Treat Yo’self First

February isn’t all about Valentine’s Day. We want you to #treatyoself too! That starts with showing yourself some TLC. We also chatted with 5 amazing, influential women who offered to share their favorites tips for self-care and love.

Caitlin Shoemaker (@FromMyBowl)

Essential oils. I truly believe we should make time to do something kind for ourselves every day. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, time-consuming, or expensive. On busy days, I love to put my favorite essential oil in my diffuser or light an awesome candle and take 5 minutes to breathe deeply and relax. It helps me keep my mind clear and energy levels high.

Real food. Some people enjoy purchasing other material goods, but I personally love to treat myself with real food. In other words, as many healthy, organic, and whole, plant-based foods as possible. Not only is it a gift that loves me (and my health) right back,  but I feel so much happier knowing I’m supporting a business that I wholeheartedly believe in.

Rhiana de Hoyos (@rhianamygdala)

Eating. I think if we take the time to feed ourselves like a king or a queen…we will feel like kings and queens. I’m a firm believer that food can heal or hurt us. The food we choose on a daily basis can either be medicine or poison. Eating is so important to our vitality and survival, yet we don’t take the time to consider what it is we’re actually fueling our bodies with! We get so fixated on solely how wonderful things look and taste (I’m definitely guilty of this at times) and don’t consider enough on whether those yummy-tasting foods are actually serving us. For this reason I do my own research and I’ve committed to being a life-long student of my own health and wellness. And I’d like to add that I don’t stop at food. I exercise both my body and my breath. I make sure I get enough rest and drink plenty of water. And I always thank Great Spirit for this gift we call life.

Self-talk. I think self-talk is even more overlooked than eating well and exercising. I would go so far as to say that self-talk should come before the eating well and exercising because I think that a kind and gentle self-talk will encourage the rest. All day, every day we have thoughts and images that go through our minds and if we don’t control those thoughts and images they will control us. I think that everyone at some point or another has experienced a traumatizing event that lays heavy on their heart. That grief or anger or sadness, if not addressed, will affect and show up in any and every part of our lives. We internalize so much and beat up on ourselves without taking the time to understand why we feel the way we do. This internalization takes form in statements such as “I need to exercise but I’m so lazy” or “I’m so fat. I need to eat better.” Instead of saying “Exercise is so important for a healthy energetic body. I want to feel healthy and energetic!” And “I want to feel my best. I think I will start making better food choices.” The words we use have so much power. Our bodies and our subconscious minds are ALWAYS listening. I treat my subconscious like a little girl. I would never tell a little girl “You’re so lazy!” or “You’re so fat!” No, never. I would hug her and do my best to choose kind and gentle worlds that will encourage and inspire her. If we all put more even a little more energy into a gentle and loving self-talk we could change our lives. YOU are the only person who can evaluate if the thoughts and self-talk you have are serving you.

Alison Grisé Wu (@alison_wu)

Dedicating at least 10 minutes of my day to mindful meditation and breath work and ideally practicing more vigorous yoga at least 3 times a week.

I commit to one blended meal a day, usually a morning smoothie packed with protein, good fat, nutrients, antioxidants and lots of dark leafy greens. This gives my digestive system a rest and gives me the jump I need in the morning.

Erin Sullivan (@erinoutdoors)

Get away from your screen – Technology and social media can be wonderful tools for connection and inspiration, but they can also be extremely addictive and counterproductive. Personally, I find myself putting my phone down intentionally, only to pick it up 5 minutes later and mindlessly open Facebook like a total zombie! I don’t even realize I’m doing it.I’m required to look at screens for work– to edit photos and write blogs, and even to maintain my social media channels– but I make a point to take a break at least once a day. A break from work also means a break from social media. At night, my phone is plugged in across the room. I give myself an hour to read and journal before bed– when the phone gets plugged in for the night, I’m done looking at it. And because it’s not right next to me, it’s not the first thing I reach for in the morning either. I’m happier because of it!

Plan ahead – Life is busy, and it can be a challenge to find time to do everything we need or want to do.Self-care is as important as any other obligation you build into your day, so make sure your calendar reflects this! Do one thing for yourself every day, even if it’s something as simple as drinking enough water, or sitting outside to breathe for a few minutes. It doesn’t have to be a huge commitment.Schedule time to read, write, get active, or work on a personal project. It doesn’t matter what it looks like from the outside; only you know what self-care looks like for you! Taking it seriously and planning ahead is one step closer to making sure it actually happens. When you make yourself a priority, you give yourself the space to be the best possible version of yourself. Trust that you deserve it!

Natalie Archer (@NutritiouslyNatalie)

Greens! I strive to eat greens at every meal, but especially at the start of my day. I always begin my morning with a glass of warm lemon water to help alkalize my body, rev up my metabolism, and aid in digestion, followed by a big green smoothie! I think that smoothies are by far the best and easiest way to get a ton of essential nutrients in one shot. I love how simple and delicious Amazing Grass makes it to get all of these incredible greens in a variety of different products. My favorite ones to incorporate into my daily smoothies are Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein and Detox and Digest! There are so many luxurious ways to practice self-care, but I truly believe that filling our bodies with nutrient dense foods is just as caring as treating ourselves to a day at the spa.

Sweat! Exercise is so important for our health, physically and mentally! For me, exercise is my meditation and a mandatory part of my daily routine. I love how strong I feel during and after a solid workout and how much clearer my mind becomes. Whatever inspires you to move, I believe that it is so vital to get out there and breathe, feel the burn, and sweat out those toxins!