Dino’s self help 101

Self-care has become incredibly popular as of late. Recently though, it seems as though self-care has become more of a competition, an aesthetic goal to reach. If you watch videos of people’s self-care night routines, you might have noticed that while they are fun to watch, they seem difficult to execute in the real world. For myself, I find that many of the activities, tips, and tricks that people give for self-care, are not so relaxing or rejuvenating. I don’t particularly like taking baths or spending an hour on skincare when I’m dead tired. And I certainly don’t fancy most of the aesthetic self-care items that are out there. I found myself thinking, what are some practical habits we can incorporate into our day to have a little more self-care in our lives? These are things that don’t necessarily require money spent or a boatload of extra time in the day. Instead, these are practical little ways to be kinder to yourself on a daily basis.

  • Create a Daily Meditation Practice

So many people recommend a daily meditation habit, myself included. It’s not just because it’s trendy but because it has so many brain-boosting benefits. Meditation is used in so many mental health settings because it can transform lives. It is essentially training your brain to become aware of the thoughts that go whizzing through your brain. Many times, in guided meditation you are told to clear your mind, but that’s not the purpose, to have an empty mind. Instead, it’s practicing the ability to recognize the thought and let it go. Instead of chasing every rabbit that runs in front of your mind’s eye, you simply acknowledge it and let it pass. You may get to a point where you can sit in the quietness of your mind. Meditation takes practice, but once you start getting the hang of it, you will notice changes in your ability to handle your emotions and thoughts. Take five minutes to practice every day, and gradually increase if you have more time.

  • Journal Frequently

Journaling is a good way to get us thinking about our emotions and the state of our being. Journaling regularly can help you not only reduce stress but also help you work through any problems you might be experiencing. Throughout my life, while I have not always journaled frequently, I found it to be a very cathartic experience. To be able to write down all my thoughts and feels, was a way of helping me process through them and find solutions. Even if I did not find solutions to my problems or feelings, I was able to put them out there and recognize them in a similar way to meditation. I encourage you to do the same. Journaling through all your worry and anxiety can help you gain clarity on what may be causing it and how to deal with it. I also found it helpful to return to previous passages to gain further insight into a problem. Take a bit of time to journal a page or even just half a page. Think of something that has bothered you and put it down on paper. You might even find it a bit liberating to get it out of your mind and onto paper.

  • Set a Time to Stop Working:

Many productivity gurus will recommend this as a way to stave off burnout. I think it’s a great way to be kind to yourself daily. Instead of pushing yourself for hours and hours, taking work home with you, set a time where you are done for the day. No more work, no more stress. Continuous work won’t produce better work. I understand if you have many things on your plate that you need to get done but please do be kind and give yourself a little freedom. Otherwise, burnout will appear on the horizon sooner than you’d like. It doesn’t have to be the same time every day either since many of us have many different obligations at different times. But when you do set a time, be firm with yourself, and stop when it’s time to stop. If you wait until you are burnt out to give yourself some breathing room, it’s too late. You will be taking time to deal with mental exhaustion and health as well as physical symptoms before you can relax. Try different times of the day. Even if it is only an hour before bed, take a bit of time to step away and take care of yourself.

  • Develop hobbies you thoroughly enjoy

Finding a hobby you truly enjoy is another fantastic way to care for your mind. I know for myself when I am working on a hobby project, it gives me something to look forward to at the end of the day. I love being creative and working with my hands so when I get the chance at the end of a long day, I find it to be incredibly relaxing and fulfilling. It can feel especially good when our hobby is something we are passionate about, but may not be able to pursue full time. So many are in stressful jobs that they do not want. Having something you can pursue on the side is worth exploring. Burning yourself out on a job you hate is an awful experience for anyone. Take some time and explore. Maybe when you stop working for the day at your set time, as suggested previously, you can take some time and learn to draw or knit or play guitar. Even the exploration of hobbies can be exciting and fulfilling.

