Learn To Respond, Not React


Easier said than done, I know. Essentially what I am asking you to do is train your mind. Challenge yourself this week to break away from the cycle that is fueled through a stimulus that reinforces the cycle that we are trying to break. A reaction is a learned behavior reinforced in times of fear, anxiety, and stress. One of the hardest patterns to break is the behavioral response of reacting- when to and not to. This cycle can create our identity since we are creatures of habit and feel impossible to break. They have become systemic approaches to the way we access emotion and interact with other people in our environment. Reacting to situations can lead us feeling emotionally drained, from both the physical result of the reaction and the emotional toll afterwards when leveraging feelings of guilt and shame. Reactions are instant. We often immediately feel guilty for our actions following a reaction.  A reaction is instant. It is fueled by the unconscious. 

Reactions are rooted in stress. Reactions are rooted in suffering. Reactions are fear. Let us work to respond this week.

Positive Distraction of The Week

When you are caught in a stimulus reaction, pause. Do not believe your thoughts, pause. When the fight, flight, or freeze mode activates, pause. Remember the love, and pause. When you are triggered, transform and breathe.

The brain allows us to think and reason. You are stronger than your negative thoughts and you are fiercer than an unconscious physical instinct. Your brain allows you to be mindful. You have the ability to attune and invoke an empathetic self-soothing calm. Challenge yourself to integrate the senses you feel at first to pause in order to respond. Work to self-soothe during times of stress, fear, and anxiety. Challenge yourself to pause. Be disciplined. We thoughtlessly listen to our emotions as anxiety comes in which make us react. Take a deep breath, and put yourself and the other person in perspective. Work on responding this week. A response is slow and ecological. It allows you to build upon previous information and considerations. It allows you to weigh the differences between varying pieces of information.

Have the patience to wade through the primordial current. Maintain your self control. Hold on to your dignity. Learn how to respond.

Be careful of your thoughts, for your thoughts become your words. Be careful of your words, for your words become your actions. Be careful of your actions, for your actions become your habits. Be careful of your habits, for your habits become your character. Be careful of your character, for your character becomes your destiny.

-Chinese proverb, author unknown

Let’s followup in a week. Best, Dr. Dyce


Your Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic Guide


This month I attended the 12th annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic, (#VCpoloclassic, #clicquotstyle, #vcpoloclassic2019, #veuveclicquotpoloclcassic) at Liberty State Park, in Jersey City, New Jersey. I decided to attend this event for a much needed mental break from Washington, DC. The date also worked out quite nicely overlapping with my birthday week, #geminiSZN. I decided to pay forward a review for the culture, including a few tips and tricks to help guide you if you ever consider attendance.


The Veuve Clicquot Polo classic had been on my bucket list of social events to attend since its inaugural year. Let me take you through my coveted timeline: 2007: I wasn’t old enough; 2008: I had just gotten back from a 6 month stint in London #jetlag; 2009: I just graduated from undergraduate studies, and moved from New Orleans; 2010: Opted for Atlantic City instead; 2011: Opted for the Outer Banks instead; 2012-2016: PHD World; 2017-2018; Repositioning self + Relocation to a new state! This brings me to 2019: 1st attendance to the Veuve Clicquot polo classic. Even though participation was on a whim this year, I was so excited when I realized it overlapped with an already planned trip.


