When you look back on 2019, what comes to your mind? Do you focus on the pains, regrets, and mistakes you made or do you concentrate on the strength you gained and all the blessings that came your way?
Since this is the beginning of a new decade, here’s a positive to-do list for the year ahead. With 2020 now in full swing, keep doing these 6 things for yourself:
1. Embrace your humanness and give yourself more credit
Human is the only real label you’re born with. However, it’s easy to get so focused on what others tell you that you forget how far you’ve come and what you’ve managed.
Give yourself some credit and appreciate all that you are.
2. Make your happiness a priority
Just in case you’ve forgotten, you matter A LOT. Your needs matter too! If you fail to put your needs first or look out for yourself, you hurt yourself more than you can ever imagine.
3. Enter new relationships for the right reasons
Every relationship whether romantic, business or friendship has a purpose. Focus on starting relationships with dependable and honest people – people who reflect the person you are and the person you want to be.
4. Forgive yourself and others
Ever heard, forgiveness is not for the other person but for yourself? Stop rehashing old wounds and reliving the pain of the past, but forgive yourself and let go of the pain.
5. Build up your confidence
It’s never too late to chase after your dreams. Don’t think you’re left behind; start from where you are and work your way up towards where you want to go. Every day and step is necessary.
6. Track how you invest your energy and make productive shifts
You can’t do the same thing and expect change. Be mindful of what you spend your time on and focus on what really matters.
Want to invest in yourself? Join the Motherland Mogul Insider– an 8-week online program to help you grow your network and reach your professional goals.
It is not uncommon to see someone you know, perhaps your friend, a family member, or a colleague whose demeanor is looking unusual, and you show concern by asking the question: ‘why is your appearance looking so dull today?’ and their reply goes ‘it is stress’.
Recently, I attended a meetup where young women discussed ‘creating balance’. In the heat of the discussion, one woman mentioned that she was on an official assignment to a psychiatric ward and found that the leading cause of psychosis in women admitted was stress.
I was both alarmed and pained.
The term stress seems to be something everyone takes for granted but its effect on our physical, emotional and mental well-being is often disastrous.
More women than men are prone to stress partly because besides the everyday hustle to support the family income is the added responsibility of taking care of the home front.
Many studies have confirmed that stress could lead to deli-bating diseases like high blood pressure (which is constantly on the rise in recent times), heart attack, nervous breakdown, and many others. Hence, there is an urgent need for us to take the matter of stress very seriously.
Stress cannot be eliminated completely, however, here are six ways to manage it.
KNOW WHEN TO LEAVE WORK BEHIND
Some women are naturally workaholics, while others are in the hustle just to outdo their contemporaries in terms of material acquisition.
Whichever end of the divide you find yourself, be kind to your health and long term well being, you have to know when to stop.
LEARN HOW TO RELAX
Some people know when to unwind after a hard days job while some people see it as unnecessary. For example, I have a friend who stays glued to his laptop watching one series or the other after work and I get so angry until he explained that it was one of the ways he cools off after a hard days job.
Whatever works for you, make sure you go for it.
STRIVE FOR BALANCE
It has been emphasized more often than not that being busy does not translate into being productive. To increase your productivity, prioritize your activities and determine when you have reached your limit.
ASK FOR HELP
This is especially for those who have the perfectionist syndrome. They believe no one can do it the way they can. Sister, if anything happens to you, there will be someone else who will do the job better than you, so put your health first.
Leave those things you can delegate to someone else at work, outsource some tasks if you can afford it, and ask family members and friends to help out as a way of reducing your workload.
PLAN AND PREPARE AHEAD
We all know how what last-minute tension feels like. you begin to sweat profusely, you get jittery all over. To avoid this kind of scenario, do things well ahead of time.
LET GO OF WORRY
I have a friend who says worry is her recipe for losing weight.
Worrying over an issue does not get the problem solved. Worry and anxiety tend to the release of stress hormones in your body. Rather than worry, pray, believe and take the steps you need to solve the problem.
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Female engineers have been branded to be nerds and unattractive. It is a common belief that female engineers have no sense of style, not feminine enough and probably too strong for the average man.
