Top 5 Essential Oils to Support a Healthy Immune System

It’s common to come down with a cold/ the flu as the season changes from fall to winter. Did you know that the drop in temperature actually permits a different group of viruses to flourish? Unfortunately, it also creates conditions that help germs survive and thrive.

It makes you want to shut out the cold and protect yourself indoors right? But indoors you’re actually exposed to more germs! They love to live on doorknobs, keyboards, sink faucets, toilet handles, countertops, and a slew of other items. Combine all of that with a weak immune system, and the body has a hard time fighting off illness.

 All of my essential oils are purchased from doTERRA.

All of my essential oils are purchased from doTERRA.

To avoid getting sick, the most commonsense advice is to eat healthy, stay hydrated, get 6-8 hours of sleep at night, and wash your hands well and often. But there is another, easy way to boost your immune system and help protect the body from viruses and bacteria.  

Add essential oils to your wellness toolkit!

Before we dive into which essential oils are best for supporting the immune system, let’s define what an essential oil is and a few different ways you can use them.

Essentials Oils and How to Use Them

Essential oils are the highly concentrated version of the natural oils in plants.  The oils are obtained by distillation (most commonly by water or steam), where many parts of the plant including plant roots, leaves, stems, flowers and bark are being used. The oil has the fragrance and properties of the plant, including the smell, as well as the plant’s healing properties.  

Essential oils have been used for thousands of years for their therapeutic and healing benefits. If you haven’t added them to you natural medicine cabinet yet, the time is now.
Here are a few simple ways to incorporate essential oils into your daily life.

  • Home Diffuser: One of the easiest ways to attain the benefits of essential oils is to use diffuse them throughout your home. Diffusers are relatively inexpensive can help with relaxation, reducing congestion and inflammation and keep illnesses away.

  • Inhalation: Another simple technique is to place 1 or 2 drops in your palms cup your face and take a few rounds of deep inhales and exhales. When you inhale or breath in essential oils, they head straight to the lungs and are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. *Note that some essential oils may cause skin irritation. Do your research before applying directly to the skin.

  • Massage Therapy: The skin is the largest organ of the body, and some essential oils constituents can permeate the layers of the skin and be absorbed into the bloodstream.They are absorbed more slowly when added to lotions or carrier oils but you’ll still reep the benefits. Take 1-2 drops of your preferred essential oil, mix it with coconut oil and work on areas of tension like feet, neck and shoulders.

  • Natural Cleaning Products: Instead of reaching for that bottle of Clorox, add a purifying essential oil to water and use it to clean surfaces around the house (and leave your rooms smelling pretty!)  

doTerra Essential Oil Lineup

8 Essential Oils to Support a Healthy Immune System


Each essential oil has their own unique therapeutic benefits. Listed below are a few of the top oils that support the immune system by fighting off viruses, soothing  the nervous system, and reducing stress.

  1. Eucalyptus: Does your breathing feel constricted? Reach for Eucalyptus! This essential oil is known for its ability to support upper respiratory health and promote clearer breathing. Eucalyptus also stimulates your antibodies to help fight infection and studies show it’s effective in easing tension. As we already mentioned, tension and stress weaken the immune system, so keep Eucalyptus close to promote feelings of relaxation.
    Application: Add a few drops to a soothing bath, add 1-2 drops into your palm, cup over your face and inhale a few times, or add to moisturizer and apply to skin.

  2. Melaeuca (Tea Tree): Known as the oil with limitless applications, tea tree is notorious for its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. It’s antiviral properties also helps to cure viral infections like the common cold and influenza. Get ahead of the curb by using it to boost immunity before you begin feeling sick.
    Application: Remove the germs in your household by using tea tree oil as a cleaner. Combine tea tree oil with lemon, water and distilled white vinegar to create your own natural antimicrobial household cleaner. Or, add a few drops to a pot of water and heat until it begins steaming. Drape a towel over your head and take take breaths for a few minutes to help alleviate inflammation and open airways.

  3. Frankincense: The “King of Oils” is here to save the day. Frankincense supports healthy cellular function, reduces pain and inflammation and promotes feelings of relaxation.  All things you want when battling an illness. Research has shown that the antiseptic and disinfectant oil has immune-boosting abilities that can help combat bacteria and viruses, and it’s an antiseptic and disinfectant that has the ability to eliminate flu and cold germs.
    Application: Diffuse in the house, add 1-2 drops to the palm of your hand and inhale several times, or apply to the bottom of the feet with a carrier oil to promote feelings of relaxation.

