TABOO TOPIC TUESDAY: MOVING ON FROM A FRIEND

Maybe they don’t make you feel your best. Maybe they haven’t been supportive of an exciting new chapter in your life. Maybe you’ve been meaning to do so for a while.

No matter how you slice it, cutting ties with a friend or someone you care about can be really painful. When you make the decision to end a friendship or move on without someone, it’s understandable to feel sad or upset about it. But likely, it isn’t a decision you’ve made lightly.

It can help to ask yourself a few questions about the situation (maybe even write them down in a letter you won’t ever send to the person/people you’re moving on from) to alleviate your own feelings of hurt and help you understand that you’re doing this for you.

Do they support me?

Of course, it’s not ideal to have blind support from your friends; we need our friends to tell us if we’re being self-destructive or making decisions that can harm us in the long run. But if a friend or group of friends isn’t there for you during hard times? Maybe let them go. Conversely, it can really hurt if you have a new opportunity that might be really exciting, and they choose to make it about them without showing any support for you. If they can’t be happy for you about the amazing new parts of your life, it’s time to find people who will be.

Do I feel better after talking to them?

This doesn’t necessarily have to mean after talking to a friend for advice or when you’re looking for comfort; this can just mean in general! Do you always feel worse about your body after having dinner with a friend who constantly talks down about themselves or you? Do you leave their house with a sinking feeling after they spent the entire time you were hanging out filling your ears with mean-spirited gossip about other friends, when all you really wanted to do is discuss the latest episode of The Good Place? If you feel worse after speaking to them than you did when you walked in, it might be time to move on.

Do they treat you the way you deserve?

Sometimes the people we thought we cared about the most are the ones that show their true colors when you’ve had a communication mishap or you have an argument. Are they mature when it comes to handling disagreements? If they never apologize or take responsibility for their actions, that puts a lot of pressure on you to diffuse conflict and tension. You deserve respect, and you should be treated with some.

These questions aren’t the end-all be-all; it can be really difficult and extremely complicated when dealing with friendship problems. Just remember: if you’re considering cutting ties for your own mental and physical health, you should trust your gut. It’s usually right.

Start swiping and find some awesome new friends on Hey! VINA today!

DEALING WITH LONELINESS: THE LONELINESS CHRONICLES

Human connection is an essential need for survival. We will always crave a sense of belonging, and, because of this, when we cannot satisfy this need, a feeling of loneliness is inevitable.

Now, I hate to be a cliche, but a time where I felt the most alone was when my three-year relationship came to an end. My ex-partner was a kind person, but we weren’t good for each other. At that point in my life, any spare time I had was dedicated to my significant other, which meant that I neglected my relationships with friends, family, and myself. When we broke up, I had to face a harsh reality that I didn’t have much of a life beyond our relationship. So for the first time, in a long time, I was alone — and I was lonely.

I’ll spare you the details of a very long sob story, but going through this specific season of loneliness left me with a lot of life lessons that I feel compelled to share with my fellow vinas. Here’s what did and didn’t work for me:

WHAT DIDN’T HELP:

  1. Isolating Myself – Yeah, this one seems obvious, haha. If you’re feeling alone, isolation would be counterproductive. When I was feeling lonely, I thought my best bet was to “tough it out,” but this only validated the fear that I was alone and didn’t deserve love.
  2. Meaningless Hookups – I am all for recreational sex with whoever, whenever. What I don’t recommend is seeking physical relationships to fill the void caused by loneliness. This was my go-to M.O. every time I was craving intimacy, but temporary solutions don’t fix long-term problems. When I sought out partners for this purpose, I was always left feeling emptier than before.
  3. Alcohol – I went on a three-month-long bender of going out to the bars and clubs at any given opportunity. Translation, I was filling the void yet again, but this time with too much alcohol. Your objective of a fun evening out shouldn’t be to drink until you don’t feel anything anymore.

