DEALING WITH LOSS AND GRIEF

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Brokeness is a feeling i know too well.

I broke the day my mom got sick. I stayed broken as she fought for her life for what seemed to me like the longest 4 months ever.

I kept breaking as i stayed with her and watched her helpless in pain. It killed me. I died and i didnt know.

I was about 14 years old when my mom fell sick. She suffered from partial stroke that later deteriorated as a result of the barely existing health care service in Nigeria.

While i was on break from school, i stayed with her in the hospital. At night, my dad would come get me and we’ll go home together. I was responsible for taking care of her. Spoke to the doctors whenever they had information to pass across cause my dad would be at work. I became the “designated adult”. I cried by her bed side everyday cause i was still  a kid. I didn’t know how to not feel weak, vulnerable and powerless. My psyche was tremedously affected. My reasoning changed. I had to grow up and i had to do it fast. People started telling me things like “you’re now the mother to your brothers and the wife to your dad. Remember you’re the Ada of your family“. But i didn’t want to be any of those things. I wanted to be an oblivious child that did stupid things kids my age did. I didn’t want to worry about my sick mom or life without her. I didn’t want any of that. What i wanted mattered very little, it seemed.

Got back from school one hot afternoon after school re-opened, to see a ton of people i didn’t know in my house. My guess was that the folks from church gathered to pray for her quick recovery. The moment i heard the pastor say “God please grant Brother Okafor and the kids the grace to overcome loosing Sister Tochi” i went numb. Then, in a split second i was overwhelmed with a flush of emotions. I screamed so hard i thought i was going to damage my vocal cords.

Spent a good number of years hating God after she died. I hated what He stood for. I mean, how could He allow such a sweet, strong, spiritual and God-loving woman that meant the world to me to die. I thought. At the time, i had no idea that the Scriptures says the heavens of the heavens belong to God but the earth He has given to the children of men. I blamed God for something that was not His fault.

I stopped going to church because i didn’t see the need to. Mummy was dead. She used to hound my siblings and i to go to church when she was alive and healthy. She made sure i wore pretty, girly dresses with big earrings and high-heel shoes to match on Sundays because i was her “ada obodo oyibo” (first daughter from abroad lol). She was the pillar that held the Okafors’ together. She made things happen. She made my siblings and i feel safe and secure in this scary and uncertain world.

The church reminded me of her and quite frankly all i wanted was to forget. Forget the memory of her being sick and in so much pain. Forget the pain i constantly feel whenever i wake up to the reality of not having her around. I was incredibly close to her. We looked so much alike. People called us siblings cause she was still young and really pretty. We shared the same clothes, wore the same shoes, went alsmost everywhere togther. I was her “handbag”. It sucked loosing my “carrier”.

For about 3 years after loosing my mom i became a misotheist (misotheism “the hatred of God”). I avoided the church folks like a plague. Called them phonies and hypocrites, always telling me “it is well Ify“. It didn’t feel well. I didn’t feel well. I felt sick. I felt wounded in my soul. I felt betrayed.

I didn’t know that the trauma of literally watching my mum die built strongholds in my mind. I became extremely defensive. Kept to myself a lot. I stopped letting people in. I became aware of the frailty of human existence in a negative way. I started working in my dad’s business centre and assumed the role of my mom because bills had to be paid and i was no longer a “kid”. Life made certain of that.

However, in the midst of the hurt and pain, one very important thing i learnt was that the love of God runs deep. Real deep. He stuck with my “misotheist self”. Kept making His love visible to me until i finally saw it. All the time i spent walking in the opposite direction from Him was understood and forgiven.

I started finding solace in God. In the place of prayer. I began understanding even in my hurt, He was there. I stopped seeing God as the enemy. He wasn’t. I began seeing the Scriptures as His love letter to me. I got encouraged when i read it and said it out loud. The more i prayed and meditated, the more at peace i felt.

After about 4 years, I started going to church again. First out of curiosity. Then i started going joyfully. Got my siblings to join me. Through it all, He was there, yearning to give me rest. The rest i so desperately needed.

Nothing in life can prepare us for the death of a loved one. Death is so deeply personal and stunningly final, nothing can emotionally prepare us for its arrival. With every death, there is a loss. And with every loss, there will be grief. Today’s culture tells us to move past this process quickly. Take a few days, weeks perhaps, to grieve, but don’t stay there too long. Grieving can make those around us uncomfortable. Friends sometimes don’t know what to do with our pain. Loved ones struggle to find adequate words to comfort our aching wounds.

Yet grief, as painful a season as it is, is a necessary part of our healing. Grieving can be the most difficult time for people. It was for me. Trying to balance the feelings of pain and loss while going forward with your everyday life.

WHEN YOU GRIEVE:

Give yourself space and time, be honest with your emotions, try not to grieve alone to avoid doing something drastic and harmful to yourself.

Turn to God’s word for ease and comfort as you try to overcome grief. It took me years of struggling to come to this realization.

Don’t hold back the tears. You might be going through something similar. Probably you’re still trying to deal with loosing a loved one or a dear friend. The truth is it’s going to be really hard. You will cry. A lot. But be conscious of the love and grace of God.

