Just a short post here, I was given the chance to collaborate with The Tab- Lancaster to discuss Lancaster University’s reaction to the Black Lives Matter protests and how students, in particular black students felt about this. I am so grateful that I was able to write and interview students on their behalf- showcasing how this movement does not only affect black people, but black people of a much younger age group.
I hope this post encourages any young readers who feel they cannot speak out or actively campaign for this cause, do not let age be an obstacle to voicing your opinions out to those in authority and to those who have the means to change things for the better.
Just as the title of this post says, 2020 has been a year which has brought just that- loss and uncertainty.
The other day, in my bible studies group, we were discussing how this year has brought so much loss for many people. COVID being one factor, waking up to the same BBC news report of the number of cases going up and up, you would wonder if the next person would be a family member or your loved one.
Regardless of that, this year has not been easy. We all suffered the loss of basketball star Kobe Bryant- sitting here writing this post, I guess it still feels weird to say he has gone. I also remember the exact moment Caroline Flack sadly passed- I just began to question why we are all constantly reminded of time to grieve and mourn, whilst we are also reminded that people are loosing their lives on a daily.
Nevertheless, dealing with this period is not easy. I am very grateful that I haven’t had to experience it so deeply myself, but I know of people who have had to deal with it, and it can be tough. Whilst I went around doing my research and speaking to people, I realised that there are many ways of dealing with loss and uncertainty, it is subjective. But I hope these next three points would help anyone who would be going through a difficult time.
1. Remembering there is a time for everything
I’m a Christian, and you’ll always here about my faith on here. Ecclesiastes 3 talks about how there is a time for everything. There literally is a time for every single moment, and as unpleasant as it sounds- there is a time where we will all depart from here and from our loved ones. All good things must come to an end and it is okay to take time to adjust to good things or good people’s lives ending
One thing I also want to stress is to not live in fear- to not let our current circumstances around us drive us to insanity wondering if it’s yourself or a loved one going to pass next- I don’t believe this is God’s intention for us.
2. Dealing with it in your own way
Many people experience and handle loss or uncertainty in different ways, I believe there is no wrong or right way to do so. Finding what works best for you will likely make the process much easier and help you to get a speedy recovery. Whether that be spending some time to understand your loss by yourself- or spending it in the comfort of your friends and family. Whatever works for you well is the way you should go forward with it.
3. Looking for a positive future
We are more than halfway through the year, and whilst it hasn’t been an easy one, you have to look for a silver lining somewhere. It’s not the best to have a mindset that nothing positive could come out of this year. Whilst the grieving process can take a while to go through for people, try not to let it consume the remainder of the year. There is still hope that you will go through this tough season, and this could take the help of family and close ones to be with you through the journey.
What ways have you managed deal with loss and uncertainty? Comment below
I listened to a podcast a while back and they mentioned how this quarantine season has led to more people investing in skincare- after all you are at home looking in the mirrors more often, and people are now taking time to really look after their skin. I was thinking this describes me perfectly- I’ve been obsessed !!
From my last skincare blogpost which was a while ago (read here), I spoke about using all-natural products in my regimen which included lemons, Aloe Vera and a good amount of water as my daily intake. Now I’ve switched up my routine drastically and started to incorporate more products from skincare brands, here are a few I’ve been loving:
Pixi Vitamin C Tonic https://www.pixibeauty.com/products/vitamin-c-tonic?variant=12409892733024
I never used to tone after doing my washes, but I realised how important it is in refreshing your skin without stripping its natural moisture. It also aids in preparing the skin to drink up your post-cleansing moisturizer. I spotted this after watching a video from LizLizlive on YouTube and decided to give it a go. I would highly recommend this as it leaves the skin feeling so uniform and glowy after washing
2. The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Treatment https://theordinary.deciem.com/product/rdn-hyaluronic-acid-2pct-b5-30ml
Since entering quarantine, it seems like The Ordinary has picked up its popularity as it’s all I see over social media- so I had to jump on the bandwagon!
At first I was quite afraid of using these products and I am kind of an advocate for natural skincare products, the words “acids” “peels” and “chemicals” make me feel queasy but I decided to give this a try
The main purpose of this is to get rid of blackheads, reduce breakouts and remove dead skin cells, and after a terrible breakout I had on my forehead, I decided to invest. What I love about it, is that it didn’t give me that sting/burn that you get with some products. I also like how affordable it was, I believe this product was below £10 so I understand why it is a popular skincare product amongst young people.
3. Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant https://www.paulaschoice.co.uk/skin-perfecting-bha-liquid-exfoliant-m2010.html
During this quarantine, my problem areas have definitely been on my forehead. After researching about my tiny bumps on there, I watched a video by Hyram on YouTube and discovered ‘Fungal Acne’. He recommended this product and after seeing it being highly recommended by others I decided to give it a try. I’ve only used this for a few days now, so will have to see and give it a review later on- so far so good though!
4. La Roche-Posay Anthelios 50 Sunscreen https://www.lookfantastic.com/la-roche-posay-anthelios-ultra-light-invisible-fluid-spf50-sun-cream-50ml/12021438.html
If you are a melanated sister like myself, then you have probably heard of this sunscreen being RAVED about by all skincare gurus. Although this is on the pricy side (I believe this was almost £20) it is a great sunscreen product. I think what makes this product special is it doesn’t give a blue tint on dark skin that most sunscreen products are known for. Nevertheless, it is vital that you wear sunscreen at all times for the ultimate protection of that beautiful skin you are wearing !
“I don’t mind them doing good, just as long as they are not doing better than me…”
The other day, I read an article, talking about supporting each other and just how easy it is to do so. In our current age, businesses and companies all have social media as their way of promoting their brand and as a way of communicating with their customers. The article was mentioning that it really does not cost a lot to support a brand- in a non-financial way.
Like a post. Share on your story. Give a shout out on your personal page. Sending a DM to someone. Collaborations and much more
So, what is exactly stopping us from believing that there truly is a seat at the table for everyone. For everyone to eat and benefit off of their labour?
Now, I didn’t want to touch on this section of the overall topic, but I guess I have to briefly talk on it. Support within the black community.
I believe there has always been an underlying hindrance in the black community when it comes to supporting each other. Whether it be with businesses, companies, freelance. I guess it’s to do with competition. Everyone’s desire to rise to the top and stay there- for nobody to claim their position
You see it even when we go into music. I find it funny how there are always battles between Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, Remy Ma and so on. But at the end of the day, think of where they would be if we all just supported them equally.
This also leads me to the topic of comparison, how it really is the thief of joy. Being and independent worker means you have to be your own critic in a way, you have to make judgment on your work and on your service – harshly So when you see another person doing well, or even better than you, it can fuel the fire of not wanting to support- simply because you have compared yourself to them and have become affected by their growth.
BUT you have to remember
In this current day, support could probably be the best thing you can give to another person who is trying to get out there in the open. Whether it may be a share, a like, a promotion – all of these things help in one way or the other.
Decided to keep this one short and sweet, just a thought to ponder on…
Now, I have likely lost count of how many times I have seen a tweet, story, picture or post similar to the above quote. Somebody posting of what they have achieved during this lockdown period- leaving me to question as a blogger- am I utilising my time wisely ? Am I plainly being useless ?
No, and you aren’t either.
The lockdown period had brought many changes to people’s everyday livelihood. What once was a time where we could freely go out and just celebrate our freedom, is now a time of it being taken away from us. And is now suddenly a time where everyone wants to be the most “productive” “successful” and make the most money. Everyone is preaching about how this lockdown period should make you :
LEARN A NEW SKILL
That’s the phrase, that’s exactly the words that got me up thinking on my Sunday afternoon, and I have two ways of viewing this
Playing devil’s advocate:
Now for those people who are driven by success, whether that may be in financial terms or fame, then I guess I can understand why they are so adamant on possessing a new skill or thinking fast of ways to fill their bank accounts. At the end of the day, in this current season- the internet is your golden token. So that’s why you are seeing more people write E-books, do masterclasses or webinars, start YouTube channels or collaborate with brands/companies. I guess the whole obsession with learning a new “skill” is what is important to these people, so they would be set once this bondage.. I mean lockdown is over.
Here’s my take:
I’m no expert in business, or branding at that, but what I do know is that it is not easy to start up a business. AT ALL There are lots of downfalls, cash losses and pits that you fall in, therefore just because we may have all the time in the world does not mean we should be so eager in starting one. There is no harm in learning a new skill honestly. Learning skills is what pushes us in life- however learning a skill with the pure incentive of becoming rich overnight ? I don’t think that’s the best thing to do. Additionally, I think that we shouldn’t be pressuring people to learn a new skill without no drive behind it. If you want to learn a new skill, normally there has to be a genuine interest that comes from it, otherwise it just becomes a chore.
And you would be surprised, there are a lot of business owners/ or content creators out there who are even urging people to not rush into anything, to get used to the change in routine and take some time to yourself- and I would agree. I would say to anyone feeling guilty of not being useful in anyway- DON’T. Trust me we are all in the same boat, learning how to adjust to the new system.