Contrary to this widely held bias, Nnennaya Udochu is a firm believer that female engineers can be trendy, decent, and elegant. Nnennaya’s life and style is full proof that women are going against this bias.
As an analog engineer, she doesn’t fit into what you’d typically call your hard hat-wearing engineer. She has held the office of a Professor Faculty in the Mathematics department at the University of Portland, Oregon., and she balances career with self-care.
Nnennaya doubles as a fashion blogger and also motivates ladies who fear that taking a career in engineering or any career in STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) would impede and perhaps limit their chances of a relationship.
In this article, she shares her experience in the profession gives her insights on the misconceptions placed on women in STEM.
What prompted you to want to become an Engineer?
I enjoyed solving a lot of Math problems and enjoyed a particular topic in my physics class, Electromagnetics.
It was from that course in Secondary School I decided I wanted to pursue a degree in Electrical Engineering.
What setbacks did you experience pursuing this dream?
Taking some engineering courses that would make me think, “why me” or “God help me” because I found them very challenging. For example, Thermodynamics and Statics.
Aside from those challenges, the fear of self-doubt. Sometimes, just believing in yourself regardless of what people think goes a long way. I remember being in a study group where we were discussing our prospective first jobs and I said Microsoft or any Fortune 500 company.
The whole group burst out laughing but today here I am staying in the course of what I want for myself.
Did you have a hard time proving your credibility to your male lectures/superiors?
Yes, I did most of the time. It took a lot of hard work and proving myself but I would always let the quality of my work delivery speak volume.
Once you’re very knowledgeable about your expertise and firm about making decisions, it would be difficult for anyone to question your abilities in the workforce.
Females in #STEM tend to recline to the background whenever leadership or academic roles are called for. Was this your experience?
No this isn’t my experience. I am very tenacious in the pursuit of leadership or academic roles in my career; certainly not shying away from it.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have been an Adjunct Professor at the University of Portland, Oregon and I’m continuously getting mentored by senior leaders in my industry.
As an Analog Engineer, what does your typical workday look like?
My workdays are very busy and a lot of critical thinking is involved.
Every day I am faced with new challenges on addressing power issues and honestly, everything I learned in Physics II (especially applied principles of electromagnetics) are applied from day to day.
Basically, I am mentally tasked each day.
You are also an Instagram blogger. Tell us about your journey.
The journey so far has been great! I continue to curate content on my platform to inspire people across the world through my travel shots, beauty, hair and showcasing different fashion looks ranging from street style to guest inspired looks at a wedding.
I’ve collaborated with brands such as Pitusa, Chi Chi London, Res Ipsa, Palmers, Victoria Emerson just to mention a few and my work has been featured on various Instagram and media platforms.
The most exciting experience I’ve had from my journey so far was being privileged to have featured on a fashion segment on Fox News (Fox12 Oregon) discussing the latest Fall fashion trends in 2018.
In your opinion why do you think women in #STEM do not take self-care as a top priority?
I feel it’s because they don’t want to appear unserious for their jobs and have their co-workers not take them seriously in a meeting or on a project.
The perception of a woman figure in STEM is always painted wearing dirty clothing, or plain tops and jeans and this have clouded some women’s judgment on how they would like to present themselves.
What advice do you have for women starting out in #STEM?
Stay persistent and confident in the pursuit of your career goals. Don’t let the presumptions society has about women in STEM be a reason you get discouraged in achieving your career goals.
Who you are or aspire to be shouldn’t be limited by someone’s experience.
What’s the look on people’s face when you’re all dressed up like a diva and you tell them what you do?.
They are always astonished and perplexed. Some make decent remarks like, “Beauty and Brains” while others find the need to argue.
Once a co-worker said I was in Finance and I said, “No”. Only for him to turn back around still amazed and say, “I always thought you were in Finance and you were a spoilt brat because of the way you dress”.
Between anger and range, I managed to get my emotions in check and simply responded, “For someone educated that is quite shallow of you to say”.
