These local businesses will nourish your mind, soul and bod
When I Think About
the meaning of self care, I am reminded of flight attendants’ instructions to put your own oxygen mask on first before attempting to help those around you. My takeaway: it is essential that we take care of ourselves first, so that we can show up for our spouse, children, friends and community. Too often, self care gets tossed to the wayside because we are dividing limited time between career, family, social life, hobbies and more. But if we don’t designate time to nourishing our minds, bodies, and souls, we are likely to burn out.
In the spirit of self care, we’ve culled a list of Decatur businesses and services that will help you to prioritize wellness and integrate it into your daily routine. We even asked these local business owners how they practice self care, in case you need some tips.
Gain New Perspective with Therapy and Life Coaching
Therapy offers a variety of benefits to patients, including a safe, non-judgmental environment and an objective individual to help you accomplish a variety of goals and outcomes, according to Local Psychotherapist Nicole Miller. It also gives patients a greater understanding of self, increased relationship satisfaction, stress management, increased mood, reduced anxiety, improved communication skills and development of effective coping mechanisms for emotional awareness and regulation.
“Therapy helps individuals understand themselves on a deeper level, develop greater emotional awareness, make meaning of lived experiences and can ultimately help to create meaningful and intentional lives, relationships and careers,” says Miller, who says she wanted to become a therapist after seeing the benefits of therapy in her teenage years, following her parents’ divorce. Today, watching her clients’ transformations and seeing them achieve their goals, create change and experience breakthroughs in their lives is her favorite part of her job.
“I was drawn to helping others move through difficult chapters in their lives in order to promote effective coping strategies and make meaning of their circumstances,” she adds.
How do you engage in self care?
“I enjoy taking walks with my husband in nature, strength training and kickboxing. I feel my best when I am listening to my body in terms of the activities I engage in, the foods I consume, and the energy I surround myself with. Most recently, I have been focusing on curating environments that promote peace, emotional grounding, and honoring my personal boundaries,” says Miller.
Other ways that Miller works to nurture her mind, body and soul is by being mindful of what she eats, which means trying to eat gluten-free. “I also nourish my body by maintaining personal boundaries, which enhances my relationships with myself and others. I nourish my mind through reading, continuing education and learning new skills. Finally, I nourish my soul through practices of spirituality, connecting to God and prioritizing rest.”
To connect with Miller,
visit inneredgecounseling.com or
on Instagram, @inner_edge_counseling
Life design coach and consultant Patrice J. Williams helps her clients utilize design thinking and strategic planning to create a happier and more fulfilling life. “I build the bridge between where people currently are and where they want to go by helping clients remove the barriers to life and career fulfillment. The goal is to empower individuals to align with the most authentic version of themselves and, as a result, design their lives to first identify and then achieve their version of success. I work diligently to create spaces for people to witness themselves through the lens of personal authority over their lives, regardless of their professional position, and I provide the tools to create the experience they envision,” says Williams.
What are some of the benefits of having a life coach?
“So often, we forget that we utilize mentors and coaches in almost every area of life except life itself. In our working lives, we look to our supervisors to help us build performance plans to reach our professional goals. In our active lives, we look to our personal trainers to help us reach our body goals. Teachers coach our children academically. Pastors, rabbis, and spiritual leaders help us amplify our relationship with the divine. Life coaching is essential to ensure people are able to balance all of these life’s components to ensure a life they love – a life where our desires get to be just as important as our duties. There is no handbook to life, but my profession is the closest thing to helping people author their own handbook, holding them accountable for staying true to themselves and their goals and helping them meet and exceed their vision for their bestlived life,” Williams notes.
Even at a young age, friends would gravitate to Williams for her advice. After graduating from Spelman College with an undergraduate degree in psychology, Williams became a substance abuse counselor, assisting female offenders at Lee Arrendale State Prison with discovering and implementing new, healthy ways of understanding themselves, engaging in healthy relationships with others and reintegrating into society on positive terms.
“I knew from the moment that I started that job that I had found a key factor and favorite component of my life’s workhelping people realize that, no matter the circumstance or situation, we have the agency to chart our path forward and find success on our terms. From there, I have had the pleasure of coaching hundreds of individuals, leading retreats, facilitating workshops and teaching a course, ‘Designing Your Life,’ at Spelman College,” says Williams.
While most of her events, talks and workshops are commissioned by schools, organizations, families and groups, Williams recently joined her friends, Kristen and Renee, for their monthly wellness retreat, which is open to the public. This fall, she is looking forward to hosting her own retreats and workshops.
