This month I'm sharing some of the feel-good habits of our community member, Brianna Goldberg. Brianna joined the Feel Good community about a year ago and we became fast friends. In addition to being a strength-class regular and personal training client, Brianna has accompanied my outdoor yoga classes on acoustic guitar, aaaand *spoiler alert*, we're cooking up a little retreat style event for the Feel Good community in the near future. Here's a little peek into Brianna's feel-good routines. I can't wait to hear what you take away from her profile.
Tell us about yourself: For my job-job I'm a digital communications consultant and I perform music as a side-hustle. But, really, I love to use stories and music in all kinds of ways to help us all connect with what's important.
What's your morning self-care routine? Ha, well I'm woken up by a screaming 2 year old around 6am, so... not much. But before I get out of bed I take a minute to take a deep stretch and yawn and do a body scan to see how I'm feeling. I've tried to wake up before her to take some time to myself but she has a spidey sense. There will be a day when I can wake up and face roll while slowly sipping a coffee but this is not that day. I do, however, seriously prioritize making a delicious, nourishing breakfast.
What's your favourite, nourishing breakfast? Okay I took a LONG time to arrive at this, but I can tell you now it is objectively the best breakfast that can be made in my house on a consistent basis. I'm dairy intolerant, so I use Flourish vegan protein powder pancakes and add in collagen powder and peanut butter powder for added protein. I throw that in a griddle while my coffee percolates. Top it with coconut yogurt and blueberries. When I started working with Justine she helped me significantly increase protein in my diet, especially in the first part of the day, and it's been literally life changing in terms of energy and appetite control later in the day. Also, this brekkie is SO GOOD.
What's your feel-good beverage of choice: Chai-Rooibos tea
What's your favourite personal development book or podcast? Tara Brach's podcast and her book Radical Acceptance; The Body Keeps the Score; and I listen to Glennon Doyle's podcast, "We Can Do Hard Things."
What does your weekly movement routine look like? Strength training x 3 (one group class with Justine, one solo session with her, one session by myself), one self-guided yoga movement session, one restorative yoga class online with the most amazing teacher, Matthew Romantini. And then lots and lots of walking my dog and kid, rollerblading or ice skating on my own as a chillout activity, and shooting hoops in the non-snowy season.
What do you stand for? And, tell us why these values are important to you: Honest communication from the heart (about everyday things but also re: soul and spirit) -- I mean what I say and I like to say it only once; in my job, I help others figure out how to most clearly say what they mean; and with my music, I feel it's my duty to be emotionally vulnerable and in so doing support others to communicate openly on that level. Fun and silliness come very naturally to me and I love when people can find playfulness even in challenging situations. It's my goal to be a grounded, loving presence for everyone in my life.
When it comes to mindset, are there any mantras that you live by? When I heard about The Four Agreements a few years ago, I was like, ah yes, that sums my feelings up nicely: "Be Impeccable With Your Word. Don't Take Anything Personally. Don't Make Assumptions. Always Do Your Best." Also, my 'catch phrases' for 2023 are "say less" (don't overexplain or justify to those who don't deserve it) and "you don't have to" (because I can sometimes take on things that don't serve me).
What are your most important feel-good routines and rituals? Playing music -- singing, playing guitar, also I'm just learning how to play drums. It instantly drops me into my body and takes me to another place. I also really enjoy running outdoors in the ravine. I have a variety of candles from a brand called Shy Wolf that I absolutely adore and use daily. And I like to burn palo santo to reset the vibe in the music room, which is my self-care space.
What is your number one indulgence? Chocolate and whiskey -- I like to have them together so they count as one ;)
What is one feel-good self care routine that you could not live without? Face rolling! I think it's so funny but also I feel like a million bucks afterwards. I listen to binaural beats (music that stimulates certain brain waves for relaxation) and roll my face while lying on my yoga mat in my music room, surrounded by my lava lamp, salt lamp and whatever candle I'm currently crushing on.
Name a service or regular appointment that you have that supports your overall well-being and tell us why you love it so much. Everything I do with Justine, obviously; also, a weekly restorative yoga class with Matthew Romantini. It's not traditional restorative. He blends somatic work, yoga therapy, meditation and... a whole whack of other things. It downshifts my nervous system so effectively. It's a must. He's a genius. Like, actually. I think he truly has the gift of healing.
Tell us about a feel-good product that you're obsessed with: Shy Wolf Candles! Many of them are themed after classic 70s and 80s songs, others are themed after tarot cards, and they really help set a cozy vibe. My favourite right now is The Hermit: leather, coffee and cedar.
What is the boring self-care that you're committed to? And, tell us why you do it. Batch cooking boatloads of protein. I do a sheetpan of tofu, another of chicken, another of roasted chickpeas; I've also started making a giant pot of lentils with fennel seed. I always dread having to do it in the lead-up but having various containers of tasty protein that I can throw into all three daily meals through the week means I'm eating delicious, really filling and nutritious stuff. I always thank myself afterwards, it's never ever a wasted effort. And not to brag but the stuff I make is way better than most food I could get from take-away, so I actually am treating myself *more* than if I got prepared food.
If I could wave a magic want and you'd get 24 hours to yourself, how would you spend that time? Hm. Near water -- an ocean or lake. With a good notebook and pens, a yoga mat, a faceroller, and a bottomless pitcher of iced lime-flavoured fizzy water, rooibos tea on tap, and a guitar or ukulele. I'd swim and nap and write and play music. By myself! I'm an introvert who hasn't been truly alone in three years. LOL
What's your bedtime routine? Tell us how you wind down at night. Sleepytime tea and reading. Last year I made a commitment to myself to read every single night, even if it's only a paragraph, with the goal of separating my mind from my day. It's been incredible. First of all, I've finished so many more books than normal! Even though it's often only a paragraph before I get too tired, over time it adds up. And it does really succeed it putting my imagination somewhere other than on my worldly problems. I haven't read anything amazing but it's changed my world none the less. Oh, and getting a good face cleanser and hydration/moisturizing routine. I love vitamin C serum, my face feels amazing in the morning.