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.


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Closure

Closure or need for closure (NFC) (used interchangeably with need for cognitive closure (NFCC)) are social psychological terms that describe an individual’s desire for a firm answer to a question and an aversion toward ambiguity. The term “need” denotes a motivated tendency to seek out information. -Wikkipedia When it comes to close and personal Relationships it’s always a matter of the heart, […]

Closure

Motivation Monday {Love and strength}

“Imagine doing a job that you actually enjoy? I would love that.”

“I don’t have any hobbies. I would like to find time for a hobby that I enjoy.”

“I wish I had the time to do something that would give me self-satisfaction.”

Sound familiar? Sure it does. We all feel this way and even those that seem to have everything search for the return that doing something we enjoy gives us.

We look on this as a nice to have. Something that we must earn the right to or be privileged in order to have time for or to be lucky to have the opportunity to add to our lives. While it is true some of us have privilege that makes it easier for us, whatever the circumstance if you are able to do something that you love which uses your strengths you get energy from it.

This energy feels like the adrenaline injection you see in movies. It fills us with positive thinking and helps us feel in touch with who we are. I feel it every time I write or coach. We spend so much time disconnected from ourselves in this world and if you can find connection you will have the motivation and energy to do things that you don’t find time for living an ordinary life.

For most of us we don’t feel like going for a run after a long day at work where you are instructed to accomplish someone else’s goals. Where we are taught that achieving a promotion or pay rise is all we need for self satisfaction. When you get home your mind and body tell you that you need the numbness that only TV or something similar can give you.

The flip side is that we all know the feeling when we use a strength.

Some of us find this in moments at work and very few are lucky to have this in their work. If you do something you love to do, no matter how small or ‘draining’, it fuels you with energy that you can use in other areas of your life. You can run, you can be creative, and you enjoy it.

The results are incredible. Sometimes you need someone to stand for you when life isn’t letting you stand for yourself.

I want to leave this post with a caveat. We all have a battery that will drain. Don’t be surprised when it runs low. Aim to accomplish things when that battery is full. Use its energy wisely and when it drains, rest. It will fill up again if you recognise that you need to make time to do things for you.


Proud partner of Maggy’s thoughts

THE AFRICAN CHILD IS STILL WAILING

In 1991, the world started celebrating the International Day of the African Child every June 16; as initiated by the then Organisation of African Unity (OAU), now the African Union (AU).

The day is to recognise students, who, in 1976, took part in a peaceful demonstration to press for improved education in Soweto, South Africa. They also cried to be taught in their native language, Afrikaans.

Unfortunately, hundreds of these youngsters were gunned down by trigger-fingered policemen. A 13-year-old, Hector Pieterson, was prominent among the dead.

This day, African governments and stakeholders meet to discuss the rights of the African child, especially as related to his education.

The dream is to have a day when the African child will wake up to enjoy qualitative, free and compulsory education, amongst others.

It is 29 years since the death of these students occurred. They didn’t step out that day for selfish reasons; all they begged for was to be duly educated. They marched the streets because they wanted a kind of education that could give meaning to their dream.

29 years ago, these young boys and girls wanted their fathers and mothers, especially those in leadership positions to give them the same opportunity, if not better opportunities, to rise to be worthy leaders.

They wailed, they begged, they cried, but they were shot dead instead.

It’s been 29 years of wailing for the African child; he is still crying for the same reasons. He is wondering if 29 years should be considered too short to have his request considered and implemented.

The African child is still wondering why his leaders would climb up with the ladder, only to fold up the ladder from his top position, denying others from being able to reach his height.

He has regularly observed workshops being held by his leaders to discuss his future. He has read about the large sum of money being allocated for the fulfilment of his educational dreams.

He has been visited many times by government officials in his shanty, where he sits on the floor, or at best on a three-legged chair, with his books on his laps. They have come and gone, promising him a future with mere words of mouth.

To say that he is disappointed would be trying to paint his wailing heart in bright colours. If his leaders are not aware of the many hurts they have subjected him to, he is, actually, not surprised at that.

With his few years on earth, he could rightly conclude that those meant to pave the way for the realisation of his burning aspirations are men with cold hearts and cold feet. Dream freezers!

The African child is in a dilemma! He has a small voice, a tiny stature and unfortunately, weak-minded leaders. He cries to be loved. He longs to be listened to. He dreams to be educated.