I think one of the first decisions one needs to make prior to attending the VC Polo Classic is which ticket you want to purchase. This year there were originally three tiers on the first release date: 1. General Admission ($90 + Fee): This was the most inexpensive ticket that offered you general admission to the event and round trip transportation to and from both points of entry (NJ and NY side). After the initial ticket release date, two additional cycles of GA tickets were distributed prior to the event. 2. Early Admission ($150 + Fee): This ticket provided you a step-up from general admission as you were given early access to the ferry (Battery Park, NY departure only) and complimentary VC champagne flutes for AMEX card holders. So if you were like me, and leaving from NJ, this bump up didn’t really provide much other than a different line to stand in when you arrived to the grounds. 3. The Rosé Garden: ($475 +Fee): The Rosé Garden is the highest level ticket you can purchase for the entire event, regardless of departure location, day and time. This ticket provided you priority boarding from both New Jersey (Liberty Science Center) and New York (Battery Park), 1 bottle of Veuve Clicquot Rosé Rich Champagne (MSRP $75 but cost of the bottle at the event: $130 important), Gourmet Lunch provided by Wolfgang Puck (including post lunch snack and 1 bottle of water), and then access to the wristband only Rosê Garden which included shaded open lawn seating with tables, couches, exclusive decor, additional photo opportunities, and Rosé Garden only bars with air conditioned bathrooms. All of this is important information when I break down the expense ratio. This year the first wave of the General Admission tickets sold out in minutes. The Rosé Garden tickets stuck around for about 1.5 additional weeks before also being sold out. After much deliberation, research (shout out to Wil, creator of Weekends With Wil; Insta: @wil_mikahson (who I met at this year’s match, amazing person, like & subscribe to his YouTube channel) and Dana creator of The Champagne Edit; Insta: @dana.mannarino) we decided to opt for the Rosé Garden package, and I’ll explain why in my recap/expense breakdown.


This was the big fun with the wretched, Vanessa Huxtable dreamt of having. I had so so much fun. I met so many new people, the food was amazing, and for my first polo match, I was very much entertained (congrats to team Veuve Clicquot). 99% of attendees are there to have a good time (there’s always that 1%, always). The music was amazing, (anyone who can build a set list of Travis Scott + Ace of Base is a winner in my book), the food was super high quality, and it was just an extremely well organized event. I AM the itinerary planner in my friend-sphere so I pay much attention to detail and the time-management layout. There is just enough time to do everything you want that day: take photos at each of the locations, eat lunch, watch polo, drink more champagne, and then have fun during the let out, (approximately 90 minutes that turns into a dance/social space). In fact, there were folks coming to the event just for the last 2 hours, since last call at the bars is 5:30 PM. I definitely plan on attending next year and am so happy I was finally able to make this work in my schedule this year. God is real.


Go with people who function on your wavelength. If you are sit-on-the-grass folks, then don’t go to this event with someone like me. If you want to Diner-En-Blanć out on the polo field, go with a tribe who will help you carry the picnic basket and chairs. You are allowed to bring food and factory sealed non-alcoholic beverages, plus there are also food trucks that serve delightful creations. If you don’t plan on drinking champagne and want GA tickets, don’t bring the friend that wants to turn up and send “you-up” texts at 3:00 PM. It’s hot, there are a lot of people, and you want to have a good time. So be sure to select a crew that have mutual expectations of the day.

Wear comfortable and weather appropriate shoes. So listen. There is a walk from the drop-off to the event. The walk from the NJ side is shorter than the walk from the NY side, due to the nature of the port access. If you are leaving from the NY side and don’t feel like the walk, there are pedicabs available for about $10 per person, bring cash). If you are leaving from the NJ side, the shuttle coach buses are super nice, air-conditioned, and hold approximately 28 people, to give you an idea of capacity. The shuttle time is about a 7 minute ride. If you want to wear the stilettos and pumps the entire day, you are a better woman than me. Many girls opted to bring their flats in a bag and change once they got to the event but, we were just so anti [stuff] so we both wore flats/sandals; the highest shoe I’d recommend is a block heel. Also be mindful of the state of the field, dirt +rain=mud; my pink leather and navy patent shoes were ruined and if I hadn’t gotten them on sale, I probably would’ve rioted. TLDR: Be mindful of the terrain.

Eat breakfast. This should be obvious, but in the haste and rush of the event, it’s easy to miss. Don’t be that girl who is falling over by divot stomp half-time. Eat a good breakfast with a carbohydrate or two, and take your vitamins. The event is 11A-6P and there are consistent shuttles throughout the day, but keep in mind, it is a marathon, not a sprint. Additionally, if you are going to pre-game this event, drink responsibly. If you are not experienced in the alcohol + heat formula (like us SEC tailGATORS) this event is not the time to experiment.

Don’t forget your non-negotiables. For me that was a portable phone charger, sunblock, and sunglasses. I’m getting pretty hyper vigilant about my eyes lately so I made sure I had a pretty durable pair for the event that I honestly never took off. Additionally, I made sure my makeup routine included several layers of sunblock because a wrinkle is no friend of mine. Last, since Spain, I barked about needing a portable charger and finally bit the bullet. I purchased this one, which has 3 ports for charging in addition to a wi-fi capability for the “I forgot my cable” moments. It is a bit heavy, but I don’t carry anything in my bag anyway, so it fits me just fine. It also has a great LCD screen that lets me know the status of the battery and when it needs to be recharged.

