Cope Queens-logo

Cope Queens

Arts & Culture Podcasts

Developing and maintaining self-love, self-compassion, self-acceptance, and mental wellness is often challenging. As if that weren't enough, there are many reasons why someone develops a cognitive impairment. Many people suffer in silence and go their whole life without a diagnosis or receiving the support they need because of stigma. Join host Elaina Jones, a Certified Professional Coach, with a background in Adult Learning and Clinical Mental Health, in a series of down-to-earth conversations about everyday life challenges, mental health, and emotional wellness. The goal is simple; we realize we aren't alone when we connect and share life challenges. So, come on, and let's cope together!


United States


Developing and maintaining self-love, self-compassion, self-acceptance, and mental wellness is often challenging. As if that weren't enough, there are many reasons why someone develops a cognitive impairment. Many people suffer in silence and go their whole life without a diagnosis or receiving the support they need because of stigma. Join host Elaina Jones, a Certified Professional Coach, with a background in Adult Learning and Clinical Mental Health, in a series of down-to-earth conversations about everyday life challenges, mental health, and emotional wellness. The goal is simple; we realize we aren't alone when we connect and share life challenges. So, come on, and let's cope together!






(312) 724-6697


Do Your Future Self a Favor with Ryan Stanley

"You have no responsibility to live up to what other people think you ought to accomplish. I have no responsibility to be like they expect me to be. It’s their mistake, not my failing."– Richard P. Feynman In episode 20, Do Your Future Self a Favor, Elaina is joined by entrepreneur, certified professional coach, and author Ryan Stanley in a discussion about living purposefully and redirecting your energy to become the best version of yourself. All our actions and thoughts take energy, why waste that energy worrying about what someone else thinks about you and the choices and decisions you make regarding your life? It’s your journey, your story, you are the architect. Take back control by living purposefully, unapologetically, and authentically. Be honest and true to yourself and take the road that leads you to live your best life. Topics Discussed: Ryan Stanley, Connect, and Subscribe Buzzsprout - Let's get your podcast launched! Start for FREE Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Buzzsprout - Let's get your podcast launched! Start for FREE Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.


Racial Trauma with Adele and Cherice

"Race and racism is a reality that so many of us grow up learning to just deal with. But if we ever hope to move past it, it can't just be on people of color to deal with it," she wrote. "It's up to all of us—Black, white, everyone—no matter how well-meaning we think we might be, to do the honest, uncomfortable work of rooting it out."– Michelle Obama In episode 19, Racial Trauma, Elaina is joined by energy healer and author Adele Wang and academic scholar Cherice Escobar-Jones in a discussion about the impact and effect of racial trauma. Racial trauma is the result of continuous exposure to racism, racial bias, and discrimination. The stress and anxiety which develop can trigger reactions and responses like posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). When an individual is oppressed, marginalized, and stripped of their human rights, they can reach their breaking point, and their reactions and responses are not going to rational. Indifference and turning a blind eye are just as dangerous. How many more will unjustly lose their lives simply because of the color of their skin? Elaina [00:20:48] My ancestors experienced that, and we were told the stories and shared the experiences from generation to generation, to generation, to generation. Adele [00:23:31] It doesn't just go away, and that's true. It lives in the psyche. Cherice [00:26:07] After time after someone's getting bit, once, twice, three times, four times, five times on the sixth time, they might react maybe a little irrationally because it's just accumulating over time. Adele: [00:38:00] The difference between bigotry and racism, racism has the element of power. Cherice: [00:39:16] We can't deny that the effects of hundreds of years of colonialism and slavery is not somehow still present within our language, within our institutions within all of those spaces. Elaina [00:40:34] When you strip somebody generation after generation, year after year, decade after decade. And you continuously marginalize them, and you continually make them feel less than human. You don't get to control how the reaction comes out. Adele Wang, Connect, and Subscribe Buzzsprout - Let's get your podcast launched! Start for FREE Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Buzzsprout - Let's get your podcast launched! Start for FREE Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.


