When I first heard about mindfulness a few years ago, I understood it to be a practice meant to help people relax when they felt stressed or anxious. And while that’s not entirely untrue, years of schooling, working as a child and adolescent therapist, and developing my own mindfulness practice have broadened my understanding. Sure, relaxation can be a result of practicing mindfulness, but it’s not the purpose. The purpose of mindfulness is to intentionally and consciously be aware of the present moment which allows us to fully acknowledge where we are, what’s going on, what we’re doing, and those thoughts, feelings, and physiological sensations that show up. Why is this important? When we acknowledge what’s going on externally and internally in the present moment, we won’t be overwhelmed by or overly reactionary to what’s going on around us. It doesn’t change the situation (though it’d be nice if it did, right?), but it just helps us ease into the chaos and feel more in control, especially when life around us feels out of control. Given these current turbulent and uncertain times, I think developing a mindfulness practice would be helpful for you, too! Continue reading “Wellness Wednesday: Developing a Mindfulness Practice in Anxious Times”
Happy Wednesday, friends! We’ve made it to the halfway point of the week, and I think that calls for a quick celebration, don’t you? But a closer end to the week does mean a closer start to the school year, which is totally fine–remember, we’ve got this! I want you to realize, though, that this also means we can’t stay up as late as we want, wake up when we feel like it, or take our sweet time making and eating whatever we want whenever we want it. Time won’t always be on our side when the school year resumes, so we’ll need to maximize and prioritize as much of it as possible. With so much on our plates (pun intended), putting food on it shouldn’t be a stressful and time-consuming ordeal. So keep reading for a quick, simple, and protein-packed dish that will fill you up and cancel out all that ice cream and pizza you’ve been munching on all summer long. You can make a big batch of it and spread it out over the course of the week. At least that’s one less thing you have to worry about, right?
Happy Wednesday, friends! We have reached the halfway point of the work week and I hope yours is going as well as mine. I’ve been crushing my fitness and healthy eating goals, meditating daily, and really focusing on myself. In my previous commitment to living a healthier lifestyle, I put a lot of pressure on myself and wasn’t able to find the balance between moderation and total indulgence–it was all or nothing. Healthy living meant food was boring and plain, and you could forget about dessert. The truth is, however, that making healthy decisions means being aware of what you put into your body, and when you put good things into it, you get good things out of it. Thankfully I’ve expanded my understanding of health and wellness, and want to share a treat that is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth! This recipe has just three whole ingredients. No fillers, no artificial sweeteners, just whole, natural goodness. Enjoy! Continue reading “Wellness Wednesday: 3-Ingredient Cookie”
Happy Wellness Wednesday, friends! Yesterday marked ten straight days of guided meditation with the mindfulness app, Headspace. Unfortunately, ten days of Headspace also means my free trial is up. Great! Now how am I supposed to find clarity and focus and also reduce my stress and anxiety (sarcasm)? While I think of new, free ways to deepen my meditation and mindfulness practice, here is my review for Headspace.
On a recently unusually cold morning in Massachusettes, I started the day like I typically do, listening to Pandora Radio. Scrolling through my 99 stations (of which I honestly only listen to like, 10), I stumbled upon and selected 90s R&B. After suffering through a series of commercials, I heard a familiar beat with synthesizers, baseline, and a kick drum that made way for melodious vocals. I recognized it from the very beginning: TLC’s “What About Your Friends” (1992). Now, I was only four-years-old when this song first hit the airwaves, but having older sisters pretty much meant that this song was on constant rotation at the time. 25 years later, and I’m still dancing around the room every time it comes on. The only difference is, I’m now more aware of and see the value in the lyrics because having incredible friends who stand by you at your lowest low and highest high is one of the most significant and necessary elements for one’s overall well-being.
A few weeks ago, I shared a list of my favorite podcasts and destination spots. Not too long after that post, a friend of mine pointed me towards another podcast, and I’ve been addicted ever since! Black Girl in Om is a new(ish) podcast and online publication dedicated to promoting wellness and building community and culture among women of color. Co-hosts Lauren Ash (Founder), Zakkiyyah Najeebah, and Deun Ivory (Art Director) post almost weekly episodes that both empower and inform women of color on various ways they can and should practice self-care. In a world that very rarely shows Black girls any love, each episode celebrates Black sisterhood and provides a safe space that encourages me (and I hope women and young girls who look like me) to not only be my true self, but also–and more importantly–to simply love who I am and the skin I’m in, and to do so unapologetically.
Happy Wellness Wednesday, friends! I’ve been thinking a lot about Monday’s post and I already feel so empowered and inspired. I’m trying to do more things I’m passionate about and push myself to keep at it, and so far, so good! In fact, I’m just gonna go ahead and give myself a high five because I have stuck to my fitness goals and worked out every day this week–granted it’s only day three, but you have to start somewhere, right? Now, when I typically engage in some form of fitness, I usually quit not too long after I start because I either feel like I’m going to die, I’m bored, or I’m just plain lazy. Sound familiar? I’ve tried Insanity, Jillian Michaels, Pure Barre, walking, and even had a personal trainer (or two). I eventually realized, however, that I can’t keep wasting my time, money, and energy on things that doesn’t bring me joy. After extensive research and now a heavier pocket (and unfortunately waistline), I’m embarking on a new-ish fitness venture: Zumba.