Playing the IRL Princess Ariel may come across as all glitz and glamour, but don’t let the girl who seems to have everything—you know, gadgets and gizmos a-plenty—fool you. Actress and singer Halle Bailey went through intense “mermaid training” to gear up for (and make a splash in) her starring role in the live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid. Thanks to her interview on Live With Kelly and Mark andher trainer’s conversation with Women’s Health, we got the BTS inside scoop on just how Bailey transformed into the mythical creature—abs, shimmering tail, and all. It doesn’t hurt that Bailey was primed to become the Disney icon—she was in her fitness girlie era long before she had to take on her strenuous merfolk regimen (if you follow her on IG, you already knew that). Ahead, all the details I gleaned from her workout and diet routine to dip your toes into (pun intended) yourself—no fin required.
“While the neck muscles are often overlooked in traditional strength training programs, they play a crucial role in providing stability, supporting good posture, and reducing the risk of neck-related injuries,”explained Shirvani in her interview with Women’s Health. “We used a variation of neck isometrics and resistance-based methods, which involve applying resistance without actually moving the neck.” In one of Shirvani’s IG posts, you can see Bailey slaying goblet squats, back extensions, battle ropes, box jumps, hip thrusts, medicine ball slams, and various core exercises (think: weighted side planks and isometric holds). According to an interview with Insider, Shirvani implemented progressive overload (read: gradually increasing the weight or the number of reps) in all of Bailey’s exercises. But she doesn’t just stick to weights and cardio for her sweat sessions—Bailey also mixes it up with hot yoga to decompress while getting a solid workout in.
Her Nutrition Plan
Bailey has her workout routine on lock, and how she nourishes her body is no different. Bailey follows a vegan diet, and Shirvani helped herfocus on eating whole foods and protein to help her build strength and recover from training. That doesn’t mean Bailey shies away from her favorite foods. Her go-to vegan eats? Avocado toast, rice, and bread, which she shared during BuzzFeed’s Sister Test(ICYMI, Halle is part of the Grammy-nominated, R&B sister duo Chloe x Halle). She’s also not one to pass up on (vegan) pizza and hot dogs (case in point: her TikTok below).
As for her plant-based sweet treats of choice? Cheesecake or pancakes fromCrossroads Kitchen, doughnuts from Sage Vegan Bistro, and homemade gluten-free sugar cookies (a girl after my own heart). And, finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the sisters’ DIY, vegan-friendly smoothie—made of almond milk, raspberries, blueberries, apple, agave nectar, ice, and vegan protein powder—which they whipped up on MTV’s Fresh Out Live and enjoyed in champagne glasses. We’ll cheer for that!
Do you find yourself struggling to find the motivation to achieve your goals? Do you want to create the life of your dreams? Constructing a personalized vision boardmight be the answer to your problems.
WTF is a vision board?
A vision board is a collection of photos and text that can help you approach the future with hope. Instead of focusing on what habits you should be stopping, focus on the possibilities of the next year. “From a scientific perspective, vision boards do what we call ‘priming,’ which essentially is when exposure to a certain stimulus affects how you act towards whatever comes next,” said Elizabeth Mateer, a licensed mental health counselor associate. A vision board can also help you be specific about the goals you want to manifest. “A vision board is an opportunity to focus on the reality you want to create, a prediction of your possible future, and a connection to hope and a life that feels aligned,” Elspeth Robertson, a registered clinical counselor and professional art therapist said.
There are two ways to create a vision board: digitally and physically. If you are someone who likes to do hands-on activities, you may want to create a physical vision board. However, if you are someone who prefers digital activities, you may want to create a digital vision board. The choice is yours.
If you’re not sure where to start, try looking for images that inspire you or reflect your goals. You can also use quotes or affirmations that resonate with you. Once you have a few items collected, start arranging them on a bulletin board or piece of poster board. Then add any additional details that will help bring your vision to life.
HOW TO CREATE A DIGITAL VISION BOARD
Step 1: Gather digital photos from any website of your choice. I find that Pinterest is one of the best platforms to utilize for vision boards.
Step 2: Decide where you would like to create the vision board. If you are unsure where to begin, Canva has great templates.
Step 3: Place and move your images around until you are satisfied with the final look.
Step 4: Make sure to save your final copy, and just like that, you are one step closer to achieving your goals.
Feel free to make your final creation yourlock screen—this way you will be looking at your goals daily.