He wants to stay healthy. He is tired of succumbing to every heap of nuisance in town. With his weighty dreams, he needs his elders to yield him their shoulders in support.

The year is 2020.

Today should be better, but for the African child, he wonders how Moses got the best of education in his time, while he is still struggling donkey years after.

Are things really getting better?

Not when he has read how Joseph, a teenage slave boy, had earlier risen through the ladder to become a Prime Minister in this same Egypt; an African country at that.

Did another Joseph not also take his family, made up of Mary and Jesus, to seek asylum in this same African nation?

Had Ethiopia not provided sound education for her children, the Ethiopian Finance Minister (Ethiopian Eunuch) would not have been able to read the scripture that eventually got him saved.

African nations are known to have provided sound education long before now. Educating our children came easily to us.

However, along the line, we started having leaders, who are comfortable with toying with the future, by providing directionless, irrelevant and selfish educational systems across Africa.

The voice of the blood of those innocent young students is still being heard across Africa. They, along with their living contemporaries, are still crying for attention.

They are not asking for the impossible. They are not asking for the moon, sun and stars. They are only asking to be given a pathway that leads to a glorious future.

They want financial budgets increased and deployed in their interest. They are asking to be recognised and respected as the future that they are.

Are you still insisting they are asking for too much?

God bless the African Child.

#mediafountsocialvoice
#theburningbushboy

Picture credit: Wikipedia (Hector Pieterson being carried by Mbuyisa Makhubo. His sister, Antoinette Sithole, runs beside them.

Original post gotten from

THE BURNING BUSH BOY

Understanding gender roles and sexuality in Africa ( Sex Ed: part 2)

Most of the sexual and or sexuality related conflicts we face today originated from the general misconception of the topic of discussion “sex”.

Introduction

Nigeria:

Ancient theories and ideologies about sexuality, circled around the power of
dreams, the individual as a sexual being, the power of self cultivation and
processes of essentialism.
Although the concept of sexuality can be dated back to our ancestors, who laid
much emphasis on the care of self and the act of procreation, emerging
population and health concerns have led to the re-thinking and re-identification of
the relationship between sexuality and human activity and behaviour.
Invariably, the concept of sexuality has undergone many changes within the past
forty years. The emergence of the sexual revolution has also impacted greatly on
sexual orientations, patriarchy, sexual relations, family formations and
reproduction.
In recent times, the youth who constitute ages 10-24 and 36.7 per cent of the
Nigerian population, are found to be highly vulnerable to antisocial behaviours
such as violent crimes, unsafe sexual activities and drug abuse among others.
The Nigerian Association for the Promotion of Adolescent Health and
Development, (NAPAHD) has also alerted that, an hospital based research has
shown that, 80 per cent of patients with abortion complications are adolescents.
This assertion was based on the fact that, over 16 per cent of teenage females
reported first sexual intercourse by age 15 while 8.3 per cent of boys of age 15
have also had their first encounters. This adolescents’ health dilemma has been
attributed to their great lack of information and knowledge about the implications
of their population behaviour on their sexual health and the general welfare of the
nation. In this vain the introduction and institutionalisation of sexuality education
became one of the immediate efforts made to address this problem to create
awareness about these sexually based problems. The rational was to acquaint
the youth with factual and accurate sexual information about the dimensions of
sexual knowledge that will enable them understand and clarify their personal
values, improve their sexual knowledge and sexual decision–making and
promote their knowledge about how all these interact with socio-cultural and
religious factors to affect personal well-being. This set of values sexuality
education was set to promote perhaps form part of the motivation for its
introduction into the Nigerian educational system. However, in view of the
predicament suffered by similar intervention packages such as
Population/Family-life Education it is relevant to examine the potentials for
success and failure of this nascent subject.
With this backdrop, this paper will examine the origin of the concept of sexuality
education, how it evolved in Nigeria and how well it is fairing in Nigeria. In doing
this, the paper will highlight on some conceptual perspectives of sexuality
education, identify its definition, its content and structure. The prospects and
challenges of sexuality education in Nigeria today will also be identified by
looking into the relationship between sexuality and; society and culture, socio-
economic status, ethics, communication, information, gender and the media.

