#CalmTip: August 11, 2015

 

Black Girl's Guide to Calm

Yoga is one of my favorite ways to find calm. Practicing yoga helps you de-stress, learn to stay in the moment, and reminds you to breathe through whatever is going on and how you’re feeling. I know a lot of people think yoga is for “flexible” people or certain body types, but it’s for everybody– and I do mean EVERYBODY. With several types of yoga to choose from, find the one that works for you, and hit that mat!

6 Resources I Use for Finding Calm

 

Black Girl's Guide to Calm

Since this site and brand are all about helping you find your calm, I wanted to share some resources I use that help me stress less and/or find calm:

1. Yoga By Candace is my go-to virtual yoga teacher. I practice yoga almost every day, and if she’s not doing a monthly yoga challenge, I just choose a video from one of her playlists. Candace also has videos for beginners, and she breaks down many yoga poses. Oh, and she just release a free app, too.

2. Zen Habits. Created and (mostly) written by Leo Babauta, this is one of my favorite blogs for inspiration on simplifying my life and mind.

3. Calm is an app I recently found out about from my friend, Dea Winn (founder of Pretty Girls Rock Dresses). I actually just downloaded it a couple of days ago. The app has options for you to watch/listen to certain scenes while you meditate (like the ocean or rain), it has a timer, guided meditations, and a seven days of calm program.

4. Another meditation app I’ve used is Meditation Helper. If you want to practice meditation without music or sound, this app has a timer so you can put any amount of time you want to meditate.

5. Affirm Your Life is another site I love. On it, Che Garman has probably hundreds of quotes and affirmations for whatever life situation you might find yourself in. I’ve written down and use many of the affirmations she’s shared.

6. Smell Good Spa offers incense (among other things) that are great for making your home smell amazing and for use when you’re meditating or relaxing.

Honorable Mentions (i.e., other sites I love):

Do You Yoga

See Body Love Self

Radical Selfie

What resources (blogs, apps, websites) do you use for finding calm? Let me know by leaving a comment!

 

Photo via 123rf/Pavel Timofeev

#CalmTip: August 4, 2015

 

Black Girl's Guide to Calm

August 1st-7th is Simplify Your Life Week! By simplifying your life, you invite more calm and peace in. One of my favorite sites, Zen Habits, has several ways to simplify your life which include:

You can read all the ideas here.

 

#CalmTip: July 28th, 2015

Black Girl's Guide to Calm

 

Talking to God and letting Him know how you feel about what’s going on in your life is a great way to find calm and ease anxiety because praying lets you know that you’re not alone and you don’t have to face what you’re going through alone.

I’m someone who finds it easier to express myself through the written word rather than speaking out loud, and if you’re the same way, keeping a prayer journal is a great way to pour your heart out to God. In addition to writing out how you feel and your desires, you can write down answers you receive from Him and how He’s answered your prayers, which can serve as a reminder of his goodness during tough times in the future.

18 Inspirational Quotes for Creating More Joy and Peace

 

Black Girl's Guide to Calm

As much as I want to feel peace and joy 24/7, obviously, there are times I don’t. If I’m feeling sad, angry, frustrated, etc., I do let myself feel what I feel and work through my emotions. At some point, though, it’s time to move on to how I really want to feel: peaceful, calm, and joyful.

If you want to do the same but just can’t seem to do so, these quotes might help:

  1. “You don’t have to do it all.” – Unknown
  2. “Stress makes you believe that everything has to happen right now. Faith reassures you that everything will happen in God’s timing.” – Spiritual inspiration
  3. “Take your pleasure seriously.” – Charles Eames
  4. “Most humans are never fully present in the now, because unconsciously they believe that the next moment must be more important than this one. But then you miss your whole life, which is never not now. And that’s a revelation for some people: to realize that your life in only ever now.” – Eckhart Tolle
  5. “Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.” – Marianne Williamson
  6. “You cannot breathe deeply and worry at the same time. Breathe. Let the worry go. Breathe. Allow the love and intuition in.” – Sonia Choquette
  7. “Stop overthinking; you’re only creating problems that aren’t there.” – Kushandwizdom
  8. “Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.” – Dalai Lama
  9. “Be mindful of the future…but not at the expense of the moment.” – Qui Gon Jinn
  10. “Ego says, ‘Once everything falls into place, I’ll feel peace.’ Spirit says, ‘Find your peace, and then everything will fall into place.'” – Marianne Williamson
  11. “Inner peace begins the moment you choose not to allow another person or event to control your emotions.” – Unknown
  12. “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” – 1 Peter 5:7 
  13. “Joy is not the absence of suffering. It is the presence of God.” – Robert Schuller
  14. “There is no joy without gratitude.” – Brene Brown
  15. “Joy is being able to see God’s goodness even when life is hard and messy.” – iBloom.com
  16. “We have to choose joy and keep choosing it.” – Henri J.M. Nouwen
  17. “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6,7

 

#CalmTip: July 21, 2015

 

Calm Tip #6

Last year, I read a quote in O Magazine that has resonated with me ever since. Here’s what it says: “I once heard someone say, ‘If it’s not happening now, it’s not happening.’ That stuck with me — I realized there’s no reason to pre-freak out about problems. It’s made such a difference in my life.” – Aimee Mann

Pre-freaking out about the future does nothing but stress you out; and besides, you can only ever do anything in the present moment. So, focus on what’s happening now and what you can do now.

5 Ways to Find Your Calm as a Mamapreneur

 

Black Girl's Guide to Calm

Being a solopreneur is no walk in the park. In addition to working with clients or creating products for your customers, you usually wear all the other hats in your business, answering calls and emails, creating marketing plans, doing social media, etc. And if you work from home, you probably also have the added responsibility of keeping things tidy and maybe even cooking. Then, when you add a kid or two on top of that? Things can get more than a little hectic.

