One of our favorite wellness gurus about town, Meredith Ewenson (@mere_jane), has partnered with Discover Newport to introduce an inaugural Wellness Week in Newport. There are over 35 wellness opportunities (think: workshops, discounts on products, free classes, spa experiences & more!) and passionate purveyors of all things health & wellness, that are helping make this initiative a smashing success. We sat down with Meredith to learn a bit more about Wellness Week, mindfulness, and gain a few healthy hacks to help make 2018 the best one yet. Read on, below:
Tell us a little bit about Newport Wellness Week and the thought process behind its formulation.
Kathryn Farrington (Discover Newport VP of Marketing) & I had a meeting just to catch up & chat about what I’ve been up to post-newportFILM & really the idea organically came out of that meeting. I had always wanted to do something like a wellness day or week, but it was that conversation where we realized Discover Newport was the perfect platform & community mouthpiece to host & promote this type of program. Since Newport Wellness Week isn’t one particular ‘event’ (it’s a week where businesses can collectively promote special offerings, think: Restaurant Week for Wellness), we wanted to create a physical element to the week to bring the community together face to face. This is where the idea of the Wellness Marketplace came about to kick off & set the energy for the week. That event was last Sunday & had 23 vendors & tons of people come through. The response was incredible for our first year.
NWW runs from Jan 22 – 27, check out the 43+ wellness offerings here:
What most excites you about Newport Wellness Week?
The true mission of NWW is multifaceted: It’s an opportunity for those in the community to have support with their 2018 health goals (80% of people quit their goals by January 15) & to give the community access to wellness services & businesses that they may not have tried or known about. It’s also a way to support local businesses at a possibly slower time of year. One pleasant byproduct from the Wellness Marketplace was the opportunity for wellness based businesses to connect with each other & strengthen the wellness community that we have here in Newport/Bristol County. This weaving of the community in a number of ways is what excites me most.
What does wellness mean to you? How do you integrate mindful wellness practices into your own life?
Wellness to me means tuning into the needs of your body. This is a practice that can be fine tuned over time & looks different for everyone. I don’t believe one can ever “achieve” wellness. Mindfulness literally means “to be aware,” so it’s that action of tuning in, tweaking & taking action towards your goals (even if small) that create a lifestyle of wellness. And it can certainly change over time!
What might you recommend to an Aquidneck Islander seeking more wellness in the new year? Are there some simple steps one can take to achieve more wellness in their life?
Keep it simple. And I mean really simple. Don’t try to overhaul all at once. Be okay with it taking time & focus on how you FEEL rather than how you look. Add before taking away.
So example, let’s say you drink soda & want to quit. Don’t just quit cold turkey, start by adding 16oz of water into your day. Then next week maybe make it 32oz, then perhaps more from there. Soon you will start to notice you feel better when drinking water & you’ll have begun to build a new habit of drinking water that will slowly replace drinking soda. A lot of our health goals are about changing a habit or ritual that has become comfortable or a default happy place, so be easy on yourself about it & make small, consistent steps.
As a community, how do you think Newport scores as far as providing our residents with access to wellness education and experiences?
There are SO many health & wellness resources in our area! Don’t be afraid to try something new or be a beginner at a new gym/studio/yoga class.
What are some of your personal favorite classes and destinations around town that speak to health and fitness?
Well I teach at Thames Street Yoga (8am Thursday mornings & 6pm Friday nights) so of course that’s my favorite place to practice. Kathy Martin & her team of instructors at Elevate Fitness are so knowledgable, I’ve been doing her morning bootcamps for over a year & it feels so good to sweat & move. Not to mention the community & camaraderie she’s created over there, it’s awesome.
Favorite healthy snack?
Ohhhh so hard! Here are a few…
- Rice cakes & almond butter with cinnamon
- Biss Bites of all varieties (usually some combo of nuts, oats, spices, nut butters. Here’s a recipe from my blog: http://www.bewellyogalifestyle.com/blog/2016/11/17/recipe-coconut-lemon-bliss-bites)
- Bone broth – heat it & sip it
- Water! Often when you think you’re hungry, you’re actually just dehydrated. So chug a big glass of water, then decide what to snack on. I always add a drop of doTERRA lemon or grapefruit Essential Oil because it tastes good, is cleansing to the body, & is immune supportive
Must-have product for your daily regimens?
doTERRA Essential Oils. No question. And not just because I sell them! There is an oil for almost any health support I need, emotional or physical: Immune system, digestion, energy, focus, relaxation, sleep, the list goes on.
If you’re looking to mentally re-charge, what’s your go-to practice?
I do find exercise & yoga to be re-charging, but if I need a true reset, my most effective tool is Stillness. Meditation, a few deep breaths, walk in nature (alone w no phone), a good bath with no distractions.
It’s certainly something I’m getting better at prioritizing. First of all, Stillness is the fastest & easiest way to lower stress – which we can all use. Also creating blank space in my day is so important to both my emotional state & business growth. Allowing for space lets your intuition speak a little louder & when you can focus on what’s truly important to you, life flows in that direction. If you spend your day “so busy” with no time to wander, be creative, or dream, what message does that send to the Universe? It says “Hey Universe, thanks but no thanks. I don’t need that business deal, sale, collaboration, money, etc etc. I don’t have time for it & I don’t want it.” Eek, I sure never want to send that message!
If you’re seeking a killer workout, where do you turn?
The bootcamps at Elevate Fitness with Kathy Martin are my go to. I show up with a water bottle & leave feeling strong & healthy. But honestly, I’ll do anything to get my heartrate up & sweat a bit. I don’t discriminate. This makes it easy to exercise while traveling or on days when I can’t get my regular workout in because I’m fine to freestyle my exercise, keep it simple with some yoga or stretching, or try a brand new class somewhere.
You’re a doTERRA Essential Oil Educator. What’s one thing you love sharing about doTERRA products?
I love sharing the opportunity for people to find freedom & empowerment. Having the tools & education to support the health of your family naturally is a gift. Taking your health into your own hands & feeling in control is life changing.
Photography Note: All photography was provided by Meredith Ewenson and the property of Meredith Ewenson. Photo credits: Jennifer Manville Photography & Meredith’s Instagram account.