My Plate Is Full and I’m The One Who Fixed It

It’s the second week of the spring semester and I already feel overwhelmed and annoyed. I thought I would have at least made it a month before these feelings showed up. In my defense I have a lot going on. I’m balancing three classes, an internship, two jobs, my blog, going to the gym, and maintaining a social life. 

Today I got home at about 4:00 PM and went straight for an unopened bottle of red wine that I had in the fridge… it’s only Wednesday. 

Alright, I’m done venting and complaining so now here comes the good stuff…

I don’t remember where I saw this quote at but it goes “I can’t complain about having a lot on my plate when the goal was to eat”. I’ve pretty much been reciting that quote over and over again to myself because it’s so incredibly true . My goals include graduating, learning more in the mental health field, advocating for mental health and wellness, inspiring my peers, losing weight, and living my best life. Everything that I’m doing is a step towards each of those goals in some way or another.

When I’m feeling overwhelmed or negative, I try really hard to replace those feelings with an attitude of gratitude. I can’t thank God enough for the opportunities that I have been given to learn and grow, both personally and professionally. I look back on last year when I was working at a job that I HATED and it’s like how could I complain??? LOOK AT WHAT GOD DID. Everything that I’m doing right now, I prayed for at an earlier time. Everything that I’m doing right now is preparing me for greatness. 

When I start to have that attitude of gratitude (and have some wine) I feel a heck of a lot better, and it’s like I’m excited about my goals all over again.

If you can relate to this post in any way I just want to say that; 

You’re amazing. 

You can do anything you put your mind to. 

Be mindful of how you’re doing mentally, physically, and emotionally.

Take care of yourself.

You got this. 

5 Things to Consider When Searching for a Therapist

So you’ve decided you’re ready to see a therapist, good for you! No seriously, that’s great. Maybe you’re still on the fence about seeing one, that’s ok too! Now comes the task of finding that perfect stranger to share your most personal thoughts and feelings to. I realize this task may sound scary and even impossible, but it can be done. I recently saw a therapist for the first time and had an amazing experience. I’ve listed exactly what I took into consideration before making my final decision, it is my hope that by sharing I can make the task a bit easier for you. 

How Can I Afford Services? 

This is the very first thing I considered in my search for a therapist. It’s the very first thing because I assumed therapy to be crazy expensive. I also didn’t think that therapists took insurance -honestly, I don’t know why. Well lucky for us, therapy can be affordable and you can use insurance. If you do have insurance, either call your insurance provider or look on your insurance website to see who is in your network. Just as a visit to your doctor, you may be required to pay a copay. I would also recommend looking to see if your workplace offers an “Employee Assistance Program” and if you’re able to utilize it. These programs usually offer short-term counseling, but it’s definitely a start. So maybe you don’t have insurance, there is always the option to pay out of pocket. Even then, I would recommend looking for therapist who offers a sliding scale fee.  A sliding scale fee simply means that you will be charged based on your income. For my college/grad students, many universities offer counseling services that are funded by your tuition.

What Am I Looking to Work On?

Depression, Anxiety, PTSD? It’s important to have some idea about what you’re seeking therapy for. Not all therapists specialize in the same mental health disorders/issues. As you go through your list of potential therapists, either call or look to see if they have a website. They will provide information as to what they specialize in and what areas they have the most expertise in. Many therapists are experienced in many different areas of mental health, a jack of all trades! This is great because you may have more than one thing to work on, at different points of your life.

Is This Therapist Licensed? 

Many people can call themselves a counselor, therapist, or life-coach. These terms can be used loosely sometimes. Being licensed means the individual has earned hours in a clinical setting as well as passed a licensing exam. You’ll usually find their credentials and licensing information on their website. There are many different professionals that offer therapy and have gone through schooling to be able to provide services. Just to name a few; Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), and Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC). Students, be mindful that in a university counseling center, there may be interns offering services as a way to gain clinical hours. You have to decide if you are ok with working with someone who is not yet licensed.

What is This Therapist’s Approach to Therapy? 

This was a very important one for me. It’s helpful to know a therapists philosophy on therapy, as well as what therapies they use. You can find this information on their website or by calling. Believe it or not, no therapist is the same. They are all unique human beings with their own ways of thinking and doing things. As I was going through the website of the therapist I chose, I came across a “Common Questions” section. One question was “Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems”. Her answer was, “Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you’ve faced, there’s nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you’re at in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.” As soon as I read that, I was hooked. Knowing that she felt that way about therapy made me feel a lot better about wanting to talk to someone.

Who Am I Comfortable Talking To?

Again, every therapist is different. Do you need someone to show you tough love or do you need someone to gently nudge you towards change? Do you want to talk to someone that looks like you or are you open to diversity? I personally was very interested in seeing a black therapist. My reason for that was because in my graduate program, I haven’t had the opportunity of learning from and working under many therapists of color. Everyone has their own preferences and that’s perfectly fine. I say be open minded. If something or someone isn’t working, be willing to change and adapt.  

I hope that this list has or will help you in your search for a therapist. If you’re still on the fence, I hope I’ve pushed you over a little bit, lol. One very important thing I would like to point out is that you may go through a few different therapists. THAT IS PERFECTLY OK. You may not vibe or connect with the very first one, but please please please don’t be discouraged. 

