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Dr. Janet Taylor is a clinical psychiatrist and instructor of psychology at Harlem Hospital in New York City. But no matter where you live, you have probably encountered her thoughtful, pragmatic approach to mental health given that her expertise often carries her to appearances on daytime programs including “CBS This Morning,” “The Today Show” on NBC and “The Jeremy Kyle Show.”  Dr. Janet is noted for her expertise in the areas of minority health, stress management, parenting and work-life balance and is a recipient of the 2008 Woman in Medicine Award from the National Medical Association Council of Women’s Concerns.  A woman on the go, she shares her insights on the elements of living a holistic and healthy lifestyle.
HelloBeautiful: How do you define an eco-chic lifestyle?

Dr. Janet: I define an eco-chic lifestyle as one that is simple but informed. Simple, because the older you get, the more you realize there are important things that are not easily bought or replaced.  So memories and experiences of natural beauty and the shared laughter of good friends stick. Being an inquisitive, informed and independent thinker is chic. A lifestyle of individual choices, and not following the crowd on likes, is very cool.

HB: What are your must-have organic products?

DJ: My must have organic products are not always organic, but ‘organic like’. For instance, I love Hair Rules Daily Cleansing Cream, Quench Conditioner and Curly Whip for my natural hair. They may not have the organic moniker, but their ingredients are healthy for my hair and sulfate-free.

HB: As a mental health and a wellness expert, what are some routines that every working woman should adhere to?

DJ: Every working woman should do three things on a regular (up to 3-4 times) a week:

First, have a regular exercise routine. Being a working woman can be very stressful and make relaxing during downtime quite a challenge. Exercise can provide balance to stress. Some women may find it necessary to schedule their workouts and that is completely acceptable. Secondly, working women need to pat themselves on the back as often as they can. Today’s society can generate competitive unhealthy environments where praise is withheld or whispered. It’s really okay to toot your own horn. Self-affirmation is a positive tool. Lastly, take your own lunch. Avoid the temptation of ordering in or grabbing fast food. Take two seconds and pack a healthy snack for lunch including healthy snacks.
HB:  You tweet a lot about running.  Have you always been a runner?  Outside of exercise are their other practices that promote a health outlook?

DJ: I love being outdoors, feeling the elements and getting a workout. Unfortunately, my running speed has two levels, slow and slower. That being said, I try. Running clears my head and forces me to challenge my will and motivation. To just get up and move is a simple but impactful concept. A lack of regular movement is having dire consequences for the health of black women. Meditation and regular deep breathing can create a sense of well-being and has overall health benefits.

HB:  What’s the one activity or focus you would challenge our readers to adhere to in 2013?

DJ:  I challenge your readers to have clarity of purpose around their goals and be committed to action. So often we list everything that we want to change about our lives, relationships, or work situation…and the want stays on a singular piece of paper.  Pick one goal, think about it, develop a plan of action and implement it. When you have successfully completed one goal, revisit the list and go for another one.  You can do it!
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