25 L.A. MOTHERS ON THEIR SELF-CARE SURVIVAL TIPS

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Hot baths, long walks, podcasts, and reality T.V.—we asked 25 inspiring L.A. mamas what they do to care for themselves, and those were by far the most popular answers. The women were all out to celebrate (and glean tips from) superstar doula and LOOM co-founder Erica Chidi Cohen, who just launched an online birth course based on her bestselling book, Nurture—the non-judgmental, option-filled, evidence-informed guide written to support women on their unique journey to motherhood. Self-care was the topic of the panel at LOOM, which featured Geri Hirsch, TyLynn Nguyen, Kelly LeVeque and Ashley Hinton. Guests including Deepika Chopra, Katherine Kleveland, Zoila Darton, and Kelly McKnight shared their honest and revealing thoughts on staying balanced while on motherhood’s wild ride. Click through the slideshow below to read them all.

BRANDI SELLERS, DOULA, @MOMSINCOLOR CO-CREATOR, MOM TO JUPITER (4 MONTHS), JEDI (4), AND JAX (11)    How do you nurture yourself?  "I nurture myself by listening to myself. I listen very well."   What does self-care mean to you?  "Self-care means to me, taking space. Has it become more important now that I have children? Yes, absolutely. If I'm not good to myself I'm no good for anyone."   What forms of free self-care do you perform regularly?  "Eating, and making myself a really good meal. Not just thrown together stuff that a lot of times moms do. But really sitting and taking time. And I wait for all the kids to be out of the house so they're not coming over, 'Mommy can I have some?' 'No you can not. My meal.' Taking time to really prepare myself a really good and intentional meal. That's free."   Find out more about    Brandi Sellers    by following along on Instagram!

BRANDI SELLERS, DOULA, @MOMSINCOLOR CO-CREATOR, MOM TO JUPITER (4 MONTHS), JEDI (4), AND JAX (11)

How do you nurture yourself?
"I nurture myself by listening to myself. I listen very well."

What does self-care mean to you?
"Self-care means to me, taking space. Has it become more important now that I have children? Yes, absolutely. If I'm not good to myself I'm no good for anyone."

What forms of free self-care do you perform regularly?
"Eating, and making myself a really good meal. Not just thrown together stuff that a lot of times moms do. But really sitting and taking time. And I wait for all the kids to be out of the house so they're not coming over, 'Mommy can I have some?' 'No you can not. My meal.' Taking time to really prepare myself a really good and intentional meal. That's free."

Find out more about Brandi Sellers by following along on Instagram!

YHANNI JAMES, FOUNDER OF MAMA MAKERS COLLECTIVE, MOM TO NĀLI (20 MONTHS), ECHO (20 MONTHS), JUDAH (6 YEARS), AND ONE ON THE WAY!    How do you nurture yourself?   "This questions is so challenging, because 'nurture' I feel is a very large word, like such an endearing word. I feel like it doesn't equal what I do to nurture myself, however spending time away from my kids is not only one way I nurture myself, but it's also a way I nurture my family because it enables me to come back a fuller, more mindful, more graceful mother. So, just taking time alone, and spending time."   If you had 2-3 hours free to yourself, what would you do with it?  "I’d go to Huntington Gardens in Pasadena. It's like my special place. And if I had two to three hours, I would just go there and walk around and drink tea. I don't know, just sit down and listen to birds, just be present."   Find out more about    Yhanni James    by following along on Instagram!

YHANNI JAMES, FOUNDER OF MAMA MAKERS COLLECTIVE, MOM TO NĀLI (20 MONTHS), ECHO (20 MONTHS), JUDAH (6 YEARS), AND ONE ON THE WAY!

How do you nurture yourself?
"This questions is so challenging, because 'nurture' I feel is a very large word, like such an endearing word. I feel like it doesn't equal what I do to nurture myself, however spending time away from my kids is not only one way I nurture myself, but it's also a way I nurture my family because it enables me to come back a fuller, more mindful, more graceful mother. So, just taking time alone, and spending time."

If you had 2-3 hours free to yourself, what would you do with it?
"I’d go to Huntington Gardens in Pasadena. It's like my special place. And if I had two to three hours, I would just go there and walk around and drink tea. I don't know, just sit down and listen to birds, just be present."

Find out more about Yhanni James by following along on Instagram!

WHITNEY PORT, T.V. PERSONALITY, FASHION DESIGNER, AUTHOR, AND MOM TO SONNY SANFORD (1.5)    What does self-care mean to you?   "Self-care just means for me doing anything that fills me up in order to show up for my family afterwards. It's anything to make me feel whole again, and to make me feel a little bit more rested and relaxed."   If you had 2-3 hours free to yourself, what would you do with it?  "I think I would spend an hour watching T.V. I think I just need to veg and like just let my body just kind of go numb. And then the other hour I think I would probably go to the mall and get a massage. Or got to a hot yoga class with my husband—something to take care of myself or nurture my relationship with my husband."   Find out more about    Whitney Port    by following along on Instagram

WHITNEY PORT, T.V. PERSONALITY, FASHION DESIGNER, AUTHOR, AND MOM TO SONNY SANFORD (1.5)

What does self-care mean to you?
"Self-care just means for me doing anything that fills me up in order to show up for my family afterwards. It's anything to make me feel whole again, and to make me feel a little bit more rested and relaxed."

If you had 2-3 hours free to yourself, what would you do with it?
"I think I would spend an hour watching T.V. I think I just need to veg and like just let my body just kind of go numb. And then the other hour I think I would probably go to the mall and get a massage. Or got to a hot yoga class with my husband—something to take care of myself or nurture my relationship with my husband."

