Categories
Mental Health Wellness

Self-Care is Not a Luxury

The world has changed so much in the last year. A year ago today, schools were going on lockdown, people were losing jobs, and our mental health either suffered or thrived. Some of us have had to learn how to survive in isolation, how to maintain our homes, and basically how to live again. As we continue to deal with the uncertainty of the times, don’t forget to practice self-care. I know, I know… you think your self-care options are limited and you just don’t have time.

But self-care is not a luxury, sis. It is a MUST.

If things like having a spa party with the girls or that fancy trip isn’t an option for you right now, I’m here to say that there are always options for self-care. And it doesn’t have to include luxury spa sessions and a flight to Bora Bora. Although, that sounds amazing right now.

Don’t get me wrong, sis – before the pandemic, my definition of self-care was laying in bed and shopping on Amazon. You know, just to see what kind of lightning deal I can get in the next two days. But lately, getting fast shipping is hit or miss, and I’m trying to stop stalking my postal worker for my packages. (Like… Seriously, where is it, Frank?)

All jokes aside; Practicing self-care during this time, while we are still trying to find a new normal, is the best thing you can do for yourself. Life has a way of just knocking us off balance and disrupting our systems. So, if you’re not listening to your mind & body cues to step back you’re doing yourself a disservice. Make a commitment to practice self-care this year, and create a daily ritual for your mental health. A few simple things that can help on your self-care journey are:

  • Wake up earlier so you have time for YOU – exercise, dance, whatever.
  • Write or doodle about things you’re grateful for.
  • Put some headphones on and listen to some soothing music.
  • Spend a little extra time unapologetically doing nothing.
  • Find a quiet place to reflect and meditate before you end your day.

It’s easy for us to forget to take care of ourselves in our busiest moments. But self-care is simply asking ourselves what we need and honestly just following through. It’s about building a deeper connection with yourself and remembering to make ourselves a priority. Recently, I’ve committed to using tools like the Shine app to help me put my mental health first this year.

The Shine app is a self-care app founded by two women of color on a mission to make taking care of your mental health easier, more representative, and more accessible. The app helps you create a daily self-care ritual with meditations, reflection and journaling, and community discussions.

Be sure to use my affiliate link to access to get 40% off your first year of Shine Premium and access over 1,000 meditations in the Shine App: https://www.theshineapp.com/promo/influencer-chantelle?utm_source=Influencer&utm_medium=chantelle&utm_campaign=Feb_2021

And let me know below if you need an accountability partner, I’d love to help.

Categories
Business

Do You Really Need All Of Those Apps?

No matter your career or business niche, you’re busy and don’t need any more distractions from your tasks at hand. So why are you allowing all the apps on your phone to cause distractions when your time can be better used? It’s time to digitally declutter your life, starting with removing apps that are too distracting and that take up a lot of space on your phone. (Yes, friend, I’m talking about Candy Crush too).

Do You Really Need All of Those Apps?
No matter your career or business niche, you’re busy and don’t need any more distractions from your tasks at hand. So why are you allowing all the apps on your phone to cause distractions when your time can be better used? It’s time to digitally declutter your life, starting with removing apps that are too distracting and that take up a lot of space on your phone. (Yes, friend, I’m talking about Candy Crush too).

Honestly though, how many times do you actually open and use all those apps that are stored on your phone? If you have not used them in the past thirty days or more, then the reality is that they are not that important to your success and well-being and should be deleted. Protect your digital peace.

Protect Your Data and Online Security

You probably have forgotten about many of the services that you had signed up for with those apps. In fact, having so many apps that you are not using can even be a security risk to you.

In this day of the online world and identity theft, it is truly important for you to think of your security when you have so many apps. Most apps are probably okay, but you are still putting yourself at risk of a rogue hacker behind the development of an app. For example, a person may develop an app that seems helpful, fun and good. But the person may really have ulterior motives to steal your information. Or hackers can find their way into your data by hacking their way through a less secure app that you have installed on your phone. So, clean out those extra apps that you’re not using.

Delete the Accounts, Too

Uninstalling the app is one way to clear the clutter on your phone but most of these apps required you to create an account. So, before hitting that uninstall button, login to the account and delete that as well. If you can’t remember the logins, search for emails from those apps. Once the accounts are deleted, uninstall the app from your phone. Not only does this clear clutter from your phone but you’ll clear clutter from your inbox since deleting your account should put a stop to unwanted emails.

Delete Accounts Linked to Social Media

How many times have you created an account with your Facebook or Google logins? It’s so simple, right? This is yet another security issue that needs your attention.

Head to Facebook and other social media accounts to identify which apps you have connected to those accounts. Get rid of them if you are not using them, if they are too distracting, or are not beneficial to you.

