Take Some Time out Before you go Crazy

I knew I was loosing it, I just knew it. You know that feeling when someone breathes out loud and something inside you flips…. That feeling when someone Evan coughs and something switches on inside you- like a very ‘scratchy chalk on a black board’ and you are ready to throw anything that comes in your way, for no reason what so ever…… Or when a knife grazes on a ceramic plate……..and it feels like a pin pricked inside your brain….Yup that feeling! You know it right? Or when someone walks into the room and leaves the door open! You know exactly what I am talking about! Right? Thats when you know…… ‘I need time out’ .Especially in these turbulent times…. Taking time out is so damn important.

But it’s not just any sort of ‘Time out’….. Evan the word ‘Time Out’ has changed. It’s no longer waiting for the men in the house to leave so that you can jump into the tub, or watch the movie you have been wanting to watch after ages. In these uncertain time – you have to tell everyone you need Time out! You have to make this clear…… , your ‘Time out’ will involve people around you, and to make sure they don’t disturb you, you have to make it clear …..and my conversation; it went a little like this:

“I’m going in the bath, I don’t want anyone to come knocking on the door, I don’t care what you do, what you eat, what you watch…..! ..”

“Mum”

“What!! ” I snapped

“We don’t want anything, you go” … Now is that a way to make someone feel guilty or what?! I am Even more annoyed now. Oh Boris- how much more longer?…. How did we even get here!

The bath was taking ages to fill, my bath bomb wasn’t working out as I wanted it too, The water was too hot, and then it was too cold. I was getting all flustered…. And I’m nowhere near my period date! This was serious peeps! Dead serious!

I took a book in with me, but I don’t know how you all do it? I really struggle… Like do you have to keep your hands up all the time? How do you not get book wet? Head rest? I shuffle around an all…. It’s hard work guys. Is there a skill or technique I’m missing out on? Because I don’t get it….. I really failed at this, im stuck with a wet book now…. so I put the book aside and just….. Did nothing…. Nothing…

…I sank in, and then that’s it. Everything disappeared, the mess, the immense amount of cooking, the shouting, the noise, the chaos, the voices in my head…. I was alone. Finally….

No noise, no sound, no voices, just me myself and I….. and Boy did I need it

….This blog is about taking that time out because WE all need it! (I am sure im not the only one whos going crazy? right?)

1. Breathe

With all this crazy madness around us, I have turned into a ‘Stepford wife’ and I don’t Evan like that Sheesh (Kebab- because I won’t swear). I mean Evan the Stepford wives doesnt like being a ‘Stepford Wife’ – so why would I?

So when you are feeling a little overwhelmed, take a break, switch off. Go into a room alone. Go for a drive. Go for a walk. Breathe in the fresh air. Just try and get away from home. The brain gets fogged with too much or too little going on, and that time out will really help clear up the mind.

2. Create your own Ambience

The amount that soak helped me was unbelievable. Yes I came out all wrinkly, probably aged another 30 years, but the wrinkles in my mind were now ironed out. Im usually at home alone, I like my space, I like to call my house ‘mine’ but with this lockdown it has become ‘Our house’, I have to share this space with 3 other beings…. and I learnt something about myself Ive never known before- ‘I dont like sharing!’

I’ve had to get on with it, mardy face and all, (that hurts) but also I’ve learnt that their are certain places/rooms which are private to me, that give me solitude. That keep me sane. I use these spaces when I need that 5 minute to myself. I have my favourite things in those spots, I light the candle, I dim the light and I read my favourite book. Create your ambience in your home, make it yours (dont share!)

3. Comedy

We are going through quite a tough time at the moment, dont make it worse by watching the wrong things. Programmes/movies have a influence on your mood. If you are already having a bad day, dont watch a serious movie, watch something a little more light-hearted. My go-to has to be Friends- no matter how much times I watch it, nobody in the world can make me smile more than Chandler and Phoebe (and a little bit of Joey)

4. Social Media

Just three words for you all here:

SWITCH IT OFF

5. Find Your Niche

my Niche was travelling, eating out, wining, dining, and Afternoon tea- and thats scrapped now. But staying at home has made me discover a lot of old ‘Niches’ that I forget I had. Like colouring…. yes I am a adult, but all I want to do is colour, and do you know how theraupeutic that is? get yourself an adult colouring book, get some pencil crayons and watch the colouring book come alive.

