Be Where You Are

Black Mom's Guide to Calm

Confession: I’m not the most patient person in the world; I’ve had to teach myself how to be more relaxed.

By starting my calm practices (yoga, meditation, crystal healing, etc.), I’ve discovered how to stay calm and present and how to release control (or feeling like I can or should control everything).

Of course, it’s pretty easy to do this when things are happening the way you think they’re supposed to be. The challenge comes when things are not going the way you think they should, when you’re wanting to be somewhere other than where you are now, or feel like you’re not where you’re “supposed” to be.

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been noticing that I’m ready to get “there,” feeling anxious about the things I’m intending to manifest in my life. As many of you know, I’m currently back home due to separation/divorce and trying to build myself back up after all I’ve gone through. It’s been a little over a year now, and I have times when I “should” on myself (as Iyanla Vanzant says) — like I should already be further along or I should already be where I want to be.

When I have these moments, I remind myself that even when it doesn’t feel like it, I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be and where I need to be. I might not understand why things are unfolding the way they are or how things will work out, and I don’t have to. I also have to remember to stay in the present moment, not only so I can be more calm and content, but also so I can take action from a place of inspiration and peace.

Here are some ways I bring myself back to the present moment when my thoughts become overwhelming:

1. Pause and take a breath (or breaths). Also, I choose which thoughts I want to keep (the ones that serve me) and which ones I want to release.

2. Allow myself to be present and in the moment. Sometimes, I literally tell myself to focus on what I’m doing at the moment, and I when I start having thoughts that cause me to worry (and notice it), I am intentional about releasing them and bringing my awareness back to the moment.

3. Remember that it’s not my job to figure out how or when something is gonna happen. My job is to set my intentions, take inspired action, and let Spirit handle the rest.

4. Don’t compare my path to anyone else’s. Everyone is on their own unique journey, and I don’t know what they’ve done, or even gone through, to get where they are. Also, I remind myself that everyone gets to their “finish line” at different times; I’m not in a race or competition. Therefore, I shouldn’t feel like a failure just because it’s seemingly taking me a longer time than others.

5. Know that there are different seasons in life. The Earth has different seasons on this planet, and we do, too. There are certain times of the year when we plant seeds and other times when we reap the harvest of what we’ve planted. Both are necessary — and it’s important to remember that.

“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.” – Eckhart Tolle

Moving Through Overwhelm

Black Mom's Guide to Calm

I have to admit, I’ve been feeling pretty overwhelmed with life lately. In the past few weeks, I was in a car accident (no one was hurt, thankfully, but I was driving my parents’ car). After that, I ended up getting my own car (yay!); however, the process of getting there was a little stressful since I had to rearrange my schedule to look, sign papers, etc. Additionally, I’ve been feeling like I’m behind on my business-related work, dealing with issues with my ex more recently (Venus retrograde, perhaps?), and just day-to-day life.

During this time, I’ve really had to remind myself and practice staying calm, at peace, grounded and centered.  And I say remind myself because even as the calm coach, I, too, have to remember to practice what I preach: Peace is a choice, and it’s up to me to actually do the things that bring me peace because my inner peace is inside of me, no matter what’s going on around me. With that said, here are some of the things I’ve been doing, just in case you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, too:

1. Pause and breathe.

If you’re anything like me, when you’re stressed, you can find yourself overthinking and overanalyzing things, which — of course — leads to more stress because you’re probably thinking of all the things that might go wrong. Or, you’re obsessing over your to-do list, wondering how it will all get done.

When you have these moments, stop (and you can do like I do sometimes and literally tell yourself to “stop” out loud). Bring yourself back to the present moment, and take 5 to 10 few deep breaths. As you inhale, fill your belly with air like a balloon and count to four. And as you exhale, bring your belly button back towards your spine, counting to four.

