5 Reasons Self-Care Should Be Your Top Wellness Priority (Just Like Jane Fonda)

woman playing with her dog in beautiful mountain scenery in spring

Imagine a friend sustained a serious cut requiring medical attention. Do you think you would tell them to “get over it” or to “shake it off?” Or, what if a friend was passed over for a promotion at work. Would you just tell them “oh, well.” What if that friend suffered from deep loneliness or lack of self-confidence? Would you help them by trash talking them more?

You’re probably thinking – of course you wouldn’t. You would help them with their cut, encourage them to keep working hard, and raise them up when they talk down on themselves. So why do we not do the same for ourselves? Every day, every hour, we talk ourselves into deeper self-doubt about our wants, needs, dreams, and ambitions.

Last weekend, I was given the honor to speak at Congressman Don Beyer’s Women’s Conference. I took the opportunity to help this crowd of women devoted to women’s rights understand self-care. And, yes, even Jane Fonda spoke about the importance of self-care. And she is about as well at 80 years old as she was at 30 years old!



When we have emotional scars, we tend to disregard our emotions. We tell ourselves:

“I am not good enough”

“I’ll start a new diet next week”

“I’ll never have that body”

“I am exhausted and can’t exercise”

“I stink at push-ups”

“I’m too busy for sleep”

“They need me”

These self-talk statements are the same as cutting a wound deeper. The only difference is we are hurting ourselves emotionally, not physically.

Why do we tend to take care of our physical well-being, but we struggle to care for our emotional health?

As I continue in my pursuit to help women find their true wellness through an inner compass that fuels them, I’ve realized self-care is a component of their wellness so many struggle to “justify.”



What is Self-care?



So, what really is this self-care thing and why is it the wellness “buzz” word now?

Self-care is your individual means for recharging and caring for your mind; it’s a way you can tend to your mind like you would your body. Tons of research abounds on how self-care not only helps to reduce and manage stress, but can also extend your life.

  • 1. Self-care helps you respond instead of react to stressors in your day
  • 2. Self-care keeps you mind more clear of clutter of negativity
  • 3. Self-care helps you care for others more meaningfully because you don’t have resentment that there’s “nothing” left for you
  • 4. Self-care helps you become more in tune with your breathing, your top well-being priority
  • 5. Self-care means you have control of your schedule. You are 100 percent responsible for how you choose to schedule yourself.


“Every one of us makes choices every day. For every choice we make, there will be consequences. The more honest we are with ourselves about the motivation that drives our choices, the healthier we will be. This is as true for caregiving for others as it is for any other area of our lives, perhaps even more so…” Christiane Northrup, MD


Self-care doesn’t just mean getting a massage or going for a manicure. Some examples of real self-care include:

  • Going for a walk outside (without electronics)
  • Taking a bath before bed
  • Playing with your pet
  • Saying “no” when you don’t want to do something or your plate is too full
  • Disconnecting from your phone for a period of time
  • Letting go of expectations that aren’t making you feel better


So stop burning the candle at both ends. Take control of you. And, treat your mind as lovingly as you want to treat your body.


  • The latest from Adrien
Adrien founded Fitness on the Run in 2004 out of her home after a successful career in policy and public affairs communications. After spending 15 years developing her own personal definition of wellness and watching thousands struggle with theirs, in January 2019 Adrien founded Alexandria Wellness, the home for the Concierge Wellness Program and Corporate Wellness with Adrien Cotton. Over the course of 15 years, “FOR” was home to more than 2,000 clients, 30 instructors, and hundreds of inspirational success stories. Adrien is now, more-than-ever, passionate about helping women view their fitness as a journey, not a quick fix. Adrien’s recipe for success herself has evolved from a rigid training plan of sweaty and heart pumping workouts to some days getting in her 10,000 steps, consciously breathing, her 7.5 hours of sleep, and her beloved 5-Minute Flow. Adrien believes the most important ingredient is making small changes for big results, even if it’s one new habit formed each month. Still passionate about fitness, Adrien’s clients appreciate her ability to make sessions seriously challenging without a “beat down,” a healthy mix of strength and metabolic (cardio) work and ultimately helping her clients gain real strength in mind and body. She believes we all benefit from being curious about our bodies and that change, or improvement, is within reach despite what your “inner voice” or others may tell you. Adrien is bubbling with excitement to help women learn the importance of a comprehensive approach to wellness, weight loss, and contentedness with yourself, and that every person has the right to feel good about themselves. Most days, you can find her helping clients with their wellness, listening to success stories, and bragging about her twin 13-year-old children and “fittest man in Alexandria” Bill Cotton. Adrien prides herself on her practice of mindfulness, meditation, and putting it all into perspective.

Alexandria Wellness offers achievable answers for anyone who is tired of chasing fitness and health without a clear plan, someone who has struggled and is not satisfied with their fitness and wellness or someone who is open to maximized healthful longevity and fitness along with healthful weight loss. Adrien and her team offer help with food guidance, body acceptance, sleep and stress issues, and insist you have fun along the way.

Schedule your free 30 minute consult here!


Alexandria Wellness
215 North Payne Street
Alexandria, VA 22314




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