HOW TO CREATE A CONSISTENT ROUTINE WORKING FROM HOME

  Photographed by Gordon Nicholas.

Photographed by Gordon Nicholas.

HOW TO CREATE A CONSISTENT ROUTINE WORKING FROM HOME

In between modeling jobs I usually have several creative projects on the go that I work on from home or when I’m traveling, but I’ve struggled with establishing a consistent work flow without structure. So here are a few guidelines I’ve found helpful for creating a productive work environment and routine for all of you creative non nine-to-fivers out there!

1) Create a consistent routine for sleep/wake, meal times, break times, and work times.

Try to go to bed and wake around the same time each day. Ask yourself when you feel the most energized or inspired to work—is it early in the morning, afternoon or at night? And if you’re a night owl, is it realistic to maintain that schedule and still feel energized and healthy in your day-to-day? Once you set your work hours, stick to them and try to designate a time outside them to take care of other “life to do’s.” I also like to stop and take the time to eat my meals as opposed to having a working lunch. When I worked in Italy and France it was imperative that everyone on set stop working to enjoy their meal. I like to be consistent with what time of day I take my lunch at so that my body clock - and mind can get into the flow of the routine. I usually work in 1-2 hour increments and then take a short 15 min break.

2) Create a work space that is functional and supportive for you. 

I like my desk at home to be in a quiet corner by a window, so I get lots of natural light and can look out the window while I think. I have a ritual to begin work where I clear off any clutter on my desk, have a cup of hot tea, and light the candle on my desk or turn on my diffuser. Sometimes I will put on music as well.

3) Set up a work board. 

I am a very visual person and need to be able to look at the projects I’m working on. If you know you’re similar, set up a big white board, chalk board, or cork board and divide it into columns for each of your creative projects. Mine has a different column for scripts I am working on, blog posts, modeling, acting, wedding planning, and general to do’s. Under each column, write down what stage of development the project is in right now, the tasks that need to be completed, ideas, and short and long-term goals. I like to leave space to put creative images under each one as well, so it acts as a functional work flow board and source of inspiration. When I am traveling, I also do this in a planner so that I can keep it consistent on the road. Everyone’s brains work differently, so create a layout and work flow that works best for you and try to adhere to that.

4) Dress for work. 

If you are working from home and you don’t HAVE to get out of your PJ’s, it can be tempting to stay in them…but don’t! Instead shower, get dressed and get ready for work like you would if you were going to the office (sans the dress code). I feel like it helps with my productivity and self respect (LOL) to get dressed!

5) Take breaks. 

Go for a walk around the block, get your blood flow going and stretch out any tension you might be carrying in your body. I like to put the kettle on to make a hot tea and do my stretches while the water boils.

6) Be aware of distractions at home and find a way to avoid them. 

Turn off notifications on your phone, set boundaries for only checking social media/non-work websites at specific times. If you get a personal call during your set work hours, don’t take it until you finish your work.

7) Set deadlines for yourself. 

I find that this is one of the hardest things to do when it doesn’t necessarily “need” to be done by a certain date and it can be hard to know how much time it will take you to complete. But do your best to set a deadline and stick to it.

8) Take yourself and your work seriously. 

I really struggle with this when I am creating my own projects and yet I am so passionate about starting things from scratch and like to work for myself, at my own pace. What I have learned is that if you don’t believe in your work, no one else will. Whenever a doubt enters my mind, I try to notice it and reinforce it with a positive encouraging affirmation. Trust yourself and follow through until it’s done. Give yourself permission to make mistakes along the way and try not to focus too much on making it perfect—you can edit or change things down the road once the project is finished. When I hit a road block or lose motivation, I try to think about what inspired me to start the project in the first place. What was it I wanted to say? Remember to go easy on yourself and celebrate the little things you accomplish each day.

9) Have someone you check in with. 

A business partner, friend, family member, life coach, therapist—anyone who you trust. Lots of times we tell ourselves we’re going to accomplish something ,but don’t tell anyone else because we fear we might not succeed or follow through with it. Having someone as a sound board or support system can encourage you to be accountable.

Sending productive vibes!!

xx

BECOMING A CONSCIOUS CONSUMER

becoming a conscious consumer

What kind of consumer are you? This is a question I have asked myself and something I try to be conscious of. In this time of fast-fashion and mass chain stores selling clothing at cheap prices it's easy to get swept up in trends and not think about how our involvement in consumerism matters in the big picture. However we have the ability to make small choices that can make a positive impact on the world we live in, and your closet is one place to start.

Here are a few ways I am trying to be a better consumer: 

  • GIVE unwanted items away. 

Whenever I purchase new items I try to give away the same amount of items to my younger sisters, friends, or sell or trade them at a second hand store. That way I can keep roughly the same amount of clothes in my closet at all times to keep things minimal and organized (and not over consume). At resale shops you can either choose cash giving your clothes or store credit worth more. In Toronto I like Common Sort, in Santa Monica I like The Closet Trading Co.

  • If you are shopping at chain stores do some research to find out if the garments are ethically and sustainably made. Try your best to avoid stores that aren't. 

I can't say I don't love a cute cheap top from Zara, and my wardrobe isn't perfectly eco-friendly, but I think it's important to have a conscious awareness of it and do your best. As I'm sure you are aware the garments of most chain stores are made in factories in China and 3rd world countries where the employees (generally speaking) do not have fair working conditions, then they are shipped to wholesale companies, then they sell to the giant retail stores. The garments are usually made with processes and materials that are harmful to the environment and then even if they are super cute they fall apart after a few washes and are thrown away, and thus the cycle of consumerism continues.

  • Shop with local & ethical brands, shop consignment, and remember quality over quantity. 

If you can, seek out local designers, ethical/sustainable brands and/or buy second hand to reuse and recycle. Sometimes local brands can be more expensive however the quality lasts longer so I look at it as investing in a piece I will have for many years to come. And on that note I try to avoid overly trendy pieces (or save trends for accessories or a couple trendy items) and aim to build a wardrobe that is timeless and that can one day be passed down to my grandchildren like my grandmother did for me. 

Just having an awareness, and asking questions is a good place to start. Beyond your closet...in the rest of your home as well as what you consume on a daily basis (like where you eat out - the kind of packaging they use - plastic bags at the grocery store vs bringing your own re-usable ones) are obviously just as important. Some good questions to ask are - Where was this made? How was it made? Who made it? What is it made of? Is it recyclable? How long will it last? At first this may seem like an annoying extra thing to think about, but when you consider that each little choice you make can have a positive impact on our home - planet earth - you can get a little rewarding sense of positivity every time. 

HOW I HAVE COME TO KNOW & UNDERSTAND SELF-LOVE

How I have come to know & understand self love.

