HEALTH & WELLNESS

After being married for over 19 years, it was pretty dramatic being back in the dating field. But, hey, you either sink or swim. I have tried every type of dating: online, offline, blind dates, friend hook ups, guys from the church etc. Lessons I have learned have definitely been because of failed relationships. These are some of the important lessons I keep in mind:

1. Don’t take anything at face value

I don’t take anything at face value; I research, and question everything. Let them call you a detective, CSI or NCIS. You have to protect your heart. Lesson learned # 1 is people will lie and deceive. I met a presumably nice gentleman at a club. I didn’t see a ring but, I still asked “are you married?” He said “no.”… well, you know what? He had been married for over 3 or 4 years when the truth finally came out.

2. Are they making room for you in their life?

Lesson # 2: When a person wants you in their life, they make room for you; they accommodate you in time and in their life events. For example: are you included at weddings, family reunions, or work place functions? It’s a lesson learned if you are being treated like a secret. They are not just wanting you all to themselves, they are probably hiding something- maybe a dead body! Just kidding!

For example, I met a guy and we dated at least eight months. He met my mother, sisters and children, and yet never introduced me to his sister or children, even though they were local. I decided if I had to be a secret, he was not for me.

3. Are they controlling?

Failed relationship lesson # 3: if you are too demanding and everything has to be your way, you are selfish and controlling. That is not healthy or cute. I had a boyfriend who was always, always calling me, checking on the time I got in from work, shopping, and working out. He wanted me to cook for him all the time,  yet never taking me to dinners, plays or movies.

4. Do they support your dreams and hopes for the future?

Failed relationship lesson #4: it’s time to be concerned if they’re not supportive of your dreams or visions of any kind. I was dating a guy for over 2 years and had become an empty nester by this time.  I began to pursue some of the things I put on hold as a single parent; one of those things was to write a book.

I wrote my first book and family and friends were excited. I remember going to the mailbox and the hard copy of the book had come from the publisher. I was jumping up extremely excited and I showed the book to my then boyfriend. He picked up my book, looked at it and put it in the box and said “hmm”. No congratulations, No “good job, baby”, just “hmm”. I broke up with him; if you can so easily step on my dreams you are not the man for me.

5. Will the age difference be a factor to consider?

This next one you may agree or disagree with, but here it is: really consider whether you should date someone substantially younger or older than you. I have done both, and truthfully it didn’t work for me. With the younger guy, he had never been married and had never had children. The first question I asked was, “do you want kids one day? Because I have three and my shop is closed.” But people lie or want someone so badly they risk being misleading. We dated about a year and half and he said he was not ready to give up the idea of having kids. This was right after I was freshly divorced, so I was crushed. But it taught me to look for bad signs early and to take what people tell you with a grain of salt.

The older gentleman I could write a book about, but my main gripe with him was he was extremely controlling and always talked to me like I was a child. I learned that I needed someone with whom I could be on equal footing, in terms of our thoughts, ideals and major goals and beliefs.

6. Be wary of manipulation

I learned these lessons from the above dating scenarios. Don’t advise your new love interest of all of the stuff you are looking for in a mate, and all the drama you experienced in your other relationships. Why, do you ask? Because you want someone to genuinely get to know you, rather than giving them a road map to manipulate you.

I dated a guy who tried to be the opposite of all the things I said above that didn’t work for me, but as my grandmother Mary says “time will tell it all.” By the end of six months, I was not getting the support for my events, I was being ignored for football, and all the other warning signs of a relationship going south.

Now as you can see from the list above I have experienced some true life lessons over the years and I can happily report that I learned from them all. I learned what I needed for myself. I must admit I was not ready to date for a long time after my divorce; I really needed time to forgive and heal. I also grew and changed from the young naive lady to a beautiful mature, smart lady with so much to offer the world and a very lucky man.

I won’t keep you in suspense – yes, knowing all of the above about my failed relationships led me to a great guy! He is handsome to me (that’s important if I have to see you all the time), but I got to know him as a friend first (which I didn’t do with any of the above). He’s very supportive, we have lots in common and when we don’t have something in common, we can respect each other’s opinion. Without these lessons I believe I would still be looking for the right one for me.

 

Michelle A. Roberts is an entrepreneur; she owns several businesses: Michelle A. Roberts Enterprises, Roberts Travel Services and Michelle A. Roberts Legacy Group, which is a Life and Health Insurance Company.  She is a professional speaker & published author and specializes in training and encouraging women that they are overcomers, and can comeback from any challenge. 

Website: https://michellearobertslegacygroup.com/

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While overworking seems to be popular these days, it can be extremely damaging. There’s no reason to overdo it, even if you have bills to pay. In fact, the harder you push yourself, the closer you get to the end of the line.

