12 Re-energizing Takeaways and Self-Care Strategies I've Learned From Our Collaborators

My journey so far with The Balanced Collective has been incredibly enriching and I have personally learned so much about BALANCE through these interactions. I wanted to highlight and share some of the major takeaways I have had at this point in the journey...


1. Eat more plants - Shawna Barker. I credit Shawna (and her sister Megan) for being the catalyst in my journey to living a more plant-based life. Although I haven't transitioned to vegan completely yet, I have learned so much about plant-based and vegan eating from these two (and more recently Janel Brine and Luckie Sigouin) and I have realized just how much easier it is than I ever imagined. Learn more about Shawna and her offerings here: Synergy Nutrition

2. Journal about everything - Andrea Mendoza. In our podcast conversation, Andrea speaks about the role of journalling in her life and how it helps her to keep all of her many (brilliant) ideas organized and how it really helped her make her vision become a reality and continue to expand. I have upped my journalling game big time this year and really feel the payoff in my organization and memory. This has been an huge stress outlet for me as it helps to get all of my racing thoughts somewhere that I won't forget them. To listen to my conversation with Andrea click HERE.

3. The importance of quality sleep - Dr. Adrianna Hanson. Adrianna not only spoke at our first Balanced Sessions event in Vancouver, but was a featured guest on the podcast. The topic of sleep was one that was hit on multiple times and the importance of quality sleep was really drilled home. Establishing good sleep hygiene, managing stress and nutrition all play such a huge role in quality sleep and my own sleep habits have changed immensely during this journey towards optimizing my self-care - one of the biggest changes I have made has been investing in an alarm clock and leaving my phone to charge overnight outside of the bedroom. To hear more from Adrianna, check out our podcast recording HERE.

4. Go outside and into nature - Julie Paul. While being outside has always been something I have been very fond of, I didn't realize just how therapeutic it really is until I learned how many people use it as a means of self-care. Whether it is a hike, skiing, a walk along the beach or a cabin in the woods, re-connecting with nature and the earth will always be an incredibly recharging experience. The learn more about Julie, listen to her podcast episode HERE.

5. Get outside of your comfort zone - Ally Bradshaw.  In our podcast episode, Ally discusses how she deals with stress. One of her favourite strategies is to sit with discomfort - cliff jumping and ice cold water dips are part of her routine to step outside of her comfort zone and remind herself that she is human. Although these strategies haven't quite become a part of my arsenal yet, the concept of finding stillness in discomfort is something I have been incorporating into my own mindset and meditation. To learn more about Ally, listen to our podcast episode HERE.

6. Remember your why - Andrea Mendoza and Megan Barker. When starting (or continuing on) an entrepreneurial journey, it is really easy to get caught up stressing about numbers, reach, content and producing. Both of these women have reinforced the idea of always establishing, remembering and reconnecting with your why. A business for the sake of making money is not a journey of fulfillment or service. Establishing a purpose - or a why - and always revisiting that reason will keep your business pursuits in perspective and provide motivation when things just don't seem to be going your way. To learn more about Megan and her business, click HERE

7. Clear your spaces, clear your mind - Julie Paul. Having a cluttered home or work space can be not only extremely distracting, but downright stress inducing. During our podcast conversation, Julie explained how practicing a more minimalist approach to her life has helped her to be more focused on what really matters to her and allows her the time, money and energy to really live her best, uncluttered life. 

8. It is possible to build muscle on a plant-based diet - Janel Brine. During our recent event The Balanced Sessions // Plant-Based Fitness, Janel explained that she went vegan around the same time that she started doing CrossFit and had put on over 20 lbs of muscle in the process. Luckie Sigioun was able to cycle from Vancouver to San Francisco on a totally vegan diet as well. These feats are not only possible on a plant-based diet, but even more attainable as you are sustaining your body with all the right nourishment it needs. 

9. Schedule in alone time - Dr. Adrianna Hanson. During our podcast episode, Adrianna spoke of the importance of scheduling at least a weekly slot of time dedicated to just herself. Whether that is a evening to cook and listen to music, or a short bath, alone time is so important to quiet the mind and be able to turn our awareness inward. This is a time for self-reflection, stillness and acknowledging yourself. Personally - my go to is yoga, a bath or a puzzle. 

10. Protein deficiency in a vegan diet is not very likely - Luckie Sigioun, Janel Brine and Shawna Barker. In order to be protein deficient on a vegan diet, you likely have to be calorie deficient (or only eating white rice). During The Balanced Sessions // Plant-Based Fitness Event, a lot of questions for these three panelists were surrounding protein intake as a vegan athlete. Something I took away from that evening was the concept of an amino acid pool. When protein is ingested, it is broken down into it's basic form - amino acids and held in in this basic form in the body until that amino acid chain is required to build something else in the body (ie muscle, enzymes etc). As long as you are eating a variety of healthy foods, you will be getting all of your essential amino acids and shouldn't need to worry about getting "enough protein."

11. The power of visualization and manifestation - Megan Barker. When I was planning my first large event in Vancouver, Megan said to me to try to visualize the event with a packed house and really positive vibes. Throughout every stage of the planning I put that intention and manifestation into the event and put something together that I was really proud of. I have since hosted another local event and have another in the planning stages - all with the intention of providing an amazing experience for all those who attend and visualizing exactly what I intend it to be. 

12. Move your body everyday - Ally Bradshaw, Luckie Sigouin and Janel Brine. Whether it is a brief stretch in the morning, some deep breathing, a hardcore WOD or an Ironman, moving everyday in some capacity has become a non-negotiable in my life. These guys have just cemented that even further. Movement is energizing, healthy and FUN!

 - xo Danielle

PS - Want to learn more about any of our upcoming events, podcasts and retreats? Drop your email below and get a FREE Guide to Keeping Fit While Traveling in the meantime!

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Danielle Boyd