Everywhere you turn these days someone is talking about or promoting wellness and maybe you're feeling inspired to make some changes to your own life but are unsure about how to get started. Well, that's what I'm going to share with you in this article.
However, before I do, it's important to keep in mind the following three points. Firstly, your wellness journey is just that, a journey. It will have its ups and downs, twists and turns, challenges and breakthroughs. Secondly, it is your journey. It's natural to look to others for inspiration but there's a risk of comparing yourself to them. Your wellness journey is about what you need, not what other people are doing. Finally, your wellness journey is not only about your physical health. It's about balancing your inner and outer wellbeing and encompasses your mind, body and soul.
Here are 10 tips to kick-start your wellness journey:
1. Grab A Journal & A Pen
Before embarking on a wellness journey, I recommend taking time to journal. With wellness being such a popular topic nowadays, it's easy to get swept up in the latest trend and think that's what you should be doing. Use your journal to get clear about where you're at, what you need right now and realistically how much time you have to commit to any wellness activities.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What will make me feel good?
- What do I need more of?
- What do I need less of?
- Where and how can I fit a regular wellness practice into my daily life?
- What wellness practice am I willing to commit to?
- Why this wellness practice? What difference will it make to my life? What will it give me that I don't already have (enough of)?
2. Set Your Goals And Intentions
Once you've answered the questions above, you should have a much clearer vision for your wellness journey. Now it's time to get specific. What are your goals? Do you want to lose 20 lbs by summer? Do you want to be following a vegan diet by Thanksgiving? Do you want to be meditating at least 15 minutes every day within the next 3 months? It's important to be very specific so you can measure your progress.
Next, how will you achieve your goals? Will you reduce your portion size and aim to lose 3 lbs each week or will you join a slimming club? Will you start by removing red meat from your diet? Will you use an app to meditate for 5 mins before you go in the shower each morning?
Finally, what is your overall intention? Do you want to have more energy, better focus and concentration or overall peace of mind? The reason it is important to set an intention alongside your goals is because ultimately your goals will be meeting a deeper desire. For example, it's not really about meditating daily, it's about the feeling regular meditation gives you.
3. Start Where You Are
Maybe in an ideal world you want to practice yoga 5 days a week, meditate for 30 mins every morning, cook solely using organic ingredients or follow a full vegan diet. At the same time, perhaps you work long hours, are a mum with very little time to yourself, have a small budget or absolutely love ribs with a side of mac n cheese.
With the best intentions, it can be a challenge to go straight from where you're at to the vision you have in your mind. Be realistic about how much time you can commit to your wellness journey and what you're willing to sacrifice. You want to make this a way of life not a passing fad so it's much more beneficial to spend 5 minutes each day stretching than doing a 1-hour class now and again. Likewise, if one month you blow your wages on all organic products but then spend the following month eating cheap processed food in order to make the rent, the commitment to your wellness journey will wane real quick. The aim is to form a solid foundation for your overall wellbeing which requires consistency. Do what you can with what you have. Start with small, manageable steps that you can build on over time.
4. Clear The Crap
Whether your wellness journey is about your mind, body or soul, you need to detox. It's necessary to purge the area of your life you're focusing on of anything that may distract you or hinder your progress. If you're focusing on your diet, empty the fridge and cupboards of any food you want to avoid. If you're concentrating on your mind, remove anything that has a negative influence on your mental health. This could include unfollowing social media accounts that negatively trigger you or make you feel bad about yourself. It could even include a digital fast.
Debt, a cluttered or untidy living space, a job you hate and toxic relationships are common areas that can have a detrimental effect on your mind, body and soul and severely impact your overall wellbeing so it's also worth considering if these aspects of your life need detoxing before embarking on your wellness journey.
5. Get Support
Now matter how committed you are or how excited you feel, there are going to be challenging times. Maybe you're not seeing any progress or feeling the benefits so you consider quitting or perhaps it just feels too difficult. There'll also be days when you feel so proud of yourself for hitting a goal that you're desperate to share your achievement with someone.
Support is integral especially when you're just setting out on your wellness journey. Join a group online or IRL or partner up with a friend who has similar goals. They'll hold you accountable when you start reaching for excuses, motivate and encourage you when you feel like quitting and may also be a valuable source of information to help you with your wellness goals. You can also use apps to set up reminders and track your progress.