HOW TO CREATE A PHYSICAL VISION BOARD
Step 1: Order a vision board book or cut out images from your favorite magazine that pertain to your goals and dreams. Cut out images from magazines or print out pictures from the internet that represents you (skin color, hair, nationality, etc). If you need a suggestion, Amazon has a wide selection of vision board books.
Step 2: Get a poster board, cork board, or some paper and play with the placing of the images until you are content with the look.
Step 3: Glue or tape your images to the board or paper.
Step 4: Decide whether you want to hang your vision board up, or if you want to put it somewhere else that is visible to you.
Now that you have your personalized vision board, go reach your goals.
BENEFITS OF CREATING A VISION BOARD
Now that we know how to create a vision board, let’s look at what neuroscientist Dr. Tara Swart has to say.
“The science behind why it’s helpful is that we’re bombarded with so much information all the time,” she explains. “There’s a natural process in the brain to selectively filter what’s important to our survival and selectively put attention on what’s important for us to thrive.”
Dr. Swart also mentions value tagging, which is an additional system in the brain that pieces together the information in order of importance. “There is a logical element and an emotional element to that,” she adds.
“If you create imagery that represents how you want your life to be, then you’re more likely to notice and grasp opportunities to make that a reality,” she emphasizes, “it’s priming your brain to remember what’s important.”
You’ve heard it from a professional, so what are you waiting for? Go make a vision board!
What makes a successful vision board?
It’s all about setting your intention. What do you want to manifest in your life? When you have a clear vision, it’s easier to select images that represent that goal. Creating a board that is both visually pleasing and spiritually in alignment will help you to stay focused on your goals.
A vision board is a tool that can help you clarify your goals and bring them into focus. It can also help you identify what steps you need to take to achieve your goals. By looking at your vision board regularly, you can keep your goals at the forefront of your mind and stay motivated to achieve them.
MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
Oftentimes I would find myself setting goals for myself and forgetting about them. I had a picture-perfect life that I wanted to achieve, but I was not motivated to go and get it.
It was the summer of twenty twenty-two when I was offered the great advice of creating a vision board. This was something I’ve always wanted to do, but never got around to doing it. I started with a physical one and eventually decided to create a virtual one, so I could look at it each time I opened my phone.
I find that my vision boards motivate me to create the life that I’ve formed on paper. I continue to strive to achieve these goals, and it makes me feel good knowing I am one step closer to becoming the person I want to be.
Will you be creating a vision board? Leave a comment below.
Extroverts—we come in layers and all shades of intensity. If we qualify ourselves as one (because let’s be real, you can only self-identify yourself as one or not), we feel more comfortable putting our emotions and personality up at the front than our counterparts, the introverts. We like to share parts of our lives and who we are with others (for the most part) and we feel at home asking other people questions and getting into the mix.
And for those who don’t relate to this, that can be a lot. For introverts, it can be engaging and impressive to watch as we bound forward, in a way that seems fearless, into social situations, work events, or other vulnerable people-facing adventures. On the flip side, it can also be overwhelming to think of being that way when every fiber of who you are would fight that kind of attention or platform.
When it comes down to it, being an extrovert can feel unnatural to some. And just like holding ourselves back from certain opportunities or situations feels like a waste to extroverts, introverts may just not see it that way. This can be hard when we develop relationships, and friendships or have family members that don’t sync up with our outlook. You want to seek the world out alongside the people you love most, but how you do it can be a disagreement when finding the happy balance between these two personality types is not met.
Here are a few things to remember that could help you bridge any gaps as you face life alongside introverted personalities.
Use your extroverted personality to relate to introverts
Sometimes as extroverts, since we open ourselves up to people easily, people often more easily return that gesture. This gives us an advantage in really getting to understand people better. This type of trait can build empathy, and when we are close to introverts, using that skill is crucial when making efforts to make the introverts you love feel more relaxed. Approach their perspective with empathy and it will allow you to more easily assess an introvert’s feelings.
Learn from introverts
Introverts have a lot to offer. Since they aren’t jumping into the thick of things naturally or since they are preferring to spend more time inwardly, they are usually very keen observers. Ask them questions. You will likely learn things from them that you never considered, and it will open up your mind to other ideas, perceptions, and possibilities.
