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How to DO IT ALL...and not lose your mind.

I have always been someone who keeps a lot on my plate. People always tell me I need to relax, I need to let some things go, etc. Currently, I am a full-time middle school teacher, I am the team lead at my school, I serve on a couple of committees, I have Black Girl Thriving that I am trying to grow, I have 2 dogs, I'm currently working on my education doctorate, I have tutoring and babysitting clients to tend to, I'm helping my mom raise my cousins she has custody of, I workout everyday, I uber from time to time, I try to volunteer at least once a month, I go out occasionally, and I have a boyfriend to entertain.

WHEW! That sounds like a lot because IT IS. But I wouldn't change one bit of it. 

I won't say that I have completely mastered the work life balance; however, I have figured out how handle all of this and keep my sanity. 

1. Meditation- Yes, I meditate daily. Sometimes I just sit in my car for an extra 10 minutes and reflect before going into the jungle that is my condo. During my planning period, I close my door and take a few minutes to myself. That little piece of peace is EVERYTHING to me so I make sure I do it. Yoga is also a great way to decompress and I do that a few times a week. 

2. Time management- My time management skills are pretty impeccable. I make a to-do list every morning and I try my best to stick with it. My planner is my whole life! I write down everything. I have learned to say no to doing things if I really cannot do it or if I just don't feel like it. LESS STRESS ALL 2019! 

3. Listening to my body- I have Lupus, but I don't like to use it as a crutch. However, when I'm tired, I rest. Lupus has forced me to take a break even when I don't want to. I know that if I overdo it, I could end up having a flare and be out of commission for a few days. So if I listen to my body at the first sign of a flare, I can completely avoid one and hop back in the game the next day. 

4. Taking care of my body- This ties in with #3. Having an autoimmune disease, I have to watch what I eat. I have cut out pork and beef, and I hope to become fully vegan in 2019. Don't get me wrong, I still love and enjoy junk food from time to time, but I eat pretty clean and drink LOTS of water. I also workout daily. Sometimes I go to the gym, sometimes I just walk my dogs, but everyday I am active. This has helped me lose over 50 pounds so far and I have been able to get off some of my lupus medications. I take vitamins daily, I use lavender in my diffuser to relax, and benadryl to sleep if I have a hard time (I'm an insomniac). 

5. Journaling- Journaling is an awesome (& cheap!) way to relieve stress. I love to write poetry and jot my thoughts down. It's therapeutic. 

6. Making time to do things I want to do- THIS! THIS RIGHT HERE IS KEY! Too often we are swamped with so many things to do we don't get to the things we really enjoy. I don't care what I have going on - I make sure that I do something I like once a week (besides working out). Whether it's volunteering, going on a date with my man, or just staying home and binge watching Love and Hip Hop, I make sure to make time for something I like to do. 

What are some self-care methods you practice? 

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