My name is Roshonda Blackmon and I have been known in life as “the encourager” God gave me that gift before I even realized what it was or what it truly meant, the only thing I knew is that a vast amount of people liked to come to me for advice and once that advice was received, I never heard from them anymore until they wanted more advice. That gifting soon became my ministry. I’ve been through quite a bit of challenges in life from dealing with suicide, low self-image which resulted in low self-esteem, to the difficulties of growing up in a one parent household and the list goes on and on. But God in all his Mercy and Grace blessed me to overcome those obstacles and situations and gave me a “second” chance by allowing me to live through all that darkness in order to help spread an encouraging light to others.
In a world of uncertainty and negatism’s I want to encourage you to LIVE. Yes, Life does get hard sometimes, But if we keep looking up at the SON; we gain strength, we become empowered and we grow in the process with God’s help; for it doesn’t matter where you are in your life at this moment in time; God is able and will meet you within that dark place and change your life from Dark to Light, I’m not only a witness to this; but JustsumInspiration to show you, That you too can make it.
I won’t keep you long here, but I will say – these are some seemingly dark and unprecedented days we’re living in and through right now. And if you’re not careful, you’ll find yourself DOOM-SCROLLINGthrough every….bit….of….information in regards to COVID-19.
Which can be a bit depressing! Don’t you think?
Let me ask you a question, have you thought about “yourself” at all during this pandemic? Such as, what are your goals, dreams and what should I be doing during this phase – because let me tell you my friends, it’s not going to last always.
Are you going to chose to struggle or THRIVE through this uncertain season, and as the saying says “Now, that is the question” – What are you doing, while the world is in panic mode and searching down toilet tissue, masks, and sanitizer. What are you doing, as Iyanla Vanzant says “In the Meantime”
The meantime can be a great place or a very lonely and cold place – it all depends on YOU! I and my best friend, Fasoranti Damilola want to help give you not only encouragement but a few tips that maybe can help you dust off those dreams and ideas and put them to work for such a time as this!
Join us this Saturday, May 2nd – 11 am (EST) and 4 pm (GMT +1) on Instagram Live
I believe that all things happen for a reason because whether you know it or not? You asked for this, you asked for more time to get yourself together and work on specific projects. You’ve been too busy to do it and make things happen – Well, you asked for it! And I know you may be saying, I DID NOT ask for a pandemic! BUT, it got your attention, right? It’s slowed you down, correct? – So now, what are you going to do with it?
Join Fash and I as I discuss ways to get over writer’s block and Fash discusses how everyday conversations can lead to great content, We both have businesses so we also want to discuss how our business can maybe help your business. We have tips, discussion and there will be room for you to ask questions!
Hey, Friends. It’s been a cool minute since my last post.
Is this quarantine life crazy or WHAT! I guess I really didn’t know how or what to expect from the now “social-distancing” mantra that’s hit the WHOLE WORLD by storm. As I stated in my “Rona Post” – I’m one that really doesn’t take things too seriously? But in this case, things are VERY much serious indeed.
I believe more serious than any of us can or would have imagined. It has me asking questions like, “How did something like this get SO out of control?” and/or “Can this virus really be killed by heat?” it’s so many conflicting information going on in regards to this virus, it’s hard to believe anything. I literally quit looking at the news – it’s just wasn’t good for me mentally. Feel me?
I’m about DONE with this whole virus talk and who got it and who died from it. It’s just so sad, my heart literally breaks. I heard a case recently of a child that had it and was turned away by the hospital because he didn’t have insurance, that child later died. See, that’s the reason why I stopped looking at the news and it’s not only that but my heart breaks for all the doctors, nurses, staff and essential workers who are still grinding during this pandemic – putting themselves at risk.
My prayers are with them and the families that have lost beautiful souls and the ones who have tested positive for COVID-19. I’m sure by now we ALL must know someone who either tested positive or died from the virus. My heart and prayers are with you as we all move forward with the hope that this will end soon and uncertainty as to what’s next.
In the midst of going through things like this, it can have a major impact on your Emotional, Mental, Spiritual and Physical health in which is what I want to talk about. So how are you doing?
I thought this would be a great post to check-in and give an update on my status as well as give tips or even listen to yours. Because with all this social-distancing going on as we push further and further away from even “touching” each other, it can feel socially-lonely.
Well, I’ve already stated how this virus is making me feel emotional and that hasn’t changed. As stated, I had to quit watching the news. However; I get these rapid news breaks on my phone which doesn’t help BUT I decide what I “choose” to click on and what I “choose” to read. There’s a lot of conflicting information going on from stimulus checks, to who died of the virus and etc. Does the word “DOOMSCROLLING“ ring a bell?
