Whether you’re single, taken, raising a family, in a relationship with vino, or anything in between, practicing self-love on a consistent basis is an absolute must! For some, that means keeping mantras or exercise routines. For others, embracing a lazy, do-nothing day or grabbing coffee with an old friend.

So, in the spirit of love month, we decided to dive deeper with influencers Jess Ann Kirby, Shay Mone, Dani Austin and Sarah Tripp of Sassy Red Lipstick, on go-to R&R routines, tips for smudging out negative thoughts, and thoughts on taking care of the most important person first—YOU!

Q: Positive mind, positive life. What little mantras of encouragement or phrases do you turn to when you need to give yourself a boost? How do you block out negative thoughts, influences, or insecurities?

Jess: One of my favorite quotes is a poem from Rupi Kaur “What’s the greatest lesson a woman should learn? … That since day one, she’s already had everything she needs within herself, it’s the world that convinced her she did not.” I think rather than blocking out negative thoughts, influences and insecurities it’s important to acknowledge them, confront them and ask yourself why you’re having those feelings. Identifying the root of those feelings of self-doubt and negative self-talk can help you make the changes you need in your life to be happy, confident and loving to yourself.

Dani: The next time you look in the mirror and start to have a thought that brings you down, I challenge you to refocus on something positive about yourself. Maybe you’ve got a little extra pooch, or maybe your skin isn’t as clear as you wish it could be. But you’re strong, worthy, and beautiful just the way you are. I may not be perfect, but parts of me are pretty awesome, and that’s important to remember. Beating ourselves down for not meeting some sort of standard is a recipe for disaster.

I also dive deep in my faith when I feel insecurities creeping in. Less of me and more of Him. The more I get to know God, the clearer things become for me. I stop checking out my own body image or insecurities and discover more about Him. That helps me see the bigger picture. The more I get to know Him, the more others see me through His reflection. In conclusion, I start to appreciate how beautiful God says I am.

Shay: I saw a sign at a coffee bar one time and it said:


I took a picture of the sign because that is literally on my menu of life everyday. From being an influencer often times there comes the negativity and from that personal insecurities and doubts about myself. I have learned to just step away and take time off. It is ok to detox from social media, and then when I’m feeling back in high spirits I can resume again. It took a while for me to learn how to block it all out, but at the end of the day it was a simple fix of just detoxing from it all.

Sarah: When I’m feeling down, I like to stand in the mirror and tell myself three things I love about ME! Replacing negative thoughts with positive ones gives a healthy restart to my mindset.

I also like to surround myself {including social media} with positive influences and people that make me feel good, uplifted, and motivated. Your circle should be people who not only love you but inspire you!

Q: We’re all about *goal-getting it*, but also know that the secret to having it all is knowing you already do. What are a few things in your life, small or large, that you’re most grateful for this Valentine’s Day?

Shay: I am honestly grateful for my family and health. I have 3 healthy children I feel like that is a blessing within it self. I am also grateful for having such an understanding husband who gets my dreams and works with me to accomplish everything that is on my vision boards.

Jess: I am grateful for my health, my family and friends, my animals Nora, Fuji and Hunter and to have a job that I love. I don’t let a day go by without acknowledging that I have so much to be thankful for.

Sarah: Gratitude is a VERY important attribute for me. At the end of the day, I strive to remember how thankful I am for what’s most important: my marriage, my health, that I get to do what I love for a career, my incredible community on social media, and that I have the opportunity to help other women find their confidence and love themselves.

Dani: My ‘instagram hubby’ is THE BEST. I am so grateful for my husband, Jordan! He and I work together full time on the blog, youtube channel, and some other smaller businesses. It’s been really cool to see him embrace the “instagram husband” title and connect with other men in the industry who work with their wives. He even went as far to start a podcast called ‘The Instagram Husband Podcast’ where he interviews some of our favorite fashion blogger’s husbands. It’s good stuff! I am thankful for how he cheers me on and believes in me. What more can a gal ask for?!

