With all the noise going on today, it’s easy to forget to take care of yourself. If you can answer yes to any of the following questions, I want to remind you that you are your most important asset.
Can you answer yes to any of the following questions?
- Have you been putting out fires for everyone else and literally have no time for yourself?
- Do you currently feel dissatisfied with your life or work?
- Are you burnout from all the distressing news going on?
- Are you ready to embrace the joy that lives in your heart again?
The World Health Organization defines MENTAL HEALTH as a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.
The first step is to accept that you cannot control things outside yourself but you can control yourself. Everything starts with your mindset. A quick mindset check can help you find your way through. Here’s a quick checklist to guide you:
- Mind Your Own Business – remember the cliché “stay in your own lane?” Prioritize what’s most important.
- Don’t Be Judgmental – notice negative emotions you are feeling, including sadness or depression, anger, disappointment, overwhelm, etc. Acknowledge that it is information to let you know what your body needs.
- Believe in yourself – remember a healthy mindset will keep you motivated. Who else is more qualified to set you up for success other than yourself. You are capable. You have overcome. You have accomplished. You made it through it all. Why not keep trusting you can continue on this path.
- Keep God First – your faith has helped you overcome, accomplish, and make it this far. Remember, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
- Say No to Fear – Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real. Is you are contemplating something bad happen that has not occurred, check the facts. Ask yourself: What evidence do you have to support this? What could happen if you move according to plan? How can you acknowledge your fear in a safe way and move past it?
- Set Firm Boundaries – It’s okay to say no. You do not have to apologize for making time for yourself, for not being available for every invitation, or needing to take a break. The work of caregivers and parents are greatly underestimated and undervalued. You deserve to say no without a second thought and not have to feel guilty or ashamed.
- Know Yourself – You are the expert in your life. No one knows you better than yourself. You were wonderfully made and uniquely designed by God. Taking time to get to know yourself in every season of life is valuable. Whatever season you find yourself in, there’s always something to learn about yourself.
- Don’t Worry What People Think – your self-worth is determined by your self-esteem, not other people’s opinion.
- Be Quick to Forgive – the quickest way to get unstuck is to forgive. The work is not always easy; however, the brain is wired to repair. Do you have anything to lose by writing a new narrative and moving forward? Research shows that moving past the past creates positive neuroplasticity in the brain. What a great time to get rewired!
- Pray About Everything – when in doubt about a situation, meditate and pray. Trust the wisdom that lives inside you to guide you.
SPIRITUALITY is the personal quest for understanding answers to ultimate questions about life, about meaning and about relationship to the sacred or transcendent, which may (or may not) lead to or arise from the development of religious rituals and the formation of community.
– Harold G. Koening, MD & Michael B. King, MD, PhD.
The mind, body, and soul are one. One last question I will ask for you to reflect on as a journal prompt is:
How are you feeding your mind, body and soul (or Spirit)?
Here are some simple ideas of how you can nurture your mind, body and soul before, during and after pregnancy:
- Exercise – light stretching, yoga, walking, hiking, biking, jogging, kayaking, etc.
- Meditation – prayers, chants, quiet time alone, deep breathing, reading and reflecting on what you read, and clearing your thoughts.
- Nutrition – eating comforting food that provides all the nutrients that your body needs and drinking plenty of clean water can prevent chronic diseases and aid with mood disorders such as depression and anxiety.
- Nature – planting, growing an herb or vegetable garden in your home, grounding yourself with a walk or hike outdoors, breathing fresh air, journaling near water, fishing,
- Sleep – according to the National Sleep Foundation, adults need 8-9 hours of sleep each night.
- Pets – emotional support animals can provide companionship, comfort and joy during times of aloneness and isolation.
- Fun – Whatever you do to nurture your mind, body, soul make sure you have fun! We are all in this together. Let’s take care of ourselves. Remember, Black Mamas matter too!
Did I miss anything? Let us know what you are doing to take care of yourself. If you need support of have any questions, please reach out to me.
All photos are my originals