  • Dedicate One Day a Week:

I like to dedicate my Saturdays (or whichever day works best), to a day where I don’t have to do anything at all if I don’t want to. Generally, I do end up working on something, but there are some days where I just need the time to recharge. Now, it’s completely understandable if this is near impossible for you. Many of us have so much going on that we simply can’t sacrifice a whole day. I encourage you to try and pick a half-day if you can. Or if neither of those is possible, go back to my previous tip of setting aside time every night to be done. Maybe set aside a day once every two weeks. Many times, we feel lazy about those days we end up doing nothing, but they can be incredibly restorative. You can still work on things on these days, but make sure they are not work-related, or at least very lightly work-related. Do not trick yourself into thinking you want to get work done when in fact you merely feel obligated to get work done. Take this time to get some errands done or clean your house. Whatever you do, take this dedicated time to unplug your brain from work or other stresses.

  • Practice Being Easy On Yourself

Monitoring your self-talk is a simple, yet effective way to practice self-care all day long. The best way to start this is to start taking notes or journaling when you find yourself becoming stressed. If you set out to track this, it’ll become more cognizant for you and you’ll start noticing patterns in your thinking. Once you start noticing your thought patterns, you can start correcting them. Often, we don’t notice that we are having negative thoughts or destructive self-talk when something stressful is happening. If this is the case with you, as it was with me, take some time to think back on your day and evaluate either your overall thoughts for the day or a particularly stressful situation. Why was it stressful? Were you thinking anything in particular? Why were you thinking of those particular things? Simply taking time to reflect on your thoughts can be incredibly helpful for breaking down where your thoughts and feelings turn sour. You can incorporate charting your thoughts into your daily journaling habit as well.

  • Tough Love Self Care:

We all put things off to some degree. Usually, because something about doing that one thing scares us. We don’t want to tackle the mounting dishes in the sink because it seems daunting. We don’t want to confront our bills because we don’t know if we have the money. While these tasks seem like insurmountable mountains, getting them done can be some of the most gratifying self-care out there in my opinion. I call it tough-love self-care because we often do not want to do these tasks and find them stressful. But in fact, it’s one of the kindest things we can do for ourselves, including our future selves. When we take care of those scary things, we are reducing the worry and stress that keeps mounting when we put them off. Instead of letting those things build bigger and bigger, tackle them head-on. This will take that stress off of you, making one aspect of your life that much easier. Think of your future self and what kind of things you can do for them. Prep all your meals for the week so that future you don’t have to stress about finding healthy lunches during the week. Organize your closet so future you does not have to stress about finding outfits for work.

I hope this list of practical self-care tips will inspire you to find simple and effective ways to be kinder to yourself. If you are experiencing burnout, anxiety, depression or anything else, please make sure to talk to a professional.

Let me know if you have any simple ways you take care of yourself and keep burnout at bay. I’d love to hear.


Original post brought to you by ☝️

Breast ironing

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You got this now more than ever!

Sometimes it becomes important to just step back alittle and tap yourself on your shoulder, and affirm strongly that you got this. We all need to hear positive affirmations about life, but better still being able to speak the same over our lives is vital.

Today choose positivity and speak it over your life, in every aspect of it.

I have this under control! I believe I can!

In the midst of all struggles and obstacles find a voice within you to affirm that you have everything under control.

Let’s redefine this,

Redefining rape and consent.

We all know and maybe have a standard definition of what it means to be abused sexually, and from this definition, we form our opinions. However, it proves vital to look at the real meaning of this word because whether we know it or not there is more to it than just being taken to a dark room by a weird-looking person and then him forcing himself on you. There is more to it than just being lured into the bushes and being molested, there is certainly more to it than being drugged and finding yourself naked in an unknown location.

Gone are the days where we had to see tattered clothes for us to assert that rape has taken place. And in these recent days even seeing blood may not be proof enough that an act of sexual abuse took place. This being beside the point, it goes without saying that there is more to it. In this case one needs to know that there are various forms of rape and sexual abuse where some may go unnoticed by the victim, this to say that you may not be able to tell that you were raped.

The number one form is where there was consent yet the victim was bound and it is commonly known as the acquaintance rape. This is a clear case of, “it is either you do it or this and this will happen”, with this type of sexual abuse, the perpetrator would claim that he/she had consent yet the victim was in no position to say no. A good example would be this, a boy and a girl/lady find themselves in a lonely place together and immediately for one the idea is to have sex. The girl does not want to but because her boyfriend says so, she is confused about whether to give in or not and before she knows it, everything has already happened but she has no idea what exactly transpired.