Hydrate and actually sleep the night before. I was extremely stressed out the week prior and days leading up to the VC Polo Classic and made it a point to actually get rest the night before. It’s tempting to go out, especially with the amazing things downtown Jersey City has been up to, but we honestly came to the conclusion that spending money on the Rosé Garden was an investment that we wanted to be our best selves for. It’s literally impossible to do that post gin and tonic detox. The day of the event we were up at around 6am (it kinda felt like a holiday) as checkin started at 1045am and well, prep. It was nice to have a leisure morning that was calm and comfortable. We were alert, ready for the sun, and the champagne campaign.

Plan your outfit ahead of time. You can honestly come as you are to the VC Polo Classic, some did- but honestly, this is pretty much the wearable art-Met Gala for civilians. GQ annually posts their top lewks as do a host of other blogs and the hashtags and insta-stories trend for days. This is an event where your creativity and expression of all things fashion truly come alive and it is honestly a treat to see. I ended up pulling together a very “uptown” breathable outfit of pretty pleats and florals. I’ll post below.


Now, time to do a bit of math: Let’s say you don’t get early access, and are left with deciding between general admission (phase 2 and phase 3, because phase 1 will likely sell out) and the Rosé Garden. You would be looking to spend about ($140) for admission to the event, give or take. Once you arrive you will likely purchase 1 bottle of champagne ($130) and then you are going to either bring your own food or purchase it on the grounds; let’s estimate about about ($50 spend). This brings you to a total of $320 in comparison to the $500 spent on the Rosé Garden with equal amenities. Now you’d have to decide, is the ticket worth the additional $180? Speaking from access to the Rosé Garden with a New Jersey departure, I absolutely believe that it is worth the cost of the ticket. 1. During the event I had a collective wait time of maybe 30 minutes for the entire day. I never waited to get a bottle of Champagne, the bathroom, glasses of champagne, nothing. I am cranky and inpatient in my old age, so for ME the priority of the Rosé Garden ticket alone was worth the $180. I will pay more to be comfortable and after the age of 30, let’s be honest we need to go where the seats are. The Rosé Garden ticket allotted for shade, seating in chairs in an amazingly decorated space. Last, I am not an outdoorsy person; I am in fact a very indoorsy girl. I have a sensitivity to heat, I have allergies, and wear contacts; I enjoy artificial air, sub-degree temperatures, and chairs. So when I willingly decide to be outside for more than a few minutes, I need to feel comfortable. Last, in the 12th hour, we opted to not bring anything but ourselves and a portable charger, not even water. We literally did not feel like carrying a thing. We just decided to buy whatever we needed and be as mindful and intentional about enjoying the day and the experience. It was truly the best move for us and an extremely freeing feeling.


The VC Polo classic is the kickoff to brunch szn. This year the weather was flawless. It is worth the time, effort, and planning and I hope to see you next year! Comment down below if you’ve attended or plan on attending. Be sure to check out the complete photo diary and let’s followup in a week.

Best, Dr. Dyce



Check In: The Arlo Nomad Hotel




You should know by now, whenever I am on the hunt for a place to stay, a boutique property always received the first glance. I find that the benefits of staying at a boutique hotel outweigh its heavy competitors on several fronts. Aesthetic: what you see, affects how you think, and ultimately how you feel. Boutique hotels offer superior attention to detail; since there is less mass, more attention can be paid toward efforts to make you feel most comfortable in an intimate space. Service: smaller numbers translate to acute customer service due to sheer mathematics. You are not just guest #5974923; Individualized service is something I can stand behind and throw coins toward. The Arlo Nomad is a modern, micro-boutique hotel with loads of personality, tech-friendly, and right in the middle of New York City. On trend with more progressive spaces the Arlo Nomad provides the visuals, comfort, and access you need for a perfect stay in the big apple.



