Well Hello! Our blog has been a little neglected lately but thanks to Julia (life-saver), we have a new featured read highlighting personal wellness. We aligned with Julia over one-year ago and after a personal break, she followed-up with an amazing piece . . . Enjoy :) Be sure to comment, share and be sure to refresh your wellness plan!
Contributor: Julia Merrill
Let’s get one thing straight: There’s no such thing as “having it all.” The phrase was coined as a way to encourage women to go after the things they want, but it evolved into an impossible standard that many are still trying to live up to. Look, there are only 24 hours in a day, seven days in a week, and 52 weeks in a year. That’s not enough time to “have it all.” We have to make choices and sacrifices to go after the things we want. However, one thing we should never sacrifice is our health.
Good health is a blessing many of us take for granted. Instead of appreciating it and caring for it, we often skip yearly checkups, stay up through sleepless nights, and fuel our bodies with food that has little to no nutritional value. All these bad habits may not mean much on their own, but over time they build up and can have a negative impact on your overall well-being. Instead of letting that happen, take some time out of your daily schedule to practice self-care and appreciate your health. It will contribute to a longer and happier life overall.
Break a Sweat
While no woman should hit the gym obsessing over working toward the perfect body, skipping your workout has serious health implications. We need exercise to control our body weight, reduce the risk of heart disease, and maintain muscle tone. Weightlifting can also help prevent osteoporosis by increasing bone density. This is especially important for women who make up the majority of those diagnosed with osteoporosis. Furthermore, any kind of exercise releases helpful neurotransmitters that promote positive mood, reduce pain, and improve overall sleep quality.
Eat the Rainbow
In the ‘90s, eating well was all about buying weight-loss shakes and low-fat snacks in colorful boxes. Today, we know better. If you want a healthy diet, start by upping the amount of produce you buy, and focus on “eating the rainbow.” That is, buy fruits and vegetables from all over the color spectrum. The color of a fruit or vegetable reflects its nutritional value. For instance, the orange in carrots comes from the nutrient beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A in the body. Make the bulk of your meals an array of colorful fruits and vegetables and complement them with lean proteins, healthy fats, and whole grains for a nutritious diet.
Go with Your Gut
Let’s dive deeper into the benefits of a well-balanced diet. Ever feel like you’re on a rollercoaster of emotions in one day? You’re not alone, and there’s a good reason for it. In fact, there’s growing evidence about the connection between gut health and mood. Yes, all the tiny microorganisms in your gut don’t just play a role in digestion and immunity; they also contribute to mood levels by secreting various hormones like serotonin and dopamine. The healthier your microbiome (gut health), the happier you’ll feel! You can accomplish this by starting with your diet. Reach for foods and beverages that contain live cultures, such as kefir and yogurt. You can also add probiotic supplements to send more healthy bacteria to your gut.
Give Me a Break
A woman’s work is never done, right? Wrong! You deserve a break as much as anyone. If you don’t take time out to rest and relax, it can catch up to you in unexpected ways. When we are overworked, we get moody, anxious, and irresponsible. In fact, it’s not uncommon for overworked people to start slipping up on the job -- which is not why you work all those long hours. Leave the office when your work is over, make time for vacations, and take a mental health day if you think you need it. Even if you aren’t a full-time career woman, you still deserve a break.
When it comes to your work at home, try treating yourself by hiring a dog walker or house cleaner to help reduce your chores and workload. Use that time to do something you enjoy, instead. Just keep track of your budget. An hour-long walk usually costs $22 - $27, and maid services can charge an average of $15 - $30 hourly.
A final word . . .
When you neglect self-care, it can have serious health implications. Taking time out of your busy schedule to eat nutritious meals, exercise, and relax is imperative if you want to support both your mind and body.
Heyyyy friend! So I have been back from Denver, CO for a few days and I am still on a spiritual high from what went down at #WomanEvolve19. I must say Sarah and her team DID THAT! I attend A LOT and I mean A LOT of events for personal and professional reasons and I have never witnessed such magic.