I know people who didnt know the difference between roti flour and self raising flour who have seriously upped their game and are baking things that I didnt even know existed (and I considered myself a baker). They found their niche for sure- im seriously ordering my Eid goodies off them. You know who you are!

So find your niche, whether it be baking, reading, knitting, cooking, painting…..whatever it is… Seriously this pandemic has taught us to go back to the basics and I love that.

6. Spa at Home

Well why not?? make a quick and healthy meal, fill up the tub, fire up a few candles, get the face mask and foot mask out, and chill out. You cant go to a Spa- you have all the time in the world to make your own spa at home, and the beauty is, after your done, get into bed and go to sleep. No driving home involved here. Bliss

7. Catch Up

Real life takes it toll, when was the last time you rang your mum and spoke to her properly? like really properly…. me – I dont know, but now I actually ask her about her day and how she is doing, what she is doing…. without rushing her.

The tranquility I feel in that conversation is Gold. Pure Gold, and its only this Pandemic that has made me realise this. Do a routine where you call a special person everyday and just…. Catch UP.

8. Spring Clean

Ok I know, I know, I sprung this one on you…… but its not all that bad…… the clothes cupboards have been waiting since last summer for a clean out, and guess what they are still waiting. No more excuses about no time. We have all the time in the world. Do you know how satisfying this can actually be? At the moment im constantly wearing comfort clothes-all of these are definately getting binned when we are out of our sentance. But also it given me ideas of what I do need to get aswell….. cant wait for that shopping trip! Thats something to look forward to.

What a mess. Can’t wait to dive into this

Well thats how I am keeping sane in this weird time in our life. How are you guys all doing? anything you are doing differently or I can add to my life?

Hope you all are keeping Strong and keeping safe. We will get through this.

Stay Safe. Stay at Home

Love and regards

M11bna

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The Ultimate Working From Home Guide to keep you Going….

When I got told that I’ll be working from home (WFH) I thought it’d be a doddle, I was excited, I don’t need to wake up early, who cares if I’ve had a shower or not? Pyjama party….. all day…. Every day……

Day one came, and went, still in my PJs, but no productive work done. This should have been easy, but I just couldn’t sit down, I wasn’t comfortable, I couldn’t concentrate, and so many distractions in the house…. I will put it down to first day syndrome.

Second day was very similar, although I got ABIT more done than yesterday, but still, it’s just so hard to be motivated in the house. I didn’t think it would be this hard…I keep making tea, then more tea, then snacks, and 3 hours later I still haven’t done anything

Day Three I needed to make a change, if I carried on like this I wouldn’t have a job at all…. I think I have figured out the real issue here. It’s the work/home balance. With all the distractions of home around me, I just cant get my head focused on work…… because work should be in the office, and home is where the errands are, (and the food!)

And so here is my working from home ultimate guide to keep yourself (or myself) motivated:

Choose an Office Space….

We cant really have a office in the house, thats why its a house, and not work! But you need to find a space in the house where you are away from all the distractions of home life, and then make it a permanent spot.

This probably is the hardest thing to do. The bedroom didn’t work…… the lounge didn’t work…….. The kitchen- the cookies I made were delicious, but the work didn’t get done…. I spent one day outside because the weather was beautiful, and ended up with back ache and throbbing headache, so that was out of the question.

This is something that has to be picked right, and it may take a couple of days to get there. I ended up in the dining room, probably because in all honesty its the easiest, the table is already there, the chair ready to sit on, and I have the space on the table around me to put all my bits and bobs, so im not constantly looking for stuff.

Wake Up, Dress Up, Show Up…

The first three days went a little like this:, I woke up later then the alarm time, had a long(er) shower than normal, had my tea whilst gazing outside, (because I no longer have to commute to work) and then I got back into my pyjamas- because well why not?…… But honestly I think pyjamas were mentally letting me down. I was too comfortable, too slouchy, too easy going, and this was draining my mind and body

So now I get up at the same time (oh I lie, I get up by I stay in bed for a bit longer). I touched my face up a bit (just a bit though, have you guys noticed the changes in the skin texture whilst staying in?). And I make sure I dress up.