Don’t try to figure it out all by yourself. The Psalmist in Psalm 34:18 says that God is close to those with broken hearts and He saves people whom their spirits have been crushed. Psalm 147:3 says that He heals the brokenheareted and binds up thier wounds. Many of us have soul wounds. We need Him to bind us up and restore us.

Take it all in

When grieving, it is important to feel your feelings. Feel the rage. Feel the anguish. Feel the hurt. But when you’re done being in your feelings, remember what’s important; God has a plan to heal and restore you. You don’t have to stay broken.

English poet and hymnodist, William Cowper, described grief itself as medicine. Grief cleanses the anguish from our souls and sets us back up on the path of life. Grieving is the process God uses to bring us to a place of wholeness. I know it might not feel that way, just give it time. Grieving is a necessary part of our journey. Healing. Sometimes it just doesn’t make sense but let’s be “stupid” enough to trust Him.

Have you ever or are you currently dealing with grief? What has it been like for you ?

‘Till my next post…stay beYOUtiful 😚😚

My Barber Shop CUTSperiences

A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life

Coco Chanel

It’s been amazing since I embarked on my ‘no hair’ journey. I can’t even begin to explain how cutting off all my hair boosted my confidence. I began loving myself and appreciating myself in all my glory. I cut my hair and I didn’t look half as bad as I envisaged. But that’s not what this article is about. I would be sharing with you guys some weird experiences I’ve had in barber shops.

It was in this moment I knew I was going to grow up to become a low cut queen

Low cut queens can agree with me that rocking your low cut is as low maintenance and easy as it gets. The only real struggle is finding a barber that gets you.

In a world full of trends, I choose to remain classic

I wanted to experiment as much as possible with my look. What better way to experiment than to have my hair dyed.

After lectures one afternoon, I walked into a barber’s shop and asked the barber for a cut and dye.

It ended tragically.

The barber manually receeded my hairline. I looked like the low budget version of myself🤧. I was still trying to come to grips with my new look, when the barber asked “Nwa shey make I mix the dye? O ga di sharp o” (baby should I mix the dye. The hair will look sharp oh). I had no words, only tears welling up in my eyes. I was too upset to have it dyed. I wore wigs to school for weeks. Each time I looked in the mirrior, I was reminded of his awkwardly shaped, muscular hands, carving away whatever semblance of edges I had left.

After taking that huge ‘L’, I bounced back like Big Sean. I hit the streets, again, in search of a RELATABLE barber that gets me. Went to a barber shop close to school, “Wal-Cut”. Asked for a fade and a wine coloured dye. Yep. Still wanted the wine dye. WalCut said I was in good hands. I wasn’t.

PS: let your trust be in the Lord and in the power of His might. Not in any barber.

After cutting and having my hair dyed, he took me to the bathroom beside his shop, and drenched me in water, in a bid to wash off the dye, ’cause apparently, that’s the only way he washes off hair dye. After the few minutes of torturous washing, I was taken back to the shop to check out my new look. I saw myself in the mirror and I couldn’t believe what was reflecting. I looked like Tony Tetuella.

“WalCut what shade of wine is this?” I was knackered. He’s girlfriend, trying to save face, goes “but the hair fit you oh”. Excuse you ! Should I give your man the payment that fits what he did? Hold your peace Nne. The discount I got did little to ameliorate the annoyance I felt. I left the shop thinking “Why always me?” “Who is after my new hair flex?” There always seemed to be a disconnect between what I tell them to do and what they do.

Grew to actually love the look

Tried out another barber’s shop. This one came highly recommended. Had a weird conversation with the barber while he cut my hair. He told me how he’s been trying to convince his girlfriend to cut her hair and how she vehemently refused. Oga I’m not interested in your personal problems. Work in silence. Please. While I was still having my hair cut and listening to the life stories of the barber, I turned sideways to see the receptionist, who had a comically wide gap teeth, staring intently at me. If you think I’m cute, tell me. Don’t be weird about it.

“Excuse me?”. She responded with “Sorry, I wanted to know if you were up to 15 years old to know if I’m charging you as a minor”. What sort of a joke is this. Naya be calm. I refused to mess up the high that I was on from finally getting the cut I wanted. So I graciously paid the charge for ‘adults’ and left.

Most guys don’t go through the hassle us ladies go through in barber shops.

Some ladies that come to unisex saloons to style their hair and see me waiting to get cut, usually ask what motivated my decision. They always feel there’s some depth to choosing to not be “feminine”. It’s not that deep. I’m still feminine. Still beautiful. Just a different kind of beautiful.

It hasn’t been easy finding a barber that RELATES with my hairline. But i think my search is finally over. Maybe.

Have you had any bizarre experience in a barber’s shop?

In my next post, I will be addressing certain stereotypes about women who rock low cut. Stay beYOUtiful😚😚

NOTHING CHANGES IF NOTHING CHANGES

Do you ever self-sabotage? Do you ever talk yourself down when opportunities present themselves because you feel inadequate?

If you follow me on Facebook (Therelatablesis) and Instagram (TheRelatableSis _ ), you’ll know that i was invited to deliver a talk at a seminar that was held in my University. I was asked to talk about my blog. It was CRAZY !