Bipolar Disorder with Sofia and Saralyn

“I was actually manic a lot of the times that I would take on workloads, and I would say, ‘Yes, I can do this, I can do this, I can do this.’ I was conquering the world, but then it would all come crashing down and I would be more depressed than ever.” — Demi Lovato In episode 18, Bipolar Disorder, Elaina is joined by comedian and podcaster, Sofia Elkin, and certified health and wellness coach, Saralyn Salisbury-Jones, in a discussion about living and thriving with Bipolar Disorder. There are many misconceptions when it comes to Bipolar Disorder, formerly known as manic depression. Bipolar disorder is a mental impairment that causes unusual shifts in energy, moods, activity levels, and concentration. Some may experience manic episodes, which are often presented as long periods of high energy, loss of sleep due to the reduced need for sleep, and for some, a loss touch of reality. In this episode, Sofia and Saralyn their personal experiences and address the following: Sofia Elkin Salisbury-Jones I Say I’ve Found Healing I’m Not Saying I’ve Found a Cure. Here’s Why.Resources, Connect, and Subscribe


Wine Tears and Jellybeans

"My alone feels so good, I'll only have you if you're sweeter than my solitude."– Warsan Shire In episode 17, Wine Tears and Jellybeans, Elaina is joined by entrepreneur and vocal coach Katti Powell along with author and Relationship and Dating Coach Ieva Kambarovaite in a discussion about their experiences, challenges, anxieties when it comes to dating in their 40's. Dating at any age is a challenge. As we grow, learn mature, and discover who we are as individuals, one would think that dating and finding someone to connect with would become more comfortable. For some, that is not always the case. Our life experiences and journeys shape our worldview, and often we carry the weight of past experiences into new ones. How do we move beyond these fears and anxieties to find not only ourselves but a life partner? In this episode, Elaina and Katti share their personal experiences as Ieva offers an objective point of view, evaluating both female and male sides to this new world of dating and relationships. In the discussion, they address the following: Katti Powell Kambarovaite, Connect, and Subscribe


Feel the Feels with Connie Anne Holman

"Positive feelings come from being honest about yourself and accepting your personality, and physical characteristics, warts and all, and, from belonging to a family that accepts you without question."– Willard Scott In episode 16, Feel the Feels with Connie Anne Holman, Elaina is joined by a licensed therapist and life coach, Connie Anne Holman. They discuss how to allow yourself to feel whatever you're feeling without judgment and the importance of not suppressing your feelings. In this episode, Elaina and Connie took a deep dive into what it means not to judge your feelings or to label them as good or bad or right or wrong. They discussed how to get to a place of self-acceptance and self-compassion. Connie shares many strategies and insights she has implemented along her journey to develop self-love and self-appreciation. This episode is jam-packed with authentic experiences embracing love and acceptance. This discussion addresses the following: Connie Anne Holman, Connect and Subscribe


Bonus Episode | Hope Warrior Project

"A hope warrior is someone who is always working on themselves so that they can better encourage others, refrain from judgment, keep an open heart, and ultimately spread hope.” – Hope Warrior Project Bonus Episode, Hope Warrior Project, Elaina interviews Stephanie Martino and Lydia Zuniga, the women behind the Hope Warrior Project. Elaina introduced the Hope Warrior Project in Episode 3, The Strong Black Woman Syndrome. The Hope Warrior Project is a community that helps women identify their strengths, and they create togetherness. They have a fabulous Hope Warrior Academy, where they go through different books, mindfulness activities, and connect it to their lives and learn different strategies of coping with life and being vulnerable. Resources, Connect, Shop, and Subscribe Hope Warrior Project on FacebookFacebookInstagramTwitter


