6 Tips to Help You—and Your Family—Sleep Better During the Pandemic

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If your family’s sleep habits have been out of whack since the COVID-19 pandemic began, you’re not alone. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the stress brought on by an infectious disease outbreak can lead to changes in sleep patterns, difficulty sleeping, and worsening of mental health conditions.

As a single mom, I can tell you first-hand that getting a good night’s sleep has been a real challenge for me these last seven months. There were many times I’d wake up in the middle of the night with worry and then struggle to get back to sleep. (Thankfully, my daughter’s sleep has remained mostly stable, with a few nights here and there of tossing and turning due to anxiety.)

Read More: 6 Tips to Help You—and Your Family—Sleep Better During the Pandemic

Peaceful Slumber,

Laura

Forgiving Yourself Is As Important As Forgiving Others

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Growing up with parents coming from two different religious backgrounds has so many pluses. One is it has made me more open to others’ viewpoints. At the same time, I don’t feel aligned with any religion really. I do find both Jewish and Christian traditions interesting and meaningful. So, I am spiritual but I’m not religious.

But for the first year ever, I thought about what Yom Kippur really means. Asking for forgiveness for sins and forgiveness of others. Supposedly, it’s the time of year where G-d decides your fate and therefore, you’ve got to make amends, and fast.

I thought about who I would apologize to, however anyone I may have wronged I’ve certainly apologized to. And if there’s anyone out there I offended, well, I am truly sorry!

But I think the person I am most sorry to is myself. For being so hard on myself.
The way I’ve talked to myself and about myself.
The way I’ve judged myself and compared myself.
The way I’ve doubted myself and criticized myself.
The way I talk to myself is most often, much harder than how I’ve talked to anyone else!
It is like I’m in some competition where the goals to be fabulous are so high and not obtainable that I beat myself to death for not being enough.
But if there is one thing I am, it is tenacious and persistent. I try so hard to be my best self. To be better. To do better. Be a better mom. Person. Partner. Friend. Worker. Etc.

Here is what I don’t do: give myself a break. Be kind to myself. Compliment myself. Believe in myself.

So here is a huge apology to myself for being so bad to myself at times.

Lovingly,

Laura

4 Things Thoughtful People Always Do

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There are certain things that thoughtful people—friends, lovers and family members — do on instinct and also, well-crafted thought. It’s very easy to tell when someone is particularly thoughtful: that person makes us feel very cared for and loved. Special. We feel safe and also, able to be our true selves, vulnerable and all, when someone is so thoughtful.
Here’s why:

Thoughtful people take action considering your feelings first.

Someone who really cares about you doesn’t make a move without considering how you might feel first. This is the person who knows how nervous you get when going to the doctor’s and in turn, calls you before and after an appointment.
The thoughtful person delivers both good and bad news in a way that considers the other person’s potential comfort level and response first.

Thoughtful People Love to Show You How Much You Mean to Them.

Thoughtful people enjoy expressing their feelings for you whether you’re their best friend or their spouse. When your birthday comes up, that person will be the first to plan a celebration for you. When you get a promotion at work or accomplish a goal, your thoughtful person will be right by your side to celebrate you. And if times are tough, that same person will be there to hold your hand and tell you how much you mean to them.

Thoughtful People Know Their Strengths and Weaknesses As Much As Your Own.

Thoughtful people know their own limitations, as well as the things they excel at. They are able to create a good network of people that complement these strengths and weaknesses, and they are very aware of their loved ones’ flaws and good traits.
In the same vein, they never make their loved ones feel bad for these flaws but instead, help the people they love to get stronger each day and also, support their friends, family members and romantic partners, knowing that somethings are harder for them than others.

Thoughtful People Pay Close Attention.

Thoughtful people are very attentive. They remember things about the ones they love, and try to tune in to their partners and friends emotions and feelings. They work hard on their listening skills. Let’s be honest: many of us are not good listeners. It really is a work in progress for all of us. Thoughtful people try to listen and keep their eyes on the ones they love. They do their best to give them focused and genuine attention, rather than being constantly distracted.

