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Dr. MC’s Hidden Gem of Boston: A Redfin Blog

I was recently contacted to share my hidden gem of Boston on the Redfin Blog! How could I resist? Boston will always be my home. The article is great and features some awesome places in Boston to check out. The restaurant I mentioned is my fave place in the North End. So many memories over the years have been had here. Oh, and their housemade Limoncello is seriously the BEST! Check out the full article here and comment below with your hidden gems of Boston. 

 

Be sure to like, subscribe and love me across all my social media platforms for the most up-to-date information on self-care!

 

Best,

Dr. MC

 

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Kicking off the Summer of Self-care

Ok, so summer vacation just started, and I must say the end of this past school year was rough. Just when you thought it was under control, BAM, something else came up, or I got COVID – that was fun for the last two weeks of the school year. A perfect cherry on top of a trash sundae for sure. I know I am not alone in this feeling. I keep seeing 

Kicking off the summer of self-care

#selfcaresummer trending on social media as more people begin to recognize that self-care is the most essential thing in the world. Now we know that summer is not the only time we prioritize our needs, but right now feels like a good time to plant some seeds for the future. 

Recovering from this school year feels different than past years. I can feel my nervous system is heightened, “relaxing” feels like a chore, and the to-do list I am facing feels insurmountable. And you know what – that’s ok. 

I find myself vibing extra hard to Lizzo’s new jam, “About Damn Time.” The following lyrics seem to capture exactly how I am feeling…

“Oh, I’ve been so down and under pressure

I’m way too fine to be this stressed, yeah

Oh, I’m not the girl I was or used to be

Uh, b***h, I might be better

Turn up the music, turn down the lights

I got a feelin’ I’m gon’ be alright

Okay (okay), alright

It’s about damn time (time)

Turn up the music, let’s celebrate (alright)

I got a feelin’ I’m gon’ be okay

Okay (okay), alright

It’s about damn time”

 

To do the necessary healing and self-care work this summer, I am setting my intentions and affirmations loud and clear.  I invite you to think about your summer, and how you can make yourself a priority. I will refer back to this list as needed. I may print it out or save it as the background on my phone too. Notice the intentions and affirmations are written in the present tense. This helps to calibrate my body to the present moment. This is me now. Not a future version of myself. 

 

Here are my intentions/affirmations for the summer to kick off the summer of self-care…

 

  • I rest. 

  • I say no. 

  • If something does not get done, I am ok with that. 

  • I do not check my work email during my time off. 

  • I spend time with people who make me feel good, support me, believe in me, and inspire me. 

  • I cancel plans if I change my mind. 

  • I move my body in ways that feel good. 

  • I am allowing myself to dream. 

  • I am reconnecting with my why and my soul’s true purpose. 

  • I seek experiences that fill my cup and inspire me. 

  • I am taking my time. I know everything will get done. 

  • I am honoring my body, mind, and spirit. 

 

What else would you add to this list? What resonates with you? How are you prioritizing your needs this summer? 

 

Be sure to like, subscribe and love me across all my social media platforms for the most up-to-date information on self-care! 

 

Best,

Dr. MC 

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Super Hydrating Mocktail

super hydrating mocktail

I figured it was time to officially write up this Super Hydrating Mocktail recipe because I am obsessed with it! Did you know that 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated? Are you one of them? This statistic is according to the National Library of Medicine. Yikes! I have always prided myself on how much water I drink, but sometimes I would slack – and to be honest, it got away from me. 

 

A couple of months ago, my acupuncturist noted that I was dehydrated when she looked at my tongue. I was shocked. She recommended that I start drinking coconut water. 

I had tried coconut water previously, and truthfully, I don’t enjoy it…so it was time to get creative. This is what sparked the creation of the Dr. MC Super Hydrating Mocktail! It is fun and easy to make. And I have to admit; I feel SO MUCH better when I am properly hydrated. 

Before we dive into the recipe, let’s look at the benefits of Coconut water and signs that you may be dehydrated.

According to healthline.com, the benefits include: 

  • Good source of several nutrients.
  • May have antioxidant properties.
  • May help lower blood sugar for people living with diabetes.
  • May help prevent kidney stones.
  • May support heart health.
  • Beneficial after prolonged exercise.
  • A delicious source of hydration.

 

Signs you are dehydrated for Adults according to  Medicine Plus: 

  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Dry mouth
  • Urinating and sweating less than usual
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Dry skin
  • Feeling tired
  • Dizziness

 

So here is what to do!

Ingredients

  1. Pure not from concentrated coconut water (lots of options here, my favorite is the Wegman’s brand pure; however, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods make tasty ones)
  2. Pineapple Juice – I use Dole, and I love buying the 8-ounce cans. 
  3. Cranberry Juice or Cherry Juice – I use Knudsen brand. 

Instructions

  1. Shake 16 ounces of Coconut Water together with ice
  2. Add 4 ounces of Pineapple juice
  3. Add 2 ounces of Cranberry or Cherry juice on top
  4. Enjoy!

That’s it! Easy peasy. I recommend using a straw, adding an umbrella, and using a fancy glass! Give it a try and let me know how you like it. 

 

Be sure to like, subscribe and love me across all my social media platforms for the most up-to-date information on self-care! 

 

Best,

Dr. MC 

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Self-care & Love: Our Wedding Day

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Self-care and love go together and today I want to remind you of the relationship domain, which is an essential aspect of self-care. We want to ensure that we make time for and spend time with people who are good to us. “Good” can leave too much room for interpretation. What you should be looking for are behaviors such as encouragement, respect, consideration, loyalty, and supporting/believing in you. 

This includes the trust that you will be respected when you need to advocate for your needs and/or say no at times. These are also the people who should listen to you when you become upset, whether it requires empathetic or sympathetic listening on their part. This is not exclusively defined by romantic relationships. The bonds you share with family, friends, and colleagues contribute to this domain as well (one of my most significant relationships is with my mom, who happens to be the best – I may be a little biased).

 

*** Dr. MC Disclaimer: If you are reading this and feel that you do not have people like this in your life, I strongly encourage you to seek the support of a therapist, counselor, or group of like-minded individuals to help foster this domain. This is a critical aspect of self-care and can be the hardest to come by/sustain.

 

That being said, today is my wedding anniversary, and I will say I am truly blessed as my husband is an incredible partner. That is not to say that every day is sunshine and butterflies. All relationships require work and maintenance to stay healthy and to keep those lines of communication open. 

 

Last year, Jeff and I were asked to share our story with The Theatre Fund (TDF), a non-profit organization in NYC dedicated to bringing the power of performing arts to everyone. TDF was looking for couples whose love story was either theatre-related or tangential to the performing arts; we happened to have both! They loved our submission so much that it became their Valentine’s Day-themed post on their website. <3 

 

It was an excellent reflection exercise for us, especially during these challenging times, to write for TDF. We laughed, cried, and even rolled our eyes once or twice, reminiscing about the work that went into creating our dream wedding. It even inspired us to finish hanging the prints from our wedding that we had not completed since moving into our home.

 

I am so excited to share this story with you today. The TDF blog was only able to showcase one photograph; however, I thought it would be fun to share more with you to get a feel for the spectacle. Today marks our 7th wedding anniversary with 13 years together and a lifetime to go. Cheers! 

 

Please enjoy the photo gallery below which shows the ceremony/show and the details of the venue. Photo-credit, Tara Lynn Sen. 

Be sure to like, subscribe and love me across all my social media platforms for the most up-to-date information on self-care! 

 

And join me on Tuesday, May 24th at 7PM EST for my first ever LIVE podcast recording on zoom – for free. More details and link to register can be found here

 

Love, 

Dr. MC 

Featured

Astrology & Self-Care: Taurus (2022)

Wow! This entry for Taurus marks the last edition in this series of self-care and astrology blog posts with a special guest perspective. It has been delightful to explore all the zodiac signs from this lens. Be sure to check out your sign; you may get some great ideas to add to your self-care routine.

 

For 2021-2022, I solicited feedback from my readers who embody each of the Zodiac signs.

self-care for Taurus

 If you are interested in being featured in a future post, please comment below or email me at drmcselfcare@gmail.com.

 

Anyone born between April 20 – May 20 is a Taurus, according to Astrology. Taurus is the first earth sign of the zodiac that appears when Spring is in full bloom. Taurus can be powerful and determined, unable to be pushed into doing something they do not want to do. Taurus can erupt with anger occasionally, but the mood usually passes quickly. Symbolized by the bull, which is typically representative of rich, fertile power. 

 

Ruled by Venus, Taurus loves all things beautiful. Sometimes prone to overindulging; this is something that Taurus will need to be mindful of when it comes to self-care. Taurus enjoys a routine. Balance and relaxation are essential for them. 

 

Taurus shares an intimate relationship with both the spiritual and physical world and seeks to balance both in their life. Ruler of the neck (including throat), ears, and Cerebellum, so self-care practices for these areas are a must. 

 

This month, my friend, Nicole provides the reader’s perspective! I really enjoy learning what resonates with my readers. Nicole and I have been friends since middle school and she patiently waited for the opportunity to share her thoughts on this blog post. 

Reader's Perspective

self-care for Taurus
Dr. MC & Nicole

I am thrilled to share my Taurean perspective in this blog post. It is so scary how accurate this is for me!  Taureans definitely have a regal quality about them. We are graceful and diligent laborers. It is true, that we can be stubborn, bull-headed, and set in our ways, but we are also great listeners and very dependable.

 

Taurus can erupt with anger occasionally, but the mood usually passes quickly- this is very true- wearing my heart on my sleeve and thinking with my heart before my head catches up and then realizing the need to change my mood.

 

I have a habit of buying because I like it before thinking if I need it.  I realize that my spending affects my stress of finances/self-care and enjoyment. I do not like to worry about finances. 

 

Taurus enjoys a routine. I have a hard time with change and my routines help me stay organized. My purse always has to have multiple compartments to keep things organized too. Balance and relaxation are essential for me and Taureans. I enjoy downtime alone and or with friends/family especially outside in HOT weather.  I only enjoy the outdoors when it is warm. 

 

Planter’s Punch was essentially created for me- I only drink rum and always order fruity drinks!

Being hard of hearing makes me have to take more consideration with my ears when it comes to noises.  For me, stress goes straight to my neck causing lots of problems with the rest of my body. This can make work and leisure time challenging.  I have been seeing a PT and Chiropractor to work on this. 

 

I need to work on moving my body more – between stress to my neck/back and sitting at a desk for 10+ hours a day. I took dance classes at a younger age and when there is music on- I can not sit still.  I am on the dance floor the whole night at weddings!  

self-care for Taurus

My favorite color is pink, and I am a sucker for romance – it does not surprise me that Rose quartz is linked to my fellow Taureans and me.

 

When it comes to music, Kelly Clarkson always helps lift my mood and has gotten me through some hard times. I recently got a new tattoo to symbolize the new friendships I have made through the New Kids on the Block fandom. Their song Thankful and my friends have gotten me through not only the pandemic but also challenges.  

 

I am a big advocate for communication- I can not read minds (not many people can), and I have saved relationships by talking things out to help people understand my feelings. 

 

I can not walk by a dog without stopping – I am an “aunt” to multiple while I do not have my own.  

 

I wrote down my bucket list and have been working on #doYOU since 2015 – I no longer live my life on other people’s schedules. I take care of myself and do what I want on my timeline. I learn a lot from all of Dr. MC’s posts! 
 
Being an accountant, I am very on top of my finances and my financial responsibilities. So having financial freedom is essential to me. Thanks for the opportunity to share my Taurean perspective. 

Taurus & Self-Care

The following is my takeaway on Taurus from “The Astrological Guide to Self-Care” by Constance Stellas. 

 

Constance Stellas provides a list of self-care activities ideal for Taureans, and for the ease of my readers, I have categorized them by the different domains of self-care.

 

Nutrition/Hydration (eating a variety of healthy and nutritious foods throughout the day)

  • Taureans like to indulge in rich flavors, and small indulgences like a piece of decadent chocolate can be a perfect treat to unwind at the end of a long day. 
  • Add Loquat to your diet, a small orange fruit with several healing properties that soothe the throat. This is an area that develops ailments such as dryness and coughing. 
  • Pamper your senses with a richly seasoned steak dinner paired with a lovely red wine. 
  • Whether looking for a hostess gift or entertaining guests, a dessert wine is sure to be a hit. 
  • Consider growing your produce, herbs, and even a tomato plant to help stay connected to nature and deepen your appreciation for this lovely planet. 
  • Consider owning copper cookware which is beautiful but also has a utilitarian flair, perfect for Taureans! 
  • Promote a sense of calm by sipping fruity teas. Tea has other health benefits as well, depending upon which one you choose. 
  • Raise a glass with some delicious Planter’s Punch. To create this delightful treat – fill a glass with ice and mix in the following ingredients: 1.5 oz dark rum, ½ oz lime juice, 1 oz pineapple juice, ½ oz, orange juice, ¼ oz of simple syrup. Garish with an orange slice, a maraschino cherry, and enjoy!  

 

Exercise (finding activities that make us feel good and moving our bodies regularly)

  • The Taurus ruled Cerebellum is responsible for movement, coordination, and balance. Therefore exercises that improve and build on good motor function and rhythm are important to engage in. 
  • When exercising, be sure to strengthen the neck, perhaps by doing weighted lateral neck raises. Be sure to do this properly to avoid straining your neck. You can find other neck stretches that Dr. MC recommends here.
  • Get outside and take a walk either through a bike trail or even an open meadow where you can connect with Mother Nature and all its beauty. 
  • Exercise outdoors to help add a bonus energy boost and help you connect with the earth.
  • Exercise your rhythm and coordination by learning a circle dance. Traditionally a circle dance celebrates the earth and connects people through music and physical touch. (Bonus points for this activity as it hits upon several domains of self-care)
  • Taureans love to dance, and this is a great self-care practice for them as it helps the Cerebellum, which controls balance and motor function. 
  • Practicing yoga is suitable for all the zodiac signs; for Taureans, be sure to add Plow pose to your practice. (Please note that this is not a beginner’s pose – be sure to practice this pose safely and with the support of a trained yoga teacher).

 

Soothing Strategies (breathing exercises and pursuing activities that stimulate your physical, intellectual, interpersonal, or creative side to relax)

  • Humming or singing a lullaby is a soothing activity for Taurus as it stimulates the throat area. 
  • Welcome abundance into your life and keep your emotions in check with emeralds. 
  • Taureans enjoy working their hands and the sense of accomplishment that comes with finishing a project. Consider taking a class and learn a new craft such as woodworking or jewelry-making. 
  • Rose quartz can help Taurus open their hearts to romance. Consider carrying a piece with you in your left pocket. 
  • Green moss agate is another stone that is well-suited for the Taureans as it will help ground them. 
  • Consider visiting a trained, recommended chiropractor to help alleviate stress in your joints and muscles. Please be thorough in your research of a chiropractor. 
  • Consider learning to drum to help you blow off steam. The vibrations and the music are soothing to Taureans. 
  • A great Taurean affirmation is, “This beautiful earth feeds me.” Write it down and keep it where you can easily see it to serve as a reminder that you are being provided for. This is particularly helpful when you are feeling overwhelmed. 
  • Instead of a teddy bear, try snuggling a plush cow. This will help ground you. 
  • Dabble with spontaneity to help balance your planful side to keep things fresh. 
  • Consider adding the mantra, “I am secure in all parts of my life,” to your toolkit to help remind you of your stability. Pair this mantra with a seated yoga pose while breathing and repeating it aloud. 
  • Kickstart your productivity and energy by listening to the “Toreador Song” from Bizet’s opera “Carmen.” A great theme song for any Taurean. 
  • Taurus recognizes the importance of touch and enjoys different textures such as silk which feels nice against your skin. 
  • Wrap yourself in luxurious textures for added renewal. Turkish Cotton towels, for example, after a hot bath, can help make you feel even more refreshed and restored. Even better to slip into some silk pajamas to drift off to dreamland. 
  • Belt out your favorite song by a fellow Taurean (Roy Orbison, Lizzo, Adele, or Kelly Clarkson to get you started), even if it is just in the shower or in the car commuting to work. 
  • Help restore inner peace by utilizing Pink Coral, perhaps as a necklace or other piece of jewelry. 
  • Plan an afternoon picnic to unwind and connect with the earth. 
  • Help boost your mood with the scent of Jasmine, known to help promote calmness and more restful sleep. 

 

Self-Awareness/Mindfulness (calming awareness of thoughts, feelings, and body and engaging in meditation/mind-body practices)

  • Consider a blue cashmere scarf to help you speak your truth as Taureans rule the throat. Pair this with a turtleneck, another staple in the Taurean closet.
  • Express yourself and your adventurous power by getting a new piercing or even adorn your body with less permanent options. 
  • Take time for self-reflection by reading the works of fellow Taureans such as Shakespeare, Charlotte Bronte, and Harper Lee. Listening to music, creating art, and journaling can also help promote reflection. 
  • A practical sign by nature, Taureans recognize the importance of financial success. Continue to attract financial prosperity by using a wallet in one of your signature colors (Pink and yellow encourage positivity and abundance, while green promotes security). Be sure it has the necessary slots and zippers for your belongings. You can even add a little whimsy to your savings by using a mechanical bank.

 

Rest (taking time to recharge the batteries and sleep)

  • Consider a vacation to a farm for a change of pace. This simple experience can leave you feeling rejuvenated. Bring a friend along too! 

 

Relationships (spend time with people who support you and make you feel good)

  • Sometimes Taureans can feel overwhelmed, and the best way to work through an issue is by talking it out. Enlist the support of a counselor or a trusted family member or friend who can be this person for you. 

 

Physical/Medical (attending to needs of our physical body and seeking medical care regularly)

  • Be sure to care for the neck and ear areas for the various seasons. A scarf or earmuffs may be necessary to keep these areas warm. Avoid prolonged exposure to loud noises. 
  • Add neck stretches to your routine. Even simply nodding your head can keep the neck area relaxed and flexible. For more examples of neck stretches, watch this live video.

 

Environment (setting up your physical work/living space to make you feel good)

  • A collector who loves keepsakes, the Taurean home should proudly display these treasures, and eventually, they may get passed down to future generations. 
  • With their keen sense of smell, Taureans should accent their home with flowers such as Lily of the Valley in lovely vases. 
  • Pink Cyclamen plants are an excellent addition to the Taurean home too. 
  • Use a Chamois cloth to clean your home. The cloth is efficient, earth-friendly, natural, durable, and absorbent, and the fabric feels good in your hand. 
  • Color can significantly impact one’s mood, and Taureans should lean towards yellow, pink, and earthy green. Consider organizing your closet by color and season, so you are always ready with the best colors for the day. 
  • Simplify your work wardrobe, so you can mix and match and keep the mornings running smooth and efficient. Invest in items that are easy to maintain and go with everything, like wrinkle-free tops, pants, and skirts in neutral and pastel colors. 

 

Spiritual (experience meaning or a larger purpose in your life, read, watch, or listen to something inspirational)

  • Consider owning a pet like an English bulldog, both strong and loyal like a Taurean. If adopting is not an option, you can spend time volunteering at a rescue or helping people walk their dogs. 
  • Looking back at past experiences is an ideal activity for Taureans; consider a “Treasure chest” of sorts to store your mementos in and pull it out when you need a trip down memory lane. Keepsakes like this will help lift your spirits and make you feel grounded. 
  • When setting goals, try using the visual of a Bull’s eye. In the center of the target, write your goal. You can even write the steps you need to take to get there on the outer rings. If this is not appealing, try creating a vision board.

 

Taurus, what do you think? Does this sound like you? It sounds pretty spot on when I think about my Taurus friends.  

 

Be sure to like, subscribe and love me across all my social media platforms for the most up-to-date information on self-care! I

 

Stay well,

Dr. MC

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Self-Care Book Recommendations

Self-care book recommendations

In honor of World Book Day later this week, I thought I would share some of my favorite self-care (or closely related) book recommendations! These are my regular go-to books and the ones I am regularly recommending to others. Let me know if you read or have read any of them. I would love to know what you think. And be sure to comment and let me know your favorites! I am always looking to add more books to my collection. 

The Art of Extreme Self-Care by Cheryl Richardson

  • Cheryl is a local author from Newburyport, Massachusetts. This book is fantastic. My mom credits this book with changing her life. Easy read with actionable steps to prioritize your needs. 

 

Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole & Elyse Resch 

  • This book changed my life in terms of learning to heal from my eating disorder. If you struggle with weight and need help letting go of the diet mentality – this book is for you! There is a workbook, journal, and deck that are fabulous also.

 

Health at Every Size by Lindo Bacon

  • Please note that Lindo Bacon’s work in this arena has provided a very one-sided perspective. They are not the creator of the Health of Every Size (HAES) movement, and their interpretation is not inclusive. If you read this book, please consider the privilege behind it and also read about the creators of the HAES movement from The Association of Size Diversity & Health (ASDAH). You can also learn more about the current circumstances regarding Lindo and the harm they have caused this community. 
  • With all this in mind, this book helped me understand my healing several years ago and the societal pressure behind my eating disorders. You may find value in this as well. 
  • If this is a topic you are interested in: I suggest adding a couple of other titles to your list, such as Fat Activism: A Radical Social Movement and The Body Is Not an Apology, Second Edition: The Power of Radical Self-Love, and workbook. I have not read these yet, but they are on my list too! However, they come highly recommended by others in the activism community. 

 

The Body Keeps the Score 

 

Anything by Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, or Louise Hay is fabulous. 

 

For Kids

  • If you are interested in some books for kids, check out any of Dr. Christopher Willard’s books. They are a lot of fun. Also, keep an eye out, Dr. Willard was a recent guest on the Dr. MC podcast, and the episode will release next month. 

 

Check-in with Dr. MC every morning on Instagram and Facebook Stories. Previous reminders are stored in the highlights on Instagram too @drmcselfcare

 

Be sure to like, subscribe and love me across all my social media platforms for the most up-to-date information on self-care! There are now 21 episodes of the podcast available. 

 

Best. 

Dr. MC

Featured

Self-Care is NOT a Day!

self care is not a day

As we are about to embark on April school break for many folks, I wanted to share this reminder. Please stop treating self-care as if it is something that we only access when we have time, or a day off, or when it is convenient. Self-Care is NOT a day. This perpetuates the stereotype that it is a luxury or that it is selfish. 

Self-care is EVERY day. Well, real self-care is, anyway, not the commodification of self-care. And no, I don’t mean you need to go to the spa every day. If only, huh? Self-care is HEALTH care. This is the foundation. This is not an occasional mani/Pedi. 

 

 

Do you feel like you don’t have time to NOT practice self-care?

Let me be real clear here, you don’t have time to NOT practice self-care. Self-care is the daily, consistent, foundational way you take care of yourself so every day you show up as the best YOU possible. It is not a quick fix. It is not a one and one and it is certainly not something that is reserved for when this magical “self-care day” presents itself. 

 

You have to do the work to get in touch with your body. To listen to those subtle messages. You have to get down and dirty with your bad self and figure out what makes you tick. It isn’t always convenient, it isn’t always pretty, but it is always worth it because YOU are worth it! Taking the time to get to know yourself is priceless. 

 

Think about the following questions.

  • How do you like to feed your body? 
  • What makes you feel good? 
  • How to like to move your body? 
  • How do you self-soothe? 
  • How do you release stress? 
  • What is your sleep and rest routine like? 
  • Do you practice self-compassion? 
  • What inspires you? 
  • Are your environments clean, organized, and decluttered? 
  • Are you grateful? 
  • How do you feel? 
  • How is your breathing? 
  • Are you being kind to yourself? 

 

Remember, this does not have to be time-consuming or expensive. Little habits and breaks can be wildly beneficial. There is so much you can access for FREE!

 

Here are 10 FREE, easy, efficient, effective ways to invite more self-care into your day:

  1. Gentle stretching while watching TV
  2. Ask yourself what went well instead of dwelling on the negative
  3. Go to bed 15 minutes earlier than normal
  4. Take 3 deep breaths throughout the day  – in through the nose and out through the mouth (make your exhales longer than the inhales) 
  5. Take a rainbow walk – get outside for a couple of minutes and try to spot something of every color of the rainbow and really see the beauty that surrounds you
  6. Have a 5-minute dance party to your fave song 
  7. Drink more water every day – proper hydration is a game changer 
  8. Write down 3-5 things every day that you are grateful for
  9. Stop checking work emails after hours 
  10. Listen to, read, or watch something that inspires you 

 

You can start small but you must start in an intentional way. And hey, if you have a whole day at some point to dedicate to self-care by all means, go for it! But let’s stop pretending that self-care is reserved for such occasions. 

 

Check in with me every morning on my Instagram and Facebook Stories as I am sharing tips and little reminders. Previous reminders are stored in the highlights on Instagram too @drmcselfcare

 

Be sure to like, subscribe and love me across all my social media platforms for the most up-to-date information on self-care! There are now 21 episodes of the podcast available. 

Best. 

Dr. MC

self care is not a day
Featured

Astrology & Self-Care: Aries (2022)

As you know, I had so much fun writing and sharing the Astrology & Self-Care series that I plan to keep this as an ongoing series for the blog but each time expanding upon the previous post. For 2021-2022, I hope to solicit feedback from my readers who embody each of the Zodiac signs. If you are interested in being featured in an upcoming zodiac post, please comment below or email me at drmcselfcare@gmail.com.

self-care and Aries

Anyone born between March 21 – April 19 is an Aries, according to Astrology. Aries is a fire sign symbolized by a Ram with their beautiful curled horns. An extrovert who delights in expressing their power. Aries kicks off the Spring season, and like other signs that welcome a new season, Aries is full of energy and childlike enthusiasm. This energy is not always focused, and it is likely they will start many projects but finish few. 

 

With a tendency to be charming, this can lean towards abrasive and irritating when not in check. When it comes to self-care, Aries is generally not interested in it until a health issue sidelines them. When Aries is healthy and balanced, their intuition can be a powerful tool as well. 