To Help or Not to Help

"Not everyone will appreciate what you do for them. You have to figure out who's worth your kindness & who's just taking advantage of you."- Unknown In episode 15, To Help or Not to Help, Elaina and Tracy discussed the reality of recommending people for jobs, going out of one's way to help someone else, and the common pitfalls of helping and supporting those who may not deserve it. They also explored experiences with the lack of support and challenges in professional settings We help others for the good of our own heart and not expect anything in return. But does that mean that we have to continue to help you after they appear not to appreciate the help or are taking advantage? Professionally, we often find people who are very intelligent and hardworking and motivated. We form bonds based on mutual respect and understanding. When we recommend someone for a job, we are staking our reputation. Sometimes we support people, and they perform well and sometimes not so much. Tracy shared an experience when recommending someone for a position did not go well. Now I am careful to decide whether to help someone or not. Sometimes people use you for their motives and then once reached, will never be back. Please do not take these minor things; they can only burn you once. Life is long. Opportunities come and go. We need people at every point, so we also not need to burn the bridges. Maybe today you need others, and at another point in life, they may need you. Life is always like this. There always be ups and downs, never a straight road. We should listen to people, but still, it should be our choice to help them or not. It may make us feel stressed that it is perceived that we must help others at any cost. When we recommend someone for a job, we are staking our reputation at a certain point. So, we have to have those limits and those boundaries in place. It feels like we're a double minority in the workplace. We are not only deal with all the everyday things as a woman in corporate America, but also, we have to deal with the toxic relationship between another woman in the workplace, and it's unfortunate. I think we have to get to a place where if we started focusing more on ourselves and stop worrying about everyone else and do some good for somebody else. Only If we believe that person deserves it, and if you don't, maybe have a conversation to help them understand what they need to do to earn your help. I'll be honest. Everybody doesn't deserve it. Find another way to give back, and don't let it ruin a friendship or any relationship. But if you are that person that continually puts others' needs above your own and you always put your neck out there for people, don't let the same individual keep burning you. Don't do that to yourself. Resources, Connect, Shop and Subscribe FacebookInstagramTwitter


Pet Peeves

Have you ever wondered why certain things annoy you? Does someone popping their gum irritate you? How about if someone cracks their knuckles, drinks directly from the carton, or leaves dirty laundry on the floor? If so, have you ever been curious about why certain things bother you? In episode 14, Pet Peeves, Elaina and Tracy shared a few of their pet peeves and discuss what they believe to be the root cause. Tracy expressed how the lack of manners and common courtesies push her buttons. She provided the example of a man at the station who hopped in front of her to get on a train first. Men who don’t hold the door open. Kids who don’t speak when they enter a room, please, and thank you. Social etiquette, this is something that’s lost in society today, and people don’t have it. Pet Peeve can form from a negative experience that’s just hanging out in our amygdala. And when those situations come up, we get triggered. Elaina challenged Tracy’s expectations of men. Tracy responding with, all women want men to hold doors but like to stand there until the man opens the door. I know it’s silly, but I kind of feel like with women, that whole us being precious and us being adored. I think that’s been lost. So, when it happens, it just kind of annoys me. Like, Ugh, do you not see I’m a woman standing here. Elaina responded with, well, it was lost when we decided to burn our damn bras and demand for equality. Elaina shared how people not following the rules set a terrible example and breed entitlement. You are setting a bad example because you’re not following the rules. You’re so special that you don’t have to abide by the rules like the rest of us? I am a person that believes in structure and processes. It also annoys me when I always find clothes land next to the laundry basket on the floor, not in the laundry basket. Pet peeves may seem small, strange, petty, but if we take a step back, we can often trace back to a previous incident that triggered the reaction or planted the seed. It’s just interesting to me because a lot of us know that some things annoy us, but we don’t take that time to think deeper about it. I think if more of explored why things bother us, we become self-aware and have more control over our actions, reactions, and emotions. Resources, Connect, Shop and Subscribe FacebookInstagramTwitter


What's Stopping You?

We've all heard the sayings that money can't buy you happiness, and that money is the root of all evil. We need money, yes? If money wasn't a factor, what would you do? How would you live? What dreams and goals would you achieve? If money isn't stopping you, then what's getting in your way? In episode 13, What's Stopping You? Elaina and Tracy shared what they would do if money weren't a factor and how creating and implementing simple goal plans can help you achieve your dreams. Often, we let finances get in our way of living the life we want to live. And that makes sense because there's not much you can do without money. Constant worrying and denying ourselves can take a toll on us mentally and physically. Many of us are living to work and not working to live. We all need a break. If you can't take a luxury cruise right now, spend the day at the lake. Make short- and long-term goals, enjoy making the plan rather than fixating on it never happening. Money does not determine your happiness, but having more money can add some pleasure in your life. The perception or reality of not having enough money creates anxiety and results in depression for some. Money cannot buy happiness, but at the end of the day, we need money to fulfill all necessities of life. Don't let money or the lack of funds keep you from your goals and dreams. Start small and grow big. Resources, Connect, Shop and Subscribe FacebookInstagramTwitter


