While wedding planning is exciting, it can also be stressful. Wedding planning during a global pandemic? Well, that can be STRESSFUL - in all caps. That's why a regular self care practice is so important for engaged couples. "It will allow you to be present on your wedding day," says Danielle Havens, a Vermont-based Holistic Health Coach. 

Danielle specializes in helping busy women reclaim their well-being through simple self-care, heart-centered movement, and mindset shifts. She also celebrated her own beautiful Vermont wedding in 2018 (more on that below). 

Danielle sat down with Vermont Weddings to share some self care tips to help brides-to-be feel more peace during this busy season. 

As a bonus for readers, we're teaming up to offer a free online barre class on February 13. Grab your bride tribe and join us for a Galentine's Day flow that will have you feeling great!

What is a Holistic Health Coach? How do you help clients with their self-care practices?

Danielle: I help busy women who feel overwhelmed and anxious reclaim their well-being through simple self-care, heart-centered movement, and mindset shifts. The women I work with usually have put everything and everyone else first so far in their lives - their career, relationship etc. When they begin working with me they are ready to care for themselves and live their best lives but aren't quite sure how to begin.  

I offer a signature one-on-one coaching program that includes individual plans and compassionate guidance. My expertise is in creating simple, sustainable habits and nourishing the whole body - which includes the physical body, mind, and heart. We go through everything from closet organizing, creating a sacred homepage, to self-compassion, and breathing techniques!

What does self-care mean to you?

Danielle: To me, self-care simply means doing more of what makes you feel more like YOU; doing what truly feels good for your body, mind, and heart. It extends far beyond just physical care, which is what we may immediately think of, and includes everything from meditation, doing crafts, phone calls with friends, or getting outside for a walk.

I have found that many people find the idea of self-care confusing and complicated. But when we keep it simple, it can be sustainable.

Why is self-care important for brides (and grooms!) in particular? 

Danielle: Being engaged and a bride is truly one of the most special times in your life! I absolutely loved that time, and hope everyone can cherish it. However, I know from personal experience that it can be easy to get overwhelmed with all of the planning. This is where self-care comes in. 

Prioritizing your holistic health - your mind, your body, and your heart - will allow you to feel grounded, energized, and present on your wedding day. Entering into your marriage feeling like your best self, and prioritizing love for yourself first can build a beautiful foundation for your relationship.

You celebrated your Vermont wedding in 2018. When you look back, what is a special moment that stands out?

Danielle: There are so many special moments from our wedding but a few that stand out to me are: walking down the aisle and seeing Jonathan for the first time, exchanging our handwritten vows, and our first dance as husband and wife. I did my very best to take all of these moments in and remember them forever. 

One of the best things we did was to take time off of work before and after the actual wedding day. It made this celebration extra special, felt less rushed and we ended our wedding with a mini-moon trip to Maine to rest and rejuvenate. I would highly recommend doing this if it is possible for you and your partner!

What are your favorite forms of self-care? 

Danielle: Moving my body creatively always has and always will be a form of self-care for me! I was enrolled in dance classes at the age of three and continued on through college. Dancing helped me care for myself during nursing school and provided community, connection, and anxiety reduction for me. 

Currently, as a new mom, my self-care routine has shifted a little bit. I have learned to fit in mini self-care practices throughout the day, rather than spend long amounts of time on one thing. It feels more doable and sustainable this way! 

My daily self-care right now includes a quick yoga or barre class, taking my son outside for a walk, enjoying my oat milk latte, meditation, and journaling.

What's one tip you'd give someone looking to start a self-care practice? 

Danielle: To start a holistic self-care practice I always recommend starting by looking internally. What makes you feel your best? What did you enjoy doing when you were younger? Try not to compare your self-care to what others are doing. You are unique and will have unique needs, it doesn't have to look like what everyone else is doing!

Ready to jump start your self care practice? 

Join us for a free Galentine's Day Barre Flow on Saturday, February 13 at 9am. Sign up here!