For Valentine’s Week, I teamed up with one of my besties and fellow wellness ambasadors Denise for a “How to Be Your Own Best Valentine” event on Facebook. The reason we wanted to do this event is because if you’re like us, you are constantly giving to those around you and putting your family’s and others needs first, and often don’t leave any room for your own self-care. As wellness ambassadors, we see Self-Care as something that is more than important for well-being, it’s critical for your long-term health.
Self-care and self-love goes way deeper than pampering. It’s about engaging in soul-filling, body-fueling activities that keep you grounded, nourished and, let’s face it – sane! And while some of the tools we are sharing today have to do with pampering ourselves, they are more about feel-good practices and foods that provide more than an instant gratification. Some are keeping us healthy so we can handle our juggle acts in thrival mode; some are grounding and help us wind down from the juggle and grind; some help feed our minds and keep us goal-oriented, organized, and present!
Why is Self-Care Important?
Self-care prevents burn-out, helps us refocus and reduces the negative effects of stress.
“Self-care isn’t a reward. It’s part of the process.” To continue moving forward and accomplish things that are important to us, we need to also carve out time to fill our tanks. Psychologist Guy Winch, compares it to brushing and flossing our teeth… emotional self-care should be a part of our daily routine.
Chronic stress can take over our lives and have a great impact on our body’s ability to function well. And it increases our risk of a variety of health problems like anxiety, depression, digestive problems, headaches, sleep problems, weight gain, heart disease and memory impairment.
Below I share both my and Denie’s Top Ten Self-Love Self-Care Tools. Links are added for certain products and other info
#1 ADDIE: Warm Lemon Water in the Morning
I drink lemon water or tea first thing in the morning to alkalize my digestive system and get me awake and warmed up. Dr. Axe – one of my go-to integrative doctors – has a great graphic on the many benefits of lemon water. Since I had to give up coffee years ago because of the health problems it was causing me, I had to find some other morning ritual to jumpstart my day. For all you coffee lovers, you know the pain I went through in giving up this beverage that I loved dearly, but the benefits of stopping far outweigh the pain I was enduring and my morning lemon water or hot tea (which I also drink almost every night after dinner) has become a welcome habit.
#1 DENISE: Not Giving a F@$!
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck, by Mark Manson helps to challenge traditional thought, let go a little bit, and stop trying so hard. This was a Christmas gift to me from my husband, and I have been soaking up every page. I’m not a huge fan of the self-help genre, but this book feels a different. The writing is witty, captivating, and thought provoking. Mark Manson makes a ton of apt points, but for me, the take home message is about identifying the solid values that are important to you personally and caring only about those things. The rest just doesn’t matter. We so often get bogged down in the unimportant crap in our lives. This great read is a reminder to let that stuff go. And if you’re a fan of the F-bomb and stating things plainly, then this book is for you!
#2 ADDIE: Facial Vitamin Serum
Beauty Counter Vitamin C Serum helps to brighten and moisturize skin. Great for hydrating and helping reduce fine lines. A friend recently gave me a sample of this to try and fell in love with the serum. As someone who is very careful about the kind of skin products I use, I love that Beauty Counter is a more natural option and this serum leaves my skin feeling silky and smooth – which this tired out, often sleep-deprived mama needs!
#2 DENISE: Do Not Disturb
I’ve recently started using this setting for iPhone. Set as an auto reply while driving or turn on in order to turn off and FOCUS on whatever it is you need to do (or not do). Sometimes, it’s okay to not be able to be reached. I have been using the Do Not Disturb function on my iPhone while I drive and while I am working or with family… times when I know just hearing the notification or the buzz, is going to interrupt me (even if I know I shouldn’t look, I do). You can also set it to send a response that you are driving or are unavailable. This way people understand. And you can set it so that any emergency contacts will come through. This is also a great function to use at night if you use your phone as your alarm so you don’t get woken up if someone reaches out to check your weather at 4am your time!
#3 ADDIE: Smoothie Bowls Bring Nutrients and Beauty
Not only are these delicious they pack a nutrition punch that will boost your energy, help curb cravings and add some food beauty to your day! I became addicted to these bowls during my frequent visits to Southern California where the Acai bowl craze began with a company called Sambazon. I’m not going to lie, this way of eating is my vibe, and one of the big reasons I was so gung-ho to move to SoCal, which I did this past August. But what I wasn’t a fan of is how expensive these smoothie bowls are – averaging around $8-12 no matter where in the country you buy them. I now make my own at home with my Vitamin (which is so worth the investment if you’re an avid smoothie-maker like me).
#3 DENISE: Instacart is Insta-Awesome
Outsourcing certain tasks can help save time & money. Instacart is a great app when shopping for staples at places like Costco or if you’re just behind. Take some pressure off. I also use it when I get home from a trip and I know we are going to need certain staples right away. For me, the cost is outweighed by the convenience and by the fact that it forces me to stick to my list and avoid impulse buys. I will always be a fan of going to the grocery store to cruise the aisles and get inspired by what’s fresh. But Instacart is a great tool in my busy life.
#4 ADDIE: Pretzel-Sweating
Yoga and hot yoga have become an activity of choice when I want to move my body and clear my mind. Often seeing as simply stretching or chanting, yoga’s many benefits are sometimes overlooked. Yoga helps with respiration, energy and vitality but also metabolic function which helps with weight maintenance. It also helps athletes perform better! There is something really powerful too about being a room with others all focused on the moment and channeling the good energy that most yoga teachers inspire in their classes.
