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I would like to thank Natalie, creator of The Grace Real for taking the time to share her experience and provide strategies to manage panic attacks.  You can find more information about Natalie by clicking the above link.  At the bottom of this article, you can find her bio and more additional links to her social media platforms.

If you’ve ever had a panic attack, you know the horrible feeling of your thoughts, vision, and muscles slowly going out of focus and the world around you fading away as the panic starts to wash over you.  If you want to learn how to get over panic attacks naturally, keep reading…

What Are Panic Attacks?

Panic attacks are described as, “Sudden episode of intense fear or anxiety and physical symptoms, based on a perceived threat rather than imminent danger.”

It is key to notice the underlined portion of that definition; panic attacks are based on what you perceive can be happening, rather than what is actually happening.

To get over panic attacks, you must first be able to see them for what they are: perceived. It’s not to say that panic attacks aren’t very real. They are 100% real and terrifying and trigger actual physical symptoms that are quite uncontrollable, but they are based around ideas or thoughts that aren’t presently putting someone in danger.

Panic attacks can look different from person to person, but the symptoms are usually sweating, high heart rate, muscle weakness, dizziness, trembling, and/or fainting.

Will I Have Panic Attacks Forever?

If you are currently experiencing panic attacks, whether you’ve just had your first one and don’t know what to make of it, or are sick and tired of getting them constantly, don’t worry.

You are not alone.

Millions of people of all backgrounds, shapes, and sizes, are affected by panic attacks, at different stages of life. Mental health is so important, yet is often overlooked in our fast-paced, go-go-go society.

Panic attacks can leave you feeling completely helpless, unable to stop them from happening and living in fear of having one.

It can be disheartening to think that no matter what you try, you can’t figure out how to get over panic attacks and that they will continue to rule your life forever.

There was a point where I thought no matter what I did, I would live the rest of my life in fear of something triggering a panic attack. After continually hitting dead ends and finding no answers, I was determined to focus on how to get over panic attacks naturally.

After doing a wide range of research, listening to my body, and taking a step back to look at my overall lifestyle, I found my way, and I want to share it with anyone else desperate to get over their panic attacks.

After doing these things, I haven’t had a panic attack or any symptoms of one in over a quarter of a year.

You can get over them.

Why Do Panic Attacks Happen?

There is nothing “wrong with you” and you are not crazy if you’re having panic attacks. Words like “mental health” and “disorder” can seem shocking and falsely accusatory, making you feel defensive.

Although they may technically be a diagnosis, remember that they are based on perceived fears, and you just need to remind your body and mind that they are safe and strong.

There’s usually an underlying reason for why panic attacks are happening. In most cases, people develop panic attacks after a single traumatic event or because the body has had enough of general environmental stress and is acting out in dealing with it.

I honestly never thought I would have anxiety and didn’t understand the legitimate helplessness of panic attacks, but with the stressful life I was living as a college student and one traumatic experience, they became a scary reality.

Once you start having panic attacks, they can become increasingly frequent and at various times.

Certain stressful associated environmental circumstances, foods, and even people can trigger them. Sometimes even talking or thinking about the previous episodes can actually trigger them again.

Regardless of what is triggering one at the moment, panic attacks probably trace back to something that was once giving you overwhelming stress or fear.

Why Should You Look At Non-Prescription Medical Solutions?

When I began to have panic attacks, I was convinced there was something wrong with my health. I had blood work and an echogram done, but all of the results came back normal.

In retrospect, I probably should’ve had my hormone levels tested for imbalances rather than my vital signs.

My doctor offered to prescribe me anxiety medication, but I did not want to have to be on medication to deal with them when there wasn’t anything physically wrong.

Don’t get me wrong, Western medicine is amazing, but I wasn’t looking for a quick-fix solution to get over panic attacks and then brush them under the rug; I wanted to look at them from the underlying causes.

Like I said earlier, panic attacks are based on perception in the mind and not something outwardly physical or actually happening, so prescription medicine just doesn’t seem to be the answer for me.

I decided to focus on how to get over panic attacks naturally and for the long-term. Rather than with a temporary solution through medication, I truly believe they can be fixed with a few holistic lifestyle changes.

By looking beyond the surface to question what might be enabling panic attacks, you can get over them for good.

How to get over panic attacks naturally in 3 ways: 1. Prayer and/or Meditation.

Before I get into details, I know many readers of this will not be religious. What freed me from the hold of my anxiety first and foremost were prayer and my faith, but a non-religious meditation can help, too.

Meditation > Medication

To get rid of panic attacks, you have to calm your mind and central nervous system and find more tranquility in the day-to-day.

There is a stigma around meditation practices, but they can truly help even the most fast-paced, macho personalities.

