You have to put yourself on work restriction to replenish!
Going and going and going and more going! Does the daily work ever end? NO! But, you have to put it on pause to catch a breather. If you don’t, your body will remind you why rest is needed.
I wake up, lay in bed to think about the million things I have to do for the day. Then, OH I’m running late! Shower time, find an outfit. It’s cold out so I need to layer up. Where’s my gloves? Found them. Do I have my keys? Already packed them. Wait…Metro card!
Out the door and on to the awesome MTA Subway ride. Fighting for a seat, or even a space, is a tiresome task in itself, but the joys of reaching my destination helps to forget about the commute aggravation.
On the to office to update websites and do a little writing/editing work in between. AND managing the magazine, answering emails. Lunch time, gotta get back on the train to hit an audition. Back to the office to finish the day.
Then, evening rush hour. Another fight on the train. Wait, I have to eat. Do I have food at the house? Nope, forgot to go grocery shopping. Stand in a long line with other annoyed 9-5ers with kids running around. Uggh I just want to go home!
Time for winding down? Absolutely NOT, gotta hit the computer to finish the tasks set for the day. Of course, here comes a curve ball….This goes on until about 3AM and get a few hours of sleep before its time to wake up and do it all over again.
Who can manage a healthy life with all of this?!?! I know I can’t. However, my body stepped in, and took control. Control in the sense of shutting down. Fatigue, headaches, stomach pains, and even a little memory loss. Feeling overwhelmed and tired before I could get out of bed, was the body’s way of saying…Chick, you’ve GOT to slow down and take care of me. I do my Self-Care Sundays…okay I’ll admit I’ve slacked off.
All of this to say, when you’re going 500 miles a minute, you can’t make this a daily habit. To remedy the results of burnout, I have to readjust my time management. Along with sneaking in some self-care and yoga/meditation in between to silence my mind. I have many things on my plate (not complaining, I LOVE it), but I am in my 30s, and no normal human can unction like this without properly resting.
Here’s a few ideas to kick-back and relax the mind and body:
(Yes, I need to take my own advice. Let’s do this together!)
Watch a funny show or movie. Laughter IS the best medicine. It releases the pains of whatever has “grinded your gears”; clearing the mind of bad thoughts. Laughing out loud can help cure any bad day. My shows of choice, Frasier, Schitt’s Creek, Paternity Court (they have hilarious episodes), Golden Girls, and just about any reality show you can find!
Rest in Silence. Turn off your TV, phone, computer, and your MIND. Stop thinking so much. I tend to overthink EVERYTHING. Creating outlandish scenarios that never happens all because of past experiences, or just my mind running away from me. Thinking too much causes stress, and doesn’t help when you need to focus on work. Just calm down and into space for a few minutes.
Self-Care. Soak your feet in Epsom salt to release the toxins of traveling through the city by foot, or give yourself a much needed facial. Anything that will take care of your body. Pampering yourself is a good key in relaxing. Take care of your body, and it’ll take care of you.
Don’t allow others to pressure you to rush. Yes deadlines are important, but some things can wait. Just because the other party is on a quick timeline (or like to appear go be. Honestly, they’re fumbling to get themselves together as well), doesn’t mean you have to run yourself crazy. Set up your calendar to follow-up when its convenient for you. There’s nothing wrong with a few calls going to voicemail. Prioritize what’s important, and what can wait until you’ve had time to clear your mind.
Limit your time on “the media”. Whether you know it or not, social media kills your expectations and goals for yourself. By constantly scrolling through other’s success stories or tales of having it all together, you feel the pressure of not working hard enough. I read a good meme once, it said: “Don’t let the internet rush you.” Newsflash, nobody has it all together. So what if they’ve accomplished a goal that you’re working towards. Their shine doesn’t dim your light, nor take away from your final destination. YOU WILL GET THERE ON YOUR TIME! Also, scrolling through timelines, only takes away from your own working hours and relaxation time.
Breathe. Take deep breaths in, and slowly exhale.
Ask yourself, did you RELAX today?
And I LOVED every morsel of it!
Thanksgiving is centered on family and friends gathering on the specific holiday, laughing, cooking, and most importantly EATING. The day turns into night with long distant cousin catchup along with badgering questions from the elders pondering on your wedding date and when you’re starting a family. I don’t deal with that much as my Thanksgivings have been with my close family hopping form house to house tasting all of their special dishes.
My favorite holiday as it revolves around food was a bit different this year. Since I wasn’t able to get home to GA, I took a “me” day for the occasion. My plan was to cook m own style of Thanksgiving dinner along with enjoying good wine and relaxing. I did all three and then some.
The menu for the day was sweet, tasty, and simple. Cornish hens, free green beans, roasted red potatoes and spinach salad. Washing it all down with refreshing lemon water and Shiraz (my fav wine).
