I'm a water sign through and through and find solace when I am in nature, next to a body of water, breathing in the crisp air of the outdoors, and talking to my creator. During times when I feel extremely amped up and overwhelmed, and can't seem to focus on anything, my immediate go to is to be outside, put my bare feet on the grass and breathe deeply, as if I am trying to melt into the earth and let my existence become one with the matter taking up space around me.

Stress to me is the unbalancing of my structure.

It is the lack of organization that comes to me, when I am under heavy deadlines and practicing horrible time management. It is disassociation of myself from my friends and family, it is creating isolation for my soul. Pretty much, it's Lauren about to have a nervous breakdown.

I am not too often stressed like this, but my stress levels ebb and flow and when these times come, I have to have an arsenal of grounding techniques to bring me back to the present.

I also dig community like none other, and when I am not in nature, I find relief from my stress through sisterhood and by going out with my homegirls. Whether we are doing yoga (I enjoy Restorative, Big Power Flow, & Yin), having brunch, or finding the next best thrift store, my girls got my back.

Between community and recharging my thoughts on my own time, I am able to discern what is most important to me during my most stressful times and will actively seek out opportunities where I can self heal in these ways. On my upcoming stress relief radar, as an ode to self-care is the GirlTrek #StressProtest over Labor Day Weekend!

This year, GirlTrek will be hosting their first #StressProtest during the dates of September 1-4, 2017, a retreat where 500 black women will be coming together in nature to say no to stress and all of the chaos it brings. From hiking in Denver to yoga, workshops, and panelists featuring speakers such as Shannon Boody , Leslie with Afro-Flow Yoga, Jeanine of Rhythm Therapy, and the GirlTrek Founders Vanessa Garrison and Morgan Dixon, this escape sounds like the perfect respite from our normal busy busy busy lifestyles. I will also be leading a workshop on Body Positivity and Self-Love when I get there!

What is #StressProtest?

"GirlTrek, the most inspiring health movement for Black women in the country, is hosting the ultimate self-care experience through a full weekend of soul rejuvenation, outdoor relaxation and mindful moments in Rocky Mountain National Park. Imagine it: Black women coming together to hike, horseback ride, meditate, eat s'mores around the campfire, lounge in our pjs with friends and MORE! Grab your girls, a good book, pack your bags and leave your worries behind!" - GirlTrek (Stress Protest)

So How Can I Sign-Up?

Signs ups are now available online at www.stressprotest.com! With your registration you are receiving a double room occupancy, access to a myriad of self-care activities, meals, and airport transportation from Denver International Airport.

So how you do you feel about stress? Will you be joining me at #StressProtest?

Let's decompress together on the mountaintop!

Let us know if you will be attending below, and share your thoughts on how you work through stress on Facebook!