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I guess congratulations are in order as it seems I found the title of my first book above! 😁
Okay, jokes apart, it’s a new year and while I’m not really one who makes resolutions at the beginning of the year, I believe that the feeling of newness that comes with the season can help us re-route to living better in all areas.
As a wife and mom who runs more than one gig (even though one is a fitness center), I find it really hard to stick with a specific routine when it comes to exercise and I’m sure I’m not alone.
Lord knows the hustle is real right?
True! But on the other hand, it’s only when we are in good health that the hustle can really make sense. So I’m going to share 3 ways you can fit in exercise into your busy schedule.
1. Treat it as an appointment:
Yes, when you intentionally prioritize your health and wellness, you will set out time to do what you need to do. I set alarms to exercise at night because that’s when it’s most convenient for me.
Trust me, you don’t need so much time to get your heart pumping and your muscles warm. You can start with as little as 10 minutes and increase it when you can.
My company recently launched a product, Fitfam exercise games™ cards that encourages busy people like you to exercise anytime, anywhere and have fun while at it.
2. Make more active choices:
I know the “take the stairs not the elevator” rhyme sounds cliché, but it’s true. If you are too busy to hit the gym, the best you can do is to deliberately make active choices throughout the day.
Take the stairs, ditch the intercom and the intranet if possible and walk to your colleague’s desk to make that inquiry.
If you run a business, try to move around your office or shop too, don’t be the madam who just sits on the chair directing everyone else around.
3. Don’t dwell on it too much:
Am I contradicting myself? No. Here’s what I mean. Sometimes we dwell so much on failure, we refuse to move forward. You missed two days of exercise, okay. Move on and don’t miss the third.
You gorged down half a box of pizza and 3 sparkling glasses on Friday night, not good but can we just move on with a salad and grilled chicken on Saturday morning?
I hope these 3 tips will help you get more active this year as we get set to smash those money and life goals.
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I remember the first time I met him at a friend’s house. He was incredibly smart, charismatic and passionate—all the things I believed it took to own a successful business.
As the night when on, I realized my original assumption was correct. I pulled out my phone and did a quick search of the guy that had caught my interest—not in a romantic way, but in an intriguing “I’m fascinated by you” kind of way.
He was the real deal.
According to his digital footprint, he’d been in local and national media, he had thousands of followers on social media, and his business was a real business—systems, staff, and everything. I was impressed.
Wary of coming across as odd, or romantically interested, I resolved to secretly follow his business ventures from that day on.
Imagine my shock, when, only a year after our meeting, I came across a press release that he was going out of business. I read the contents of the press release, and I was dumbfounded.
It went into great detail about his frustration with the lack of support, the personal financial difficulties he’d had to endure, the debt he went into for the sake to maintain his business, and the toll all of it had taken on his mental health.
He was tired, and he was closing shop and taking some time for himself.
At 32 years old, he was moving back in with his parents and going to figure out his next move. There, in an open letter for the world to read, he bravely committed to doing what many entrepreneurs are never taught to do—take care of self first.
The truth is, it is incumbent on you, as an entrepreneur, to get a hold of your emotions, triggers, and mental health, because, at the end, the stresses of entrepreneurship and seeming failure has led some to suicide and on the lesser end, it may lead some to avoidable (and unavoidable) depressive breakdowns.
The bottom line is that you sometimes get to a point where you realize that you simply cannot continue to fake it until you make it.
In those moments, it is not your business acumen, the number of followers you have, or even your five-star ratings that will save you.
Salvation becomes dependent on two things: your ability to separate self from your work, and how well you’ve developed your self-management skills, which are just as instrumental to your success as any other part of your entrepreneurship journey.
During the holiday season, the temptation is always to reflect on the successes and failures of our businesses, adjust and get right back to work for a successful new year.
I hope that every entrepreneur adjusts that process slightly and prioritize self-management. Doing so just might save you and your business.
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“Wake up, hustle and grind. The hustle never stops. I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”
Few words make me tremble like the ones above. Back when I was a Bachelors’ student in university, I had colleagues who spoke that way. Every time I hear such words, I would panic.
