Updated: Apr 9, 2020
While skimming through Instagram last week, I saw a post by one of my fave authors, Luvvie Ajayi Jones, where she revealed a snippet of a conversation that she had with her therapist (below).
I came across her post right after I featured Chapter 1 on April 1st, and I instantly saw it as a confirmation. It confirmed that I should continue to share this story with others, especially during a time like this, where many are losing their jobs due to this horrific pandemic, COVID-19.
At the end of her post, her therapist asked her, "Do you have to sink or swim? What if you just float?" Those are the most mind-boggling questions I could have read. Not only because Chapter 1 is entitled, "To Sink or Swim? That is the Question," but because of the question she posed afterwards.
What If I could Just Float?
While I was home facing my new reality of being unemployed, I went through a slew of emotions. One minute I had my praise and worship music blasting while I gave God all the glory for saving me from the Corporate America rat race, then the next minute I would allow my anxiety to take over, which made all the negative thoughts swim in my mind, practically giving me a panic attack! All the while, there was always a small voice in the back of mind reminding me that everything will be alright, and all I need to do is relax, have faith, and put in the work needed for me to survive. In other words, just, float.
Me being the person that I am-- high strung, not easy to relax, and always worried about what comes next, this seemed like a very impossible task for me to do. I mean, I'm so bad, I don't even know how to tread water or float in a pool! I have a very hard time relinquishing control and allowing things to just be, however, with the help of some kind friends, family members, and my life coach, I have become a bit better with this. I have learned that what will be, will be, and what is meant for me, is for me, and no one can stop that.
How Did I Decide to "Float" During the First Few Months of Unemployment?
I made a list of things that I know I needed to do.
Here is what it looked like:
I wrote out where all my money was coming from whether it was from my severance pay, my unemployment checks, and possible freelance gigs.
-I made sure that I knew when the monies would be in my account so that I could pay my bills on time. Once I had that in order, I honestly felt like just a little weight came off my shoulders.
I wrote a small list of possible freelance opportunities I can take on such as bartending, that would help me make more money than what I was receiving from my severance and unemployment checks, which would help me invest in my business.
- Remember, the whole purpose of me praying to stop working in Corporate America is so I can have my own business or my own way of making money, on my own terms; this is what gives me the ultimate peace of mind.
After writing out what I wanted my new business structure to look like, I reminded myself to reach out to my friends cousin, Donelda Iyizoba, the owner of Four91 Design Co, a digital design company.
- I discussed my vision with her for both my logo and website, and needless to say, she helped bring it to life in such an astonishing way!
- I also reached out to my mentor/friend,
Ludwig Araujo who took the pictures for my website photoshoot, to help put a face to my brand.
While checking these tasks off of my to-do list, it made me feel like I really can survive my new normalcy of life; in other words, I can float. I realized that this is possible, as long as I have some tasks to complete along the way, to make me feel productive.
Taking a Break is Also a Form of Productivity
During this time off, I realized the importance of creating a to-do list and rewarding myself when I would complete it. However, I would be hard on myself if I did nothing but watch Netflix all day. I later realized if I took a day or two for myself, there honestly was no harm in doing so; it actually made me feel much better afterwards.
Therefore, I have concluded that doing nothing is also a form of productivity. With everyone being mandated to stay home due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, this is especially important to take into consideration. This is a high stress situation that requires us to take the time needed to disconnect from social media, stop watching the news, sleep in, take naps, catch up on your shows, catch up with friends, or simply do... nothing. All of this counts towards what I like to call, your mental health productivity.
How do you contribute to your mental health productivity?
Please comment below and share with me and my Colorful Dreamer community.
The more suggestions provided, the better it is for us to all become mentally strong during this time.
Remember my slogan, "I am you, you are me, we are each other."
Chapter 3 of my story will be revealed next Wednesday, April 15th, 2020.
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Thank you for reading, and stay tuned!