On the Road to Mental Health

Best Stretches After A 9-5 Job

It’s common after a long work day to feel muscle tension, tightness, and aches from prolonged sitting or standing. One of the best things you can do for your body after a long day of work is stretch it out. Here are some of the best stretches to help extend your body, release some tension, and ease/prevent muscle aches. All of these can be done at home!

Broom stretch:

Grab a broom or stick, pick it up horizontally, pull it over your head, and slightly back until you feel a stretch in your chest.

Table stretch

I’m sure this has a better name, but this is what I’ll call it. Go over to the kitchen counter, bathroom counter, desk, etc. Bring both of your hands together and hip hinge back. This stretches your chest, shoulders, low back, hamstrings, and calves.

Downward Dog

On this one, try to push the heels to the floor, chest to towards the legs, and hips backwards. This is a little deeper stretch for the shoulders, low back, hips, hamstrings, and calves.

Runner’s lunge

Sit up straight, push hips forward and squeeze glutes. This is a great stretch for the hips and quads, helping relieve low back and knee pain.

Child’s pose

Bring butt towards heels and sink hips back. Brings a deep stretch to the quads and hips, helping relieve low back and knee pain.

Quad stretch

Lay on stomach, bring foot to butt and grab with the opposite hand. Brings a deep stretch to the quad, helping relieve hip tightness and low back and knee pain.

Spinal twist

Cross right foot over left knee. Bring left arm over right knee. Switch sides. Brings a deep stretch for the low back, helping relieve tightness and pain.

Knee tucks

Bring knee to chest, alternating legs. Brings a deep stretch to hips and hamstrings, relieving low back pain and hip tightness.


What you say to yourself matters. It’s not always easy to be kind to ourselves, but using words of affirmation rather than judgment can be lifechanging. If you’re like me (and spent most of your life using words of judgment and rejection towards yourself), shifting your mindset is going to take some practice. But with patience, practice, and persistence, it is SO possible.

It’s 2019. It’s about time we stop being so hard on ourselves. Instead, let’s try something new. Let’s believe in ourselves. It starts with affirmations!

These are my top ten favorite affirmations when I am feeling down on myself:

  1. I am passionate and outrageously enthusiastic.

This one is my favorite for when I’m feeling down on my body image. What else do I offer to the world? What other characteristics, aside from physical, do I love about myself?

  1. I am healthy and strong.

I have spent most of my life unhealthy. Overweight, underweight, constantly struggling with looking at food and exercise in a positive life. I love this little reminder – that although I may still struggle, I am SO much healthier and stronger from where I came from.

  1. I am patient and trusting with my body.

It’s easy to look at our physical appearance or current situation and get frustrated. Why is this happening to me? Why am I so bloated today? WHY can’t my body just cooperate?! Trust the timing in your life and continue to listen to your body. This is only temporary.

  1. I believe in myself and my capabilities.

This affirmation is a friendly reminder for me to look at how far I’ve come and how much I’ve triumphed. I’ve overcome so much, which makes me capable of so much more.

5. I am powerful and create the life I want (and deserve).

Everything you do today matters. Whether you’re working or resting, giving yourself the self-care you need or putting in the hours that you know you’re capable of helps you create the life you want. YOU are creating the life that you want. That may sound scary, but it’s also extremely empowering. You got this.

  1. I am optimistic and believe things will always work out for the best.

I truly believe everything happens for a reason. So, when it feels like the world is crashing down around me, this is a gentle reminder to myself – there is ALWAYS a light at the end of the tunnel. There is always a positive in the sea of negative. Although I can’t see it now, I know this is happening to me for a greater purpose.

  1. I treat my body how I treat others – with kindness and respect.

On days where I’m feeling down on myself, it’s easy to resort back to old habits – disordered eating patterns, neglecting self-care, repeating harsh words to myself, etc. This affirmation is a huge reminder that I need to treat my body with love and respect. Abusing my body for years lead me down a dark path. I deserve to continue on the path of light and happiness.

  1. I am focused and determined. I never give up.

Imagine a time in your life where you SO desperately wanted to give up, but pushed through anyway. How did you feel afterwards? What results came out of it?

Never, ever give up on yourself. You have too much to offer the world.

