Rosé

More Wine Please!

Last month, Lauren hosted a vision board party for her closest friends. The night provided plenty of fun and relaxation, as well as an opportunity to enjoy great food and wine! In preparation for the event, Lauren asked guests to bring a bottle of their favorite wine, so the group could try them as they made vision boards.

The conversation was full of laughter, and provided a huge release, after what had been a hectic time for most of the group. Throughout the evening, we were able to catch up regarding professional updates such as new jobs, personal endeavors such as upcoming weddings, and various civic engagement projects.

As we began to look through the magazines and stickers, we were able to reflect on where we all were individually, and what things we might aspire to do in the future. It was the perfect time to think about the goals that we repeatedly think about, but have yet to put in motion. Throughout the evening, guests made their way to the dining room for more wine as new bottles were opened, to taste the many red and white wine options available.  After we finished our vision boards, each person had an opportunity to discuss theirs, and say what we hope to accomplish in 2019. Some of the common goals were: to find happiness, save money, live healthier lifestyles, and be intentional about our respective goals.

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Anytime women come together, something magical happens! The environment is infused with optimism, possibility, and encouragement, which is good for the soul. It is so easy to get caught up in life’s competing demands, that we often feel guilty for taking time to simply do nothing, or have fun. The old adage, “you cannot pour from an empty cup,” is so true. It is imperative to create and seek spaces that recharge you. Some key takeaways from the event were:

  • Make time to connect with friends
  • Take time to reflect, and be intentional when setting goals
  • Speak things to existence. Words manifest reality.
  • Create a supportive network to serve as accountability partners
  • Wine makes everything better!

Our wine pairing for this post is Apothic Rosé 2017, which is one of the bottles we tried that evening. Full tasting notes below!

Apothic Rosé contains layers of strawberry and watermelon, with a hint of raspberry, for a refreshing wine that is light in color, yet dark in nature.

Bubbly

Be Well, Sparkle Often.

In our March blog “Resist with Rose” we provided some mental health resources to our readers, understanding that many individuals navigate their mental health in isolation, especially in communities of color. While brainstorming our next topic, we thought it fitting to provide mental health awareness its own article, to underscore the the importance of removing the stigma associated with mental health. In 2005, NPR did a broadcast titled the The Stigma of Mental Illness in Communities of Color. During this broadcast they shared :

“The National Institutes of Health says almost half of all Americans will develop some form of mental illness during their lifetime and that many of those diagnosed first experience symptoms during their adolescent years. But in communities of color, the numbers may be more devastating because of the stigma involved.” 

If individuals do not take time to tend their mental health they can develop or exacerbate other health conditions. Furthermore, it can lead to unhealthy habits such substance abuse and addiction to things such as drugs or alcohol, which are temporary fixes.

Lauren

I first began therapy my freshman spring of college. I had finished my first semester at Bryn Mawr, and I felt a ton of emotions. During this time, I was navigating my course load, my multiple campus jobs, extracurricular activities, familial dynamics/responsibilities, while also being on the receiving end of someone else’s nervous breakdown and untreated mental health. Moreover, I was adjusting and accepting what being in a predominantly white space, that was formed on the precepts of white supremacy, could do to the mental psyche of a student of color.  At that moment I remembered the College offered 6 free counseling sessions to students, and I signed up for my first appointment. In the back of my head I knew my family would be supportive of the idea, but at the same time I did not want to share this at first because I did not know how me enrolling would be perceived, did it mean I was weak, or wasn’t strong enough to navigate and persevere through. After attending a few sessions, I began to feel a weight lift as I was able to talk to an objective individual in a confidential space; it gave me the freedom that I needed at the time to determine my stressors and what I could control. As I continued at Bryn Mawr, every spring I found myself in the counseling center, because that time of year I always found myself the most stressed. After a while I comfortable sharing this with other people beside my mom, because I saw how much it helped me and I thought it could help others.

After graduation, I did not continue therapy, and often made plans to find a new therapist, but I just with life demands , I never get around to it. In the last year, I have dealt with  a variety of emotions, and life events in a condensed time frame, and I felt I needed that outlet again because it provided me the outlet to find balance. I spoke with my primary doctor who is a woman of color about my experiences and she underscored the importance of managing stress, and being intuned with my mental health, which was an important reminder. During my search for a therapist, I determined a black female therapist, because I did not want to have to always provide context when explaining a certain situations. Through my research I found  black female therapist who approaches counseling, from a social justice advocate lens, which was like music to my ears. Through this process I have been able to find the language and the verbage to articulate how I was feeling, but also validated my experiences. Through this process I am continuing to learn more about myself and the importance of making sure I’m whole.

