The Focus On You

*Motivational & Self-Care Blog*

What Does Bravery Mean To You?

In the weeks following the election, the concept of  “safe spaces” became apparent to me. As a Mexican-American woman, my sense of safety definitely shifted. What made this more “real” was the fact that I wasn’t alone. Friends and family in real life and online were afraid and personally confronted with aggression. Microagressions were no longer “micro.”

As I talked with a fellow female creator about feeling safer at home, she brought up the topic of brave spaces.

Surpisingly, I could easily identify a place where I feel brave: my car. If you follow me on Snapchat you have seen my morning wake up calls. I play an energetic or inspiring song with my Snapchat friends in the morning, and many of these songs make me feel brave.

Now I’m not talking about bravery like being a badass on the road. (My husband may say otherwise).

Music is my self-care.

Music can make or break my mood. And I’m a fan of hip-hop, new and old. My tastes may not always be appropriate but there is something about music that gives me a sense of bravado. This form of music therapy is what helped ease my social anxiety these last few weeks.

This is why Beyonce’s artistry wakes up the masses. Think about the creative artists you follow that make you feel brave.

Without artistic bravery, Stevie Wonder, John Lennon and many other musical legends wouldn’t have blessed us with inspiring songs. Rapper and actor, Common, is one example of brave artistry. Common and John Legend won a Grammy last year for their song, “Glory”, which was featured on the Selma soundtrack. If you’ve been living under a rock, the true story of the March On Selma highlighted American bravery.

If you have survived abuse, trauma or violence, bravery may be a notion that is far fetched. In your heroic journey, did you realize you had bravery? Click To Tweet Many clients I have worked with were surprised to point out their strengths. They didn’t even know they were there. It was easy to point out defeat, self-sabotage or losses. Sometimes I start my client sessions by asking, “Tell me what went right this week.”

As I browse through my blog posts about power words and journal writing, bravery never came up.

As I reflect, heal, cry again and continue healing from post-election shock I will be building my armor.

I will redefine what it means to be brave.

I will applaud myself and others for challenges we have overcome and add this word to my ammo. Because even though every day is a test in bravery, there will always be glory.


Part 2: Coping Skills For Family Stress & Burnout

This post contains an affiliate link.

Last week’s post highlighted 3 coping skills (Taking Care Of Your Body, Setting Boundaries and Getting Organized)  that can assist you if you’re struggling with family stress or burnout (or both)!

These next 3 coping skills dig a little deeper.

Create A Buffer – If you’re feeling burnout from work, put something in between you and the source of stress. What do your lunch breaks look like? Are you eating at your desk? BAD! Change that please. Labor laws entitle us to these fabulous time buffers. Use it or lose it!

I have been lucky in my previous jobs that my bosses were understanding of my workload. I was able to safely express to them when I needed a break, a person to relieve me for one day or needed a day just to focus on paperwork. Sometimes those “paperwork only” days were the solution to my stress.

If you need a buffer from a stressful family situation, pinpoint who you can safely talk to. Text or call that person and let them know you’ll need them to listen, let you scream or just be there in general. It’s hard to turn down a close confidant who asks you, “Hey can I just vent for a second?” Buffers are also boundaries.

Maybe you need to skip a certain family event or gathering for the sake of your sanity. But if you’re unable to skip an event, have a buffer person handy so you can text them in case of emergency!

If you are only attending functions to please others then you are choosing resentment. Click To Tweet

Soothing Talk – Write down what you would say to a loved one in a similar situation. It’s funny how 99% of the time we don’t take our own advice. Have you ever helped someone in a similar situation? What did you tell them? Listen to yourself!

If your self-talk is becoming harsh or over critical, speak to yourself like you would talk to a child. No curse words. Just reassurance.

Refer to my post on self-talk for mental wellness.

Notice The Source – Before you get sucked into criticism or advice, notice who’s telling it to you. In the Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz talks about judgment like its poison. If a person is cruel to you, they spread emotional poison. When we react or plot revenge then we are using their poison within us. It’s similar to “stooping down to their level.”

Also, as you notice the source of criticism, think about that person’s story.

Is there a loss of love in their life?

Has struggle been a mainstay for them?

Are they under immense stress and are lacking in self-care? Although it may be hard to get these answers, remember this: Hurt people hurt people. Click To Tweet

Someone who is hurting from shame, abandonment, insecurities, or whatever, may feel more comfortable passing off that hurt to someone else. Don Miguel Ruiz calls it “misuse of our word.” He says that when you hear a bad opinion and you believe it, you make an agreement with it.

Within these last two posts I have highlighted 6 coping skills to help with burnout or family stress. Changing our thinking patterns, focusing on our needs and actively speaking up for our needs can help minimize these issues.

Be pro-active and get comfortable with these coping skills before you are forced into reactive mode!!

Which coping skills have worked for you in the past? How have you survived burnout? 

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