WHAT DOES HELP:

  1. Reaching Out – Initially, it was really hard to reach out to my loved ones. I felt that because I neglected our friendships that it would be insulting to try and lean on them for support. I’m glad that I didn’t listen to that voice for long because I would have missed out on some really great moments with my friends. These people provided me with the reassurance I needed the get out of the dark place I was in. In the long run, reconnecting with those I cared about has taught me to be a much better friend in return.
  2. Creating New Relationships – Alongside the rebuilding of my current relationships, I also made it a point to try and meet new people. It was extremely daunting to put myself out there, but it was a necessary step to self-healing. Also, shameless app plug, but that’s actually how I stumbled upon Hey! VINA! Nothing brings two vinas together more than a broken heart.
  3. Doing Things I Loved & Trying Out New Things – In my relationship, I neglected a lot of my personal hobbies that used to bring me a lot of joy. Now that I had more time for myself, I decided to pick them back up. I got back into reading, attending story slams, and traveling. It also gave me a chance to try out things that always wanted to do painting (I wasn’t very good at it). Filling up my calendar with things to do meant I didn’t have much time to dwell upon the loneliness. Which brings me to my next item:
  4. Being Kind to Myself – A lot of the loneliness I was feeling was fueled by negative self-talk, which is why it was unsettling to be by myself. I had to learn to change the narrative and replace my harsh words with affirming ones. This isn’t easy for anyone, but sentences like, “I am deserving of love” or “I have an amazing support system that cares for me” made all the difference.
  5. Embracing Solitude – Not to be confused with isolation, but it’s important to solidify your relationship with yourself. How you go about it will be different for everyone. For me, sometimes it meant taking days off to sit in bed and read or dedicate a day to pampering myself. Time to time, I’d make plans to travel and explore new cities with me, myself, and I. This opportunity for quietness, peace, and self-reflection lead to such clarity and self-growth. After all, being alone doesn’t have to mean being lonely.

Unfortunately, loneliness doesn’t have an expiration date. You might have many periods of loneliness in your lifetime, but I hope that this list gives you some insight on how to tackle it. Just remember vinas, you may feel lonely, but you’re never alone.

Don’t be afraid to reach out and make new friends. Download the Hey! VINA app today to do so!

MENTAL HEALTH CHECK-IN

I don’t mind sharing the fact that I’ve been clinically diagnosed with generalized anxiety and depression. Although I’ve managed my anxiety through medication along with removing things that make me anxious, I still battle depression on a regular basis. Some days I’m the stereotypical can’t-get-out-of-bed-to-adult-today type of depressed and other days I am the I-have-no-friends-and-everyone-is-married-but-me depressed. Either type of depressive feeling sucks! The one cliche that everyone notes is “you are not alone.”

It’s easy to feel alone when you’re facing your own battles and situations. Feeling lonely can make you depressed; being depressed can make you lonely. Unfortunately, our natural instinct is to meld one into the other. Loneliness is not the same as being alone. When you’re alone, there’s literally no one around. When you’re lonely, you’re experiencing a feeling. Regardless of how many people are around, you don’t feel as though you’re connecting with anyone. I have children, so it’s safe to say I’m never alone. However, I do feel lonely when I have no one to talk to about the unnecessary door slamming at 7 a.m.

I’m not a medical professional, and always recommend that you speak to a professional regarding your feelings of loneliness or depression. It’s the best thing you can do in the name of self-care. However, I’ll share what’s worked for me in overcoming my loneliness and depression.

WRITE IT OUT

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Journaling is a popular method for logging a lot of different things, from writing out things you want to manifest to jotting down your feelings throughout the day. Start simple. Use the Notes app on your phone to write down a feeling and the time. Later you can expand on how you felt in that moment and what was occurring. I’m big on technology and apps, and there is one app I highly recommend called MoodNotes (currently available on iOS) by a company called Thriveport. According to its website, “Thriveport’s mission is to create helpful, intuitive, and scientifically sound tools to improve people’s lives.” Try it out.

TRIGGERS

A huge way to analyze and get through a feeling of loneliness or depression is to learn and understand your triggers. If seeing a picture of a normal happy moment triggers a feeling of depression for you, you need to analyze why you reacted that way. One of the reasons it’s so important to keep track of how you feel through the day is to help you find the source of your feelings. Once you learn what triggers certain feelings, you’ll be better able to overcome moments of loneliness and depression. Being able to change your thought patterns around sadness will help you maintain a level of control. We often fall into mental traps by personalizing, blaming, catastrophizing, and so on. Sometimes re-thinking the situation to avoid these traps will help you see a way out.