2. Release any physical tension. 

As you may already know, we often physically hold on to stress, and it’s usually unconscious — we don’t realize we’re doing it.  Most commonly, we hunch our shoulders by our ears, clench our jaw, furrow our brows.

So, when you notice that you feel overwhelmed or stressed, take a moment to scan your body, starting at the top of your head and going down to your feet. As you do this, breathe deeply and note if you’re tense in any area of your body; if you are, relax that area. (This is also a good practice to get in the habit of doing regularly).

3. Stay present and focused.

Like I mentioned before, thinking too much about the future is a big cause of our overwhelm (trust me, I know). Being mindful and staying present, brings you inner peace, improves your mood, reduces anxiety, and brings emotional balance.

Some ways to practice mindfulness are:

4. Practice gratitude. 

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s easy to have a “woe is me” attitude and feel sorry for yourself, like nothing is going right. Taking time to focus on the positives in your life and what you have to be thankful for brings you more joy, calm, and contentment. A couple of ways to do this:

  1. Start a gratitude journal, and every day, write down three to five things you’re thankful for or positive things that happened during the day.
  2. When you feel stressed, take a couple of minutes or so to write down everything you can think of that is going well for you.

5. Choose a different thought and affirm.

It’s challenging to just change how you feel from one minute to the next, especially when you have a lot going on. But, one (relatively) simple way to start feeling better is to choose to think differently (because generally, our emotions come from our thoughts). Again, you can literally tell yourself to “stop” when you feel yourself going down the path of thoughts that don’t serve you. Then,  bring your awareness to what’s actually going on in the moment. You can also use affirmations or reminders to shift gears. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • All is well.
  • Trust the process.
  • Focus on one thing at time.
  • Life/Spirit/God/the Universe is conspiring in my favor.
  • Everything is working for my good.
  • I got this.

Do you have another suggestion you would add? Do any of these resonate with you? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

12 Quotes to Inspire Your Mindfulness Practice

Black Mom's Guide to Calm

I’ve always been someone who lives in her head, thinking/worrying about the future and occasionally mulling over the past and what-ifs. So, learning how to be present and live in the moment has been a challenge for me (and it still is at times).

If you don’t know, “Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.” (Jon Kabat-Zinn) Essentially, being mindful means focusing on the what you’re doing when you’re doing it (single-tasking); it is being aware of what’s going on around and within you; and it’s going with the flow and accepting your situation/life for what it is right now (while also taking inspired action for where you want to be) — and doing all of this without judgment of yourself or your life (or even other people).

Since I’ve started being more mindful and living in the moment, I feel more at ease, grounded, and centered; I worry less; I’m actually able to get more done; and I’m able to hear my Inner Wise Woman (my intuition) more easily. A few simple activities you can do to incorporate mindfulness in your daily life are:

  • Sit and do nothing for five minutes.
  • Focus on one thing/task at a time.
  • Do a body scan, becoming aware of how you feel and any tension you have.
  • Focus on your breathing.

And here are a few quotes to inspire your practice:

  1. “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste, experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
  2. “When you are here and now, sitting totally, not jumping ahead, the miracle has happened. To be in the moment is the miracle.” – Osho
  3. “The only time you ever have in which to learn anything or see anything or feeling anything, or express any feeling or emotion, or respond to an event, or grow, or heal, is this moment, because this is the only moment any of us ever gets. You’re only here now; you’re only alive in this moment.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn
  4. “The more I give myself permission to live in the moment and enjoy it without feeling guilty or judgmental about any other time, the better I feel about the quality of my work.” – Wayne Dyer
  5. “Living in the moment means letting go of the past and not waiting for the future. It means living your life consciously, aware that each moment you breathe is a gift.” – Oprah
  6. “Remember then: there is only one time that is important — Now! It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power.” – Leo Tolstoy
  7. “The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness.” -Abraham Maslow
  8. “Life is a great and wondrous mystery, and the only thing we know that we have for sure is what is right here right now. Don’t miss it.” – Leo Buscaglia
  9. “Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make the Now the primary focus of your life.” – Eckhart Tolle
  10. “Living in the moment, without attaching yourself to regrets about yesterday or worries about tomorrow, goes a long way toward cutting through the chaos of everyday life.” – Eve Adamson
  11. “Mindfulness is a way of befriending ourselves and our experience.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn
  12. “With mindfulness, you can establish yourself in the present in order to touch the wonders of life that are available in that moment.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