Thinking, Doing, Loving,

Laura

Missing Someone’s Birthday Is an Insult; Celebrating One Is an Honor

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Celebrating a birthday is an honor, especially in a time where our health— mental and physical — is so tenuous and frail. And we are so isolated from others in many ways, that it’s very hard to feel celebratory at al.
So, when our loved ones have a special day during a time when he or she may feel so disconnected from the world, it’s crucial that we are there to celebrate their special day more than ever.

To me, missing a loved one’s birthday is a horrible thing no matter whether there is a major virus floating around or not. The gift of life is so precious that every year we get to call another to me, is another opportunity to be bigger and better than who we were the year before. A chance to learn from our mistakes and start fresh. To me, when a loved one’s birthday comes up, it’s a time to show that person how special he or she is and honor the connection that person has with me, whether it’s a family member , friend or a romantic connection.

Choosing to not be there for someone on his or her big day is an insult. It’s like saying you wish the person ill. Being there to wish a “Happy Birthday” to the person you care about is a wish for that person to do well and be happy in the next year. Only an unkind partner, friend or family member who doesn’t really care about you would refuse to honor you turning around the sun another year. You don’t have to be married or committed. You don’t have to be best buddies. You don’t have to be the closest family member. But if someone asks you to join them in starting their next year off right, it’s an honor for you to join him or her. And I definitely find it extremely crappy, hurtful, cold and plain out wrong if a romantic partner or family member misses a birthday. That to me in unacceptable. Over the years, I’ve had to adjust to the fact that my mom–someone I really love— can’t remember my birthday due to her dementia, and that’s hard enough. So if someone important in my life who has no memory issues can’t be there for me to wish me well on the turning of another year, it hurts.
And it’s not something the person can ever make up! You won’t turn 30,32,40,50 or whatever age you happen to be turning ever again. So, if a person selfishly isn’t there for a birthday, that person missed the whole moment.

Moral of the story? Cherish and celebrate the ones you love. Don’t be foolish and miss out. Don’t make a mistake you can’t take back. Take the time out for the person. Rejoice in all they mean to you.

If it’s your birthday, embrace the new year and make some changes.

Love

Laura

A Prayer For The Hopeless

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As I lay down to sleep, I don’t.

Sleep that is.

Some days, like this one, the pain is unbearable. I pray the Lord— the universe— the spirit— my soul to take and heal.

Although I believe it is not possible.

I’m grieving a great many things. The loss of someone who once was so much to me but is unhealthy and unable to be the same person to me or the people who love her. The loss of another person who didn’t live up to the contract he signed to our child. The loss of someone who was supposed to be working for my best interest. The loss of someone else who did not support me or care about me or want to be there. Abandonment a better word.

If I die before I wake Lord, take away the COVID. Life is so difficult for everyone. Seeing my child be isolated and seeing others so isolated. Being isolated myself. Being unable to see my elderly parents regularly. The constant arguing between people. Who is right and who is wrong. What is right? What is wrong?

Nothing feels safe or secure. It feels like I can rely on no one. No one and nothing is reliable besides myself. Forget my mortality it is also my sanity I question lasting.

As I lay myself down to sleep, I have a child growing at remarkable speeds. I wasn’t supposed to raise her alone. I wasn’t supposed to many things.

How much more I wonder, can I endure? Can we all endure?

Take my soul and heal it. I am not sure how much is left in me and all of us.

Amen,

L

 

 

When You’ve Had Enough: The Last Straw

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Photo by Meghan Rodgers on Unsplash

So long, Mr./Mrs. Nice Guy! Even we nice people get to a point where we can’t handle being taken for granted. Even nice people get tired of people’s crap and tired when people let us down. We give you folks so many chances but at some point, even we say– “Enough is enough.”

Have you ever felt as if you’re always giving people a chance? Always being patient and understanding of their issues? Always hoping the best for them? Putting in the extra effort? Going the extra mile?

Yeah well, we nice people get tired of giving, giving and giving, while people take, take and take. We get tired of being “so understanding” of other’s issues. And doing our best to keep everyone happy– friends, partners, family, etc.

There comes a point when it’s the last straw– the last straw to break the camel’s back. When we’re tired of someone hurting us, letting us down and disappointing us.

