Wellness ain’t easy…
Everyone struggles with maintaining balance in their everyday lives, especially during holiday season. Whether you are travelling this winter or staying home, take some extra time to focus and nurture yourself. Self-care is the best thing you can do for your health.
Here are a few simple ideas:
Meditation seems daunting, but it’s actually quite simple. Meditation is not maintaining a clear mind, it’s the act of clearing your mind over and over again. This mindful repetition creates a calming effect on your brain and sympathetic nervous system. To start your practice, try meditation 2x a day for 5 minutes. Sit or lay still in a quiet, distraction-free room. Repeat a mantra (a word or affirmation) silently for the full five minutes, or focus on the stillness of your mind. When thoughts arise, simply acknowledge them and let them drift away. If you are still unsure of how to start, there are many guided meditations from 5+ min on Spotify.
Meditation is a ritual, and consistency is key. Pick times that you can maintain throughout each day of the week (upon waking, at lunch, after exercise, before going to sleep, etc.). To increase your practice, add 1-5 min. per session until you reach at least 15 min 2x/day.
While I vary my meditation practice, I prefer the mantras of Transcendental Meditation for shorter sessions, or the Solfeggio Frequencies for longer sessions.
I personally love yoga, but I know it is not for everyone. Yoga is a type of moving meditation, which benefits not only your mind, but many of the core regulating entities in the body. Yoga can stimulate your thyroid, calm your central nervous system, aid in digestion, and increase blood flow to areas in need. If you are trying yoga for the first time, it is important to follow a class (in person or virtual) to avoid incorrect postures or injury. Try out the Asana Rebel app for great intro classes from 5-30 minutes.
For those who want to keep it simple, a daily nature walk or jog is just as good! Turn off the podcast or music for 30 minutes and enjoy the outdoors.
So hard during this time of year! You don’t have to say no to all of the sweets, but it doesn’t mean you have to eat all of them either. Utilizing simple rules when planning your nutrition is best:
If you can’t pronounce it, you probably shouldn’t eat it (think chemicals & preservatives). Fresh > packaged always. Limit junk foods; this includes “health” foods in disguised packaging. Trade bottled items for things you can make yourself: dressings, juice, tea. Vegetables & fruits should be your highest intake, then carbs, with meat & dairy the lowest. And when indulging, use the 80/20 rule: 80% healthy, 20% non-healthy.
This is the perfect time of year for facial masks or long, steamy baths. Make your own mask with fresh items such as avocado or cucumber. Epsom salts are a great addition to any bath, especially the lavender or eucalyptus scents!
This pandemic has caused many of us to take a much-needed slowdown. It hasn’t been any less stressful, but luckily many people are getting a break from the hustle & bustle of traffic, business travel, and social obligations. Don’t spend all of your time doing. Take time every day to sit still or sit in silence. Enjoy your favorite holiday movie or novel without your cell phone around. In fact, turn your technology off for at least an hour (especially before bed!).
These are just a few ideas to get you started. Pay attention to your needs and don’t be afraid of acknowledging when you should say no or take a break. Enjoy the remainder of the year & close out these last weeks by embodying your best self!