Are you ready for summer?

I was looking into my closet recently while counting down the days to the official start of summer. I came to a clear conclusion: I am by no means ready.

I have a lot of work to do to get in shape because although I started the year off  by going to the gym diligently, I slacked off during the winter months.

So now I have to double up at the gym and at home to meet my goals. Somehow I don’t think I am alone with this reality. Time to work that body!––

The Holidays: Happy for some, depressing for others


By Charles Glover, Jr.

We look forward to many things during the holiday season that begins with Thanksgiving and culminates with the New Year: extra time off from school and work, more time around family, home-cooked meals, and of course, the presents. Amidst all of these enjoyable moments are the extensive hours people spend trying to make the holidays wonderful for their loved ones.

A couple enjoy the holiday spiirit.--Photo: Getty Images

A couple enjoy the holiday spirit.–Photo: Getty Images

Simple tasks can lead to feelings of stress--Photo: Getty Images

Simple tasks can lead to feelings of stress–Photo: Getty Images

The added stress around the holidays can make what is a wonderful time for many a depressing, dreadful, lonely time for others. Michael Kerr from explains it this way:

“Depression may occur at any time of the year, but the stress and anxiety during the months of November and December may cause even those who are usually content to experience loneliness and a lack of fulfillment.”

While there is little evidence that supports that the suicide rate increases during November and December, it is still important to recognize that there not everyone views the holiday season as a joyful time. Stress is a well-known trigger for depression and the holidays often create new tensions as well as reignite old hurts and feelings of inadequacy or loneliness, resulting in morose thoughts and unhappy feelings.


It is important to learn how to manage the stress and recognize if a person may be in need of greater help. As Brenda Patoine from The Dana Foundation summarized;

“Finding ways to cope with the heightened demands of holiday gatherings, or filling the gap where they aren’t, is key to surviving the season with affect intact. This can be challenging, because one’s coping strategies may be the first things to fall by the wayside in the busy holiday season.”

The Mayo Clinic lists a number of recommendations for coping with the stress of the holiday season. A few of the suggestion are regular exercise, maintaining a strict budget, and volunteering. If you feel that you or someone you know may need assistance dealing with the emotions of the holidays, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).––

Charles Glover, Jr. is a senior writer for and aspiring author. Follow me on Twitter @GloverIsGood.

Honor loved ones while they’re alive

As people grapple with issues related to health, emotional health, employment and survival, it's important to keep the bonds of love, family and friendship strong.

As people grapple with issues related to health, emotions, employment and survival, it’s important to keep the bonds of love, family and friendship strong.

By Carmen Glover

Prince, Maurice White, David Bowie, Denise ‘Vanity’ Matthews and Glenn Frey are among notables that have passed on from the world of entertainment in 2016 and we are only in the month of April. One striking feature of this year so far is the many deaths that have occurred both in the lives of ordinary citizens and among the ranks of entertainers.

Maintaining bonds of friendship and family helps to keep us connected with loved ones.

Maintaining bonds of friendship and family helps to keep us connected with loved ones.

There have been numerous incidents of mass killings, gang warfare in the inner cities, natural disasters, road rage and disagreements between friends, families and co-workers that have resulted in deaths. Also, data released last week indicated that the suicide rates have increased by 24 percent over the past two decades, which is another area of societal concern. With each death comes an awareness of our own mortality. With each death comes the realization that it is important for us to honor our loved ones while they are alive.

The bonds of friendship are integral to a fulfilled life.

The bonds of friendship are integral to a fulfilled life.

If there is a family member, friend, or member of your close circle that you have neglected, reach out and reconnect. Your action might be as simple as a telephone call, but make the effort to engage that person in conversation just to gauge how they are doing. Express interest in their well-being, and if your schedules allow for you to meet and catch up, do so. Let the trend that has developed so far in 2016 be a guide illustrating  the importance of honoring your loved ones while they are alive.

Friends and family add texture and balance to our lives and should be consciously nurtured.

