Four Ways to Practice Self Care

You don't have to know how to dance, or even hear the beat. Just sign up for a dance cardio class at studios like Body By Simone, Tracy Anderson or Ballet Bodies and put on your sneakers. The endorphins released during a 55 minute class will get your blood pumping all day and not only will your mood improve, you will have completed a great workout that is a lot less boring than your run of the mill elliptical. For calorie phobes, you are burning just as many calories as in spinning, running or biking. Practicing in a group setting also make it a lot more inspiring than doing a dance video home alone (although it's a great option to have on vacation when you can't find a nearby studio).

Meditation has all the benefits of making you feel good, showing yourself love and compassion, calming you down and helping you think straight. Like exercise, the more you do it, the better you will get at controlling your mind and being able to switch your anxiety on and off. The first few weeks try doing mini meditations once or twice a day for 3-5-10 minutes. A great app for guided meditations is called Headspace where they introduce a lot of different techniques from mantra to breathing. As you exercise your mind muscle, you will realize it will become easier to sit for longer, then try taking a meditation class at your local yoga studio (if you live in LA or NY try Wanderlust Hollywood, Unplug or MNDFL). Whatever you do, don't stop meditating! Because as soon as you take a break for a few weeks, you will be right back to square one and your monkey mind will be back in control.

This new concept of a sweat lodge is becoming popular in LA with Shape House (three locations in Santa Monica, Larchmont and Pasadena) and NY (Higher Dose). The idea is to come into contact with infrared light (be it a sauna or the blanket they wrap you in at Shape House). Sessions last between 45-55 minutes and will leave you detoxified, feeling lighter and even increase your metabolism. The best part is you don't have to do anything, just lay in a comfy bed watching tv or reading magazines and let the body do the work for you.

Stretching is highly underrated. No person can withstand exercising on the daily without getting a few sore muscles. The reason why I am not suggesting you get a massage or take a yoga class (although you should definitely try both) is because one is too passive and the other is too rigorous for the results you are aiming for. Massages definitely help with unknotting kinks in your body and yoga is great for posture and meditation, but it is a workout in itself and doesn't give you the opportunity to stretch too long between sun salutations. Taking a stretch class or doing it at home with the help of a youtube video will leave your body thanking you for taking the time to stretch out those sore muscles. If you are in LA, you can head to Stretchlab in Venice and they will do it for you (alternatively, many gyms including Equinox offer complimentary stretching to their members post workout).