The New Stress in the Time of Social Distancing

Grocery shopping is a new stress in the time of social distancing. Especially if you are actually trying to practice social distancing. I start my social distancing in the parking lot. When I can, I park where no one is parking directly beside me. I walk into the store with a few of cleaning wipes and a bottle of hand sanitizer.

I am using the wipes to clean the grocery cart, to open doors and pick up items. When someone is in front of me, I keep a good distance from them. If they stop, I stop or I redirect. When I see someone coming toward me that is obviously not planning to follow the Social Distancing guidelines, I try to move in a direction as to not pass each other directly. Grocery shopping would be a lot less stressful if people would be more patient and make sure to leave at least three, preferably six, feet between themselves and others.

Read: Who Knew Grocery Shopping Could Be So Stressful?

Safe Grocery Shopping in COVID-19 Pandemic

Safe Grocery Shopping Tips

If you are responsible for grocery shopping, carrying or putting away grocery, please give this a watch. We all must go the extra mile to keep ourselves and each other safe.

Support Not Mad. Motivated.

We invite you to support Not Mad. Motivated. by purchasing a t-shirt or tote from our shop.  Our current inventory of youth t-shirts is on sale for $10. 

Starting today, we also have t-shirts and totes with the Essential Employee design below.  So many Essential Employees, like my mother, are placing themselves in harms way because of their commitment to the health and well-beings of others.  They also continue to work because of their commitment to themselves and their families.  No Essential Employee should have to fight for a livable wage. Essential Employees should be paid for their Essential work.       

Buy the essential worker in your life this special t-shirt and we will make a donation to help other essential workers. Place your order and we will email you to see if you have a specific fundraiser/organization/person that you would like the donation to go toward!

Until next time, be safe!

Kindness in a Time of Uncertainty

A few weeks ago, a stranger paid for my lunch. This random act of unexpected kindness was shocking. Had it not been for my temporary state of disbelief, I may had “paid it forward” immediately. However, this weekend, I saw the perfect opportunity for kindness in this current time of uncertainty.

Let's make a world of kindness in a time of uncertainty
At any time in this world, someone is dealing with uncertainty. Always find kindness in your words, actions, and thoughts!

I went to a store to buy a couple of items. During checkout, I noticed some bagged items had been left. I brought the bags to the attention of the cashier, hoping that no one left them accidentally. Afterwards, the cashier motioned toward the near-by customer using the phone. Then the cashier realized that the customer was attempting to use an EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer/ Food Stamp) card, which the store did not accept. As I finished my transaction, I quietly asked the balance of the other customer’s purchases and paid for it before they had the chance to leave the building.

Kindness is Contagious

Kindness is contagious! Although we will witness some ‘ugly’ acts such as hoarding needed supplies, we often see very beautiful acts of kindness during our most difficult times. We could never predict the exact affect of such actions. We cannot know with certainty how many lives a seemingly small act can touch. The recipient may pay-it-forward with kind words to a friend or an unexpected call to family member. Perhaps they will be encouraged to help an elderly or physically challenged person with a difficult task. Or just maybe, they become a little less bias because of receiving kindness from someone they normally would judge as ‘bad’.

We do know, however, that we all can greatly benefit from kindness. Check out these Kindness Health Facts! And if you have never visited the Random Acts of Kindness website, please check out their wonderful resources!

Kindness in a Time of Uncertainty

Many of us are currently connected through the unprecedented times that we are currently in, but please remember that people all around the world are in crises and are suffering everyday. When new cases plateau and the threat level has receded, don’t forget to be kind to the man, woman, or child fleeing from extremely impoverished and/or war-torn countries. Do not forget to be kind to the activist fighting to improve the community of children who live in uncertainty everyday. Be kind to the homeless, even if it is just an acknowledging smile. Kindness is always needed!

Kindness in Action

I would love to hear from you! What are some acts of kindness that you have experienced?

Many of us are staying home more then usual. What are you watching, reading, or listening to in order to stay busy or entertained? What hobbies are you picking up? Which interests are you building upon?

A lot of us parents are overseeing school assignments that are usually completely at school. Teachers, what advice to you have for parents? What resources do you suggest? What special accommodations are you making for your students?

Some of us are cooking at home more. Are you trying any new meals? Do you have tips or recipes to share?

Let’s share and spread kindness!

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Tennessee Orange Youth Size XS

As always, we invite you to support Not Mad. Motivated. Please leave a comment, subscribe to our blog and/or newsletter. Visit our shop and help us spread the Not Mad. Motivated. mindset with every purchase of a t-shirt or tote. Our current inventory of youth size t-shirt are $10 online until they are gone. We only have six shirts in our smallest size, XS. Show your support by purchasing one today!

Have a Not Mad. Motivated. New Year!

Are you doing anything special to prepare yourself for a new year? At Not Mad. Motivated., we are planning a Motivated New Year and we are loving it! We are developing goals in order to provide you with more content that inspires, encourages, uplifts, and connects our communities.

What to Expect from Not Mad. Motivated. in 2020

With excitement, we will launch the Not Mad. Motivated. Newsletter in early 2020, which we intend to deliver monthly! We are looking forward to our newsletter being energizing and thought-provoking for the creators and readers, alike. Remember to subscribe to our newsletter so you do not miss a single issue.