I found this to be so important, when you have told yourself mentally to get ready for work, you ARE ready to work. Evan after I have logged off from work, I feel better and fresher. Its just a feel good factor, especially in these turbulent times.

I have a friend who actually spends the time it normally takes her to get to her workplace doing some exercise on youtube in her lounge, to get her in the mode. Im not ready for that but I thought that was a wonderful idea.

Fresh Air…

Right going back to the changes in skin, im not the only person right? my skin is changing day after day, and im having to change products so much because everything and nothing works at the same time. I really dont know where to start….. but it may be due to the lack of fresh air, vitamin D inconsistency, the stress of the position we are in, and generally being stuck inside all day long.

And for that reason my workspace is right next to the door, its ideal because I can get the fresh air in, if I need a breather I can pop out, and also the rays of sunlight feel so wonderful on the skin and perk up my mood. So try and choose a location which brightens up your working space and allows you the breathing space.

Food, Food and More Food

Anyone else feel the weight piling on? its Boredom. Boredom makes you want to eat, and so we are all coming out of this quarantine with beer bellies and as long as we all do it, its ok…. we can make it fashun! (ok Ok maybe not. Im joking, just saying. Chill out!)

In the office because we are so consumed with work, we just get up for coffee breaks and back to it, but at home, the food possibilities are endless…. I got up more than I sat and focused…. because I wanted to eat…..and eat, and eat some more, and after I ate I needed a nap. And then my whole day was ruined.

I had to put a stop to that, and that included, bringing all the snacks to my workspace with me and closing the dining room door. Initially I Evan got that part wrong, because 6 packs of crisps, chocolates and fizzy drinks are not considered brain food!

So I swopped the fizzy drinks for fruit infused water. (Twinnings are the best)

Crisps for Mug shots (2% fat, that will do perfectly)

And chocolates for fruits!! And to get the extra ‘At work’ feel I added a few personal portraits and plants… ( Also it makes a great picture. Aesthetic’s and that. Just saying )

And the only extra thing I kept on the side- is the hand gel. You can never have too much hand gel at this moment in life. Right? Better to be cautious.

The Kiddos

I guess I got lucky here, I have a 16 year old and a 13 year old, the days of running after the kiddos and aeroplanning a spoonful of egg custard and rice are long gone. But for some of you this will be the biggest challenge. Try ( I do say try whilst rolling my eyes because I can’t evan imagine it) and create a balance and a routine, maybe leave phonecalls when the child is asleep, or watching a Disney movie, and focus on the menial and the easy to do jobs whilst the child is in need of your attention. In all honesty I believe parents with younger kids are more efficient because they know how to multitask and are better at time management, and always solve the last minute hiccups without faltering. (You guys rock!)

I have a routine set up for my 13 year old. He has a spot just opposite my desk. Before I start work I set up some work for him to do and keep all the equipment he needs ready, aswell as some snacks for him too (I’m not sharing) . As soon as he is up and ready he will sit opposite me and get what he has been assigned done. Obviously he will ask me questions and we have a chit chat too. He’s a nice guy.

So guys switch off that TV, get off the bed, put on that top you have been wanting to wear, and get some work done x

Hope that you all are looking after yourselves.

Stay safe

M11bna

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A little Kindness in this Cruel World…..

6 years ago I went back to my birth country of Malawi, in Africa. We stayed at my aunt’s house. The only thing I wanted to take back home are these drinks called “Cherry Plum”. I adore cherry plum. If anyone is going or coming back from Malawi, my cherry plum is always on the list…. So this time since I was going, I was going to bring back cherry plum for everyone, and at least a years supply for me…….,But…. there was none….in the whole city of Malawi.

I went crazy looking for them, I drove my aunt crazy, the whole 2 weeks I was there, whilst we were out and about, that’s all we looked for. We ended up going to the small street vendors, the ladies who sell on the edge of the road… But there was none…. I was loosing my head. So too was my Aunt.

I remember telling my hubby whom I had left behind. He thought I was joking : “So your telling me, in the whole of Malawi there is not Evan one bottle of Cherryplum?” …. Urm Yes.

We found out that the factory had been closed for the past couple months because one of the machinery had gone faulty….. Let me explain this to you guys…. A COCA COLA factory in Malawi was shut down for a couple of months because of ONE machine that was not working… How bizzare does that sound?

