Categories
Uncategorized

You Need A Budget

On their blog, the You Need a Budget team shares posts full of practical information around personal finance and budgeting, with a more recent focus on people who’ve been affected by recent shocks to the global economy.

You Need A Budget
Categories
Lock Down Challenges

My Class of 2020

It’s a Friday!!! *imaginary dance* Pardon me but it’s been a long week and I don’t think we get the same excitement for Fridays like we did before Covid-19.

How is your mental state, relationship with God and your finances? It’s a new month and I encourage you to always do a routine checkup.

So I don’t know if you’ve heard but African bloggers are busy killing it in an amazing challenge called WinterABC. The stories are so amazing and I’m loving every one of them, for some I can relate one way or the other. Same topic, different beautiful stories to read and share. Don’t say I didn’t tell you. I’m proud to be a part of the journey too, enjoying every minute of it. *Tap on the shoulder for taking chances*

Today I get to be your teacher and I’m excited to impart some of my knowledge. Teachers are heroes because dealing with different characters in a class of hundreds is a special task of its on. (Send them air hugs)

Have you ever had an honest conversation with friends, parents, work colleagues or strangers about life in their 20s? Have you heard or read the phrase “30 is not the new 20”? Assuming you paused and answered each question let me start our class.

Becoming a young adult is one thing I admired as a child but only for the good stuff, I mean an amazing 9 to 5, cute apartment, occasional meet ups with the girls , flourishing relationship with God and my man….you name it, I thought it.  The minute I got to adulthood I wanted out because whatever was happening is not what I signed up for.

This bring us to lesson uno (one in Spanish) Forgetting about identity crisis and getting identity capital: These are just fancy terms but the point here is finding something that defines who you are or might want to be or better yet finding out what you don’t want to be. If you’ve been struggling to find your purpose in life or trying to understand who you are and have failed miserably….have you considered finding out what does not work for you be it at work, in your business, friend and relationships and other aspects of your life. Your identity is from being more self-aware, letting go of personal or family norms, holding onto principles that vibe with you and letting go of others. What better time to do that than in your 20s?

Don’t get me wrong, you can do this at any time of your life but if you are just starting out on this roller-coaster called Y/A (Young adult) I believe you have the will power to know who you are and use that to your advantage. So write that list cross whatever shouldn’t be on it and get closer to your true self. Identity crisis is not knowing who you want to be or simply not having your life together and beating yourself up about it. Paul Angone calls finding out what we don’t want to do a game of Emerging Adult Elimination.

Lesson dos (two) resonates with each one us, don’t deny it. It’s normal but today i’d like for us to stop it or slowly grow out of it.

Comparing yourself to others. Continuous comparison produces unwanted feelings which lead to depression, anxiety and jealousy which are uncalled for. A behavior most common in your twenties and earlier years. Your 20s are a time to flourish with all the fresh creativity, energy and peace. As should be with all your years on earth.

Here are few of numerous ways you could cure comparison.

Cut back on TV and the internet (Linda you must be joking) No, i’m not, I know we have to stay informed but I mean stay away from the pages, channels or sites that make your mind race to places that will kill your track progress.

Celebrate what you do because nobody will do it better for you. Whether it’s big or small, celebrate and stop obsessing about everything you don’t do. It’s okay to be inspired by others but don’t let their light dim yours, I love to believe different personalities is what makes the world interesting. *Imagine we were all the same*

I’d also like to add that being intentional helps with curing comparison. Once you know how meaningful life is you’ll be selective with your time and guard it from the time thief comparison is.

I’m obsessed with making the most of our 20s because so many people will tell you how you have your whole life ahead of you. What about we forget that and say “My point of power is in the present moment”. Be it your studies, work, relationships, finances, lifestyle, etc. The time we waste sulking over what should have been can be used to improve what is already existing. Stop comparing yourself to others and start pursuing what is meaningful to you.

