HEAL THYSELF - PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH

I promote self-care, then I discovered I needed a lot of it after my last post on June 15th. It’s not that I gave up on my blog, I just couldn’t bring myself to post. I didn’t feel up to it, I didn’t think anyone would want to hear what was really going on in my head. I had some heavy things on my mind, most of them troubling. Simply put…I was not okay. It started around June 8th with my post on Self-Care Amid Crisis https://www.focusedenergylifecoach.com/post/self-care-amid-crisis and it snowballed from there. The murder of George Floyd deeply affected me, he was laid to rest in the city’s cemetery where I live. It’s a place I pass by periodically and I always give reverence to it because on the weekends when I’m in the area, there is usually a funeral procession. There is even more significance to the area now.


For me there were disturbing incidents hitting one after another: the video release of Ahmad Arbrey's murder, Breonna Taylor's death, the video of Amy Cooper calling the police on Christian Cooper, then George Floyd. Just thinking of the countless other incidents over the years, my life as a black woman, and all the lessons I’ve tried to teach my daughter about systemic racism and equality all sent me into a cascading range of emotions and a time of deep reflection over what I've experienced both personally and professionally. Additionally, as a criminal defense attorney I know what I’ve seen during my twenty-four years of how people of color, particularly black people are treated in the criminal justice system and it's not fair.


So I was feeling off balance, out of sorts, angry, frustrated, fed up, just not myself. But I was also hopeful and encouraged because in early June my daughter, my only child graduated from high school. It was a momentous occasion already, but when the National Anthem played maybe more than half of her class took a knee. It was inspiring to see our future generation mindful of the current events and “taking a stand.” Her school is diverse, representing just about every nationality so it was extremely touching to see the demonstration. My daughter told me later that it was unplanned. My chest swelled with pride and my spirits lifted just as they did seeing the protests all over the country with people of all colors protesting together with the understanding that Black Lives Matter too.


I had two very, good friends come watch the graduation, but my mother, ex-husband and other family and friends had to be content watching the livestream. Since our state reopened, they were unable to attend due to quarantine restrictions on out of state travelers. Our current health crisis has had a major effect on all of our lives and our psyches. I live in one of the “hotspot” states and our governor pursued a very aggressive reopening for businesses on Friday, May 1st. On Tuesday, July 7th we surpassed more than 10,000 new Covid-19 cases in one day. So over recent weeks the governor has been slowly ordering businesses to scale back on the previous re-opening schedule. But ours is not the only state putting reopening plans on pause, other states have as well. See this article in the New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/states-reopen-map-coronavirus.html


The threat of the virus is still very real. Many states have mandatory orders to wear masks. According to the health professionals, washing hands and social distancing are also still the keys to fighting the virus. I watch the news every day, and it seems several times a week there is someone refusing to wear a mask. I understand there is an entire movement dedicated against it. I’ve had family and friends who have been tested and required to go into quarantine. One good friend was very careful about practicing preventative measures. However, he has been diagnosed with the virus. Fortunately, he has not needed hospitalization. But his wife and two children also have it, his youngest is six months old. My suggestion as always is to do what’s best for you which I believe is self-care. In the situation of this deadly virus, the mask and other preventative measures are for your protection and those around you. It would be terrible to catch or give this deadly virus. Practicing self-care will not only help you, but indirectly those around you as well. My thoughts daily, just like I'm sure yours are "when will this pandemic end?"


I am still working from home, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to stay safe. But lately a side effect has been serious bouts with insomnia. Insomnia is nothing new for me, but it's been out of control recently. Since I no longer get up extra early to commute, I stopped going to bed early. Overtime, I’ve found myself up all hours of the night reading or binge-watching TV since I haven't been able to sleep. I’m sure it’s not only me, I bet some of you are likely experiencing similar issues according to this article a co-worker shared by Jonice Webb, Ph. D. https://blogs.psychcentral.com/childhood-neglect/2020/07/are-you-having-sleep-problems-during-the-pandemic-5-likely-reasons/ By working from home even if you are able to stick to the same routine, there is still a lack of regular stimulation, limited interaction with co-workers, and a decrease in regular tasks and movement. So even if working from home is better for you, or more peaceful, there is inherent isolation so you should build it in when necessary or desired.


Since my last post I needed time to deal with my thoughts and emotions brought on by current events which pulled back the curtain on systemic racism and what black people face everyday. On top of the backdrop of uncertainty with our health crisis which we are all facing I was a bundle of rage, pain, frustration, and sadness so I couldn't write in that condition. As a result of the insomnia I was also going on all cylinders because even in that condition I was still working, and there are some side projects I've been working on as well. I needed a break, so I took it and practiced self-care and self-love (and some advocacy). I’m feeling much better because self-care and self-love works.