#SelfCare17: Make a New Connection

Sometimes after mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, I get exhausted. The compare and despair syndrome that comes with online voyeuristic life gazing can be frustrating and leave you feeling empty.  So, do yourself a favor and use this crazy cyberland to make a new connection! Follow someone who posts about different interests and topics. Find someone who stimulates you and inspires you (not just raises your blood pressure) and then (gasp), maybe we take this over into our real lives and actually talk to humans we don’t know! Or better yet, humans we know but could deepen our relationship with. When we focus on quality interactions of a new connection, the world looks so much brighter and much less gloomy and doomy. 

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#SelfCare17: Tell Someone Why You Love Them

 

I’m not always the best at receiving compliments (I’m working on it!), but I’m great at giving them. That’s why I can attest that a good way to practice self-care is to tell someone why you love them. Not only is it nice to let someone know that you do, but also when you can articulate why — it gives you a deeper appreciation of ALL the good that is in your life.

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#SelfCare17: Take Yourself on a Date

When my husband and I wrote our vows, we pledged to the 7 principles we felt were the foundation of our relationship and a good marriage. One of them was self-love. Without knowing how to love and support ourselves, we wouldn’t be as strong as a union. So don’t forget to nurture the most important relationship you have in this life – YOU!

 

Take yourself on a date: eat alone, see a movie, take a dance lesson, travel the world. Picture your perfect date, and as long as it doesn’t involve tandem bicycling, you’re good to go at it alone! 🙂

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Sometimes, We Need A Digital Detox

In 2017, unplugging and disconnecting from technology and the social world sounds like the last thing we want to do.

 

We feel the need to stay up-to-date with the news, which ironically can tend to wear us down. Nevertheless, we scroll through our feeds and timelines and run endless searches for “How can we impeach Donald Trump?” Information overload – it gets exhausting. How are we supposed to bring justice and equality when we’re overstimulated and low on energy?

 

Our hyperconnectivity can also create unnecessary obstacles along our self-care journey; the important journey that unlocks the ammo for the fight. There’s no way we can stay plugged into every tragedy or scandal in the news while staying sane at the same time.

 

But I can’t lie, I’m living right along with the 84% of cell phone users who claim they could not go a single day without their device. Detachment from our screens is necessary, and those of us who are dedicated to improving self-care have to learn how to unplug. It’s important for us to learn to power-down with the intent to recharge and refocus internally.

 

We won’t find solitude outside of ourselves. Solitude is found within and helps keep us grounded in the noisy outer world.

 

So I challenge you (and myself) to do yourself a favor and look up. There’s an abundance of beautiful, inspiring life happening right in front of our faces, but we have to look up beyond our phones, laptops, and tablets to experience it. Observe our world IRL (in real life).

 

Unplug long enough to go out and collect information in the real world and use it to create content and solution instead of spending hours of time consuming other people’s content and information. You have something special to contribute. And we need you fully charged to continue to help change this world.

 

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#SELFCARE17: UNPLUG

You know that peaceful moment at the end of the day when the whole world goes quiet and you’re left with just you and your thoughts?

Me neither.

These days if we want a little solitude we must make a conscious effort.

Take a moment, a day, or a week (okay, fine start with 10 minutes) and create a moment without distraction.

Then rinse and repeat.

This is a fundamental foundation of self-care. You deserve it. 

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#SelfCare17: Block a Troll

Girl, bye.

The old adage “choose your battles” has never been more applicable.

With the constant flood of news and 24-hour social media access, simply choosing who and what to engage can be exhausting.

We wade into difficult conversations and there are always some folks who want to gaslight, harass, and derail us.

It’s not constructive. It’s not healthy.

And guess what? It’s not mandatory that you engage. Part of self-care is choosing to opt out.

Don’t feed a troll. Block them!

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#SelfCare17: Connect with a Higher Power / Greater Good

Sometimes self-care can feel like self-indulgence. But it doesn’t have to be! Anytime I’m struggling in my practice or questioning why it’s important, I remind myself that I am connected to a higher power and a greater good. When I remember that the causes I’m fighting for are far bigger than me but that I am still an integral part of the fight, I am strengthened. It’s a great reminder that you must take care of yourself so you can be at your best for the collective.

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#YesWeCan Change The Way Media Portrays Women and Girls

My entire career as a social entrepreneur and advocate has been dedicated to widening the images we see of women and girls in the media. I’ve seen first hand how a young woman’s life can change when she feels reflected in the media or entertainment she consumes. It’s not trivial. In fact, it’s vital that we, the world’s largest exporter of media images, lead that business with full inclusivity and recognition of what the world truly looks like.

