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This Saturday is Global Wellness Day, an international day dedicated to living well physically and spiritually. We always tell ourselves that we want to start living healthier but as we get caught up in our schedules, self-care is always the first thing that is set aside. It’s important to prioritize time for self-care… but how do you start? We asked Westin Spa director Mary Winter and The Yoga Shack owner Courtenay Smith—both of whom are involved in the local Global Wellness Day festivities—for tips for bringing a little self-care into your daily routine.

Stay Active

Winter says feeling well is all about taking that first step towards a healthier lifestyle. Focusing on making little changes can raise awareness. “It used to be that you had to go to the gym for an hour, but that can be too much for people that have a hectic schedule,” says Winter. “Now it’s more about taking the stairs, parking a little further away, walking your pets and just being active.”

Try to Find Balance

Staying in touch with mind, body and soul is key to this. Meditative practices such as yoga are a great way to increase flexibility, strength and release stress. Smith recommends taking three yoga classes a week if you can and giving yourself the space for reflection. And Winter suggests incorporating aromatherapy—such as essential oils—into your routine to help you relax and release stress. “Essential oils changed my life,” says Winter. “Inhaling, smelling and diffusing can change your mood in an instant.”

Eat Healthy

Eating a plant-based diet has been proven to fight chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, and can reduce weight and be anti-flammatory. (Learn more about the benefits here.) Smith, who eats a plant-based diet, encourages her clients to add more fruits and vegetables into their everyday lives. “I recommend taking meat out of your diet at least one day a week to focus on plant-based foods,” says Smith. “When I’m craving more protein, I try to eat tuna, salmon or tofu.”

It’s the Little Things

Remember you don’t have to make these changes all at once. Go at your own pace and take responsibility for your wellness by controlling the way you interact with your friends, family and environment. Branch out by adding new activities into your schedule to spice up your day. “Health is not only physical but mental,” says Smith. “Get out and feed your soul by doing activities like running the Ringling Bridge or walking around Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.”

The Westin Sarasota will celebrate its first annual Global Wellness Day by hosting a free yoga class at 9 a.m. led by The Yoga Shack owner Courtenay Smith in the hotel’s Triton Ballroom. Participants will receive free smoothies, gift bags, discounts and more. The event is currently sold out, but to get on the wait list contact the Westin here or call (941) 217-4777. 

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