being able to see my friends and family as much, no baby groups, no interaction when going town, or seeing friends like I used to.
This was extremely hard for me, it wasn’t hard to live on my own and it wasn’t hard to watch movies. It wasn’t hard to dance or play music or go park and bond or spend time with my son.
But I did emotionally notice how my mental health affected me through this lockdown, I did notice the days when I wasn’t doing as much I would feel extremely low because I felt I never accomplished anything for the day. I noticed I would be hard on myself when I felt like I haven’t done anything, like I had no purpose, sometimes it was anxiety, it was a trial of emotions. I’m sure it was for everyone.
This year compared to last year wasn’t too bad but there are times I still used to just be thankful for another day but not remember one day from the next. I can’t believe how fast last month was for me.
Mental Health- Self Care
Mental Health during this time for me has been my trial, when being on my own I had to learn to manage my emotions even more because the ‘Norm’ around me has completely changed.
I’m sure you have noticed it too, your way of thinking during this lockdown may have changed how you see the world, how you feel about religion, race. work ethics, what your dreams mean to you, what life means to you.
The shift mentally for me was real, and I had to acknowledge it, lockdown made me realise and notice seeing things for what they really are. Some habits I had to cut off, and some people I had to wake up and cut off too, this was a good lesson and good change because I no longer will accept anything or anyone trying to disturb my peace.
When it comes to my way of thinking I noticed the change and growth in me, trust me there’s still a lot of work to be done, and what the best way while I am still at home. I got to acknowledge when I have made mistakes, or when I have been my own enemy with overthinking, being anxious on situations I can’t control.
COVID-19 opened the doors to me, I began questioning everything and every one, our purpose, how can my judgment with the whole situation help me to make my life easier.
I was able to accept this is a situation no one can control, I’m sure we all had to learn to accept the changes even if we didn’t like them and make the most of them.
I had anxiety and times I felt low but this wasn’t because of anything specific, it was because some days in my temporary home before my new home I was depressed. I hated where I lived so the fact I couldn’t go anywhere made me low, when you have mostly bad memories than good memories in a home, it doesn’t feel like a home.
Quarantine before getting support from my family was awful, the memories in my old place were mainly bad, I cried a lot and not afraid to share now because this was my process, healing and waiting during this time of lockdown last year march.
My mental health like I say really tested me, and all I had was my faith, all I had was my focus to have faith everything will get better. despite the racial war, despite the politics, and despite all restrictions.
Death- What I learned
Death was a lesson for all of us, noticing that despite what’s going on death is death and it’s not easy for anyone. We may have to be thankful that we can accept death and its purpose, but pray and comfort those who do not understand death or people had to grieve this year and last year.
I lost family and know of those who lost family and friends to normal everyday issues and to covid. It wasn’t easy for any of us, but at the beginning of this year just like the beginning of last year Death became the theme. There were loved ones who passed, and celebrities we know of or not know of who passed also.
This was a reminder for me to realize how much of my life is a gift, how much we are all in the same pathway, nobody knows when their time is up and nobody knows how and why. We live and then we die, I remember when I was in my teens being scared of death, I remember times when I questioned it all the time, the what’s and whys.
From last year to now, I no longer have questions, I no longer fear them, I just try to stay focused on my life and always every day be thankful I can try and do the best I can. Live my life the best way I can, even if I can’t go out, or eat out, go on holiday, still try to make each day count in my life.
Lessons I learned and still learning
Shifting in your life is a good thing, I may have mentioned this before but I am going to mention it again. Shifting in yourself or something going on whether good or bad, there’s always something we learn from it and we can move forward from it.
What I Am Learning
What I am learning now could be a repetition of times in my life before, but repetition is good if now I can embrace it and move forward.
Laugh and Reflect and Relax, these three things I always try to do as much as I can to stay lifted. I watch comedy, I watch series, I have opened my own box and started watching genres of films and series I never thought I will be interested in.
Laughing is helping, and watching a good film to relax and enjoy is good. Laughing is so healthy for your well-being, did you know it reduces wrinkles, boosts your mood, protects you from stress, and can enhance your social relationships. Sharing laughter or an experience to others when talking is passing on joy, happiness all the good feelings that keep us positive, pass on the best medicine and share some laughter… I think this is true.
That’s why I do tik toks sometimes, It’s not about who’s watching, for me it’s looking back and entertaining myself, laughing and enjoying entertainment. Looking back thinking to myself that was funny what I did, let me try and do it again if I can look back and laugh it’s so worth it.
Reflecting for me is writing in my journal, praying, reflecting my day before the day ends, and embracing every moment good and bad, what I’m learning now is to not be so hard on myself on those low days.
Forgive others and Yourself
Forgive others seriously, not about them it’s mainly about you I still had things and people I had to forgive and let go of. I don’t want to become bitter or hold a grudge against anything or anyone. So praying about it, keeping my distance, and forgiving myself for allowing it to affect my inner peace was an important lesson.
Sometimes you may think you forgive someone or something until the situation may repeat itself, you caught up in something similar and notice how you react. We may react and be dramatic and emotional like it happened literally yesterday because deep down we are still holding on.
Letting go and forgiving is the best decision you will ever make, when you forgive them and forgive yourself. You notice how much better you feel when that unnecessary weight is not on your shoulders anymore.
Don't Apologise if Change is Good
I guess I just need to repeat this again, there is nothing wrong with your change especially if it is good to change. Just keep on embracing it and keep on doing what’s best for you, you don’t need to explain yourself to anybody, you don’t owe anybody anything when it comes to your well-being and happiness.
Don’t take it personally either if people you thought would be around are not, don’t take it personally if people aren’t the same that’s how life goes sometimes.
