It’s 2020, folks! In the wise words of Donna Meagle from cult-favorite, Parks and Recreation, “TREAT YO SELF!” But instead of treating yourself to a shopping spree, give yourself the gift of self-care. Self-care can mean anything from getting more sleep to indulging in the latest spa treatment.
self-care /ˌselfˈker/ noun
1. the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one's own health.
2. the practice of taking an active role in protecting one's own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.
Don’t just make self-care your New Year’s resolution, make it a priority in the new decade. Join us this month as we explore a different self-care practice and/or product each day that will have you at your best self:
As January comes to a close, we find it important to remind you to relax. Whether you’re the person that loves a great soak in a bath or someone that lives for a little self-care shopping, make time for you!
Award-winning singer, Toni Braxton finds relaxation in the form of CBD (short for cannabidiol).
“In our busy lives it’s easy to forget the importance of self-care. After my diagnosis with lupus, I had to change the way I thought about self-care and taking care of my body. For me, I’ve found that CBD and hemp seed oil products work miracles,” Braxton shared with BET Digital exclusively.
If you’re anything like us, you’re eager to know what kind of products the 52-year-old beauty uses that evokes the feeling of leisure and calmness. Relax, we've got the deets.
“I use Uncle Bud’s Hemp Topical Pain Relief ($14) after working out and when I'm traveling to help soothe my muscles,” she revealed.
She continued, “I also love using Uncle Bud’s Hemp Collagen Face Mask 6 Pack ($16) to moisturize and give my skin an extra pick me up.”
An entire mood! According to Toni, “these simple moments can really make a difference in the way you feel overall.”
The untimely death of Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and all those aboard the helicopter that crashed on Sunday (Jan. 26) is an unspeakable tragedy that has inspired emotional responses globally—but it has been especially difficult to those who knew them closely.
On Tuesday (Jan. 28), Shaquille O'Neal revealed during TNT's "Remembering Kobe" tribute that sadness overcame him after learning his close friend and former Laker’s teammate tragically died in a helicopter crash on Sunday.
"I haven't felt a pain that sharp in a while," a tearful Shaq shared. "I lost a little brother."
He emotionally added, "I wish I could say something to him again.”
Seeing the 7′ 1″ retired NBA star cry goes to show you that no matter how tough your exterior is, expressing emotion is not weakness. And we commend him for his bravery and candor during such a difficult time.
Today’s Lesson: Life with those you love is not to be taken for granted. Hug, kiss, and let those you love know how much you appreciate them while they are still here. Self-care is never limited to self, it’s about caring for those that you love, too. And if you need to let it out, do that.
“Old Town Road” rapper Lil Nas X appeared to be floating on cloud nine as he attended the 2020 Grammys on Sunday night (Jan. 26).
Dressed in a trendsetting bubble-gum pink ensemble by Versace to snag his first two Grammys, it only makes sense!
Turns out, besides having the natural glow of being a winner, Lil Nas X enlisted the help of products by famed makeup artist, Pat McGrath to ensure he looked as good as he felt with a little extra pizzazz before his performance.
Pull out your homework books, because the lesson of today is: if you look good, you feel good— and vise versa!
If you are truly living your best life, the public’s opinion should not have any bearing on your happiness.
No one portrays this better than Angela Simmons who never lets criticism from others stop her from loving the natural curves of her body and displaying her self-love for all to see.
Most recently, the mother of one linked up with close friend Bow Wow and fans cannot help but think their Tik Tok videos were an entire mood.
As you can see, Angela is living her best life and even though Bow Wow is her ex, she’s completely unfazed by other’s sentiments.
Taking responsibility for our actions is a must in 2020. So many times we put the blame on the situation or others when it comes to our faults, but we’re leaving that mentality behind in the new year.
Raz B has already put this one into practice.
Last week, the B2K member was arrested for a DUI and was later released after posting bond. Now Raz is taking the responsibility for his actions by checking himself into a self-care facility to work on himself. His team released this statement: “The stress from childhood trauma has led to some unhealthy life decisions. This past week he has checked into a private self-care facility to acquire the necessary tools for a healthier life.”
We commend Raz on seeking help and encourage us all to do the same with whatever we’re working through.