You have a choice in what you choose to hear and what you choose to read, we all do. Instead of putting your emotions towards the loss, we’ve had; try focusing on the stories of individuals going out of their way to help others and/or the survivors including some elderly people who have conquered the virus. Where there’s bad news? There’s also good news – choose wisely.
Mental and emotional can sometimes go hand in hand with one another but one deals with the heart while the other deals with the mind. Your mental state during a “pandemic” can be very daunting. For instance, before things really “tightened” up concerning COVID-19. I went into the grocery store to purchase a couple of things AND while turning to go down the beverage aisle, I saw a purse on the shelf, like yes – someone literally left their purse on the shelf. I’ve been there before, I’ve put my keys and wallet on the shelf before and “out of sight, out of mind” just left – thank God every time I’ve gone back my items were still there (angels watching!) Without even thinking, I quickly grabbed the purse and took it to customer service. They had sanitizer up there, so I squeezed some in my hand after handing the clerk the purse and went on by my business. It wasn’t until I got in the car that I thought, “What if that person had COVID?” – My mind immediately went crazy! I was thinking about all types of weird, negative things. What if I had it? I thought.
And we ALL know that when we “think” things – next thing you know you feel like you have symptoms and etc. Well, that was well over a month ago and while a little tickle, sneeze or cough makes my mental psyche go coo-coo. I have to believe that God has me and I have to put my trust in him. Which brings me to my next emotion.
I will start this off segment off with this scripture – Isaiah 26:3 NIV “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!“ that scripture is fitting mentally as well. In this time of crisis, it’s good to have an anchor. For me that anchor is God, for you, it may be something else such as meditation or listening to mindful podcasts. I’ve heard quite a few people say that this pandemic is God’s way of getting our attention. His way of making sure that we spend more one-on-one time with him and I agree. Before this pandemic, I’m sure you like myself have maybe mentioned about there not being enough time in a day to do anything including spending time with the big man upstairs.
Well, this is the time. The time that you need and I need to do that. Prayer in times like these is very essential, needed and important. Prayer, time with God and meditation keeps you centered and “in perfect peace” as the scripture states. And we all need a “peace” of mind right about now. I’ve been doing the FIRST15 app. It’s an app that has a devotion, prayer, scripture, and song all in one day. It even allows you to journal your thoughts. It’s been really good, outside of the bible app to spend time with God for the first 15 minutes of your day. We all need something to keep us sane, so why not vamp up your spiritual mood.
There’s a reason why I put this one LAST! It’s seriously HARD for me to get on a schedule. And what I mean by that is EXERCISE! I’ve downloaded a couple of workouts to my YTube playlist including one by Massy Arias – who is a personal trainer, she makes her workouts look so easy but the way her body is set up? I can tell, it’s definitely NOT! AND of course, it’s not just all about the workout but you have to EAT right as well and you would think since we’re all “quarantining” that I would have this figured out, but sad to say, I don’t! I guess it’s because exercise is not something I have been heavily involved in even prior to this pandemic. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not a stranger to exercise and when I’m in, I’M TOTALLY ALL THE WAY INNNN!!! However, the saying is true – the first time you stop exercising, it’s pretty much downhill from there, so let’s just say – I’ve been trotting downhill for months now! I’ve been trying to get on the bandwagon, although “quarantine” has me seemingly thinking about food ALL the time. I mean, it’s literally right in my lap now. LOL
BUT, I’m going to get it done. I feel like I need to get on track as we all could be out of quarantine in a couple months and I wouldn’t want this time to be wasted; that would be a REAL bummer. So pray for me that I stop being lazy and get back on the exercise track!
Well, outside of my kids being out of school and the online learning they now are subjected too and me making sure they stay on track with that. This has been my COVID-19, social-distancing, and quarantine LIFE! So, what’s been going on with you?
How are you doing emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically? Let’s talk! You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tell me how you’re doing in the comments. I’d love to hear from you! Because in times like these, we all NEED each other.
In the meantime, Stay Well, Stay Safe, Follow the Directions given & Stay INDOORS as much as possible, this is also a great time to stay connected to loved ones & friends!
Safety Precautions & What is “Pandemic” vs an “Epidemic” crisis
I know, before you give me a deep embedded *sigh* – by now you’ve probably heard about the coronavirus more times than anyone else would care too and I get it, I’m a little worn out of the word myself. However, now that this “Rona” as I call it, is no joke and truly something you should be preparing for. I thought I’d talk about the difference between what a pandemic and epidemic crisis is, along with giving you a couple of tips on how you can keep yourself as well as your home healthy.