Surely, if others were ready to put off sleep until when they died, I didn’t want it bad enough. I definitely was not willing or able to sacrifice my sleep for my academic success? This was bad.
Fast forward four years later, and I am thinking about these words, as I write this article on self-care.
What comes to mind is this:
Self-care should come before anything else.
How can one produce the best of themselves, if they are tired, both emotionally and physically
The world around us seems to frown upon downtime. We need to go and go fast, in everything we do. It is our duty, however, not to forget our health and well-being.
Here are a few ways to do so.
Sleep is not laziness. It is one of the most important and basic acts to take care of one’s self. Any attempt to simply dismiss sleep as laziness feels like a statement that seems to say, I am putting well-being second and success (whatever that may be) first.
Society hasn’t always taught us how to take care of ourselves, but you gotta start now!
Accept your emotions
Back in 2015, during one of the heights of my frustrations and social anxiety, I started practicing yoga. Yoga with Adrienne, on YouTube, to be precise.
If I learned anything, it is this: Let yourself be. What we often do, when we are sad, overwhelmed, tired, angry, is judge ourselves about feeling a certain way, thus adding an extra layer of discomfort and unhappiness without even realizing it. Self-care is letting yourself be.
Self-care is being gentle with yourself, feeling an emotion, and not judging yourself for feeling a certain way.
In a Supersoul Conversation with Oprah, Caroline Myss, American writer, added that a critical step to finding a purpose was letting go of the judgment we hold of our lives.
Do what you need to do to preserve your peace
While Instagram and social media are highly criticized in general, it has some amazing uses, one of which is finding your self-care/uplifting girl gang! That’s how I discovered Alex Elle.
Through her “Hey, girl!” podcast and Instagram posts, author and storyteller, Alex Elle encourages us to take care of ourselves first.
On several occasions, I felt like she was talking directly to me, giving me a piece of advice I needed to conquer the day. This week the message was this one:
Motherland Moguls can be some of the busiest women in the world. They are mothers, wives, boss ladies, friends and everything else in between. Many times, they often prioritize other people’s needs above their own and forget about their own self-care.
But why is self-care important for a motherland mogul?
Self-care is the art of understanding one’s needs and meeting them. This simply means showering yourself with kindness and goodness. With the right amount of self-care, you can grow emotionally, physically and spiritually.
Awino Omole put together for us some secrets for motherland moguls to maintain a healthy self-care routine.
Setting achievable goals is a critical part of having a self-care routine. Other people will come with their interests and goals. However, you shouldn’t neglect your goals as this is important towards your growth.
To set your goals, you can break them into smaller portions. Through this, you will eventually live to see your dreams turn into actionable plans.
2. Be your best friend
We can be our own worst enemies if we want. How many times have you judged yourself a lot harsher than others have? When the weight of self-care kicks in; perfectionism seems to be the order of the day.
But you need to learn to be easy on yourself. Being your own cheerleader will help you put things into perspective during those moments of self-doubts. Once you learn to love yourself first, then you can love others better.
3. Laugh at your flaws
In all that you are going through, it is important not to drown in your storm. You should strive to be an individual who embraces their flaws and knows their awesomeness regardless of all the flaws they may have.
We all have those moments we don’t want to share with others. Despite this, it is very important that you learn to accept your flaws and insecurities and learn to live with them.
4. Slow down
Live one day at a time. Create time outside your normal daily routine to love yourself or to just do nothing. If you don’t have much of a social life, find ways to nurture new and meaningful relationships.
Above all, it is also important to debrief yourself on your progress. Sometimes you need to have a board meeting with yourself to see if you are meeting your goals but also to ignite your passions when you feel like you are losing touch.
5. Talk about your fears
We all get a little scared sometimes. But we should not let our fears paralyze our dreams. When it is getting tough, you should find a trustworthy person and explain your fears. Through talking to someone, they may help you sift through your problems and come up with a solution.
Sometimes all you need is to get in touch with your senses to stay in the present moment. To do this you may need to zone out. Walk away from what is normal. It is okay to retreat inwards and not engage at all. It may seem selfish, but it is important to get in touch with your self.
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