BIC® Soleil® celebrates all who make their own sun by living life on the bright side!
I'm being completely honest when I say that I tend to wake up in a good mood. It's not that things don't happen in my life that try to rob me of my joy, but I've made a conscious decision over the last year to not allow the trials and tribulations of life to interrupt my good vibes. I'm a firm believer that happiness is a choice, and having control over your thoughts can make all the difference in how you go about your day, and can turn any negative into a positive.
But I must admit that it took time for me to get to this place, and I had to learn what to add and subtract in my life to equal a positive state of mind. While I could keep all of these juicy tips on how I wake up with a smile to myself, I'd much rather share them with you. After all, giving is part of the foundation of my happiness, and it brings me joy to see others filled with light, love and purpose.
Happiness is something that you can experience every day, too! I've teamed up with BIC®Soleil Shine® to show how you can Make Your Own Sun®. Here are a few things that I do to get my mind right so that I can wake up happy each and every day and live life on the bright side.
Wake Up to Positive Words
I recently moved into a new place and decided that this time I wanted to do a little DIY and paint my wall in chalkboard paint so that I can write phrases that are both positive and motivating on my wall. It's a great creative outlet, and the power of subliminal messaging is real. Besides, who wouldn't want to wake up to the words “queen," “fearless" and “winner" first thing in the morning? Maybe painting walls isn't your thing (or your landlord's preference). No worries, you can get chalkboard paper or even poster boards and write whatever words make you smile. I'd also advise that you hang them right in front of your bed so that you literally see them as soon as your eyes open.
Add to A Blessings Jar
Two years ago I discovered the greatness of a blessings jar. It's a simple way to never forget to count your wins, and great to revisit on those days when everyone seems to be throwing shade over your sunshine. I found a cute yellow jar (Yellow. Sunshine. See what I did there?) and whenever something good happened, like a co-worker buying me lunch or winning a writing contest, I would write it down on a slip of paper along with the date and toss it into the jar. I, personally, like waiting until the end of the year to empty out the jar and reflect over all of the things that made me happy throughout the year; however, it's also great to reach into every day or whenever you need a pick me up to remind you that life isn't as bad as social media will try to make it out to be.
Clean Up Your Social Media
Speaking of social media, I'm all about clearing out the bad and making room for the good. I've heard some people say that they choose not to get on social media before going to bed or when they wake up so that they stay in positive spirits, and I'm all for that, too! But I have a habit of naturally reaching for my phone when the alarm goes off and scrolling through my social media timeline just so I can wipe the sleep out of my eyes and avoid hitting the snooze button. So instead of completely saying no to social media, I choose to be more mindful of whom I follow. Some of my favorite accounts are ones with uplifting quotes, healthy food pages with bright and beautiful pictures, and travel brands that motivate me to continue working hard so that I can cross that trip to Thailand off of my bucket list. I'm quick to unfollow anyone who's constantly posting gossip or negative images because I truly believe you reap what you sow, and if you're ingesting negativity at 8 a.m., then it's no surprise when come 5 p.m. you're regurgitating hostility towards your boss
Turn On Some Good Tunes
As much as I love to turn up, I prefer to start my day with songs that make me feel good and remind me to be thankful. I'll turn on my “Good Vibes" playlist, which features everything from gospel music to uplifting R&B tunes, and it puts me in such a good place that I feel like I can go out and conquer the day. When you take in good sounds and positive words, you're bound to approach your day a little differently than someone who starts their day off with a “he broke my heart" playlist. Don't know what songs to listen to? Music streaming services have great playlists to choose from that fit every mood. Let others do the work for you so that you can focus your energy on how you're going to be a badass and get your “I'm every woman" on as you conquer the world.
Don't Go To Bed In A Bad Mood
I'm not married yet, but I've heard some partners attest to deciding not to go to bed without clearing the air as a key to a long-lasting relationship. It's something that I think translates into all forms of relationships, including family, friendships, business relationships, and of course, your love life. That argument that may have put you in a foul mood doesn't have to keep you there. Talking things out and coming to a mutual understanding with people (or at least agreeing to disagree) can take a load of stress off of your plate and allows you to hit the sheets with a clear conscience. I find that when something is bothering me and I go to bed without resolution, I toss and turn all night and have trouble getting some shut eye, and nobody wakes up in a good mood when they've lost out on a good night's sleep.
Clear the air. Make sure that you're not harboring any ill feelings towards your friend, sister, cousin, boyfriend, or your boss because at the end of the day, they're not the ones who are going to wake up swinging at the air!