Self-care can mean so many different things, but sometimes self-care is as simple as bubble baths and long hot showers. A lavish bathroom routine can renew one’s spirit from the inside out if you’re feeling funky after all the holiday rush. Not only will you feel good putting more time into bath time, your skin will reap the benefits too.
“If you are experiencing post-holiday blues and winter stress that’s taking a toll on your skin, take a moment to seek mindfulness and self-care right in your daily shower routine! For me, the shower is where I find the zen-zone to meditate while caring for my skin.
My go-to cleanser is Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash, formulated with skin-natural moisturizers and gentle cleansers, it provides instantly soft skin and lasting care, making the shower a truly relaxing and pampering self-care moment.” says Dr. Mona Gohara, MD.
Viola Davis’ signature glow is living proof of the benefits of a luxe shower routine using the right products. The actress admitted to spending “an hour and a half at least, sometimes a little bit more” soaking away in the tub every single day!
“I’m not a closet girl. A lot of women are always in their closets, but I’m at the bathroom so I have a fabulous one. I sit in the tub probably once a day, late at night, and I put in some Dr. Teal’s Epsom Salt and then I sit in there and I soak forever. I have my water right there, I have my books and I soak,” Viola previously explained to BET.
Speaking your mind is easier said than done, especially when it comes to the tough stuff like race and politics. But using your voice should be on your 2020 list to practicing the best self-care possible because sharing your thoughts with the world to create positive change will ultimately make it a better place for you and others.
How can that not make you feel good?
Take notes from the women of The Real. Every week day morning they kick things off with some thought-provoking Girl Chat, and this week their discussion touched on race. After a viewer commented about why co-hosts Amanda Seales and Loni Love specifically are always pushing a race agenda Tweeting that “not everyone is out to get a ‘sister’,” the ladies didn’t hold back their thoughts.
“This show is based on women of color. If you can’t two minutes of us talking about race, there’s something wrong with you then,” Loni started off.
Amanda Seales chimed in with this: “The truth of the matter is race is a really big part of the problem of this country’s issue, this world’s issues, and if we’re not speaking about it then it gets pretended that it doesn’t exist, and it ends up being something that’s existing in silence even though it needs to be addressed with volume in order for it to go away.”
Boom! Way to speak your minds, ladies.
We’re sure you’re hard at work plotting on those 2020 goals, but whatever they be, attack them with confidence. Confidence is key in getting anything you want in life. Just look at anything Beyoncé does!
Beyoncé exudes confidence, which if probably a big factor in why she always gets the job done. Even this little girl who went viral on Britain’s The Russell Howard Hour knows confidence is key.
She stands her ground in opposing conventional marriage standards and gives a nod to Bey with just a few waves of her ‘Single Ladies’ hand.
Anyone else want to be an independent lady after watching this?
Let’s be real, regular workouts probably made the cut on everyone’s resolution list. Just when we need it the most, our forever FLOTUS Michelle Obama is to the rescue! “It's about that time when New Year's goals and resolutions get just a bit harder to stick to,” said Michelle in a post with her favorite workout tracks for 2020.
Much like her “Let’s Move” initiative while living in the White House, Michelle is once again inspiring others to move, and of course we’ll take recommendations from the Obamas any day. Barrack Obama’s end of the year lists in music, books and entertainment are always a hit so it’s no surprise that Michelle’s workout playlist is too.
The best part is that there’s a variety of artists and genres to fit anyone’s gym mood. Nipsey Hussle, Burna Boy, Lizzo, and Beyoncé are just a few of our favorites that made the cut. What are your favorites from Michelle’s list?
When you look good, you feel good too! You may be taking steps to get more sleep in 2020, but 2019 sleep-deprived you may have already did damage to your skin. Walking around with bags under your eyes and tired looking skin is SO last year.
50-year-old Diddy knows a thing or two about staying fresh-faced for any occasion. From his signature all-white parties to the Oscars, we stay wondering what the Bad Boy mogul’s secret is to his glowing mug. We found out that Diddy is a fan of NuFACE, the leading at-home microcurrent beauty device and skincare brand. He’s used it for his Oscar prep and we see the results!