Find out more about Whitney Port by following along on Instagram

STEPHANIE DANLER, AUTHOR OF SWEETBITTER, CREATOR/WRITER OF SWEETBITTER T.V., AND MOM TO JULIAN JAMES WILD (3 MONTHS)    How do you nurture yourself?  "It's awful. It's so challenging. I find most women that I talk to, caregiving for others comes naturally, but not to yourself, which is why you have to enlist other people like a doula, like a partner, like a best friend, like a therapist."   What does self-care mean to you?   "Oh, it's become so much more important, but it's also changed. I think before I had Julian, self-care was this 10-step Korean skincare routine that I did every single night, and I never really anticipated that that would just go out the window along with a lot of other little rituals that I developed. And now, self-care is kindness. It's space and kindness and quiet. Even just driving here without Julian, I was like, 'Let's not have any music on in the car. Let's just be quiet.' Yes, it changes drastically. I still would love to go to the Korean spa and do my whole routine, but right now it's just about space and quiet and kindness."   Find out more about    Stephanie Danler    by following along on Instagram!

STEPHANIE DANLER, AUTHOR OF SWEETBITTER, CREATOR/WRITER OF SWEETBITTER T.V., AND MOM TO JULIAN JAMES WILD (3 MONTHS)

How do you nurture yourself?
"It's awful. It's so challenging. I find most women that I talk to, caregiving for others comes naturally, but not to yourself, which is why you have to enlist other people like a doula, like a partner, like a best friend, like a therapist."

What does self-care mean to you?
"Oh, it's become so much more important, but it's also changed. I think before I had Julian, self-care was this 10-step Korean skincare routine that I did every single night, and I never really anticipated that that would just go out the window along with a lot of other little rituals that I developed. And now, self-care is kindness. It's space and kindness and quiet. Even just driving here without Julian, I was like, 'Let's not have any music on in the car. Let's just be quiet.' Yes, it changes drastically. I still would love to go to the Korean spa and do my whole routine, but right now it's just about space and quiet and kindness."

Find out more about Stephanie Danler by following along on Instagram!

ERICA CHIDI COHEN, DOULA, AUTHOR OF  NURTURE  AND CEO OF LOOM    How do you nurture yourself, and do you find doing so easy or challenging?  "I try and keep one day of the week unscheduled, no calls, meetings, or even social dates. It’s really important that I get least one day of downtime. It helps me feel anchored   and supports my imagination."   What does self-care mean to you?  "It means being aggressive about creating space for the things that truly nourish you and bring you pleasure."    If you had 2-3 hours free to yourself, what would you do with it?  "Probably take a Pilates class with  Meghan Pickrell at Mind & Motion , followed up with an infrared sauna session at  Hotbox , and an episode of  Killing Eve  or  Rupaul's Drag Race ."    What forms of free self-care do you perform regularly?  "Long baths, sleeping in occasionally, and setting healthy emotional boundaries."   Find out more about    Erica Chidi Cohen    by following along on Instagram!

ERICA CHIDI COHEN, DOULA, AUTHOR OF NURTURE AND CEO OF LOOM

How do you nurture yourself, and do you find doing so easy or challenging?
"I try and keep one day of the week unscheduled, no calls, meetings, or even social dates. It’s really important that I get least one day of downtime. It helps me feel anchored and supports my imagination."

What does self-care mean to you?
"It means being aggressive about creating space for the things that truly nourish you and bring you pleasure."

If you had 2-3 hours free to yourself, what would you do with it?
"Probably take a Pilates class with Meghan Pickrell at Mind & Motion, followed up with an infrared sauna session at Hotbox, and an episode of Killing Eve or Rupaul's Drag Race."

What forms of free self-care do you perform regularly?
"Long baths, sleeping in occasionally, and setting healthy emotional boundaries."

Find out more about Erica Chidi Cohen by following along on Instagram!

RAMONA ORLEY, DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY FOR TREEHOUSE COLIVE, MOM TO PENELOPE SUZANNE ORLEY (2 MONTHS)    How do you nurture yourself?  "I’m an extrovert by nature, and have been called a social butterfly more times than I can count. I’m always making plans and often on the go. So, when I nurture myself, I do so by slowing things down, tuning in with my body, and often turning to nature. Before becoming a mother this would mean long hikes with our puppy in Griffith Park, gardening in our backyard, or just spending an afternoon cooking with delicious produce from the farmers market. With a 2 month old, it’s hard to find time for these moments, so I’m learning new ways to nurture myself with my daughter. We have discovered The Huntington Botanical Gardens, where Penny and I will spend hours laying on the grass and staring up at the clouds."   If you had 2-3 hours free to yourself, what would you do with it?  "Go see the super bloom! There is nothing I love more than a road trip and field full of flowers!"   Find out more about    Ramona Orley    by following along on Instagram!

RAMONA ORLEY, DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY FOR TREEHOUSE COLIVE, MOM TO PENELOPE SUZANNE ORLEY (2 MONTHS)

How do you nurture yourself?
"I’m an extrovert by nature, and have been called a social butterfly more times than I can count. I’m always making plans and often on the go. So, when I nurture myself, I do so by slowing things down, tuning in with my body, and often turning to nature. Before becoming a mother this would mean long hikes with our puppy in Griffith Park, gardening in our backyard, or just spending an afternoon cooking with delicious produce from the farmers market. With a 2 month old, it’s hard to find time for these moments, so I’m learning new ways to nurture myself with my daughter. We have discovered The Huntington Botanical Gardens, where Penny and I will spend hours laying on the grass and staring up at the clouds."

If you had 2-3 hours free to yourself, what would you do with it?
"Go see the super bloom! There is nothing I love more than a road trip and field full of flowers!"

Find out more about Ramona Orley by following along on Instagram!

ZOILA DARTON, FOUNDER OF @WORD.AGENCY AND @SALA.SPACE, MOM TO DAKOTA (1)    What does self-care mean to you?  "I try to get at least one hour to myself every morning. I have discussed with my husband that this is a really important part of my health. It involves a short meditation, some writing, I pull a card, and I read every morning. That has helped me ground myself so much. I do not look at social media until I am done with my morning routine. Since a lot of my work is done on there, I make sure to schedule posts using  Hootsuite  or  Planoly , because I know social media is a big part of our lives. Schedule your stuff in the morning. You do not need to be on there. As soon as you get online, everybody's shit is in your head. I'm still breastfeeding, so I do feed my son for 20 minutes in bed every morning, which I love. Then I hand him off to my husband. And he makes breakfast and I know that that's a privilege for me. I'm the daughter of a single mother, so I understand that not every woman has that privilege. But you do have the power to take the time for yourself."   What forms of free self-care do you perform regularly?  "Meditating. Taking my kid to the park is, oddly enough, a form of self-care, because it's really easy when I have him to not do it and to just have him in the house and do work. But I know that taking him out to the park or taking him to a playdate or whatever during the week is a form of self-care. I get to step away from work and really be present."   Find out more about    Zoila Darton    by following along on Instagram!

