Shannon Davenport is the founder of Esker, a body care brand that focuses on the power of plants. Though she now runs a successful beauty brand available at top retailers such as Net-a-Porter and Goop, Shannon hasn’t always been an entrepreneur, or “someone who was very good at self-care.” For over a decade, she worked as a trend forecaster, advising huge brands and retailers in fashion, food and beauty. However, though the role allowed her to travel, it “was really strenuous and I found myself feeling very burnt out after a while. I always loved the world of beauty and felt like I needed an outlet. So I enrolled at a small aromatherapy school in the East Village called the New York Institute Of Aromatic Studies during nights and weekends.” And the rest is history. We asked this wellness guru to take us through the steps she takes to incorporate self-care into her daily routine. She tells us her secrets below. 

Bad habits you’ve cut from your routine?

  1. My husband and I used to stay up super late, like 1:30am even on weeknights. It was a weird routine we couldn’t seem to break for some reason and as a result I was always groggy and grumpy in the morning as I was getting up for work.
  2. I was a social smoker when I lived in New York.
  3. When I worked in an office with lots of other people there were always tons of snacks around so I would mindlessly munch on stuff all day. Now that I work primarily from home I do a lot less random snacking and grazing.

Good habits you’ve added?

  1. Ever since I had a baby and started breastfeeding I’ve been really good about staying hydrated. I don’t nurse her anymore but the habit stuck and I make sure I’ve always got water on my desk or in the car.
  2. I’ve started bullet journaling and I find that the practice of physically writing things down on paper, especially in the morning and at night, is immensely helpful for my peace of mind. Getting into the habit of putting everything in your brain onto the page makes me feel way less stressed about everything.
  3. I’ve always loved taking baths but now I take them way more seriously and really relish my time in the tub. I’ll put essential oils or salts into the water and I make sure to also do my body care routine (dry brushing before hand and moisturizing with oils afterwards) which enhances the whole process.

How do you keep yourself balanced throughout the day?

I try to take little breaks to go outside every now and then, get some fresh air and walk to grab a coffee or a smoothie. I never want to leave my computer during the day because I’m so excited about everything we’re doing but it’s really helpful to pause and be able to just reset with some fresh air.

Are there any activities or hobbies you do to help you de-stress?

My husband and I moved into a real house after many years of living in small apartments and bungalows and I love having a yard. I’m working on my pollinator garden and trying to learn as much as I can about native plants, pesticide-free gardening and the role seasons play. I’m super fascinated by it and it’s one of my favorite things to do to clear my mind. Basically I love to listen to podcasts while I dig in the dirt!

How many hours of sleep do you get a night?

I appreciate and value sleep so much more now that I’m a mom. The first months of sleeplessness with an infant are so brutal that I think it helped me realize how powerful sleep actually is for overall wellbeing. I usually get about 8 hours and I’m so happy about it, it’s probably the most sleep I’ve had in decades. I do feel like we need to get our devices away from the bed though and focus more on reading or writing before falling asleep.

Do you have a favorite wellness trend?

I love ancient stuff that’s been around for thousands of years—things like dry brushing or gua sha or essential oils. To me those ritualistic things that tend to include natural materials or plants are still around because they really work, it’s the definition of tried and true. People and brands are always putting new spins on things but if it’s a product or ritual that stands the test of time then it’s something I’ll get excited about.

What is your favorite healthy food?

I’m obsessed with roasted vegetables (carrots, fennel, beets, squash etc), I could probably eat that every day and be satisfied. But in the summer I try to take advantage of all the amazing fruits that are only in season for a little while—cherries, figs, peaches and more. Growing up I had no idea what was in season at any given time, but now I try really hard to eat seasonally, it helps you appreciate fruits and vegetables that much more.