I’m just going to put this out there; I was incredibly scared. A million and one things ran through my mind! What if i get on the stage and go blank? What if I’m so nervous and i fart so loudly everybody in the auditorium hears ??? (Lol don’t judge my fears). When i feel nervous about something, i second-guess myself. It’s really a terrible thing when you second-guess yourself. It’s toxic! These negative thoughts tried to cripple my mind, but instead of giving in to fear, as was my usual response, i reminded myself of God’s word ‘i am MORE than a conqueror’. Fear’s got nothing on me !

So I told myself fear was not welcomed in my heart. I told myself i was going to deliver an amazing talk and it would be awesome ’cause I will not feed into my negative habit of being afraid.

You know that tiny, demeaning, still voice that tells you ‘you suck’? You guessed it! That voice came to me while i was in the auditorium, waiting to be called to the stage. “sssshh. Why are you even here? Your blog has barely kicked off and you want to motivate people to live out their dreams? Give up now and call it a day”. I started thinking; am i really qualified ? Truth is i wasn’t, but more importantly, God didn’t care because He qualifies those He calls!

I made it up the stairs to the podium on my high-heels without tripping and falling flat on my face. I muttered under my breath ‘atleast I’ve averted the most embarrassing thing that could have happened. Thank you Lord’. The farting loudly and remembering what to say was the next challenge🤣🤣. Thankfully it turned out alright. I vibed well with the audience and the love and kind words i got after the whole event had wrapped up was massive. I got to meet amazing people! I got to talk about my baby(theRelatablesis) to a great audience, who appreciated my message.

I can relate to self-sabotage. It’s very easy to give up. Call it quits. Count your losses. Real courage is in forging ahead, despite the apparent limitations. And we were called by God to be courageous and incredibly brave.


Sometimes i need to remind myself i am worthy. You are too ! And there’s no shame in having people who can remind you of how awesome you are when life makes you question your worth. If you can relate to the emotion of crippling fear, know that you are way stronger than you give yourself credit for! You don’t even have to go the whole mile to be brave. Take on step and fear will dissipate.

Nothing changes if nothing changes (I’ve got a depth to me, i know😎😁).

What’s the scariest challenge you’ve ever faced head-on?

‘Till my next post….stay beautiful😗😗

WHY YOU SHOULD LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS

How to be genuinely happy in life; lower your expectations and improve your reality.

Picture source: Pexels

Feeling satisfied is a great way to go through life

What if i told you that you need to lower your expectations to be happier? What would your response be? Would you think me a sadist? Would you say it’s counter-intuitive? Would you say that is un-scriptural or just plain wrong?

Truth is, you probably would say one or all of them. That’s okay because you most likely would have misconstrued that statement.

Growing up, you’ve been told to have high expectations. Dream big. Think bigger. While all of that is great and very true, setting ridiculously high or unrealistic expectations is just setting yourself up for failure.

Have you planned something and it didn’t turn out the way you expected it to? Are you disappointed with people because they don’t do what they say? Do you get disspointed with your partner because they don’t measure up to the expectations you cultivated from watching unrealistic romance movies, reading romance books and following cute instagram couples? Do you expect other people to react or reply to you the way you want on social media when you post something?

Some people say that if you have no expectations, then you will have no disappointment. “No expectations, no disappointment.” Well i don’t subscribe to not having any expectations at all. I believe, however, that your expectations should be realistic and practical. A tremendous amount of stress happens because we have expectations that are unrealistically high.

Picture source: Pexels

It’s often the expectation, not the situation, that causes disappointment.

It is in the human nature to be expectant and we naturally feel let down or betrayed when we don’t get what we expect. But when you have the knowledge that no one owes you anything and everyone has choices to make; choices that could affect you negatively or positively, you won’t get worked up if your expectations of people fall through. And that is the essence of this article; to show you why and how you should lower your expectations.

A Happiness Research was carried out by researchers in Univeristy College, London. The findings of the research led scientists to speculate that those with lower expectations tend to be happier in the long run while those with high expectations tend to have a short term happiness.

You might ask, what does this mean for a Christian? Doesn’t the bible encourage us to be expectant? Well it does. Expectant on the promises of God, not on people. In fact He tells us what to expect from life; trials, challenges, afflictions, persecution and all that bad stuff. But the good news is we already overcame the world and its madness through Christ Jesus.

I am naturally a very meeticulous individual. I plan my day “to a T” before the day even commences. I liked making mundane plans ahead of time. Whenever my expectations for the day are derailed, even in the slightest bit, i legit loose it. I get really jumpy and would go on to have ‘bad vibes’ the rest of the day. Now, however, i am learning to have little to no expectations of people and situations, but to expect God to be God in my life.

Expect less, be happy

Say you just gained employment and your expectations at your new workplace is that everyone at the office would absolutely love you. Your boss would adore you so much that you get preferential treatment. Now, while there is a chance that it could pan out just as you expected, the chances of the reverse being the case is way higher and more feasible. Not everybody will love you. It is what it is. You would probably have to put in work to get promoted or rise in any area of specialization. That’s just the realistic way to think.

