Today I am rocking my Black Girls Are Magic tshirt (get yours here) with my favorite wide leg trousers and blasting Beyonce as loud as my speakers will allow because IT’S MY BIRTHDAY! I can honestly say that this has been a wild ride of a year. I had my first child, bought my first home with my husband, got a new job, and have started on the incredible journey of this blog so I would say a celebration is in order! That’s right, I’m throwing my own party because sometimes you just have to forget about all the stuff that’s going wrong and focus on what’s going right. Sometimes you have to ignore how the world would like to identify you and pay attention to the fabulousness that is YOU! (more…)
All too often I see sisters saying things like, “They sleep while I grind,” and “I’ll rest when I’m dead.” Now don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of ambition, drive, and perseverance, but what are we really saying when we use these phrases? When did it become cool to brag about not sleeping? Restful sleep is all too easily ignored and we don’t realize just how important it is for us to get 7-9 hours of sleep a night. If gone unchecked, a lack of sleep can really wreak havoc on us physically and mentally. It can lead to issues like a loss of memory, decreased motivation, more depressed mood, decreased concentration, and increased anxiety. But a good night’s sleep involves more than just turning out the lights and cozying up on your satin pillowcase. Here are a few tips to help you improve your sleep hygiene.
1. Stop reading, eating, and studying in bed. Your bed should only be used for sleep and sex. Doing all of these other things in bed confuses your brain about what should be happening when you get in bed. Try to use other parts of your room or home for other activities so that your bed is really a place to retire.
2. Unplug! Of course it’s super tempting to check all of your social media accounts right before you dose off but doing so can lead you right down the rabbit hole to a sleepless night. When was the last time you really just spent 5 minutes on Facebook? It’s very easy to get caught up with the latest trending topic and lose track of time making it more likely that you won’t get the requisite number of hours of sleep. If possible, try not to keep your phone next to you at night so that it’s not even tempting to get into this bad habit. Also try unplugging from the television. Even if you think you’re not paying attention and only have it playing as background noise, your brain is still tuning in and being activated. (more…)
Perhaps the hardest part about deciding to participate in therapy is choosing who would be a good fit as your therapist. After all, you will likely be sharing some of your most intimate thoughts and concerns with this person. You want to be sure that they are a good fit! But do you know what factors would contribute to this? Here are 5 questions you may want to consider as you search for this person:
1. How important is it that your therapist match you in characteristics like race, ethnicity, gender presentation or sexual orientation? Research has been consistent in finding that the most important factor in whether or not therapy will be helpful is the quality of the relationship between client and therapist. There is a need to feel “known” by your therapist that helps one to be more vulnerable in the space. If there are particular characteristics about a therapist that you believe will allow you to feel more comfortable and ready to work, then by all means search for that! However, don’t make the mistake of thinking that you cannot have a quality therapeutic relationship with someone who doesn’t come in the package you thought you wanted. Many times you may be able to work through things with a therapist who is less like you in ways that you could not have imagined.
2. What type of personality works best with you? Are you someone who needs to be gently nudged into making a change or would you prefer a straight up, no chaser approach? Are you someone who needs lots of structure and activities to help you work through issues or do you prefer processing an issue from multiple perspectives until you land on something that fits. Each of these things will be important to consider as you decide whether a therapist will be a good fit for you. You may be able to get a sense of this from therapists’ websites but it will also be important to ask about these things either during a consultation or during your first appointment. (more…)