 

Black Mom's Guide to Calm

6 Journal Prompts For More Calm

Black Mom's Guide to Calm

One of my favorite ways to find calm and practice self-care is by journaling. I usually either do a brain dump when I have a lot on my mind, or I write to process my emotions when I’m feeling overwhelmed, anxious, sad, frustrated — any emotion that I feel I need to work through. Additionally, I write what I’m thankful for and my intentions for the day every morning.

Journaling is definitely something I recommend everyone do, at least occasionally. Why should you? It:

  • Increases your focus.
  • Allows you to process the things happening in your life.
  • Helps you heal from the past and mentally/emotionally.
  • Allows you to express yourself freely.
  • Helps you solve your problems.
  • Creates clarity and helps you become more self-aware.

Using prompts is a method you can use to begin or enhance your journaling practie. Below are six that will help you create more calm, joy, and positive energy:

  1. I’m thankful for ____ (set a timer for 2-3 minutes, and list as many things as you can think of).
  2. I am lovable because ________.
  3. What are the ways I like to (or would like to) practice self-care?
  4. 3 simple steps I will take to find calm are _________.
  5. What makes me happy?
  6. What’s something positive happening (or something positive that’s recently happened) in your life?

A few more journaling ideas:

  • Your goals/intentions.
  • How your ideal life looks
  • Your bucket list
  • Where would you like to be in one year? 5 years?

Journaling is a voyage to the interior.– Christina Baldwin

Happy writing! ❤

Resource
Black Mom's Guide to Calm

5 Ways to Find Calm Through Life Transitions

Black Mom's Guide to Calm

So, I recently decided to find a part-time job after years of only working from home, and I completed my first week last week. Of course, I still have my motherhood duties and my business, plus all the day-to-day things. Needless to say, it’s been a hectic week, and I’ve been feeling pretty overwhelmed by things.

Because I’m a recovering perfectionist and control freak, I felt like this adjustment process should have been easier for me and that I should have been able to get everything done for the day in spite of the fact that 1. I now have fewer hours to do things in; 2. Life — and children — don’t always adhere to the plans in your head or on paper; and 3. It’s only been a week. That’s 7 days. Still, I’ve been beating myself up because I haven’t been able to do all I want when it comes to working on my business and spending time with Nailah (enter more mommy guilt). And I haven’t figured out a schedule that works yet.

Thankfully, though, this process has been another great reminder in learning how to stay calm in the midst of life’s changes. Here’s what is working for me:

  1. Practicing mindfulness. Most of my feelings of stress and overwhelm comes from worrying about what’s not getting done or what I have left to do — and feeling like I won’t be able to get it done (which is also a waste of valuable time). I’ve been more intentional about staying in the present moment and concentrating on one thing at a time, which allows me to focus and feel more at ease.
  2. Making sure I practice my morning routine. This consists of meditating, reading/reciting my affirmations (with crystals), writing what I’m thankful for and my daily intentions, and pulling a card from my Womanifesting Fertility Goddess Affirmation Cards. Yes, I now have to get up a bit earlier to get it done before my daughter wakes up, but I can definitely tell the difference when I don’t do it (it’s not good). So, to make sure I stay relatively calm, centered, and grounded, I make sure I do these things.
  3. Being gentle with myself. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been beating myself up about things. Therefore, when I feel that negativity trying to creep in, I remind myself that it’ll take some time to get acclimated to this new normal and to just focus on doing my best.
  4. Creating a (rough) schedule for my days/ week. Adding a job to the mix has helped me see that my days weren’t super structured before. However, I see why they should be: My days will likely go more smoothly, and I won’t feel as overwhelmed because I’ll know what days I do certain things. For example, I’ll choose one day to write, one day to create social media posts, etc. I’ll also stop adding too much to my to-do/intentions list.
  5. Allowing myself to be where I am. I think this is the biggest one for me. I tend to be someone who focuses on the future and lot and where I want to be (like I mentioned in this post). Planning and thinking of your future isn’t a bad thing in and of itself, but it can become an issue when you’re always wishing things were different or you were somewhere else than where you are now. The present moment is all there is, so I have to allow myself to simply be here, work with what I’ve got, and make the most of now.

