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  • Sarah Young-Sheppard

Wednesday Pick Me Up - June 2021


We wanted to take a moment and acknowledge a very important date in American history history, June 19th or as it is commonly known Juneteenth. Juneteenth commemorates the date June 19, 1865, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation and two months after the end of the Civil War, when hundreds of thousands of enslaved men and women in Texas finally learned they had been freed. Juneteenth is an important milestone in American culture. It represents resistance, resilience, and Black Joy. Please join us in celebrating and acknowledging this special day! To learn more check out this link

Are you a “This Is Us” fan or know someone who is?! Are you looking for a fun, inexpensive vacation in Big Bear or Topanga Canyon, a custom brewing experience, or a gift basket? Are you looking to make a contribution into a nonprofit organization where you know your money is going towards improving the livelihood and wellness of the youth in our communities during this time? If your answer is yes to any of these questions, you’re in the PERFECT place!

On June 1st, SEWI launched an online auction to raise awareness around mental health and wellness, to expand the reach of the SEWI services, and to raise funds to keep the programs that provide the necessary resources to those most in need, alive!

To bid on our auction and support mental health wellness services CLICK HERE.

Auction is live from June 1st through June 30th.

PS. Recipe - There are so many yummy vegetables in season! Check out this recipe to help you incorporate some of summer’s best veggies into your meals.

Social - Happy Pride!

When you look up synonyms for the word “pride”, words like pleasure, joy, fulfillment, and delight appear. What a beautiful sentiment and way to celebrate the LGBTQ+ people and all the unique, authentic, natural identities within the LGBTQ+ community. And yes, Pride month is about celebrating the beauty, joy, vulnerability and love that the community represents, but that’s not all it is. Pride month is a protest against injustice and marginalization, an act of resistance against historical hate and discrimination that was started by generations of LGBTQ+ identified people who had to fight for their protection and safety every day.

So you see all of the rainbows, parades, parties, and catchy phrases, but how did Pride month even start? What brought us to this state of celebration today? In 1969, Marsha P Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, and several other LGBTQ+ people of color led a bar crowd into a resistance against a police raid at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, an incident that we now call the Stonewall Riots of 1969. This moment is documented in history as the night that sparked the Gay Pride movement, which has carried through decade after decade and has morphed into the Pride that we experience today. Although the Stonewall Riots is one of the most well-known LGBTQ+ uprisings, it is important to note that this was not the first incident of its kind and certainly was not the first protest against discrimination of the LGBTQ+ community. To learn more about Marsha P Johnson’s contributions to the Gay Rights movement, check out this link here. Read more about the history of the Pride movement here.

So how will YOU celebrate Pride month 2021?! Check out LA pride’s virtual events here and volunteer opportunities here. Also, check out this awesome international Pride celebration calendar here!

Looking for support for yourself or someone in your life who identifies as LGBTQ+? Click here to access a list of LGBTQ+ resources that we’ve put together that includes crisis hotlines and Southern California local resources.

To learn more follow us on Instagram (@SEWInitiative), Twitter (@SEWIwellness ), and/or Facebook (@SEWInitiative).


We've been living in a pandemic world for over a year now, and for better or worse, many of us are used to our new social routines. But as vaccinations become more available and restrictions loosen across the country, the question is: Are we ready? After so much time apart, do we even know how to socialize in person anymore? For many, just the thought is anxiety-inducing. One thing to keep in mind is that this past year has been hard for everyone so let’s take this opportunity to practice empathy.

Celeste Headlee, journalist, author of We Need to Talk: How to Have Conversations That Matter, and have some tips on how to deal with going back to “normal”:

  1. Embrace the Awkward - If you've been working remotely and you're worried about how to approach that first conversation back at the office, chances are you're not the only one feeling it — science tells us we all tend to be more self-conscious than necessary in new social situations. Headlee suggests addressing the elephant in the room right away. "Be honest about it," Headlee says, because "sometimes when you name something, it takes away its power." Acknowledging the awkward with something as simple as, "So this is weird, right?" can clear the air and get everyone moving forward.