  4. Rosemary: Rosemary oil helps with detoxification and encourages the cleansing of the lymphatic system, which is responsibility for cleansing out cells and clearing the body of waste. Rosemary also works as a potent stress reliever. Stress, as we know, is one of the main culprits of poor immunity. So if you’re feeling or  anxious or fatigued, break out the Rosemary and try to restore a relaxed state of mind.
    Application: Add a few drops of oil with a carrier oil and give yourself a lymphatic massage or add a few drops to a relaxing bath.

  5. Cinnamon:  It smells good, tastes good, and it’s good for you! Cinnamon oil is more potent than the dried spice and has additional unique compounds. The health benefits can be attributed to its antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, and astringent properties. These work together to support healthy metabolic function and maintain a healthy immune system. Stimulating the immune system with cinnamon oil will get you one step ahead of the cold or virus, or might help you recover faster if you’ve already caught something.
    Applications:  Add 2–3 drops in a spray bottle for an effective cleaning spray add 1 drop in tea or hot water to soothe an achy throat, or simply diffuse around the home.

**If you decide to purchase from doTERRA, I LOVE their proprietary On Guard blend which features; Wild Orange Peel, Clove Bud, Cinnamon Leaf, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus Leaf, and Rosemary Leaf/Flower essential oils.

Essential oils provide a natural and effective alternative for immune support. Help protect your body from seasonal threats by adding the oils listed above to your medicine cabinet and let me know if you have any other favorites that you use to boost immunity!  

5 Tips for Staying Warm During Winter Hikes

 Tips for staying warm during winter hikes. Bundle up properly and have bf’s to hug for warmth! Photo: Ben Matthews

Tips for staying warm during winter hikes. Bundle up properly and have bf’s to hug for warmth! Photo: Ben Matthews

**This post was originally published in November of 2015. It’s one of my most viewed articles so I wanted to update it with new images and information!

Since we’re moving to Australia in less than 2 weeks, I won’t be doing any winter hiking this year. I am very pumped to be moving to the Southern Hemisphere and jumping back into summer, but eventually I will experience a winter again.

Winter can be so beautiful, especially if you get to play in the sunshine and snow combo. But unfortunately, my body doesn’t react well to the cold. I’ve never been been diagnosed by a doctor but I’m pretty sure I have In Raynaud's disease. The disease causes the blood vessels to narrow when you’re cold and the blood can't get to the surface of the skin. Since moving to Seattle from Hawaii, anytime the temperature drops below 55 degrees, my fingers turn white and/or purple. They also go numb and when the blood flow returns, it’s incredibly painful and tingles.

So you see, staying warm while outdoors is incredibly high on my priority list and the inspiration for this post. :)

Here are 5 tips for staying warm during a winter hike!

1.) Layer, Layer, Layer. Your layers should go as follows...

  • Base layer- aka what is next to your skin. Wear a fabric like synthetic or merino wool to help wick sweat away. The last thing you want is to be sweating in a wet cotton t-shirt. I like to wear a lululemon's power Y tank (two thumbs up for the built in bra) and Smartwool’s Women's Merino 150 Base Layer Long Sleeve. The tank is made from Luon fabric, a lightweight material that is wicking and breathable, and the Merino top is a light wool that’s ultra durable and quick drying.

  • Middle Layer - I call this my marshmallow layer. The middle layer is your insulating layer where you retain heat. My winter life changed when I purchased Patagonia's Down Sweater Hoody. My warmth and comfort is worth every penny spent on that jacket.

  • Outer Layer- The last layer should be waterproof and breathable. I wear Marmot’s Minimalist Waterproof Jacket. It’s a lightweight shell made from GORE-TEX and great for wind and rain protection.

2.) Protect Your Feet, Hands & Head- Beanie, gloves, socks. Make sure you have them all and extras. I go the extra step and add hand and feet warmers to my gloves and socks. That may be a little extreme for some, but my poor fingers and toes need the extra love!

3.) Pack a Warm Beverage - In addition to enough water, pack a thermos of tea, hot water or hot chocolate. Ok, or coffee (that's what will be in MY thermos).. but just make sure to stay hydrated.