It might take me a little minute to process all that I have to say but I won't leave y'all hanging too long. This short message is the kickoff of my reflection and it's for anyone who is in a season of transition, a season where they need to evolve. It's time to MAKE IT HAPPEN!
Make it Happen
To make it happen, whatever your "it" is -- You might have to sacrifice some things (or some people), you may have to feel uncomfortable, you might have to skip brunch but guess what . . . the person you want to become is on the other side of your obedience. Last year when I couldn't attend this conference due to a conflicting commitment, I said "I WILL be in the room next year". At the time, I didn't know who I was going with, how I was going to pay for it (admission, plane ticket, lodging, ride share, food, etc.) but what I did know was that I not only wanted this, I NEEDED IT -- I made it happen!
This really has nothing to do with me but more to do with God and His promises. Yes, I worked hard, yes I secured a few extra bags to make sure I could attend but when He saw I wasn't playing, He filled the gaps. Not only did He send me a #ConferenceSis , He sent me someone who is also evolving, someone who is genuine, someone who in less than a year has been an amazing friend, sister and listening ear. When I stepped out on faith to buy the ticket in February, before having all the answers and logistics worked out, I heard Him say "don't worry". Sometimes you have to TAKE THE STEP! God can't meet you if you don't do your part!
Maybe for you it isn't a conference you desire to attend, though I do suggest attending at least one in your professional field and one for your personal well-being each year, that's besides the point right now! Possibly for you it's a job you want to apply for, a class you want/need to take, an idea you want to manifest, a goal you want to reach -- MAKE IT HAPPEN -- do your part! You can't always be "on the scene" and "in the know" nor can you remain in the "getting ready" stage forever; find some focus, set your intentions and MAKE IT HAPPEN!
Soooo many times, folks ask me about the "secret sauce" or how I do it, honeyyyy ain't no sauce, I put in the work and I am not afraid to fail, fall or look silly while answering the call. I set a motto for 2019 back in January, "be like Noah", folks thought Noah had lost his WHOLE mind while he was building the ark, once the flood came . . . . Noah didn't look so silly! You don't have to be like Noah, nor be like Tab, I just want you to operate as the BEST version of yourself. Set your intentions, operate in excellence and go MAKE IT HAPPEN!
We'll chat again soon friend :)
209 weeks ago I made an Instagram post, just a few days shy of my graduation from graduate school at Florida Atlantic University and it said - "This post is dedicated to everyone who has asked or is preparing to ask "what's next" . . If you've known me for an extended period or even just a short while, I'm sure you've witnessed that I'm a go getter . . The question isn't "what's next" it's what's NOT next . . God has a plan for my life and I'm just obediently following his commands . . So with the utmost respect, DO NO ASK me this question . . Just continue to lift me up in prayer and my true destiny shall be unveiled in due time"
Let me just take moment to *praise* because eyes haven't seen nor have ears heard all He has planned for me. If you don't read anything else, if you stop right here, I want you to know that life is a journey. Each opportunity, each person you meet, each challenge, each triumph is all apart of something bigger. At that time I really had no idea what was next, I was preparing to move back to South Carolina, embark on the job search and continue learning. I had a specific criteria for what I wanted and though many tried to sway my desires, I held fast to faith and purpose. Four years later, life looks nothing like what I thought or even imagined, trusting God, working hard and literally wandering into the unknown has yielded so many amazing opportunities and benefits, I am truly grateful for it all. Now has it been easy, uh, NO! Has it been worth it, YES! Every challenge has made me stronger, every perceived failure was just a learning opportunity in disguise.
It is my hope that the piece below will motivate, inspire and help to uplift someone reading it, enjoy :) And still . . Don't ask me what's next . . The best is yet to come!