Photographed by Carly Dame. I love this shot because it captures the light and shade, and I believe you can't appreciate the light, if you don't have any darkness. 

The term "Self Love" gets thrown around so much in the wellness world that unfortunately, like anything that gets talked about a lot and used as a buzz word it can become, shall we say... taboo? However, self love, self care, and self acceptance (terms that are very much one in the same) are all areas in which each of us face, try to improve, and maintain in our lives. So I'd like to try and go a little deeper beyond the IG quotes of "Love Yourself" and share some of personal lessons I've learnt and am still working on along my own journey. 

How you approach self improvement:

There can be a negative side to practicing self love if you approach it with a level of perfectionism and control. It can do more harm than good if you bring a judgmental, rigid, obsessive energy towards exercise, nutrition or self care practices. It can also be unhealthy if you are constantly chasing an ideal that is unattainable to you or unrealistic for yourself. This can lead to constantly comparing yourself to others and experiencing chronic low self-esteem and dissatisfaction with yourself and your own life. So what is a healthy way to approach it?

Self-love starts with self-acceptance: 

Begin the work of learning to really accept who you are right now just as you are, and saying that you don't need to improve anything. This way instead of your inner critic taking over, you can start from a place of feeling whole and your outlook can shift so that you turn to your healthy practices to ground, nurture, and take care of yourself as opposed to making yourself "better". It's a difficult thing to achieve because all of the little things that we don't like about ourselves and want to improve are also the very things that can be the catalyst to push us forward to grow and evolve. So it's not realistic to feel 100% accepting of ourselves 100% of the time - and it's not healthy to be your own worst critic. I think there is a balance to dance between those two ends of the spectrum. If you can reinforce accepting, supportive, and compassionate thoughts and come from that loving place then any self-care rituals you practice will start to feel like a bonus in your day, like you are treating yourself to something that you know is good for you, rather than something you have to do in order to get closer to your ideal self. 

For me personally there were many years where I was told that I "needed" to change something about my appearance by my agents in the fashion industry, and because how I look was directly correlated to my livelihood it became a part of my job. I remember having specific weight and hip measurement requirements in my contracts for Tokyo. So I went from running track in high school for the pure love of it, to exercising because I was told to. I could feel a huge shift in how I felt when I worked out; it became a chore instead of an endorphin release. I was told to be on a strict diet, with no guidelines of what that meant, and there was suddenly great attention and caution around what I was eating.

Looking back I can see that when I was on a regimented diet and exercising a lot,  I was much unhealthier physically and mentally than when I am just being me, listening to my body, eating when I'm hungry, paying attention to my cravings, nourishing myself, and going with my bodies natural flow of exercise. My approach now is much more relaxed. Sometimes, I am in the flow of excercise and sometimes I am in the flow of just resting, and that is totally ok. Once I stopped living my life for other people and gave myself the permission and freedom to be myself I was liberated to accept my body just the way it is (no measuring tape or scale in sight). Then and only then could I move forward. And I can honestly say that I look better now, when I am not trying to be someone else's version of myself. In the beginning it might feel unnatural and you might have to fake it til you make it by repeatedly giving yourself encouraging words, especially whenever a negative thought enters your mind - acknowledge it - let it go - and then give yourself positive reinforcement until this becomes natural. 

Learn about your insecurities, embrace them, and relinquish them:

Often we might think we have all the answers and know ourselves very well because we create stories in our minds about why things are they way they are. We have our own story of ourself, and yet we have these insecurities that can be deeply rooted in something we are not even aware of. In my experience it has been incredibly helpful to write it all down on paper, get to know my insecurities, embrace them as a part of my story but not let them define myself as a person. If you can accept any shame or mixed feelings you might have about your insecurities, and finally...let them go. It can be helpful to talk to someone else to have a sounding board - a loved one, or a professional who can offer a listening ear and or tools to help with this process. You are NOT alone in feeling this way and other people will understand. 

Another thing I found helpful was to consciously shift my energy and attention on to the people in my life. We can get caught up in our own issues but connecting with others is one of life's gifts that can bring our focus to something bigger than ourselves. 

Learn your emotional threshold and set boundaries:

Humans are so resilient, we experience things that push and extend over our emotional threshold every day. But just because you "can" stand an uncomfortable circumstance or relationship doesn't mean you have to or should. That old phrase "What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger" is true, but what it fails to mention is that what doesn't kill you can do harmful damage. Know and accept your limits, and respect your values. If you notice that a friend, relationship, work environment, or any environment (even your Instagram feed) is making your feel uncomfortable, less than, or is not good for yourself in some way then draw a clear boundary in your mind and take the necessary steps to remove yourself from the situation. 

Explore what your own authentic self-care practices are:

Open any health mag and you can find hundreds of ideas on ways to "take care of yourself." Sometimes these messages can make us feel like we aren't doing enough to take care of ourselves. It's important to remember that behind those magazines and advertisements are business that are selling wellness products and real self-care is more than a face mask on a Friday night. I'm just saying we all have our own story, emotional wounds that need healing, and ways in which we like to be cared for. Discover what your self-care practices look like - ask yourself what you need in this present moment. It could be something that helps ground you in a routine or an experience that takes you outside of your daily life. It can be physical movement, nurturing or relaxing. Walks, restorative yoga, and hot baths can be great. Seeing a naturopath can be a good resource if you have physical ailments that you would like to learn to treat with lifestyle changes/self-care practices. There are also many ancient Ayurvedic healing practices that you can research and try.

I think the biggest lesson I have learned about self love is that it is a never ending journey with many ups and downs. The relationship we have with ourselves is the longest relationship we will ever experience. There are times when taking care of yourself comes more naturally, and times where life throws us a lot and it can feel very difficult. Doing the best that you can for your mind, body, and spirit, with the tools you've got is what matters. By no means do I feel like I've got it "figured out"...getting to a place of inner peace and confidence, and unapologetically being my truest self are goals that I am constantly work towards. Some days it can feel like those things are aligned and other days it can feel like more of a struggle. But I am trying to appreciate the journey of learning my own self care practices, and working on staying in that mindset of honoring, accepting, and loving who I am. 

Sending accepting, healing vibes to you at whatever part of your journey you are on...

Xx

Taylor

A V-DAY GIFT GUIDE FOR YOURSELF! AS SEEN ON BASENOTES.VITRUVI.COM

Valentines Day x VITRUVI x Gift Guide

Written for the VITRUVI Blog Basenotes

Regardless of your relationship status, Valentine’s Day can be a great day to practice self love. After all, you can’t give love if you don’t love yourself first. So whether you’re in a relationship, have a fab Galentine’s night lined up, or would rather February 14th just not be a thing…why not use it as an excuse to treat yourself? 

Here are some ideas of different little things you could do for yourself this February 14th… 

Give yourself a little extra time in the morning to have a mini pre-work spa treatment.