Thank you for coming to my class and I hope we can have another session together.

What teacher would I be if I didn’t leave you with homework? Are you in your 20s, or are you in your 30s and would like to mentor young adults, or do you love to read regardless of age?

I recommend you read 101 Secrets for Your Twenties by Paul Angone and The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter- and How to Make the Most of Them Now by Meg Jay. This class couldn’t have happened if I hadn’t stumbled on those amazing books. So read them and share your findings with the world. Meg Jay has a Ted talk that can also be helpful. The good teacher added a direct link to the Ted talk. Tap her name above and jump right into it

That’s all folks, love and light. Have a lovely weekend.

Categories
Lock Down Challenges

Becoming Linda Stella

Akello Linda Stella was born on a beautiful Sunday night on 4th February in the mid 90s. She is the first child in a family of three children, born and raised in Entebbe by wonderful parents. For her nursery and lower primary, she attended Entebbe Christian School for which she credits her Christian foundation. Her parents in a bid to toughen her took her to St. Agnes Girl’s Catholic Primary Boarding School Naggalama where she completed her primary education. At Trinity College Nabbingo she started and completed her secondary school journey. With a keen interest in entrepreneurship and business management she joined Makerere University Business School where she graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration.

Linda is an introvert a trait got from her father and is also soft spoken. She is opinionated and loves to fight strongly in ideas she believes in. She is attracted by the idea of egalitarianism because she believes that nothing would help the world so much as using love and compassion to soften the heart of tyrants. Simplicity is her language. She loves to have warm and honest conversations, use sensitive language and speak in human terms rather than logic and facts.

Her father once asked her if she’d considered doing comedy because half the time she’s either laughing or smiling. The people she met over the years wondered if she ever got angry. Linda on the other hand loves to say to herself, exist to be happy, not to impress and simply love God and love people.

She believes one of her greatest achievement was turning down an amazing student leadership role for which she was unopposed. Unfortunately she gave up this opportunity because it required her to change who she was and her beliefs. She loved a quote Susan Cain wrote in her book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.

The trick for introverts is to honor their styles instead of allowing themselves to be swept up by prevailing norms

– Susan Cain

Her story continues to unfold and she is equally excited to see where it leads. She encourages people to learn and understand their personality traits. When you know thyself and embrace who you are with all your quirks you can figure out how to best work with your personality. With that school of thought she continues to explore life and what it has to offer.

Not Part of the Bio: Beautiful people of the world, i hope you are well and happy. Writing this bio has been hard, going to write one every month until i get it right. It’s taken me approximately 3 hours to finish and i’m still not sure. *the impostor is trying me* Anyways hope you enjoyed it. Till tomorrow, cheers!!

Categories
Lock Down Challenges

The Local g’s Favorites

Today is different because i get to discuss food and talking about it is every foodies favorite past time. My little sister calls me a local g because i’m very patriotic when it comes to the food and music. This local has many foods on her list but let’s get into the top two:

  • Sweet potatoes and Groundnut Paste with Dried Tilapia: Did you salivate reading that because i did…kinda. Let me put it out there that half the people i know hate sweet potatoes because of the sweetness. I love them because sweet and savory equals happiness for me. That’s a meal i can have and not eat the rest of the day. Also i love that sweet potatoes can be baked, make amazing fries even a pie. Need i say more really!!! Big shout out to my amazing Grandma *also my namesake* she grows the best potatoes I’ve eaten and the farmers in Northern Uganda. (You’re welcome)
These are the best particularly those with orange flesh. Yum!!
  • Kalo and Ggobe: This is my staple food (do people still say that) kalo is a mixture of cassava and millet flour, that’s the mix i like other people would disagree but to each their own. You must be thinking that’s a tonne of carbs but once in a while isn’t bad at all. Ggobe is a local name but its a combination of okra and greens whose name i know not in English. *sorry Grandma* Those two go well together and they are best eaten with a natural fork read fingers. I like to add peanut butter for an even better taste.
The internet equivalent of Ggobe

I’m thankful for having easy access to locally grown food. Food tastes different when it is fresh not forgetting the meats and fish too. Don’t forget to thank the vendors in the market and the farmers too for putting in the work. (If you know any)

That’s all folks, until tomorrow!!