What are your thoughts on this ? are we rushing too much into the whole phase of learning new skills ?
It was after an online prayer session with my church group this week, where one of the leaders stated “ the reality of this period is that people’s mental health won’t be the same, they would come out as a different person” and I started to think of how true this statement was.
Adjusting to the WFH lifestyle was already tough. Being confined to a small desk or small space without the freedom of the commute (no matter how annoying it would be) to express your minds and have a think was really tough. Accompanied by the fact that you couldn’t separate work from home- if you had a stressful day or a heavy workload you would have to remain in the same place or environment where you dealt with it. All in all- it’s been tough.
I have compiled 5 tips together, which I think are essential with helping you with your mental health during this season. I hope these tips are useful and guide you to improving your mental health day by day.
Stick with your regular routine
For many of us our regular routines of getting up and getting ready for work would have changed drastically since the lockdown period, and I’m sure this time would have had an affect on any entrepreneurs/self-employed workers too. However, this does not mean your routine needs to change. If you practiced self-care every Monday – continue ! If you went for a run every Saturday morning – continue ! (only once a day of course lol). The point is that life does not have to stop due to the pandemic, keep to your regular routine of doing what you love and make sure to stick to that routine even whilst working from home.
2. Limit your time on the news/media
As much as we want to keep up with the news surrounding the virus, keep up on any vital information the government may be providing us, it may be daunting to constantly hear negativity or hear sad news of deaths- it can increase the feelings of hopelessness and constant worry about how the virus is deteriorating. Therefore, limiting the amount of news you hear to just the morning may be best- get the negative news out of the way and then turn on a positive mindset for the remainder of the day
I would avoid listening to the news just before bed, this will prevent you from having worries during the night, it may even prevent you from getting to sleep on time for an early work start the following day.
3. Get fresh air at least once a day
Although we are advised to stay indoors, I am so grateful that parks and large sparse areas are left open to do at least 1 form of exercise a day (and 1 form only- don’t go and sunbathe!) After watching a report on Sky News today, they explained how they were purposely left there for exercise but also for mental health reasons. People use large spaces to free up their minds and release their thoughts- it can be your only form of escape during this time.
Several studies have confirmed that separation from nature is detrimental to human development, health and wellbeing, and that regular contact with nature is required for good mental health.
Therefore, if you feel like being in quarantine is seriously affecting your emotions then take advantage of the natural spaces around you
4. Speak to at least 1 person a day
If you are at home with family then this can help as you can talk to your siblings, partner or parents about how your day went. However, during this time where you may not see your friends or loved ones in a while- technology is your best friend. Whether it may be audio call, FaceTime, Skype, finding a way to talk to someone can distract you from the thought of being confined to one space. Having that one important phone call session can help distract you from the constant news of death or uncertainty and can help clear and free your mind.
And they always say- check up on those who appear the strongest !
5. Think Positively
This current period can bring nothing but anxiety, worry and confusion. I’m sure nobody would have imagined the sudden changes that we would have to follow due to the outbreak, and this can have an effect on people negatively- to avoid this, change the way you perceive the current situation we are in.
I think this graphic explains it best. This year would have brought many disappointments to plans such as travel plans, birthdays, social events etc. But if you learn to change your mindset from the FEAR ZONE to the GROWTH ZONE, it can improve your mindset as a whole. This is something not done overnight, and will take some time to implement
There you have it ! 5 tips to help your mental health during this period
So, after deciding what post to write before March started, I thought to myself, I haven’t discussed my faith/journey with God on here in a while.
No particular reason, I guess I’ve had a transformation or a twist with my relationship with God lately.
Let’s get the negatives out of the way:
2020 started on a high. I was in a good mood and everything I envisioned for this year, I looked at with a positive mindset towards it. I guess I can say the same for others, all I would hear from people were how they wanted to start afresh and leave the disaster that 2019 was. To start a new decade with a bang. 3 months into the year and I can say it’s been good so far, not easy but good, I guess.
Now, one thing I didn’t do this year was make a mood board/ vision board. My regular pattern of creating a vision of the year by writing it all out on pieces of paper and sticking it on my wall had taken a halt for this year. I guess I wanted to not put so much pressure on myself regarding goals I had to achieve and to just live, take each day as it comes.
But that came with a risk as I wasn’t being held accountable for anything- one being my relationship with God. The mood board acted as a way for me to check on myself and see if I was truly keeping up with what I wanted to do, so now that I didn’t have my mood board- I had no accountability.