Don’t Be Intimidated by Technology

Don’t let this blog post scare you away from using apps on your phone, sis. They are amazing technology, no doubt; just be more selective about which apps you download.

If you really want to go “cold turkey” on eliminating apps, delete everything except your contacts and your texting app. Now, when you feel the need to download an app, you can evaluate if it’s a necessity to run your business (or your personal life) or if it’s just a bright, shiny object that will cause distractions.

Do You Really Need All of Those Apps?
No matter your career or business niche, you’re busy and don’t need any more distractions from your tasks at hand. So why are you allowing all the apps on your phone to cause distractions when your time can be better used? It’s time to digitally declutter your life, starting with removing apps that are too distracting and that take up a lot of space on your phone. (Yes, friend, I’m talking about Candy Crush too).

For example, managing your time at your business and in your personal life may seem like a challenge but it falls into the necessity category. Rescue Time is a highly valuable app, as it shows you a report of the things that are wasting your time. As a result, you will be more aware of how to manage your time more wisely. Another highly recommended app is Mint, because we all know that money can seem to escape all too easily. But Mint will help you with that, as it takes pictures of spending transactions and categorizes them for you. Thus, you will be empowered to be in better control of your money.

Start with these tips for clearing your apps and you’ll discover you have more time and increased productivity. When you’re not distracted, you have more energy to focus on the important things in your business and in life.

Categories
Business Mental Health

Get Yo Life, Sis: 10 Digital Detox Tips

Remote work, remote learning, remote everything. With our lives changing because of this pandemic, our new normal is everything digital. It can be hard to find a balance between being online for work and leisure time when being online is the only option we have. And all of these notifications can get overwhelming if we don’t take time to manage them. It’s time to conduct a digital detox & get yo life, sis.

Despite this pandemic, we can create healthy boundaries with tech to avoid burnout. Do some digital decluttering with these 10 simple tips:

1. Stick to a schedule.

To wean yourself from the habit of checking your notifications and phone so much, make a schedule. You can start with fifteen- or thirty-minute increments for checking your email and social media. Once you become better at not getting sucked into time-wasting activities, increase that increment to every 45-minutes, then move up to every hour.

Also, set a 5-minute timer to check and respond to the most important things. If your inbox is full, allot an extra ten- to fifteen-minutes to respond to anything that requires your input. Also, it is a good idea to inform friends, family, and colleagues that you will not be answering their calls and messages as quickly as you did previously so that they do not worry or become anxious.

2. Decrease notification settings. 

It’s already a challenge to put down our phones, but when it’s making sounds every few minutes, things can get pretty unproductive. You are not obligated to be bombarded with interruptions from your social media platforms or with messages that your favorite online podcast has just uploaded a new topic. Remember, your phone is for your convenience only, so limit the amount of the notifications you receive to stay focused on other things.

3. Back up your files and photos to an external drive.

Make room for new memories and back up your computer files, precious photos and important programs. Buy an inexpensive external drive from your local electronics store or sign up for a cloud account like Dropbox. You’ll free up a ton of hard drive space by deleting unnecessary applications, documents, movies, music and photos.

4. Unsubscribe from promotional emails. 

If you’re like me, you probably receive a ton of emails from lists you don’t even remember subscribing to. In the long run, opening all of these messages burns precious time you could spend on doing the things you love. Click through your emails and unsubscribe from at least 10 lists.

5. Delete those apps, sis. 

Apps are fun, but also take up A LOT of memory on our phones. They are also very distracting. Much of your phone usage comes from unconscious habit. Without much thinking, people shift from Instagram to Facebook, then check the weather and texts before playing their favorite game or checking their news headlines. However, if you use only specific necessary apps, then this will reduce the amount of time that is wasted on your phone. Try deleting the apps for social media sites and only use the web browser of your phone or laptop to engage. You’ll reduce time on your phone as apps make it too easy to waste time, even after your finished engaging with your followers.

6. Clear your computer desktop. 

Since it’s the first thing you see when you turn on your computer, a clear desktop means a clear mind. Create new folders to organize documents and delete the ones you no longer need.

7. Organize your cloud storage. 

All it takes is a few minutes and a few named folders to get your cloud storage neat and tidy. Sure it may take some time, but you’ll make up for it with increased work productivity.

8. Clean up your social accounts. 

This could include unfollowing accounts on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Tumblr, creating Pinterest boards to organize your pins and unliking pages on Facebook you no longer want updates from.

9. Keep your device away from your bed.

Your phone does not have to be the last thing you see before going to sleep at night and the first thing you see in the morning. To avoid the trap of looking at your phone too much, try using an old-school alarm clock instead of your phone.