It’s important to learn how to balance all the aspects of your life without just focusing on work. Sure, work is extremely important. It keeps your brain active. And yes, it provides the income necessary for you and your family to survive. But it also wears you down, especially if you tend to go non-stop.

There is a way to help manage your self-care and create a better balance with work and the other areas in your life that matter most to you. Here is a 20-minute exercise that can easily be incorporated into your day:

  • Five minutes of meditation. This exercise at the beginning of each day is crucial. Meditating can mean the difference between attacking your day with ferocity and approaching it with an aura of calmness.
    • Meditation centers your mind and calms your spirit. It also helps relieve any tension you feel about the day ahead.
    • Meditation can help you focus on your inner power and remind you that you’re important to others.
  • Five minutes for planning. Once you’ve meditated, it’s time to plan your day. Planning means organizing your tasks so you can be productive without abusing yourself.
    • Prioritize your tasks based on their importance.
    • Try your best to stick to the plan for the day. Having a clear plan for what you want to accomplish helps to keep you focused and stress-free.

 

  • Five minutes for checking in. I like to call this the “self-check”. Whether all at once or in one-minute intervals, check up on yourself. Assess how well you’ve been able to stick to your plan for the day. Have you accomplished your important tasks? Have you been able to manage your day without losing your cool or feeling frustrated?
    • There may be times when you’ll have to re-adjust your list of tasks. This is perfectly fine, as there are bound to be unforeseen circumstances. But what’s important is that you take them in stride.
    • Avoid letting unexpected events throw your plan out completely. Take a moment to change your approach. Learn how to go with the flow.

 

  • Five minutes for winding down. Now that you’ve come to the end of the day, it’s time to wind down. You’ve probably never allowed yourself the opportunity to do that before. Or maybe you haven’t fully mastered the art of winding down. Taking time to wind down is the best way to relieve the stress of the day.
    • Engage in some relaxing activities. Do you like yoga or would you prefer to sit quietly and listen to music? Let go of what happened today and embrace settling down.
    • Winding down also opens you up to spending quality time with loved ones. You’ll probably agree that at the end of a busy day, you may be too tired to interact with anyone. That will change when you allow yourself time to wind down each day.

Once you try it, you’ll realize that this approach works. Working through this for 20 minutes each day can help you maintain a balance between your professional and personal lives. Learn to be present in each moment, as it can help you manage all other aspects of your life with relative ease. You’ll enjoy a calmer existence that you didn’t think was possible.

Written by:

Dionne M. Lackey

Wholistic Insight Now, LLC

https://www.winwithdionne.com/

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Have you ever wondered why so many of us get caught up in an endless chase of wishing and wanting more? We think that the day we finally have the perfect body or a million dollars or find the man or woman of our dreams is the day we will finally be lovable and acceptable. We set out on life’s course to accomplish things in the world, hoping that when we attain them, we’ll finally be at peace and feel proud of ourselves.

Close your eyes and ask yourself, “What am I chasing?” Whatever we desire; whether it’s love, acknowledgment, adoration, intimacy, success or respect; we must first learn to “feed” ourselves differently.  It is so easy to take our physical bodies for granted. Without even realizing it, we sometimes act as though we are immortal, ignoring our needs and driving ourselves too hard. It’s easy to forget that our bodies are a delicate “gift” of life.

Self-love begins with gratitude. Gratitude is a choice and a state of being that is developed through practice. It grows and evolves when we choose to look at all that we have, rather than dwelling on what we don’t have. Gratitude is a self-generated gift that we can and should give ourselves every day. When we start counting the small blessings in our lives, we automatically open ourselves up to receive more. If we’re willing to love ourselves and be grateful in spite of what others are doing or saying, something miraculous begins to happen in and around us. Learn to love yourself, be grateful of the uniqueness that is solely embodied only by you, and others will follow suit.

Self-love is a state of appreciation that flourishes from our actions and our practices. When we act in ways that expand self-love within ourselves, we can accept our weaknesses and our strengths and become more centered in our purpose.  Bob Marley said, “Love the life you live.  Live the life you love.”  These few words embody the true meaning of being present in your own life in the name of self-love.

Renee Burwell-Billie is the CEO and founder of RC Fitnez Studio, one of Atlanta’s premier dance, fitness and event studios.  Renee is licensed in several fitness formats and is an AFAA certified Group Fitness instructor, a Personal Trainer, and creator of her own fitness formats. She resides in Georgia with her husband; with a blended energy of love, they have six children.  

www.rcfitnezstudio.com 

Follow me on Social Media: @rcfitnezstudio 

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by Dionne M. Lackey

While overworking seems to be popular these days, it’s extremely damaging. There’s absolutely no reason to overdo it, even if you have bills to pay. In fact, the harder you push yourself, the closer you get to the end of the line.

