HEALTH PHYSICAL and MENTAL

WARNING… I get deep 

It’s June and officially summer. To be honest, I’m having trouble thinking of all that I want to share with you this month. After my last newsletter, which fell on Mother’s Day, I feel different. Because I wrote down exactly how I felt, I think I was able to let a bit of the pain and anger go. Your support has been a huge help. More than I can ever express. Life will never be the same without my mom, but I’m ready to move one. Not that I wasn’t living or going about my life, because I was. But, now I’m ready to get my health and mind back on track. It’s what my mom would have wanted.

Getting Back On Track

This month I started my 21 day detox by Marlyn Diaz and joined The Bar Method summer challenge. Despite getting sick for a full week, I managed to stay on track healthwise.

Stay tune for more on my detox journey. I had previously done the detox in 2011 and loved how I felt as well as learned a lot about food and wellness. This is not one of those diets or detoxes where you feel hungry. I’m not about that life.

Health June Newsletter

PHYSICAL HEALTH

My job can be stressful. I take things personally when I shouldn’t. My schedule is crazy. There’s always a list of tasks to do and I put a lot of pressure on myself. The past few years I allowed all the stress to be an excuse to find comfort in food. When my mom got sick, food and work was my escape. My physical health took a decline. When you spend most of your day sitting to film and edit, you have to make an active effort to exercise. I did not. Climbing up three flights of stairs became hard. Walking down the street in warm weather found me out of breath. At 33 years old, this is not a good sign.

My History

Growing up I had always been active. Dance classes, sports, and love for physical activities kept me in shape. It wasn’t until recently that I realized how much of my physical health was affecting my mental. It’s no secret I deal with depression. With depression, anxiety, and mood swings come as accessories. Yay me! (sarcasm). Yes, I want to look good in my clothes and feel good in photos, but honestly, I just want to be healthy.

The Changes

So step one, we moved. Living in a pedestrian friendly neighborhood helps. Working from home can get stifling. However taking coffee and lunch breaks to walk to my local cafes has helped me physically and emotionally. I even found my favorite coffee spot 86 Cafe, where Royce greets me and makes my afternoon coffee with perfection. Iced vanilla latte with almond milk, add boba. Of course the last three weeks I’ve cut out my afternoon coffees for my detox, but I’ll be back Royce! I’ll be back.

Step two, find a workout that you love and a community to support you. I love dance based exercise. Part of the appeal of our new neighborhood is that it’s walking distance to The Bar Method. If my classes are not easy to get to, I won’t go. Parking a nightmare, I won’t go. Mean people, I won’t go. See a pattern? The Bar Method has friendly instructors, is a great workout, and the people are all super friendly.

Step three, schedule workouts. The last few weeks, I have had to miss events to make it to my classes. Before I would drop everything to be there for a meeting or an event, work came first, but now I put myself first when possible. At the end of each week, I schedule my workouts for the next. My goal is 3 to 4 workouts per week. Currently I am participating in the summer challenge, 15 classes in 30 days therefor I’ve had to up the workouts especially since I was sick for a week.

MENTAL HEALTH

My mental health is an ongoing battle. I have noticed with the physical health improvements, my moods are more balanced. I’m able to let things go quicker. However with my detox internally, I’ve also started to detox my life externally.

Hoarding

There is a tendency to hoard in my family and in my profession. My job requires me to review products and stay on top of trends. Working hard, I’ve managed to make it onto PR lists to be able to do my job better, but there is a lot of excess in what I do. I feel like I have to keep up with every new launch. Viewer requested a review? Run out and buy it, even though I have a pile of products to test out. There is also the fear of needing a product for reference? It’s limited edition! Too pretty to use! I know it’s old, but it’s got memories. I need it. Maybe I’ll use it soon. All things that go through my head when thinking about decluttering.

Letting Go

I’ve started to do annual makeup donation parties where I invite my friends and family to shop gently used products for a cash donation that will be donated to a shelter. Doubles and products I know I can’t possibly get to get put aside for you guys as giveaways. Of course I also pass on anything to friends and family throughout the year that might need it when I’m done reviewing.

