I recently dropped one of my tried and true philosophies...and paid for it! Even when (especially when) you're overwhelmed and busy, self-care is imperative. These videos are slightly tricky to follow because they're from my Instagram stories and I usually lose my train of thought because the videos stop after 15 seconds SO, I will fill you in...
I have been desperately been trying to adopt a much more simplified lifestyle when it comes to STUFF. I can't even call it "minimalism" just yet because I attempted it before my move and I failed miserably. I ended up having two garage sales, sold stuff on Craigslist, and Facebook marketplace, gave things away, and donated two trucks full of decor and home goods! YET, somehow, that still didn't get me to the point of reaching "minimalist". Why? 1. Apparently, I'm not cool enough. (Totally kidding, but, really, I'm going to have to redefine the term and make it my own...I'm a stylist. I can't own three pairs of jeans and I'm not sorry.) 2. Because it took me three solid days of moving and three trips in a small U-haul van to clear out my house. This eventful topic will be a blog post on its own because I want to share my tips and lessons learned for those of you who are looking to shed some pounds...not on your body this time, but in you home and consciousness!
During those three days, plus the previous days I prepped for my move after working full days, I didn't really invest the necessary TLC in my honor...and I felt it. Without going into too much detail, it probably took me two full days before I came back into my body. No bueno.
Anyway, I frequently hear people plead their case as to why they haven't tried daily meditation, cleaner eating, or just fit in that warm and delightful "me" time-- and it's usually because work has been crazy, their kids have a lot of activities, they've been traveling, etc. The reality is, the more hectic your life is, the more imperative self-care is! Being mindful of balance and being mindful of just being mindful is HUGE when it comes to health, happiness, and genuine wealth.
Similar to why flight attendants instruct you to put on your oxygen mask BEFORE helping a loved one, you cannot give from an empty cup...or in the context of the airplane, you cannot save someone else's life if you yourself are incapacitated!
As always, I must close by saying that this is a constant evolution. Do I meditate, exercise, oil pull, call my family, spend time with friends, and cook 3 balanced meals each day? Nope. But opening up your consciousness to these truths each day is everything and will allow you to slowly reach a new spectrum of balance and ease!
The activities we partake in each day have a huge impact on our health. Feeding our souls with newness keeps us learning, evolving, and getting inspired....which ends up empowering us to become who we're meant to be. That is why going on field trips is actually one of my TOP wellness tips! Exposing yourself to beauty and exploring is SO important to your development. When we become stagnant in our lives, that's when negative talk can trickle into your brain, you feel less energized, and you use food for entertainment to fill that "lack". (What mindset we're in-- happy, sad, stressed, actually affects the way we metabolize/ assimilate our food and if it has an inflammatory effect on our bodies or not! Studies show that you could be eating healthy, but if you're stressed, it could cause just as much inflammation as someone eating poorly!) So, I suggest you get out and go to the museum, the library, the park, anywhere where you can absorb some culture and breathe in some life!
During my client sessions, we consistently touch on what fuels them. It's so imperative to pinpoint the activities that bring you joy, energy, and keep you moving. These very things are what belong in your personal "manual". When you're not feeling your optimum self, they're your go-to's to replenish, inspire, and bring you back to life. One of MY personal "weapons" in my arsenal is art. Almost any art or creativity will do, but some of my favorite art happens to be housed in The Getty Museum in LA. Not only is the artwork stunning, but the actual museum grounds and gardens are masterpieces alone. Here is my afternoon at the museum.
I was extremely excited when I was offered the opportunity to try this out and it didn't disappoint! This was an extremely cool experience. If you're prone to storing stress in your body (who doesn't), this therapy is a wonderful option to rejuvenate a tired bod AND an overworked mind! The room was nice and toasty and you really do float on the surface, with no effort.
If you are a client, you have access to a very handy app with a list of my favorite grocery items, BUT I have yet to share some of my tried-and-true miscellaneous loves. Whether I'm working out, getting ready for a night out, or getting some work done, I have grown to rely daily on a few of my favorites...and here they are!