Just because there was consent or just because you were coerced into it does not make it less of a sexual offense. You were raped and had no idea it was even rape. Most of the time the victims of this kind of rape have no idea that just because there was prior consent then they cannot say no. Remember that sexual consent can be revoked anytime. And to make it more palatable, just because you started it does not mean that you have to go all the way. If the deal was to just make out and he took it all the way, then most definitely that was rape.

The second one would be the marital type of rape which is closely related to the latter form. It happens between two married people. This could be a bit bewildering but it is most certainly true.  Many would argue that the two are married and so there is every right for either of them to demand sex at any given time regardless of any circumstance. However, looking back at the standard definition of rape; the act of forcing sexual intercourse upon another person without his or her consent or against his or her will, there is a clear indication that irrespective of you being in a marriage, If your spouse takes or has sex with you without your consent, that is still rape which is, by all means, a great offense punishable by the law. Nobody whatsoever has the right over your body and better still over your sexuality.

The 3rd form is the incest form of rape. It is a sexual offense on its own both legally and morally and most times, it is still a regarded as rape. Since this form of sexual practice happens either between parents and children, uncles and nieces/nephews, or between aunts and nieces/nephews, then it can still be a form of rape. The law which varies between different states, most times punishes the perpetrators with rape charges. It is to be noted that family members account for 7% of all rape cases.

Rape may take many other forms but regardless there is a need for every victim to understand that it was never their fault but that of the rapist.

Never blame yourself for what happened.

QUICK FACTS ABOUT CONSENT

  1. It should be a clear yes
  2. It is subject to change( just because the person consented to it one time does not mean that it will always be like that)
  3. It should be enthusiastic.
  4. It should be not be forced, i.e. It should be freely given.
  5. It should not be assumed.

Be Still and go through the process


I am not that much of a heavy sleeper, and so when my brother woke up today at around six am to watch TV I was very annoyed. I just do not understand how you can wake up that early and think of nothing else but watching TV loudly. It was rather annoying but when he tuned in to BBC (or so I think), the speaker drew my attention to listen in. It was Joe Biden, the US presidential Candidate.

Well, recalling all that he said would be a hard task for me, but even in my state of dizziness and annoyance, I could still remember him saying this, be still and go through the process. This I think would be the first most insightful thing to hear this morning apart from hearing my younger brother telling my mom that he is no longer four years old. This was insightful for me because as I thought about it, it dawned on me that the young man was somehow realizing that growth in time was taking place in him.

Now back to Joe Biden, the point I decided to take home was, going through the process. It had me thinking of how sometimes I pray and hope to start a new journey and whenever that happens, I always desire that it go by quickly so that I can start the next one and the cycle goes on.

I have often heard from one of my friends, Maggy, trust the process, and at that time, it makes no sense to me whatever she is saying. Now listening and thinking about two statements I feel like there’s more to it than just trusting and going through the process.

It means to me that I ought to stay and learn from every aspect of life, which now forms the process from one point to another. It means that there ought to be moments of learning, making mistakes, falling, rising, accepting, rejecting, and all these forms the process. Moreover, taking examples of my chemistry classes in high school, there was not any process that did not require serious analysis. I cannot just move from point A and go to C without going through B. Therefore, from this am deducing the importance of going through every step of every process I am going through.

Trust and go through the process of learning and growing.

Try putting all the pieces together to complete the process.

Dig Deeper

I recently came across a quote in one of the blogs I was reading some days ago, and as concise as it seems it got me thinking hard. The quote read treasures do not lie at the surface. Moreover, as I carefully sought to understand this quote, it got more and more intense. From understanding the surface meaning of it, that you simply cannot find the treasure by digging a few feet into the ground, it began dawning on me that there was more to it than the eye could see and the mind could comprehend.

It got me thinking of how sometimes I do little things expecting big results, for example investing little time in my studies and later on expecting that the exam will be favorable to me. Watching trailers and thinking that I have watched the whole movie (this is debatable because it is sometimes more interesting to watch the trailer than the whole movie) and many other things I do with the hope of brighter days. I am sure am not alone in this, think about the things you have done knowing very well that they were not simply enough and still you expected to get the best out of them. Well, we are all human and we are bound to make mistakes, so it is only right to embrace those experiences and take lessons from them.

