It's the start of another week in these special times. How have the past weeks been for you? I hope you are doing well and making the best of our current situation.
In this blog post, we will discuss three great things we can all do to make this week great. Check out part 1 of the survival guide for three additional tips.
#1: Start a new project
Imagine when this is all over, knowing that you used the time optimally and created something valuable for yourself. We all have many things we want to do but don't find the time to. Now is the perfect time to unpack that list and start working on your personal project.
Questions to consider
#2: Write down your thoughts
Journaling is a practice that helps me get my thoughts together and check-in with myself. Last week I recommended we all spend time with ourselves and our thoughts. One way to take it further is to write things down. There are so many amazing thoughts and ideas that we don't even know we have. Taking notes will help you remember them.
Questions to consider
#3: Do something for someone
Acts of service help us look beyond our problems. Now that we are spending time with family, we have the opportunity to do special things for them. With the help of technology, we can also do things for people virtually. I recently saw people offering to have a chat with people who might be feeling lonely during these times. The act of kindness gave me a lot of hope.
Questions to consider
Call to Action
How will you bring some positivity into your life this week?
As I was planning for my blog post this week, I thought it'll be fitting to share great resources and tips that will help us get through these times. Let's take the opportunity we have to share some practical things we can do to survive and thrive.
In this blog post, we will discuss three great things we can all do to make this week great. Over the next weeks, I will share more tips and recommendations with you on how to thrive during this season.
#1: Spend some time with yourself
With the amount of time I have been spending at home, I have had a lot of time to think and reminisce. It feels like during normal times, I am so busy doing life and hardly have any time to be still and think. As I was reflecting over the past weeks, I have become more aware of the fact that I am the happiest I have been in my life. This process has led me to feel more gratitude for who I am and where I am in life.
Questions to consider
#2: Share your thoughts with people who care
Firstly, if you are feeling concerned or slightly anxious, you are not alone. No matter what you are feeling, it is a valid way to feel. Earlier today, I was talking to someone who lives alone, and I really count myself blessed to have someone to talk to in the house. Being able to talk about my thoughts with my family has been a game-changer.
Questions to consider
#3: Reconnect with one person (virtually)
Especially now when a lot of us are practicing "physical distancing", it is important to stay in contact with people we care about. With our busy lives, it is very easy to lose contact with people in our lives. This is a great time to connect with someone you have not spoken to in a long while. I believe that these connections will make a difference for everyone involved. With the technology we have, we are able to stay connected easily.
Questions to consider
Call to Action
How are you going to make this time count? Take action to make the best of this situation.
I planned to write another blog post today. As I reflected more on the topics on my mind these days, I decided to talk about the latest changes in all our lives. When the year started, I had my plans for this quarter and I never expected to be here.
In this blog post, I will share my thoughts on life as it is today and how I am working on adjusting my perspective.
Have I ever been through an experience like this?
In my life, I have been through some scary experiences, but I am not sure I can compare them to this experience. Growing up in Nigeria, there were some unrests that led to total curfews and restrictions on resources. I remember two of those times distinctly. From what I remember, there was a lot of worry on the faces of adults around us. One thing was sure, the times came and passed. It took a long time for life to go back to normal, but it eventually did. Now fast-forward almost 20 years later, another crisis is impacting our lives greatly. The Coronavirus pandemic is affecting all of our lives significantly.
How can we avoid panic?
One of the things that I am noticing is that there is an excessive amount of news coverage on COVID-19. For me, because I have family around the world, I am very happy that I can keep track of things happening with them from so far away. However, I have found myself being slightly nervous around the spread of the disease, especially here in the US. If you follow the news, you know why. I really don't want fear to be a constant part of my life. It is tough but one thing that helps me is to remind myself of the good things that we have. My family and I are healthy, have a source of income and access to most of the resources we need. I am very grateful for that and do not take it for granted.
How can we take care of ourselves?
With all the chaos around us, it is crucial for us to prioritize self-care. I have been doing some research on the impact of a crisis on our mental health and physical well-being. If you are like me, you internalize a lot of the stress around you. I am being more intentional about acknowledging how I feel and then making changes to be healthy. Another thing that I am doing is accepting the change in our lives. Especially with work, a lot has changed. I am thankful for the flexibility I have and I'm taking advantage of the opportunities I have.
What responsibilities do we have for the people around us?
This past weekend, I was talking to my sister, who reminded me of the fact that she has to stay healthy to take care of her daughter. Not only does she have to think about herself or her health. but she is also responsible for another little human. In addition, I believe that generally we have to be compassionate and have empathy for others around us. We live in a society and are responsible for caring about each other.
How can we help each other?
At times like this, it is easy to get into your mind and think about ourselves the most. I am finding that when I care for other people, it makes me happier. I have been touched by people offering to help each other at these strange times. It reminds me a lot of growing up in Nigeria where we all cared for our family and neighbors. So, this is me offering my help to anyone who needs some support. There are different types of things we can help people do, ranging from conversations to sharing our knowledge. We all have something to offer.
There is so much going on in my mind these days. To help myself, here are some things that I am telling myself:
Call to Action
Take care of yourself and the people around you.
Happy Women's Day and Women's heritage month to all the amazing women I know!
This past Sunday, we celebrated International Women's Day (IWD). The IWD theme for this year is "#Each for Equal". I was also attracted to the phrase "I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights" from the United Nations. When I saw the theme and slogan for the year, I started wondering what gender equality means to me and what role I can play.
In this blog post, I will share my journey and thoughts on some of the thought-provoking statements on the International Women's Day website.