Meditate and pray not only when you are having panic attacks, but also especially when you aren’t and you’re totally in control of your focused mind.

Find your “inner peace” by knowing and saying over and over you will be okay. Look at your panic attacks from a third party and disconnect yourself from them. Try doing this every morning for just five or ten minutes.

For me personally, this has provided more comfort and help than I can express into words.

2. Cortisol-Reducing Supplements

The mind/body being in stress, “fight or flight” mode, or panic is what enables panic attacks in the first place. When you are stressed, your body releases excess cortisol and your hormones are thrown off, making it a vicious cycle.

Like prayer and meditation, supplements can help regulate your body more so than your mind. You may not even realize how “off” your body is, but supplements may help get you back on track.

By naturally reducing stress and balancing cortisol hormone levels, you can help stop your panic attacks by being more calm overall. There are natural, plant-based supplements and herbs that can aid with this, such as ashwagandha, Rhodiola, and Shatavari.

You can buy these as powders, or find them in capsule form. I started taking SuperYou capsules from Moon Juice, which my doctor approved and I love them! Several of the reviews mention how they have helped people overcome anxiety and panic attacks. (This is in no way an ad or sponsored).

3. Eliminating Refined Sugar and Coffee From Diet

The third thing that I believe helped was taking refined-sugar and caffeine out of my diet. What?! I know. This might seem hard for some people to wrap their heads around, but if you really want to get over panic attacks, it’s a small sacrifice to make.

I used to look forward to my morning cup of coffee, but coffee on an empty stomach was not helping my body and was stimulating me in all the wrong ways.

This might be something you have to incorporate slowly, but even if you just start by cutting down your intake you may see results and can work towards eventually trying to wean sugar and caffeine out completely.

I believe refined sugar was feeding my anxiety, spiking insulin, and messing with my blood sugar levels, perhaps adding to the lightheadedness and weakness I would feel.  And caffeine was also not helping my anxiety.

There is so much increasing research on the interconnectedness between the gut and the brain. Refined sugars (i.e. processed/cane/white/brown sugars) inflame and disrupt gut health, which makes sense that they would have a negative affect on what your body is telling your brain.

Think about it- what you put into your body should have a direct correlation with how you’re feeling. By taking our refined sugar, you can heal your body with natural, whole foods. You don’t put unleaded fuel in a Tesla, do you?

Overall, I have felt so much better since I cut out refined sugar and caffeine have noticed my body feels much more stable.

I am not a doctor, but these 3 things helped me immensely. Very soon after I started practicing them consistently, I noticed my panic attacks stopped completely. I do believe they would help anyone experiencing anxiety or panic attacks.

Definitely consult with a doctor if you are feeling symptoms of anxiety or panic attacks, but none of these things will likely hurt you.

For some people, you may need more or less of one or the other. Everyone’s body and mind are different, and only you know what’s best for you. These things worked wonders for me.

That being said, these worked best for me altogether, not alone. I could be eating completely healthy with no refined sugars at all, but if I was still running around stressed out all the time, it wouldn’t help me. And vice versa, I could be reducing my cortisol all I wanted, but if I would stop meditating to go eat sugar and junk all day, my body also wasn’t healing.

Life is about balance and learning. Listen to what your body is telling you, and always prioritize your health.

If you ever need someone to talk to, have any other questions for me, or would like to know more about my story, please feel free to reach out to me!

Best,

Natalie

About the author: Natalie is about to graduate from her senior year at the University of Texas at Austin. She is a finance major with a certificate in Business Public Policy and is moving to Houston after graduation to work for KPMG. She started her blog, The Grace Real, to share her passions for faith and wellness along with her love of travel, healthy recipes, and connecting to other people! You can connect with her at Natalie@thegracereal.com Instagram: @thegracereal
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Military life is something I am extremely passionate about.  I have been “married” to the Navy for almost 14 years.  I have shared with you in Resilience in Military Spouses and Resilience in Military Spouses..Part 2 about some of the sacrifices I have made as a military spouse.  Some will never know what being married to the military (specifically active duty) means. There are definitely pros and cons, thrills and chills associated to military service. Therefore, it is always an honor to talk “military life.”  For many that do not understand the military life, the military (basically) dictates our life (where we live, where the girls’ attend school, if/when we can take a vacation, etc).  Truly, when Chief serves, the girls’ and I serve as well.  Military children are forced to be resilient, learning a life of servitude, trials and tribulations. Often times, military children are separated from their active duty servicemembers for months and years at a time.  Military children are forced to move….not move to the next town but move long distances and many times, move to another country.  Can you imagine how that may disrupt the life of a military child? Education, friendships, sports and more are impacted because of the responsibility and obligation to serve our country.

