F A T I G U E | How to overcome it

fatigue. numero uno

Life is difficult when you have fatigue for company. Forgive me for my silence, I’ve been tired.

Issues of mental health, self-love and general wellbeing seem to be having quite a moment right now and rightly so. It’s so easy to get bogged up in the mundanities of life and its routines and that you forget to check in with yourself. An apple a day may keep the doctor away but time out every so often, keeps your mind sane and your body game.

My parents often like to remind that ‘the same people you are breaking your back to work for or help will have no problem replacing you should something happen.’ Your body on the other hand won’t find a replacement quite so easily. God forbid you be the cause of your bodies redundancy.

Take care of yourself. Whatever is taking your time – acknowledge you need to take a break. Hey denial is real and it is better for you to come to that realisation yourself without the aid of a life threatening illness.

Less is more, focus your mind on fewer things and you’ll have more energy to accomplish a lot more. Quality over quantity.

Read – more than 140 characters. There is nothing more refreshing and stimulating than a good read. Finding a quiet space to accompany decent literature contributes to vocabulary expansion, better writing (tweets) and doubles as free entertainment.  It improves your memory and above all helps focus your mind by losing it in another world.

Eating, well that is. KFC has never been the poster boy for healthy living. Sausages rolls, donuts and wagon wheels (there’s a blast from the past) with a side plate of crisps isn’t going to motivate your body to do better. Colourful plates make for a more creative and well fuelled mind.

Hydrate. Swap that morning coffee for water with lemon or try different fruit options to add flavour. We often mistake hunger for thirst and keeping well hydrated does wonders to clear the mind, skin and any tiredness.

Exercise. No actually exercise, don’t just stroll on the treadmill for a half hour looking at your phone. Decide ahead of time what you want to do and it’ll be easier to stick to it once you are there.

Socialise. That energy you’ve been trying to regain, spend it with your nearest and dearest. Being around those that uplift you and make you laugh – like really laugh – with sound. Yeah do that.

Sleep. Oh my goodness where art thou. The power of a goodnight’s sleep. I love to dabble in a long sleep shift but I can find 101 things to do before getting there. Give your body time to recover and repair, rest is not optional if you want to function well – long term at least. Get some sleep!

These are things we all know to do but can struggle to remain consistent with. Sometimes life just happens and it can distract you from one thing we should always prioritise, our health. Hopefully this serves as a gentle but much needed reminder for many of you as it was desperately needed for myself.

A N X I E T Y

I have never been a fearful, anxious or apprehensive person. But sometimes situations can occur – life happens and you may find yourself in an environment that is ripe for such emotion to grow.

“Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication; with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” – “and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4: 6-8

Anxiety is acknowledged in the word. An acknowledgement that it comes but when it does you shouldn’t entertain it.

“Be anxious for nothing” is a command not a request. The reality of abiding by this however is much harder . Grace is needed to remember that whatever the situation be always remember it may be difficult for you but it is not for God.

Being anxious implies that you have no confidence in Gods ability and strength – and that your issue is greater/ above the need to obey God’s word, to trust in Him wholeheartedly – without reservation.

Where anxiety has opportunity to grow – God provides peace that is beyond our understanding in order to deal and cope with that situation.

It’s a kind of peace that makes no sense to the human mind – because it is peace that God, who created the heavens and the earth, has total control over what ever is happening.

You may not be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel just yet. But rest in the knowledge that it is coming.

How to stay positive | the Job hunt

Lately I have had a lot of questions on life post grad and staying motivated doing the daily grind.  As it’s a new year we will start of with a gentle reminder:

If your career is not something you prioritise you’ll find yourself looking like stagnant water.

Let’s be real. Life after graduating can be very hard. Life in general is blooming hard. When you’ve gone through the typical schooling system, primary to high school, college/sixth form then university. It is easy to measure where you are and how you have progressed – up until you leave and find yourselves and your peers with very different schedules and educational/ vocational priorities.

Usually the difficulty also comes from dealing with the constant questions and expectation from yourself and others – comparison to others being the biggest thief of joy. I cannot tell you how many times one aunty or random uncle would ask and I’m sure we’ve all heard these at some point: still at the same place? Is it a graduate role/ good wage? Don’t stay there too long? Is it what you studied? Why isn’t it in what you studied? Did the wrong degree huh? Some people are rude y’all!

Remember whether it’s the job you want or one that simply pays the bills – you work hard to earn an honest living and that is something to respect. There is nothing wrong with having a job while you’re waiting on your job either!

That said, always be proactive with your time! Especially if you aren’t working employers will ask what you did with yourself during those breaks. Whether it was a short course you took, or a self initiated project you completed. Have something productive to say. This also helps to keep yourself motivated knowing you are always working on something. Don’t let your skills become dormant.