“Your calm mind is the ultimate weapon against your challenges.” – Bryant McGill

The Power of Presence

Black Mom's Guide to Calm

As many of you know, I’ve been separated from my husband for some months now, which, of course, has cause my life to do a 180. And needless to say, I have a lot going on: My daughter and I are living with my parents at the moment, I’m building my business/empire, rebuilding my self-love and self-worth, becoming financially independent, in addition to being a mama to a 4-year-old (and life in general).

During this time, I’ve been pretty focused on my future, what I’m intending to manifest and figuring out what I want next. Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong with thinking about/visualizing/planning for your future; the issue is when you do it so much that it 1) prevents you from living in the moment; and 2) causes you to feel stressed, overwhelmed, and anxious, which is what I’ve been feeling.

Because of this, my mantra for the past few weeks has been Stay Present. As the Calm Coach, I know all about the power of being present and why I need to be. A few reasons you should be present (also known as practicing mindfulness), you:

  • stop or lessen your overthinking.
  • improve your focus.
  • reduce stress.
  • improve your overall well-being.

However, being that I’m human — with a tendency to overthink — my logic is that if I constantly plan and obsess think about the future, I’m going to make things happen more quickly and how I want them to, and I have the illusion that I’m in complete control of making things happen.

Since I’ve started being more intentional about being present, I’ve noticed that life actually goes more smoothly and things just have a way of working out. Additionally, I’m putting a lot less pressure on myself to achieve things by a certain time/date, and I’m more compassionate with myself. I also don’t beat myself up (as much) about what I don’t get done or the mistakes I’ve made. I now go with the flow more easily, I’m more peaceful, focused, and I’m more trusting of the process and the Universe.

One way to start being more present is by using mantras/affirmations. Here are a few I use when I need the reminder:

  • I focus on what’s in front of me.
  • I choose to live in the moment.
  • I trust the process of life.
  • Breathe.
  • I am enough.
  • I am doing my best.
  • I trust in Divine Timing.

“Live the actual moment. Only this actual moment is life.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

 

Trusting the Process of Life

Black Girl's Guide to Calm

As I mentioned on social media a few weeks ago, I’ve been dealing with some personal issues. My husband and I are currently separated. And while I was hurt and taken aback by the way it happened, I’m not totally surprised by what happened because we’d grown apart and had our issues (and I’d actually been going back and forth with it myself).

Due to our separation, my daughter and I have been staying with my parents for almost two months, and needless to say, it’s been an adjustment. It’s been…interesting, to say the least, because although moving back had crossed my mind, I didn’t think I’d actually have to do it — and definitely not now. So, basically, I’ve had to create a new normal and trust whatever comes next.

