051: Never give boring gifts

The holidays are quickly approaching, so Maria and Anna continue their tradition of discussing all things gift giving! They begin with some insight into how to approach gift giving, some things to keep in mind when trying to surprise others with gifts, and how to be mindful during the hectic holiday season. They then dive into their holiday gift guide, which covers everything from fair trade clothing and jewelry to self-care products to books and crafts, and much more! All with a special focus on small, independent businesses. And, of course, our hosts end with a reminder of what gift-giving is really about: creativity, joy, and love!

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050: Holistic health, periods, self compassion & creativity with Nina Boyce

This week, Anna and Maria talk to holistic health coach and podcaster Nina Boyce, to discuss some of our favorite things here at Never Wear Boring Socks: periods, creativity, self compassion, and, of course, socks (get ready for some wild sock situations in this one!) Nina shares her perspective on why it’s helpful to understand the different phases of our menstrual cycle, and some ways we can give ourselves compassion and care even during the parts of our cycle that we may not be so fond of. She also shares her knowledge about the mind-body connection, and particularly the relationship between our gut health and our mental health. Ultimately, Nina points out that the most important thing we can do for our health is to listen to our bodies. Nina also shares her thoughts on how creativity is related to our wellness and our menstrual cycles, how feminine energy and the moon plays into all of this, and why expressing our creativity and our unique gifts is so important.  

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049: Beauty and the PMA

Tale as old as time, socks as old as rhyme…but don’t worry, we did wash our socks before sharing them with you today. The topic of beauty has come up so many times over the course of Never Wear Boring Socks that Anna and Maria decided to dedicate an entire episode to it this week. They both feel pretty strongly that beauty is a topic worth discussing, because it’s not as superficial as we sometimes think; this has a lot to do with the language we use, and in what contexts we use the word “beauty.” As artists, our hosts are particularly interested in the relationship between beauty and art. A few questions Anna and Maria tackled in this episode: Does art have to be beautiful to be called art? How can we understand beautiful art that depicts terrible things? And how does beauty relate to PMA?

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048: Home (and foot) Decor

Anna and Maria discuss decor this week, and how decorating our spaces can help us encourage creativity and wellness. They consider decorating as a creative act and project; a tool to promote mental health; a method through which we can curate body positivity; and much more! They also cover how decorating may be different for a young adult without much space of their own than for a homeowner, and how those of us with limited space can still maximize our spaces for different purposes. Anna and Maria also bring in some connections to past episodes on space, seasons, and values (proving just how holistic creativity and wellness can be!).

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047: Know Your Values

This week’s episode is all about values: how we can identify what they are, why we might want to, and what impact they have on our wellbeing and our creative lives. Anna and Maria discuss how values can help us in our decision-making process and understand the WHY behind what we do. They also explore the ways ego, judgment, and comparison can get in the way of determining our true values, what happens when our values differ from those around us, and whether some values are better than others. And, because our hosts are detail-oriented language nerds, they discuss choosing specific words with particular resonance for YOU, and why that might be more helpful than having a huge list of all of the positive words you can think of.

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046: Seizing the Season

As the fall colors start to hit their stride, Maria and Anna delve into the topic of living seasonally. They discuss how seasons can be opportunities for change and reflection, as well as sources of difficult transition, and how we can better adapt to these changes. They also dive into the cyclical nature of seasons, and how different types of seasons often mirror what is going on in nature. And of course, it wouldn’t be a Never Wear Boring Socks episode without diving into wellness and creativity… so Anna and Maria make sure to cover seasonal self care, as well as how seasons affect our creative processes. Really, they’re both just excited about how many new fall foods are in season.

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045: Getting creative, staying inspired, & appreciating beauty with Jackie Randall

This week, Anna and Maria talk to graphic designer and wellness enthusiast Jackie Randall. They get into many aspects of creativity, including creative collaboration, the importance of beauty, and the emotional impact of art. Jackie also talks about how she got into graphic design, her experiences in art school and working in a creative field, finding creative community, and her many sources of inspiration. Plus, a Hamilton tangent and lots of recommendations for things to check out!

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044: Style & Substance (& Socks)

On the podcast this week, Anna and Maria talk about style. (Considering we have a podcast dedicated to unboring socks, this may be long overdue...but oh well.) They discuss how the clothes we wear can affect how we feel, and how we can use clothes as a tool for body acceptance. They also delve into the necessary evil of cleaning out your closet, and how it really can make a difference in decluttering not just our wardrobe, but our lives. As you might guess based on that idea, they end the episode by proposing a particularly challenging call to action….

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043: Spiritual Material

In this week’s episode, Anna and Maria dive into the very complex topic of spirituality. Some of the questions they attempt to answer: How does spirituality play into wellness, and specifically the mind-body connection? Do we have to separate ourselves from our physical experience in order to have a spiritual one? What is the relationship between spirituality, art, and creative inspiration? Is there a difference between spirituality and religion? Our hosts discuss how their relationships to spirituality have changed over time, how the language we use impacts our relationship to spirituality, and the importance of empathy, community, and compassion.

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042: Food is Not a Moral Issue

On this week’s episode, Anna and Maria assert that food is not a moral issue—what kind of food you eat does not make you a good or bad person! Societal norms have made us think this way, however, and our fearless hosts explore the roots of this deeply ingrained misconception. From diet culture to fatphobia to vicious comparison, Anna and Maria discuss the many forces that have contributed to the ways in which we develop relationships with our food. They dive into the mind-body connection and how it can affect the way we consume food, as well as ponder the effect of mindfulness on how our bodies accept the food we choose to eat. Most importantly, Anna and Maria offer ways in which we can challenge the assumption that certain foods are inherently “good” or “bad.”