Going through my makeup collection, I notice all the forgotten products. I’ve learned to let it go. There will always be a new makeup launch, I’ll never really run out of foundation. If I actually ran out of something, I can walk to Sephora and pick it up. It’s okay. Move on. Stop the hoarding! You’ll be okay.

You know what? I feel better. Compared to most beauty bloggers out there, I think I’ve managed to narrow down my collection to a reasonable size. Now, I still have way more than any normal person should or need, but I’m in a much more manageable place. There is something about having clear space that helps me have a clear head. I feel lighter, freer, and happier. The best part is people who need the products have them and can truly appreciate it and I can appricate what I have.

Why So Much Hate?

This has really been heavy on my mind as I sit down to write.

Is it just me or is there a lot of hate going around?

Sometimes I think I live in a bubble. I’m surrounded by loving, open minded, educated people from all economic backgrounds and ethnicities. Just two weeks ago, I was so grateful to be apart of the mixedremixed.org festival discussing mix race and interracial marriage. It’s mind blowing that until 1967 interracial marriage was illegal in the U.S. My brother was born the year after it became legal! That means it wasn’t very long ago that I would not be allowed to marry Chris. WTF?! When you sit down and look at the timeline, we are not so far removed from the laws of segregation. My heart sinks when I think about this.

Naive Bubble Burst

Because of the internet, I thought future generations would have the opportunity to learn acceptance and love and be exposed to more of the world. But as much as the internet has opened up our worlds, it has allowed those who spew hatred and ignorance to have a platform and become successful.

This past week I saw how prevalent racism is. More importantly and most upsetting how racism is swept under the rug. We make excuses for people who say hurtful things and accept half assed apologies, that continue to make the same mistakes. Is it considered a mistake if it’s their continued behavior? My mom did this. Excuse the inexcusable because it was better to be sweet and not cause any waves. We praise those who speak their minds without care to the message they are sending because they are entertaining/fun. Our society rewards those who cause controversy.

Disgustingly those who are hurt and disappointed and are brave enough to voice their feelings in a respectable manner were called “haters”. How can we learn from each other if we do not take the time to listen and reflect? This is not to excuse the hateful comments that perpetuate the cycle of hate. But those who wanted to voice their hurt and share their experience to try and shed light on an important issue, should not be disregarded or attacked BY ANYONE.

Is It Getting Worse?

Growing up I did not deal much with racism. Looking back it occurred occasionally, but as a child I didn’t recognize it for what it was. Those times are uncomfortable and I wished someone had talked to me about it. How to handle it. That it’s okay to be upset and I should not feel bad for being “different.” Children are not born to hate, it is taught. As I watch my friends’ kids and my own nephew grow I know this to be a fact.

College

was my first real taste of racism. The theatre department would preach about blind casting and how wonderful it is to be ethnic. Everyone wants a color blind cast these days, were just some of the things said to me in college.  This in itself is a form of racism, especially coming from an all white mostly male faculty. By the way, they cast a caucasian in the ONLY Asian role during my 3 years at the school vs. giving it to one of the 5 Asian female students… Their argument? She was the best for the role. Oh really… She was the best to play a Vietnam refugee with an accent? How about the actress whose parents escaped Vietnam and speaks Tagalog?

Let’s not forget this is not a Broadway production or a summer blockbuster film. This is a college production of a crap play meant to help educate and prepare the students who pay for their classes to become functional and contributing members of society looking to pursue a career in theatre . What were you teaching here exactly?

New York

a pretty racist free time in my life and most of my time in LA has been as well. However, last year I encountered my first racial attack at an event. I was shocked and couldn’t believe the incident. Hubs who was not there, tried to be comforting, when I got home.  I love him and I know he’s dealt with his own set of stereotyping, however at the the end of the day, he’s a straight white man. The most open minded, loving, peaceful, and smart man, but he doesn’t truly know what it’s like.