4.) Remember Nutrition- Eat to keep your energy up! Stay away from cooling foods like citrus fruits and opt for warming foods like nuts and oats. My favorite easy snacks include; Pro Bar, Clif’s Nut Butter Filled Bars , and Bobo bars. Depending on the length of the hike, I’ve also been known to make a vegetarian sandwich with all the fixings - toasted bread, grilled onions, avocado, cheese, tomato, kale, and hummus.

5.) Pack Spare Clothes- Pack an extra set of clothes for the car ride home. Nothing is better than fresh socks, a dry set of clothes and the heater blasting on the car ride home.

 Snowshoeing up to Mt. Bruni | Mt Tahoma Trails Association

Snowshoeing up to Mt. Bruni | Mt Tahoma Trails Association


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2018: A Reading List Review

My library card saw more use this year than ever before! Since the majority of my work was done from my home office (aka the guest bedroom /see also: the kitchen table, the couch, my bed, etc), walking to the Greenlake Library was my much needed break from sedentary computer work. I never got out of the door without 3-4 new books in my bag, and often relied on the library’s “peak picks” (the latest bestsellers) to guide my choices.

I feel like I’m constantly referring to an author or a book in conversation so I wanted to gather my favorite reads of this year for you! As you may notice, many of these books were published before 2018, but this is the year they made their way to me. Titles marked with an *asterisk were my favorites and if nothing else, I suggest putting at least one of them are your list to check out. And if you don’t have a library card, what are you waiting for? Libraries are the seriously, the coolest, and usually offer classes, events, and special exhibits in addition to a hoard of free books. Happy reading and I would love to know -

What was your favorite book you read this year? Leave your answers in the comments below.

**Note: Most of the book’s descriptions given below are straight from the Publishers website. (ex: Penguin Random House)


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Memoir:

  • *Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover:
    Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home. (excerpt provided by publisher)

  • Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot:
    Heart Berries is a powerful, poetic memoir of a woman's coming of age on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation in British Columbia. Having survived a profoundly dysfunctional upbringing only to find herself hospitalized and facing a dual diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Bipolar II, Terese Mailhot is given a notebook and begins to write her way out of trauma. The triumphant result is Heart Berries, a memorial for Mailhot's mother, a social worker and activist who had a thing for prisoners; a story of reconciliation with her father--an abusive drunk and a brilliant artist--who was murdered under mysterious circumstances; and an elegy on how difficult it is to love someone while dragging the long shadows of shame.

 
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 Photo courtesy of paperback paris

Photo courtesy of paperback paris


Historical Fiction:

  • There There by Tommy Orange:
    Tommy Orange’s groundbreaking novel is the story of twelve unforgettable characters, Urban Indians living in Oakland, California, who converge and collide on one fateful day. As we learn the reasons that each person is attending the Big Oakland Powwow—some generous, some fearful, some joyful, some violent—momentum builds toward a shocking yet inevitable conclusion that changes everything. There will be glorious communion, and a spectacle of sacred tradition and pageantry. And there will be sacrifice, and heroism, and loss.

  • *Beneath a Scarlett Sky by Mark T. Sullivan:
    Pino Lella wants nothing to do with the war or the Nazis, but when his family home in Milan is destroyed by Allied bombs, Pino joins an underground railroad helping Jews escape over the Alps, and falls for Anna, a beautiful widow six years his senior. In an attempt to protect him, Pino’s parents force him to enlist as a German soldier—a move they think will keep him out of combat. But after Pino is injured, he is recruited at the tender age of eighteen to become the personal driver for Adolf Hitler’s left hand in Italy, one of the Third Reich’s most mysterious and powerful commanders. Now, with the opportunity to spy for the Allies inside the German High Command, Pino endures the horrors of the war and the Nazi occupation by fighting in secret.

  • *Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
    Ghana, eighteenth century: two half sisters are born into different villages, each unaware of the other. One will marry an Englishman and lead a life of comfort in the palatial rooms of the Cape Coast Castle. The other will be captured in a raid on her village, imprisoned in the very same castle, and sold into slavery. Homegoing follows the parallel paths of these sisters and their descendants through eight generations: from the Gold Coast to the plantations of Mississippi, from the American Civil War to Jazz Age Harlem. Yaa Gyasi’s extraordinary novel illuminates slavery’s troubled legacy both for those who were taken and those who stayed—and shows how the memory of captivity has been inscribed on the soul of our nation.