YOU AREN’T ALONE (REALLY)

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The awesome thing that I’ve learned is that I’m really not alone. I’m unique. My situation may seem unique, but I am not alone. And neither are you. The Hey! VINA app shows that there are so many women out there who are looking for support, looking to have fun, and looking to make real connections. There are people that care about you. There are people that want to be around you. You are a good person, regardless of the decisions you’ve made that aren’t. Not everyone judges a book by its cover. You are loved, even if you may not know it yet.

Finding a support system can be a challenge when you’re in a slump where you feel like you don’t deserve one. Always remember, your support system starts with you. Put a smile on your face (Go ahead, I’ll wait. No I don’t care if it’s fake). Pull your shoulders back, and take control of your life and your emotions. You and only you have the power to reclaim your happiness and be everything you want to be.

And you deserve it. That and so much more.

Head over to Hey!VINA to find some genuine connections and start building your support system today.

THE VINA GUIDE TO LOVING YOURSELF

February—better known as “the month of love“—has had us ladies fantasizing about all things relationships, flowers, chocolates, romantic evenings and wine related. However, I have one question for you: What’s more special than celebrating a love that is deeper than the seas, a love that is as loyal as it comes, a love that has been there since day one, a love that lasts a lifetime? AKA, SELF-LOVE.

Now I know this new trendy epidemic of self-love looks really appealing on social media—filled with facemasks, bubble baths, aromatherapy and so on—which I’m totally not knocking, I love it! But to really love yourself is to really put the work in. Luckily, us vina gals are empowered to make a difference in our lives, so let’s get through this guide together, okay?

1) TO LOVE THYSELF, IS TO PUT THYSELF FIRST

When was the last time you put yourself first? For some of us, it isn’t that easy. We might be people-pleasers, draining our own energy to be there for others. Some of us might be mothers, some of us might work three jobs just to get by, but have you heard of the word “self-preservation”? There comes a time where we need to literally say “enough is enough” and admit that you need some me time. And that is totally okay! Preserve some time every day, whether it’s an hour or 10 minutes, and just do what you and your body need at that moment. Give yourself some space to rejuvenate!

2) SWITCH THE NARRATIVE: SPEAK WELL TO YOURSELF. SPEAK UP FOR YOURSELF

How many of us know how to take a compliment, without answering it back with a bit of belittlement about ourselves? How many of us compliment others, without ever complimenting ourselves? If we continue to talk down to ourselves, talk ourselves out of opportunities, feel worthless or inadequate, believe what others view us as, we will truly live that narrative. So, switch it up! Speak powerfully and presently to yourself: “I am beautiful, I am successful, I am living a wonderful, happy life.” When we speak in the present moment, our minds will start believing it. Find power even in your weaknesses. Be patient with yourself. You are what you think, so make it a good thought 😉 Another ritual of self-love is speaking up for yourself. Saying “no” more often to please yourself doesn’t make you a bad person, it makes you a smart person who knows what you want and aren’t afraid to express it. Speaking up even when your voice shakes is a great form of self-love.

3) STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS + VALUE YOURSELF

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You saw the memes, the quotes, the “new year, new me” resolutions and this for sure was one of them. So, stop comparing, start valuing! Value your mind, value your heart, value your ideas, value what makes you unique and stand out, value your body which protects you, moves you, allows you to experience the world, and loves you even through your own self-criticism. Your value is more than a physical attribute, it goes deeper than that. “I hated my way into loving myself,” said no one ever! No one can get to a place of happiness without accepting what is. And if I can be your hype-woman for a second: what you are, right in this moment, is so beautiful, colorful, vibrant and unique! Value everything that makes you, you. The only person you should compare yourself to is who you were yesterday.