 

The ideal way to get buy-in from Aries is to keep it quick and efficient for self-care. They will enjoy using apps and other tools to track their journey too. However, they take a more reactive approach to self-care and are not proactive. Aries is not interested in exploring shades of meaning and prefers a direct line of action. 

 

This month, my friend, Tiffany Giannato (Tiffy G.) provides the reader perspective! I really enjoy learning what resonates with my readers and I love Tiffany’s perspective! Be sure to check out the next podcast episode releasing 4/6/22 with Tiffy titled “Start with a Pop of Color.” Tiffany shares her amazing fashion advice, self-care practices, and more. Available on all major platforms. 

Reader's Perspective

Self-care and aries

Aries…..the fire sign. My birthday is March 29, and I have always been called a “spitfire” since I was a little girl. The combination of being Italian and being an Aries definitely makes this statement true! A lot of what Theresa (Dr. MC) posted about Aries resonated with me. I am a true extrovert who is not shy whatsoever. I am a teacher and have never been afraid to speak in front of a crowd. Even though I am an only child, I made friends very easily and was labeled as a “leader” by teachers on my report cards.

 

 

In sixth grade, I was elected to serve as social chairperson for the student government. I am also  a person who is full of energy and “on the go.” I am constantly taking on new endeavors and am always willing to learn something new. I don’t like to ponder “why” questions and do prefer a plan of action as I am very goal orientated.

It is mentioned that Aries are intuitive people, and my friends are always telling me I am a good judge of character. I always find myself saying, “I had a feeling that would happen.” I also agree with the statement about being reactive vs. proactive with health at times. I tend to overdo it and do not practice a ton of rest and self-care unless a health issue sidelines me from time to time. I love a good neck pillow as that tends to be a tense area for me and I do suffer from sinus infections at times, as Dr. MC mentions.

 

I am balanced with eating and exercise, however, following an 80/20 rule of eating healthy vs treating myself and I work out 5 times a week. In regards to the self-care recommendations, I agree that trips help me take a restful break from a busy lifestyle and I try to schedule a trip each season to relax and unwind, even a quick weekend getaway works wonders.

 

I drink tea every night already and would never make it without a grab-and-go breakfast such as a protein bar, shake, or overnight oats, which are perfect breakfasts for the busy Aries. Theresa mentions tap for exercise, which was one of my favorite forms of dance as a child. She also mentions yoga, running, biking, and hiking. I hate yoga and meditation. It increases my anxiety actually, which is very common for Aries and their racing minds. I love spin classes and I love walking trails and HIIT classes with weights. 

 

Although meditation is not for me, I will try the suggestion of patchouli oil for relaxation and sleep. Red is my favorite color for as long as I can remember, which is the color for Aries! One thing I strongly disagreed with is how Aries is not always focused and often starts projects but finishes few. I am a total Type A, who finishes everything and finished it ahead of schedule. Hope all my fellow Aries have a relaxing birthday season!

Aries & Self-Care

The following is my takeaway on Aries from “The Astrological Guide to Self-Care” by Constance Stellas. 

 

Constance Stellas provides a list of self-care activities ideal for Aries, and for the ease of my readers, I have categorized them by the different domains of self-care. 

 

Nutrition/Hydration (eating a variety of healthy and nutritious foods throughout the day)

  • Given Aries’s passionate, adventurous and energetic nature, their food choices should reflect this as well. Try out new spices (Saffron, maybe?), and don’t be afraid to try new combinations to avoid food boredom. 
  • Consider cooking with a cast-iron pan as metals like Iron are aligned with Mars (ruler of Aries). 
  • Salads at lunchtime made with watercress are an excellent option for Aries. They are packed with vitamins and peppery flavors. 
  • Keep your immune system in tip-top shape by eating lots of garlic. 
  • Indulge in a meal at a Thai restaurant. Its bold flavors are appealing to Aries. 
  • Unwind by sipping ginger tea. You can even make your own. The book provides the following recipe: Peel and slice a 2-inch section of fresh Ginger. Boil the slices in 1.5-2 cups of water for 10 minutes (milder tea) or 20 minutes for a stronger tea. Meditate while waiting for the tea to be ready. Strain the tea, and add a little honey (optional). Enjoy! 
  • Cardamom Coffee can offer a zesty twist to your morning cup of joe. Indulge in small amounts as high-quality cardamom can be expensive. 
  • It is important not to skip breakfast. It would be best if you had something that will keep you active and can be eaten on the go. Check out my healthy muffin recipes for an ideal breakfast treat.

 

Exercise (finding activities that make us feel good and moving our bodies regularly)

  • Aries thrives on heat and energy, so anytime outside is ideal.
  • Consider biking, running, or hiking along a new path. 
  • Consider Aerial yoga to increase your flexibility, which may be a nice way to experience yoga’s calming benefits while appealing to your adventurous side. 
  • Release some steam by hitting a punching bag or throwing darts—a great way to clear your head and focus on what is essential. 
  • Percussive beats are appealing to Aries. Consider learning to tap dance or play the bongos. 
  • Extreme sports align with Aries’s adventurous side. A great way to get some exercise in and feel that adrenaline rush. 
  • Add warrior poses to your yoga practice. Warrior poses are strong and fierce, which is ideal for Aries. There are several different variations of a warrior POSE. This article outlines them well.

 

Soothing Strategies (breathing exercises and pursuing activities that stimulate your physical, intellectual, interpersonal, or creative side to relax)

  • The Aries mind is always working. Be sure to give yourself physical space and freedom to thrive by walking around your home or office. If there is no space, move around outside. 
  • Practice deep-breathing while burning incense to slow down your mind. Look for an incense burner made of tiger’s eye and malachite. Both stones are known to be very compatible with Aries. 
  • Use Arnica (cream or gel) on your sore muscles. Aries gives 100% all the time, which can lead to some soreness. 
  • Consider wearing a red (Aries signature color) Cinnabar bracelet, which has a multisensory component. When you wear two or more of them together, they make a clacking sound for a light percussive beat adding Aries’ dynamic nature. Lots of fun options on Etsy.
  • Slow down your racing mind by massaging patchouli oil on your temples (following instructions for diluting it). 
  • Meditate while holding a bloodstone in your left hand (red & green – both of Aries power colors). Be sure to breathe deeply and consider reciting a mantra that resonates with you. 
  • Get lost in the spectacle of attending a circus performance such as Cirque du Soleil. Sure to delight an Aries with their unbelievable artistry and beauty. 
  • At least once per week, meditate on the color green for 15 minutes to help calm the passion or anger you have been experiencing. On Instagram, you can watch Dr. MC’s Calming Color meditation which examines all of the colors, but it may be a good starting point.
  • Indulge with a relaxing facial occasionally to destress. 
  • Use music to help you relax—Aries like percussive music. Create a playlist with music you like for relaxing and take a 15-minute mid-day break to listen to it. This can be an effective way to disconnect which ultimately boosts your productivity. 

 

Self-Awareness/Mindfulness (calming awareness of thoughts, feelings, and body and engaging in meditation/mind-body practices)

  • Adjust your posture and stand tall! Sometimes acting confident can help us be confident in those moments of self-doubt. Try it – stand tall and take 3 deep breaths through the nose and out through the mouth. 
  • Having a mirror hung (where you can see your face and head) in your office space can help Aries remain confident and boost your performance. 

 

Rest (taking time to recharge the batteries and sleep)

  • Create a sanctuary for sleep. Feng Shui can help you with this. Be mindful of mirror placement in your bedroom. You should not be able to see yourself in a mirror from your bed. 
  • Place a piece of green malachite next to your bed to help promote positive dreams and stimulate vivid memories. 
  • Bergamot oil can help aid Aires in falling asleep quickly, known for its relaxing and calming qualities. Perhaps add a few drops to your pillow before sleep (follow instructions for diluting it).  
  • Consider planning a vacation to a desert resort. If you cannot travel, consider trying guided meditation with a dessert theme where you can imagine the warmth of the sun on your skin and the beauty around you. Likewise, a trip to Florence, Italy may be appealing to an Aries. Even looking at images can be a valuable tool to promote relaxation. 
  • Splurge on a therapeutic pillow designed to support your head and neck area while you sleep to ensure you are getting restorative rest. 

 

Relationships (spend time with people who support you and make you feel good)

  • Conventional therapy is likely not beneficial for Aries; however, therapy apps and talk-therapy on the phone may come in handy. 
  • Aries enjoy self-care practices with others, so plan a night of relaxation with friends. Perhaps you host a Henna party which is a celebratory practice in the Middle East. 
  • Consider hosting an island party complete with steel drum band music and a conga line—a great way to kick back with friends. 
  • Playing strategic games with friends can help Aries satisfy their competitive side. 

 

Physical/Medical (attending to needs of our physical body and seeking medical care regularly)

  • Ruler of the head, skull, face, and sinuses, it is essential that Aries protect this area of their body and wear headgear. 
  • Prone to headaches, Acupuncture can be a beneficial healing modality for Aries. 
  • For stuffed sinuses, consider using a Neti Pot to clear the nasal passages. Be sure to follow the directions exactly. 
  • Wear fun baseball caps that can protect your skin from the sun. 
  • Always on the go, Aries need comfortable footwear. 

 

Environment (setting up your physical work/living space to make you feel good)

  • Clear out stagnant energy by burning sage (smudging). Learn more about it here.
  • Feng Shui bed placement should be examined for an Aries. Ideally, set up your bed, so your head faces east and your feet face west as you sleep.
  • If there is an east-facing window in the bedroom, that can be a nice way to wake up in the morning with the rays of the sun shining upon you. 
  • Decorate your home with beautiful, decorative Chinese Ginger Jars as a conversation piece, or store your fresh Ginger. 
  • Place a single flower on your desk to help you stay connected to nature while working 9-5. Consider something bold and brightly colored like a red bird of paradise, gerbera daisy, or even a poppy. 
  • Although red is Aries’s signature color, green is also a powerful color for Aries. Consider accents in shades of green to your wardrobe and home decor. 
  • Add red geraniums to your garden spaces. 

 

Spiritual (experience meaning or a larger purpose in your life, read, watch, or listen to something inspirational)

  • Lead others and feel the rewards of giving. Aries loves to inspire others. Consider mentoring, volunteering, or even sharing your self-care practices. 
  • Reading is an enjoyable activity for Aries. Consider the works of other Aries such as Robert Frost or Maya Angelou. For something thrilling, check out James Patterson’s books. 
  • Gaze up at the stars, specifically when Mars is in view, Aries ruling planet. 
  • Consider sponsoring a farmer to help them expand, feed, and take care of their animals. This act of kindness is suitable for your soul. Be sure to research reputable charitable organizations before donating. 

 

Aries, what do you think? Does this sound like you? I know many Aries folks and I can absolutely see shades of accuracy in this.

 

Be sure to like, subscribe and love me across all my social media platforms for the most up-to-date information on self-care! 

 

Stay well,

Dr. MC

Featured

Dying for Fitness – Healing from Exercise Bulimia

TW/CW – disordered eating, restrictive behavior, eating disorder talk, intentional weight loss.

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Dying for Fitness - Healing from Exercise Bulimia

A while back I was selected to interview for an upcoming documentary titled “Dying for Fitness.” I was not selected for the final cut, but I wanted to share my responses with you as I feel it is important information about my lived experience related to “Dying for Fitness” and my journey of healing from Exercise Bulimia. See below. 

But first, here’s the thing about diets and excessive exercise. They don’t work. Diets fail 95% of the time, yet we keep trying. And worse yet, we blame ourselves for weight gain. The weight gain that happens after a period of restriction is your body keeping you ALIVE! Biology wins every time. Diet culture and fatphobia are so deeply rooted in our society, it is astonishing really. The diet industry was worth $254 billion dollars in 2021 and continues to grow. Diet companies are not interested in your actual health and wellness, they are solely concerned with your money and making you feel like a failure so you keep giving them more money. It was never about health. Even ones like Noom do a better job at disguising it than most. Don’t believe me? Educate yourself. Take a look at the scientific studies that exist. You can read Intuitive Eating or information on Health at Every Size from organizations such as ASDAH.

Before my healing journey began, I was so crippled by diet culture and a fear of weight gain that I could barely function. Every moment was consumed with calorie counting, restricting, over-hydration, and figuring out how many workouts I could fit into a single day. And this was celebrated because to an outside observer (even those close to me) it looked good. I was losing weight after all and isn’t that all that really matters? No. It is not. I was miserable and I was hurting myself. My body straight-up revolted to save me and I am so grateful for that. You can read more about my healing journey in a previous blog post.

Here is my interview.

What area of exercise/sports do you work in or practice?

I am a Ph.D.level self-care expert with a wide variety of expertise related to healthy lifestyles. Exercise is an essential domain of self-care. As a classically trained dancer that now dances for recreation/exercise, I also encourage my clients to incorporate dance and movement into their practice of self-care. We must move our bodies regularly to live long, healthy lives. In my past, I danced and choreographed musicals professionally in the greater Boston area. I continue to engage in barre work, water activities like swimming and aerobics, yoga, and other movement-based exercise programs like Zumba, Body Groove, and 567 Broadway. (Listen to my podcast interview you with the creator of 567 Broadway, Joseph Corella).

What’s your experience dealing with people who exercise in an unhealthy way?

I am healing from exercise bulimia, disordered eating, and anorexia. At the height of my disease in 2015, I took up to 17 classes a week at a local boutique fitness studio. This level of exertion was in addition to a traditional gym routine throughout the week and choreographing musicals on the side. Many members of my family live in larger bodies and diet talk was constantly happening. Growing up, thanks in part to dancing and a youthful metabolism, I thought that I had somehow avoided that gene. Then came my senior year of high school, and at 17 years old, I put on weight during the summer. To combat this, I restricted my food intake, increased my exercising, and easily lost weight. It was my first memory of intentional restriction and my father was eager to share tips for managing hunger.

I mistakenly believed that I could control my body size with these methods. Unfortunately, that was not the case, and my weight has fluctuated dramatically as a result over the years. This continued over the next 15 years in a vicious cycle of over-exercising and under-eating, always resulting in weight gain after a “period of loss.” This would restart the cycle once again to undo the damage I believed had been caused by being lax in my routine and not the futile pursuit of controlling my body size. Every time I gained weight, it was more than the weight I had previously been at prior to starting the diet. I figured I just hadn’t cracked the code yet.

As I approached my wedding date in 2015, the intensity of my eating disorder took on a whole new level. I was now combining methods of purging to include abusing laxatives as well as over-hydrating integrated into my cycle of over-exercising. During this time, I also participated in DietBets and local weight loss challenges. I was obsessed with meal prep, myfitnesspal app, and anything that I thought was going to help me. I always won the challenges, determined to be a “thin” bride above all else. It’s also worth mentioning that I was celebrated for keeping this unsustainable pace and forcing my body into a more societally acceptable shape through all of this abuse. This fueled an unhealthy cycle.

It was just after the wedding when it all started to backfire. I couldn’t get the scale to budge, and no matter how many classes I took, the weight increased. At this point, I turned to a Keto diet and lifestyle, which was the final straw. I knew I needed help. I sought a dietician’s support to assist my weight issues, and after accepting the fact that I was suffering from an eating disorder, I began my journey to heal and appreciate my body. I will admit the first few sessions with my dietician, I was frustrated as I just wanted her to tell me how to lose the weight once and for all, but that was not going to happen. Instead, our work catapulted me into a journey of self-discovery and healing. I mourned the loss of my thin body and learned to be me again. This was not an easy process but it was necessary for so many reasons.

I share my journey and try to steer people away from unhealthy habits when it comes to diet and exercise. I feed my body in a loving, mindful, and intuitive way, and I now understand that exercise should be joyful. It does not have to be extreme to be effective, and exercise can be activities you enjoy. I still love to dance, so that is always my go-to activity, and truth be told…I don’t miss the gym membership.

Do you have any personal experience of injuries caused by overzealous training?

In my youth, I suffered from Chondromalacia (Runner’s knee), which is an overuse syndrome as a result of my dance training and the intensity at which I trained and performed. Again in early adulthood, as I continued to punish my body with over-exercise and exertion, I suffered from various debilitating pains, including continued knee issues, shin splints, and hip issues. Since releasing unhealthy habits, the majority of the pain has subsided, and it is no longer persistent.

Are there any fitness programs you recommend?

I typically focus less on specific fitness programs and instead encourage my clients to embrace exercise that is JOYFUL. Movement is fun – not punishment for eating. I love Zumba, and I think it can be a great program when practiced at a sustainable pace. Anything done to extreme levels will ultimately become unhealthy. Additionally, Aqua Zumba is excellent, as well as Body Groove and 567 Broadway.  I am not a fan of 30-day challenges. They tend to foster an unhealthy relationship with exercise, which is a slippery slope to an obsession with changing your body to fit an unrealistic societal ideal.


Be sure to like, subscribe, and love me across all my social media platforms for the most up-to-date information on self-care! Be sure to check out the recently launched Dr. MC shop and bi-weekly podcast.

Stay well,
Dr. MC

Featured

Astrology & Self-Care: Pisces (2022)

We have arrived at the greatest zodiac sign of them all! Mine! Just kidding. I think all the signs are great, but of course, I have a special affinity for Pisces. 

 

My birthday is March 9, so I am right in the middle of the Pisces season. Fun fact, my due date was February 28, but I held on for about 9 more days (sorry, mom), but either way…I was destined to be the intuitive, sensitive, dreamer Piscean.

 

Pisces self-care

Anyone born between February 19 – March 20 is a Pisces, according to Astrology. Pisces is a water sign which appears in the zodiac in time to usher in the Spring season. It is said in astrology that Pisces marks the beginning of the return to spirit (spring). Pisces are sensitive and tuned in to their physical body; Pisces rides the wave of teetering between compassionate care for others and dreaming. Pisces is one of the most spiritual signs, symbolized by two fish tied together, sometimes depicted as one in the light and one in the darkness, emphasizing the duality of their spiritual nature. 

 

Pisces are very creative and imaginative; however, they are sensitive and may require more rest than some signs to recoup their energies and stay happy. Sometimes elusive and even absentminded, Pisces can be tricky to understand by some but very endearing. If Pisces is aligned with their soul’s purpose, they understand compassion better than any other sign. However, if they are adrift, Pisces may languish in their sensitivities as they seek balance. Able to go with the flow, but this can lead to a passive attitude to their self-care. 

 

When it comes to self-care, Pisces requires a clean, organized, creative, comfortable environment. A natural at organizing, they find comfort in knowing exactly where everything is. Easily swayed by others’ opinions, Pisces needs to learn how vital their self-care is and that it takes planning and organizing to be successful. Pisces’ sensitivities can also lead to overindulging to manage their stress, but once Pisces discovers natural and alternative health practices, they will flourish.

 

As you know, I had so much fun writing and sharing the Astrology & Self-Care series that I plan to keep this as an ongoing series for the blog but each time expanding upon the previous post. For 2021-2022, I hope to solicit feedback from my readers who embody each of the Zodiac signs. If you are interested in being featured in an upcoming zodiac post, please comment below or email me at drmcselfcare@gmail.com. 

 

This month, my friend, Betania Oviedo provides the reader perspective! I really enjoy learning what resonates with my readers and I love Betania’s perspective! 

Reader's Perspective

Pisces and self-care

Reading through this blog there was so much that spoke to me, reaffirmed feelings about myself, or served as reminders of who I am and what makes me tick. I got really sucked in. 

 

As a working mom of three, I must admit I hardly ever take the time to think about these things. I am generally on auto-pilot, just trying to make it through the day. So I am so glad Dr. MC thought of me as her next contributor to the reader’s perspective portion of her blog. 

I had to set aside time to quietly sit and read. It forced me to do some attentive reading, take notes, sit with the information I was being presented, and really reflect on it. I was, in fact, practicing self-care without realizing it. 

 

I will 100% agree that Pisces is the best sign, in my humble opinion. I have yet to meet a fellow Pisces that I don’t instantly click with. Our energy is just different. We navigate life with sensitivity and a level of compassion that is unparalleled. This can present a challenge as the world grows more and more polarized and embroiled in conflict over topics that range from insignificant and mundane to life-changing and culturally defining. Constantly in our faces, taking place in full display for all to see and partake in. It can quite literally be emotional overload for someone as sensitive and introspective as a Pisces. Hence why we need more rest than other signs to recoup energy and stay happy. I am notorious for going into hibernation for days at a time. When it gets to that point I like to totally disconnect from my laptop, from my smartphone, from the outside world altogether and refuel. Another antidote for the challenges of navigating this crazy world as a Pisces is having a creative outlet of some sort. I’ve always loved art. It runs in my blood. As a teen, I enjoyed dancing (and still do at a party or just while listening to music at home) but was way too shy and self-conscious to go into performing arts. I loved drawing and aspired to go into architecture and interior design. These days I use cooking, writing, and decorating as my creative outlets. 

As Dr. MC points out, learning to express emotions is critical but can be hard for Pisces who never wants to hurt anyone’s feelings. It’s also likely why throughout my life I’ve often struggled with setting firm boundaries and reasonable expectations. Still working on both. Additionally, the need for “space out” time is so real! 

Pisces and self-care

I think that’s why when I am really stressed it manifests itself in one of two ways: I turn into a couch potato and give myself space to do and think about as close to nothing as possible OR I Clean! At the end of the day, I think both serve the same purpose of allowing my mind to just roam aimlessly, zone out, wander. 

 

Another wonderful outcome of this little homework assignment has been realizing all the self-care practices that I no longer partake in as I’ve become busier and focused on other goals but that used to bring me so much joy and centered me. My plan is to bring some of those back and incorporate some new ones from the “self-care activities ideal for a Pisces” list. There is so much there I am excited to try and explore. I invite all my little fishes out there to do the same. Take care of yourselves. 

Pisces & Self-Care

The following is my takeaway on Pisces from “The Astrological Guide to Self-Care” by Constance Stellas. 

 

Constance Stellas provides a list of self-care activities ideal for Pisces, and for the ease of my readers, I have categorized them by the different domains of self-care. 

 

Nutrition/Hydration (eating a variety of healthy and nutritious foods throughout the day)

 

  • While a healthy diet and proper nutrition are essential for everyone, Pisces should pay special attention to this aspect of their health as their digestive system is very sensitive. 
  • Savoring their food will benefit the Piscean digestive system and they should aim to practice mindful/intuitive eating. (Please be aware of who you look for advice in this arena as there is a LOT of misinformation – real Intuitive Eating information can be found here).
  • When it is cold outside, stay warm with a cup of hot cocoa. Add hazelnut spread, vanilla extract, mini marshmallows, or whipped cream for an added treat. 
  • Pisces can have a sweet tooth, unlike other water signs but prefer unique confections. Consider liquor-filled chocolates as a treat or a decadent imported Italian chocolate (Bacci’s, anyone?)
  • Add Poppy Seeds to your diet, which have many benefits, including improving mental health and cognition. Try Dr. MC’s Original Pomegranate Lemon Poppy Seed Oatmeal Muffins.
  • Pisces is wildly romantic and indulgent; consider having Caviar. Once prescribed as an antidepressant, recent studies have shown that Caviar may improve your mood. 
  • Pisces can handle a little heat to their food, so experiment with spices. Perhaps star anise will do the trick, which is full of antioxidants and antibacterial properties.  
  • Help feel grounded by adding a few drops of Bach’s Clematis to a glass of water.
  • A great host who loves to share their time and treats with friends and family, consider serving a Sea Breeze Cocktail at your next event. The book provides the following recipe – 1 cup vodka, 2 cups Cranberry Juice, ¾ cup Grapefruit Juice. Add to a shaker with ice and then pour into a chilled glass and garnish with a lime wedge. 
  • Set the mood for a romantic meal with a glass of Red Wine, a favorite of Pisces. 
  • Experiment with different black tea options for sipping throughout the day for an added energy boost. 

 

Exercise (finding activities that make us feel good and moving our bodies regularly)

 

  • Pisces enjoys exercise with pleasant surroundings.
  • Pisces have a natural rhythm, so they may enjoy dance, water activities, horseback riding, or anything that allows them to go with the flow. 
  • Add Fish pose to your yoga practice which will help open the heart chakra.

 

Soothing Strategies (breathing exercises and pursuing activities that stimulate your physical, intellectual, interpersonal, or creative side to relax)

 

  • “Space out” time is necessary for Pisces. This can be accompanied by music, meditation, coloring, or walking outside. 
  • Their sensitive nature is a strength of Pisces; however, in a world that can be insensitive and does not value feelings, Pisces can be prone to overindulging in substances to cope. Pay extra attention to these habits and seek the support of a medical practitioner if necessary. 
  • Frequent pedicures are a must to keep the feet happy. 
  • A perpetual dreamer, Pisces needs to incorporate mindfulness practices into their daily routine to help stay in the present moment. Watch Dr. MC on Instagram Live sharing some mindfulness techniques.
  • With their unique insight, Pisces are often considered “psychic,” and special attention should be given to the third eye chakra to ensure energy is flowing clearly and freely. An amethyst geode or stone can help support this endeavor and balance emotions. 
  • Indulge your playful, childlike side, perhaps by blowing bubbles or participating in another activity typically enjoyed by children, and revel in the simple joys of life. 
  • Consider hypnotherapy to tap into your innermost thoughts and subconscious. Pisces are naturally very connected to this aspect of themselves, but hypnotherapy can deepen that process. 
  • Pisces must have an outlet for their creativity and a muse. The muse can be a person, a place, or even an activity that ignites your expression. 
  • Listen to the sounds of Lute music. A playlist of lute music in the background can provide the perfect tone to help Pisces feel fully at peace. 
  • Always dreaming and thinking, a nice activity for Pisces is people watching to help fuel their natural urge for explorations. This activity can help Pisces gain insight into both their inner world and the outside world. 
  • Tap into your magical side by purchasing a Witch’s hat or full ensemble. Pisces are very connected to supernatural realms, and this item can help foster that connection. 