  1. I am unique and love being myself.

We are all unique and have something different to offer. Being yourself is the best gift you can give to others. Recognize the characteristics that make you unique and allow yourself to thrive off them.


And I always will be.

Five Self-Help Books That Changed My Life

I’m a sucker for a good book. I honestly didn’t dive into the “Self-Help” book until after reading my very first self-help book, “You are a Badass.” I felt so motivated, inspired, uplifted, and dare I say…badass…it made me wonder what other books were out there. I wanted to feel this inspired 24/7.

This past year I’ve read a lot of books, most of them being self-help books. Here are my top five and what I’ve learned from them:


You are a Bad Ass by Jen Sincero

This book opened my eyes to a brand-new world. As much as I wanted to believe (at first) that it was a bunch of mumbo-jumbo motivational crap, the more I read it, the more intrigued I became. Sincero makes you feel (and believe) that anything is impossible if you go at it as an unstoppable force. What I learned from this book:

  • Universal Intelligence is real and happening. I needed to open my mind.
  • I needed to step out of my victim mindset and step into my accountability mindset.
  • My mindset matters. The more I practice working on my mindset, the better it will get.
  • Affirmations are so important. The more I put into the Universe, the more I will get out of it.
  • Loving myself will help me succeed, and it will make the road to success so much brighter.


You are a Bad Ass at Making Money by Jen Sincero

While this book has the same author of “You are a Badass,” this book goes into detail about our relationship with money, how to heal that relationship, and why healing that relationship can make you rich. It provides completely different information from “You are a Badass,” but it is just as valuable, motivating, inspiring, and uplifting as the previous one. As a business owner, I felt constantly stuck with my business growth and growing my finances. I watched businesses start small and grow to six figures, and I wanted that more than anything. But a huge part of being stuck with my finances had to do with being stuck in my mindset. What I learned from this book:

  • Wanting, loving, and being excited over money is not greedy. I deserve to thrive, not just scrape by and survive.
  • My MONEY mindset matters. The more I practice affirmations, patience, persistence, and confidence, the more the Universe will align me with opportunities for income.
  • I needed to STOP living in a scarcity mindset and start living in an ABUNDANCE mindset. Instead of constantly worrying if there is enough, I’m constantly affirming I am ABUNDANT with opportunities, money, support, and love.


Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole & Elyse Resch

I’ve spent most of my life having an unhealthy relationship with food. From third grade to senior year of high school, I was borderline obese, using food as a coping mechanism for my depression and anxiety. I started calorie counting at the age of seventeen, lost 60 pounds, then began cycles of obsessive dieting, eventually spiraling into anorexia. I tried every single possible diet, waist trainer, pill, skinny tea…you name it, I’ve tried it. I eventually became so fed up and depleted, I knew I needed to try something new. Along with therapy, I started reading this book and it was a total game changer. What I learned from this book:

  • Reaching a specific weight or body image is not going to make me happy. I needed to stop depending so much of my happiness based off the way I looked.
  • Everyone is built differently, so having a body goal is silly. If you eat intuitively, listen to your body, and trust your body, you will reach the weight your body naturally wants to be at. Be patient and be persistent.
  • Peace with food is worth so much more than having the “ideal body.” Finally feeling like I have a good relationship with food, one where I don’t obsess over it, is invaluable.
  • I needed to challenge any toxic, negative thoughts that associated with food. Food is no longer the enemy and never was. Food is fuel and I deserve to enjoy it.
  • I, in all honesty, learned how to eat from this book. Instead of stuffing myself or starving myself, I learned how to honor my hunger (and hunger cues.)


The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

This was one of my very first self-help books, and it 100% got me deeper into self-help books, especially ones about meditation and connecting with Universal Intelligence. The Power of Now discusses the importance of living in the present instead of focusing too much on the past or the future. Although important to explore the past or future for reference, true happiness comes from living in the present moment. What I learned from this book:

  • Affirmations and meditation are vital and necessary for not only connecting to the Universe, but also for feeling the power of the present.
  • My perception is my reality. What I choose to focus on is what will become the focus in my life. I can choose to focus on the past, my traumas, the negative things happening to me…or I can focus on what I can do in this present moment to heal myself and feel genuine happiness.
  • “Whenever anything negative happens to you, there is a deep lesson concealed within, although you may not see it at the time. Even a brief illness or an accident can show you what is real and unreal in your life, what ultimately matters and what doesn’t. Seen from a higher perspective, conditions are always positive.” Often negative things are happening FOR us, not TO us.