Upon arrival the hotel lobby was calm and inviting. I was met with a super friendly welcome from staff positined in an industrial space with low lights and colorful pieces of artwork on the walls. I checked in to a queen room with a city view. This hotel is an unpretentious gem where staff wear button-downs and slacks & are super warm and helpful. Although the property is snug, a lot fits into the compact space and forces you to explore your surroundings. Parking is not available on site, however valet is an option with limited car privileges. Arlo Nomad is in a great location for anyone who’s never been to New York City as it is located in the Flat Iron district of Manhattan, that allows for easy access to several anchor points for a first time visitor. 








Outside the guest rooms, the Arlo provides communal spaces to relax and enjoy a cocktail on site. Amenities include a full restaurant with bar and 24-hour lobby bodega.  A library/den, packed with colorful books, tables, and lofty seating spaces. The Arlo Nomad provides ample seating around each of the communal spaces in addition to tables, fireplaces, and nooks for pre-dinner drinks or nightcap. @arlohotels provide a complimentary happy hour from 530pm to 700pm at #BARlo which is a 60’s inspired second floor bar and lounge area. Here you are able to enjoy a glass of prosecco with a friend while you figure out your next step; The bar was chic, comfortable, and inviting.  The restaurant on site: Massoni, dons an Asian-Italian fare which we thoroughly enjoyed. I had a glass of Riesling with the garlic bread pizza; my friend opted for the pasta and neither disappointed. Normally hotel restaurants can be hit or miss, especially in larger cities, however the food-to-cost ratio was appropriate and satisfying. PRO TIP: Masoni would be a neat brunch spot as the real treat of the Arlo Nomad is the rooftop bar with city skyline views of the Empire State building to bring you to that state of mind (The rooftop bar is called: The Heights).






The rooms are snug (probably about 150-square feet) however mighty and efficient; I appreciate when a space makes sense.  Where the room lacks in space, it makes up for in comfort and view as there is not a bad room in the hotel. The property faces a bustling and thriving city landscape at the doorsteps of New York City. During the day, the higher floored you are the more you feel like you are staying in a sky-scraper-esque property; I felt like you were floating over manhattan.  At nighttime the metropolis turns into a beautifully lit city view, truly giving that New York City vibe each minute.  The bathroom was of adequate size, compact, with a sliding door, rainfall shower, and lemongrass/verbena toiletries.  The room provided each guest complimentary boxed water with a fridge and clothing steamer which I felt to be a nice touch.




For this trip I was in town to see my fave, Travis Scott for the (third night) NYC show in the garden. It was nothing short of amazing, and if you ever have an opportunity to watch Travis perform, GO. It is truly a religious experience. Everyone is there to have a good time, and you’ll be on your feet for the duration of the concert. This 30-something year old can definitely still hang, but it was nice to creep back to the oasis in the city for a solid, restful sleep at the Arlo Normad Hotel. See clips below from the show and of the post-show k-town hangout. Afterward, The Arlo Nomad was just enough city light to give you after hours gothic vibes – not too much where you feel like you can’t get any rest.





The Arlo Nomad has an urban-industrial style with modern comforts and makes for a seamless and peaceful self-care experience. The calm vibes amid the hustle and bustle of the big apple afford you much peace and quiet for a pleasant and innovative stay. You’re in such close proximity to everything in the overly saturated, Flatiron district so you can easily head out for a nightcap or a quick bite a few blocks away in K-Town.






TELEPHONE: 212.806.7000

+all photos taken by yourweeklyfollowup

+Many thanks to the Arlo Nomad Hotel for their gracious hospitality and support in this blog.

Selfcare Tips For Travel


Whether you’re a seasonal traveler or basically your crews own version of Magellan, you likely know what it’s like to hit a challenge or obstacle while traveling and know its impact on your overall wellness- both during and after the event. This week let’s nip that clean, and learn how to regulate your self-care strategies when you’re on the move.

Positive Distraction of the Week

1. Timelines and Irinterarys are flexible.

It is okay if you can’t fit everything in your pre-planned excel sheet. If you can be flexible with your timeline, you’re affording yourself alternative routes to destinations you may not have even imagined.

2. Create something.

Keep a running journal or log: food, sights, whatever! Create, create, create. Not only will this serve as a neat souvenir for you to have down the road, but it’s a good way to break up parts of the day that are more strenuous, providing slight structure to days what may be chaotic. Give yourself 15 minutes a day to create.