Maybe you just gained admission into the university and your expectation are that you would be loved by all your lecturers. You expect that you would be a ‘hit‘ among your coursemates. You expect that your mates and people in general will always talk to you with kind and flattering words. What happens when your lecturers feel indifferent towards you? Or you don’t even get noticed in class as you expected and people are unkind to you? Would you still remain that happy-go-lucky chap? Would you still maintain that confident and positive outward disposition? Or would you feel the pangs of disspointment?

Your rich relative tells you he/she will be there for you while you’re in school. You start expecting him/her to take care of all your needs. You expect steady pocket money. Groceries money. Flexing money etc. What happens if that wealthy relative doesn’t come through for you? What happens if the expectations you had from your conversation with him/her falls flat on your face? Would you bombard God with “Oluwa wetin dey occur abi wetin dey materialize?”.

Expect less and be less disspointed

Show me a man/woman with realistic expectations of life and people and i will show you a man less likely to fall into depression.

Everyone wants to be happy

Studies have discovered fascinating tidbits about what makes us happy. One, conducted by a University of Southern California researcher, found that money doesn’t make us happy. Shocking, yes ?

Though it’s true that a lack of money will cause stress and unhappiness (an average Nigerian can relate to this), it is also true that once people reach an income where they are able to meet their basic needs, with a little left over to go on a vacation and do a few other nice things, their happiness level does not increase as their income soars. More stuff does not equal more happiness. Never ‘expered‘ it ?

The USC researcher concluded that the more we have, the more we want, and so we end up working harder to get more — and have less time to pursue the things that truly do make us happy: spending quality time with loved ones and enjoying good health.

This article isn’t all gloom. The good news is that we can choose happiness. People who are happy seem to intuitively know that their happiness is the sum of their life choices. Happy people choose to build their lives on five pillars:

  • Devoting time to family and friends
  • Maintaining an optimistic and realistic outlook
  • Feeling a senseof purpose
  • Appreciating what they have
  • Living in the moment

Life wouldn’t always be fair. People won’t always treat us the way we like or expect to be treated. Family and friends will fall short of our expectations.

HOW TO LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS

Picture source: Pexels

1. Become aware of expectations.

Epectations are subtle and come in many forms, so most times we don’t recognise our expectations as expectations . They disguise themselves as goals, assumptions, social norms, visions and beliefs. Every time, you think someone should do something or something should happen for whatever reason, that is an expectation. Practice ‘self-awareness’. Be aware whenever you have expectations. Ask yourself if the expectations you have are realistic and practical. Lower the expectations that aren’t.

2. Stop wanting to be right.

I loved having my way and being right. It used to be my way or the highway. I felt i was right about everything and i got disppointed when people didn’t act the way i expected them to. I’m not saying that people shouldn’t be on time, or your partner shouldn’t help you out with your house chores or whatever it is you need help with. But when you believe these are the right things to do and people should do it, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.

Our expectations of others could make us feel misery

Your boyfriend doesn’t have to buy you stuff. Your husband isn’t obligated to take out the trash. When both of you got married, he probably didn’t sign an agreement to take out the trash or fill the gas. And you probably didn’t sign an agreement to do the housework either. When you start having lower expectations of your partner, you find out that you’re less expectant but more grateful for what your partner does for you.

Have no expectations in any relationship. Don’t determine who’s right or who’s wrong. Don’t blame one another. Just communicate.

In most cases, you are disappointed not because your husband didn’t take out the trash. You are disappointed because you expect him to do so without you asking. Because you think it’s the right thing for a caring husband to do.

Some women say things like “i expect you to know what’s bothering me”. Or “i expect you to know when to cling to me and when to stay very far away from me”. No sis! Don’t say “well I’m right for expecting ‘such and such’ because he should know this. Stop trying to be right. Stop trying to win every argument. If you don’t have to be right, most of your expectations, disappointment, and argument wouldn’t exist in the first place.

3. Have no expectations of others.

Stop expecting things from people, especially strangers or mere acquaintances.

I used to get made fun of because of my fivehead (forehead so big it can fit five fingers). It made me feel terrible because i expected people to to say things that made me happy and not bring me down with words. But now I’m more peaceful about hate comments and negative reaction directed at me because now i have little to no expectations of people. And might i add, it has been pure bliss ever since i started lowering my expectations of people 😁.

Don’t expect people to be nice to you. Be nice to yourself

When you start something like a blog, or put your message out there, you know that some people would agree with your message, while others won’t and that’s okay. Not everyone shares the same perspective as you, not everyone can relate to you or what you go through. Not everyone sees the perceptions you see. You can only control how you treat others and how you treat yourself. Be nice to yourself and forgive people when they are unkind to you.

4. Don’t compare yourself with others.

Stop expecting yourself to be able to do what everyone else can do. Stop expecting yourself to be as good as everyone else. It’s pointless to compare apples with oranges. They are both sweet and health-giving fruits🤷‍♀️. So why compare yourself with other people?

I made a blog post about this called The Comparison Trap (you can check it out by going through my published articles). We know this saying all too well “If someone else can do it, so can I.” While this is true and very empowering, it could create unnecessary self-expectations. When you compare yourself with others, you expect more from yourself. You no longer feel comfortable moving at your pace. If someone has a goal to retire by the age of 50, then you also want to retire by the age of 50, or your friend gets married while in school, then you must get married before leaving school. You begin to put unnecessary pressure on yourself to meet that self-imposed benchmark.

