With the start of summer comes vacations, block parties, staycations, and warm weather. But the best part of the summer — and arguably the most important — is making sure you’re fully relaxed and recharged before the fall. That’s why we’ve teamed up with some of our favorite influencers to bring you tips and tricks to stay healthy and happy as you head into summer!
This week, we’re talking to Courtney Coyle of @coffeecarrotsandcurls — a Certified Whole30 Coach, and Registered Drug and Alcohol Counselor — who is working hard to learn what self-care really means, in the midst of showing up and showing herself grace, every single day.
"Show yourself grace when you don’t get it right, because you’re not going to get it right every single time. Just keep showing up anyway."
Medlie (M): So, Courtney — what does self-care mean to you?
Courtney Coyle (CC): To me, self-care is deliberately making choices that will positively serve the life I am trying to cultivate.
M: How do you practice self-care?
CC: I practice self-care through self-awareness about how I am feeling physically, mentally and emotionally and being consistent with my routine. Huge thanks to Melissa Urban for helping me recognize the stability that can come from being consistent and intentional with how I spend my time.
M: Do you have any sort of mindfulness practice? How did it start?
CC: Yes! Journaling has been instilled in me for as long as I can remember, but I really learned its significance in 2016 when I blogged daily through my first Whole30. It was then that I also discovered Danika Brysha’s daily checklist and gratitude practice, which has been a game changer for me!
M: What are some tips you have for staying healthy, happy, and hydrated this summer?
CC: It may sound cheesy, but I always tend to drink more water if I use a cute water bottle — and I’m likely to drink more with a straw! During the summer, I try to swim more often for healthy movement and to beat the summer heat. I also like to take advantage of all the delicious seasonal fruits and veggies that thrive this time of year!
M: What helps you stay sane while balancing your day-to-day routine?
CC: I love lists. And then I love prioritizing my lists so I don’t feel overwhelmed if I don’t get everything done. But most importantly, I’ve learned how to show myself grace through it all. At the end of the day, as long as I’ve done my best, I’m happy.
M: What are some tips you have for keeping your mind, body, and soul motivated and productive during the summer?
CC: Summertime Blues are a real thing — and I try to ditch the mentality of comparing what my summer looks like against someone else’s. I try not to over schedule myself with activities because I feel like it’s what I’m supposed to do. I think it is important to have a balance of work and fun, and to get out and enjoy the sunshine for a few minutes every day. I think we underestimate the power of what 10 minutes of sunshine can do for our productivity and mental health.
M: What are your favorite workouts or activities to do in the summer?
CC: In the summer months I am more likely to go for a walk with a friend, or to meet friends or family at the pool for water aerobics! It feels so great to be outside.
M: How do you make sure you get veggies into your meals each day?
CC: Living in the south, I’m surrounded by tons of farmer’s markets with fresh veggies. The key for me is having veggies pre-cut and prepped ahead of time to make it easier to cook and eat when I’m hungry. It’s also common to have 100-degree days here — making the consumption of hot food less than desirable. For me, this is prime time for Medlie Veggie Drinks, since they’re so refreshing and nutritious. It’s a win-win in my book!
M: What’s your go-to breakfast for busy summer mornings?
CC: I love anything that can be eaten cold — the less I have to do, the better. I batch cook egg cups which I love heated or straight from the fridge with avocado and maybe some summer fruit salad! I also love that I can take a Medlie Veggie Drink (like Kale Avocado with Collagen) with me in the car for extra protein and nutrients if I run out of time at home or if I’m still hungry after breakfast.
M: What is one food you can’t live without?
CC: This is easy to answer. Avocados.
M: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?
CC: I heard this from Danika Brysha (CEO of Model Meals) a while ago, and it has been life changing for me. She said that a good life is made up of a series of good days — so to have a good life, you have to figure out what a good day looks like for you, and then do it — this isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of thing, and everyone’s version of a good day will look different, so you can’t copy what someone else is doing and expect to have the same result. It’s individualized and personal.
M: What would your superhero or alter ego name be?
CC: My superhero name would probably be The Stigma Fighter — fighting against body shaming and diet culture, as well as the stigma of mental illness and addiction, which are daily occurrences for me.
M: What was your dream job when you were little, and have you met your goals?
CC: As a kid, my dream job varied from being a flight attendant to a college football sideline reporter! At the end of the day though, I learned that I just wanted to help people and be a voice for those who couldn’t or didn’t know how to speak up for themselves. That’s when I pursued a career in counseling. I’ve spent a lot of time this year reflecting on the goals I’ve had in place asking myself this very question. My goals are constantly changing as I continue to grow as a person, so I wouldn’t say that I’ve met my goals because I’m continuously creating new ones. I’m very happy with my achievements so far though.
M: What’s something you’ve done that you’re most proud of?
CC: I’m really proud of myself for not only admitting that I had an eating disorder, and recognizing my addictive tendencies surrounding food and exercise, but for getting the help I needed. Admitting that we have a problem is hard, but asking for help is even harder. I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t taken that first step to recovery.
M: Okay, Courtney — last question, what are your top tips for crushing it every day?
- Coffee. Obviously.
- Having a plan that involves setting yourself up for success - this includes morning and nighttime routines. My quality of sleep plays a huge part in how well my morning routine gets started.
- Gratitude. I can’t stress this enough! Write down 3 things you’re grateful for every single day.
- Setting boundaries and clear expectations with yourself and others, you don’t have to say ‘yes’ to everything.
- Showing yourself grace when you don’t get it right, because you’re not going to get it right every single time. Just keep showing up anyway.