Quarantine Diaries #3: How To Handle Anxiety

For anyone who needs this reminder, here you go 😉

Good Afternoon! I wanted to post my 3rd Quarantine Entry a few days ago but I am all about being honest and didn’t want to post about a topic where I couldn’t give you any advice on what worked for me because I was still dealing with a particular dilemma or issue. In this case, the issue is anxiety. I have discussed my anxiety issues in the past and how I’ve tried to stop catastrophizing situations and speak positive thoughts into my life. Being quarantined has made doing these things a bit more difficult and as a result, my anxiety has been coming in full force. Dealing with the tightness in my chest and heart palpitations are one thing but the never-ending negative thoughts are what really drive me crazy. Everything is always worst case scenario and in every scenario, I am the reason why certain things are happening even when I really have no control over the actual events that are taking place. In order for me to handle my anxiety, I had to figure out the root cause of why I was feeling the way I was.

Many of the thoughts that kept popping up were related to loneliness and frustration because I felt like the life I once had was gone forever. That life included me seeing my boyfriend on a regular basis and being able to make plans with friends. Even though I know that I am not the only one having a tough time with all of the pandemic related situations we have been forced in, my responses to them were extreme and I couldn’t understand why until I took a deep look at what usually triggers my anxiety. It was then that I realized that my personal insecurities were the contributing factor and they were having a serious effect on how I perceived situations. I read way too much into things people would say and feel slighted by their actions even if that was not their intention. I made mountains out of molehills and then the mountains created avalanches in my mind that kept spiraling out of control. It was my feelings of inadequacy that was the foundation of all of my inner conflict and frustration and once I realized that, I was able to handle my anxiety better by looking at situations for what they were instead of creating worst case scenarios in my mind. By just focusing on the facts and logic and not letting emotions cloud my judgment, I was able to see that in many instances, I was either overreacting, allowing my insecurities to exacerbate situations or just worrying about situations that were unlikely to happen because I was unable to see the bright side of the situation.

Anxiety is something that I deal with on a regular basis and in extreme situations like quarantine, the feelings hit me like a mack truck. I’m learning that when they do appear, I need to take a deep breath, assess the situation and think objectively in order to gain a better perspective on things. Most importantly, allowing insecurities to creep in every time something happens that comes off as a trigger feels like I’m playing the victim and although I have no control over what others say or do, I have complete control over how I think and respond and heading into negative territory does more harm than good. I am a work in progress but I am happy that I am learning how to combat the anxiety and worry right when it happens instead of letting it linger on for hours and days at a time. One good thing that has come out of being in quarantine is self-reflection which has allowed me to really hone in on what needs to be worked on in my life in order to have the life I want. In addition to improving my mental well-being, I am determined to improve my physical well-being by working out and eating better. I’ve started on my health and wellness journey and in the coming weeks, I will update you on my progress so stay tuned for that 🙂

Are there any tips or techniques you use to deal with anxiety? Share them in the comments below! I will be back next week with another quarantine diary entry but until then, I hope you have a great weekend and remember to love and live luxuriously!

Motivation Monday: Best Case Scenario

Good Morning! The topic of today’s post came to me kind of suddenly but not really because it’s been on my mind for awhile now but I wasn’t sure how to articulate my thoughts into a comprehensible post. I had a long phone chat with my friend Kimmy over the weekend (hey girl!) and we were talking about how our thoughts and words carry so much weight and that you have to be careful yet intentional with how you think and what you say. Thoughts and words have power and you attract what you put out into the world (law of attraction and all of that!) so be mindful of what you say and do. I realize that even though I may say I want things to be a certain way, my thoughts do not match my words and as a result, the actions behind those words do not usually come to fruition. I always thought that it was solely based on my lack of confidence at times but after reflecting on our conversation as well as a previous conversation with my therapist, I finally figured out what the issue was that was holding me back from greatness and what needed to change in order to let go and move forward.

