There has been a lot of tragedy this past week about the killing and injustices of black people. As a black person, these incidents do not only take a toll on our hearts and bodies but our mental health as well. African Americans are 20 percent more likely to have severe psychological distress than Whites are. Over 6.8 million blacks and African Americans have been diagnosed with a mental illness.
We must protect our mental health by taking care of ourselves. This includes talking to professionals, logging off social media, and others taking time to practice self-care.
These are some of my favorite ways to practice self-care:
This is not my fav. But working out can release stress from your body and your mind. I like to take a nice walk around my neighborhood while listening to one of my favorite podcasts. Some people like to do yoga or run, but whatever makes you feel good, DO THAT.
Who doesn’t love a nap?!?! Naps are the best. Sleep literally resets the body and the mind. Get a pillow and a blanket and catch those Z’s
These are some of my favorite ways to self-care. Honestly, it doesn’t matter how you are practicing self-care as long as you are properly taking care of yourself. As we continue to fight for the justice of our fallen brothers and sister, we must remember that we cannot talk care of anyone unless we take care of ourselves.
This country has been on quarantine for months! Many states are starting phases to open nonessential business back up. For some, – not me – this means that quarantine is over. There have already been many photos on social media of people gathering in large numbers at public parks and beaches.
Being on quarantine can be hard. You are not able to complete your regular routines; you are working from home or not at all; you are stuck in one place for most of the day, and the news and social media sites are continuously talking about the pandemic and how crazy it is.
While quarantine was stressful for me, it made me realized how grateful I am for certain things. Things I may not have been so thankful for if it wasn’t for this pandemic.
My Loved Ones
I want to start this section by showing love and appreciation to my boyfriend, Josh. Most of my family is in SC, and anyone who knows me knows how much my family means to me. It is hard not seeing them as much as I would like. I live alone and have been working from home as well, so I would have had almost no human if it were not for him. He has been amazing during this time. He has been understanding of needs, comforted me when my anxiety is high, and has just been the best boyfriend. I love him so much.
Speaking of family, I have tried to keep up with them as much as I can during the pandemic. We have been on FaceTime, called, text, and had zoom meetings and gatherings. I went to visit them for Mother’s Day and had a fantastic time. Every moment with them is precious.
I have also had zoom gathers and facetime parties with my friends. Most of them have involved drinking but if we are having fun who cares.
While my job does get on my nerves sometimes, I am very grateful that I have a position that I can work from home and continue to receive a paycheck. I have seen and know many people who have not been so blessed.
I have not wanted for anything during this pandemic. I am so grateful for all these blessings and will not take them for granted. This pandemic has reminded me to find the good in every little thing, and I will take that gem with me when the quarantine is over.
With the pandemic still causing chaos around the world, people are finding new ways to entertain themselves. For the last couple of weeks, I have decided to entertain myself my binging all the Marvel movies in order from 2008 to 2019. There are 3 phases and 23 movies in total – according to techradar.com.
These six movies drew me into the Marvel university so hard. The backstories and introductions of our four leading superheroes were terrific. My favorite heroes in the phase were Captain America and The Hulk. Thor and Iron Man were born into wealth, royalty, or both with privileges that allowed them never to have to hear the word “no” or accept the consequences for their wrongdoings. However, Thor was able to humble himself after being cast away by his father and spending time on Earth with Jane. Iron Man never humbled himself!! After almost being killed, he did realize that he wanted to stop creating weapons and focus on peace, but he even did that arrogantly by yelling it at a press conference and not considering the impact on his company. It was during Phase One that I realized that Iron Man was my least favorite of the heroes.
I loved the introduction of other heroes such as Black Widow (Nat), Warmachine (Rhodey), and Clint Barton. They are also fantastic, and I love that Nat and Clint don’t have any superpowers or special suit but are just amazing fighters that can still hold their own.
There six movies introduced many more characters, villains, and, most importantly, the infinity stones. All the leading heroes get another movie except Hulk, which I think is fucked up. I loved the introduction of the Falcon and his super-suit. After watching the trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy, I was confused as to why this movie was part of the Marvel movie world. This movie introduced us to these fun characters (Gamora, Groot, Rocket, and Quill) and the infinity stones, which is a significant trend in all the films. I also think Guardians is the most comedic of all the movies in phases one and two. We are introduced to Ant-Man as well.
Age of Ultron was my favorite movie in this phase. This movie is where I realized the strong dislike, on the verge of hatred, of Tony Stark. He is still unable to check his ego and arrogance, has no idea how to be part of a team, and thinks his way is always the best. He created Ultron, which caused all hell to break loose. They introduced Wanda and Pietro, the fantastic super twins. Pietro, who is super quick and Wanda who has the power of mind control and telepathy. Nat and Hulk start a romance, we see Barton’s family, and Jarvis forms into a physical being. All the makings of a great movie.