 

Self-Awareness/ Mindfulness  (calming awareness of thoughts, feelings, and body and engaging in meditation/mind-body practices)

 

  • Pisces can quickly become distracted and forgetful. Calendar alerts, a watch, or an alarm, can be useful tools to help them stay on track. A smartwatch may be particularly useful to help Pisces orient themselves and assess how their daily schedules are working. 
  • If Pisces is in a caregiving profession, they need to be mindful about becoming over-involved with other people’s problems. A skilled caregiver can absorb the energies of others which will leave their energy depleted. Once Pisces realizes that self-care is other care, they will serve as a role model of self-care to their friends and family. 
  • Pisces is known for their unique and artsy accessories. Consider adding scarves to your wardrobe for that soft, flowy Piscean vibe. 
  • Deeply connected to the subconscious of self and others, Pisces should consider using a crystal ball to hone their physic abilities. 
  • Foster connection with the scent of Ylang-Ylang, which is known to promote social connections and a feeling of intimacy. 
  • Consider taking a fishing trip to help connect Pisces to the ocean, where they feel very at peace. Not necessary to catch the fish but to watch them. 

 

Rest (taking time to recharge the batteries and sleep)

 

  • Relaxing with your feet up is very appealing to Pisces. Consider an ottoman to help keep the pressure off your feet. 
  • Spend time on a boat. It is no surprise that Pisces loves the water and it’s their preferred spot to unwind. Consider renting a houseboat for a vacation to enjoy the serenity of the water and the escapist nature of Pisces. 

 

Relationships (spend time with people who support you and make you feel good)

 

  • Learning to express their feelings is critical for Pisces, so working with a therapist may be beneficial. 
  • Consider making a potpourri love potion to bring back the romance. Let the aroma of the potpourri fill your home as you envision bringing love back into your life. 
  • Orchids are Pisces-ruled with their exotic flair and vibrant colors – so give one as a gift to yourself or someone you love. Typically yellow is for a friend, pink is for a romantic partner, orange is for a close work colleague, and purple is for someone you love. 
  • Consider a love-focused mantra to deepen your relationships. Perhaps you are feeling disconnected from a loved one. Repeat to yourself or aloud, “Love and compassion will help us all.” This will help to steady and ground Pisces. 

 

Physical/Medical (attending to needs of our physical body and seeking medical care regularly)

 

  • Ruler of the feet, Pisces must keep their feet healthy to feel grounded. So supportive, comfortable shoes are a must for this sign. For me, Dansko’s are fabulous!
  • A weekly foot rub or reflexology may be ideal for this sign. 

 

Self-Compassion (supportive, encouraging self-talk/feel your feelings) 

 

  • A cathartic cry is good for a Pisces, so put on your favorite tearjerker and feel your feelings. 
  • Piscean gifts often extend to the animal world, and their compassionate nature works well with children. Consider visiting a petting zoo or a nearby farm or shelter to spend time with animals. 
  • Pisces is very insightful and intuitive, but there can be bumps along the way that makes Pisces doubt their abilities. A great affirmation for Pisces is, “I trust my intuition, and incorporate it in my daily life” as a friendly reminder to trust your intuition always. 

 

Environment (setting up your physical work/living space to make you feel good)

 

  • Pisces need a space to unwind. A space dedicated to self-care is ideal where they can be alone. This space should be filled with items relevant to their self-care. Ideally, there should be a lot of blue in this space and comfy seating options and cushions. Here is one section of my self-care space.
  • Soft, soothing textures are ideal for Pisces. Add a chenille blanket or rich velvet throw pillows to your bed, but don’t limit these plush textiles to your décor. Pisces should also wear velvet and silk, which will resonate with their love of luxury.
  • Next time you visit the ocean, collect pieces of sea glass and display them in a glass vase where sunlight can shine through them. This is a reminder for Pisces that you can weather the storm and emerge as something beautiful. 
  • Mermaids should be part of the home décor for a Pisces. A symbol of beauty and fierce strength, a perfect Piscean motivator.
  • Stained glass is a beautiful addition to the Piscean home décor as the beams of color shining through adding a magical glow to the space. 
  • For added luck and beauty, consider adding a seahorse to your home décor. 
  • Consider adding African Violets to your home or office. The African Violet is linked to water and feminine energy like Pisces. 
  • Promote calm with an image of a Lotus flower. A perfect image for Pisces to include in the spaces they frequent. 
  • Grow a Bonsai tree to bring balance and positive energy to your home. 
  • Adorn your bed with pillows of various sizes, textures, and firmness to ensure you are always comfortable. 

 

Spiritual (experience meaning or a larger purpose in your life, read, watch, or listen to something inspirational)

 

  • Unwind with a great love story or perhaps the works of fellow Pisceans such as Victor Hugo or Amy Tan. 
  • Research fellow Piscean, Edgar Cayce, America’s most well-known trance medium healer and clairvoyant.
  • Capture candid moments from your day-to-day activities to ensure you are documenting life to reflect on later. 
  • Pisces is very connected to the powers that be, including forces and people from the past who may be watching over them, providing guidance and aid. Wearing an angel pin on your collar or carrying one in your bag can be a great reminder that you are not alone on this journey and that you are protected, guided, and supported.  
  • Plan a trip to Denmark to visit The Little Mermaid statue at Langelinie Pier, created in honor of the fairy tale. If that is not an option, take time to watch the Disney classic for a burst of mythical inspiration and childhood nostalgia.
  • To further your spiritual journey, consider visiting a monastery. An integral part of many traditions such as Buddhism, Christianity, and Hinduism; you can find monasteries worldwide. 

 

Pisces, what do you think? Does this sound like you? For me, this is very accurate, especially the part about wanting to help other people practice better self-care. Hello, that is so me! 

 

Be sure to like, subscribe and love me across all my social media platforms for the most up-to-date information on self-care!

Stay well,

Dr. MC

Featured

Restoring Balance with Ayurveda

I love Ayurveda. Time and time again I turn to these ancient practices to support my well-being and restore balance in my senses. This re-post includes links to various products mentioned. 

 

Ayurveda was developed more than 5,000 years ago in India, and it is the world’s oldest holistic healing system. Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word meaning ayur or “life” and veda or “knowledge.” The fundamental belief of Ayurveda is that the mind, body, and spirit are connected, and the balance of all three promotes optimal health and wellness. Incorporating practices from Ayurveda in your self-care routines is a great way to restore balance and invite healing into your life.

 

Here is how you can get started. 

I was first introduced to Ayurveda through the work of Dr. Deepak Chopra in 2011, when I started studying self-care. Dr. Chopra’s work was eye-opening. Since then, I have studied Ayurveda in-depth, and I incorporate many principles and ritual practices into my routine. 

 

A key component of Ayurveda is having a daily routine, called a Dinacharya. Many elements go into a Dinacharya such as oil pulling, tongue scraping, rose water eye spray, and more. There are more practices you can incorporate into your routine, but these are the ones that I have practiced successfully for many years. I start by brushing my teeth and then I do the following. 

 

Oil Pulling

 

Oil pulling involves swishing sesame oil or coconut oil in your mouth in the morning for optimal oral hygiene. I use sesame oil. According to Banyan Botanicals, a leading Ayurveda supply store, the benefits of this practice include “improving oral flora, preventing tooth decay, alleviating bad breath, and strengthening the tissue of teeth and gums.”

 

Supporting oral hygiene is beneficial to our overall health and wellness. I have been doing this for a long time and my dentist always compliments me when I go to my bi-annual appointments. I think a lot of that has to do with oil pulling because I am by no means a champion toothbrusher and I hardly ever floss. Thirty-eight years old and no cavities either. Most of that is thanks to my mom ensuring that my teeth were always cleaned well as a kid, but my mom has not brushed my teeth in many, many years…so oil pulling is likely helping me out. 

 

You want to swish with about a tablespoon of the oil in your mouth for 15-20 minutes, so I usually do something else while I am practicing my oil pulling. You will likely need to build yourself up to this time frame, so start with 5 minutes. You will feel the oil change consistency in your mouth. Then you want to spit it out in the trash so you do not cause any drain problems. Do not swallow the oil. Afterward, rinse your mouth out with water. 

 

Banyan Botanicals also makes a product called Dailly Swish which is an option. 

 

Tongue Scraping 

 

Along with oil pulling, you want to scrape your tongue. The thought behind this is while you are asleep, your body releases toxins and bacteria through your tongues, which results in a coating that you want to remove right away.

 

By gently scraping our tongues, we can remove this coating, thus promoting our oral hygiene. A stainless steel tongue scraper is best and be sure to rinse the scraper after each use to keep it clean. I do this following my oil pulling. 

 

Rose Water Eye Rinse 

 

Lastly, I cleanse my eyes by spraying them with Rosewater. Rosewater is a natural remedy for some common eye issues such as eye strain, allergies, dry eye, and more. Before spraying Rosewater in your eyes, you should test it on your skin to ensure you will not have an adverse reaction. It takes some getting used to spraying directly into your eyes, but it feels so refreshing. I top this off by taking Witch Hazel on a cotton ball and wiping my eyes and my face. Witch Hazel is a toner and helps keep my skin young and fresh. Not necessarily an Ayurveda practice, but something I do that helps promote my well-being in conjunction with the other Ayurveda practices. 

 

You can watch my Dincharya process here

 

There is one other Ayurvedic practice that I like to do. I do not do this daily, but I try to do this weekly. You can, of course, do this more often than weekly. 

 

Abhyanga (Self-Massage)

 

In Sanskrit, abhy means “to rub,” and anga means “limbs,” hence, self-massage. Skin is the largest organ in the body and an incredibly important one to keep healthy but often neglected. 

 

Abhyanga can be practiced in a variety of ways. I was taught to use a body brush and perform this practice as part of my shower routine. This can be done outside of the shower before you go in, but I feel that it is messier to do it outside of the shower as the oil/scrub can get everywhere. Exfoliating shower gloves work instead of a brush too if you prefer. I use a lavender-scented body scrub from Trader Joe’s, but you can use any oil or sometimes I use this body wash. Please be mindful of the surface of the tub as it can become slippery.

 

To start, you lovingly massage your entire body from the top to the bottom, front and back with the oil and the brush. When you get to the abdomen, be sure to rub in a clockwise motion as that is the direction of the large intestine and colon. You want to let the oil absorb into your skin, so do not rinse it off right away. Give yourself at least 10-15 minutes to complete this practice.

 

Abhyanga provides the following benefits: 

  • Nourished and hydrated skin
  • Toned skin tissue
  • Restored nervous system
  • Detoxified lymphatic system
  • Restful sleep
  • Decreased aging effects
  • Increased circulation
  • Internal organ stimulation
  • Assists the body in its ability to eliminate waste healthily

 

Be sure to like, subscribe and love me across all my social media platforms for the most up-to-date information on self-care! And be sure to check out the Dr. MC podcast

 

Stay well,

Dr. MC

 

 

Featured

Astrology & Self-Care: Aquarius (2022)

self-care and Aquarius

Aquarius marks the 9th chapter in our Astrology & Self-Care series with our addition of the reader’s perspective. I hope you are finding these posts as insightful and entertaining as I am.  Anyone born between January 20 – February 18 is an Aquarius, according to Astrology. In a previous blog post, I introduced self-care according to the zodiac. 

Aquarius can be the most unpredictable sign in the zodiac. An air sign with water in their symbol can also be confusing. “The Water Bearer” often symbolizes Aquarius. This imagery can also be thought of as pouring knowledge as Aquarius is often one who wishes to share their knowledge. A humanitarian by nature, Aquarians act from the vision that we are all joined together for the collective good. 

 

Aquarians tend to be the most blasé about self-care when compared to other signs. Aquarians often forget to live in the moment and can get stuck in future planning. It is essential that Aquarians tap into their energies and nervous system’s rhythm as they tend to have a sensitive nervous system. Sometimes their mental energy causes insomnia so that they can benefit from physical exercise, meditation, and mindfulness. Aquarians sometimes do not require as much sleep as other signs. 

 

Aquarians can be difficult to motivate with self-care practices unless they see taking care of themselves as a means to have a greater impact on the world around them. Not seeking fame and fortune, but Aquarians need to know their words reach others. 

 

Consistency can be challenging for Aquarius, so they tend not to stick to any particular self-care routine. Still, if they can tune into their rhythm, they can develop the skills necessary to effectively take care of themselves, especially if they can lead others in the process. 

 

However, it should be noted that even if you are not an Aquarius, these self-care tips are useful regardless of your zodiac sign.

 

As you know, I had so much fun writing and sharing the Astrology & Self-Care series that I plan to keep this as an ongoing series for the blog but each time expanding upon the previous post. For 2021-2022, I hope to solicit feedback from my readers who embody each of the Zodiac signs. If you are interested in being featured in an upcoming zodiac post, please comment below or email me at drmcselfcare@gmail.com. 

 

This month, my friend, confidant, and Reiki Master, Amber McMahon, provides the reader perspective! You may recall amber for her podcast episode “Ridin’ the Wave of Life.” or a blog post on Reiki. I really enjoy learning what resonates with my readers and Amber’s perspective is fabulous! 

Reader's Perspective

Much of this blog resonated with me. And although Aquarians can be unpredictable I believe that I am consistent and predictable, although I do like to fly by the seat of my pants at times. I have always been connected with water and I enjoy expressing my creativity. When I was younger, I did this mostly through hair and makeup now it is more with fashion and accessories. And yes, I do tend to decorate my car (lol). 

Aquarius & Self-Care

As an Aquarian and Reiki master, energy healer, it’s of the utmost importance that I take care of my energy, nervous system as well as physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. I exercise and meditate on a consistent basis which is very helpful. I see a trainer to do strength training otherwise I wouldn’t do it (lol). Ruler of the ankles I have never been a fan of mine, but I need a strong build to physically do the energy work I perform. I am a humanitarian for sure and love sharing my vision and lived experiences. I often preach being one with the universe and that we are all connected. I used to live in the future or past but after practicing mindfulness and gaining the tools that I teach my clients, I live in the moment and focus on the “just for now.”

 

Before I got into a stricter and scheduled self-care practice I will admit I was rather blasé. Now my routine is planned and scheduled out for the year with various weekly and monthly times set aside for practices. Dr. MC has definitely helped reinforce the importance of self-care! I now make self-care my priority so that I can be the best I can be for my family and clients. 

 

Sleep deprivation never worked for me to be able to function. I’m not sure how I did it with my 2 daughters and especially my second daughter who was born just as I was starting my private practice. 

 

I love all types of food especially charcuterie boards. I am a coffee lover and I will indulge in a cocktail (not sugary ones) but I will try the exotic beach idea! I am a ginger and lime fan in any cocktail. And enjoy spices and curry.

Aquarius & Self-Care

I am a huge proponent of mantras and I have my clients use them. If I didn’t practice mindfulness, deep breathing, or my self Reiki (all parts of my self-care routine), I would have a racing mind at bedtime. These practices are part of my bedtime routine and what I do when I wake up in the morning. 

 

I enjoy traveling, flying and I am a huge sci-fi fan especially The Twilight Zone. I am even part of the fan club on Facebook and watch all of the marathons. 

I often carry crystals with me and I enjoy a variety of music anything from classical to Motown, classic rock to healing music to binaural beats. Daily I use incense of frankincense and myrrh in my office and I am a cat lover. I have a new love for tropical plants in my home and have always loved fresh flowers around my space. The weather has always sparked my interest and greatly impacts my energy and mood. 

 

And I have ten million ideas! Not just one! I often will run with it but I now take my time, so it’s done right with all my power and confidence. I can never half-a** anything. After reading this post, I texted Dr. MC and said, “OMG that entire blog matches me. It’s crazy.” So I know my fellow Aquarians will resonate with this as well.

Capricorn & Self-Care

The following is my takeaway on Aquarius from “The Astrological Guide to Self-Care” by Constance Stellas. 

 

Constance Stellas provides a list of self-care activities ideal for Aquarius, and for the ease of my readers, I have categorized them by the different domains of self-care. 

 

Nutrition/Hydration (eating a variety of healthy and nutritious foods throughout the day)

  • Apply your adventurous side and love of trying new things to your diet perhaps by joining an exotic food club or a subscription-based food service. 
  • If it is boring, it is not for Aquarius, so seek out more unique treats such as Black popcorn. 
  • Indulge in a fun new coffee flavor. Ask an experienced barista for a recommendation to mix up your routine. 
  • Organic and freshly grown vegetables are good for anyone to eat, and growing your own is an excellent activity for an Aquarian. Consider setting up a hydroponic garden. 
  • Relax with a Blue Cocktail – the book suggests the following recipe. 1 shot of vodka, 1 shot of Blue Curacao, and 4 oz. of soda like Sprite or Lime seltzer and add ice. Blend it (optional) until slushy and serve in a martini glass. The beautiful blue color will make you feel like you are on a warm beach somewhere exotic. 
    • My mixologist husband provided a tasty alternative. He says “If you are already messing around with Blue Curacao, don’t go off script. Grab a bottle of white rum, pineapple juice and make yourself a classic drink; ‘the Blue Hawaiian.’ Coconut Rum or coconut cream also works, but not required.”
    • Equal parts pineapple juice and rum (2 oz each), a splash of Blue Curacao (.5 oz will make your drink a Tiffany Blue color, 1 oz. will make it a deeper blue. Shake & strain or blend, there are not wrong ways to make this drink.
  • Experiment with new spices such as variations of Curry Powder for added zest and bonus health benefits. 

 

Exercise (finding activities that make us feel good and moving our bodies regularly)

  • Sports and exercise are critical for Aquarians to keep the blood and energy moving; however, they can get quickly bored with repetitive movements. Activities like martial arts, yoga, dancing, and Zumba can be varied enough to keep their interest. 
  • Known to help with circulation, be sure to add Camel Pose to your yoga practice. (Not a beginner’s pose, so be sure to try it under the direction of a trained instructor)
  • Look for unique exercise opportunities such as riding a unicycle. 

 

Soothing Strategies (breathing exercises and pursuing activities that stimulate your physical, intellectual, interpersonal, or creative side to relax)

  • Adopt a personal mantra to help build confidence. Something like, “I go my own way” while practicing deep, cleansing breaths. 
  • Often plagued by insomnia, consider creating art or engaging in another activity to calm the racing thoughts when you cannot sleep. 
  • Consider engaging in creative outlets but in non-traditional ways. For example, adult coloring books are an excellent tool for promoting calmness and such, but an Aquarian should be bold in these endeavors. Color the grass blue and the sky green, and shake up the norms with your expression. 
  • As ruler of the ankles, be sure to adorn this part of your body with an anklet to express your style. 
  • Aquarians tend to enjoy air travel, but instead of being a passenger, consider taking a pilot training course and put yourself in the cockpit. This could be a great new skill, and an Aquarian will find the adrenaline rush to be very motivating. 
  • Collect or create your own wish dolls. These tiny creations can hold your hopes and dreams when you whisper them to the wish doll. 
  • Science fiction movies can be appealing to Aquarians as they encourage them to ponder the limitless possibilities available to us. 
  • Crystals and gemstones are powerful tools, and Lapis Lazuli is particularly powerful for Aquarians. Consider carrying a small piece in your pocket or keeping a stone on your desk.  
  • Help promote relaxation by listening to the masterpieces by fellow Aquarian Mozart. Similarly, Raga music, which originated in India, is appealing to Aquarians. Explore different options to find the style that suits you, and listen to it when you need some quiet, reflective time.  
  • Boost your energy by listening to or creating your own electronic music and move your body to the beat. Ragtime music can have the same impact on an Aquarian with its unmistakable syncopated rhythms. 
  • Popular music can also have a significant impact on Aquarius. Great to exercise to or unwind. 
  • Find calmness with the scent of Frankincense whenever you need to relax or before bedtime. 
  • Clear the energy in your space by playing bells. The vibration of the bell will renew and refresh the energy in your home. 
  • Spend time outside in awe of the beauty of the outdoors. Perhaps watch a flock of birds in action and be ready with a camera to capture the moment. 
  • Consider branching beyond typical dogs and cats as domestic pets and look into owning a pet bird. Birds such as Cockatoo make lovely, funny, intelligent companions. 
  • As an air sign, deep breathing exercises are critical for Aquarians but consider boosting your energy and making some noise by playing the Kazoo for something different. 

 

Self-Awareness/Mindfulness (calming awareness of thoughts, feelings, and body and engaging in meditation/mind-body practices)

  • Expressing yourself and your creativity in your physical appearance can be a rewarding experience for Aquarians; consider a wild streak of bold color in your hair or glittery eyeshadows for a dramatic effect. Additionally, clothing choices should be unique with plenty of patterns and style. 
  • Learn to embrace and flaunt your uniqueness and your eccentric side. 

 

Rest (taking time to recharge the batteries and sleep)

  • Ward off the winter blues by planning a tropical vacation, and be sure to stay active even when you would rather stay on the couch. If this is an ongoing issue, reach out to your doctor to discuss other options, such as light therapy. 

 

Relationships (spend time with people who support you and make you feel good)

  • Classic therapy will likely not be successful for Aquarians, but a mix of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or hypnosis may be beneficial. 
  • Don’t take your closest friendships for granted. Reflecting on fond memories and good friends is a great way to practice gratitude. 
  • Express your creativity by entertaining any children in your family. Perhaps a puppet show of sorts will delight the children and give you an outlet for expression. 

 

Physical/Medical (attending to needs of our physical body and seeking medical care regularly)

  • Ruler of blood and energy circulation – care must be taken in this area for Aquarians as their circulation can become stagnant. Practices like Reiki, Acupressure, Abhyanga, and Acupuncture should be incorporated into their routines to keep energy flowing.
  • Ankles & calves can also be a trouble spot for Aquarians, and exercises should be done to keep this area strong. 

 

Environment (setting up your physical work/living space to make you feel good)

  • Unicorns appeal to Aquarians and their ideals and should be incorporated into Aquarians’ lives either in the décor they choose, stickers, statues, bags, etc. 
  • Consider Batik fabric as clothing or decorative options. The bold colors and intricate designs are appealing to Aquarians. Additionally, iridescent fabrics, stones, and home décor are great for Aquarians as they are unique and beautiful. 
  • Blue Sapphires can be perfect accent pieces for Aquarians, too, as jewelry or raw stones to be worn or adorn their living environment. 
  • Consider Bird of Paradise flowers in your home to make a statement and add some color and beauty to any room. Additionally, blue Cornflowers can make a delightful display in the Aquarian home, and Blue Hydrangea bushes outside are a must. 
  • Lightning bolts can be helpful reminders of your infinite potential and should be used as décor in the home. Perhaps a sculpture, wall art, photograph, or even a neon light can do the trick. 
  • Consider keeping a stuffed penguin on your bed. Penguins and Aquarians have the same planetary ruler, and they can be a friendly reminder to smile and not take things too seriously. 
  • With Uranus as your ruling planet, Aquarians should consider hanging a photograph of their ruling planet in the space where they work as a reminder of strength and perseverance.
  • Add a flair of distinction to your décor by hanging an octagon-shaped mirror in the entryway, encouraging guests to want to look at it and themselves. 
  • Consider purchasing a high-tech in-home weather station for tracking potentially dangerous storms in your area. Sure to spark the interest and curiosity of an Aquarian.  
  • Consider decorating your car with an “Age of Aquarius” flair to show the world you appreciate and respect all kinds of people, lifestyles, and cultures. 
  • Brightly colored mobiles can add an element of whimsy to your décor. 

Spiritual (experience meaning or a larger purpose in your life, read, watch, or listen to something inspirational)

  • If you have a unique idea, run with it and invent something! This can be an enriching practice, even if it is just for fun to boost your confidence. 
  • Visit a museum to open your mind to the world of art, especially neon light exhibits that can help you tap into your creative side. 

 

Aquarius, what do you think? Does this sound like you? I have some Aquarians near and dear to me and this resonates with me.

 

Be sure to like, subscribe, and love me across all my social media platforms for the most up-to-date information on self-care! Be sure to check out the recently launched Dr. MC shop and bi-weekly podcast

 

Stay well,

Dr. MC 

Featured

Achieving Goals: What Can You Do today?

Back in 2019, I read the book, Failing Up: How to Take Risks, Aim Higher, and Never Stop Learning by one of my favorite Broadway superstars, Leslie Odom Jr. You may know him is the original Aaron Burr in the Broadway smash hit “Hamilton,” but I have been following Leslie for many years. Are any “Smash” fans reading this? I found the book so inspiring and helpful for how we think about achieving goals and keeping your eyes on the prize. 

Achieving goals: What can you do today?

Leslie had an offer that was solid to be on a television show, but he really wanted to be part of a little broadway show that at the time was little more than a concept. Safe to say, he made the right choice. 

 

One of the book’s lessons that stuck with me was the idea of doing something every day to make your tomorrow better. This is regarding our dreams and achieving goals. At this moment in the book, Leslie was contemplating quitting acting. That’s right, the man who brought Aaron Burr to life wanted to quit acting shortly before Hamilton even happened!

 

It is easy to see how this could have occurred. We tend to beat ourselves up for not accomplishing our goal as quickly as possible, but this little shift of just doing one thing every day…even something very small that sets up your tomorrow, is a powerful practice. This puts our plans into action. 

 

Some days you will accomplish a lot, and others, well, you won’t, and that’s ok, but in those moments just doing something small helps us get there that much faster. 

 

Leslie tells this story so beautifully. He recalls visiting a trusted mentor and discussing his dilemma. The mentor said, “I’d like to see you try before you quit.” This took Leslie by surprise. He went on to ask him what he did today to ensure a better tomorrow. Was he just sitting by the phone waiting for it to ring? This struck a nerve with Leslie and the rest, as they say, is history. 

 

So now I ask you in the words of Lelsie Odom Jr.

 

“What are you ignoring today? What did you do to help yourself today? Who did you call? What did you read? Did you take one step toward something that makes you come alive today? If you’re willing to take one humble and meaningful step toward making a dream come true, the Universe will take two. You will be aided. You will get the help you desire and desperately need. Take the step. You’ll win, or you’ll learn.”

 

Even when I am crazy busy with tasks unrelated to my goals, I always try to do one thing to get me to my goals, no matter how small it is. Maybe it is sending an email, responding to another request, reading an article, connecting on social media, something. Every baby step towards your goals is beneficial. 