I remember telling my husband this and he scoffed over the phone – ” it’s a Coca Cola factory- they wouldnt shut it for a day,”.. …… But this is Africa baby!

… it did start up again, and I get my regular cherry plum again for my friends and family… But I’m remembering this now because of the whole Coronavirus situation we have going on.

I’ve not stocked up, I have no intention to stock up. Evan if we were to go into lock down, the shops would still be open… But I do my regular shop on a Monday…. And OMG was I thrown back to 6 years ago when I was in Malawi. The supermarkets are empty, there is no food, and if there is it’s triple price. We ARE in BRITAIN people. Not a third world country. Why are we behaving like this!

I keep seeing these pictures of all these old people in supermarkets and they have nothing in their baskets- why? Because stupid people do stupid things! Come on people- at a time like this we are meant to be looking out for each other, and we are penalising the ones who are going to be attacked by this virus the most. Do they really need to be worrying about their shopping or the price of their shopping at this age?

Seeing these posts make me so disappointed in humankind. This virus is sopposed to bring us all together, not break us apart!

The worst is, the people who are using the virus as a means to make profit. I detest these people. Absolutely detest them. How dare YOU! ( Im getting too passionate again) ….. Im going to leave it as ……..I believe in karma.

We all need to calm down. We need to be reasonable. And WE NEED TO HELP EACH OTHER.

So here are the few ways in which we can help each other:

I got a letter today- and it was the sweetest. Kindness does exist

So we now have a WhatsApp group and we will liaise with each other. I have alot of elderly around me, so I feel alot better knowing that there are a few of us who can help.

Also when I next go shopping I will be buying extras- but only to pass on to the most needy. I will give them at the same price and not the over inflated prices that the shop people are taking advantage off.

Here’s another note which can be passed on,

Print these out and post them to neighbours, especially the elderly.

Alot of parents are anxious about the schools closing, especially because they can’t afford the extra meals they will have to cater for, a simple message has been put out on Facebook, for all those parents who have anxiety to just message me, and I will help out in any way I can. Whether that be cooked meals or dropping off abit of shopping. Please do the same if you can afford to x

A little Kindness can help make the world a better and brighter place. We are going to go through this, whether our houses are stocked up or not. There is no where to hide or disappear, so let’s do what we can to help each other out as much as possible. Let’s make the world a better place.

Love and regards

M11bna

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“Sticks and Stones may Break my Bones….But Words will Never Hurt Me”

I was 11 or 12 in high school and I remember the vice-head saying this aloud in assembly.

Sticks and stones may break my bones….but words will never hurt me.”

This message stuck in my head because, a couple of days earlier I had received a scrunched up note from someone in my class, with quite nasty remarks, and it was something that stuck in my head. (Up until today!!)

Being of such a naive and young age, it was exactly what I needed at that time, and I was impressed. Yes. That’s right. I was impressed. I wasn’t bullied physically in school. No. But at phases in high school I have had nasty words been said to me. And this quote actually grew on me…. I mean anything is better then physical pain and bruises?! Right?….Right?

But how true is this really?

Emotional pain is usually disregarded because it cannot be seen. If a person is suffering from a ‘broken heart’ for example, we advise a person to get over it, over a couple of days, we may even get fed up of the person dealing with it. Yet with a ‘broken leg’ we are likely to sympathise until the cast is off, and the person is walking again.

So the same can be said of Verbal abuse. We have a tendency to tell people to forget it, and ignore it without thinking of the consequence, the actual emotional and mental frustration the person could potentially be going through. I myself have been told on numerous occasion not to say anything back, because its not good to ‘stoop’ to the levels of others. But as I grow older i’m realising that it is not good to push this aside, especially when it comes to children.

With the younger generation being more cognitively, and emotionally sophisticated than was understood before. Warning signs have to be looked into earlier. Studies have shown that children who have been bullied in school are more likely to struggle later on in life, whether that be in relationships, in the workplace, or mentally within themselves.

The concept of Bullying has been around for years, its nothing new, and in all honesty unfortunately it will be around forever. However bullying for the younger generation is a completely different culture to that of my age. With the uprising of social media emotional bullying is more evident. It’s called ‘Cyber Bullying’. And the worst part of cyber bullying is… That it’s permanent and it has a wide reach. There is a scar that can be found on the internet, and usually accessed by loads of people.

