Examine your wellness — Your body is your best indicator of your physical health. Listen to what your body tells you. Know your physical body. When you are tired, your body will show signs of fatigue. Listen to your body and get adequate rest. When your body is breaking down from an illness, your body will not feel normal. Listen to your body, schedule a doctor’s appointment and get a yearly wellness check- up. Yearly wellness visits from your family physician is an important physical health habit. Be aware of any family history of physical health issues to keep you on top of living a life of optimal physical health.
Often when we refer to wellness, we assume that we are talking about physical wellbeing. But one can be physically very healthy but still be unwell, emotionally or mentally. What are the steps we can take to cultivate optimal wellness in all areas of our life; to develop Mental, Physical, Emotional, & Spiritual Wellbeing?
As a part of our series about “How We Can Do To Cultivate Our Mental, Physical, Emotional, & Spiritual Wellbeing”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Virginia Dale Manning, LPC-S is a Licensed Therapist with 12+ years of experience in education and counseling. Her passion is to motivate, inspire, guide and support others to overcome life’s common challenges related to mental wellness and addiction. She is the CEO of GinMan Consulting and the founder of Prosper Under Pressure, a community of professional women who are empowered to live a lifestyle of calm and confidence. Her mission is to share knowledge and the keys to help you live your dream life.
She is the mother of four awesome children and the granny of seven adorable grandchildren. She enjoys cooking, traveling and family time. She lives each day of her life purpose driven and dedicated to living a life according to God’s will.
She has authored three motivational and self- help books:
Master Your Journey: Simple Ways to Push Pass Life
365 Pushes: Motivation to Overcome Any Challenge
Prosper Under Pressure: 8 Ways Women Level Up to Make More Moneyhttps://content.thriveglobal.com/media/2d816fddca22ff6d00bd724854f65a38
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
As a child, I felt like an adult. I was my mother’s keeper. My mother was an overly friendly person and trusted anyone too much. Her friends were mostly street women and drug users. She wasn’t a heavy drug user herself as her friends were, but she over- indulged in alcohol which impaired her judgements. Therefore, as a child I had to watch over her safety and her money.
Many would say she was an unfit mother, but my Minnie Lee taught me to be a responsible, persistent and strong willed woman. Those attributes that I developed as a child strengthened me to survive through the many struggles I face as an adult.
What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.
My mother Minnie Lee suffered from severe depression. She attempted to take her life twice and fatally completed on the third attempt. Her relentless inspiration to my life is unforgettable.
Throughout my many years of maturing without my mother, I reached an epiphany to serve others based on the confusion and pain I experienced from her death. Mental illness most definitely affects the family as much as the sufferer.
For so many years, I was unable to speak the fatality of her life until I came to terms with the effects that mental wellness truly has on the lives of not only the sufferer but also the loved ones connected to the sufferer. Fortunately, the effects which started negative in my life now leads my path to shine light onto others who experience feelings of hopelessness.
When I completed a Masters in Counseling and Development, my outcry for relief was still mute. But eventually I realized that my mother’s death and the intuition that guided me to study mental wellness was so that I would have a voice and purpose to enable others to live a more fulfilling life despite mental health issues instead of hiding with the stigma of shame.
None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?
At Crockett Middle School I had an awesome middle school English teacher, Mrs. Brantley. Many students thought she was tough and mean. Her standards of instruction and learning were so high that she could break the toughest kid down to tears. To me she was an example of the strength and intelligence I loved to see and feel as a woman.
Many years later in my early thirties, I would meet Mrs. Brantley again. I was shocked when I entered her classroom at King Middle School as her substitute teacher for the day. She obviously saw how huge my eyes shined when I saw her, and I reminded her our connection. Seeing her again sealed the deal on the fact of why my destiny had been to complete a Bachelor’s degree at Lamar University in English Language Arts in 2000.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?
One evening I had just arrived for my 10th schoolteacher interview scheduled for the week. It was 12:50PM, I was on time for the 1PM interview and the school looked abandoned.
I knocked on the door and looked through the window, no one was there. My heart started pounded…”maybe they are at lunch”, I said to myself. So, I went back to my car waiting for another car to arrive.
