Self Care

How To Be Your Authentic Self

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” -Oscar Wilde It’s taken me 30 years to fully embrace my authentic myself. It has certainly not been easy getting here, but it feels so liberating to be where I am right now. Today, we are constantly bombarded with an influx of messages and images telling us everything from what to say, to what to eat, what to wear, and even how to feel. It can be extremely challenging to weed through all of the incoming stuff – and just get down what WE as unique individuals, actually WANT. So, What Do You Want? That’s the first question I ask myself everyday. What do I want to do? What do I want to wear? To eat? To read? Who do I want to see? Where do I want to go? I prioritize and put myself and my needs first before anything else. I put my mental and physical health above everything because I know that will help me be the best version of myself, and will allow me to think clearly and logically, and most importantly make decisions based off my intuition. Intuition Is Everything We all have an inner voice and a sense of intuition, however most of us sadly don’t listen to it. We listen and do what others want us to do, or what we THINK other people want us to do. We are influenced by magazines, ads, social media, our parents, our friends, coworkers, significant others – hell, even strangers! When was the last time you took a step back, and made a decision completely based on YOUR intuition without caring what anyone else thought? It’s not easy to do, is it? It’s so brave – and you have to be extremely strong, but exercising this muscle will ultimately allow you to become your authentic self. Stop The People Pleasing Doing solely what YOU want to do, can sometimes result in others disapproval. It may even cause an uproar, and be looked down upon – but would you rather have other people’s thoughts and opinions dictate your life from afar, OR would you rather live the life YOU want right here, right now? I have a friend who became a lawyer just because both of her parents were lawyers and they forced (OK strongly pushed) her to be one. They basically made it clear that any other job wasn’t good enough or acceptable. She went through YEARS of law school, internships, and jobs working insane hours and after all of that, is absolutely miserable today. She is always complaining about her job, her coworkers, her hours, lack of a social life, etc. I’ve known her my entire life and to see her so unhappy and drained truly breaks my heart. She’s a 30 year old grown woman, and yet she’s allowing her parents’ opinions to dictate her life which is stifling her true self. Her parents aren’t bad people, and at the end of the day they only want the best for her, but only she knows what’s best for her. You cannot let anyone, even loved ones, tell you how to live your life. It is your responsibility and duty to your SOUL to listen to and follow your intuition. You Do You If I had listened to, followed, or been swayed by every ad, article, friend, family member, and/or stranger that I encountered, I would not be where I am today. I cannot tell you how many people thought that blogging was a silly, frivolous hobby when I started it 9 years ago!!!! So many people looked at me like I was an ALIEN when I told them I had a blog in 2011. And do you know how many so called “industry experts” and managers I’ve met with over the years who have compared me to other bloggers they felt were relevant and encouraged me to do crazy/outlandish/new things to stay “cool?” They actually DISCOURAGED me from being consistent, classic, relatable, and well, MYSELF! If I had listened to ANY one of them I would not be in this position! It has NOT been easy to drown out the minutiae – especially as a young woman in a new industry that is still not taken very seriously! But, I am thankful for the doubters, the naysayers and the boxes that people have tried to put me in. I am thankful for every struggle and adversity I’ve faced because it helped me develop grit and determination which every single entrepreneur needs. Over the years, I dug deeper and leaned even harder into myself, my desires and my dreams. Doing so helped me cultivate a strong inner voice. I’m here to tell you; Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. Don’t let anyone try to push you to be someone you’re not. Don’t let anyone put you down, belittle you, or manipulate you. And remember, take nothing personally. Hurt people only try to hurt other people period. Purge The Negativity One of the most important things I’ve done for myself is heavily filtering out the people I surround myself with. Gone are the days of “the more the merrier”, and in are the days of “quality over quantity.” People come in and out of our lives for many reasons. Some relationships don’t always last forever, and some go in ebbs and flows depending on where we are in our lives. Learn something from each and every relationship, and cultivate a positive, uplifting tight inner circle. Pull away from anyone who drains you, makes small digs/backhanded compliments, or simply can’t be happy for you. Life is too short! Be clear about what types of qualities and characteristics you want in friends, business partners, coworkers, and significant others – and you will slowly start to meet more people with those exact qualities. This is called manifestation and something that I do on a daily basis. Ask, visualize and you shall receive! Love Your Uniqueness We are all unique and we all have something special to offer the world. When we hone in on that, surround ourselves with good people, and listen to our intuition – everything starts flowing from there. That’s not to say there won’t be hard times, hiccups and barriers along the way. There will always be ups and downs in life, but if you create a solid foundation for yourself you’ll be able to handle anything that’s thrown at you on your own terms, with grace. “There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty.” -Dr. Steve Mariboli
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10 Things That Improved My Life