Be disciplined enough to create a schedule for yourself,

Actively apply for jobs. Often people will say they can’t find anything when they have looked a handful of sites and they get bored. Honey the bank does not tire of reminding you what your account balance is. Do not be disheartened easily. speaking to people is usually the best way to find out who is hiring and what you need to do.

If you are at work – manage your diary and keep up with meetings/ interviews.  Nothing more painful than missing an opportunity because you didn’t check your emails.

Be persistent keep doing your research and continue to present yourself well. You are the best person positioned to sell yourself. I have lost count of the number of applications I made, phone calls that were had, interviews that were attended. But if you keep at it the right door will open for you.

I went from constantly being told no, not yet, and in some cases nothing at all; to having three job offers all at management level positions. And that didn’t happen by me sitting on my hands at home. And don’t get me wrong I’m extremely far from saying that I’ve made it – but I’m making my way.

Keep moving or it will feel like you’re moving backwards. And as we move closer to our goals let’s bring each other up, continue to motivate and seek inspiration. This leads to my next point.

Do not be afraid to ask. Ask others what they did to get to where they are. I used to hate asking questions for fear of feeling like you are pestering someone. But – if you don’t ask you don’t get. People prefer those that show too much interest than none at all. If they sense your hunger and drive they are more likely to help you or put you in touch with someone who can. (That said, ask but keep it relevant).

Patience is a difficult teacher but it rewards those who learn the art, very well. There’s nothing wrong with turning down positions that aren’t quite right. Don’t jump onto any and every opportunity. Know your worth. As hard as it is – especially if you have been waiting for a long time. You don’t want to jump into something only to jump out a month later in a worse position than before.

I know this is easier said than done but don’t worry God always has something for you.

Keep going, this year is yours to smash!

KidsOut “Trolley Dash”

KidsOut is a charity who give disadvantaged children positive experiences to support them becoming future members of our society and workforce.

Last week I had the pleasure and opportunity to be involved in one of their annual “TrolleyDash” events held at the London Olympia exhibition centre. This is part of the British Toy and Hobby Association Toy Fair. I went along with a few other volunteers from Enterprise.

The idea behind the trolley dash is to collect as many toys as possible donated by the exhibitors. The toy box concept started in 2008 and this year over four thousand toys were collected and are now being prepared for distribution to refugee homes around the UK – such a great result.

Each year as many as 20,000 children flee domestic abuse to seek sanctuary in refuge. Typically leaving home with only the clothes on their back, these children have experienced physical, emotional, and even sexual abuse and arrive at refuge with nothing. Having escaped the abuse for the safety of a refuge for anywhere between 6-12 months, roughly 4,000 of these children and their mothers are then relocated to a new home to start again.

 

Moving into a new community can be particularly tough for children, especially when they have already left their school, friends and possessions behind. With the mothers’ attention and resources typically focused on acquiring basic necessities for the new home, purchasing toys and going on Fun Days out are often way down the list. To ease the anxiety of moving, KidsOut sends each child their very own box of toys, welcoming them to their new lives.

 

For more info or if you would like to get involved visit:

http://www.kidsout.org.uk/toy-fair-2017/ 

1 2 L E S S O N S | 2017

People will always say you are too young if you are younger than them

We are just over halfway through the month now and I’ve already heard rumours that some of you are already ready to restart the year. The “new year new me” adrenaline tends to start burning out around this time if you’ve hit the ground running without the necessary preparation. It’s always good to reflect on what we’ve learnt as a reminder of what we have gone through and where we want to go. So with that said, here are a few nuggets 2017 left me with:

  • You cannot deal with a problem you refuse to recognise
  • Tell your business to people who will help you pray about your business
  • To people who say things like ‘I pray God blesses you with twins’ – Don’t wish things for people that you aren’t ready to help them out with
  • You don’t have to explain yourself; you out grow people and that is okay
  • If people see you as ‘the same person’ – have you really grown? Change is good and beneficial for development
  • After school/ university you realise how many people you were friends with out of convenience
  • ‘Most people are hungry but won’t cook’ – it is no one else’s responsibility to make sure you become a success
  • You cannot love God and dishonour your temple (body)
  • ‘Lips that can wake a dead corpse and then nag it back to death again’ – know when to speak and when to be silent. The wisest people don’t say a lot
  • Christ is your driving wheel – not your spare wheel
  • There are some things that don’t need prayer – they just need discipline

How To Be Content

I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation…

In life we aren’t always eating gourmet food nor are we constantly in a bubble of excitement. Life can be very raw sometimes. But even in that we were called to be content in every and any situation.

That can be difficult considering we live in a materialistic driven society which often creates an environment for discontentment, envy and ungratefulness.

