How Do You Wash Your Hair?

Did you know there is a plethora of ways to wash your hair that involves very minimal usage of shampoo? Here are three ways of washing that you probably knew little to nothing about.

Water Only Washing

I stumbled across this video on YouTube about washing with water only. With me having really short hair I wash with only water all of the time. However, I had never thought about it in regards to longer hair. I was thinking: “How does that work out?” I mean, there is product build up happening. After watching the video I read a blog post that also talked about washing with water only. Obviously this is a thing and maybe I should partake in this “thing” as my hair grows out because washing my hair is serious business. So I need something that is effective and does not take all day. I have taken the liberty to bless you all with the blog post so you don’t have to search for it. http://blackgirllonghair.com/2015/08/can-water-only-washing-improve-natural-hair-growth/

Co-Washing

What is co-washing? Co-washing is short for “conditioner-only washing.” It means skipping shampoo and relying solely on conditioner, whether you’re a daily or a weekly washer. The result is something between squeaky-clean and second-day hair—that is, smoother, softer, and easier to manage. Co-washing may not be for everyone, but I like it. It does cut down on wash time and is not this arduous process. See, the thing with co-washing is that it does not totally clean your hair. However, it is great for in between wash days for when you semi clean hair, but you also need to get up and go. It is also good for detangling your strands before shampooing.

Dry Shampoo

I will admit that I was a little skeptical about dry shampooing. In my mind, it’s like putting dirt on top of dirt. Apparently that’s not what it is. Basically, it’s a powder or spray formula that works to soak up excess oil, water and residue from your scalp and hair, leaving your hair with a refreshed smell and texture. It’s pretty much a spray wash-n-go in a bottle. The bigger question would be: Can black women use dry shampoo? We can and we should. If you are a woman who works out a lot then dry shampoo would be very beneficial for you. Here is a great article that explains dry shampoo and gives recommendations on some good products out there on the market. http://www.clutchmagonline.com/2014/05/15-dry-shampoos-black-women-should-try/

What’s better than using dry shampoo? Making it yourself. Here is a link to making your own dry shampoo: http://www.thirtyhandmadedays.com/2015/05/diy-dry-shampoo/

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What other ways of hair washing do you know of?

Pre-pooing and Hot Oil Treatments: Are they essential to your hair care regimen?

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Firstly, what is the difference between pre-pooing (pre-shampoo) and hot oil treatment? They are very similar and virtually serve the same purpose of adding and retaining moisture to dry hair and maintaining a healthy scalp.

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Pre-pooing is great for all hair types especially 4c hair which tends to tangle more during any type of manipulation from styling or prepping for you wash day. Pre-pooing is essential when you use shampoos. Most shampoos have a tendency to dry your hair out because it strips the natural oils from your hair. This can more so be determined by how often you shampoo your hair. Do you wash everyday, every other day, once a week? I personally shampoo about once or twice a month to get rid of any product build up that has accumulated on my hair from styling and what not. If I choose to shampoo more often I use a moisturizing shampoo such as, Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow & Restore Shampoo w/Shea Butter & Apple Cider Vinegar which does not require me to pre-poo when I use it. Black castor oil and shea butter help to seal in the moisture while apple cider vinegar aids in clarifying and regulating pH levels of the scalp. I only pre-poo when I am using a clarifying shampoo.

My personal pre-pooing products that works for me in this exact order are as follows:

  1. WATER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You can use a spray bottle with water in it to saturate your hair and then apply your pre poo ingredients. The key to moisture is always water.
  2. Burt’s Bees Avocado Butter Pre-Shampoo Hair Treatmentburts bess
  3. Jamaican Black Castor oilJamaican-Black-Castor-Oil
  4. Unrefined Virgin Coconut Oilcoconut oil

 

I like to let it sit for about an hour, then sit under a dryer with low heat. I may also sit outside to allow the heat to penetrate through for about 20-30 minutes, then rinse it out and proceed on with shampooing my hair. There are a variety of combinations that you can use for your pre-poo regimen. I have tried many different ways and my hair responds best to these three products.