 
 Photo courtesy of wamc northeast radio website

Photo courtesy of wamc northeast radio website

 
 photo courtesy of italia living

photo courtesy of italia living

 
 Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh city newspaper

Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh city newspaper


Fiction:

  • *She Would Be King by Wayétu Moore:
    Wayétu Moore’s powerful debut novel reimagines the dramatic story of Liberia’s early years through three unforgettable characters who share an uncommon bond. Gbessa, exiled from the West African village of Lai, is starved, bitten by a viper, and left for dead, but still she survives. June Dey, raised on a plantation in Virginia, hides his unusual strength until a confrontation with the overseer forces him to flee. Norman Aragon, the child of a white British colonizer and a Maroon slave from Jamaica, can fade from sight at will, just as his mother could. When the three meet in the settlement of Monrovia, their gifts help them salvage the tense relationship between the African American settlers and the indigenous tribes, as a new nation forms around them.

  • The Paris Wife by Paula McLain:
    A deeply evocative story of ambition and betrayal, The Paris Wife captures the love affair between two unforgettable people: Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley. Following a whirlwind courtship and wedding, the pair set sail for Paris, where they become the golden couple in a lively and volatile group. As Ernest struggles to find the voice that will earn him a place in history and pours himself into the novel that will become The Sun Also Rises, Hadley strives to hold on to her sense of self as her roles as wife, friend, and muse become more challenging. A heartbreaking portrayal of love and torn loyalty, The Paris Wife is all the more poignant because we know that, in the end, Hemingway wrote that he would rather have died than fallen in love with anyone but Hadley.

 
 
 photo courtesy of the Museum of the African Diaspora

photo courtesy of the Museum of the African Diaspora

 
 
 photo courtesy of patch.com

photo courtesy of patch.com


Self Help

  • You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero:
    In this refreshingly entertaining how-to guide, bestselling author and world-traveling success coach, Jen Sincero, serves up 27 bitesized chapters full of hilariously inspiring stories, sage advice, easy exercises, and the occasional swear word, helping you to: Identify and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors that stop you from getting what you want. By the end of You Are a Badass, you’ll understand why you are how you are, how to love what you can’t change, how to change what you don’t love, and how to use The Force to kick some serious ass.

  • You Are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero:
    You Are a Badass at Making Money will launch you past the fears and stumbling blocks that have kept financial success beyond your reach. Drawing on her own transformation—over just a few years—from a woman living in a converted garage with tumbleweeds blowing through her bank account to a woman who travels the world in style, Jen Sincero channels the inimitable sass and practicality that made You Are a Badass an indomitable bestseller. She combines hilarious personal essays with bite-size, aha concepts that unlock earning potential and get real results.

  • Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less:
    Greg McKeown has spent the last fifteen years obsessed with one question: What is it that keeps capable, driven people from breaking through to the next level? To his surprise, he found the answer to be success. In his revealing new book, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, McKeown debunks the myth that “we can do it all.” We can’t. Despite ourselves, we continue to take on more. We say yes because we feel we have to, not because we want to. As a result, we feel overworked and underutilized. McKeown argues that what is needed in order to achieve greater productivity, success and live more fulfilling lives is to remain focused on the few essentials, and getting rid of the trivial many. Do less but better. That is the definition of Essentialism.

 
 photo courtesy of la times

photo courtesy of la times

 
 photo courtesy of left-bank.com

photo courtesy of left-bank.com

 
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Biography

  • *The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clemantine Wamariya, Elizabeth Weil:
    In 1994, she and her fifteen-year-old sister, Claire, fled the Rwandan massacre and spent the next six years migrating through seven African countries. When Clemantine was twelve, she and her sister were granted refugee status in the United States; there, in Chicago, their lives diverged. Though their bond remained unbreakable, Claire, who had for so long protected and provided for Clemantine, was a single mother struggling to make ends meet, while Clemantine was taken in by a family who raised her as their own. She seemed to live the American dream: attending private school, taking up cheerleading, and, ultimately, graduating from Yale. Yet the years of being treated as less than human, of going hungry and seeing death, could not be erased. She felt at the same time six years old and one hundred years old.