I FULLY HATE TONY STARK! This phase begins with Civil War, where our heroes divide on whether they should be under government control or be allowed to govern themselves. Iron Man and Captain America are on different sides. During the scene of deliberation on the ACCORDS, Tony does not feel the need to listen or consider the opposing side but feels he knows what is best for all the Avengers - another reason to HATE Tony. This movie introduces Black Panther and Spider-Man as well. This “new” Spider-Man really shocked me because I have seen the Spider-Man films with Tobey McGuire, and this new guy is entirely different from those films, but the new guy grew on me. Civil War ends with our heroes still on different sides, and ultimately the Avengers are split up.
In the next five movies, they introduce many more characters and our most crucial villain, Thanos. We learn about Doctor Strange and Black Panther, get into Spider-Man’s story along with his father/son relationship with Tony Stark, find out where Hulk has been, and get into Thor and Quill’s family drama. Basically, we prepare for one of the greatest battles that our great heroes face in Infinity War.
In Infinity War, ALL OUR HEROES COME TOGETHER. Every hero character from every movie we have watched before this movie comes together to fight the greatest villain of all, Thanos. They fight (some to the dead) to keep Thanos from getting all the infinity stone but (spoiler alert) they fail. Thanos wipes out 50% of the universe, and we lose some of our heroes as well.
Then years later, they fight Thanos again, but this time with Captain Marvel and The Wasp in Endgame. They win, and our heroes return. Endgame was a great movie, but it left me with a lot of questions.
The Marvel bug has bitten me. I am in love with these movies. I am super excited about the upcoming Marvel movies that I will come out in the future. Like I was saying on my Instagram stories, I have much more love for Stan Lee and Marvel Studios than ever before. Rest in Peace to Stan.
Speaking of Instagram stories, go check out my Instagram page @simply_shasha_ to check out the highlight stories reel of my reactions and commentary to the marvel movies.
We have all heard about love languages. Ever since Gary Chapman's book "The 5 Love Languages came out, there have been many articles around the subject. If you have been living under a rock, here is an image of the five love languages and how you can identify yours. If you would like a more detailed report, you can refer to Gary Chapman's website and take the five love language quiz.
I have taken the love language quiz, and thanks to therapy have even figured out the reasoning behind my top love language. Love languages, like many other behaviors, are defined by our parents and upbringing. If you were hugged and kissed a lot as a kid, maybe physical touch is your top love language, or if your parents showered you with gifts, perhaps receiving gifts is your love language. In any case, it is crucial to understand your love language, so if/when you enter a relationship, you can best communicate how you feel and express love to your partner.
Whenever I have begun a relationship with someone, I have communicated my love language with them and asked theirs to understand them better and improve our relationship. I am in a relationship now, and this is the first time I have struggled with my partner's love language. My partner's top love language is one of my lowest love languages.
As you can see, my top love language is Acts of Service. I love it when my partner does things for me that would make my life easier. Examples would be washing the car, doing the dishes, folding the clothes, etc. I LOVE THAT SHIT. It is also the way I express love. So by cooking for my partner, helping them organize their closet, making the bed are the ways I show them that I love them.
My BF top love language is physical touch, which, as you can see, is my second lowest language. He loves to cuddle, kiss, and hold hands, and sometimes that is just the opposite of what I want to do. As an introvert, I sometimes need my space or want to sit on the other side of the couch and read my magazine or watch tv with no interruptions. That does not always work for my boyfriend, and that is when we have to compromise and make more of an effort to communicate in each other's love languages.
When I cook for him, I am showing that I love him and know he appreciates it, but he is not going to feel the same amount of love as when I cuddle with him while watching a movie. The same way I won't feel that same amount of love when we are cuddling that I would feel when he takes out the trash and washes my car.
Knowing your partner's love language is so important because it's like a cheat sheet in how to make your partner feel the most loved by you, AND it shows you are making an effort to do so.
So when I get in bed, I love being on my phone (I know I KNOW blue light. Whatever) scrolling through social media, reading news articles, etc. but I know this that could be prime cuddle time for my BF so I try to remember that and put my phone down. I cuddle with him until he falls asleep (he ALWAYS goes asleep before me), and then I go back to my phone once he is sleeping.
That is just one of the many examples that we work on trying to communicate in the other person's love language while still appreciating how the other person shows love.
My boyfriend and I want our relationship to continue to go well, and I think we are taking some significant steps.
What do ya'll think?