Self-Care Corner: On Balancing with Nonee of Nonee's World
Phenomenal women can be found everywhere! At Fanm Djanm, we aim to highlight stories of women not only dreaming big, but doing big! Why dim your light? Meet Nonee of Nonee’s World! Nonee is a nurse, lifestyle blogger, and ENTREPRENEUR. With the many roles nonee occupies, we wondered how she manages to keep it all TOGETHER! Seriously, self-care is more than a hashtag, it’s a necessity. So we reached out to Nonee to see how she balances it all and to get the formula to her black girl/ girl boss magic….
The other day, whilst chatting with my mom about my day, she wondered, man, how do you do it all? You see, at that very time I was juggling a telephone call and several emails planning our blogger holiday party and reading an evidence based report on stroke. Those of course, are two completely different things that represent different aspects of my life. I’ve been living this life for the last three years so it has become my “normal”. My name is Nonee Ngazimbi-Cunningham and I am an African immigrant from Central Connecticut. I am a critical care nurse transitioning to nurse practitioner, lifestyle blogger, and founder of a local blogger Collective. Also, I am a newlywed settling into life as someone’s wife. In other words, I lead quite the busy life but I’ve found magical ways to create balance.
In 2003, my family emigrated to the United States from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Leaving the country was a matter of critical urgency as the country’s economy crippled under a corrupt land reform program. Like any immigrant, growing up in a new country, I learned to be incredibly hardworking, resourceful, and determined as I had a trailblazing mother creating an American dream for me. When it came to picking a career, I always say I somewhat stumbled upon nursing. After a failed biology pre-medical freshman year, I heard they were giving shots in nursing and jumped on board. Also, the physician lifestyle did not interest me in the slightest. my mom’s first career until I was about 6 years old, was nursing. I love being a nurse. It is an incredible honor and privilege to experience people at their most vulnerable state when they are critically ill to an optimized state of well-being. It truly is a selfless and incredibly fulfilling career path. Most importantly, it has positioned me to be able to take care of myself.
One of the many struggles in my life is balance. I find myself feeling guilty for overworking and not spending enough time with my family and husband. I have learned that intentionality is essential to make everything work together in my life. First off, I am a scatter brain so I employ the use of a planner that has my whole life in it. It keeps me organized and I refer to it constantly. Secondly, I try to put time limits on certain activities throughout the day especially internet usage. I find that this reduces the amount of wasted time spent just browsing and makes my use purposeful. Thirdly, I intentionally make time for myself everyday; whether it is time to meditate and reflect, treat myself to something, or even attend to my sleep with a nap, I make it intentional. Lastly, as a newlywed, I carve out uninhibited time to spend with my husband and Vice Versa. At times, we have to be really creative. For instance, he works days and I work nights. On these days, he gets home from work at 5.30pm and I’m usually napping. Next, he makes me a quick dinner so that I can take to work and then jumps into bed to cuddle for a few minutes until I have to leave for the night.
A typical day varies due to my haphazard schedule. As someone who has anxiety, I have learned to roll with the punches and have frequent “check-ins” with my body and mind. The one thing that destroys me is the flipping back and forth between days and nights. It makes such a huge impact on how my days are structured. As a nurse, I typically work 12 hour shifts at minimum about three times a week and so any days on for work are wasted days for anything else. I realize that those days on are when I need to focus on my mental and spiritual self-care the most. I encounter death on a daily basis and I’ve learned to allow myself the time to grieve the deceased without the guilt of “it’s not even my family”. I also find daily quotes, verses, or mantras that I refer to throughout my days on and I find that that keeps me centered. On my days off, I’m running errands, working on blog articles, shopping for new looks for the blog, photographing looks, and pitching to brands. That in itself is my other full time job that keeps me very busy.
Fanm Djanm means strong woman and everyday, I look to the beautiful strong women before me, who are my pillars of strength, and continue to hustle with no avail with hopes of actualizing my dreams one day! I am a Fanm Djanm because I refuse to allow society to dictate my potential and make rules about how I should live my life. I am a Fanm Djanm because I value integrity and respect and believe that I honor my family and ancestors by conducting myself and my business with those values at the forefront. Finally, I am a Fanm Djanm because I have taken the time to fall in love with the person I am today; to respect her, cherish her, be kind, and honest with her.
As I continue along this journey, I continue to seek out balance as life’s circumstances continue to change. I make it look easy, but everyday I miss out on something to attend to something else but I offer myself grace. Thank you to the beautiful team at Fanm Djanm for not only providing beautiful product that supports the culture but also for creating an incredible platform that empowers and supports women.