Girl, Wash Your Face

If I’m being honest, this wasn’t my absolute favorite self-help book. The writing style didn’t match my personality at all, so it took me a little while to really get into the book. But I didn’t let that stop me from reading the valuable information inside. Once I got into the book, I finished it FAST. Hollis discusses the importance of accountability, getting your mind right, and getting out of the victim mentality and on the road to empowerment. What I learned from this book:

  • I needed to stop making excuses for not showing up for my friends, clients, and myself. If I really want to live the life I’ve dreamed of living, I need to hold myself accountable. I need to stop giving up on myself and the people in my life and start showing up for them…because that is what they deserve. That is what I deserve.
  • My level of productivity does not determine how much I am worth. Resting and keeping my stress levels low are just as important as working.
  • It’s okay to say no to opportunities, offers, ideas, etc. that don’t feel right to you. Even if you feel crazy at the time for saying no, it’s okay to listen to your intuition and trust your gut. Saying “no” at the right time can be damn empowering.

What all of these books have in common: LOVE. YOURSELF. FIRST.

Finding Faith in the Universe

“If you choose not to believe in something bigger than yourself, you will never be successful.”

When my coach told me this, I felt absolutely shaken to my core. It’s difficult to explain why I felt that way. I spent most of my life believing in something I later realized didn’t resonate with me. Afterwards, I felt confused and lost…so I chose to believe in nothing.

The mentality of “everything happens for a reason” and the idea of something, or someone, controlling my fate made my eyes roll. I scoffed at everything faith-related, only choosing to view it in a cynical lighting. I felt adamant about my lack of faith…but somehow, I still felt lost.

The more self-help books I started to read, the more I began to read about Universal Intelligence. It seemed every single book I read discussed something about faith, believing, affirmations/prayer, the Universe, meditation, etc. As much as I wanted to believe that was a coincidence, I slowly decided over time that, well, to put it frank, I needed to open my damn mind.

Now, don’t get me wrong. If you’re reading this and currently in a similar mindset, it’s okay! It is much easier said than done and takes time. But I came to a point where I got so tired of feeling lost, confused, negative, frustrated, broke, unfulfilled…I knew I needed to try SOMETHING.

Personally, the most eye-opening chapter I’ve read about Universal Intelligence was “The G Word” in Jen Sincero’s “You are a Badass.” Sincero discusses thinking of the big man in the sky more as energy, frequency, vibration, etc. She refers to the Universe as “Source Energy” and encourages readers to call it by what they feel comfortable with (God, the Universe, the Motherlode, and so on). Here’s a gamechanger quote from Sincero:

  • “The Universe is made up of Source Energy.
  • All energy vibrates at a certain frequency, which means you’re vibrating at a certain frequency, and everything you desire, and don’t desire, is also vibrating at a certain frequency.
  • Vibration attracts vibration

Focus on that which makes you feel good and ye shall find (attract) that which makes you feel good.”

So I started on my journey to finding faith. I had no idea where I was going or what I was doing at first, but I knew I needed to just try. I reread “the G word” chapter multiple times, I continued to research, and I started my practice of believing. At times I felt crazy, other times I felt like I was bullshitting myself…but I continued to repeat to myself “fake it till you make it, girl.”

I practiced raising my frequency by meditating, reciting affirmations, expressing gratitude, giving more, and believing in not only myself but also the Universe. And the more I practiced, the more I really started to shift my mindset and truly BELIEVE.

The more I believed, the better I started to feel. I wasn’t perfect with my practice, but I put in effort every single day in raising my vibrations/vibes/frequency. Let me tell you guys…it has opened a whole new world. I went from feeling like a victim to my circumstances, constantly asking “Why is this happening to me?” to affirming (and truly believing over time) “The Universe has my back and is working for me. This is happening FOR me, even if I can’t see it right now.”

I’ve been on this faith journey for almost a year now. Some days it feels easy, natural, exciting. Other days I need to remind myself that I’m being tested. But the most important part of this journey is to stay patient and never give up. Because life has become so much more positive, liberating, and purposeful now that I feel connected to the Universe.

