Longtime fitness instructor and mental health therapist Brit Guerin is on a mission for a more inclusive sort of wellness. Based in Raleigh, NC, she co-founded Current Wellness, a wellness center and (soon) physical space that focuses on an integrated and inclusive approach. By bringing together nutrition and cooking classes (in a functional teaching kitchen!), with yoga, fitness, and mental health resources, The Current strives to help anyone find better wellness from any angle. Here, we’ll learn more from Brit about her inclusive approach to wellness.
How did you start Current Wellness?
I’ve worked in the fitness industry for over 12 years, and more recently became a mental health therapist. I specialize in anxiety, trauma, disordered eating, and disordered exercise. I knew that I wanted to go into private practice, but I also knew that I couldn’t leave fitness behind. I love teaching so much, and helping people feel embodied and joyous in their movement. My partner, Nathan, is also very passionate about food and cooking. Through the combination of the ways we approach wellness, and our professional backgrounds, we began dreaming about the possibilities of a wellness center. We wrote our mission, vision, and values in the Spring of 2019 and began searching for spaces soon after.
What is the mission of Current Wellness?
Our mission is to activate inclusive wellness in Raleigh for mind, body, and community. Let me start by speaking to inclusivity. Some of the ways we strive to be inclusive are through breaking down the financial barriers to wellness, hiring a diverse staff, and creating a physical environment that is spacious and welcoming.
The reality is that wellness spaces are often full of thinner-bodied, white women who can afford these services. Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong with thin, white women (this is how I identify). However, there are a lot more diverse identities who aren’t being fully welcomed into these spaces. Further, wellness platforms and marketing campaigns tend to highlight a thinner body, which is not representative of our actual population of diverse bodies. We need to create weight-inclusive spaces and programming so that people of all shapes and sizes can be safe and successful.
Secondly, let me explain what we mean by “mind, body, and community.” Our goal is to integrate services and programming for both physical and mental health (mind and body). We will offer fitness, yoga, and dance classes, meditation series, mental health counseling for individuals and groups, and so much more to nourish the whole person.
Lastly, community ties our mission together. We are designing a space where people can not only come for classes and appointments, but also stay and gather. From special events to cooking classes to gatherings on our front deck, our goal is to be a space where folks connect to one another. We are being very intentional about bringing community together because connection is what ultimately fuels our existence.
What is one interesting thing about you that your followers wouldn’t know?
I’m not sure how interesting this is, but my followers wouldn’t know that my parents own a beer retail shop in Pennsylvania. Through their business, I definitely created a love for local craft beer and also learned how to drink responsibility because drinking alcohol was never really a big deal. Also, they taught me a lot about business in general, which I still use today.
How do you stay healthy and well?
A combination of a lot of things! I definitely prioritize sleep – I usually get at least 8 hours of sleep every night. I also practice mindfulness- in my thoughts, body, and emotions. I find that the more I can be aware of what’s happening in my mind and body, the more I’m able to cope with challenges. I work on this on my own, as well as with my therapist.
Food and movement are definitely important as well- I always feel better when I’m eating regular meals and staying active. Lastly, I prioritize time with my partner and time with my friends- laughter and taking breaks from work is so good for my wellness.
What is the one trend in the wellness space you find to be a little “eye-roll emoji”?
Any wellness trend that is more in the realm of vanity, I find to be a little “eye-roll emoji.” Now, I want to be sure to say this with compassion- because if you find something that works for you, then I will be cheering you on. However, I do find that when we focus too much on our aesthetics, it is often a distraction from something else going wrong (such as loneliness, fear, sadness). Further, the outcome of wellness fads are frequently never enough. That goal weight is hit and we still aren’t happy. Or, we get some botox and we want a more intensive surgery. In my opinion, any wellness product that promises a “quick fix” or a “solution to your problem” is probably not worth your money. I would much rather see people invest in therapy or other healthy habits to increase self-awareness and coping skills to better handle life. To me, this is where real wellness is found.
What is the one health product you think everyone should own?
I think everyone should own a foam roller. They are truly amazing for muscle recovery and tightness. I wrote a blog post on foam rollers if you are looking for recommendations on why to buy and how to use one.