Diversity Woman Media created World Women’s Wellness Day, the official health and wellness day for women on April 30, to remind women to make themselves a priority and to make sure they understand that self-care is about self-preservation. It was sanctioned by the National Day Archives, LLC., and is set to be celebrated the last Friday in April from now on. To celebrate the first ever World Women’s Wellness Day, Diversity Woman Media hosted a free “Self-Care, Health and Wellness” virtual conference for women all over the world on April 29 and 30. They also devoted the current issue of “Diversity Woman Magazine” to “Self-Care and Wellness.”
Throughout the conference, leaders, specialists and experts shared their insights with women from all backgrounds relating to how they could re-evaluate and re-shape their lives. On day one, Dr. Sheila Robinson, founder and CEO of Diversity Woman Media, welcomed the audience and set the tone by inviting attendees to focus inward on their mental, physical and emotional well-being. Then she conducted a fireside conversation with Dr. Julie Silver, whose specialty is patient care discrepancy research and teaching the next generation. She outlined the idea of women working four different shifts: work, home, volunteer work and helping with the pandemic (whether delivering food to neighbors, helping with vaccines or helping patients get access to care). Then she proceeded to share her burnout research, which found that when women are passionate about what they do, they are not as likely to burn out. Among the many points Dr. Silver made was a personal tip to engage in “prehabilitation,” and arm yourself with a high-protein diet, regular sleep and other healthy habits when you expect a stressor to come up. “Prehabilitation” may help you not get as sick with COVID or some other illness, because you prepare your body to cope in advance. She compared it to people who run marathons and pointed out how they wouldn’t dream of running 26 miles without preparing beforehand. Her final thought was to remind women that the world is not built for us; it was built for men. She used the lines at bathrooms as an example. She said it’s an engineering problem, and we have to deal with it as the awesome women we are.
Kara Golden, founder of Hint, Inc. (Hint Water) told the story of her personal journey and how trying to lose weight after having children led her to the realization that there was no healthy flavored water. Listed as one of six disruptors in business, alongside Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg by Huffington Post, Kara is now a best-selling author, who calls herself an “accidental entrepreneur.” She advises others to do what she did. If you have an idea that would help people, “just go out and try.” Hint Water is not an overnight success. It’s a 16-year-old company. Her book, Undaunted: Overcoming Doubts and Doubters, gives you power to get out there and try, shows how to take the first steps and how not to allow walls to stop you. Kara says to always go back to the people you are helping, then push on.
The conference’s Integrated Health Panel discussed “Thriving verses Surviving: The Impact of the Current Climate on Your Mental, Emotional and Physical Health.” Jasmine Banks, blogger and mental health professional, said that women feel collective trauma and get in the habit of reacting to chaos. She advised attendees to do anything they can to interrupt it, for example, call a trusted friend, who can slow you down and give your perspective. Alethia Jackson, VP Federal Government Relations at Walgreens, advised us never to take our health for granted. Health is communal. The past year has taught us private health is public health. She also identified surviving as getting through the day, whereas thriving is intentionally finding purpose. The fourth panelist, Dr. Hermalee Patel, Internal Medicine Physician at Stanford Hospital & Clinics, described what triggers stress and typical symptoms, like stages of grief and hypersensitivity. She advised to manage it by having a routine that’s just for yourself, even if it’s only five minutes. The panel continued to address techniques to deal with these special times and thrive instead of merely survive under the guidance of Dr. Janet Taylor, Community Psychiatrist at Centerstone.
More panels and breakout sessions covered “Self-Care and Well-Being for BIPOC Fatigue and Trauma,” a live cooking session and Restorative Yoga, Meditation, Cardio Pilates, then the power of sleep, and resilience and intuitive eating throughout the day. The afternoon keynote was, “Living Beyond: Your What If: Release Your Limits and Live Your Dreams” with Dr. Shirley Davis, CSP having a conversation with Dr. Sheila Robinson. A lot of the “what ifs” consisted of fears, especially fear of failure, which Dr. Davis said only has the power that we give it. Instead, she encouraged us to ask why; who am I; why am I her, and what is my purpose. One insightful quote from Dr. Davis was, “Many people die at age 30 but don’t get buried until age 80.” To avoid that, she advised us to “jump and unfurl your wings on the way down,” and urged us to engage, courage, confidence and calculation. She said that your purpose is already there. You just have to figure out what you do well and who are you drawn to. A raffle of gifts from the sponsors and speakers ended the day.
On April 30, World Women’s Wellness Day, Melissa Wojcik led a wellness session with live yoga, followed by Dr. Michelle Robin’s keynote, “Small Shifts for Big Impact.” Dr. Robin is a chiropractor and holistic healer, teacher, and founder of Your Wellness Connection. Many of her “small shifts” were aimed at perspective. For example she said, “The gap between where you are and self-love is self-care.” And that self-care is not selfish, but self-full. Simple shifts like staying hydrated, getting sunlight, creating whitespace during your day filled her keynote. Perhaps her most insightful key point was, “Fill yourself up with the life you want to have so you can give from your overflow.”
Guiselle Nuñez, author of Take Charge of Your Brand, followed Melissa to share her expertise of developing your personal brand of confidence. Her first point was that if you aren’t branding yourself, others are branding doing it for you. She urged us to figure out our personal brand from who you are, what you do and what makes you special. Then to write one-three sentences describing it in a way that communicates your value to your audience, including who you serve and why you do it. She added five lessons: to clean out your mental toxins by practicing gratitude and being the watcher of your thoughts, design your spiritual gym through self-care and finding stillness, to find your brand, get a makeover and reframe yourself as a person, and to be purposeful and proactive about managing your brand every day.
Jacky Welch, President of Tiro Life Coaching ended the formal speaker session with “Key Strategies to Rebuild, Repair and Refill Your Relationship.” She suggested that we set a power word for 2021. Her power word is “intentional.” She quoted Norman Vincent Peal’s profound phrase, “When you change your thoughts, you change your world.” Then she examined aspects of what that meant, pointing out the three C’s of life: choice, chance and change. It is a choice to take a chance to make changes in your life. Jacky examined the different kinds of relationships and what they mean to us, but the most important relationship, of course, is with yourself. She pointed out that you need to give the world the best of you instead of what is left of you. Therefore, self-care and self-love should be your top priority.
This amazing first ever World Women’s Wellness Day continued with coaching sessions throughout the afternoon and a tour of the virtual booth displays of the sponsors. To find out more, visit The Diversity Woman website (https://www.diversitywoman.com/) and check out the future conference offerings in August and again in November. Diversity Woman Media has been recognized for its longtime commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion through education, solution-based editorial, and events that bring together like-minded D&I leaders and champions. Their most recent offerings of resources in health and wellness expand their appeal to fill the need of these special times when women need it most. Women Connect4Good, Inc. is proud to support their effort to lift women up.