ZOILA DARTON, FOUNDER OF @WORD.AGENCY AND @SALA.SPACE, MOM TO DAKOTA (1)

What does self-care mean to you?
"I try to get at least one hour to myself every morning. I have discussed with my husband that this is a really important part of my health. It involves a short meditation, some writing, I pull a card, and I read every morning. That has helped me ground myself so much. I do not look at social media until I am done with my morning routine. Since a lot of my work is done on there, I make sure to schedule posts using Hootsuite or Planoly, because I know social media is a big part of our lives. Schedule your stuff in the morning. You do not need to be on there. As soon as you get online, everybody's shit is in your head. I'm still breastfeeding, so I do feed my son for 20 minutes in bed every morning, which I love. Then I hand him off to my husband. And he makes breakfast and I know that that's a privilege for me. I'm the daughter of a single mother, so I understand that not every woman has that privilege. But you do have the power to take the time for yourself."

What forms of free self-care do you perform regularly?
"Meditating. Taking my kid to the park is, oddly enough, a form of self-care, because it's really easy when I have him tonotdo it and to just have him in the house and do work. But I know that taking him out to the park or taking him to a playdate or whatever during the week is a form of self-care. I get to step away from work and really be present."

Find out more about Zoila Darton by following along on Instagram!

RACHAEL HARRAH, DESIGNER, MOM TO WYNN (3.5) AND MAR (2 MONTHS)    How do you nurture yourself?  "Being two months postpartum with baby #2, finding time for myself is quite challenging at the moment. Brushing my teeth before noon, taking a shower, preparing myself a nourishing meal, and visiting with a friend at home are some small things that have all been incredibly nurturing for me lately."   What does self-care mean to you?   "Currently, self-care is simply not an option—I must take care of myself, on the most basic level, in order to take care of Mar and the rest of my family, my home, my business. To me, self-care doesn’t need to be a big grand gesture or anything lavish, but it is absolutely paramount as a mother—and more important than ever with a new baby."   If you had 2-3 hours free to yourself, what would you do with it?  "Sleep! It’s cliche, but I feel much more capable when I’m well rested, and sleep is just so elusive right now being in the midst of this fourth trimester."    What forms of free self-care do you perform regularly?  "Asking for help when I need it. Choosing rest over to-dos—that old saying 'sleep when the baby sleeps.' Taking a walk when the sun is out, with Mar in a Solly Baby wrap where she can’t help but nap! Staying off of social media (ahem, Instagram) for a few days."     Find out more about    Rachael Harrah    by following along on Instagram!

RACHAEL HARRAH, DESIGNER, MOM TO WYNN (3.5) AND MAR (2 MONTHS)

How do you nurture yourself?
"Being two months postpartum with baby #2, finding time for myself is quite challenging at the moment. Brushing my teeth before noon, taking a shower, preparing myself a nourishing meal, and visiting with a friend at home are some small things that have all been incredibly nurturing for me lately."

What does self-care mean to you?
"Currently, self-care is simply not an option—I must take care of myself, on the most basic level, in order to take care of Mar and the rest of my family, my home, my business. To me, self-care doesn’t need to be a big grand gesture or anything lavish, but it is absolutely paramount as a mother—and more important than ever with a new baby."

If you had 2-3 hours free to yourself, what would you do with it?
"Sleep! It’s cliche, but I feel much more capable when I’m well rested, and sleep is just so elusive right now being in the midst of this fourth trimester."

What forms of free self-care do you perform regularly?
"Asking for help when I need it. Choosing rest over to-dos—that old saying 'sleep when the baby sleeps.' Taking a walk when the sun is out, with Mar in a Solly Baby wrap where she can’t help but nap! Staying off of social media (ahem, Instagram) for a few days."

Find out more about Rachael Harrah by following along on Instagram!

PRISCILLA VEGA, PUBLICIST FOR PASSIONATE WOMEN AND CREATIVES, MOM TO INA (6), AND OZZY (2)    How do you nurture yourself?  "I have found a way to find personal satisfaction in my work, so it feels nurturing and intentional at the same time. There are only so many hours in the day, so I’ve become super intentional with my colleagues and clients and work friends. They all blend seamlessly into my personal life and values, so work feels like personal time."   What does self-care mean to you?   "I’ve realized being happy is the most important thing ever as a mother. My two-year-old will randomly ask me as I’m feeding him, 'Are you happy?' and it’s such a pivotal, full-circle moment for me, because I vividly remember feeding my first child at two weeks old and not getting any sort of reaction from her and I thought to myself, is she happy? That question was everything to me as I held my tiny creation. Happiness is the core of all the things and expressing to ourselves and each other that level of happiness is just as important. Self-care is so important but also acknowledging its importance and sharing the value of it with our children is everything."   Find out more about    Priscilla Vega    by following along on Instagram!

PRISCILLA VEGA, PUBLICIST FOR PASSIONATE WOMEN AND CREATIVES, MOM TO INA (6), AND OZZY (2)

How do you nurture yourself?
"I have found a way to find personal satisfaction in my work, so it feels nurturing and intentional at the same time. There are only so many hours in the day, so I’ve become super intentional with my colleagues and clients and work friends. They all blend seamlessly into my personal life and values, so work feels like personal time."

