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

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

 

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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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.”

 

 

Moving Past Mommy Guilt

Black Girl's Guide to Calm

 

Last Sunday, Chris (my husband) and I had a cookout at our place. My mama wanted Nailah to spend the night with her and my daddy two nights in a row; however, I was a little hesitant. She’s spent the night with them a few times, but never more than one night. Anyway, Chris insisted that I let her stay because he said I needed a break. Which was true (don’t tell him lol).

Other than the two days a week she spends with her grandparents, Nailah’s pretty much with me 24/7. So yes, there are times I need a break because 1. It can be hard to get work done with her at home (at least when she’s awake); and 2. I don’t get a lot of sleep some nights because I’m still breastfeeding (working on weaning — if you have tips, let me know).

Even though I know I can use a break and I’m happy when I actually get one, I sometimes struggle with feeling guilty about needing/wanting that time. But what I’ve realized is that if I don’t give myself a break when I need to and if I don’t take time for myself, I can’t be the best mother because I’ll feel frustrated, overwhelmed, and stressed.

If you’re a fellow mama, I encourage you to take breaks when needed. Not only will they help you be a better mother, you’ll be more effective in the other areas of your life and you’ll feel more calm, fulfilled, and joyful.

Is it hard for you to take a breather from your kid(s), or do you take breaks? Let me know by leaving a comment.

My Nighttime Routine

Black Mom's Guide to Calm

 

Last week, I wrote about creating a routine for when you get up in the morning. This week, I want to talk about how to create a routine before you go to bed.

Now, I have to admit, this is something I still struggle with. I think it’s because I work from home with a 1.5-year-old, so I do a lot of work-related tasks get done after Nailah goes to sleep, and most nights, by the time I shut things down, I’m too tired to do anything but read a little then fall asleep. But, I’m working on it because I know that it’s important to wind down before going to bed. One of the main reasons you should have a routine is so you can get as good a night’s rest as possible so you’ll be energized and ready for the next day.

With that being said, here’s what I try (or am going to start trying) to do before I go to sleep:

  • Stop working 30 minutes before I go to sleep. I’ve read that you should stop working an hour before bed. However, I’m not sure that will work for me at this time since while I’m working during the day, I’m also taking care of Nailah and the household. I do believe that there should be some period of time between when you stop working and when you go to sleep. Whether it’s 10 minutes or an hour is up to you.
  • Write my to-do list for the next day (I call it my intentions list). Doing this prepares me for the next morning since I’m not wondering what I need to do or just jumping from one task to the next with no direction.
  • Journal (I try to at least once a week). This one is on and off, but I’m working on trying to write in my journal at least once a week because it helps me process my thoughts, feelings, and emotions about what’s going on in my life. It’s cathartic.
  • Meditate. I try to do this for at least five minutes (10 is ideal).
  • Read affirmations and goals (and maybe visualize). For me (and lots of other people), nighttime is when my mind starts to wonder, I start overthinking, and sometimes, negative, fearful thoughts try to creep in. Reading my affirmations and goals and visualizing helps me to focus on something positive so I can fall asleep more easily and make sure something good is put into my subconscious mind.
  • Read a devotion (and maybe some of a book I’m reading). Another way for me to keep my mind on something positive.
  • Write in my gratitude journal. I write down at least five things I’m thankful for that happened during the day.
  • Pray. 

What do you do before going to be to help you keep your calm and get a good night’s sleep? Let me know by leaving a comment!

Photo Credit | 123rf.com (Cathy Yeulet)