4) END ALL TOXIC RELATIONSHIPS—ASAP

There is just no time for us ladies to be consumed by relationships that make us feel anything less than amazing. Did you know that toxic relationships can cause energy depletion, stress and anxiety, low self-esteem, fatigue, lack of concentration and a weak immune system? Relationships should uplift you, make you want to do better, feel motivated to achieve your goals, and you should feel like you have a supportive partner all the way! If you are experiencing the opposite of that, then it’s best to cut the cord, move on and rise up! Don’t let anyone hold you down. You know what you need for you, deep down.

5) SURROUND YOURSELF WITH GOOD VINAS!

So, this one kind of goes with number 4, but it needs to be said! By surrounding yourself with people who believe in you, support you, want to see you do great things and push you to be your best self, that energy can only raise you up and enhance your best self. Good friends, good memories, good food are all a wonderful part of wellness and self-love. Find the gal gang you need over at Hey! VINA to start building that loving circle. 

6) LET GO OF THE PAST, SAY HELLO TO YOUR BRIGHT FUTURE

Past traumas, heartbreaks, wounds, grudges can be very hard to let go of, and this might be a step that needs some extra support from someone you trust. But by knocking down the walls that bound you—that have left you with some resentment or anger in your heart—we can unload the burdens that, in fact, might be holding us back from truly living our best lives. You know you deserve better. Your future deserves better. So why not give the gift of letting go and putting to rest the past to make for an even better future?

7) DON’T WAIT FOR SOMEONE TO CHOOSE YOU, CHOOSE YOURSELF

For our vinas who are single hoping to mingle for Valentine’s day, remember that just because you’re single doesn’t mean you aren’t worthy of love! You are the best gift you could give yourself! So let’s get cheesy with our social media posts of self-love rituals and bubble baths with a glass of champagne. Give some MAJOR sensual self-love and show off how loving ourselves hasn’t been easy, but is so worth it in the end. You deserve the world.

So vinas, be good to yourself, push through limiting beliefs, your time is now to radiate! Check out Hey! Vina to empower other women and to start loving yourself.

WHAT IT MEANS TO INVEST IN YOURSELF

You’ve heard it countless times—take time for yourself and secure your future. But what does that really mean and how do you about it? Essentially, investing in yourself works the same way like putting money in the bank. The more you put in, the more you’ll reap. We can get so caught up in everyday life, we forget that the most important investment we’ll ever make is the time we give ourselves in order to flourish.

The month of January calls for a fresh start and new healthy habits! Here are some ways you can invest in your wellbeing and get more out of life.

GET MORE OUT OF YOUR DAY

For a good part of my young adult life, I always believed I was a night owl. I thought it was just in my genetics to go to bed at 3 or 4 a.m. and wake up until noon. This was the least productive habit I ever adopted. You don’t need to wake up at 5 a.m. every day, but getting a head start definitely helps. If you’re a writer, get up earlier to write. If you like to read, do it in the morning. Whatever you enjoy doing and never have enough time for, getting up a bit earlier to do it will make you feel so much better!

INVEST IN YOUR HEALTH

Fitness is the first step I took when I decided to invest more in myself (and I saw results!) I enjoyed ending a long day by going to the gym. An hour of working out gave me the alone time I craved after a busy day socializing at my day job or with friends. It allowed me to unwind, and I felt so much better afterward. Over time, I saw results and learned so much more about my body and overall health.

INDULGE IN YOUR INTERESTS

If you’re struggling with this one, don’t worry—I did too. If you don’t currently have an interest you’re passionate about, then start with an idea. I would look at water-coloring tutorials but never trying it out myself. One day, I bought a starter kit and followed a video and made a cute work of art! The process was very therapeutic, and now it’s a fun hobby I get to share with others. If there is anything you’d like to try out, then try it! You’ll be amazed at what comes from just attempting a new hobby—plus you’ll feel good about yourself. What an accomplishment!

These are just a few ways you can invest in yourself day-to-day. It’s going to be different for everyone. These are just a few things that worked for me! Looking after yourself, learning a new skill and taking a break from all the hustle and bustle is more important than you think. The first step to being good to others means being good to yourself!

Looking to have a support group to motivate you into taking care of yourself? Join our communities on Hey! VINA to find the squad you need. 