Categories
Lock Down Challenges

The Goal…

I’ve always been passionate about writing and not once did i care if i was good at it or not. Before i got tech savvy i’d write something about everything in my diaries or cute notebooks. The aim at the time was to keep my friends entertained, make them laugh and forget about school for a bit.

Surprisingly i took a two year break from writing because i was not feeling it anymore. I’d read articles and blogs of other accomplished writers and tell myself…..”you could never be as good as them”, “they have their craft figured out but you don’t” and so many other demoralizing things my impostor syndrome brought up. One day during this lock down, i had a self-therapy session and had a walk down memory lane. I remembered the joy writing brought me and couldn’t quite put my finger on why i stopped.

Alas, i realized it was a chronic illness I have and had chosen to forget about that brought me to that point. Another interesting fact is it’s because of the same illness that you are actually reading this piece. I have a disorder called Endometriosis in which tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside the uterus. For a long time i looked for people like me to hear or read their stories, how they live with it and survive the hardest times but in vain.

The message sums up the goal for this site.

This brings me to today’s challenge. The goal of this site (which i literally revived 2 weeks back) to bring more awareness on endometriosis, how to live normally with it and give hope and encouragement to fellow victims, parents, siblings even partners to victims. Generally i’m here to normalize it and encourage confidence because we can’t forever feel down about this incurable illness. Personally I’ve given it so much control over my life and i’m using my site to change that and do better. I’d very much like in the long run to meet people with the same or similar interest because i find it unfair to only share my experience.

With that being said, check out my story here https://akellolinda.com/2020/05/24/endometriosis-along-side-mental-health/ and make sure to follow and stay tuned because we are just getting started.

Love and Light to You All From Uganda.

Categories
Lock Down Challenges

First Blogging Challenge

Beautiful people of the world, how are you holding up during these tough times. There’s so much going on in the world right now but i’m grateful for being alive and i don’t take that for granted.

So, Afrobloggers has a June challenge dabbed WinterABC challenge which i’ve decided to be a part of. I’m already worried about being inconsistent but i’m going to push through because i love to prove myself wrong.

I recently revived my blog and started writing again after a two year long hiatus. Finally decided to look for what is on the other side of fear because why not!!

On this first day, I commit myself to sharing informative and interesting write ups with you during this challenge. Afrobloggers gave us a topic for each day and i’m excited to share my perspectives with you. I hope you’ll read and enjoy.

Before i forget, the challenge is for twenty two days (22!!) and all bloggers will have a post up throughout the week except for the weekends. (Afrobloggers just had to put me on the spot like that) This is going to be very theraputic and exciting because i get to share and read work from fellow amazing writers.

Catch you on the flip side!!

Categories
Endometriosis Journey

Endo Medication Trials

At the start of the week i was very excited about planning for the sequel of my story infact i jotted down a few things but my anxiety has been all over the place so i didn’t get to finish it. I made a promise about showing up so i’m going to get to work regardless of how unprepared i am, after all procrastination is the fear of success.

The most annoying thing about having endometriosis is the numerous medications we have to try only to make the illness bearable. In the months before my diagnosis i simply took Ibuprofen which is the common pain reliever for menstrual cramps and it worked just fine. With growth came body changes which is why i’m here spilling my menstrual medication secrets.

