As we conclude the second month of the new year and what symbolizes a fresh start for many, I couldn’t help but self-reflect and ponder why I already feel like I need to mentally unplug from 2020 Too and how my fellow people have been holding up thus far.
Where am I right now?
Whilst still grounded in IMMENSE gratitude, that rejuvenated, optimistic – every inspirational meme you come across you repost vigor, has weaved in and out of periodic feelings of unrest (at least for me). The stamina of conquering the woes and bad habits of the past to unveil your best you/life yet has gotten a bit lagged by stagnated thoughts that bear resemblance to ideals that I thought were shed at the top of the “new year, new me” approach.
Not to mention the state of, Amerikkka in regards to the continuous racial oppression that plagues our community, skyrocketing inflation on dang near everything, the ongoing pandemic, and now talks of WAR that add insult to injury. It makes it even more difficult to keep up the positive momentum, which can all cause an adverse effect on your mental health, your productivity, and that of those around you.
However, I’m learning and accepting that, evolving and healing aren’t linear experiences. You should acknowledge ALL the feels (suppressing the less than desirable ones does nothing but hinder you) and set personal boundaries which are imperative to avoid those heavy emotional tolls. The journey will constantly be filled with euphoric highs of personal growth with dipping sentiments of weariness or uncertainty that sometimes lurk to put your newly acquired skills to the test. You shouldn’t feel guilty when your progress seems like it’s in limbo or you need to grant yourself permission to tap out and regroup.
So, to anyone that can second my emotion and as a general pulse check on the community, I enlisted some incredibly knowledgeable experts. They are well versed in all things mental and spiritual health to pose questions to ask ourselves for a reset and clarity when things get a bit overwhelming.
These reflective questions aid us in recentering our feelings and headspace to preserve our mental wellness as we navigate our higher selves and help us catch our second wind. Keep in mind that while many weapons have and will be formed, they will not prosper! *Cue Fred Hammond’s Song* So, pause, breathe, and do emotional inventory so you can ditch any low vibrations, revitalize your drive and maintain a healthy mental state, as you ask yourself the following:
Questions to Ask Yourself
How are you doing?
- How am I doing with my self-care? Am I ending the day on time, taking breaks throughout the day, taking long hot baths, dinner with family, time to myself to unwind, etc?
- How is my patience? Am I short with family members or even my clients? If so, I need a break to avoid potential burnout.
- Am I feeling more exhausted than usual?
- How am I doing with managing my time?
- How are you being? Different from asking how you are doing because that implies that you actively have to be completing a task. Being is the second word in “human being”. Being indicates that you are present, at this moment, this chapter in your life. You are being mindful of your spiritual, physical, and mental wellbeing.
- What have you done for self-care? When was the last time you just allowed the world to take care of itself and you took care of yourself for an hour or two? This doesn’t mean the monthly maintenance of nails, hair, and any other upkeep, but allows you to escape from all responsibilities- just for a moment.
- How’s that working for you? It’s a legitimate question and can be asked in response to any topic. But the answer should help the individual to process how things are working out for them at the very moment.
- How does the weather/season change affect your moods? Do you find yourself feeling down or sad on days that are rainy and overcast?
- Do you find yourself less motivated?
Check your environment
- Do you have proper lighting or items in your space that make you smile? Perhaps your favorite color or saying that will give you a motivational boost?
- Do you find yourself overthinking tasks or activities? What are ways that you can break down the task into manageable segments? Doing so can help with alleviating the urge to overthink the task(s).
- Are you having feelings of self-doubt? What do you feel is the root cause of the self-doubt? Make a list of those doubts and then write a positive spin or mantra that you can say to yourself to combat those feelings.
What does vibrating higher mean to you?
- If you had complete control over your life to freely make your own decisions and act on them, what would you be doing differently right now? Rejection. Criticism. Ridicule. We fear these reactions from other people when it comes to what we’d prefer to be doing with our own lives. If you’re experiencing this, you might be tied to people who can’t support your best interests. They may mean well, but they can’t support you. Mentally well people have a SUPPORT system. It’s time to find yours.
- If you could wave a magic wand and remove three limiting beliefs about yourself, what would they be and what empowering beliefs would you replace them with? Low moods can be caused by an inability to move towards your goals with fearlessness. When we don’t go after what we want, we can’t have it. Changing how you see yourself can give you the courage you need to go after your dreams.
I’d like to give a huge thank you to, Marquita Thompson, CEO/Founder of Mahogany Bridges Mental Health Services LLC, Certified Life Coach/Forensic Evaluator, ‘Trish’ Noel, Founder/CEO of Noel Integrated Services, Incorporated, and fellow Swagher Journalists, Chandra Gore and Consuela Allen for their expertise and contributions to this article and their overall personal works and missions of assuring the emotional wellbeing of our community is taken seriously.
All too often we are stifled by the notion of being strong. We neglect the self-care needed to sustain said strength. I hope these probing questions can serve as an ongoing resource you utilize to check-in with yourself and your loved ones and maybe even encourages you to seek therapy as a tool as well, something that has been widely taboo but lately more accepted in the Black community.
In the words of Monique, “I Love Us For Real” and if our Black History has taught us anything it’s that, *in my Kendrick Lamar voice* We Gon’ Be Alright!
Be Well, SwagHer Fam!
Hailing from Brooklyn, NY by way of NC, the self-proclaimed, “City Slicker with Southern Hospitality” attributes her love for all things creative and eclectic taste, to the many faces and places she’s encountered in her lifetime. After graduating in 2015 with a degree in Fashion Merchandising, she embarked on the entrepreneur route and developed JAS PR, a boutique-style, public relations agency in the fall of 2018. Rallying behind rare gems in the fashion, beauty, and non-profit industries, her intent with, JAS PR is to craft compelling stories and campaigns for emerging brands and their owners, that spark awareness and unearth their greatness to the masses. Holding significant support for Black-Owned businesses.
Jasmyne lends her communications and writing skills to contribute pieces for publications and blogs while pursuing other entrepreneurial and philanthropic endeavors. In her leisure she’s a foodie, (aspiring) travel buff, and 90s sitcom’s binger! @jas__pr