When we created Becoming Brilliance, we wanted to develop a platform where we could share our journey as twenty-something-year-olds who are trying to figure out adulting. Our slogan, “I like who I’m becoming” is so fitting because we’re constantly evolving into the best version of ourselves.
A brilliant beauty who likes who she’s becoming understands that she is a masterpiece and a work in progress at the same time. She celebrates her strengths, embraces her flaws, and strives to be better each day. She knows that brilliance is her birthright, and that her light is needed in the world.
Here are a few ways to ensure that you like who you’re becoming:
Liking who you’re becoming doesn’t mean that you have it all figured out! It’s about enjoying the journey and loving the woman you currently are, and are striving to be.
Dope app that reminds you to do it For The Culture!
If you don’t have game night with your friends and family, you need to make that happen! It’s a great, inexpensive way to spend time with your loved ones. Comedy mixed with competition can strengthen a friendship, or at the very least create some of the best memories. We’ve spent many nights laughing until our stomach hurts while playing games like Taboo and Family Feud.
We recently discovered a new must have for game night — a free app called For The Culture, which is available on iTunes and Google Play. Founded by Teddy Phillips of Ark Creative Companythis game is “a modern spin on the classic guessing game charades that incorporates African American Culture, History, Music and Film into a game that you can play anywhere with your friends and family.”
With entertaining categories such as TV Shows, Music, and Black History, For The Culture will be a favorite during game night. You can continue the fun by purchasing other categories such as 90s, Dances, and Destinations starting at $.99
We had a blast playing the game together! Check out our YouTube video to see it in action.
We caught up with Teddy to learn more about how he and his team came up with For The Culture, and what they hope to achieve with the app:
1. Please provide a brief description of your company.
“Ark Creative Company develops products to bring cultures together. Our aim is to Inform, Inspire and Include different cultures in every product we create. Our first product is For The Culture.”
2. What inspired you to create For The Culture?
“I was inspired to create For The Culture because I felt the gaming culture lacked representation from the most commonly adopted culture. Right then, I saw the need to put Black culture, history and arts all into one interactive game.”
3. What was your experience creating the app?
“It was a great learning experience that showed me how deeply rooted and impacting Black culture really is. I had already developed products for Fortune 100 companies, but what made this more exciting was that I was able to connect more emotionally with this product and put my community’s experiences and interests into a platform that could scale worldwide. I never would have thought that China would be our second largest region for app downloads behind the United States. This simple metric validated the entire vision and the power of this culture.”
4. What’s your favorite category in the app and why?
“From an educational aspect, Black History is my favorite category. Not only did I feel it was important to have historic figures and innovators, but I also wanted to highlight individuals who had their lives cut short by senseless acts of injustice and police brutality. I wanted to find a way to extend their memory beyond a hashtag that trended for a week or two. I feel like these individuals are apart of a larger discussion that leads to more conversations about equality. I felt it was important to honor these men and women and never forget the impact they had on the community.”
5. What do you want people to feel when they play For The Culture?
“When people play FTC, I want them to feel educated by the content, empowered by the design and entertained with culture that reflects their daily lives.”
Teddy and his team at the Ark Creative Company are definitely off to a great start with For The Culture! Download the free app on iTunes and Google Play for your next game night.
#SummerSlay isn’t just what’s on the outside but more importantly how you’re “slaying” in all aspects of your ever-changing life whether in career, travel, relationships or health and wellness. We want to hear from you all as we kick-off our #SummerSlaySeries!
Check out our latest YouTube video to learn more about our #SummerSlaySeries and our challenge to you!
Sharing a photo is the first step of our #SummerSlay Brilliance Box giveaway!! At the end of the summer we’ll select one brilliant beauty to receive a box of goodies worth $100+ worth that will help you extend your slay from summer to fall!
Here’s how you enter:
1. Share your #SUMMERSLAY!
Show us how you’re spending the last few months of summer! Send us a video or tag us in your social media pics @becomingbrilliance. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #summerslay AND #becomingbrilliance. You can also email us photos email@example.com
2. Enter your email address to sign up for our Brilliant Beginnings newsletter
I’ve always been a risk taker. I decided to attend Howard University without touring the school. I run to the scariest roller coaster when I’m at an amusement park. I don’t hesitate to go zip lining. But skydiving out of a plane that was 14,000 feet high was the biggest risk I’ll likely ever take.