It’s important to learn how to balance all the aspects of your life without just focusing on work. Sure, work is extremely important. It keeps your brain active. And yes, it also provides the income necessary for you and your family to survive. But it also wears you down, especially if you tend to go non-stop.

There is a way to help manage your self-care and create a better balance with work and the other areas in your life that matter most to you.  Here is a 20-minute exercise that can easily be incorporated into your day: 

 

  1. Five minutes of meditation. This exercise at the beginning of each day is crucial. Meditating can mean the difference between attacking your day with ferocity and approaching it with an aura of calmness.
  • Meditation centers your mind and calms your spirit. It also helps relieve any tension you feel about the day ahead.
  • Meditation can help you focus on your inner power and remind you that you’re important to others.
  1. Five minutes for planning. Once you’ve meditated, it’s time to plan your day. Planning means organizing your tasks in such a way that you can be productive without abusing yourself.
  • Prioritize your tasks based on their importance.
  • Try your best to stick to the plan for the day. Having a clear plan for what you want to accomplish helps to keep you focused and stress-free.
  1. Five minutes for checking in. I like to call this the “self-check”.  Whether all at once or in one-minute intervals, check up on yourself. Assess how well you’ve been able to stick to your plan for the day. Have you accomplished your important tasks? Have you been able to manage your day without losing your cool?
  • There may be times when you’ll have to readjust your list of tasks. This is perfectly fine, as there are bound to be unforeseen circumstances. But what’s important is that you take them in stride.
  • Avoid letting unexpected events throw your plan out completely. Take a moment to change your approach. Learn how to go with the flow.
  1. Five minutes for winding down. Now that you’ve come to the end of the day, it’s time to wind down. You’ve probably never allowed yourself the opportunity to do that before. Or maybe you haven’t fully mastered the art of winding down.  Taking time to wind down is the best way to relieve the stress of the day.
  • Engage in some relaxing activities. Do you like yoga or would you prefer to sit quietly and listen to jazz music? Let go of what happened today and get ready for tomorrow.
  • Winding down also opens you up to spending quality time with loved ones. You’ll probably agree that at the end of a busy day, you may be too tired to interact with anyone.  That will change when you allow yourself time to wind down each day.

 

Once you try it, you’ll realize that this approach works. Designating these 20 minutes each day can help you maintain a balance between your professional and personal lives. Learn to be present in each moment, as it can help you manage all other aspects of your life with relative ease. You’ll enjoy a calmer existence that you didn’t think was possible.

Dionne M. Lackey, CLSC, LMT is the founder of Wholistic Insight Now, LLC, focusing on self-care and wellness solutions with a commitment to healing, educating and empowering.  Her mantra: We are here to serve.

Follow her on social media at:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/WINwithDionne/

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/WINwithDionne/

Website:  www.WINwithDionne.com

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The Benefits of Volunteering in Your Community

By: Dionne M. Lackey

It feels great to volunteer and give back to the community…but did you know that doing so is also an important part of self-care?  When it comes to self-care, volunteering has several benefits. Volunteering in your community is a win-win situation. Not only do you help someone, but you also receive many benefits as well – both personal and professional.  Volunteering brings knowledge, experience and positivity to your life as you pour into others and is also good for your mind and body.  It provides many benefits to both your mental and physical health.

Here are a few benefits of volunteering and the value it can bring to your self-care:

  1. Strengthen your confidence. Because you’re helping others, you’ll feel more positive about yourself.
  2. Helping others is a wonderful thing to do. It does your heart, mind and soul good to reach out to help others.
  3. Gain work experience. Depending on the type of community work you do, you could learn something that will help you in your current job or future work.  The skills obtained can be added to your resume.
  4. Make new business contacts. Getting out and giving back to your community will help you meet more people. Because each person has a network of their own, you never know how far your positive influence could travel – bringing you new prospects, clients, or even job offers.
  5. Make new friends. Because you’ll encounter so many new people, you could meet people that you become friends with and expand your circle of like minded people.
  6. Brings fun and fulfillment to your life – it’s a great way to explore interests or find new ones and can provide a sense of renewed creativity, motivation and vision that can enhance both your personal and professional life.
  7. Strengthen your community. Volunteering contributes to your community by uplifting others in the community.
  8. Know that you make a positive difference. Volunteering makes a difference to you, to the agency you volunteer for, and to your community.
  9. We don’t operate in a vacuum. Living your best life involves making and maintaining connections with others. Giving back to your community develops a network of resources you’ll be able to access when you need them.
  10. Volunteering is a real-life experience that can’t be had in the classroom. Some college instructors recommend “service learning” which is another term for “volunteering” or “giving back to your community.” Service learning provides a real-world experience to students that would be impossible to learn in the classroom.

As you can see, being a part of something bigger than yourself is rewarding and can serve as a reminder of the impact you can make on others, while also discovering the impact others can make on YOU.  Therefore, be intentional about your self-care and service to your community by volunteering. Tune in to the world around you, see life happening and take action where you can make a difference. You’ll be inspired!