I believe that everything happens for a reason and things happen when they’re supposed to, even when it doesn’t feel good or necessarily make sense to us. Admittedly, it took me a really long time to learn this (maybe it’s one of those things you learn after 30?), but now that I know — for sure — it’s true, I generally go with the flow of whatever happens in my life. Trust me, it hasn’t been easy, but here’s how I learned to do it:

  • I constantly remind myself that I can’t control everything. I’ve pretty much always been someone who likes for everything to go exactly how I envision. And when it doesn’t, I had the tendency to kind of freak out about it. But getting older — and having a child and life itself — has helped me really see that I can’t control everything. And that’s okay.
  • I focus on what I can control, and take inspired action. Here’s what I mean by taking inspired action: Instead of acting from a space of desperation and lack, I listen to my intuition and Higher Self about what steps I should take next, even if Spirit tells me to be still.
  • I (do my best to) stay present. Practices like meditation and yoga have helped me learn how to be more mindful in my daily life and focus on what’s happening now.
  • I practice gratitude and look for the good. When we have situations that are less than favorable, we tend to focus on how much it sucks, and notice the other things that suck, drawing more sucky things to us. On the flip side, when we focus on the good (either in the situation or in general), not only do we feel better, we also attract more good to us.
  • I reflect on other situations where the Universe had my back. If you’re like me, you’ve made it through other times when you didn’t know how the hell you would. And you’ll do the same now!

Trust the Universe (or your Higher Power) and the path you’re on. Life loves you and is always conspiring in your favor! Know it with every fiber of your being!

Affirmation:

I choose to trust the process of my life.”

 


Black Girl's Guide to Calm

 

8 Spiritual Practices That Keep Me Grounded & Centered

Black Girl's Guide to Calm

About a month ago, I posted a photo on Instagram with my spiritual practices. I’d been feeling off mentally and emotionally, and I realized it was because I’d been neglecting to do those things. I wanted to share what I did to counter that off-feeling in case someone else could use the info. So, I decided to write a post about it; here goes — these are the eight spiritual practices I do daily and/or on a regular basis to stay grounded and centered:

1. Meditation & Yoga

Most mornings, I go to my meditation/yoga space and do a 10 minute meditation, and I try to at least quiet my mind and take a few deep breaths before going to bed. I recently bought some crystals from Third Eye Naga, and I’ve been using those while meditating. Sometimes, I’ll visualize and/or recite some affirmations as well. Also, I usually listen to meditation music or binaural beats from YouTube while meditating. (Here’s my current playlist).

When it comes to yoga, some days, I practice in the morning, and others, I practice in the afternoon or at night. Nowadays I mostly do my own flow, but when I don’t, I do a video from Yoga By Candace.

How often I do this: Meditation — daily; yoga — 5-6 days a week

2. Gratitude

In the morning, I write five things I’m grateful for in my gratitude journal. It might be something specific that happened or as simple as “a new day.” I also use the app Bliss to record three things that happened during the day that I’m thankful for or that brought me joy.

How often I do this: Daily

3. Visualization

This is my daily visualizing practice: After writing what I’m thankful for in the morning, I basically write down how my day went as if it was the end of that day. For example, I wrote today’s (Sunday’s) vision — what happened during the day —  from Sunday night’s perspective (hopefully, this makes sense). Basically, I write how I want to feel and what I want to do and accomplish that day. And although everything doesn’t happen the way I write it, doing this leaves me feeling optimistic and I feel it helps set the tone for creating an amazing day.

How often I do this: daily

4. Affirmations/Prayer

Usually, after I do the above items, I read my affirmations. I created a folder in my phone’s image gallery, and I either go through and read all of them or a few of them. I might also recite some of my favorite ones in the morning and throughout the day like “I am calm and centered,” or “I let go and allow the universe to do her thing.” One of my favorite places to find affirmations is Pinterest (and here’s my board with some).

When it comes to prayer, I use an e-book I bought from Ra Sehki Store called Speaking with Spirit that includes prayers from the Diaspora.

How often I do this: Almost daily

5. EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) Tapping

According to the Energy Therapy Centre, “the technique works by releasing blockages within the energy system which are the source of emotional intensity and discomfort.” The blocks in our energy system can challenge us emotionally and lead to limiting beliefs and not being able to live harmoniously. I especially like to use EFT when I’m feeling super stressed or worried, or if I want to release blocks around money or abundance. I primarily use Brad Yates’s YouTube channel, and I love this video from Abiola Abrams.