Back of the Bus

Have you ever experienced microaggression? If you have, how did you handle it? If you feel you have not, how do you know you haven’t? Microaggression is a term used for brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicates hostile, derogatory, or negative prejudicial slights and insults toward any group, particularly culturally marginalized groups. In episode 12, Back of the Bus, Elaina and Tracy discussed various experiences with microaggression and racism and their impact on worldview. Many of us face microaggressions daily, and some may be unaware that we are or may not know how to respond or if we should respond. Elaina shared how she and her daughter were on an elevator with three Caucasian women, and they were cheering about being in the back of the bus. Tracy recalls when a former peer assumed the chicken meal someone had for lunch because she was the only other black person in the office. Microaggressions are like mind games and can weigh on one’s mental state and well-being. Sometimes they are so subtle you may not even notice. Other times you may doubt or question yourself as to whether you are wrong, sensitive, or overreacting. If the offender is someone you know, like a peer, having a conversation with them, calming could be viewed as an opportunity. They may be ignorant of the implications of their comments. Discuss it with the person without attacking their personality and without judgment. Elaina shared how, when she was a teen working in a shoe store, one of her co-workers told her how their husband did not like black people, but he would like her because she was different. She was completely unaware of how offensive the comment was, and she thought she was complimenting me. If we are talking about strangers, it’s probably best to walk away to avoid an altercation. Resources, Connect, Shop and Subscribe FacebookInstagramTwitter


Relationship Check

Are you in a healthy relationship? In this episode, we discuss several characteristics of healthy and unhealthy relationships.


Love and Accept Thy Self

“Something inside you innate, indwelling peace, stillness, aliveness. It is the unconditioned, who you are in your essence. It is what you had been looking for in the love object. It is yourself.”- Eckhart Tolle. When you look at yourself in the mirror, do you know the person staring back at you? Do you love the person staring back at you? How about, do you accept the person staring back you and all their imperfections? In episode 10, Love and Accept Thyself, Elaina and Tracy shared what it means to love and accept ourselves and explore several relationship pitfalls and dangers when we do not. Elaina and Tracy started with the importance of loving yourself first. Self-love, self-care, self-compassion, and self-acceptance all build the foundation of loving yourself. In relationships, we made mistakes of losing own self while we are trying to win over the other person. We try to become whom we feel the other person wants us to be. Like, if this is who you are, great, let’s celebrate that. But if it’s not who you are, why do you feel you need to become this to be with somebody? Because we all say that we want acceptance. Shouldn’t they accept you for who you are? You are who you are. But I think we lose ourselves when we don’t know our selves well. It’s easy to become somebody else. Morph and transform into whom you think that person wants you to be when you don’t authentically love yourself or even know who you are. Self-compassion is when you accept yourself, all your flaws, all your quirks, all the insecurities, and you’re saying, this is who I am, and I’m embracing it. Anyone who does also accept these things about you doesn’t deserve you. Compromising who you are, your beliefs, your values in the relationship can also get you into some very traumatic situations that have real consequences. Often, I feel like when we don’t love ourselves, there’s a hole, and we seek outward for that validation and for that love. I think, growing up not knowing what that healthy relationship looks like influences our behaviors and decisions. Like you were saying earlier, losing yourself and you’re trying to be this person for someone else, and you’re allowing people to cross those boundaries with you. If you truly can’t look in the mirror and say, you know who you are. You know what your values are. You know what your morals are, you know your worth, and you truly do love yourself. I think those are the ones where it’s like, if you can’t do that, don’t try to force a relationship. Whatever the plan is for you and the path you’re supposed to take, it’s going to come to you when you’re ready. Resources, Connect, Shop and Subscribe FacebookInstagramTwitter