Taking a leap of faith. YIKESS!!
Skydiving allowed me to feel every emotion. Initially I decided to take the leap of faith for my 25th birthday – but when my birthday weekend rolled around, it was too windy to jump so I had to reschedule. A month later my initial excitement went away and I felt anxious about skydiving. Whenever I thought about the waiver that I signed stating (in bold and underlined font I might add) that I was putting my life in danger and giving up my family’s legal rights to sue in the event of injury or death, I got nervous and questioned if this was something I should even be doing. But I stuck it out and kept the appointment – bringing my mom to watch for moral support.
When I got to the Skydive Georgia, I saw people landing safely and I became excited again and more confident about jumping. But anxiety crept in while waiting for my turn. When my name was called I hopped up quickly – ready to get the party that I planned months ago started. I listened intensely to the directions and practiced lifting my legs so I had a smooth landing. This was tandem skydiving so I had a professional jump out with me, but I still contemplated on what could go wrong.
On the ride up I shed a tear but quickly wiped it away so the other 15+ people on the small airplane didn’t get concerned. Despite watching us elevate thousands of feet in the sky, I felt a sense of peace. I prayed like crazy up until that point, and on the plane and I knew that I would make it back down in one piece.
When I saw people falling out of the plane, I knew that it was time. I slid out of the helicopter and screamed for God to take the wheel. A paid extra to have a professional skydiving photographer jump out in front of me and capture the experience (and my ugly faces). The fall down was terrifying, but when my tandem instructor pulled the parachute it was the most peaceful experience.
The emotional rollercoaster that I went through during my skydiving adventure taught me three life lessons that I’ll always carry with me:
God got you. Being that close to God strengthened my faith. Skydiving was the epitome of putting my life in his hands.
On the outside of your comfort zone lies the greatest reward. The pruning process isn’t supposed to be comfortable, but it’s crucial to your growth.
Fear is mental slavery. What do we truly have to fear? There’s a lot of things in life that give me anxiety (like parallel parking and babies that won’t stop crying). But I’ve come to realize that when we know God, we have nothing to fear.
Check out the video below to see my skydiving experience on YouTube!
Is skydiving on your bucket list? Share what is in the comments below!
Apple, Uber, Netflix — the world’s most disruptive companies have made such a substantial impact because they filled a need through innovation and strategy.
Diamonde Williamson, the founder of Blossom, is taking the same approach to change the narrative of multicultural women in the media.
Blossom is a breath of fresh air in a world where a new ratchet reality show pops up nearly every month. Through the digital television platform, Diamonde and her team creates impactful content to empower women of color. This content includes short films, web series, think pieces, feature films, docu-series, indie shorts, features and more that tackles every topic under the sun including current events, politics, sports, and the authentic lifestyle of multicultural women.
Diamonde is no newbie to the television industry. She’s worked as a producer on popular shows including Iylana Fix My Life, Chrissy Knows Best and Selling It In The ATL prior to venturing on her own. After she found herself growing tired of working in reality TV, she knew she wanted to create programming that embodied love instead of drama.
Photo: Blossom Network
She created Blossom in 2016 after mainstream media denied her opportunities to make content that reflected multidimensional women of color. Diamonde built the subscription-based platform from the ground up and carefully selected a team of other multicultural women who would help execute her vision. She keeps a tight-knit Operations Team of less than 10 people, but the Original Productions Team consists of 30+ content creators and she’s always open to more.
Diamonde acknowledges two major problems that Blossom is solving. “First, women of color who are actually living the stories the media and entertainment consistently portray, never get to tell their own stories. Blossom provides them with a platform. And second, women of color also deserve to watch more realistic experiences of themselves played on television.”
As the Founder and President of Special Projects + Programming, Diamonde wears many hats. She’s responsible for content development and programming, marketing and brand strategy, social media, partnerships, legal, and the overall structure of the platform. Diamonde oversees every single piece of the business while giving her team creative control to produce programming that reflects the unique journey of multicultural womanhood.
Diamonde Williamson, founder of Blossom
Even as a child, Diamonde knew she was destined for greatness.