Also new in 2020 will be our weekly blogs. An important aspect that we will bring to our blog is active goal setting. Setting goals helps improve productivity, focus, and growth, but sharing goals with others can add a useful level of accountability! If you feel the desire to share your goals for the year, month, week, or day with the Not Mad. Motivated. community, you are welcome to leave a comment on this, or any, blog post. We would love to hear the success that you are planning to achieve – not matter how small or large!

In addition to our monthly newsletter and weekly blogs, we offer merchandise at our shop. Your support will help us build a sustainable business to create future employment for our Autistic family member. Purchasing a t-shirt will also help us all remember that obstacles may occur but when we use our obstacles as motivation for new solutions and positive outcomes, we win! Wearing a Not Mad. Motivated. t-shirt really can help boost my mood and mindset!

Our NMMountain t-shirt comes in many colors. Check out our shop for more options.

This is an exciting time at Not Mad. Motivated.! I pray for us all to have a Motivated New Year! God Willing, we will have good health, success, growth, and achievement in 2020.

Hind’s Hands: A “Not Mad. Motivated.” Book Sharing

My collection of children’s books about Autism continues to grow! I am happy to share my latest addition, Hind’s Hands: A Story About Autism.

Hind's Hands: A Story About Autism by Umm Juwayriyah and Juwayriyah Ayed

When I saw that Author Umm Juwayriyah was planning to visit my hometown with “books in tow”, I could not pass up the opportunity to meet – and purchase a book directly from – an author that I follow on social media. I performed an online search to explore Umm Juwayriyah’s catalog of work and to get a better idea of which book I wanted to buy. To my great satisfaction, I found that she, along with her daughter, Juwayriyah, wrote a book about Autism!

Meet the Author

I have loved reading for fun since I was a child, and once aspired to have my own bookstore. Even now, I look forward to owning a home with a dedicated library room.

Of all the years of me enjoying books, I have only met a handful of the authors who are responsible for providing me with their unique gifts of reading. Umm Juwayriyah is the latest of authors that I had the pleasure of meeting!

We arranged to meet at a local Masjid on a bright Saturday afternoon. As a parent of three school-aged children, and as someone who works full-time from home, having a face-to-face conversation with another adult was a welcomed departure from my typical day. We spent a good amount of time chatting before the North Carolina heat became sweltering. Despite the heat, it was great to meet a sister in both Faith and in parenting an Autistic child.

Faith Helps Sibling Practice Patience

Hind’s Hands: A Story About Autism is a lovely book from the perspective of nine year old Juwayriyah. Juwayriyah is the big sister of Hind, who is Autistic.

She’s kinda rough on the outside, but once you get to know her and her ways, then you’ll see how sweet she is.

Hind’s Hands: A Story About Autism

Having an Autistic sibling can be challenging. But Juwayriyah learns that patience is an important characteristic of any big sister (or brother). When Juwayriyah was younger, she would sometimes yell at Hind, allowing her frustrations to get the best of her. This would result in both her and Hind crying. Their Ummi (Mommy) used these difficult situations to teach Juwayriyah to help Hind learn by showing her good examples.

After receiving Ummi’s words of advice, Juwayriyah tries hard to be a better big sister and she asks Allah (God) for more patience. Now, Juwayriyah reacts differently when Hind messes up a clean room or has an outburst. Instead of yelling, Juwayriyah says Bismillah (In the name of Allah) and softly rub Hind’s hands together for her. Juwayriyah knows that Hind’s hands are special and important. She uses this knowledge to help Hind feel calm. She even shows Hind some hand games!

A “Not Mad. Motivated.” Point of View

I love that this book is full of lessons and teachable moments! This Story About Autism is a true reflection of what “Not Mad. Motivated.” means – using moments of difficulty and growing from them! As the mother of three boys, the youngest being Autistic, I have witnessed many incidences leading to great frustrations. From messing up rooms, to taking food and drinks, to being loud all night, my oldest two sons can truly relate to Juwayriyah’s difficulties. However, reading Hind’s Hands is a reminder to them to practice patience and to seek Help from their Creator. It also reminds them of how important they are to the family and to their younger siblings.

This book is special to me because it depicts a Black Muslim family who loves and grows with someone with Autism. This is the first occasion that I have personally witness this depicted in a children’s book. I am happy to share it with my family because it reflect us in so many ways. I am happy to share it with others because it may also reflect them in many ways. Whether you are Muslim or not, and no matter your race, many of us are connected through our relationship with Autism. We are connected through our need for support and understanding. We are connected through our dreams, our hopes, our pain, our strengths, and our struggles.

Speaking of dreams. . .

Bonus Book Sharing: YASEEN’S BIG DREAM

Author Umm Juwayriyah has a book that came out earlier this year! Yaseen’s Big Dream is an exciting children’s book about a very ambitious young boy. This book is not specifically about Autism. But a story about dreaming big is really a story about most of us.

Yaseen's BIG Dream by Umm Juwayriyah

What I appreciate most about this book, is that Yaseen’s dream are never selfish. He is not dreaming to be rich or famous. He is dreaming to be helpful to others! Even though he is an important person in his biggest dream, he doing things like feeding the homeless (and feeding them well, may I add) and teaching communities how to start their own gardens. Yaseen is a true leader in his desire to make a difference in the lives of others.

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