As the year progresses, I’m noticing more and more ignorance and blatant racism. Conditioned by my mom, part of me wants to stay silent on the subject, I talk about beauty, you probably only want to read about beauty, but what good is beauty if you’re hateful and ignorant?

“You can buy all the make up that M.A.C. can make
But if you can’t look inside you
Find out who am I too
Be in the position to make me feel so
Damn unpretty”

Read more: TLC – Unpretty Lyrics | MetroLyrics

I’m not sure what the solution is, but I do know it’s not silence. It’s not hate or violence. So, I’m starting the discussion here. Leave me your thoughts in the comments. Please do keep it respectful. Discuss, debate, share, but understand everyone is entitled to their own feelings.

SUBSCRIBER GIVEAWAY WINNER: JUNE

Okay, so let’s lighten the post here. Each month I randomly select a newsletter subscriber as a winner. I’ve e-mailed June’s winner and she has received a little surprise in the mail from me.

Congratulations to Rachel W. !

Stay tuned, I’ll be doing exclusive giveaway opportunities here in addition to monthly winners

DON’T FORGET TO FOLLOW ME ON INSTAGRAM @SEREINWU for more giveaways!

There’s also a Koh Gen Do Giveaway currently on my Facebook now thru June.

JUNE’S BOOK

So I finished A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas and OH MY GOD! I can’t even! Seriously if you like to read or just like stories, give this series a try! I’m happy with the whole series and how it concluded, but I defiently fell into a post book depression. Do you guys get those? I get them after a good book every time.

Next up, I just started King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard the third book of the Red Queen series. It picks up exactly where we left off from book two and I’m on pins and needles to see where the story goes. So far so good, but only on chapter 4.

I’m asked how I find the time to read with the schedule I keep. Truth is I don’t read very often anymore. Listing to audiobooks is how I manage to fit in “reading.” It’s sad because I use to read for hours. Probably better for my eyes that I don’t stay up till 6am finishing a book, but I still miss it. If I could just lock myself away in a cabin and read all my favorite books for a week, I’d be a happy woman.

If you’d like to try audible, here’s a free book. You’ll have to create an account and use a credit card, but you can cancel right after your first book (which is free) and keep the book. I personally love audible and pay for a membership myself as well as hubs. Oh another great thing is if you don’t like the book you can return it! No questions asked. I’ve done that a few times myself.

MISSED PAST NEWSLETTERS?

May’s Newsletter (password: Mothers Day)

April’s Newsletter (now public)

March Newsletter (now public)

January Newsletter (now public)

xoxo

Serein

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30 Comments

  1. Stephanie
    June 25, 2017 / 7:31 am

    I’ve never really commented before, but I found this one has touched my soul. I have two kids and a full-time job and noticed that I am comforting my stress with food. I am tired, so I make excuses as to why I don’t go exercise. It is (finally) nice enough now in Canada that I can just go outside for a walk or something if I need to relieve some stress, but I don’t… I turn to the instant gratification of sweets instead. I am starting to break the cycle today and am so thankful for the honest and insightful post you did. Thank you! As for the racism, I am a white female, so I haven’t faces this personally, but I know that I am raising my kids to respect everyone no matter how they look… be it the colour of their skin or their hair (or lack thereof) because everyone deserves respect.

    Thank you again for this post as it has given me the resolve to stick to my plan as nothing else has been able to before! ❤❤❤

  2. Honey Suri
    June 24, 2017 / 3:09 am

    It was so satisfying to read your post . You know we really get to know what is happening on otherside. We are not alone dealing with certain common things. It is helpful at the same time very informative . Coming to racism , it is sad to read that such things still exist till today where we are so much educated with broad mind and diversified community. Why can’t we live life simple and clear ? At the end of the day we are just humans not matter what we look like etc. Spread love thats what i can say because when spread postivity, it comes back to you. 😊