I waited 30 minutes desperate for a job. Forty five minutes later a car pulled up and a male and a female jumped out laughing and bouncing towards the door. “That must be them.” I quickly jumped out so they wouldn’t think that I was late for the interview.
I introduced myself while the male was unlocking the door. And the female was laughing at his every joke. She looked at me and said “Oh, okay….come in” They offered no acknowledgment or apology for my excruciatingly long wait.
I waited again in the reception area for 15 more minutes while hearing more laughter behind a closed door.
Then I’m called into the Principal’s office. I hand him my resume. The male looks at me and says, “Why did you have to put so much stuff on your resume? All of that is unnecessary.” The wind left my body…What a blow to my self- esteem! I was just starting my career so there was not much on that piece of paper.
Days later with feelings of reject, I called to check on the open position status. Years later I realized I need to know my worth!
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
I read The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren and it changed the whole projector of my thoughts and direction in life. In my early twenties I was lost. I was still recovering from years of domestic abuse and then venturing into the full affects of being a single mother of four children. I was in school and on the right path to success but many mornings I would awake asking myself, “why am I doing all of this!” I was at my weakest point of mental wellness.
I don’t even remember how I received the book. Today as I think, I feel like it fell out of the sky from Heaven. After reading The Purpose Driven Life, I developed an understanding of why I had suffered domestic violence and the loss of my mother, and why I was currently struggling as a single mother. That book gave meaning to all of my obstacles, hurts and successes. It picked me up from my lowest point and drove me to live a climatic lifestyle ever since.
Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” No battle, obstacle or hurdle is too hard to overcome because I was already born with the strength to be undefeated.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?
One of my greatest projects currently is “The Single Factor”. It is a connection point of love and understanding for single mothers. As a single mother myself, I have experienced the many struggles and fears of making sure your children’s every need is met and satisfied no matter what you have to sacrifice.
My purpose is to ensure single mothers have an alliance to depend on for support, knowledge and inspiration for continued success and perseverance. The movement was initiated through the need to help single mothers know the importance of relaxing so that they can be more mentally and physically prepared for the roadblocks that life will create between them, their family and success. Single mothers can receive the FREE guide 5 Inspirational Tips to Help a Single Mother Relax at bit.ly/thesinglefactor
OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. In this interview series we’d like to discuss cultivating wellness habits in four areas of our lives, Mental wellness, Physical wellness, Emotional wellness, & Spiritual wellness. Let’s dive deeper into these together. Based on your research or experience, can you share with our readers three good habits that can lead to optimum mental wellness? Please share a story or example for each.
Three beneficial habits to ensure optimum mental wellness are effective communication, bold confidence and ecstatic cherish. When these three elements are practiced efficiently, it produces a harmonic inner sensation of goodness.
#1 Communicate Your Emotions
It is important to set your mental stressors free by communicating your emotions as they arise. When emotions and thoughts about situations or relationships are suppressed, they become bottled up repeatedly and accumulate. Once the body can no longer hold all of the suppressed emotions, an unhealthy explosion occurs to allow the built up release. The unhealthy explosion can come out as anger, depression or suicidal thoughts.
Effective communication does not mean that all parties need to agree on perspectives. Liberating communication is freely and respectfully expressing yourself to create an inner calm and mental peace within you.
#2 Confidence in your capability
Belief in yourself boosts your mental happiness and satisfaction. When your confidence in your capabilities is high, no matter how many mistakes you encounter, you will continue to battle them relentlessly. Confidence is your mental strength to reach your ultimate goals through your ups and downs.
Positive inner thoughts and optimistic outlooks on life boosts confidence. A positive support system also increases confidence and mental wellness. Realistic expectations of what you can do and accompanied by valid action steps keeps your mental aptitude in tune and functioning at its best.
#3 Cherish every moment
Gratitude for every life step you have taken whether good or bad heightens your mental wellness. Appreciation for everything allows opportunities for positive growth for you and relationships.
Bad situations are life lessons. They are valuable in helping you develop a new perspective and plan as how to approach any situations that are not favorable. Wallowing in mistakes and setbacks will only hinder your mental ability to move forward.
Good situations also offer valuable lessons. Sometimes people view this as the only way to be mentally well and successful. Combined with cherished viewpoints about negative situations, good situations balance your life so that the bad does not outweigh the good.