Thank you, Universe. I see you.

Overcoming Negative Body Image Days

I have days when I feel great about myself. I throw on my favorite outfit, take a few cute pictures, and thrive off my current state of confidence. Then there’s days when I feel the complete opposite. I try on twenty different outfits, spend hours criticizing my body, and convince myself to cancel my plans for the day.

I used to let these days consume me. I often pressed the pause button on my life because I convinced myself that my body image defined me. While I still have negative body image days, I’ve learned how to embrace them rather than hide from them. It sounds much easier said than done, but I promise…practice makes perfect. Here are my best tips for coping with negative body image days:



Take a break from trying on different outfits and go outside. Breathe in the fresh air, listen to your music, take a friend/partner with you, and get those endorphins going. Often taking a walk completely clears my mind and helps me start fresh, regardless of the project I’m working on. It also makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something, even if it was small.

If walking isn’t your thing, get your endorphins going in another way! Run, lift weights, stretch, bike, swim, dance, etc. Just remember – you’re not doing this as a punishment to your body for the way it looks. You’re doing this to clear your mind, lift your spirits, and feel like the badass you already are.



You may not need one – take one anyway. Imagine cleansing yourself of all that negativity circulating in your mind. Take deep breaths, allowing the steam to open up your sinus passages. Take deeper breaths. Don’t underestimate how much self-care you need right now. Use your favorite smelling soap, crack open that new bath bomb, soak yourself in Epsom salt. Treat your body with care and your mind will follow.



My husband is an expert at finding the most ridiculous, hilarious content from Reddit. I’ve requested content from him so many times that we created a YouTube playlist for negative body image days. Yes – a playlist of bizarre, brainless entertainment that makes me laugh for absolutely no reason at all. After a good laugh, my mood is lifted, and my mind feels a million times lighter. If you’re struggling to find something funny, reach out to a friend who has the same sense of humor as you.


I’ve convinced myself countless times to cancel plans and stay in because of how strongly I feel about my body image – “there’s no way I can go out like this. I’m a mess and feel like garbage physically and mentally. I’ll just cancel, put on a sweatshirt, and cry myself to sleep.” But what if I didn’t cancel? What if I went out anyway, despite the fact that I’m scared, self-conscious, and feeling unworthy? What if I’m missing out on the most amazing night of my life because I’ve convinced myself I’m not enough?

So my best advice for you, the advice that I avoided for so long… go out anyway. Face that fear. Because every single time I’ve pushed through that pain and faced that fear, it’s ended in nothing but positivity and a great time. Go out with friends who know your struggles and are there to support you. Don’t miss out on any more of life’s precious moments.



Affirmations have been a game changer for me. Affirmations are simply giving yourself the emotional support and encouragement that you deserve. It’s so important that you practice affirmations on your bad days, too. My favorites for negative body image days are:

  • I am passionate and outrageously enthusiastic.
  • I am healthy and strong.
  • I am patient and trusting with my body.
  • I believe in myself and capabilities.
  • I am powerful and create the life I want (and deserve).
  • I am optimistic and believe things will always work out for the best.
  • I treat my body how I treat others – with kindness and respect.
  • I am focused and determined. I never give up.
  • I am unique and love being myself.


Have you ever had one of those days where you constantly feel on edge? It’s been hours and you still feel like you’re on edge of a breakdown? Let it out. Break down. Cry. Sometimes it’s healthy (and necessary) to release ourselves from that tight reign we hold on our emotions. It’s okay to feel frustrated, lost, scared, depressed, hopeless, etc. But don’t allow yourself to be swallowed by those emotions and sulk in them. Feel those emotions, cry it out, give yourself a big hug, and let it go. You’re a masterpiece and the world needs to see more of you.

How to Stay Hydrated

If I’m being honest, I don’t often have trouble staying hydrated. I love water (and also get bad headaches when I’m dehydrated). But my clients frequently ask for tips on how to stay hydrated during the day, especially during busy days. If you struggle with this, you’re not alone – and just a couple small adjustments to your day could make a dramatic difference in your water intake!