 

Later in 2019, my husband and I had the pleasure of seeing Leslie perform live in Boston at Symphony Hall, and we met him after the show (see picture above). The show was breathtaking, and he was so gracious with his time and energy after the show. We chatted briefly, and I referenced his book and its importance for me personally. And he told me, “you gotta put what you want out into the universe.” 

Achieving goals: What can you do today?

This may be a new concept for some. If you are looking to get started with this, maybe take some time today to write out your goals for the year. These are your intentions. I am a big fan of intention-setting journaling. This is where you get really clear on your goals and write it as you have already accomplished it or that you already have whatever it is that you desire. You can read my recently featured article with Authority Magazine and the accompanying video clip for more on this concept. 

This is also referred to as manifesting. If you have not read the book “The Secret,” I strongly recommend checking it out. You can also watch the movie on Netflix. 

 

For my regular blog readers, I am shifting to bi-weekly blogs. Every week you will either have a new podcast episode or a new blog, so still LOTS of self-care content coming your way—no need to worry. The next podcast episode will launch on 1/19, and the next blog post will post on 1/24.

 

Be sure to like, subscribe, and love me across all my social media platforms for the most up-to-date information on self-care! And check out the recently launched Dr. MC shop and my recent interview on the popular Nike Trained podcast. You can hear the episode here (Apple/Spotify). Also available where you listen to podcasts. 

 

Best,

Dr. MC 

Featured

Tips for Better Sleep

Getting proper rest and quality sleep is imperative to any self-care routine. We need rest and we need sleep. This is not optional. Good sleep is associated with a lot of health benefits for our physical body and for our brains. Our brains cannot function without sleep. And prolonged sleep deprivation can have dramatic consequences on our overall health and well-being. Lucky for you, there are some easy tips you can follow to help support you in getting high-quality sleep. 

Tips for Better Sleep

I know this is an area people struggle with. Did you know when you wake up, you should feel rested and restored? Not like you have to chug a gallon of coffee to function. Research shows that adults (ages 18-64) need 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Teenagers actually need more like 8-10 hours a night and those over 65 require a little less per night, 7-8 hours research shows. 

 

And this is actual sleep, not just being in bed tossing and turning. If you have a Fitbit or another type of activity tracker, you can view your sleep stats, which may be eye-opening. When I did this a few years back, I was shocked to learn my sleep was not as restful as I had thought, so I took steps to rectify this. I feel great when I have had a good night’s sleep.

 

The good news is there are tweaks you can make in your routine to get more restful sleep. Below are some of my favorite ways to ensure I get good quality sleep. 

Lavender

Listening

  • Listening to white noise, a guided mediation (bonus points for a Dr. MC one), hypnosis, or calming music to relax can be beneficial. 
  • Lots of free options on YouTube or various apps.

Limit Light

  • You want to sleep in as close to darkness as possible. Personally, I need a night light and my hubby wants total darkness, we were able to compromise with this night light
  • Keep in mind the light for any devices or even outside light pollution that could be impacting your sleep. 

Yoga & Breathing

  • Gentle yoga stretches or a few rounds of deep breathing before bed can be very relaxing. Be sure to do these slowly. Deep breathing exercises when performed quickly can energize us.  Basic deep breathing consists of 3-5 rounds in through the nose and a long exhale through the mouth (make the exhale longer than the inhale). You can watch Dr. MC demonstrate this here
  • Here are some more ways to get started with gentle stretching and breathing. 

Consistent Times

  • Set wakeup and bedtime to get your body into a rhythm and keep them as consistent as possible. This helps your body get into a rhythm of when it is time to go to bed and get up. 

Writing

  • Clear the junk from your head before bed – this can be a great time to journal or write your gratitude list. 
  • A simple journal or Google Docs/notes on your phone can get you started. Write down 3-5 things every day that you are grateful for. This can be things, people, possessions, tastes, smells, abilities, etc. – no limits on expressing gratitude. There is research to support when you practice gratitude you can re-wire the neuro pathways in your brain to boose your moose, improve relationships and increase your happiness. 
  • One of my fave ways to end the day is to practice What Went Well. This is a simple but powerful mindfulness practice. The goal is to end the day on a positive note! Watch here

Lastly, you may also want to consider a weighted blanket. Lots of options. Aim for 8-10% of your body weight. Be sure to get one with a cover as you cannot wash the heavy, weighted part, so the cover allows for easier cleaning. There is not a lot of scientific research regarding the effectiveness of a weighted blanket, but there is a lot of anecdotal evidence to support the use of a weighted blanket. 

 

And be sure to keep the bedroom as a place for sleeping. Try not to do work in your bedroom as it can be confusing to your brain that it is a workspace and it can impact your ability to rest, relax and sleep. 

Really pay attention to how you feel in the morning and set yourself up for success by going to be at an appropriate time to get you 7-9 hours. 

 

Do you have other tips that help you get restful sleep? Comment below and let me know. 

Be sure to like, subscribe, and love me across all my social media platforms for the most up-to-date information on self-care! And check out the recently launched Dr. MC shop and bi-weekly podcast

 

Oh and one more thing, I recently had the honor of being a guest on the Nike Trained podcast. You can hear the episode here (Apple/Spotify). Also available where you listen to podcasts. 

 

Best,

Dr. MC 

Featured

Nike: Owning Your Self-Care

You may recall a few months back, I was asked to lend my expertise for a Nike article about simple self-care practices. The article was great and I was so honored to partner with Nike to share my expertise. I appreciated the fact-checking process and their attention to detail in ensuring that they only promote accurate, high-quality articles to their blog. 

 

Shortly after working on the article, Nike reached out to me again and invited me to a guest on their very popular Nike Trained podcast.

NikeTrained TheresaMelito Conners Logo 900x900@2x

The Nike Trained podcast has close to 2.2M listeners, and past guests include LeBron James, actor Michael B. Jordan, Ariana Huffington, and Andy Puddicombe, CEO and founder of Headspace.

 

I, of course, said yes! Still in awe that my voice would join the ranks of previous guests on the show. The process was amazing. The team at Nike was incredible to work with and I am so excited (and proud) that this episode is out for the world to hear.

 

Nike even sent me a press package of content to use to promote the episode. See pics below. Seeing my name and image next to the Nike logo is a moment I will cherish. Yes, I did get a printed copy so I can frame it on my Dr. MC vision/achievement wall too.

 

The podcast episode (Season 9: Episode 8) is available wherever you listen to podcasts, but here is the link to the episode on Apple and Spotify

Nike self-care with Dr. MC

The feedback from the episode has been amazing. People have reached out to me after listening to the episode and thanking me for sharing my expertise. What a way to wrap 2021! 

 

If you have not done so already, be sure to listen to the Dr. MC podcast. We just wrapped season 1 with 14 episodes and we are very much looking forward to season 2 with new guests and lots of self-care-related content for you. 

Self-care is not selfish, it is self-preservation, and it is not optional. Thank you for all your support of Dr. MC’s Self-Care Cabaret, and keep your eyes peeled for 2022…we have big plans for the New Year!

 

Stay well,

Dr. MC

Featured

Astrology & Self-Care: Capricorn (2021)

self-care and capricorn

Capricorn marks the 8th chapter in our Astrology & Self-Care series with our addition of the reader’s perspective, which means we are two-thirds of the way through exploring all the zodiac signs from this lens. Anyone born between December 22-January 19 is a Capricorn, according to Astrology. 

The Winter solstice ushers in the Capricorn season rounding out the end of the calendar year. Ruled by Saturn and symbolized by the goat, Capricorn takes life very seriously and is interested in achieving success. This success can take a material form or be in the spiritual realm. At their worst, Capricorn can become obsessed and ruthless in their pursuits. However, their strong drive, enthusiasm, and work ethic sustain them as they climb towards their goals. 

 

While Capricorn recognizes the importance of self-care, this is not something that comes naturally for them, but they desire to stay strong and fit to meet their goals. Capricorns are successful in their self-care when they realize that it must get done. If they view it as a mission, they are likely to engage in it more effectively. 

 

However, it should be noted that even if you are not a Capricorn, these self-care tips are useful regardless of your zodiac sign.

As I mentioned, I had so much fun writing and sharing the Astrology & Self-Care series that I plan to keep this as an ongoing series for the blog but each time expanding upon the previous post. 

For 2021, I hope to solicit feedback from my readers who embody each of the Zodiac signs. If you are interested in being featured in an upcoming zodiac post, please comment below or email me at drmcselfcare@gmail.com. 
 

This month, my friend, Derek, provides the reader perspective! I really enjoy learning what resonates with my readers. 

Reader's Perspective

I’ve always enjoyed reading my horoscope or assessments about my personality based on my horoscope because I feel very aligned with the core fundamentals of being a Capricorn – I take life more seriously than most and I do pride myself on achieving success (hitting both career as well as personal milestones). I consider myself down-to-earth and a straight shooter (sometimes called blunt, I prefer the term honest). Additionally I would prefer quality over quantity both in relationships and in possessions. I collect watches, EDC (Every Day Carry) items and I’m often known for following underground brands or up and coming musical artists – I generally don’t like things that are mainstream and I’m perfectly content to spend time with a small group of people versus at say a rave. 
self-care and Capricorn
I never thought about the words “self-care” or the concept before 2020.  However the combination of the pandemic, a new stressful job and the unexpected loss of my mom forced me to make taking care of myself a priority. This looks different each day but the core things I try to focus on are hydration (water, limited coffee intake), sleep (both keeping a set bedtime for myself and taking a power nap on days I need it) and strength (my favorite way to burn steam is lifting heavy weight at a local gym – I’ve been doing it for about 5 years and have found huge benefits to my physical and mental health). As a Capricorn I also thrive on time to recharge my batteries alone – I don’t like crowds and sometimes find myself very drained after a busy day at work or a Saturday full of errands. In these cases, I like to unwind with my Airpods and a great playlist. Music plays a huge role in my life and was something I shared with my mom so when I’m missing her I’ll tune in to her favorites – a mix of hip hop, DuWop, and country. 
 
I do love sour candies (especially Haribo and Sour Patch Kids) and I generally prefer salty snacks over sweet ones. I also have recently begun cooking my mom’s recipes on Sundays and I’m proud to have made her turkey pot pie, baked macaroni and cheese, and meatloaf. I’m looking forward to cooking more this winter and spending time with my family.

Capricorn & Self-Care

The following is my takeaway on Capricorn from “The Astrological Guide to Self-Care” by Constance Stellas

 

Constance Stellas provides a list of self-care activities ideal for Capricorn, and for the ease of my readers, I have categorized them by the different domains of self-care. For more on the various domains of self-care, please watch my Talk-Back Tuesday session explaining the ten domains of self-care and practices associated with each domain. (Facebook/YouTube)

 

Nutrition/Hydration (eating a variety of healthy and nutritious foods throughout the day)

  • Regular calcium consumption is important for Capricorns to keep their bones strong and healthy. Consider goat’s milk and cheese to stay connected to the symbol of Capricorn. 
  • Capricorns’ taste buds tend to love sour flavors and fermented foods such as vinegar, pickles, and soy sauce. 
  • Indulge in a lovely cocktail like a martini that is both classic and respectable. Consider this Classic Dry Martini recipe by filling a cocktail shaker with 2.5 oz of dry Gin, ½ oz of dry vermouth, and ice. Shake or stir for 20 seconds and strain into a martini glass. Use a lemon peel as a garnish if you wish. 
  • Capricorns enjoy cooking and should consider adding spices like rosemary and thyme to their dishes. Additionally, Capricorns should experiment with exotic flavors and zesty kinds of vinegar. 
  • Capricorns tend to love salty flavors and can sometimes overdo it. Consider trying sour salt, which is citric acid in place of salt when cooking. This is not a substitute for table salt. Be sure to research any recipes before using sour salt as a substitute. 

 

Exercise (finding activities that make us feel good and moving our bodies regularly)

  • Capricorns should be mindful about their participation in sports as they can overdo it and not stop even if they are at risk of an injury. They can push themselves too hard. 
  • Be sure to wear supportive sneakers to take extra care of your joints and save your knees. I recommend Brooks sneakers and be sure to buy new ones regularly as they do not last forever. For other footwear, Capricorns should not skimp on quality either. 
  • Consider mountain climbing or hiking as a great physical activity for Capricorns, which yields many mental and physical benefits. 
  • Ballet is a great sport for Capricorns as it appeals to their self-control and discipline. 

 

Soothing Strategies (breathing exercises and pursuing activities that stimulate your physical, intellectual, interpersonal, or creative side to relax)

  • Develop a meditation practice and utilize the color nut-brown when meditating. Brown symbolizes the warmth of the earth, and nuts symbolize the abundance of the earth. Picture yourself in an autumn forest surrounded by shades of warm brown to help you unwind and relax. 
  • Resilience, determination, and drive describe a Capricorn, but they must learn to stop and savor life. Capricorns should plan a ten-minute break every day to practice mindfulness. An hourglass can be a helpful tool for Capricorns to use to help signify breaks and meditation time. 
  • Dispel negative energy and harness the earth’s strength by meditating with black Hematite or wearing it as part of a piece of jewelry. Additionally, Turquoise (Capricorn’s birthstone) and Amber can provide healing qualities and ease anxiety. 
  • To help recharge Capricorn’s batteries, consider Smoky Quartz thought to ease pain in the body, and promote digestion. 
  • Tea tree oil is thought to have many healing qualities and should be explored to aid with healing ailments of the skin. 
  • Mantras can be helpful for Capricorns to assist them along their journey. Something like, “I find a way,” may be beneficial to Capricorns as once they have made up their mind about something or a goal, there is nothing that can stop them. Additionally, meditating on an empowering mantra such as “I build the structure of my life” while practicing deep, cleansing breaths can help build Capricorns’ self-confidence. 
  • The aroma of pine can help Capricorns with positivity, patience, and strength. Sandalwood also resonates with Capricorns as it helps lessen anxiety and promotes calmness. 
  • Consider a small, discrete tattoo to show your individuality. Something related to your Capricorn roots or another symbol with meaning to you would be ideal. 
  • Indulge in designer clothes for your wardrobe. It is better to have a few high-end pieces instead of a closet full of cheaply made clothing. If the budget does not allow for this, consider hunting for designer finds at a consignment or resale shop. 
  • With Capricorn’s love of anything classic, they should always have a perfectly tailored tuxedo on hand. Nothing exemplifies class like a well-made tuxedo. Sure, to make anyone but especially a Capricorn feel like a star. 
  • Embrace the briefcase for a successful business look, the ultimate accessory for organized minds like a Capricorn combining functionality and style. 
  • As an earth sign, Capricorns enjoy connecting with the earth. Creating art with clay could be appealing to Capricorns for this reason. Consider taking a class to learn how to create with clay. 
  • Deep-tissue massages can lead to improvements in pain, stiffness, range of motion, and overall joint health. Capricorns should indulge in these massages as they are prone to joint issues. 
  • Take deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth paying attention to the rise and fall or your belly as you breathe. Notice how calm you feel. Return to your breath as a quick and easy way to de-stress. 

 

Self-Awareness/Mindfulness (calming awareness of thoughts, feelings, and body and engaging in meditation/mind-body practices)

  • Capricorns have a hard time delegating, but this is critical to their self-care to ensure their work-life does not overshadow other vital areas of their lives. 
  • Yoga is a great practice for Capricorns, be sure to add the Mountain pose to your practice.

 

Rest (taking time to recharge the batteries and sleep)

  • Capricorns tend to be very work-centric, which can leave them feeling burnt out. It is essential that they take time to quiet their mind before sleep to ensure they get good, quality rest at night. For helpful hints for better sleep, check out a previous blog post.

 

Relationships (spend time with people who support you and make you feel good)

  • Laughter is really the best medicine for Capricorns. Getting together with friends can help keep the laughter going. 
  • Capricorns can benefit from counseling even if they view this as an indulgence. This therapeutic relationship can help Capricorns function and deal with life. 
  • Very loyal to their friends and family, Capricorns tend to be the glue holding loved ones together. Hosting a family reunion or a dinner party with friends would be an ideal event for Capricorn. 
  • Capricorns have a strong sense of family and traditions. Spending time creating a family tree is an excellent hobby for a Capricorn. 

 

Physical/Medical (attending to needs of our physical body and seeking medical care regularly)

  • Ruler of the bones and skeletal structure – maintaining calcium levels and proper nutrition is imperative for Capricorns. Furthermore, they should avoid high-impact sports as this can cause issues for their knees. 
  • It is also recommended that Capricorns stay on top of their regular dental appointments and cleanings as they can be prone to dental issues. 

 

Environment (setting up your physical work/living space to make you feel good)

  • With black as a signature color for Capricorns, seek exotic black flowers such as roses to add to your décor. 
  • Resonate with elements of the earth by adorning outdoor spaces with terracotta pots, statues, or sculptures. Speaking of outdoor décor for a Capricorn, consider planting a Birch tree or visiting a local park with Birch trees and spend time there.
  • Pewter should be part of Capricorns’ home décor as it appeals to both their love of history and simple quality pieces. Additionally, antique black amethyst glass is sophisticated and simple, a winning combo for a Capricorn. 
  • Consider using a blackboard in your home or office space to appeal to Capricorn’s nostalgic side. A great place for reminders, notes, and more. It could even be a fabulous way to start a self-care board. To get started check out a previous blog post.
  • Investing in teak furniture can be a nice touch for a Capricorn home as they appreciate the fine craftsmanship.
  • Show off your accomplishments (framed diplomas, certificates) as well as artwork depicting what you do for work in your home décor. Keep the framing classic to match your style but seeing this every day at home with undoubtedly put a smile on your face. 

 

Spiritual (experience meaning or a larger purpose in your life, read, watch, or listen to something inspirational)

  • Connect with famous Capricorns such as Elvis by listening to his music while doing chores or when you need a boost. 
  • Take a break and relieve stress by reading stories that deal with real-life obstacles. Capricorn feels inspired by characters who behave in realistic ways to meet their goals.
  • With their love of history and tradition, Capricorns should plan visits to old churches and cloisters either locally or in other countries if the budget allows. Visiting ancient trees is also a great experience for Capricorns as they connect very well with the earth. 
  • Bring the simple energy of a panda bear into your home through decor choices or by even having a stuffed panda bear animal in your bedroom to promote peace and balance. 

 

Capricorn, what do you think? Does this sound like you? 

 

Be sure to like, subscribe, and love me across all my social media platforms for the most up-to-date information on self-care! Be sure to check out the recently launched Dr. MC shop and bi-weekly podcast

 

Stay well,

Dr. MC

Featured

Spinach Artichoke Breadstick Tree – Holiday Snack Idea

Spinach Artichoke Breadstick Holiday Tree

Looking for the perfect holiday snack idea? This Spinach Artichoke Breadstick Tree recipe is a variation of a recipe by It’s Always Autumn with my own Dr. MC spin on it. I have been making this during the holidays for a few years now, and it is always a hit. It looks lovely, and it is so delicious. It’s a win-win! Oh, and it is not as hard as it may look. 

 

Keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming release of Saugus TV’s What’s Cookin’ show where I make this awesome holiday party snack. 

 

You can check out my other recipes here

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 10 oz Frozen chopped spinach thawed and squeezed dry
  • 6 oz cream cheese softened
  • 2 tablespoons of minced garlic 
  • 1/4 cup marinated artichoke hearts (snipped or diced), drained (a little oil from the jar is ok)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (Mrs. Dash)
  • 1/4 cup grated romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese 
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tube refrigerated thin crust pizza crust
  • 2 tablespoons butter (melted)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Everything Bagel Spice or Italian Seasoning 
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Garlic Salt 

 

Optional – you can add roasted red peppers cut up (¼ cup or so) and add to the mixture for a pop of red color to add to the holiday aspect of this treat. 

INSTRUCTIONS: 

  • Preheat over to 400 degrees 

 

MIXTURE: 

  • In a small bowl, mix the spinach, cream cheese (room temperature) & cut artichokes. 
  • Add in the minced garlic, salt, onion powder, chili powder, black pepper, and Italian seasoning and mix thoroughly to combine. 
  • Add the grated cheeses and half of the shredded mozzarella cheese. Mix thoroughly to combine. 
Spinach Artichoke Breadstick Holiday Tree

PREPARE THE TREE: 

  • Unroll the pizza crust onto a piece of parchment paper. 
  • Using kitchen scissors (or a pizza slicer), cut out the main triangle tree shape. 
  • Don’t discard the cut dough pieces (that is the bottom of the tree). You should have one larger triangle and two smaller triangle pieces. 
  • On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, lay out the cut pieces (long edged together) and shape them into a triangle (bottom of the tree), and using your hands, press the dough pieces in the middle. Your nice cut triangle will go on top of it. Don’t panic if the dough moves around and stretches; just gently reshape it how you want it. The dough is very forgiving. 

 

PUTTING IT TOGETHER: 

  • Now take your spinach mixture and begin spreading it out across the base of the tree. Cover it evenly. You may have extra stuffing. You can keep it to the side and serve it as a bonus dip. 
  • Sprinkle the remaining shredded mozzarella cheese on top of the layer of stuffing mixture. 
  • Carefully take the other dough tree half and place it on top of the other piece with the stuffing. Then, gently press it down, so it sticks. 
  • Using your kitchen scissors or pizza cutter, carefully “snip” the branches. Every inch or so cut a branch on both sides. Be careful to leave about an inch in the middle not cut. 
  • Once the branches are cut, you grab each one and gently twist them. Some smaller branches will only allow for a half twist. Longer branches will allow for more twisting. Once all of the branches are twisted – it is ready to go in the oven! 
  • Bake for about 20-22 minutes. Make sure the bottom is nice and browned. I like to zap the top under the broiler for a minute (keep an eye on it) to ensure it gets nice and browned.
Spinach Artichoke Breadstick Holiday Tree

FINISHING TOUCH & SERVING: 

 

  • After removing it from the oven, take the melted butter and mix in the garlic salt. 
  • Gently brush the butter all over the tree
  • Sprinkle the Everything Bagel Spice over the top of the tree. 
  • This is best served warm. 
  • Once out of the oven, take the melted butter and mix the garlic salt into it. 
  • Gently brush the tress with the butter mixture and then top with Everything Bagel Spice! 
  • The parchment paper allows for an easy transition to a decorative tray! Enjoy! 

As always, if you make one of my creations, please post a pic and tag me on Instagram @DrMCselfcare. I would LOVE to see what you create!

 

Additionally, be sure to check out the recently launched Dr. MC shop and bi-weekly podcast

 

Best,

Dr. MC 

Featured

Best Asiago Stuffed Meatball Recipe

best meatball recipe

Look no further, you have just found the BEST meatball recipe. Stuffed meatballs are where it is at, my friends! My husband freaking loves these. And when I have made them at the holidays for my family, they legit can’t get enough. They are easy to make and super tasty. This is a forgiving recipe meaning you do not have to be super exact with your measurements. You can go a little heavy or lighter based on preference. I love sharing my food recipes. You can check out other recipes here. This is the basic recipe my mom (1st generation Italian immigrant) passed along to me. The addition of the cheese is my creation inspired by a small Italian restaurant my husband and I visited years ago. 

You can watch a sneak peek of an upcoming reel below of my making the best meatballs! And keep your eyes peeled for a new episode of What’s Cookin’ on Saugus TV where I am making these on TV! They were a hit. 

This recipe is easily doubled to feed as many as needed. They also freeze wonderfully. Two pounds of ground beef will make about 30 meatballs depending upon how big you make them. I prefer my meatballs on the smaller side. I aim for the size of a golf ball. 

Best meatball recipe

Ingredients: 

 

  • 2 lbs of ground beef (I prefer organic, grass-fed)
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup of Parsley 
  • ¼ cup of Garlic Power
  • ½ cup of grated cheese (Romano) – if you have parmesan cheese grated you may do 1/4 cup parmesan and a 1/4 cup of romano
  • 1 cup of bread crumbs (I mix panko, and Italian style breadcrumbs – 1/2 cup each) 
  • A few twists of ground Black Pepper from a mill (if  available) 
  • Diced Asiago Cheese (I chop the small pieces in advance) Fontina Cheese works really well here as well. Fontina melts more, so I find that Asiago stays in the meatball better, but again, Fontina is tasty too! Provolone would be another tasty option. 

 

Instructions: 

 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Grab a medium-size mixing bowl. Add in the meat, eggs, spices, and grated cheese. I prefer to mix it with my hands, so I put on a pair of gloves to prevent the mixture from getting under my fingernails and in my rings…totally optional. Mix everything together really well. 
  • Once mixed, start making the meatballs. I do not use an exact measuring system to do this, but if you want them more precise, feel free to use a spoon or something to help keep the sizing uniform. I aim for about the size of a golf ball. 
  • Grab a small chunk of cheese and stuff it into the middle of the ball and shape the ball around the piece of cheese! That’s it! Now continue to do this until you have used all the mixture. 
  • Bake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes. The cheese will likely bubble out of some of the meatballs.
  • The internal temperature should be 165 degrees when they are done.
  • I like to cook them enough, so they are browned on the top. 
  • Take them out of the oven when they are ready and add them to your sauce! I will share my Sauce recipe later. I add any juice from the pan and melted cheese bits right into the sauce as well! 

As always, if you make one of my creations, please post a pic and tag me on Instagram @DrMCselfcare. I would LOVE to see what you create!

 

Additionally, be sure to check out the recently launched Dr. MC shop and bi-weekly podcast

 

Best,

Dr. MC 

Featured

Plus-Size Sweater Dresses

It has been a year since an international magazine first contacted me in the hopes of contributing a monthly column on plus-size fashion. This was the spark I needed to begin sharing plus-size fashion advice on my blog, which I very much enjoy doing. 

 

Feeling good and looking good go hand and hand with self-care, and this is an aspect that is very personal to me. I have shared some of my journey towards body acceptance and healing from an eating disorder. I hope you find this information valuable. 

 

 

Below is an update to my November 2020 post on sweater dresses with new options to check out. You can read my other fashion-related blog posts here

 

Dr. MC in an Eloquii dress from Nordstrom with plaid scarfphoto credit Anna Maria Melito, M.Ed.