Do you have a specific type of meditation practice or Yoga practice that you have found helpful? We’d love to hear about it.
Every night I read a section of my Bible which calms my racing mind or daily setbacks so that I can sleep peacefully. Just knowing that there are biblical principles about the peace I am entitled to experience in my life brings me ease. When I have a slump in my mood throughout the day, I will repeatedly read my favorite uplifting Bible verse or another motivational quote that I have readily available for my use as a mental meditation practice.
While working in my private practice office or home office, I use a diffuser and essential oils to relax my mind and allow my thoughts and actions to flow effortlessly and peacefully. I love looking at the aroma therapy mixture chart to brew up my desired effect and concoction of fragrance that I need for relief at any moment of the day.
Thank you for that. Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum physical wellness? Please share a story or example for each.
Physical wellness is just as important as mental wellness. Good physical health habits can be achieved with how you exercise, eat and examine.
#1 Exercise frequently
We have heard it time and time again. Exercise has great benefits for physical well- being. So, what is the problem? Why is being a couch potato so easy?
You need to set realistic exercise routines that fit your lifestyle and health goals. Exercise is not a one size fits all activity. You might not be able to exercise every day, but you should have an individual exercise goal that produces your best physical health outcomes. Know your exercise numbers. Some may need daily exercise for optimal physical health. Others may achieve their level of physical health by working out only three times a week.
#2 Eat healthy frequently
Eating healthy every day may not be realistic for some to reach their physical health goal. If you have serious health issues, you may need a stricter diet plan. Know your nutritional needs. Don’t look at someone else’sfood selections and feel like you have to live up to their specific nutritional outline. Develop your own individual nutritional plan to make sure your physical health is its best.
All of us have one overloaded calorie meal that we should stay away from. But it’s more stressful forbidding yourself from ever eating this delicious meal. Instead, strategically allow yourself sporadically spaced out cheat days to eat your favorite yummy meal but balance it out on other days with a super nutritious meal. Bon Appetit!
#3 Examine your wellness
Your body is your best indicator of your physical health. Listen to what your body tells you. Know your physical body. When you are tired, your body will show signs of fatigue. Listen to your body and get adequate rest. When your body is breaking down from an illness, your body will not feel normal. Listen to your body, schedule a doctor’s appointment and get a yearly wellness check- up. Yearly wellness visits from your family physician is an important physical health habit. Be aware of any family history of physical health issues to keep you on top of living a life of optimal physical health.
Do you have any particular thoughts about healthy eating? We all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?
3 Mental Lacks that Block Your Routine of Healthy Eating
#1 Lack of Time
With the fast pace of society and acquiring success, you think you do not have time to eat right. Your FOMO produces a need to cut corners in life and the easiest corner to cut is the salad bar option. Instead, you rush through McDonalds for a Big Mac Combo or Wendy’s for a chicken sandwich.
You don’t necessarily have to slow down to eat a healthy meal. Planning ahead will put you on point. That’s right squeeze in your meal prep and plan for healthy eating to your already busy schedule. Just like everything else in your life, if you don’t schedule it, it doesn’t exist.
#2 Lack of Seriousness
You don’t take things seriously until it becomes a life or death situation. Come on! Let’s shift our thoughts about healthy eating from reactive to proactive actions.
No need to wait for a bad doctor’s report to take your healthy food choices serious. That actually makes it more of a burden at that point than a balanced part of your health forecast. So be a little more conscious of what a lifestyle of healthy eating means for your mental and spiritual wellness as well as physical health.
#3 Lack of Knowledge
Now that we have addressed your lack of time and lack of seriousness about what is blocking your thoughts about healthy eating, let’s talk about not knowing what you need to know. If you grew up with certain eating behaviors, it’s hard to break those old habits. Why? Because you have been eating that way at family holidays, family reunions and at your childhood friend’s supper table for so long, you think that’s the right way to eat.
Healthy eating is healthy fuel for your body. Now that you are an adult, research the benefits of eating certain healthy foods based on your lifestyle so that your food works for you and not against you. Your brain, bones, digestive tract and every other part of your body depends on healthy food for longevity and power energy to successfully endure this journey we call LIFE.
Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum emotional wellness? Please share a story or example for each.
3 Release Hacks You Need to Consider for Emotional Wellness
#1 Active Release
Don’t hold it in. Let the negative and toxic energy out of your body in a healthy way. When you hold negative emotions, feelings and thoughts inside, the body will release it on its own in an unhealthy way. For example, after years of suppressing the effects that domestic violence has, it will eventually present through anger, excessive sadness, feelings of hopelessness or a number of other harmful emotions. But when you make intentional, controlled and frequent actions in the form of healthy coping strategies to release the toxins, you can enjoy a healthier emotional state of mind.
#2 Mental Release
Give yourself a mental break. Actions release negativity that is stored in the body, but you also need to release pressures from your mind. It is your choice if you want the release to be healthy or unhealthy. Develop healthy emotional wellness through getting thoughts, emotions and feelings out of your head. Journaling frequently is one great example of brain dumping the stored negative and toxic emotional stressors in a healthy and productive way.
#3 Past Release
Let go of past hurts and regrets. Forgiving yourself and others brings the greatest benefit to building and maintaining emotional wellness. Forgiveness allows you to have a healthy outlet of built up shames, traumas and regrets. Forgiveness is a hard thing to do in most circumstances but it’s easier when you think about it being beneficial for your emotional wellness. You got this, it’s time to heal.
Do you have any particular thoughts about the power of smiling to improve emotional wellness? We’d love to hear it.
According to WebMD (April 11, 2019), “Smiling makes people happier, … and frowning makes them feel sadder.” I once heard an old wise woman say…”A forced smile produces a flourishing day.” Okay, I admit. I am that wise old lady. (☺ smile) But from my own experiences as a domestic violence survivor and struggling single mother, making myself smile got me through plenty of setbacks and disappointments.
I totally get it some days are rainy days, and some days are sunshine. But it is possible to smile on a depressing day. When you are not feeling happy, grab a mirror and look at your facial expression. If it is a frown or neutral, place your hand over your mouth and push your checks up. There you go! Now, that’s a beautiful smile.
Finally, can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum spiritual wellness? Please share a story or example for each.
3 Basic Moves to Find Spiritual Wellness
#1 Pray for Peace
Praying simply means to reach out to your higher power for an answer about how to align your inner peace with earthly obstacles. Ask and you shall receive. Keep in mind the more peace you need the stronger the asking should be.
#2 Expect Peace
Once you release your petition for a healthy spiritual existence, believe that what you requested will occur. Hope and optimism has a way to bring the most challenging requests into existence. Keep in mind that if you expect certain results, you must expect to take the necessary actions for them manifest. You can’t expect a miracle all the time.
#3 Seek Peace
Your surroundings are important if you want healthy spiritual wellness. Seek environments that will allow you to be at peace and feel at ease. You cannot surround yourself with abusive relationships, and realistically seek spiritual health within that environment. Hang around healthy, positive and like- minded individuals that are in a space of spiritual wellness that you need and desire.
Do you have any particular thoughts about how being “in nature” can help us to cultivate spiritual wellness?
A connection with nature refreshes your mind, body and soul. When in nature, intentionally inhale deep while focusing on the crisp breeze of the air. Then exhale the pressures built up in your body. Inhale again focusing on the scents of the green grass, blooming flowers or evergreen trees. Use your olfactory senses and breathe in the aroma of nature’s greenery. Exhale again deeply releasing the blocks of your peace.
Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
The Single Factor is a movement I am currently pouring my heart and soul into.
Focusing on the struggles of single mothers has been an inspiring movement I want to grow worldwide. The plights of a single woman, one of the strongest figures of parenthood should have more support, outlets and alliances of love and understanding. I know that if I had access to connecting with a community of single mothers starting in my late teens, I would have managed my feelings of loneliness and outnumbered defeat.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂
Well, it is 2021! I have deemed this the year of No Ordinary Woman. It’s no secret for anyone to know I am highly influenced by the Madame Vice President, Kamala Harris. Her genius knowledge, graceful demeanor and caring attitude has inspired me to go 1,000xs above and beyond ordinary.
If you are reading this Madame Vice President of the United States, know that I have my converse and pearls ready for our private date.
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