Philippians 4:12: “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”

I love the testimony of Paul in the word and how God taught and cultivated a life of contentment in him through his experiences.

How many of you have been through some stuff? Like you’ve really gone through the forrest that is sometimes life. And can say in everything you’re able to find that joy and that peace in what you have, who you’re with and where you are at in life in that moment.

Whether you have or you are in want being able to be content and faithful in the great or small that you have is a blessing.

The beauty is once you are able to do that it becomes much easier to celebrate others. I’m talking genuine happiness for someone else’s achievement or success. Not the bitter smiles through gritted teeth we have all at some point been faced with.

If you haven’t reached that point yet, don’t be disheartened. Instead let that be your aim this February. The goals didn’t end in January – it’s a decision to actively think a certain way the whole year.

It’s all about perspective.

Ladies Let’s Get Information

No you did not misread the title, if you caught on to the song reference above. Let’s get information.

There is no point forming around that which you do not know or understand. This is applicable to the gents too if not more so.

There has been a lot of estrogen flying around lately and I thought to add two cents of my own.

Women I need you to know – you are enough. You were not made to be a man so stop striving to be like them but focus on what you were made to do.

We harness so much strength as women and when we embrace it we are unstoppable. Our differences don’t make us weaker they make us unique.

Strive to be intelligent, continue to develop your strengths and build up your weaknesses. Hone your craft and refuse to be ignorant. Celebrate your female form, you were made by God – God makes good things so girl – know that you’re good!

Support your fellow queens and fix each other’s crowns.

Men I need you to know (coming from a biblical point of view here) women may have been made second – but we should never be treated as second choice. God did not create us as an afterthought.

We were a solution to a problem you didn’t even know you had. Isn’t God amazing?

We were not created from dust or the ground. We were made from a rib. Fashioned out of something that serves the purpose of protection, support…

What I’m really trying to say is – if you want to breathe don’t suffocate a woman.

Side note: You would not be able to do a lot of basic movements with your body without the rib cage. Don’t take my word for it – ask your doctor, you can thank me later.

And to the brothers who were not offended by the above statements, please know this. There is nothing more attractive than a man who is secure within himself. Who is not intimidated by feminine competition – who is able to celebrate, support and lift up the ladies dear to him. Part of what shows you are a man is how you respond to women and their differences to you.

Men were created to be the head but we women operate as the neck. Women a neck supports, influences and with the right attitude moves the head.

Remember united we stand, divided we fall.

Now ladies, let’s get in formation 😉

Time waits for no man

You cannot climb up a ladder without first moving your leg. Get into the habit of doing things now!

Slouching further into the couch or pressing that snooze button one last time often leaves us behind in life. Personal progression is often slowed down or brought to a standstill where procrastination is allowed to thrive. Excellence comes with hard work.

I came to the quick realisation that if I was going to make a success of my life; the only person to make that happen was me. Anything I wanted to happen in my life was dependant on my ability, my drive and how hard I was willing to work (in Christ of course). I saw that through passing my driving test, my degree and securing my first job. The goals however do not end there.

I had been planning on making improvements in certain areas of my life – this blog being one of them (I’ll let you be the judge on how well that goes). And while thinking about what to do, parts of me almost fell into the typical ‘I’ll wait till next year, it will be my new year’s resolution – top of the prayer list, amen thank you Lord.

But I ask, why wait?

A lot of the time it is due to fear. Fear of failing, fear of not being the best or just falling flat on your face. We often try to plan things for months on end in trying to avoid this.

That is all fair and well but for how long will you plan for? It is not about how fast you go but about whether or not you are actually moving. Think about it.

Yes let us plan and prepare for the things we want to do. But do not fear stepping out in faith on that idea you’ve had or the vision you have for your life.

Most people who we look up to in society didn’t get to where they are by having all the knowledge needed at the start. They began with the little they had.

It is a work in progress – you cannot climb up a ladder without first moving your leg. It may be painful but nothing worthwhile is easy – and nothing easy is worthwhile.

L E S S E N S | 2 0 1 6

Failure is merely an opportunity to grow

Your attitude to a situation determines what you get from it

Hard work pays off but it means nothing if you don’t work hard to keep it

Not everyone is your friend

Be comfortable being in your own company

Less is always more

Be honest with yourself. Sometimes it really is you – not them

Comparison is never productive

You are enough

Most importantly: Knowing and finding your identity in Christ is key to growth in any area of your life

Approaching the end of a year is always a great time for self- reflection. Looking back on your success and failure allows you to assess where change is needed and to identify and appreciate the good things you are doing. It is a great habit to get in to but one we often neglect the whole year till we see a new one approaching.

Here’s to starting as you mean to go on.

What things have you learnt from 2016? Comment below on what you’ll be leaving behind and the lessons you are taking into 2017.