3. Keep your eyes and ears open.

Exactly what it says. Local radio, community activities, social groups. Immerse yourself in the culture of your surrounding. Struggle with a language and make memorable experiences along the way. Visiting countries with language barriers especially have a way humbling you by forcing you out of your comfort zone and making it all work. It usually does.

4. Allow yourself comfort.

Pack away the pressure and focus on what’s important. Lean on a minimalist packing list

As your frame of organization for the adventure.  Don’t let ‘things’ anchor you.

5. Mind your p’s and q’s.

We all plan to have big fun with the wretched-

But remember to freestyle in moderation and make sure your non negotiable as stay that way. You don’t want to head home with a deficit of what you’ve already worked so hard for. Remember your medication (vitamins, prescriptions, melatonin, packets, and sleep aids. For example, set a reminder in your phone if you think you’ll be too busy to remember your antidepressants. You didn’t work this hard to fall so short.

6. Sensory strategies

I’ve talked extensively on the power of sensory experiences on mental health wellness and here is a quick and dirty rundown list of travel friendly ideas to boost those food brain chemicals:

•Herbal shower tablets/portable diffusers

•Badger balm

•A rubber door stopper (light sleepers)

•Thick wool socks

•Meditation and hydration apps

•Noise cancelling headphones

•Tiny notebook

The possibilities are endless! Since you spend weeks plotting + scheming for the ultimate adventure- be sure you’re remembering to take care of self. Share with me your ideas and let me know what strategies you use while traveling to alleviate your stress. Thanks for following up with me this week friend. Talk soon!


How To Explain Your Mental Health Condition To Someone Who Doesn’t Have It


Having a mental health condition can be very confusing. You can feel happy and empty at the same time. You want to tell others, but also feel like you need to keep them away. When you do get the “talk to me” vibe, do you even know how to explain how you’re feeling? It sucks. Sometimes you end up saying nothing which makes you feel even worse and more alone. Humans are naturally a mass of contradictions. You want to isolate, not wanting to be seen or talk to anyone, but at the same time we don’t want to be alone! Not to mention trying to appear okay to others. You may feel horrible on the inside yet don’t want to be a bother to others. Do they even get it? Do I? Ugh. All questions that need answers. This week, scroll in and find out how to explain your mental health condition to someone who doesn’t have it. 

Do your own research.

You’re probably having a hard time explaining and understanding the condition yourself so telling someone else only adds to the layers of complexity. Familiarize yourself with your symptoms and grab a stronghold of your presenting concerns.

Compare/Link it to physical symptoms.
Make the distinction between feeling normal and feeling unwell. What mental health conditions look like to one may differ from another. For instance, just because you’re able to manage your panic attacks does not mean it’s healthy or normal or likely someone else is able to function the same way. Since we are all conditioned to understand when physical ailments impact mobility, transform the dialogue surrounding mental health in the same way.

 Provide real examples.

Use concrete, definable examples to anchor you and your audience. For example: 

  1. “I’m late to everything”
  2. “I’m drinking more days than not”
  3. “I’m not caring about consequences”
  4. “I’m sleeping all day”

In addition linking symptoms with physical symptom, using concrete examples helps to boost your conversation and remove confusion. It’s a cause and effect language that’s easy to follow and navigate. “This is what’s happenging- This is how it’s effecting me- This is what I plan on doing about it .”

Understand the consequences and plan for potential outcomes.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t state this: who you tell is either going to be genuine, authentic, and comfortable. Uncomfortable. Or hit you with a slow fade. Which is why, you share when you’re ready to share.

Practice the Process.
Talk about the talking you’re about to do. Set the stage. “There’s something I want to talk about with you”. Tell the right people and provide ways that they can support you after the conversation. Remember, you don’t have to share everything and set boundaries for yourself. Do this when you’re ready. Also, choose a time when you’re feeling well & be clear. 

With anything in life. Once you’re comfortable with the details of the story, the rest fall into place. Tell when you’re ready, when you’re well, and when the information disclosed actually serves a purpose.  Sound off below and let me know what methods best serve you when discussing your mental health with others. Let’s follow