Tag Archives: meditation

The Stars are Not Like Us… and Neither is Their Self-care

Celebrities are different from us in many ways and have many more opportunities than the average joe. Although they may be different, everyone shares the same need for self-care. Especially during the current times, when the world has slowed, many people have increased their self-care practices and many celebrities have shared their own on social media. Some stars do unwind with the same warm bubble bath as many of us, while others show off their privilege in their more elevated self-care routines.

Emily Ratajkowski, model and actress from San Diego, promoted her favorite skincare regimen on her Instagram story. A step in her process includes snail mucin. Snail mucin is produced from the secretion of snails and is moisturizing, increases collagen, and is said to have anti aging elements. Natural products are better for your skin and what could be more natural than snail slime?

Courtesy of Emily Ratajkowski’s Instagram

Self-care starts from the inside out according to Shailene Woodley. Woodley has an environmentalist mindset and advocates for natural products and practices. Not only does she only drink water from natural springs, but she also ingests clay. Where did she hear about the healing power of clay? From a taxi driver… yes. In an interview with “Into the Gloss,” Woodley explained how she eats clay because it helps to clear out the metals in the body and bonds to negative isotopes. 

English actress Naomie Harris found her simple cure to jet lag. After a long flight, Harris performs a “grounding” ritual to recenter herself. To “ground” Harris takes off her shoes and walks barefoot and sits to connect to the earth. 

Victoria Beckham will forever live up to the expectations set by her “Posh Spice” name. With the creation of her own beauty line, it’s no surprise that she has an elaborate self-care regimen. In a recent interview, Beckham explained her morning and night routine and listed seven supplements she takes including “fish oils, magnesium and vitamin C with zinc.” To pamper her skin, she uses an at-home facial steamer and finishes with eye masks that she keeps cool with her mini beauty fridge. 

Lizzo showed off her meditation practices during the height of the pandemic and quarantine time as a way to connect with her fans. She posted this guided meditation on her Instagram, complete with many crystals, incense and her soothing flute playing. 

To top off the examples of celebrity privilege is Kim Kardashian and the self-care she acted on for her 40th birthday. To treat herself to time with family and friends, Kim traveled with her inner circle to a private island. “I don’t think any of us truly appreciated what a simple luxury it was to be able to travel and be together with family and friends in a safe environment,” Kim explained in a Twitter thread. “We could pretend things were normal just for a brief moment in time.”

A few honorable mentions of other self-care routines include: J Lo.’s placenta facial and Gwyneth Paltrow’s uterus v-steam. 

Self-care routines come in many forms and for celebrities, many of them are unorthodox and expensive practices. Although some of the products and practices are easy to mimic others are just plain unattainable (I know I can’t afford to rent a private island). Self-care isn’t always about the luxury factor. After a long day, a $5 Target facemask feels just as good as a $450 placenta facial. 

Dream with me: the day harry styles invented sleeping

 Via @AngiTaylorKISS

When I got to college, I noticed that you were either in tune with your mental health or you weren’t. With the mixture of new classes, a new campus and a completely new city while also not knowing anyone, life gets stressful. I quickly learned that keeping up with my mental health would be the best thing for me. I’m sure some of my college friends can agree. 

Throughout my first two years on campus and since the beginning of quarantine, I’ve been hearing a lot about the Calm app but I’ve never been one to believe in meditation or sleep tactics. What was the final push I needed to give it a try? Harry Styles. The Calm team decided it was a good idea to partner with the singer to create a bedtime story for their sleep category and I couldn’t agree with them more. 

Now, let me explain myself before the inevitable judgement begins. I’ve been a fan of Harry Styles ever since the very beginning so when I found out he was going to narrate a bedtime story for Calm, I was definitely not calm. His music is already therapy in itself so I couldn’t even imagine what a bedtime story would do.

    Via @nypost

The audio was released July 8th and I was frantically refreshing the page until it was available. I’m an honest woman so I would be lying if I told you I didn’t laugh at first when listening to the first few words in this ASMR-style bedtime story titled “Dream with Me.” It was a lot to take in. I just couldn’t picture Harry Styles sitting down, leaning into a mic and whisper-talking into it. Picture that. You can’t. For those of you who haven’t given it a listen, Harry takes you on a journey through multiple landscapes while describing the scene with his too-good British accent. From the stars to the valleys, you’ll go on a world tour in just 30 minutes. 

That night, I had actually wanted to get a good night sleep and was hoping this would help. Maybe even ditch the melatonin sitting on my bedside table. My sleep schedule has been completely thrown off guard, as I’m sure most of you can relate to. Now, I couldn’t tell you what he was saying or what the story was about but all I know is that whatever they did, it worked. I was out like a light within what felt like a few minutes. The half-an-hour mixture of ambient sounds paired with his slow, soothing voice allowed me to drift off into the best sleep I’ve had in weeks. I don’t want to say too much to where I spoil it for you but I obviously recommend listening. 

