One simple method to your best self

…that requires lots of patience and effort, obvi.

Hey Friends,

It’s Irina taking over the blog for a moment. This series of self-care posts to honor Women’s History Month is our way of acknowledging some of the smaller, everyday struggles we have with ourselves. Last Friday Lauren wrote about her exploration into skincare and today I wanna chat about my journey in becoming more in tune with myself.

Think of this as my version of Anna Faris is Unqualified.

By that I mean I’m definitely not a professional on the topic, but I sure as hell care enough to share my own experience and hopefully impart some kind of well-intended wisdom… or laughs. Either’s fine with me.

Let’s start with this…

In the last 365 days I:  (chronological order)

  • got married
  • turned 30
  • started a new year
  • celebrated my business’ 3rd bday

I’ve also:

  • been severely drained
  • had ugly cry breakdowns
  • felt utterly lost
  • just barely survived the presidential election campaign (check in with me in another 4 years)

The start of 2017 brought a level of inner peace I haven’t experienced since… ever. Is this a sign from the universe that I’m ready to *actually* implement the endless hours of reading I’ve done including, but not limited to, how to drink more water, create a productive business routine, exercise consistently, go to bed earlier and meditate? Even while writing this my mind is spinning with things I want to accomplish.

See, I never lack goals. Prioritizing and following through is what gets me.


Minimizing overwhelm and maximizing my happiness hinges on my ability to maintain a healthy work-life balance, which I’ve come to find out I absolutely suck at as a self-employed person!! Ugh. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg because like any woman today I also struggle with all the nonsense out there that manipulates the way I feel about myself and consequently how I project that. What’s a girl to do?!

Anyway, as all this enlightenment hit me like a ton of bricks I coincidentally had a super inspiring conversation with a best friend who lives 3,439 miles away. This friend of mine is going through her own stuff and was telling me about her own revelation of how disconnected she’d become with herself. It led her to create a “more of, less of” list. My mind was blown by the simplicity and yet superpower behind this little list. Within a week I was writing my own, using her rules.

In a quiet moment while by myself, I sketched the words “MORE OF” and “LESS OF” on a sheet of blank paper and then very honestly and succinctly wrote no more then 3-4 words per line describing what I want more of and less of in my life right now. I’d show you my list, but it’s too private. Instead I made you a cute little print out you can download and use for your own list!


If you’ve made it this far I’m really curious to know what you’re thinking. DM me on Instagram @ivjewelry when you’re done and let me know!!! **good vibes only please**

My list consisted of things like:

  • More of: downtime without work, spontaneously treating myself, exercise that’s fun, listening to my body, WATER
  • Less of: working long/unproductive hours, negative vibes, social media anxiety, self-neglect

The beauty of this list is that it’s not saying I need to- all or nothing– add or cut something out. It’s not punishing me for neglecting or overindulging. It’s simply stating that I believe I should be doing more of one thing and less of another.

What I’ve accomplished since the list: (about 30 days)

  • Successfully completed a 10-day green smoothie cleanse (best thing ever, more to come next Friday)
  • Treated myself to small things like a cute pin for my denim jacket and chamomile eye makeup remover
  • Unplugged from the digital world when I felt like it without feeling guilty, even if that meant skipping an Instagram post
  • Ended work days at a reasonable hour that allowed me to be present at dinner with my husband
  • Occasionally stayed in bed an hour longer than “I should” snuggling with my cat cause that’s what my mind and body is telling me it wants to do.

Still working on:

  • Drinking enough water in a day (will I ever?!)
  • Going to bed earlier
  • Not letting bad days get me down
  • Implementing a work day routine that fits me

So this list strategy was pretty inspiring for me, but let’s get something clear- I’m not like, “Oh em gee, totally living my best life after 30 days!!”. Calling bullshit on anyone that says that. I definitely see myself revisiting and updating my list as my life naturally ebbs and flows. This is just the start to what I hope becomes a really forgiving and fulfilling journey into my own self-care.

Thanks for letting me take over the blog, Lauren! And thank you, for letting me share with you.

Xx, Irina

One last self-care post coming your way next Friday. Stay tuned!


Feeling charitable? IVJ is matching donations to the National Women’s Law Center the entire month of March! Click above to find out more!

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