6. Track Your Progress
At some point during your wellness journey, you may feel like nothing is happening or that very little has changed. This is why it is vital to track your journey from the very start. Using an app, making notes in your journal, taking photos, and recording any stats are just some of the ways you can monitor your progress daily.
When starting out, pick only one practice to focus on. This will increase your chances of sticking with it and make it easier to follow your growth. Doing 5 or 6 things on an ad-hoc basis makes it extremely difficult to measure your results and to know for sure what's working. Once your weekly yoga class or daily meditation practice becomes integrated into your daily life, you can then look at introducing something else. Start with the practice you feel will have the biggest positive impact on your life but also that you can realistically fit into your daily routine.
7. Be Resilient
As I've already said, despite your best intentions, you may encounter obstacles along the way. Perhaps things get worse before you begin to see an improvement. Maybe you get an injury or life becomes overwhelming and depression strikes. When you skip a day, a week or two of your wellness practice, it's tempting to think that you're a failure and that's there's no point trying to restart. Or maybe beginning again feels too difficult. You will stumble. You may even fall off completely. And that's OK. Simply dust yourself off and restart where you are.
8. Love Yourself First
Yes, of course, push yourself to be your best self but ensure this comes from a place of love. Be kind and show yourself compassion and encouragement. When you fall, focus on your achievements. When you have a breakthrough, acknowledge your progress and reward yourself. Celebrate your wins.
Self-love is critical and should form the foundation for your wellness journey. Subconsciously, we often don't feel worthy of love and therefore you may find yourself prioritizing other things or other people's needs over your wellness practice. Taking care of yourself - mind, body and soul - is not selfish, self-indulgent or a luxury, it is essential to your overall wellbeing so you must consciously choose to treat yourself like you matter.
9. Use Inspiration As Motivation
Who inspires you in the wellness world? Obviously, BGIO, but who else? There are people who have already mastered what you want to achieve or who are at least further along the wellness journey than you are. They'll share what has worked for them, challenges they've faced and how they've overcome them. You can learn from their experiences and prepare yourself for what your journey may look like.
Don't just wait for days when you feel like your wellness journey is not worth the effort to look to these people for inspiration. Incorporate them into your life. Listen to their podcasts, read their books, blog posts and newsletters and watch their YouTube videos. What beginners tips do they suggest? What advice do they have if you're short on time or money? Apply anything that resonates with you. At the same time, be mindful of anyone who makes you feel inadequate. You want to feel inspired, motivated, encouraged and empowered.
10. Focus On Your Own Journey
Don't get caught up with what other people are doing. Choose a wellness practice that you actually want to do and that meets your needs. Don't do something just because your favorite celebrity is doing it, because it looks good to others or simply because you feel you should. Also, remember, your wellness journey is about the mind, body and soul so while a cardio session might be what one person needs, pulling a tarot card or reading a passage from your bible each morning could be exactly what you need.
As you can see, kickstarting your wellness journey is a process and like any journey, it takes planning. Of course, some journeys are spontaneous but when it comes to wellness, following the tips outlined above will help you to get the most from your journey.
*Originally published on Black Girl In Om
Leanne Lindsey was born and raised in London but currently lives between London and Tenerife. She spent her early twenties being all things to everyone, her late twenties learning the importance of self-care and her early thirties shedding the guilt of prioritizing her own needs. As a certified life coach, she now supports women on a similar journey by promoting self-care, self-love and wellness. Leanne's go-to self-love practices include journaling, getting lost in a good book and baking. Connect with Leanne in The Self-Love & Wellness Lounge, at www.leannelindsey.co.uk.
Featured image by Shutterstock
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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.
2023 has become the year of celebrity breakups with headlines breaking left and right about celebs filing for divorce or ending high-profile relationships. The latest couple to announce their dissolution? British actress Jodie Turner-Smith. TMZ reported that Jodie has filed for a divorce from her husband, Dawson Creek alum Joshua Jackson.
As far as her reason for calling it quits, Jodie cited "irreconcilable differences," according to TMZ, and has requested joint custody of the couple's daughter, Juno Rose Diana Jackson. Late last year there were rumblings of there being "trouble in paradise" for the couple after the media realized they were no longer following each other on Instagram.
Those rumors were more than laid to rest when Jodie and Joshua went to the 2023 Oscars together earlier this year, and even more recently, when they celebrated her birthday together last month during the September unveiling of the Lotus Emeya.
