How To Be Better At Being Good To Yourself


Tips and tricks for becoming a more mindful, active, and zen human being

Wellness, mindfulness, and self-care are all pretty buzzy words right now, and have been for some time now. Is there anyone you know who doesn't have a meditation app on their phone? Group meditations and sound baths are becoming as popular as cycling classes, and, of course, athleisure is still ruling the runways and the streets.

However, wellness can mean different things for different people. One person may love going to the gym, but doesn't know the first thing about meditation, while another may be a seasoned cab and subway meditator (believe me, it’s possible), yet despises the idea of going to a group fitness class. We all have our own practices, and none of them are right or wrong. But yet, not all of us know where to begin, especially when it comes to the specifics. How can we be mindful? How can we learn to love taking care of our physical wellbeing?

Last week, I spent some time in the Miami Design District for The Retreat, a four-day getaway thrown by Funkshion, the brains behind Miami Swim Week, in collaboration with Mini. At this retreat, virtually every aspect of wellness, self-care, and mindfulness was touched upon—from food and meditation to whipping our asses into physical shape in fitness classes with top instructors (admittedly, the only non-relaxing part about the whole weekend, but well worth it).

Through the series of workouts, panels, dinners, fashion shows, and more, I got to learn first-hand how the leaders of this very buzzy industry interpret wellness. They also shared their own tips for becoming a more mindful human being and how to create a more well-rounded practice, whether you’re a wellness newbie or a seasoned yogi. Read all about it, below.

Focus on the now, not the later
A lot of the time we find ourselves completely overwhelmed, it’s because we’re stressing out over our seemingly never-ending to-do lists. Usually, these future tasks we’re stressing over have nothing to do with the present moment. Christina Powter, co-founder of activewear brand Chill by Will, wants us to learn to stop “future tripping” (aka, freaking out about everything we have to get done) and focus on the now. “When I feel overwhelmed, it’s usually because I’m future tripping—I’m not in the present,” she says. “It’s overwhelming and stressful to think about the many things and activities [I have coming up], but when I’m feeling that way, I try to focus on what’s needed of me at the present moment and slowly chip away at the tasks.” So slow it down, and take it one thing at a time—starting with what’s most important for right now.

Learn to "monotask"
Multitasking is a skill we’ve honed over the years, learning to first balance school with homework and hanging out with our friends. Nowadays, every aspect of our life consists of multitasking. We’re plugged into our texts and e-mails while taking notes in an important class or meeting, or we find that our jobs or school schedule require constantly working on ten things at once—and doing so with perfection. When this happens, we likely find ourselves wondering how the time flew by; we're totally worn out, and never once are we able to take a moment to truly be present.

How do we remedy that? Bianca Cheah, founder of, wants us to learn how to "monotask," really striving to do one thing—and only one thing—at a time. “[I practice mindfulness] by being present in every moment, whether that’s enjoying every spoonful of my lunch or putting down my phone and listening to the person who is talking to me,” she says. “Sometimes it’s challenging, as multitasking was once the skill to have. But nowadays? It’s monotasking.”

Meditate in the shower
Are you the type that blames a lack of free time for your lack of meditating? Believe me, I hear you, but there is a way to squeeze it in to even the busiest of schedules, no excuses. Tiffany Noelani, co-founder of Chill by Will, recommends making time for meditation in the shower. “I’m still working on my own ritual, but I think the shower is a great place to sneak in a quick mini meditation,” she says. “It’s something we all do every day, and adding a few extra minutes won’t have an effect on your timeline, yet could have a huge impact on your mindset.” Sink-side candles and in-shower incense, optional.

Find the best form of meditation for you
When meditation comes to mind, most of us immediately picture ourselves sitting silently in a quiet room for anywhere from ten to 45 minutes. While many people do choose to practice that way, it’s definitely not the only form of meditation out there. “Most people think meditation only happens when you sit in a quiet room, close your eyes, and focus, but that’s not the only way,” says Nima TaherZadeh, founder of athletic wear brand Heroine Sport. “Try to find what naturally clears your mind, instead of trying to force your mind to be quiet.”

This could be a number of things, of course, and it doesn’t always have to involve sitting still. Whether it’s during yoga, going for a run, or cooking, people will find their zen in all sorts of places. How does TaherZadeh do this? “By trying to have a portion of my day only for myself, whether it’s my fitness class or a run in the park. I have my best clarity when I’m physical. That’s my personal form of meditation.” 

Do a bit of trial and error and find when you feel your best.

