No words just action

Maria Oswalt for Unsplash

As I sat down to write this post two questions plagued me: what should I highlight and how do I support people. I will use my voice to advocate for mental health. I want to give whatever size platform I have over to those colleagues of mine that are doing amazing work. I will post links to their websites below and I will also post a link to The Loveland Foundation, who offer grants for Black women and girls to access mental health services.

Therapy for Black Girls

Melanin and Mental Health

The Loveland Foundation

Melanted Women’s Health

I was thinking of how I can better support you. Much of the work in therapy is to still through the uncomfortable. I sit right along with you. The grief and loss is heavy right now. This can be the catalyst for major emotional crises to those who mourn. There is so much loss right now. This can be overwhelming. Grief is the internal (emotional) reaction to loss whereas mourning is the external (behavioral) reaction of this grief. A variety of emotions arise individually and collectively. These include but are not limited to:
Denial
Disbelief
Confusion
Shock
Sadness
Yearning
Anger
Humiliation
Despair
Guilt
There are no strategic stages to grieving. Grief is a journey marked by easier moments and moments of hardship. We are in a moment of extreme hardship. The intensity and longevity of grieving emotions and mourning behaviors varies; everyone is different in their journey. Emotions are sending you a message. The more you sit with the feelings the more will be revealed: ACTION comes

Quarantine Life: Spring 2020

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What can I write about the current events that haven’t been written or stated by many in the last couple of weeks? This is an uncertain time for many people in all sorts of ways. What I can write, is to be patient with yourself and others as we are all trying to figure out a new normal. In the meantime there are a few things that can help alleviate some of the anxiety surrounding the uncertainty:

  1. Keep a routine
  2. Get daily exercise
  3. Eat well
  4. Connect with 2-3 people every day
  5.  Keep your therapy appointments or make one
  6. Limit the news

If you have any specific questions please don’t hesitate to ask and I will gladly guide you to the best resources!

Not Everyone You Lose Is A Loss

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Does the title of this post make you cringe? This post is meant to encourage you to reflect and review the people who are in your life. I’ve said it many times before: those who surround you will influence every part of who you are and who you will become.  Relationships are dynamic; they infuse the quality of our life. It’s also mutual. What are you giving to others? Are you the person bringing drama, gossip, pessimism into your relationships? If so, think about what will that foster in your relationship. If your friendships are centered around gossip and talking poorly about others, what does that mean for the wellbeing of your relationship? Please don’t be surprised when that relationship goes south.

I want to challenge you to look at your relationship and in turn what you bring to your relationship. How can your relationships be healthier? Is there someone that you need to let go of or rearrange your boundaries around? What kind of friend are you? What changes do you need to make to be a healthier person?

Remember Who You Are

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When you have begun the process of counseling you will change. It’s inevitable. This is a sign of growth.  The woman you are becoming will cost you people, relationships, spaces, and material things. Choose her over everything. So, remember :

1. My self worth does not depend on what others think and say about me.

2. My self worth does not depend on how I look or what I weigh.

3. My self worth does not depend on my marks or performance.

4. My self worth does not depend on my number of followers.

5. I am enough just as I am.

6. I can succeed despite a bad day.

7. I am beautiful and valuable – and will treat myself with kindness and respect.

 

Photo by Artem Kovalev on Unsplash

Why You Should Still Go to Therapy Even If You’re “Fine”

hello-i-m-nik-z1d-LP8sjuI-unsplash Simply stated: therapy is a space for your humanness.  You have a non-judgmental relationship with someone who will hold anything-absolutely anything-that burdens you. Therapy allows for exploration into the idiosyncrasiesof your life. I aim to create a space place for all my clients, where void of any labels, they are come as they are: enough and worthy.  A word of caution, therapy isn’t an easy process. It’ll challenge your beliefs. This challenge, however, can lead to a myriad of emotions (fear, sadness, joy, hope). In the end you may find yourself in a place of transformation. How powerful is that?!  From the moment you choose to self-explore you’ll be pushed past your “I’m fine” narrative and unearth a different story. You owe it to yourself to be more than “fine”.  In the end it’s your choice to continue with being “fine” or finally experience more.  So, I ask you: How are you doing?

Photo by Hello I’m Nik 🇬🇧 on Unsplash

Singlehood Doesn’t Mean There Is Something Wrong With You

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It’s a human need the desire for companionship. It’s healthy and totally acceptable if you want to be in a relationship. Sometimes though risking your well-being to simply be in a relationship can be detrimental to your mental health. In my experience, I have seen varied reasons why people are single when they don’t want to be. I encourage you to find a deeper understanding of yourself and how you got to this place in your life. Maybe you keep dating the same type of person. Or find yourself with someone who is unable and unwilling to meet your needs. Having an understanding of your emotions, thoughts,  and behaviors can help you feel hopeful about the future and your potential relationships.  I want to highlight some of the reasons you may single when you don’t want to be:

1. You may feel like you don’t deserve to be in a (good and healthy) relationship.

2. You may have developed unrealistic expectations about who your ideal mate.

3. Maybe you simply feel pressured to be in a relationship and you will align yourself with the first person who is readily available.