WAYS TO PICK YOURSELF UP AFTER A GOOD CRY

You’re in your room, your eyes are puffy and you just got done crying harder than you ever thought possible. Let me be the first to tell you: There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this picture. In fact, you should be proud that you were brave enough to let yourself express all that emotion! Below are a couple of caring and healing actions you can take once you’re ready to move forward from that freeing cry sesh.

YOU ARE THE BOSS OF YOU

Once you have allowed yourself to calm down, take a deep breath and remind yourself that you are the boss of your life and your emotions. Being hurt is okay, so is being sad or scared, but it is ultimately up to you to pick yourself up and push yourself forward. Remember: you are a boss babe, and you are capable of outshining all of the stars put together. This is probably the most crucial step, in my opinion, because a vina’s power comes from loving and believing in herself!

INDULGE A LITTLE

Granted, it’s never okay to eat your feelings, but we’re talking about a little indulgement. There’s nothing like dipping into your favorite snack for a little pick-me-up after spending so much energy being sad and down. Or perhaps your idea of this includes splurging on that aged brie from Trader Joe’s you’ve been eyeing all week. If there was ever a time to indulge a little, this would be it!

TREAT YOURSELF

Do you have a face mask that you have been saving for just the right moment? This is it. This is the moment. After giving yourself a pep talk and eating to your heart’s content, rejuvenate with a regimen of your choice! Whether it is a face, lip, or hair mask, do something that will make you feel energized and like you are ready for what’s next. Go the extra mile and throw some bath salts or bubbles in that bad boy! The point of this step is to feel fresh and new—like you just wiped off all the tears and the self-doubt from your life and are ready to tackle whatever comes your way.

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Photograph by Paramount Home Entertainment

BUST OUT YOUR FAVE FEEL-GOOD FILMS/TUNES

It has been scientifically proven that when you fill your brain up with happy things while you’re sad, it has a positive effect on you! It may be tempting to wallow in your own sadness and watch all the saddest movies or listen to “In My Feels” radio, but you must push past the sad and get into the happy. My go to right now? “Thank U, Next” By baby girl Ariana Grande! Make yourself a playlist pre-breakdown so you are prepared! Another way to rid the blues? Watch some feel-good movies. This includes something with an overall positive message, a plot where the strong female lead makes a big comeback, or something straight up funny. Did anyone say “Mean Girls?”

This list is a very small amount of things you can do to pick yourself back up after a good ugly-cry session. The world may seem like it is just not going right for you at the moment, but you have the world at your feet; but first, let’s get you through this bad day. You got this girl.

Lean in to your community of kickass vinas on Hey! VINA who are ready to love and support every piece of you. 

DIY OVERHAUL FOR YOU AND YOUR VINAS

New Year’s Eve has come and gone and your party outfit back to its dutiful spot in your closet. As our calendars turn a new leaf to 2019, it’s time to invest in you so you can put your best foot forward. The first thing on the agenda? Looking the part. Read on for a head-to-toe DIY treatment that will have you feeling lush and ready to take on the world!

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LUSCIOUS LOCKS

To keep tresses hydrated, mix 1 tablespoon each of honey, castor oil and coconut oil with 1 tablespoon of egg. Mix well. Keep hair mask on for 30 minutes (or longer, max one hour). Rinse with cold water. Apply to scalp and hair 2 to 3 times a week. Pro tip: add a little lemon juice to your water in order to get rid of the excess oil and egg—leaving you with a beautiful glow. Shampoo as usual. A conditioner is usually not necessary after a mask that is this rich in oils. Not only does this help with soft, beautiful, bouncy hair, it also increases hair growth and repairs damage.

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VIBRANT VISAGE

For the face, used ground coffee beans is an absolute saving grace. You can mix 1 tablespoon of coffee with the following to make your skin look and feel amazing:

  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil and 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2  teaspoon baking soda and 1 teaspoon honey

Caffeine, as you know, wakes you up and does the same for tired skin.  Honey locks in moisture for bouncy, youthful-looking skin.  Coconut oil prevents premature aging, amongst other things.  Sugar is a natural humectant, meaning it draws moisture from the environment into the skin as well as doubles as an exfoliant.  The baking soda and honey combo act as a gentle exfoliant and moisturizing cleanser.

