I Need Help! Can Someone Get Me A Counselor, Please?

Featured Image Credit: Defendernetwork.com

Okay, say it with me…
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

Image credit: Quicken Loans

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

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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

Image credit: Sadhguru.org

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

Image credit: Bing

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.

** ** ** ** **

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!

Make Time For Who?….YOU!! – Simple Self-Care Tips For The Busy Person In Us All.

Feature Image: Bing/Huffpost UK


Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

I don’t know about you, but I’ve heard the statement above quite a plenty in my life time. So, what do people mean when they say “Take Care of Yourself” it’s literally a statement that seems to be said more than it’s done because in reality, How many of us really do it?

Which brings me to my next question: “How does one really take care of themselves?”

Most people tend to think Self-Care is all about the loofah’s and the lotions and going on some expensive spa date with the girls or guys and don’t get me wrong, that’s a part of it – but it’s not the WHOLE cake of the matter, if you can see that analogy. It’s just the icing; the outer part but it doesn’t begin to touch the core of what self-care really is.

I love this statement/quote – in which pretty much sums it up.

Self-Care is not Selfish. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.

Eleanor Brownn with 2 N’s – eleanorbrownn.com

We’re ALLLL busy, I mean every single one of us. If we’re not engulfed in our careers, thinking about how to make money, raising a family together or alone, taking care of an ill parent, parents or child, trying to be a good friend or trying to fit in with the “in” crowd, managing our own health (if we don’t overlook it trying to make sure someone else manages theirs…been there?) or just catering to everyone else’s need except our own…..self-care can be pushed to the back burner when it comes to our own sanity.

Sometimes after giving so much of ourselves to others, there’s literally only one thing left for us and that’s “THE BED!” because we’re too burned out to do anything else. I get it, life gets busy and when it does, it seems to never stop. However, if you don’t take control of LIFE…? I’m sure you can finish that sentence, right?…

The tips below are not new or rocket science, but they are tips that I use to take command over life, even if it’s just for 5 min. Maybe they’ll be able to help you too OR get you back on track to taking care of the person that matters the most and that’s YOU! (And No, that’s not selfish to say)

Self-Care involves:

The Mind


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You’ve heard the saying “A MIND is a terrible thing to waste” and it’s true, especially when it comes to self-care. It’s amazing how we exhaust our mental capacity on things that ruin our day or mood. It doesn’t help the case either when we consistently think about it or go to sleep with it on our minds. The older I’ve gotten I realized that I have to protect my energy and my mind when it comes to negative thoughts, negative images, negative news and NEGATIVE PEOPLE! (see how I bolded that last statement). We have to choose our battles wisely…even the more when it comes to our mental health.

MIND Suggestions:

  • Turn off the news (it’s always negative) and I’ve determined that watching too much of it, ruins my mood and effect my sleep pattern.
  • Have you heard of Luminosity? I love this game, it’s a fit game for you mind. It has a lot of little puzzles that challenge your cognitive thinking, it’s a mindless activity that gets my mind off of other things.
  • A cross word puzzle, puzzle or other word games are good to play to keep your mind sharp.
  • Last but certainly not least, meditation music or just taking 5 min, even if it’s after work in your car. Tends to work wonders for your mental sanity.

The Body


Photo by Mike Bird from Pexels

Our body is the first thing that feels the effects of any stress that we may endure or have going on. It’s a shame that we neglect it often and push it past it’s limits just to do the things “we” deem as necessary. My mom used to always say “You don’t ever want your body to become your enemy” and boy was she right. It can turn on you at any second, in which is why it’s a good thing to take care of it, after-all; we only get one of them.

BODY Suggestions:

  • Plan a walk. I tend to be more motivated when I have people that are willing to do this with me, but taking a walk is always a good destresser.
  • A little sun doesn’t hurt – as an African American woman I’ve been told by doctors that we don’t get enough sun, in which is why we have to take high dosages of Vitamin D. But a little sun in your face or down your back is good, if you can stand it =)
  • Massages are LIFE! – I always tell people, if I get a little extra or if God sees fit for me to get a little money….I would personally hire a masseuse! Massages are great for your body and relieves stress, it’s also good for the mind too.
  • Oh and eating healthy is always a good choice for your body!

