&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;img src=”https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/576df23929687f12f6831057/1624989409568-UPEDS0VSTUKC9V3I8B42/The+importance+of+slowing+down+and+taking+care+of+yourself” alt=”The importance of slowing down and taking care of yourself” /&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;Over the years—but especially within the last 18 months, the idea and approach to wellness has evolved. For some, it is still synonymous with weight loss and looking a certain way, but for me and millions of others, wellness is caring for our mental, emotional, and physical health. If you’re anything like me and struggled through the long winter and felt like warmer days would never appear, you may have the urgency to get up and do—to take action to be proactive with those three components of wellness. I have a busy summer with work projects and one trip. And, while I’ll be traveling for work I know that my routine will change. Routines are a tool I use to keep myself grounded, which is especially important to help me as a Traumatic Brain Injury survivor. Routines help me to remember my tasks and feel like I’m able to show up to the best of my capabilities each day. While I’m working on a more flexible fitness routine, I also know that my general daily routine for a portion of the summer will be out the window. Thus, I decided to create a summer wellness plan which I can use as a base to form my changing routines around. I enjoy having smaller goals to work towards. I feel productive and proud when I can measure my growth and self-development. Continue reading for information on how to create a summer wellness plan and to learn about a few of my lululemon favorites—including items that provide maximum support and comfort. Shop This Look: Uplifting Scrunchie Bow Align™ High-Rise Pant Time To Restore Short Sleeve How to create a summer wellness plan A wellness plan includes three components: mental, emotional, and physical health. Below are suggestions and general ideas on how you may want to approach caring for each. By no means do you have to implement any or all of my ideas. You can cherry-pick which ones you like or create an entirely new list based on your interests and current needs. It’s essential that in your wellness plan, that you don’t lock yourself into any one approach. Some days you may want to do what you have listed and other days you may not—and that’s okay! Give yourself grace and allow yourself the freedom to listen to you body’s needs. I have my wellness plan saved to a notes folder in my phone that I can refer to when I may be feeling overwhelmed. It’s also a great reminder to see all of the things I enjoy doing. I find gratitude in being able to list even one thing let alone dozens I could select from on a given day. I also have a shortened version written on a piece of notebook paper hanging on my bulletin board above my desk. This is my “things I can do” list. I like being able to see it and know that there are always options and activities I can choose to do because I can only control what’s in my control. All of the options on my short list are things I can do in that moment without spending money, needing to leave my home, or rely on others to contribute. Mental In addition to the suggestions below, I wrote a blog post on how to use your five senses to find inspiration and grounding. I have a list of FREE mental health resources available by country, here. If you’re an advocate or ally and feeling the pressure mentally, here are a few tips on how to steward your energy and practice placing mental health boundaries. Journal Meditate Having a dance party to favorite songs/playlists Consult the feeling wheel A therapy session Call a mentor Set up the internet to shut off daily at a certain time Place daily social media usage limits and abide by them Turning social media notifications off or deleting those apps altogether Spend time at a favorite spot Snuggling with furry friends Set goals and create a plan to achieve them (click here to read my post on how to do that!) Organize and/or rearrange your space. Our environment can play a role in our mental state. If our workspace or living conditions are sloppy, it can contribute to anxiety we’re feeling Spend a minimum of 10 minutes outside basking in the sunshine Emotional Identify how you’re feeling—be honest with yourself. Consult a feeling chart (pictured below) for help navigating the emotions you’re feeling Perform a scan of your life—here’s how to do it and what that exactly means Giving myself permission to cry and not judge me for doing so, after Learn a new language. Sometimes if we’re feeling stuck it can be nice to explore something different and challenge ourselves—that’s what I’m doing by learning Spanish Make new friends. Click here for my ideas/tips on how to meet people and make new friends as an adult and living through a global pandemic Create a “no-spend list”. These are 5 of my favorite no-spend pick me ups Book a vacation or staycation Read an old favorite or discover a new book world. Need inspiration? Here are the books that are on my TBR “to be read” list for 2021 Watch one of these Bollywood movies from the 2010s. They’ll take you on a wonderful emotional journey and might help you recognize/process/feel all that you’re feeling. Shop this look: Physical My physical care often overlaps with mental and emotional. I’m the type of