Another great one is cocoa, sugar and a drop of milk to turn it into a paste.  Apply generously to your face, leave on for about 10-15 minutes and rinse off with cold water. Pat your face dry with a towel. The antioxidants in cocoa help prevent premature aging by fighting free radicals.

If you suffer from dry skin, this is a great one, especially if it’s winter time.  Grate half of an unripe, firm avocado and mix a teaspoon of coconut oil in before you apply.  You can keep this on for a good 20 minutes if your skin is really dry.  Do this at night before bed and wipe off with a rag. Make sure not to rinse.

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BODY TALK

For the body, make a quick and easy bath bomb by mixing 1 cup baking soda, 1/2 cup citric acid and 1/2 cup Epsom salts.  Then in a separate bowl, mix 1 teaspoon water, 2 teaspoons vanilla essence and 3 teaspoons coconut or olive oil.  Mix dry and wet ingredients and put into molds (cupcake pan works just as well).  Try one of your bath bombs immediately and let the rest dry.  Make sure to pair it with a nice wine and smooth music for a meditative session.

For the eyes, used rooibos tea bags are phenomenal. They soothe tired eyes and cool down any puffiness.  I usually dip them in icy cold milk right before I lay them on my eyes.  The insides can also be used as a scrub.  Mix it with honey and any essential oil you like to create the ultimate scrub.

What are you waiting for? Give your body the attention it deserves with these easy, home-made recipes!

Gather up your favorite vinas and create a “Home Spa” event on Hey! VINA for the ultimate girls’ night in! 

HEALTHY WAYS TO NURTURE YOUR EMOTIONS

Emotionally drained: That is the feeling after a long day at work, a messy break-up, family drama, or maybe even that flaw that you think you have that you can’t get over. Spending your energy within these situations will take away your joy in things that matter— and will prevent you from achieving that necessary growth. Emotions make themselves known so much that your physical health will start to show it. Prevent yourself from going into that dark place, and start taking care of yourself from the inside out, vinas. Get started and put these practices in place in order to be emotionally healthier.

CONFIDENCE IN SAYING “NO”

There is something about saying “no” that induces a feeling of freedom. Saying no is a moment in which you have decided to take control. Say no to procrastination, because saying yes won’t get you to your final goal, it will only delay you, or cut your opportunities. Say no to talking crap about yourself, understand that you are in charge of you and that beautiful changes begin on your own terms and with the right attitude. By saying no, you are creating boundaries around your emotional health, allowing yourself options. Say no when you are not in agreement, uncomfortable with a certain situation, or because you have decided to put yourself first when it comes to your needs.

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STOP OVERLOADING

When traveling, I know for a fact that there are luggage restriction: no more than 50 lbs per luggage. Don’t even get me started on the consequences if you go over the limit. Now think about that, and apply it to your life. Don’t take on more than you can handle. Your brain, body and soul can only take so much until you start seeing the consequences.
Some examples of overloading your luggage include: covering for someone at work after your long shift, gossiping, taking on too many jobs and accepting a myriad of social invitations.

Do you usually take tasks and obligations from others? Remember that you come first. It is okay to know when you have enough on your plate, and when to let things go to keep you from having a meltdown. One project at a time, vinas. So travel light; Remember that less is more and happy is better 🙂

TOXIC RELATIONSHIPS

I am not just talking about dating, but also friendships that keep you from becoming the awesome person you are meant to be. When relationships become all-take-no-give, then it is definitely time for a change. Surround yourself with a reliable support system in which you can be free to show your emotions when the time comes up. Constant judging in a relationship can leave you emotionally drained and can make you lose confidence in yourself. Knowing your worth, and understanding respect, will keep your friendships healthy and your mind fresh.

Choose your emotional outfits wisely, wear your happiness and show off your confidence. Remember that taking care of yourself makes you attractive—and there is nothing more attractive than being healthy.

Surround yourself with healthy relationships by downloading the Hey! VINA app! 