Military families tend to just pick up and go with the flow of things.  Very few times do we ask the question “why”.  Typically, it’s the “what.”  What’s next? This month I wanted to take the opportunity to honor our five military children.  I love these girls’ to death! I love the relationship they have with one another.  They have overcome so many challenges (not just military life). I was given the opportunity to ask each of our girls three questions to express their experiences with being a military child.

Military Child Month Interview Questions: Samirah age 22

What would you say is the most challenging aspect of being a military child? The most challenging aspect of being a military child is moving within short notice. Sometimes it could be difficult to build relationships just because you never know when you could have the next order to move.

What would you say is the most rewarding aspect of being a military child? The most rewarding aspect of being a military child is that most of the time we are served first when it comes to education. We are offered many discounts. Lastly knowing that my dad fights and risk his life for our country.

If there were one thing you wish others would understand about military life or something you feel they need to know, what would that be? One thing I wish people would realize, that not all military kids are spoiled. Also knowing that (we) military families work hard and make sacrifices to live a comfortable life.

MaTeah age 19

What would you say is the most challenging aspect of being a military child? The most challenging aspect of being a military child now that I am of age and I have to take care of my own doctor’s appointment, medical bills, etc. is that finding a doctor in my area that I can go to. For example, I have to travel outside of town in order to schedule with a specialty doctor (OBGYN). On the other hand, is it actually worth it, they take care of me very well.

What would you say is the most rewarding aspect of being a military child? So far the most rewarding aspect of being a military child for me would have to be all the help that I received to pay for college. During college, there was always scholarship meetings and clubs just for people affiliated with the military. I even have an extra advisor to help along the way as well.

If there were one thing you wish others would understand about military life or something you feel they need to know, what would that be? I feel like a lot of people should know that even being just a military child could teach you a lot of life lessons that should always be remembered. For example, things don’t always go as planned when you have someone in the military, but in the end, things will always work out and end up for the better.

Gabby age 13

What would you say is the most challenging aspect of being a military child? I would say the most challenging aspect of being a military child is when your loved ones are away.  For example, my dad living in California caused him to miss my 13th Birthday and he also spent his birthday alone.

What would you say is the most rewarding aspect of being a military child? The most honorable aspect of being a military child is being able to say “my dad is in the Navy.” Also, I think military families are highly respected.  Military discounts are a plus.

If there were one thing you wish others would understand about military life or something you feel they need to know, what would that be? I wish people would understand… military life isn’t easy.  Love ones missing birthdays and important events aren’t fun.

Arielle age 13

What would you say is the most challenging aspect of being a military child? The most challenging aspect of being a military child is the schedules.  My dad’s schedules always change.  I use to see my dad on the weekend since he worked night.  There were times when I would see him in the mornings and he would drive us to school.

What would you say is the most rewarding aspect of being a military child? The most rewarding aspect of being a military child is being able to say “my dad is helping to protect our country.”

If there were one thing you wish others would understand about military life or something you feel they need to know, what would that be? I wish people would understand having a parent in the military is harder than it appears because military families move often and my dad’s schedule is constantly changing.

Not pictured…Daisja age 16

What would you say is the most challenging aspect of being a military child? The most challenging aspect of being a military child is that I don’t get to see or talk to my dad as much as I would want to. My dad lives in California and with him constantly moving around and me living in Maryland I don’t see nor get the chance to talk with him when I need to.

What would you say is the most rewarding aspect of being a military child? The most rewarding aspect of being a military child is traveling whenever I am able to. In addition, the wonderful insurance is always rewarding for me.

 If there were one thing you wish others would understand about military life or something you feel they need to know, what would that be? It’s not as easy as it seems because with me living with my mom and my dad being the one that’s in the military. I’m not able to visit or up and go as often as I want to. He and his family aren’t able to come up here as often as they would because they are always moving around.

Celebrate a military child today and every day, they often experience many changes throughout the servicemembers tour. Pictured: Teah, Arielle, Chief, Gabby & Daisja.

If you are reading this and you are a military child, what would be some answers to the above questions? If you work or know any military children, ask them one of the questions above.  Get to know them a little better. Comment below with a .   #PurpleUp

As always, thank you for taking the time to visit my page.  Don’t forget, enter your email to subscribe to my page.  I would love for you to follow me on my social media platforms.

~Tren

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If you are a person of all things, chances are, you have a routine.  Why? Because creating routines are essential to a successful life.  Sometimes the routine works for you, but there are times you may not work your routine.  In a previous blog, I shared with you the benefits of a routine.  There were some great tips to get you started with your routines in Why Routines Are Important for Your Mental Health.  You can easily integrate some of the tips from that article into your daily routines.  But let’s be honest, being consistent with routines can be difficult.  I am a woman of many tasks as I shared with you in Resilience in Military Spouses and Resilience in Military Spouses..Part 2.