Start your day with some Spirit Dust to nourish your body and elevate your mood. It’s an adaptogenic blend of uplifting super herbs and mushrooms that help combat the effects of stress and align you with our bliss. Add it to your coffee, smoothie or yogurt and you’re good to go!

Massage your face with the love stone by using the Herbivore Rose Quartz Facial Roller. Benefits: improves blood circulation, skin tone and elasticity, reduces puffiness and wrinkles, reduces dark under eye circles, eliminates toxins, tightens and reduces pore size.

Take the time to apply some Acure Revitalizing Rose Light Body Oil  after your shower. We know your just going to work and the office certainly won’t notice, but hey, it can be your little secret that your skin feels smooth as a peach!

Apply “Perfect Day” Lipstick by Ilia because this day is looking pretty perfect so far.

On your way home from work, pick up some flowers for yourself. Let’s be real, buying them for yourself always feels empowering. Plus, no one has better taste than you. *Sorry men, although we will still always except flowers from you.* I love Pigsty Studio Flower Arrangement in Venice beach. Her bouquets are so wild and delicate at the same time.

When you get home from work, slip into something more sexy like this For Love & Lemons Karina Lace Triangle Bra . No judgement if you get home and just wanna let your girls lose and slip into your favorite sweats, but wearing nice undergarments or some silky p.j’s has a way of making you feel like the CATS pajamas 

Pour yourself a glass of wine—my current California fave is the La Crema Pinot Noir.

Run yourself a hot bath, put on some relaxing tunes and light a candle. The LE FEU ROUGE VOTIVE from Dream Collective is truly dreamy. Le Feu Rouge translates to “The Fire of Red” which also sounds fierce A.F. This natural fragrance is Red Rose/Moroccan Rose/White Rose and it has a soy wax filling.

Add the vitruvi V-Day Bundle of Geranium, Cedarwood and Sweet Orange essential oils to your bath and float into a calm, sensual, feminine state of mind—perfect for meditating or dreaming up visualizations and manifestations.

If you have plans to go, out slip into the Reformation Rome Dress. If you don’t, then enjoy that Netflix and cruise the world of online shopping to buy this dress for yourself to wear all spring and summer long! And maybe the Jacquie Aiche MEDIUM PINK TOURMALINE BAR STUD to go with it? Or the Low.Co gold Kennedy Cuff personalized with your initials.

Happy Valentine’s Day all you lovely ladies! Remember to take the time to give yourself a little T.L.C 

HOW TO PACK LIKE A MINIMALIST (from someone who learned the hard way)

I used to be the girl that had to sit on her suitcase in order to stuff it closed with all her might... packing everything under the sun (I carried a tutu in my suitcase when I was modeling in Europe just because I liked to wear it around the house, and in case, maybe one day I became a ballerina? lol) I always packed several hats, shoes, purses, and wild vintage dresses my grandmother passed down to me because... you never know when you might need them? 

  Pictured at The Rose Bowl flea market (trying) to load up on only the essentials. 

Pictured at The Rose Bowl flea market (trying) to load up on only the essentials. 

As much as I love fashion and having several options of outfits, the stress of lugging it all around is simply not worth it. After much practice I have learned that traveling with essentials is much easier physically, and mentally! 

  My essentials on a job on Sardinia Island, Italy. Gladiator sandals, a hat for sun protection, a good read, and my tote (also known as my Mary Poppins bag!)

My essentials on a job on Sardinia Island, Italy. Gladiator sandals, a hat for sun protection, a good read, and my tote (also known as my Mary Poppins bag!)

Here is what I try to adhere to:

  • 1 book, 1 notebook, 1 electronic device (either iPad or Laptop, not both). 
  • 1-2 items of each staple piece (t-shirts, sweaters, etc) in neutral colors that will go with anything.
  • 1-2 fun printed or vintage pieces to mix in with the basics and liven things up!
  • I usually try to pack only 3-4 pairs of pants even if I'm packing for a month. 
  • Accessories: a scarf, belt, and sunnies and jewelry are a beautiful (light-weight in the carry-on ;) way to express your personal style with your practical basic pieces.
  • Leave space in suitcase for a couple new items that you might want to purchase while traveling.

I also LOVE to let the new destination I'm traveling to inspire my fashion sensibilities when packing. The differen't climate, colors of the city buildings, elements of nature, culture, and history are all things I like to take into consideration. I love the idea that each new place you land at you can be a different version of yourself and embrace all the little or big changes of your new environment. 

Same goes for toiletries... Only bring the beauty/wellness products you use on a daily basis. Or if you are a product lover and have waaay too many at home, try to simplify your regime when you go away. Less maintenance will free up more time to explore and experience! 

Happy Packing! 

HOW TO RE-GROUND YOURSELF

  Photographed in Malibu wearing Free People. Shot by  Bliss Katherine.

Photographed in Malibu wearing Free People. Shot by Bliss Katherine.

It's interesting to think that we humans have an emotional center, a place where we feel safe, secure and balanced. And for each of us we have our own idea of how that looks and feels. Often our stresses, and anxieties snowball and we feel like we need to get back to that place of calm order - to stop and plant our feet on the ground so to speak before we can take another step forward. So how do we get back there?

For me I am learning that a part of finding my center is letting go of some of the idea's I have formed around what I "need" in order to feel grounded. It's good to know what makes you feel comfortable, but you can get in your own way by focusing on a list of things you "need" in order to feel good. Life doesn't always provide you with that list of comforts so if you can learn to re-group with very little then hopefully you can do it no matter what life is throwing your way. 

So here are the basics of what you need to re-ground yourself: 

Nature. Physically grounding yourself in nature is one of the most powerful things you can do. Sit in a park, or by a body of water, or under a tree. Listen to all the sounds around you. Close your eyes. Plant your feet on the ground (if it's warm enough go barefoot and feel earth on your skin, or dip your feet in the ocean). If you live in a cold place pour yourself a hot bath, feel the water and allow it to let you float effortlessly. Allow yourself to just be, observe, and connect with your surroundings. The tree pose, or Childs pose in yoga are my favorites to sink into, and get my body connected with nature and the physical ground.

Unplug. The more you disconnect with technology the more you can protect your energy to look inward and reconnect with yourself (or others if you are an extrovert and get re-charged from being around people). 

Let your friends/loved ones in on what your feeling. When I'm feeling anxious the more I try to hide it or hold it in the bigger it seems to get inside. Even just saying the words "I'm feeling anxious" (or however you're feeling) out loud, takes the power away from the emotion. Usually whoever I'm with (sometimes even an uber driver lol!) will have some kind of insight that helps. It also takes the pressure off of yourself when you stop acting like everything is perfect when it's not, and in most cases the people you share your story with will share something similar they have experienced or are struggling with at that moment. 