After years of struggling with my body image and only feeling “good” when I was at my thinnest, I finally learned to embrace my body regardless of its size. I accept that every BODY is different, and a small body is not necessarily better or healthier than a larger one. Overall health and wellness are far more complex than your body weight. Regardless of size, I have always received compliments on my ability to accessorize and coordinate an outfit. A skill that I mistakenly thought was directly correlated to my weight. In other words, I thought I could only look good if I were thin. After being in recovery for disordered eating and exercise bulimia, I have come to realize that it is not true, and there are ways to express myself and my creativity still while celebrating my body size.

Staying warm and looking good can go together. In the colder months, I rely on sweater dresses to remain stylish, professional, and warm. When you live in a larger body, you don’t have to shy away from colorful choices and patterns. I pair my sweater dresses with plain black cotton leggings. My preferred brand is Just My Size that I purchase on Amazon for about $10. These leggings are a nice weight and quality. They are not super thick, so it is more of a heavy pair of tights. In my opinion, they are not thick enough to wear with just a top, but for longer tunics and dresses, they are perfect. 

 

Dr. MC in a Jessica Howard dress with plaid accents – photo credit Anna Maria Melito, M.Ed

Don’t feel like your only options are “slimming” black or something otherwise frumpy. My latest great find is the pictured dress from Macy’s by Jessica Howard. This dress has a patterned cowl-neck, loose flared sleeves with decorative cuffs, and a shift silhouette. The length is nice, they do not ride up in the back, and it creates a flattering line. There are other versions of this dress, where the design is also along the bottom edge. Something like that, especially on a larger body, has the potential to make you appear shorter and wider. I purchased this dress in all three available patterns, houndstooth, leopard print, and plaid. I also love that the sleeves are ¾ as it allows me to show off some bangle bracelets to complete the look. If you choose, the neckline falls in a way that a string of pearls would be the perfect accompaniment.

 

Jessica Howard has some new options of sweater dresses for Macy’s this season that I love too! Like this one with an adorable red/black pattern for the accents. 

 

When shopping for plus size sweater dresses, you want to keep your body shape and height in mind. I look for options that are looser around the front stomach area while still showing off the curves of my hips. This may seem contradictory, but when you find the right fit, you will know. A-line, shift, or even a swing style can do the trick. Dresses with wraparound accents or ruching can be flattering to different body sizes too. 

 

Dr. MC in an Eloquii dress from Nordstrom with leopard scarves – photo credit Anna Maria Melito, M.Ed.

Another great option to beat the winter blues is a turtleneck dress like this Eloquii one from Nordstrom. The solid chocolate color pairs well with a leopard print scarf or even plaid as pictured above. This dress is well made, and the fit is lovely. This is my first purchase of an Eloquii item, but I have a feeling it will not be my last. I am wearing a pair of Dansko’s Cadee Oxford Wedge shoes in the photos, a great and comfortable look for the winter. Please note that the thicker black grosgrain ribbon laces pictured were purchased on Etsy and not how the shoe is sold. 

 

I recently purchased a super cute mock turtleneck sweater dress in black by City Chic. Hands down City Chic is my FAVE plus-size clothing brand. You should check them out. 

 

Additionally, I have been rocking Dr. Martens since my youth, and lucky for me, they always seem to be in style. My winter favorites are a pair of fur-lined docs that I wear folded-over exposing a cuff of fur, but a pair of heeled boots would look great as well.

 

For something fancier, Macy’s offers this Calvin Klein option The length and fit appear to be similar to the Jessica Howard dress previously mentioned. I would not wear a necklace with this dress, but rather some statement rhinestone earrings or even a classic pearl drop to complete this look. 

Be sure to like, subscribe and love me across all my social media platforms for the most up to date information on self-care! And if you have not listened to the Dr. MC Self-Care Cabaret podcast yet, you are missing out! 

 

Stay fabulous, 

Dr. MC 

Featured

Astrology & Self-Care: Sagittarius (2021)

Image by DarkWorkX from Pixabay

Sagittarius marks the 7th installment of our Astrology & Self-Care series updated for 2021. How cool is that? 

Anyone born between November 22-December 21 is a Sagittarius, according to Astrology. Sagittarius is a fire sign that arrives in time to move us from autumn to the Winter solstice. Open, adventurous, optimistic, and good-humored, Sagittarius attracts people and fortune. Symbolized by the Centaur (half horse, half man), Sagittarians strike a balance between natural, animal instincts and the higher-mind seeking meaning and understanding. 

 

As I mentioned, I had so much fun writing and sharing the Astrology & Self-Care series that I plan to keep this as an ongoing series for the blog but each time expanding upon the previous post. 

For 2021, I hope to solicit feedback from my readers who embody each of the Zodiac signs. If you are interested in being featured in an upcoming zodiac post, please comment below or email me at drmcselfcare@gmail.com. 
 

This month, my friend, Aja, provides the reader perspective! I really enjoy learning what resonates with my readers. 

Reader's Perspective

As I read this I couldn’t help but think, wow, this is me. Though I have always said I am a without a doubt a Sagittarius. People would always ask me well, what does that mean? And my response would be, strong, independent, and hardworking. But reading Dr. MC’s post on self-care on Sagittarius has opened my eyes to so much more that makes me a proud Sagittarian. 

 

I am always busy as the article mentions, I need to make time for self-care as I do take on too much. I work multiple jobs and go to school. But my self-care comes 4 days a week at the gym, and at least one time every few weeks getting my nails done. 

 

As the article continues, “full of wanderlust. and strong intuition.” I am very intuitive and carry this trait with me in almost everything I do. The older I’ve become I’ve certainly learned to trust my intuition in most situations especially when I meet new people and choose a partner throughout different stages of my life. 

self-care & Sagittarius

Now, where was this article when I procrastinated some of my big terms papers while trying to pursue my undergraduate degree at Salem State University (SSU)? Staying up until 1am to finish an assignment was not fun. 

Sagittarius & Self-Care

Taking time out for self-care is necessary for Sagittarius as they often take on too much and are often saying yes to requests from others. Self-care that is physical and movement-based is ideal for Sagittarians. Full of wanderlust, and strong intuition, Sagittarians seek the wisdom of the ages in how they elect to live their lives. 

 

Vanity is not a motivator for Sagittarians opting for a more casual style. If not careful, Sag can procrastinate talking about things instead of acting. Some sage advice for the Sagittarian is to do it, do not just talk about it. 

 

However, it should be noted that even if you are not a Sagittarian, these self-care tips are useful regardless of your zodiac sign.

 

The following is my takeaway on Sagittarius from “The Astrological Guide to Self-Care” by Constance Stellas. Constance Stellas provides a list of self-care activities ideal for Sagittarius, and for the ease of my readers, I have categorized them by the different domains of self-care. For more on the various domains of self-care, please read a previous blog post. 

 

Nutrition/Hydration (eating a variety of healthy and nutritious foods throughout the day)

  • Incorporate high calcium foods that promote healthy bones and muscles like figs into your diet.
  • Spice things up with exotic flavors and spices. Even a little nutmeg added to your morning coffee can add a little zest for Sags. 
  • Include berries in your diet to help keep your liver functioning in tip-top shape. Lingonberry jam can add a sweet treat to your morning toast. 
  • Delight your taste buds by experiencing different cultures through your food choices.
  • Indulge in a tropical treat such as a Mai Tai Punch. The book provides the following recipe – 1.5 oz spiced rum, 1.5 oz of coconut flavored rum, 1 teaspoon of grenadine, 3 oz pineapple juice, 2 oz of orange juice. Mix in a shaker over ice. Serve in a rocks glass with a maraschino cherry and a festive drink umbrella. 
    • My mixologist husband offers this tasty alternative for Mai Tai Punch: Fill a cup with ice cubes. 1 oz each of light rum, dark rum, and coconut rum. ½ oz of gin. 1 oz of triple sec. 1 teaspoon of grenadine, 3 oz pineapple juice, 2 oz of orange juice. (If you do not have both juices, you can get away with using just one of them, but adjust to 4 oz of the juice you have on hand)

 

Exercise (finding activities that make us feel good and moving our bodies regularly)

  • Be sure to keep moving your body throughout the day; sitting at a desk can be particularly bad for Sags as they will develop back pain and irritability. Consider a standing desk. It is not healthy to sit for long periods. A yoga ball chair can be beneficial, as well. 
  • Many professional athletes are Sags with their great stamina, quick reaction time, and keen instincts knowing exactly how to care for their physical body—a good reminder for non-professional athlete sags. 
  • Consider adding Pilates to your exercise regimen. Pay special attention to stretching your leg and hip areas, including hamstrings and quads. 
  • Set long-term fitness goals such as completing a marathon or climbing a mountain to push you to dedicate time to your physical self-care. 
  • Move your hips and thighs with a Zumba class or another dance-based exercise program. 
  • Yoga is an excellent practice for Sags, be sure to try the Horse stance.
  • Enhance your physical strength and concentration and connect to your Centaurian side by trying archery. 
  • Go horseback riding. If that is not an option, Sags can find joy riding a bicycle as well. Feeling the air breezing by as you fly down a hill can be particularly energizing for a Sag. 
  • Taking a walk outside or a hike in nature can help Sags feel renewed. 

 

Soothing Strategies (breathing exercises and pursuing activities that stimulate your physical, intellectual, interpersonal, or creative side to relax)

  • Wrap yourself in indulgent textures like velvet, satin, and silk, and enjoy the feel of the lush fabric on your skin. 
  • Carry a Sagittarian totem, symbolizing your sign as a reminder of how warm, funny, intelligent, and exceptional you are. 
  • Take a moment to reflect on your current life goals and let your mind wander to gain a deeper understanding of yourself. 
  • Enjoy an afternoon outside, sitting under an oak tree to feel refreshed and realigned. Stimulate your reflective side by reading a classic novel while sitting outside. 
  • Consider burning the ancient spice Myrrh to help promote clarity, an Amethyst crystal to aid with concentration, or attract abundance with Turquoise. 
  • Music can be soothing to Sags; Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” can be a great reminder of your amazing life. 
  • Take time to laugh every day to help keep the positive vibes high. A funny video, telling a joke, watching a comedy special, or listening to a funny podcast can do the trick.  

 

Self-Awareness/Mindfulness (calming awareness of thoughts, feelings, and body and engaging in meditation/mind-body practices)

  • Start a dream journal to gain insight into your deeper consciousness and purpose. Constance Stellas recommends the book “By The Light of Your Dreams” by Dr. Betty L. Thompson to help guide your interpretation of your dreams. 
  • Jupiter, the Sagittarian’s ruler, represents knowledge, justice, prosperity, personal growth, and optimism. It can be helpful for Sags to know where Jupiter is positioned and how this impacts your life. 
  • Before moving on to the next project, revisit an unfinished project and take pride in completing it. 
  • Be sure to honor your commitments. Sags can get wrapped up in what they are doing that they have trouble keeping track of everything. 

 

Rest (taking time to recharge the batteries and sleep)

  • An international getaway for Sags can satisfy the adventurous side but also plan an occasional staycation where you can explore your town or regional community. 
  • Be sure to balance your adventures with plenty of rest and a good night’s sleep. For tips on better sleep, read this previous blog post.

 

Relationships (spend time with people who support you and make you feel good)

  • Remember, laughter is the best medicine, Sags contagious laughter is great to be around and share with others. 
  • While not thrilled with the idea of diving into their emotional past to reveal reasons for current behavior, Sags can benefit from seeking the help of a therapist or a counselor. 
  • Incapable of lying, Sag can be quite blunt, which can present challenges in some relationships. 
  • Sags pride themselves on being honest and need to take time being honest with themselves. 
  • Enjoy a lighthearted night on the town or an adventure with your friends. 

 

Environment (setting up your physical work/living space to make you feel good)

  • Begin and end your tasks with a gong sound to add a little zest to your small victories – the energizing sound will keep you motivated. 
  • Consider a Jasmine plant for your bedroom to add a calming vibe. 
  • When it comes to decorating, connect to your spiritual side to create a mindful and comforting atmosphere for private reflection. 

 

Spiritual (experience meaning or a larger purpose in your life, read, watch, or listen to something inspirational)

  • Generous by nature, Sagittarians love to help others by contributing to charities that align with their values. 
  • Spend time with animals, especially horses, by visiting a farm or animal rescue. 
  • Sagittarians seek enlightenment and celebrate different religious traditions. Visiting a place of worship to engage in various ceremonial practices can further you on your spiritual journey. Sacred historic sites are also great places for a Sag to visit.
  • Sags love to learn, so taking a course, reading, watching documentaries, learning a new language, and listening to podcasts can be rewarding for Sags as it stimulates their spiritual curiosity, and can allow them to experience different cultural backgrounds.

 

Sagittarians, what do you think? Does this sound like you? 

 

Be sure to like, subscribe and love me across all my social media platforms for the most up-to-date information on self-care! You can also watch any of my previously recorded videos on the LIVE tab of Dr. MC’s Self-Care Cabaret or my YouTube Channel.

 

Stay well,

Dr. MC

Featured

Accessorizing with Eyewear – Trying Zenni

Dr. MC & Zenni Anyone who has met me or seen photographs has likely noticed that I love funky eyewear to coordinate my outfits. This obsession began several years ago after years of improper contact lens usage (sleeping in them, not changing them adequately, or keeping up with advances in contact technology) forced me to embrace glasses as part of my everyday look. At first, I felt silly in my statement glasses, but now I don’t recognize myself without them on. Accessorizing with eyewear has now become part of my identity. To be honest, I started small. My first pair of glasses outside my comfort zone were not nearly as fun as my frames are now, but I quickly embraced the creativity that eyeglasses could provide to my look. 

The proper shape glasses for your face can be very flattering and give you the confidence boost you need to rock your day! 

I get constant compliments on my glasses, and people recognize me because of my them. I love it! It is another way we can express ourselves and accessorize.

I have previously purchased my designer frames from boutique optical shops, but I decided to try an online option, and I fell in love. I chose Zenni Optical (keep reading for an exclusive discount) as they have a superior try-on feature that was easy to use and see how my new frames would look. In addition, they have a variety of frames, styles, colors, etc. You will need a current prescription and your pupillary distance (PD), which your eye doctor can provide to you, but you may have to ask for it. 

Pictured above are the two frames I have purchased from Zenni. They also offer fantastic customization features. And yes, I have been eyeing a few other styles to order soon. 

I am now a brand ambassador for Zenni, so if you want to try them out, be sure to use my exclusive code ZBAGWTCZ30 at checkout to get 10% off your entire purchase at Zenni!

Updated code 11/30/21: ZBAGE66Z3D.

And speaking of a great deal, if you are not using Rakuten, you are missing out. You literally get cash back for purchases you make and it can be a sizable amount of $$$! Be sure to use my link to sign up. 

For more fashion-related content, be sure to check out these posts

Additionally, be sure to check out the recently launched Dr. MC shop and bi-weekly podcast

Best,

Dr. MC 

 

Featured

Eating Disorder Recovery: Wedding Dresses

TW/CW – disordered eating, eating disorder talk, intentional weight loss.

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These two pictures popped up on my Timehop recently, and they prompted some serious inner reflection about my eating disorder recovery. In these pictures, I was shopping for my wedding dress and had found “the dress,” but the process was, in a word, terrible. I was so engrossed in my eating disorder that it quite literally took the joy out of everything. Mind you; I did not realize how sick I was at this point. 

 

Here I am, during what should have been an exciting day…I found my freaking wedding dress, and instead, I am angry and disgusted. Why? Because I was not “thin enough.” I was starving myself, over-exercising, banning foods, abusing laxatives, over-hydrating, and restricting my intake. My mom took these pictures of me in the Bridal shop, and I was so discouraged. I could not even fake a smile. Look at my face. I am not even looking at the camera. I refused to show them to anyone afterward. Ironic that I am posting them on the internet now, huh? Life is funny. 

Ed healing journey
Ed healing journey

I vividly remember this day and those feelings. I was beside myself that I was not at my “goal.” I was miserable. I had put off dress shopping for as long as I could. After this day, I would like to tell you that I stopped the craziness and sought help for the deeply rooted struggles I was experiencing around feeding my body, but I did not. I actually turned the screws even tighter as I only had about 6 months to my big day and I was determined. It would take another year or so before I sought and received the help I needed, which was not an easy road (thanks to medical bias and pervasive fatphobia), but I will save that story for another blog post. 

 

In some twisted way, I guess I achieved my “goal” of being a “thin bride,” but what did I lose in the process? Spoiler alert – it was more than weight, which was temporary at best. I lost myself. I was so laser-focused on my weight that I missed the joy of planning a wedding and of life. I constantly feared what my actions would mean to my caloric intake for the day or my ability to over-exercise. I developed new rules for what “healthy” was and exercised beyond the point of healthy movement by any definition. I was a mess. 

 

Shortly after the wedding, my body began to fight me back as it had done in the past, but this time was different. This was an all-out revolt against my destructive behavior. My body waged war on me, and you know what, it won. I surrendered. I knew I was in too deep with my eating disorder. My body was more intelligent than I was, and knew that I could not sustain my developed habits. So my body went into survival mode. Since I was a teenager, I had been battling my undiagnosed eating disorder, and the cycling became more extreme with every new diet. Finally, it was time to stop the madness. 

 

Unfortunately, with my family history, these struggles are encoded in my DNA and generational, so naturally, I would struggle with this as well. Still, I am damn proud that the cycle breaks with me, and I am doing the healing work. I identify as being “in recovery” as this is still an evolving journey, but I am happy and healthy now. 

 

The wildest thing is that the depths of my destructive behavior flew under the radar, and I was praised for my efforts as I did not look “sick.” I was never the stereotypical “look” of someone with an eating disorder, so how could I be doing anything wrong? From the outside, I appeared dedicated and driven. I was an example of “weight loss success.” How messed up is that? Thanks, diet culture! 

 

Anyway, back to the pics. When these popped up recently, I felt sad for the girl in the pictures. I know how much pain she was in, the inner turmoil consuming her, and the shame that she felt. But I also feel relief and gratitude when I look at these pictures as I had the support and the self-advocacy skills to get the help I needed. As they say, this was my rock bottom, and I was ready for a new way of life. 

 

I am relieved to be out of the diet culture chaos and embracing my body for the amazing things it does for me every day. It took a long time to get to this point, and I don’t ever mean to imply that healing from an eating disorder is easy. My whole existence and belief systems were challenged in the process, and truthfully I was shattered to my core, but I was ready for change. I went through a grieving process and had to mourn the loss of my thin body. I felt defeated. I felt like my body failed me. It took a long time to understand that my body actually saved me. 

 

Reconnecting with my body, learning to practice Intuitive Eating as part of my eating disorder recovery, and just being ok with being me was an incredible process. But, first, I had to redefine my world to recognize that I am beautiful. I am worthy. I am loved, and I am enough. And none of that is related to the scale. I could not have achieved this without the support system of my husband, mom, and my eating disorder dietician, Anna Sweeney who held space for me pointing me in the right direction and showing me that it was ok to let go. And you know what, that was freeing AF.

 

If you are struggling with your relationship with food or eating disorder recovery and are looking for advice, please reach out. I would welcome the opportunity to share resources with you, support you on your journey, and help you take control of your health & well-being. And be sure to check out the Dr. MC Self-Care Cabaret podcast and my recently launched swag shop

 

Best,

Dr. MC

Featured

Get your Dr. MC Merch & Enter Giveaway!

I am so excited to announce the launch of the Dr. MC Shop! Who wants swag? You can now visit the shop on my website. You will see merch that is available exclusively through my partnership with Sparklegear. All those gorgeous blinged-out shirts you see me wear are from my collaboration with Sparklegear. Legit you can get any clothing item with my logo on it, as well as tote bags, water bottles, mugs, and more. 

Here are my faves! 

Dr. MC & Sparklegear

MORE SWAG!!!

In addition, there is LIMITED EDITION swag available via Instagram or by contacting me via email drmcselfcare@gmail.com such as keychains, stickers, magnets, intermission bottles for mindfulness, and lapel pins. Payment can be made via Venmo or Paypal. 

 

Price List (these limited edition items are shipped to you for FREE!)

 

  • Keychains $18.00
  • Magnets $4.00 each/ 2 for $6.00
  • Stickers $3.00 each/2 for $5.00
  • Small Lapel Pin $15.00
  • Intermission Bottle $18.00

 

Check it out. 

GIVEAWAY TIME!!!

If you make a purchase, be sure to take a pic of it when it arrives, post it on Instagram, tag @drmcselfcare to be entered into an exclusive drawing to win a 45 minute 1:1 virtual Self-Care session with Dr. MC (approx. $375 value)! The giveaway will run through Christmas. This is for ANY purchases made of Dr. MC swag either through Sparklegear or Dr. MC directly. You just have to post a pic and tag @drmcselfcare.

 

Giveaway Details: 

 

⭐️ All entries must be received by December 31, 2021 @ 11:59PM EST

 

⭐️ Winner will be announced on January 1, 2022 via Instagram. So be on the lookout 👀! The winner will be selected at random.

 

⭐️ Open to US residents only must be 18 years of age or older. No purchase is necessary. This giveaway is not sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Instagram

 

All the artwork is original and lovingly created by my mom, Anna Maria Melito, M.Ed. Trademark pending – All rights reserved. 

 

More items coming soon! 

 

I hope that you will support this latest endeavor. 

 

It does not take much to support a small business like mine. Reviews, shares, comments, saves, reviews, downloads, purchases…it all helps us grow! 

 

Best,

Dr. MC

Featured

Astrology & Self-Care: Scorpio (2021)

Exploring Self-Care for Scorpios marks the next installment of our Astrology & Self-Care series, which means we are halfway through exploring all the zodiac signs from this lens with our New Reader Perspective addition for 2021-2022. 

 

Scorpio is strong, passionate, and stubborn with the creative energy to transform themselves when necessary. Not mild by nature, Scorpio is magnetic and seeks extremes in life. Anyone born between October 23 – November 21 is a Scorpio, according to Astrology.

 

As I mentioned, I had so much fun writing and sharing the Astrology & Self-Care series that I plan to keep this as an ongoing series for the blog but each time expanding upon the previous post. 

For 2021, I hope to solicit feedback from my readers who embody each of the Zodiac signs. If you are interested in being featured in an upcoming zodiac post, please comment below or email me at drmcselfcare@gmail.com. 
 

This month, my friend, Alexandra, provides the reader perspective! I really enjoy learning what resonates with my readers. Alex and I met in grad school many years ago and our paths continued to cross over the years. 

Reader's Perspective

Self-care and Scorpio

As a proud Scorpio, I was very excited to give my perspective on this month’s blog post.  Dr. MC nailed it when she described us as “strong, passionate, and stubborn.”  I am all in with my relationships and oftentimes put the needs of those I love before my own.  (It also probably would help to say that in addition to being a Scorpio, I am a Meyers-Briggs ENFJ, a self-professed empath, and an Enneagram 2w3.)  I frequently joke with people that I’ll love you hard until I don’t.  This level of extremism definitely applies to my own self-image and levels of self-compassion as well.

As the only fixed water sign in the zodiac, the Scorpio is a conundrum at times.  We are stubborn, but we are flexible.  We are open, but we are mysterious.  While Scorpios are ambitious, we are also controlling.  We want to try all the things, but we don’t want anyone telling us to do them. 

 

Opening myself to new domains of self-care is absolutely a challenge for anyone at times, but I find that the biggest obstacle for me is realizing when I need to take care of myself the most. Emotional vulnerability in other people is very attractive to me as a counselor, a friend, and a Scorpio as a whole.  Nevertheless, expressing my own vulnerabilities can be really scary and can sometimes make me feel like a failure.  Did I not do enough to protect my boundaries?  Am I failing at my job?  Am I a bad friend? 

 

It is for these reasons that self-care is critical for Scorpios.  The list of suggested activities shared by Dr. MC is eerily accurate when I compare it to my list of favored practices.  Oftentimes I express my creativity by working on my planner for the week.  It satisfies my desire to be in control and to obsess over the minute details while still adding some flair (literally – we’re talking washi tape, stickers, glitter pens, and the works) to the process.  This allows me to not only express myself but to see the week more holistically.  I usually notice that I have more pockets of time for myself than I had previously thought.  When I feel the craving for additional self-care, I will frequently plan those rituals into my day or week.  I find that my Scorpio desire to be obsessive about details works in my favor when I make a commitment to a walk, scheduled reading time, meditation, or date night with my husband.  I fear failure and won’t neglect that activity if I plan it ahead of time.

 

One of my other preferred self-care activities is definitely something touched upon in Dr. MC’s Spiritual domain.  A few years ago, I visited an energy healer and it was life-changing to me.  I believe in energies, chakras, angel guides, and all of that kooky stuff.  It was an extremely validating and healing experience.  In the subsequent sessions, I learned how to turn that energy inward and tune in to my own intuitions.  As mentioned above, Scorpios are very instinctual beings.  It is giving ourselves the permission to follow the feelings, drives, and innate senses that can be the most challenging.

 

Overall, I am a huge advocate for self-care in whatever form makes the most sense for you.  Every individual is different.  Nevertheless, as I’m learning from Dr. MC, it does seem that some universal themes prevail across each zodiac!  Oftentimes misunderstood, the Scorpio is not cold or unfeeling; it is just as critical for us to embrace self-care (even if we have a perceived icy exterior)!

Scorpio & Self-Care

 

The following is my takeaway on Scorpio from “The Astrological Guide to Self-Care” by Constance Stellas.   

 

Scorpio is symbolized by the Scorpion, the eagle, and the phoenix. Whereas all signs have a symbol, Scorpio has three, but they are most commonly represented by the Scorpion. Scorpio seeks transformation and recognizes that self-care can help them achieve this goal. Creative self-care activities are of particular interest to this sign. Scorpios do not like receiving self-care advice from others as they prefer to be their own judge of what they need. Luckily, this water sign tends to be tuned into their needs and their body. 