Looking back at 2019, all I can say is WOW. Profound, I know haha. But truly, this year surprised me in the most wonderful ways… There were SO many unexpected twists and turns and I am so grateful for what it taught me! I wanted to share 10 things that improved my life this year with you. These things all deeply impacted me, inspired me, and changed me for the better. 10 Things That Improved My Life Meditation I’ve spoken about how beneficial meditation has been for me several times, but in case you’re new here, I have an entire blog post outlining my journey to meditation. I’ve been meditating everyday for almost 4 years now and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. I know it will be a lifelong practice for me. Therapy I’m a huge proponent of therapy and have been going weekly since I moved back to NYC. It has helped me process so many things that have gone on this year and made me a more level headed, clear, calm person. I wrote a blog post on How To Find A Therapist here! Personal Trainer I have a standing appointment once a week with a personal trainer. We box on and off, and do short circuits on and off for an hour. Having that weekly appointment holds me accountable and honestly is some of the best money I’ve ever spent. I’m so much stronger than I was when I was doing classes and cardio, and have way more energy than I did last year. I only workout once a week, unless I squeeze in a yoga class. Podcasts Listening to podcasts regularly has kept me inspired, taught me SO much, and helped me think outside the box. My favorites are; The Skinny Confidential Him + Her podcast, the Highest Self by Sahara Rose podcast, the Skimm’d from the Couch podcast, and the Second Life by Hilary Kerr podcast. Taking Social Media Breaks Social media is a powerful tool that comes with both positive and negative side effects. This year, I’ve made more of a conscious effort to live in the moment and be present! While I love sharing parts of my life online, not every single thing needs to be shared or documented. I encourage you to relish special moments – uninterrupted and phone free – with your loved ones! Permission To Relax Speaking of living in the moment and being more present…I’ve never been good at relaxing, sitting still, or straight chilling. As an older child, type A, over achiever, I’m always working, striving and achieving toward something. While those qualities are great and have no doubt helped me throughout my life and career, they can also lead to burnout and exhaustion. This year I gave myself permission to relax and surrounded myself with people who had a healthy work/life balance. At first I felt guilty for not being hyper productive 24/7 (sounds crazy I know!), but then I realized that some of my best ideas actually came during that down time. The Quiet Book This book has truly changed my life for the better! As someone who is half introverted and half extroverted, I’ve always struggled with understanding and embracing my introverted side. Society doesn’t celebrate the introvert. Introverts are often labeled as socially awkward or shy, but wanting a few hours of alone time to recharge and think doesn’t make you either of those things! I love that this book breaks down what makes an introvert an introvert, why it’s crucial to brainstorm solo, and celebrates introversion! Regular Closet Clean Outs I’ve always been an organized person, but living in NYC you have to be even more organized due to limited space. Living in an apartment again has pushed me to really evaluate what I need vs want. With less stuff I’ve been able to think more clearly and I just feel lighter. I have to be OBSESSED with something to buy it or bring it into my apartment these days, which honestly is great for my bank account haha! I wrote a post on How To Clean Out Your Closet here with some helpful tips. Selective With Time I’ve never been more selective with my time – and I’ve never been happier. I used to say yes to almost every incoming request and answer almost every email, DM, and comment. Week after week, my calendar would be packed with appointments, coffee meetings, events, parties, and calls that would drain me. I would spend HOURS answering DMs and comments and then barely have time to run a simple errand, create content, or even have a social life. Luckily, I learned how to delegate and Jesse from my team now does an amazing job filtering and answering the majority of correspondence. Don’t worry – I still get to read thoughtful personal comments or answer specific questions you send via a daily summary she creates for me – and btw I’m so grateful for them! Being more selective with my time has allowed me to think bigger picture, longer term, and create more meaningful content. Embrace Compliments As women, we often downplay ourselves – our achievements, our brains, our abilities. At least I have – especially in male dominated situations. I really started to think about this in the last year. I reflected on how, throughout my life, I’ve constantly filtered, downplayed or withheld my true self in an effort to be “socially appropriate” or not “outshine” anyone. I used to never be able to accept a compliment or comfortably talk about my career in a casual, conversational setting! For example, if someone would come up to me and say, “Your skin is glowing it looks so great!” I would awkwardly laugh, shake my head and look down, then say, “Oh it must just be the lighting, it’s not usually like this, but your skin looks incredible!” I deflected the compliment, instead of accepting it. I now say something like, “Thank you so much – that’s really kind of you!” I am happy that I can confidently and graciously accept compliments as well as openly talk about my career with enthusiasm and pride. My advice to you – is know your value, and own it! Be proud of it and let it shine bright! Thank you! *Lastly, how can I not mention one of the biggest things that has happened to me this year… I met my soulmate, my other half, the love of my life! I have so much more to say, share and talk about on that subject, but for now I will just say that it really does happen when you least expect it! Here’s to a happy, healthy, and successful 2020! Thank you as always for reading, supporting and sharing. It’s going to be the best year yet!