#4 DENISE: Apple Cider Vinegar, Organic with “mother”
Got a sore throat? Indigestion? Want to detox? 1-2 tbsp of ACV, honey (to taste), 2 tsp Lemon Juice, 4-6 oz warm water. Sip, enjoy and feel better. If only I had known about this one… the years of indigestion and bloating after a meal. Guys, this one is a cure all keeper. Just last week I woke up with a scratchy throat. I downed this cocktail, tripled up on my Juice Plus+ capsules and no more sore throat! Try it. (you can play with the measurements for your taste.)
#5 ADDIE: Essentially Oiled Up with Doterra
I’m all about a petroleum-free lip balm and Doterra’s smell so good. And the essential oils – I use these plant-based miracle potions for everything from immune-boosting and virus-fighting to diffusing in rooms for fresh aromas and even in my laundry. I’ve tried many essential oils but Doterra are my favorite. They have incredible plant and herb sourcing so I know they are top quality and they have other products too that help promote wellness, like essential oil based hand sanitizers, cleaning products and even toothpaste that has natural anti-bacterials!
#5 DENISE: Beyond Yoga: High waisted pants won’t fall down when you’re bending and stretching
Beyond Yoga‘s soft fabrics feel and fit great. No camel toe! No see through embarrassments. Can be machine washed and dryer recommended… AKA easy care! These pants make me wonder what we wore before athleisure. I used to buy less expensive workout wear, but I’ve come to accept that quality counts. If you’re like me, having to change multiple times a day to get a workout in is annoying. Find workout wear that is comfortable, that you will want to wear beyond the gym or studio and it will save you a step. It’s not about what you wear but it is about how you feel. Wearing clothes that fit and you won’t be self conscious in will help you focus on your workout and on feeling good. That’s what we want, right!
#6 ADDIE: There’s Matcha Latte to be Drunk
Next to my smoothie bowl addiction is my green tea matcha latte addiction. This creamy and antioxidant boosting tea is a great alternative to coffee (especially for people like me that had to give coffee up completely). I drink Matcha with coconut or almond milk, sometimes lightly sweetened with vanilla and honey because it does have a chalky taste. Here is a Matcha Latte mix that is great for adding to your favorite non-dairy milk.
#6 DENISE: Color Yourself Free
Be a kid. Harness some creativity. Check out. Just color. Bonus that these pages have motivational messages. (It’s okay to go outside the lines.) News flash: I’m not an artist. But I’ve discovered these help me harness my creative side. And some times being able to zone out and focus is exactly what I need to restore my mind!
#7 ADDIE: Planning with Intention
For years I used Danielle LaPorte’s weekly planners filled with intention setting prompts and truth bomb quotes. Since she discontinued her line of planners, I have been trialing different companies and here are a few I like:
#7 DENISE: Superfood Mask-erade
Give your face some care at home with this all natural face mask from Youth to the People. Feels amazing! I’m not a facial girl but love feeling pampered. I love that this product is natural… superfood! Right up my alley. And it’s a clean product. I got this at Sephora but check it out online also!
#8 ADDIE: Music Meditation
Spotify for meditation mixes/calming music or new music inspiration for walking or hiking. While I’m a big fan of other music streaming apps, I love Spotify for the ability to create my own playlists from various artists and use them for all different moods and activities. It’s also really convenient that I can tell Alexa which playlist I feel like hearing and she can queue it up while I’m in the kitchen, most likely smoothie-bowl making 😉
#8 DENISE: Golden Chai Latte-licious
Add turmeric or ginger to your latte or chai latte. Love this! I’m addicted to these from Peet’s, but I’ve also been adding turmeric to my coffee or chai tea at home. Some times sipping on something warm and tasty can be a great way to relax and savor what we appreciate!
#9 ADDIE: “Don’t Keep Your Day Job”
Cathy Heller’s “Don’t Keep Your Day Job” podcast to keep me motivated and inspired to build a career of passion. I stumbled. I stumbled on this podcast in early January right after the new year. Cathy is a talented musician, write and busy mom that decided to create this motivational podcast just over a year ago and quickly climbed the charts. If you’ve taken a leap of faith to follow a passion-driven career like Denise and I, or it’s something you’ve been exploring, then definitely check out this Podcast. Even if you’re not shifting into entrepreneur mode, her realist ideas and inspirations will add some light to your day and help you get into the self-love mindset to be the best you that you can be!
#9 DENISE: Pain Tape
Got nagging aches and pains? There’s not much that KT Tape can’t help. Reduces inflammation, promotes circulation and supports. Don’t settle for being sore and in pain. Try this tape. It’s magical! (If you are following the Olympics, this tape is everywhere.)
#10 ADDIE: Needles, Needles, Needles
Acupuncture and micronutrient IVs for whole body balancing and immune boosting. If you haven’t incorporated the ancient eastern practice of acupuncture, I highly recommend it. I use acupuncture to treat a variety of health issues – anxiety, hormone imbalance, allergy and sinus issues, insomnia, general immune boosting. I have also done cupping for pain management in addition to the traditional needles for arthritis pain. It’s also a great way for me to slow.it.down and check out. Acupuncture can be incredible restorative and restful. Check out community acupuncture clinics as an affordable way to try it out and still reap all the same benefits of scheduling with a one-to-one practitioner. Micronutrient IVs have gotten real buzzy the last few years and for good cause. These IV treatments are loaded with Vitamin Bs and C and other nutrients can help you fight illness, boost energy, and even help cure a hangover!
#10 DENISE: Home Pedis
No time for a pedicure? Heal and protect those cracks and callouses. Secret: So my husband calls my feet leather moccasins. My kids got this for me for Christmas. Guys, my feet were in BAD shape. I’m talking deep cracks that bled. No more. I don’t always have time for a pedi, but the Ped Egg helps me keep my feet from tearing apart. And it motivates me to take some time to care for myself!
So remember to Love Yourself First, and you’ll have much more love to give everyone else!