Even without those responsibilities, life happens and we lose focus, right?  Then we start back over again, and that’s perfectly fine.  I have yet to master a routine. The only routine I feel incredibly confident in completing… is taking care of my home (mommy and wife responsibilities) and getting to work on time and doing my job (I don’t play about my coins, plus I have worked too hard to get where I am… lol.)  Everything else is pretty much a work in progress.

As a working mom, I try to find a routine that works best for me. When Chief was home, it was much easier to create and implement my routines. He helped out with home stuff along with the girls’ activities.  But now since it’s a single woman show this way, I need to remain consistent with my routines for my wellbeing. Your morning routine should be about you. Your life is different from mine; you may or may not have more on your plate.  So you have to create your morning routine with YOU in mind. Now let’s take a look at what my morning routine consists of. *My morning routine varies slightly depending on my work schedule for the week.

1. I ALWAYS wake up before the girls’.

I wake up the same time (sometimes a delay of 5 min, lol) every morning during the week (even if my work day starts late). To wake up earlier makes me feel more productive.  Morning routines give me the opportunity to focus more on my personal goals, organize and make plans for the day. Building this routine has been difficult because there are days when the alarm goes off, and I fight against negative self-talk, which decreases motivation. I am sure the challenges of my morning routine will become more natural; the more I remain consistent.  I feel more in charge and positive about the possibilities that are awaiting me, when I have a morning routine. To help me to stay focus, I do not get on social media or check my emails until I arrive at work (arrive a little early, this way I don’t lose track of time).  But, I check my text messages just in case Chief sends me a sweet morning message.

2. Christ and Coffee.

Before I get started with my day, Christ and coffee is my set morning routine with no exceptions.  Lately, I have been reading “The Power of A  Praying Woman.”  I am also using the First 5 App. First 5 App is perfect for busy and on the go people.  Each weekday, you will read a chapter of the Bible and a short teaching (this takes no longer than 10 minutes for me). Once I am complete with my Christ and coffee routine, I pause for a few minutes to acknowledge how I am feeling (Ha, most times it’s tired).  But we know that mindfulness is the act of observing our thoughts and feelings without judgment.  So I acknowledge where I am or thing that may be causing stress in my life. All of this prepares me for…

3. My morning workout.

To release endorphins, first thing in the morning is a life saver (for me).  Working out literally sets my tone for the day.  Incorporating exercise in my morning routines boost my energy and mood.  For my later start work days, my morning workouts are no longer than 25-30 minutes.  But the days where I have to be to work early, I typically use about 10 minutes to stretch.  I would prefer to workout more often, but I do what I can and save the rest for the next day. At the end of each workout, I practice mindfulness. Practicing mindfulness has become a routine for me.  I honestly struggled with finding a workout routine that worked for me, so I wanted to spend a few extra minutes just accepting everything I was thinking and feeling during each workout.

4. After my workout,

I typically organize a bit (a load of laundry, vacuum), then my day gets started.

Morning routines shouldn’t be cumbersome or require a lot of extra hours.  Morning routines should be enjoyable. Therefore, you are more likely to adjust your schedule to meet your personal needs. What is your morning routine? Do you need help creating a routine? What has been your biggest challenge with being consistent on your routine?  Let me know in the comments.  Or feel free to email me.

Make sure to subscribe to my blog and connect with me on my social media platforms.  The links are on the left.

~Tren

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While raising children, parents need to wear different hats during the day. You need to be a singer, entertainer, dancer to calm your baby, multitasking jangler of different tasks at the same time. Believe me, you learn a lot!

But sometimes general approach just doesn’t work. And the advice you’ve received from your friends, also parents, may not help with your child. This is the time when you as a parent need to discover something new…

Imagination can be a great help in raising children. I know it helped me a lot! At the very beginning, it was really hard to put my daughter to sleep when she was a baby. Different techniques were used – from bouncing on a fit ball, singing and rocking in my hands, to using white noise machines like hair dryer, and vacuum cleaner or going outside.

I had to use my imagination often to find a way of putting my baby to sleep to keep her healthy and happy. It is also about experimenting, trying, observing, analyzing what works and not, and trying again.

I remember I was driving back home and was planning to make a stop at the grocery store. My toddler was sitting in her car booster at the back and was aware of the stop. When I arrived at the store, she fell asleep and I didn’t have a choice but to drive back.

I preferred to allow her to sleep if she needed to, considering how hard it was for me to put her to sleep. Once at home, I’ve left my car in the garage, turned on communicator to hear when she wakes up and came inside the house.