 

Scorpios can become obsessive about self-care, which will ultimately backfire if they do not allow for spontaneity, but once a Scorpio develops a routine, they tend to stick with it. 

 

Constance Stellas provides a list of self-care activities ideal for Scorpio, and for the ease of my readers, I have categorized them by the different domains of self-care.

 

For more on the various domains of self-care, please read a previous blog post. You can also watch my Talk-Back Tuesday session explaining the ten domains of self-care and practices associated with each domain. (Facebook/YouTube)

 

Nutrition/Hydration (eating a variety of healthy and nutritious foods throughout the day)

  • It is essential to keep the digestive tract functioning properly; consider adding Red Ginseng to your diet as tea or a supplement. 
  • Consider adding the exotic spice, Mastic, to your cooking. This ancient spice is grown only in Greece and has been used as a digestive remedy for many years. 
  • Include natural aphrodisiacs in your diet, such as oysters or saffron ice cream. 
  • Unwind with a Stinger cocktail – the book provides the following recipe: 2 oz Brandy and ¾ oz white Crème de menthe. Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a rocks glass. 
  • Be sure to eat probiotic-rich foods, such as yogurt, pickles, and kimchi. 

 

Exercise (finding activities that make us feel good and moving our bodies regularly)

  • Water activities are appealing to Scorpios, such as aqua jogging. 
  • Learn to dance the tango or the art of Hula dance for exercise and as a way to engage Scorpio’s sensual side. 
  • Don’t be afraid to test your limits and try something daring. 
  • Watch Horror movies and experience the health benefits of an occasional scare. A study conducted in the UK found that watching Horror movies burns more calories than other media genres. 

 

Soothing Strategies (breathing exercises and pursuing activities that stimulate your physical, intellectual, interpersonal, or creative side to relax)

  • Consider owning a pet. The unconditional love and wordless communication is appealing to Scorpios. 
  • Help to stay grounded by wearing Tiger’s Eye or Topaz jewelry known to have qualities to keep emotions in check. Also, wear jewelry containing Alexandrite to appeal to Scorpio’s fiery side. 
  • Feel empowered by carrying a piece of Black Tourmaline in your pocket. 
  • Try listening to flamenco music to unwind, or as part of a workout, or even to set the mood during a date night. In addition to flamenco, add fellow Scorpions to your playlist, including Drake, Katy Perry, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Frank Ocean, Anthony Kiedis, Joni Mitchell, Jeff Buckley, and Björk. 
  • Visit a museum and celebrate fellow Scorpion artists as well, such as Pablo Picasso, Roy Lichtenstein, Claude Monet, and Georgia O’Keeffe. 
  • Tap into your humorous and creative side by drawing and captioning cartoons for a productive and cathartic self-care activity. 
  • Try a cleansing and purifying mud bath at a spa or visit a hot spring. 
  • Next time you are heading out, consider an all-black outfit with a leather (faux is fine) accessory for a confidence boost. 

 

Self-Awareness/Mindfulness (calming awareness of thoughts, feelings, and body and engaging in meditation/mind-body practices)

  • Ruler of the reproductive system and organs of elimination, ensuring the sacral and root chakras are balanced, are key for Scorpios. Practice yoga to help connect movement to your breath, and be sure to add Eagle pose to your practice. Reiki can also help restore and maintain balance of the chakras.
  • Engage in deep meditation ideal for transformation. 

 

Rest (taking time to recharge the batteries and sleep)

  • Take a vacation that involves the water. Consider a high-speed boat ride in New Orleans or a floatplane in Australia. 

 

Relationships (spend time with people who support you and make you feel good)

  • Visit a maze or labyrinth with a group of friends for a friendly competition.
  • Spice up a romantic evening with your partner with sexy lingerie to appeal to Scorpio’s passionate side. Experiment with textures and bold colors. 
  • Attend a masquerade ball or a murder mystery night or host your own with your friends to appeal to Scorpio’s enigmatic and mysterious side. 
  • Keep your sarcastic sting and stubbornness in check when communicating with others, or it may come back to haunt you or ruin a relationship. 
  • Don’t be afraid to help others evolve. 
  • Experiment sexually with your partner while maintaining safety for both of you, but don’t be afraid to spice things up by trying something new. 

 

Physical/Medical (attending to needs of our physical body and seeking medical care regularly)

  • Scorpios tend to engage in harmful habits. You know the risky behaviors you need to stop doing; now is the time to make a plan and stick with it to kick the nasty habit. 

 

Environment (setting up your physical work/living space to make you feel good)

  • Consider decorating with glass figurines or abstract glass sculptures. Let the natural light shine through the pieces and marvel at the rainbows it creates. 
  • Apothecary jars make ideal decorations in the home for Scorpio to honor their spirit. 
  • Two of the symbols used for Scorpio is an Eagle, a powerful and majestic creature. Secondly is a Phoenix, a creature that represents transformation. Consider learning more about each of these animals and display their likeness in your home or keep a picture in your workspace to remind you of the power you possess. Lastly, Decorate with a representation of a Scorpion as a totem of your strength.  
  • Express yourself in your home décor with black and deep burgundies, maybe even a snakeskin throw pillow and a Venus flytrap plant. Make your space your own! 

 

Spiritual (experience meaning or a larger purpose in your life, read, watch, or listen to something inspirational)

  • Indulge your mysterious side by investigating your past lives through a reading from a past-life expert. 
  • Intrigued by various spiritual practices, Scorpios should explore them deeply to discover the power they may possess for you and incorporate them as you see fit. 
  • Consider learning about white magic to manifest change in your personal and professional life or engage in other manifestation practices. Additionally, learn how to use a pendulum for spiritual healing. 
  • Connecting with the afterlife by visiting a graveyard is a great activity for Scorpios, especially if you can visit one where your ancestors are buried. Consider making a gravestone rubbing if they are allowed in the cemetery. 

 

Scorpios, what do you think? Even if you are not a Scorpio, as always if something from this list calls you, you should add it to your self-care routine.

 

Be sure to like, subscribe and love me across all my social media platforms for the most up-to-date information on self-care! You can also watch any of my previously recorded videos on the LIVE tab of Dr. MC’s Self-Care Cabaret or my YouTube Channel.

 

Stay well,

Dr. MC

Featured

Restoring Balance with Ayurveda

Ayurveda was developed more than 5,000 years ago in India, and it is the world’s oldest holistic healing system. Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word meaning ayur or “life” and veda or “knowledge.” The fundamental belief of Ayurveda is that the mind, body, and spirit are connected, and the balance of all three promotes optimal health and wellness. Incorporating practices from Ayurveda in your self-care routines is a great way to restore balance and invite healing into your life.

 

Here is how you can get started. 

I was first introduced to Ayurveda through the work of Dr. Deepak Chopra in 2011, when I started studying self-care. Dr. Chopra’s work was eye-opening. Since then, I have studied Ayurveda in-depth, and I incorporate many principles and ritual practices into my routine. 

 

A key component of Ayurveda is having a daily routine, called a Dinacharya. Many elements go into a Dinacharya such as oil pulling, tongue scraping, rose water eye spray, and more. There are more practices you can incorporate into your routine, but these are the ones that I have practiced successfully for many years. I start by brushing my teeth and then I do the following. 

 

Oil Pulling

 

Oil pulling involves swishing sesame oil or coconut oil in your mouth in the morning for optimal oral hygiene. I use sesame oil. According to Banyan Botanicals, a leading Ayurveda supply store, the benefits of this practice include “improving oral flora, preventing tooth decay, alleviating bad breath, and strengthening the tissue of teeth and gums.”

 

Supporting oral hygiene is beneficial to our overall health and wellness. I have been doing this for a long time and my dentist always compliments me when I go to my bi-annual appointments. I think a lot of that has to do with oil pulling because I am by no means a champion toothbrusher and I hardly ever floss. Thirty-eight years old and no cavities either. Most of that is thanks to my mom ensuring that my teeth were always cleaned well as a kid, but my mom has not brushed my teeth in many, many years…so oil pulling is likely helping me out. 

 

You want to swish with about a tablespoon of the oil in your mouth for 15-20 minutes, so I usually do something else while I am practicing my oil pulling. You will likely need to build yourself up to this time frame, so start with 5 minutes. You will feel the oil change consistency in your mouth. Then you want to spit it out in the trash so you do not cause any drain problems. Do not swallow the oil. Afterward, rinse your mouth out with water. 

 

Tongue Scraping 

 

Along with oil pulling, you want to scrape your tongue. The thought behind this is while you are asleep, your body releases toxins and bacteria through your tongues, which results in a coating that you want to remove right away.

 

By gently scraping our tongues, we can remove this coating, thus promoting our oral hygiene. A stainless steel tongue scraper is best and be sure to rinse the scraper after each use to keep it clean. I do this following my oil pulling. 

 

Rose Water Eye Rinse 

 

Lastly, I cleanse my eyes by spraying them with Rosewater. Rosewater is a natural remedy for some common eye issues such as eye strain, allergies, dry eye, and more. Before spraying Rosewater in your eyes, you should test it on your skin to ensure you will not have an adverse reaction. It takes some getting used to spraying directly into your eyes, but it feels so refreshing. I top this off by taking Witch Hazel on a cotton ball and wiping my eyes and my face. Witch Hazel is a toner and helps keep my skin young and fresh. Not necessarily an Ayurveda practice, but something I do that helps promote my well-being in conjunction with the other Ayurveda practices. 

 

You can watch my Dincharya process here

 

There is one other Ayurvedic practice that I like to do. I do not do this daily, but I try to do this weekly. You can, of course, do this more often than weekly. 

 

Abhyanga (Self-Massage)

 

In Sanskrit, abhy means “to rub,” and anga means “limbs,” hence, self-massage. Skin is the largest organ in the body and an incredibly important one to keep healthy but often neglected. 

 

Abhyanga can be practiced in a variety of ways. I was taught to use a body brush and perform this practice as part of my shower routine. This can be done outside of the shower before you go in, but I feel that it is messier to do it outside of the shower as the oil/scrub can get everywhere. Exfoliating shower gloves work instead of a brush too if you prefer. I use a lavender-scented body scrub from Trader Joe’s, but you can use any oil or body wash. Please be mindful of the surface of the tub as it can become slippery.

 

To start, you lovingly massage your entire body from the top to the bottom, front and back with the oil and the brush. When you get to the abdomen, be sure to rub in a clockwise motion as that is the direction of the large intestine and colon. You want to let the oil absorb into your skin, so do not rinse it off right away. Give yourself at least 10-15 minutes to complete this practice.

 

Abhyanga provides the following benefits: 

  • Nourished and hydrated skin
  • Toned skin tissue
  • Restored nervous system
  • Detoxified lymphatic system
  • Restful sleep
  • Decreased aging effects
  • Increased circulation
  • Internal organ stimulation
  • Assists the body in its ability to eliminate waste healthily

 

Be sure to like, subscribe and love me across all my social media platforms for the most up-to-date information on self-care! And be sure to check out my recently launched podcast

 

 

Stay well,

Dr. MC

 

 

Featured

Self-Care for Eye Health

Increased screen time is likely learning your eyes in need of self-care! Our eye health is very important and often neglected. Do you sit in front of a computer all day at work? Then come home, scroll on your phone while sitting in front of the TV? We are constantly looking at screens and it is not good for our eyes. 

Researchers have linked increased screen time to many health complications over the years, including brain functionality, insomnia, chronic headaches, eyesight issues such as eyestrain, obesity, stress, anxiety, and depression.

 

We must be extra mindful of our screen time and make sure we are taking breaks and taking time to unplug away from all of our devices. When it comes to your eyes, screens can cause problems to even those with otherwise healthy eyes. 

The good news is we can follow some quick & easy tips from the Mayo Clinic to keep those eyes healthy and strong…

 

Screen Time Breaks  

  • Limit screen time. This is especially important for children who may not make the connection between extended viewing, eyestrain, and the need to rest their eyes regularly.
  • Take eye breaks. Throughout the day, give your eyes a break by looking away from your monitor. Try the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. 

 

Watch Dr. MC’s Instagram reel sharing this excellent tip for Eye Health Self-Care!

 

self-care for eye health

Proper Lighting 

  • When reading printed materials or doing close work, try to position the light source behind you and direct the light onto your page or task. 
  • Check the lighting and reduce glare. Bright lighting and too much glare can strain your eyes and make it difficult to see objects on your monitor. The worst problems are generally from sources above or behind you, including fluorescent lighting and sunlight. Consider turning off some or all of the overhead lights.
  • If you need light for writing or reading, use an adjustable desk lamp. Close blinds or shades, and avoid placing your monitor directly in front of a window or white wall. Place an anti-glare cover over the screen.
  • If you’re reading at a desk, use a shaded light positioned in front of you. The shade will keep light from shining directly into your eyes.

 

Computer Tips 

  • Computer use is a common cause of eyestrain. If you work at a desk and use a computer, these self-care steps can help take some of the strain off your eyes.
  • Blink often to refresh your eyes. Many people blink less than usual when working at a computer, which can contribute to dry eyes. Blinking produces tears that moisten and refresh your eyes. Try to make it a habit to blink more often when looking at a monitor.
  • Adjust your monitor. Position your monitor directly in front of you about an arm’s length away so that the top of the screen is at or just below eye level. It helps to have a chair you can adjust to.
  • Use a document holder. If you need to refer to print material while you work on your computer, place it on a document holder. Some holders are designed to be placed between the keyboard and monitor; others are placed to the side. Find one that works for you. The goal is to reduce how much your eyes need to readjust and how often you turn your neck and head.
  • Adjust your screen settings. Enlarge the type for easier reading. And adjust the contrast and brightness to a level that’s comfortable for you.

 

Proper Eyewear

  • Choose the right eyewear for you. If you need glasses or contacts and work at a computer, consider investing in glasses or contact lenses designed specifically for computer work. Ask your optometrist about lens coatings and tints that might help too.
  • Dr. MC recently purchased from Zenni Optical and fell in love. Really fun frames! 

 

Air Quality & Eye Drops

  • Improve the air quality of your space. Some changes that may help prevent dry eyes include using a humidifier, adjusting the thermostat to reduce blowing air, and avoiding smoke. If you smoke, consider quitting. Moving your chair to a different area may help reduce the amount of dry moving air on your eyes and face.
  • Use artificial tears. Over-the-counter artificial tears can help prevent and relieve dry eyes. Use them even when your eyes feel fine to keep them well-lubricated and prevent a recurrence of symptoms. Your doctor can suggest which eye drops might be best for you. Lubricating drops that don’t contain preservatives can be used as often as you need. If the drops you’re using contain preservatives, don’t use them more than four times a day. Avoid eye drops with a redness remover, as these may worsen dry eye symptoms.

 

Be sure to like, subscribe and love me across all my social media platforms for the most up-to-date information on self-care! And be sure to check out my recently launched podcast

 

Stay well,

Dr. MC

Featured

Self-Care is NOT a Day!

Can we stSelf-care is not a dayop treating self-care as if it is something that we only access when we have time, or a day off, or when it is convenient? Self-Care is NOT a day. This perpetuates the stereotype that it is a luxury or that it is selfish. 

 

Self-care is EVERY day. Well, real self-care is, anyway, not the commodification of self-care. And no, I don’t mean you need to go to the spa every day. If only, huh? Self-care is HEALTH care.

 

You don’t have time to NOT practice self-care. 

 

Self-care is the daily, consistent, foundational way you take care of yourself so every day you show up as the best YOU possible. It is not a quick fix. It is not a one and one and it is certainly not something that is reserved for when this magical “self-care day” presents itself. 

 

You have to do the work to get in touch with your body. To listen to those subtle messages. You have to get down and dirty with your bad self and figure out what makes you tick. It isn’t always convenient, it isn’t always pretty, but it is always worth it because YOU are worth it! Taking the time to get to know yourself is priceless. 

 

Think about the following questions.

  • How do you like to feed your body? 
  • What makes you feel good? 
  • How to like to move your body? 
  • How do you self-soothe? 
  • How do you release stress? 
  • What is your sleep and rest routine like? 
  • Do you practice self-compassion? 
  • What inspires you? 
  • Are your environments clean, organized, and decluttered? 
  • Are you grateful? 
  • How do you feel? 
  • How is your breathing? 

 

Remember, this does not have to be time-consuming or expensive. Little habits and breaks can be wildly beneficial. Even some gentle stretching next time you are watching TV, or asking yourself what went well today or going to bed 15 minutes earlier than normal, or just taking a few deep breaths throughout the day can be VERY powerful. 

 

You can start small but you must start in an intentional way. 

 

And hey, if you have a whole day at some point to dedicate to self-care by all means, go for it! But let’s stop pretending that self-care is reserved for such occasions. 

 

Be sure to like, subscribe and love me across all my social media platforms for the most up-to-date information on self-care! There are now 7 episodes of the podcast available and lots of new content on social media daily from @drmcselfcare

 

Best. 

Dr. MC

Featured

Astrology & Self-Care: Libra (2021)

We are cruising through the zodiac as we welcome Libra to the Astrology and self-care blog  2021 series. This blog is loaded with self-care tips for libras. 

 

 

As I mentioned, I had so much fun writing and sharing the Astrology & Self-Care series that I plan to keep this as an ongoing series for the blog but each time expanding upon the previous post. 

 
libra and self-care

Libra is the second air sign in the zodiac ruled by Mercury. Libra season begins with the autumn equinox. A time when the day strikes the perfect balance between day and night. Anyone born between September 23- October 22 is a Libra, according to Astrology. 

 
For 2021, I hope to solicit feedback from my readers who embody each of the Zodiac signs. If you are interested in being featured in an upcoming zodiac post, please comment below or email me at drmcselfcare@gmail.com. 

 

This month, my friend, Tristyn, provides the reader perspective! I really enjoy learning what resonates with my readers. If you have listened to my podcast, Tristyn was my guest for Episode One. Check it out.

Reader's Perspective

self-care tips for libras

I have certainly always put the needs of the group before the needs of myself (putting the ‘we’ before ‘I’, to quote Dr. MC). I’ve had to repeatedly remind myself of that golden rule of the airplane safety lecture – you need to secure your own mask before you can help others with theirs. A more common expression is that you cannot pour from an empty cup. I don’t know if it’s a product of being a Libra (my own personal convictions lean more towards blaming my anxious personality) but I’ve had a lot of experience reminding myself that it isn’t selfish to put oneself first.

 

Again, I’m not sure how much stems from being a Libra or from growing up with a mother who once was a professional model, but vanity and appearance have certainly always been very important to me and (unfortunately) are intimately connected to my sense of self-worth. What Dr. MC has here about how Libras are adept at shifting mindsets resonates particularly closely with me. There are many different ways intelligence will present itself – public schooling traditionally has always celebrated linguistic/logical/mathematical intelligence, which will make someone who excels elsewhere feel like an outcast, or stupid, or otherwise unworthy.

It’s as if someone put a goldfish, a chimpanzee, a beetle, and a penguin in front of a tree and said, “Whoever can climb this tree the fastest is the smartest.” This is obviously untrue, but the method of testing clearly benefits one particular style of accomplishing the task being tested. Personally, I’ve recently discovered that I excel in intra/interpersonal intelligence, which doesn’t come in handy in a standardized test. It took me a very long time to realize that what I had always taken for granted as just personality traits were actually strengths, and some are strengths that aren’t necessarily commonplace. I never had the language to consider that before.  

 

LET’S TALK ABOUT FABRICS. Satin is pretty bomb. Silk is flirtatious, but secretly it’s a trap – you will sweat until you shrivel into a person raisin. Fleece is incredible, but the humble jersey fabric reigns supreme (not for warmth, for softness). If you’re dating somebody and you want to get them a great gift (and you live somewhere not wicked hot), get them a soft blanket. There isn’t a person on the planet that won’t find some delight in a soft blanket. 

 

I also wholeheartedly support finding your ‘happy scent.’ For me personally, the scent that makes me happiest lives somewhere in the woody amber portion of the fragrance wheel. Those are all the sandalwoods, the vetivers, the myrrhs, the cedarwoods, etc. As another self-care expert would say, those scents spark joy for me each and every time. I fully endorse the unapologetic use of perfume, including wearing it daily, putting it on your pillow, or spritzing some when you’re wearing sweatpants and a messy bun with zero plans for the night. If it makes you happy, do it! Happiness rules are fake! 

 

Let’s talk about happiness rules. Or, in a way, rules in general. It’s difficult to break out of a way of thinking if you never think to question it. I read an article once where someone struggling with self-image was having a hard time taking showers because they didn’t want to see their naked body, and their therapist said, “Turn off the lights.” The person struggling had never explored this idea, because… of course, you shower with the lights on. Doesn’t everyone? That’s what I mean when I say that happiness rules are fake. Showering in the dark was part of that person’s self-care. My phone screen is gold glitter because it’s one of my favorite things to see. So many of my clothes are in the mustard-color family because it’s my very favorite color. If something makes you happy, is good for your mental health and sense of worth, and doesn’t hurt someone else, then there is absolutely nothing that says you can’t do it. Getting to that place where you’re confident in making those decisions for yourself is another story, but if you are patient with yourself – it’s so worthwhile.

 
libra & self-care
Dr. MC & Tristyn hamming it up in the photobooth during Dr. MC's wedding.

Libra & Self-Care

The following is my takeaway on Libra from “The Astrological Guide to Self-Care” by Constance Stellas.   

Libra is a team player, often putting the “we” before “I” and always references life in terms of relationships. Libra strives to balance the “we” and “me” by seeing all sides of every situation, leading Libra to potentially lose their own opinion in the mix if they are not mindful of it. Symbolized by the scales, Libra is the only sign represented by an inanimate object. When it comes to self-care, Libras can become focused on others and neglect themselves in the process. They need frequent reminders that self-care IS other care. 

 

The great arbiter, at their best, Libra can fight fairly and judge equally, but out of balance, Libra can be condescending and aloof. Libras generally are able to balance the extremes of their personality gracefully. 

 

Libra does not like conflict and needs time alone to sort out their thoughts. Activities that involve both physical and mental skills are ideal for Libra. Typically Libras are adept at shifting their mindset and reframing situations, but they can still benefit from a counselor or therapist to help sort the whirling thoughts in their head.  

 

Motivated by a sense of vanity, Libra has to look good and works hard to achieve this through their self-care. 

 

Constance Stellas provides a list of self-care activities ideal for Libra, and for the ease of my readers, I have categorized them by the different domains of self-care.

 

For more on the various domains of self-care, please check out my Instagram page. You can also watch my Talk-Back Tuesday session explaining the ten domains of self-care and practices associated with each domain. (Facebook/YouTube)

 

Nutrition/Hydration (eating a variety of healthy and nutritious foods throughout the day)

 

  • Black cherries and almonds are healthy snack options for Libras as they offer many health benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants. 
  • Assemble a love potion to sip while meditating.
    • The book provides the following recipe – mix 1 cup of milk and 2 teaspoons of honey in a small pot over medium heat. Add in a ½ teaspoon of coriander, 3 drops of vanilla extract, and 1 drop of rose flavoring. Stir until mixed and warm (not boiling), pour into a wide cup, and enjoy.
    • Sipping warm milk is a helpful way to relax as well if you do not want to add the other ingredients. 
  • Be sure to drink plenty of water. Perhaps with a few drops of Bach Flower Remedies and sipping throughout the day to help ease anxiety.
  • Eat nutrient-rich foods such as cauliflower, which is an excellent source of vitamin B and calcium which helps calm the nervous system. Additionally, Kiwi fruit can help Libras manage stress and sleep. 
  • Consider adding the supplement St. John’s wort to your diet to help ease stress and remain in balance. Please consult with your physician before taking this. 
  • Celebrate an occasion with a cocktail. Consider a Grasshopper with it’s striking green color and rich aroma; it is perfect for a Libra. 
  • Indulge your senses with flavorful candy such as Buttercrunch. 
  • As long as you are not allergic to bees, honey is great to have in your diet. 

 

Exercise (finding activities that make us feel good and moving our bodies regularly)

 

  • Graceful exercises such as ballet, tennis, and golf are appealing to this sign, but also martial arts are a good way to release pent-up energy. 
  • Go ballroom dancing with a friend. This is great exercise and a way to connect on a deeper level. 
  • Take a window-shopping walk to help lift the spirits and appreciate the beauty in the shops. 

 

Soothing Strategies (breathing exercises and pursuing activities that stimulate your physical, intellectual, interpersonal, or creative side to relax)

 

  • Indulging in a warm bath is a great way for Libra to relax and engage their sensual side. Baths should be a luxurious experience that includes candles, bubbles, soft music, etc. 
  • Plush textures and opulent fabrics feel good for Libra, so it is best to invest in satin pajamas for that heavenly feeling. 
  • Deep breathing exercises are ideal for Libras to help them step back from an issue and see all sides. 
  • Spend time in open-air spaces and connect with nature to recharge your batteries. 
  • Practice yoga poses and consider Extended Triangle Pose to help promote balance.
  • Indulge in a Swedish massage, preferably at a location that is aesthetically pleasing. 
  • Spark creativity or unwind by listening to music that has a soothing rhythm, such as John Lennon’s “Imagine” (a fellow Libra).  
  • Libras love adding a touch of class to their daily routines, so perhaps indulge in a pair of leather driving gloves or another accessory that tickles your fancy. 
  • Use lavender scented items to help restore joy. 
  • Keep pictures of loved ones around you at all times. 

 

Self-Awareness/Mindfulness (calming awareness of thoughts, feelings, and body and engaging in meditation/mind-body practices)

 

  • Practice gratitude by complimenting people to spark a connection. Also, leave notes for your loved ones and consider sending Valentines out to celebrate your romantic, loving nature.
  • Repeat the Libra mantra, “We balance ourselves and each other.” 
  • Don’t be afraid to show your true self. Often clouded by a desire to be glamorous, it is important that Libras let their guard down and maybe wear something that may be “out of style” by their standards or go without makeup occasionally. 
  • When meditating, consider using an Opal stone or Ametrine to help balance emotions. 
  • Often the mediator able to see both sides; a Libra should practice taking the reins and stepping into the leadership role from time to time. 
  • Be sure to have plenty of pastel colors in your wardrobe as they offer calming qualities for Libras. 
  • Splurge on a haircut to stay looking and feeling fresh. 
  • Be sure to keep your finances in order and balanced. 
  • Rejuvenate by listening to your favorite songs. Create a playlist for ease of access, and so you can boost your energy easily at any time. 