I woke up later than I had planned but luckily the grocery stores understand the importance of Thanksgiving procrastinators and the "forgetfuls". Obtaining my necessary ingredients, I hurried home to start on my meal.
It had been a while since I dabbled in Cornish hens however, when you’re good at something, it never goes away. Stuffing them with scallions, red, yellow, and green peppers. Topping it off with a variety of seasonings including garlic, Italian, seasoning salt and pepper. Rubbing the hens down with butter for that added flavor, and my babies were ready to bake! I love to mix red potatoes with onion seasoning wrapped with butter or oil. As far as the green beans, zesty seasonings, but not too much because I didn’t want to take away from that “freshness” taste.
As the gas stove prepared my meal, Golden Girl and Shiraz entertained me. I looked out of my window feeling grateful for how far I’ve come. Enjoying my New York apartment on a beautiful and blessed day!
After I was full of food, I retired with a hot shower, more episodes of Golden Girls and continuing the thoughts of thankfulness. Although I wasn’t able to see my family, I nice lengthy phone conversation eased my heart as they regaled in me actually cooking along with giving sass about me not preparing this meal for them. (I’m the baby of the family soooo, I wasn’t one to volunteer for the cooking duties.)
I had been looking forward to my solo Thanksgiving for a while and I’m very pleased with the result of the meal and the overall day.
Although the holiday for being thankful only comes once a year, we should put into practice of gratitude, peace, a good meal, and enjoying the blessings.
How did you spend your Thanksgiving? Share Below!
Scary Situation While at Work...The Suspicious Packages
Working on my corporate gig started out as a normal day. Came into the office a little late, thanks to a heater situation, however still getting a good start on the day. So as the hours passed, I received an alert on my phone. Of course this alert came in while I was daydreaming, needing to get back to work. The alert notified that there was “Police Activity” on W58th St. I work near Grand Central Station (Around 42nd St. on the East Side of Manhattan). Although alarmed, I wasn’t worried.
Taking a break, I ventured outside and saw normal New York activity. People rushing to from work. Food stands full of customers, police sirens (very normal), and horns blowing because someone stayed in place two seconds after the light turned green. Normal New York afternoon.
Coming back into the office, I got an alert that there was a suspicious package in the building I worked in. WAIT WHAT!?!? HERE??! NOW!?!? Grabbing my stuff to get the hell out, I pondered about why this was happening. My mind immediately went to the 9/11 documentaries I tend to obsess over. Knowing what really happened in those offices, their thoughts, their last words, and things that could have possibly saved them. Like the notion of getting the hell out. See, within the docs I watched, planes hit one of the towers and the employees within were told that things were “under control”. Next thing you know, CHAOS!
Leaving the building, there was a bit of madness. Men in suits walking fast-style to elevators and once I reached outside, there was a line of NYPD officers holding rifles in front of the building. Another slew of officers lined up sitting on motorcycles, sniffing dogs and more officers putting up barricades.
What the hell?!?!
Who could function during this madness? I couldn’t. Watching the news earlier due to my phone alert showed a pipe bomb being mailed to the CNN center, causing everyone to be evacuated. Now I have to be evacuated. Scary sh*t! And newer alerts advising that “packages” were sent to Obama and Hilary Clinton. Not understanding any of this, I took on my first instinct to ensure the trains were still operating along with praying that nothing was going on there as well.
Gathering outside and comparing notes with a few co-workers, “I’m going to head on home.” Was my final decision. Although the situation was said to be “defused”. NYPD was still surrounding the place. I didn’t feel comfortable going back in until the last officer left. Why are you still here? I’m glad you’re here but why? I watch too many documentaries and drama TV shows (art imitates real life) to know that there are always something else to the situation.
Feeling a little better as I was on the train back to Harlem, scenarios ran through my mind. Is this real life now? Leaving your work space because people want to be crazy?!?! And it’s all for some evil agenda set out to hurt innocent people to grab the attention of the powers that be. Sad right?
Safe to say that when I got home, I called my mom. I her baby I HAVE to let her know I was okay. For hours, I sat in my living room chair staring at the ceiling. Nerves rattled and mind not knowing what to do with myself. I was glad to learn that the package was a fraud. But at the moment how could you know? And you can’t take things like that lightly because once you do, something horrible happens.
Glad everyone involved is now safe and can return to work. However, THIS cannot be a new normal. I’ll take the crazy subway rides, random noises, even the angry New Yorkers, but a bomb threat….NOPE. I’ll never be able to get used to that one.
Oh Yea its just me…I’m cool with that.
Eating alone is always deemed as a bad thing. “She doesn’t have friends?” “No man to take her out?” Not even. You just need that time alone. And why wait on someone to schedule you in just to get a meal or a nice drink. Many people stay inside day and night just because they don’t have anyone to accompany them. What’s up with that?!?!