  3. Ashley Turpen
    June 23, 2017 / 8:08 pm

    I can’t even tell you how happy I am that I found your channel one day. I really feel that through your channel and through your blog you have really opened up and I feel like we all are close friends. I can’t even tell you how much your channel has inspired me. With beauty channels on YouTube sometimes the quality of the person is shadowed in who they are trying to be. I am so happy that you are real, raw and honest about life. Reality isn’t always happy and perfect but reality is trying to find the positive even when you feel like you’re in the darkest place. Thank you so much Serein. I can’t tell you enough how much joy your channel, podcasts, and posts has brought to my life. It’s the small things that are really the best treasures. Thank you for this post and as always for all of your advise and love ❤️

  4. Jaqueline Ramirez
    June 23, 2017 / 5:09 pm

    great newsletter for this month…..great info and ideas to try something new….. from makeuo, books, lifestyle…..I’m so glad I found u….thanks …God bless

  5. Jisu Kim
    June 22, 2017 / 6:04 pm

    Hi Serein! I really enjoined this month’s news letter. I know that you have mentioned dealing with depression from the beginning and that being the reason behind your channel’s name. However, when I first heard that I wasn’t able to fully understand what you are trying to say because depression or any sort of mental illness was something unknown to me. I recently was hospitalized and diagnosed with depression and my therapist thinks I was depressed from middle school. It was quite shocking. I am making progress but it really is a struggle. I want you to know that reading this newsletter reminded me that I actually can get better. I was always drawn to how happy you seem and loved seeing you laughing in your videos!

    I am really glad that you brought up the subject of racism. I don’t think public figures should stay silent on issues that they are passionate about. Even if these figures side with the unpopular opinions, I think it makes them more relatable to see that these people are not all about whatever their occupation is about.

    I am really sorry to hear that you experienced such a blunt racism in college. I find that any type of “ism” is so difficult to talk about because they are all connected and is almost impossible to know where to start dismantling all of them.

  6. Kyra S
    June 22, 2017 / 6:19 am

    I loved this newsletter, Serein. So few big youtubers/bloggers talk about racism (not to mention so many of them are white), probably to avoid “controversy” or loss of racist followers. So it is really refreshing that someone as well known as you speaks up. Youtube and your blog provides you a platform to make a difference in a big way in this age of social media. As an asian woman, your words resonate with me. Many people don’t realize microagressions, including my white parents, so it’s really hard to address them. Nevertheless, I think we have to start with friends and family and express when their actions seem to be unconsciously racist. As the only POC in my entire family, I admit it’s hard, but family members are good practice for the real world/public–in which people are a lot less open to your opinions. For you, I think speaking about this topic on your youtube channel as well is a really good way to reach a really broad audience.

    Again, thank you for your insights and words. They mean a lot to me, and I am sure others. Enjoy the rest of June and Happy Solstice!

  7. June 22, 2017 / 5:50 am

    I’m really glad you’re talking about issues of racism. So many people in this space avoid talking about this issue that causes so many people so much pain. You did it well. Keep it up.

  8. shelby hall
    June 22, 2017 / 1:40 am

    It’s funny, I have started a gluten-free, whole food diet. It wasn’t to lose weight, it was to get my family healthier. My swelling is down, my acne has disappeared, and I have lost 7 pounds. My mom no longer has swollen ankles and she has lost over 10 pounds in just a couple weeks. It is amazing what the quality of food can do to or for your body. I really enjoyed this newsletter. My daughter has her first real boyfriend at 16 years old who is half black. She has not experienced the racism yet which I am sure is to come but I am happy and proud of you for opening dialogue on the issue. Keep your head up. You are an amazing woman and even though you were younger than me, you teach me a lot.

  9. Heather H.
    June 21, 2017 / 9:35 pm

    After reading this, I just wish I could give you a big hug and say thank you. I love these news letters because I find them to be so relatable. You’re so well spoken and encouraging. You make me feel like it’s ok to have daily personal battles, but how you fight those battles defines you. I’ve struggle with depression, but mostly anxiety. The anxiety, unfortunately, gets the best of me and I some times find myself being silent in situations where I should speak up. Growing up in a small community in Indiana there is always an opportunity to stick up for what is right. In the last year we’ve had several incidents of our Islamic Mosque being vandalized. There’s been opportunities to have peaceful protest and discussion, but I find my self staying silent, but after reading this I’m asking myself why? Being a straight white female I feel like I have a responsibility to be on the side of right and use my privilege to stand by those who are being oppressed.

