Relax, Relate, Release! 5 Tips to Take Care of Yourself!

Drowning. Being held underwater without being let up for air. It all started in September of 2018. I was so excited to take a job that was in my field of social work. Also, it was with my dream population in DC of all places. That dream soon became a nightmare. My boss was worse than Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada. Although I had a caseload of 10 clients my boss still felt the need to send me errands to run. On several occasions, I woke up to several phone calls all before 7 am. All from my boss. The calls were followed by a series of text messages that included a list of things to do. Most of the time she sent another message before I could even respond. I would have reported her to HR but we were a small non-profit. I was mentally and spiritually crushed. I would go to church on Sunday and ball my eyes out. I thought I was making it until I woke up with chest pain. I tried everything to make it go away. When my left arm started to ache as well I rushed to the hospital. I believed I was having a heart attack. However, the doctors said it was stress. I returned home only to wake up the next morning to a busted back car window. I wanted to lie on my couch for a few days and gather myself but… I still had to work. After informing my boss of the hospital visit I was asked if I had a doctors note that prohibited me from working. I didn’t even think to get one. Her response was well you have this client at 9 am. She didn’t even ask if I was ok. From that point to now I’ve had many other valleys including a stolen car, bills, and other health issues. I’ve also some peaks. A new job, starting and finishing esthetics school, some sponsored content, and an unforgettable girl's trip. Through it all, I’m grateful.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.
— Isaiah 43:2

  1. Read, Pray, and Meditate

    • I felt like there was nothing else for me to do but pray. God was trying to get my attention. Most days I prayed for discernment and guidance. I had to be meticulous in how I maneuvered with this boss. I had to read my Bible for affirmation and confirmation. Mainly, for assurance that I belonged to God and he had me.

  2. Unplug

    • I would post to Instagram (bc engagement) but I would not scroll through or watch everyone’s stories. I needed tunnel vision. Looking at Instagram would only make me compare my life or become jealous of others. Jealousy blocks blessings and I was in desperate need of one.

  3. Vent/Outlet

    • I often shut down when things become overwhelming. Thankfully, my family notices it. Their calls increase when mine decreased. Some days they asked questions and got me to talk. Others, they talked to me and I just listened. Having someone there helped me fight my way out.

  4. Eliminate the Stress

    • Unfortunately, I had to stay in that job until I found a new one in March. Make a plan and fight for your freedom.

  5. Take Care of Your Body

    • Drink your water, exercise, and get your rest. When your mind is under attack it is easy to let your physical health fall by the wayside. You know, a walk counts as exercise.

What are some of the ways you take care? As always, thanks for reading!

-Jewel