Kenia Nunez, Corona, Queens native and Latina wellness coach, published her first book in 2014. Surrendering: When Pain is Transformed Into Extraordinary Blessings was a collection of musings about Kenia’s awakening to her purpose in life after losing her husband to cancer. She was left to raise three children and face the ongoing depression she had been running from for years.
In December of 2016, I had the pleasure of attending the community program “New Year, New You! Choosing a Healthier, Happier life” at the Jewish Center of Jackson Heights. It was hosted by New York State Senator Jose Peralta and the key speaker was none other than ::drum roll please:: Kenia Nuñez.
It is difficult to pinpoint what it is about Kenia as a speaker and presenter that makes her so captivating. Perhaps it’s the conviction in her delivery and her daring vulnerability as she offers up personal stories of both failure and success. Maybe it’s her humbleness about her accomplishments and her genuine desire to help others. I mean … the Senator had to practically beg her to promote her book at the end of the presentation. Her winning smile goes a long way too.
She covered a multitude of topics on how to live a healthy, joyful lifestyle. Throughout all the different points made, there was an emphasis on self-care. How self-care is a non-negotiable because self-care is self-preservation.
Kenia created and trademarked a self-care system that she acronymed SAVVYME. The acronym stands for Sleep, Alkalined Diet, Vitamins, Validating Others, Meditation and Exercise.
Fast forward to August 2017 and Kenia has published and released her second book. SAVVY GEMS: A Girl’s Guide to Choosing Happiness is the next generation self-help book created to provide young girls with the tools needed to practice self-care as a means of survival.
(You may think I am exaggerating on the survival piece. I am not. Suicides have become the second-leading cause of death among teenagers in the United States. A rising suicide rates among teenage girls is driving the higher overall suicide rate.**)
Kenia’s newest manual is no more than 70 pages from cover to cover – but the focus is on quality over quantity. Her newest acronym SAVVYGEMS (which stands for Sisterhood, Alkaline, Vitamins, Validation, You, Guidance, Exercise, Mindfulness and Sleep) is the outline for the chapter break-up of the book. Each chapter is a gem from the self-care acronym that is culminated with tips on how to apply the new self-care superpower and a free-writing exercise.
Kenia’s writing is easy to understand and outlines basic strategies that can help young girls and women to embrace happiness in a culture that is constantly telling them they are not enough and too much all at once.
Buy this book for your daughters. Buy this book for your students. Buy this book for your sisters, cousins, nieces, neighbors and any other young girl you might have in your life.
It is our responsibility to educate the next generation of women on how to best care for themselves. Self-care is actually a form of revolution and Kenia’s new book is a manual on how to start the rebellion.
**Jarosz, Alicia VanOrman and Beth. “Suicide Replaces Homicide as Second-Leading Cause of Death Among U.S. Teenagers.” Population Reference Bureau, 1 Jan. 2016, www.prb.org/Publications/Articles/2016/suicide-replaces-homicide-second-leading-cause-death-among-us-teens.aspx.
My Experience with MUSA
“The book nerd in me was so happy to find a group of women writers who welcomed me into their tribe the way that these ladies have. I have never been part of such a brilliant group of women who equally share my passion for reading, writing and learning – or a group of women whose craft is driven by a passion for representation and social justice. I remember the way the nerves played kickball in my belly before my first meeting. I didn’t know what to expect. I worried I would disappoint. What I discovered was encouragement and a sisterhood facilitated through book discussions, writing prompts and a sharing of opportunities. From the sharing of resources to the love and support over all our different forms of artistry – this book club continues to inspire me to keep pushing through.”