How Self-Care Guru Nitika Chopra Fuels Her Mission for Inspiring Radical Self-Love

How Self-Care Guru Nitika Chopra Fuels Her Mission for Inspiring Radical Self-Love
Photo: Laurel Creative. Design: Allison Kahler.

Most of us wouldn’t think of “inspiring radical self-love” as a popular résumé item. Yet that’s exactly what has catapulted Nitika Chopra to the upper echelon of influencers whose platform is all about self-care. Her unique mix of advocacy for mental health and chronic illnesses (Chopra has psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis), as well as fashion and beauty are just a few of the reasons we look to her for the kind of advice that’s both aspirational and totally doable.

For instance, her idea of self-care is less about a laundry list of beauty products (though we love those, too) and more about doing internal maintenance. And the best part of it all is that she’s constantly leading by example. If you’re in the market for little inspo, ahead are all of the ways the former BlogHer speaker is fueling her mission from day to day.

Self-Love as Self-Care

I define self-care as anything that feels deeply nourishing, but it doesn’t have to be hard. Something that I actually define often is self-love, which I think relates to self-care a lot. And my definition of self-love is being more committed to your happiness than to your suffering in every moment. So I think self-care is a really powerful tool you can use when trying to access more love for yourself.

Self-love is being more committed to your happiness than to your suffering in every moment.

Body Talk

I think the biggest thing is I try to be is in constant conversation with my body. I’ve had chronic illnesses since I was 10 years old, and I believe very deeply whether you have a chronic illness, you’re dealing with pregnancy or change in your age or whatever it might be, our bodies are always talking to us and teaching us what they need, want and sometimes, how we actually feel. So I think the biggest thing I do for self-care is try to have massages and connect with my body.

Like this morning for example, I was at a coffee shop writing, and I just started to not feel very good. And I think that if I hadn’t had my self-care game up, I probably would’ve just pushed through it and ignored my body.

Heart-to-Heart Time

Hangouts, chats, and dates with my girlfriends are among the greatest ways to add self-care because there’s usually a lot of laughter involved and really good active listening. And I just feel filled up whenever I do that. So I actually try to reach out and connect with friends every day. I’m making that a pretty good part of my daily life.

Honestly, the biggest thing that I love is just heart-to-heart chill time and deep conversation. I have a friend coming over in a couple hours, and she’s just coming over to hang out. And we’re just brainstorming about business and talking about where we’re at with certain work projects that we have going on. We’re just kind of bouncing a lot of ideas off of each other because we’re both doing work that inspires each other. It’s making work fun and bringing that into some of my conversations because I have so many ideas.

But then also, having a cup of tea and talking to your girlfriend about a breakup that you just went through or how you’re feeling and where you’re at in your life, what’s new and all of that. I just really like having deep-dive conversations over a light meal, hanging out on my couch, and sometimes, I’ll have sleepovers. We’ll do face masks. I’m super chill. My work is so crazy and extroverted, but I tend to be very introverted on my down time.

Dates with my girlfriends is one of the greatest ways to add self-care because there’s usually a lot of laughter involved and really good active listening.

Comfort Food

Another way I attack self-care is through the foods that I eat. I try to eat things that feel really nourishing, that my body can handle really well. That makes me feel much more loved. My favorite comfort thing is an oat milk latte from Joe’s Coffee Shop. It just makes me feel like I did my little treat for the day.

Travel-Friendly Self-Care

I plan out my meals. Sometimes people just rush to the airport and assume they’ll figure it out. I used to do that, and my body just didn’t feel good at all. I went to speak in Florida a couple weeks ago and I got two big salads to go from this place that I really like. I was just like, “OK, I’m going to pack an extra one so I have dinner when I get off the plane so I don’t have to eat hotel room service.”

Obviously, I’ll eat stuff there and it’ll be fine, but the more I can limit that and just really set myself up… I felt so nourished just eating my big salad in the airport. It just felt so different. And packing healthy snacks for sure. Another thing just for emotional support is I always tend to travel with my journal. Even if I end up not having the time to write in it, there’s been so many times where I had a bit more time in the morning, or I felt really reflective after my speaking in the evening. I just feel like when I bring my journal, I can write it all out and connect emotionally that much more if I make time to do that. The last thing is I try to bring some good, sample-size beauty products that feel a little indulgent. So I’ll bring some sort of mask to do at night because it just feels really luxurious.

I find my journal writing as a time to connect with what I believe is a higher power and something greater than myself.

The Write Stuff

I’m a very spiritual person, so I find my journal writing as a time to connect with what I believe is a higher power and something greater than myself. And it’s also a time where I can kind of just emotion brain-dump. I’m so structured and organized and on top of everything all the time. So when I journal, I like to not have any rules. That’s my only rule: that there are no rules. And I usually start every journal entry by saying, “Hi God!,” and ending with “Love, Me.” It’s a silly thing that I do.

Glowy Goals

My favorite mask right now that just makes me feel vibrant and glowy is the Drunk Elephant Babyfacial. It is like a drug. I use it all the time because I’m just obsessed with it. I feel like I’m giving myself a mini spa treatment whenever I use that. And I love Naturopathica products. They have a really awesome oat cleansing facial polish. It’s very light, but also a moisturizing exfoliator, which is so important for your skin. One of my other favorite brands, Uma Oils, has a clarifying serum that I love. Between all of that stuff, I feel pretty taken care of.

When I’m back from a big gig or I’m working a ton, I have a soothing place to land.

A Sacred Home Base

My home’s a total expression of me, so color-wise, it has a lot of beautiful magentas and soft grays and things that are soothing and calming, but also invigorating for me to look at. There’s a decent amount of crystals throughout the apartment. There’s no TV in my bedroom. That’s something I hope to always have; to keep that space sacred with my vision board, my bed and a nice comfy chair. It’s not cluttered or chaotic in there at all. My living room is a super-open layout, so I think that speaks to the fact that I love having girlfriends over and having people come hang out. It’s my sanctuary. I really feel like I created my home to make sure when I’m back from a big gig or I’m working a ton, I have a soothing place to land.

In our series “Operation Recharge,” we task celebrities and influencers with sharing what self-care means to them, as well as the activities, products and treatments they indulge in for downtime done right.

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