I have purchased a handful of different styles and brands of headphones and never found a good fit that would sustain a turbulent run...until I found these gems! Designed specifically to fit smaller ears, the "FlexSoft and TwistLock technologies guarantee they will never hurt or fall out". I can honestly say they don't come out of your ears, even during a rigorous workout! Yurbuds also make a variety of different styles for men and women, even wireless, but I have the basic Inspire 100 style and they're perfect. The one thing I will say is that the FlexSoft bud attachments do come off kind of easily after a while and if you have an adorable niece who likes to take them off, you might have to be careful you don't lose one!
Not only are these toothbrushes good for the environment, they come in gorgeous recycled (and biodegradable) packaging, AND the charcoal bristles feel great and leave your mouth feeling super clean! Not too soft, not too abrasive.
This face mask is truly amazing-- especially for the price! It contains two magical anti-inflammatory ingredients: turmeric and neem, making any flair ups minimized within just one use. I love this product because it also doubles as a face scrub. Once dried, you simply remove it with a warm moist washcloth and the granules in the mask remove dead skin, clean out your pores, and polish your complexion to perfection, without over-drying or irritating even sensitive skin!
Not only does this product smell AMAZING (gender neutral goodness), it contains skin loving vitamins E and B5. I make sure that any product I use does not contain harmful additives, SO a definite selling point is that it doesn't contain parabens, sodium lauryl/laureth sulfates or phthalates, (known to increase your risk of cancer). Sodium lauryl/laureth sulfates are used as a lathering agent in many products so, sometimes, products that don't contain this toxic ingredient fall flat (literally), but this product creates enough suds to double as an effective shaving cream!
I have been known to experience just a few cases of overwhelm (haha) and phenomenal Kava has come to the rescue a handful of times! Kava has been used medicinally and during tribal ceremonies for centuries... and once you try it, you'll know why. It does a wonderful job taking the edge off, without impairing your judgement, leaving you feeling very calm and at peace. While I don't drink this every day, because regular use can reduce the effectiveness over time, I have found it very beneficial when I am in social situations when I don't want to partake in drinking alcohol (to avoid the wrath of a few drinks). Most recently, I enjoyed relying on this tea to zen out before speaking engagements.
When I first tried Kava, it was a very expensive paste that you put a pea-sized amount under your tongue. Although horribly disgusting, it was extremely effective. Later, a very sweet friend brought me a brewed version and an instant powder from a kava shop in Austin. These versions were also pretty gross and since it's a diluted version of the paste, you have to drink approx. 8 oz., (which is a lot when it tastes like it does). I have read various instructions to flavor it with sweeteners or add milk and I can't imagine this doing much help. Again, while these pricey versions don't taste good at all, they do a superb job reducing anxiety because they are pure kava!
I was extremely excited to see that Yogi came out with a tea! Since it's blended with other herbs and flavors, it's not as potent so, I just use two bags. Even though I am most definitely not a fan of licorice, this blend tastes MUCH better than the other versions I have tried-- not to mention, it is much more affordable AND you can find it at Natural Grocers! For more information on the awesome benefits (and potential risks), click here.
More to come!....
I almost started to add my favorite CLEAN cosmetics and because it has been QUITE the journey finding good ones, I will be devoting an entire blog post to this very important/ conclusive research! So, stay tuned!
Do you have any healthy favorites?! Share below!
Whether you have rosy memories of your childhood or (sadly) poor ones, there is one thing that every adult can benefit from. This little thing is something called "self-parenting"! As adults, we are responsible for making ourselves our own priority. Like a parent cares for a child, we must make sure we are properly fed, clothed, and loved.
My first easy example of this: packing snacks for yourself when you know it's going to be a hectic day. I love keeping tea bags, a giant water bottle, stevia packets, and treats like Bulletproof Collagen Bars and Mary's Gone Crackers in my work desk.