Suck It Up Buttercup

“Calm mind brings inner strength and self-confidence, so that’s very important for good health.” —Dalai Lama Many of us experience periods of anxiousness or nervousness. For someone who suffers from anxiety, they experience prolonged feelings of worry and anxiousness, which are often related to experiences that we all experience, but there is something within them that does not allow them to work through, overcome, or cope and adapt in the same manner as someone who does not suffer from anxiety. In episode 9, Suck it Up Buttercup, Elaina and Tracy discussed the various types of anxiety disorders and share common statements to avoid saying to someone who suffers from anxiety. There are different types of anxiety disorders that people face such as Social Anxiety, General Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Phobias, Panic Disorders, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Elaina said, sometimes we face anxiety due to a specific situation or fear like some people have a fear of some events, animals, or spiders. Elaina shared a childhood memory linked to her arachnophobia. When I was in the 4th or 5th grade, a spider dropped down from the ceiling and stopped right in front of my face. With General Anxiety Disorder (GAD), it doesn't have anything particular to be worried about. You are worrying when you sleep and when you’re awake about anything and everything. Social Anxiety Disorders is overwhelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness in everyday social situations. It’s the fear of being judged, humiliated, and in some cases rejected. Panic Disorders, unexpected and repeated episodes of intense fear accompanied by physical symptoms that may include chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, or abdominal distress. Tracy shared her experience with panic attacks. It felt like I was having a heart attack which made it worst. Sometimes the worrying about having another panic attack can be worse than the actual panic attack. Regardless of what we are or have experienced, these issues do not define us. I am not my anxiety, and it’s something I cope through every day. I am more than my disorder. Resources, Connect, Shop and Subscribe FacebookInstagramTwitter


Reality Check

“Ridicule is a weak weapon when pointed at a strong mind, but common people are cowards and dread an empty laugh”- Martin Farquhar Tupper. In episode 8, Reality Check, Elaina, and Tracy discussed the ridicule that many still face whenever they decide to be vulnerable enough to share their mental health issues and experiences. Both shared how this is our opportunity to normalize mental health issues and begin the conversations and take action to annihilate the stigma that prevents many of us from seeking the help that we truly need. Elaina and Tracy discussed how some people have publicly shared their mental health challenges. The discussion explored how sharing personal experiences, storytelling, and collecting views from everyday problems others are about to relate to these stories and realize they are not alone. She further explained how this kind of person is brave, and it takes courage and strength to share these kinds of experiences. They provided an example of a young performer, Summer Walker, who was bullied on social media after sharing she suffered from social anxiety. We need to educate people. Many don’t understand or know what social anxiety is, what it looks, or how it feels to be in a constant state of worry and anxiousness. You don’t help by being a bully. We have to do better as a society. We should be supporting each other, not judging each other and putting each other down. What do you gain from picking on someone you don’t even know? How miserable can your life be to troll and bully someone on the internet? Resources, Connect, Shop and Subscribe FacebookInstagramTwitter


Dangerous Coping

“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” - Robert Fulghum. Are you feeling stressed? Have you noticed you do things that are bad for you when facing difficult or challenging situations? Well, you’re not alone. In episode 7, Dangerous Coping, Elaina and Tracy discussed the dangers of common maladaptive coping strategies often used to deal with stressful and unpleasant situations and provide their top five adaptive coping strategies. We are discussing how people often used to deal with stressful and unpleasant situations. We are challenged with finding ways to through everything that comes our way. Some of us develop adaptive coping strategies, which means you find a helpful, positive approach to cope. Others rely on maladaptive coping, and these strategies are often counterproductive, harmful, and puts not only our mental health at risk but also our physical health. Maladaptive coping is classified into three categories, Overcompensation, Surrender, and Avoidance. Some of the behaviors include but are not limited to, aggression and hostility, recognition-seeking, manipulation, passive-aggressiveness, compliance and dependency, social withdrawal, binge drinking, drug use, unsafe safe or excessive sexual interactions. Resources, Connect, Shop and Subscribe FacebookInstagramTwitter


Generosity is All We Need

"Generosity is the most natural outward expression of an inner attitude of compassion and satisfaction"- The Dalai Lama. Did you know there have been several studies conducted where researches have determined that being generous has a positive impact on our state of mind and mental well-being? In this episode, both hosts have discussed how generosity can improve our mental health. In episode 6, Generosity is All We Need, Elaina and Tracy discussed generosity from the perspective of the positive impact it has on our mental well-being. Tracy said that when I think of generosity, the first thing that comes to my mind is volunteer work because it's something that I'm passionate about. I love volunteering. But I also think generosity can be just those small acts that you perform for someone else. It can be something as simple as complimenting someone, holding a door for someone, saying thank you or smiling, and saying, good morning. Elaina also supported her and share how she even thought about generosity as volunteer work and things of that nature, but also think about like you mentioned some of the small stuff like I cannot let a door close behind me. If I know somebody is walking up, I will stand there and hold it. They discussed how being generous and not expecting it in return. "That's what I consider true generosity: You give your all, and yet you always feel as if it costs you nothing." - Simone de Beauvoir When you're generous to someone else, it does have a positive impact on your mental well-being. We feel happier and do not need anything back in return. We are just happy that we did it. We wanted to do good for someone, and people are going to appreciate it, or they're not. And yes, you could look at someone and say, well, they should be appreciative, but we don't know their journey. We don't know their story, and we don't know what their mental state is, and so sometimes it may be difficult because there's a lot of pride. Tracy added that she couldn't imagine how much our small act probably meant to others. So that's just how much generosity can mean for someone else, and just the impact it can have. Transcript Resources, Connect, Shop and Subscribe Find SupportShopFacebookInstagramTwitter