Starting point: What is Gender Equality
When I think about my childhood, I am reminded that I was very fortunate to grow up around very strong Women. My mother, grandmother, aunts and cousins were all responsible for taking care of their households. And they did all that was in their power to provide for their families. Taking into consideration that Nigeria, where I spent my childhood, is a very patriarchal society. In our home, I was fortunate to grow up without the thought of being limited as a woman.
However, there were strong external factors that defined the role of a woman. In summary, the reason a woman was here on earth was to get married, have kids and care for their families. Another strong contributing factor to me believing I was strong and could do anything that I wanted to do was the Secondary school/High school that I attended. I was able to get a good foundation in my science education.
Let's fast-forward a few years. The time in my life where I really started thinking about gender equality more was when I entered the workforce. I could not understand the difference in pay. As data shows, Women earn 23% less than men globally. This is one that has been on my mind over the years of my career. Every day when I go to work, I bring my best self and do an amazing job. All I want is to be rewarded the same way. It doesn't make sense to me.
Now let's talk about our contribution to the world as women. I should probably write a longer post about this. It is very important for me to show women out there that we are equal and can do anything we want to do. I want to encourage young girls to study technical topics and explore any careers that they would like to be without being restricted. This is what I'm focused on now.
Why is it essential to have Gender Equality?
This statement on the IWD website caught my attention - "An equal world is an enabled world" . I strongly believe that as women, we have a lot to contribute to the world. To make this point stronger, the UN states that "Providing women and girls with equal access to education, health care, decent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes will fuel sustainable economies and benefit societies and humanity at large".
How can we contribute to Gender Equality?
We can all do things to make progress towards gender equality:
#1: Celebrate women's achievement
In our lives, we are surrounded by amazing women. Make it a priority to celebrate the women around you. The more we celebrate each other's contributions the more they will be seen.
#2: Raise awareness against bias
Especially in my new role, I am more aware of the bias that people have against women. When we see people apply stereotypes and biases, we can speak up. Making people aware of bias will get us closer to the world we want to live in.
#3: Take action for equality
If we want to see change, we need to be the change. I strongly believe that if we take action, we will contribute to making the world a better place.
Let's wrap up this post with quotes from amazing women
Call to Action
Celebrate your greatness!
Recently, I have been reflecting on how my perspective on many aspects of life has changed after living in multiple countries. I count myself very fortunate to be on this journey.
In this blog post, I will share ten things that I see differently since I started living in Nigeria, Germany and the US.
#1: Home is wherever you want it to be
Especially when I moved to the US, I started asking myself the question, "where is my home?". This was a question that took me a while to figure out. At the end of my deliberations, I concluded that it's perfectly fine to have multiple places where you feel at home. I now see Germany, Nigeria and the US as my home. It's a little complicated, but I have accepted it. There are many things that I appreciate from the countries I have lived in.
#2: Being curious to learn about new cultures
There are so many great things we can learn from different cultures around us. I am more interested and curious about learning about the different traditions, norms and customs of the people I meet. I find the world is rich in culture and there is so much for us all to learn. When people share their traditions around food and celebrations, I am very intrigued. We are very fortunate to live in such a global world where we have exposure to so many different people.
#3: Accepting that there is so much to learn
As I go through my journey, I am learning that it is ok to not know everything or have things figured out. I always thought I had to have a plan for everything and think through all situations. Moving to a new country brings a lot of unexpected things and situations you will not be prepared for. Accepting that I am on a learning journey has changed the way I view new experiences and challenges.
#4: Accepting and celebrating differences in people
Almost every day over the past 18 years, I have had the opportunity of meeting people from different backgrounds. I have learned to appreciate the differences in the people I meet. When I see people with similar experiences as mine, I find it surprising. Learning to celebrate the differences of people around me has enriched my life. Being open and receptive to all the great things that people have to offer is something I aspire to continue doing.
#5: Having empathy for people
When I watch the news or hear conversations about people who are working to make a home and be successful in a new country, I have a lot of empathy for them. Although I have been fortunate on my journey, I never want to be that person that looks down on other people's path to a better life.
#6: Celebrating the little things that remind you of home
A few weeks ago, we found a store that sold a special type of fruit that we grew up eating in Nigeria. I should add that we discovered it in a city in California. It was very unexpected. We bought some, enjoyed it and made sure we sent pictures to our family. Thinking back on this little thing that made us so happy reminded me of the fact that the little things that remind me of home are very special. Don't get me started on the day I found soft pretzel knots in a local bakery very far away from Germany.
#7: Helping others find a community
One thing that is important to me today is to help people around me feel like they belong. Being able to find or build a community is an important part of feeling at home in a new country. Whenever I'm able to provide someone with some connection, I take the opportunity to support them. I strongly believe that we can all support each other on our journey to be at home wherever we find ourselves.
#8: Appreciating the experiences
Reflecting on my journey, I know that all the experiences were worth it. Often when you think about the negative experiences you don't really appreciate them. Well, I didn't enjoy them, when I was going through them but now I see the value of those experiences. For example, struggling and learning to live in Germany, made me very resilient. Now fast forward to living in the US, I am able to apply a lot of the lessons I learned and appreciate the amazing things happening in my life.
#9: Valuing the people
As I have moved to different cities and countries, I have been blessed to meet amazing people. I value the time that I get to spend with people on my journey. Although I am not in contact with everyone I would love to be connected to, I hold on very fondly to the great memories. I know for a fact that different people have made my journey worthwhile and exciting.
#10: Realizing that we all have unique and beautiful stories
When I hear people's stories or backgrounds and how they got to be where they are, I am always amazed. We all have fascinating stories. Sharing my story has helped other people share more with me. This has been the most rewarding part of my 18-year relocation Journey
Check out my other posts on my life in Nigeria, Germany and the US in the Her Relocation Posts.