Write it out to find clarity. A part of feeling centered for me is having clear thoughts, and feeling organized so I can have free mental space for creative projects. Sometimes if I have a lot of To Do's floating around in my mind it feels overwhelming and I don't know where to start. That is when I pick up my pen and start putting it all down on paper so I can see it. 

If I notice I'm having a lot of negative thoughts I like to break them down into 2 categories:

Worry | Solution 

For every worry write down a possible solution beside it, even if it is small, this will help you realize that you have the power to resolve things. 

Put all your focus on the present moment. Often when we don't feel grounded it's because we feel like we are missing out on something, maybe our minds are fixated on something that happened in the past, or we are future tripping and worry about what's next. Give your energy to the present moment and enjoy it for what it is. 

Remember it's all a matter of perspective. When you wake up choose to look at life through a lens of light and love. Imagine you put this lens over your eyes and walk through your day with it in mind. Think of at least 3 things you are grateful for and try to exude an abundance of love and well being, rather than thinking about what you don't have. Even if you have to pretend in the beginning, eventually when you go through your days with this sense of positivity it can bring new opportunities in your life. The lovely thing about sharing positive energy is that you can brighten someone else's day which is perhaps the most rewarding and grounding thing you can do. 

We all have different little rituals that help us feel peaceful, balanced, comfortable in the moment, and confident. Ask yourself when are some times that you have felt this way? What were the circumstances? And how can you get back there with what you have right now? Centering yourself takes practice, like most things in life. The more you do it, the more it will become second nature and hopefully your default state of mind.

 

DECEMBER THOUGHTS ON LETTING GO & GOING WITH THE FLOW

Looking back...

Reflecting.

Photographed on the desert road of Arizona driving to Park City.

Hi guys!

In the last days of December I have been reflecting on all that has happened this year and one of the things that stands out to me is my own perception of my life as it is happening...I recognize that I am often too hard on myself to even realize my own accomplishments as they are occurring. This year I was balancing modeling, auditions, photography work, directing a short film, and my passion project - this website. I often felt as though I was always behind at something or that I should be doing more even though my time was maxed out. In hind sight this kind of mindset didn’t necessarily motivate me, if anything I got in my own way. Balancing my creative projects and having a healthy expectations and goals is something I am trying to get the hang of, and I thought it would be a perfect topic to touch upon right before we begin a new year, and the thought of NYE Resolutions kick in. 

Instead of making New Years resolutions that are unrealistic, only to be hard on yourself when you don’t accomplish them, here is what I am trying to do: 

1) Create a Vision Board & be specific. I like to split mine up into different areas of my life.

-Career

- Personal Relationships 

-Health

-Travel

I usually write them out and try to be as clear and specific about what I want. Then I find images that go with them that are inspiring. If you have time you can print them out and keep it in a place where you can see it everyday like the inside of a cupboard or closet or above your desk. 

2) Set realistic goals. Rather than setting result driven goals set habit driven goals. Not to say you shouldn’t dream big and reach for the sky! I just like to frame them in a way that I can realistically practice and eventually accomplish because timing is something that can often be out of our control. 

3) Then Relinguish your expectations. After you have set your goals don’t obsess over them. Any time I have felt the desperation of needing my goals to come true it creates a negative energy that others can usually sense and I find it does not lead to doors opening. Instead focus on all of the things you already have. Focus on what you are grateful for and you will feel an abundance which propels you forward with positive energy. 

4) Acknowledge the power of the universe. No matter what you believe in if you are religious or have spiritual beliefs, or you believe in the knowledge of science... somewhere in there I hope you accept that the world - the universe - is much bigger than you, and that many things in the great big world are out of our hands. Thinking about this gives relief to me when I notice myself trying to control every little thing in my life. Being a spiritual person myself I belief that there is a bigger plan for each of us. I often times find that leaning in to what life hands (or throw at) me - “Going with the flow” creates a flowing momentum in my life, as opposed to trying to work against the current or thinking from a victim mentality of “life is unfair”. The universe doesn’t give you anything you can’t handle. 

5) Be open to change. I struggle with this a lot. My schedule with work and travel is constantly changing, and so is my fiancées, which you might think would make me more open to change but in the past few years I have craved stability and struggled with accepting change. Over the last 6 months I have made a conscious effort to embrace change when it comes, and trust that things will work out even if it is different from what I had planned. In my experience this has brought about new and different opportunities I couldn’t have imagined. 

I hope these tips are helpful to format your new year goals (or if your like me your quarterly or even monthly goals) to design them in a way that set you up for happiness and fullfillment. Focus on the things you have the power to change to enhance your life, and try to direct your energy to the present moment not the future or the past. I hope you look at all that you DO have and focus on that abundance in your life! 

Wishing you a full heart, a healthy body & mind, and the most special time with your loved ones over the last few days of the holiday.

Happy New Year!! This year can be whatever you make it.

Love,

Tay

5 Ways to Make the Most of November.

  November MOOD! 

November MOOD! 

*As seen on basenotes.vitruvi.com. See original content here*

November—that awkward shoulder month. Fall is ending, but it’s not yet Christmas. The crisp novelty of #sweaterweather is starting to wear off and the cold reality of winter weather is starting to settle in. And if you’re anything like Ilana from Broad City, then November is a breeding ground for S.A.D. So, before we start playing the violin and wearing all black, here are a few ways to make the most of this month and feel your best.

  1. Take a vacation to your local infrared sauna. It’s a warm and toasty way to detox and experience that heat your missing. Consider booking an appointment after a stressful day at work or on your weekend. Infrared saunas heat your body from the inside out and have several health benefits, including relaxation, improved circulation, pain relief, skin purification. You can read more about why it’s good for you and what makes it different from a regular sauna here.
  2. Eat what’s in season. An easy way to do this is to sign up for your local organic food delivery. It’s not only convenient, but it’s fun to try cooking meals you wouldn’t normally come up with, and research shows that there are actual health benefits to eating what’s in season. Seasonal produce has more nutrients because they get their nourishment from exposure to the sun and soil. When the produce has more sun exposure, it has higher levels of antioxidants. Another benefit of eating seasonally is that you’re supporting local farmers who farm sustainably, which has a positive impact on the environment.
  3. Adjust your supplements. With the lack of sunshine you should be having Vitamin D3 daily. Listen to your body—if you find you are feeling more tired during this time of year, take a look at your lifestyle routine. Is there anything you could change to create more balance? More sleep? Eating foods that give you more energy? Increasing exercise to get your endorphins flowing?
  4. Switch up your workout regime. Now that the weather is colder if you know you’re not going to brace the elements outside, take this time as an opportunity to explore different indoor classes. Hot yoga, Yoga, Spin, Barre, Pilates, CrossFit, the list goes on. Stick to the one that you enjoy doing most, as your workout should be a stress relieving – mood enhancing activity, not a chore. If you actually like doing it, you are more likely to develop a consistent workout routine. If you are goal oriented, signing up for a marathon or race can be a great way to hold yourself accountable and push yourself. If you are a team player, sign up for a local indoor rec team.
  5. Get creative with your social life. Grabbing drinks with friends is a go-to when outdoor activities like hiking or biking might not be as inviting in the rain or snow. But it can be fun to organize social engagements that also flow with your healthy lifestyle or inspire you, and allow for deeper connections to be made in your friendships. Check out a show at an art gallery, host a painting/art night, get dressed for the elements and make a walk in the cold an adventure.