  2. Know your limits. It's OK if they've changed - We all have a finite amount of social energy. And it's important to acknowledge, Headlee says, that the pandemic might have changed that barometer. But even if you feel ready to jump back into the world with both feet, don't try to take on too much at once. The world's a changed place, and you've probably changed a bit, too. Set realistic boundaries, and pace yourself.

  3. Accept what people tell you about themselves - Headlee says “don't assume someone else's point of view, especially when it comes to vaccinations and socializing.” For you, going mask-free indoors post-vaccination might be freeing and joyful, but for your neighbor, it could be panic-inducing. Ask ahead of time if you're unsure about mixed social situations.

As always if you or someone you know needs support. Email us at


Temperature's rising and we are looking forward to longer and lazier days of summer. While summer may be of some relief from cold and chilly days, it may also bring along various health problems like dehydration, upset stomach and heat stroke. It is imperative to make sure we are eating the right foods, taking care of our skin, hydrating and exercising the right way to fitness and health. Below we have some tips on how to have a healthy body through the summer months.


Speaking of summer, we always have to keep in mind that sunscreen is the best way for us to keep our skin protected from the sun’s damaging rays. Did you know that doctors recommend to wear sunscreen SPF 30 or more every day regardless of sun or clouds, and that it should be reapplied every two hours? Not only should you wear sunscreen for outside activities, it also protects your skin during indoor activities as well!


Did you know that the human body is 60% water?! With this in mind, we definitely need to stay hydrated, especially during these upcoming summer months. The recommended amount of water consumed per day varies person by person based on their health, environment, and daily habits. However, a quick rule of thumb is to divide your current weight by half and drink at least that number of ounces per day. Not only does drinking water keep you hydrated, but it keeps your body and mind quick and fresh for anything this summer will bring you! Some tricks to help you stay on hydration track is to set a “Drink Water!” reminder on your phone every hour, to naturally flavor your water with tasty treats like strawberries, lemons, cucumbers, mint, and more, to trade out your second cup of coffee with some tea, and to switch to sparkling water every so often to add some excitement!

Best exercises during the heat

You’ve probably heard that The sun’s rays are brightest from 10:00 a.m. 4:00 p.m. so what does this mean for those of us that prefer to exercise outdoors? Schedule your workout during the early morning when the temperature is cooler or if you’re a late riser, wait until at least mid-afternoon to take your workout outdoors. To avoid a lot of time outdoors, try High-intensity interval training (HIIT). You’ll get your heart pumping in 30 minutes or less by alternating 20 to 30 seconds of all-out work with rest intervals. If you’re a beginner to HIIT, here are some great exercise to try at home. Or create a DIY session with movements like jumping jacks, burpees, mountain climbers, and sprints. One very important thing to keep in mind as you’re exercising this summer is to not push yourself too hard. Know your limits. If you start to feel dizzy or nauseous, stop. If you feel a headache coming on or experience nausea or confusion, you could be at risk of heat stroke. Stay safe


Did you know that fatty foods exhaust the body more during summer months? That’s why its highly recommended that we eat foods rich in fiber for intestinal and overall health. Plus, in summer, we should eat healthy snacks three times a day in addition to three main meals to avoid a decrease in our blood sugar. How long does it take for us to feel full after starting to eat? If you guessed 15 minutes, you’re correct! Chew slowly and thoroughly. This will help you eat less and support your digestive system. Mangoes, plums, tomatoes, berries, watermelon, oranges, celery what do all of these yummy foods have in common? They are in season during the summer and can be enjoyed at their peak. So make sure to load up!


Good News-

Check out this heartwarming story of a dad who wanted his daughter to feel like she belonged and how she inspired him to help other children like her!


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