My main goal for the year:
One thing I established in 2020 was that I didn’t want my faith/relationship with God to fluctuate. As that happened A LOT throughout 2020, one season I’m reading my bible and praying and then another season I found myself drifting away from God even more (blame procrastination). I did not want that to happen this year !
So how is that goal going – it’s much better than what it was previously. Although it’s only been 3 months I can say I haven’t fluctuated much, but I think the main goal is to increase my relationship with God. And not the typical saying of “get closer to God” but actually make it personal. I would like to find out my way of hearing from God. Some people hear from God through dreams, visions, the word- I would need to find my method
One thing I want to do is do deeper bible study. See the thing is, the Bible is really a history book, (this should be a walk in the park since it’s what I do in uni) so, it’s basically just evaluating what happened in each time frame of the bible, taking the valuable life lessons from it and applying it to my daily life !
How is your relationship going with God at the moment ? What are you striving to do to make this year count ?
Romans 8: 38 “ And I am convinced that nothing can separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow- not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love”
After seeing this pic on the gram, I knew that the Year of Return in Ghana had to be my next topic I blog about. You guessed it, over 1.5 million people took plane, ferry, catapult or whichever method of transport to get themselves from all over the world, to the sunny and vibrant lands of Ghana. From Ludacris to Cardi B and her infamous chichinga incident to even the Queen B’s mother herself spent new years in Ghana.
Of course, I was watching like a lot of my friends from my phone via SnapChat and Insta stories. Whilst I was drying my eyes of the tears due to not doing up enjoyment like everyone else, I do feel glad that I somewhat saved money. Prices skyrocketed to over 1 grand, and that’s just the tickets alone. If you didn’t get transport and accommodation sorted also, then I guess your bank accounts definitely felt the pain! Nevertheless, 2019 was the definitely the year of African awareness and self-consciousness.
The Year of Return
I actually had to find out from a colleague what it was and why it meant so many people were returning home ( they need to teach this during BHM in schools ).
“The “Year of Return, Ghana 2019” is a major landmark spiritual and birth-right journey inviting the Global African family, home and abroad, to mark 400 years of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in Jamestown, Virginia.”. yearofreturn.com
In hindsight, it was an invitation of all descendants from years and years of slavery to come back to their original roots, original heritages and come back to their true homes. The project has many goals and targets. One being for people to come and experience culture and enjoyment in their hometown, another to celebrate the freedom that Africans all over the world currently have and also to boost tourism as it can be a leading indicator to business and investment.
What does this mean for Ghanaians, Africans in general?
For me, I think it brings a new sense of emotion and patriotism for not only Ghana, but for Africa as a whole. If you think about it, Africa definitely wasn’t the dream spot that people wanted to spend their Christmas season at. If it wasn’t America, it was Canada. If it wasn’t the UK it was somewhere in Europe ! But the fact that thousands of people dream about going home to see the places where their parents were born and raised, really brings a sense of change and greatness.
Afro Nation, the festival which features many African and Caribbean artists sharing the beautiful and lovely music that Africa has to provide is also a massive contributor to many people going to Ghana. The festival celebrated the vibrant and emerging culture of Africa and it has definitely had an impact on the younger generation all over the world.
Overall, I am proud of where Ghana and Africa as a whole has transformed and come to be in this current year, it’s rise in popularity, public perception and view has made it a number 1 tourist destination. Who would of thought- not me ! and who knows, mabye Ghana will be seeing me this year after-all ! *crosses fingers*
Now we all know and love the beautiful app and American video-sharing platform that’s known as YouTube. With approximately 1.8 billion users being pulled in every month, it is no shock that it has become a very successful platform which people have used to generate income.
I thought it would be great to put together a compilation of YouTubers that I have loved throughout the year- Note that I mainly use YouTube to watch style, beauty and fashion videos, so this may be slightly tailored towards the female side *sorry*
Without further or do, let’s begin…
The real consists of 5 ladies who sit around a table and talk about current topics from reality TV, social media and the latest gossip on all thing’s celebrities. (releases my inner Wendy Williams) there are some familiar faces on there- Tamera Housely from Sister Sister and Adrienne Houghton from 3LW. The thing that I love about this show so much is the diversity in the women, we have representation from the Latina community, African American community and the Asian community all coming together and embracing culture, with ranging personalities, I love how they express their views and opinions on current topics- definitely check them out !
