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John Sciulli/Getty Images for Beautycon

Forget The Bag, Kelly Rowland Wants You To Get Your Stress In Check

What good is a paycheck if your sanity isn't in check?

Kelly Rowland

I woke up this morning with 13 (non-spam) emails, two missed calls and nine text messages. Because I overslept, I had to skip my morning routine and jump straight into the day and my stomach is in knots. It's pretty much impossible to not have anxiety as a human living in the digital world because not only are we constantly worried about what crazy sh*t Donald Trump will do next, we also have to endure the constant dinging on our phones.


In a recent interview with Parade, Kelly Rowland said that in the past, she's been a sister in the overstressed struggle, but one practice helped her find redemption. As a wife, mother, sister, friend, and international superstar, the 38-year-old singer says that finding balance can be tough, but in the end, her sanity was worth it. The mother-of-one explained:

John Sciulli/Getty Images for Beautycon

"Stress leads to a lot of issues. You need to take some time every day, whether it's breathing or reading. But it's important to keep the stress level down. It depends on who you are. You have to find a way to keep those cortisone levels down."

Along with scheduling out a few moments for herself every day, Kelly says that meditation and deep breathing have done wonders when it comes to keeping her stress in check.

"Breathing can calm your body down so much. I've learned that from a guy who gave me a massage once. He told me to take a couple of deep breaths and picture myself on an ocean or whatever place brings me peace. You'd be surprised. Your heart slows down, and your body calms. You feel much better."

If you happen to be one of those people who say they don't have time for self-care, I call bullsh*t, and so does Kelly. According to her, we all make time for the things we want and the number one thing on our bucket list should be peace:

"You make time for the things you want to make time for. I need peace so I can make great decisions and communicate with my family. I don't want to bring stress inside of the home. That's one thing I really don't like."

After her mother went into cardiac arrest in 2014, Kelly took inventory of what was most important in her life and made a promise to herself to work out daily and keep her stress levels low. She told Bossip:

"I actually lost someone to heart disease. So it's really important for me to talk about it and get people to understand that this happens every single day."

Now, Kelly says that although she doesn't always get it right, she continually gives herself an A for effort every time she's able to put down her phone and focus on what really matters. The Honey Nut Cheerios ambassador told Parade:

"When I'm home, I try to put my phone down and look my son in the eyes or have a fun conversation with my husband. Sometimes those days of extra stress will happen. I don't get it completely right. But when you're able to do that, it helps tremendously."

You heard it from the queen herself, ladies. Put down the phone and take a minute to breathe, sis. It could ultimately save your life.

Read the full interview here!

Featured image by John Sciulli/Getty Images for Beautycon

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When I was ten, my Sunday school teacher put on a brief performance in class that included some of the boys standing in front of the classroom while she stood in front of them holding a heart shaped box of chocolate. One by one, she tells each boy to come and bite a piece of candy and then place the remainder back into the box. After the last boy, she gave the box of now mangled chocolate over to the other Sunday school teacher — who happened to be her real husband — who made a comically puzzled face. She told us that the lesson to be gleaned from this was that if you give your heart away to too many people, once you find “the one,” that your heart would be too damaged. The lesson wasn’t explicitly about sex but the implication was clearly present.

That memory came back to me after a flier went viral last week, advertising an abstinence event titled The Close Your Legs Tour with the specific target demo of teen girls came across my Twitter timeline. The event was met with derision online. Writer, artist, and professor Ashon Crawley said: “We have to refuse shame. it is not yours to hold. legs open or not.” Writer and theologian Candice Marie Benbow said on her Twitter: “Any event where 12-17-year-old girls are being told to ‘keep their legs closed’ is a space where purity culture is being reinforced.”

“Purity culture,” as Benbow referenced, is a culture that teaches primarily girls and women that their value is to be found in their ability to stay chaste and “pure”–as in, non-sexual–for both God and their future husbands.

I grew up in an explicitly evangelical house and church, where I was taught virginity was the best gift a girl can hold on to until she got married. I fortunately never wore a purity ring or had a ceremony where I promised my father I wouldn’t have pre-marital sex. I certainly never even thought of having my hymen examined and the certificate handed over to my father on my wedding day as “proof” that I kept my promise. But the culture was always present. A few years after that chocolate-flavored indoctrination, I was introduced to the fabled car anecdote. “Boys don’t like girls who have been test-driven,” as it goes.

And I believed it for a long time. That to be loved and to be desired by men, it was only right for me to deny myself my own basic human desires, in the hopes of one day meeting a man that would fill all of my fantasies — romantically and sexually. Even if it meant denying my queerness, or even if it meant ignoring how being the only Black and fat girl in a predominantly white Christian space often had me watch all the white girls have their first boyfriends while I didn’t. Something they don’t tell you about purity culture – and that it took me years to learn and unlearn myself – is that there are bodies that are deemed inherently sinful and vulgar. That purity is about the desire to see girls and women shrink themselves, make themselves meek for men.

Purity culture isn’t unlike rape culture which tells young girls in so many ways that their worth can only be found through their bodies. Whether it be through promiscuity or chastity, young girls are instructed on what to do with their bodies before they’ve had time to figure themselves out, separate from a patriarchal lens. That their needs are secondary to that of the men and boys in their lives.

It took me a while —after leaving the church and unlearning the toxic ideals around purity culture rooted in anti-Blackness, fatphobia, heteropatriarchy, and queerphobia — to embrace my body, my sexuality, and my queerness as something that was not only not sinful or dirty, but actually in line with the vision God has over my life. Our bodies don't stop being our temples depending on who we do or who we don’t let in, and our worth isn’t dependent on the width of our legs at any given point.

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