Another thing I do for myself is always carrying a cute little pouch labeled "Girlie Stuff" for...you guessed it, girly stuff! It is sort of like the equivalent of an adult diaper bag. I make sure it's properly stocked before I leave the house each day and just throw it in the purse I'm using. Tweezers, tissue, stevia packets, tea bags, lip balm, moisturizer, tiny deodorant, roller fragrance, hair tie, and other lady products. This may seem silly and slightly elementary, but I can't tell you how many times I've thanked myself for carrying it with me! It frequently comes in handy and it's just a really thoughtful way of showing yourself that you follow through, you are loved, and taken care of. It also allows you to avoid unnecessary stress. You obviously don't need a fancy pouch, but I have found that the cuter it is, the more I enjoy carrying it. (For my male readers, trying filling a pouch with some of the items mentioned above....maybe add a pocket knife to the list and store it your glove box or desk drawer.)
A very important role of self-parenting: dress properly for your day and always bring a jacket. This regards to the temperature, but, also, looking put together. When we feel polished and invest some time on our appearance, it's more likely that we'll go the extra mile-- feeling good about stepping out, being seen, and getting things done! Another bonus: having the opportunity to say, "yes, I can meet up immediately after work for dinner." We need to show ourselves that we're worth the time to look our best and be seen!
Last, check-in. I talk about this quite a bit because it's so very important and I feel like it's worth being reminded. When a child seems irritable, the parent's role is to try to figure out what's wrong. Do they need a new diaper?, are they hungry?, do they need a nap?, do they feel well? The same goes for ourselves. When we're short tempered, lethargic, weepy, or stressed, we need to ask ourselves, "What's going on? How can I alleviate xyz for you?" Sometimes, it's as easy as realizing we're overwhelmed and maybe a bath or a balanced meal needs to be on our evening agenda.
Like a child, this type of supervision can prevent burnout, illness, and breakdowns. Make Y.O.U. your utmost priority. Without you being your best you, your family, profession, and social circle will be short changed. So, ask yourself, "What types of self-parenting do I currently practice and how can I improve?" If you feel comfortable, answer below in the comments section!
For more tips on how to be an excellent parent to yourself, read my other self-care entries below!
Valentine's Day is around the corner so, I thought this form of self-care would be appropriate. Although, we should be doing this on the regular! Getting and giving hugs and affection.
Did you know that lack of physical affection can actually kill babies? If babies aren't touched, rocked, and loved on enough, they don't grow or develop at a natural, healthy rate-- increasing their chances of illness, disabilities, and mortality. So, why this grim information? Development doesn't end at infancy or, even, the age that we reach our max height. We continuously keep developing, therefore, this touchy-feely business pertains to ALL stages of life.
As humans living in this kind of society, most of us are touch-deprived. This particular article is specific to caring for elderly, but I think the information and techniques are actually very useful to apply to your everyday interactions with anyone. Whether we live in a household full of people, a dorm room of one, or a condo of two, it really makes no difference...you might be one of the majority who is lacking touch. The good news: giving affection is just as useful to you as getting it. It's definitely one of those two-way streets where whoever is on the receiving end makes no difference-- you're still getting affection...and what's even better, potentially supplying someone's life-altering deficiency.
What do you do if you're a single person living in a city of strangers? Various spa treatments like massages, facials, scalp treatments, and delux mani/ pedis are great options. On a tight budget? Giving yourself regular hot towel scrubs is an awesome way to reap the benefits of touch. Intimacy comes in all shapes and forms. Getting a little lovin' from a spouse, partner, grandparent, masseuse, or yourself is all good!
Lastly, sorry, but I HAVE to add this-- There are some (mostly in my generation) who assume that sex is the primary solution for alleviating the urge for affection. Sadly, this could very well be someone with their wires crossed. Sometimes, those people seeking/ craving "passion" from randoms only continue this unhealthy cycle because they can't seem to feel fulfilled; when, really, you might just need a prescription of giving/getting 3 hugs a day! Poof, the craving dissipates! The same goes for foods. Most of the time, when we think we need sugar, we really need to unwind or indulge in a life activity. When you crave intimacy (or chocolate excessively), try having a deep conversation or get a massage (preferably from someone you care about)-- get creative!