Remember that although we adapt quickly as humans, we can also be very sensitive to change. This includes our emotional response to the change in seasons and weather. So if your natural response to “WINTER IS COMING” is to straight up hibernate and Netflix & Chill, that’s ok. Be gentle with yourself and make the extra effort to practice rituals of self care.

Read more from the VITRUVI Blog Basenotes here

THE A-WORD...ON COPING WITH ANXIETY

The A Word...On coping with anxiety

 

Written by Allie Hincks.

Article written by Allie Hincks.

*I'm not an expert, or a doctor – so please don't take my experiences as clinical advice. These are just my general musings about something I've dealt with for the majority of my life (distilled through years of work with a therapist).*

Anxiety. It's not such a bad word anymore because I think everyone has a relationship with it. It's a sliding scale, but one way or another it's relatively universal. The more we talk about it, the more normal it becomes. Because it is normal. 

One of the best things I've ever read is that "you are not your bad days". You're allowed to have a bad day and that one day does not define you. Something to keep in mind is that your anxiety will fluctuate, and that's okay. The most important thing to me has been learning how to deal with those bad days. Some of it is preventative and some of it is acceptance. 

These are a few of my gleanings. 

Anxiety has a funny way of making you believe that you're involved in everything, that if something went wrong it's your fault. If something needs to be fixed, you're the one responsible for fixing it. One of the best things I can tell you is "know what is not your problem" and let yourself of the hook. 

Anxiety also has a way of getting in and sticking to you when your guards down. For me, it's when I'm not mentally stimulated. When I'm not my brain wanders around and let's anxiety right in. Over the years I've learnt this about myself and consequently I work really hard to maintain a certain level of mental "busyness".  For some people it's when they don't get enough exercise, so for me this is a form of working out in a sense. Know this about yourself and put the work in to keep it at bay. 

A big part of my anxiety is trying to deal with situations that haven't happened yet. I expect the worst possible outcome and re-arrange my stress levels around that fictional let down. I actively try deal with the here, deal with the now and deal with the reality. That's all you can do. 

Knowing your triggers is really important but I think knowing your limits should also be a major priority. I'm constantly checking in with my mental and emotional state. The majority of my time is spent with people. I'm in a client facing workspace and I have an active social life, so I can easily get pretty emotionally worn down from this.  For me, knowing when I need to re-set and retreat is the most important thing I can do for myself. Again, it's my mental and emotional homework. 

I try to stick to a nighttime routine of winding down and taking some quiet time. Some weeks I get to do this four nights a week and some weeks I only get to do it once. I make the effort to get back this 'base' as much as I can. 

When I do have those bad days I try to face them with as much strength as I can. I take the risk of facing the day and try to remind myself that I'm better than it and that it's not bigger than me. 

Written by Allie HincksAllie works in Sales operations for Sydney's, she also started a t-shirt company called Tucker

Becoming health conscious - where to start

The idea of redesigning your lifestyle to be more "HEALTHY" can be incredibly overwhelming. Especially with countless articles and people telling you what is good for you and what isn't. There is a lot of misinformation out there and it can be hard to know where to start. If you want to begin cultivating a healthy lifestyle, or maybe you already have but you want to bring it to the next level or hit re-boot, here are a few basic tips I have learnt on where to (re)start. 

1) CHECK IN WITH YOURSELF

Take a personal inventory of how you are feeling physically and mentally. Do you feel energized or tired? Are you hydrated? Are you giving yourself the nutrients you need to get through your day? Are you listening to what your body needs? Is your personal inner dialogue positive or negative? Are you accepting of yourself? Does your mind and body feel anxious or peaceful? Once you check in with yourself you can become aware of what aspects of your health you may want to start prioritizing. Pour yourself a hot calming tea and write it down. It can feel like a relief to put it on paper and take a look at where you're at. 

2) EDUCATE YOURSELF

There are a lot of amazing resources with study based information out there, you just need to do your research and find them.

One of my favorite resources is: Mind Body Green where licensed health professionals share nutritional advice and tips on being mindful. 

 Learn more about how to give your body and mind what it needs, and find out what approaches speak most to YOU. Everyone is different. There is not one magical diet or exercise that will be your magic ticket, and anything too extreme can be unhealthy. It is about finding realistic healthy habits, and learning to balance them within your day to day. Pay attention to how your body reacts to certain exercise and foods. Sometimes working with a naturopath/health professional or doing a physical assessment with a trainer can give you the guidance and information you might be missing. 

3) START SMALL

Personally, when I have fallen out of the routine of exercising I find it intimidating to jump back into a yoga or spin class, or go to the gym. I feel like I'm out of shape and it affects my level of confidence.

A nice way to ease back into moving your body is to start by:

-Incorporating a stretching ritual into your morning routine. First thing when you wake, turn on the kettle to make a hot water with lemon, and while the water boils slowly stretch out your muscles and focus on your breath. 

-Incorporate a daily walk into your routine. A 15-20 minute walk around the block to get your blood pumping, breath in some fresh air and feel reconnected to your body. 

-Exercise with a friend. When you do go to your first class or gym session after a long break, take a friend with you. Safety in numbers :) The group setting won't feel as intimidating if you have one of your friends with you. Plus you're more likely to commit to it if you make the plan with your friend. 

4) MAKE MEANINGFUL CONNECTIONS

Reach out to friends, family, or a professional for help for support. Surround yourself with like minded people who have similar core values as well as strive to be have a healthy lifestyle and keep them close. Be honest with them about your challenges or goals. Accepting yourself enough to be honest with others about what you are going through or working on is a bold step towards making it happen.

5) CREATE A REALISTIC ROUTINE AND STICK TO IT

Do your best to schedule your health rituals into your week. Write out your goals and rituals in a planner and make a routine that you can try to do everyday. Set goals with the intention of emotional well being like "I want to walk everyday to feel re-energized and centered" rather than setting physical result based goals. Don't be hard on yourself if you don't get to cross off everything on the list, instead celebrate every tiny victory and tell yourself tomorrow is a new day to try again. That is one of the most beautiful things about life - it is never too late to start, or try again. Make your health your top priority. Even if you have a demanding job, or you are a parent with children that dependent on you your health needs to be top priority. You can't do either of those jobs if you are not taking care of your own physical and emotional well-being first. 

