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Women's Lifestyle Magazine

Women's LifeStyle May 2020 - Vonnie Woodrick

May 06, 2020 04:38PM ● By WLMagazine


We hope you and yours are well and safe. We are entering the second full month of life with COVID-19. As of this writing, Kent county has 1,822 cases and 39 deaths. As we consider these numbers, we are implored to remember that each represents a person who is loved. 

It is OK to be exhausted of coronavirus coverage; in fact, it is recommended to create boundaries and limit your exposure to maintain your mental health right now. But while we set those boundaries, we can acknowledge those whose lives continue to be deeply upset by the pandemic and how existing inequities are compounding that impact. These episodes of the Inspired Voices podcast were created to help you engage with these facts and provide avenues of how you can help.

At Women’s LifeStyle, we have never been more proud of what we do. We have produced 18 episodes of our new podcast, with many more to come. We have pivoted to create an enriching digital space that connects you to the best of our community. And, we forge ahead doing what we do best: elevating the voices of women in our community to inspire others. 

This month, we honor mothers and explore the great complexities of mental health. 

On our cover is Vonnie Woodrick, founder and executive director of i understand, a nonprofit that offers compassionate comfort to those impacted by suicide and mental illness. Woodrick has fearlessly stripped away stigmatizing language and shared her own story with boundless grace in order to normalize conversations around mental health. In this edition, Woodrick writes a personal essay about struggling through coronavirus as her body and mind heal. 

Allison Arnold bravely shares her story of overcoming an eating disorder that left her hospitalized as a teen. In a Q&A, Allisons’s mother Christina Arnold shares what her experience was like as she watched her daughter’s illness escalate and offers advice for other parents who may be facing the same thing. In “Stigma,” we learn of how societal bias has created unique mental health struggles in the LGBTQIA+ communities, and what we can all do to help. Additionally, learn how to cope when you experience fight, flight, or freeze, and develop healthy social media habits. 

If you don’t already know about momHIVE, you’re welcome. The co-working space for women offers onsite childcare and has built a robust community in which working moms may thrive. Their brick and mortar space is closed due to coronavirus, but the community has been flourishing in its online platform. Latesha Lipscomb and her eight-year-old son Caius are familiar faces to many in Grand Rapids: the two can often be seen at fundraisers, neighborhood association meetings, community events and celebrations. Lipscomb candidly tells us about her journey as a single mother and the intentionality with which she raises her son to find success and happiness as an adult. 

We have tips and tricks to help you through the season: Rethink your family recipes; optimize your organization with items you already have; learn how to best bring a new four-legged friend into your family; find inspiration for your home with book suggestions by Kent District Library; and learn how to turn your garden into a pollinator’s paradise

As a reminder, here are our top resources to help you navigate coronavirus: Grand Rapids Food Delivery and TakeoutFund Established to Assist Undocumented FamiliesHow to Safely Grocery Shop During CoronavirusMayor Rosalynn Bliss on Grand Rapids Coronavirus ResourceCoronavirus in Kent County and How You Can Help.

I hope you and yours remain safe and healthy in the coming days. I hope we can help you find joy. I hope we can inspire you to reach out to those who need it most. I hope that in all of this, we can continue to connect you to the best of our community. As always, we are in this together.


Elyse Wild