The set of acts and activities that "qualify" as wellness is multifaceted, not monolithic. And as Yasmine Jameelah—a social entrepreneur, journalist, and founder of wellness collective Transparent & Black—shares in a recent episode of Glowing Live With Latham on Well+Good's IGTV, these highly personalized habits can encompass everything from quick self-care practices to lifelong relationships with spirituality.
"Oftentimes we forget how multifaceted wellness can be," she says during the episode. "I think that wellness for, maybe, a Black woman in the south might be prayer, while wellness for a 25-year-old Black woman in the Bronx may be crystals…but that is all wellness. As we continue to bridge community, it's important to leave room for everything."
In so doing, Jameelah also notes the importance of allowing space for these wellness practices to shift with time. For example, her own approach to self-care adapts in response to the ways she can best process and heal from both intergenerational trauma and collective, present-day trauma (hello, global pandemic) on any given day. As she looks ahead to the fall months, she's prioritizing self-reflection and remaining grounded despite change.
That starts from the moment she wakes up each day, with a set of quick self-care practices she turns to in order to uphold functional work-from-home boundaries. "Before the pandemic, I woke up early each morning to take care of myself before starting my day, and the work-from-home regime has really challenged that," she says. "It's so easy to flip open your laptop, or jump right to whatever is first on your schedule—so, recently, grounding myself in my space has been my priority."
"It's so easy to flip open your laptop, or jump right to whatever is first on your schedule—so recently, grounding myself in my space has been my priority." —wellness advocate Yasmine Jameelah
While Jameelah has a few go-to techniques for finding that grounding (more on those below), it's also worth noting that any mindfulness-boosting self-care practice can serve a key role in a morning ritual. "Taking that time in the morning to pace yourself is a self-care commitment, but it's also an opportunity to disrupt what is a capitalistic framework around productivity that we all feel indebted to," says doula and wellness activist Latham Thomas, founder of Mama Glow, in the episode. "Making that time to be in relationship with yourself, with spirit, with the divine, and then, to come fully present to your work is so key."
With that in mind, read on for three quick self-care practices, courtesy of Jameelah, to inspire you to ground yourself each and every morning.
3 quick self-care practices to start your morning well-grounded
So many of us have been sitting down so much more than usual these days, especially with working-from-home being the new normal, says Jameelah. Taking a minute to move your body—perhaps, with a simple hip-flexor or chest stretch to help unravel residual tension—can help you both reconnect with your physicality and get the blood flowing before a work day.
2. Pour and sip a drink without distraction
Whatever your morning beverage of choice may be (for Jameelah, it's both green juice and coffee), taking the time to pour and enjoy it without distraction can allow for a mindful moment of calm. Jameelah notices a significant improvement in her sense of ease and flow throughout the morning when she makes a point of doing this—rather than sipping it hastily while she starts the work grind, that is.
3. Connect to spirituality
Jameelah likes to start her day with scripture, which both connects her to her own spirituality and to her mother, a pastor and the woman from whom she says she inherited her faith. "I have been able to find so much healing in organizational religion," she says. "While there are so many things that need to be repaired in those spaces, I know how much my faith has meant to me and how it's a part of my wellness."
Regardless of the specific religion or belief itself, dedicating a minute or two in the morning to connecting to your own sense of spirituality—whether religious or secular, in the form of an empowering quote or mantra—can be a simple way to regain perspective before you even tap open that first email.
To hear the full discussion, check out the episode of Glowing Live With Latham below:
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