5. Focus on process goals not outcome goals.

“Set goals but know that the arriving is not all that important.”

Eckhart Tolle

There are two types of goals. One which focuses on the outcome and the other focuses on the process.

If you are a blogger, outcome goals would be to finish your blog post by a certain date. Mine’s on Fridays. It’s fine having outcome goals, but people tend to attach expectations to their outcome goals.

Process goals, on the other hand, would be like writing daily for atleast 10 minutes a day. Process goals are like habits which you develop over time. Process goals are less stressful because they aren’t based on your progress. Instead, it is based on your commitment. You set aside a time for writing and you write. It doesn’t matter how fast you write or how much you write. The fact that you schedule a time for writing and you actually stick to it, is a victory in and of itself.

My final thoughts are we should all strive to do things that make us happy. Be around the people that make us happy. Cultivate new habits that make us happy.

Lowering the expectations we have of others and setting realistic expectations of ourselves would enable us live happy lives.

‘Till my next post…..stay beYOUtiful😙😙

HOW TO OVERCOME YOUR FOMO ADDICTION

Picture source: Pinterest

Welcome back to blog💕. Y’all the real mvps. So guys, I recently added ‘audio painter’ to my very many audio talents 😁. That being said, let me paint a picture for you. It’s getting late in the evening, but you’re feeling restless. You want to unwind after a long day of just existing and you, like billions of other people, choose to unwind by casually perusing through your Instagram or Facebook feed when you’re overcome by an all-too-familiar sensation. You see a friend has uploaded amazing pictures from a night out at a great place. Probably somewhere you’ve had fantasies about. As you scroll through countless stories of your friends doing fun and impressive things, your restlessness continues to build.

The emotions you feel at that time are hard to describe, but it feels like a very weird combination of exclusion, self-loathing, and envy. It’s an utterly empty feeling, and it’s becoming increasingly more common among social media users, especially in this day and age. The social media phenomenon is known as the Fear of Missing Out, or FOMO. Mental health experts have become more concerned with this phenomenon because of its power to dominate the mental health of those on the outside looking in. Like you. Like me.

Picture source: Google images

FOMO probably sounds funny when it rolls off your tongue. But it’s no joke. FOMO is a mental condition that is more common than we think. Sit down, let me drop some much needed wisdom on you. You’re welcome 😁. Okay, so the use of the term FOMO is relatively new but the effects have long been in exisitence. The acronym FOMO was officially added into the Oxford dictionary in 2013.


FOMO happens to me on a daily basis. It also happens to you. If we are honest with ourselves, we would admit that FOMO affects us in varying degrees every freaking day. It might not have degenerated into a mental condition, but you exhibit symptoms of FOMO.

Whenever i routinely scroll through my Instagram, or Facebook feed, I see photos and status updates about people doing things: posting pictures in the best destinations in the world with captions like “to travel is to live”, brunching at the newest hotspots, or sipping expensive sturvs on an exotic beach, and all with perfectly filtered photographic evidence to show for it. Thanks to the beauty of social media(sarcasm was very much intended😊), the lives of these friends’ have somehow become part of my own life. It often stirs a nervy feeling inside me, and I sometimes catch myself thinking “Why am I not doing those things?” That FOMO mentality can keep one glued to the computer screen for hours, when that time could be allocated to more meaningful and productive work away from the refresh button.

The more we become glued to the lives of others, the more we begin to doubt ourselves and our priorities. We start wondering why our social and personal lives aren’t as ‘popping’ and ‘lit’ as the lives of others, and how exactly we can achieve that elusive balance of living a productive, covetable, and vigorous life, all while remaining sane.

Picture source: PlusLexia.com

FOMO was coined to describe that anxious feeling that can arise when you feel there is a more exciting prospect that is happening elsewhere — and unfortunately, you’re not there. This generation seems to be under unhealthy pressure to live a certain way and have a certain standard with picture evidence to show for it. The bulk of this pressure mostly comes from social media. I dare say that’s one of the major reasons why young people commit suicide. It’s crazy. The pressure is real. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You don’t have to live with FOMO.

Although it’s not a one-time fix, you can beat your FOMO and stay winning with these simple tips:

  • Admit you have a problem

That’s ultimately the first step in overcoming any problem, illness, addiction. Admit it. I’m not saying be all negative and beat yourself up because you are afflicted or challeneged. I mean be honest with yourself. In fact, say along with me: “I cannot be everywhere at all times and i cannot always be doing the craziest and most fun things ever. And that’s OK because i don’t have to.” Feel better? Sure you do😁. Admitting and accepting that you have anxiety is literally freeing. It’s almost like a huge weight has been taken off your shoulders. I talk about my battles with anxiety, fear and other issues in almost every post i make. It’s my way of freeing myself after ingesting toxicity throughout my day or week. When you acknowledge your insecurity, you can tackle the problem head first.