After talking to my therapist a few weeks back, I realized that I have a tendency to ‘catastrophize’ everything. By catastrophize, I mean that I always think about the worst things that can happen in every situation. If I go on a job interview, I think “What if I can’t demonstrate that I am the ideal candidate for the position?” or “What if I appear to be incompetent?” I’ve done in in the past when dating especially when things didn’t go my way. I’d think to myself, “What if he leaves as a result of our argument?” I always think about the ‘worst case scenario’ and that pessimism seems to linger in various parts of my life. I realize that my mother is the queen of catastrophizing and even though I know that many disappointing moments in her life have led her to always think the worst about people and situations, I also feel that her negative thoughts attract negative emotions and as a result, it is a never ending cycle of dread and fear. Some of those behaviors have trickled down to me and although I am not as pessimistic as my mother, I know that when bad things do happen, I have a tendency to let them consume me instead of dealing with my emotions in that moment but allowing them to pass and learn from what mistakes have occurred. My biggest fears are my fear of failure and fear of death and although I cannot control the latter, I can deal with my fear of failure by changing my perspective, Instead of seeing a failed job interview as a failure or loss, I can use the situation as a learning experience on what not to do. Instead of being fearful of losing someone I really care about based off of an argument, I should focus on the honesty of my words and never to minimize my thoughts or feelings even if it means losing someone in the process. If we aren’t able to get past the argument, that in itself should tell me all that I need to know. In other words, instead of thinking about the ‘worst case scenario’, I needed to shift my thinking to the ‘best case scenario’ and let my actions follow suit.

By thinking about the ‘best case scenario’, I will enter a situation with a positive mindset because I will be able to see the bright side of any outcome and use it to push me closer to my goals instead of seeing the experience as another way of holding me back. There are many things that are out of my control but I can control the way I view the situation and most importantly, how I respond to it. I’m going to try this ‘Best Case Scenario’ mindset approach and I will be sure to let you  know how it goes. I believe that it’s definitely going to improve my life going forward 😉 (see what I did there!)

What do you do to ‘decatastrophize’ a situation? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this so leave them in the comments below or on my social media (IG:@amoreluxe_ FB: Angela Cherai) so I can learn a few things from you guys! My next post should be up on Wednesday but if not then, I’ll definitely have something for you on Friday. I hope everyone has an amazing week and until the next time, always remember to love and live luxuriously!

Motivation Monday: Jharrel Jerome Wins Emmy

Good Morning! I was so excited to post about the Emmys because the person I was rooting for most won. If you haven’t figured out from the title who that is, let me type in all caps so you don’t miss the memo: JHARREL JEROME!!! Many of you first became aware of him from his role in Moonlight and although I though he did a good job in that particular role, I didn’t really pay attention to him until June 1st 2019. I remember that day vividly because it was the day after my birthday but also the day where I watched a cinematic masterpiece “When They See Us” (directed by the genius filmmaker Ava Duvernay) with Jharrel’s heartbreaking performance in the forefront of my mind.

Even though “When They See Us” premiered on May 31st, I had birthday plans so I decided to watch it the following evening in the  comfort of my home. There were 4 episodes that felt like mini movies and while each episode touched my heart, the 4th episode is the one that made me break down and sob hysterically. The 4th episode featured Jharrel Jerome’s performance as Korey Wise, one of the 5 men previously known as the Central Park 5 who were tried and convicted of a crime that they didn’t commit. Since Korey was 16 at the time, he was tried and convicted as an adult and served time in a maximum security prison. Because of this, his experiences differed from the the other boys and Jharrel’s gut wrenching portrayal of Korey touched my soul. I was blown away by his commitment to the character and the fact that he was able to give the viewers a glimpse into what Korey went through (his solitary scenes and the scenes with his mom are the highlights of the 4th episode) gave me a better understand of how unjust the criminal justice system really is especially for people of color.