On another note, the audio has become somewhat of a meme on Twitter. Because of Harry’s accent, some of the words he pronounces just sound odd but in the best way possible. I’ll let you watch for yourself.

Harry isn’t the only celebrity that you can have read you to sleep. Our very own Matthew McConaughey has also narrated a bedtime story for those who would like to feel alright, alright alright. The Calm app also has several other advantages besides having celebrities narrate bedtime stories. Under the meditation tab, there’s a ‘7 Days of Calming Anxiety’ that I have been trying out to help meditate and clear my mind and I am honestly very surprised at how well my mind and body relax to it. If you were like me and didn’t believe it could help you, give it a try. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. There are also specific categories you can pick to help guide your meditation. Besides that, you can take a look at the library of calming music they have. They have plenty of lo-fi beats for you to study to if you’re into that. 

You can get a subscription to the app here: https://www.calm.com

Happy listening!

A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation

When we think of health today, we often think of physical health. We tend to believe that someone who holds a balanced diet and exercises regularly is in perfect health. While both of these things do lead to a healthier body they don’t always lead to a healthier mind.

Mental health is also a huge component to the overall health of an individual, although it tends to be treated as secondary to physical fitness. Being mindful about what you are feeding your body is vital, but you should also consider what you are feeding your mind and soul. You might be adequately exercising your physical strength but under exercising your mental strength. The training of the mind is arguably just as important as training of the physical form.

Unfortunately, there is a lack of teaching when it comes to how to provide for yourself mentally. We tend to be adequately informed on how to eat healthier and how to engage in physical activity, but we often don’t know how to calm our racing minds or treat our souls with kindness. For many individuals, meditation is the most beneficial way to prioritize their mental health and practice training of the mind.

What is meditation?

Courtesy of Unsplash

Meditation can have various definitions and spiritual meanings. In essence. meditation is the practice of centering the mind in order to clear your head and refocus your thoughts. While meditation has previously been used for spiritual and religious reasons only, it is now common for individuals to practice meditation in their private and professional lives outside of their spirituality.

A common term used alongside meditation is mindfulness. Mindfulness is all about bringing your thoughts to the present and releasing your thoughts about the moments to come. Engaging in the present is what meditations seeks to achieve as it allows you to disconnect from stress, anxiety, and fear.

What are the benefits of meditation?

Courtesy of Unsplash

Meditation is much like physical activity in the sense that not every participant will share the same experiences or reap the same benefits. Although, meditation has been known to not only provide mental benefits but physical benefits as well.

According to The Art of Living, the physical benefits of meditation can include:

  • A decrease in high blood pressure
  • An improved immune system
  • Increase in positive mood and behavior
  • Higher energy levels

The mental benefits of meditation are:

  • Decrease in feelings of anxiety
  • Increase in happiness
  • Creativity boosts
  • A sharper and clearer mind
  • The ability to better handle and cope with feelings such as anger frustration, and sadness.
Courtesy of Unsplash

As busy college students some weeks we find ourselves stressed with course work, low on energy, and sick from the germs swarming in our community bathrooms. Although, meditation is not the solution to every problem you might face its benefits serve to show that a mind practicing meditation is a mind that can better handle the obstacles set in its path.

Tips for beginning meditation

By now I hope you are at least the slightest bit interested in engaging in meditation. Due to the numerous benefits and the simplicity of the practice, meditation is a very rewarding and achievable experience to be had. If you are thinking about giving it a try, here are some helpful tips.

  1. Don’t set any any expectations for yourself

It is all too often that individuals treat meditation as a task to complete on their checklist. With this attitude meditation becomes more of a challenge or conquest than it does an experience. To reap the full benefits of meditation approach the practice with an open mind. Don’t expect yourself to be skilled at mindfulness upon your first try. It is very challenging to not let your mind wander and to stay focused and calm. Meditation is a practice because it takes time to develop skills and become successful;. Remember to always have grace with yourself and that providing yourself the time to meditation is already an achievement into bettering your mental health

     2. Don’t be afraid of guided meditation

One of the great things about the practice of non-spiritual meditation is the creation of apps and websites that provide guided meditations. A guided meditation instructs you on how to practice the centering of thoughts and encourages you to fall into a deep state of relaxation. Although some might argue that meditation needs to occur in a place separate from all technology and distractions, guided meditations are a great way to begin your journey and gain knowledge on what techniques benefit you the most. There are a plethora of services, and apps that provide these walkthroughs so just experiment with a few and find what makes meditation the most enjoyable and rewarding for you specifically.

      3. Make the most out of your experience

Customizing meditation to your needs and wants is acceptable and vital. Maybe you schedule doesn’t allow for a 30 minute deep relaxation. This is okay, and in no way does this mean meditation is not for you. Meditation can be whatever you make of it. Take a few moments in between classes to breath and recenter yourself. Practice for a few seconds before turning on your car while traveling to work. Meditation is portable and can be practiced anywhere an at anytime.