  • Tune out the noise

For the love of everything you hold dear, turn off your phone! I don’t mean all day, but learn how to go without using that little device for a couple hours. Learn to redo your mornings without your eyes and mind glued to Facebook or Instagram. It may not really be viable to deactivate your social media accounts( i made a post on how to do a social media detox), but learn to limit your phone activity. There’s a therapy called CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy) and the therapy profers a technique in limiting screen time; set aside a certain time of day to check all your social media apps. For example, as a student in the uni, my lecture times are 8am to about 4pm Monday through to Thurday, give or take (crazy i know) and it takes me about 40mins to an hour to get home(depending on how the god of traffic is feeling that day lol). I could limit my screen-time to the 40mins or one hour i spend on the bus ride home. Maybe you’re not a student and you have a 9-5 job, and you take the bus home from work every day from 5:30 to 6:10 pm or more. You can use that time to go through your social media accounts. It could also be a couple of minutes or a few hours at night. You could make this your one and only time of day to check your accounts. Just find a time of day that complements your schedule for you to catch up with Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and stick to it.

  • Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a therapeutic technique. It refers to a non-judgmental awareness or observation that is focused on your present experience. Here are some simple mindfulness exercises to help relax when you feel overwhelmed by the sensations caused by FOMO:

  • Pay attention. It’s not the easiest of things to slow down and notice little things in this busy world. But it’s a great way to be mindful.
  • Escape the fast-paced world of social media by embracing time away from social media.
  • Accept yourself. Treat yourself the way you would treat a good friend or loved one. Find solace in your life.
  • Focus on your breathing. In through your nose, out through your mouth.

Mindfulness advocates for singularity of focus. Rather than multitasking or hurrying up a task to get on to the next one, appreciate your current state of being. My middle name used to be ‘multitask Naya’. I could literally be doing a ton of things at a time. I felt it was a superpower and i was cheating time. Well, It wasn’t. I wasn’t. It only made me develop “the habit of hurrying”. I was running against time but going nowhere and working myself up in the process. Mindfulness can help you enjoy where you are and what you’re doing rather than worrying about what could be that isn’t.

In the Good Book, God tells us the singular factor that causes us, His people, to perish. Lack of knowledge. If after reading this piece, you come to the realisation that you have FOMO, don’t feel bad because now you can put a name to the ‘condition’ and you can use the tips I’ve shared to beat it. You got this 💪.

Sending much love and light your way💕.

‘Till my next post….stay beYOUtiful😙😙

GET TO KNOW ME: THE FACE BEHIND RELATABLESIS

Hallo Leute und willkommen zurück in meinem Blog( little German for you😗😗). Allow me to translate; hello guys and welcome to my blog .

So i decided to do something different today. I know i usually post ‘mental positivity’ content, and that would continue subsequently. Today, in the spirit of TGIF😊, i am going to be answering some FAQs (frequently asked questions) about myself.

Let’s get right into it people!!!!

Q: What’s your full name?

A: My name is Okafor Ifunanyachukwu Anwulichukwuka Obianuju Gift.

Q: What state are you from ?

A: I’m a bit of hybrid😁. My dad is from Anam in Anambra State (so i am from Anambra State), but my mom was from Owerri in Imo state. I say was ’cause she’s late.


Q: Favorite food ?

A: My favourite food is Rice and Ofe Aku. I love it ! Another favourite is pounded yam and ofe nsala with gizzard and chicken🙃.

Q: Favourite movie genre?
A: I love watching horror movies, comedies, suspenseful and thriller movies for sure.

Q: What talents do you have?
A: LOL truth be told i ask myself this question a lot actually. I know God gave everyone talents so i wouldn’t say i don’t have any. If public speaking and doing really well in school were talents then i guess those would be my talents 😊😊😊

Q: What made you start RelatableSis ?

A: I saw RelabaleSis as a means through which i could express my pent up emotions and thoughts. I wanted to overcome my fear of literally everything by doing something. Anything. And i was divinely inspired to create a blog where i could share my struggles and also my growth.

Q: What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done?
A: Hmm. I think that would be the time i preached in front of a packed auditorium at a pastoral competition. It was a competition for the teenagers and pre-teens in all Province 13 Redeemed Christian churches. It was especially scarry because I’m not a competitive person and i had to compete against a lot of other children. But i won and i was an honorary Children Pastor for a whole year. Halleluyah somebody 🙌🙌

Q: What’s your favourite colour ?
A: Black. I love black coloured clothes, black nails, black shoes etc.

Q: What are some of your pet peeves ?
A:
I don’t people who are prideful. People who look unkempt. I especially do not like people who spell ‘I’m’ as ‘am’. Stop it already !

Q: How would you describe your style?
A:
I would describe my style as ‘comfy casual’. I wear a lot of trousers and shirts with trainers or flats.

Q: Why did you cut your hair and how long have you been rocking a low cut ?
A: There’s actually a very deep story behind why i cut my hair (and i would blog about it). But for the purposes of this Q&A I’ll just say i desperately needed a change. I have rocked my lowcut for about six months now.

Q: How many colours have you dyed your hair?
A: So far, I’ve dyed my hair two colours. I’ve been a blonde and brunette. I definitely would like to try other colours.

Q: How tall are you?