So, TRY IT! This week, try hugging your loved ones. Spend time with a friend frequently and you don't greet with a hug?...boost the quality of your relationship and HUG them! xOxO!
I recently watched a lecture/ yoga class and it really inspired me. A. The instructor, Melissa Bourgeois, is adorable. B. She had the entire class reinforcing and practicing positions of power! Most people don't realize having forward head posture, causing your body to slump forward, can be very detrimental to your entire spine and health. (Think of the position you're usually in when you're looking down at your phone, sitting in front of the computer, or standing over a sink or stove.) While poor body positioning can turn into a potentially serious health risk, it also strongly impacts how other people perceive you. What's even more alarming and real is that it influences how you feel about yourself.
Melissa had us get in a Peter Pan-like stance, standing as tall as we could, with elbows out, fists on hips, and legs spread, taking up as much space as we could. Standing tall is obviously great for your posture and spine, but it also makes a HUGE impact on making you feel more powerful! (This is how the fashion statement "power heels" came about.) So, today's form of self-care is STAND TALL. Take up space and let the world know you have arrived! It will make you feel more powerful, embracing your inner badass, AND it will make you look like an alluring, tall glass of water.
Practice this at home in front of the mirror! Since you're in the privacy of your own home, really stretch it out and accentuate this stance: stand tall, reach your hands up to the sky, and feel limitless. When you're sitting in traffic, lift your body up like you have a string coming out of the top of your head and you're slowly being lifted up. When you're at your computer or looking at your phone, pretend like you have a back brace on and avoid rounding your shoulders. Again, this really is so important because when we reinforce bad posture, we cause a misalignment in our spines, which effect all vital organs and muscle function. (This is why I think Chiropractors should be a part of everyone's primary healthcare...and I used the term "healthcare", not "sickcare". Don't wait until you experience symptoms to be "forced" improve your lifestyle-- it's all about prevention, friends!)
So, stand like a model, a soldier, made-over Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, a superhero, or just the super-powerful version of amazing YOU!
*p.s. I want to remind you- these are guidelines and suggestions offered so that you become more mindful and rehearsed at taking out the time EACH DAY to take care of yourself! So, while it is my intention to post frequently, I feel confident that you can successfully fill in the blanks without my help! And, if you have trouble, here is an adorable illustration with a VARIETY of suggestions!
So, just because I have taken a nice blog break, I hope that doesn't mean you've omitted taking daily bits of "you" time! (My absence was because I needed a little "me" time...aka catching up on school work!)
Today's form of self-care is something that most of us love doing-- if not in public then at least in the car or the privacy of our own home. It's DANCING! This might sound slightly ridiculous to some, but you should never underestimate the power of dancing and its mood-altering potency.
Dancing has a wide range of physical and mental benefits including:
What I love most about dancing is that it allows you to be connected and present in your body, BUT you are also able to vacate. It's an usual combo-- usually, in order to be present you must sit with your thoughts, which is extremely healthy, but some people avoid it if they have unresolved internal "junk" they're either subconsciously or consciously trying to dodge. Vacating is great because it does allow you to get away from reality for a bit. With everything, there's always a necessary balance. If you find yourself going from activity to activity, leaving yourself with little to no time for reflection, or being "in your body/ present", maybe consider asking yourself why. But, this is why dancing is so wonderful because you stay in your body and are able to set aside what's bothering you and simply feel the music and the steps.
There are many ways that you can fit a little dancing in your life. Some great examples are Zumba, local or online dance classes, various PlayStation and Xbox video games, and the easiest: play your radio, stereo, iPod and just dance! I have had the urge to take tap for probably 10 years and this blog has pushed me to ask around and find a tap teacher. I've had the shoes for maybe four years and now is the time! So, stay tuned for horrifying/ hysterical clips of my progress! My hope is to get my adorable niece to take classes with me (she is the adorable babe in the video above). Another way I implement this in my world is occasionally going to a local dance hall, Legends, and attempt to learn the new "trendy" line dances...it isn't pretty, but it's really fun!
Do you enjoy dancing!? In the comments below, let me know what form of dance you prefer and where you like to bust it out!