Hey Suga,

Over the last month or so, I have been surrounded by devastating news. I have witnessed some tragedies and seen people in so much pain. I believe that with pain, there is a window for darkness. That darkness has to power to drown and devour you. However, with pain, there is a greater appreciation for joy that comes from getting out. But some of us are not all capable of getting out alone or in time before we are devoured.

Life has its ways of just shaking you up and it’s not always pleasant. I know that in my life, I have had my own experience with depression dating back as far as elementary school. Of course, I didn’t know it was depression back then but I know now how serious it was. However, I am grateful that I was offered different avenues to keep my mental and emotional health intact. Some of these opportunities or ideas were not intentional but they still helped. So here are my 7 ways to help protect your peace.

  1. Pray/Meditate: Some of you may not be religious or believe in the same God, but a conversation with whatever higher power you believe in is essential. I know some think prayer is just talking to yourself, but it’s a way to communicate with a frequency, higher power, source or whatever you want to call it, greater than yourself. Leaning on that faith gives you clarity and strength.

  2. Filter through your pain in increments: Do not bite off more than you can chew. I used to face my problems like a snowball effect. I face one problem and every other problem would bum rush my thoughts. Leaving me to feel helpless and lost. Focusing on one thing at a time or starting at the root, allows you to pace yourself and not feel mentally exhausted.

  3. Be honest: You have to keep it real about what you’re feeling. Especially with yourself. It is so easy to lie. Lies protect and defend you. And when trying to escape what may cause drama or strife, a lie may be the easiest solution. But telling at least yourself, what is real is a guarantee way to find your way through.

  4. Find hobbies that bring you joy: While people will tell you up and down that peace is from within, what you have in your space can and will disrupt it if allowed. Exercise, music, dancing or reading. There are many ways to clear your mind. Escape at least for a second. Don’t sit and dwell on what is bothering you. This is when you drown. So finding those hobbies that relieve you.

  5. Transparency/Accountability partner: There should at least one person you can be transparent with. Let your raw self-be present with someone who won’t judge you, but will also keep it honest with you and is genuine. If you don’t have someone like that in your circle, THERAPY is ALWAYS an option. Let go of the stigma and release your thoughts and feelings baby!

  6. Create a happy playlist: Some days or even some weeks just seem to really pile up with BS and it hits you all at once. Find a parking lot, take a drive, turn that speaker all the way up or put on your headphones then hit play. It doesn’t have to be a soundtrack of songs, but just a few that have meaning, give you a euphoric or fun feeling. Create one and have it close by. The link to mine is below for reference…you can follow me on Apple Music too if you want ;)

  7. Just say f*ck it: Not everything requires energy or attention. The ability to say, “f*ck this” and keep it moving comes from maturity, discipline and life lessons. It goes in line with the phrase “choose your battles wisely”. When faced with those small things that get under your skin or grind your gears, dig deep and say “f*ck it” and go on about your day. These are things that are out of your control and not always a reflection of who you are; so why carry it with you?

All these are techniques I have acquired over my 25 years of life. Not everyone will agree, be at this point and/or may be further. It’s a process. Work towards finding what brings you peace and then master what helps you protect what you’ve found.

As Always…