Take a Seat Inner Critic

“Your body hears everything that your mind says,” – Naomi Judd. Are you a victim of negative self-talk, and it is limiting your potential? How often has that inner voice told you that you weren’t good enough or you didn’t deserve something? Isn’t time to take back control and begin to reframe those thoughts so you can achieve all your goals and dreams? In episode 5, Take a Seat Inner Critic, Elaina and Tracy discussed the various ways to deal with your inner critic to avoid thinking negatively of yourself and to stop limiting your potential. They explored negative self-talk. And how we can be able to control and silence our inner critics as well as look at some ways that we can overcome the negative self-talk and continue to live up to our potential rather than limiting our potential. The inner negative talk creates self-doubt, the self-loathing. It’s rooted in anxiety. It creates these beliefs within us that we are not able to achieve our goals. Where we can work on something and never feel like we can finish, and even when finished, we still feel like it’s not good enough. The inner self-critic can lead to us having the desire, perception, or setting perfection as a goal. We have to retrain ourselves to understand better that there’s no such thing. That’s that inner self-critic, and it can take us down this path, and the results of that can be, you have anxiety, which can lead to depression, your self-esteem is lowered. It limits our thinking. When our thinking is limited, then we’re limiting our potential cause we’re not allowing ourselves to take that risk to get outside of our comfort zone and to look beyond what we think we’re capable of because we’re limiting our abilities by allowing that negative self-talk to take over. Elaina highlighted when you think about being able to overcome the negative self-talk, like everything else, it’s a process because, for a lot of us, that inner critic has been beating us down for years. Elaina suggested that another way is to be intentional. So, when we talked with the Hope Warrior Project, they talked a lot about being intentional. And so I walked away from that thinking how could I be intentional. We all have this inner critic and sometimes they just run amok, and it puts us in a situation where we start to believe, we tell ourselves that we can’t, if we tell ourselves that we’re not worthy, we tell ourselves that we’re not good at something, then guess what? That’s what we become. Resources, Connect, Shop and Subscribe FacebookInstagramTwitter


Surviving the Holidays

Do you, at times, feel stressed or anxious about spending time with family during the holidays? Episode 4 is all about the stress of hosting, attending holiday celebrations, and dealing with certain types of members. In episode 4, Surviving the Holidays, Elaina and Tracy shared their experience with holiday stressors such as family planning and preparing for holiday gatherings, gift buying, and dealing with conflict. Both also share a couple of coping strategies that have helped them along the way. The holidays for many people trigger anxiety and depression, and we’re going talk through how to manage those feelings. And discuss how to approach holidays differently to meet your needs. If you’re a person that suffers from anxiety or depression, the holidays can trigger those feelings and stressors. Tracy shared how, a week or two before Christmas, and I’m frantic at this point. Like, okay, I haven’t gotten a gift for anybody and then that stress that I was putting on myself, it’s self-inflicted. So, trying to prepare and plan has been one of those coping mechanisms for me to help me get through the holidays. And I think it’s crucial to try to implement and plan where you can. Tracy shared the importance of compromise. Being married, you have to compromise where it’s like now he may want to go someplace I don’t want. So, what I’ve tried to do is set limits number of places we go to. The other thing is, let’s define the amount of time we’re spending here, and we’re going to make sure it’s equal. Elaina said another aspect of holidays and specifically for Christmas is gift buying; it’s not stressful for me, because we do not have to feel obligated to participate in any activities that we genuinely don’t want to join in or be around people we don’t want to be around. Don’t go broke trying to buy gifts. The people who love you love you for you, not for what you can do for them, and anybody that feels differently about that didn’t deserve what you were going to spend your money on them for anyway. If you are in those family situations and there’s family conflict, just set that aside for the moment, but those differences on the back burner. Deal with that conflict at another time. If something does occur, remove yourself from the situation and have fun. Elaina introduced the 5,4,3,2,1 coping strategy, which is a grounding exercise aimed at reducing stress and anxiety. Resources, Connect, Shop and Subscribe FacebookInstagramTwitter


