Hey Girl, Your Phone Is Draining Your Battery

I’m addicted to my device, and it’s killing my mental health.

My phone gives me serious anxiety. When I’m on it and scrolling through social media I feel like I’m not good enough. All of these amazingly dope people I follow are out here killing it with their amazing style, loving husbands, and frequent sponsorships and here I am being average. Every time I get a news alert I heart sinks as I read about politicians in this country who continue to put their personal interests before the well being of their constituents, Even my damn health tracker makes me feel inadequate by reminding my that I have not taken the recommended ten thousand steps that will help me reach my goal weight. It’s exhausting. It’s draining.

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If I’m being completely honest, I spend several hours per day on my phone and the actual value that it adds to my life is zero to none. In an effort to get my life together and feel better I’ve set some ground rules for screen time. Here are my tips to live your best life and treat your phone more like a resource and less like a necessity.

Choose Who You Follow Wisely

I recently cleaned my social media feed and I feel so much better for it. If a person’s posts and content doesn’t inspire me, make me laugh, or make me think, I hit unfollow. If a person’s posts make me feel bad about myself, I unfollow. If a person’s posts bully or demean others, then I probably wasn’t following in the first place. It’s simple. Social media is meant to connect people so we often think of the people we follow as friends but if is a friendship is toxic it’s best to end that relationship.

Designated Phone Free Times

The first half an hour after I wake up and the last half an hour before I go to bed are not for checking social media. This makes for a more peaceful morning and an easier and more restful sleep. I also place my phone face down when interacting with friends and stay off of it while at the movies. Actually enjoying the time spent with the people in front of me has made me realize that I need to be present in my day to day interactions with others.

Check Your Intent

This one is for the influencers and bloggers! Social media is a tool that we all use to promote ourselves and our message. We have all gotten caught in the numbers game. We wonder why we don’t have the followers that would reflect the quality of our content and it can be crippling. It stifles creativity and the content that we make is curated to gain more followers instead of engage the people who are already interested in what we put out there. At this point, you should ask yourself, why am I here? Am i serving a purpose or just playing the numbers game? If you’re only interested in numbers then continue on but if you’re looking to grow organically, stop stressing about it! Keep putting out quality with consistency and stop looking at what everyone else is doing with their feeds. Focusing more on me and what I’m trying to do has relieved so much stress.

Am I a perfect example of how to unplug? Absolutely not. I’m still guilty of getting on my phone to look up something on Google and then find myself scrolling down Instagram’s explore page an hour later but I’m working on it and feel much better for it.

Do you need to unplug? What are your best practices for taking a break from social media?




I Am (NOT) A #CarefreeBlackGirl

I'm feeling all sorts pressure to be magical right now.

 Super black, not quite so magical.

 Super black, not quite so magical.

2016 was a year for black women. Like for real. We were excelling, achieving, and just being over all great. Everyone was moisturized and our hair was growing. We were winning gold medals, starting businesses, and being champions of social justice. It was amazing. And just a little overwhelming.

Not because black women were achieving. Not because we were winning. But because all of a sudden there was this immense pressure: to be great, otherworldly, and even carefree. Great, I can do but those other two? Nope. Not I. I don't possess any magical powers and despite waiting for over a decade I still have not received an invitation to Hogwarts. And Carefree? The way these bills are set up? Nah. That's definitely not me. But all of a sudden I found myself pretending to be these things. I could totally be the flower crown wearing, AfroPunk going, highly overachieving, boss ass black chick. Because that's what I was supposed to be.

Numerous think pieces have already been written about how the narrative of the "strong black woman" is problematic. While seeming to be a virtue, this stereotype is dehumanizing and limiting. I can honestly say I feel the same way about #blackgirlmagic and #carefreeblackgirl. Created to empower and encourage these catchphrases completely neglect  all of us who aren't carefree: those of us struggling financially, dealing with depression, going through a rough patch. Where do we fit in? 

