September is National Self-Care Awareness Month! Yes, you read that right. In our technology-driven world, we are accustomed to being “on” and available 24/7 that we actually need to raise awareness about taking care of ourselves.
This initiative was started by Evolve to Live to remind us that simple self-care is essential to our longevity. We are so consumed with deadlines, schedules and endless inboxes, that we forget to do basic things like eat and breathe.
At Sunlighten, we are committed to empowering others to live healthier lives, which is why we support the self-care movement. Personally, this topic is important as I have been on the go my entire adult life. I became a single mom at a very young age, put myself through college and have been a workaholic ever since. Over the years, my family and career responsibilities have grown significantly leaving zero time for myself. Recently, I came to the realization that something had to give and it could no longer be me.
Fortunately, my Sunlighten family are true to their company vision and have worked with me to reduce my hours and responsibilities. Working here has also given me access to amazing wellness experts that I’ve turned to for guidance in my journey to balanced living. In honor of Self-Care Awareness Month, I am sharing my self-care hacks that have helped me stay centered in this crazy, hectic, blessed life.
Start your day with good vibes
My morning routine used to include listening to the news while preparing for my day. If you want to start your day in a depressed state, then you should start with the news and get up to speed on the latest murders, political rhetoric and everything else negative in the world. Once I figured out that my morning news could be reason I was in a bad mood before even leaving the house, I shifted my attention to something more uplifting. Now, I listen to my favorite “feel good music” or I listen to a podcast that offers information and inspiration to better myself. A couple of my favorites include the Goop Podcast, Small Changes, Big Shifts and Awaken with JP.
Once upon a time, I was diligent about my daily gym workouts and group fitness classes. I even stuck with my kickboxing class until my third trimester with baby number two. Post pregnancy, a 5am class at the gym was very difficult and after baby number three, it was nearly impossible. Luckily, I found my savior, The Betty Rocker. She has designed amazing home workouts which kick butt using little to no equipment. I have actually done her workout outside the bathroom door while my kids are in the tub. Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do! I started with her free 30-day challenge and have since purchased her 90-day Transformation Challenge and Home Workout Domination (my favorite). She provides a plethora of valuable information from workout modifications to meal planning to recovery tips – truly an amazing resource.
Full disclosure here, I am new to the world of meditation and have a lot to learn. It is extremely difficult for me to be present in any moment. I have always been so proud of my ability to multitask thinking that I’m accomplishing twice as much. But the reality is that being in a constant multitasking-state has put me in a constant stress-state without even realizing it. I could feel it catching up to me which is why I finally decided to reduce my commitments. In my effort to make self-care a priority, I have enrolled in Ziva Meditation with meditation expert, Emily Fletcher. In her online course, Emily teaches mindfulness (the art of being present in the moment) and meditation which gives the body deep rest and helps heal stress from the past. I will provide a thorough review when I complete the Ziva meditation course so stay tuned!
I tried bone broth for the first time at the In Goop Health event earlier this year. It was served with various spice blends so you could doctor it up to your liking. It instantly nourished my soul and I was hooked. Rich in amino acids, vitamins and minerals, the healing benefits of bone broth are extensive. Now I never throw away a bone. Instead, I throw them in the freezer until I have enough for a full pot. I’ll enjoy it by itself or use for cooking. For a quick solution, Slim Collagen Bone Broth on the Go from Dr. Kellyann Petrucci is a great option.
A long day comes to an end. The kids are hungry and cranky. You look in the fridge and don’t know where to start so you call the local pizzeria on speed dial for a quick meal. Sound familiar? I have been guilty of this more times than I care to admit. And that is exactly how I feel afterward… guilty. Guilty for feeding my family crap for dinner. The only way for me to overcome this was to get organized and plan ahead. On the weekends, I plan out meals for the week, get groceries and cook, chop, blend whatever I can ahead of time so it is easy to throw together on the weeknights. I even write the menu on a chalkboard in our kitchen so I don’t forget about what I’ve already prepared. When I need inspiration for new meal ideas, I turn to The Wellness Mama Cookbook for a variety of easy-prep meals.
I’ll be honest and admit that it is not easy for me to get the recommended amount of daily vegetables. At Sunlight Day Spa located within our headquarters, we offer cold-pressed juice so I like to grab one when I’m feeling nutrient deprived. But when I’m at home, I don’t have the time or patience to juice and have searched for alternative solutions which led me to OrganiGreens. OrganiGreens is a dehydrated green juice with 71 organic fruits, veggies, green and mushroom and 17 essential amino acids and probiotics. I simply add it to juice or a smoothie and voila! I have a daily dose of nutrient-dense superfoods.
Nurture Your Skin with Clean Products
We all want to fight aging and look our best. Just as we should be nurturing our bodies with clean food, we should also be pampering our skin with clean products. Our skin is our largest organ and serves as a protective barrier to our vital organs. We absorb 60% of what we put on to it and so many of these products contain harmful chemicals. Check out this list of toxic ingredients to avoid. A couple of my favorite clean personal care brands are Primal Life Organics and Naked Poppy.
Of course, anyone here will tell you that Sunlighten infrared therapy is the ultimate self-care tool, because it is! It is hard to argue that relaxation, detoxification, natural pain relief and heart health will heal and prevent illness. For me, the biggest benefit was something I didn’t even know I needed. After the kids are in bed and my husband is tuned into some sci-fi show that I have absolutely no interest in, I escape to my little sanctuary with the mPulse Believe in the basement of our home for 30-60 minutes of blissful, uninterrupted “me time”.
While self-care is unique to each individual, I hope you have found at least one useful nugget to help in your own journey towards longevity and optimal living. I’ll leave you with a compelling quote from my friend Dr. Michelle Robin on the importance of investing in yourself: “You only get one body and it needs to be maintained. You can pay as you go, or your body will send you a bill later.”