I knew he would be nominated for an Emmy and I was pretty confident that he would win but sometimes award shows become popularity contests instead of focusing on pure talent. Fortunately, Jharrel won and received a standing ovation so I believe it was a mixture of both, I loved his speech because it showed his humility, shock and appreciation. Even though he was more than deserving, he did not expect to win and I feel that he brought back the excitement and joy that award shows have been missing. He is a perfect example of when you give your all for someone you believe in, your hard work will pay off.  I can’t wait to see what is next for him and I know that he is definitely on his way to an Oscar. He’s only 21 years old so I can see it happening for him in another 5-10 years for sure! Gotta shout out Ava and the rest of the cast because even though they didn’t win, they showed the world the ugly truth about racism and prejudice from the past that people of color still deal with today. Hopefully the Golden Globes get it right 🤞🏽

Check out Jharrel’s acceptance speech below and let me know what you thought of “When They See Us” and the bigger conversation we need to have as it relates to race. New post will be up on Wednesday.  Until then, I hope everyone has a great week and remember to love and live luxuriously!

Motivation Monday: The Importance of Self-Awareness

Happy Monday everyone! I actually stopped working on an assignment for one of my client’s to write this post because I wanted to make sure that it was up first thing this morning! I have been doing a lot of self-reflection (as I hope has been seen in my previous posts) and what I realized is that I am slowly but surely getting my life to a point where I am happy, secure and fulfilled as it relates to my relationships both personal and professional, my mental and physical well-being and working on being financially secure. It is definitely a process but I wanted to share how self-awareness was the catalyst that reignited my passion and helped me move forward.

I realized that I have to be my own biggest fan (check out my  post to read more about that journey here) and focusing on being positive and motivating myself to live up to my potential meant that I had to remove toxic energy out of my life whether it came from my own self-doubts and insecurities or from any negative energy around me. My friends and family have been supportive of my goals and have always encouraged me to be the best version of myself and that’s why they are so dope! I haven’t been in a toxic relationship/situationship in over a year and while I am open to dating, I realized that I will never settle again. Looking back on how I allowed men to treat me in the past was a direct reflection of how little I valued myself and after the last situation ended, I promised myself that I would NEVER allow anyone in my life that doesn’t know my worth.  I am still working on the diet aspect so you won’t see any fitness/health posts until I get it together in that area but I’m reaching a point where I can’t just eat anything I want and not gain weight as seen in my post “Thick Girl Blues( Spanx Not Included)” so I am trying to be more conscious of what enters my body. As far as getting how self-awareness has benefitted me from a financial standpoint, I started thinking about  what skills I possess that will help me earn more income. In addition to the social media management, I started focusing more on obtaining clients for the writing composition services part of “Amore Luxe Media” and I have a few consistent clients that have been helpful to earning extra income. I also started working at the daycare again but only on the administrative side of the business and I get to make my own hours which I’ve realized has given me freedom and not let me feel restricted or trapped in a position that doesn’t suit my needs or help me reach  my goals. By having multiple streams of income, I am able to save more so I can create a nest egg that I can use towards getting my own place, a car or investing in my business which wasn’t possible when I was making excuses instead of moves.  I’ve realized that being self-aware is very important because for so long, I was feeling sorry for myself and where I was in life and wanted to make excuses and blame everyone but once I became self-aware, I was able to take responsibility for the choices I’ve made (or didn’t make) that made an impact on where I was in my life at that point.  I’m not where I want to be but I am a lot better than where I used to be and I am so proud of myself for getting this far!

What steps have you taken in order to be more self-aware? Sometimes it can be as simple as writing down your goals and what you need to change internally and externally in order to accomplish those goals. I’d love to read your thoughts so be sure to comment below or hit me up on social media at @amoreluxe_ on Instagram or @Angela Cherai on Facebook. New post coming Wednesday! I hope everyone has an amazing week and makes sure that they love and live luxuriously!