LaTonya Yvette's Tips for Prioritizing Rest and Family
Author LaTonya Yvette's Tips for Prioritizing Rest, Family, and Time Outdoors This Spring
You would think that as an author, mother, activist, and land-keeper, LaTonya Yvette would hold the secret to doing it all while maintaining a semblance of self-care. But when it comes to prioritizing rest, even she says she's still figuring it out. For LaTonya, it's spring, not winter, that has her turning inward and reflecting. LaTonya lets the warm weather do its thing, finding it to be a rejuvenating time — not just for herself, but for her entire family. After a long winter filled with time spent indoors with iPads, LaTonya and her two children, River and Oak, have many outdoor plans for the new season, and are ready to let the warm weather guide them.
First, LaTonya says, you need to set boundaries. "I'm really clear with my children and the people in my life," she says. "I've become really good at articulating exactly what I want and need." This, in turn, teaches her children to do the same. The whole family being on the same page makes it easier to plan and do things together.
One of the things I like to tell myself is that it's ok to let other things drop off," LaTonya says. "If you try to have control over everything, it hinders your ability to access joy."
Second, feeling rested means doing things that bring you that joy. For LaTonya, River, and Oak, that means being in nature. "We're outdoors people and I've developed children that know the ways of myself," she says. "They don't take much convincing to get outside." This season, LaTonya plans on lots of bike rides, outdoor outings, and exploring in the fresh air. "We really squeeze a lot of things into our days," she says. "We start out with zero plans and are open to letting the day take us where it may."
When it comes to exploring, LaTonya says her kids are down for any adventure. Born and raised in New York City, she is very comfortable in a cityscape. "There is the natural comfort of people who look like me and have similar struggles," she says. But recently, LaTonya bought a property in upstate New York, bringing the three of them into a more rural setting. "Being upstate is being able to develop that community. I didn't inherit it," she says. "It's a huge learning curve, but one we’re really grateful for." That said, her life in the country isn't too different from their days in the city — they never know what the day has in store for them. She said she likes to keep their plans loose and schedules uncluttered so they can afford to take detours and impromptu adventures.
Finally, the former stylist in her knows that looking your best has a huge impact on how you feel. "My previous past life as a stylist has informed how I see the world," LaTonya says. "It feels good to look good." River and Oak agree — both have strong opinions about their personal style and what makes them feel good. For Oak it's blazers and clothes that fit just right. "He's really particular about fit," explains LaTonya. For River, it's all about matching sets and color. Thankfully, H&M has enough variety that it caters to each of their individual styles and aesthetics. "It's amazing to see their personalities shift when they're really feeling a look."
Photographer: Timothy Smith; Art Director: Meg Konigsburg Producer: Cassie Doyle, Hannah Lee; Hair Stylist: Rubi Jones; Makeup Artist: Jaleesa Jaikaran Wardrobe Stylist: Alexis Badiyi; Prop Stylist: Catherine Pearson