What does self-care mean to you?
"I’ve realized being happy is the most important thing ever as a mother. My two-year-old will randomly ask me as I’m feeding him, 'Are you happy?' and it’s such a pivotal, full-circle moment for me, because I vividly remember feeding my first child at two weeks old and not getting any sort of reaction from her and I thought to myself, is she happy? That question was everything to me as I held my tiny creation. Happiness is the core of all the things and expressing to ourselves and each other that level of happiness is just as important. Self-care is so important but also acknowledging its importance and sharing the value of it with our children is everything."

Find out more about Priscilla Vega by following along on Instagram!

NATALIE ACALA, FOUNDER OF @FASHIONMAMAS, @FATHERSINFASHION, @KIDSFASHIONFAIR, AND @MAMASMAKINGITOFFICIAL, MOM TO DIEGO (5) AND RIO ROSE (8 MONTHS)    How do you nurture yourself?   "I like to take some time to recognize what I have. My big thing right now is walking into a room and being aware of everything around me. My two beautiful babies in the room, my husband there, just having a home to raise my family in. It's all meditative right now for me, and I'm also taking really long baths. The time of recognizing the room, but also like 'Everyone get away from me', so I can take a long, long bath and a long, long shower and just have those moments to myself. And working out—I try to do that at least two to three times a week. I put everyone before me all the time, and I'm trying my best, now that Rio's eight months old, to think about me and be kinder to myself. I'm really, really hard on myself, but I think that that's the ongoing thing with a lot of moms."   What does self-care mean to you?   "That's a great question. Self-care means to me putting myself first before everything and everyone else, so taking that time to brush my teeth before I brush everyone else's teeth. Just like when you're on a flight and there may be a disaster, putting on your face mask first before the others, I'm really trying to be literal about that. But self-care can also mean after the kids have went to bed, watching really shitty reality T.V. and letting my brain dump everything from the day. Sometimes that's the most wonderful moment, me and my husband just sitting there laughing at  Vanderpump Rules  and we're like, 'You know what, that gave us a glimpse of pre-baby life and we're ready to start the next day.'"   Find out more about    Natalie Acala    by following along on Instagram!

NATALIE ACALA, FOUNDER OF @FASHIONMAMAS, @FATHERSINFASHION, @KIDSFASHIONFAIR, AND @MAMASMAKINGITOFFICIAL, MOM TO DIEGO (5) AND RIO ROSE (8 MONTHS)

How do you nurture yourself?
"I like to take some time to recognize what I have. My big thing right now is walking into a room and being aware of everything around me. My two beautiful babies in the room, my husband there, just having a home to raise my family in. It's all meditative right now for me, and I'm also taking really long baths. The time of recognizing the room, but also like 'Everyone get away from me', so I can take a long, long bath and a long, long shower and just have those moments to myself. And working out—I try to do that at least two to three times a week. I put everyone before me all the time, and I'm trying my best, now that Rio's eight months old, to think about me and be kinder to myself. I'm really, really hard on myself, but I think that that's the ongoing thing with a lot of moms."

What does self-care mean to you?
"That's a great question. Self-care means to me putting myself first before everything and everyone else, so taking that time to brush my teeth before I brush everyone else's teeth. Just like when you're on a flight and there may be a disaster, putting on your face mask first before the others, I'm really trying to be literal about that. But self-care can also mean after the kids have went to bed, watching really shitty reality T.V. and letting my brain dump everything from the day. Sometimes that's the most wonderful moment, me and my husband just sitting there laughing at Vanderpump Rules and we're like, 'You know what, that gave us a glimpse of pre-baby life and we're ready to start the next day.'"

Find out more about Natalie Acala by following along on Instagram!

MARGARET KLEVELAND, CEO AND CO-FOUNDER OF DÔEN, MOM TO JULIAN RAMEY (4) AND KATHERINE KLEVELAND, CCO AND CO-FOUNDER OF DÔEN, AND MOM TO WILDER (7), SHEPARD (5), AND PRAIRIE (11 MONTHS)    How do you nurture yourself?    Katherine : "I think it goes in waves. I think I really prioritize it when I'm needing it. And then other times, when there's a certain area in my life calling for more attention, I let it slide. I think I always come back to it because it's there in my routine. But I think it just depends."   Margaret : "My non-negotiable routine is definitely a bath every night. It really allows me to take a minute and enjoy something that needs to happen anyway. The vibe in my house is that it can be in chaos, my family can come in and out and talk to me—but the bath is happening!"   If you had 2–3 hours free to yourself, what would you do with it?   Katherine : "Two to three?! I have an almost one year old, so that just doesn't sound real. Take a bath, read a book, kind of organize...things for myself that I have wanted to do. I don't really know. Two to three hours by myself...."   Margaret : "Hot yoga, every time."   Find out more about    Margaret    &    Katherine Kleveland    by following along on Instagram!

MARGARET KLEVELAND, CEO AND CO-FOUNDER OF DÔEN, MOM TO JULIAN RAMEY (4) AND KATHERINE KLEVELAND, CCO AND CO-FOUNDER OF DÔEN, AND MOM TO WILDER (7), SHEPARD (5), AND PRAIRIE (11 MONTHS)

How do you nurture yourself?
Katherine: "I think it goes in waves. I think I really prioritize it when I'm needing it. And then other times, when there's a certain area in my life calling for more attention, I let it slide. I think I always come back to it because it's there in my routine. But I think it just depends."

Margaret: "My non-negotiable routine is definitely a bath every night. It really allows me to take a minute and enjoy something that needs to happen anyway. The vibe in my house is that it can be in chaos, my family can come in and out and talk to me—but the bath is happening!"

If you had 2–3 hours free to yourself, what would you do with it?
Katherine: "Two to three?! I have an almost one year old, so that just doesn't sound real. Take a bath, read a book, kind of organize...things for myself that I have wanted to do. I don't really know. Two to three hours by myself...."

Margaret: "Hot yoga, every time."

Find out more about Margaret & Katherine Kleveland by following along on Instagram!