Prepare for the Day that You Want
Those who fail to plan, plan to fail. If you want to wake up feeling like, “I've got this," then you need to get to work the night before mapping out your day so that you can limit as many distractions as possible. That can be everything from planning out your work day and what you want to get done to laying out your outfit so that you're not rushing out the door the next morning thanks to those 30 minutes you spent sifting through your closet. Eliminating stress is key to keeping a smile on your face, and allows you to focus your thoughts on keeping calm and staying positive.
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Waking up every day and finding the bright side is something that took time for me to learn but it has been a vital part of my happiness, and it's why BIC® Soleil® is encouraging you to Make Your Own Sun.
What are some things that you do to wake up every day happy? Share them below!
Learn more about BIC®Soleil® Shine at feelthesoleil.com and @bicsoleil.
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Many have wondered if one time is ever enough to see Queen Bey. Some argue yes. However, many of us on the opposite end of the spectrum, including myself, would disagree. Beyoncé's "Renaissance World Tour" is a universal yet varying experience for everyone who attends. In the words of Oprah Winfrey, the concert is "transcendent." For millennials, we have over two decades of her catalog that has served as the soundtrack for many of our lives and painted a personal portrait of our most coveted thoughts. Her music provides mental clarity and self-expression by serving as a universal language that has united fans from all walks of life through community, fashion, self-acceptance, and healing.
With a multi-layered approach to her artistry, just as she did on that winter day in December 2013 with the infamous digital drop of her self-titled album, she changed the game again on February 1, 2023, when she announced her world tour in support of Renaissance, her seventh studio album. Her cultural impact set the internet ablaze, with everyone trying to gather their coins, barter for presale codes, and figure out which cities to attend. The group chats were lit, and the Beyhive was stressed trying to get their hands on tickets.
Beyoncé's Renaissance tour stop in L.A.
Photo courtesy of Dontaira Terrell
Unfortunately, I was in that number. As the concert dates passed by and the one in my city drawing near all roads led to disappointment. With time ticking on the day of the Miami show and less than two hours to spare, my wallet bit the bullet, and I purchased three last-minute tickets, costing roughly $700.00 a piece (including fees) for me, my 9-year-old and 16-year-old nieces in Section 121 at the Hard Rock Stadium. With 10 minutes before showtime, we eagerly awaited the Queen to take the stage. A sea of metallic fringes, cowboy hats, disco fans, and western boots were in full effect and filled the entire stadium.
Dontaira with her nieces at Beyoncé's Renaissance tour stop in Miami.
Photo courtesy of Dontaira Terrell
As the lights dimmed, a flood of emotions instantly overtook my body. It continued with each note she belted, along with nearly 50,000 roaring fans. The reverberating sound of the music through the stadium transported me from one era of my life to the next. As a teen girl in her bedroom daydreaming about her first love to blossoming into an unapologetic Black woman who is still on a road of self-discovery while learning to lean into the power anthem of "You won't break my soul." For over two hours, and with each set, I felt joy, love, peace, and a commanderie with fellow concertgoers. It was therapeutic as I danced like no one was watching and sang as if I were alone in my bathroom mirror.
There were no bars held, and I realized at that moment, "Nobody can judge me but me." The "Renaissance World Tour" proved to be so vast, and my Black girl joy was re-invigorated. It was magnetic and liberating, and I had to attend again, but this time, I needed to be up close and personal; I needed to be on the floor. In the days that passed, I watched more social media clips in different cities and asked myself if I would really splurge again to attend another Renaissance show.
Beyoncé's Renaissance tour stop in Miami.
Photo courtesy of Dontaira Terrell
After all, this would be my thirteenth time (maybe more because I lost count) seeing Beyoncé live, whether she was on tour with Destiny's Child, as a solo artist, or doing a live appearance. I contemplated for a while, but it worked itself out on its own. I was gifted two tickets and the next thing I knew, I was off to LA to attend another Renaissance show with floor seats at SoFi Stadium during Beyonce's 42nd birthday weekend! This time, things were different: no kids were allowed. It was adults only this go round.
Although the energy at the Miami and Los Angeles shows was empowering, infectious, and a celebration of life, happiness, and identity, they each provided their own unique experience. However, both concerts were what I needed for my well-being, leaving me with sore feet from dancing the night away, on vocal rest for the next few days from screaming at the top of my lungs, and on an indefinite high on life.
My introduction and love for Beyoncé began in 1996, while my older sister lived in Houston, TX, right before Bey hit the scene in 1998 with "No, No, No" as a budding R&B member. Her evolution twenty-seven years later as an international superstar and into womanhood has been an incredible journey to witness. As Mrs. Carter reminds each of us in the audience every night before the curtain closes, "I want you to remember this moment, where you're standing, who you came with, and take it with you. I hope you feel inspired."
I truly felt inspired, so thank you, Queen Bey. You awakened my inner child, and I will definitely remember these moments and take them with me.
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Feature image by Kevin Mazur/WireImage for Parkwood