When I was learning how to recover from disordered eating, my therapist gifted me with advice that I still put into practice every single day. She said “Start your morning strong. Every damn day. It sets the tone for the entire day.” The first thing she recommended is to drink a full glass of water first thing in the morning. While we sleep, our body goes through a “fasting” period and needs nourishment when we wake up. One of the best ways to re-energize and start the day off right is to chug a full glass of water in the beginning of the day. That’s one glass down!



No, this doesn’t mean you have to carry around a gallon jug (although if that motivates you, by all means!) But having a water bottle that is bigger allows us to break down the water intake a little at a time. Mark on your water bottle how much water you would like to drink and by what time each day. For example, if you want to finish half of your water bottle by 10am, draw a line halfway down your water bottle and mark it “10am.” Breaking down the water intake into small goals makes the goals feel more attainable – and if you buy a water bottle that is half a gallon, you only need to drink two of those to reach your daily intake!



Just like anything in fitness, results take time, patience, and consistency. Building this habit won’t happen overnight and won’t necessarily be a perfect process. But the more your body gets used to hydration, the more it will crave it. To help build this habit more, I scheduled drinking water into my daily routine, making it a “non-negotiable meeting” with myself. I always made sure to show up for myself, and that pushed me to do a little better every day.


It’s 2019, folks. There is an app for about EVERYTHING! (It’s actually come to the point where I’m shocked when there isn’t an app that suits my needs. Millennial mindset?) Anyway, there are now several free apps downloadable for smart phones to help keep you accountable for your water intake. My sister downloaded one called “plant nanny.” Every time you drink water, you track it in your app and water your plant. If you fail to drink water for long periods of time, your plant could die! Silly…but it actually worked for her!

Other benefits to drinking more water include clearer skin, better digestion, helps muscle soreness, and boosts metabolism and energy levels.

How I Cleared My Skin

Clearing my skin (specifically my acne) has been one of my biggest struggles. After visiting two different dermatologists, testing multiple prescription medications, and attempting every face wash on the market, I felt completely defeated. One day I felt so fed up, I started researching all-natural remedies, made a list, and began my trial and error process. I learned a lot not only about my skin health, but also about my overall health.

While there was no magic pill or superfood that cleared my skin, I found one very important aspect in healing my skin: fixing my “leaky gut syndrome” (or rather, relieving it). After reading several articles, I essentially learned that leaky gut syndrome is when there is a lot of inflammation in the stomach due to having more “bad” bacteria in the stomach than good (at least, that’s what I took from the articles I read.) Taking care of my stomach health was ESSENTIAL to healing my skin! Here’s how I did that:



I originally eliminated dairy due to finding out I am lactose intolerant! I didn’t eliminate it overnight either – I slowly eliminated it day by day. But deciding to eliminate dairy was one of the best decisions I ever made. The hormones in dairy can cause extra inflammation in the body, and for me, there seemed to be a lot of inflammation in my stomach and in my sinuses. For years I had chronic sinus infections and sinus headaches – once I stopped eating dairy, I stopped having sinus issues!



Probiotics are so important for stomach health. Probiotics are the healthy bacteria that your gut needs to stay healthy. I personally use Paradise Earth’s Blend Daily Superfood Vitamin because it is an all-natural vitamin containing superfoods, probiotics, and iron. I also drink Synergy Trilogy kombucha once a day for extra probiotics, lemon juice benefits, and because it has fresh pressed ginger juice in it (another inflammation reducer)!



Once I started really researching leaky gut syndrome, I found the most common alleviator to be l-glutamine. Glutamine can help with the immune system, inflammation in the gut, and gut function. When purchasing this product on amazon, I found several reviews of people talking about how l-glutamine has helped with their IBS, gluten and dairy sensitivities, and especially their skin. When taking this consistently, I also noticed I can eat dairy without feeling like my stomach is going to explode (although I still break out and feel the after effects in my sinuses).



Fish oil pills are a fantastic way to get omega 3s, but I never wanted to take them due to the fishy after-burps. My friend, Katie, works for Plexus and introduced me to Omega 3s that contain superfoods in them rather than fish oil. I noticed the more superfoods, vegetables, nutrients in general I eat, the better I feel and the better my skin looks!



