Health and life coach Lindsey Bonadonna
believes in tending to personal wellness needs in a way that doesn’t add to already busy routines or feel like extra work.
In her practice, she looks to meet people where they are and provide them with bite-sized supports for healthy living. She views it as a sustainable alternative to enacting sweeping lifestyle changes that can crash, leading to discouragement and defeat.
“Just have that one glass of water and let’s celebrate that,” says Bonadonna, recognizing that people have enough stress without stressing about their wellness.
“There’s so much that we have control over. But because we’ve been conditioned – to achieve, to do the next thing, to rush, to take our kids to 50 million places at one time – we find it near impossible to try to heal our bodies through food and calmness,” explains Bonadonna. “Honestly, sleep and stress are the two biggest factors on our health. Yes, food and movement are important. But if stress and sleep are not there, it’s going to be really hard to get to where we want to go from a health perspective.”
Bonadonna also emphasizes that focus on the individual self shouldn’t be viewed as selfish, but rather as an essential step in strengthening and empowering family and community members towards sustainably supporting one another.
“By prioritizing our own self care and making these changes to our own lives, we can be an awesome example of what living the good life looks like – building a strong foundation for generations to come,” she says.
This foundational work is something Bonadonna has applied in her outreach work as well. A new wellness program she recently launched for staff of Wyoming City Schools
puts stock in a trickle-down, holistic model. By empowering teachers and staff to unburden themselves of their own stress in healthy ways, Bonadonna’s aim is to sow feelings of positivity and self-acceptance into students as a side benefit.
“We are really blessed to have a very innovative, forward-thinking school district in many ways that is also well-resourced – and I appreciate the blessing in that,” says Bonadonna, a Wyoming resident herself.
As a member of Wyoming City Schools’ wellness committee, she recently became engaged in a deep and fruitful conversation with district Superintendent Tom Weber that led to the implementation of the staff wellness program.
“As I learned how the school district is wanting to put mental and emotional well-being at the top of the list of priorities in the district, the conversation really opened up with him like, ‘This is amazing! Let’s also talk about the teachers and staff and administration!’” recounts Bonadonna.
Teachers in the program will learn how to build resilience through prioritizing self-care, and how to create sustainable change in a way that doesn’t add one more thing to do.
This program is not Bonadonna’s first outreach endeavor. Her organization, called be., also facilitates an after-school program that grew organically out of regular day-to-day interaction.
Bonadonna says kids from Clark Montessori
were regularly observed waiting for public transportation in the cold when members of the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer
in Hyde Park noticed them. They invited the students to wait inside, offering hot chocolate. While the church now runs the after-school program for students of Clark, be. works with the church to make the children’s time productive from a wellness standpoint.
“It’s really blossomed into this beautiful after-school program. To do these things it needs to be plugged into the environment where they already exist,” says Bonadonna, once again pointing out the need to work opportunities for wellness into established routines.
be. has also been involved with EDGE Teen Center,
enhancing the offerings at both locations of the after-school facility. EDGE is geared toward keeping high schoolers healthy and safe with comfortable study spaces, fun group activities, social engagement and community service.
Shaking things up in a big way for Bonadonna right now is some construction and updating going on at 1 Wyoming Ave. Under the umbrella of be., a feel-good market is preparing to launch. A first-floor smoothie and grab-n-go healthy meal café called nourish will form be.’s foundation. Patrons will find nutrient-dense, taste-good foods in the form of prepared meals, snacks and pantry staples. Kindred Flow Yoga studio and wellness coaching spaces will occupy the upper floors. Practitioners with varied focuses will cover everything from meditation to financial coaching.
Bonadonna anticipates all will be up and running at be. by early summer, culminating with the opening of nourish
on the newly remodeled entry level. She welcomes anyone and everyone to stop in, say hi, and grab a free side of good vibes.
“If you feel like you’re having a tough day and you just need a hug, or like you want to be around positive energy – we want to be here for everyone and really encourage people,” says Bonadonna.