Alexis

From a very young age, I learned to cast emotions aside and mask my negative thoughts and feelings with a false appearance of happiness. To be clear, there were many times that I was genuinely happy, but the periods that I wasn’t were incredibly difficult to push through. I can’t count the number of times I was told to smile, “think positive thoughts,” and sweep things under the proverbial rug. I embraced books as my escape from reality when everything seemed too overwhelming to process, and journals were welcome friends with whom I shared my deepest thoughts and secrets. To this day, I have at least 3 journals lying around my apartment at all times, for those moments I need to write out what I don’t wish to share with the world.

In high school, I started meeting with a counselor without even realizing I was engaging in therapy. It was a completely new world for me, and I greeted it with open arms. Mental health was not a welcome topic in my family, stemming from both a strong cultural stigma and individuals’ negative past experiences with therapy themselves. In college, when I decided to pursue a different career path than one I had set for myself at the age of 5, and was just beginning to deal with past trauma and anxiety triggers, I knew it was time to make my mental health a priority. My senior year, I regularly attended therapy sessions, which I am forever grateful for. The summer after my graduation from Bryn Mawr, I desperately needed to talk with someone. Fortunately, after a few months of hiding, I reached out for help.

In July 2015, I was sexually assaulted by someone I had been seeing throughout my senior year of college. I reverted to (horrible) coping mechanisms I had honed carefully over time, and pushed my feelings so deep down that it’s taken 3 full years to pull them back out. My therapist not only helps me continue to heal, but also helps me better understand myself each week. It doesn’t matter if I’m working through my past experiences, my professional life, or my relationships, I know that my time in therapy is a safe place to open up and really engage with my emotions, and work through healthy solutions. It’s perfectly fine to not feel okay 100% of the time, and it’s been a blessing to learn and accept that. This process is empowering for me, and I look forward to continued growth on this journey.

As we go into May which is Mental Health Awareness Month, let’s work to de-stigmatize mental health. Dealing with mental health can be a very uncomfortable topic, however it’s important to navigate our health in ways that makes sense for us. For some it may be therapy, others may find other outlets such as religion, or meditation. No matter the strategy, just remember to take the time to recharge and focus on you.

We recognize that alcohol can serve as a dangerous coping mechanism for those working through mental health conditions, so we are pairing Martinelli’s non-alcohol Sparkling Apple -Peach with this post. Tasting notes below!

Sparkling-Apple Peach is like biting into a ripe peach on a hot summer day. This carbonated, 100% juice is pressed from U.S. grown fresh apples and blended with refreshing peach juice.

 

Red

Reclaiming Our Time

awesome-wine-barrel-and-bottle-with-red-wine-glasses-background-header

Now that we are are just over a month into 2018, we decided to think about the past year, and how we can better care for ourselves. Below we outlined the processes we followed to plan for a productive 2018, and our purpose for doing so. We also compiled a list of tips we learned along the way in our “Reclaiming Our Time Checklist.”

Lauren’s Process

Each December I find myself analyzing the outgoing year, I assess my wins and losses, and most importantly identify how I can make the upcoming year more successful than the prior.

One goal that I set in preparation for this year, was to find balance and ensure my personal well-being in the midst of life’s demand–in other words, I am reclaiming my time in 2018. I made the decision that I would not give situations and individuals that do not uplift me, my time or energy. Moreover, I committed to set boundaries particularly in my professional life.

Alexis’ Process

I’m not typically one for creating resolutions or setting new goals with each new year, but recently I stopped to reflect on why exactly this is the case.

I tend to joke with my friends about how every year will be my year, and how unstoppable I will be once the calendar resets to January 1. When reality hits, and all is said and done, each December I’m left feeling like there is more I could have done– personally, professionally, etc. Honestly, I place so much value in doing my very best to support other people that I lose myself in the process; I invest my energy, time, and resources into everyone else’s success and forget to do the same for me.

To that end, this year I am ready. Ready to invest in me, and my ambitions. Because no one can advocate for me better than myself. I’m ready to be intentional and thoughtful about where I expend effort, and to whom I give my full attention.

Reclaiming our Time Checklist:
•Find comfort in saying No
•Recognize & accept that we are all a work in progress
•Be aware of our mental, spiritual, & physical well-being
•Implement boundaries wherever necessary (and stick to them)
•Participate in uplifting & reciprocal spaces

Most importantly, finding new wine to taste, and enjoy with friends! The wine we’ve chosen to pair with this post is Julia James Pinot Noir. Described as a “tribute to the future,” this medium-bodied red has a hint of spice. Full tasting notes below!

“Julia James Pinot Noir stands apart in balance, structure, and elegance. Fresh, lively, and easy to enjoy with delightful aromas of raspberry, flora and baking spices. Medium-bodied with bright acidity that showcases notes of cherry, vanilla, and well-integrated oak. The lingering finish incorporates harmonious berry and earth flavors. Ideal food pairings include savory pork dishes, hearty salmon preparations, and grilled vegetables.”