10. Use a smart speaker. 

A smart speaker is valuable because it helps you live a life away from your phone screen. When you have a smart speaker attached to your network via Bluetooth technology, this will prevent you from having to use your phone to turn on podcasts or music; instead, just say your choices to the smart speaker and go about your day, listening and learning instead of being sucked into your phone.

Listen, Linda…

The longer your phone is out of your hands, the more productive you’ll become, and these tips are just the beginning of your lessened dependence on technology. You may even discover that your days feel longer after a digital detox because you’re not distracted with your phone or notifications any longer.

Categories
Business Mental Health

How to Stay Sane While Working From Home

The day that I decided to work from home on my business full-time was a game-changer for me. Thanks to technology, I was able to schedule virtual conferences with my clients, I learned how to automate my communication, and my commute to work was nonexistent. Yaaas, right? Unfortunately, I still felt like I had to do ALL the things. I struggled with finding that work-life balance that I needed and I didn’t feel happy. Some of the biggest challenges I faced were staying focused and organized, but most importantly, I wasn’t making my mental health a priority.

As a Mom, we’re busy by necessity and we have to wear many hats. For others, it comes naturally. But I know how it gets when our brains won’t mentally clock out because we work from home. I especially, found it hard to detach from my workload because I run my own business. Regardless, getting organized, focused & motivated are key to staying sane while working from home. No one is perfect at this, and no one has the perfect formula… not even Beyonce!

Here are some tips that have helped me.

Staying Sane While Working From Home

Establish a Routine

Having a routine helps to keep you grounded. It’s a good idea to set your alarm for the same time each weekday morning and head to your computer or home office at a scheduled time as if you’re leaving for work. Trying to scramble and figure out your work hours each day hampers your productivity.

Wake up and get dressed for the day. I know, I know – working from home sounds like freedom and sweatpants all day. But we have to prepare our minds to get ready for work, not to Disney+ and chill. This will also increase your productivity and get you in the right headspace.

Learn to Say NO

One of the quickest ways to lose your sense of order and become disorganized is to take on too much. Especially if you’re a freelancer or run your own business – you have to use discernment. If you are a “yes” person, you may ultimately disappoint your clients because you promised more than you can deliver. So, BE REALISTIC about the hours you can devote to working each week and learn to say “no” when you have to. Don’t let the Superwoman syndrome force you to believe that you have to say yes to everything and everyone.

Make Room for Your Workspace

Decorating your workspace or home office in a way you love is pretty powerful. It sets the intention that you’re ready to get some work done there. Sure, rolling over and grabbing your Macbook from the nightstand to knock some work out in bed sounds pretty convenient until you realize that you’ve been stuck in that same spot for days. Don’t do it, sis. Get some inspo to paint the wall, add some framed art or just spruce it up with fresh flowers – whatever you need to do so that you feel excited about your work environment. Make your workspace into something you’re proud of, and you won’t mind getting work done. If you need some inspiration for things to add to your office, check out my curated Amazon shop.

Staying Sane While Working From Home
Staying Sane While Working From Home

Stay on Task

It’s amazing what you can do if you buckle down and shut out distractions. Trust me, I know. I tell my husband that it takes me at least two hours to write a blog. Honestly, though – if you cut out the trips to the kitchen for snacks, the email reads and replies, and every flick of that thumb as I scrolled through Instagram, I probably spent less than an hour typing. Don’t get me wrong, taking breaks is fine – in fact, it’s necessary to avoid burn-out. But schedule your breaks into your day rather than taking them at a whim. Also, use a time-tracking app like Toggl as your productivity tool.

Thank me later.

Schedule Me-Time

People who work in an office get weekends off. While you may not be able to spare two whole days every week, set aside free time one day a week where you can rest and spend time with family or by yourself. Invest in yourself by practicing self-care. That might mean going to the spa or just laying in bed to read a book. Whatever “me-time” looks like to you – be sure to encourage it. Organizing your time is fine, but a little downtime can be therapeutic… even if you have to schedule it in!

Schedule Friend Time

Working at home is solitary in nature, but that doesn’t mean you have to neglect your social life. Studies have shown that well-connected people often live longer than those who are isolated. Make it a priority to reach out to someone every now and then via phone call or text and invite them to lunch or have a girls’ night.

You might even consider getting a friend to act as a motivational partner who can hold you accountable if you haven’t accomplished your business goals. Your “business bestie” can check in on you at regular intervals to see how you’re doing and to encourage you if needed. Tell this person what your intentions are so that she can check on your progress.

Conclusion

Working from home is a lifestyle change, so these tips will help take some of the stress out of your days and make the transition to working from home go much more smoothly.

How to Stay Sane While Working From Home