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How To Find A Therapist

I’m so excited to get back to regular programming with my Wellness Wednesday posts. I’ve let them take a back seat these past few months as I’ve been busy sorting out my move, but they’re actually one of my favorite parts of the blog so it feels good to be writing them again. Today’s post is a topic I’ve touched on briefly through my “Self Care” and “How I Got Over My Breakup” posts, but I wanted to delve into it further and share my own experience with therapy! My dad has been a psychologist for over 30 years, so therapy was never taboo or something I was unfamiliar with growing up. I’m incredibly proud of the positive impact my dad has made on hundreds of people’s lives so I’ve always been very open and supportive of therapy. Within this post, I’m going to talk about a few of my own personal experiences with therapists, and of course, how to find the right therapist for you! How To Find A Therapist I’ve used two different methods to find a therapist; I’ve gone through my insurance company’s website, and I’ve done an independent search on ZocDoc. The benefit of going through your insurance company initially, is that they list out doctors within your area that accept your insurance. Some insurance plans cover a therapist’s fee, others cover part of it, and some cover none of it – so be sure to check online and call your insurance company to confirm. Once you’ve created a login through your insurance company’s website, click on the psychologist/psychiatrist section, and then type in your area. Browse through the list of names that pop up, and copy and paste the names that jump out at you into Google. Many therapists today have reviews from other patients online or have written articles which will give you a sense of their reputation and style. After you’ve settled on a therapist or two, call them to check that they do in fact take your insurance, ask what their fee is, and book an initial consultation. If it’s your first time going to therapy, it’s probably a good idea to book consultations with 2-3 different people, and then see which one you like best. If you don’t want to go through the insurance route, or you already know your insurance doesn’t cover therapy costs, then I like to use ZocDoc. You can narrow therapists down by neighborhood (pick somewhere close to work or home because if it’s far away, you’re not going to go – trust me!) and read over their patient reviews. Once you’ve found a few potentials, reach out to them and ask what their rate is, see if they happen to take your insurance (they just may!), and schedule your appointment(s.) How Much Does Therapy Cost?Therapy can be really expensive. But it’s an investment in yourself. Therapy has made me happier, more positive, more thoughtful, more accepting, calmer, wiser, a better daughter, a better sister, a better girlfriend, a better friend, a better boss, and a better human. Therapy costs vary widely by city, insurance plan, and doctor, which is why you need to call both your insurance company and the doctor you’re interested in to find out. Online articles state that therapy can be anywhere from free (or a small co-pay like $15) to $600 a session. I’ve personally paid everything from a $30 copay for an in-network therapist to a $300 fee for an out-of-network therapist. This article does a great job explaining why therapy costs so much in case you’re curious. Therapists have to pay for; malpractice insurance, office space (which in NYC is $$$), office supplies/furniture, advertising, and of course their own health insurance, rent and other expenses. Often times, if they do take insurance, filling out that paperwork and filing claims becomes a full time job in-and-of itself thus stopping them from having time to see more clients so it’s extremely generous of a therapist today to take insurance. Bottom line – do your research on both in-network and out-of-network doctors – and set up appointments with the one that feels right for YOU. Sometimes out-of-network doctors will give you a break on their fees depending on your income, so don’t be afraid to ask! How To Choose The Right Therapist For YouThis all comes down to a gut feeling when you’re one on one with the person. Again, if you’re new to therapy, I suggest seeing a few people so you can compare them and think about how you feel after each session. Every therapist has a different style. Some therapists are more hands on, interactive and vocal, while others are more hands off, observant, and ask a few poignant questions per session. I’ve had therapists who I don’t vibe with at all – and therapists who I totally clicked with and who felt like mentors/friends. After seeing both male and female doctors of all