Now, I’m no expert at doing this work-from-home-with-a-kid thing; while I’ve been working from home for a few years, I’ve only been doing it with a child for a year and a half. But in that time, I’ve learned some things about finding my calm as a mama who works from home, and hopefully, they’ll help you, too. Here are five ways to find your calm as a mampreneur:

1. Meditate. (I’m sure you knew this was coming 🙂 ) Seriously, though, this helps so much. I know, as a mamapreneur, your time is limited, and you might think that you don’t have time to meditate. But, the benefits definitely outweigh how much time it takes, which, by the way, can be just five or 10 minutes twice a day. You’ll feel a lot calmer, more focused, and you’ll probably have more creative ideas that will help your business! I promise, you won’t regret taking the time to meditate.

2. Practice yoga. In the same vein as meditation, practicing yoga will help you feel a lot calmer and more focused. And don’t let the bendy yogis on Instagram intimidate you; there are plenty of other yoga poses you can do that don’t require a leg behind your neck or for you to stand on your head. Here’s a beginner yoga video from my go-to, Yoga By Candace.

3. Do less so you get more done. As entrepreneurs, we often try to cram in a dozen tasks in our days. Do we get it all done though? I know I didn’t, but that didn’t stop me from still adding a bunch of things to my to-do list. After I had Nailah and started working again, I thought I’d be able to do the same amount of work I’d done before. Needless to say, it didn’t happen. So, after I realized that what I was doing wasn’t working and that my schedule was causing me stress, I created a new one. Instead of writing down 10 things to do in a day, then getting mad at myself for not getting them done, I decided to focus on just two work-related tasks per day along with taking care of household and other things. Of course, every day doesn’t go according to plan, but generally speaking, trying to do less daily has helped me become more productive and get more of my tasks completed.

4. Take breaks. I know, it probably feels like you don’t have time to take breaks between your work and taking care of your child(ren) and home, but it’s super important. According to this article on FastCompany.com, breaks keep you from getting bored (and therefore, unfocused); they help you retain information and make connections; and breaks help you reevaluate your goals. Taking breaks will also help you feel happier and more productive.

5. Take a day. As an entrepreneur, it can be hard to take days off, especially when you’re in the beginning stages, trying to build your business and brand. It’s even understandable to a certain extent because you do have to put in the work and to get your business off the ground. However, if you choose to work seven days a week, you’ll ultimately get burned out and even make yourself sick. I personally like to take at least one weekend day off from work (or at least half a day) per week, but if you can only do one or two days a month, then do that. Figure out what works for you, and let yourself rest.

*Bonus* Accept help from your village. This one was really, really a little difficult for me. When Nailah was first born, I did not want any help. I didn’t want my parents to babysit that often (and they really wanted to since she’s their first) because my mindset was that I’d had her, so she was my responsibility. Even if that meant there were days when I couldn’t get work done because she was cranky or whatever, and I didn’t really sleep the night before. I guess I wanted to prove to myself (and others) that I could do this whole business-woman-work-from-home-mama-and-wife thing by myself. I guess you can see where this is going…it did not work. Although part of my reasoning for not wanting her to be away from me was legit (she was exclusively breastfed — wouldn’t take the bottle), I guess I can admit it was a little ridiculous. I’ve since learned that if someone wants to help me out, I need to let them. They now watch Nailah twice a week, and she even spends the night now! Every mama needs and deserves a break from time to time, and admittedly, I get a whole lot more done when she’s with her grandparents (duh). So, if you have people around you who are willing to help, let them!

What are some ways you find your calm as a mamapreneur? Let us know by leaving a comment.

 

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#Calm Tip: July 14th, 2015

Black Girl's Guide to Calm

When you have a lot of things you need to do, trying to do it all can be overwhelming. And when you try to do everything at one time, you usually end up half-doing things or you end up doing nothing at all, causing yourself stress and anxiety. One way to remedy this is by making a list of all the things you need to accomplish, then prioritize/number them in order of importance. Then, focus on getting one task done at a time.

 

The Importance of Self-Care

Black Mom's Guide to Calm

 

Ever since I became a mama back in 2013, I’ve realized how important it is to take care of myself. And if you’re reading this, I’m sure you can relate: With all of our roles and responsibilities as women, it can be difficult to find — or should I say make — time for ourselves. What I’ve learned is that while people love and care about you, they, more than likely, aren’t going to make sure you make you a priority. You have to do that yourself, or it won’t happen. You also have to learn that you can’t give to and care for your family, clients, etc. if you’re depleted with nothing left to give.

I learned this the hard way after burning myself out a few times and just feeling extremely frustrated with how things were going in my life. I now know that if I don’t make sure I’m taken care of — spiritually, mentally, physically — I can’t do my best. So, I’ve made a commitment to putting myself first and taking care of me. Of course, as with all things, some days are better than others, but I see that when I make an effort to take care of myself, I find that I’m much more at peace and am better able to handle the curve balls throughout the day.

If you feel like you don’t have time to take care of yourself, I encourage you to remember this quote from Eleanor Brownn:

“Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”

 

 

#CalmTip: July 7, 2015

Black Girl's Guide to Calm

 

Most of us multitask (myself included) because we think we’ll get more done. But, that’s actually not true. According to studies, multitasking causes us to be less productive and our ability to filter out irrelevant information declines. Also, trying to do too much (and not getting much done) can leave you feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Try single tasking and see how much calmer you feel and how much more you get done.