The Soul


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Your soul is very, very important. It’s good to be able to connect with a higher power. Whether you believe in God or not – spiritual renewal, prayer, meditation, reading scriptures or listening to a good inspirational or motivational sermon, teaching or talk always brings balance to your inner core, which most times is the beginning of everything. If we can get our soul in order, it tends to make everything else come to order as well. I like to spend time with God, reading scripture or just listening to meditation music or gospel songs, this tends to mend me back together on the inside and reflects positively on the outside.

SOUL Suggestions:

  • Donate to your favorite charity, it’s nothing like being able to give back instead of always take.
  • Watch the clouds – Yes, you read that right. It’s something about looking up at the clouds that’s so spiritual and good to me. I have a favorite spot at my job that I go and do this on my lunch break or just getting up from my seat to go take a break. It’s the first place I go, it helps to do this because we’re high up. I just stand there and look and most times I’m talking to God. It’s a small thing, but I find such peace and tranquility just looking out that window and looking up.
  • Ever eat or drink alone? – Going places alone to some people may seem a bit daunting, but it’s actually good. It’s just you and you alone with your thoughts and plans. This gives you time to think about what your goals are, what goals you’ve met and what you need to achieve. And you can’t always do that when people are constantly talking or needing your “undivided” attention.

So, there you have it! As stated these are simple suggestions that you can do or start practicing today. Life, as crazy as it is will have us rushing, ripping and running to get somewhere and it will keep this cycle up as long as we allow it. Learn to discipline yourself long enough to take a breather. Don’t rush home from work every day, maybe sit in the car turn on some music and eat that leftover sandwich from lunch (literally just did this the other day). Just let your mind, body and soul relax.

Now, say it with me “Who’s your most favorite person in the world?” Don’t be shy, I know you want to say it and just in case you forgot? IT’S YOU BOO!! So, go and really “TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOURSELF!” because 30 min or an hour A Day? Keeps the Insanity at Bay!

Do you have any Self-Care tips that you do to stay balanced? Share them Below.

Mindsets & Mental Stress

photo above courtesy of bing 

Recently, as me and my brother-in-law were talking, he began to tell me how he was mentally tired. He works all the time it seems like and really never gets a break or have a “down” time and when he is off (which is sometimes only for a day) it’s filled with other things to do, such as take the children to the doctor; mowing the lawn; taking care of things around the house that was pushed on the agenda for his next off day or meeting with his own doctors, he and my sister are both the same way when it comes down to some much needed R&R, they just don’t have the time for it!

I can totally relate to both of their dilemma’s because on top of taking care of the house, working hard to provide for two kids, making sure I stay on top of my own job and keeping up with what needs to be paid, what I did “actually” pay, to kids field trips, to making sure there’s money for this and that and keeping the car running and keeping my own health in check – where in the world is the time to settle down and BREATHE!!! at the end of the day, I’m ready to pull my hair out – LITERALLY!

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HELP, PLEASSSSSSEEEEEE!!

We have to find the time and balance to take care of ourselves – No, seriously….we do! It’s detrimental that we do, not only for our sanity but for our overall health. I’ve often heard people say, “I’ll have plenty of time to rest, when I’m DEAD!” and while that is very true; I don’t want to, as Rihanna sings “WERK, WERK, WERK, WERK , WERK, WERK” until I’m dead or so sick until I can’t do anything at all. Some people feel as though they have to plan for some elaborate trip in order to get away and get some ME TIME in, and that’s great – but we all know that sometimes plans are meant to be cancelled. You don’t have to plan for a big trip or go away to some remote location to get a little mental clarity, now don’t get me wrong, if you have it like that and truly plan to go through with it, by all means, do what you have to do; but sometimes there are a couple of simple things we can do right now, before plan that big trip.

Listed below are a couple of things that I currently do to get some “me time” in everyday, while they may be very simple; they’ve really helped to keep my stress level at an all time low. 

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photo taken from okclipart

 

Take Your Time and Don’t Rush It ðŸ•”

When my kids were much smaller and in daycare, I would get off of work at 5pm and rush to pick them up before 6pm (otherwise, I’d get charged a dollar for every minute after) I worked like 45min away. Sometimes it was a struggle getting there on time due to the traffic but I didn’t want to be late or pay a fine. Everything revolved around my kids when they were younger and the thought of me doing anything for myself, was a forbidden thought that I didn’t think mothers were supposed to have. One day my boss asked me, Roshonda?, “Why do you rush to get your kids – you need to take some time for yourself, get off a little early and stop by to grab you an ice-cream and enjoy it by yourself before you pick the kids up.” The thought of her saying that was like, death to my ears “Stop for Ice-Cream?” was she serious? But, she was right – sometimes we can rush life so fast until we don’t take out time to enjoy the simple things. Just because I had small kids at the time, didn’t mean that I had to forget about me – taking that ice-cream break was not only life changing but it helped my sanity as well.