Sweat + Sacrifice = Success
Sweating, literally, there was a point in time when I was in Sunny South Florida with NO AIR unless my car was in motion and instead of getting it fixed, I used my "extra" money to travel to conferences and other exposure related activities. As I would sit in traffic, hot, often tired from working more hours than the law should allow, I would wonder, "why am I here?", "why is this so hard?" . . . Eventually I did get my air fixed so the physical sweat wasn't a big deal but the mental sweat was at all time high. The subconscious pressure to achieve and have it all figured out was weighing heavy. Here i am 22-years old, bent but not broken, out here in the world trying to be great yet not even knowing what great means. I really wish I could call that young lady and tell her, "it will all be okay, you're on the right path"!
Moving away from my norm provided a plethora of opportunities to not only meet new people and engage in an amazing learning environment, but I got to get to know someone very special, MYSELF! I must admit there were times when I was homesick and depressed but they were far and few in-between after a few months. For one, I was too busy to think about it and for two it was quite amazing to begin soul searching and developing my own sense of identity and purpose. The mental sweat was real, shoot, it still is but I have an imaginary handkerchief that allows me to wipe and keep going; find yours, use it and keep going!
A whole book, I can write a whole book on the sacrifice. Since about 17 the sacrifice has been REAL! Don't get me wrong, I have had some GOOOOD times but I have also worked hours and hours and MORE HOURS chasing my goals. The race is not given to the swift nor the strong; victory belong to those that keep on moving! There are seasons in life -- some seasons are meant to plant and others to grow, needless to say, the planting, the sprouting and the blossoming all happen at different times. Recognize your season, accept your season and make it "do what it do"!
From tv to music to finances to entertainment to friendships to relationships and the list gone on, the sacrifice has been REAL. Shoot it still is -- "temporary sacrifice for ultimate success". No, is one of my favorite words. My time, talents and resources have to be carefully used for things that make sense for the bigger picture; often times that doesn't make sense to folx and I'm okay with that. I have to do what's best for me and I hope you do the same. Even leisure activity is strategically planned so that it aligns in a way that makes sense for me; the only "spontaneity" I need in this season is God ordained spontaneity.
Still pending. . . . There have been some MAJOR wins but as stated previously; the best is yet to come!
Sweat + Sacrifice = Success
Put in the work, take the chances, trust the process and watch magic happen. As you go through life remember that you aren't the first nor will you be the last to have confusion, struggle, disappoint and the similar. Continue believing in yourself and believing in what God, the universe and the combination thereof has for you -- live out the equation!
Your playing small. Does not serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking. So that other people won't feel insecure around you.
-Marianne Williamson, Our Deepest Fear
You were not born to play small, you were not created to simply exist. Rather you were born with a "silver spoon" or "no spoon", you were placed here to be great and do great things. Do not allow anyone or anything to make you feel like you are not enough to win in life. Never submit to thinking that your dreams are too irrational simply because someone doesn't understand them or because you do not have it all figured out today. If you are serious about your dreams convert them into goals with actionable steps and I promise you can be successful.
Speaking of successful, lets address that this word is an adjective meaning it describes something. It is not definite, it is subjective. One may say, Tabitha you're successful because you completed college or graduate school or because I am an author or business owner. Someone else may say I'm successful because I volunteer my time to help build organizations that matter or because I authentically share my story. I may personally say, I am successful because I got up this morning and got dressed or because I finally cleaned my room. See what I am doing here, I am showing you that success can be defined in various ways. Don't allow someone else to create your definition of success, create your own! On the same wave, do not downplay your achievements, take the time to clap for your wins!
I am not going to ramble on, this entry is meant to be direct, STOP PLAYING SMALL! Set goals and go after them, focus on your personal development and do not be afraid to fail. Accept yourself flaws and all, surround yourself with folks that push you toward who you desire to be while concurrently respecting you and your boundaries. Lastly, just as I shared on my most recent IGTV video, DO IT SCARED! Even when you don't have it all figured it out . . . Stop playing small and go for it!
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