So, first things first. What’s the difference between a pandemic and epidemic crisis. When first talks of the coronavirus began, I heard that it was just an epidemic crisis and monitoring was going on, however over the last weeks, it has now become a pandemic, which takes this “Rona” case from a 10 to a clear 100 overnight!
An Epidemic Crisis is: When a disease or illness is isolated to one region or country.
A Pandemic Crisis is: A widespread infectious disease, bacteria, or virus that sickens a large number of people worldwide.
Also, some other terms you need to know?
Asymptomatic – means someone is showing no symptoms.
Symptoms – showing known signs or a virus and/or illness.
Now that we have that out of the way and you know the difference because truth be told, I didn’t until more info about the “Rona” spread across the news waves and the trillion updates we’ve gotten for what seems like every min/hour after. However, it’s here and I have this strong feeling that it’s going to get worse before we see a light and rainbows at the end of the tunnel.
~ BUT DON’T FRET! ~
I know this too shall pass just like Y2K, Anthrax and everything else that came to shift the nation prior. Although this case seems like it will be remembered for years to come. In the wake of the “Rona” epidemic, there are things that you can do to stay well, be safe and keep you sanity on the up and up no matter the mad dash people are making to the stores in a frenzy!
With everything going on and as reports suggest, it’s best to drink plenty of water, take your multi’s and /or anything that will boost your immune system. I’m a HUGE fan of tea but not just any type of tea. I love the teas that have added health benefits to them such as this new one that I’m trying right now (see below) and it’s really good too. I got mine from Amazon but you can find it at your local Wal-Mart (I doubt if it’ll be gone off the shelves). I take my multi-vitamins as well as drink my Emergen-C! which is chock full of vitamin C. And not only wash your hands but give it a vigorous scrub, that way germs are actually getting washed off (more on sanitization next). You should increase fruit and veggie intake and get in a little exercise if you can – I plan to take out my walking tapes. You can walk around your house or in your neighborhood with discretion!
The crazy thing about this “Rona” is that you just don’t know who’s a carrier and that could be anyone!! since the average person will not start showing symptoms for quite a few days. Most cities and states have already begun shutting businesses down or limiting the interaction of events in which involve people. We now reference this new terminology as “social-distancing” – If you just happen to go out, cover your mouth and neck with a scarf and be careful of the places you go and how many people are intended to be there. Carry sanitizer with you and take advantage of the sanitizer wipes in stores to wipe down your grocery and/or carry baskets. I would sanitize my hands afterward as well.
I know my friend Deborah started carrying Clorox wipes in a zip lock bag in her purse when she took them out to wipe down the table we were going to eat at for girls’ night out with us and another friend and took out her big bottle of sanitizer. I believe I realized at that point just how REAL things were, the waitress even asked her could she use some…lol. You have to protect yourself and others as well. Especially yourself, even if others don’t.
Sanity vs. Panicky
This health crisis has everyone up in arms, of course, you can tell by the empty shelves in the grocery stores and the rush to get EVERYTHING in sight’s eye whether you really need it or not. My friend told me over the weekend that she saw a guy come out of the store with five deep freezers, yes FIVE! and here it is I was debating on if I should get just one. I understand the concern and the frenzy because at this point, nobody knows the outcome or what’s really going to happen and I get it, however, remember in the bible when Jesus slept in the midst of that raging storm? (Matthew 8:23-27) He wasn’t fazed by it, neither was he fretful but the disciples were afraid and probably thought that the boat would capsize and they’d be lost at sea or something worse. When they awoke Jesus, crying for him to get up and do something about the endured crisis (epidemic), he spoke “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?”
With one word, he calmed the sea and everything was fine. What am I trying to say? This Pandemic scare is no different than that incident back in Jesus’s time. This is the time to ask yourself, am I going to panic? or stand still and trust that God has this ALL under control. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying NOT to prepare because afterall, I do believe God wants us to use wisdom even in this crisis but what I’m saying is that we shouldn’t allow this crisis to make us question our faith in the man who can say one word and calm all this chaos. But the faith is not so much in what God can do but in how you react to what’s in front of you. Are you going to fear, fail or fall under the mounting pressure?
Find something that will keep your mind occupied in this time, whether it be a song, a book, a quote or a reading of scripture such as the one provided above. Meditation is also a good source.
As I told my subscribers last week, If we survived Y2K, H1N1, Anthrax, Ebola and etc – we can surely fight our way through this one!
Much Love & Prayers to you and yours, Be Safe, Use Wisdom & Don’t forget to Sanitize!