person who experiences mental clarity and emotional processing through movement. I don’t always work out to reach those aesthetics goals. Some of my favorite ways to physically care for myself are: Foam rolling and stretching Kickboxing Crafting. I’ve been enjoying letter writing these past few months Go sightseeing around town or a new area The lululemon Chicago “@lululemonchi” Instagram is a great resource to stay up to date with free events and workshops. The Lincoln Park store location with fitness classes on the second floor now that they’re open again. I saw this post on their Instagram and am trying to make it to a few before the series ends. Summer of 2019 I went to half of their summer series classes and it was life-changing. Their classes and workshops helped me lean into my courage and motivate myself to push past the barriers I placed in front of myself. The principles/mindset I developed during those classes helped me a lot during lockdown. If you’re not in Chicago, look up FREE classes near you, here! Take as many of the free lululemon summer series classes as the schedule allow. If you can’t make it to in-person events or aren’t comfortable with the regulations losing up, not an issue! Here are online classes they offer My lululemon Favorites & Style Guide Cycling/run club I’m wearing the “All Powered Up Bra” which has become my go-to for cycling since I started a few months ago. I like how supportive the straps are. They are quite thick AND adjustable, which makes me feel like I’m fully supported during a workout. Ideal for: Designed to support chest sizes A-E Medium support HIIT/Cardio Spacer construction in the cups for breathable coverage and shaping Soft, brushed underband for more support Keyhole in the back for airflow Swimming/Water Sports The lululemon swimsuits are perfect for lounging poolside or at your favorite beach and playing water sports. The suits are stylish yet ultimately functional. The website offers guidance on the level of support and the style. Note that when shopping there are multiple displays of the same suit. This isn’t a mistake. Pay attention to the detail of the item title and description. For example, there is a honeycomb high-waisted swimsuit and a honeycomb high waisted swimsuit full coverage. One covers more of the back/bottom while the other has a higher cut. True to size. Yoga in the park I prefer calming/restorative yoga practices, so for these classes, I opt for a light to medium coverage bra since I’m not doing anything that requires more coverage than that. I opted for the “Wunder Train Long Line Bra” because it is stylish and comfortable enough for me to get away wearing it as a top. The only thing I don’t like about this is the removable cups. They slid around as I was moving. But, I’ve since removed them from the bra and it’s perfect! Size up, it runs small. Ideal for: Designed to support chest sizes C/D Medium support Daily activity/yoga High neck for added coverage Sightseeing The Power Pivot Tank Tops are my absolute favorite, gah!!! Okay, now that the dramatics have passed, here’s why. They’re stylish, breathable, cute, and perfect for layering. Plus, the top is reversible. I have this one dress that is flowy and beautiful but looks horrible when I wear a bra. The straps show and it’s just not cute. The other week I threw on the power pivot tank, rotating it so I could wear the back (since it’s reversible) as the front. This was my in-between “bra-less” and “bra” option. The tank provided just enough coverage and was the same color as the dress and also made me feel comfortable should I move a certain way and the fabric of my dress slip. I also reach for this top more than anything else in my wardrobe. I have this in two other colors and find it fun experimenting with the various ways I can style the piece. The fabric is incredibly comfortable. On days when I’m running errands or doing things around the house, I won’t wear a bra and just put on the power tank. Note that this is NOT a replacement for a bra and will not provide you the support of one. I highly recommend and encourage you to wear a bra underneath if you are working out or doing any activities where you may need proper chest support. I recommend sizing down since it is quite stretchy. Ideal for: Any cup size Contours your body Perfect for high-waisted leggings and the layering look High neck for added coverage Outdoor Group Classes I’m wearing the lululemon “Enlite” bra underneath the Sculpt Tank. For an in-depth explanation as to why or why not this bra may be best for you, click the link here to read my review. Ideal for: High-support C-E cups HIIT and cardio training Meditative Solo Walks The Swift Speed bra is one that I didn’t think I was going to like but ended up loving! I wasn’t too keen on the adjustable front straps but they are in my opinion better and more durable than the typical sliding bra adjuster. I like how I can choose a notch to hook the strap into and have back coverage. While this doesn’t provide as much support as the Enlite bras for me, I do enjoy this on lighter cardio days when I’m taking a meditative walk, cycling, or running errands around town. This is also my go-to bra for slightly faster-paced yoga classes (like a vinyasa flow). Ideal for: Medium-support A-E cups Lightweight, breathable built-in cups are engineered to soften bounce Four-way stretch Quick-drying This post is sponsored by lululemon. All opinions are my own.