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  1. 5 Ways to Unwind When Your Only Have a Few Minutes

    April 24, 2018 by Andrea

    unwind

    You already know how much we believe in self-care and relaxation. It helps reduce stress, which in turn can lessen the occurrence of a crisis and the complications that come with it. But what if you don't have an entire day -- or even an hour -- to devote to such calming techniques? No worries, we're bringing you a whole host of ways to unwind, even if you only have a few minutes.

    1. Treat yourself to a scalp massage.
    When you don't have the time, or the budget, for a full-body massage, grab a scalp massager, and spend five to ten minutes stimulating all those nerve endings on your head. Your brain will receive messages of relaxation and enjoyment, and your well-being will thank you.

    2. Get your cuddles.
    Whether it's with your S.O., your child, or your pet, cuddling is a great way to calm any stressors going on in your life. In fact, cuddling releases oxytocin into your body and can even help lower your blood pressure, making you feel nice and relaxed.

    3. Laugh out loud.
    As the old adage goes, "Laughter is the best medicine." It's more than just an empty platitude, too. Laughing can actually relax your muscles, release endorphins, dismiss feelings of anxiety, and more. So, use your few minutes to watch an amusing meme or video, listen to your favorite funny radio host, or call up a friend who always makes you chuckle.

    4. Bask in the sun.
    Escape the dimness and stress-inducing environment of your workplace by stepping outside for a little while. Just feeling the warmth and light of the sun on your skin can boost your mood for the better.

    5. Listen to some music.
    There's music to match any mood you're feeling or trying to feel, and when your brain hears a certain style of song, it reacts accordingly. For example, a fast one with sharp lyrics can help you address and move on from anger; an upbeat tune can send messages of happiness to your brain; and smooth jazz tracks can elicit feelings of calmness.

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  2. Taking Sickle Cell Awareness to the Airwaves

    April 18, 2018 by Andrea

    airwaves

    Along with blog posts, social media chats, and rockin' our red in support, traditional media such as television and radio can help sickle cell awareness efforts reach an even wider audience, an audience that may not know the truths about SCD. Here are three examples of sickle cell awareness hitting the airwaves in the past week: 

    1. BET's "The Rundown with Robin Thede"
    On Thursday, April 12, this BET late night show aired a segment called "Pain and Prejudice." Interspersing light humor (it's a comedy show, after all) with facts, the segment addressed how doctors often don't take the pain Black patients are experiencing seriously, and they used the experience of sickle cell warrior Cassandra Trimnell (who's also the executive director of Sickle Cell 101) to explain this bias. "I don't know any other patient populations that have as much of a struggle getting pain medication as sickle cell patients, and a lot of people suspect it's because it's labeled as a 'Black disease,'" she said on the show. Watch the segment below: 





    2. Britain's Got Talent
    Over the weekend, the B-Positive choir auditioned for Britan's Got Talent, giving them a huge platform to discuss sickle cell disease. The choir, which received yeses across the board, is the official choir of NHS Blood and Transplant and is made up of members who have sickle cell themselves or have family members or friends who do. "The NHS Blood and Transplant wants to get the message [out that] everybody give blood. That's what we're about," the choir director told BGT's judges. Watch their performance below: 




    3. The Tom Joyner Morning Show
    Today, April 18, TJMS tackled sickle cell and the importance of African-American bone marrow donors for it's #GetWellWednesday segment. Specifically, they spoke with 8-year-old Darian Smith and his family. Darian needs a bone marrow transplant to live a healthier life. Read more about his story here.

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  3. How Sickle Cell Inspired This Writer’s Debut Novel

    April 16, 2018 by Andrea
    Adébáyọ̀

    Author Photo by Eniola Alakija



    A rare disease in the U.S., sickle cell affects about 100,000 total people. In Nigeria, however, the occurrence of SCD isn't as uncommon; in fact, more than 40 million Nigerians carry sickle cell trait and more than 150,000 babies are born with sickle cell disease each year, making Nigeria home to the largest number of sickle cell warriors in the world.