We will touch on hot oil treatments in our next post. Stay tuned………

What is your pre-poo regimen?

March marks a new beginning: Spring is in the Hair!

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Spring is approaching for us folk living in the Northern Hemisphere! Although Spring is literally known for the seasonal change to warmer weather and longer days; it also represents transition, a new beginning, rejuvenation, and growth. The upcoming season may have you thinking about making a change. You’ve read all of our February blogs on how to physically, mentally, and spiritually love your self and now you are ready to apply this by giving yourself a new look. Maybe you have been toying with the idea of cutting your hair or as we call it, undergoing the BIG CHOP, for quite some time. Alternatively, you may not be quite ready for that drastic step, but are interested in taking a break from the salon and trying your hand at maintaining your natural tresses. Or you may be already wearing your hair naturally but are not quite sure you have the right regimen and are looking to try different products. Wherever you are on your readiness for change spectrum, Iyami Naturals is challenging you to make the change NOW! Spring is in the Hair! Just as this season marks birth and new beginnings, our content this month will focus on the beginning of hair care basics so you will have the tools to successfully make the transition. So don’t fret and make the change! There is no time like the present!

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Photo Credit: Keturah Ariel

Self-Love: Who said short hair isn’t sexy?

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Short hair is always a debate that has no right or wrong answers. Grant it, short hair is not for everybody, but what you do with your hair is ultimately your decision. As a woman with short hair, the experience is always an adventure. Men either love it or hate it. I asked a few of my guy friends their opinions of short hair and the feedback was mixed, but very honest.

Brandon P., 34, ,Business Owner, Los Angeles, CA

Urbn Rebel: Do you date women who have short haircuts similar to male haircuts?

Brandon: I sure dooooo!!!!! I don’t mind it at all.

Urbn Rebel: Do you like short hair and/or long hair? Why? Why not? What is your preference?

Brandon: I have no preference of the two. A Queen Goddess will come with all sorts of angles of beauty. I’ve seen perfect beauty with short hair and with long hair. To say that I have a preference puts me in a box that I don’t wanna be in and will set me up to miss something if I’m only focusing on having just one preference.

Urbn Rebel: How would you react if your lady, who had really long hair, came home with a typical male haircut?

Brandon: I would be heated if she did that…only if it didn’t look better than when it was long. So now I gotta be all fake and act like I like it to preserve her feelings…. As opposed to her consulting with me first and we speak about it… this way “WE” would both be prepared of whatever comes from it and woulda been able to understand and value each other’s view points. It’s not mandatory that she woulda done that, but it woulda shown some extended courtesy from her end… which always goes a long way.

Urbn Rebel: Do you like natural hair? By natural, I mean, growing out of her head in its natural state. Not straightened nor hair added.

Brandon: I love natural hair and I love all the fresh ass dope looks too! However, natural does not always convert to attractive. I experienced some of the Queens harp about men not wanting their women to wear weaves anymore, but when they go natural they don’t get the response that they were hoping to get. Just because you go natural doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care about fashioning it and making it look attractive. Some of us just can’t wake up and not do anything to ourselves and expect super fresh results and compliments. Some can, but some can’t. I’ve seen some f*cked up a** natural looks before, we all have. (laughing)

Urbn Rebel: Would you approach a woman with short hair even if you don’t care for short hair? Why? Why not?

Brandon: Oh yes I would! Women with short hair for some reason create an optical illusion to me (I think) and it makes them look more curvy…. And I looooooovvvvvveeee them curves!

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Short hair is liberating

It doesn’t matter what we went through to get here. Whether it was a bad break up, an illness, too much tension from weaves and braids, an allergic reaction, LIFE! Some of us are tied to our hair and just want the freedom that comes along with short hair.

Not everyone takes a fancy to short hair, and that’s ok.

Here are a couple of nay sayers who bring the hateration and holleration to our short hair dancerie:

Dee, 35, New York,NY

Dee: I do not date women who have short hair.