The Strong Black Woman Syndrome

“Black women can do anything, and we have proven that time and time and time again” – Tarana Burke. Historically and generationally, many African American women are raised to exhibit the epitome of strength. They are trained to be self-reliant and confident. They are often expected to be the provider, the homemaker, the counselor, and the caretaker. Being a strong black woman, in most cases, is viewed as a badge of honor. There are some downsides to this classification, and they are rooted in what are often the overwhelming expectations of prioritizing everyone else’s needs above our own. In episode 3, The Strong Black Woman Syndrome, Elaina, and Tracy discussed the traits of strong Black women. What are the qualities that have made these women such as Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, Maya Angelou, and for some of us your mothers and grandmothers so special? What are the consequences of being a strong Black woman? Elaina and Tracy have explored the individualities commonly used to define a strong black woman and how these expectations affect one’s mental well-being. This episode was also joined by the Hope Warrior Project team to share their success journeys with us. When we think about strong black women, the expectation of even being identified or labeled as a strong black woman, it’s a badge of honor, and but it’s almost a curse at the same time when we say, strong black woman, we’re talking about the woman who is expected to juggle multiple roles, the mother, the wife, the lover, the student, the friend, the therapist. We’re expected to be self-reliant, self-contained, and we’re supposed to be self-sacrificing in a sense, meaning we put everyone else’s needs above our own, and we keep going even when we know we need to stop. Elaina said it takes strength to be vulnerable. It takes strength to ask for help. It’s okay to be strong, and it’s also okay to seek help and be vulnerable, there’s no shame in doing so. Elaina introduced The Hope Warrior Project, which is a community that helps women identify their strengths, and they create togetherness. They have a fabulous Hope Warrior Academy, where they go through different books, mindfulness activities, and connect them to their lives and learn different strategies of coping with life and being vulnerable. And we have to learn how to put our needs first because if we’re not filling our buckets, then we’re not going to be able to give to others and the things that we’re trying to accomplish, we’re not going to see the results that we’re trying to obtain if we’re not taking care of ourselves. Resources, Connect, Shop, and Subscribe Hope Warrior ProjectFacebookInstagramTwitter


The Therapy Relationship

"The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love." - Hubert Humphrey Throughout our lifespan, we endure a magnitude of challenges and obstacles. Some more than others and yet many still do not believe in therapy, counseling, seeking help and support, or in some cases, that mental impairments such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD are real issues. In episode 2, The Therapy Relationship, Elaina and Tracy discussed the value of going to therapy and finding the right therapist. And share their experiences when it comes to finding a therapist, and their experiences with going to therapy and counseling. Life throws us curve balls all the time. It feels like when you're making moves and making things happen for yourself, and things are starting to connect, that seems like when life comes at you. Having that therapeutic relationship is beneficial as it is non-biased. It is nonjudgmental. I can be authentic. Sometimes we need to talk it out and process it to get out of our head. When I've experienced therapy and working with therapists and counselors, the thing that I appreciate the most is feeling safe as I'm not being judged. I can say absolutely whatever I want to, and nobody else is going to know about it. There are definitely different types of therapists, and it's not a one size fits all. And sometimes people are like, well, you know, I want a black therapist, and that's okay. Get you a black therapist. Because if that's what's going to help you to connect and be able to be yourself and feel comfortable, do you. You find the one that works best for you. Elaina highlighted that whether your insurance pays a part or deductibles, this is a service that you're paying for, so why not find the right fit for you? And it can be challenging, especially if you want a therapist that is representative of a specific culture or community. But there are resources available. Tracy said, we all have to remember that we're only human and that there's no shame in admitting that we need help or that we need to seek help because we're, we're not alone. And we must stop ignoring, ignoring our needs, and take care of ourselves. Resources, Connect, Shop and Subscribe FacebookInstagramTwitter