    One of those 40 million, Ayobami Adebayo, is the 30-year-old author of the acclaimed novel "Stay With Me," of which the writing was heavily influenced by her own carrier status and the state of SCD in her home country. A candidate to receive the Bailey's Prize for Women's Fiction, the 9mobile Prize for Literature, and the Wellcome Book Prize (for fiction or nonfiction works that deal with themes of medicine, health, and illness), among others, Adebayo's "Stay With Me" tackles just how much sickle cell disease can affect the families involved.

    In a recent interview with The Guardian, Adebayo says the loss of two of her own friends as teens to sickle cell also inspired her debut work. "I just couldn't stop thinking about what it meant for the mother," she told the paper. "Not just to experience that kind of loss, but to somehow get up the next day."

    Read the full interview here, and if you're interested in reading the novel, you can pick up a copy here.

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  4. 6 Instagram Accounts Every Sickle Cell Warrior Should Follow for Overall Wellness Inspo

    April 2, 2018 by Andrea
    healthy

    Photo: CreateHer Stock



    Welcome to April, also known as National Minority Health Month -- "a time to learn more about the health status of racial and ethnic minority populations in the U.S.," as stated by the Department of Health and Human Services. To kick things off, we've rounded up a few awesome Instagram profiles of Black girls who are wellness leaders -- whether their focus is healthy eating, fitness, mental and emotional well-being, or a combination of them all. Get ready for a mini follow spree and endless inspiration!


    1) Haile Thomas (@hailethomas)

    Let’s talk ✨MEAL PREP✨: to be honest, I’ve never really been a “meal prepper” 🤷🏽‍♀️ I usually feel restricted by too much organization and always want to eat something that isn’t already in my fridge 😂 With that said, I challenged myself to experience a week as a prepper. — BUT instead of pre-making/prepping specific meals, I prepped different components of a meal in order to leave more room for creativity and versatility 😏🤘🏽—On Sunday I prepared for the week by cooking different grains, root veg, beans/legumes, greens, + special condiments (like pickled onions & roasted curry cashews). 🌱 And tbh, with all of these amazing ingredients at my disposal, life has been sooo much easier!! So far, none of my meals have taken more than 10 minutes to make...and if you have a busy schedule like me, this is a #blessing 🙌🏽🙏🏽 *Unexpected Bonus Perk:* Meal prepping in this manner has pushed me outside of my normal flavor & ingredient combos as well! ((shook)) This bowl is all kinds of crazy-combo magic!! 💫✨ ft. Crispy Turmeric Tempeh + Sorghum + Smoky Chili Maple Butternut Squash + Arugula & Avocado this bowl made for such a unique and satisfying late lunch 😍⚡️💛 I’m really looking forward to improving on my meal prep skillz as the week goes on ...do y’all have any tips for effective&delicious meal prep??

    A post shared by Haile (@hailethomas) on

    Only 17 years old, Haile already has nearly 10 years of health activism under her belt. Her feed is not only full of appetizing vegan recipes, but also delivers motivation for all areas of your life.


    2) Happy Org. (@thehappyorg)

    Founded by Haile Thomas, this nonprofit is specifically geared toward helping kids and teens learn how to eat healthier through nutrition and culinary classes.


    3) Outdoor Afro HQ (@outdoorafro)

    Black people don't go camping, you say? Squash stereotypes and find new ways of embracing nature and trying different fitness activities through these photos, where you'll find people who look like you hiking, camping, canoing, and more.


    4) Jeanette Jenkins (@msjeanettejenkins)

    Trainer to the stars, Jeanette is also ready to bless your TL with motivational quotes, delicious healthy food plans, quick and easy exercise videos, and more.


    5) Golden Flourish (@golden.flourish)

    Self-care and inner wellness can be found in the little things, too. Follow Golden Flourish for examples of things you can do each day.


    6) Jessamyn Stanley (@mynameisjessamyn)

    Yoga instructor and body positivity advocate (and yes, you've also seen her on those U by Kotex commercials), Jessamyn proves that healthy bodies can come in all shapes and sizes. In need of some serious motivation? Jessamyn doesn't disappoint.

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