It’s OK to encourage, but don’t push
People are who they are. There is nothing wrong with being an introvert or an extrovert. One is not better than the other. Both offer wonderful things to the world. But remember there is a time and a place to encourage people to get out of their bubble, challenge and push themselves, but always be patient and respectful of their boundaries. Find that line and be mindful—that is what loving another person is, and it’s important to be respectful of it.
Take advantage of the balance
Similar to how it is OK to encourage introverts to go out of their comfort zone occasionally, let introverts remind you it’s also OK to reel it in. This balance will allow you to slow down. Enjoy it, it will help you grow as a person.
Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum of being outgoing or being more reserved, our differences are always a chance to learn, find more patience for others, learn from others and also share with others what we can teach. It is important to keep these things in mind as we learn to keep our relationships with those who we love and who are cut from a different cloth, healthy.
You probably know her best as the pop culture-obsessed Kelly Kapoor in The Office or the hopeless romantic Mindy in her eponymous hit show The Mindy Project, but what you might not know is that Mindy Kaling was born Vera Mindy Chokalingam and was the sole female writer for the first season of The Office. And ICYWW what she’s been up to since her days at Dunder Mifflin, she’s been hard at work building a media empire with her very own production company, shows Never Have I Ever and The Sex Lives of College Girls, three books, and co-writing Legally Blonde 3—all while maintaining her infectious smile, raising two kids as a single mom, and keeping up her wellness routine. So, what’s her secret to juggling it all? After getting to know Mindy through countless interviews (seriously, ask us anything about her), we uncovered seven values she lives. Hint: They only further prove the point that she’s the BFF everyone wants to have.
Work out because it makes you feel good
If there was one takeaway, we got from reading up on Mindy and her workout regimen, it’s that her MO is focusing on movement that brings her joy. Whether that’s Pilates or PLATE FIT (think: lunges, dips, planks on a vibrating device), she’s a self-proclaimed group fitness junkie who is first in line to try the latest “it” workout. But her tried-and-true forms of exercise? Running on the tread, stretching, and walking. “Surprising the body with lots of different things I think is good, particularly for my body… I’ve been mixing it up and knowing that if a workout doesn’t necessarily make me soak my clothes with sweat, it still was a good workout… It does not have to be punished,” Mindy told People. “The endorphins that I get from working out center me. I’m kind of an anxious person and it makes me feel centered and makes me more focused. And I have some of my best creative ideas when I’m working out.” I think we can all agree on that.
It wasn’t always sunshine and rainbows when it came to Mindy’s relationship with her body and exercise. Because she didn’t fit the mold of what a “healthy” body should look like, she put herself through grueling workouts and hid her enthusiasm for being active. “I used to look at fitness as, like, it’s not successful unless you look a certain way at the end of it, and I’m never going to look a certain way,” she said in an interview with Byrdie. “I used to think there was no point if I wasn’t running for 45 minutes five times a week and then doing an hour of lifting. But the point is that I feel so much better mentally if I’m in better cardiovascular health.” The moral of the story is? Any sort of movement gets a gold star, and the best form of exercise is the one that you find the most fun and will stick with.
Drink up first thing in the morning
When it comes to hydration goals, Mindy is queen. In her interview with Byrdie, she said she drinks an “enormous amount of water with lemon” as soon as she gets up. She admittedly does it against her will but keeps up the ritual every morning as a pick-me-up (she doesn’t drink caffeine). And her H2O routine continues with 100 ounces of water throughout the day (if math isn’t your strong suit, like me, that’s equal to 12.5 cups).
Since coffee and matcha are off the table, Mindy also reaches for a green smoothie, created by celeb nutritionist Kimberly Snyder, in the AM. Mindy’s take on it, or her so-called “cheat version,” calls for lemon, apple, romaine, celery, spinach, banana, frozen pineapples, and coconut water. Mindy told Marie Claire that regardless of what she eats the rest of the day, she knows she got in a healthy dose of fruits and veggies to start her day.
Keep your skin in check
Sure, Mindy has her green concoction partly to thank for the glowing complexion she wears so well, but she also credits her beauty product line-up: Dr. Lara Devgan’s Vitamin C+B+E Ferulic Serum, Joanna Vargas’ Daily Hydrating Cream, and Daily Green Hyaluronic Acid Serum, and Supergoop!’s Unseen Sunscreen.
