Grace Victory on finding resilience when things don’t go to plan

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From challenging circumstances to unexpected traumas, there are times in our lives when we all have had, or will have, to face adversity. Here, columnist Grace Victory explores what it takes to truly get through the hard times, and shares the secrets to cultivating your own form of resilience

Grace Victory on finding resilience when things don’t go to plan

The societal focus on ‘resilience’ is often rooted in a somewhat toxic need to always be strong at any given moment.

The ‘strong woman’ trope, which is particularly felt by black women, can diminish softness, vulnerability, and lead to a lack of truth. I, like many of you reading this, have endured so much pain throughout my life that resilience and ‘bouncing back’ feels relatively easy. What other choice do we actually have? But also, at what cost does this resilience come?

Of course, resilience is something that’s needed in order to be OK after we experience something difficult. That’s life, and we can’t run from it. From name calling in the playground to an egotistical boss at your new job, or maybe even a narcissistic parent – all of us go through things that eventually help us to grow, but there is a sadness in having to be tough, too.

Often, resilient behaviours are in who we are, or shown to us subconsciously through at least one healthy relationship or attachment relating to our childhood – but this is something not everyone is fortunate enough to have experienced. As adults, I guess we have to reclaim what resilience looks like to us, and mourn or grieve our childhood experiences that perhaps shaped our bounce back ability (or lack thereof).

Now more than ever, resilience is something we need on a soul level, in order to navigate life with all its ups and downs. From the pandemic, which affected so many of us, to the political climate that, let’s be honest, is a complete and utter sh*t show. From the constant rise in the cost of living, to personal trauma that we are still trying to overcome, being able to carry on through such stress is important and necessary for our survival.

In my opinion, resilience is no longer about constantly being strong, but about making it through the day, the month, or the year. It’s about surrendering to your personal path or journey, and ultimately using your wellbeing tools to carry you through.

Grace Victory on finding resilience when things don’t go to plan

Resilience doesn’t need to be fighting an internal war, or stopping yourself from crying because you don’t want to appear weak. Resilience is leaning on your community, practising self-care, and doing more of the things that fill up your cup.

We cannot avoid what life throws at us – that’s something I’ve learnt, particularly in the past two years. Life is unpredictable, but if you do not have strong foundations and aren’t actively working towards them remaining strong, you could falter the moment harsh winds arrive. We can not only survive through the storm, but we can go on to thrive, with due care, self-compassion, and grace.

So, how do we be

Friday Faves

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Hi hi! Happy Friday! I hope you had a wonderful week. The Pilot was gone all week, so it was solo parent ops around here. We did the usual dance, soccer, homework, and school shuffle, enjoyed a dinner with madre and nana, and evening walks. The girls were awesome as always, but it takes a lot of mental energy to go all day until bedtime without someone to tag into the chaos. I’m pretty sure I’ll take a 3-hour nap this weekend lol.

Something else that’s been going on this week: sweet Caro has had a bit of a rough go. She’s an old gal and has some health issues, but things seemed to hit a peak this week. She was walking sideways and tripped over herself, and had multiple accidents in the house, so I called the vet. A few hours after it happened, she was acting normal again, but hasn’t been eating much. The vet is seeing her today, so we’ll see what they say. Thank you so much to those of you who have sent prayers and well wishes her way on IG.

What do you have going on this weekend? We have an event at the girls’ school, dinner plans with some friends, I’m catching a hot yoga class and teaching barre, and we’re celebrating my stepdad’s bday. I hope you have a fun and amazing weekend ahead.

It’s time for the weekly Friday Faves party. 🙂 This is where I share some of my favorite finds from the week and around the web. I always love to hear about your faves, too, so please shout out something you’re loving in the comments section below.

Friday Faves

Life:

A trip to the gem show with my mom! I had badges to go to the JOGS gem and jewelry show -it’s a smaller one, as the gigantic one is in February – and we decided to check it out. We were pretty surprised by the amount of vendors and the selection of sparkly jewelry, gems, and crystals. I got a couple of things for myself, bracelets and sparkly backpack keychains for the crew, and some extras to share with friends and give away here on the blog.

This year’s blog holiday giveaway is already looking pretty epic, I’ve gotta say…

Fashion + Beauty:

Let it be known that our tiny baby has an official skincare routine????? We wandered into Ulta because she was looking for face wash and moisturizer, and unfortunately the Beautycounter Coco cleanser wasn’t a good fit for her skin.

I wanted to get her something gentle with not-so-sketchy ingredients, and in the end, we decided on this face wash (which I’ve used

Sweet Potatoes with Sausage

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Sweet Potatoes with Sausage is an easy-as-can-be one pan dinner that my family would willingly eat every night.

I get it, weeknight meals especially need to be quick and easy, not only on the prep but the clean-up as well. This easy sheet pan dinner with baked chicken thighs, baby potatoes, and fresh green beans has become a favorite in many of your homes over the past two years.

vegetables and sausage on metal tray

Sheet Pan Sausage and Potatoes

Tender sweet potatoes, crisp bell peppers, sweet onions, and spicy sausage are roasted together in this simple and flavorful meal that my family just can’t get enough of lately.

I make a variation of this sheet pan supper at least a couple of times a month. I typically use whichever sausage I have in the refrigerator: andouille, kielbasa, spicy chicken, pork, or beef links will all work well.

Sweet potatoes and peppers have become a go-to combination for their savory yet sweet qualities. Roasted sweet potatoes get perfectly soft inside with a crispy exterior. The bell peppers and onions bring a nice peppery bite and a layer of flavor.

There are a few tricks to your sheet pan dinners coming out perfectly. You want all of the ingredients to be perfectly cooked and not have something be almost uncooked and raw and another item turned to mush.

