Happy Charm School Monday! Hope you all had an enjoyable and stress free Thanksgiving weekend! Of course mine was a shit show but hey…it’s to be expected with my family! ? Three out of my four days off actually went well. And for that I’m grateful! ?? Last night, I was battling several different emotions and of course felt I had to act on at least one. ? This is never good for me…that is…my midnight/extra early morning thoughts. They are filled with fears that I try to control by doing something dumb. Lol. At least I know myself. ? Here at Kingston Expressions, I’m all about growth and that’s what the fuck we are going to be doing even if it makes us uncomfortable! ?? So lets start today’s lesson. At around 4am (my usual wake up time), I awoke with my heart beating fast. Automatically, I knew my anxiety was acting up and I had to get control of it. I googled a few articles on dealing with anxiety (usually would not recommend this and would just tell you to go talk to a professional but it worked for me). One article had some good suggestions but I had to tailor them to my lifestyle. Here are the top 5 ways I’m battling anxiety and fears with the intent of being successful: 5. DO NOT TRY TO CONTROL YOUR THOUGHTS! Fears are there. We all have them and will all have to deal with them. Allow yourself to feel what you are feeling. Fighting your thoughts will typically make things worse. You can, however, control your actions towards your negative thoughts. Doing irrational things (as the article on anxietycoach.com titled “Struggling With Anxiety Symptoms” pointed out) as a result of your fears will only increase your anxiety. Let those thoughts come and go while being patient with yourself. Do not act on anything right away. Give yourself time to get out of that anxious moment! And while you cannot control your thoughts…you can try to redirect them to focus on the positives in your life.? 4. GET MOVING! Papa Michael’s has been on me to get more physically active. It’s rough with my work schedule but as my friend Toi from ToiTime would point out…we make time for what’s important. ?? Typically I wake up at 4:15am in order to make it to work by 7am. I do not have to be at work by 7 but I prefer to. With an already early 4:15am wake up and my gym not opening until 5am…the gym isn’t possible neither is waking up earlier. What to do? Since I’m already programmed to wake up at 4:15am, I decided this morning to work out to my Shaun T “Rockin Body” dvd set for a 42 minute cardio mixed with free weights routine. My apartment has tons of room for it. Yes I’m going to go into work much later than I prefer but why the hell am I rushing to a job I hate anyways? I mean God bless having a job but it can wait! HEALTH IS WEALTH! So get moving and be easy on yourself. I could not do every move but I was able to do a lot of them. Do what you can. Every little bit counts! 3. SMALL CHANGES EQUAL BIG REWARDS! Unless you have some medical crisis that a licensed doctor told you that you have to make some major changes immediately…small changes equal big rewards! Typically, I only acknowledge big changes. ? This is so damaging when trying to get mentally and physically fit! ? Every move you make towards positive change enhances your life. Remember that! Whether it’s one night without an anxiety attack or you lost one pound…you are still taking positive steps to improve your life! That’s a major victory in itself. ?? 2. BE EASY ON YOURSELF! I don’t know about you but beating up myself does not encourage me to do better in my life. This may work for some folks but it won’t for many of us. Recognize that you are human and by definition…you are flawed. No one is perfect and everyone has personal battles. EVERYONE HAS PERSONAL BATTLES! This is worth repeating! Please remember this when you think you are the only one going through things. Congratulate yourself on the steps you have taken to improve your life and please do not forget that you are the master of your own destiny! ?? 1. ME TIME! Set out some time to yourself each week where you are doing things you love. I don’t care if it’s just watching your favorite television show or going for a run…make the time! I know it’s not easy depending on your schedule and the level of responsibility you have for others but it’s so worth it! Take a deep breath and make time for yourselves! You are responsible for your own happiness. ?? No one is going to invest in you like you would in yourselves! ~KJM on Charm School Monday. Shout out to Harmony for sharing one of her holiday gifts with me!!!! It’s given me something to look forward to when I’m down! ? Also, shout out to Lioness and Grace for doing the every day ground work of listening to me whine about my life and try to make sense of things! You ladies inspire me! So blessed in friendship! Love my graduate school sisters! ?