Lifestyle Blog

Hi by Toni Babbel from

​You know what causes weight gain, memory loss, acne, and the deterioration of relationships.

That was a statement, not a question. You know that I know that you know the answer. 

Schtress Schtinks.
[Actually, stress can make your body odor particularly unpleasant. According to this article on, "Stress-related odor will be normal odor on steroids". Yikes!]
But in all seriousness, stress will do a serious number on your brain, your skin, your productivity, your relationships, and can overall ruin your quality of life.

Yeah, I know. You're already not listening. Most of us are too busy running on our hamster wheels, convincing ourselves that if we work hard we get to party even harder. [When, exactly?!] We've got to keep up with the Jones' and save up for our ticky-tacky houses... And you can go on like this pretty successfully until you crash. And you'll have to crash hard enough to be forced to stop and listen to your body. Your inner spirit, which was buried so deep for so long, will peak out and whisper, "let me come out and dance in the sunlight!" 

I know I cannot make you slow down, live a simpler life, wear comfortable shoes, or sing Kumbaya. I want to suggest small practices that you can do every day to help you center and get in touch with yourself. This safe space can be empowering and enlightening, and most importantly- you can fall back on it when the going gets tough during your wild work day.
Hear me out?

1. MEDITATE: Take 10 minutes of your day to slow down and feel your body. You'll experience clarity and focus that you didn't know you needed. I know most people think this practice is exclusive to yogis, but I dare you to try it for 30 days. 10 minutes for thirty days. 
​Try these apps: Headspace & Calm. I love both, and I sometimes do repeat meditations to help me fall asleep.

2. SELF MASSAGE: This is an old Ayurvedic practice that ensures health and longevity, but I would recommend this purely as an expression of self love and nurture. Start with this fabulous Lavender Oil by Tammy Fender, and take a few minutes before showering or before bedtime to really give your skin and muscles the time of day. Think of it as a private anointing session, where you get to knead love in parts of yourself that don't normally get much recognition- like your feet, your ears, and your elbows. This space is yours alone. Use it to appreciate your body's health, or simply as a way to relax after a stressful day. 

​3. SMELL THE ROSES: I mean it. Spend time with your plants: touch them, take care of them, study them. Observe how you don't have many expectations from them. You don't judge them for acting wrongly, or for growing too much or too little. Recognize how you just want them to "be". How nice is that? Just be. Me, you, and the plants are just going to "be" for a few seconds, and then we'll rush out and live up to everyone else's (and our own) expectations. 
If you don't have any plants- go plant em! These adorable seed bombs are a good way to start. Plus, you'll be able to eat what you sew. ;)

4. EAT HOT FOODS: Make sure to eat at least one hot meal a day. Hot meals, such as soup, stews, and chicken and rice, will force you to sit down and eat slowly. Kill two stones with one bird and get a break from your crazy day while enjoying your meal. 

Try 2 out of 4 of these suggestions, and get back to me with your results. 
And remember, always be like the Honey Badger, and don't give a crap about the Jones'.

I just laughed out loud to my screen.
I was playing rock-paper-scissors against a computer on
Things can get pretty wild up here when I have the flu. 

​After about a week of this craziness, I present to you my survival guide on what-to-do-when-you-feel-like-the-only-idiot-who-didn't-get-the-flu-shot:

1. Line up your team.
I was traveling to NY for business when it started to creep up on me. The first thing I did was pop in a Tylenol, and then dial my husband. "You need to come down here and rescue me," I warned. I was not ready to face this alone. 
It's excruciating to lift your head while you have the flu, and you can use all the TLC and tea making favors you can get. Plus someone needs to validate all the self-pitying emotions going through your head. ("I know, this is terrible... You say your head feels like a ton of bricks? How fascinating... No one has ever felt this sick, like ever!")
Of course I realize that not everyone has the luxury of a free-lancing husband, so I encourage you to explore Talk Space. For just $25 a week, you can enjoy the luxury of an all-you-can-text relationship with a virtual therapist! Seriously, this is every husband's dream.

2. Busy your mind while your body heals. 
So while I'm lying in bed feeling helplessly hopeless, my mind spirals into a series of self pitying somersaults. I manage to go from feeling "OK" to feeling like an absolute failure at life. I know this does not reflect the reality beyond my bed, but still, I need distraction.
Here's what kept me sane all last week: The Serial Podcast, (if you haven't already, get on this, stat!), Elon Musk's Biography- Audio Book, (I seriously believe him to be one of the most brilliant, broad-thinking and inventive minds of our generation) Jimmy Kimmel on Trump, Friends, and Trump again, and the ISS locater app

3. Pamper Yourself. 
After about three days of chapped lips and dry patchy skin, I pretty much jumped with joy when I saw my new shipment from Alrossa. Here's what I recommend for sad flu-skin:
(1) Kerstin Florian Hyaluronic Serum & Brightening Eye Creme: You can imagine what my skin looked like after a week of coughing, sneezing, fever, migraines and more. The serum soothed my irritated skin, and the creme left me feeling moisturized and pampered. I was drowning in cups of tea, but my skin needed the extra boost of hydration.
(2) 80 Acres Lavender Hand and Body Lotion. I don't think I can stress this enough- when you're feeling down, there is nothing more satisfactory to the spirit than a good (and expensive) fragrance. Lavender is fresh, floral, calm and healing. 80 Acres provides a thick delicious cream that is fun to apply and reapply to your heart's content. Plus, I loved the packaging! 
(3)Barr Co. Reed Diffuser. This. Smells. Amazing. 'Nuff Said. 
Well actually, not really. If you had all the visitors I had, you may be self conscious of what your bedroom smells like after you've inhabited it for 24 hours a day/ 7 days in a row. This nifty product here is pure and fresh. And also leaves you feeling like you aren't living in a cave of Kleenex. There, 'nuff said, again.