Take 30 seconds to connect to your breath
Whether or not meditation is a part of your daily practice (or daily shower), we all should strive to take a moment to give our buzzing minds a break when they need one. Thankfully, there small things we can do to practice mindfulness each and every day.

Myk Likhov, founder of Miami meditation club Modern OM, suggests taking 30 seconds to focus on your breath—and it really is as simple and easy as that. “Connect with your breath. Our breath is the one constant in life, yet we rarely pay attention to it. Take 30 seconds to simply notice your breath,” he says.

This especially comes in handy for stressful moments. “What’s pretty wild is that when your attention is on the breath, you can’t actually think about your problems,” says Likhov. “Our minds can’t concentrate on two things at once, so just following your breath for 30 seconds or more, you’re giving your mind (and nervous system) a rest from that anxious state.”

Simply just get moving
Look, being active is crucial to our physical and mental health, but this doesn’t necessarily mean we have to become the type to hit the gym at 6am each morning or join the latest cult-y fitness craze, either—especially if those aren't things you're passionate about.

What it comes down to is that we choose to simply move a little each day, and we can totally start small, especially if fitness isn’t really our thing. Fitness trainer Ron “Boss” Everline suggests setting some simple daily goals. “You can incorporate fitness into your wellness practices by setting a daily goal of small movements—such as going for a walk,” he says. He points out that not only is movement beneficial to heart health, but also it could reap benefits for those who are stressed out or overwhelmed (which, let’s be honest, is probably all of us). “You can use working out as a means of releasing anxiety and tension, and it also helps with freeing your mind and putting yourself in a better place.” So whether it means trying out one of his ass-kicking classes for yourself, doing a few sets of squats while watching TV, or adding an evening stroll to your daily rituals, just, simply, get moving!

Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

"In my head I thought, This is how it ends"

Kit Harington almost lost a lot more than the Iron Throne while filming the final season of Game of Thrones. According to an interview with NowThis News, the actor almost lost one of his balls while riding a mechanical dragon.

Harington revealed that the incident took place when he was filming the scene where his character, Jon Snow, takes a ride on Rhaegal for the first time in the Season 8 premiere. Since dragons aren't real (sorry), Harington was filming the scene, where Jon almost falls off the dragon and then swings around to pick himself back up, on a mechanical contraption.

"My right ball got trapped, and I didn't have time to say, 'Stop,'" Harington said in an interview. "And I was being swung around. In my head I thought, This is how it ends. On this buck, swinging me around by my testicles, literally." We see shots of the fake dragon he's riding in front of a green screen, and it does look pretty terrifying.

Luckily, his testicles remained intact through the near-disastrous event, and he's survived with quite the story to tell to unsuspecting journalists.

Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for goop

"I had to create a harder shell about being a woman"

In a panel discussion during Gwyneth Paltrow's In Goop Health summit, actress Jessica Alba revealed that she "stopped eating" to avoid unwanted attention from men when she was first starting her career in Hollywood.

According to People, Alba said that she "had a curvy figure as a young girl" and, as such, was made to feel as though her body was the reason that men may be inappropriate toward her. "I was meant to feel ashamed if I tempted men," Alba said during the panel discussion. "Then I stopped eating a lot when I became an actress. I made myself look more like a boy so I wouldn't get as much attention. I went through a big tomboy phase."

She continued, "In Hollywood, you're really preyed upon. They see a young girl, and they just want to touch you inappropriately or talk to you inappropriately or think that they're allowed to be aggressive with you in a way."

Alba also noted that she was raised in a conservative household. "My mom would say, 'You have a body, and it's very womanly, and people don't understand that you're 12,'" she said. "I wasn't allowed to have my nalgas out, which is butt cheeks [in Spanish], but I was born with a giant booty, and they come out of everything. So, I didn't get to wear normal things that all my friends wore."

She said that these reactions to her body really affected her attitude. "I created this pretty insane 'don't fuck with me' [attitude]," she said. "I had to create a harder shell about being a woman."

According to her, her relationship to her body only changed when her first child, Honor, was born in 2008. "[After she was born,] I was like, Oh this is what these boobies are meant to do! Feed a kid!" she said. "And that was the dopest shit I'd ever done. So, I came into my body as a woman finally and I stopped being ashamed of myself."

Photo courtesy of Teva

Because of course

Teva, the most obvious lesbian footwear brand since Birkenstock, really knows its customer base. In time for Pride, the brand has teamed up with Tegan and Sara for a gay shoe to end all gay shoes. In other words, your Pride footwear is on lock.