A: I am 5ft 2inches

That’s it for my very first Q&A💃💃💃. I hope you enjoyed it. Yes! That’s all we are sharing for now. Trust me, I intend to share more. I hope you feel closer to me now that you know these little facts about me.

Let me know in the comments if you would want more Q&As to be featured on this blog. Also, before you run along, let me know, also in the comments, one thing about you. It could be anything, something you’re really good at or something you love or hate doing.

‘Till my next post….stay beYOUtiful😚😚

Social Media Detox: Why and How to Detox

picture source: google images

When was the last time you went a full day, morning till night, without checking social media? Not necessarily checking your phone, just checking social media? If Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc just stopped to exist, would you feel empty, unhappy and depressed? Has social media become an addiction for you?

For a really long time I was a social media addict. I couldn’t go a couple of minutes without checking my Facebook or Instagram account (I was never really a Twitter person). It was crazy how controlled I was by social media. And the more I delved deeper and deeper into this addiction, the more I lost sight of who I truly was. I was wrapped up in the ‘perfectness’ of social media that when I snapped back to reality, I was met with sadness, disappointment and contempt.

In a bid to make this post as relatable as possible, I carried out a survey. I asked people what they felt about social media addiction and if they were open to detox. More than 90% of the survey participants affirmed that they indeed have or had a social media addiction. One participant had this to say:

It was like my whole life depended on social media. It became my comfort zone. Everytime I check my social media feed, it’s like I’m whisked away from reality. I tried so hard to be like the influencers and celebrities I followed. I wanted their lives.

Another participant said:

social media was the place where I got to compare and contrast my life’s worth with that of other people. I became an increasingly judgemental person. Never satisfied with my family. My relationship with my boyfriend. My relationship with my friends. Social media addiction ate into my very being. My soul.

Social media can be a good thing, and believe me, the last thing I want to do is to ‘demonize’ social media. I believe social media is quite useful and helpful. But too much of everything is bad, even if it’s a good thing.

The very nature of social media addiction is tied to the chemical dopamine.

Many people believe dopamine has everything to do with pleasure. This is not entirely true. During the course of my reseach, i found out that the dopamine system has more to do with anticipation and motivation than it does with pleasure. Dopamine makes you feel like you want something. What it does is, it shifts you into a reward-seeking mindset. This mindset compels you to act. When you act to satiate that desire, the brain releases endorphins(LOL stick with me now, It’s all going to make sense…..eventually), which are pleasurable and rewarding.

 The instant gratification we get from social media keeps us hooked. But it’s never really a complete and fulfilling gratification, is It?. We are never fully satisfied, and so we feel compelled to keep going back for more. It happens to the best of us. As you immerse yourself in dopamine-triggering stimuli, your brain begins to anticipate them even before they happen. Do you ever feel like you hear your phone’s notifications go off? Like you just got a new Facebook alert? And when you check, you realize it was all in your head. The dopamine triggering stimuli in your brain also causes you to sometimes feel “social media withdrawal” — a compulsive need to check social media if you’ve gone too long (or if you think you’ve gone too long) without any dopamine triggers.

picture source: google images

First, it starts with you creating a Facebook or Instagram account that you might check once a week. Soon after, once a week turns to twice weekly, then every four days, before you know It, you can’t see yourself going at least 15-20 minutes without checking Facebook or any other social media app. Now you’re constantly hit with notifications from your social media apps multiple times per hour. Your brain’s dopamine system strengthens, requiring more and more stimulation for less and less reward. Eventually you’re waking up in the middle of the night to check if you’ve received any new retweets, likes, views, messages, reposts or follows, and the first thing you do every morning is to check your phone for notifications.

I will admit, I’ve been guilty of checking my phone for new dms or notifications every morning before i get out of bed. I had to create a law for myself. Once I wake up, I spend the first 10-15 minutes with God. I would read a scripture, worship or just pray and say goodmorning to Him. Once I’m done exhausting that 10-15 minutes, I could pick up my phone and check social media. You could adopt this too.

New vocabulary alert !! Have you ever heard of phubbing?🙄 It was coined from phone + snubbing. It’s when you ignore the people around you because you’re so fixated on your phones. I personally believe social media causes about 80% to 90% of such fixation because most times when we check our phones, we are usually checking in on our social media accounts. True or True?🙃🙃. Let’s face It, we are all guilty of phubbing at one point or the other. Social media is great ! I know I said that before, I just want to reiterate. But social media addiction has taken us away from those around us. We are physically present but absent in the mind and emotion whenever we fixate on social media.

The Benefits of a Social Media Detox

You might say, so what if I’m addicted to social media? It’s not like I’m addicted to heroine or recreational drugs. I still make good grades and carry out my responsibilities just fine. That might be true, but what about the quality of your life? Social media addiction is detrimental in ways that go beyond what we see with our phsyical eyes. One very important thing to note is that social media protrays a false reality. People selectively post what they want others to see. We all do this. You post your best pictures in the fanciest of places. The whole concept of social media  allows everyone to flaunt their good sides while hiding their bad ones, because truth is, everybody has bad sides. Everyone has struggles. Nobody’s profile truly reflects who they are as a person — it’s all filtered and sterilized(some more sterilized and filtered than others). Unfortunately, we tend to forget this. I forget this ever so often, and we can fall into despair when we can’t seem to keep up with the supposed lives of our friends and followers, even to the point of depression.

