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headshot shanila sattar
Fitness
Published Monday Dec 21, 2020 by Shanila Sattar

Practical Tips to Ground You Through the Holiday Season and into 2021

As we are heading into an unconventional holiday season and approaching a brand-new year in 2021, it's going to be more important than ever to ground, center, and align ourselves. This year’s energy is less about resolutions and #goals. It’s about creating intentionality, peace, and grounding within ourselves first. 

The season’s energy can bring about grief for a plethora of reasons outside of our current times, the nostalgia of how we were accustomed to spending our time, and the people we were surrounded by. Putting a few grounding routines and mindfulness practices into the new daily life can make a huge difference in emotional and spiritual wellbeing.

Here are a few practical tips that you can take with you for the next few weeks as you ease into 2021 feeling grounded, intentional, and inflow with your energy.

Adapt a breathing routine into your daily life

Check out this article where I share with you a few non-fussy and easy breathing techniques that you can try out anytime. Mindful breathwork is the #1 way to regulate our body’s natural healing systems. It helps us calm down our body especially during a time where we are experiencing a lot of transitions. It also helps our body release and regulate feel-good hormones that we might be lacking, especially during seasonal changes.

In times of lower daylight and sun exposure, we have to take extra caution to allow our bodies to produce some of the feel-good hormones, and we can do that by mindful breathwork. 

A breathing practice doesn’t have to be complicated. We aren’t talking about going into an hour-long shamanic breathwork session. We’re talking about adopting a 30-second to a three-minute routine that you can repeat several times during the day as you wish. This is a gamechanger for how your body releases and processes hormones, promotes calmness and peace, and regulates flow within the body. Find one to two breathwork techniques that feel doable and implement them into your daily life right away.

Allow grace and gentleness with yourself

In this unconventional year, nothing has been normal. You might feel that your routines, your patterns, and even your identity have changed in the last few months. With so many things in flux, we could experience something known as a spiritual hangover. This is when you’ve been doing a lot of mindfulness and inner work, self-reflection, and getting hyper intentional about what you’re creating in your life. Because of this, you very well may be exhausted.

Now, our natural inclination is to fill up our time, to create more projects, to be busy, to surround ourselves with more stimulus and to-dos. And as much as we may want to do that, it’s okay if we just allow ourselves to be exhausted. 

No one is expecting you to be a super person at a time where we are all doing the best that we can. So, what would it be like for you to give yourself time and permission to rest? This may be a radical idea, but try clearing out your time, even if you have to schedule it in your calendar. Remind yourself—I’m going to do nothing but rest and serve my soul in a way where I do something that feels energetically nourishing rather than depleting. For you, this might be literally sitting and watching TV. It might be working in the garden. It might be listening to music. It might be a breathwork dance party. Find the form of rest that aligns with you and catch yourself if the habit of creating busy work starts to creep up.

Reflection as elevation

In 2020, we cheekily called it 20/20 vision—The Year of the Vision and played that one to the ground. But this year really did clear up the vision for many of us. Now is a great time for you to be very intentional about habits, thoughts, patterns, and even people that you may want to separate yourself from going into the next season of 2021.

Reflect on where your precious time, energy, and resources have been going and if it aligns with what you envision for yourself to experience in the upcoming year. Your energy is more valuable than ever. We have experienced working from home, separating from our families and friends, changing routines, adapting new roles, and so much more. The time, the energy, and the resources you will utilize going forward must come from a place of absolute intention.

Ask yourself:

  • How have I changed this year?
  • What are the big realizations I’ve had?
  • How do I want to integrate and adapt these realizations going into 2021?
Last but not least, let’s not forget the power of play

You must involve play and joy back into your life. Staying in a state of worry, sadness, and grief can become extremely harmful to your overall well-being. Yes, we absolutely do need to process and acknowledge it as a collective, AND we get to find ways where we can still have fun. We have so many blessings to count; we have so many things to be grateful for and it’s okay if you give yourself permission to do something that makes you crack up. 

In fact, go ahead and place both your hands on your belly and laugh like you heard something hilarious. I mean it. Laugh like you heard the funniest thing in the world. Put on that comedy and laugh. Tell that dumb joke to your friends. Tell yourself something that brings you joy. Dance. Move your body. Express yourself. Let’s fingerpaint.

Not only is this energetically healing, when we laugh and find joy, we actually produce the feel-good hormones right here in our own body. When we laugh, we’re essentially pumping out our gut hormones that have oxytocin, serotonin, dopamine. Turns out, 95% of our neurotransmitters are produced in our gut flora; When we allow ourselves to move, have fun, and play, we’re not only having a really good time, we’re also giving our body a dose of amazing feel-good hormones.  

Notice if your relationship with joy and fun have been compromised in the last few months. If you’ve been going through it or if things have been tough, maybe you have felt guilty for having fun. Maybe you’ve been feeling guilty for doing something that brings you joy like playing outside with your pets or laughing like a maniac. Right here, right now we get to do something completely radical—we get to give ourselves that permission to play. We get to know that we are living, we are alive, we are well, and we have the opportunity to decide to be intentional about the vibration and the energy we are wanting to bring with us into 2021. 