With Social media it is so much more easier to spread a rumour, to share a embarrassing or humiliating picture or video, to ‘tag’, ‘share’ or even comment on a common page- for the WORLD to see. And the worse part is, it can all be done Anonymously. And a child or adult cannot get away from it, they cannot run away home or a safe place. The internet is something we have access to everywhere and is always with us.

Bullying can make a person feel lonely and worthless, they may develop symptoms of anxiety, depression, lack of appetite, or even go into substance abuse all of which has impact on the health of the individual.

So Sticks and Stones can break Bones, but Words can actually be detrimental to mental health. And both forms of bullying should be looked into.

Signs a person is being bullied include :

Random bruises, withdrawal symptoms (wanting to be alone or not talking much), loss of appetite, changes in behaviour (getting more angry at home for no reason), constant stomach aches or headaches. Loss of confidence, missing personal belongings, Mood swings.

A person who goes through bullying tends to shy away to talk to loved ones on most occasions. If you do notice signs that you may think a loved one is experiencing bullying here’s a few helplines that may be useful for yourself and the loved one:

Youngminds Crisis Messenger:

Text YM to 85258

A 24 hour text service for individuals who are experiencing a mental health crisis. Text are free from most service providers.

Childline: http://www.childline.org.uk or 24 hour helpline 0800 1111

If you are 19 or under, then either call in or email the above helpline. Online chatting is also available on the website.

The Mix: http://www.themix.org.uk or 0808 808 4994

For 25 and under, once again can either call or email, or go online for online chat service with specialised staff

Always look out for signs in friends, family or children, if they become reserved, obtrusive, angry, irritable. Sometimes it’s a sign of mental health issues.

And more importantly #saynotobullying.

Love and regards

M11bna

Fundamentals in a Relationship. Respect.

My friend from sunny South Africa came over, she got married to a South African dude, packed her bags and left…And never looked back apart from her yearly visit for 2/3 weeks in December (Yes. She comes when its freezing. Every year. Tells us its too cold, and goes back to sunny SA)

We always catch up when we see pops over, and it’s really nice because everyone will make more of an effort when she comes.

These Girls are my school friends, and at the age of 36, we are all married, with elder kids. So essentially TRYING to live for ourselves now. I do say trying in capitals because really. We are trying. But it really doesn’t get easier as kids grow older, new challenges come into place. (see previous post of boy/girl friends in a muslim household)

We just started talking about marriage in a general term, and how there are certain aspects to marriage which can make or break you. All of us are still married, not to say we have the ‘perfect’ marriage ( what evan is that?) But we are all happily married.

I mean we all know for a marriage to work there has to be Love. Thats the biggest component, but what exactly is love? And how is the love kept?

It’s kept by further little components, like loyalty, trust, companionship, honesty, compromise, understanding each others needs, respect among so much other factors.

To keep a relationship going, the individuals have to take all of these things into account. And if you are in love, it should all come naturally, it’s not something you’d have to work on….. you would think. Right?

We all came to the conclusion that Secondary to Love- would come Respect. Love is a feeling. And respect- well that has to be earned right? So how do the two go together?

“You cant love a person you dont respect”

How far would you agree with this? Overall it’s a simple statement, and it should be easy, but look around and you’ll see loads of friends, family etc who are suffering from this simple statement. That’s not to say they don’t love each other, but rather the interpretation of respect means different things to different people.

Why did we choose Respect? well thats easy, Without respect all the other factors wouldnt evan make it. We wouldnt commit to someone we dont respect, we wouldnt be loyal to someone we dont respect, we wouldnt evan have proper conversations with people who we dont respect. Respect is a part of life that goes beyond just a relaitionship, its fundamental in all relaitionships, whether that be friendship, parent-child relaitionship, or evan within the workplace.

The problem with the term is what each person defines as ‘Respect’, what can be respectful to one person, may not be the same for the other. The term needs to be broken down and usually this happens after the disrespting of one of the people in the relaitionship. If I put it in the most simplest form ‘Putting the dirty clothes into the wash basket’, now this can be a big issue for one person, yet the other person is oblivious to it. Now a marraige or a long term relaitionship is not going to end over this (I hope so) but its about respecting the other partner enough to know that its considerable to do this little act. (which can save a lot of drama).