Kenya:

Timely provision of accurate and comprehensive information and life skills training regarding sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) is essential for adolescents to achieve sexual health and rights and avoid negative health outcomes. While sexuality education is just one component in a multifaceted approach to address, and ultimately improve, the sexual and reproductive lives of young people, it provides a structured opportunity for adolescents to gain knowledge and skills, to explore their attitudes and values, and to practice the decision making and other life skills necessary for making healthy informed choices about their sexual lives.

Abstinence-only education programs have shown little evidence of improving sexual and reproductive health (SRH) outcomes. In contrast, comprehensive sexuality education programs that recognize sexual activity during adolescence as normative behavior, that seek to ensure the safety of such behavior, and that focus on human rights, gender equality and empowerment have demonstrated impact in several areas: improving knowledge, self-confidence and self-esteem; positively changing attitudes and gender and social norms; strengthening decision-making and communication skills and building self-efficacy; and increasing the use of condoms and other contraceptives.

Adolescents’ sexual and reproductive health

Addressing the high levels of unprotected sexual activity, STIs (including HIV infection), early pregnancy and abortion among adolescents is a priority for program planners and policymakers in Kenya.
Despite efforts targeting these reproductive health issues, recent studies indicate a persistently high need for SRH information and services, further emphasizing the need for high-quality sexuality education.

Sexual activity

Nationally, more than a third of adolescents (those aged 15–19), whether married or not, have had sexual intercourse (37% of females and 41% of males), and about one-fifth are currently sexually active.

The median age at first intercourse is 18 for females and 17 for males, yet among 15–19-year-olds, 11% and 20% of each gender, respectively, initiated sex before age 15. In the three geographic areas included in the current study, adolescents living in Homa Bay county were more likely to initiate sex at an early age (24% of females and 39% of males) than were those living in Mombasa (6% and 26%, respectively) or Nairobi county (10% and 17%, respectively).


I’m working on a project to help create awareness for SRE, understanding sexuality and gender roles which will be premiering here on “maggy’s thoughts” so buckle up and stay tuned.

Yours truly

Sex Ed. (” sex and relation education”)

Firstly I want to thank Margaret for giving me the floor to speak on this particular topic. I’m glad to be part of your journey here on “maggy’s thought”.

It’s not a strange thing that we feel a little uncomfortable when we’re having “the talk” with our kids. What I find strange is the fact that we actually treat the subject of discussion (sex) like some ominous or forbidden thing when in truth is basic knowledge for every other human being.

This problem isn’t confined to just Kenya, Nigeria or Africa as a whole but it’s more of a global issue.

Sex education should be compulsory in all state secondary schools. As a matter of fact, given the importance of sex education in the life of the average person, I think sex education should be stressed on more by our schooling system

pupils are not being prepared for adulthood and so are vulnerable to sexuality related issues in the future.

Age-appropriate SRE (sex and relationship education) should be an essential part of the curriculum for all young people, and I must add that, parents also have their role to play in this aspect of their child’s learning.

.

Young people’s dissatisfaction with SRE

  • “A lot of us are turning 16 and it’s legal to have intercourse, we need to be educated about signs of an abusive relationship emotionally.” 15-year-old girl.
  • “Sex was still regarded as a taboo subject and the teachers seemed uncomfortable talking about it. The whole concept was approached purely biologically with no regards to relationships at all and was pushed into a few lessons at the end of term alongside drugs education.” 15-year-old boy
  • “I was sexually abused and no-one told me what was done to me was wrong. We got stranger danger and how to cross the road and that was it. He was my granddad. I didn’t like it but didn’t know it was wrong but thought I should be embarrassed as I thought it was my fault. If I had known it was wrong and that I could say something and someone had listened, it might have stopped earlier or I might have told before I did.” 16-year-old girl

Source: Sex Education Forum

On an abstract note:

Adolescents are at a high risk for a number of health consequences associated with early and unsafe sexual activity including infection with HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unintended pregnancies. The amplified sexual risk-taking behaviour among adolescents culminates into thinking that perhaps lack of knowledge pertaining to sex and sexuality provokes adolescents into undertaking sexual risks. Consequently.


This is the first part of SRE related articles. I’m working on a project to help create awareness for SRE, understanding sexuality and gender roles which will be premiering here on “maggy’s thoughts” so buckle up and stay tuned.

Yours truly