Dionne M. Lackey, CLSC, LMT is the founder of Wholistic Insight Now, LLC, focusing on self-care and wellness solutions with a commitment to healing, educating and empowering.  Her mantra: We are here to serve.

Follow her on social media at:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/WINwithDionne/

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/WINwithDionne/

Website:  www.WINwithDionne.com

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Summer is officially here!  Time for lazy lounging by the pool or at the beach, barbecues, picnics, flip flops, long walks, and fun in the sun!

Aside from maintaining summer haircare and skincare, getting enough rest and indulging in nutritious foods, take the time during these beautiful summer days to pep up your mental and emotional health as well.

The sun is a natural producer of Vitamin D, one of the many nutrients essential to boosting your mood and warding off the blues.  Get creative – and take some of your indoor activities outside!  Given the longer hours of daylight, there’s lots more opportunity to get some sunshine!

Mental Health First Aid USA, a division of the National Council for Behavioral Health lists 15 activities to keep you feeling your best this summer.

  1. Ditch the couch and relax outdoors.
  2. Go out for a stroll.
  3. Explore your local farmer’s markets.
  4. Join a community garden – or start your own!
  5. Tidy one small space at a time.
  6. Make a summer feel-good playlist of your favorite music.
  7. Try a new exercise (swimming, anyone?)
  8. Dine al fresco – have a picnic!
  9. Look for interesting things going on in your community.
  10. Start or continue a journal.
  11. Reconnect with a relative or friend.
  12. Practice mindfulness – take a yoga class or begin meditation sessions.
  13. Do an at-home spa day.
  14. Explore new places in your town.
  15. Do a weekly personal needs assessment.

Self-care is important; and when you are intentional about taking care of yourself – mind, body and spirit – you tend to feel more connected to yourself and others.

Click on the link below for more from Mental Health First Aid USA on the 15 tips to make your summer a season of self-care for you!

15 Activities for Your Summer Self-Care Checklist

-written by Janine Lattimore
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The weather will soon be warm and spring is right around the corner, and Classy Living Society is taking the first step to help its members take their wellness goals to a whole new level!

Self-care is the name of the game, and the hashtag for this new health and wellness initiative is #Classy’NFit.  As CLS continues to promote the importance of a healthy lifestyle, we will present plans and programs that will promote strong bodies and foster amazing minds.

A strong volunteer organization cannot exist without healthy volunteers.  Statistics show that exercise and a well-balanced healthy diet is one of the best preventive health measures against many diseases. Towards that end, in the coming months, CLS will host health and wellness events that will help its members turn their attention to being whole, getting strong, and staying that way! Stay tuned as we report our progress and our amazing events in the name of health and wellness!

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Obesity is a disorder involving excessive body fat that increases the risk of health problems.  A few facts about obesity:

  1. More than 1/3 of adults in America are obese.
  2. Obesity affects 1 in 6 children in the United States.
  3. Obesity is linked to more than 60 diseases.
  4. Overweight children are more likely to become overweight adults.
  5. Your waist size increases your risk for diabetes.
  6. Obesity causes more deaths than being underweight.
  7. Obesity is costly; people with obesity pay over $1000 a year more in medical costs
  8. Ethnicity can affect your likelihood of obesity.
  9. Obesity is most common in middle age.
  10. Older women are more likely to be obese than men.
  11. Americans are eating more calories than ever before.

*Healthline: https://www.healthline.com/health/obesity-facts#1

The health risks associated with obesity are many; they include an overall increased risk of death from all causes, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, osteoarthritis, and mental illness.

Because obesity is associated with such a wide range of health issues, understanding the numbers behind this trend is more important than ever.

Currently, about 36 percent of American adults are obese — more than 1 in 3. And, globally, more than 1 in 10 humans are obese.

*Medical News Today: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319902.php

According to Everyday Health’s website, here’s what you can do to lose weight or avoid becoming overweight or obese:

  • Eat more fruit, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains.
  • Exercise, even moderately, for at least 30 minutes a day.
  • Cut down your consumption of fatty and sugary foods.
  • Use vegetable-based oils rather than animal-based fats.

So walk a little more, eat a little less — and do what you need to do to maintain a healthy weight.

*Everyday Health: https://www.everydayhealth.com/healthy-living/obesity-prevention.aspx

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Welcome to the NEW Classy Chronicles!

Formerly, the Classy Chronicles was the official online digital magazine of Classy Living Society. The newly revamped Classy Chronicles is now a platform housed on the Classy Living Society website! Through easy-to-navigate dropdown menus, the Classy Chronicles provides an outlet to many subjects of interest at the click of a mouse – articles and features that highlight people who are doing amazing things in the community, health and wellness, work-life balance, beauty and fashion and more!

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