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While August 28th is just another day on the calendar for some, it represents a moment of great historical significance shared across generations of Black people in America. The colliding sequence of events that occurred through the years on August 28th may appear coincidental, but that makes them no less noteworthy or important. The date has historically brought both triumph and sadness for the African-American community and has transformed into what should be a day of remembrance not only for Black people, but for us all.
The date has historically brought both triumph and sadness for the African-American community and has transformed into what should be a day of remembrance not only for Black people, but for us all.
It was on this day in 1833 that the United Kingdom abolished slavery, prompting a trickle-like effect across many other countries and eventually the United States. In a horrific fluke of fate, on August 28th, 1955, a Black, fourteen-year-old boy named Emmet Till was murdered during a time of extreme racial tension and injustice in America.
The date became further destined for continual significance as the nation looked on while Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech on August 28th, 1963. Pivotal to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, King, Jr.’s historic oration still evokes an emotional response, inspiring us to make our country a better place for everyone, united not only in thought and ideas, but in our hearts.
Over the last two decades, August 28th again marked catastrophic devastation echoed by powerful change. On this day in 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall as a Category 5 hurricane, destroying homes, leveling communities, taking lives, and displacing a significant population of Black people in New Orleans, Louisiana. Black Americans were and remain disproportionately affected by Hurricane Katrina, making up approximately two-thirds of evacuees from the area—their livelihoods, families, and homes literally washed away.
And yet, in what seemed to some a light at the end of the tunnel, on August 28th, 2008, then-senator Barack Obama accepted the Democratic nomination to become the first Black president of the United States of America. A collective smile came into focus on the faces of young, hopeful Black boys and girls, Black teens roiled by not knowing what to do “when they grow up,” and Black elders who never thought they would witness the day—someone who looked like them was months away from election to the most powerful position in America.
We must acknowledge that the 28th of August represents a pivotal date for Black Americans.
These iconic events remind us of humanity’s resilience, of the power of social and political action, and of the work we need to do as a country to ensure equality for those historically deprived of it.
These iconic events remind us of humanity’s resilience, of the power of social and political action, and of the work we need to do as a country to ensure equality for those historically deprived of it. Mindbody recognizes this day because it impacts not only members of our team but also our customers and consumers. Together, we are on a journey of learning and sharing the stories that have shaped us as a society. Understanding the impact of this day on our past positions us to be better and stronger for whatever challenges our unity next. This year, as we commemorate August 28th, let’s hope that it brings wellness, love, and a unified recognition of the lived experiences of our Black family members, friends, co-workers, and neighbors.
To say the last year and a half was tough would be an understatement. In fact, it will probably go down as one of the most difficult times for our modern generation. In one of the many social polls we conducted during the pandemic, some of you described this time as a sheer “dumpster fire” or “like stepping on a Lego.” And to be honest, I couldn’t agree more.
Luckily, we’ve been able to get back to some form of normalcy in our lives and wellness routines over the last several months. As vaccines became available to the public, wellness businesses welcomed fitness fanatics, haircut seekers, and massage lovers back to in-person wellness experiences. And thank goodness for that—my roots and horrible posture from working from my bed were both getting wildly out of control. This girl needed a good massage and cupping session stat.
If there’s one thing we learned from the pandemic, it’s that our wellness routines are as personal as they are important. During shelter-at-home, those routines looked a bit different. For many, it meant taking a new approach to the “typical” wellness services we count on—I’m looking at you DIY haircuts, at-home waxing sessions (ouch!), and virtual swerking classes.
Now that we can leave our humble abodes to take advantage of in-person experiences again, the word “wellness” has seemingly taken on a new meaning.
Recently, we conducted another one of our famous social polls to see what wellness means to you, our Mindbody community, now that we're slowly but surely getting back to our regularly scheduled programming. We also tapped some of our most influential Mindbody business owners about the ever-evolving wellness landscape.
Here’s what you all had to say.
According to our annual Mindbody Wellness Index, 60% of Americans say they’re more focused on their health and wellness since COVID. Consumers are now realizing they need to take greater care of themselves to optimize and preserve their health. When we asked you on Instagram how important wellness is, a whopping 98% said it was more important than ever. When it comes to how you’re practicing wellness, though, the answers were all over the board. Many of you pointed to journaling, practicing breathwork, and daily workout routines (cycling and yoga topped the list) as being the activities that help you keep your chill throughout the week.
I’m also happy to report that over 50% said you tend to feel more blessed than stressed on a daily basis—which is more than likely a big improvement. Let’s be honest, a year ago I would’ve bet a billion dollars that 99.9% of us knew no other feeling than anxiety—am I right? But even with the stress in our lives dwindling, many of you are still experiencing burnout at the end of a long work week (guilty!). But instead of succumbing to a bottle of wine for relief (please, that was so 2020), you’re unwinding by going to your favorite workout classes—with hot yoga, barre, and Pilates as your faves.
Let’s be honest, we should credit the business owners in this space for helping us reignite our spark when it comes to our wellness routines, right? Thanks to them, we’ve been inspired to prioritize the activities that help us feel our best. In turn, we thought it’d be interesting to learn what wellness means to them—and how that definition has changed over the past eighteen months.
Here’s what they had to say.
“Wellness is living in balance—mind, body, spirit. Highs and lows. It all ebbs and flows and we can navigate it a bit better when we take time to move, breath and remember who we are, and how we are connected to this big, beautiful world.” - Jess Pierno, Founder, Owner, and Chief Inspiration Officer of Yoga Heights
“Wellness is a true balancing of the mental, physical, and spiritual. It has definitely evolved over the years for me—from something that I just thought was about exercising and eating a healthy diet—to also incorporating balancing and healing internally and spiritually.” - Stefanie Patterson, Owner, Indianapolis Salt Cave and Halotherapy Center
“My sense of wellness has evolved from staying healthy and motivated, mind/body/spirit... to being more gentle with myself, less demanding. Accepting my limitations, taking time for resting, and gaining real clarity about what's important. I care less about what people think of me—difficult as a performer and as a business owner with so many demands on me—and more about getting quiet and tapping into the divine source inside of me that helps me discern my next move. In this way, I know my motives are as pure as possible and I'm not getting distracted—not that I don't make mistakes! Those are necessary, that's how we learn!” - Johanna Krynytzky, Owner, Hip Expressions Belly Dance Studio
“My studio name reminds us that we are constantly evolving. The past 18 months have certainly shown us that! Wellness to me means doing your best on any given day to make sure that you are taking care of yourself as best you can. It leads to resilience. Diet, exercise, sleep, a sense of community, and some form of faith. It all matters. Setbacks happen all the time, and every day is a chance to start again. We strive to be 'cheerleaders' for our clients when we sense that things are coming out of balance in their lives. So many have been with us for 18 years and are friends—they are our community and we all watch out for each other.” - Mo Wolfe, Owner and Founder, Evolution Pilates
I think we can all agree that there isn’t one true definition of wellness anymore. To some of us, it means getting that hot yoga sesh in daily, and to others, it means carving out time to treat ourselves to a massage or manicure. As long as you’re actively pursuing wellness—whatever that means to you—you're on the right track.
Our MO has always been about connecting the world to wellness—a term that's seen a lot of change lately. Whether you’re fully embracing the in-person experience or still delighted by the convenience of practicing at-home wellness, the Mindbody app makes it easy for you to book experiences that help you feel like YOU again.