How do you nourish your mind, body, and soul?
“I nourish my mind through reading books, listening to podcasts and enjoying conversations with people whose perspective may be similar or different from mine. I nourish my body by having a dance party with myself, putting my feet in the Chattahoochee River, staying active in the gym or my Peloton and long bubble baths. I nourish my soul through remembering to breathe and to experience every ounce of life as a gift. I try to remember to laugh as much as possible and find ways to do the little things that bring me joy,” she shares.
To schedule a discovery call for one-on-one life
coaching, group coaching or any facilitation
services with Williams, visit patricewms.com
Elevate Your Soul in Nature
Getting in a workout while experiencing nature’s peaceful beauty ranks high on many people’s lists for self care. Fortunately, Decatur is home to the beautiful Woodlands Garden, which provides “fresh air, a break from the hustle and bustle of life, a quiet space out of the traffic to take a breath, reduced stress, increased heart rate and a natural space to appreciate seasonal changes,” shares Kate McAlpin, executive director of Woodlands Garden.
“The mission of Woodlands Garden is to preserve … an urban sanctuary to educate and engage the community in the natural world. The goal of this free public garden is to provide a natural respite for those seeking quiet solitude in nature, while also providing organized wellness programs that help facilitate a connection to the natural world. Many visitors stroll the mulched paths daily to increase their heart rate and lower their stress with each step. Other visitors find a bench in the bird sanctuary to watch pollinators hunting out native plants,” she adds.
This fall, Woodlands Garden is hosting a new series of programs, focused on health and wellness in nature. Among the experiences offered are outdoor yoga and qigong under the tree canopy on the Garden’s Lawn; Forest Bathing Walks, an immersive experience engaging all five senses and led by a certified Forest Therapy Guide; “Music in the Garden” performances (returning to the Pavilion on Sundays in October); exploration of the wonders of the Woodlands, led by expert Tyke Hikes; and the “Fairies in the Garden” exhibit with a hands-on labyrinthbuilding workshop, hosted by PaintLove. To learn more about these programs and how to register, visit woodlandsgarden.org.
What is your favorite aspect of Woodlands Garden?
“Gardens are obviously beautiful to visit, and they provide something new to experience in each season. Woodlands is no different — the combination of piedmont native plantings mixed in with non-native ornamental specimens provides beauty and inspiration for what will grow well in our own backyards. However, my favorite aspect of Woodlands is the people involved, who help keep this unique treasure thriving. Once the private residence of the Morse family, who gifted the seven-acre property to the community as greenspace, this tremendously generous gift will preserve the garden for generations to come. The nonprofit has a small staff who rely on leadership from an involved board of directors, community supporters who donate to support the mission and the most hardworking group of volunteers who help to maintain the garden. The people involved with Woodlands Garden, past and present, are the lifeblood of the organization and my favorite aspect of working at Woodlands,” says McAlpin.
So, how do you like to nourish your mind, body, and soul?
My perspective on self care has changed as I have become a mom. With two little girls, I find peace while playing in our home garden and getting out for hikes in Atlanta’s diverse green spaces. My alone time is limited, so I jump at any chance I have to quietly wander the trails at Woodlands while at work—being able to step away from my desk to appreciate the emerging mayapples in spring, hear an owl call on my lunch break or capture the golden fall leaves of the ginkgo is how I nourish my nature-loving self on a regular basis.”
Woodlands is a welcoming place to visit, volunteer or host a special event. The Garden recently launched a Tribute Tree program as a lasting way to recognize family, friends and events that have touched lives while supporting the canopy of the Garden. For more information, visit woodlandsgarden.org.
Love Your Body with Nutrition and Skin Care
What you fuel your body with is so important, as it affects how you function, which is why we love independently owned Nuts ‘n Berries Healthy Market. Their two stores tout organic and non-GMO groceries and produce, the largest variety of vegan and gluten-free items in Decatur and the largest variety of quality supplements in metro Atlanta to fill nutritional gaps in any protocol. And did we mention they have kombucha on tap?
“We provide hope for each member of our community that true health is possible through education, personalized nutrition and targeted supplementation,” says Mari Geier, owner. “We encourage our neighbors to feed their minds with brain-supporting supplements, like omegas and lion’s mane mushroom extracts, and rest their souls by learning about stress-reducing activities, as well as foods and supplements that support adrenal health.”
The Nuts ‘n Berries staff are experts in health and wellness and are passionate about helping customers find the root cause of any issue and work to develop individualized protocols that fit customers’ lifestyles. “It is our goal to conquer all the noise around what’s truly healthy and get down to basics that we can all understand,” says Geier.