 

Beaufille Designer Parris Gordon talks caring for yourself & your business

One look at Parris Gordon and you feel like you have been transported to the 1970's. Then you hear her deep yet soft voice, a slight drawl in her way of talking, feel her feminine, easy going vibes and you get the inkling that she might be Joni Mitchell's and/or Stevie Nicks long lost granddaughter. 

Parris is Creative Director/Designer of a fashion brand that her and her sister Chloé started called Beaufille (which translates to "handsome girl"). I have worn their pieces and they have a way of making you feel just that - strong, almost heroic, & empowered, yet feminine. When I first met Parris and her duly authentic, smart and beautiful sister Chloé they were doing fashion shows in Toronto, and starting out. They are now killing it (insert VOGUE article) on an international level with the likes of Lady Gaga, Selena Gomez, and Kendal Jenner rocking their pieces. I have seen how incredibly hard they both work, and it makes me so happy to see the fashion world falling just as hard in love with what they create. 

Here Parris shares her ways of balancing business & self care, and advice on having the motivation and endurance to keep going with what you are passionate about. 

TM: Do you have any wellness rituals you have incorporated into your busy schedule? 

PG: Incorporating wellness rituals into my day is a practice I prioritize! It's just as important as working at building my company and largely what makes that possible. I'm a morning person so I get up early, move (running or a yoga/pilates strength workout), mediate (5 or 10 minutes whatever I have time for), make and enjoy my breakfast at home and then head to work. Lunch and dinner are usually homemade as well- it's really important to me to make time to do this! It is a creative pleasure of mine and also ensures I'm eating things I feel good about. 

TM: Do you have any words of wisdom for women trying to find balance between taking care of their business and taking care of themselves?

PG: Make it happen. You do have time in the day for all the things that you want to do. Taking care of yourself allows you to take care of everything else! 

TM: Working in fashion, an industry that can have very critical standards of how women should look, is there anything you do to protect yourself from that and stay healthy emotionally?

PG: I definitely struggle with insecurity in this regard - but I think it's important to remember that you're never going to look or be like anyone else but yourself - so make the most of you and work hard at self love. One of my favourite quotes is: "Be yourself; everyone else is already taken" - Oscar Wilde. In my brand we celebrate women who embody this. 

TM: When you are designing with women in mind, how do you want them to feel in your pieces?

PG: Badass, confident, unique and loved. 

TM: You have been through the ups and downs of starting something from scratch and you guys have managed to stick with it and are now seeing great success. Any tips on how to stay motivated and keep moving forward when you come up against obstacles?

PG: Honestly, just keep going! You only fail if you chose to - if you chose to stop. There are many moments where you are ready to throw the towel in and if you just hang on, things will turn a corner or work out in your favour. Put in what you want to get out, and remember that life isn't linear- nothing ever stays the same!

*If you share a love of jewelry I highly recommend stalking Parris' IG for inspo*

www.instagram.com/parriscgordon

www.instagram.com/beaufille

TAKING TIME TO BREATHE BETTER WITH PHYSIOTHERAPIST DIANE RIZZARDO

As seen on the VITRUVI Blog: BASENOTES. Click the link to explore their beautiful blog. 


The act of breathing is unique in many ways: it’s involuntary and voluntary; it’s conscious and unconscious. While our bodies are always doing their jobs—inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale—amidst the chaos of stressful, busy schedules, we can often lose awareness of our breath. In turn, we’re not doing our bodies (or minds) any favours. I sat down with physiotherapist and marathon runner, Diane Rizzardo, to pick her brain on how we can become better breathers.

TM: It’s been a while since science class in high school, so could you remind us…why is deep breathing important? 

DR: On a simple physiological level, when you inhale fresh oxygen you feed the tissues (muscles, heart, brain) through red blood cells. When you exhale, you rid the body of carbon dioxide.

TM: What about the about the correlation between stress and breathing? 

DR: Yes they are very connected. Chronic shallow breathing (aka apical breathing) causes tension in the neck and shoulders. Your breathing rate and depth can actually change with your emotions. Think about what happens to your heart rate and breathing depth when you are scared, nervous, mad or anxious. I bet if you saw yourself in a moment of frustration or anxiety, your shoulders would be up near your ears and you would be taking quick, shallow breaths as your heart rate quickened.

Day-to-day small stressors (waking up late, traffic, forgetting your keys…) force your body to elicit the fight or flight response, which places stress on the body. This stress can build up over time and lead to a weakened immune system, increased blood pressure, anxiety or depression.

The good news is deep breathing can be a great coping mechanism to decrease stress. Dr. Benson, a Cardiologist from Harvard, found that using deep breathing, yoga and meditation can result in a relaxation response.

TM: So why don’t we naturally inhale deeply more often?

DR: A major reason is engrained societal triggers: it’s encouraged for men and women to have a flat stomach, which means not allowing the belly muscles to ever relax and expand fully.

TM: Ahem, not too mention our skinny jeans don’t allow for much room…

DR: Laughs. Exactly! So whether it’s stress, being constantly on the go, or societal pressures affecting our subconscious, breathing correctly doesn’t always come naturally. We can start to improve this by creating an awareness, and incorporating breathing exercises into our morning, work, and night time routines.

Here are 3 simple breathing exercises taught by the pro, Diane Rizzardo:

AT WORK:

1. Pilates expansive breathing (lateral costal breathing)

Once you get the hang of this technique while lying on the ground, try it seated, in the car at a stop light, or sitting at work. Set an alarm at work to remind yourself to check in with your posture and breathing once every hour.

Setup: Lying on your back with your knees bent.

  • Low back in neutral, tip your pelvis to find a position where your back muscles soften
  • Check in with your rib cage—are your lower ribs connected with the floor under you? If not, think about bringing your breastbone down to let the back of your lower ribs connect with the ground below you

Step 1: Inhale—think about ribs expanding wide. Exhale.
Step 2: Inhale—think about back of ribs connecting to the floor. Exhale.
Step 3: Inhale—think about diaphragm moving towards feet. Exhale.
Step 4: Inhale—think about breathing into the full ribcage (like a balloon filling up equally), shoulders staying relaxed away from ears. Exhale.

Repeat steps 1-4.

AT HOME: 

2. Balloon breathing (Theraband breathing)

Setup: in the same position as lateral costal breathing OR if you can’t let your belly relax in this position, try lying on your back with your knees out to the sides. If you feel strain on your groin here, place a pillow, blankets or yoga blocks under the knees to allow them to relax out to the sides supported. If you feel strain on the low back, try placing a small, rolled towel under you. This position helps you release tension through the belly.