Live from Layfield
The LFL girls are girls you would want as your big sisters or big cousins, they consist of three pharmacists (Oh they smart smart !) who are filled with so much wisdom and passion, give great advice videos on life experiences and also great story times. They also give biblical and religious perspectives on topics such as university, relationships and life in general
Famous for her hilarious “Rhea’s Rants” Rhea Ellen’s videos are there for having a great laugh ! She rants on things that we can all find common ground on be it public transport, current trends, love island, customer service etc, and what makes her so funny is that she states things that we all can agree on, make sure to check her out.
This should be no surprise, by far Nella Rose is one of the most popular UK YouTubers out there especially for the younger generation, from starting her videos in Uni with her friends, Nella has really risen up in the YouTube game as she currently has over 300,000 subscribers who tune in to all her videos. One word I can use to describe her videos is just ENTERTAINMENT – pure entertainment, whether it be tags or challenges
Shirley B Eniang
So, I have to give credit to my OG’s here on YouTube, the people I have been watching ever since I discovered what YouTube was. Shirley B Eniang, is a fashion, beauty and lifestyle youtuber, who comes onto her channel with nothing but class and style. Every video I watch of her, I feel inspired to just go out on a huge shopping trip and just buy everything that she shows in her video !
Another YouTube OG here, Peakmill is a Nigerian youtuber who focuses on makeup, style and HAIR- The ultimate hair guru out there. She is literally the person you would want as your personal hairdresser/stylist you would want for every occasion you have. Peakmill has been around for some years now, and I still watch each video she posts each time with excitement.
The start of a new decade. I really had to sit down and ‘deep’ it. I have lived for a decade and I’m about to enter into a new decade. As I listen and read the many phrases of “you are about to enter into your best year yet” and “2020 we’re not slacking” I start to wonder how I can make this year my best.
2019 was hard. I’m sure many people can attest to this, for me personally the combination of second year of university, working on my personal development, my blog and applying for placements (which is too complicated to go into I don’t even know how to explain) it was a tough rollercoaster. It’s weird how people can relate to the feeling of 2019 bringing nothing but disappointments, lack of achievements and hurt.
But hey- it’s 2020, if you don’t remain positive, who will ?
1. Stop saying “New Year, New Me”.
Now I’m not trying to be a negative Nancy here, but stop saying this phrase unless you are actually going to do something about this “New Me” thing. I’m sure many of us on social media have seen the various stories and posts of how 2020 is going to be better than the previous year (including the woman who is stepping up on those steps with a box named “edges” signifying she is not leaving that behind lool) and how this year is going to be the best year yet because “I am now a changed person”. But it’s easier said then done. Don’t just say the phrase for saying sake- act on it.
Yes 2020 is the beginning of a new decade and it is good to have a positive outlook of your character for the year; however, it is important to remember that come December 31st 2020, you are not going to see a change in yourself unless you have worked on it
consistently throughout the year.
2. Get an accountability partner.
So, if you are going with this “New Year, New Me” vibe, at least get someone who can be
accountable for this. My suggestion will be to write down all your goals, either financial,
spiritual or character motivated and hand it over to someone who will be willing to check you up on some of your goals you had for the year. This can be someone close to you like a sibling, parent or a good friend. Make sure they are reliable and motivational though, you wouldn’t want it to be someone who doesn’t care about your growth or wellbeing. Therefore, look for someone who is going to add to your improvement and be accountable for your goals.
3. Get a gratitude jar.
I was introduced to this idea by my friend Tisha, who suggested getting a jar and writing on a piece of paper something you are grateful for within that day. By the end of the year, you can empty the jar and read all the things that you are grateful for within that year. I think as we go through the year, we may go through struggles or difficult time that makes us forget the smaller things we can be grateful for. Just having air go in and out of our lungs each day is a blessing, that can be something you put in your gratitude jar !
If you want this year to be remembered as a year of success, this gratitude jar will help you achieve it.
4. Just live.
This point applies to my generation, the younger 20’s or the older teens. I’m sure you have heard the saying “This new decade is going to be wild- you’re going to be married, having kids and buying a house” wait up, hold on a minute ! Please we are just 6 days into 2020 !!
Yes, the next 10 years ahead of you may look like a lot in terms of life changes, and it’s
nothing to be afraid of, but I urge you to just take this year and just live.
There is nothing wrong with staying focused on your future, but also remember to take the time out and just enjoy the year that is ahead of you. My “New Years Resolution” as people would like to call it is to just branch out of my comfort zone and try out new places and new activities, travel more and just LIVE- Not be so caught up and be strict on the goals I had planned for the year.
Thanks for reading this post, I hope you have a pleasant and peaceful year, and here’s to
new posts within the new year “ *clinks glass*