Tera Peterson, CEO + Co-Founder of NuFACE breaks down why the brand has grown into a beauty cult favorite and why your self-care routine needs one of their facial devices:
“I like to take some dedicated time each day to unwind and work on myself – one of my favorite self-care routines is my at-home microcurrent facial treatment using the NuFACE Trinity. Not only does my skin look more toned, lifted and contoured, but the repetitive and slow movements of the device are almost meditative!”
A mantra is a word or sound repeated to aid concentration in meditation and starting your day off with this practice is a great habit to adopt in 2020. But if repeating “you’re a queen” in the mirror just isn’t cutting it for you, up-and-coming artist singer-songwriter Geminelle tapped into her own meditation practice for her latest work entitled "Mantra Loops. which perfectly aligns self-care through music.
Geminelle knows a thing or two about creating powerful vibes, most recently working as the vocal arranger for The Resistance Revival Chorus, an activist chorus birthed out of the Women’s March. She explains her own self-care practice using mantras that produced the 7-track project:
“Mantras became a powerful part of my journey to truly loving myself, believing in myself, and being bold enough to breathe life into myself, my goals, and my perceived strengths! My EP Mantra Loops is the product of that practice. An opportunity to silence the critiques of our minds with simple, consistent & effective mantras; a way to reprogram my entire spirit.”
"So now on the mornings when I’m feeling a bit down on myself, I throw on a face mask, get in the bath, and turn on my Mantra Loops! My favorite reminder is, 'Everything I Need is Already Inside'. It’s such an incredible feeling, one that I wanted to share with others that may be struggling to silence internal noise. Mantras are a reminder to boldly say aloud what our spirit needs to be reminded of.”
Geminelle’s ‘Mantra Loops’ is available on all streaming platforms and Geminelle.com.
How can you get your head in the game if you don’t make mental health a priority in 2020?
“Mental health” is a term thrown around so often in today’s world, but what does it really mean. According to MentalHealth.gov: “Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.”
If you feel that you’re not in good mental health, take action and seek help. There are tons of options available, so find one that fits you. If you’d like to match with a Black therapist specifically then TherapyForBlackMen.org and TherapyForBlackGirls.com are good places to start.
R. Kelly’s ex and victim, Azriel Clary, recently spoke out about seeking counseling to heal after reuniting with her family. The 22-year-old had been living with the singer in an allegedly abusive relationship since the age of 17. She says she felt brainwashed, manipulated, and mistreated by the 53-year-old.
"I never thought me and victim would ever be in the same sentence because I was too in denial.. but once you realize, you realize," says Azriel. She followed up the statement with a photo on Instagram of her with her family happily dancing. In the caption she wrote, “Let the healing process begin.”
Everyone loves a great getaway! Round-up your favorite girlfriends and jet set to a relaxing destination. A 2016 study shows that researchers found evidence that hanging out with friends, which they say are "peaceful associations," increases the production of oxytocin, that fills our bodies when are happy!
This means that oxytocin is released during positive and uplifiting social interactions (aka, a girl's getaway!). These bonding experiences can also introduce more friendly behavior, trust and generosity!
Lori Harvey just celebrated her 23rd birthday with a girls destination vacation with Ryan Destiny, Jordyn Woods, Normani, and other gal pals in Jamaica.
She clearly has gotten the girls trip memo, it's time to book your ticket!
Drinking a gallon of water a day keeps a lot away! Consistently intaking water daily is crucial for health and wellness and the average adult human body contains close to 60 percent of water.
Here are five ways that increasing you water consumption little by little will improve your overall health, according to Medical News Today.
1. It can prevent premature damage to your kidneys.
Dehydration from the kidney can increase your the potential of kidney stones forming as well as other kidney prone issues.
2. Your blood pressure stay maintained.
Drinking more water causes your blood to remain thin which reduces your risk of your blood thickening resulting in high blood pressure.
3. Stepping on the scale might not be so daunting.
Drinking water prior to daily meals can trick the mind into being full lowering potential overeating. This could also increase chances of more consistent weight loss.
4. You'll exercise like a boss!
Scientists have said that more water consumption could increase exercise performance for activities that go longer than 30 minutes.
5. Your digestive system needs it to survive.
Not enough water can increase constipation which can lead to digestive issues, risk of heartburn and stomach uclers.
Gabrielle Union-Wade credits drinking a gallon a water a day as her "best anti-aging" secrets. Her special trick to consume 16 glasses before 6pm is lemon!
