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January 17, 2022 3 min read

by Katrina Hayes | Instagram: @AutismFitMom

Press play on  Nas’s “Nobody” featuring Lauryn Hill...Heavy emphasis on "I took blow after blow."

In the middle of life’s storms, I have learned to remain vocal and resolute. Yes, it is challenging to strike a healthy work-life harmony (especially as a poppin’ woman of color)  when all seems not to be working out.  No one prepares us for loss and grief in life. However, knowing how to conquer it is the key to unlocking our personal happiness. 

As the saying goes, “when you know how to work with the wave, you're in for one of the most exhilarating rides of your life”. Grab a cup of coffee or a bowl of popcorn as we bond over my story of triumph. 

From mid 2013 to early 2020, right before the pandemic, I had my share of challenges as follows:

  • The death of my oldest uncle
  • The death of my son's paternal grandfather
  • The death of my maternal grandmother on my son's birthday 
  • The death of my paternal grandfather (All the deaths happened within a year).
  • I was thrust into home-schooling way before the pandemic as a result of numerous due process violations in North Carolina, while fighting for the educational rights of my son
  • The end  of a long-term relationship
  • Privacy invasions
  • Financial strain in between 2014 and 2015
  • Removal of almost all my 3,000 friends from Facebook because I didn't know who to trust
  • Multiple physical injuries 
  • An unanswered prayer to be featured in a Tyler Perry TV show or movie. Well, let’s say not answered yet. 

During the holiday season, we all deal with challenges, grief, and unexpected stressors. Almost 800,000 people have died from COVID in the U.S. alone–not to mention the hard economic times and the lack of festivities resulting from the pandemic, which ultimately leads to isolation and depression.  

The deaths, constitutional rights violations, and financial strain alone were enough to take me out!  Dealing with these significant life changes made me highly susceptible to stress induced health and mental breakdowns. BUT I REFUSED TO GIVE UP. And neither should you. Here are eight tips I implemented that will also help you pull through your holiday trials. 

Know that your feelings are valid

It is okay to be sad, happy, angry, and confused— among other feelings alike,  because we are human. Whatever emotions you are feeling need to be acknowledged. However, the key is to move past them. 

Accept the season you are in

Sometimes life deals us cards we don’t like. Accepting the season you are in simply means that you acknowledge the reality that you are currently living, and will make strides to navigate through it as needed. Flow with the current and not against it. 

Know that things will change

Change is inevitable. Therefore, no matter what it feels like now, things will change because the only constant in life is change! You will feel happy again. You will laugh again.

Make self care a priority

I cannot emphasize this enough:  No one can pour from an empty cup!  Taking care of yourself both physically and mentally is vital during this time. 

Surround yourself with positive people

Having the right people around you attracts the right things and energy toward you. Good people quicken your recovery journey. 

Honor your preferences

It is in the little joys of life that we find true happiness and wholeness. Embrace any of the things that restore your happiness. For example, if the roses you used to smell in your grandmother’s garden brought you joy, put fresh roses in your office every week.

Set boundaries

Draw the line with your friends, family members, colleagues and acquaintances to protect your inner space from any funky toxicity. I mean, do you really want to keep dishonoring your peace in 2022? Set some rules and make people respect them or get super selective and scarce with your time. 

Seek a higher power

Lastly but certainly not the least, divine intervention is paramount. This helps in finding clarity on things, promoting inner peace, and renewing our hope with each passing day. 


So, whether you are dealing with a closing business, struggling to keep a new business afloat, divorce, death, delayed funding applications, or any other problems alike; take a deep breath and hang in there. It is all a passing storm and it is only a matter of time before you return to feeling like yourself! Remember, I’m rooting for you sis!

  



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