How often I do this: 1-2 times a week

6. Smudging

Smudging is burning herbs, like sage, to clear negative energy from yourself and/or your space. You can find sticks at new age stores (Third Eye Naga, which I mentioned above sells them) or even make your own. Here’s how to use it:

Light the stick, and let it catch fire.

Let the fire out, letting the smoke billow from the stick.

If you’re smudging your home, walk around along each wall (or close to each wall), allowing the smoke to go everywhere. If you’re smudging yourself, wave the smoke, starting from your feet and moving up, over you body in front of and behind you. While smudging, you can verbalize what you’re releasing; For example, “I release doubt. I release fear. I release anything that no longer serves me.”

When you’re done, open a door or window to allow the old energy to leave.

How often I do this: to my apartment — once a week; to myself — probably 3-4 times a week

7. Journaling

I generally do this when I’m feeling stressed, frustrated, or disappointed, but I’m trying to get in the habit of doing it at least once a week to process things and to make sure my mind is calm and clear.

How often I do this: once a week

8. Mindfulness

“Mindfulness is about being fully awake in our lives. It is about perceiving the exquisite vividness of each moment. We also gain immediate access to our own powerful inner resources for insight, transformation, and healing,” says Jon Kabat-Zinn, Professor Emeritus and creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health, Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

When practicing mindfulness, not only are you aware of the present moment, you’re also in a state of emotional non-reactivity: No matter how good or bad the experience, you don’t judge it. Or if you do judge it, you simply observe your thoughts with a friendly interest, then release them. Ways to practice mindfulness include:

  • Doing one thing at a time.
  • Doing less.
  • Staying in the present moment.
  • Making cooking and cleaning meditation.

How often I do this: Always Daily is the goal

“Your calm mind is the ultimate weapon against your challenges. So relax.” – Bryant McGill

What spiritual practices do you use to stay centered and grounded? Let me know by leaving a comment. : )

#CalmTip: Practice Mindfulness at Work

Practice mindfulness at work

It may sound a little weird, but when you practice mindfulness at work, you’re likely to stress less, focus more, and get more done. No, you may not be able to sit and meditate for 20 minutes, or break out a downward facing dog in the middle of the office, but here are some ways you can be mindful at work:

  1. Instead of  jumping right in when you get to work, take a few minutes to breathe, center yourself, and maybe even say a few affirmations.
  2. Focus on one thing at a time (as much as possible), and take your time.
  3. Be aware and notice what’s happening around you without judgement.
  4. When you’re conversing with someone, really listen to what s/he’s saying.
  5. At lunch, eat mindfully. Just eat without looking at your phone or checking emails, and really savor your food.
  6. Pay attention and be aware of any stress signals. For example, are your shoulders hunched, or is your jaw clenched?
  7. Allow yourself to take little breaks to close your eyes and breathe deeply.

“Mindfulness means paying attention; in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment and nonjudgmentally.” – Jon Kabbat-Zinn

My Secret to Finding Calm (Almost) Daily

 

Black Girl's Guide to Calm

Here at Black Girl’s Guide to Calm, I teach various ways to create calm. Most of what I share are things I do and/or have done myself, so I’m speaking from experience and what works for me. But I’ve never really shared how I find my calm on a daily basis in a post, so here’s what a typical day looks like when my daughter, Nailah, is home with me (because those are the days I have the most going on):

I usually wake up around 5:30, 6 (Side note: This is because I’m naturally a morning person; I’m not suggesting you get up that early unless you want to or have to). I set the tone for the day by reciting a prayer from the book, Speaking With Spirit, reading affirmations, and meditating or taking a few deep breaths. I also eat breakfast.