    You should be so proud of yourself for sticking to the detox. I know how hard it can be and how tempting it is sometimes to venture off track. I have major food allergies and I just found out recently. I couldn’t figure out why every time I ate I would feel terrible, or severe anxiety like impeding doom was upon me. Even now I find my self still wanting the things I know make me feel horrible. It’s almost addicting. It’s probably because I’m on such a strict and new diet, and I am still actively learning how to recreate the meals I love with out all the naughty stuff. It’s like teaching yourself how to walk again. I was always wanting to go out to eat, but not many places are allergen friendly to the level I need them to be so I guess a positive note to that is I save money. Trying to find places that have egg, dairy, gluten, wheat, etc. free meals that doesn’t envolve me eating nothing but salad is almost more work than making a meal myself.

    Thank you for all you do and all your hard work. We all appreciate you and stand by you. I hope this inspires you as much as you have inspired me. You truly are a genuine and kind person. Sending all my love and positive energy. ❤️

  10. Fatima
    June 21, 2017 / 2:25 pm

    It’s good to talk about these types of issues (racism) in order to try and work them out. I experienced quite a bit growing up as the child of an immigrant family. Like you said, racism is taught so hopefully as time goes more responsible parents will make sure they’re kids don’t learn such hate and racism will slowly diminish. I have hopes for humanity to improve with time. Love your work <3

  11. Jo Vee
    June 21, 2017 / 2:22 pm

    Wow. So well spoken. It’s not the first time you’ve given me goose bumps or shivers with your blogs. I wish I could express myself the way you do. I have so many thoughts, but I don’t know how to put them on paper. Nothing ever comes out right. You are an inspiration to me always

  12. Nicole A.
    June 21, 2017 / 2:06 pm

    Am so glad you talked abour this issues surrounding race, am currently trying to stop followoimg youtubers/influencers who are not taking their platform to talk about these issues or who support brands that are openly racist but am glad you are not one of them!❤

  13. Kristen
    June 21, 2017 / 1:46 pm

    Thank you for your comments about race. Even though I was born outside the US, I am white, and my life has not been filled with fear of such attacks. However, stories such as yours, and of others need to keep being told. Thank you for your honesty. Congrats on your detox and sharing your progress! Glad the decluttering is helping you feel more organized, and what a nice idea to trade make-up for donations from friends. Sounds like a fun party!

  14. Anne
    June 21, 2017 / 12:24 pm

    I’m sorry you experienced a racist attack. I just moved to Seattle from the Philippines last year and has not (thank goodness) encountered racial hate. I don’t know what I would do if I would be placed in that situation. Maybe I would cry. But I believe there are more good and open-minded people in the world and I hope most would not stay silent if they see a victim of racism.

  15. Tonya
    June 21, 2017 / 12:14 pm

    Excellent read! I’m a white woman married to a Korean man. It’s surreal to think such a short time ago it would have been illegal. Based on what??? I just can’t even begin to process the thought of a time when this was acceptable.

    Health- the struggle is real. 🙂

    I love your donation party! You should share that with your viewers. I’m sure it’s a lot of fun for everyone. I would love to see video’s on what your viewers may already own or put together to NOT buy more stuff just because of the hype. Or maybe how to put together a custom palette. I know they can be pricier but i would LOVE to know how to put together the right neutral palette etc just for me. There’s a lot of wasted shadows in some of my palettes that will never get touched. I’m really looking hard at the new launches to see if i have those same colors already. I just need to figure out how to get the shadows out of the palette. lol
    Thank you for sharing your stories, struggles and path to happiness. We are all seeking the same in our own way.

    • Serein Wu
      Author
      July 10, 2017 / 2:37 pm

      It’s really a crazy concept isn’t it? Thank you for taking the time to read my newsletter and commenting.

