Back to Basics, Again and Again

There is always a chance to start over. No matter the circumstance, no matter the struggle there is always a chance to reset. Over the years, the ability to reset has really served me well. It helped me to handle almost dropping out of college, dealing with unplanned pregnancies, failing my first year of law school, healing and recovering after a failed marriage and handling lots of other major disappointments and upsets. One thing that has enabled me to keep moving forward is to go back to basics. Back to basics entails a lot of things but basically it means going back to what has worked for me in the past and what worked for generations before me.

Here are some of the steps I implore to get back to basics:
1. Sleep: When you are going through things one of the first things to go is sleep. However, we cannot function without enough sleep. If you cannot sleep it could be because you have too much on your mind or you are worrying. Something that can help that is to journal or make lists before you go to bed. Also, it's helpful to turn off all lights and electronics in your room prior to going to sleep. One thing that helps me sleep is to create white noise in the room. It kind of lulls you to sleep. Prayer and meditation, using the app also help to calm you to sleep before you go to sleep. You have to make up in your mind that sleep is essential. Also it's worth noting that the keys to a good day start the night before.

2. Water: Our bodies need water to function. You hear it said over and over and that's because it's that important. However, many people do not drink the required amount of water for their body to function properly. If you are feeling tired, sluggish and weak, put down the caffeine and sugary sweetened beverages and pick up a nice glass of water. Water first, for thirst. Getting the habit of drinking water is beneficial long-term but the benefits are immediate.

3, Pray/Meditate/Journal: All of these things require quiet time and reflection, something that is really missing from our fast-paced lives. I think of the simpleness of days before and how much time people had just to sit and think. Heck, I remember when the TV used to go off! Forcing you to do something different. Now we can entertain ourselves through social media or TV but what time are we spending working on ourselves and our futures? Time spent in prayer and meditation should be more than just asking for things, it should also be able listening to God's answers- however you view God. Also, journaling is a great way to get to the bottom of what is going on in your life, what is bothering you and what you need to work on. Anxiety is not a bad thing as it can be a compass to what needs to be changed in your life. Deepak says you can either confront the issue, stand still or run. Decide which one you will do with every situation that comes up for you.

4. Get the body moving: Whether you walk, work out, yoga, swim, do something. Our bodies were not meant for the sedentary lives that we live now. We used to have to work hard just to get something to eat. We were forced to walk everywhere we went prior to the advent of transportation. Now our lives are set up for convenience but that comes at a price. A walk after dinner will lower your blood sugar, also, starting the day with the brisk walk helps to clear our minds and thoughts. Sweating will also eliminate toxins and help us to cleanse ourselves. Working out also has the same effect on our mood as taking anti-depressants and it's free! Try it out!

5. Last but not least: Do something for you! Among all the hard work that we do for others, it's easy to get lost in the shuffle. We often turn to others to meet our needs and then we end up feeling empty and angry when those needs are not met. Today, meet your own needs. If you need to be affirmed, affirm someone else, if you need time alone, take a long bath after the kids are sleep; if you need to break out of the box, research educational or employment opportunities. Give what you are in need of and you will be surprised to feel whole and fulfilled.

It's been a rough month for me and for a lot of you. But now is the time to move forward with a new attitude. My brother, Jermain always says, "May the rest of your life, be the best of your life." Join me today in getting back to basics, whatever that means for you! Let's make the end of the year the best time of the year.