Friends and family add texture and balance to our lives and should be consciously nurtured.

Sometimes, closure is difficult when things are left unsaid or potential moments to connect with loved ones are routinely ignored due to the hustle and bustle associated with working, raising families, maintaining our health and enjoying our lifestyles. Yet, with hindsight often comes the realization that we had the power to engage more with our loved ones but we chose not to do so.

Taking time to nurture friendships enhance our lives by providing us with a circle of support and love.

Taking time to nurture friendships enhance our lives by providing us with a circle of support and love.

Is there someone who you have been meaning to call but you haven’t followed up with that small act so far this year? Has your mind been flooded with thoughts of a loved one but you pushed the thoughts away? Has someone been reaching out to you repeatedly to meet but you offer a myriad of excuses instead? Life is fleeting. Death is final. Take the time today to prioritize family and friendship. Make an effort to keep the bonds of connection strong, durable and lasting.–


Trust your instincts, enjoy improved results


By Carmen Glover

Do you sometimes have a strong impulse to do something radical like leaving a dead-end job, terminating a toxic relationship, returning to school or starting a new business? Do you sometimes have a strong feeling that someone is not to be trusted? Do you then find yourself offering a litany of excuses why it does not make sense to move forward with the course of action that your instincts indicate is the right step?

trust your instincts

You are not alone. Each one of us, at some point, can recall a time when instincts told us to avoid a certain person, circumstance or environment. We can remember vividly the outcome of our choice. With reflection, a picture emerged and we are clear that our instincts spoke to us at the time, whether or not we chose to listen.

Green Follow your Instincts Road sign on Cloud Background.

Green Follow your Instincts Road sign on Cloud Background.

People who are instinctive in their actions rely on all of their senses to guide their decisions. Regardless of how they are perceived by others, they trust their instincts. If you are at a crossroads, mulling options, weighing pros and cons, turn inward. Yes, it’s helpful to get input from people who you trust but the most accurate guide is your instincts. Trust them to lead you along the path that is right for you and enjoy the improved results that manifest with decisive action––

Three positive effects of relaxation

By Carmen Glover

Negril in western Jamaica, boasts seven miles of pure white sand and clear, inviting beaches, a perfect setting for complete relaxation.

Negril in western Jamaica boasts seven miles of pure white sand and clear, inviting beaches, a perfect setting for complete relaxation.

Have you ever noticed that when you push yourself too hard, with packed schedules and ultra-busy lives, exhaustion saps your energy even as you try to will yourself forward? That’s because your body is telling you what your mind is unwilling to accept: you need to take time to relax. No one is ever too busy to carve out time for relaxation, regardless of how important you think you are. Here are three ways relaxation helps you expedite your goals:

The Hibiscus flower, one of the natural gems in Jamaica.

The Hibiscus flower, one of the natural gems in Jamaica.

  1. The mind is soothed: When your mind is calm, your thoughts develop structure and clarity. A clear perspective is integral to goal setting because it allows you to examine the pros and cons of different ideas in a smooth, sensible and balanced manner. During the hustle and bustle of hectic days, it is difficult to find the time and space to soothe your mind enough to inspire clear thinking.
  2. The body refuels: As the mind relaxes, it forces your body to come along for the experience. Your body slows down from its frenetic pace and eases into a phase of much-needed rejuvenation. This allows you to recharge all the areas that are intrinsic to goal achievement—ideas, planning and course of action.
  3. You are energized: Many times when you take the time to relax that personal treat leads to unexpected dividends. New ideas come to mind. The importance of reconnecting with dormant contacts resurfaces. A better strategy to accomplish your goals is crystallized. A stagnant project gets an infusion of fresh energy and perspective.relax1

With Women’s History Month drawing to a close and the presidential race remaining mired in a flux of dysfunction, a lot of attention will turn to meeting the April 15 tax deadline. With the transition period squarely focused on finances, take some time to enjoy the benefits of relaxation. The results will cause you to repeat the exercise often and share the benefits with others, which is a winning formula for all involved——


Are doubts derailing your life?