LINDSAY DAHL, CLEAN BEAUTY ACTIVIST AND WRITER, AND SVP OF SOCIAL MISSION AT BEAUTYCOUNTER, MOM TO PEPPER (3 MONTHS)    How do you nurture yourself?   "I nurture myself by going to bed ridiculously early and with long yoga classes and early mornings by myself writing for my website."   What does self-care mean to you?   "I think self-care means finding the time for myself and in the few short months I've been a mother. It's always been important to me, but I think the time...finding the time to do it is what has become challenging since I've become a mother. But it's definitely something that I've always valued, but it feels more precious now."   If you had 2-3 hours free to yourself, what would you do with it?  "I would either do hot yoga, I would go for a walk on the beach, or I'd write."   Find out more about    Lindsay Dahl    by following along on Instagram!

LINDSAY DAHL, CLEAN BEAUTY ACTIVIST AND WRITER, AND SVP OF SOCIAL MISSION AT BEAUTYCOUNTER, MOM TO PEPPER (3 MONTHS)

How do you nurture yourself?
"I nurture myself by going to bed ridiculously early and with long yoga classes and early mornings by myself writing for my website."

What does self-care mean to you?
"I think self-care means finding the time for myself and in the few short months I've been a mother. It's always been important to me, but I think the time...finding the time to do it is what has become challenging since I've become a mother. But it's definitely something that I've always valued, but it feels more precious now."

If you had 2-3 hours free to yourself, what would you do with it?
"I would either do hot yoga, I would go for a walk on the beach, or I'd write."

Find out more about Lindsay Dahl by following along on Instagram!

DR. DEEPIKA CHOPRA, OPTIMISM DOCTOR™️ AND MOM TO JAG (21 MONTHS)    How do you nurture yourself?   "For me, nurturing is really hanging on tightly to my rituals. I'm really big about rituals. I like pairing a physical ritual with a mental one. Research says that works best. I'm kind of a science nerd, so I basically recited the same mantra, Sanskrit mantra, every morning when I wash my face since I was like seven. And I didn't really realize it was a ritual until this year. And I never miss it, and it's something I can do anywhere, like if I'm traveling for work, and it's free. Familial rituals are important, too. On Sundays, my son, husband and I, we listen to The Beach Boys while making breakfast, and I find if I don't get that, all of us, if we don't get that ritual together, we don't feel nurtured for the week ahead."   What does self-care mean to you?  "It's kind of like what they tell you on an airplane. 'Put your mask on first before you put a child's mask on.' I never quite understood that until now. It's really hard to give when your cup is empty. So for me, it's not about always filling my cup but just noticing where my cup is. Like how full is it? Or what point in my cup do I feel like I just can't take anymore? So knowing my limits and boundaries. For me, this year especially, a huge part of self-care has been boundaries and saying the word no. Yeah, literally RSVPing 'no' is a form of self-care."   Find out more about    Dr. Deepika Chopra    by following along on Instagram!

DR. DEEPIKA CHOPRA, OPTIMISM DOCTOR™️ AND MOM TO JAG (21 MONTHS)

How do you nurture yourself?
"For me, nurturing is really hanging on tightly to my rituals. I'm really big about rituals. I like pairing a physical ritual with a mental one. Research says that works best. I'm kind of a science nerd, so I basically recited the same mantra, Sanskrit mantra, every morning when I wash my face since I was like seven. And I didn't really realize it was a ritual until this year. And I never miss it, and it's something I can do anywhere, like if I'm traveling for work, and it's free. Familial rituals are important, too. On Sundays, my son, husband and I, we listen to The Beach Boys while making breakfast, and I find if I don't get that, all of us, if we don't get that ritual together, we don't feel nurtured for the week ahead."

What does self-care mean to you?
"It's kind of like what they tell you on an airplane. 'Put your mask on first before you put a child's mask on.' I never quite understood that until now. It's really hard to give when your cup is empty. So for me, it's not about always filling my cup but just noticing where my cup is. Like how full is it? Or what point in my cup do I feel like I just can't take anymore? So knowing my limits and boundaries. For me, this year especially, a huge part of self-care has been boundaries and saying the word no. Yeah, literally RSVPing 'no' is a form of self-care."

Find out more about Dr. Deepika Chopra by following along on Instagram!

KELLY MCKNIGHT DOULA, BREASTFEEDING CONSULTANT, CREATOR OF SINCERELY MAMA, CO-FOUNDER OF MOMS IN COLOR, MOM TO JASON (8), KAILA (6), JAMESON (4), AND ONE MORE ON THE WAY!    How do you nurture yourself?   "At this current moment, I can honestly say it is really difficult to find the time, being a mom of three, and being pregnant really deep into my second trimester. But I like little things that I can do quick and are good for me. So, it's like quick baths, with Epsom salts and essential oils, taking walks after I take the kids to school. Little, inexpensive, 15-to-20 minute things, a couple of times a day, is what fills my cup right now."   If you had 2-3 hours free to yourself, what would you do with it?  "Two to three hours. That's a good amount of time. I would meditate. I would pray. It's such a trip, being a mom. Realistically, I would do laundry, I would get the clothes out for tomorrow, and pack lunches."   Find out more about    Kelly Mcknight    by following along on Instagram!

KELLY MCKNIGHT DOULA, BREASTFEEDING CONSULTANT, CREATOR OF SINCERELY MAMA, CO-FOUNDER OF MOMS IN COLOR, MOM TO JASON (8), KAILA (6), JAMESON (4), AND ONE MORE ON THE WAY!

How do you nurture yourself?
"At this current moment, I can honestly say it is really difficult to find the time, being a mom of three, and being pregnant really deep into my second trimester. But I like little things that I can do quick and are good for me. So, it's like quick baths, with Epsom salts and essential oils, taking walks after I take the kids to school. Little, inexpensive, 15-to-20 minute things, a couple of times a day, is what fills my cup right now."

If you had 2-3 hours free to yourself, what would you do with it?
"Two to three hours. That's a good amount of time. I would meditate. I would pray. It's such a trip, being a mom. Realistically, I would do laundry, I would get the clothes out for tomorrow, and pack lunches."

Find out more about Kelly Mcknight by following along on Instagram!

