#HappyTip: Get Some Girlfriends

 

Black Girl's Guide to Calm

It’s Social Wellness Month! According to the University of California, Riverside, social wellness refers to one’s ability to interact with those around them and involves using good communication, respecting yourself and others, having meaningful relationships, and creating a support system that includes family and friends. And one great way to improve your social wellness is having awesome girlfriends. According to research, girlfriends make us healthier, happier, less stressed, live longer, and feel more beautiful (how dope is that?!).

Here are a few ideas for experiencing the benefits of girlfriend relationships :

Find new girl friends (if you need to). It can be a little difficult to make new friends after college, especially if you’re an entrepreneur/work from home, or if you’re an introvert/homebody (trust me, I get it). While Facebook often gets a negative rap, I’ve literally found some of my best friends and my tribe there. I say give social media a chance when it comes to finding your tribe and new friends. Join and interact in Facebook groups, or follow women you find cool or interesting on Instagram or Twitter. You never know what amazing relationships will develop.

Keep in touch. Since we’re all grown up now, we’re all so busy with the different roles we play. And because of this, it’s easy to forget to check in with our friends every once in a while. Even if you’re not able to meet up in person regularly, you can always Skype, Facetime, text, chat, or talk on the phone.

Plan a girl’s trip or weekend. This is a great way to create stronger bonds with your girls, plus you’ll get some much needed “me time” and create some amazing memories.

What are your favorite ways to maintain your relationships with your girlfriends? Let us know by leaving a comment! : )

“The best kind of friendships are fierce lady friendships where you aggressively believe in each other, defend each other, and think the other deserves the world.” – via Pinterest

 

#HappyTip: Boost Your Mood Instantly

Black Girl's Guide to Calm

If you’re reading this, you’re probably someone who does your best to stay positive and look on the bright side of things. But, of course, we all have less-than-stellar days when we feel stressed, frustrated, overwhelmed, sad, or any other emotion you might not like to feel.

While I believe it’s important to acknowledge and embrace all of your emotions and feel what you feel, at some point — whether it’s in the next 30 minutes or the next day — you’re going to want (and dare I say, need) to feel better and more positive. With that said, here are a few ways to boost your mood instantly (or relatively quickly):

  1. Deep breathing. (Inhale for four counts, pause at the top, exhale for eight counts).
  2. Yoga/stretching.
  3. Listen to upbeat music — and maybe even dance.
  4. Talk to a friend.
  5. Write about how awesome you are in your journal.
  6. List 10 (or more) things you’re thankful for.
  7. Laugh — watch funny videos on YouTube or listen to a comedy album or podcast.
  8. Take a walk in nature.
  9. Listen to nature sounds like water flowing, rain, or birds chirping (you can find some on YouTube).
  10. Take a nap.
  11. Try aromatherapy (particularly lavender or orange).
  12. Read inspirational quotes.
  13. Visualize your happy place (like the beach, a meadow, or the mountains).
  14. Look at or create a vision board.

What do you do when you need to boost your mood? Share your ideas below! : )

 

#HappyTip: Laugh More

 

Black Girl's Guide to Calm

Today’s Calm Tip: Laugh more often. Of course, laughter usually indicates happiness, but did you know there are other benefits to laughter, too? Some of them are:

  • It reduces depression and anxiety and relaxes your whole body.
  • Laughter boosts your problem-solving ability and creativity.
  • It makes you more open-minded.
  • Laughter stimulates the release of endorphins and puts you in a more positive mood.
  • Laughter strengthens your relationships and promotes group bonding.
  • It boosts your immunity and relaxes your muscles.
  • It adds joy and zest to your life.

Need more humor in your life? Some ways to laugh more often are:

  • Listen to 2 Dope Queens podcast (my fave!)
  • Watch a funny movie or TV show
  • Read humor blogs like Awesomely Luvvie
  • Play around with kids
  • Search “humor” or “funny” tags on Instagram or Pinterest
  • Go to a comedy club or show
  • Spend time with fun and playful people

“When you love and laugh abundantly you live a beautifully life.” – curiano.com

Source. Greatist, HelpGuide.org

#HappyTip: Love and Embrace Who You Are

Black Girl's Guide to Calm

Not embracing who you truly are can be a source of unhappiness and stress (trust me, I know). I recently (like within the last few months) realized that I wasn’t allowing myself to be who I really am because I was too worried about what other people thought of me.

Part of it had to do with how I raised, but I’ve always been a bit different from the people around me, so to kind of fit in more, I downplayed certain parts of myself. But, I recently decided to say, “Fvck it!” and do me. My word for this year is unapologetic; however, someone brought to my attention that I wasn’t truly being that way, and I realized she was telling the truth: I wasn’t actually living and being who I am unapologetically. So I’ve committed to expressing myself and my beliefs/thoughts and just being me. The quirky, slightly eccentric, spiritual, introverted, empathetic, sensitive, laid-back, etc. me.

And if you’re interested, here are some ways I finally began loving and embracing who I am:

I got clear about who I am. You can only embrace who you are if you actually know who you are. One thing that really helped me with this is meditation; getting quiet and still helps you become more self-aware and you start to notice things about yourself, your likes and dislikes, your personality.

I use affirmations. Some of my favorites for this particular area are:

  • I am enough. I do enough. I have enough.
  • I express myself unapologetically.
  • I love myself just as I am.
  • I confidently stand in my truth.
  • I am unapologetic in my evolution.
  • It’s okay to live a life others don’t understand.

I found my tribe and people who embrace who I am, too. This one was a little more difficult, but to find them, I first asked/affirmed that I would find like-minded people to Source. Then I became open to receiving what I asked for and started paying attention to things/people that had the same interests as I did and began connecting with them (especially on Facebook, using groups). While my tribe is mainly online, it still helps to know I have people in my life who get me, and I can reach out to them whenever I need to.

“Life is too short to spend it at war with yourself.” – Unknown

#HappyTip: Start Your Mornings on a Positive Note

This is a new section that will alternate with the #calmtips. Hope you enjoy!

Black Girl's Guide to Calm

The way you start your day has a huge affect on how you’ll feel the rest of the day. That’s why it’s important to start your morning on a positive note.

Here are a few quick tips for setting the tone after you wake up so you’ll remain centered and positive throughout your day:

— Prepare for the following day the night before.

— Get up early enough that you don’t have to rush and feel flustered.

— Express gratitude for a new day (You can even write in your gratitude journal).

— Meditate or take a few deep breaths.

— Pray and/or read affirmations.

— Take a moment to visualize your goals (by closing your eyes and imagining it or writing it down).

— Stretch, do a little yoga, or work out.

— Eat something nutritious.

— Do your best to stay positive and keep choosing joy!

Click here to read more tips on creating a morning routine.

“Wake up and greet each day with a vivacious spirit and positive attitude!” – Melanie M. Koulouris

(Photo Credit: Olena Yakobchuk