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Big zen energy


Over 20 years ago, the National Library of Medicine shared a report showing that Black Americans under the age of 70 were dying at a rate nearly twice that of white Americans. That was over two decades ago. Surely, things (and by “things” we mean systemic issues within the healthcare system, access to good medical care, access to nutritious foods, affordability of health insurance etc.) would have improved since then, right? No. The Marshall Project reports that Black Americans still die younger at almost every age group at a higher rate compared to white Americans.

Now the CDC reports that total life expectancy in the U.S. just dropped for the second consecutive year – with drug overdoses in large part to blame. We can’t talk about drug use without talking about its causes, including depression, stress, trauma and homelessness. And we cannot talk about those issues without recognizing that Black Americans face each of these at a higher rate than other groups. Prioritizing mental and emotional well-being has never been more important – it’s a matter of life and death. MADAMENOIRE wants to emphasize the importance of practicing more zen in your life. Here are ways to bring out big zen energy in the coming year.


Stop Multitasking

A woman, a young black woman, walks through the streets of Barcelona on a beautiful sunny winter day

Source: Milan Markovic / Getty

Do you read work emails while you eat lunch? Or talk to customer service while you go for your walk? Multitasking might make you feel like you’re getting more done in less time. But what you’re actually doing is robbing yourself of the chance to be present. Give yourself the space to do just one thing at a time. This allows you to focus on it and be present.

When eating a meal, doing just that gives you the chance to focus on the flavors of the food and on your gratitude for a full fridge. When going for a walk, leave your phone at home, so you can focus on the beauty of your surroundings and the sensations of moving your body. There are many uplifting and rewarding sensations to be had in everything we do, but you miss out on them if you multitask.

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