The popular saying on Pinterest quote or on Instagram reinforcing the need for consistency and achieving great results is constantly slammed on our faces that we get nervous when we encourage the idea of taking a break. As a creative, I barely hear other creatives in my niche talk about taking breaks and I find that it is one essential tool if we need our creative juices flowing.

Sometime last year, I thought about a list of things I had to achieve especially with the blog. I remember stating one time on the blog that in this new month this is what I hope to do. Fast-forward to 2019, I almost beat myself up for not having reached the height I had set for myself.

What I failed to realise is that, with other pressing needs and more responsibilities, I sometimes will fall short of hitting realistic goals. After realising this truth, I no longer beat myself up if I feel mentally tired. I now take breaks while plotting my next move because I am now clear that taking a break every now and then enhances the development of my strength.

I find this does not necessarily have to be when one has set a goal and is struggling to achieve, it also applies if a person has worked himself so damn hard and find he/she is slowly running out on themselves.

Rest comes in several forms, it could mean taking a break from what you are doing at the moment to rejuvenate, it could be going on a vacation, or ultimately could come in form of sleep or talking a nice jolly walk in the field to clear your head, and to enjoy nature, and the peace it brings.

It’s ok to take breaks every now and then as they help with productivity. Don’t beat yourself up if you do not achieve the goal you have set for yourself. Take a break, go back within your inner self (your reservoir) and come back ready to tackle the world again.

What other ways do you prefer to distress mentally?

Mother’s day is here. Another time to celebrate the mum figure in our lives-

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A few weeks back, I was having a conversation with my friend. Our conversation was initially centred on movie producers and she said: “hey, do you know they even choose an actor based on the number of social media presence they have?”. I was taken aback as I felt choosing a cast should be base on talent and not the number of followers.  We went on talking about why movie producers do this and the benefits it holds for them. Whilst having this conversation, my attention was immediately  drawn to those who haven’t got as much online recognition as they would love and the pang in their hearts when they compare their small growing number of followers to someone’s else’s  thousands or millions of followers on Instagram, Facebook including the number of views, likes or comments these people receive on a daily basis when they post a new picture. This is particularly prevalent among teenagers but there is also an alarming struggle among youths.
Now consider this; if an adult could worry about such things,  what do you think the average teen who is only starting to find his feet around and understand how the world works feel?
Don’t get me wrong, I use to worry about Instagram (did I say use to? I mean I still worry sometimes) and for such a long time it left me feeling sad when I see people’s pretty picture and the effort put in before a picture is posted. But I have a few things that keep me going and I hope it helps you.
  1. Knowing the purpose for joining Instagram? Knowing this would help you figure out where you stand i.e I didn’t sign up to NnekasChronicles Instagram to compare myself to others. On the contrary, I signed up so I can make an impact in my little way. I also have a personal account that helps me save my pics and connect with old friends. So even if I am not getting so much from there, it doesn’t bother me and this is because I understand the purpose for which it was created. So understanding this could help. You might have signed up to reconnect with old friends and relatives.  So knowing and understanding your purpose is important.
  2. What value are you adding? This is a powerful question.  What value are you adding to the 50 followers or 20 followers or 1million followers you’ve got? If you aren’t adding value to your few loyal fans, why should you then be bothered about having millions of followers if you aren’t impacting something meaningful? Ponder on this one.
  3. Who are you following and how do they make you feel? I am aware people do something called follow for follow (F4F or FFF) which is simply following back a person who follows you on instagram. So when you follow these people or stare at a picture or profile for so long, what impact does it leave with you; does it leave you feeling sad, happy or inspired? Sometimes after going through a picture, I find myself taking note because I have just learnt something new that I can’t wait to implement. So if your followers don’t inspire you or add value to your life or make you happy, it will do you more good to unfollow them. Trust me I have done it before (I still do)
  4. My last point which I believe is the most important (it doesn’t mean scrap the other 3 though😁, they are equally important). Is: everything is for show. No one can boldly say they have the perfect life however everyone claims so on Instagram or on social media. Remember the perfect picture had to undergo ‘surgery’ using different apps so don’t worry much if your pictures are not up to standard just work on your operating skills and like magic you will be there :). Mind you some of the people who claim to be the happiest on Instagram or any other social platform also have moments of sadness but hardly do you ever see anyone post their sad lives. Haven’t you heard of those who post up the nicest pictures and take their lives the next minute? My point is, we all struggle so don’t let anyone’s Instagram curated life make you feel like a failure or that you’ve got nothing to offer because you do.
  5. If nothing sticks out to you, remember what you see on the gram is not often a true reflection of the person’s reality. (remember the surgery I mentioned earlier?)  As I sometimes say, it’s all packaging.
I hope you leave here feeling positive and see Instagram in a different light.