THE ANCIENT WONDERS OF YONI STEAMING

FIRST THING’S FIRST. . . WHAT IS YONI STEAMING?

Yoni is a Sanskrit word meaning “vagina,” “womb,” or “origin of life.” Yoni steaming is the ritual of gently cleansing and healing your vagina by allowing the warmth permeate the vagina, cervix, uterus and entire reproductive system. The yoni steam is usually infused with healing herbs which are activated through the steam. That steam is believed to physically detox but also is thought to emotionally detox your body and womb as well. Many women hold traumas within their womb and if we don’t take the time to heal past-traumas, our womb will keep re-birthing our traumas in different ways. Emotionally and spiritually, yoni steaming can be thought of as ridding the womb of the harmful energies that enter or get “stuck” there. Yoni steaming is a great form of self-love and re-connecting to your femininity and womanly intuition.

THE V-STEAM TREND

Yoni steaming has made some controversial headlines over the past few years ever since Gwyneth Paltrow preached about its benefits in her Lifestyle mag, Goop. She received backlash as gynecologists and doctors alike claimed it can harm your the vagina and can cause bacterial infections. Although others claimed it can actually heal bacterial infections, as with any natural remedy use with caution and at your own discretion. Do not yoni steam while pregnant, during heavy menstruation, or if you have open sores. Take out any genital piercings before attempting yoni steaming. If you are suffering from a severe bacterial infection, consult with your physician before yoni steaming.

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WHERE DID IT ORIGINATE?

Yoni steaming has been practiced in many ancient, indigenous cultures around the world! While some may think of it as taboo, it’s actually an ancient forgotten wisdom used by medicine women in African, Asian and Mayan cultures. In modern times, it’s growing in popularity in the West.

HEAD TO A SPA OR TO DIY?

Now offered at exclusive day spas, yoni steams can be found in most major cities, especially our bohemian city of Los Angeles. Simply research yoni steaming near you to find a Yoni Practitioner in your area. If you’re feeling a bit more introverted and want to do it yourself it can be done, but please be cautious, we don’t want anyone to burn themselves dealing with a bowl of steaming water!

So now you might be thinking, well how do I get that bowl of steaming water below my yoni anyway? Unless you’re skilled at wood-working and can whip up a little seat with a hole to allow the steam to actually reach your yoni – you may want to consider checking out ETSY for a Yoni Steam Seat or if you’re balling on a budget, there is an alternative; one that might seem a bit gross but highly effective and used by many other goddesses like yourself, known as “the porcelain throne!”

FROM TOILET TO THRONE

To make this experience feel a bit more pleasant and a lot less “yuck” you might want to consider giving your toilet a good scrub and making your bathroom more Zen-like. It’s always good to cleanse your sacred space – whether you decide to use your bathroom or not before steaming so you can feel more at peace.

A good scrub, a little sage, some incense and candles, meditation music, a good book or diary to write about your experience, a wide-rimmed stainless steel or glass mixing bowl and a cozy blanket and pair of socks – all to keep the warmth within!

Place your selected herbs into your pot, pour the water over while visualizing the benefits of your V-steaming. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 10 minutes- this is important as it will bring out the healing properties of the herbs’ essential oils. Pour your steaming water into your separate yoni steaming bowl, place the bowl into your toilet and let sit for a few minutes to be sure not to burn your sensitive vulva tissues!

Once your all cozy seated and wrapped in your blanket, the steaming should last about a good 25-30 minutes. This is when your inner yogi-goddess comes out to play! Go inward during this journey, meditate, read and journal. Start your ritual off with a positive affirmation and intention.

Allow yourself to BE during this time. Whatever comes up for you, let it flow and let it release. Fill yourself with only the things that benefit you.

WHAT HERBS FOR WHAT?

There are many different herbs to use–you can use one type or mix a bunch together! It is best to use your intuition when selecting the right herbs, but research can also help!