Here’s another thing, social media encouraged narcissism. Yes it does indeed. The very concept of social media is narcissistic. One of the biggest rewards in social media is when you make a post and somebody likes it or you have so many views on a video. We get such a self-esteem boost when we post pictures and get likes and comments. On Reddit, it’s upvotes. On Twitter, it’s retweets. It’s all about your own satisfaction and gratification, and as you strive for more and more likes, you can get swallowed up in yourself and your social media environment.

Social media sucks up time. A visit to Instagram or Facebook can turn into two hours of mindless browsing. Checking Facebook or Twitter may only take a few minutes, but if you check several times an hour, that can add up to a lot of wasted time. What if you spent that time on something else, like a creative hobby, or personal growth? I know, I know, it’s easier said than done, and I don’t argue with that logic, but little mindful and intentional efforts here and there would make detoxifying oneself from social media attainable. Now, I know there are people who use social media for work. I am not saying you’re wrong for that. No. I’m saying mindless and unnecessary use of social media is toxic.

I remember when I was so addicted to social media to the point it crippled me. I had a lot of negative thoughts, I was hardly ever happy because i made my social media environment more real than my actual environment. I made it more real than God in my life. I was drowning. And the saddest part was i actually liked it. I alsmost didnt mind the fact that i clearly couldn’t do without social media( or so i thought). If you can relate to social media addiction, don’t beat yourself up about it. There’s good news! Halleluyah! The good news is social media detox can get you away from all of these negatives, you know, the utter dependence on social media to fill in the void in our lives only God can, the use of social media as a cheap drug for momentary joy when true and lasting joy comes from God (Romans 15:13).

Let me put this out there, a detox doesn’t have to be a permanent thing — it just has to be done long enough to rewire your brain and break you out of the endless dopamine cycle. Easy peasy, lemon squeezey😊. You can always come back later. So if you think I’m asking you to say goodbye to good old social media, perish the thought!!😁.

Let’s get to the fun and practical part of this post, which is how to do a social media detox! Yeah!

How to Do a Social Media Detox

Picture source: thesocialclinic

Truth is, starting a detox is easy. The challenge is sticking with it. Consistency is key.

Despite the involvement of dopamine(remember, the ‘sciency‘ stuff I talked about earlier), social media addiction is a psychological addiction (much like video game addiction). Substance-related addictions sometimes need gradual weaning due to issues of physical withdrawal, but psychological ones are best dealt with upfront, immediately and with a straightforward approach.

You need to stop rewarding your current dopamine triggers so that your brain can return to normal. But you cannot achieve this if you continue to indulge yourself.

Here are some simple steps you can follow if you’re interested (i hope you are) in embarking on a social media detox:

  • Deactivate your accounts. Before you run away in retreat, hear me out. Right off the bat it might seem impossible to do this. It isn’t though. The very first time I went on a social media detox wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t as hard as you would think. I deactived my Facebook and Instagram apps for months. It was hard getting used to at first, but humans are bundles of adaptation. My mind caught on, eventually. With time i got used to going the whole day without my usual check-in on social media. I felt in control of my mind and freewill. Deactivating your accounts will serve as a barrier against you checking in on a whim, and it will also serve as a signal to your friends that you’re on a detox. But if you don’t want to deactivate just yet, here’s another thing you could do, you could place yourself on a ‘social media schedule‘. But this will be difficult, especially if you haven’t gone on a social media detox before. You could decide to only check in on social media for a particular period of time. Maybe you could decide no social media till 7pm and no social media after 10pm. I used this method for my WhatsApp account, as WhatsApp accounts can’t be deactivated. You could try putting yourself on a schedule. But you need to be really strong-willed to pull this off as opposed to deactivating your accounts. Get yourself an accountability partner if you have to. It’s for a good cause😁.
  • Uninstall all social media apps. Sounds worse than the first step huh ? LOL. The pros of this step is that it will eliminate all of those notifications and alerts that play such a pivotal role in social media addiction. And you won’t be as likely to pop one of those apps open in moments when you are bored (trust me, you would have many of such moments). But if you can’t bring yourself to doing this, that is deactivating your social media accounts for a while, although I strongly advise you do, stick to step 1.
  • Replace social media with an activity. Cultivate a creative hubby, learn a still, perfect a skill you’re already good at. This will help reduce the craving to fill the void you feel with social media.

How long should the detox last? 

You might ask, how long exactly would this ‘social media detox’ last? Most behavioural experts believe it takes about three months (or 100 days) for dopamine levels to return to normal. It may take longer depending on how long and how intensely you’ve been addicted, so don’t be surprised if it takes you more than 3 months to fully recover from social media addiction. But that shouldn’t discourage you. You got this!

You don’t have to embark on social media detox right away if you don’t feel ready. No pressure. But when you search yourself and realise you need a break from the madness, take that plunge and detox !

Would you try or have you ever tried a social media detox before???

‘Till my next post……stay beYOUtiful😚😚