different ages over the years, I have found that I work best with a female who is relatively close to my age. Being relatively close in age has been helpful when communicating about current social situations, social media, social norms, dating in the modern world, etc. AKA they just get me more! How Often Should You See A TherapistThis really depends on you and your situation, but most people go once a week. I’ve gone more than once a week in the past and didn’t like it because I like having a few days to process and decompress after each session – sometimes they can be really intense! Many New Yorkers, due to their busy schedules, make it to therapy 2-3 times a month which is totally normal/fine too. You can also do phone or Skype sessions if you’re out of town. Again, everyone’s schedules, needs and preferences are different so do what works for you + your life. Lastly, if you’re wondering what period of time you should go to therapy – this is also solely based on the individual and situation. I’ve gone to therapy anywhere from 2 months at a time, to pretty consistently for a year. Again, it just depends on what you’re going through. Sticking with therapy consistently for a long period of time has definitely been the most beneficial for me. I hope this post helped answer some of your therapy questions!Remember you don’t have to be depressed to go to a therapist – therapy is for anyone and everyone – and can be a great place to just vent, bounce ideas off of a neutral person, or process changes! The right therapist will have such a positive impact on your life and give you the tools you need to get through anything. Therapy is a safe place, free of judgement – where you can just be yourself. I encourage you to give therapy a try if you haven’t already – and feel free to leave me any other questions you may have below!
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My Valentine's Day Self Care Rituals

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Whether you like this holiday or not, it’s a nice reminder to pamper yourself!  I wanted to share a few things I plan on doing today – and that I like doing in general to treat myself ;) Self Care Rituals Face Mask My all time favorite face mask is the Sisley Black Rose mask.  100% splurge worthy.  I ran out of that one though, so I plan on using this Eve Lom radiance mask.  It feels really good on, but it’s not nearly as moisturizing as the Sisley one feels if I’m being completely honest! Hydrate I start every morning with hot lemon water, then my signature green juice.  The recipe is; celery, cucumber, fennel, broccoli, and 1/2 a green apple.  If I can’t find fennel I use parsley and swiss chard. Lymph Drainage After I shower, I put a drop of Vintner’s Daughter serum (another splurge worthy item that makes my skin glow and totally minimizes your pores so you feel more confident wearing less makeup.)  I layer that with one of my face oils, and use the Clarisonic Firming Massage Head to de-puff my face. Makeup I wait to put makeup on until I have to – so I often try to go 3-4 days a week without wearing anything.  Tonight, Derek and I have plans to cook at home, so I won’t be doing a full face of makeup, but I still want to do a little something to look more awake!  I’ll put on a bit of Cle de Beaute concealer, Armani foundation, Bobbi Brown bronzer, Charlotte Tilbury highlighter, Laura Mercier caviar eye stick, and Bobbi Brown mascara.  This is my go-to everyday makeup routine that creates a really subtle, natural look. Candles I’ve been burning Goop #2 during the day in my kitchen, but for a more romantic evening, I love Diptyque Vanille, and Byredo Bibliotheque so I’ll probably light either of those! Bubble Bath I love taking a hot bath in the morning or right before I go out at night.  I use epsom salt from Amazon (I buy it in bulk.)  It’s the perfect way to get the magnesium we all need!  I also love the Goop bath salts – particularly these 3 scents. Comfy Clothes I like to be as comfortable as possible when I’m getting ready to go out, or working from home, so I wear either a terry cloth robe, Eberjey pajamas – or these Cuyana sweatpants that I just got from their new loungewear line.  Seriously they’re my new favorite sweatpants.  As a top, I’ll wear this cute grey Sol Angeles sweatshirt. Beauty Sleep At the end of a long day, there’s nothing better than a goodnight sleep – and getting to bed early!  I’m a total night owl (most creatives are!), but I love falling asleep before 10PM when I can.  Bliss!  I wear this silk eye mask every night, and sleep in Restoration Hardware linen sheets.  Once you go linen, you won’t go back – trust me!  I also love these sheets from The Citizenry.
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