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-Brooke

 

Lifestyle website of Professional Model and Nutritionist, Brooke Slade. 

Self Care with Brooke

Self-care, to me, is the single most important practice in life. You have to show up for yourself, first, before you are able to show up for anything or anyone else. Here, I explore self-care methods, practices and share ways to incorporate more self-care to everyday life.

Filtering by Tag: emotional wellness

Self-Care Practices for Emotional Wellness

Brooke Slade

October is Emotional Wellness Month and, because of this, I thought it would be a great time to dive deeper into one of my favorite topics: self-care. Maintaining our emotional wellness is just as important as maintaining our physical wellness. Our emotions can affect how we navigate our days and, ultimately, how we live. Think about it, it’s no mistake that your work day may seem more difficult while experiencing an emotionally taxing event. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), how you feel can affect your ability to carry out everyday activities, your relationships, and your overall mental health.

Inspired by this month’s theme, I wanted to share a few self-care practices that focus specifically on supporting and improving emotional wellness. These practices are what I turn to when I am looking to work with and work through emotions.


Self-Care Practices for Emotional Wellness

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Purge-Writing

There are times when our thoughts are wrapped up in our emotions and they become so thick and cloudy that it may seem difficult to navigate or find the mental space to process. Times like this, I turn to writing. Writing gives your emotions a place to go, a place to land outside of your body. The process of purge-writing is simple: you are giving life to your emotions word by word and freeing your mind and body of their weight.

Purge Writing in Steps

  1. Find a place to put your words. This can be a journal, the notes app on your phone, or on a piece of scrap paper— anywhere is okay.

  2. Write whatever’s on your mind and do not censor yourself. Let it all out. Express yourself however you need to.

  3. Write as little or as much as you need to. There’s no set amount of pages or words—the goal is to release.

  4. Center yourself. After you’ve let it all out, find your center, your peace. You can do this by placing your hand on your heart and moving your attention to your heartbeat or the rise and fall of your chest as you breathe.

  5. Create closure. Now that your feelings are out—leave them where you put them. When journaling, I create closure by folding the pages in. When writing on a stray sheet of paper, I receive closure by shredding or crumbling the paper.

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Square Breathing

When emotions are high (or low), breathing exercises are always a good idea. Medical research suggests that regular deep-breathing exercises can reduce anxiety & depression, encourage muscle relaxation, stabilize blood pressure and decrease stress. Currently, my go-to breathing exercise is square breathing. It helps me to be mindful, still and centered while replenishing my body.

Square Breathing in Steps

  1. Find a comfortable position, either seated or lying on your back.

  2. Inhale while counting 1…2…3…4

  3. Hold your breath & count 1…2…3…4

  4. Exhale while counting 1…2…3…4

  5. Hold your breath & count 1…2…3…4

  6. Repeat

Need more guidance? Here’s a tutorial.

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Improve Your Sleep Hygiene

My emotions always feel off when I haven’t had enough sleep. If I haven’t had at least 7 hours the night before, my day (and emotions) feel all over the place. “Studies have shown that even partial sleep deprivation has a significant effect on mood. University of Pennsylvania researchers found that subjects who were limited to only 4.5 hours of sleep a night for one week reported feeling more stressed, angry, sad, and mentally exhausted. When the subjects resumed normal sleep, they reported a dramatic improvement in mood.” (Sleep and Mood, Harvard Health). While it can be hard to get “normal sleep”, especially if you are prone to sleeplessness or insomnia, you can improve your sleep by amping up your sleep hygiene.

Tips for Better Rest

  1. Set your bedtime. Setting a bedtime (and sticking to it) will help your body form the habit of seeking rest at a specific time.

  2. Brain dump. Thoughts and emotions can keep us up at night. Practice a little purge writing before bed so that you can rest with a clear mind.

  3. Create a bedtime ritual. Getting yourself ready for bed helps your body slowly relax. My bedtime ritual? A warm shower or bath followed by a cup of hot tea.





Purpose Journey: Committing Yourself to YOU

Brooke Slade

This post feels more like a journal entry than anything else. Lately I've been thinking a lot about my personal contribution to the world and what that looks like. I've found myself confused on this purpose-journey a few times.

I've looked for validation based on what I assumed others thought of me. I've pursued opportunities grounded in what others "thought I would be good at". I've fallen for the occasional parental-guilt-trip and sought "more structured and reliable" opportunities in hopes that it would please my parents, family and others I look up to. Each time, after searching, seeking and chasing, I would come back feeling empty and distracted. And, each time, after reflecting on the hell I put myself through during this process, I knew all of this was happening because of a few things...