I'll go ahead and say I don't fit into this magical and carefree spectrum. I stopped fighting it and just accepted the facts. Sometimes I'm going to be depressed, sometimes I will actually care what people think, and apparently I will never actually have magical powers. So, no, I am NOT a carefree black girl. And I'm completely okay with that.

Goals and Plans Over Resolutions

Look back at all of your past New Year's Resolutions... did you keep any of them?

I can remember back to some of my earliest New Year's Resolutions: made when I was around ten year's old I VOWED that I would stop eating four Double Stuffed Oreos everyday for lunch. A few days in I failed miserably and ate my routine four Double Stuffed Oreos as part of my school lunch. Why? Well first of all, Oreos are delicious and secondly, I had no plan. I never said to myself, "Instead of asking my dad to buy Oreos from now on I'll ask him to buy a healthier alternative". I just decided to let the tempting double stuffed goodness of said Oreos sit in the kitchen pantry just waiting for me to give in and break my extremely superficial and pointless New Year's Resolution.

Why do all of your New Year's Resolutions get thrown by the wayside?

Why do all of your New Year's Resolutions get thrown by the wayside?

Fast forward to the adult life (which by the way is not as much fun as The Real World made it seem AND there are no Double Stuffed Oreos for fear of having to purchase an entirely new wardrobe) and here I am still resolving to do things that never actually get done. Why? Again, because I have no plan. Which is also the main reason that most adults fail when it comes to New Year's Resolutions or any goals that they set for themselves. 

Lately I have been writing down my goals and making real plans, a step by step guide if you will, on how I will achieve them. Late in December I sat down and really thought about what I wanted out of this year and then a few days later I sat down again and asked, "How am I going to get there?".  I look at these goals every single day and each night before I go to bed, I make a list of all the things I need to do in order to be one step closer to achieving my desires. It may seem like a lot and maybe it is but think about it as taking small bites of a very large pie over a long period of time instead of waiting until it is almost gone bad and trying to gobble it down all at once.

How are you tackling your goals for 2016? Let me know in the comments below!

Joelle

My Life Is NOT On Fleek

Don't let Instagram fool you, none of us know what we're doing...

Zero fleek was used in the creation of this image

Do you ever look at your favorite blogger or vlogger and think, "I wish I had her life"? I mean who wouldn't, it's perfect. Her twist and curl is always super defined, her wardrobe is full of quirky pieces that just seem to go with her amazing personality, every dish she prepares or eats looks professionally plated, and if she has kids, they are the most fashionable and well behaved images of cuteness you have ever seen. Shit, I want that life. It looks fucking awesome. Too bad it doesn't exist.

You guys already know this but no one has a perfect life. Bloggers and social media stars present the BEST of their lives because it's their job. I personally would rather see a woman running around the city in her fabulous clothes a la Carrie Bradshaw than a woman crying into a pint chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream (my favorite) over her latest lost love (coincidentally also in the vein of Carrie Bradshaw, homegirl was a MESS). We gravitate towards these images because they are a distraction from the cares of real life but don't get too invested in it. Because it's not real. Never delude yourself into thinking that someone's life or situation is better than  yours. Because honestly none of us know what we're doing, we're just frontin' for the 'gram.

Until Next Time....

Besos,

Joelle

Instagram | Youtube | Bloglovin'


New Year New Beginnings?

Ankara Print Headwrap and H&M Blazer

I never thought that the Civil Rights Movement would have a sequel. I never thought I would see the police assault peaceful protesters with tear gas. I never thought they would declare war on us.

Express Skirt, Sam and Libby Shoes

I always knew that there were a different set of rules for those who did not fit into the "norm". You can be black but don't be too black. You can be gay but turn down the flamboyance. You can be a feminist but maybe don't talk about the wage gap at dinner parties. We make people uncomfortable by our presence alone. And so we put our heads down and work hard and cling to the hope that if we follow these rules that everything will be okay. Because that's what was promised.

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But what we do when the tacit agreement is broken? The injustice is so clear and yet there are still who choose to be blind to it. It's enough to make you want to shake somebody.

On a happier note, hair stuff...


Until Next Time...

Kisses,

Joelle