We'll take the tip because the 47-year-old wife and mother of one looks FABULOUS!
Don’t sleep on 2020, but DO make sure you get your sleep. Seven to eight hours of sleep is what the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute recommends for adults 18 and older. Sleep may not seem like the most productive way to start the new year off, but sleep deprivation can lead to physical and mental health problems, injuries AND loss of productivity, so more sleep now means more productivity later.
In case you didn’t know, you need different kinds of sleep—REM sleep, when dreaming typically occurs, and Non-REM sleep, usually referred to as deep sleep. According to NHLBI, “Generally, non-REM and REM sleep occur in a regular pattern of 3–5 cycles each night.”
To make sure you get all the sleep you need to be your best self this year, you might want to cuddle up with a weighted blanket. TIME magazine called the Gravity blanket one of the best inventions of 2018, but the wellness trend really took over in 2019 with celebrities like Kourtney Kardashian giving her favorite, BlanQuil, the stamp of approval.
Heidi Hanna, PhD, author of Stressaholic, and advisory board member for the American Institute of Stress says these types of blankets mimic healing touch reducing cortisol (the stress hormone) and boosting oxytocin (the feel-good hormone).
Sound is an important factor in setting intentions, so make it apart of your 2020 plan to stay on track with a carefully-crafted playlist! According to Spotify, focusing on self-care will continue to reign supreme in 2020, and while that’s not the most groundbreaking of news we’ll take any excuse to listen to Lizzo’s “Good as Hell” on repeat.
If female empowerment anthems aren’t your thing, maybe adopting a more zen attitude will be. Spotify saw a 113% increase in streams of meditation playlists in the past year, higher than for any other workout and wellness type. Streams for pilates (71%) and weight-training playlists (66%) are predicted to grow in popularity in 2020. However, listeners have created more running playlists than ANY other workout type.
Eminem’s “'Till I Collapse” and Travis Scott’s “SICKO MODE” made the most-streamed workout songs on Spotify, globally (based on streams from around September 16 - around December 15, 2019). And if creating your own sweat-worthy playlist is intimidating, get your heart racing with Spotify’s most-followed workout playlist, Beast Mode.
Health & Fitness podcasts also increased 145% in the past year. If catching more ZZZzzz’s made it on your resolutions list listeners are loving sleep podcasts like Sleepy, where host Otis Gray reads classic stories to help listeners doze off (see tip #1 for more on better sleep). Need more self-care playlist inspo? Check out Spotify’s Wellness hub. Happy playlist making!
Nutrition is important when trying to crush those new year goals, but all the “new year, new you” diets being thrown at you during this time of the year can be intimidating. Instead of trying to follow a super restrictive meal plan, try eating more superfoods. What are superfoods you ask?
Simply foods that are nutritionally dense—think blueberries, kale, sweet potatoes…the list goes on! And while most superfoods are plant-based there are some that aren’t, like salmon and kefir.
According to Live Science, “Superfoods contain a variety of nutrients, such as antioxidants, which are thought to ward off cancer. They also have healthy fats, thought to prevent heart disease; fiber, thought to prevent diabetes and digestive problems; and phytochemicals — the chemicals in plants responsible for deep colors and smells, which can have numerous health benefits.”
Eating whole foods should always be the goal, but if crushing 2020 resolutions is keeping you busy than opt for supplements that contain superfoods. Collagen has been a reigning supreme amongst superfoods lately and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.
We love the variety of products Vital Proteins carries to get your collagen fix, especially their latest—Blueberry Moon Milk Collagen Latte. It’s a nighttime formula (see tips #1 & #2 for more on better sleep) that contains ashwagandha, magnesium, melatonin and GABA built to support mental clarity and relaxation. Plus the glowing skin, hair, and nails, benefits of collagen, will have you feeling and looking your best all year long.
Resolutions got you on the go? Make sure you stay fresh while conquering your day with the right antiperspirant. Constantly being on the go increases the risk of sweating, so make sure your underarms are protected so you can focus on those goals.
The key is being prepared. Stash deodorant in your gym bag, your desk, carry a mini size in your purse—basically, wherever you go, have one handy! We promise you’ll thank us later.