  16. Cari
    June 21, 2017 / 12:08 pm

    Serein,
    I’m SO glad things are looking up for you! You and Chris are ALWAYS in my thoughts and prayers, and I wish nothing but the best for your family. You are such a beautiful soul and I am SO lucky to know you.
    Please know that there is nothing new under the sun. There will always be a cruel jester in the court of the Devil. Whether it’s racism, bullying, murder, stalking, war, rape, the list goes on-good triumphs over evil. You have a lot of love around you.
    Your happiness makes me happy! May God bless you and your family with all that you do!

    • Serein Wu
      Author
      July 10, 2017 / 2:37 pm

      Thank you for your continued support, I truly appreciate it.

  17. Joselyn T
    June 21, 2017 / 11:46 am

    Racism is a tough subject. I applaud your bravery Serein in tackling such an uncomfortable subject. I have experienced this just recently, and it heartbreaking.

  18. June 21, 2017 / 10:40 am

    I’m so glad you are speaking about this. I’m glad Jackie spoke out too, even if it’s probably causing her more grief than anything at the moment. Unacceptable behavior and I won’t be supporting that person anymore, regardless of the “apology”.

    I tried to read A court of thorn and rose due to your recommendation and I didn’t like it at all. Boo. I really wanted to love it! Did you ever read Outlander? You would probably LOVE that series.

    Have a great week!

    • Serein Wu
      Author
      July 10, 2017 / 2:36 pm

      Oh no! I’m sorry you didn’t like the book, I loved it! I have read Outlander and the second one as well.

      Thanks for reading!

  19. Idzie
    June 21, 2017 / 10:22 am

    I think it’s great that you’re discussing racism, and how often it gets swept under the rug! I think it’s well worth thinking about the people we’re making feel excluded, unwelcome, and unsafe when we defend (give our clicks and money to) bigots. I’m much more concerned about the people being hurt than I am about the feelings of a bigot who’s mad people are calling them on their racism…

  20. Kudzai
    June 21, 2017 / 9:46 am

    I always admire how deep you get in these blog posts. Being someone who also used food as a crutch, I understand and empathise with you. Keep on keeping on Serein!
    In terms of racism, as a young, black woman, I completely understand what you’re talking about. I always used to think there was something wrong with me when people wouldn’t want to sit next to me of would outright say something. I hope that we can become more tolerant of people who are different from us and realise that it is our differences that make us unique.

    X

  21. Diane Lynn Lauzon
    June 21, 2017 / 9:39 am

    Serein, your Hune newsletter reminds me to take time for myself. Time to think about smart food choices, making time to excercise and to give back more… to my family and friends because they are the ones that really matter. Your words have really inspired me this month.

    I know May was hard for you and I hope the Summer brings you and Chris many happy times together. It is nice to know that you have a solid guy to lean on AND that he has an amazing woman to lean on in you.

    Take every day as it comes and live your life the way you want to.

    You work hard and your hatd work will pay off in the end.

    Bye for now.

    • Diane Lynn Lauzon
      June 21, 2017 / 9:40 am

      Obviously I meant to type June not Hune! Lol

    • Serein Wu
      Author
      July 10, 2017 / 2:35 pm

      Thank you Diane, so happy to hear that you will try to take some time for yourself as well. We get so busy and life keeps going, but we have to take a bit of time to just unplug.

  22. June 21, 2017 / 9:37 am

    It’s such a bliss to read that your beauty products find a home where they are needed because recently I came across lots of articles where people working at beauty stores narrated their experiences of how even returned packaged material is (broken and) thrown off into dumpsters. I understand it’s in the name of hygiene but it hurts to think about all the perfect products laid to waste just like that!

    And yes, I agree with racism being present and growing more prominent and ignoring it won’t do much.

    • Serein Wu
      Author
      July 10, 2017 / 2:34 pm

      Yes, it’s so hard to watch perfectly good products go to the dumpster, food too! I’m trying to be more conscious about the amount of waste my home produces. I know we have to be careful about sanitation, but there has to be a balance too. Thank you for reading!

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