By Carmen Glover

Do not allow doubts to derail your life.

Do not allow doubts to derail your life.

The other day I was speaking with a mentee and I was staggered by the deep level of insecurities and doubts the person expressed. There were doubts about career goals, what direction the individual should take with seeking a new job and most alarming, insecurities surfaced when the person spoke about feeling alienated by peers on the current job.

As I listened and examined the underlying causes of the emotions the person expressed I felt concerned that so much pain, doubt and feelings of inadequacy had been internalized by the mentee. The person seemed to be incapable of charting a new path because of the deleterious effects of being stuck in place for years.


I provided career and self-esteem counseling but the session made me reflect on the prevalence of doubts derailing people’s lives. Are you allowing your doubts, fears and insecurities to cloud your mind, consume your thoughts and prevent you from moving forward?

If so, take some quiet time to determine what you want more than anything else in your life, whether it is in your personal life or your career. Describe why you deserve to have that outcome then outline how you plan to make it a reality. After taking those steps, take a leap of faith and move forward. Remember, you cannot achieve your goals if you are too scared to take the first step.—


Change fuels growth, embrace it


By Carmen Glover

Have you ever found yourself fighting with all of your might against change? Change is usually the precursor to growth. By resisting change, you are not only delaying the inevitable, you are choosing to remain stagnant.

If you have been thinking about unrealized goals or if you have just started to list your goals for this month, make room for change. If a particular way of doing things no longer suits you then change it. Take action and make change so that you can grow.

change 2

If your career path no longer brings you joy, change the way that you work or the field of employment entirely. If your significant relationships cause you to feel unhappy, resentful, constantly angry or stuck in place, change what you can even if it means moving on from what no longer brings you joy.

Whatever you do, make a decision today to move forward. Change your surroundings, change your mindset, change your associations, change your eating habits, change your exercise routine, change your life. Do not resist the opportunity to change, in time you will see that change is the catalyst to the most successful period of your life—–



Embrace new opportunities, goals, methods in 2016

new start

By Carmen Glover

As 2016 gets into full swing, undoubtedly you find yourself pondering a new direction in several areas of your life–job, career, relationships, education, diet, weight and other unfulfilled goals such as travel and entrepreneurship.

For many people, a new year offers the opportunity to shed circumstances, people and methodologies that no longer suit them. For others, it provides the impetus to act on decisions that were made the previous year but which they lacked the courage and discipline to put into place.

new chapter

Regardless of what category you find yourself, take the time to harness the range of opportunities that a brand new year offers. Let 2016 be the year that you brush off long dormant dreams, unfinished projects and un-expressed goals.

Let 2016 be the year that you live up to your life’s purpose and achieve your goals in an unmatched way. But don’t forget to seek guidance from your source of faith while relying firmly on your supportive network. Keep us abreast of your progress!–

Did your New Year start with bad news? Resilience is key to survive

Carmen Glover, Founder/Editorial Director of

Carmen Glover, Founder/Editorial Director of

By Carmen Glover

I received devastating, heart-breaking, personal news a few days after the New Year started and I’m still in shock as I grapple with how this new development will change the trajectory of my life.

But having experienced many difficult periods in my life, I am sure of one thing: Resilience is key to my survival as I cope with these new circumstances and regain full control of my life.

Carmen Glover, Founder/Editorial Director,

Carmen Glover, Founder/Editorial Director,

At the same time, I realize that I’m not alone. Many people across the globe are doing their best to cope with unexpected, painful news that will take a long time to absorb. My way of coping is to pray and ask for God’s guidance and strength in learning the lesson that is inherent in this new circumstance.

Blue Lagoon, Port Antonio, Jamaica. Conjuring up positive imagery helps to ease the pain of bad news.

Blue Lagoon, Port Antonio, Jamaica. Conjuring up positive imagery helps to ease the pain of bad news.