This is the only part of my skin care I changed for the surface of my skin. I switched from Clean and Clear products, which often dried out my skin, to a tea tree vegetable soap bar from Trader Joe’s. Not only is it much cheaper, I noticed the all-natural soap bar is much better for my skin than any other product I’ve utilized.



While this one was not one of the most important ones to clearing up my skin, I noticed buying a shower filter did help my hair and skin health. I am currently on well water, which means there are extra minerals in the water. I bought a shower filter on Amazon for around $25 to help filter the water. Plus, the filter lasts 8-12 months!


Here are the products I used to help my stomach health/skin. I hope this was helpful!

3 Ways to Get Back on Track

We’ve all been there. We go on a cruise where we eat everything in sight, we get stressed out in the middle of the semester and fall off the wagon…maybe it’s for a few days, maybe it’s for a few months. It’s life! Life gets in the way sometimes. But we can all get back on track towards our goals with time. Here are three ways to get back on track:


Last time you went to the gym, maybe you were going 5-6 times a week. When you step inside the gym again, you’re going to want to pick up that the weight you were using before. Or run the same distance you did last time. But that’s going to be extremely discouraging. You may not be able to lift as heavy as before or run the same distance/time you ran before. But that’s okay. 

After a break, no matter how long the break was, you should be proud of yourself for hitting the gym again. Using a lighter weight or running a shorter distance doesn’t mean you’re a failure…it means your human. We all have our ups and downs, and sometimes we need to acknowledge the downs. So, start slow. The week you come back, try to get to the gym 2-3 days during the week instead of the usual 5-6. You can always build it back up to 5-6 days later when you get back into the routine. Being overwhelmed will only make you feel overwhelmed and not motivated. Which brings me to my next point!



Sometimes to reach your goals you’ll have to wake up earlier, plan ahead, and overall use more energy and time. Some days you will feel more motivated than others to jump out of bed to hit the gym or meal prep the night before. Everyone has their good days and their bad days. But the most important thing you can do for yourself is not give up. Motivation isn’t always there, but your goals are. And they will not be reached if you spend every unmotivated day in bed. Use your goals as motivation.

Post motivational quotes around your room. Find a picture that describes your goal. Make a plan. If you need to, give yourself some tough love. If you need to, give yourself a hug. And go get it done! You will not regret giving it your best shot. But you will regret not trying.



Finally, keep yourself accountable with your goals. When you are on your own journey, it is easier to fall of the wagon because only YOU know your goals and limits. But what if someone else knew about them? Would you be as likely to give up?

Find a gym buddy who has similar goals to you. Hire a coach and/or personal trainer that will be waiting for you at certain check-ins. Tell your roommate or significant other about your goals so they know you’re making some adjustments into a healthy lifestyle. Join a DietBet. When in doubt, tell social media! Many have found themselves accountability in posting consistently on Facebook or Instagram about their day to day experiences in chasing after their goals. Find what works for you!


Falling into Place: The Importance of Self-Love


These pictures are about two years apart. Same amazing man I’m holding hands with that I’ve been with for almost four years now, and about 40 pounds down in the right picture. The right picture was the first time I had ever felt confident enough to wear a bikini in public.

Ladies, do NOT go on a fitness journey only for the intention of trying to find a special someone. The special someone you meet will love you for what’s on the inside and think you’re beautiful at any size. Steven called me beautiful every day whether I was 140 pounds or close to 200. There is a guy out there that will do the same exact thing for you, too.

When you’re on a journey to become healthier, do it for you. Do it to make yourself feel confident, to have better health (or get rid of some health issues), to learn to love yourself more, to meet those goals you’ve always wanted to reach, and to have your outside match your inside. Learn to LOVE YOURSELF and the rest will fall into place. It’s not at all selfish to love yourself. It’s necessary. <3



Life is way too short to constantly be looking down on yourself. Find ways to make you feel confident, strong, and overall happy. Buy clothes that make you feel good. Workout in the morning start your day off right and give you energy. Look in the mirror and smile. List some things you love about yourself. Find little ways to make yourself feel more confident. It’s not selfish to love yourself. It’s necessary and mentally healthy. These little things that you change will create an entirely new outlook on yourself and life in general. So figure out the sources of negativity in your life, let them go, and be proud and content with what your body and mind are capable of doing. 🙂