There’s no denying that we at The BeautyLeeBar dig a good drugstore find, and Mindy is no different. She keeps Cetaphil in her skincare arsenal to cleanse her oily and acne-prone skin (who would have thought?). Chalking her good skin up to not wearing makeup every day, Mindy shared that she feels the most confident with just foundation, strong liner, lots of mascara, and blush. Her favorite part of her whole low-key process? Washing off a day of makeup. “I find it very meditative to take it all off. It feels like self-care,” she told WhoWhatWear. As beauties who take their bra and “face” off as soon as we get home, we feel her.
Her face-washing habit walks, a solid bubble bath and Selling Sunset are just a few things Mindy calls self-care. “I used to be very conscious of the term self-care because I was worried it seemed self-indulgent,” she says. “But in the last couple of years, I’ve started to embrace it. It doesn’t have to be a big thing, and it’s the simplest things that have such a unique power to elevate your mood,” she elaborated to Real Simple.
With the little downtime Mindy has, you might also find her in the kitchen whipping up and sharing a meal of coconut curries with vegetables with her loved ones. And the long-time foodie in her will take her me-time in the form of having dinner out with friends any day. But the foundation of self-care for Mindy comes down to a few small and ordinary hacks she let us in on in her interview with Forbes: hitting the hay at 10 p.m., leaving her phone in another room when she goes to bed, preventing the endless scrolling on IG, getting quality shuteye, and taking her probiotic. Because sometimes keeping it simple is best.
Don’t underestimate manifestation
There’s no denying Mindy works hard to get what she wants, but even A-list celebs like her use manifestation to set goals. Mindy’s go-to practice. Vision boards. At first skeptical of their efficacy, she now considers them “a nice mix of creativity and reflection.”
In her one-on-one with Vogue, she explained her experience creating vision boards: “…in the last month of the year, three of the things I had put on there came true—and they were three big ones—and I remember thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, it was that damn vision board.’ I just had to be patient. And I thought that was a really good lesson because when you put up a vision board it’s not like asking Santa for things. So, one of the things I have on the new one is patience, because last time, I took it down. This year, I’m going to try not to do that.” Excuse us while we go gather all of our magazines and make a trip to Office Depot.
In the same vein, Mindy swears by practicing gratitude to put her in the right headspace. On any given morning, you’ll find her sitting cross-legged, saying what she’s thankful for aloud. “There’s something about having to say it that makes it real,” she expressed.
Practice body acceptance
Mindy doesn’t let not looking a certain way stand in the way of her love of style and getting dressed up. One quick scroll through Mindy’s IG and you’ll see it’s a collage of colorful, lust-worthy dresses and matching sets. Rather than being confined by societal pressures, she embraces self-awareness and body positivity (you go, girl!). “I’ve always steered away from light-colored jeans or white denim because I’ve never felt comfortable wearing light colors on the bottom half of my body, I think a lot of women feel this way. I’ve decided to commit that when it gets to the dead of summer, I’m going to wear white jeans,” she told Forbes.
Like most of us, body acceptance hasn’t come easily or naturally for Mindy. She confessed to Shape that she once held herself to restrictive eating habits the weeks before award shows and fashion events but has since bid them adieu. “I love to eat at restaurants, I love to eat homecooking, and I don’t like restricting my diet. And [now] I’m like, as long as I’m getting enough nutrients and feeling like my heart and my lungs are getting exercise, I don’t beat myself up about that.” Mic drop.
Be unapologetically you
Mindy has made a name for herself as a multi-hyphenate and bringing fictional characters to life on screen. But off-screen, she stays true to herself and makes it a point to bring her most authentic self forward. Case in point: Her snapshots of being a mom and laugh-out-loud memes on IG. In her recent exclusive with People, she articulated how she keeps it real while still striving to grow: “There’s this Maya Angelou quote that’s like, ‘Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.’ So, to me, that’s what I’ve just been doing.”
When Mindy spoke to Byrdie, she recalled feeling repressed and uncomfortable in her skin as a young adult, a far cry from the mindset of the actresses on her two shows Never Have I Ever and The Sex Lives of College Girls. “Every day, I am struck by how brave and authentic the young women I’m working with are… They are courageous activists and not ashamed of being that way. They love their bodies, and they’re still quirky.” Taking a cue from Mindy and her counterparts, why not be your unique, beautiful self? There’s no one else like you—flaws, insecurities, and all. When you find yourself lost or lacking self-confidence, remember the piece of advice Mindy’s late mother left her: “Always be your own best friend.”