“I never played small. At one point I wanted to be an interior designer and have my own show on HGTV. I also wanted to be a painter and would tell my mom that I wanted to be the next Picasso,” she says. “Whatever I wanted to do, I wanted to be great at it.”
Diamonde attributes her hustle and networking skills to her upbringing. The Oklahoma native was the only child and her dad was in the Navy so they moved around often. These circumstances made her be able to build relationships and connect with people of diverse backgrounds — a skill that has served her career well. In addition, Diamonde’s grandmother was an entrepreneur and motivated her to create her own opportunities.
Photo: Blossom Network
One of the biggest lessons that everyone can learn from Diamonde is the importance of originality and being ok with what may seem as a “failure.” Prior to launching Blossom, she tried to pitch feel-good TV programming to major networks but was rejected many times.
“No means nothing,” she says. “I don’t believe in failing because even if I fall, I’m determined to figure it out. I’ve never been one to let “no” stop me so God gave me the vision to just do it myself.”
She continues, “You need the idea and the passion. But eventually you have to graduate from a dreamer to a doer.”
The Blossom team has this same drive and confidence, along with originality and a track record of execution. Diamonde looks for content creators who have big ideas and can create without limitations.
“I tell my team, if you have an idea just do it. Just write it down and then we’ll figure it out.”
Photo: Blossom Network
Diamonde has big dreams for Blossom. By the end of 2017, she hopes to house 500 pieces of content. She envisions her business being a digital television destination that shares the experience of women of color in every sector of their life — from home to travel to sexual identity to health to political awareness to economics. She hopes it creates a shift and transforms the way people think and live.
“What’s most important to me is to connect with those people who don’t have access to these types of experiences,” she says. “Content opens up a world, but if the world you’re open to is limited to VHI, you may be considering that you need Red Bottoms to win. But if you see a young girl with a business who is challenging herself, you may be more inspired.”
This representation matters. As the world saw in the groundbreaking film Hidden Figures, when Black women see themselves in other people, it gives them the initiative to think beyond what they know.
Diamonde is #blackgirlmagic personified. Through Blossom she’s encouraging people, especially women of color, to live their truth and tell their stories.
“We have to create our own rules and break the standards that other people created for us.”
Blossom is breaking barriers and redefining reality – showing that the future is female in various shades of brown.
Trust us – your feet will thank you for this bomb pedicure.
Sandal season is here, so we have to make sure our toes are up to par. While going to the nail salon is a nice treat every once in awhile, the cost can rack up over time. Instead, try a do-it-yourself pedicure that’ll have your toes shining without breaking the bank. There’s an upfront cost for the tools you’ll need, but once you have them, you can do your nails for the low low all season long.
Before getting started, gather your supplies. You can try Target, Walmart and Sally Beauty to pick up everything.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Acetone nail polish remover
Cuticle softener / remover
Nail color of your choice
Pumi bar or pumice stone
Nail Tees or cotton swabs, and cotton balls
Oils (such as peppermint, coconut, tea tree or extra virgin olive oil)
Sugar Scrub – white, brown or organic sugar + oils of your choice
Shea body butter – natural shea butter + oils of your choice
Body wash and epsom salts
The nail polish came from our Just Polish Box. If you’re a nail polish lover who wants a package of goodies delivered to your doorstep every month, be sure to subscribe! With 5 – 6 different bottles of polish from professional brands such as Essie and OPI in some boxes, it’s easy to fall in love with the quality and convenience of Just Polish.
After getting your supplies, follow these eight easy steps to do a fabulous pedicure on a budget.
1. Remove pre-existing nail polish
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important not to miss this step! Ensure that all of your old nail polish is off before giving yourself a new pedicure. Use an acetone nail polish remover and cotton balls to get the polish off.
According to Sally Beauty, acetone is most effective for removing oils and preparing the nails for polish, but it can be drying to the cuticles — so pay extra attention to step #7.
2. Soak your feet
Start by filling your tub with warm water, body wash and a few drops of oil (such as coconut, tea tree or extra virgin olive oil). For an extra touch, add a cup of epsom salts to the water, and then soak your feet for 5 – 10 minutes. This process softens tough calluses and your nails and cuticles, along with removing built up dirt.