Step 1: Wrap a Theraband around the lower part of your ribcage with just a small amount of tension.

Step 2: Inhale, feel the band stretch.

Step 3: Exhale, feel the band loosen.

3. Table top hangout

Setup: Kneeling on your hands and knees with your arms under your shoulders and knees directly under your hips. Imagine the spine being long—think about tucking an orange under the chin to find length along the back of the neck.

Step 1: Inhale through the nose, expand lateral ribs and let the belly hang soft.
Step 2: Exhale through the mouth, slight abdominal engagement. Think about abdominals slightly pulling up and in.
Key tip: Rocus on softening the belly and letting it hang in full relaxation on every inhale.

Click here to view original content.

Words and photos by Taylor McKay.
Connect with Diane at info@drphysiotherapy.com or on Instagram.

Model & Health Coach - Dani Seitz - talks community

Dani Seitz is a model, Health Coach, basketball enthusiast, and volunteers her time as a community manager for Ripe (A healthy corporate food catering company) in NYC. Dani also happens to be one of my best friends... so during my visit with her I followed along with her daily routines of life and she showed me the different elements that make up her community. Here we talk about how she came to cultivate it...

TM: You are originally from a small-ish city of Kelowna, British Columbia, traveled the globe for modeling and then decided to put your roots down in NYC. How long were you living in NYC before you really felt at home?

DS: It took a while for sure! I had to remind myself of the things I loved doing in Canada and learn to incorporate them into my NY life. Once I did that I found my community and core friends which make NY feel like home :)

TM: What are some of the places, or activities that you met your (now) friends through? 

DS: I would go to a lot of health and wellness events including meditations, yoga fitness events and joined sports teams.

TM: What are some organizations that you are involved with?

DS: I volunteer my time with Ripe and I organize basketball on the side. I seeked them out because I missed the feeling of doing activities with groups of people. I love getting friends together to play sports, board games, picnics.. anything!

TM: You LOVE basketball. Tell us a little about Downtown Girls Basketball, and how you got involved? 

DS: Downtown Girls is a women's only pick up team made up of artists, photographers, and writers. I learned about it through a friend and then started playing with them. I don't go as often as I would like since work has be quite busy but whenever I'm free I am there!!

TM: You then started "Lady Ballerz" a passion project to build community around the game of Basketball. What inspired you to do this and what is your goal for the initiative? 

DS: Aria McManus started the Downtown Girls Baskteball and I was so impressed in the community of gals that she brought together. One thing that I wanted to add to it was fundamentals. So I decided to start Lady Ballerz with my friend Zoë Colivas. Come fall I'll be organizing a lot more play time!

TM: The company Ripe that you work with does workouts every Sunday in the Park that are open to the public. What is the idea behind hosting these events? 

DS: I started by actually attending the workouts and then through meeting CJ + Ben, they brought me on to manage their events. It builds a community for Ripe. It's so much fun and makes me so happy to be involved.

TM: How does your community make you feel? 

DS: It makes me feel faaaaaaaaaabulousssssss of course ;) But seriously it's so dang important to have a community. Without it I felt so lost, it brings me more joy than you can imagine!

TM: Any advice for people looking to build there own community?

DS: Do what you love and the community will find you!!! A great site to start is meetup.com.

THE ART OF COMMUNITY

The Art of Community

Forming a community plays a huge part in the history of human kind. You know "It takes a village". In a sense I recently found a village in the most unlikely of places... New York City. At a time when technology is all consuming and when todays political climate is so toxic, it can feel like there is a lack of human connection and caring, however I was pleasantly reminded of how beautiful and important real community is. I'm talking I.R.L guys!

Here were my take aways from my inspiring trip to NYC on how & where to start cultivating your own sense of community: 

  1. Volunteer in an area that you are passionate or curious about. Giving your time may seem like something you can't afford to do when you are grinding it out building your career, family, or just trying to survive the chaos of your life. However giving back can be the most rewarding, empowering experience, and it can be an incredible way to meet people you wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity to connect with.
  2. Step outside your comfort zone...whether it's signing up for a recreational sports team, dance class, saying YES to a random activity someone invites you to or attending a local community meeting. These are all different examples of outlets that can show you the heart beat of a place and make you feel connected to it's people. If you only run in the same social circles and go to the same coffee shop everyday it might feel comfortable but your not opening yourself up to other possibilities or learning new things. Uncomfortable is where the greatest things can happen because it pushes you to show up, be present, and put your best foot forward.
  3. Create it from scratch. If you can't find the type of community or like minded people who are doing what you are looking to spend your spare time doing...then create the community yourself. Put yourself in a leadership position and start something from scratch. Chances are there are others out there who are looking for the same thing. 
  4. Forget the FOMO. "Fear Of Missing Out" is a real thing if you let it be. There is always going to be something "cooler" or more fun going on. The grass will be greener if you let it be. Unless you decide to be present in what you are doing and enjoy your own life. Instead of FOMO be PIYOL (LOL) "Present In Your Own Life" (that's the best acronym I could come up with but please, I welcome other suggestions). 
  5. Be patient. Finding your people and place in a new city can take time. Or maybe you have been in the same city but feel as though you have grown and changed and it is time to surround yourself with new people who's values or lifestyles align with yours. Regardless, this process doesn't always happen overnight so be easy on yourself and the city or town you live in. If you develop a negative story about where you live or the people around you, you might be missing the magic right in front of your nose. Good things take time.

*Special thanks to Dani Seitz and Mika Vanwinkle for the inspiration*

Xx,

Tay

Indulging the 5 senses to feel at home on the road

Living out of your suitcase when you're on the road can be exciting and full of adventure but it can also leave me feeling uprooted, with little grounding. After many years of feeling this way I have tried to shift my perspective and believe that home is the people you are with, and the mindset that you hold. So I try to bring 5 things with me wherever I travel that indulge the 5 senses and help to create that mental feeling of home. 

SEE: I like to take a few photos of my loved ones that I can put beside my bed. Sure you can look at photos on your phone but there is something so nostalgic about having a good old fashioned printed photograph to see the people that make you feel grounded. I also take sticky notes of the different creative projects I'm working on. I like to put these above a desk so I'm visually reminded of what I'm working on and sometimes I'll paste up an inspo image beside them. 

  Photographed by Carly Dame.

Photographed by Carly Dame.

SMELL: I bring my VITRUVI diffuser with me on the road and the Bergamot and Geranium essential oils remind me of home. It is a soothing ritual to turn it on, much like lighting a candle, and it can bring a nice calming energy into an otherwise sterile hotel room. 

HEAR: Right now I'm listening to the podcast "Women Of The Hour" with Lena Dunham. I'm also digging the song "Stand Tall" by Childish Gambino. 