De-stress and Rest ðŸ˜´

This is all about finding things you can do to make your “you” day stress free, such as going to the library, checking out that new food chain or clothing store that just opened up or scheduling a massage (you can schedule this for your next day off) or going to the park and feeding the birds or watching the water or just sitting in your car or under a tree, listening to some music or catching up on that book that’s been collecting dust on your shelf, that you promised to read months ago. You may have to think about a couple of simple things that you can do, but trust me – it’ll be worth it. Have you checked out your downtown yet?, I love walking into shops and just looking around. **Getting a good night’s rest, helps your mental clarity and health also – even if you have to schedule it; just make sure you stick to it!**

Sometimes, you gotta keep it a secret ðŸ¤«

Okay, so I’m still working on being good at this BUT – sometimes you can’t tell people when you’re off work or if you’re leaving work early OR have some spare time in your day (unless you plan to hang out with them) I say this because sometimes people have a tendency to add their to-do list on your off day. Unless it’s an emergency and people need to know you’re off for a particular reason…..It’s okay to keep the day a Hush Hush. Especially if you want to get in some extra sleep or just lounge around the house in your jammies, sipping some tea or coffee and reading the newspaper or catching up on your favorite show (now that you have the remote all to yourself). If you constantly sound the alarm when you’re off of work…..you’ll never get any rest.

Hey, Let’s Walk It Out ðŸ‘ŸðŸ‘Ÿ

Exercise (as I’ve come to really know it) is a great stress relief – it gets those endorphins going and those energy levels up, making you sure to conquer the day – no matter how hard it may be. Do you eat lunch at your desk (I’m so guilty of this one)….I’m learning to stop eating lunch at my desk andddddd also, learning to leave the desk and take a walk. Sometimes, I’ll even go to my car let my seat back and turn on some music and take a nap or just eat and relax, I also take a walk around outside – especially when the day is beautiful. Walking has major benefits, for your mind and your health – it helps you de-stress from a long, busy and hectic day.

There is only one YOU and you only get one BODY, don’t lean on the motto of “I’ll rest when I’m dead” because we all will, one day but that day doesn’t have to be rushed. While, we must werk, werk, werk to make sure our necessities are not interrupted; we must take out time to make sure our mental stress and mindsets are also on our to-do list of important things to take care of as well…..

What do you do to maintain your stress levels?

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Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

P.S. I have a BIG, HUGE Announcement on Next Thursday 4/5/18 – Stay Tuned!!

 

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What Are You Waiting For?…Your Time Is Now!!!

I hope this video inspires you to stop waiting for that “perfect” moment to happen or take place because in reality – there are no “perfect” moments and there never will be. All moments, time, dreams and goals start with you my friend.

Don’t wait for it to happen – You have to get out there and MAKE IT HAPPEN!! You have the ability, so therefore you have no excuses!

Be Encouraged!

 

Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

Let’s Live Well, Laugh Loud & Love Hard!

Answering Work Emails On the Weekends? Yes or No…

I was talking with a friend recently and she began to discuss with me how her boss emails her on the weekends and this isn’t a once in a while occurrence – this is every single weekend, nonstop. As she began to describe the feelings of “job commitment” that comes over her when she taps the respond button, I began to think about how I too was in her same shoes and would answer all sorts of emails from work “on my weekends” and “days off” YES! you can say I was quite the committed employee. As someone whom wanted to always make a good impression with my boss; I later realized that I had taken on a whole lot more than I could chew.

Model employee you could say, but was that really coming across to my boss because I answered multiple emails on the weekends? Uhhh—–NO! One email answered at 10pm one night, changed my life forever. It was a night in which I had nothing to do and just happened to browse my work email (in which I had coming to my phone) and seen that my boss had emailed me to ask a question, to their surprise – I answered them back. “I wasn’t expecting you to answer this time of night?” they explained and I said “Oh, it was no problem.” While they assured me that answering emails after hours or on weekends was not necessary, I continued to do it and they soon took it as “This girl is available at all times” and used it to their advantage, not only them but multiple people after them. I had set myself up as the availability gal in which you could email at any time and get a response.