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041: Creativity: Wellness for the World

How can creativity make a positive impact in the world? What is our responsibility as artists, musicians, writers, and people who are making things and sharing them with the world? From choices we make about our supplies, to carefully considering the content of what we share, to the added opportunities for impact if and when we decide to turn our creative pursuits into a creative business, Anna and Maria discuss a few of the many layers of this complex topic. Also discussed: how does this all fit into the topic of wellness?

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040: Ayurveda, Herbs, Craniosacral Therapy & More with Alicia Hunter

This week, Anna and Maria are joined by Alicia Hunter, wellness wonder woman! Alicia is a massage and craniosacral therapist, Ayurvedic practitioner, yoga instructor, and herbalist, and we talked to her about many of these fascinating practices! Have you been wanting to learn more about Ayurveda? We cover doshas, dinacharya, and some of the other things that Ayurveda encompasses as the “science of life.” Been wondering what herbs to use in order to spice up your slice of pizza? We’ve got you covered. Alicia also discusses how creativity fits into her view of wellness, and we how we can best strive to be well while living fast-paced, complicated lives.

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039: Making Life Spicy with Routines

One important factor in the realms of creative work and wellness is routine. Morning routines, evening routines, in-between routines...Anna and Maria discuss their value, and some of the things they personally do each day to set themselves up for success. They also talk about finding balance between the structure of routine and the joy of spontaneity, as well as allowing our routines and habits to change as we experience change in things like our life situations, seasons, and hormones. Plus, our hosts discuss ways in which wellness routines and creativity can sometimes be in conflict, and share some of their favorite skincare rituals.

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038: Stealing a Diamond is Hard

…and so is knowing yourself. On this week’s episode, Anna and Maria talk all about self knowledge: how it benefits our creativity and wellbeing, tools we can use to discover self knowledge, what your star sign is… Yep, our hosts get into everything from the Enneagram to astrology, and they’ve got a lot to say about it. Most importantly, they recognize that these tools are helpful because of the potential they have for various interpretations, and that we should use them in order to be compassionate and accepting of ourselves. Getting to know ourselves is hard--but it’s worth it.

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037: What's Good for Me? Creativity!

A fitting follow-up to last week’s episode, Anna and Maria dive deeper into the intersection between creativity and wellness. This time they focus on how we can view wellness with a creative and intuitive lens, rather than a rigid and dogmatic one. Our hosts discuss some of their favorite outside-the-box “wellness” practices, how to get more creative with the inside-the-box ones, and talk about what specific actions they’ll be taking to infuse their wellness routines with a bit of fresh creative energy. Plus, some discussion of delicious Ayurvedic dishes, wisdom from Amy Poehler, and another listener challenge!

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036: Getting Rid of the Gunk

How do self-care and wellness help us cultivate more creative lives? Following a discussion on the symbolism of watermelon and Harry Potter socks, as well as Maria’s coining of our listeners as “creative soles” (the more sock puns, the better, yes?), Anna and Maria delve into this question on the podcast this week. They cover a range of topics from the complicated issue of the tortured artist archetype, to how nourishing our mental well-being can help us share our creative work. They also take time to appreciate the benefits of food and sleep (is there ever enough time to devote to these topics?). Throughout the next week, Anna and Maria agree to commit to one wellness practice that will help nourish their creativity, and invite listeners to join them in this pursuit! To wrap up the episode, Anna breaks the rules by leaving our creative soles with not one, but TWO quotes.


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035: Integrative Medicine with Dr. Nancy Van Sloun

Your favorite sock-loving, podcasting cousins are back! To kick off Season 2 of Never Wear Boring Socks, Anna and Maria are joined by Dr. Nancy Van Sloun for a conversation about integrative and holistic medicine, the importance of mind-body practices, and more. Our hosts also share some updates about what to expect in the new season, and the new direction they’re taking with future episodes of the podcast.

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034: Updates & End-of-season reflections

As Season 1 wraps up, Anna and Maria give some updates on the podcast and on their lives as a whole. Maria starts things off with yet another PMA story involving an airport (is it fate?). Our two co-hosts then discuss where they’re at in their college and post-college lives, and the insights they’ve gained in the past year. They also reflect on their experience with Never Wear Boring Socks thus far. Finally, this week’s episode wraps up with some quick co-host questions and some favorites.


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033: Envy, Comparison, & Creativity

This week’s episode is all about envy and comparison. In particular, Anna and Maria delve into what it’s like to experience these feelings in the realm of our creative outlets. We regularly compare ourselves to others in all sorts of ways, but as creatives, we can get particularly obsessed with comparison when it comes to our craft. Our hosts talk about their own experiences being both inspired and discouraged by others’ creative output, and explore the ways in which comparison can get in our way when we’re trying to produce original work. Ultimately, they apply PMA to the situation and arrive at a conclusion that allows them to use envy as a tool for self-reflection. Maria shares an envy-exploring exercise involving alumnae/i magazines, and Anna brings in a classic bit of wisdom from none other than Dr. Seuss.

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032: Self Care

Anna and Maria delve into the diverse topic of self care this week. Self care is pretty trendy right now, but what is it exactly? Our co-hosts discuss what it means to take care of ourselves and how this fits into the traditional perceptions of self care, and why self care is so important (especially within our current busy lifestyles). They talk about some of their favorite self care practices and the individualized nature of self care, as well as the need to evolve our self care routines. Ultimately, self care is about being in touch with our bodies and minds and taking time for ourselves in order to be well and do well. Remember: self care is not selfish, and it allows us to be present in our own lives and in our relationships with others.

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