Q: Emails, DM’s, meetings, business calls—the influencer industry is unique in that there’s a constant influx of communication that requires answering, and no real ‘9-5’ window that tells you to take a step back from the computer. What is your perfect idea of a ‘work/life balance’? Any tips for balancing work and family/friends?

Dani: I love to work. I often say, it’s my biggest asset but my greatest downfall. I wake up hungry to hustle. It’s not about the numbers or the growth, it’s about the hustle. Not saying it’s a good thing, just being honest. The more I hustle, the more I see the other parts of my life starting to suffer. THIS is where I see the lack of work-life balance the most.

There will be times when the never-ending workday takes over your week (or month!), but those intervals MUST be balanced by down time. I try to maintain my hobbies. For me, I like to go for runs in the park or do a devotional to really remind myself what’s important at the end of the day. It’s also important to surround yourself with people who also bring you happiness and can encourage me to be well balanced! (HELLO HUBBY!)

Sarah: Work/life balance is so hard in this industry, and that means it’s even more important to find. The more success I experience in my career, the more I realize I need to show myself more love and care—put down the phone for a nice dinner, spend time unplugged with those I love most, and set boundaries for myself when it comes to work hours. I make it a point to always respond, but if it’s not urgent I’ve learned to put it aside until the next morning.

Jess: This is a constant struggle but one that I’ve really made a priority over the last year. Burnout is real and can drastically impact your productivity and creativity. I’ve created boundaries around screen time and work time. When I’m with my friends and family spending quality time I put my phone away. Every second of every day does not need to be documented. I think there’s a general sense of social media burnout from almost everyone, myself included, so taking time off from it is ok, it’s healthy. The same goes for emails and just being on your phone in general. You can’t live in the moment when you’re on your phone.

Shay: I have had to really find a work/life balance that fits my life. I have a demanding full time job, and my side hustle of blogging has now pretty much turned into a full time job as well. I have learned that there has to be a point in the day where I turn everything off, or if its not a certain time then I have to give myself a day off from it all. On my off days I always spend the day with my children and try to make sure I give them 100% of my attention because these are the moments that matter the most. They know that I am always working, so to them when I am off and don’t have to go to work they are excited because we can play and do all the fun things they want to do that day. It took a while for me to get to that point of not having to be by my phone every second of the day in fear of missing out on an email. I changed my mindset and started to focus on my family and value the time we all have together.

Q: What’s your biggest self-love splurge or extravagance? Any go-to ‘happy places’ or lazy day routines? How do you feel after you’ve granted yourself the chance to recharge?

Sarah: I love a good spa day! Whether it’s booking a massage or facial or mani/pedi, enjoying a spa treatment forces me to relax and not be on my phone. I always come back feeling recharged and ready to conquer what’s next!

Dani: Face masks, chick flicks, fuzzy socks, bbq chicken pizza, running to Homegoods (or Target) for no reason, and cuddling with my pups! The perfect lazy day. I’ve also been obsessed with all of Liane Moriarty’s books. Just started ‘The Husband’s Secret’ and I am HOOKED.

When I take time to recharge, I am ready to rock and roll the next day.

Jess: My favorite thing to do is for my boyfriend and I to go on a long walk at the beach with our dogs and then curl up on the couch cuddling and watching Netflix. I also love treating myself to facials every now and then, when my skin looks good I feel good.

Shay: I would say the biggest self-love splurge for me is going to the spa and getting a massage. Even though its only 90 minutes, that 90 minutes if strictly a time for me to unwind and relax by myself.

I would say my happy place is laying in my bed catching up on shows that I never get to watch. I love when I can be lazy and just lay in the bed with the kids and my husband and watch tv, eat pop corn, and relax.

I think that I am a better wife, mom, and boss when I get to recharge. I have an open mind, and not as tense when I actually get to take time to regroup.

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