Self-Care Tip: Protect your Happiness

“It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself and make your happiness a priority. It’s necessary.”

I was scrolling social media recently and saw someone’s post about some things they had been going through. The only thing I remember from that post was “I had to protect my happiness.” This stood out to me because as much as we always hear people talk about how to be happy, and where we can find it. When do we discuss protecting and maintaining that happiness, once we have found it? Being able to honestly and wholeheartedly say “I AM HAPPY” can take a lot of work, so knowing how to protect that precious feeling once we have it, is worth discussing. Here are three ways you can protect your happiness no matter where you are in life.     Read More


SPEAK OUT: Passion King shares her battle with Postpartum Depression

1I choose to Speak Away the Stigma associated with postpartum depression because I don’t want another woman to have to suffer in silence. I was 27 years old when I became pregnant with my son. The news brought forth feelings of joy & guilt. My joy was due to me growing up knowing I wanted to be a mother. Still, my joy was overshadowed by the guilt of feelings that I had more to accomplish before becoming a mother. I was more concerned with the plans I made for my life than embracing the plan God was unveiling.

During my pregnancy, I began to alienate myself from family and friends. I felt like they were secretly disappointed and wouldn’t understand my depression. I was irritable, cried a lot and stopped praying. I felt like I let God down and wasn’t worthy of His love since I couldn’t obey His Word. My mother was the first to notice a Screenshot_2017-04-27-15-34-22-1significant change in my behavior. I knew she was worried but I hid a lot of what I was going thru from her. She encouraged me to get out the house and enjoy my pregnancy. My son’s father had a hard time accepting my mood swings and spent a lot of time away from me. Our relationship, which I planned to last forever, became toxic. This made me feel alone and caused me to question why God was allowing me to go through this.2The birth of my son didn’t catapult things into a better direction immediately. I had to adjust to the physical changes my body went through, the freedom I gave up for my son and balancing day to day activities. I knew I needed help. A few times I worked up the courage to make appointments to see a therapist. Once I couldn’t afford the $25 copay and another time I felt like they would see me as an unfit mother. Throughout my depression, it was so important to portray being a good mom even though I didn’t always feel like one. I loved my son but felt guilty and like I wasn’t enough. I was in a dark and low point in my life. So, what changed? 3Screenshot_2017-04-27-15-36-36-1I began to get back into my routine of praying, journaling and speaking to other mothers. After speaking to so many women who were close to me I saw how common this illness is. I heard stories of so many extremities from just being sad, to being suicidal and even wanting to harm their babies.  I encourage anyone who is going through this to seek the help I was too ashamed to ask for. Your children deserve the very best version of you! 4.pngMy son is almost two years old and is the light of my life. He will be two years old in June and he is smart (he can count to ten) extremely goofy and loves Mickey Mouse. We pray together, read and do the Chuck E. Cheese dance. My experience has taught me that Gods plan is better than my own. He will always turn your pain into purpose and your test into a testimony! “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”(2 Corinthians 4:17)

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Find Passion on Intagram @ passion_queen

 

The facts about Postpartum Depression on this post are from the National Institute of Mental Health.  You can read more about the symptoms and treatment options here .

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7 Ways to Shoo the Holiday Blues

The holidays can be a depressing time for many people.  Many of us know one or more people who turn into The Grinch (or a cousin of the Grinch) during this time of the year.  The holidays for me have never been an overly joyous occasion. As a child this time of year was hoping we had a few gifts under the tree on Christmas morning so I wouldn’t have to lie when kids at school asked what I got for Christmas.  In college, this time of year was spent studying for my finals and hustling extra shifts as a waitress, so Christmas Day was my day to rest!  Since I have been working in corporate America, there are holiday parties, early days off, and a lot of holiday chatter in general.  This forces me to deal with the lack of joy I often feel around the holidays and really work at making sure I don’t get the “Holiday Blues”.

For many years I believed that this time was when families came together, enjoyed good food and each other’s company.  While I have experienced these happy times while visiting my friends’ home, I have rarely experienced this with my own family, and that lead my VERY BLASÉ feelings about the holidays.  What made my feelings worse is that I wanted to enjoy this time of year.  I wanted to be excited about spending time with people I love, giving gifts and discussing my holiday plans.  Once I let go of the holidays were “supposed” to look like, I learned to enjoy the holidays MY way.

If you are worried about having the Holiday Blues here are 7 ways to shoo away those Blues!

1.  Count Your Blessings!  This time of year it is easy to be reminded of what we do not have.  It could be the loss of a family member or the loss of a job.  It could be the lack of the ability to fulfill Christmas list or the ability to afford to go home to be with family.  Although, it is not easy, remember what you do have and think outside of the box for gift giving.  Be thankful for the loved ones that are still with you, enjoy and celebrate your time with them.   

2.  Redefine Your Holiday!  Everyone doesn’t celebrate Christmas in the same way-hell everyone doesn’t even celebrate Christmas!  You don’t have to follow the masses and put up a tree, do a bunch of shopping, travel to visit family you really don’t want to just to “celebrate the holidays”-create your own tradition.  Decide what the holidays mean to you, and DO THAT!  So what if it is different from what everyone else does, I promise you people will find your “non-traditional” holiday interesting. 

3.  Have SKYPE or FaceTime Holiday!  Being away from home can be difficult, and sometimes a phone call isn’t enough!  Thank goodness for technology!  Reach out to your family or close friends and set up a time to talk!  The beauty of using Skype or FaceTime is you can see them.  It may make you wish even more that you could be there, but you will probably end the call with a smile on your face!

4. Reach out to others.  If you don’t want to spend Christmas day alone, ask your single, childless co-workers if they have plans.  If you all don’t want to do dinner, just make plans for the movies.  It will at least get you out of the house.  If there is a small group of you all, plan a Christmas Eve happy hour, there is always a bar open, somewhere!

5.  Volunteer.  Many places will feed the homeless during the holidays, and this is a great time to volunteer.  You can also check with local children’s hospitals. Volunteer list fill up quickly around the holidays so begin your search early. By volunteering you will be out of the house, meet new people and give back to the community all at one time.  A simple Google search will give you shelter, soup kitchens, and hospitals in your area.

6. Plan a lazy day.  Yes, plan it!  To have a good lazy day one must be prepared because leaving the house will not be on the agenda!  Get any snacks and food you need, maybe hit up Rebox a day early (for those movies you never made it to the theater to see), plan your binge list from Netflix or Hulu or even grab a good book.  If you will be alone, it is the perfect opportunity turn Christmas Day into YOUR Day.  Also, you pick up some magazines and craft supplies and work on your vision board for 2017!

7. Avoid the Grinch!  Hey if you don’t like the holidays, fine.  However, when someone is constantly complaining, whether it’s about the traffic, the decorations, their lack of money to buy gifts, being single on the holidays-You do not need to be around that person because their negative energy will rub off on you!  You can’t take the chance of me catching their Holiday Blues too!

Remember you are in control of you feelings.  You are in control of your perspective.  While you may not be able to have the holidays you want,  you can’t crawl in a cave until they are over so you may as well find a way to enjoy them.  Life is too short not to enjoy your life, even if it is not perfect.