Stay Well at Home with The Well Project

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To address the extraordinary and challenging times we are living in, The Well Project is pleased to have launched Stay Well at Home with The Well Project, which started on April 8. These bi-weekly (every other week) video/chat series feature women living with HIV sharing positive approaches to help navigate the isolation and other challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic is causing so many of us to experience. Sessions include exercise, meditation, yoga, cooking, art, and more. Let's stay connected to each other while taking a collective mental health break.

Sessions began on April 8 and take place every other Wednesday from 12 pm – 1 pm ET. Please see below for the schedule and check back often for an update to the speakers and topics.

Register now!

Upcoming Sessions

Session 13 – September 23, 2020: Get Out the Vote from Home

We're only weeks away from the most consequential election in our lifetimes--and we're in the middle of a pandemic. What's at stake in this election? How can we vote safely and mobilize our community to vote safely? Naina Khanna, executive director of Positive Women's Network – USA will lead a discussion about getting out the vote from home.

Session 14 – October 7, 2020: Nutrition as Self-Care

Registered dietitian nutritionist Maya Feller MS, RD, CDN will host a session focusing on the importance of diet and nutrition, especially during times of stress. She will share basics about the link between diet/nutrition and inflammation and the gut. The session will be specifically geared toward women living with HIV and will include ample time for Q&A. We hope you’ll join us for this special session that will help all of us make informed food choices that support health and longevity. Maya is a nationally recognized nutrition expert and the author of The Southern Comfort Food Diabetes Cookbook: Over 100 Recipes for a Healthy Life.

Past Sessions

Session 12 – September 9, 2020: Creating Pampering Skin Products

(view the chat that took place during the session)

In an effort to encourage some fun self-care, Angelena Cortello led us in creating a homemade face mask, hand scrub, and body butter, showing us how to cook up products to use in order to give ourselves the pampering break we need during these difficult times (especially given that so many salons are still closed). To follow along with Angelena, gather the following supplies: mason jars/kitchen containers, a butter knife, hand mixer (optional), 3 bowls, banana, plain yogurt, honey, sugar, coconut oil, lemon juice, cocoa butter, essential oil (for fragrance, optional). Angelena is a blogger with A Girl Like Me.

Session 11 – August 26, 2020: Parenting in the time of COVID-19 

(view the chat that took place during the session)

As summer winds down and we prepare for kids returning to school this fall (whatever that may look like), Masonia Traylor led a very interactive discussion around parenting during COVID-19. She provided insights into her experiences parenting her daughter and son, ages 9 and 16 and delved into the pros and cons of strategies she has used over the past several months to maintain a sense of normalcy and care for her children. Community members also weighed in, sharing struggles, strategies, coping tools, and their own personal experiences for a very lively conversation. Masonia is a Well Project CAB member, blogger for A Girl Like Me, and CEO/founder of Lady BurgAndy.

Session 10 – August 12, 2020: Mindfulness, Finding Peace in the Storm

(view the chat that took place during the session)

Mel Rattue demonstrated how cultivating present moment awareness can support and nourish us during times of stress. We cannot change or control the world (especially now!), but we always have power over the choices we make. This session focused on the sensations of being, rather than doing, planning, comparing, and worrying. Mel described how we can change our relationship with thoughts that do not serve us and physical sensations that can be painful. This session demonstrated that mindfulness is available to all women! While watching the recording of the session, wear comfortable clothes that are not restrictive and choose in space that provides a little room to move (and ideally some privacy). Mel is a blogger with A Girl Like Me.

Session 9 – July 29, 2020

This session was not led by a single community member, rather attendees were invited to bring something to share, whether something around self-care (or judgement free "guilty pleasure!"), something to share (ie, show and tell) from your home, a favorite recipe, book, or series. We connected for a lively discussion and chat!

Session 8 – July 15, 2020: Skin Care Routine with Miss Dees

(view the chat that took place during the session)

Porchia Dees taught us how to create a do-it-yourself (DIY) face mask from materials we have in our kitchen! She shared her skin care routine, while sharing some of the things she does to stay sane as a single woman living alone with no kids. While watching the recording of the session, bring sugar, olive or coconut oil (essential oils optional)--as well as a spoon and a bowl for mixing. Porchia is a member of The Well Project’s CAB and a blogger for A Girl Like Me. She is also a Linkage to Care Coordinator for the Black AIDS Institute.

Session 7 – July 1, 2020: Work Those Arms, Strong Bodies, Strong Minds

(view the chat that took place during the session)

Susan Mull's session combined beautiful poetry and uplifting messages with arm strengthening activities and movement that anyone can do. This session helped accentuate the strength and beauty that we all have inside us and provided guidance into the ways that we can empower each other. While watching the recording of this session, you can use small (1-3 lb) weights if you have them, but if not, household items like canned goods will work too! Susan is an A Girl Like Me Blogger, a Speak Up! presenter, and a member of PWN-USA.

Session 6 – June 17, 2020: Budget Basics with Ieshia

(view the chat that took place during the session)

No matter what we call it, we all make, spend, and save money. Budgeting often feels like a task, especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic. And yet, this is a great moment to take the time to prepare a budget that we can use moving forward. In this session, Ieshia Scott broke down key terms in budgeting, reviewed a sample budget, and introduced the process of creating individual plans for spending and saving. While watching the recording of this session, bring a breakdown of your monthly expenses and income; you can use this form that Ieshia walked us through to create a basic budget. Ieshia is a Well Project CAB member and the CEO of Positive Support.

Session 5 – June 3, 2020

In lieu of our scheduled session, The Well Project board member Linda Scruggs and CAB member Gina Brown, MSW, co-facilitated a convening that provided a safe space to share and process the most recent murders of Black people by the police in the United States and the protests that have followed. Community members shared poetry, personal stories, and their feelings and experiences.

Session 4 – May 20, 2020: Expression Through Word

(view the chat that took place during the session)

Aryah Lester led this interactive session to help us explore using creative writing as support during difficult circumstances. We created our own pieces of writing, allowing ourselves to express our emotions through paper and symbolism. In addition to her roles as a Well Project CAB member and A Girl Like Me blogger, Aryah serves as the deputy director of the Transgender Strategy Center.

Session 3 – May 6, 2020: Bean Cakes (Akara) On Point
(click here for ingredients and preparation)

(view the chat that took place during the session)

Bose Olotu showed us how to make Akara, a common (and delicious!) vegetarian meal popular in West Africa and Brazil, and thought to have originated from the Yoruba tribe of Nigeria. Cooking plays a communal role for many of us – in these times of isolation, we shared the experience virtually and learned how to make a new dish! Bose is a Well Project Global Ambassador, CAB member and A Girl Like Me blogger. She is also the southwest coordinator of the Treatment Access Movement of Nigeria and a member of the Africa Coalition on Tuberculosis. 

Session 2 – April 22, 2020: Guided Meditation for your Chakras

(view the chat that took place during the session)

Wanona Thomas led us in an introduction to opening and balancing the seven main chakras. We learned what chakras are and where they are located. The session will also acted as an introduction to meditation, highlighting its benefits, including helping us explore new insights into our inner beings. Wanona is a Well Project Community Advisory Board member and A Girl Like Me blogger. She is also the CEO and founder of Live in Your Truth and a U=U ambassador.

Session 1 – April 8, 2020: Vision Planning with CiCi

(view the chat that took place during the session)

Ciarra Covin led us in creating vision boards, with a focus on utilizing times of change as a catalyst to be more intentional with our goals. Ciarra is a Community Advisory Board member and A Girl Like Me blogger. She is also the owner of Healing is Voluntary.

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