 

Rest (taking time to recharge the batteries and sleep)

 

  • Sleep is critical for Libras to keep their balance and control of their thoughts. 
  • Be sure to manage anxieties before bed and develop a routine that may include writing thoughts down and creating a to-do list. Other sleep tips such as gentle yoga poses and soothing music may help Libras get the restful sleep they require. 
  • Consider taking a trip to China, an ideal location for Libras with their appreciation for history, beauty, and tradition. 

 

Relationships (spend time with people who support you and make you feel good)

 

  • Libras thrive on relationships and should seek out other Libras.
  • Libras are very social but this can lead to late nights and overindulgence, so it is important that they remain in balance with their social calendar and their downtime.
  • Set boundaries with friends if necessary and let your friends know the boundaries (example: not staying out past 9PM on a weeknight). 
  • Spend time with close friends having deep conversations. An attractive location for a Libra would be to do this at Teahouse and indulge in the luxury of an afternoon tea date. 

 

Physical/Medical (attending to needs of our physical body and seeking medical care regularly)

 

  • Ruler of the kidneys, Libras should take care to make sure they are functioning properly at all times. To aid in this effort, Libra should ensure that their lower back is always warm and refrain from sitting in damp clothes.

 

Environment (setting up your physical work/living space to make you feel good)

 

  • Libras should decorate with a sense of luxury such as Art Deco pieces and gold mirrors. 
  • Symmetry and balance are important factors when decorating for Libras.
  • A romantic at heart, Libras should keep their romantic trinkets in a special place so they can take a quick trip down memory lane when needed.
  • Pink is a power color for Libras, and they should be used in their décor.
  • Consider nurturing a Strawberry Begonia plant for a romantic vibe or plant morning glories to evoke a sophisticated atmosphere. 
  • No one thrives in a cluttered and chaotic space, so be sure to donate any unused clothing and belongings. 
  • Your home should have space for Libras to feel grounded, take a break, and reset. A self-care space such as this is a great way to find peace. In this Talk-Back Tuesday session. I explain more about a self-care space. (Facebook/YouTube)

 

Self-Compassion (supportive, encouraging self-talk/feel your feelings) 

 

  • Write in an emotions journal as to not keep them bottled up but release them into the journal. This is also helpful for recognizing patterns in your behavior.

 

Spiritual (experience meaning or a larger purpose in your life, read, watch, or listen to something inspirational)

 

  • Seek out the works of fellow Libras such as Anne Rice or F. Scott Fitzgerald to nurture your thought-provoking side
  • Consider volunteering for a social justice cause.

 

Libras, does this resonate with you? Even if you are not a Libra, as always if something from this list calls to you, you should add it into your self-care routine.

 

Be sure to like, subscribe and love me across all my social media platforms for the most up to date information on self-care! You can also watch any of my previously recorded videos on the LIVE tab of Dr. MC’s Self-Care Cabaret or my YouTube Channel.

 

Stay well,

Dr. MC

Featured

Got Breakfast? Healthy Homemade Muffins

DR. MC original pomegranate lemon poppy seed muffinsWith a new school year underway, a lot of us are getting back into our routines. Myself, included. However, I have been much more consistent since I started creating my very own healthy homemade muffins.

 

In my eating disorder healing journey, I have shared bits and pieces about what it is like to feed my body from a place of love and not restriction. In the past, I would often skip breakfast as a way to restrict my intake. I would celebrate my willpower if I made it to lunch without eating, as it meant I was on track to essentially starve myself that day. Now, I try to always eat breakfast, but what to eat became the question. I don’t have a ton of time to devote to cooking something elaborate every day. I don’t feel satiated after consuming a store-bought bar of some sort, so I decided to start experimenting and creating my own breakfast options that would be satisfying, easy to make, delicious, and ideally something my husband would enjoy as well. I accomplished all of that with this recipe! I started with an apple craisin version, and from there, I broadened to create other options. Our favorite is the Pomegranate Lemon Poppy Seed Oatmeal Muffin! I am looking forward to testing out some new flavors in the future. I think Raspberry Lime or Strawberry Lemon would be tasty too!

 

The nutrition and hydration domain of self-care is critical to our well-being. We tend to rush through the act of eating, skipping meals, and depriving ourselves of the things we want in the name of “health.” It is imperative that we reconnect with our bodies and tune into the act of eating and how we feel when we eat different foods.

 

With that being said, please enjoy these recipes and let me know if you make any of them! Oh, and have you seen my cooking show guest appearance on Saugus TV, “What’s Cookin.” You can watch the episode here! I made my original Pomegranate Lemon Poppyseed Oatmeal muffins! You can see how simple this recipe is, and the crew enjoyed it. Some even went back for seconds when the cameras stopped rolling. 

 

 

 

You can access all my muffin recipes below. 

 

 

⭐ Dr. MC’s Other Recipes can be found here.

 

Be sure to post pics if you make any of Dr. MC’s recipes and tag @Drmcselfcare & #DocDishes when you do! I’d love to see what you create! 

 

Be sure to like, subscribe and love me across all my social media platforms for the most up-to-date information on self-care! You can also watch any of my previously recorded videos on the LIVE tab of Dr. MC’s Self-Care Cabaret or my YouTube Channel.

 

Also, the first 7 episodes are available of my podcast, be sure to give them a listen! LOTS of great self-care advice. 

 

Best,

Dr. MC 

Featured

Joyful Movement is Medicine

DR. MC joyful movement Exercise or rather “movement” is a critical part of self-care. Someone recently said to me that “sitting is the new smoking.” Ouch, that hits hard! Especially where so many of us sit for long periods of time throughout the day depending upon what we do for work. But the key to moving our bodies is that it should be joyful. That’s right – your relationship to movement should make you happy and feel joy. 

 

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for us to take control of our health and well-being. And lots so of local studios are now offering online classes and YouTube is full of great options too!

 

I know that it can be difficult to get started for fear of embarrassment or judgment or feeling like you are not capable of doing it. I get it, I really do, but a lot of the barriers that we have to exercise are ones that we put there in our minds. Meaning they are not real. 

 


You have heard me also quote my mom before when she says that not moving is “the kiss of death.” It is ok to start small, to modify, and explore different options and find an instructor that resonates with you, listens to you, and does not shame you. Exercise is not a means to lose weight! 

 

Exercise and movement can look very different from one person to the next, and you do not need to spend 5, 6 or 7 days a week in the gym pushing your limits to feel the benefits. Meet yourself where you are at and don’t limit yourself.

 

When it comes to the intensity and frequency of exercise, there are a lot of misconceptions. If it is not hardcore, is it effective? If you are not sore for three days afterward, did you even try? Here is the bottom line…ANY time you move your body, you are exercising, and you will benefit from it. Movement does not have to be extreme to be effective. And movement is never a punishment for food you have eaten. There have been times in my life where I have exercised to the extreme and as a penalty for what I ate or as an attempt to control my weight and guess what eventually happened? It backfired. It was not sustainable, it was not joyful, and it was not healthy. Although it may have appeared that way from the outside.

 

I will admit that I am not a gym person. I just don’t like going, and I don’t find working out on machines to be joyful; however, I LOVE to move my body. If going to the gym works for you or you enjoy hardcore workout sessions, please keep doing that, but my guess is that many people don’t actually enjoy it, but they do it because they feel like they “have to do it that way.” Not to mention, some hardcore/fad exercise programs have damaging health consequences when someone pushes themselves past their limits.

 

Because I don’t like going to the gym, I have to get creative to get my exercise in. I love dancing. Growing up, I trained professionally 6-7 times per week, now as an adult, that is not realistic, but yet, I still love to dance. So I have found (you have to look) dance options that work for me. Additionally, I enjoy walking, swimming, gentle yoga, stretching, and more. 

 

Here is a list of some known benefits to exercise:

  • Reduced stress
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Improved mood
  • Improved memory
  • Increased productivity
  • More energy
  • Better sleep
  • Better executive functioning
  • Improved immune system
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Possible weight loss
  • Increased balance
  • Decreased pain
  • Improved cardiovascular function

That’s a lot of reasons to move!

 

Here are some of my favorites to get you started with Joyful Movement: 

 

LaVita Loca Fitness with Kelli LaVita – Kelli offers many workout options for all levels including Zumba which is my number one go-to. Kelli is also offering her classes on-demand. Very reasonably priced. Regular updates on her Facebook page. Also, keep an eye out on the podcast for an episode with Kelli. 

 

Private Yoga Classes with Allison Derrico via zoom. Allison is my cousin and a great yoga instructor. My mom and I have been taking weekly private yoga sessions with Allison via zoom since March 2020. Allison leads us through a variety of gentle stretches, chair poses, and restorative practices. I highly recommend checking out private yoga sessions to get you started. If that is not appealing, you can always search on YouTube for other options to explore yoga. Remember, every BODY can do yoga! You can also learn more about Allison in her recent podcast episode. 

 

567 Broadway – Anyone who knows me knows my love of Broadway and that I have a strong performing arts background (hence the name, Dr. MC’s Self-Care Cabaret), so I was thrilled to stumble upon these Broadway-inspired workouts. Easy to follow and so much fun! More available on the website

 

Dr. MC on Instagram – I have done a couple of short reels teaching some joyful movement. So come dance with me! I will teach you. Here is an example

 

There are lots of other small ways to incorporate movement into your routines such as cleaning the house, yard work, and gardening. I recently read a life hack that said to do 25 jumping jacks every time you go to the bathroom…hey, whatever works!

 

What do you do for movement? Comment below to share with me what you like to do for joyful movement?

 

Be sure to like, subscribe and love me across all my social media platforms for the most up-to-date information on self-care! You can also watch any of my previously recorded videos on the LIVE tab of Dr. MC’s Self-Care Cabaret or my YouTube Channel. OR catch me on Instagram, where I have been sharing more expertise on self-care!

 

Stay well,

Dr. MC

 

Featured

Keeping Your Immune System in Tip-Top Shape

Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

As we head into another school year, the question of how to stay healthy comes up. Now with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we must be extra vigilant in keeping your immune systems in tip-top shape. Lucky for us, there is well-researched information for keeping us healthy in this regard. You don’t need fancy supplements, or herbs or anything like that. It’s actually quite simple. Follow this recipe and you will keep your immune system in tip-top shape as we embark on a new school year. 

 

There are four main ways to keep your immune system naturally functioning well. They are as follows: eating a healthy and nutritious diet, getting enough rest, exercising, and participating in activities that keep our stress levels low—in other words, practicing self-care!

 

Let’s first look at what our immune system is. Simply put, it is a group of different organs, cells, and proteins that work together to fend off various outside agents, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and toxins. Therefore, this multifaceted system works in harmony to keep us healthy.

 

So what does this mean for keeping your immune system in tip-top shape? 

 

Nutrition

Photo by Trang Doan on Pexels.com

We need to eat a diet full of fruits and vegetables, where we hydrate and honor our hunger cues. We eat when we are hungry and stop when we are full. Our meals should be exciting and appealing full of colorful ingredients across the food groups. Ideally, you should aim for 6-8 cups of water a day to keep you hydrated. Flavored seltzer or non-caffeinated herbal teas are a fun way to mix up your water intake, but drink these in addition to plain water and not exclusively. Also, consider limiting your alcohol intake and avoiding tobacco products.

 

People have asked my opinion on the use of vitamins and supplements. This is a whole other blog post to cover, but there is substantial research to support that as we get older, our bodies might not naturally produce the nutrients we need as part of a healthy lifestyle. For example, if a medical professional tells you that your body is not producing enough zinc, it would be time to introduce that into your system as part of a change in diet or an added supplement. 

 

Rest

We need to rest our bodies for 7-9 hours every night. You want this to be good, restful sleep to recharge your batteries. You will feel refreshed in the morning, not like you need to chug a gallon of coffee to function. Back several months ago, my FitBit sleep monitor indicated that my sleep was not nearly as restful as I had thought. I took steps to correct this, one of them being my weighted blanket, which has helped tremendously. Take the time to figure out what you need.

 

Exercise

We need to move our bodies in joyful ways and not be afraid to break a sweat. Sweat helps us release toxins! Remember, exercise does not need to happen in a gym if you are the type of person forcing yourself to mount up on a treadmill without any joy in the activity (treadmill minutes, anyone?). Figure out what type of movement or physical activities make you happy. Walking? Swimming? Dancing? Stretching? Last week I had a dance party in my kitchen listening to “Hamilton” while cleaning, a surprisingly great soundtrack for loading the dishwasher! I move my body in ways that feel good to me, so that exercise does not feel like a chore. 

 

Reducing Stress

When it comes to de-stressing, there are so many options: meditation, deep breathing, getting outside, talking to a loved one, journaling, aromatherapy, Reiki, Ayurveda, yoga, reading, listening to music, and anything else that makes you happy. You might be sensing a similar theme from our previous paragraph on exercise. The same principles apply where if you are making yourself happy with an activity, you are going to lower your stress. Conversely, do not push yourself into common self-care activities if, while doing so, feels forced and joyless. Of course, this is easy to say when you are well versed in the various aspects of self-care. For those of you who are not sure where to start, I recommend three approaches you could explore:

  • Deep Breathing
    • During this Talk-Back session, I demonstrate basic deep breathing, 5-finger breathing, and Alternate Nostril Breathing (Facebook/YouTube)
  • Short Guided Meditations
    • I end all my Talk-Back sessions with a guided meditation, but this is one of my favorites. (Facebook/YouTube)
  • Introducing Ayurveda into your routine
    • In this Talk-Back session, I explain and demonstrate the aspects of Ayurveda. (Facebook/YouTube)

 

You can also learn LOTS about self-care by listening to my newly launched Podcast

 

Use these as a starting point and find out what works for you and your immune system! You have the power to boost your immune system naturally by participating in activities that lower your stress level. This will keep you healthy and your immune system functioning in tip-top shape.  

 

In closing, to support our wellness and immune system health, recite the following meditation from Louise Hay. How we think about our health and wellness impacts us on a physical level. Our thoughts are powerful.

 

“My thoughts support and strengthen my immune system. My body is intelligent. Every day it is getting easier and easier to give myself a good dose of unconditional love. I believe that what I ‘pick up’ depends on where I am in consciousness. Do I believe that ‘life is hard, and I always get the short end of the stick,’ or ‘I’m no good anyway, so what difference does it make?’ If my beliefs run along these lines, then my immune system (which registers my thoughts and feelings) will be lowered and open to whatever ‘bug’ or ‘germ’ is around at the time. However, if I believe that ‘life is a joy, and I am lovable, and my needs are always met,’ then my immune system will feel supported, and my body will more easily fight off dis-ease.” 

 

Be sure to like, subscribe and love me across all my social media platforms for the most up-to-date information on self-care! OR catch me on Instagram, where I have been sharing more expertise on self-care!

 

Stay well,

Dr. MC

Featured

Simple Self-Care Solutions – A Collaboration with Nike

A couple of months ago, Nike reached out to me to lend my expertise to a simple self-care solutions article they were working on. Yes, the N-I-K-E! I was thrilled at this opportunity. The process was delightful as they were thorough in their interviewing and followed up with citations and fact-checking. The article explores simple self-care solutions to common issues and situations. The article is finally out and I am honored to have been a part of this. Enjoy!

Podcast News

Did you know that episode 5 of the podcast is out? It is a great conversation with my talented cousin, Allison Derrico. Have you heard it? We explore yoga, Ayurveda, and the importance of making little tweaks in your routine which can have a dramatic impact on your health & well-being. 

 

A new episode drops Wednesday, 9/1. Episode 6 is a conversation with my fellow PhD partner in crime, Dr. Boivin. We cover a lot of ground including self-care for brides-to-be and the importance of saying no! It should not be missed. The photo to the Right is Dr. MC and Dr. Boivin at their doctoral hooding, May 2021. 

Dr. MC & Dr. Boivin The power of no

 

Best,

Dr. MC 

Featured

Astrology & Self-Care: Virgo (2021)

Hello, Virgo! Next up in our series of Astrology & Self-care, the second earth sign in the zodiac ruled by Mercury. Virgo swoops in during the late summer to help us transition to autumn. Anyone born between August 23- September 22 is a Virgo, according to Astrology. 

 

As I mentioned, I had so much fun writing and sharing the Astrology & Self-Care series that I plan to keep this as an ongoing series for the blog but each time expanding upon the previous post. 

astrology and self-care for virgo

For 2021, I hope to solicit feedback from my readers who embody each of the Zodiac signs. If you are interested in being featured in an upcoming zodiac post, please comment below or email me at drmcselfcare@gmail.com. 

This month, my friend, Julia, provides the reader perspective! I really enjoy learning what resonates with my readers. 

Reader's Perspective

virgo and self-care

I thank Dr. MC for asking my thoughts on her Virgo blog. I agree with the line that, “A lover of all things related to communication, this sign truly wants to make the world a better place.” I graduated from Boston University’s College of Communication, and my Myers-Briggs, love language and other personality tests echo the commitment to the community at large.

 

 

The portion about Virgo’s propensity to become overworked and need to follow a calendar, including booking time for self-care, also resonates. I follow my calendar pretty strictly, and Dr. MC and I communicated about how I blocked time to organize my thoughts on this blog. I also take a vacation day every once in a while to tend to personal tasks, like grocery shopping, chores, etc. that I neglect for work or social commitments.

 

On the healthcare side, I disagree a bit with the recommendations and don’t see myself as a hypochondriac. However, that may be because I’ve several healthcare professionals in my family who advise and inform me. I definitely got a chuckle out of the mentions of food sensitivities and taking fiber, both of which apply to me, and wanting “simple” exercises. Meal planning is also key, as mentioned.

 

My thought on Virgos is that we have a lot of metaphoric balls in the air at all times, and we could benefit from a resource like Dr. MC reminding us to take a deep breath every so often.

Virgo & Self-Care

It should be noted that even if you are not a Gemini, Cancer, Leo, or Virgo, these self-care tips are useful regardless of your zodiac sign.

 

 

The following is my takeaway on Virgo from “The Astrological Guide to Self-Care” by Constance Stellas.   

 

Virgo is a sign of service to others, gathering and analyzing information to share. Virgo is most balanced when they can use their analytical skills for the betterment of themselves and others. A lover of all things related to communication, this sign truly wants to make the world a better place. Think Mother Teresa, who was also a Virgo. Conversely, when Virgos are critical of themselves and others, they are irritable and impossible to please. Virgos can become bogged down in the details in their quest for perfection and not see the big bigger picture.

 

 

Virgo is symbolized by a Maiden holding bundles of wheat from a harvest. In Greek mythology, the harvest maiden was associated with Persephone.

 

 

Virgos do well when they can see the statistics and check off items on their to-do lists as they are very goal-oriented, but they require assurances they are on the right path. If not careful, Virgos can become overworked. Planning and scheduling self-care activities are ideal for a Virgo to stay on task. They should also track their health in a journal paying attention to trends and observing how they feel.

 

Luckily, self-care comes rather effortlessly for Virgos as they are very sensitive and prone to health concerns. Hence, Virgos may seek alternative healing modalities and understand the importance of caring for oneself. When out of balance, Virgo can be a bit of a hypochondriac and run from doctor to doctor trying to cure their ailments, but typically they can listen to their bodies and determine what is best.

 

 

Constance Stellas provides a list of self-care activities ideal for Virgo, and for the ease of my readers, I have categorized them by the different domains of self-care.

For more on the various domains of self-care, please read a previous blog post. You can also watch my Talk-Back Tuesday session, where I explain the ten domains of self-care and practices associated with each domain. (Facebook/YouTube)

 

 

Nutrition/Hydration (eating a variety of healthy and nutritious foods throughout the day)

  • Ruler of the intestines, Virgos can be prone to food sensitivities, and therefore should avoid junk food or food that is too spicy.
  • Consider supplementing your diet in the winter months with Royal Jelly to improve your health (not recommended if you have asthma or are allergic to bees).
  • To restore balance, try Bach’s Crab Apple Remedy, which can be taken directly from the bottle or mixed with water.
  • Salads made with Arugula are an excellent choice for Virgos. Try a Lemon dressing, adding berries, and sharp cheeses.
  • Host a formal high tea with your friends and make it fancy with decadent goodies.
  • Add Barley to your meals, a nutrient-dense ancient whole gain with an impressive array of health benefits.
  • To aid in smooth digestion, increase your fiber, take licorice, sip peppermint tea, and add fennel to your cooking. Additionally, go meatless periodically and focus on a plant-based diet to help keep your digestive system happy.
  • Embrace your inner organizer by planning your meals.

 

Exercise (finding activities that make us feel good and moving our bodies regularly)

  • Virgos should try exercises that are simple and do not require a lot of equipment such as jogging, tennis, swimming, dancing, running track, or martial arts.
  • Not competitive by nature, individual exercises, and sports are ideal.
  • Yoga is another great exercise for Virgos, try learning Extended Locust Pose or the Wind-Relieving pose to strengthen your back, abdominal muscles, improve posture, and massage your digestive tract.
  • Try a Pound class, which is a drum-based, high energy workout class that is lots of fun.

 

Soothing Strategies (breathing exercises and pursuing activities that stimulate your physical, intellectual, interpersonal, or creative side to relax)

  • Hypnotherapy can help you relax, especially if you experience any phobias.
  • Take at least three breathing breaks throughout the day, concentrating on extending the exhale and visualizing a relaxing place.
  • Consider keeping a piece of unpolished Pink Jasper handy as it is a powerful ally for Virgos promoting grounding.
  • Express yourself creatively by getting crafty sewing, pressing flowers, or another appealing activity.
  • Spend quality time with a furry friend such as a cat, which can help Virgos regain balance and slow down.
  • Use Lavender scented items to relax, such as candles, essential oils, a diffuser, sprays, etc.
  • Recite strength-based affirmations such as “I effortlessly make order in my world,” or “I can, and I will.”
  • Attend Ballet productions or other live events where you can take in the beauty of the performance and all the aspects of creating such a spectacle.
  • Playing chess or completing number puzzles are great ways for Virgos to stimulate their analytical mind.
  • Read something written by a fellow Virgo such as Leo Tolstoy, Stephen King, Agatha Christie, Mary Shelley, etc.
  • Indulge in an all-natural body scrub and try using a Bentonite Clay mask to help you feel rejuvenated and refreshed.

 

Self-Awareness/Mindfulness (calming awareness of thoughts, feelings, and body and engaging in meditation/mind-body practices)

  • Practice gratitude by writing down what you are grateful for every day. Here are some ways to get started.
  • Start a Bullet Journal to help keep track of everything in an organized way that is ideal for Virgos.
  • Treat yourself now and again to something you have been desiring.

 

Rest (taking time to recharge the batteries and sleep)

  • Promote a good night’s sleep by investing in new white sheets and only keep necessities on your nightstand. Consider spraying fresh linens with a relaxing essential oil.
  • Take a break by planning a trip to view exotic spring flowers and breathe in the luxurious scents.

 

Relationships (spend time with people who support you and make you feel good)

  • Virgos should consider speaking to a counselor or therapist to help them sort out all their thoughts. Group therapy is also something that Virgos should consider to connect with other like-minded people experiencing the same challenges.
  • Offer to help your friends who are experiencing difficulties.
  • Enjoy a meal with your friends.

 

Physical/Medical (attending to needs of our physical body and seeking medical care regularly)

  • Virgos can worry about their health, but regular checkups are sufficient along with other healthy habits.
  • When experiencing stomach issues, Virgos should seek a doctor’s opinion to rule out an infection, but it is likely caused by stress.

 

Environment (setting up your physical work/living space to make you feel good)

  • Virgos thrive when their belongings are neat and organized, so be sure to declutter your space regularly and donate what no longer is needed. Consider utilizing a Chinese apothecary cabinet or other study furniture to get organized.
  • Keeping toys and other interactive gadgets can help Virgos take a break during the workday. Try having items such as a slinky, Zen garden, Etch a Sketch, coloring book, etc. at your desk.
  • Plant flower bulbs in the fall, so in the spring you will have lovely flowers to brighten your day.

 

Self-Compassion (supportive, encouraging self-talk/feel your feelings) 

  • Embrace imperfection and try to look at life from a different perspective. Re-framing negative thoughts and shifting your mindset is a powerful tool for the self-care toolbox. You have to learn to love ALL parts of yourself.
  • Visualize “letting go,” by closing your eyes and visualize a situation tied to you by a dozen strings. As you breathe, imagine cutting each of the strings and watch it gently float away never to be seen again.

 

Spiritual (experience meaning or a larger purpose in your life, read, watch, or listen to something inspirational)

  • Virgos have a deep desire to help others, so volunteering is an ideal practice for this sign.

 

I have a couple of close friends who are Virgos, and from my perspective, this is pretty accurate. What do you think?

 

Even if you are not a Virgo, as always, if something from this list calls to you, you should add it into your self-care routine!

 

If you missed the latest addition to the Dr. MC lineup, my PODCAST is LIVE on ALL major platforms. Be sure to like, subscribe and love me across all my social media platforms for the most up-to-date information on self-care!

 

Stay well,

Dr. MC

Featured

Intuitive Eating Principles – Enjoying Pizza Guilt-Free

I put the pizza back in the box. It was already on my plate. You may be thinking, so what? This is monumental in my eating disorder healing journey using Intuitive Eating principles and mindful eating. If you have ever been told, read, or just believe that certain foods are bad or if you struggle with body weight and body acceptance, this blog post is for you. 

 

 

Last week, hubby and I ordered take-out from Polcari’s (Pizzaria Regina). If you are not from the Boston area you may not fully understand the beauty that is a Polcari’s pizza. It is the best. We had a pizza buffet at our wedding of Polcari’s pizza and let me tell you…open bar and pizza? We had 200 very happy guests. 