KELLY LEVEQUE, HOLISTIC NUTRITIONIST, WELLNESS EXPERT, HEALTH COACH, AUTHOR, AND MOM TO SEBASTIAN (4 MONTHS)    How do you nurture yourself?   "Well, before I had my son, it was very easy, because it was just all about how I was taking care of myself, whether that was yoga or making food for myself and my husband, taking an infrared sauna, even a walk around the neighborhood. Insert my son—for the past five months and my heart and soul was with him. And so I find it challenging to find a balance for that. So, what has become my new normal is those hours happen before he wakes up and after he's asleep. I never thought I'd be a morning person, but I find myself in yoga classes at 5:30 or 6 a.m. And pre-baby me would think that's crazy."   What does self-care mean to you?   "I think self-care is just making the time for yourself, and it could be as simple as jumping on a phone call with your best friend or it could be as luxurious as getting a massage or a mani-pedi. But it's just really not forgetting about yourself. You can be pulled in so many different directions and you're the only one who's going to prioritize you. And if you don't protect that time, it goes away."   Find out more about    Kelly LeVeque    by following along on Instagram!

KELLY LEVEQUE, HOLISTIC NUTRITIONIST, WELLNESS EXPERT, HEALTH COACH, AUTHOR, AND MOM TO SEBASTIAN (4 MONTHS)

How do you nurture yourself?
"Well, before I had my son, it was very easy, because it was just all about how I was taking care of myself, whether that was yoga or making food for myself and my husband, taking an infrared sauna, even a walk around the neighborhood. Insert my son—for the past five months and my heart and soul was with him. And so I find it challenging to find a balance for that. So, what has become my new normal is those hours happen before he wakes up and after he's asleep. I never thought I'd be a morning person, but I find myself in yoga classes at 5:30 or 6 a.m. And pre-baby me would think that's crazy."

What does self-care mean to you?
"I think self-care is just making the time for yourself, and it could be as simple as jumping on a phone call with your best friend or it could be as luxurious as getting a massage or a mani-pedi. But it's just really not forgetting about yourself. You can be pulled in so many different directions and you're the only one who's going to prioritize you. And if you don't protect that time, it goes away."

Find out more about Kelly LeVeque by following along on Instagram!

MELISSA SONICO, WRITER, DESIGNER, MOM TO HARRISON (3) AND ONE ON THE WAY    How do you nurture yourself?    " I'm a big reader, and I'm a writer. I got my MFA in creative writing and I write short fiction. And so I like doing that. It is a little more difficult having a toddler—my son's three. And then we're expecting in May. But I like short fiction, so it's easy to sneak in just a short story here and there."   What does self-care mean to you?   "For me, I think self-care is just having some time to myself, even if I'm not really doing anything much."   If you had 2-3 hours free to yourself, what would you do with it?  "Just like putting on a record and lighting a candle or reading or something is what I would normally do."   Find out more about    Melissa Sonico    by following along on Instagram!

MELISSA SONICO, WRITER, DESIGNER, MOM TO HARRISON (3) AND ONE ON THE WAY

How do you nurture yourself?
"I'm a big reader, and I'm a writer. I got my MFA in creative writing and I write short fiction. And so I like doing that. It is a little more difficult having a toddler—my son's three. And then we're expecting in May. But I like short fiction, so it's easy to sneak in just a short story here and there."

What does self-care mean to you?
"For me, I think self-care is just having some time to myself, even if I'm not really doing anything much."

If you had 2-3 hours free to yourself, what would you do with it?
"Just like putting on a record and lighting a candle or reading or something is what I would normally do."

Find out more about Melissa Sonico by following along on Instagram!

JESSIE DE LOWE, CO-FOUNDER OF HOW YOU GLOW, MANIFESTATION COACH, ART THERAPIST, MADLY FOREVER PODCAST HOST, AND MOM TO AMELIE (21 MONTHS)    How do you nurture yourself?  "I nurture myself by listening to my body, eating delicious, nourishing, healthy foods, spending time with people that feed my soul, in places that make me feel inspired. Nurturing myself comes naturally to me, and I hope the loving way in which I treat myself inspires my daughter to value herself and her own well being in that way as well."   What does self-care mean to you?   " Self-care is about tuning in and listening to the intricacies of what my mind, body, and soul are communicating and responding accordingly. I think it is always important to practice self-care, but as a mother you have so much more to give when your own cup is full."   Find out more about    Jessie De Lowe    by following along on Instagram!

JESSIE DE LOWE, CO-FOUNDER OF HOW YOU GLOW, MANIFESTATION COACH, ART THERAPIST, MADLY FOREVER PODCAST HOST, AND MOM TO AMELIE (21 MONTHS)

How do you nurture yourself?
"I nurture myself by listening to my body, eating delicious, nourishing, healthy foods, spending time with people that feed my soul, in places that make me feel inspired. Nurturing myself comes naturally to me, and I hope the loving way in which I treat myself inspires my daughter to value herself and her own well being in that way as well."

What does self-care mean to you?
"Self-care is about tuning in and listening to the intricacies of what my mind, body, and soul are communicating and responding accordingly. I think it is always important to practice self-care, but as a mother you have so much more to give when your own cup is full."

Find out more about Jessie De Lowe by following along on Instagram!

JANE HELPERN, BRAND VOICE & EDITORIAL AT SWEETGREEN, AND MOM TO LEO (22 MONTHS)    What does self-care mean to you?   "I realize that it is more important. I'm not yet at the part where I'm prioritizing it as much as I should. I am in therapy, I have been in therapy since I was 16, and I think that's really important, and so I think self-care is emotional wellness. I had pretty gnarly postpartum depression after Leo so I had to double down on my therapy. Self-care is like working for me, and self-care makes me feel really confident and productive, and reminds me of my own identity, and that's really important, too."    If you had 2-3 hours free to yourself, what would you do with it?  "Let's see... it's a tough one. There's the trash version of what I would do, and then the aspirational version of what I would do. Trash is ordering indulgent sushi rolls on the couch and watching  Grey's Anatomy  or something super mindless and probably having one to two cocktails on the couch. Then the other version of me is to go on a really nice walk in the sunshine and see a friend that I haven't seen in a while...and get a blowout."    Find out more about    Jane Helpern    by following along on Instagram!