If you have any questions about therapy or therapists, please leave a comment or contact me. Also, feel free to share your experiences in therapy. I’d love to hear from you!

Check out my previous post about my personal experience seeing a therapist!

https://kurlsandkonversation.com/2018/12/22/first-time-experience-seeing-a-therapist/

A special shout-out to shikaardeta for suggesting I make this kind of post. Check out her amazing blog here! 

https://shikaardeta.wordpress.com

10 Must-Haves for Natural Hair

I swear having natural hair is a full-time job. Ok maybe part-time, but either way it takes some work. It takes even more work when you don’t know what products to use. I’ve listed 10 things that I feel make life easier as well as give you great hair. These are products that I can’t go without and feel work for every curl type. I’ve also included links to specific products that I use.

Sulfate-Free Shampoo

Sulfate is a cleansing agent and it produces that lather effect. While sulfate makes your hair and scalp feel squeaky clean, it can also be harmful. Sulfate strips hair of everything, including natural oils that are needed. Sulfate also drys out hair and makes it frizzy.

https://www.sallybeauty.com/hair/hair-care/shampoo/superfoods-quench-shampoo/SBS-377036.html?list=Home%7CWhats_new

Sulfate-Free Conditioner

After you use the shampoo to cleanse your hair, you’ll need this product to restore moisture. If a brand has a shampoo then there is most likely a coordinating conditioner (though not usually sold together). I don’t typically mix and match shampoos and conditioners but that’s just a personal choice.

https://www.sallybeauty.com/hair/hair-care/conditioner/superfoods-quench-conditioner/SBS-377037.html?list=Home%7CWhats_new

Tangle Tamer

You need something that is going to detangle your hair without ripping and tearing it. A Tangle Tamer has a lot more teeth than a wide-tooth comb, so it detangles and distributes product to every single strand. I use my tangle tamer in the shower while my conditioner is in. 

https://www.sallybeauty.com/hair/brushes-and-combs/tangle-tamer-max/PLGDIN17.html?list=Search_Results#q=tangle+tamer&start=1

360 Mist Spray Bottle

Your hair needs to be moisturized often so it helps to have a water bottle handy. It’s especially helpful when you’re styling your hair and need to re-wet it. This particular water bottle is great because it sprays a fine mist of water that is evenly distributed across your hair. My favorite part about it is that it sprays a continuous mist, so no constant pumping like with a traditional spray bottle.

https://www.sallybeauty.com/salon-equipment-and-furniture/salon-accessories/spray-and-applicator-bottles/360-mist-sprayers/SLNCAR77.html?list=Search_Results#q=360&start=1

Deep Conditioner 

Deep conditioning is extremely important for us natural girls! Deep conditioners usually stay in the hair for a limited amount of time and are then rinsed out. Benefits of deep conditioning include; hydration, reduced split-ends, stronger hair, hair growth, and added shine. I deep condition once a week. 

https://www.sallybeauty.com/hair/hair-care/textured-hair/curly-hair/intensive-hydration-masque/SBS-476432.html

Deep Conditioning Cap

Yes, this is a cap that you wear while deep conditioning. It’s not the most fashionable accessory, but it helps to trap heat inside. The heat helps the conditioner to deeply penetrate your hair. 

https://www.sallybeauty.com/hair/hair-accessories/platinum-deep-conditioning-cap/SBS-543908.html?list=Search_Results#q=cap&start=1

Leave-In Conditioner 

A leave-in conditioner is a conditioner that is left in the hair, no rinsing needed. Every leave-in has its own benefits so choose one based on what you feel your hair needs. I always use a leave-in, and consider it to be like a “primer” or “base” for my styling products. 

https://www.sallybeauty.com/hair/hair-care/textured-hair/coily-hair/leave-in-conditioner/SBS-341201.html?list=Search_Results#q=as+i+am&start=1

Essential and Natural Oil(s)

An essential oil would be tea tee oil, which helps with dry, itchy scalp. A natural oil would be castor oil, which promotes hair growth. There are many different oils with different benefits so again, choose based on what your hair needs. I use coconut oil for hot oil treatments. 

https://www.sallybeauty.com/hair/hair-care/treatments/coconut-black-castor-oil/SBS-175352.html?list=Search_Results#q=jamaican+black+castor+oil&start=1

Satin Pillowcase, Scarf, or Bonnet

You must sleep with something to protect your hair, and that something should be satin. Your hair can slide across satin without snagging, tearing, or becoming frizzy. You can use a satin pillowcase, scarf, or bonnet. Use all three if you’re a wild sleeper. I usually use a scarf and bonnet.

https://www.sallybeauty.com/hair/hair-accessories/large-satin-bonnet/SBS-378140.html?list=Search_Results#q=satin+bonnet&start=1

A Stylist That Knows Natural Hair 

If you want to maintain beautiful and healthy hair this is extremely important. A stylist that knows natural hair will; use appropriate techniques for cutting, give you a good shape, use products that work well for your hair, and be knowledgeable about natural hair care. My stylist is in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, but feel free to check out her insta!

https://www.instagram.com/lynn.styless/

I hope you found my list helpful! If you have any questions about the products or natural hair in general, leave a comment!