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Did you notice that I didn’t blog last week?, Well, I actually did. Did you miss it, did you miss me? Well, why not become a subscriber because there will be times that I’ll be sharing things there and not on here! Subscribe today to not MISS anything – whether I’m here or elsewhere!
THERE’S ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG WITH GETTING HELP!
Now that you’ve said that, let’s dig into my topic above. March in my mind is Mental Health Awareness month, now before you get all technical with me, I know there’s a mental health awareness day somewhere during the year but if you ask me? It can be anytime you realize or come to grips that you seriously need to talk to someone.
That’s the realization I came to last month. I’m always there for other people, I always take out time to listen to them, their problems, issues, hurts, habits and hang-ups and I really do listen. Once their through talking, I give my two cents on the matter, in most cases I’ve prayed with them or include them in my prayers once the convo is over and they go on their merry way. NOW, how does this all play out when I need someone to talk too???
Do you hear the crickets??..
Yes, that’s usually what I hear OR if I do talk to someone, it’ll start out being about my issue and somehow it reverts to their issue and I end up helping them through theirs without getting my issue dissected. I once was friends with someone who did this on MORE than one occasion. I’d always love seeing them and hanging out, they’ll ask me about my day and how things have been going with me and I’ll respond and the next thing you know, there on themselves, their life, their goals, their family, their business and their this and their that and the list goes on and on and on. Most times by the time they’d work their way back around to what I had to say, I’d be too exhausted to answer them and all I can get out is…
“Everything’s Just Fine” but in my head, that was a LIE!
Anywho, that’s been my life with friendships and unfortunately personal relationships as well. I’ve always put others before “ME” and last month I found myself doing that yet again and decided that enough was enough. I have to talk to someone and if I can’t find people around me that’s willing to listen, I’d find a counselor that will.
Here’s what I found out with my insurance plan in regards to mental health and some tips on how you can put yourself FIRST starting now in 2020. Because It’s never too late…
Check your insurance plan
Mental health is on the rise and I’m so happy that more and more people are discussing it, the more we talk about it the less taboo it’ll feel. It’s nothing to be ashamed of either, hey – we can ALL use a mental check. In pursuing a counselor, I googled my insurance to see what counselors/offices accept it. Once I went through the list provided, I then called my insurance company to see if these doctors were in-network or out of network. Luckily the one I chose was in-network. Out-of-network is okay just know that you’ll be paying a little more in co-pay. I also found out that my co-pay was $25 and that my plan came with unlimited visits for that amount. Now that’s a win-win, so don’t be afraid to reach out to your insurance carrier, after all – that’s what you’re paying for every month. Might as well take advantage of it.
Realize Your Limits
Maybe seeing a therapist is NOT on your to-do list at the moment and that’s okay. However, you need to realize when you’ve reached your limit in a conversation. In the past, I’ve talked to people and have gotten the worst headache/migraine afterward or just felt like – BLAH!! We have to realize and I totally believe in this, people transfer their energy onto you. While you want to help a friend, you have to think about your sanity and your Feng sui as well. It can be thrown completely off if your friend is going on and on and on again about the same old drama you gave her or him pointers on months ago. Self-care is the best care. Sometimes you just have to say, “Look I gotta go” or “I just had something to come up – can I call you back?” learn to give yourself a BREAK even in the midst of a convo. And you better believe, your sanity is awaiting to applaud you.
You Better Get Selfish
This goes into the “Self-Care” regimen. I’m learning this even now, you don’t have to respond to every text or answer every call (unless it’s life or death) at the drop of a hat because someone needs you. You need you, your body and mind need you to be able to think clearly and focus on you and your needs. If you give EVERYONE in the world your time or what little you have after a long day of work. Then what’s left for you? Oh, my bad – THE BED! because that’s exactly where you’ll be going and nobody has time to work, do family, put out fires with your friends and etc and NOT be able to stay awake for at least 2 hours to do something for yourself. Life wasn’t set up for you to be that way, but you know how life works – it goes in the direction you lead it. Think about it.
Truth brings — CHANGE
I’ve had my share of toxic friendships and relationships, the thing is I didn’t really know they were toxic until they left me broke, dry and questioning my own sanity. Our life lets in what we put out – if you keep talking to people that just don’t get it or that keeps you in a box, everything else that comes your way will be the same way. We have to learn to speak up and I’m preaching to the choir on this one, I don’t speak up enough. I let things go on and I accept people’s “ish” because I either don’t want to lose them or afraid I’m being too pushy with my standards, so I digress. The one thing I have to constantly drill in my head is, to be honest with myself as well as the people around me. If it means they’ll leave me, then let them. It just means they were out of place in my life anyway. If it makes me uncomfortable, say it. If I feel as though I’m giving 100% and only getting 20% in return? then leave! And you know what? you don’t have to give ANYONE an explanation for doing so.