If you are grappling with a new reality that comes in the form of unfortunate news I suggest that you examine your emotions honestly and seek guidance from your source of comfort. Don’t lie to yourself, don’t lie to others. Instead, examine your raw emotions and take whatever time you need to heal while being aware that eventually, you will see the lesson and come through the experience with a new appreciation for the ability to be resilient.––

Christmas in Jamaica equals heaven on earth

Blue Lagoon, Port Antonio, Jamaica.

Blue Lagoon, Port Antonio, Jamaica is a breathtaking oasis of sapphire water, nestled between lush, verdant plants. Actress Brooke Shields starred in a movie of the same name, which was filmed in this exotic locale.

By Carmen Glover

You can call be biased, but in my view, experiencing Christmas on the idyllic island of Jamaica is nothing short of tasting a slice of heaven on earth.

The rich Christmas tradition starts with extensive cleaning of the home, wiping the walls or painting them if it is deemed necessary, applying whitewash to the stones and trees in the yard, hanging new curtains and adorning the beds with new linen. The cleaning is done over a period of days so that no stone is left unturned and every crevice and cranny is spotless.

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, singers from the Salvation Army visit homes and sing various carols, while eager residents listen intently, enjoying the performance. Once that special treat is finished, a modest donation is given to the carolers. Most homes have Christmas decorations of some kind, with Christmas lights twinkling in trees or in the beautifully trimmed hedges, especially the hibiscus tinged borders often called ‘shoe-block.’

L-R: Dunn's River Falls, Christmas morning breakfast consists of Jamaica's national dish: ackee and salfish, roast breadfruit, fried plantains; Jamaican fruit 'rum' cake and the refreshing sorrel drink.

L-R: Dunn’s River Falls, Christmas morning breakfast consists of Jamaica’s national dish: ackee and salt-fish, roast breadfruit, Johnny cakes (fried dumplings), fried plantains, served with tea, coffee, cocoa or chocolate; Jamaican fruit ‘rum’ cake and the refreshing sorrel drink.

The next phase involves the food preparation, which includes some steps that begin long before Christmas, such as soaking dried fruits in wine to make the fruit/rum cake, boiling the sorrel and setting it aside so that the flavor can deepen, preparing fish, jerk and curry chicken, oxtail, roast beef and an assortment of fruit and vegetable salads. The food supply is purchased at ‘Christmas Market,’ a special marketplace where farmers show off their most impressive harvest, just in time for the holidays.

On Christmas Eve, most children and young adults flock to the malls to shop and spend time with friends, squeezing out the last minutes of social time before the big day. Early Christmas morning, some folks go to a brief Christmas service at church before returning home as the day of feasting begins with what is termed a ‘big or heavy’ breakfast, consisting of the national dish: Ackee and salt-fish, served with roast bread fruit and/or fried dumplings, which we call Johnny cakes. After break-fast the presents are opened with large measures of excitement and squeals. Throughout the day, as the strains of Christmas carols fill Jamaican homes, cake, fruits, sorrel and rum punch are consumed until it’s time for the tasty Christmas dinner.

A trip to Jamaica is incomplete without a visit to the famous Dunn's River Falls, a national treasure.

A trip to Jamaica is incomplete without a visit to the famous Dunn’s River Falls, a national treasure.

If a relative or friend is visiting from overseas, which we call ‘foreign,’ those from the USA typically come bearing red apples, in addition to an item of clothing. The apples were always viewed with a great deal of interest and to ensure that no one is left out, the apples, usually no more than two per household because of strict customs agents, is carefully sliced and each person gets to savor one slice at a minimum. The Jamaican apple is red, juicy and totally different in taste and texture from the American apple.

On Boxing Day, the day after Christmas, people visit each other and spend the rest of the weekend going to the beach, traipsing from Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios to public beaches in Negril and Montego Bay or basking in the healing waters of Milk River Bath in St. Thomas. Ah!! Christmas in Jamaica, lovingly called ‘Jamdown,’ heaven on earth! There is nothing like it!––