TASTE: One of the first things I like to do when I land somewhere is go to the grocery store and grab my essentials. It helps me to create a routine and I'm less likely to eat unhealthy foods on out on the run if my fridge is stocked with my favorite healthy food. 

FEEL: I have a thing for soft furry feeling pillows, faux lambskin rugs, faux fur coats, it's a little bit weird now that I think about it lol. Anyway... I have a furry hot water bottle I love to bring with me that feels super comforting. I also like to do my favorite yoga pose - the wide legged forward fold - when I get off the plane and each morning because it makes my body feel so good. 

The Healing Process - 6 tips on how to deal

"Be Patient with yourself, nothing in nature blooms all year"

-Uknown

I recently injured myself and as a result have not been able to do any physical activity for an extended period of time. For an active person like myself it has been a challenge but I have tried to look at this time as an enlightening experience. I have been forced to be still, be present, and check in with myself. I want to share what has helped me during healing process in the hopes that it might be useful for anyone overcoming a challenging time. 

How to deal...

1. Embrace the changes. For me not being able to dance or run has been the most frustrating thing because those are big ways I like to express myself. When I run I do a lot of visualization and manifesting. To embrace this slow time I shifted my focus to other creative outlets that I do have the ability to do, like writing. 

2. Get inspired and motivated. Use this time to soak up inspiration from films, books, podcasts, art, etc. Channel the desire you have to get back to your healthy state as positive energy to propel you forward. Consider recovery time an opportunity to reinvent yourself.

3. Go easy on yourself. Give yourself time to regain your confidence. Try to be gentle and easy with your expectations of yourself. That quote "Celebrate every tiny victory" really applies.

4. Take care of yourself. Do whatever it is you need to do to help your body heal physically, as well as take epsom salt baths, eat clean so you are giving your body the nutrients it needs, get good sleeps, and love. Nature can also be incredibly healing, so if you are able to get outside for some fresh air, it can really help. Meditation is also very powerful.

5. Reach out. Often when we don't feel well, or feel like our best selves our first instinct is to hibernate and be alone. However it's better to reach out and connect with the people who love you. Often they have the best advice or will at the very least take your mind off of what you are going through.

6. Patience is key. Trust and believe that you will move forward and get healthy, but know that your body and mind move at different paces, and all you can do is bring your best self to go along for the ride. Listen to your body and take slow baby steps, doing a little more each day. 

For anyone healing...No matter how small or serious the injury I know it's a bummer but try to make the most of your experience, and despite whatever physical challenges you may be faced with, you can move through it emotionally. 

Sending healing thoughts out into the universe!

Xx,

Tay

Daily Wellness Routine

A few years ago I was struggling with some health issues. I was constantly traveling for work and overworking myself. My body was in a constant state or fight or flight anxiety, and my adrenal glands were overcompensating. I started working with a naturopath who was able to give me some natural stress relieving tools, as well as help me create a daily (loose) routine that I could take with me everywhere I went which really helped develop a set of tools I could refer to when I was feeling stressed. 

So here is my daily routine that I try to take with me wherever I go: 

SLEEP

  • Develop a consistent sleep and wake time. 
  • Turn off electronics 3 hours before bed. This is obviously really hard for our technology addicted selves but it gives your body and mind time to wind down into rest mode without constant stimulation. I set my phone to "Night Shift" mode about 3 hours before bed as a reminder to get off my phone, power down the tv, and read a book, write, or have a bath.
  • Turn your phone on airplane mode when you go to sleep, or if you must keep it on leave it outside of your bedroom. 
  • Avoid social media first thing in the morning. Allow yourself to wake up and become present for your day. Stretch, have a hot water with lemon and a nutrient dense breakfast. 

MIND/BODY

  • Move your body/sweat once a day. Go for a walk, do yoga, go for a run, spin, hit the gym, whatever...just do what YOU like. There's no point in forcing yourself to do a form of exercise you don't enjoy because chances are you won't maintain it. Seek out the nature around you and soak up all it has to offer. 
  • Listen to your body. Are you hungry or thirsty? Are you fatigued? If you are having certain cravings it could be because you are missing out on certain nutrients. Make sure you are giving your body the fuel (water, protein, good fats and amino acids, greens, vitamins and minerals) it needs. Try to be present when you eat and eat at consistent times each day. 
  • Meditate. This one still doesn't come naturally to me but the more consistent I am with it, the easier it gets. If you prefer guided meditation there are classes or apps you can use (I like the app "Calm"). Start with 5 min each day (wherever it fits best, morning/mid day/before bed). Then gradually try to increase so you are at the very least mediating 10 - 15 min to free your mind. 
  • Dedicate at least 30 min to "ME TIME" everyday. Do whatever makes your soul feel rejuvenated. Take a bath with essential oils, read a book, listen to a podcast, sing, play an instrument, paint, or take a class in a new hobby. Honour yourself by being present in doing something you love. "Me time" is the least selfish thing you can do, because all the people around you will benefit from your renewed energy afterwards. 

Be kind to your sweet-selves!

Taylor

Finding Home (Health) - My Story

  Photographed by Bliss Katherine.

Photographed by Bliss Katherine.

I want to use this space to share my own experiences, what I have learned, and insight from the the people in my life that I learn from. So here is a little info on my personal journey...

An ongoing personal challenge for myself has been to find home. I used to define home as one place that you could always come back to. A place that is filled with the people you love and your most precious belongings. A place where you felt completely comfortable. I thought a place like that could surely set you up to be a confident, successful individual. That must be what I was missing I thought. 

I moved around very frequently as a child with my family and I began traveling internationally for my career as a model at the age of 16 which I still continue to do today. I absolutely love traveling and change has been the most constant thing in my life, however not having roots has it's disadvantages. Growing from a girl into a woman in the epicenter of the fashion industry also has it's downsides. I suddenly felt like I was thrown into a marathon I didn't sign up for, and the finish line (perfection) seemed to slip further and further away from me. I started to realize that I was losing myself. Over the course of a few years bouncing from Paris to Milan with nothing to my name but a suitcase and a business card with my body measurements on it. I had become a slave to the pressure of agents, clients, and the industry at large. This nomadic lifestyle lacking any form of routine or stability was wreaking havoc on my mental and physical health. 

I knew that if I wanted to continue doing creative work in the fashion and film industry, I would have to start doing it on my own terms. I would have to shift my goal of achieving "perfection" and redefine my goal of "home" as a feeling inside oneself, rather than a place. I wanted that home within myself to be filled with feelings of empowerment, positive energy, comfort, mindfulness, safety, and confidence. This is when I started to paint my own picture of what home/health could look like. To me it boiled down to learning how to accept and acknowledge what I already have (mind/body/soul), and learning how to take care of it. 

I hope to offer sound advice along my journey of cultivating a healthy, full, and meaningful life!

Xx,

Tay