Dove Dry Spray Antiperspirant is a favorite of ours because it offers 48-hour wetness and odor protection, plus the spritz formula makes for easy application. Their latest Apple & White Tea Dry Spray Antiperspirant is definitely worth trying.
Social media should be a place to build a sense of community and engage with friends, but if you start feeling it’s no longer serving that purpose it might be time for a break. Psychology Today reports that “social media use can lead to depression, low self-esteem, body image issues, anxiety, social isolation” and more negative side effects. What better time than the new year to take a social media break?
Leave internet trolls, FOMO, and mindless scrolling in 2019. Deleting your social media apps from your smartphone is probably the best way to go social media-free for a bit, but you don’t have to go completely dark, either. Take a cue from Lizzo!
The “Truth Hurts” singer announced that she’s taking a break from at least one social media platform—Twitter. She’s fed up with trolls harassing her on the platform, and interestingly her statement comes not too long after author Boyce Watkins tweeted that Lizzo’s success was due to “an obesity epidemic in America.”
Lizzo clap backed in her own tweet before she followed up with news of her Twitter detox. Psychology Today offered these tips if you want to pull a Lizzo and take a semi-social media break:
Switching up your skincare routine can be good for the soul, and well, your skin. If you live somewhere where there’s seasons—you know, winter, summer, spring and fall—than we’re talking to you especially. The air’s moisture level directly affects your skin, and dry, dead skin cells from winter settle on your pores.
The new year is the perfect time to adopt a new regimen for the winter if you haven’t already done so. And what better way to get excited about skincare than with luxe tools to take your products to the next level?
“I love to do lots of self-care and that includes my fave, skin care! I’m obsessed with this little facial steamer I bought on Amazon. I start off by cleaning my face then sit in bed and let the steam rush into my skin. It’s literally the best way to relax!” says Angela C. Styles, Emmy award winning hairstylist and author of Hair.
“Another thing in like to do is use an eye massager with a jade roller or a cold spoon across my under eye. If I’ve been lacking sleep or looking at my phone too long, it's a great way to get centered again,” Angela also suggests.
Which fabulous skin tool are you treating yourself to in 2020? Hey, there’s always a cold spoon handy!
“Running a business can take it’s toll on you mentally. When I feel it’s time to get my mind right, I know it’s time to get my vibe right,” says Giselle Soto, brow whisperer to the stars. Ain’t that the truth!
The 24-year-old runs her own brow empire that Normani, Jordyn Woods and Ming Lee Simmons huge fans of, so she knows first hand how a clear space can make you more efficient AND create an aesthetically appealing background for fire brow selfies.
“I light a few candles around the house, throw on my favorite artist Normani, and clean away. There’s just something about cleaning and having a clean space that eases my mind. Clean space, clear mind!”
Start the year off with a clean start, literally. Netflix’s Tidying Up with Marie Kondo wasn’t a hit for no reason.
Here are some of our top takeaways from Marie’s principles to decluttering your space: Purge, purge, purge and when in doubt, purge some more; nostalgia is not your friend so don’t fall into a rabbit hole of old letters from your high school ex; start with your clothes since it’s usually the least emotionally loaded of belongings; and become a master folder (the basic KonMari vertical fold will be your best friend).
If a situation is no longer serving you, then leave. That be anything from a job that no longer values you to a boyfriend that doesn’t appreciate you. Easier said than done, right? Well, that may be so but when enough is enough, it’s better to just rip off the band-aid and there’s no better excuse than a new year.
If you find yourself in a toxic environment it may be best to walk away, or at least take a step back. Pull a MEGXIT like Meghan Markle and Prince Harry did when they announced at the top of the year their decision to “step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family,” and "work to become financially independent.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex did say that they “fully support Her Majesty The Queen,” but they’re doing it from much further away by deciding to split their time between England and North America. As you’re probably well aware if you’ve read any royal headlines from 2019, Meghan’s choices since becoming a monarch have been scrutinized every step of the way. From the clothes she wears to her parenting style once giving birth to baby Archie, have become hot topics of discussions that often place blame on her.
So be like the Meghan and Harry and leave the BS behind if the situation calls for it. You should never feel obligated to keep things or people in your life that are constantly causing you stress.
(Photo: Raymond Hall/GC Images)
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