3. Gently file your feet
Dry your feet off and use the foot file to remove the dead skin on the heels and balls of your feet. Place a paper towel or wax paper underneath to capture the dead skin. When filing, focus on the rougher areas, but be sure not to scrub too hard so you don’t irritate the skin.
4. Exfoliate with a sugar scrub
In a small bowl, combine a cup of sugar with 2 – 3 tablespoons of oils and mix well. Scoop the sugar scrub on your feet and gently rub using the pumi bar until your feet are smooth. Rinse your feet and the pumi bar (or stone) afterwards.
5. Clip and shape nails
Use the nail clippers to trim toenails straight across and down to your preferred size. Using an emery board, shape your nails to be slightly squared and buff down any sharp edges. If possible, file nails in the same direction to avoid damage.
6. Prepare your cuticles
Your nails are almost ready for polish! Apply a drop of the cuticle softener / remover at the base of each nail. Then gently push the cuticles around each nail back using the cuticule pusher. You can take it a further step and cut the excess skin with a cuticle nipper, but it isn’t mandatory. After preparing your cuticles, rinse and dry your hands and feet.
7. Moisturize and prepare for polish
Shea butter is a great all natural moisturizer, so I like to rub a body butter on my feet to seal in the softness. In a small container or cup, melt the shea butter down a little bit and add oils of your choice until it has a creamy consistency (peppermint oil works and smells great!). Apply the body butter and give your feet a much needed massage. If you don’t want to use the shea butter mix, you can also use a foot lotion of your choice.
8. Apply polish
Get in a position where you can comfortably reach your feet, and then lace toe separators on both feet. Start by applying a base coat which helps the polish stick to your nail easier and protects your nails from damage. After it dries, apply two coats of the color of your choice and then finish off with a clear top coat. Each layer should be thin and given ample time to dry before applying the next coat.
Here’s to looking fly while saving coins this summer!
Whether it’s your biological mother or another woman who was mother-like, we all have amazing women in our life who support and guide us. This Mother’s Day weekend, we were amongst powerful women full of brilliance like this at A Pink Affair II, hosted by Tonya Henderson Freeman of Dolls to Divas, Inc.
We had an incredible time connecting with beautiful women who were pretty in pink. With a shoe cam, step and repeat banner and gorgeous courtyard at The Villa Christina in Atlanta, A Pink Affair II was the perfect event to get cute, take pictures and embrace everything girly.
At our table, we encouraged attendees to write what #mamatoldme on a mini chalkboard.
We love ya’ll too much to allow you to miss out on the gems that was dropped at A Pink Affair II. Here are a few key takeaways that the speakers shared:
Alissa Jones spoke shared how to elevate your confidence. Start by acknowledging when you have those low confidence moments. Then think about what you need to do to change your mindset. Wake up everyday and understand that as long as you speak positive to you, nothing else matters.
Some things are just a moment – it’s not a destination. Don’t take residence in a feeling when a feeling was just meant to be a moment.
Carol from GlitzyGals, LLC shared a few tips about etiquette. When dining, pass the shared plates to the right. Also when passing the salt, always pass the salt and the pepper together since they are a pair.
Camille Cameron encouraged attendees to dream big and clearly establish exactly what you want out of life. She wears many hats, and how she became successful by getting intentional about where she wants to go and not limiting herself.
Take your experiences and struggles and use it for greater good. After successfully battling breast cancer, Tammy Bolton started The Pink Frog Foundation, Inc. to help other women who were going through treatment. At A Pink Affair II she shared her journey and it was a reminder that we were all put here for a greater purpose – even if that means using your obstacles to make a difference in someone else’s life.
On our journey of becoming brilliance, we are blessed to be amongst other women who just want to see each other shine! Tonya from Dolls to Divas, Inc. has been mentoring young women for more than 30 years. Through her organization she helps cultivate positive girls into extraordinary women through group mentoring, events and other programs. In addition to A Pink Affair, she hosts monthly events to help women and girls celebrate, network and empower each other. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
We’re looking forward to A Pink Affair II next year! If you’re in Atlanta, we encourage you to join us!
It’s a beautiful sight when you see another Queen doing her thing — you have to give her kudos!
