Get Real About Self-Care

Mindful editor-in-chief Heather Hurlock gets real about the challenges—and importance—of making space to give yourself what you need.

Illustrations by Carole Hénaff

I need to be honest with you: I feel like a total hypocrite writing about self-care. I just spent the last six weeks traveling the country in an RV with my family and I can tell you, all of my healthy routines fell away after day three. In the beginning, I got out my yoga mat, did flashcards with my kids, and sat under beautiful trees meditating to the sounds of birds. But very quickly, the trip steamrolled into a mess of blown tires, leaky pipes, bored kids, and Twizzlers for breakfast.


All the while, I was editing this beautiful October issue of Mindful magazine.

I’m coming clean with my lack of self-care because I want you to know that I understand how easy it is to de-prioritize your own care. Even when we know what we need in order to show up as our best selves, the practice and routines of care can be the first things to go when life gets crazy—which is right when we need them most.

Getting Real About Self-Care

Thankfully (maybe even presciently), we’ve gathered together a bevy of beautiful souls for the October issue who know that self-care isn’t self-indulgent—it’s essential.

• Writer Jane Anne Staw reminds us that savoring ordinary moments, like the beauty of a leaf on the sidewalk, can expand our capacity for happiness.

• Mindful columnist Elaine Smookler encourages us to nurture the unique ways we can bring joy, health, and healing to ourselves and our planet, one small step at a time.

• Health writer Caren Osten Gerszberg digs into the science of the vagus nerve and offers us research-backed ways to calm our whole body

• And self-care activist Shelly Tygielski shares her practical and powerful plan for creating a sustainable self-care practice that allows you to take an active role in your physical and mental well-being—and hold yourself accountable.

True self-care gives us the capacity to make healthy choices (for yourself, your community, and the planet) in the face of disruption and difficulty as well as through moments of joy and celebration. Sustainable self-care can help us connect to our inner compass—that voice that knows when our fears are getting in the way of our joy, when our curiosity is crashing right up against our recklessness, and when our desire to do it all meets our wisdom about when to pause (and be kind to ourselves when we eat Twizzlers for breakfast along the way.)

With love,



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Mindful columnist Elaine Smookler reminds us that there are countless ways to bring joy, health, and healing to our planet. You might be the agent of change we’ve been waiting for. Read More 

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