My first medication trial was herbal/organic medicine which were a powder mix that healed over ten different illnesses and an iron supplement that was really tasty. Remember the school nurse from part 1, she was so hard on me but it was for the better. I had to be at the school dispensary at exactly 7am and 6:30pm respectively to start treatment. The powder mix tasted like matcha green tea which by the way has no definate taste so you can imagine the struggle. Later on in life (not that long ago) i learned it was medication suitable for people hitting their midlife crisis years. At least i can say it made my body feel refreshed but i was not amused with the idea of a teenager taking old people medicine. Whenever The Red Cross team was in school for the blood donation drives, I’d be excited to donate but the nurse was always on the look out. Three failed attempts and to date I’ve never donated but I understand now that you can’t give much from a glass half empty. The herbal medicine was effective for only a year and a half but I am grateful because it made me hopeful.

Luckily, the first trial did not have side effects because many “artificial” medicines are known to have them. My gynaecologist prescribed pills which are my second and current trial whose name i will not disclose in today’s wrtite up. I will share all the available options only after thorough research and with guidance from the professionals. One fact about them is they work by mimicking the effect of a missing hormone in the female body, to sum it up my whole hormone community is a lie. The said pills are also a prescription for breast cancer patients and it scares me a lot that we have to borrow medicine for other conditions to simply make our pain minimal.

Some of the side effects i’m struggling with include but are not limited to;

  • Acne
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Weight gain
  • Dizziness

It never occured to me that one day i’d wake up sick and never get better. The truth of the matter is there is no cure for it and for most of us it is the most hurtful thing.

I am a sufferer of endometriosis. I didn’t want any young women to go through what i went through. I thought that people should know about it.

Padma Lakshmi

Today’s take away is if you have a sister, girlfriend, wife, workmate you name it, that has mentioned they have menstrual conditions kindly reach out to them or nudge them a little to speak up. They may not be aware of what they are actually experiencing. If you are a victim do not be shy to share your condition with people you trust. Talking about it makes you more aware and confident with time.

I’m hear to help however i can so do not be a stranger even for males that may need help understanding the practicalities of the illness. I gatchu!!

Side Note: Shorter write ups are fun to read plus they keep you on the edge for the next part. Untill next time.

Categories
Endometriosis Journey

The Genesis Of My Endometriosis (Part I)

Seven years ago i was very excited to start my higher level education but i had no idea that one week into the school term I’d be paying my gynecologist a visit over a chronic illness i didn’t know existed.

Endometriosis is a chronic condition where tissue that behaves like the lining of the uterus is found in other parts of the body such as the ovaries, Fallopian tubes, bladder, bowel and others. For further and easier information to comprehend this, please visit https://www.medtronic.com/covidien/en-za/patient-information/explore-endometriosis.html

On my visit to the doctor, very odd tests were done and i was asked if I’d aborted before because what they were seeing was unusual. During the review he opened what i call a doctor’s dictionary and introduced me to this new word Endometriosis. I honestly wasn’t paying attention until he mentioned it has no cure and the only hope to improving the situation was giving birth. I got scared and thought at that age I’d have to get pregnant for this to go away. I remember how scared my mum was when she broke the news to my dad. My adolescent mind was racing on about how i was going to be a young mom and stuff while my mum was making phone calls to priests and other religious people she knew to start praying for me. (As would any African Mother)

Well you can’t stop the pain but better health care services could be a step in the right direction

There’s no cure not even in the first world countries so we are really even on this one. Anyway, there are particular pills ladies like me can take but that helps to reduce pain and balance a few hormones and that’s it. My doctor prescribed them and literally banned me from the hospital, no see me in two weeks time or visit in a month. He left me to battle it out with pharmacists asking why i need the medicine and other similar annoying questions.

During my short stay at home during the school term, we visited a doctor that specializes in herbal and organic medicine. That medicine is just as bitter as Aloe Vera or worse and i started treatment with special supervision from the school nurse. There was no skipping with that woman, she’d send over five different people to inform me that’d been summoned. I always referred to it as torture and a curse from God because why would He send me a chronic illness moreover one that was incurable.