Lavender naturally relaxes you and releases stress, while regulating your menstrual cycle! It’s also great for women suffering from PMS and mood swings. Mugwort is anti-fungal and anti-bacterial, essential for women who are suffering from bacterial infections, heavy discharge and yeast. This herb can also benefit women suffering from PCOS, fibroids, infertility, and hormonal imbalances. Calendula is an anti-inflammatory herb which heals scar tissue, helps release trauma, and relieves hemorrhoids and constipation. Throw in some rose petals for extra beauty from the inside and out! Rose petals are known to uplift and calm your yoni. Enjoy your pampering session, vinas!

Healing is best when surrounded by positive vinas! Start swiping on Hey! VINA to find your friends today!

SIX SUBSCRIPTION BOX SERVICES THAT YOU’LL LOVE!

Subscription boxes have been all the rage lately. Filled with everything from workout clothes to makeup products and even dog toys, these boxes are hot on the market. If you haven’t signed up for one yet, you are missin’ out! Check out some of our vina’s all-time favorite subscription boxes and then sign up ASAP! 🙌🏽

SCRIBBLER

This is the only subscription box made for novelists and it is created by authors for authors! Scribbler is committed to helping writers improve their craft and reach their publishing goals, month after month. This subscription is designed to help writers do the three most important things: staying motivated, improving their craft, and connecting with the right publishing professionals. In these boxes, you will receive new release fiction novels, a monthly writing theme to inspire you, and and invitation to communicate with a publishing professional (i.e. a private Skype call with an author!). So get scribbling, vinas!

Check out Scribbler here.

VINEBOX

Vinebox sources the 9 best wines of the season and brings them directly to your doorstep. According to the company, these wines aren’t available at your local store and are more akin to “the stuff that you stumble across on a backroad trip through Tuscany” and “the gems that local restaurants save for a special occasion.” What’s not to love?! You can become a member and subscribe to save money or simply purchase the current box now! Keep in mind that members save on every box, have access to next quarter’s wines first and receive a quarterly credit for purchasing full-size bottles.

Check out Vinebox here.

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ARMOURBOX

These boxes are built just for you based on how you answer the sign up questions and what you are specifically looking for. A dedicated ‘official outfitter’ handpicks 4 to 6 pieces of gear that fits your needs and style and sends them right to your doorstep. Big bonus: you have a whole week to try them on before you have to pay. Then, you pay only for the gear you want and can simply ship the rest back with no additional fees. This box can be delivered as often as you need it—get a new ArmourBox on your doorstep every 30, 60, or 90 days. Surprise: if you keep everything in your box you get to enjoy 20% off!

Check out ArmourBox here.

BEAN BOX

According to the founders of Bean Box, “Seattle is the world capital for amazing, locally-roasted, authentic coffee experiences,” thus, the best place to buy coffee! So, the owners behind Bean Box want to “bring the unique experience of drinking locally-roasted coffee in Seattle to everyone, in their own home, by leveraging technology to make it easy, customizable, and full of endless variety.” Personalize your roasting preference and subscribe for either a monthly delivery of one 12oz bag of Coffee of the Month beans or, my personal favorite, get the Bean Box Sampler which features 4 different 1.8oz bags of beans.

Check out Bean Box here.

BIRCHBOX

Every month, Birchbox will send five beauty samples from a variety of designer makeup, skin care, body care, hair care, and fragrance categories—personalized to you based on the questionnaire that you fill out to create your ‘beauty profile.’ You’ll also have a chance to customize your box by choosing a specific sample or adding full-size products to ship alongside your box. This box is a fun way to discover new products or just remind yourself to invest a moment or two to self-care amidst your busy schedule.

Check out Birchbox here.

TAMED WILD BOXES

Infuse some magic into your life with this delightful service! These subscriptions are designed for spiritualists, lovers of the occult, and modern day mystics. Each Wild Medicine Box contains items chosen to support your wild and free lifestyle while connecting you back to nature and yourself. These boxes include plant remedies, crystals, incense, candles, herbs and other unique surprises. The House of Rituals Box is a monthly delivery of old world rituals, spells, prayers or intentions; leaving it up to you on how you choose to manifest. These boxes include written instructions and can include smudges, candles, incense, crystals, oils, altar items, and other ‘old world tools.’

Check out Tamed Wild here.

Do you have a favorite subscription service that we’ve missed? Get the Hey! VINA app now to share it with your new vinas!