Intuitive Eating Principles with Dr. MC

Anyway, for dinner, we ordered 3 small pizzas as it can be fun to have some variety. We were happily eating our pizza while watching “Seinfeld,” when all of a sudden, I looked at the remaining slice of hot extra cheese pepperoni pizza on my plate and I realized that I was no longer hungry, and I PUT IT BACK. So I did not eat it. There was a time I would have eaten it (and more) because I was so deprived that everything became a binge or because I had to “clean” my plate or any number of other disordered reasons. 

 

Why is this epic? 

 

During the height of my eating disorder, when I was at my sickest, caught in the grips of exercise bulimia, disordered eating, and atypical anorexia, that I banned pizza. I was “shredding for the wedding,” and I flat out banned my FAVORITE food in the world. Why? Because I was led to believe that there was such a thing as “good foods” and “bad foods.” When you do this, you give the food power, and you know what happens…ALL YOU DO IS CRAVE WHAT YOU CANNOT HAVE!

 

I don’t recall how many months or years I went without. But, here’s the kicker, banning pizza did not make me healthier, happier, skinnier (maybe short term for a fleeting moment), more beautiful, nothing. It just made me miserable! 

 

Shortly after the wedding, I began working with an Intuitive Eating/Eating disorder dietician. The process was nothing like I expected but was precisely what I needed. I don’t say this lightly; she likely saved my life. I was ready to stop the craziness. I was caught in a vicious cycle that had been escalating steadily for the better part of 16 years.  I knew what I was doing was really bad for me (far worse than any slice of pizza), but I could not get out of it myself. I needed someone to tell me it was ok to let go of dis-ease and learn to trust my body. She held space for me. She let me cry. She let me mourn the loss of “being thin.” And she gave me the tools to begin again. 

 

I did not appreciate it fully at the time, but I do now. She introduced me to the intuitive eating principles and mindful eating, which go hand in hand. The intuitive eating principles provide a framework that encompasses aspects of living beyond your plate, and it was life-changing for me to begin to heal with my newfound knowledge. 

 

The basic gist is that you must reconnect with your body to honor your hunger and fullness cues. We are very disconnected from our bodies for a variety of reasons. We think we are smarter than them. We are not. The body knows what it needs to survive on a primal instinctive level. 

 

Do you know why so many diets fail? And you often gain back MORE weight and end up heavier than you started? And yes, this is back by science, don’t make me start adding citations to blog posts! This happens because your body cannot tell the difference between starvation and a fad diet. Your body does not care that you still want to wear the pants your wore in high school. Your body fights back to SURVIVE. And it puts on a little extra, too, so the next time it is starving, it has more of a reserve. I experienced this first hand. My body was and is smarter than me. 

 

Now back to the pizza. It has been about 6 years since those days, feeling broken in my dietician’s office. But, as I was eating my pizza last Friday night, I listened to my body. I was full. I was satisfied. And it was ok to put the pizza back. Do you know why? It was still there the next day to enjoy, and food no longer has power over me. I no longer eat something unsatisfying instead of allowing myself to have what I want. I no longer need to stuff myself beyond my satiety levels because I can trust and listen to my body. 

 

Healing your relationship with food is a process, and it is a journey. It is not pretty, it is not glamorous, and it is not fun, but it is worth it! 

 

I have written some other blog posts on this topic, be sure to check them out if you want to learn more. If you research this topic, BE SURE to follow actual experts. No celebs who think they know about Intuitive Eating (I am looking at you, Gwenyth), or other folks who use this terminology to sell you another diet that will fail. 

 

Also, I am sharing tips on Instagram this week on Mindful Eating with new recipes via posts and reels, be sure to follow me so you don’t miss out. 

 

If you need additional resources, be sure to check out the following books: 

 

Did you know that episode 4 of the podcast is out! It is a great conversation with my friend Karina Beltre. Have you heard it? A new episode drops Wednesday, 8/18.  And the giveaway is still going on. Be sure to enter. Check out this video for more details on the giveaway. 

 

 

Love,

Dr. MC 

Featured

Feeling Fabulous with Dr. MC: Stylin’ in Sleep Shirts

Dr. MC in a jockey sleep shirt

Let’s talk about sleep shirts! Unfortunately, I have not been able to find decent plus-size sleep shirts in quite some time. I always used to wear Victoria’s Secret sleep shirts as they were super cute, trendy, and of excellent quality; however, they are not a size-inclusive brand, sooooo, that is no longer an option. 

 

Recently I decided that my current collection of sleep shirts was looking a little ratty, old, and ill-fitting, so off to Macy’s I went (via the app, of course). 

 

It is essential that you feel good about what you are wearing and feel good in it. 

An old tattered sleep shirt makes me feel frumpy and not at all like the Self-Care Goddess that I am! Even if it is just for me, I like to look and feel good, but yes, hubby enjoys it as well. 

 

To my delight, there were lots of reasonably priced options from brands I love at Macy’s! I purchased 8 of them, assuming some would get returned, but I am keeping them all as they are great. 

 

In all of these, I sized up as I wanted to make sure they fit me well, loose and comfy and that I would not get arrested if I stepped outside in one for a minute to grab the mail or water my plants. And I no longer place value on the number on the size tag. It is irrelevant and a wildly inaccurate way to measure your worth. So instead, I go by what feels good to me! 

 

Be sure to head over to Instagram later and watch my reel modeling some of these options, but here is a sneak peek. 

As always, if you see something you like but not a price point that works for you, keep an eye on it. Macy’s has LOTS of sales, and prices can drop relatively quickly. 

While we are on the subject of saving money, are you using Rakuten? Previously eBates? Anyway, stop what you are doing (well, finish the blog post) and use this link to sign up for it. You get money back! Like a good amount of money at all sorts of stores. Sometimes as much as 10% back. Check it out

 

Now back to plus-size sleep shirts…

 

Charter Club 

I have purchased this brand before, and I like them a lot. However, sizing can be inconsistent so sizing up is a good idea, but we already knew that. This option with the lace sleeves adds a little sexy vibe to this comfy sleep shirt. I snagged this in black and a pretty floral pattern.

 

These are the first and second ones I model in the video above. 

 

Ralph Lauren 

I have been a long-time fan of Ralph. So I was very excited to see sleep shirts! The patterns are beautiful. They reminded me of Lily Pulitzer. So I grabbed two different styles—this blue one. And I love the embroidery of the monogram on the front chest. So cute! 

And the pink, which does not appear to be available in plus sizes at the moment, but will likely come back. For reference, here is the pattern I am talking about that looks like Lily P.

 

These are the second and third ones I model in the video above. 

 

Jockey 

Another fave brand of mine is Jockey! I was surprised to see these beautiful patterns and an excellent long length. These are winners for sure. 

 

I am pictured above in a Jockey sleepshirt and they are featured in the video as the fifth and sixth options. 

 

Alfani 

I tend not to care for this brand, but I decided to give it a whirl. They are lovely, lightweight, and attractive sleepshirts.

 

Not pictured in the video, but they are cute. 

 

Which ones are your fave? 

 

And seriously don’t forget about Rakuten

 

Oh, and episode 4 of the podcast is out! It is a great conversation with my friend Karina Beltre. Have you heard it?

 

And the giveaway is still going on. Be sure to enter. Check out this video for more details on the giveaway. 

 

Love,

Dr. MC 

Featured

Simone Biles: A Lesson from the GOAT for ALL of US

Self-care was on the world’s stage this past week during the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. And some people lost their damn mind over it. Often referred to as the greatest of all time (GOAT),  Simone Biles took a step back reportedly in the name of mental health. I have teared up at every article I have read about the incident because it is about time we stop this cycle of go-go-go and overdoing it. 

I am so proud of her (and others) for taking this stance. I have always been a fan of hers, but this is next level, in my opinion. 

 

Here’s why…

 

When was the last time you were thanked for going to work when you did not feel well? Or appreciated for doing extra? Or compensated fairly for the extra time you spent on a project? Or celebrated for a job well done? Chances are it has never happened or it has occurred very infrequently. 

 

Yet, we continue to deprive ourselves of our sanity because society makes us feel that we must. We tend to give and give and give more in the name of work and neglect our basic, fundamental needs in the process. 

 

Someone of Simone’s status, during the O-L-Y-M-P-I-C-S, prioritized her mental health over a gold medal. I think that act of self-awareness alone deserves a gold medal! Mental health is physical health. You cannot have one without the other. Don’t believe me, read about Elena Mukhina, another gymnast who was not ready to perform again after an injury but was pushed into it. Simone just set an example for people everywhere to aspire to that level of strength to put YOUR needs first regardless of what is on the line. For that, she is a hero. 

 

Let’s not forget that Simone is a sexual assault survivor at the hands of a trusted US Olympic coach. She has given everything (and more) to a sport that has not always protected her, elevating the athleticism of gymnastics to levels never before seen. Judges don’t even know how to score her at times, as she has outright smashed every previous expectation. 

 

Off the balance beam, she has worked hard to create a platform where other young Olympic hopefuls can practice in safe and supportive environments. What a role model for the young girls watching her. She has accomplished so much in her young life, and she has a whole lot of life ahead of her. And you know what else, she owes us nothing! But she does owe herself the right to prioritize her self-care. And she did. I am still in awe of her strength. 

 

Self-care is not optional. It is not something we do when it is convenient or when we have some free time, or when we are not at the Olympics. Sometimes, it is something you have to do in the heat of the moment. And that’s ok. Some people have said she should have known she was not in the right headspace before the Olympics. But, listen, sometimes we do not always know how our bodies will react or how we will feel on a given day. Have you ever been feeling fine and then the next day feel like garbage? It happens. Get over it. She’s entitled to feel how she wants and when and her ability to prioritize her well-being does not have to be on a timeline that is convenient for you. 

 

Most of the people reading this will never understand the pressure placed upon these young athletes, and it was just incredibly powerful to see Simone take this stance. However, we all have our own Olympic Games and challenges we face in life. There is a BIG lesson here for ALL of us. 

 

We can learn from Simone and her latest courageous act and ALWAYS prioritize our mental health, well-being, and self-care! Nothing is worth more, not even Olympic gold medals. 

 

You may be thinking, Simone could have just pushed through? Maybe you remember the inspiring Olympic moment of Kerri Strug in 1996, where Olympic Gold was placed before the health and well-being of the athletes. That moment you remember ended the then 18-year-old Kerri’s gymnastics career. Were you hoping to see that again? In 2021 to see self-care placed BEFORE anything else is the progress I love to see. Simone is not the first world-class athlete recently to take a stance in the name of mental health, and I hope she is not the last. 

 

So what does this mean for us? 

 

First, let’s normalize using your vacation, sick and personal days. Mental health is EQUALLY as important as Physical Health. It is not an either-or situation. And side note, the world will go on turning if you take a break, I promise. It is ok. 

Audre Lorde quote about self-care

It all boils down to Self-Care. There is nothing sexy about being stressed, burnt out, exhausted, and tired. There is no glory in burning the candles at both ends. All you have is your health and wellness, so let’s start treating ourselves with kindness and compassion! You would not expect your car to take you where you need to go if there was no gas in it! I am reminded of my favorite self-care quote by Audre Lorde (pictured). 

Lastly, if you are looking for ways to start prioritizing your self-care, be sure to check out my newly launched podcast! The first 3 episodes are available on all major platforms. The next episode will be available on Wednesday, 8/4, and bi-weekly moving forward. 

 

To celebrate, I am also launching a giveaway. More details can be found on Instagram. And be sure to check out the video where I show you what you can win. 

 

Best,

Dr. MC



Featured

Astrology & Self-Care: Leo (2021)

Image by DarkWorkX from Pixabay

Welcome to the Leo show, hear the Lion roar. Next to Pisces (which is me), Leos are my absolute favorite as both my mom and husband fall under this zodiac sign. I have also been blessed with many Leo friends over the years. I can say with confidence, you can spot a Leo from a mile away, and I mean that as a compliment. As I mentioned, I had so much fun writing and sharing the Astrology & Self-Care series that I plan to keep this as an ongoing series for the blog but each time expanding upon the previous post.

 

For 2021, I hope to solicit feedback from my readers who embody each of the Zodiac signs. If you are interested in being featured in an upcoming zodiac post, please comment below or email me at drmcselfcare@gmail.com. 

This month, my mom, Anna Maria Melito, MEd., provides the reader perspective! I really enjoy learning what resonates with my readers. 

Reader's Perspective

Dr. MC and her mom

Although I’m not necessarily a physically daring Leo, the majority of traits described in this post are quite accurate for me. I love holding court; being the center of the conversation, making people laugh, and enjoying life. I have been told that I have a very big personality.

 

As the king/queen of the jungle, Leo’s like being the center of it all. I definitely fall into that category. I too am a creature that thrives on praise. Perhaps that’s why I offer so much of it to my peeps and my students. Even giving praise to others makes me feel good. I can absorb the recipient’s positive energy after I give a compliment!

As far as self-care goes as a Leo I really have to work at it. I seem to enjoy fixing other people’s problems instead of my own. As I’ve gotten older I have evolved and learned to take better care of myself. At the beginning of the pandemic, I started weekly live zoom yoga classes and since then I have added more yoga into my daily routine. Starting off my day with three sun salutations and three standing twists really gets me going in the morning. Each day when I’ve done this practice it has certainly proven beneficial. I’m working on being more consistent with it.


I also love scents, citrus being at the top of the list. I use room sprays and candles, more so during the winter months, it definitely lifts my mood. Lavender is another favorite scent.


As the blog reads, Leo’s enjoy regal decorating for their space. This is so true. Even though I don’t have one, I’m drawn to sunburst-shaped mirrors. Whenever I see them I always stop and think if I have a space for one. Canopy beds are another passion of mine. I am further drawn to velvet, silk, and other royal fabrics. Even when purchasing clothes, if the fabric doesn’t feel nice, or the garment is not well made, I will likely not purchase the item.


Music always brightens me up, whenever there is music on, where ever I am, I have to move – it’s very difficult for me to stay still. If I’m seated, I still tend to move the top part of my body either by lifting my arms to the beat or twisting or whatever movement seems to go with the tune playing. It is definitely helpful to me when I put music on to complete mundane tasks. When I’m in a pool, I will dance if there’s music. It doesn’t matter where I am.


Lastly, I love the sun. It gives me energy; it gives me life. I try to open blinds and let the sun into my home. I’ve always been fascinated with houses that have big windows. Letting in that much natural light feels so special to me.

 

I have live plants in my living space because I think there’s nothing like being surrounded by living, thriving plants. If I happen to have ones that flower that’s even better as far as I am concerned.

Leo & Self-Care

Anyone born between July 23 – August 22 is a Leo, according to Astrology. However, it should be noted that even if you are not a Gemini, Cancer, or Leo, these self-care tips are useful regardless of your zodiac sign.

 

The following is my takeaway on Leo from “The Astrological Guide to Self-Care” by Constance Stellas.   

 

Symbolized by a lion, the Leo is the true King of the Zodiac reigning supreme during the summer when the sun is at its warmest, making outdoor self-care rituals very appealing. Ruled by the sun, Leo is energized, focused, and ready for action, sharing their warmth and light readily with those around them. Much like a lion, a Leo is fiercely loyal and full of pride keenly attuned to care deeply for those they love and feel responsible for the well-being of others. While an admirable quality, if left unattended, this can get in the way of their self-care. Luckily, Leos love to look and feel good, and they understand that the key to that is through self-care because when push comes to shove, no one gets in the way of what Leo wants.

 

Leos are not fond of programs that are mass-produced and strict, and they are always seeking the best of the best when it comes to self-care. Leos want results quickly, and they require encouragement and applause to keep going. My husband always tells me that he is a vehicle that runs on praise.

Leo will seek help from others but does not appreciate being made to feel inferior. While they will never show it, Leos can feel insecure, causing them to seek constant approval.

 

Constance Stellas provides a list of self-care activities ideal for Leo, and for the ease of my readers, I have categorized them by the different domains of self-care.

For more on the various domains of self-care, please read a previous blog post. You can also watch a Talk-Back Tuesday session, where I explain the ten domains of self-care and practices associated with each domain. (Facebook/YouTube)

 

Nutrition/Hydration (eating a variety of healthy and nutritious foods throughout the day)

  • A heart-healthy diet should be followed with the use of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. According to an article I read from, “A heart-healthy diet is full of fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains and includes low-fat dairy, fish, and nuts as part of a balanced diet. It’s important to limit intake of added sugars, salt (sodium) and bad fats (saturated and trans fats).”
  • Mark a special occasion with champagne or indulge in a refreshing cocktail such as a Tequila Sunrise
  • Get creative in the kitchen by adding hot sauce to meals, or adding dried fruit and seeds to salads and be sure to test out exotic cheeses
  • Be sure to sprinkle Turmeric on your veggies and rice or as a rub on poultry before cooking to benefit from its anti-inflammatory properties
  • Sip Chamomile tea in the evening to help you unwind

 

Exercise (finding activities that make us feel good and moving our bodies regularly)

  • Gentle yoga and stretching are ideal for Leos to keep their energy flowing
  • Elegant sports like aikido, fencing or tennis are appealing to Leos
  • Make sure to keep your body moving in the Winter months as Leos are tempted to hibernate without the constant sunshine
  • Leos love to be the center of attention, and what better place to do that than the dance floor – consider signing up for dance lessons and hit the club to show it off

 

Soothing Strategies (breathing exercises and pursuing activities that stimulate your physical, intellectual, interpersonal, or creative side to relax)

  • Meditate with a Jacinth (an orange-red transparent variety of zircon) stone to promote more restful sleep
  • When meditating focus on the heart chakra to restore balance
  • Repeat the mantra “I lead with generosity” and “I will” throughout the day to remind yourself or your gifts and help stay grounded  
  • Use music to get you in the mood for mundane tasks turning boring activities into mini showstopping productions
  • Incorporate essential oils into your routine; Rosemary is particularly suitable for Leos as it appeals to their passion for life. When feeling overwhelmed, consider massaging your temples with a few drops of this oil.
  • In hot weather, use the cooling qualities of a citrus-scented spray such as orange or lemon to cool off. For added impact, store it in the fridge.
  • Accessorize with bold colors to express your individuality
  • Consider wearing gold, ruby, or amber-colored jewelry and/or a charm bracelet to express your bold beauty and sentimentality
  • Attend theatre shows and maybe consider working on a production to stimulate your dramatic side
  • Try your luck at a casino, a place full of glitz and glamour
  • Embrace your inner child by spending time with children playing to remind you of the simple things in life
  • Stimulate your hair follicles with a scalp massage to boost your happiness
  • Take the time to reflect on your best qualities by journaling
  • Indulge in a luxurious spa day
  • Lay out in the sun (using proper sunscreen and other protective measures)
  • Retail therapy works wonders for Leos
  • For the thrill-seeking Leo, try skydiving or waterfall diving
  • Express yourself at a music festival

 

Self-Awareness/Mindfulness (calming awareness of thoughts, feelings, and body and engaging in meditation/mind-body practices)

  • Yoga Sun Salutations are a great way to start the day for Leos – move through the flow quickly to increase your energy or perform it slowly for a calming effect
  • Cat/Cow Yoga pose is another great tool for Leo to use when they feel stiffness in their back
  • Visualization exercises are very powerful for Leos – try closing your eyes and picturing the warmth of the sun reflecting off the ocean while taking deep cleansing breaths

 

Rest (taking time to recharge the batteries and sleep)

  • Be sure to take time to recharge your batteries, Sunday is a great day to stay low key and prepare for the week ahead

 

Relationships (spend time with people who support you and make you feel good)

  • Find supportive friends and a cheering squad with like-minded ideas and goals
  • Connect with other Leos for advice
  • If your pride gets bruised, ponder forgiveness instead of holding a grudge
  • Celebrate anything and everything with your loved ones
  • Leos love to share their knowledge and are natural born leaders

 

Physical/Medical (attending to needs of our physical body and seeking medical care regularly)

  • Ruler of the heart, Leos should have regular medical checkups and stress tests to ensure their heart health
  • Any discomfort in the spine is typically a sign of tension in the back, and gentle chiropractic adjustments or cranial sacral massage can help relieve this tension
  • Hair-care is very important for a Leo (Lion’s mane), so be sure to indulge in lush products to keep it shining and perhaps treat yourself to fancy hair products such as Moroccan Oil.

 

Environment (setting up your physical work/living space to make you feel good)

  • Decorate with a regal flair fit for a king, consider adding Peacock feathers, sunburst shaped mirrors, a canopy bed, a throne for seating, plush velvet fabrics, and other royal touches
  • Bring the sunshine indoors by growing a fruit tree and caring for it daily
  • Turn an ordinary day into a celebration by adding a little glamour. For example, use your special occasion china for a pizza take-out night.
  • Find the sunniest spot in your house and create a sacred space for you to re-center yourself.
  • When stuck working indoors, consider changing your lighting to be full-spectrum light bulbs that imitate the sun

 

Self-Compassion (supportive, encouraging self-talk/feel your feelings) 

  • Self-praise goes a long way so don’t be afraid to give yourself a round of applause or a pat on the back
  • Feel free to don a crown or a tiara – a definite conversation starter and attention grabber

 

Spiritual (experience meaning or a larger purpose in your life, read, watch, or listen to something inspirational)

  • Turn to famous Leos for inspiration such as Barack Obama, Madonna, Mick Jagger, or Tom Brady
  • Support organizations committed to protecting the wildlife including Lions
  • Seek out charities that align with your passion and volunteer
  • Lend a helping hand to a neighbor in need
  • Get involved with local government to see how you can positively contribute to the greater good

 

Wow, that is all spot on in my opinion for my Lion friends. What do you think?

 

Even if you are not a Leo, as always if something from this list calls to you, you should add it into your self-care routine!

 

If you missed the latest addition to the Dr. MC lineup, my PODCAST is LIVE on ALL major platforms. Be sure to like, subscribe and love me across all my social media platforms for the most up-to-date information on self-care!

 

Stay well,

Dr. MC

Featured

7/21 Self-Care Podcast Launch Day

Dr. MC's Self-care cabaret podcast first 3 episodes

I’m so excited! And I just can’t hide it! I’m about to lose control, and I think I like it! This is how I feel this week! OMG, the podcast is FINALLY launching on WEDNESDAY. Mark those calendars for 7/21. And if you missed the trailer, don’t worry you can listen to it NOW

 

What to expect on Wednesday? The first THREE episodes will be available on ALL major podcast platforms!

 

Episode 01: One Singular Hole 

First up, a conversation with my dear friend, Tristyn Sepersky. Tristyn and I met several years ago while I was choreographing an award-winning production of “Hair.” Tristyn is talented, honest, funny, and a great friend. We covered a lot of ground in our conversation. We chatted about moving our bodies in joyful ways, sleep, breathing, and more. Tristyn has wonderful metaphors that are important to remember when we think about our goals, what we have achieved, and what we still hope to accomplish. 

 

Episode 02: Ridin’ the Wave of Life

My next episode is a conversation with my friend, reiki master, and fellow healer, Amber McMahon. Amber is one of the coolest people I know. I have learned so much from her, and she helps me more than she likely realizes. If you have ever heard me rave about my Reiki master and my sessions, Amber is my girl! Located in Arlington, MA, I have known her for years, and her reiki sessions and guidance helped me complete the Ph.D. program in 3 years. We discuss energy in the body during our chat, setting boundaries, and the importance of connecting the mind, body, and spirit. 

 

Episode 03: Infinite Need, Finite Resources 

The third episode being released this week is a conversation with my former colleague, mentor, and fellow educational expert, Jeffrey Benson. Jeffrey has years of experience working with challenging students and school staff across various settings. We worked together about 10 years ago, and I still recall his teachings in my practice. We discuss relationships and their importance, energy, mental health, social-emotional learning, and more. 

 

The podcast is available on ALL major platforms, including Apple, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, Pocket Casts, and YouTube. When listening to this podcast on your preferred player, it is important to like, rate, and subscribe!

 

Best,

Dr. MC

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Featured

Episode 00: Coming Soon has Dropped

Dr. MC's Self-Care Cabaret Podcast

Want a sneak peek of the Dr. MC Self-Care Cabaret podcast? I have been working hard on this project (with help from hubby) for a few months, and I am thrilled to be able to share this clip with you in anticipation of the first THREE episodes hitting the airwaves on Wednesday July 21st. You heard that right, THREE episodes! Mark your calendar! 

 

In just under 3 minutes, Episode 00 explains what this podcast will entail. Be sure to give it a listen & check out the new landing page for the website too! All episodes after they launch will always be available on my website in the podcast archive

 

We will dive deep into the true meaning of self-care during this time together. This will be our space to talk about health, well-being, and how to manage what life throws at us. 

 

We will examine ALL aspects of self-care and will cover topics such as:

  • Learning to love your body
  • Making peace with food
  • Honoring your hunger cues
  • Exercising in ways that are joyful
  • Fostering fulfilling relationships
  • Resting
  • Developing more Self-Compassion
  • Self-Soothing & increasing our mindfulness
  • Attracting abundance 
  • Intention setting
  • Creating boundaries
  • And so much more!  

 

New episodes will post bi-weekly on Wednesdays. Don’t miss out! 

 

We are working to make this podcast available on all major platforms. As of this morning, it is available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, Pocket Casts, and YouTube. We are working on making it available on Apple, it is not there yet, but it will be in the next day or so. When listening to this podcast on your preferred player, it is important to like, rate, and subscribe!

 

It has been such a joy to interview my guests so far, which have included a variety of folks ranging from friends, education experts, healers, entrepreneurs, authors, professors, artists, performers, models, and everything in between. 

 

And because this podcast is for YOU…I want to know what questions you have about self-care and well-being? Ask me anything! Any questions, comments and feedback may be directed to podcast@drmcselfcare.com.

 

Be sure to like, subscribe and love me across all my social media platforms for the most up-to-date information on self-care! You can also watch any of my previously recorded videos on the LIVE tab of Dr. MC’s Self-Care Cabaret or my YouTube Channel. OR catch me on Instagram, where I have been sharing more expertise on self-care!

 

Best,

Dr. MC 

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