Some of the benefits of patronizing Nuts ‘n Berries are that they’re affordable and frequently mark down everyday products like milk, bread, cheese and lunch meat. Each month, they release a flyer advertising great deals and place entire brand lines on sale. “We’ve built our foundation on providing the community with the healthiest, freshest options, with tons of local brands. Just look for the ‘Smart Buy’ tag on the shelf or grab a flyer at the front of the store.
“When you shop at Nuts ‘n Berries, you are not only supporting our small business, you are also uplifting local farmers, vendors and our dedicated employees. Nuts ‘n Berries is leading a new organic revolution to a greater understanding of the flaws in our food system, how that impacts our lives and health and how, as a community, we can come together to create a better future,” Geier adds.
Over two decades in business, Nuts ‘n Berries has won several awards, including Best Health Food Store (2021) and Best Supplement Store (2020) in Atlanta by Best Self – voted on by customers. Nuts ‘n Berries also hosts free events, like Hemp Fest, which attracts over 1,000 attendees. To see what they’re planning, check out the “Upcoming Events and Workshops” tab on their website. “We are so excited about our Fall Wellness Festival at our Brookhaven location, on September 10, from 4 to 7 p.m. We are offering an open house during the entire event with experts on site to answer questions and offer free consultations. Attendees can take advantage of an amazing holistic healing opportunity at 5 p.m. — a full hour of guided meditation and breathwork, followed by a sound bath demonstration. We’ll be announcing our soon-to-be-opened Holistic Healing Center at this event! Nuts ‘n Berries will have an entire center dedicated to holistic, functional health with lab tests, supplement consultations, foot detox, infrared saunas and access to a network of holistic healing specialists.”
This fall, Luna CBD will host their famous “The Luna Experience” as four pop-ups – the first two are on September 16 in Decatur and September 30 in Brookhaven at 7 pm. Attendees will participate in Elevated Painting, led by Atlanta artist @BadMonaLisa, while enjoying free Delta 8 or CBD, infused lattes and a few surprises from the brand.
So, how do you nourish your mind, body, and soul?
“As the owner of several businesses and a mom of a second grader, self care can be challenging. I have to prioritize movement every day, eating right and sleeping at least six hours a night. If I am well, I can better support my community and my family. So, I work out regularly using the Peloton app and hike at least twice a week, and I started running again. I would live outside if I could! I also try to eat as many organic veggies as possible every day. And when I can’t eat perfectly, I fill the gaps with whole food supplements, daily minerals and healthy doses of functional foods like medicinal mushrooms and hempbased CBD,” shares Geier
When you look good, you feel good, which essentially translates into a happier you. For your cosmetic needs, AYA is here to save the day. The award-winning medical spa offers an array of cosmetic treatments, from laser treatments, body contouring, injectables and hair restoration to aesthetician services and medical-grade skin care products for men and women.
Offering services performed by highly trained professionals, AYA uses the safest and most effective laser treatments available in today’s market. Among the lasers offered is Halo, a hybrid fractionated laser that treats everything from sun damage, fine lines, wrinkles and discoloration to scars, vascular lesions and enlarged pores. Safe and effective for all skin types, tones, and all areas of the body, Halo is different from other resurfacing lasers because it uses ablative and non-ablative wavelength technology, which results in faster healing times (downtime is typically seven days), fewer complications and better results.
AYA also offers several pregnancy-safe products and procedures for expectant mothers who are experiencing melasma, acne and stretch marks. For expectant mothers with fine lines and/or expression lines, AYA recommends Revox Line Relaxer twice daily. If you’re interested in smoothing out the appearance of wrinkles, stretchmarks and scars, SkinPen Microneedling is another amazing treatment that helps promote collagen production and enables skincare products to penetrate your skin.
And there’s DiamondGlow, a quick skin resurfacing treatment that exfoliates the skin, cleanses and infuses serums that treat dry skin, acne and more. DiamondGlow provides immediate results without downtime for recovery. Certain chemical peels are also safe during pregnancy. While AYA follows the recommendations provided by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, they recommend checking with your OBGYN before getting a treatment or adding a new product to your beauty regimen.
AYA also offers facial fillers from top brands like Juvéderm, Sculptra Aesthetic and Restylane, which are used to address facial volume loss that occurs naturally with aging. An experienced injector will assess your face and address your concerns, then tailor injections to help you achieve a more youthful look. To book your appointment, visit ayaskincare.com