We’re looking forward to networking with other brilliant beauties at A Pink Affair II on Saturday, May 13, 2017 in Atlanta. Although the tickets are now sold out, we’ll be giving you behind the scenes via our Instagram Story, so tune in between 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.!
Here’s six Queens who’ll be dropping gems and shining their light at the event:
Tonya Henderson Freeman, Dolls to Divas, Inc.
Tonya is the heartbeat of A Pink Affair II, and the event is one of her many projects to inspire and motivate women of all ages. Through her organization, Dolls to Divas, Inc., she works with young women from elementary school to college, and cultivates them to become extraordinary women. In this era, DIVA can carry a negative tone but Tonya is defining “A Different Type of Diva” — one who thinks outside the box about life and career choices.
Tonya’s Kudos Queen quote: “Every queen should have confidence, a great circle of girlfriends and a mirror.”
Yakira Prise, Relator
This Modern Renaissance Woman has more than 12 years of experience in the marketing, real estate, business consulting, and lifestyle management industries. The St. Louis native, Atlanta transplant is a self-described “ball of energy” and is in the business of extraordinary living.
Yakira’s Kudos Queen quote: “My goal in life is to be all I can be, to inspire, and to enhance. I just work hard to use all the time God has given me as wisely as possible.”
Alissa Jones, Author and Motivational Speaker
Alissa shares her truth in hopes of setting others free. The notable author and speaker founded the Survivors With Voices Foundation to provide an open forum for survivors to be supported by their peers with similar circumstances. She recently won President Barack Obama’s Lifetime Achievement Award for her tremendous work that positively impacts the community. At A Pink Affair II, Alissa will be sharing how to elevate your confidence and boldly unleash your truth.
Alissa’s Kudos Queen quote: “Aside from her crown, every queen should carry with her her King (Revelation 17:14), purpose and confidence.”
Carol Rey Dorsey, Founder and Owner of GlitzyGalz, LLC
Carol has 21 years of teaching experience as an educator in the public school system, and she’s continuing her passion for teaching through GlitzyGalz, LLC, a Southern charm brand and movement that helps individuals learn and understand the technicalities of proper etiquette. With etiquette and fine dining classes and a growing line of apparel and accessories, Carol’s lessons are engaging and encourages self- confidence.
Carol’s Kudos Queen quote: “Pretty is as pretty does.”
Camille Cameron, Creative Artist
Camille is multi-talented force to reckon with. The accomplished artist, photographer, and singer/songwriter is the owner and creator of A Paint Party, a mobile art studio servicing the Atlanta area. She’s also owned her online graphic design and art studio, Simply Camille, since 2009.
Camille’s Kudos Queen quote: “A Queen should have confidence, courage, and her own style.”
Tammy L. Bolton, Founder, The Pink Frog Foundation, Inc.
Tammy is on a mission to fight against breast cancer. Through her nonprofit, The Pink Frog Foundation, she raises awareness about breast cancer and helps breast cancer patients while they are undergoing treatment by providing transportation, maid and nutrition services.
Stay tuned for another post about A Pink Affair II after the event so you can read more brilliant gems from inspirational women!
Openly talking about mental health is a hard, yet healthy conversation to have in the age of social media, police brutality, racial tension and Trump presidency.
The graphic content that we consume, such as watching a police officer shoot an unarmed citizen or seeing an elderly man die on Facebook Live, has an impact on our mental health. And when the Black community in particular couples that with the mental shackles that remain since our ancestors were in slavery, it’s an issue that we can no longer sweep under the rug.
Music veteran executive Shanti Das is making it her mission to openly discuss mental illnesses and dismantle the stigmas and misconceptions that are associated with the taboo subject through her initiative Silence The Shame.
Known as the Hip Hop Professional, Shanti has been instrumental in marketing some of music’s biggest stars for more than 20 years including, Prince, Outkast, TLC, Erykah Badu and Toni Braxton.
Now she’s leveraging her credible platform and influential relationships to get the word out about mental health awareness. Nick Cannon, Usher, Ed Lover, Andra Day, Will Packer, Estelle and more public figures have stood behind Shanti to silence the shame.
“Education is the key to unlocking mental health,” says Shanti. “You don’t know what you don’t know, so we want to educate our community and share information that can help transform and save lives.”