 

When President Obama took office he talked about opening up the White House to everyone.

I have always been inspired by the Obamas’ commitment to using their platform as a power for good. I am still in awe of the variety of artists, academics, humanitarians, engineers, and change makers they have invited in. I mean even the musical Hamilton was workshopped there! I feel incredibly grateful and proud to have been one of the voices they included. I worked with the White House Council on Women and Girls over the last eight years convening on and exploring the state of affairs for girls in tech, education, and media. Last April, we were able to bring together the forces I work with in my world to host one of the most comprehensive gatherings of industry, parent advocacy groups, and academic researchers focusing on gender stereotypes in toys and media.

 

The White House Council on Women and Girls, The Department of Education and USC’s “Media, Diversity, and Social Change Initiative” held a summit on how gender stereotypes impact our children’s ability to dream. The day’s agenda covered the influencing forces in boys’ and girls’ lives, the effects that gender stereotypes can have on their perceptions, and the steps people and businesses are taking to eradicate stereotypes. Our goal was to ensure that children can grow to reach their full potential in life, not stifled by norms or stereotypes that could inhibit their self-actualization. As someone who has spent 22 years studying and working in this field, that summit felt like a cumulating moment. I was so proud and humbled to see the key stakeholders, decision makers, and leaders in that space come together and engage in honest dialogue.

 

Before this administration, we were all having conversations in private or separate spheres, but in April we were all together sharing our research, thoughts, and brave steps forward. Major businesses, including Disney, Mattel, LEGO, and Warner Brothers, shared their compassion and understanding toward parents’ demands for better representation, and demonstrated how they are stepping up to the plate. Other up-and-coming companies, such as littleBits, showed us that there are still countless avenues for ingenuity in toys and media to help kids grow. Researchers and academics presented their latest findings on the challenges and opportunities in boys’ and girls’ lives as well as the importance of media so we could make informed decisions. Activists and parents brought their irreplaceable voices to the forefront sharing their experiences and the demand for more. All of these different perspectives are essential to spur future action. Most importantly, every group, regardless of differences, came to the table to have an open and authentic discussion in order to drive change.

 

Now, more than ever, we need camaraderie and openness to build a future path that will advance gender equality. No person or group can achieve such a lofty goal alone. Divisiveness will only hinder progress. This important meeting of both private and public sector stakeholders fueled a lot of change that we will be seeing in our retail spaces for years to come. Sharing information, finding allies, and building networks will help manifest positive change.

 

We all need to feel inspired by #YesWeCan moments that create positive momentum in our lives, instead of focusing on when we feel defeated. The summit has been a motivating force in my life because it was an agent of significant positive change.

 

#YesWeCan create media that is an inclusive representation of our multifaceted society.
This post was written by Jess Weiner and Elizabeth Hedge, who shared the badass experience of planning and executing the Summit on Gender Stereotypes in Toys and Media together in partnership with the White House Council of Women & Girls in Washington D.C.

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#SelfCare17: Stretch

Every time I stretch my body it always feels SO good. But I rarely do it. I just don’t think about it.

 

But we need to stretch to push our bodies, minds, and attitudes.

 

When we lean into the moments of discomfort, we can become more flexible on the other side.

 

Same is true for making social change. If we want to see the world differently, we have to stretch our own world view. So choose one thing this week that makes you stretch and go for it. Stepping out of our comfort zone keeps us curious.

 

And curiosity is a key tool for living a life well examined.

 

What will you stretch this week?

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Why You Need to See “Hidden Figures”

If you haven’t seen Hidden Figures yet, do not wait any longer! The story of Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Dorothy Vaughan, three African-American women who provided NASA the mathematical data to launch one of our country’s first successful space missions, is one that has never been told in Hollywood.

 

This is why representation matters. How often do we see a Hollywood film where women, especially women of color, are being brilliant human computers? Not often. And this story is real American history! Right now, I urge everyone in this country to see this film and bring a little girl in your life along with you. Our girls need to see this inspiration. We all do!

 

Fun fact to add motivation, Hidden Figures became the #1 movie in America at the box office after opening weekend! Let’s keep it going! Let’s prove that these are the stories and films that Hollywood should spend millions of dollars in producing.

 

This story is one of the most important stories that could be told in the current state of our society. We need to continue to encourage the Katherine’s, Mary’s, and Dorothy’s of tomorrow. Let’s start by sharing the truth today. Go see #HiddenFigures!

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