When that time comes, you best believe that even nice people say– “Screw it.”

We withdraw everything! We withdraw our love, our care, our friendship, our respect and our time. We withdraw from caring about someone who doesn’t give a hoot about us. We say– “Enough is enough.”

And suddenly, we don’t care about you. We have no time for you. We have no patience, no love and no nothing for you.

Our goodwill and love has an expiration date– today. 2020.

Peace Out,

Laura

 

 

How to Pick Up The Pieces After Someone Disappoints or Abandons You

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Photo by Saksham Gangwar on Unsplash

Hurt. Disappointment. Skepticism. Lack of trust. Lack of faith. Anger. Sadness. Anxiety.

When people we love, whether it’s a friend, coworker, partner, parent or whomever– abandon us out of nowhere, it is very painful. Even if it wasn’t out of nowhere– it still hurts.

Knowing that person didn’t care enough about you as a person is a hard pill to swallow.

When you rely on someone and trust them and that person hurts you, leaving you to deal with the heartache that person left behind– it’s not easy!

How do you deal with those feelings?

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4 Ways COVID-19 Showed Me People’s True Colors– & I’ll Never Forget This

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Photo by Zach Ahmajani on Unsplash

This virus has been the most difficult thing any of us have experienced in a lifetime– unless perhaps, if you were also alive during the 1918 Flu.

Challenging for everyone for different reasons, this virus has put all of our characters and collective sanity on the line.

But one thing is for sure, after this is all done, I will never ever forget the four different ways COVID-19 showed me people’s true colors. Not ever.

1. I learned who helps and who is just hot-air

The people who have helped myself and my daughter have been so valuable. There is nothing like having support when you are trying to raise a little girl on your own. There is nothing like having people who want to help and make things better for you.

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11 Things That Make Me Happy During the Covid-19 Outbreak

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It probably sounds ironic to mention the word happy next to Covid-19, but if you’re home social distancing … you’ve got to find some semblance of happiness or you’ll go crazy. And that’s ok,too: losing your mind at times is pretty normal also.

With that said, you have to find the silver linings in all of this or you won’t ever be “ok.”

For me, it’s the following things:

Tyson Chicken

A friend brought me a bag of this crispy Tyson chicken, and I just love it. Even when I’m not hungry due to stress, I’m always in the mood for more CHICKEN.

Tea and a Good Book

I love chai tea and I love to read. These two creature comforts make me feel more relaxed.

Sweet Messages

My one friend always makes a point to send me positive messages, telling me I’m doing great taking care of my little lady or that he thought I looked great and am working hard during a virtual workout.

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4 Signs Someone Isn’t Learning Life Lessons During Covid-19 Outbreak

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If you’re not growing and learning during this public health emergency, what exactly are you doing?
Some people seem to be missing the point of this challenging time. If you’re not getting the point — what is really important and what needs to be prioritized— you’re not learning.

Here are 4 signs you’re completely missing the point and learning nothing during this pandemic:

Lacking Commitment, Patience and Love for People Who Matter

If you can’t put down your issues and be present and available for the ones you love, you’re missing a big life lesson. If you can’t be patient with others ( and yourself) you’re also missing the point.
If you don’t prioritize someone now during this awful event— you have zero priorities.

Grumbling About When You’re Healthy

If you’re healthy, be grateful. Many people aren’t. It’s ok to be  upset about missing milestones and friends. It’s ok to be upset if you’re out of work. 

But if you’re missing the gratitude in being healthy, you’re missing the point.

Not Checking In on Loved Ones / Being an Absent Partner

Now is the time to check in however you can on loved ones from afar or in your home. Now is the time to be present. You’ll never have this kind of time at home again. Don’t make excuses. If you’re emotionally unavailable or checked out— you’ve got problems and you’re taking everyone for granted.

Being Hard on Yourself or Expecting Too Much of Others/ Oneself

Now is not the time to pressure yourself to be perfect or do fifty million things during a stressful pandemic. The same goes for others. Pressuring people or being hard on loved ones is not fair at this time. Be loving. Be patient. Be giving.

Be Safe!

Laura