I am slowly coming to terms with what the quote means for me and how I live through life. Gradually I am learning that it is not enough to want to be great in life but there is a dire need to input in extra effort in what I do if at all I will want to see the great outcome. Although it may be time-consuming and tiring to give my best the result is worth all of it.  It is a wake-up call for me to ensure always that whatever I give it all I have however how minute it may seem.

It is also possible for you my dear reader to step up and ensure that you do your best and love whatever it is you are doing, regardless of whether or not there is any form of appreciation. Looking back at what you have achieved and knowing that you gave it your best is a feeling more compelling than any other.

Decide to work hard today no matter what the circumstances may be. In your workplace, school, home, office, and anywhere else you may be called upon to invest your time and effort, do it diligently. Remember you cannot find treasure on the surface, and this means that you cannot find success by just sitting and hoping.

All is well

It will get better, it is already better, even when we cannot feel it somehow things are falling into place.

Trust the process and be ready for the journey. It may not be easy but as long as you are moving, as long as you are trying things will get better.

Faith as I have come to know, gives rest, believe today that things will go well with you. You cannot believe and worry at the same time, choose one.

Brighter days are coming, better times are yet to come, hold on to that hope and smile.

It will get better for you.

Be happy, stay happy

Hey Maggy, lets out today,’

And where might we be going?

Do not worry, by the end of the day you will feel happy and re-energized.

This was a conversation I had with a friend some days ago. With the promise of feeling happy at the end of the day, I gladly agreed to go out with my friends. I mean, who would not want to go home, feeling nostalgic?

To cut the long story short I went out and by the end of the day, I was very happy and kept wishing of having more of such days. That was healthy living according to me because as it is whatever makes you happy, then you ought to keep it. However, no sooner had I thought that I was on life’s right track than something knocked my thoughts off balance.

I am one to read random papers I come across and on this particular day, I found myself reading a piece of a magazine( this particular one was from Xpatlink Mag, April/May 2018#161) which had been used to wrap the meat I had bought earlier on, on one of my shopping sprees. If you are from Kenya, you know the serious roles played by old newspapers and magazines especially in butcheries. That aside, the content on the tattered piece of magazine lured me in, and for a minute or two; I was busy staring hard at the paper.

The article had the title, ‘The 10 Daily Habits of Happy People’, and well, you now know why I was easily drawn in. after reading and trying my best to internalize each of the 10 points it suddenly dawned on me that all my life I have been making a very serious mistake. Which mistake might this be Maggy? Some things made me believe or rather I have made me believe that happiness should be an end result of the things I do

Meaning that I live and so do many, we live life thinking that we should do things, which will make us happy at the end of the day. This is not wrong until you realize that happiness is a constant experience and feeling rather than a goal achieved at the end of the day. And so the narrative now changes, do what keeps you happy all the time. Not just once, but all the time, it should not be limited by the time of day or anything like that.

This was a whole new awakening process for me, not only did I want to be happy, but also the concept of staying happy no matter what stuck in my head.

The 10 daily habits as I found out were

  1. Treat yourself with kindness
  2. Let go of petty issues
  3. Take time to recharge and be alone
  4. Unplug when needed.
  5. Keep up an organization in a physical and mental space
  6. Stay in the present
  7. Allow yourself to feel emotions
  8. Put wishes into actions
  9. Exercise and eat healthy
  10. Practice good decision-making.

Today Matters

We go through life with the hope that what we do today will help us in our later days, hoping that brighter days are coming. This is by all means very good and a healthy kind of living because without hope life would just be formless. It is right to look into the past and reflect on one or two things, and most certainly it seems right  to look into the future and hope for better days.

It is however important to live in the present and look at matters as they happen as this will largely influence what is to come. Living in today and making choices for the present would not hurt a bit in fact it shows just how strong you are in life. Tomorrow might be too late for us to do some things so it is just right that I do them now. As they say, there is no perfect condition so now is the perfect time and today is the perfect day to take action.

Do what you can today, and be happy for today.