After some time, she woke up. When I’ve checked to take her inside the house, she was crying and unhappy. Why? Because we didn’t stop at the store! Oh, the reasons toddlers get unhappy…

What would you do in such a situation? Drive to the store again to satisfy your child? Ignore the cry and drag your unhappy child inside the house? What’s the best way to do in raising children?

Well, I had to turn on my imagination for the peaceful resolution of such a situation. I’ve got inside the car on the driver seat, made noises and pretended I’ve started the car and drove to the store. Then I was turning my wheel “driving” back home. It was a spontaneous idea I’ve never tried before. Whatever works, right? Doesn’t hurt to try, as it will not make the situation worse.

After my driving performance magic happened – my toddler stopped crying! Yay! Imagination helped me again! And I didn’t even have to go to the store – double win!

There are many creative approaches to raising children.  Often, raising children requires an out of the box imagination in conjunction with doing what works for you and your family. The above example is one of the many ways I use imagination for parenting.

Did or do you have similar situations in your parenting life? What unusual approaches did you use while raising children to peacefully resolve some situations? Please share in the comments, other parents may thank you later for your advice.


Iryna from Mindful Points writes about health & wellness, self-development and inspiration. She believes it’s never late to change and try new things in life, learn and improve, challenge yourself and inspire others. You can learn more about Iryna at Mindful Points.  
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A few months ago, I shared with you my journey to becoming a foster parent.  Since writing Becoming A Foster Parent, I have been asked several questions regarding different foster care programs.  Today, I will provide some insight into foster care programs.  Be mindful, this is also dependant on your state and the foster care agency you decide to use for the licensure process.  Nevertheless, I will also discuss the foster care program Chief and I decided to get our license in. **This is our journey to becoming a foster parent. 

Traditional Foster Care:

Traditional Foster Care is geared towards all children who need a safe and stable home.  With all licensure process, the goal is to help the foster parent understand the dynamic of the potential behaviors and needs of the child. Traditional Foster Care training accommodates the prospective foster parent and the child.  According to Our Kids, Traditional Foster Care homes serve a different population.  The child generally has fewer emotional or behavioral needs.  Additionally, their support team (case manager and therapeutic support) provides a lower level of care. Although I feel confident that even this program has high need children.

Enhanced Foster Care:

Enhanced Foster Care is for children who have special needs that require more attention than Traditional Foster Care but does not meet the needs of Therapeutic Foster Care.  According to the National Youth Advocate Program, Enhanced Foster Care program provides children with oppositional, mental health, emotional and substance abuse behaviors. Siblings of the opposite gender are also placed in this category because there is a high need.

Specialized Therapeutic Foster Care:

National Youth Advocate Program describes Specialized Therapeutic Foster Care of children who have higher needs.  The children have experienced abuse, neglect, or abandonment.  Additionally, the child may struggle with significant emotional, behavioral or developmental problems.  With this particular program, the family receives intensive services within the home for the child (and family).  The family has 24/7 access to their support teams such as the therapist and case manager.  Families who decide to take this route will receive additional training.  To add, you have a therapeutic foster care level 1 & 2.  Level 2 is characterized by more frequent contact between the therapeutic foster parent and the support team.  Foster care level 2 is intended to provide a high degree of services from the clinical staff. The therapist also provides weekly or twice a week in-home services/crisis intervention.

Specialized Therapeutic Foster Care is the program Chief and I decided to become licensed.  Throughout our training, we had a lot of questions with regards to our responsibility as foster parents, but also to make sure we have what it takes to provide care to a level 2 child.  Also, not to lose sight of considering our 13-year-old girls who are still in the home.  Considering our family being military, I believe we have built a solid foundation for our girls.  As a licensed professional and life experiences, I feel confident in our choice to choose this route.  I have provided services to foster families in their home and school. Therefore, this route will not come easy and expecting anything less than is setting my family up for failure. However, we plan to take it a day at a time and try not to stress about the trouble tomorrow brings.

The therapist who licensed us is phenomena! I always had questions prepared for her because of my career and what I have witnessed. I needed our trainer to understand that she (and my team) is my support system.  Build an open relationship with your foster care agency.  Communicate your needs and expectations of your foster care agency.  This helps everyone understand their responsibility.

Children’s Medical Services:

Children’s Medical Services requires specialized training and provide care to medically complexed children. Although the child receives a significant amount of support from his/her medical team, the foster parent is required to provide 24 hours of care.

Our journey to becoming foster parents’ has not been easy.  The journey to licensing is a long process.  Throughout the process, the licensing agency will become very familiar with your lifestyle.  Your day to day routine, your past (both bad and good, yikes!), weakness and strengths.  There were a few times where I second-guessed the choice of becoming foster parents. Our minds are powerful, so I had to get rid of the negative self-talk and doubts about failing. Although it can be difficult to trust the process at times, upon completion the value of patience is enormous! The goal of fostering is to provide a nurturing home for a child in need and to allow the child to live a somewhat normal life, even if it is temporary. I needed to remind myself that we (my family and I) have exactly what we need to provide just that.

