Has anyone noticed that "Self Care" has become a thing all of a sudden? Influencers are all over social media doing sheet masks on airplanes, celebrities are sipping matcha and doing pilates while live-streaming their oxygen facials and this, they tell us, is self care. Except it's not. These are all lovely self indulgences that make us feel good and maintain our looks and our physical health, but I think — and I could be wrong — that self care is actually meant to be the care one's self. Meaning, our mental health, our souls and our beings: our insides. Sophie Chiche, founder of Shape House, the urban sweat lodge that's taking over the country, practices this in earnest, some asked her to give us her tips on how to really pamper ourselves. Read on and learn. #selfcaresunday

I am enough: Somewhere along the way, someone lied to me and I bought it. They told me I needed to work hard to deserve the right to simply be. That was a lie. I don’t. I am plenty. Knowing that I am enough does wonders for my diet. You see, thinking I am not enough makes me eat twice as much. Knowing that I am plenty, fills me. It allows me to eat just the right amount if I keep this dynamic in check.

I forgive: Not doing so ruins my life. Holding on to judgement is similar to taking poison and hoping it hurts someone else. Not very strategic. Holding on to the past directly affects my body’s ability to function. Stress and resentment cause immense wear and tear on my adrenals, interrupt my sleep patterns and destroy my stamina. Forgiving directly affects my ability to restore and perform. I am smart. I let go of past stuff that does not move the needle forward.

I give people the benefit of the doubt: Expecting that people are ill-intended becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If i am going to assume something, why not assume people are genuinely trying their best. Worrying that people are out to get me does nothing but prematurely wrinkle my skin. I happen to like my skin, so I pass on the negativity.

I love myselfWhatever I do, I am either being loving towards myself, or I am not. Every bite I put in my mouth, every word I say, every minute I spend doing one thing or another, every conversation, every tv show — all the choices I make either contributes to my inner bank account, or depletes it. Thinking of these choices as acts of self-love, helps me to make kinder choices.

I (literally) sweat the small stuffPreferably before it becomes big stuff. I am known for prompting conversations about difficult stuff before it becomes difficult. I find it very hard (impossible?) to talk about an issue when I have piled up all sorts of resentments or judgments about it. People close to me have learned to like it (I think). The second I feel a tension rising, I find a kind way to speak to it. It keeps my relationships current.  

I play: Nothing makes me look prettier, or healthier than when I am doing something I love. I look at it as a wellness routine. Maybe this one did not happen overnight — I gradually built a life where I can play a lot. Even my work is my play. Loving the people I work with makes it play even when we are in the trenches. Like in high performing sports or music, hard work but deep sense of play. I ride a Harley on the weekends. Not as a mode of transportation, but as play. It pulls the best self out of me. I hear my laughter like nowhere else when I ride it. That is a good sign.  

I feel: Allowing myself to feel my feelings is my favorite beauty routine. I have had to learn to do so as an adult. I am from a family where sugar was given to avoid the discomfort of sadness and upset. My weight loss was in large part successful because I learned to feel my feelings. Seems simple. It is. But it is not easy. Also, feeling my feelings is one thing, but once I do, I need to act accordingly. So learning to manage relationships where there is room for me to tell you I am sad you did not come to my party (instead of not inviting you to my next one, or gossiping to our friends). Like I said; simple but not easy.

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about sophie

French-American entrepreneur Sophie Chiche, who created the inspirational and popular website Life by Me, is revolutionizing the world of health and wellness with the booming expansion of Shape House, the urban sweat lodge sensation she founded in 2012. With over 30,000 sweaters to date, Sophie has made Shape House a household name while blazing a trail for female entrepreneurs. An author, journalist, philanthropist, social activist and global visionary, Sophie has used her knowledge in the field of psychology to change the way we look at sweat, food and self-worth. When not opening new Shape House locations, Sophie can be found riding her Harley motorcycle on the Pacific Coast Highway.