Jodie Turner-Smith celebrates her birthday with husband Joshua Jackson at the unveiling of the new fully-electric Lotus Emeya on September 07, 2023 in New York City.
Brian Ach/Getty Images for Lotus
Despite seeming particularly happy and in love, perhaps the writing was already written on the wall even then. In the past, Jodie has been very celebratory publicly about her love for her estranged husband, even boldly recounting their love story for the books in a 2021 interview with Seth Meyers.
When Jodie and Joshua met, it was while at his birthday party in 2018. Their relationship was hot and heavy from the start, with Jodie openly noting that they began as a "one-night stand." During her 2021 interview with Seth Meyers, she jokingly referred to their love story as a "three-year one-night stand." She shared:
"First of all, I saw him before he saw me and when I saw him, I was like, 'I want that.' And then when he saw me, I just pretended like I didn't see him. He had to yell across the room to me, and I was wearing this T-shirt from a movie called Sorry to Bother You and [actress] Tessa Thompson plays a character called Detroit, and she has this T-shirt that says, 'The Future Is Female Ejaculation.'
"And so, he shouts across the room, 'Detroit!' He comes over and… does this really cute, charming thing that he does and just all night -- he just basically followed me around the party."
The couple were together from that moment forth, and even made things "Instagram official" less than two weeks later while on a dinner date. Joshua would later clarify to Insider that the night they met in 2018 was not a 'one-night stand' or a 'three-year one-night stand' like his then-wife joked but instead, it was "technically a three-night stand."
"It was sealed with a kiss that night and then we didn't leave each other's sides for, well, three years now," Joshua continued at the time.
In a July 2021 interview with Jimmy Fallon, Joshua dropped more details about the why behind getting married. He revealed that he didn't know he wanted to get married to Jodie until "the moment she asked me."
"She asked me on New Year's Eve. We were in Nicaragua. It was very beautiful, incredibly romantic, we were walking down the beach and she asked me to marry her."
He added, "I did not know [she would propose], but she was quite adamant and she was right. This is the best choice I ever made."
Joshua Jackson Reveals Jodie Turner-Smith Proposed To Him
Jodie received quite a bit of flack for proposing to Joshua because it goes against tradition and what society sees as acceptable for a woman to do to a man, and proposing isn't one of them. No matter how much time has passed, the viewpoints around who should do the proposing and who should be proposed to are still very traditional.
After being on the receiving end of such backlash, Joshua would later clarify to the media in a separate interview that it wasn't just Jodie's proposal to him that sealed the deal of them getting married, he proposed to her too. She might have initiated it, but Joshua followed through.
"I accidentally threw my wife under the bus because that story was told quickly and it didn't give the full context and holy Jesus, the internet is racist and misogynist," he explained to Refinery29 that same year. "We were in Nicaragua on a beautiful moonlit night, it could not possibly have been more romantic."
David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images
He continued, "And yes, my wife did propose to me and yes, I did say yes, but what I didn't say in that interview was there was a caveat, which is that I'm still old school enough that I said, 'This is a yes, but you have to give me the opportunity [to do it too].'"
"She has a biological father and a stepdad, who's the man who raised her. [I said], 'You have to give me the opportunity to ask both of those men for your hand in marriage.' And then, 'I would like the opportunity to re-propose to you and do it the old-fashioned way down on bended knee.' So, that's actually how the story ended up."
Joshua and Jodie would eventually marry in December 2019. Shortly thereafter, Jodie gave birth to the couple's first child, Janie, in 2020.
In a recent interview with Elle UK, Jodie shared the ways becoming a mother to Juno helped to heal her of her wounds from colorism she experienced in the past. "It's interesting because I had a lot of resistance to becoming a mother and, throughout my life, I always said if I were to have children, I wanted to have Black, Black babies so that I could affirm them as children with the love that I felt I needed to have been affirmed with by the outside world," Jodie shared with the outlet.
She continued, "Then I fell in love with my husband and we talked about having kids. I did have this mini pause, where I was like, 'She's going to be walking through the world not only having an experience that I did not have, but looking like people that, in a way, I'd always felt a little bit tormented by.' Now that I've got this little, tiny, light-skinned boss, I feel like it’s the universe teaching me lessons. I've been given a daughter who looks this way to heal my own conversations around colorism."
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