With every foster child, the ultimate goal is for the child to reunite with their family. You are able to make an impact. You have the ability to demonstrate healthy habits and skills. You may become that one person that makes a child believe they can do and become anything in life.  And all it takes is one person to influence the mind of a child.

Are you a foster parent? If so, please share your journey with us.  Are you considering foster care? What are some questions you have regarding the process?

Are you on Pinterest? If so connect with me. You can also pin the images to save for future references.

~Tren

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Sometimes taking a break helps you to regroup and gain clarity on your life. Taking breaks can be liberating, especially from things that somehow hold you hostage.  I think we all deserve a break from things even if it’s what we enjoy. Too much of anything isn’t good, right?

The last two months have been crazy! As usual, I was running around with my cape on being superwoman and one day I just couldn’t keep up with myself. I felt like I didn’t have a handle on any part of my life. For someone that’s type A and organized to the core, this triggered my anxiety and developed a beast! I felt ashamed because I was losing track of all the things I once had under control.

One day, oh just one sweet day, I lost it. I gave up the fight. I stopped fighting with myself to have it all together and I called for back up. The thing about being superwoman is that you do everything for yourself and others, and it’s hard to see who care and support you because YOU’RE literally in the way. I was just that, and I couldn’t live there long. I finally did it, I stepped down and asked for help.

Asking for help requires transparency and vulnerability.  Therefore, I was not sure how to go about asking for help because it was all too foreign, but I knew I just couldn’t go on any longer. Graduate school was my initial cry for help. I asked for extensions in which the professor was 100% on-board with. Because I needed help to gain control of my life, I took time off for work, in which my supervisor saw the cry for help in my eyes. I took a break from blogging because if you are a consistent reader, you know I am transparent and expose a lot. I needed to bring it all in for a second. I was in dire need of help. I literally shut down.

The lesson I can take from my experience is… I can still be strong and superwoman slaying and saving lives, but there’s nothing wrong with needing to slow down or asking for help. Why do we shame ourselves or others for needing just that, help? Why are we so afraid or prideful to ask for help? These are some of the questions I took about a month to explore because I was curious as to why I felt too good to ask for it. I hope by reading this you ask yourself the same in return.

About the Author:     My name is Tysheira and I am the creator of Leave Inspired. I am pursuing my MSW specializing in Mental Health. My goal is to become a Licensed Counselor Social Worker (LCSW) to help treat those that suffer from Mood and Anxiety Disorders. I am passionate about Mental Health and working on various ways to raise awareness and normalize it in the African American community. You can get in contact with me at Leave Inspired.
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Routine (noun.) a sequence of actions regularly followed; a fixed program

Routines. Most commonly, we hear and refer to routines when we are talking about young children. I often hear parents talking about not wanting to get their toddler off their routine, because then they become difficult (and usually cranky!).

Why is that? Well, it’s because routines are important for our mental health. They provide a lot of benefits that help to support good mental health, and this goes for everyone — not just for toddlers. When a child gets out of sync with their routines, they become cranky and frustrated. Just like when we, as adults, become overwhelmed and stressed out.

Routines Help You Cope with Change and Stress

Change is often a scary thing for many people.  Mostly, because the unknown makes us nervous. However, having routines in place can help us root ourselves in the known. It won’t make the unknown disappear, but it can help to mitigate those feelings of fear.

For example, if you’re starting a new job, it would be extremely helpful to already have a morning routine in place. That way, when your first day comes about, you start your morning in the exact same way that you always have. Rooting yourself in that routine will help you to calm down and prepare for the new adventure ahead.

The same goes for stress. When you’re feeling stressed out, it’s often because you have too much on your plate, you’re overwhelmed, or you are nervous/upset for some reason. By having set routines, you can root yourself in those, and lower that stress level. Repeating actions that you regularly do helps to calm your mind (and feel safe). Not only that, but you can easily build calming activities (yoga, breathing, journaling, etc.) into routines throughout the day.

Routines Help You Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Studies have been done that show that having a nighttime routine can actually improve your sleep! And we all know that improved sleep means improved mental health. Creating an evening routine is a great way to help you wind down from the day, and shut your brain off.

Put away the electronics an hour before bedtime, and do something to help you unwind and relax. That way, when you climb into bed, your mind is not running one hundred miles an hour thinking about everything that needs to get done. (I also highly suggest using a planner right before bed in order to write out all of those tasks that might be spinning around up there for the next day.)

