Life is a crazy ride, as you all know.
Lately I’ve been reflecting on my work ethic a lot. Mainly thinking about how and why I work so hard to reach my goals.
I always will remember Poppa Pope on the TV series 'Scandal' saying to his daughter Olivia Pope, on more than one occasion, “You have to work twice as hard to get half of what they have”. Poppa Pope’s character was super shady, but that quote will always resonate with me.
As a woman, a beautiful black woman, we have to work twice or sometimes three times as hard as everyone else. The majority will never understand so I don’t waste energy explaining, instead I let my work shine through.
A lot of times our ideas, contributions, presence even, gets overlooked; if we allow it.
We bring as much, if not more to the tables we sit at. We need to start sitting at all tables with confidence and poise, use our voice, share ideas, and demand we get recognized for our hard work and efforts. We have too!
Black women and all women are amazing, I really love us for real.
It is important that as the hard working, strong, resilient, smart, and beautiful creatures we are; to be mindful to take care of ourselves. Strong doesn’t equal invincible, be sure to take care are your mind, body, and soul. Reach out when you need help, take time out for mental and physical self care, don’t take on the world, be kind to one another, share your journey with other women, and lift each other as you climb on your journey.
Below are a few ways I make time for myself in order to keep my mind, body, and soul balanced on this beautiful health and wellness journey. Think of a few ways that help to keep you balanced, write them down, and look at your schedule to make room for you. Self care is not selfish, it’s needed.
I make time to workout out 3-4 days a week.
Working out is beyond the physical for me. I like to look good just like the next woman, however it’s more of a mental experience. Physical activity releases positive endorphins and I need all the endorphins I can get! I don’t let my schedule take over me anymore. I make working out 3-4 times a week non-negotiable. That can be going to the gym, a class, or working out at home or even on my lunch break. Get it in where you can.
I go to therapy when I feel off track.
Therapy has been a huge helper in my life. Some may view it as “talking to a stranger about your business” “everything should be kept in house” or "just pray it through" and etc. For me, I didn’t know what therapy really was until I started college. There is so much that one person can be dealing with and they don’t talk to anyone about it; instead they suppress it, put on a brave face and continue to face the world.
Can I share a secret? You don’t have to do that!
Therapy doesn’t solve everything but it is a safe and open way to express what you’re feeling and get tools to help you through.
Many employers cover therapy sessions (Employee Assistance Programs) under health insurance. If you feel like you can’t talk to anyone you know maybe debriefing to someone who doesn’t know you and won’t judge is a safe route to explore.
I meditate and build my relationship with the Lord.
The Lord is the center of my joy, period. The older I get the more I realize the importance of having a close relationship with Him. He truly orders my steps and provides all of my needs, breathes fresh air into my lungs daily, and so much more seen and unseen. I would never push my beliefs onto an individual but I am truly blessed in every situation and circumstance; it’s indescribable and I am truly thankful.
I make time for people and hobbies that bring me joy.
I’m involved in so many things but only a few bring me true joy, it is no match for happiness, so I choose joy as much as possible throughout life.
I love watching movies, working out, hanging with my family, and crocheting blankets; those things bring me indescribable joy and I make sure to make time for them on a regular basis. People and hobbies that bring me joy make the stress, negatives, and detours of life’s journey not so big at the end of the day when I know I still have something to look forward too.
I seek out to those that I know are active listeners.
Active listening is a skill that is lacking in today’s society. People tend to respond in a conversation without truly listening to the other person, just wanting to get their own point across. This action can lead to an individual shutting down altogether.
I have great people surrounding me and they are not all active listeners and that’s okay. Know who you can turn to for when you need to talk, those that will listen before responding, and truly care about the conversation and you.
A lot of people hear what you are saying but they aren’t active listening: decipher the difference so your energy, time, and courage is not wasted.
We are all more alike than we think, women relate to one another in a way that men will never understand and why would we can’t them too? Let’s keep that our secret ladies, continue to motivate, empower, and inspire yourself along with others; and make time to take care of you, inside and out.
As always, work on becoming the best version of yourself, you are your only competition!
Shawnte’ the creator of Soul Health Chronicles is a Social Worker, workout lover and blogger. She is inspired by health and wellness journeys and wanted to create a platform for them to be highlighted and celebrated. She encourages people to work on becoming the best version of yourself and serves as a reminder that you are your only competition!
Learn more and connect with Shawnte’ at www.soulhealthchronicles.com