The No. 1 thing I do for my health and sanity is own my life and my choices. Both Hollaback Health and my personal blog, The Life and Lessons of Rachel Wilkerson, are all about owning it — not asking for permission, not seeking approval, and not feeling so damn guilty all the time. I'm all about saying, “Sorry I’m not sorry” for who you are, what you do, and what you want. I won't compromise on the things I care about, big or small, and I certainly won't spend my life apologizing for doing them. So I have to be owning them to feel good about myself and to feel healthy and balanced in all aspects of my life.
I think a lot of people — women especially — keep their thoughts, feelings, emotions, and dreams bottled up. Keeping things in is so unhealthy; it tears you up and stresses you out and makes you act out in other ways. Women think (and often say out loud, sadly), "Oh, this is stupid," or "No one cares what I think," or “I’m wrong for feeling this way.” Um, I care what you think! How do you not care? How do you not think that how you feel or what you're experiencing is important? For me, having a blog is directly tied to confidence, because you're saying to yourself (and the world), "Hey! What I think matters." On the other hand, you don’t have to have a blog to express yourself more confidently; you can do that with your friends, family, and co-workers every single day.
When I am stressed (which is rare, frankly, because I've made owning it such a priority!), I like to take action. I try to solve the problem at hand in a proactive way, and once it's done (or if I just can't take action, because unfortunately that is the case sometimes), I go back to the things that I know will make me feel good: writing, reading a good book, connecting with friends and family, getting outside (a little fresh air and sun works wonders!), and exercising. I’ve started taking yoga classes and I’m loving them for balance and happiness.
So my secret to staying healthy is simple: You have to work on your head before you work on your bum. To be healthy, I worry less about the physical (like how many calories I’m eating or how many miles I ran) and more about the mental. Once I'm feeling strong and confident because I'm owning it and expressing myself, the other parts of being healthy (eating well, working out, getting enough sleep, etc.) come a lot more naturally.