Urbn Rebel: Why not?

Dee: I like long hair. Long hair is my preference because there’s something sensual and connecting about playing in her hair while we cuddle and enjoy each other’s presence. It also brings out her femininity in my opinion.

Urbn Rebel: How would you react if your lady, who had really long hair, came home with a typical male haircut?

Dee: Well, we would already have had the conversation about my preferences. So unless it’s medically related or she shaved it off for a cause that we both agreed on, we probably wouldn’t be together anymore.

Urbn Rebel: Do you like natural hair?

Dee: I love natural hair. I don’t hate wigs and/or weaves, but her own hair is my preference.

Urbn Rebel: Would you approach a woman with short hair even if you don’t care for short hair?

Dee: For dating, no. To make friends with or become acquaintances, yes.


 

Ty, 47, Handbag Designer, Los Angeles, CA

Urbn Rebel: Do you date women who have typical male haircuts?

Ty: Depends on how attractive she is.

Urbn Rebel: Do you like short hair or long hair?

Ty: Partial to long hair. Long hair is more feminine. Since I was a little boy, I always thought it symbolizes beauty. Long hair is my preference.

Urbn Rebel: How would you react if your lady, who had really long hair, came home with a typical male haircut?

Ty: I would not be happy because if she knows I like long hair then I would feel disrespected.

Urbn Rebel: Disrespected? How?

Ty: If we didn’t discuss it, then I feel like she doesn’t care about my opinion.

Urbn Rebel: Would you approach a woman with short hair even though long hair is your preference?

Ty: It depends on how short. Is it Halle Berry short or bald like Mr. Clean? I think it’s too manly. I think, personally, most men would prefer long hair.

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Short hair is sexy at any age, any size and on any shape.

Happiness comes from within. If short hair makes you happy then DO YOU BOO! People can help boost your confidence and pump you up, but that confidence is yours. Own it. Be committed to it.

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No one can take your beauty away.

How you present yourself shows how much you love yourself. Love your beauty and others will love it too.

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It’s not about what others think.

If a person really cares about you, he or she will support your decision. Your beau might even be the one to help you with your cut.

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Shannon, 36, Los Angeles, CA “I think women with short hair are sexy and bold.”

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Ryan, 46, Los Angeles, CA “Short hair, long hair, no hair is all good as long as the scalp is healthy.”

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Short hair adds character.

With short hair, you can showcase your features and play up your personal style.

“I would approach a girl with short hair if I think she’s pretty and has some type of style or energy I can vibe with.” -William, 32, Educator, Los Angeles by way of New Jersey.

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Short hair is fly.

Short hair always adds a little something to your overall look. That je ne sais quoi. It’s like that secret ingredient.

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Short hair is low maintenance.

Before you say anything, it does not mean NO maintenance. When you make the decision to cut your hair you do have to upkeep it. Now is the time to become BFFs with your barber. Also, get a set of clippers for when you can’t make it to the shop, and keep your scalp clean and moisturized.

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You should always be your #1 fan.

So if you’re thinking about doing the big chop, do it for you. Be fearless.

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Urbn Rebel for Iyami Naturals

 

 

Spa nudity: Are we just that modest, ashamed of our body, or is it something else?

Avianca and I visited Burke Williams about two weeks ago to celebrate my birthday and for much needed R&R. As we walked to our lockers, we encountered two fully exposed women changing into their clothes. Nothing odd about that…. After all, we are in the women’s spa area. We proceeded to our lockers to change our clothes by removing our outer garments, immediately placing on a robe, and then removing our bra and panties. We tightly closed our robes and walked over to the waiting area for our masseuse.

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Photo credit: Diva Scribe

My 50 minute Burke Williams Massage was excellent! It definitely reminded me of how important it is to make time to take care of your mind, body, and spirit. I really wished that I could have purchased the 80 minute massage, but anyway I digress… I returned to the women’s area to search for my sister after my massage. Not finding her, I decided to take a shower so I can enjoy the other amenities of the facility. I tried to find her again after showering. I noticed a younger female, that I initially thought was Avianca, near the locker area. I realized it wasn’t her, but I instantly picked up on one thing about this young woman; her apparent unease about changing in an open area.   Her swift movements to cover up as quickly as she could were awkwardly familiar, but I hurried along not fully formulating my thoughts.