So as you ease into the flow of 2021, breathe, be gentle, reflect, and have fun.

If you’d like to try breathwork, mindfulness, or play classes with me, check out these workshops and training sessions that work with your schedule. For other breathwork classes, browse Mindbody.

Shanila Sattar
Written by
Shanila Sattar
Founder, AlwaysPlay Studios
About the author
Shanila is a sound healer, breathwork coach, women’s researcher, and speaker. She trains sound healers and breathwork facilitators through her mobile studio, AlwaysPlay Studios, and is the founder of the Integrative Wellness Leaders based in Los Angeles. She practices integrative wellness - considering a person's emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing. Her background is in tech, having co-founded an award-winning web agency, and in women’s research, specifically in mindsets, implicit bias, perfectionism, women's health, and societal experiences supported through the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Health, and several universities. She has implemented several health and wellbeing programs in underserved populations throughout Los Angeles. Shanila mentors women who are wellness entrepreneurs and on their confidence journey.
black-owned beauty and wellness businesses
Beauty
Published Sunday Jan 30, 2022 by Denise Prichard

Black-owned Beauty and Wellness Businesses to Know

February is Black History Month—a celebration of the achievements and contributions of African Americans in society.  As the beauty and wellness industry becomes a more welcoming and inclusive space for all, we are taking this opportunity to continue to shine a light on the gap of inclusivity and diversity in our industry, and take action to promote, empower, and honor the Black community that shapes and grows wellness.  

While the beauty industry is making improvements—it's important to showcase and support Black businesses and the creatives in this space every day. To honor them, we're shouting out some of our favorite Black-owned beauty and wellness businesses to support. 

1. Beauty Bin 

Beauty Bin is a full-service day spa and dry bar located in Asheville, NC. With a focus on inclusivity for people of all backgrounds, genders, and races, their MO is to match the outer beauty of every client to their inner beauty. From eyelash extensions and hydrafacials to waxing and massage, Beauty Bin is a one-stop-shop for all the spa services.  
 

2. KIKA Stretch Studio  

The KIKA Method® is a gentle assisted stretching process that loosens up tight muscles freeing your body from pain and stress. By practicing this method, clients can experience decreased muscle tension, increased energy, enhanced flexibility, a substantial reduction in stress, improved posture and relaxation, and increased mental clarity. While its headquarters is located in Las Vegas, NV, they have multiple locations sprinkled throughout the US, including Atlanta, New York City, and Dallas—just to name a few.

3. Kimberly Coleman Salon 

At Kimberly Coleman Salon, their philosophy begins with promoting healthy tresses, elegant sets, unique accouterments, perfect pampering of hands and feet, and precision cuts. Known for working with models and celebrities, they fully appreciate and celebrate the diversity of their clientele which also includes super moms and warrior dads. 

4. Pressed Roots 

Pressed Roots was developed with the simple concept in mind—that everyone deserves access to easy, and quality hair care. What started as a single pop-up shop in Boston, grew to a multi-city pop-up tour, and is now slated to be the largest national hair salon franchise specializing in the care and styling of highly textured hair, they launched their first flagship location in Dallas, TX.  

5. SW3AT  

Jersey City resident, Alyza Brevard-Rodriguez started SW3AT. The company began as a fitness apparel line in 2015 but evolved into a sanctuary catered to health and wellness now known as SW3AT Sauna Studio—the first infrared sauna studio in Jersey City. The healing power of infrared heat therapy is a phenomenal option for holistic health proven to strengthen the immune system and provide relief from joint stiffness and muscle pain. It is also supportive of any fitness program as it aids in weight loss (you can torch up to 900 calories in a 45-minute session) while also detoxifying your body from some of the most harmful toxins. 

6. The TEN Nail Bar 

Kelli Coleman and Anika Jackson opened The TEN Nail Bar in Detroit to address a void in their city. They saw a need for a quality, modern nail bar that could also serve as a fun social space for Detroit’s residents and professionals. They designed the TEN to provide their clients with a #Perfect10 experience—where you can relax, enjoy music, a drink, your friends, a clean and precise manicure, and a much-needed break from all your hectic days. 

7. Bettye O Day Spa 

Located in the beautiful downtown Hyde Park Chicago area, Bettye O Day Spa specializes in first-class treatments. They aim to nurture and relax each of their clients with individualized and innovative therapeutic techniques. From body wraps and massages to facials and hydrotherapy, this day spa promises to be a safe place for healing to occur.  

Looking for more businesses to support? ClassPass has also created a list of Black-owned business to check out all year-round. While both of these lists are a great start to get you familiar with many of the Black-owned businesses either in your neighborhood or around the globe, we have only scratched the surface. We'd love to keep these lists growing.If you have any businesses you'd like to see on this list, click here to submit a Black-owned business we should be highlighting as well! 

denise prichard
Written by
Denise Prichard
Senior Marketing Content Specialist
About the author
Denise Prichard is a certified yoga instructor (RYT-200) and an experienced content marketing professional with a penchant for writing compelling copy within the health, wellness and beauty industries. When she isn't writing or editing, you can find her teaching yoga classes, at a spin class or hanging out with her rescue pups.