Wellness habits are something that we develop as we learn more about ourselves, especially as they relate to accommodating the professional lives we dream of and, eventually make a reality. We are also able to define exactly what wellness even means for ourselves, as we all have lifestyles and goals that vary. That being said, the habits we build can evolve over time, and the more we progress as the smart, beautiful Black queens we are, the more we look to the ambitious, successful women we admire to find ways to elevate.
Many of the women in business, entertainment, sports, medicine, and education that we know to be leaders in their industries practice habits that keep them refreshed, balanced, and better able to do what they do well. Let's take a look at the top wellness habits of the bossed-up and successful and take notes for inspiring overall wellness in our own lives:
1. They participate in fitness activities that they actual enjoy.
Whether it's the Tracy Anderson method for actress Tracee Ellis Ross, cardio and dancing for Cay Skin CEO Winnie Harlow, or Michelle Obama's shift to yoga, successful women often seek out fitness activities that not only work for them, but that are satisfying and meet their current needs.
Oftentimes wellness is not all about following a different IG workout every week or doing routines that you don't look forward to every week. It's more about knowing your body, being well-informed about your wellness goals, and finding what works for you. It's about actually enjoying fitness activities, and sticking to them. It's also ideal to shift or change based on your evolutions and transitions as a woman.
2. They recognize the importance of stillness or taking breaks to do absolutely nothing.
Actress and author Yvonne Orji once said "goodbye to the hustle and grind" and affirmed her approach to finding peace through taking baths to replenish her body and spirit. Tennis champ Naomi Osaka has sworn by meditation and the fact that self-care "doesn't have to be complicated." Oprah has practiced a Sunday routine of "doing nothing," making that day a "spiritual base of renewal."
Whether you're at zero or 100 on the scale of hard work right now, taking breaks and tapping into stillness where it makes sense for your life, mental health, and goals is important. Even if it's not a moment of total silence, taking time out of your day, week, or month to fully tap into breathwork, ease, or serenity can be something you make part of the usual to-dos on your calendar.
3. They approach wellness holistically, healing and helping multiple aspects of themselves.
Broadcaster Clara Amfo is all about loving your "whole self," and chef and singer Kelis pairs workouts with her love of incorporating fresh ingredients into the dishes she cooks. My Fab Finance founder Tonya Rapley has invested in time at a mental health gym, where she explored technological innovations and treatments to help her release stress hormones. Actress, entrepreneur, and producer Issa Rae has also touted the importance of seeking therapy, not just as something to do when something is "wrong," but as a normal part of self-care.
With wellness, it's not just about working out or eating a certain trending diet, but incorporating other things that benefit your health and wellness, like therapy and inner work.
It's great to follow a disciplined workout routine and meal plan, but there's more to your overall well-being than that. Doing things that tap into your spirituality, creativity, and inner child are all ways to balance how you approach what wellness truly means for you.
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Black women are not a monolith. We all are deserving of healing and wholeness despite what we've been through, how much money we have in the bank, or what we look like. Most importantly, we are enough—even when we are not working, earning, or serving.
Welcome to Black Girl Whole, your space to find the wellness routine that aligns with you! This brand-new marketplace by xoNecole is a safe space for Black women to activate their healing, find the inspiration to rest, and receive reassurance that we are one small act away from finding our happiness.
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Have you ever wondered what it's like to be asexual and in an open marriage? Relationship Coach Mikki Bey shared her first-hand experience with us as well as answered some of our burning questions.
Like a lot of people, Mikki met her now husband, Raheem Ali, online. As soon as they met, they instantly fell in love and got engaged on their first date. Just 90 days after they met, the couple tied the knot and have now been married for seven years. Raheem and Mikki aren’t your typical married couple, and despite being married for almost a decade, their marriage is anything but traditional. Mikki and Raheem have what she calls an "asexual polyamorous marriage."
Defining Her Sexuality
It wasn't until last summer that Mikki found the language to define her sexuality. "I didn't have the language for it until last summer," she explained to xoNecole. "Looking back, I just thought sex wasn't my thing. It was never enjoyable for me, and I'd go years without even noticing.”