Shanti’s passion to move our culture forward is rooted in her own mental health journey. The effects of her father’s suicide when she was 7 months old made the adult Shanti fear that she would follow in his footsteps, leading to her depression and anxiety.
“It took a long time to be able to talk about my dad’s death. I used to just say he passed away. I wouldn’t say he shot himself because I was afraid of what people would say. I was also angry at him for leaving like that and I suppressed those feelings.”
Shanti admits that she didn’t even want to learn about her dad’s Indian culture, but she finally saw the light when she visited a therapist in 2003. Through a series of counseling sessions, she learned forgiveness and how to understand what her dad might have been going through. She also found a new church in New York where she learned about herself and relationship with God.
“Although I sought therapy and forgave my dad in 2003, in 2015 the depression returned with a vengeance. One of my best friends committed suicide the day before and also I talked myself into a downward spiral from several issues and considered taking pills. That was really the moment I knew I had to get real help.”
These experiences taught Shanti how to silence her shame. By getting help she’s now able to openly talk about her struggle with depression and anxiety in hopes of encouraging others to share their story and seek professional help.
Like Shanti, many people with mental health issues lead a seemingly “normal” life. According to NAMI, 1 in 5 adults in America experience a mental illness. These issues can come from stress, loss of a loved one, divorce, troubled work environment, and traumatic experiences such as sexual assault — things we all deal with to some degree.
Here are six actions that we can take to help silence the shame around mental health:
1. Get educated
Shanti recommends learning more about mental disorders, symptoms and treatments by checking out the Mayo Clinic and the National Alliance of Mental Health. Mental Health America also offers online assessments to see if you may have a mental illness, but visit a licensed professional to determine if you are affected.
She also encourages people to attend events to learn more about the topic. Silence The Shame is hosting a Community Mental Health Fair and Symposium in Atlanta on Saturday, May 6th, 2017. Mental health professionals, community leaders and members of the faith community will discuss identifying symptoms, treatment and ways to support others.
2. Raise your voice
Shanti is encouraging everyone to use their platform to speak up about mental health and share resources, especially on Silence the Shame Awareness Day on Friday, May 5th, 2017. With Mental Health Awareness Month in May, Shanti and her team is using this key moment in time to spark a global conversation about the issues via social media using the hashtag #silencetheshame.
3. Understand the signs
Shanti knew something was wrong when she didn’t want to get out of bed, despite usually being a morning person. She lost interest in the things that mattered most, including music, and found herself at home alone a lot. She also ate out of depression.
The signs that one may be suffering varies based on the type of mental health disorder. According to the Mayo Clinic, other symptoms of depression include feelings of sadness or hopelessness; angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters; and sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much.
While anxiety is a normal part of life, people with anxiety disorders frequently have intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. The Mayo Clinic states that these feelings of anxiety and panic interfere with daily activities, are difficult to control, are out of proportion to the actual danger and can last a long time.
More complex illnesses, like Schizophrenia or Bipolar Disorder have different symptoms. It’s important to understand the signs so you can address if you or someone you know has a mental health disorder.
4. Get the help you need
Although she is a woman of God, Shanti admits that mental health disorders isn’t something that you can just pray away. That’s the first step, but it’s important to get professional help.
She recommends speaking with someone who is neutral and doesn’t know you or your background to have an unbiased conversation. She also explained that there are levels to professional help. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor that evaluates patients and can prescribe medications. A psychologist can offer treatments, but can’t prescribe medications — they can only refer patients. There are also licensed counselors and therapists that can help with coping and managing the illness.
“Seeing a doctor if you think something may be wrong is an act of self love. You have to love yourself to get the help,” says Shanti. “If you don’t love and value yourself, it means that you’ll do anything to the body that God lent you. Make sure that spiritual connection is there by getting help, loving God, and loving yourself.”
5. Be supportive and stop judging
Words have power and using negative terms like “crazy,” “weird” or “insane” further perpetuates the stigma around mental health and discourages suffers from speaking up or getting help.
“We don’t know what people are going through, so sometimes we have to pull it out of them if they aren’t open to talking about it,” says Shanti. “Stop hiding behind social media — pick up the phone and check on people more. Also, don’t take warning signs lightly. It’s better to intervene than to be too late when you could have saved someone’s life.”