JANE HELPERN, BRAND VOICE & EDITORIAL AT SWEETGREEN, AND MOM TO LEO (22 MONTHS)

What does self-care mean to you?
"I realize that it is more important. I'm not yet at the part where I'm prioritizing it as much as I should. I am in therapy, I have been in therapy since I was 16, and I think that's really important, and so I think self-care is emotional wellness. I had pretty gnarly postpartum depression after Leo so I had to double down on my therapy. Self-care is like working for me, and self-care makes me feel really confident and productive, and reminds me of my own identity, and that's really important, too."

If you had 2-3 hours free to yourself, what would you do with it?
"Let's see... it's a tough one. There's the trash version of what I would do, and then the aspirational version of what I would do. Trash is ordering indulgent sushi rolls on the couch and watching Grey's Anatomy or something super mindless and probably having one to two cocktails on the couch. Then the other version of me is to go on a really nice walk in the sunshine and see a friend that I haven't seen in a while...and get a blowout."

Find out more about Jane Helpern by following along on Instagram!

JAMIE ARRIGO, PHOTOGRAPHER, AND MOM TO WALLACE (4), AND ELOWYN (4 MONTHS)    How do you nurture yourself?  "I nurture myself with healthy food and rest. This has become increasingly more difficult now that I have children but in our home, it’s a huge priority that we eat and sleep well."   If you had 2-3 hours free to yourself, what would you do with it?  "I do have 2-3 hours free to myself most weeks because I communicate to my partner how important it is. I usually spend this time connecting with other women, which I have found to be a huge piece to my happiness puzzle."   What forms of free self-care do you perform regularly?  "Baths are my free form of self-care. I indulge in baths nearly every day to calm my mind and relax my body. On really luxurious days, I wash my hair, which is usually twice a week."   Find out more about    Jamie Arrigo    by following along on Instagram!

JAMIE ARRIGO, PHOTOGRAPHER, AND MOM TO WALLACE (4), AND ELOWYN (4 MONTHS)

How do you nurture yourself?
"I nurture myself with healthy food and rest. This has become increasingly more difficult now that I have children but in our home, it’s a huge priority that we eat and sleep well."

If you had 2-3 hours free to yourself, what would you do with it?
"I do have 2-3 hours free to myself most weeks because I communicate to my partner how important it is. I usually spend this time connecting with other women, which I have found to be a huge piece to my happiness puzzle."

What forms of free self-care do you perform regularly?
"Baths are my free form of self-care. I indulge in baths nearly every day to calm my mind and relax my body. On really luxurious days, I wash my hair, which is usually twice a week."

Find out more about Jamie Arrigo by following along on Instagram!

JADAH CHATTERJEE, REGISTERED NURSE, LACTATION CONSULTANT, AND MOM TO SACHIN (5)    What does self-care mean to you?   "I believe self-care is the life line to be your very best self. It means recharging, rejuvenating my soul, allowing myself moments of stillness and calm, supporting healing from the inside, and, of course, moving. Self-care has become even more important in managing the daily adventures as a mother. I never know when I’ll need to put on my cape and play a super (s)hero, a dinosaur hunter, or when I need to an extra dose of patience when explaining ‘why’ to Sachin. On days that I don’t get self-care, I find myself needing to take more deep breaths before I answer."   What forms of free self-care do you perform regularly?  "I regularly sing kundalini mantras. The music found me following the passing of my best friend and mother. It softened and cradled my heart during a time when I needed the most amount of care. Singing brings a cool vibration and harmony to my body, like a halo around me. I sing in the morning as a part of my meditation and at the end of all the days I care for families and their sweet babies. "   Find out more about    Jadah Chatterjee    by following along on Instagram!

JADAH CHATTERJEE, REGISTERED NURSE, LACTATION CONSULTANT, AND MOM TO SACHIN (5)

What does self-care mean to you?
"I believe self-care is the life line to be your very best self. It means recharging, rejuvenating my soul, allowing myself moments of stillness and calm, supporting healing from the inside, and, of course, moving. Self-care has become even more important in managing the daily adventures as a mother. I never know when I’ll need to put on my cape and play a super (s)hero, a dinosaur hunter, or when I need to an extra dose of patience when explaining ‘why’ to Sachin. On days that I don’t get self-care, I find myself needing to take more deep breaths before I answer."

What forms of free self-care do you perform regularly?
"I regularly sing kundalini mantras. The music found me following the passing of my best friend and mother. It softened and cradled my heart during a time when I needed the most amount of care. Singing brings a cool vibration and harmony to my body, like a halo around me. I sing in the morning as a part of my meditation and at the end of all the days I care for families and their sweet babies. "

Find out more about Jadah Chatterjee by following along on Instagram!

ERICA DOMESEK, FOUNDER OF P.S. I MADE THIS, AND MOM TO WYLIE (3 MONTHS)    How do you nurture yourself?  "Baths, baths, and more baths! It’s a quiet time that I covet. I would bathe all throughout my pregnancy as often as possible to unwind and soothe all of my aches and simply zone out. Also, massages! However, I especially find it challenging to find the time to nurture myself with a newborn baby these days!"    What does self-care mean to you?   "Self-care means mental, psychical, and emotional support for oneself. I’m realizing it’s the most important thing ever. If you’re not feeling your best, your family will see and feel it. In order for you to show up for your family you need to show up for yourself first."    Find out more about    Erica Domesek    by following along on Instagram!

ERICA DOMESEK, FOUNDER OF P.S. I MADE THIS, AND MOM TO WYLIE (3 MONTHS)

How do you nurture yourself?
"Baths, baths, and more baths! It’s a quiet time that I covet. I would bathe all throughout my pregnancy as often as possible to unwind and soothe all of my aches and simply zone out. Also, massages! However, I especially find it challenging to find the time to nurture myself with a newborn baby these days!"


What does self-care mean to you?
"Self-care means mental, psychical, and emotional support for oneself. I’m realizing it’s the most important thing ever. If you’re not feeling your best, your family will see and feel it. In order for you to show up for your family you need to show up for yourself first."