Remember, meditation might not be for all individuals and this is okay. Prioritizing your mental health can look like many different activities and practices not just meditation alone. Whatever you do, I encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone and engage in something that beneficial to your mind, body and soul.

10 Ways to enhance your spirituality

As college students, there’s still a lot about ourselves that we need to figure out. We’re at a point in our lives where we’re trying to develop our unique personalities while juggling the stress of school, friendships, and relationships. And while our looks seem to be everything right now – especially considering that you can achieve fame and fortune with a few viral tweets – it’s extremely important to remember to nourish the inner you. It’s the spiritual side of you that maybe not everyone will see, but it is the version that will matter most in the long run.

Some people may know who they are already, and they’re set on not changing for the rest of their lives. For others, though, there are so many parts of ourselves we have yet to unlock. That’s why spirituality is so important; to unlock your full potential, you need to understand yourself and your limitations or shortcomings. But I understand that spirituality isn’t the same for everyone and everyone has their own ways of expressing themselves, so the tips I am about to give on how to practice developing your spirituality may not be for everyone.

  1. Practice patience with yourself

This is the thing I have struggled with the most, so it’s at the top of my list. You may not be where you want to be right now, but that’s okay. Life isn’t a race, it’s a process. Everyone is experiencing things at their own pace, and you shouldn’t let that discourage you from your path or allow it to deter you from your own goals. Recognizing this is the first step to becoming more spiritual because you can acknowledge things aren’t going to go your way all the time, and you may fail sometimes, but if you continue to do what you need to do you will get there eventually.

2. Recognize your own negative qualities and unlearn them

A lot of us forget that we can be toxic, too. It’s important to be kind to yourself and have patience with yourself, but don’t ignore the ways you may be negatively affecting others. Over sympathizing with yourself is possible!

3. Find something you are really passionate about

In finding something I could truly devote my time to studying and growing through, I have felt myself grow immensely. This could truly be anything as long as it is positively affecting your lifestyle and aiding in your growth rather than taking away from it.

4. Do something new – but make sure you’re comfortable

Yes, getting out of your comfort zone is important, but what is also important is that you’re safe. Entering your spiritual development take a certain level of vulnerability with yourself and the world, and while I support the idea of adding something new to your life, I also suggest that you do this in a way where you aren’t putting your health – whether physical or mental – in jeopardy.

5. Create both short and long term goals for yourself

Unpopular opinion: short-term goals are just as important as long-term goals. Short-term goals can help you propel yourself forward because they should be realistic and achievable in a shorter time frame. This doesn’t mean long-term goals aren’t essential though, because they are. I suggest writing down what you want to accomplish, or creating a vision board.

6. Cut the bad things out of your life

This doesn’t just mean people (but definitely cut out toxic people too). Yes, I know I said your physical appearance isn’t everything, but make sure you’re taking care of your physical health too. I definitely still struggle with making time for this, but know your limitations. This doesn’t mean to hit the gym every day or go carb-free, because it could mean the exact opposite. Your body is your temple, so figure out what it needs. Find a balance that helps you feel energized and happy.

7. Be kind

Do something nice for a stranger! Apologize to someone you may have hurt! Forgive yourself! There are tons of ways you can be kind not only to yourself, but to others. Just don’t overextend yourself – know when you need to make time for you and only you. Give yourself space and room to grow. But I want to point out that you don’t have to be kind to or give your energy to people who have hurt you! You are under no obligation to these people – even if they are your family.

8. Practice emotional intelligence and restraint

It’s easy to get swept up by your emotions, but make sure what you are going to say or do to someone isn’t unjustified. This is why I make sure to say intelligence and restraint. It’s important that you can empathize with someone while valuing your own emotions in the process. Just don’t let your own emotions run wild, you might do things you regret, and karma is very real.

9. Call someone you love

It’s easy to neglect those we love when we know they are going to be there for us – but please, don’t. Cherish the time you have with those you care about most, and check up on them, too. Even if they may not always see what you’re trying to do and show their gratitude for it, you should feel satisfied knowing you did what you can to be a decent person in their lives.

10. Worry about you first

That being said, don’t let people walk all over you! Use your voice, you have one for a reason. Some people may take advantage of your kindness, but respect yourself enough to know where to draw a boundary. Always put your needs first when you know it’s the right thing to do. Don’t let friendships or relationships stop you from taking care of these needs because if they do, they probably aren’t worth it. And don’t worry about comparing your actions to others’ – they aren’t you.

There’s a lot of ways you can start practicing your spiritual development, and these are only a few. Positive growth is the ultimate goal, so take whatever steps you may need to achieve it. Learn yourself, work with yourself, and see the results in your changing perspectives on life and yourself.