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Life is ALL about making the right choices that will push us forward into being the GREAT and AMAZING beings we were created to be in the first place and if that means being a little selfish and/or getting a little help along the way to accomplish that? Then, by all means, DO IT!
Do you have a counselor or go to therapy sessions? How do you handle a convo that pushes you past your mental limit? Sound off in the comments!
Have you ever heard that statement before? As sure as we live and breathe I’m sure we’ve ALL heard it or unfortunately have been there and done it ourselves!
I’ve often found myself in meetings or even talking with someone and have been somewhere else. The mind is a tricky thing and a terrible thing to waste as per the UNCF (United Negro College Fund). And it’s true! The mind is indeed a terrible thing to waste but while the UNCF was referring to an education, I’m particularly talking about the mind and it’s capability of filling up with SO many ideas, schedules, goals, relationships, what someone said and how you’d wished you had said this instead; all the way to what you want to eat later that day or even two days from now – type of stuff.
The “stuff” that keeps us from being “present and available” at the moment. We miss most great moments because our mind wants to take us on a vacay of “what to do next or after” and it’s bout time to put it to rest – just for a little while.
Do you find yourself being “unavailable” due to your mind traveling west when you’re trying to go east? Here’s a couple of tips to put the mind at ease so you can focus a little clearer, literally.
#1. Cut Down That List – Like NOW!
Listen, there are only 24 hours in a day and if you put EVERYTHING you have to get done on that crazy “to-do” list. You’ll be extremely exhausted, I mean you probably already are, right? If we allow our minds to do it, it’ll make us think that everything in the world is important and has to be done right now and that couldn’t be farther from the truth. It’s okay to schedule that oven cleaning to Thursday, it’s not like it’s going anywhere and you DON’T have to do it today.
Try to figure out what’s truly a priority vs. non priority…..what’s really important vs. not important today. Spread out the work and give yourself something to do everyday instead of all in one day!
#2. Schedule “Me” Time
I’m bad at this tip but it’s so needed. Have you ever scheduled “me time” on your to-do list? My mom would always tell us that Mondays were her “me days” – that meant, no calls and no coming over during a specific time frame on Mondays. She valued her alone times and while I didn’t always understand it because I was being the energizer bunny. Now that she’s gone, I totally get it. You need that time away from other people’s voices and faces, it truly makes you appreciate seeing them when you do. Now what she did during that time, I have no idea but “me time” is whatever you want to do without doing work or even thinking about the things you need to do. It’s a little moment to be selfish and only think about you!
#3. Put It “ALL” Away & Focus!
This one is going to take a little practice, however, remember when I said earlier that my body would be in meetings and my mind would be elsewhere? unfortunately this also happens with my children! They’d be talking to me and I’d be thinking about work, church, getting back to someone, email and etc. Not really focusing on their dilemma – in which to them, everything’s a dilemma!
Now, don’t get me wrong, tuning them out is sometimes therapy for me but when it comes to a failing grade or them having concerns in regards to a friend or teacher or themselves, those things need my undivided attention. So when cases like this happen, I’ve learned to put my phone away, sit with them and totally give them eye-to-eye attention. This way, I can provide feedback if necessary and it gives me insight as to what’s going on with them. We can easily miss serious moments when we allow our minds to time travel. Realize where you are and tell your mind that you’re going to focus on the matter at hand because, in reality, we can train our minds to do whatever we want it to do.
#4. You Need A Sleep Schedule
This definitely may sound crazy but you really do need to “schedule sleep” – if you don’t, you won’t get it and while your mind is on the go the body will shut completely down! Ever been restless at night because your mind was wondering about things you should be thinking about in the morning? I’ve been here too, more often than I’d like to admit. Most times I get up and work and others I just lay there and talk to God or just look…lol.
If you find your mind wrestling with you while you’re trying to go to sleep, try drinking some hot chamomile tea or sleepy time tea before bed (decaf of course). I also like listening to peaceful sounds such as thunder (I know this is not so peaceful but it’s calming for me). I love listening to rain sounds or ABIDE – which has sleep meditations for the nighttime. It’s also wise to put your phone on silent, so you won’t awake to every notification known to man. 30 min before bedtime, get these things in order so by sleep time – you’ll be all set to ZzZzzzzZZ.
All of these tips will not only help you be more present but more focused on what’s really important. Train that mind and don’t allow it to train you, remember YOU have control over it and not it over you.
Sanity is everything! & So is Being in the Moment! – Life’s too short not too.