I know this is a little late but there is a saying that goes ‘better late than never’. right?

At work yesterday, a message popped on my phone and it was basically for me to share a caption about international women’s day. It then dawned on me what day it was 08/03/19- International Women’s day.

A day to celebrate the female gender in their unique fields and their contributions all over the world regardless of their position- whether you are a CEO or a mom you are celebrated.

I was drawn by a quote written by an actor, Amitabh Bachchan on women and it says  “because you are women, people will force their thinking on you, their boundaries on you. They will tell you how to dress, how to behave, who you can meet and where you can go. Don’t live in the shadows of people’s judgement. Make your own choices in the light of your own wisdom”– what profound words. Invariably reminding us women of our individuality, our ability to be powerful in ourselves and make decisions on our own without waiting on someone else.

Today I take the opportunity to remind the woman reading this of how special she is. I need you to know that you are valued and respected. You have a voice as such deserve to be heard.

Above all, you are loved.

So still in the spirit of celebration, Happy International Women’s day.

Growing up I was taught to save and I did this by putting money (either the ones gifted to me on my birthday or by my parents) in a wood box built by the local carpenter. It was an exciting time for me as I get to put every naira or kobo in the box. What’s more exciting was, I could also include notes in the ‘safe’ or ‘Kolo’ as it was locally called in Nigeria.

My favourite moment is when I have to go withdraw cash from my ‘safe’ either to give my mum to get something for me or go to the shop to buy sweets for myself. I did this with a lot of excitement, sometimes desperation and anger on my face if my broomstick refuses to pick out the notes I want or picks nothing at all. Those days, when I look through the safe hole, I get excited at the green and red notes (N10/N20- 10/20Naira)staring back at me as back then, these notes were a lot of money and I could get new stuff for school or simply treat myself.

When I got a little older, I was gifted with a beautiful piggy bank with a lock. Oh how I cherished it. I kept it safe and wouldn’t let anyone touch it. By now I have mastered the art of saving and understood the need to invest.  Understanding this was priceless.

I remember travelling out of the country less than a year after I got gifted with my fancy piggy bank and had to part ways with it. That was one sad day for me- I had to give out this gift. According to my aunt, I wouldn’t need it in the country I am travelling to and since she needed something to remember me by, the bank came in handy. As painful as it was, I unlocked the bank, removed my money ( of course I had to )and gave her my little piggy bank.

Here is a very close sample of my fancy piggy bank. Mine was a square shape

Now as an adult, even though I have a bank account, I still find myself going shopping for a piggy bank to drop my 1p,50p, £1 and every change I can gather because I am sure, a time would come when I need to cash out. I remember having a chat with my friend last week and I said, rather than getting rid of my 10 and 5p’s, I will keep them in my piggy bank (I no longer call it safe)  and that will sort out the shopping bags and 17p water as you know in the UK, you no longer get shopping bags for free, you now pay for your bags when you go shopping in most supermarkets and if you haven’t got a 5 pence to complete your purchase, you won’t go out with it. Now see why every penny counts.

Here is my little piggy bank.

Another thing I do when it comes to saving is to randomly put cash in any of my bags. According to my mum, having spare cash at home helps for rainy days. Let me share this story.

One time during my undergrad, I travelled to a different city on holiday on my return, the taxi driver didn’t have change and it was a Sunday so shops were closed and I didn’t want to walk to the cash machine. Luckily, I remembered I had some cash and I paid him off. What my mum said was exactly true as having cash to lay aside saved the situation.

Another example was when I went to a restaurant in January this year. I opened my bag and saw the extra money I had randomly left. When it was time to pay, I realised the money i brought initially wasn’t enough. Rather than paying with my card, my random note paid off. Indeed laying money aside helps save for rainy days.

What are you into, do you still save with a piggy bank or do you randomly put cash away?

Let me know from the list mentioned what method you prefer to use when it comes to saving those notes and pennies or would you rather put all in the bank?

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