I LOVE hanging out alone. Yes it’s safer with a friend in the big city but there are ways to have a good day/night without the fear. Stay on guard, trust your instincts, go home at a decent hour...ALONE! And don’t make eye contact with the creeps.
Outside of that, you can have a perfectly good time with yourself. I know I do!
It’s the weekend baby! Time off from work and sleeping in. But I tend to go stir crazy being confined within the four walls of my apartment. Even during my freelancing days I took a weekday afternoon for an adventure or just some quiet time in public. It’s fun having time to relax at home but I need sun, I need to feel a cool breeze, I need to stretch my legs and most importantly, I need food!
I like to take the train and pick a stop. I know I’ll find a good place to eat where I can sit outside or inside of a unique decorative restaurant with perfect strangers ready to strike up an insightful convo. Or just sitting with my own thoughts to jot down in my “notebook”. Or to study my lines. Either way, I’m enjoying time out of the house, just exploring. In New York, no place is the same and as a “newbie” its hard for me to visit the same place multiple times. There’s just too much to choose from.
Although I have my favs, my random adventures help me find new place and new faces. Whether a light lunch or a big meal, I know I’ll have a great dining experience without the awkward silence or the long yammering about nothing. I sit. I watch. I eat. I enjoy!
Day time dates with myself entails beautiful scenery, people watching, cute pups searching for that perfect spot to lift its leg, and getting some exercise in for the day.
Into the Night.
Why wait for someone to make plans? I love taking myself out on the town. It beats sitting around waiting for some magic to happen. I like to go out and create the magic. Plus it’s a good way to find another cool spot to add on the weekend list when friends visit. In New York you HAVE to experience a night on the town. Watching the beautiful buildings illuminate the sky with their lights on the way to a bar/lounge with more chic décor. (It also gives me ideas to spruce up this apartment.)
Having a solo dinner date can also introduce you to some interesting people. Interesting in a good way. I’ve met many people for networking or “new friends” purposes. And there’s no pressure like there is on dates. Random stuff with a good story behind. I love to listen to people’s point of views that are unbiased and non-judgmental. Very easy to reveal your dreams to a perfect stranger. They don’t know me, and if I don’t agree with their opinion, out the other ear it goes!
Yes NYC is expensive and a good lunch is costly. But that’s what Happy Hour, EventBrite, and the Appetizer menu is for! It doesn’t take a bunch of money to hang. Need ideas to hang? Go to Eventbrite and look up free events in the area. There’s so much going on in this big city: Art Galleries, Speed dating, Dinner Specials, and even a great party or three. Look it up and enjoy your time alone.
It’s not a big deal to treat yourself out of the house. No one is judging you. Those are only thoughts running through your head that only deters you from experiencing a great time.
So hold your head up when you tell the hostess “Just One”. You’re about to be in for a treat!
Where's Your Fav Solo Date Spot?
Boat Watching and Beautiful Sunsets.
Upon my many ventures I stumbled upon a new hobby. Now I’ve always LOVED bodies of water. But growing up in the heart of GA, my options were limited. I thought I’d only have a chance to gain the peace and serenity the waves could bring by only taking a vacation. Of course there are lakes and rivers but I couldn’t stay long because bugs usually saw me as their latest meal. Also, the good lakes were always so far away from me.
As always, NYC never disappoints. Whether I’m uptown or downtown, I get a chance to view the beautiful Hudson River. And across from it, the state of New Jersey. What first started as a walk on the pier with a friend, turned into a constant activity that gave me peace, serenity, and inspiration.
I’m always looking for ways for this city to just calm down in my mind. New York is ALWAYS busy. Sidewalks filled with fast walkers getting to where they need to go. Subway riders are constantly on the move with an “every man for himself” mentality. Not giving much time to take in a new experience because “MOVE! GET ON THE TRAIN!” The Hudson River is very different.
Whether hanging out, having a picnic at Riverbank State Park or taking a walk along Pier 46, the Hudson gives off good vibes and a place of refuge from the city that never sleeps.
One activity that I love while being a voyeur on the river is boat watching. For some reason watching these machines sail along the river places me in a mood that allows me to meditate, think, and get inspired. I love to develop stories for these mini ships as they make their way to Jersey or along the lines of the Hudson River Ride!
Just try it out! You can’t go wrong with spending an afternoon to evening witnessing the sun set and the clouds paint a beautiful picture of colors that you’ll only get to see with your naked eye once. A new visit, means a new canvas. Take in the moment and just BREATHE!
"I just like to write and create stuff. These are the diaries of how I'm living in NYC with sprinkles of life lessons I've learned along the way!"
- The Blakk Dahlia