Still not finding my sister, I made my way to the sauna. I thought the sauna was empty so I reveled in the idea of being alone in my thoughts and even considered removing my towel while I was in the sauna. I opened the door only to see a naked woman lying on the floor with her legs propped up on the wall. Excuse me, I thought as I scurried past her and sat at the top landing tightly pulling my towel around me.  Moments later, I noticed the same young female from the locker area outside the sauna. She had a towel wrapped around her and it appeared that she also had on either her under garments or a bathing suit. She looked as if she was trying to decide where to go next. Interestingly, I pretty much predicted what would happen in the next few minutes. The young lady decided to come into the sauna, because from her viewpoint, I was the only person in the room; however, as soon as she opened the door, she also noticed the naked woman lying on the floor. She quickly turned around and walked out.

It was after this observation in the sauna that I began to think about my past experiences and cultural differences I’ve noticed around spa nudity. I’ve been to the day spa numerous times either by myself or with friends/family for various reasons. Based on my experiences, it seems that Caucasian women tend to be more comfortable with being naked while women of color, particularly African-American women, are not. Of course, this doesn’t mean that every Caucasian woman walks around as free as the day they were born or conversely every woman of color spends their spa time covered up like a complete shrewd. Additionally, research shows that Americans generally have more conservative views around nudity; and therefore, are more modest about being so in a spa setting  when compared to other countries.  However, over the years and as I witnessed that day, I’ve noted this “modesty phenomenon” more so with minority women. The lingering question percolating in my mind, especially as we are reflecting on self appreciation and love for our bodies this week, is why is this the case?

I thought about this further as I reflected on my most recent actions in the spa prior to my massage. My sister and I didn’t leisurely take off all our clothes and then put on our robes. To avoid full disclosure, we removed our undergarments only AFTER the robe was in place. In essence, our behavior was very similar to the other African-American female which is why I could identify it so quickly. Even after the massage, I considered removing my towel once in the sauna, but changed my mind once I saw the naked woman lying on the floor. Why did I change my mind? She wasn’t paying attention to me nor was I paying any more attention to her than I needed to ensure that I didn’t trip over her while walking to where I wanted to sit.

My sister and I talked about it once I finally found her in the steam room. Why are we, as African-American women, modest about our body? Is it just a L.A. or West Coast thing? Are we ashamed? Are there underlying ramifications from historical injustices that have been passed along through generations thus making us generally more modest and uncomfortable with nudity? Did our moms tell us it wasn’t hygienic to walk around the spa or use its amenities while naked?  Are we concerned about what other women may think about us being naked (although they are naked too)? Are we so victimized by objectification and sexualization that we have internalized this to be modest about our bodies even when we are in a relatively safe space away from that level of scrutiny?

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Photo Credit: Kevin “Wak” Williams

We couldn’t come up with a definitive answer as maybe it could be none of those reasons or a little bit of all of them. It was at that point I felt liberated by our conversation so I removed my towel while in the steam room. This actually wasn’t a major stand given that the only person in the room has seen me naked throughout the years anyway (lol). I will say that I was a little less conservative in my approach to changing back into my clothes. Maybe next time, I’ll forego the towel when entering the sauna or steam room regardless of who is in the room.

Oh How I Love Me, Let Me Count the Ways: Love your body and your body will love you back

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Your spirit, mind, and body are all connected. Do you have a routine that takes care of your whole self? Do you wake up with gratefulness, recite your favorite mantra to keep you going for the day, and end with a great workout to get your body going? No? Maybe you should. We all know that one way to take care of your body is by exercising, but there is more to body maintenance than running around the block and lifting weights. There are a plethora of ways to maintain your body– which can be as simple as lying in the grass and taking in the earth we live in.

