Entrepreneur, founder of @kerncosmetics and katya love skincare

A Deeper Look Into Wellness, Mindfulness, Self Esteem & More!

As a woman passionate about wellness, do you agree with the concept of holistic wellness, which correlates our overall wellbeing to the quality of our physical, mental, and emotional health?

Yes, there is no doubt that everything in our bodies, inside and out is connected; and contributes to overall well being. We cannot focus on just one thing and hope to have an optimally healthy system.

“Our thoughts are just like highway traffic,... ”

Let’s discuss our mental health and its relationship to our thoughts in particular. How important are the quality of our thoughts? For instance, does negative self talk really influence our mental health?

Our thoughts are just like highway traffic. You can watch it from a distance, or you can take a ride in one of those vehicles. 

The thoughts are always there, good and bad, negative and positive, draining and uplifting; we can’t control their continuous “traffic.” 

However, which thought we choose to focus on enough to create an emotional anchor is up to us. Maybe, not when we are very young, but when we are mature enough to comprehend that specific thoughts affect us negatively and start training our brain to respond to us and not external triggers. It’s just a discipline, like physical training, a healthy diet - uncomfortable during a re-adjustment to a healthier way. Still, if you do it long enough, it becomes your second nature.

What are some ways we can combat negative thinking and boost our self- esteem?

First, we need to start paying attention to our thoughts and listen to our internal dialogue. We don’t have to analyze it yet, critique, or justify it; we just need to start listening to what we are telling ourselves daily.

Then, I would try a little exercise of throwing it all on paper and see if you can recognize any common threads or patterns. For example, I would tell myself that “I can’t take care of myself because I am too busy.” I would excuse that I put everything and everyone first before attending to my physical and mental health because “I am too busy.” That excuse would become a reason, an excuse, a justification of health issues that happened when you don’t take care of yourself, and then a trigger or an agitator because being unhealthy is not fun. So who or what do we blame? A busy schedule, disobeying children, school schedules and demands, an unsupportive husband, the list can go on… BUT all of it is created by me, so the fact that I am too busy for myself is my responsibility, right?

So how do we change the busy behavior of sacrificing your health in the name of family, motherhood, career…? We rephrase it to a new word - productive. We no longer glorify the busy and focus on how we can be effective. Ironically, we get more productive when we start taking care of our health first. That’s when we gain strength and clarity to see what works in our lives and what doesn’t, what thoughts create positive emotions in our minds, and what thoughts lead to unhealthy habits. 

It’s like a healthy diet for the mind; we can’t go straight to starving it; we need to replace negative thoughts with good ones and get used to the new taste, new outlook on life, and feelings in our body. When you practice it for a while, you start noticing harmful intruders right away!

We are hearing a lot about the power of mindfulness and meditation to improve our wellbeing? Do you agree?

Yes, I meditate every morning and often during the day. Especially before I create content, before a business meeting, or need to make an important decision. It took me years to realize that meditation isn’t about controlling our thoughts but detaching from them and just being with our thoughts without judgment or ego. It takes practice, just a few minutes a day to start with, but the improvement it creates in our wellbeing is priceless. 

“...meditation isn’t about controlling our thoughts but detaching from them and just being with our thoughts...”

Will you share the ways in which you practice mindfulness and/or meditation and can you offer any resources for those looking to begin?

I started with guided meditations, and some people recommend focusing on an object, candle flame, with your eyes open first to start practicing stillness of the body first and mind later. There are many valuable and accessible sources people can find guided meditations, starting with apple music. I like Joe Dispenza’s meditations, but it’s more about what works for you.

In your opinion, given your educational background in neuroscience, what are the effects of exercise on our mental and emotional health?

“Consciousness is only possible through change; change is only possible through movement.” We activate our happy hormones when we exercise. We discipline the mental willpower and physical and mental endurance when we challenge our bodies and stick to a training routine. It oxygenates our blood and allows our brain to stay clear and healthy. For many people, it’s the best way to start improving the thought process and habitual behavior that influence our life.

“...sunlight activates the vitamin D in our body, affecting the health of our skin, bones, and so much more.”

Now onto stress. How important is it to manage stress given its implications on our physical, emotional, and mental health?

Stress can be a warning sign of something that needs a change or an improvement, or it can be a neglected wound that sits deep inside and disrupts our entire health system, head to toe. Stress management is an essential part of self-discipline, including healthy boundaries, meditation, healthy nutrition, fitness training, and breathing exercises. Stress has an incredible ability to get our attention; it’s how we use our attention that makes all the difference in our lives and the lives we influence around us.

Do you believe in the power of nature and sunlight to balance our mood and de-stress?

Absolutely! The research shows how sunlight activates the vitamin D in our body, affecting the health of our skin, bones, and so much more. We are one with nature, so, of course, when we ground ourselves, walk barefoot on the grass, beach, or swim in the ocean, it envelopes us in its nature’s magic, healing and balancing our minds and bodies. There’s nothing more thought organizing for me than a long run outdoors or more igniting my creativity than a date with nature.

The connection between nutrition and our wasteline is obvious. Do you believe that our nutrition affects how we feel and how we think too? That we are, in fact, what we eat.

Everything we eat and drink becomes building blocks for our cells and hormones, internally and externally, skin and brain, gut and hair, organ lining and membranes, bones and nails, all of it. 

We can get in agreement with ourselves to help our bodies support its intelligent organic system, or we can justify a poor diet linked to cultural traditions, economic status, emotions, addictions that ultimately rot our bodies. Once again, it’s our choice. What we decide to put in our bodies or purchase and cook for our children is up to us.

Ladybug Potions loves wellness tips. Will you share any tips or tricks that have helped you lead a balanced, healthy lifestyle?

And I love Ladybug Potions :-)

What helped me lead a balanced and healthy lifestyle are education and consistency. We need to know what works for us, what we made off and how we can support ourselves first, and then take one day at a time for the rest of our life. Life is a journey and not a performance. Nobody knows what you ate and how it makes you feel every time you do it. Nobody will travel the life journey for you, do it for yourself. Treat yourself with love and kindness because everything responds to love.

What would you want us to include about who you are and where they can find you?

I am Natalia Kern, a woman on a mission, an entrepreneur who generates ideas and builds businesses that serve consumers and help industries. I’m all about beauty and self-care, from modeling to skincare lines, fitness and nutrition products, everything that supports one’s healthy and happy lifestyle. 

But my daily life is filled with children, and we are raising four of them, motherhood responsibilities and joy, marriage to my awesome husband, and growing a new skincare business.

Follow Natalia for more inspiring information: @nataliakern