It has taken me a bit of tinkering with the size of the pieces and the amount of time in the oven to master the perfect combo. But let me tell you. . . I think I’ve nailed it this time.

Start with sweet potatoes cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Coat them in olive oil and roast for 20 minutes by themselves on the sheet pan. Then stir them around and flip them on the pan before adding the sausage, peppers and onions.

By doing this in two steps you will get the perfect soft yet crispy sweet potatoes. Along with properly cooked sausage and nice slightly charred peppers.

The last time I made this, I used cheese and jalapeno stuffed chicken sausage, so your favorite sausage should work as well. I always have assorted sausages on hand just for meals like this; most unopened sausage will keep in the refrigerator for quite a while before needing to be used.

peppers, onions, and sausage on sheet pan with towelRead more

Workplace burnout: how to talk to your employer and get the right support

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Recognise the signs and get the support you need from employers

Workplace burnout: how to talk to your employer and get the right support

To others, it may look like you’re thriving, and that you’ve got everything under control. But, despite how it looks on the outside, you know something’s wrong. You’re constantly tired, you’re feeling overwhelmed. Every decision or conversation feels like it’s draining you of energy, and that nagging voice of self-doubt is growing ever louder.

If this sounds familiar, you might be experiencing, or at the very least approaching, burnout.

While burnout is no new issue, it’s becoming increasingly prevalent. And after the last few years, many of us are aware of what it means to be happy and healthy, and what our minds and bodies need in order to function at their best.

But even if you know something isn’t right, the hard part can be asking for help. So, how can you tell your employer that you’re struggling?

Understand what may be causing it

When it comes to burnout recovery, often, the first step is to understand the root cause. Identifying the potential causes can help you to know exactly what support you may need from your employer, and also, indicate if there’s anything that has been missing from your life. For example, have you been unusually busy in and out of work, so you’ve lost the time you previously had to actually rest? When was the last time you did something for yourself?

Identify the help you need

Once you have an idea of what may be causing it, the next step is to understand what help you need. There might not be a clear answer, but having an inkling of what will help you can make the conversation easier later on. Perhaps you feel like there’s simply too much on your plate and delegating some of the work could help ease that pressure?

Of course, if you’ve realised that you’re unhappy at your workplace, you may decide now is the time to move on. While scary, taking this leap could be the best thing you ever do.

Speak to someone you feel comfortable with

If you’re nervous about talking to your employer, can you talk to a friend first? Or is there a colleague you can confide in? Someone to be a listening ear while you try to understand what you need. Simply talking about how you feel can help you make sense of the situation when you can’t see the wood for the trees.

Read your company policies

Does your company offer any wellbeing support? According to Mental Health UK, just 23% of people knew what plans their employers had in place to help spot the signs of chronic stress and burnout. While this is on employers to improve communication, if you are struggling, it’s worth reading through company documents to understand exactly what is offered.

Book a time to chat

Knowing how you feel and what support you need will help make the conversation as easy as possible. Who you speak to will depend on the issue, but for general workload or job satisfaction issues, your manager is likely your first port of call. If you’re feeling mistreated, or if you’re not comfortable speaking with your manager, schedule a chat with HR.

The best advice I can give from my own experience is to be as honest and open

How to spot the signs of anxiety through the ages, from kids to teenagers

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From young children to budding adults, anxiety can present in, and affect, young people in different ways as they grow up. So how can you spot and support it?

How to spot the signs of anxiety through the ages, from kids to teenagers

Anxiety is a natural part of many of our lives, and it doesn’t just affect adults. Though the triggers and stressors may be different, many children experience anxiety, with the NHS finding that across five to 19-year-olds, around one in 12 (8.1%) reported an emotional disorder such as anxiety or depression.

The point at which anxiety becomes a problem is when it begins to affect their everyday life, and gets in the way of them flourishing. But what does anxiety look like in children and young people of different ages? And how can we best support them at each stage? Here, with help from Hasret Tekin, a child and adolescent therapist, we highlight what to watch out for.

Under five

“This age group usually experiences anxiety in the form of separation anxiety,” Hasret explains. “It is in line with normal child development that children may experience separation anxiety from their primary caregiver from age six months to three years old.”

Hasret explains that you may notice your child is more clingy than usual, perhaps because they are worried that you will leave or disappear – at this age, they may not understand that you will come back. It might be that big life events such as starting nursery or school spark this reaction, and the anxiety might present as tantrums and protests, and unresolved it could lead to regression (such as wanting a dummy or a nappy), sleep problems, and phobias.

Five to eight years old

When a child reaches this age group, it’s likely that they have moved beyond separation anxiety, and instead the root of their anxiety is tied up in new developmental stages such as school problems, friendship issues, and self-esteem dips.

“They may feel worried about being likeable among friends, feeling shy in social scenarios, nervous, and clingy in new situations,” Hasret explains. “Some levels of performance anxiety and perfectionism are also common in this age group. When the anxiety becomes problematic, you may notice sleeping difficulties, bad dreams or nightmares, bed wetting, becoming irritable, tearful, unhappy, or withdrawn. Fears are also common in this age group as a manifestation of anxiety.”

Eight to 11 years old

Similarly to the previous age group, Hasret explains that the anxiety is likely to be tied up with their development stage, but on a larger scale. However, children in this age group may also have more of an awareness of external stress.

At this age, they may have more life events to refer to, such as conflict at home, parental separation, the death of a grandparent, illness, or sibling problems. With a greater understanding of these scenarios, they might develop anxiety about rejection, take on worries about the health of a loved one, pick up on money stress, or begin to compare their lives to those around them.

11 to 14 years old

“This age is pre-adolescent and adolescent years where the anxiety is usually about the transitions,” Hasret says. “There are many things children say goodbye to in this age group, such as the end of primary school. They have the anxiety of t

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