Take time to de-stress. Stress can cause a myriad of physical problems, such as acne breakouts, weight gain, loss of appetite, and loss of hair. It can even make you sick. Here are some ways you can reduce the stress in your life:

  1. One of the best ways to de-stress is to do yoga. I know I always mention yoga, but it is a great way to accomplish every form of taking care of you. Through yoga you can spiritually connect, relax your mind and tone your body all in one.
  2. Take a moment to lay in the grass on a warm day. Try not to think of anything. Allow your body to relax every muscle. Concentrate on your breathing to help push out your thoughts. Take as much time as you need. Once you are done you will feel very relaxed.
  3. Take a walk. It will work your whole body and ease your mind.
  4. Did you know that reading is a form of exercise for your brain? Take some time to read a book from your favorite genre.

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Clean up your skincare regimen. You can start by incorporating more water into your diet. The amount of water you may need will vary but experts say to drink approximately 64 oz of water a day. That’s eight 8oz glasses or a little over three 30 oz water bottles.    Substitute that fruit juice for fruit infused water. Fruit infused water not only adds flavor to the bland water taste, it also helps cleanse the body from the inside out. You will immediately notice a difference in your energy level, hair, and skin just by increasing the amount of water you drink on a daily basis, so drink up!

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Eat well. You really are what you eat. Have you ever noticed how sluggish you get after eating a burger and fries, yet when you eat a banana you have a burst of energy. I am not going to tell you not to eat that burger, however; I will strongly suggest that you incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet. It does not hurt to indulge every now and again in food that is not so good for you, but moderation is key. Diet and exercise go hand in hand. So if you are concerned about packing on the pounds, how about you walk to the hamburger stand and burn off some of those calories. Or instead of the hamburger, grab a salad and fruit for dessert.

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Sleep well. Beauty rest is a real thing. Getting some sleep is essential for proper body functions. You will feel more energized, happier and look more refreshed. I have issues with sleeping. Either I fall asleep, wake up in the middle of the night and take forever to go back to sleep or it just takes me forever to fall asleep, period. Well, I stumbled upon these awesome pills that Shea Moisture makes called, Shea Moisture Evening Sleep Supplement. Initially I purchased these pills to help with my skin. After using them for about a week or two, I realized that they actually help me sleep. I feel much more rested like I actually went to sleep and slept. The combo of herbs and daily essentials really work! Here is why: I have a bit of insomnia so the theanine as well as melatonin relaxes me before I officially call it a night. I am not getting paid to endorse this product, however; I strongly recommend them to anyone who has issues with sleeping. These pills take care of your beauty and your rest. BOOM!

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Have a spa day. Going to the spa is a total body experience. Let someone take care of your body while you get a little R&R, rest and relaxation. Spa outings are not just for the ladies. Men need to take care of their bodies too. Make it a couple’s thing. Here are some black-owned great spas that cater to both men and women in a few major cities that will help you get your body at its best:

Atlanta:

Celestial Spa
2930 Cascade Rd
Atlanta, GA 30311
404-691-2448 http://www.celestialspa.com

D’Lor Salon and Spa, Inc
Cascade Professional Park
1180 Fairburn Road. SW, Suite 100
Atlanta, GA 30331
(404) 344-1622 http://www.dloratlanta.com

Nubiance Salon & Spa
2325 Cheshire Bridge Road Northeast #100
Atlanta, GA 30324
404-492-8046 http://www.atlantagabeautysalon.com

Los Angeles:

Le Skintique Day Spa and Beauty Salon
1620 Centinela Avenue, Suite 302
Inglewood, CA 90302
310-337-9555 http://www.leskintique.com

Nefertiti Day Spa and Hair Salon
5253 West Slauson Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90056
(310) 568-8780 http://nefertitidayspa.com

Skin Essence – 3 locations http://www.skinessence.net
2622 West Manchester Boulevard
Inglewood, CA 90305
Phone: (323) 750-8446
Fax: (323) 750-7325