4. You’ve been hurt badly in the past.

5. You are sabotage your relationships.

6. Trauma.

If you desire a healthy relationship. One that nurtures you and feeds your emotional mental and psychological well-being it’s imperative to understand yourself independent of a relationship. Sometimes it is necessary to heal individually so that you can be the healthiest person you can possibly be to your partner. It can be very helpful to heal and learn unhealthy patterns of thinking and behaving that ultimately will allow you to really connect in a very profound way.

Photo by Alex Blăjan on Unsplash

Be The Change You Want To See In Your Relationship

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The truth is, you can’t change someone who doesn’t see an issue with their actions. If you think that you will be able to change your partner and mold them into someone else you are in for a lot of disappointment. Simply wanting to change your partner is a red flag that you don’t like them. You may be infatuated with certain parts of who they are but you are unwilling to accept them as a whole. Or maybe what you found once endearing now gets on your nerves!  Instead of focusing on what you want your partner to change, I  challenge you to make the changes you wish to see in your relationship.

  1. Take responsibility for how you contribute to your relationship; in every way. Often times, people get defensive and list reasons: “why” they do what they do. Instead, take your responsibility for the good and the bad that you bring to the relationship.
  2. Complain without blaming or criticizing.  A complaint starts with an “I” statement and focuses on the behavior. Blaming and criticism focus on your partner and can be a personal attack on the person. For example: “I was so worried about you when you didn’t call” this is a complaint. Blaming/criticizing looks like this: “I was late for work because you are so inconsiderate”; this statement will only result in your partner becoming defensive and then the fight begins.
  3. Focus on fostering more compassion, appreciation, and empathy for your partner. Think about what it would mean to be them for 24 hours. Do you gain anew perspective?
  4. Learn your triggers and how to self-soothe when you are feeling overwhelmed.  Your mental health (and that of your partner) plays a vital component in the overall health of your relationship. Do not neglect your mental and emotional health. The ability to self-regulate is one of ht most important (and life long) skills you can develop. One that will be necessary if your relationship is to grow and evolve over time.

Which one of the four traits listed above do you need to work on?

 

You are worth EVERYTHING

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Self-Love is a phrase or a movement that seems to be really on-trend right now. And although I 100% support the encouragement to be more self-loving I notice how many are unsure of how to be more loving towards themselves. Self-love shouldn’t be a superficial sign of indifference but rather a deep-rooted belief and conviction of who you being. And so how then do you become more self-loving? Well read on:

1. You need to affirm and to validate yourself.                                                                                2. Your time is as valuable as anybody else’s so prioritize what you need to do.
3. You can’t give to others, and help to build them up if you’re not taking care of my own self first. That could be going to the doctor, therapy, getting sleep!
4. You need to remember that you’re worthy of love, success, opportunities, and knowing happiness.
5. Your opinions are as valuable as anybody else’s. It’s up to you to decide and to choose your own beliefs (and live accordingly).                                                                                            6. Probably the most important fact: your past does not define you – You’re free to change and grow.

Stop putting limits on your life. You are worth everything!

Hulking Out: Angry Feelings

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Anger can fuel you for a lifetime. Although, at times justified, it is an emotion you have to learn to soothe and navigat towards healing. Let go of anger. When you erupt in anger you often feel much worse. How? By identifying what causing you to become angry and identifying what is lying underneath. Bubbling underneath anger is oftentimes a more vulnerable emotion. Ever take the time to unearth what it could be for you?  Anger can influence you to behave in ways that are damaging, toxic, and unrecognizable to you. Learning to cope with anger and it’s myriad of emotional roots can prove to be a powerful step in your healing journey. Self-soothe doesn’t mean you ignore the anger and it’s accompanying emotions but you nurture them and honor them in a way that is healthy and growing for you.  So, what do you do? Here are some healthy ways to cope with anger:

  1. Honor it. You are angry.
  2. Take time for yourself to soothe the initial anger response. Maybe you go for a walk, listen to music, or take a nap.
  3. Journal/reflect on what made you angry and if there is another feeling that comes up for you, i.e. hurt or disappointment.
  4. If someone is involved in your feelings of anger and discuss with them what happened and work on getting the situation resolved.
  5. If that anger runs deep and you find it difficult to process on your own, please talk to someone about it: a pastor, therapist, a life coach; someone that can guide you to through the process of healing.