DC Bloggers

Bitter Grace Boutique Self-Care Retreat

On August 31, the DC Bloggers got the opportunity to attend the first Bitter Grace Self-Care Retreat at the beautiful Willard InterContinental hotel in Washington, DC. Founder of Bittergrace Boutique, Anne Marie Johnson, was inspired to hold a self-care retreat because she wanted to encourage women to follow their passions, realize their self-worth, and to love themselves a little more every day. She hoped that the retreat would empower women to #domorebemore and we would say that her speaker line up did just that!

Here are 5 of our favorite self-care tips from the retreat:

Say “I am in the process of learning” instead of “I can’t”

Britt Noelle Wells, founder of and former DC Bloggers Speaker discussed how damaging self-limiting beliefs can be and how she had to shatter hers in order to leave a toxic relationship. There was tremendous power behind Britt’s willingness to share her own self-limiting beliefs with the room. She believes that solitude and finding your own mantra are key to proving yourself wrong and overcoming your own self-limiting beliefs. She left us with a question: If you had to be wrong about a personal doubt, how would that positively impact your life?

Remember Your Best Qualities

During a brief breathing and body scan exercise, Punita Mangat, founder of ThriveHigherDaily, discussed the importance of practicing non-judgemental awareness, both with ourselves and others. Life is going to happen, but fortunately, you can harness that to make a shift. Take time to process the emotions, but realize that it doesn’t have to define you. Punita also advised that everyone should write down 3 of your best qualities every night before bed. If you are having a difficult time coming up with one, think about a compliment that you always receive. When you wake up in the morning, reading them should be one of the first things that you do. Start your day with self-love by remembering your best qualities.

Learn to Fear Less

Have you ever realized how close “scared” and “sacred” are in the English language? Dr. Taryn Marie Stejskal, the founder of Resilience Leadership, noted that though being fearless is unattainable, you can fear less by learning to take what happened to you and grow from it. It is impossible to eradicate all of the fear of life, but there is great power in resilience. One way to fear less is to practice vulnerability by allowing experiences to soften and open our hearts.

Know When to Put on Your Oxygen Mask First

When you board an aircraft, the safety instructions always state that you should put on your oxygen mask before helping others in case of emergency. While the airplane safety instruction sketch performed by Rebecca Ahmed and Natalie Iannone, co-founders of TURN IT ON was crafted to spark laughter, the general message rang true. In order to provide value and support to others, you have to take care of yourself first! This is especially true when you feel overwhelmed. So take a deep breath; making time to practice self-care is not only beneficial to yourself, but to everyone around you.

Collaboration Over Competition

In addition to knowing when to practice self-care, Rebecca and Natalie also encouraged us to think about our flight (a metaphor for life) and who we are surrounding ourselves with. They spoke about the importance of surrounding yourself with people that lift you higher and the magic that comes from women working together. In fact, they stated that when we help each other be better, we actually increase the number of opportunities available. Women don’t have to compete with each other for resources. When each of us shines our light, the world becomes a little bit brighter.

Thank you, Bitter Grace Boutique, for having the DC Bloggers at your Self-Care Retreat! We look forward to next year!

Kit Stanwood About Author

Hi! I'm Kit. I blog at that and help inspire people to start their own blogs, live a healthy and fit life, travel the world, and create amazing crafts!

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