Shanti stresses that compassion is essential, and we can’t write people off because of what they suffer from or what they’re experiencing. We have to be there to help one another and start normalizing the conversation around mental health.
6. Practice mental wellness
“The best way to improve your mental wellness is to do whatever brings you peace and balance — do what makes you smile,” Shanti says.
Shanti was on prescribed anti-depressants and weaned herself off of them. Now when depression or anxiety creeps back, she recognizes her triggers, prays, talks to friends, makes herself be around others, works out to build endorphins, and helps other people.
She encourages people to approach mental health like their physical health — intentionally exercise mental wellness every day. While this looks differently for everyone, it may include prayer, thinking happy thoughts, saying affirmations, practicing meditation or yoga, listening to music, going to church, and discovering ways to serve others.
According to ActiveMinds, compared to older adults, the 18-24 year old age group shows the lowest rate of seeking help.
Silence The Shame will continue to reach the public with their Loving U College Tour kicking off later this year. Shanti will join other mental health care professionals and advocates to discuss the importance of taking good care of your mind and coping mechanisms for stress, anxiety and other disorders.
Shanti and her team also has a Silence The Shame podcast where they seek to normalize conversations around managing mental health and healing from illnesses.
It’s ok not to be ok. But we can’t shun people for getting the help they need. It’s time that we educate people, empower them to share their testimony, and dismantle the stigmas around mental health.
Shanti is another example of a woman turning lemons into lemonade and shining a light on the darkness. By openly sharing her struggles and mental health journey, she is freeing other people to do the same and silence their shame.
“You don’t have to tell all of your business, but we all have a duty to share our voice and speak out on what is good and what we believe in,” says Shanti. “We’ve been conditioned to not share, but being vulnerable makes you strong.”
Sundays have always been a favorite of mine and for various reasons. It’s the beginning of a new week and who doesn’t love a fresh start? There’s always a sense of renewal associated with Sunday whether you’re attending church service, spending much needed time catching up with family or having brunch with friends. Often times rain or shine, Sunday equals ME time.
When I was in college, I had a solid Sunday routine consisting of grocery shopping, washing clothes, cooking some dinner and completing my studies due for the week ahead. As I’ve gradually transitioned into adulting, I felt I could never find the time to balance the things I have to do with those I need to do…for my sanity.
Self-care is often lost in the sauce when our plate becomes full. It’s like we know it’s necessary but feels in comparison with our other responsibilities…it can wait. And that’s simply not the case. I’ve embraced the mindset of “you can’t pour into others from an empty cup” now more than ever. By taking care of you first, you’re able to offer your best self to the world. And we can’t lose sight of that, no matter how busy life gets.
I’ve also grown to realize self-care should be practiced daily if only for a few minutes out of each day. However, as my favorite time to do things I love, I’ve dubbed Sundays for me #SelfCareSundays and wanted to share a few of the self-care gems that I enjoy practicing weekly.
Jot down short-term, attainable goals for the week. It makes for small victories and provides positive reinforcement of all you’re achieving as you tackle the week. For example, workout 4 days this week!
Listen to an album from start to finish. New or an oldie but goodie. I love reflecting on nostalgic moments. At any given moment, I may be listening to a B2K or Trey Songz (with the cornrows) album. 🙂
Watch your favorite show/movie or start a new series. The Sundays where I don’t really have anything planned are often filled with Law & Order: SVU marathons. And my boyfriend and I love to binge watch seasons of a new series on Netflix.
Pamper yourself with a face masque and glass of wine before bed. When you look good, you feel good and your skin care routine should be essential to your self-care routine as well as a glass of wine because…why not? 🙂
Find something to be thankful for at the moment. This has been a major key in my self-care regimen. In a moment where I may feel anxious or irritated, I now stop mid-complaint, check myself and simply give thanks for the situation not being worse than it is.
Declutter your space, light a candle and enjoy your own company. I can be extroverted but I really enjoy being alone. So, I do whatever my spirit moves me to in that moment. Read, meditate, journal, watch beauty videos on YouTube…anything that brings me peace. This is easily one of my favorite self-care keys!
Have you adopted a self-care regimen? What will you incorporate into your #SelfCareSundays?