Sometimes with change comes only some people or situations in for a certain season, we have a right to keep our time to ourselves, spend time on our own, we don’t need a reason to love our own company.
In loving our own company we learn and get security within ourselves, this is not a crime especially when your single. What better way to love me than to learn about myself while I am alone, fully alone, a different type of freedom and opportunity to do things for myself, question and analyse myself with no one's input, opinion or influence to affect my choices or decisions.
Don’t watch what others have…Be Thankful for what you have and even be thankful for what you don’t have
Be thankful for what you have and don’t ever want what others have, we have no idea what people sacrificed to get what they want. Especially when feeling under pressure or overwhelmed by social media, seeing celebrities in hotels, clubbing, wearing expensive this and expensive that.
This doesn’t mean anything, materialistic things don’t mean anything, and let's pray on those celebrities I’m sure we heard and seen the news about. There are still celebrities with mental health, suicidal thoughts, there are still celebrities dealing with grief, financial trouble, relationship trouble like all of us.
People show you what they want to show you. We must remember celebrities are not any better than us, they are humans just like us and their blood is the same as us, they just live in a different universe and way of living than average.
I remember growing up and my mother and father always taught me when it comes to people talking about you, it’s you today someone else tomorrow so ignores it.
People show that they want to show, don’t put any celebrity or idolize anyone because you may end up disappointed what you find out or discover.
Don’t judge them just because of what the world shows you, pray for them as well as praying for our world leaders, governors whoever… still, pray for them even if you don’t agree with their decisions.
Be thankful for what you have and what you don’t have yet because when you reach your goals or what you always wanted you will appreciate it so much more. because you’ll notice the hard work paid off and you will stay focused on your pathway in your life not be distracted by others.
Self Care with a capital S and C, is important for everyone right now even more crucial with change coming up, restrictions going down, and people just overcoming what we can with the Easter holiday.
Whether your working or at home like myself raising your children/child, whether your single like myself or in a relationship still be aware and pay attention to taking care of yourself.
Much more vital now because it’s extremely important as the year is progressing with the bi-polar weather, some days I feel like a rollercoaster going up and going down.
Some days don’t go to plan for me and some days run smoothly but pay attention to taking care of yourself, reflect on how your feeling mentally, spiritually (if you have a belief like me) stay focused on it pray, talk to those who guide you in your beliefs, check on yourself physically.
Exercise regularly when you can even if it’s in your own home, take that ten-minute walk to the shop I can't stress enough how fresh air or some exercise for an hour in your home makes a difference to how you feel.
Find what works for you, dance, weight training, yoga, you feel the burn, you feel the change and you feel better.
Eat good, and don’t feel bad if you have those days of junking out on comfort foods, I am a food junkie and although I have a high metabolism I still eat a lot…I MEAN A LOT… I sometimes lose track but I get myself right back up.
Still drink as much water as you can eat more fruit and vegetables.
Cook something new, try something new, I tried making a three-course meal like I was in a restaurant I prepared a starter, a main and dessert and it felt good when I saw the result, seeing what I am good at in the kitchen, working on what I can improve.
You are what you eat, keep a balance, and enjoy your food.
Even with the wine tasting, I tried at home, I simply researched all the types of red wines and rose wines. One of the months during lockdown this month I tried different wines and did my own wine tasting review at home.
I got to learn what I like and what I recommend, same as last year during lockdown I brought different juices and gins and vodkas I made different cocktails during the amazing weather we had last year during the lockdown and it was a good idea. It helps me appreciate having my own time and drinking what I can, and may have ended up cheaper than going out like I used to.
Dressing up sometimes yes even in my house has helped, even if it's loungewear or nice pyjamas when I look good I feel good. I have lazy days like we all do, however when I dress up from Mother’s Day, Woman’s International Day, Easter or just to feel on myself and dance for an hour I feel better.
Helps the mind for me, find what works for you.
Have a nice hot bath, or a long shower while listening to your favourite playlist of music, a facial mask, do your hair, try a make-up tutorial, paint your nails.
Not many people like reading but honestly I think this is a good idea for anybody to start doing, I do both I read and I listen to audiobooks it keeps my mind working, it helps me learn and grow even if it’s fiction or non-fiction.
Whether it’s a blog (lol hello), or a magazine from time to time, is there a book list you have made but still haven’t made an attempt to get done, well give it a try.
Moving Forward….Being Prepared
Now more than ever I am focusing on my mental health, good to be aware and notice what I do in my everyday routine that helps keep me happy.
Noticing what keeps me happy is what gets me by, it helps me to manage the days when I am not happy and what I can do to prevent feeling low or anxious.
Praying, even having a cry helps, talking to a friend, seeing the family that I can help but most of all, my FAITH and the security of my home and happiness of my son is important and motivation enough.
Obviously, through all our lives we have heard where do you see yourself in five years? Due to this pandemic lockdown, my answer has changed. I take that question much more seriously than I used to because of this worldly change, I didn’t realize how concerned I was about what’s going on.
In five years' time, I thought more about not where I see myself but what I’d like to see for the world. I really hope racism, sexism and segregation are reduced hugely before my son goes to primary school because I am hugely concerned as a single mother, as a black mother how the world is still treating women, how they still treat black people, and how this affects me in my personal life and the working world.
I hope women will be paid equally, can you believe this is still an issue yet we are in freaking 2021. I hope racism stops because it is still happening, you heard it through Meghan Markle, the George Floyd case, look at how many black people are still suffering. Look at the Sarah Everard case, If I say anymore I might upset you with my opinions but I really hope there is change, I pray for change.
Overall let’s just keep moving forward and let’s stay lifted and let’s stay positive, embrace and keep chasing what we love in our lives.