Flash forward to the present day, i know now that the nurse just wanted me to be healthy and get better just as she’d promised my mother. The strict supervision during my treatment is why I’m not as badly off but that is a story for another day. Over the years i started doing more research about the illness and started looking for women, ladies or young girls like me. The pain i was feeling when it was that time of the month, before and after was excruciating. I thought to myself, there should be other females out there like me and i want to know how they deal with this awful pain.

Friend, if i tell you my pain is nothing compared to the stories i read as shared by different women you have to believe me. Some utilize most of their leave days from work to stay home because they can barely walk, one medically hit menopause at the age of fifteen, another quit her job because her colleagues complained about her working from home whenever it was that time of the month. Plus so many others you can check out this one https://www.healthline.com/health-news/personal-painful-ordeal-of-women-with-endometriosis-061815

We Are A Strong Species

The symptoms differ for every female and that’s why some get diagnosed a little later when the condition is ugly. Let me get back to why I’ve decided to write about this. This illness has so much control about pretty much everything in my life. My body physique for starters, i have a hormonal belly which is hard to shred, bad digestion process so i have to watch what i eat, anxiety and depression because i grow fat from stress and people will call me out on it as if i shove 10 butter cream cupcakes down my throat everyday. The hormonal imbalance has me loving someone today and hating them tomorrow and last but not least the intimacy situation. It’s such a load to carry but i handle it with patience and faith that it will get better.

During the lock down, i decided to study my body and assess my life from the past seven years and i realized my endometriosis situation has been controlling me the entire time. If I’d known that a while back I’d have handled life better but we make our choices and that’s not me saying i regret it. I’m proud to say my mental health is stable and I’m happy, extremly thankful to my unpaid therapists at least all our hours of talking have helped me realize what the root cause has been. I even know where I’m going with this blog journey and my life with this unfriendly illness of mine.

The story does not end here, we are going to go deeper into this chronic illness and i’ll share my experience because it feels like i’m reliving some parts. This is part one of my story and i hope you stick around. These stories need to be told and we need to be heard to find one another but most importantly to get help and offer it to those who don’t even know they need it.

Until next time,

Linda

Categories
Mental Health and Wellness

Acknowledging My Anxiety

Today i will skip the boring order of defining what anxiety is, what it does and all those related things the internet can easily provide.

I am simply going to tell my story regarding the topic at hand as a result of a conversation that helped me see my anxiety differently.

A couple of weeks back i was put in a situation where i had to speak to a lady much older than i am for the very first time. My thigh did that thing where it always vibrates so much I can’t stand for long and as usual i ignored it.

She asked me to relax and stop being timid before i could even greet her. Normally i have a number of poker faces lined up before i get to associate with people I’m not familiar with. My serious/confident face was already off before i could get into character (such a party popper).

I took it upon myself to check whether I’ve been down playing my anxiety with these faces as well as ignoring my thigh vibration situation (has happened many times….i thought it was thing 😂) and the test came out positive, in summary people I’ve been living in denial.

You must be thinking that’s such a personal matter why would she want to put it out there for everyone to know.

First off, i am growing tired of explaining myself and making up the lamest excuses. Secondly i want you to check yourself and get help before it’s too late. Its really frustrating to have to look for drugs just so you can calm your nerves.

My anxiety test results came out stating i am “The Hero“.

Despite dealing with high anxiety you want to remain in control and therefore you bravely cope with it even when it seems the most difficult…
All by yourself!… that’s bravery!

You are the kind of person who demands more of herself and therefore you don’t easily show your anxiety to others. But you have asked too much of yourself Warrior… without knowing that pushing it down won’t make it go away.

The above Italicized paragraphs are a sample of my results in detail and to be honest i was neither surprised nor happy.

My anxiety is not the kind that will have me getting complicated panic attacks or on prescribed medicine. (Thank you Lord) I laughed at my anxiety symptoms because for years i thought it’s just who i am but to my dismay I’ve been torturing my body, mind and soul.