Mikki always thought she was broken because she had no interest in sex. Mikki noticed after her friends came to visit and started discussing their sexual fantasies that she realized something was different about her. “At that point, I knew something was definitely different about me since I do not have sexual fantasies at all. It was truly news to me that people are at work thinking about sex! That was not my experience.” This led to Mikki researching asexuality, which she soon realized fit her to a T. “It felt like breathing new air when I was able to call it by name," said Mikki.
"Looking back, I just thought sex wasn't my thing. It was never enjoyable for me, and I'd go years without even noticing it."
Asexuality refers to people who experience little or no sexual attraction, experience attraction without acting on it sexually, or experience sexual attraction differently based on other factors. Like most things, asexuality falls on a spectrum and encompasses many other identities. It's important to remember, however, that attraction and action are not always synonymous: some asexuals may reject the idea of sexual contact, but others may be sex-neutral and engage in sexual activity.
It's possible that some asexuals will have sex with someone else despite not having a libido or masturbating, but others will have sex with a partner because it brings a sense of connection.
From a Traditional Marriage to Kitchen Table Polyamory
Although Mikki never really had a high sex drive, it wasn’t until after the birth of her son, that she noticed her sex drive took a real nosedive. “I never had a high sex drive, but about a year after my son was born, I realized I had zero desire. My husband has a high sex drive, and I knew that it would not be sustainable to not have sex in our marriage at that time.”
She was determined to find an alternative to divorce and stumbled upon a polyamory conversation on Clubhouse. Upon doing her own research, she brought up the idea to their husband, who was receptive. “It’s so interesting to me that people weigh sex so heavily in relationships when even if you are having a ton of sex, it’s still a very small percentage of the relationship activity," Mikki shared.
They chose polyamory because Mikki still wanted to be married, but she also wanted to make sure that Raheem was getting his individual needs and desires met, even if that meant meeting them with someone else. “I think that we have been programmed to think that our spouses need to be our 'everything.' We do not operate like that. There is no one way that fits all when it comes to relationships, despite what society may try to tell you. Their path to doing this thing called life together may be different from yours, but they found what works for them. We have chosen to design a marriage that works for us,” Mikki explained.
"We have chosen to design a marriage that works for us. We both consent to each of us having everything from casual sex partners to lifetime partners if it should go there. We believe love is abundant and do not limit ourselves or each other on how we express it."
She continued, “We both consent to each of us having everything from casual sexual partners to lifetime partners if it should get there. We believe love is abundant and do not limit ourselves or each other on how we express it. Our dynamic is parallel with kitchen table poly aspirations.”
Kitchen table polyamory (KTP) is a polyamorous relationship in which all participants are on friendly terms enough to share a meal at the kitchen table. Basically, it means you have some form of relationship with your partner’s other partner, whether as a group or individually. A lot of times, KTP relationships are highly personal and rooted in mutual respect, communication, and friendship.
Intimacy in an Asexual Polyamorous Marriage
Mikki says she and her husband, Raheem, still share intimate moments despite being in a polyamorous marriage. “Our intimacy is emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and physical, although non-sexual. We are intentional about date nights weekly, surprising and delighting each other daily, and most of all, we communicate our needs regularly. In my opinion, our intimacy is top-tier! I give my husband full-body massages, mani-pedis and make sure I am giving him small physical touches/kisses throughout the day. He is also very intentional about showing me his love and affection.”
Raheem and Mikki now use their lives as examples for others. On their website, thepolycouplenextdoor.com, they coach people interested in learning how to be consensually non-monogamous. “We are both relationship coaches. I specialized in emotional regulation, and Raheem specializes in communication and conflict resolution. The same tools we use in our marriage help our clients succeed in polyamory."
Mikki advises people who may be asexual or seeking non-monogamy to communicate their needs openly and to consider seeking sex therapy or intimacy coaching. Building a strong relationship with a non-sexual partner requires both empathy and compassion.
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