By using routines as grounding points in your day, you’re better able to cope with stress and change. Doing so helps to make you feel comforted and safe when that stress and change comes around. Those side effects, plus being able to get a good night’s sleep, are just a few of the ways that routines can help support your mental health.

What routines do you already have in place? Has this article inspired you to create a new one? If you’d like help in creating routines, you can check out my online course: The Intentional Routines Toolkit (https://amandawarfield.teachable.com/p/intentional-routines-toolkit/) for everything you need to create routines that will simplify your life and support strong mental health.

Author Bio: Amanda Warfield is the owner and creator of Live Organized, Live Simple at https://amandawarfield.com. She’s a recovering perfectionist turned simplicity lover, routines enthusiast, and capsule wardrobe expert. Her mission is to use her passion for teaching and her passions for minimalism, organization, and productivity to help every overwhelmed woman find JOY through simplicity. Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mrsamandawarfield/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/liveorganizedLS Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LiveOrganizedLiveSimple/ Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/amandawarfield14/ Intentional Living Sisterhood: https://www.facebook.com/groups/LOLSIntentionalLivingSisterhood/
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I received so much support from family and friends when I initially started blogging. My first blog went live September 18, 2018, and it was shared almost 50 times.  I am sure my family and friends wanted to share my new adventure, even if they did not quite know what “blogging” meant (I am forever thankful for their support). To be honest, I did not quite understand what blogging meant.  After sitting on the thought of blogging for many months, I just jumped right in.  Yep, I had the slightest idea on anything.  For some reason, I thought I would just write and people will automatically find my website. Not true! In this blog, I share what I wish I would have known before I started blogging.  If you are new to blogging or interested in becoming a blogger, this is for you.

Becoming A Blogger

1. Learn about website hosting before becoming a blogger.  Website hosting is where your blog will live.  I went with Bluehost.  Although I have only been blogging for a few months, I have not had any issues.

2. Learn the difference between the WordPress platforms before becoming a blogger.  I use WordPress.com to design and publish my content.  However, I think in the near future I will transfer both my host and platform.

3. Understand, your content is your blog and it needs to get published and promoted consistently.  Which means you need a content plan, a weekly schedule, and an audience/population, before becoming a blogger.

4. Learn different strategies to marketing and promoting your blog, such as blogging support groups, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, etc… It took me several weeks, months even to have all of the above platforms.  I am still learning Instagram and Pinterest.

5. What you put in, is what you get out.  Before becoming a blogger, research, learn and grow.  But most importantly, have fun!

Although there is indeed a lot to learn about blogging, I believe these 5 Things to blogging would have given me some guidance if I would have completed a little research beforehand.  Nevertheless, I actually enjoy blogging (never imagined that) and I have met some amazing people in the blogging world.

Do you have anything you can add to this list of “Things To Know Before Becoming A Blogger?”  If you are interested in blogging, do you feel as though this was helpful?

Do not forget to like, share and comment.  You can also click the image above to save it to your Pinterest for reference. I am grateful for your support!

~Tren

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One of the hardest things that I had to face as an adult is forgiveness. When I think about how hard it is, I ask myself why it is worth it? The things that we face in life at the hands of others can be painful; however, to gain healing requires us to forgive. As I am writing this post, I am reminded of how long it took and will take me to forgive people for failed investments in relationships, betrayal, dishonesty, just to name a few. For me, it was a battlefield between keeping this fiery anger or gaining healing. Yes, it is easy to say go for the healing, but there was something about holding on to the anger that I felt was necessary. Anger taught me a lot about myself. It showed me how invested I am in relationships, that I have resilience as long as the Amazon river, and that I genuinely care about people. When I thought about those great qualities, I could not afford for them to go to waste. There was no way I could allow the ill reflections of others to tear down the genuineness of my being.

Deciding to forgive forced me to love on myself more. In a blink of an eye, it became easy to leave that up to others. In my case, the pain showed me what was really good, haha.  Of course, I wanted revenge and could not stand to see them go on like nothing happened. But I had to be reminded that you get what you put out and that one thing is for certain, the tables will turn. I decided to forgive because it was the catalyst to propel me into healing. There was no other way, trust me I thought about it! It sucked, it sucked so bad because it made me feel like I had to accept and just deal with it. If you know me, you know that there was no way I could do that – but it was necessary for my healing. If I did not make the moves I needed, I would be trapped mentally asking “what is wrong with me, why did they do this or that, what could I have said or done differently?”