This is just a simple example, it’s the more bigger things in life that cause the issues, and communication is needed to break it down. Another small example from personal experience: Friendship groups. Your partner may not like your friendship group. Or vice-versa. So how would you deal with this. You love your partner, you love your friends.

Personally as much as I’d like to ban him from certain people, the reality is that’d be disrespectful off me. If this person is creating a toxic relationship between the two of you, then implications need to be made, if not, then you have to trust that your partner knows whether it’s right to be friends with this person or not. So grind your teeth, leave the sarcasm for another day, and don’t forget to say ‘have fun’ when they leave.

But once again these are things that can be overseen, it would be fair to say that without respect love can essentially start wearing off. If we go back to the friendship example, if I decided that my husband should never go out with these friends, or have any communication with them, he may start loosing respect for me. Or if he decides that regardless of my feelings he will continue to go out with people who obviously have a implicit agenda in breaking the relationship, I would start to lose respect for him. When one half of you starts loosing respect for the other, the tearing down process starts, this can build up in a number of ways, not just friendship but general everyday living of life, and it can lead to a detrimental postition in the relationship.

Our end resolution came down to the key in all relationship is ‘Communication, Communication, Communication’ If you don’t like something- say it. If your not happy – say it. But never ever try and possess or control your other half. Allowing the other person to assess and understand for themselves how much of an impact a certain act has on a relationship shows growth and maturity. And sometimes (just sometimes) mistakes make the relationship stronger.

Hope you enjoyed our little chat.

Feel free to give your thoughts

Love and regards

M11bna

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New Years Resolution. Be Selfish.

Happy New Year to you All. Another year gone, another year to look forward to.

I’m not really a new year’s resolution person, I make resolutions all year round that I don’t commit to. Why wait for New Year’s?

But this year. I’m going for it. And it’s all about me. This is MY Year to be SELFISH.

I’ve been brought up in a house where we were always told to think of everyone’s else feelings first, to block out our own feelings. And to think before we speak. And this has worked for years on end.

But as you grow older you start to realise that their is only one person who is going to look after YOU, and that is YOURSELF. So you have to make the changes for yourself before its too late.

So this year is the year for me to change. This is MY Year to be SELFISH.

SELFISH: ‘Lacking consideration for other people; concerned chiefly with ones own personal profit or pleasure’

From this interpretation, being ‘Selfish’ is not a likeable trait, so why am i choosing to be ‘Selfish?’

Usually a selfish person is termed so because they refused something that someone else probably would’ve had no objection too. Or they chose to think of themselves before anyone else’s needs……. So really all that person is doing is thinking of themselves, their own well being and their own mental health……. And their is nothing selfish about that.

In order to help and take care of someone else, we first need to be able to take care of our self

Their is a reason why people put others before themselves. They want to please people, they want people to like them. They want to gain something from it all at the expense of loosing themselves. And sometimes when you give too much, people expect too much, and so slowly, slowly every time you put someone else needs before your own, your only teaching them that you come second in your own life.

Eventually this can lead to ‘Resentment’ , and having that trait is far worse than being ‘selfish’. So be a little selfish, and give of what you can. There is nothing wrong with a little bit of self-sacrifice, but its best to know how much you can do and give. a Little ‘NO’ here and there will not damage anyone.

Selfish and Self-Love

There is a difference between self-ish and self-love. The two don’t go together. Is it really more important for people to like you, over your own health and mental well-being? And even if you do choose to be selfish now and then, do you really loose the people that love and care for you? After all they love you for who you are. And if you do loose certain people, we’ll frankly you really didn’t need them in the first place (That sounds so selfish! You go girl! First of January and I have already started my resolution).

For your own Mental health and Well being, you need to be able to attend to your own personal needs. So go and fix yourself first, before you fix anyone else, because in all honesty there are not many who will turn up to fix you when you need them.

So before I go on and on, I will end with “This year is MY Year, it’s about Me”. I’m going to very selfishly and unapologeticaly put my mental health first. And if anyone doesn’t like it….

Well tough luck… I’m selfish deal with it.

Here’s to the New Year.

Love and Regards

M11bna