The shoe isn't just your average Teva sandal. Tegan and Sara's design, the Teva Flatform Universal Pride sandal, is a 2.5-inch platform shoe with a rainbow sole. Tegan and Sara noted in a press release that they have been Teva wearers for pretty much their whole lives. "We got our first pair of Teva sandals when we were 16," they said. "This rainbow Flatform collab is like full circle LGBTQ+ Pride validation."

What's better, with each sandal sale, Teva will donate $15 to the Tegan and Sara Foundation, up to $30,000. The funds donated will go toward scholarships which will give young members of the LGBTQ+ community the chance to go to summer camps which will "help develop self-confidence and leadership abilities in a safe and nurturing environment." Tegan and Sara added, "Teva's generous support for our foundation will allow us to help even more LGBTQ+ youth."

Available today at Teva's and Nordstrom's websites, the sandal retails for $80.

Photo courtesy of Teva

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Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images

"Focusing on innovative materials will allow the company to explore new boundaries of creative design"

Prada Group has announced that Prada, as well as all of its brands, will now be fur-free. According to a press release from the Humane Society, Prada, Miu Miu, Church's, and Car Shoe will ban the use of fur beginning with the Spring/Summer 2020 collection (aka the Fashion Week coming up next). The list of fashion designers banning fur only continues to grow, with 3.1 Phillip Lim, Coach, Armani, Versace, Gucci, and more having stopped using the material in seasons past.

"The Prada Group is committed to innovation and social responsibility, and our fur-free policy—reached following a positive dialogue with the Fur Free Alliance, in particular with LAV and the Humane Society of the United States—is an extension of that engagement," Miuccia Prada told the Human Society. "Focusing on innovative materials will allow the company to explore new boundaries of creative design while meeting the demand for ethical products."

Following London Fashion Week designers forgoing the use of fur in September and the first-ever Vegan Fashion Week taking place in February, it's easy to imagine an entirely fur-free fashion future. It's especially easy, I presume, for the brands to consider a fur-free future, given that entire cities and states are taking a stance. New York is following in the footsteps of Los Angeles banning fur, with a bill proposed this March that would ban sales across New York State.

Photo by Johnny Dufort

"Club leisure" is the new athleisure

Alexander Wang is recognizing clubbing as the workout that it truly is with his latest Adidas collaboration. In this fifth installment, he "changes gears," per a press release from the brand, taking the iconic sports brand to the dance floor.

For the new campaign, the collection comes to life in iconic choreographer Tanisha Scott's dance studio and stars dancers Noemi Janumala, Dakota Moore, Avi McClish, and Olivia Burgess. The dancers show just how far these clothes can go when you want to bust a move or stretch, but TBH, I'll leave these poses to the pros and just use my clothes for flexing on the 'gram.

The collection—which features six apparel items, three shoes, and six accessories—features, per a press release, "Wang's knack for pre-styling." Standouts from the mostly black-and-white items include a silver sneaker that was *made* for moonwalking, an airy windbreaker that has just the right dash of bright blue with the scattered Adidas trefoil design, and a towel hoodie that you won't feel bad sweating in.

Ahead of the May 25 collection drop online and in stores, peep the gorgeous campaign images below.

Photo by Johnny Dufort

Adidas Originals by AW, Sweatshirt in Black, $250, available starting May 25 at Adidas; Adidas Originals by AW, Towel, $80, available starting May 25 at Adidas; Adidas Originals by AW, Joggers, $250, available starting May 25 at Adidas; Adidas Originals by AW, Turnout BBall Shoes, $250, available starting May 25 at Adidas.

Photo by Johnny Dufort

Adidas Originals by AW, Towel Hoodie, $350, available starting May 25 at Adidas; Adidas Originals by AW, Sock Leggings, $60, available starting May 25 at Adidas; Adidas Originals by AW, Adilette Slides, $90, available starting May 25 at Adidas.

Photo by Johnny Dufort

Adidas Originals by AW, Futureshell Shoes in Platinum Metallic, $250, available starting May 25 at Adidas.

Photo by Johnny Dufort

Adidas Originals by AW, Sweatshirt in Core White, $280, available starting May 25 at Adidas; Adidas Originals by AW, Shorts in Core White, $120, available starting May 25 at Adidas.

Photo by Johnny Dufort

Adidas Originals by AW, Sweatshirt in Black, $250, available starting May 25 at Adidas; Adidas Originals by AW, Bum Bag, $50, available staring May 25 at Adidas; Adidas Originals by AW, Towel, $80, available starting May 25 at Adidas; Adidas Originals by AW, Turnout BBall Shoes, $250, available starting May 25 at Adidas; Adidas Originals by AW, Duffle Bag, $70, available starting May 25 at Adidas.

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