Today, I can look back on some things and just smile. Ultimately, I am thankful for the experiences. It shed light on some dark places where the wrong people were hiding in my life. I have grown and gained more layers of tough skin. In some cases, I was filling up pillowcases of tears and in others, I added more miles on my runs. There is no way to perfect this area because disappointment is inevitable. I will say that knowing this moving forward, I take charge of my time and what I bring to the table in any relationship – whether it is a friendship or romantic. There will be times when we slip and fall, just do not stand down; yet revisit how you slipped in the first place. Trust me, it will make a difference in the choices you make concerning this area.

Enough about my experiences, what about yours? What is your story behind forgiveness in order to receive healing? Do you still struggle with making the decision to forgive? Let’s talk about it, feel free to let me know in the comments.

Whatever you do, remember to…Leave Inspired

The author:

My name is Tysheira and I am the creator of Leave Inspired. I became passionate about blogging after realizing that as an introvert, I had a lot to talk about.  I wanted to create my own platform to discuss the things that no one likes to talk about.  I am pursuing my MSW specializing in Mental Health. My goal is to become a Licensed Counselor Social Worker (LCSW) to help treat those that suffer from Mood and Anxiety Disorders. I am passionate about Mental Health and working on various ways to raise awareness and normalize it in the African American community. I enjoy engaging with people, so do not be shy to send me a message. I can be reached at IG.

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Surviving a long distance relationship has been a difficult challenge for both Chief and I. You may think after 13 plus years it gets easier, it doesn’t!  And boy was it an experience! Over time and with each separation, you grow in all aspects (I am thankful for growth). You learn ways to make difficult times work with each separation. Many military families can attest to that. The picture represents our first deployment as a married couple.

It’s no secret to many that Chief and I are living and surviving a long distance relationship for almost a year, YIKES! I discussed some of that in my blogs Resilience in Military Spouses, Resilience in Military Spouses..Part 2 and Separation and Reunification: Military Life. Being said, I will share what has worked for us (Chief and I).  Different families may or may not have similarities regarding their experience with long distance relationships, as each journey will always be different. However, hearing different stories and experiences could possibly help in piecing together a strategy for your foreseeable experience or issues to come. Here are a few strategies that Chief and I use to survive our long distance relationship.

1. Trust

Trust goes both ways. It takes work to earn, build and keep trust.  Trust should be established well before the separation. I’m not referring to trust as in just infidelity issues, but also being reliable and dependable. Simply, can you depend on your partner to be there for you, whether big or small issues come up? Do you have to “check in” with your partner or “check up” on your partner? There’s a difference between the two. What may seem an inconvenience or redundancy to you, may mean the world in reference to the trust of your partner. There needs to be a middle ground when “working” towards trust in a long distance relationship.

2. Communication

Fostering quality communication helps build a solid foundation to a lifelong relationship. Thankfully, there is FaceTime and other social media platforms that aid in communication. Also, don’t put a number on ” how many times” you’re supposed to talk with your partner. There are days, where Chief and I don’t talk or FaceTime. But we text the hell out of each other, lol. Some phone conversations last for minutes, while others last for hours. It depends on what we have going on. I do not call Chief for everything. He trusts and supports whatever day to day decisions I make. Communication is one “key” that if not endorsed, and I mean endorsed HEAVILY, so much turmoil can be internally introduced.

3. Make sure both you and your partner goals are all aligned

Are both of you aiming to eventually reunify? If one partner is completely content with being separated and have no end goal of reunifying while the other is thinking it’s temporary, that’s a huge issue! In our situation, the separation was ideal, not wanted. Discuss the expectations and outcomes of the separation. Weigh the pros and cons, ensure this is a mutual decision, not favorable by default.  This will eliminate unexpected surprises.

4. Schedule visits

Being a military spouse, sometimes there is no opportunity to schedule visits. Military spouses also know that deployment is temporary. But if your spouse is living in another town, scheduled visits are important. Plan and put the dates on the calendar. Because it’s cheaper for Chief to fly to us, he comes home often. I’ve also visited him without the girls, just adult time and used that time to focus on us without interruptions. But one of my recent blogs Living A Simplified Life is a snippet of our family trip to California. Bottom line, physical presence is important in a relationship!

5. Don’t put your life on hold

Yep, I said it. You shouldn’t spend every minute waiting on your partner. You should be working on yourself and your goals. And hopefully, your partner is doing the same. I discussed Chief and I both have a purpose in From Prison to Purpose. Find a hobby, go to school, meet new people, etc. Engage in your life, make the best of your situation, and seek out your purpose. You should live each day with a purpose, whether with or without your partner.

As I have always stated, you are strong and capable of doing far more than you imagine if the circumstances are important to you.  At the end of the day, you have to figure out what’s worth waiting and working for.

Have you ever been in a long distance relationship? What worked or didn’t work for you, please share.

As always, like and comment. I am planning a giveaway within the next couple of weeks, be sure to follow my other platforms: IGFB and Pinterest

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