1. I was looking for acceptance, validation and happiness outside of myself.

2. I was asking my profession, abilities and contribution to fill-in the holes in my self-worth.

3. I was looking to make Brooke be okay with Brooke, by focusing on things outside of Brooke.

Rather than looking inside of myself and addressing the reasons I don't feel adequate, in the first place, I often attempt to ADD things to myself and/or HIGHLIGHT things about myself to fill in the holes. Do you ever do this? I think we all feel inadequate occasionally.

We all question ourselves, our direction, our purpose...and that's okay. Don't feel bad, it's often a result of our egos "coming to the rescue". Telling us that the more we're attached to amazing, shiny things the more we're loved, valued and important. Our egos couldn't be more wrong. I think that's my point here. We often search to please our egos (and the egos and opinions of others) by finding things or people "of importance" to attach ourselves to.

Let's stop today and commit ourselves to OURSELVES. What do I mean by this? Committing ourselves to nourishing and caring for our true selves. The person that we know behind closed doors, away from social media and apart from all of the outside roles, responsibilities and attachments.

Let's commit ourselves to loving ourselves deeply. We can start by reminding ourselves, when we feel "less than" that we are actually "more than"; more than our titles, peoples opinions and especially our own negative self-talk.

Here are a few of the resources that I keep close for moments of self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy:

BOOKS

Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst 

Judgment Detox by Gabby Bernstein

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

ONLINE COMMUNITIES

Well + Good

Ritual Care

BreneBrown.Com


If you have something to share on this topic, don't be shy, comment below. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

XO, Brooke

Busy Life? Self-Care On the Go

Brooke Slade

Taking time for myself between work and travel.

Taking time for myself between work and travel.

I'm sure you've heard, on more than one occasion, that modeling is a lot less glamorous than it seems. Sure, the "Lights, camera, action!" portion can be very glam, but thats just a small part of what we do.

The majority of any model's career are all of the things we do to be prepared for and make it to the lights-camera-action days. As a model, any given day's schedule can look something like: gym, audition, facial, casting, fitting, 4-hour shoot, meeting, airport.

Operating day after day with a jam-packed schedule leaves little room for rest and personal time. Needless to say, it can be difficult to regularly practice self-care rituals. It's because of this that I began to fuse my self-care rituals into my days. Although I am not getting the 1-2 hours of uninterrupted "woo-sah time" I'd prefer, I am still able to get the centering, calming self-lovin' I need to make it through any stressful or high-activity day. 

I think its fair to say that we all, regardless of job type or lifestyle, could use a little more self-care throughout our days. Here are a few ways I stay "self-cared up" on-the-go.


Everything that I use fits, very conveniently, into a small pouch. This way, I can just toss my pouch into whichever bag I'm carrying and I'm on my way.

Everything that I use fits, very conveniently, into a small pouch. This way, I can just toss my pouch into whichever bag I'm carrying and I'm on my way.

Aromatherapy Aromatherapy is a key component in my self-care practice. Just a whiff of the right scent and I am transported to a calmer, more centered state of mind. In my pouch, I carry a mini essential oil spray as well as a mini scent oil roller. I use the spray to enhance the atmosphere, wherever I am--yes, that includes planes, trains and automobiles. I use my oil roller on my pressure points whenever I need a moment of calm or stress relief. 

Breathing The next time you are in a stressful or heavy situation, I want you to do something: pay attention to your breathing. I'll bet you're not taking deep breaths. On-the-go, I use my oil spray and roller to assist me in deep breathing exercises. You don't need a lot of time or space to practice deeper, more satisfying breathing. Step away from whatever you're doing, maybe to a restroom or a hallway, spray or roll on essential oils and deeply inhale the scent in the air or on your skin for 10 deep breaths.This is one of my favorite calming & reenergizing practices.

Writing Release Along with my pouch of "goodies", I also carry a journal (and lots of fun-colored markers). I have several journals for different purposes. The one I carry with me during work days or travel is where I write out my feelings throughout the day if need be. Journaling is a great way to release tension and discuss, with yourself, ways to improve your day(s). For me, journaling on-the-go is a great way to process through all of the "stuff" of my day without having to bring any of it home (hopefully).

Food & Drink Choices I like to think of nutrition as a form of self-care. What we put in our bodies either works for or against us. That's why I try to make the healthiest possible food choices when I am traveling or on-set for work. I know, it can sometimes be a difficult task because healthy choices can be scarce and expensive. To supplement the options available, I always carry Vitamin C packets and nutrient packed food bars (not pictured). 

Affirmations I try to affirm myself as often as possible throughout any given day. Self-affirmation is free and you can take it anywhere!

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