Some of these symptoms include but are not limited to, a hyper active mind, depression, isolation and the mother of them all being social anxiety. They have deeper explanations but i won’t bore you with the details. In case you are interested in finding out more, we can discuss over a cup of coffee or whatever.

Here are a few ways my anxiety gets the best of me;

Someone asks if they can call me (anxiety: NOO!!! Leave me alone, can text just fine why do you need to call me), making social plans with a group of friends (anxiety: that was a terrible idea, you should consider cancelling), when I stop over thinking things (anxiety: only until I say you should stop over thinking but until then keep the thoughts coming. Brain do your thing!! 😈)

So I’m always having inner battles with anxiety and it’s an endless back and forth with it.

I really am grateful for how i keep fighting it any way I can, sharing my story is one way and I feel so relieved.


Transcendental Mindfulness Therapy is a new meditation technique I am going to try out. I have no idea what it is but am going to learn and hopefully bring back good news.

That’s about to change though 😋

As I bring an end to the torture you’ve endured while reading this, I ask that you take note of your behavior most especially when it seems unsual. My anxiety stories with emphasis on the social one are endless but I can’t be on the internet sharing my dirt.

Before I go, I feel lucky to share this with so much confidence ( the irony😂) in a society that’s too judgemental. This is my way of saying no to anxiety and not letting it define me, do not be afraid to speak up. Let’s start now, we aren’t growing any younger.

Lots of Love,

Linda S.A

Categories
Mental Health and Wellness

Journaling For Mental Health

Journaling is a practice of keeping a diary or journal which explores thoughts and feelings concerning events of your life. In my teenage years I kept a diary to help me keep track of things happening in my life just so I could have a word album to help me reminisce. This went on and on until I started transitioning to adulthood. Keeping a diary seemed childish but little did I know what was coming my way. By then I had no idea what depression was or the kind of effect it has on people that don’t act upon it quickly.

Every day after I put an end to my diary entries my mind became a library filled with a lot thoughts and it didn’t do my mental health any justice. It’s important to note that until recently mental health was not considered a major issue. So during that period I had no one to confide in and writing was the last thing on my mind. With the help of the internet I learned that depression that’s unattended to can turn out to be quite messy and it’s when I learned about journaling to help improve mental health.

Having lost control of my thoughts and emotions my life seemed so stagnant and confusing. This resulted into many anxiety attacks and depression phases. A journal is a helpful tool in managing your mental health and it is one of the best healthy outlets in which you can express yourself and keep track of your emotions and feelings.

Journaling helped me control my symptoms and improve my mental state by:

-Helping me prioritize my fears, problems and concerns

-Tracking any day to day triggers of depression and learning ways to control them
-Availing a 360 dimension of positive self-talk and identifying negative behavior and thoughts.

There’s no specific method for journaling but here are a few tips to help you get started:

Write every day; Set off a few minutes each day and write in your journal. Schedules tend to be tight but healing starts with you literally starting.

Use your journal as you see fit; some people like to share their journeys but if you are not comfortable then keep it confidential, what matters most is your progress.

Keep it simple; in the beginning I focused a lot on what book and pen I should use and honestly there was no writing done. Start with what you have because as you progress the journaling essentials come naturally to you.

Write anything and everything; do not be picky on what you write, it’s your journal and you are in charge of whatever you put down on paper.

It’s safe to say journaling has helped me get my mental health in check because I do not look at it as medication but rather my relaxation time. I always look forward to it and am always eager to know whether I moved two steps ahead or back, my thoughts or innermost fears and more. Choose a comfortable place and favorable time let loose and pour your heart out, look at it as a reward for a better mind, body and you.

In case you feel the need to educate yourself on everything mental health please visit this link https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/mental-health-types-illness
There are plenty of websites but i chose that one, feel free to visit others Google is not your enemy.

Yours truly,

Linda S.A