  • My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem:
    My Life on the Road is the moving, funny, and profound story of Gloria’s growth and also the growth of a revolutionary movement for equality—and the story of how surprising encounters on the road shaped both. From her first experience of social activism among women in India to her work as a journalist in the 1960s; from the whirlwind of political campaigns to the founding of Ms. magazine; from the historic 1977 National Women’s Conference to her travels through Indian Country—a lifetime spent on the road allowed Gloria to listen and connect deeply with people, to understand that context is everything, and to become part of a movement that would change the world.

 
 photo courtesy of rainy day books

photo courtesy of rainy day books

 
 
 
 
 photo courtesy random house

photo courtesy random house


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We're Moving to Australia!

I was sitting on the couch, trying my best to tune into the book I was reading and tune out the conversation going on in our guest bedroom. But our home was constructed in 1926, and the paper thin walls meant I could hear each question and answer, the accents bouncing back and forth from American to Australian. Jared was in the middle of a two-hour interview for a job in Melbourne, and I could tell it was going well. Finally, the interview wrapped up and Jared walked out into the living room. “I think that went really well,” he said. I immediately burst into tears.

I wasn’t surprised that it went well, but I was surprised at my reaction. Jared and I had been talking about moving abroad for over a year. Just a few months prior (at the beginning of 2018), we spent a morning at our favorite coffee shop writing down our personal and professional goals.

One of Jared’s big ambitions was to receive an international job offer.

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I’ve always had faith that the Universe listens to our desires, more like waiting for us to give it some direction. The timing of all this only fuels my belief. A few months after writing down our intentions at the coffee shop, a job opening presented itself in Australia. In my early twenties, I spent 2.5 months backpacking around the country, so I immediately had warm feelings about the job location.

After weeks of not allowing myself to think too deeply about our potential future, my suppressed emotions erupted post-final interview. Maybe deep down I didn’t think we would need to choose between our dream of living abroad and the wonderful, comfortable life we’ve created in the Northwest.

We discussed it, started to daydream about what our life would look like, and agreed that Jared should go for it. To be honest, I didn’t invest too much energy into the “what ifs”. I had no idea how far along in the process we would get, so I just continued business as usual. But the meetings and interviews went much faster than I imagined. Every other day it seemed Jared was on the phone talking with a recruiter, his potential new manager, and would be colleagues about the job. Before we knew it he was prepping for the final interview with the big boss.

After weeks of not allowing myself to think too deeply about our potential future, my suppressed emotions erupted post-final interview. Maybe deep down I didn’t think we would need to choose between our dream of living abroad and the wonderful life we’ve created in the Northwest.

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I cried because in my heart, I knew that we would choose to leave.
I cried because I already felt the ache of saying goodbye to family and friends.
I cried because I had just hit a stride in my business, and didn’t want to give up what I worked so hard for (turns out I don’t have too.)
I cried because life as I knew it was going to change completely, and even though I was really excited, I mourned the loss of our current lifestyle.

And still, we debated about it EVERYDAY. It was agonizing the amount of times we went back and forth. We felt so torn. We found countless reasons to go, and the same amount of reasons to stay. We spent weeks untangling our emotions and talking through the options. At the end of the day, we knew that choosing to stay in Seattle was a fear-based decision. So we chose the unknown, the new opportunity, the adventure.

Which leads me to here and now, visas in hand and packing up parts of our life to move across the world. It still feels surreal, even though time is ticking seriously fast. Our departure is at the end of November, meaning we have less than 4 weeks to say goodbyes, try and get in a few more outdoor adventures, and sell or donate a lot of our belongings. Technically our work visas are for two years, with the opportunity to extend. A lot of people have asked how long we plan to be over there and it’s hard to say. While I’m confident we’ll love living in Australia (Melbourne was voted the most livable city in the world 7 times in a row), it’s hard to think about being away from our families and community for too long.

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I hope we’ll stay in touch while I’m away! I’ll be sharing our Australian adventures and how we’re adjusting to expat life here on the blog as well as through my newsletter. So if you haven’t signed up to receive that, head on over to the sign up page.

Lastly, if you know anyone in Melbourne, please let me know! Right after finding a place to live I need to find some good people to befriend! Also, I will be looking for individuals, organizations, and companies in the travel, outdoor and health and wellness space to work with and would be so appreciative of any introductions or connections. Thanks for following along on this journey and for your support.


All photos by the very talented and kind human Chad Cassidy.

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Self Care Practices for the Fall Season

What does wellness mean to you?

