Category Archives: encouragement

Don’t Get Caught up in Social Media and Lose Yourself

How many times do you watch a Youtuber share an item and find yourself searching somewhere online for it? I have even gone into a store looking for said item.

I have gone down many a rabbit hole and wasted money because someone or a number of people spoke glowingly about a product. To be fair I have also had good recommendations.

They key is to know what is useful and to ignore the rest. This isn’t easy because many of us humans are visual people. Yep, this can affect us without us really even being aware of it.

I mean we may become uncomfortable with our bodies, our wardrobes, our jobs and so on and so forth. I think this is a major issue for young teens, who are trying to find their identity. It also affects us adults because we all want to present our best selves out in the world.

We must remember to guard ourselves and not lose who we are amidst the trends and influencers on the different social media platform. Unhappiness with who we are and what we look like among other things, can creep up on us and overwhelm us.

This is also true for those of us who create content through blogs, videos, photos etc. It is easy to get caught up in doing what other successful creators in our niche do, just to chase success. Remember why you started and keep reminding yourself.

Would I like to make money from blogging? Of course!

Is this the only reason I blog? Of course not!

Will I learn from others to showcase my pieces better? Probably

Success for me with this blog means posting regularly and editing posts. It’s true, that’s enough for now and probably for a very long time. This is freedom for me because I have a job that offers me a salary that covers my needs, wants and whims. Moreover, I love said job and serving my students.

When I look at my blog stats and see only a few people read my blog and fewer comment, I sometimes catch myself getting anxious for more. I then mentally smack myself into remembering my goal (see above).

Social media is great. The different platforms offer so much to both creators and viewers. I like that we have so much to choose from and that so much knowledge is being shared.

We would do well to remember to carefully monitor and manage what we take in and reflect on how it affects us negatively. It’s important not to lose ourselves through what we consume and over consume on social media platforms. Remember most people only show a perfect snapshot of themselves to craft that narrative for viewers. Proceed cautiously.

Why ME?

Why me?

This is the first thought for many of us have when things start going awry.

How often do we say this when things are going suburb?

Why do we have this mindset that things should go well always? It’s actually a dangerous state of being that can cause life’s hits to knock us harder than they are meant to.

How about intentionally stopping and thinking about how you will grow through hardships. Look for how hardships stretch you and press through them knowing they pass. They are a part of the ebb and flow of life. Yes, it’s easier said than done. However, the way we respond to the ‘why me’ situations can break us or make us stronger.

It’s worth changing the narrative to the more positive, “how can I grow through this?”

Many hardships do make us strong in many ways. They also help us to lean on others and reveal who our true supporters are. It’s is empowering to look back on something that snared you, that you overcame and became better for it.

I will overcome, I will get through this and be better for it…

These are more mentally uplifting in the tough times. Speak these positive things over your situation and fight your way through.

Encouraging yourself when Life gets Rough

Life sometimes gets rough and it feels like there is little hope.

Recurring or chronic pain, ill health, financial woes, relationship problems, job loss and a myriad of other afflictions blithe our way.

When life gets rough how do you cope and even thrive despite your circumstances?

As a woman who believes in the healing power of Jesus – whether it’s for my body, finances, relationships and so on – I, of course cry out to God in prayer. The circumstances often don’t change but my response to them do. This is essential because things do get better. It may not happen on our timetable and our ideal of better may not be what happens.

Good friends and family members are essential in these times. Their presence, an encouraging word and their prayers help me to know I have a network of people who care about me. This is fodder to give me reason to push on. This is why it is important to water your relationships.

It is ok to cry and feel down for a bit. Staying in that frame of mind is defeating. Life is best lived as an active participant – in the good and bad times.

Be present for others in their rough times and help them to get through. We ought to live lives where we give and take and give and take – balance is key.

There is also nothing like some upbeat music to rock to and have that give you a ‘pick me up.’ I believe moving and activating your happy hormones is important. It helps to distract oneself for a bit when life gets rough. Read a good book, sleep, get out and have some laughs with friends.

Another good way to tackle the negative feelings that often accompany rough times is to think ahead. I enjoy envisioning when the rough patch passes. I make plans, write them down and pray over them. In this way, I am looking ahead instead of staying fixed on the present. Also it helps to look back and reflect on how you have overcome other rough patches in the past.

Prepare yourself mentally in the good times for when life gets rough. Some patches are way rougher than others as we know. Resolve to live life well in the good times to balance things out. Tell yourself that you can be joyful in all states and pursue this – yes it’s easier said than done but worth pursuing all the same.

Stay away from negative people.

When life gets rough, encourage yourself again and again and keep fighting. It is true that,”Anything worth having is worth fighting for.”

How to Keep Moving When Life Smacks you Hard

  • Cry out to God in the good times and bad times. God promises never to leave us or forsake us. If you have a habit of leaning on God then you will know of his faithfulness and have the assurance that you will get through.
  • Don’t ask ‘why me?’ Seek to see what you can learn about yourself and try to see tough situations as opportunities for growth, to become more resilient and to learn to persevere. “The race is not for the swift but for those who can endure.” I remind myself of this often.
  • Share your burdens with a friend or two. These are people in your life who are present, know how to pray with you, speak life into you and also know when to tell you to stop feeling sorry for yourself and give practical advice to get you moving ahead.
  • Seek professional help. See a pastor who is a trained counsellor,a psychologist or other health professional. Invest in your mental well being.
  • Think of practical things you can do to dig yourself out of the hole. If it is a financial smack down then you may have to cut back on some luxuries and/or get a second job.
  • Grieve, let the emotions out because suppressing them may not help. Cry, scream, put on some music, dance, go for a jog, clean like mad, do what works for you to get the negative energy out.
  • Change course. If something isn’t working and you keep trying then try another way or another thing.
  • Motivate yourself. Give yourself some pep talks and push and push.

Whatever it takes keep moving, keep trying, never give up on yourself and don’t compare your journey with others. Try to stay focused. What’s yours is yours, keep working for it.

Don’t Keep Dumping Stuff on the Strong Friend

Everybody has good days and bad days.

Some people focus a lot on their bad days, amplify them and stretch them on and on. There are others who have their moments and manage them without sounding an alarm.

The latter is the ‘strong’ friend. We all have one or more or we are that friend.

The strong friend goes through the roadblocks of life, faces them and manages to keep an even keel, even in life’s greatest storms. This friend feels, manages these feelings and gets through them often without saying anything. This often means that those around him or her get the impression that this friend’s life is perfect.

As we all know, no one has a perfect life. Some people complain about every obstacle, while others focus inward and keep pushing as they go over these again and again.

It is easy to keep dumping stuff on the friend who is handling his or her baggage and not shouting about it to the world. Personalities differ. This does not mean he or she should always be bombarded with every crisis from others. People often forget to ask that friend, “How are you?” The perception over time is that he or she is always fine.

No one is always fine. Some talk about their problems over and over again and others work their way through them silently.

Hence, if you have a strong friend who you never think has a problem, stop and think again. Ask how he or she is doing from time to time and really listen.

It’s nice to bear each other’s burdens; let’s be conscientious.