My husband, Chris, usually gets home from work around 6 or 7 AM, and most days, I hand over the reigns so I can shower alone (trying to shower with a two-year-old in the bathroom? Not fun.) and do yoga. I’ll either do my own practice, or I’ll do a 15 minute video from Yoga By Candace. If Chris is super tired or if he gets off later than normal, I’ll do some creative yoga (i.e., try to practice in the midst of the two-year-old’s chaos).

Tip: Ask for help when you need it. It took me a few months after Nailah was born to tell Chris that I needed him to watch Nailah so I could shower, meditate, do yoga, or just have a minute to myself. But I finally realized that even though I work from home, I still need — and deserve — to have time for me. Now, asking for help is no longer an issue of mine. For the most part. 

After I get Nailah settled with her toys and everything, it’s time for me to get to work. I know exactly what needs to get done because I write my intentions/to-do list before going to sleep at night.

Tip: Do not (I repeat DO NOT) try to cram a bunch of things into your day. If you try to do too much, you’ll only drive yourself crazy trying to get it all done, or you’ll be beating yourself up because you didn’t get to everything. Also, leave space between so you can take breaks.

As I’m working, I’m also, of course, making sure Nailah isn’t getting into things, getting her snacks, potty training, etc., and throughout the day, I’ll play with her a little, which I use as a break from work, and we’ll also walk to my sister-in-law’s across the street to get out.  I’m able to get things done when she’s awake by staying as focused as possible and making sure she has something to pay attention to, whether it’s her toys, Sesame Street on TV, or letting her watch YouTube on my phone (judge if you must).

After we have lunch, Nailah takes a nap for an hour or two (and some days, I’ll take one for about 30 minutes or so), and that’s when I’m able to get a lot accomplished. I work a little more after she wakes up, then around four, I put my computer away to cook dinner since Chris leaves for work around 5:30. Unless it’s a day like yesterday, when we ordered pizza so I could finish something I was working on (*hint, hint*). And when I cook, I’ll usually get Chris to watch Nailah so I have a little time to myself (sort of).

Tip: I try to make sure I’m taking full deep breaths throughout the day, and if I’m feeling stressed or overwhelmed, I’ll stop, and take 5-10 breaths to center myself. Also, I do my best to practice mindfulness, and I often do a body scan to see if I’m holding any tension. I relax my shoulders, and make sure I’m not clenching my jaw and that the space between my eyebrows is relaxed.

We eat dinner, then I clean up the kitchen and living room. (Side note: I generally do other chores like laundry and cleaning the bathroom on the days Nailah goes with her grandparents). She and I go upstairs to wind down so she can get ready for bed. If I have a lot of work to do, I’ll let her watch videos on my phone until it’s time for her to go to sleep. After she goes to sleep, I’ll get more work done except if it’s Thursday, I’ll place my computer to the side for an hour to watch Scandal.

And though I’m not always successful, I do try to unwind before going to bed so I’m relaxed and can sleep better, so I write in my gratitude journal, maybe read a little or do a word search, say a prayer, and visualize until I fall asleep.

I think the most important tip is to do your best. As women (and even men if there are any reading), we have a lot on our plates, and a lot of times, we put so much pressure on ourselves to make sure everything is checked off the to-do list or that everything is done perfectly. Let. That. Shit. Go. Just focus on doing what you can — whatever that may be — and be happy with what you get done. Let your best be good enough. Because it is.

To summarize, to stay calm throughout my day, I:

  • Meditate/breathe deeply
  • Read Affirmations
  • Pray
  • Do yoga
  • Practice mindfulness
  • Take breaks/rest
  • Have time for myself
  • Do what I can by doing my best
  • Practice gratitude

What do you think? How do you find calm during the day? Let us know by leaving a comment! : )

“Stress management is life management. If you take control of your stress, your life will thank you for it.” – Shereka Dunston


Stress less and create more calm in your life with The Black Girl’s Guide to Experience, launching on November 1st! Click below to learn more.

Black Girl's Guide to Calm