This post is sponsored by State Farm®. 

 

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Bellas, I’ve been behind the ball lately and so much of the reason revolves around health. Right now I’m taking Oprah’s famous advice and listening to the whispers. More and more of my whispers are about self care and wellness as a priority. As you know, I’m working with State Farm to share their dynamic new podcast series, Color Full Lives. I signed up to do this months ago; who knew that episode 6 would speak so directly to my life and current circumstances?

I got so much affirmation, so many reminders, and so many great tips from this episode! Radio veteran Angela Yee and “Grand Duchess of Tech” Tatiana King-Jones host, along with one of my favorite beauty and health bloggers, Fran Medina AKA Hey Fran Hey! She teaches so much just by sharing her truth and living by example, and I found myself agreeing with so many of those universal truths!

Here are 9 Tips of Health and Wellness Inspiration that I got from the Color Full Lives podcast series, sponsored by State Farm.

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1 — Sleep is for winners. So many of us don’t get enough sleep – myself included. I got maybe 4-and-a-half or 5 hours last night. Tatiana admitted she gets sometimes 4 hours of sleep, which is not nearly enough. So many of us in creative industries have this issue, and this “they sleep, we grind” mentality can lead to our detriment. When you stay up all night working (or whatever), you wake up late and not at your best the next morning. Then the cycle repeats itself. So how do you reset your sleep pattern? It’s tough, but you gotta wake up early. The same thing you’d do on a trip overseas on a different time zone – try to wake up when the rest of the world does, so you can be effectively sleepy when it’s a better-for-you bedtime. Don’t cheat yourself out of the 8 hours you need.

 

2 — Naps aren’t just for kids. If you are tired during the day and have the capacity to do so, take a nap and reset your batteries. Not everyone has this opportunity, especially my bellas in traditional offices. But creatives, self-employed bellas or those with flexible schedule know this struggle. Angela Yee has the capacity for 30 minute naps. I wish I could! When I am this overwhelmingly tired, I use a nap alarm app (Yes! They exist!) and I usually set it on the setting for the longest nap possible. And I only nap if I absolutely need to.

 

3 — Don’t sabotage your sleep. When you go to bed, where is your phone? Lately my goal has been to charge my phone in another room at night, so I’m not tempted to keep looking at it. I realized looking at screens all day long was affecting my mind, my outlook, and ultimately my health. The standard advice is, no screens in the bedroom. Don’t look at your phone or watch TV before bed so you can create a healthy pattern to wind down for the night. Create a peaceful ambiance for sleep. Recognize that sleep isn’t an indulgence, it is an essential need for you to function.

 

4 — Take the breaks you need and deserve. Western work culture keeps us tied to our desks with barely enough time for lunch or self care or vacations. There is no prize for being the most busy, no reward for depriving yourself of vacation days or time with your family and friends. Or for depriving yourself of time just for YOURSELF. It’s essential to take a break and reset. Unplug. Max out those vacation days. Go somewhere relaxing to find yourself.

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Don’t have fear of missing out — FOMO is a myth, says Tatiana. Wise words.

5 — Embrace the power of no. I know Shonda Rhimes inspired me with “The Year of Yes,” but it is so so important to say no, and to recognize your ability to say no. As an extroverted introvert (who may be becoming more introverted, TBH), I need my alone time. I get burned out from large groups and active social encounters. I need solitude to restore my spirit after speaking engagements and event hosting. Real talk. So Tatiana’s words really resonated with me. “Really understand that your time is the biggest thing you can give someone, it’s a commodity from you. You have to learn how to say no,” she says in this episode. I tell you, that hit me in the feels. I’m trying. I struggle with this need to be what others want me to be, sometimes to my own detriment. We have to learn not to feel guilty about protecting our time and energy.

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6 — “Your physical stuff affects your mental stuff.” They preached a word with this point! I hate to share annoying #BeautyBloggerProblems, but I can’t keep up with the clutter. I got to the point where I realized I was just moving stuff around, instead of actually DEALING with it. The ladies of Color Full Lives touched on cleaning and clutter-clearing as therapy, and they discussed the “energy of clutter” and “energy of stuff” – too much stuff can totally weigh you down. In episode 6, Tatiana recommends doing a purge of your stuff and the ladies mention eBay and consignment stores. The topic totally inspired me to do a seasonal purge – why do we only do SPRING cleaning? What about fall and winter? For clothing donations, I like Schoola, a secondhand clothing site that benefits educational causes. Locally, I donate my beauty, hair and body care products to Sarah’s Circle and the Pacific Garden Mission. The ladies gave some great tips for those trying to accumulate less — rent more. You can rent clothing and accessories from Rent the Runway or Gwynnie Bee, or use Ditto for sunglasses. You don’t need to spend, spend, spend and fill your place with clutter, you can be fly and keep those beautiful clothes and accessories going.

 

7 — Push yourself to try new things, because you can. In terms of fitness, it can be good to try new things. Angela Yee keeps interested in exercising by using ClassPass, which allows users to access and try a range of different workout classes. Fran recommends Yin Yoga, where you hold fewer poses for more time. Fran says it’s good for people who sit a lot, and she described it as restorative yoga – which totally made me want to try it! For yoga, I’ve been trying out the Cody app, which addresses a variety of body types.

 

8 — Your appearance isn’t necessarily a depiction of your health. This is something that we deal with a lot in the plus size community – the assumption that your weight reveals your health. In this episode, Fran really touched me when she discusses having a 6-pack and being in great shape, but having kidney issues at the same time. That hit home for me because I’m dealing with similar health issues, so just knowing that I’m not alone really resonated. Like the Color Full Lives ladies discussed, I’m out here trying to make healthier decisions. I encourage everyone to mind your diet in terms of water consumption, cutting back on sodium and sugar.

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Get your blood work done. Angela Yee did, and it turns out she had high cholesterol. I have low cholesterol but I also have an iron deficiency. It’s empowering to know. Knowledge is power!

9 — Make small steps towards a larger goal. The ladies of Color Full Lives mention using apps to eat healthy, even in places where fresh veggies may be hard to come by. In NYC they have Fresh Direct, and here in Chicago I use Peapod in the winter to deliver healthy groceries to my home if it’s snowy. Another alternative would be meal delivery services, like Blue Apron. If you follow me on Instagram, you know it’s my favorite! You can also use your Fitbit to stay motivated and have friendly fitness competitions with friends and family. Other apps the ladies mention include meal tracker/fitness motivator My Fitness Pal, and the Sworkit app for personalized workouts on the go. Small changes can make a big difference over time, so walk instead of take a cab. Take the stairs instead of elevator – it helps to bring up your endurance for when you actually DO hit the gym. Angela Yee sits on a fitness ball at work to strengthen her core and improve her posture. I just bought one for 12 bucks at TJ Maxx!

I gotta say, listening to the Color Full Lives discussion on “Health is Wealth” helped to reinforce what I knew and motivated me to try harder on this ongoing journey. Click here to listen via iTunes and Soundcloud. Super cute, fun and informative podcast, ladies!

This post was sponsored by State Farm, but the opinions are all mine! For more information, click here.

COMMENTS

Markita @ SweshFit says:
September 14, 2016, 7:57 pm
Great takeaways! I've never heard of Color Full Lives but will def check it out...I love fitness stuff from a black perspective :)
Kiss & Make-up says:
September 18, 2016, 4:28 am
I deeeeefinitely need to embrace the word NO more often!
Rachel says:
April 11, 2017, 7:01 pm
Thank you so much for sharing this. I am trying to live a healthy life now, I started to eat healthy and workout every day. Your tips can really help me out.

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