Our personal definition of wellness may vary, but a look through advertisements and social media points to a culture that believes wellness can be bought. You’re on the path to wellness if you have the trendiest yoga leggings, drink matcha every morning, go on juice cleanses every few months, and are able to drop cash for a wellness retreat. Now just to be clear, I wear lululemon (and worked for the company for 2+ years), I think matcha is delicious (but will always choose coffee), I’ve gone through the master cleanse (never again), and lust over yoga retreats in Bali.

I’m not trying to label these practices as ‘bad’, but wellness is being commodified, and true holistic wellbeing can’t be acquired through products and purchases. More than that, when wellness is sold and priced almost exclusively for the privileged (eating organic, studio class passes, athleisure, all come with a hefty price tag) it turns wellness into a private club.

When I reflect on my own journey, I can pinpoint my well-being to things that are either free or don’t cost much money; getting out into nature, writing in my journal, soulful conservations with friends, meditation, practicing yoga, intentional breathing, and cooking meals at home all make me feel grounded, connected and balanced.

I believe wellness is for everybody. If we can strip away the detoxes, face masks and epsom salt baths, we can find self love and self care as a whole; body, mind and spirit. With that in mind, here are a few accessible self care tips for the fall season. And I would love to hear how you’re showing yourself love.

 Photo @howsheviewsit

Photo @howsheviewsit


Self-Care for the Mind

  1. Ask For What You Need: Seasons change and needs do to. Communication can be challenging, and the idea of asking for something makes a lot of us nervous. What if they think I’m selfish? What if I’m asking for too much? What if they think I don’t deserve it? What if they decide to leave? Shame, guilt, worry and the never-ending lists of “what ifs” often keep us from communicating our true needs. And it’s scary to say what you want. It’s vulnerable to ask for it. But clear communication and direct asking allows people to step up / into your life and help where you need it most.

  2. Seek Whitespace: Whitespace is breathing space, and I think we could all use a little more of that. We need solo quiet time so we reflect and create new ways of being. Are you uncomfortable with silence and being alone? Ask yourself why. What are you afraid of? Remember that you are not the thoughts in your head. You are not the noise that you constantly hear. Stop accepting and engaging with your craziest thought patterns. Find space in your day to simply sit, breathe and be with your thoughts without judging them.

3. Take Your Sleep Cycle Seriously: If you are looking for increased energy, a clear mind and improved productivity, make sleep a priority. Here are a few suggestions to adopt to your bedtime habits.

  • Go to bed and wake up each day around the same time.

  • Buy an alarm clock and remove electronics from the bedroom

  • Go tech-free at least 30 minutes before bed

  • Diffuser lavender oil or add a few drops to your pillow


Self-Care for the Body

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1. Eat What’s In Season:  I hate saying goodbye to my smoothies and salads, but it’s time to move on to warming soups and roasted vegetable bowls. Specific crops and harvest dates of fall produce will depend on where you live, but generally, you’ll find a delicious group of fruits and veggies like apples, beets, carrots, peppers and squash at your local farmers market. Eating seasonally not only helps you to be more in sync with the natural world, it’s usually better for the environment because foods grown locally require less energy and resources to produce and transport.

2. Hike to See Fall Foliage: Here in Washington, hiking in fall rivals hiking in summer (some may even prefer it). The trails are quieter, the trees are bursting with color and pesky mosquitoes are a thing of the past. And of course, there’s larch madness. We have a short but sweet few weeks where the larch tree needles turn golden, magically changing the forest into an otherworldly site. Here are a few of my favorite fall hikes.

  • Lake Ingalls

  • Maple Loop Pass

  • Paddy Go-Easy

  • Cutthroat Pass

  • The Enchantments


Self-Care for the Soul

1.) Do Things That You Enjoy: And don’t feel guilty about it. Do you enjoy watching re-runs of Friends in your pajamas till 1pm on Sunday? Go for it! Do you want to read in a coffee shop by yourself? Or bake 4 different cookie recipes? Or peruse the flea market looking for vintage finds? Whatever it is, be mindful of the activities that bring you moments of gratitude and appreciation for your life.

2.) Meet With a Therapist: We visit physical therapists for our bodies, why not psychologists for our minds? Thankfully, our culture is having more conversations about mental health and going to a therapist doesn’t have the stigma it once did. A common misconception is that you need to be at rock bottom before you make an appointment. Seeing a therapist can be a preventative measure, especially in the context of our relationships. While sessions are usually on the expensive side, there are centers/practitioners who will work with patients on a sliding scale.

Your turn! What self-care practices are you engaging in? Leave your questions or comments below. 

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