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Answering work emails during your “personal time” can become complicated

While this was fun and liberating at first, it soon became a nightmare. Suddenly I was getting emails at the most awkward times of the night or day. They usually trickled in during the time in which I was spending with family, friends or having a mental health day. What had I started!!, my life was beginning to turn into a 365, 7day a week, 24 hours a day job. I suddenly realized that I had no time for myself as I soon began going in to work on weekends, Sundays included and stay extra hours after work and to answer emails on top of all that —– My job seemed like it was becoming a never ending story. Once you put yourself out there to be the “IT” person – everything changes, including your personal life.

I abruptly decided one day to just shut down the email on my phone altogether. I also stopped going in on weekends and while I do have my current job email coming to my phone now, I only check it or respond when I feel it’s an emergency that needs to be handled right away. If not, then it can wait till Monday. You see?, I felt that if I answered emails on the weekends that it would make me a more valuable employee but what it made me was a robot. I never received any awards, recognition or cool points with the boss because I answered an email after hours or on weekends and my pay definitely didn’t change. So who was I really doing this for and why had I subjected myself to this task? Because I wanted to show my boss they could count on me – no matter what.

And while that’s all good, it wasn’t good for my health; sanity or livelihood – so something had to change and change FAST!

Do you feel obligated to answer work emails after hours or weekends? Well, if you’re feeling the pressure – Don’t worry, just take the necessary steps below:

Just Say No

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There’s no harm in saying NO!

Don’t get me wrong, we all work jobs in which we want to be relevant and deemed as a good employee but there has to be a line crossed somewhere. When we constantly say YES to everything our boss shoots our way, we put ourselves in position to not have feelings, a say or an opinion about anything. It’s okay to say NO sometimes. Especially if it’s going to interfere with your life outside of the workplace or office. They can’t fire you for saying NO.

Have a Conversation with the Boss

USA, New Jersey, Jersey City, Business man and woman arguing
Check with your Boss to see what their idea of after hours entails

You might want to see where your boss stands on how they want you to respond to emails during your off hours and is it a requirement. Personally, I used to have a boss that would send me emails after hours but only because if they didn’t do it right away, they would forget to and working at night was sort of their down time in which they used to respond to emails. So, get your bosses opinion on what they would like you to do concerning it. You may also want to let them know that your off hours and  weekends are very busy. Express the fact that if they do send an email, you may not respond until the next workday. This will let your boss know your stance on after hour emails and that they should not expect a response.

Expectations, Expectation, Expectations – Watch Out!

Word Expectations on ascending arrow above bar graph
The more you put yourself out, The more will be expected of you.

Ever noticed how when you do something for a person one time – they tend to take advantage of you doing it that one time and consistently come back to you again and again expecting you to do the same thing? That’s how we can become when we give of ourselves more than we should. It’s okay to be nice and kind but at the end of the day, you’re required to perform your job duties (that’s what you get paid for) anything in over excess to that can lead people to expect more from you than you’re willing to give. Only give what you can afford to give away because your time is precious.

Self-Care is the Best Care

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Self Care will Save your Life

Whether it’s concerning work or anything else that may be pressing in your life. You must take care of yourself, including your sanity. I’ve been on jobs where I’ve over exhausted myself trying to prove or show how good of an employee I was and at the end of the day, I was the one with the swollen ankles, extreme headache and body aches. I was literally stressing myself out, while I made others feel comfy, cozy. Just as your boss needs their time, so do you. You’re no good to them, the business or organization if you’re spazzed out, stressed or in the hospital. Learn to turn off your email notifications from work or just don’t answer them at all. While that may be hard to do (because it was for me) you have to realize that you’re only one person and if something happens to you; will they come to your aide? No…(yes they’ll be concerned but the job must and always will go on, whether you’re there or not)

That’s sad to say, but in reality – we only get one life, one chance and one opportunity to make the best of it as much as possible and I can think of a million things for you to do besides answering that annoying email message from you know who. Life is short my friend and those after hour/weekend emails can wait…Life, unfortunately cannot.

All images used were courtesy of Bing ~

 

Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

Let’s Live Well, Laugh Loud & Love Hard!