940 East Dominguez Street, Suite K
Carson, CA 90746
Phone: (310) 354-7935
Fax: (310) 354-3933

4914 1/2 Slauson Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90056
Phone: (323) 296-6261
Fax: (323) 296-6253

Spa 313 Salon & Spa
313 N. LaBrea Avenue
Inglewood, CA 90302
(310) 590-1234 http://www.spa313.com

New YorK City area:

Bed of Nails
2272 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd
New York, NY 10030
(212) 694-2200 http://www.bedofnailsnyc.com

 Cynergy Spa
87 Fort Greene Place
Brooklyn, NY 11217
Phone: 718.403.9242
Fax: 718.403.9274 http://www.cynergyspa.com

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Self-love is an essential part of life. It helps you to grow, love others, and teaches others how to love you. Self-love is about living in your truth and accepting who you are, flaws and all. So go ahead and love yourself. Be #flawsome and get prepared for the #glowup.

 What are ways that you love your body?

Mindfulness: Are you living in the present moment?

Do you ever feel like you are drifting from moment to moment without a real attachment to each experience? This can happen as we are so busy with work, school, and/or family that each passing event seems like a mundane task versus a unique instance in our lives. As John Dixit further explains, “When we’re at work, we fantasize about being on vacation; on vacation, we worry about the work piling up on our desks. We dwell on intrusive memories of the past or fret about what may or may not happen in the future. We don’t appreciate the living present because our mind likes to vault from thought to thought like monkeys swinging from tree to tree.” If this rings true for you in some form or fashion, it’s time to reevaluate how your mental health is impacted by the “busyness” of life and make changes that will help you have a more enriched existence.

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I really noticed this distraction phenomenon in my life once I was promoted to an administrator. My entire work day seemed to float by without me even knowing what really happened. I was busy from the time I stepped into my office until I ended my work day, which was usually 10-12 hours. I rarely left the office to eat lunch and during my worse days, I lost focus because I would try to complete every task or solve every issue all at the same time. I eventually developed what I like to call work induced ADD which admittedly trickled into my personal life. It created a sense of disconnect and monotony. It almost felt like I was a robot simply charging along. Ultimately, I was in need of reprogramming.

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Photo credit: Cauldrons & Cupcakes

Earlier, we presented tips to mentally help as you continue your journey toward really loving yourself. These are all very useful activities that will allow you to keep a pulse on your mental health status. Mindfulness is also another profound practice that has positive mental, spiritual and physical benefits. Mindfulness is the art of truly being present, moment-by-moment, to your thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and your immediate surroundings. Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of Mindful Based Stress Reduction Program in University of Massachusetts Medical Center explains that “Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way–On purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” It essentially involves doing activities that encourage the practice of being present without distractions.

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Mindfulness activities can include formal mediation, but it can also be incorporated into activities like taking a shower, eating, brushing your teeth, exercising, or any other routine daily tasks.   For example, being mindful while showering would include noticing how the water hits your body, being aware of your physical actions like how you use the bar soap or wash your hair, and your breathing patterns. If your mind wanders off to what you plan to do after the shower or the many tasks you have to accomplish at work, you bring your mind back to the present moment and focus only on taking a shower.   It sounds simple, but you will be surprised how many times you will have to redirect your mind to focus only on the present. There are several other examples that will help you live a mindful-based life. Aetna has a month long challenge, #Mindful30, which serves as a great resource with tips on how to add mindfulness to your daily routines.

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Photo credit: Gainesville Scene

We are living in a society with an increasing number of distractions, so you can find yourself aimlessly on life’s journey without true direction or focus. None of us have the luxury of wasting time. Your greatest possession is the 24 hours you have in a day, so manage it accordingly and be present for every second of it. Incorporating mindfulness activities can have long lasting positive mental, spiritual, and physical effects. It’s been noted to boost immune system, increase positive emotions, improve memory and focus, and enhance relationships. Therefore, it is an excellent way to broaden your perspective, be present, and experience a more fulfilled life.