Find out more about Erica Domesek by following along on Instagram!

ASHLEY SIRAH NICOLE CHEA, CO-FOUNDER OF @MOMSINCOLOR AND MOM TO AMIRAHLEE (10), AZARAHLEE (2), AND ASIYAHLEE (10 MONTHS)      How do you nurture yourself?   "I feel like one of the ways I nurture myself is by staying creative, because I'm a writer. I'm currently pitching a television show right now, and it's super busy. And I actually homeschool my ten-year-old. I also have a two-year-old and a ten-month-old. I feel like my creative time is how I nurture myself, because I had an identity before I became a mother, and it's super important for me 'cause I have three girls as well, so to teach them like, 'You can still be married, you can still be a doting wife, you could still be a doting mother, and you can still have time for yourself for you and have your own career.' I never want to make them feel like they have to choose. Just living that example is a way of nurturing myself, because I'm potentially nurturing my daughters and teaching them to put themselves first, as well."   What does self-care mean to you?  "Self-care for me is mental health. I feel like it's become more important. Prior to having children, I was okay with giving so much of myself—like talking to my friends till 2 a.m., and just taking on everyone else's problems and issues—and not really focusing on how I felt, and what made me feel good. And I think now that I've become a mother, just making sure that I'm creating boundaries with people and not giving so much of myself that I don't have any to give to my own issues and my own feelings."   Find out more about    Ashley Sirah Nicole Cheaby   following along on Instagram!

ASHLEY SIRAH NICOLE CHEA, CO-FOUNDER OF @MOMSINCOLOR AND MOM TO AMIRAHLEE (10), AZARAHLEE (2), AND ASIYAHLEE (10 MONTHS)

How do you nurture yourself?
"I feel like one of the ways I nurture myself is by staying creative, because I'm a writer. I'm currently pitching a television show right now, and it's super busy. And I actually homeschool my ten-year-old. I also have a two-year-old and a ten-month-old. I feel like my creative time is how I nurture myself, because I had an identity before I became a mother, and it's super important for me 'cause I have three girls as well, so to teach them like, 'You can still be married, you can still be a doting wife, you could still be a doting mother, and you can still have time for yourself for you and have your own career.' I never want to make them feel like they have to choose. Just living that example is a way of nurturing myself, because I'm potentially nurturing my daughters and teaching them to put themselves first, as well."

What does self-care mean to you?
"Self-care for me is mental health. I feel like it's become more important. Prior to having children, I was okay with giving so much of myself—like talking to my friends till 2 a.m., and just taking on everyone else's problems and issues—and not really focusing on how I felt, and what made me feel good. And I think now that I've become a mother, just making sure that I'm creating boundaries with people and not giving so much of myself that I don't have any to give to my own issues and my own feelings."

Find out more about Ashley Sirah Nicole Cheabyfollowing along on Instagram!

ELAINA BELLIS, ART DIRECTOR, AND MOM TO QUINCY KAY (2) AND ROWE JAMES (2)    How do you nurture yourself?  "Exercising patience. If that means I need to step away in a moment of frustration, take a deep breath, and collect myself before engaging with the girls, then I do it. It isn’t easy, but reminding myself that I need to stay patient, is key to motherhood for me."   What forms of free self-care do you perform regularly?  "Every time I cook dinner, I turn on the music really loud and dance my ass off and the girls join in. We have so much fun and it’s basically a giant dance party."   Find out more about    Elaina Bellis    by following along on Instagram!

ELAINA BELLIS, ART DIRECTOR, AND MOM TO QUINCY KAY (2) AND ROWE JAMES (2)

How do you nurture yourself?
"Exercising patience. If that means I need to step away in a moment of frustration, take a deep breath, and collect myself before engaging with the girls, then I do it. It isn’t easy, but reminding myself that I need to stay patient, is key to motherhood for me."

What forms of free self-care do you perform regularly?
"Every time I cook dinner, I turn on the music really loud and dance my ass off and the girls join in. We have so much fun and it’s basically a giant dance party."

Find out more about Elaina Bellis by following along on Instagram!

ARIEL KAYE, CEO & FOUNDER, PARACHUTE, AND MOM TO LOU, 12 WEEKS.    How do you nurture yourself?  "I make it a point to nurture myself in a variety of ways. This can include everything from prioritizing sleep, to disconnecting from my phone for an hour or two, to enjoying warm nourishing home-cooked meals, treating myself to a manicure or pedicure, or protecting simple and calming daily rituals, like making my bed."   If you had 2-3 hours free to yourself, what would you do with it?  "Taking time to go to a spa would be an amazing way to spend a few free hours! When I was around 20 weeks pregnant, I started getting a lymphatic drainage massage almost weekly, and I’ve continued this as part of my postpartum recovery. I couldn’t recommend it more! Though doing something as simple and relaxing as reading a book or making time for a nap can also be incredibly restorative."   Find out more about    Ariel Kaye    by following along on Instagram!

ARIEL KAYE, CEO & FOUNDER, PARACHUTE, AND MOM TO LOU, 12 WEEKS.

How do you nurture yourself?
"I make it a point to nurture myself in a variety of ways. This can include everything from prioritizing sleep, to disconnecting from my phone for an hour or two, to enjoying warm nourishing home-cooked meals, treating myself to a manicure or pedicure, or protecting simple and calming daily rituals, like making my bed."

If you had 2-3 hours free to yourself, what would you do with it?
"Taking time to go to a spa would be an amazing way to spend a few free hours! When I was around 20 weeks pregnant, I started getting a lymphatic drainage massage almost weekly, and I’ve continued this as part of my postpartum recovery. I couldn’t recommend it more! Though doing something as simple and relaxing as reading a book or making time for a nap can also be incredibly restorative."

Find out more about Ariel Kaye by following along on Instagram!

ALL WOMEN PHOTOGRAPHED BY JULIA CHESKY

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Erin Feher is a contributor for MOTHER Mag.

This blog was originally published on April 11, 2019 on MOTHER Mag.