Happy 2018 to all of you!
I hope you all had an amazing end to the year and didn’t overdo it…if you followed my holiday party plan, I am sure you were good to go. I woke up yesterday feeling so refreshed and so ready to take on new challenges. I organized my closet, got rid of a bunch of things I no longer need, took down holiday decor and got my house back to normal. OH and of course I worked out! Can’t really start the new year without a good sweat sesh…you know me!
BUT, yesterday I worked out on my own, which is a little different for me because I am such a group fitness junkie. I did some abs and leg movements in my bedroom and then followed that with my favorite stair hike– which gives me so much peace and clarity. I really wanted to be in my own head with my own thoughts yesterday as a way to really connect with what I want to accomplish this year and how I want to feel. Which brings me to the whole point of today’s New Year post….
My MOST important tip for all of you heading into this new year, especially when it comes to health and wellness, is to practice mindfulness every single day. Every. Day.
Now before you write me off as turning super hippie-dippy on you…just hear me out. First of all, I am the LEAST hippie-dippy person I know, except for maybe my husband, but you get the point. I don’t really consider myself a very “zen” person and I feel much more comfortable moving at a fast clip and flying by the edge of my seat. It’s just who I am and I am OK with it. BUT I recently (in the past few months) have made a real effort to be more mindful as a method of self care in all aspects of my life.
I am all about self care- I am all about a good bubble bath, cup of tea and a 30 minute nighttime facial care routine. I leave time to care for my body by working out, to care for my skin by cleansing and treating it well, and to care for my friends and family by spending time with them. But I realized that I rarely listened to my body. I went through all the motions without really tapping into what my body was feeling, what it needed and how it reacted to certain things. I just went through the motions I always did and didn’t listen for any personal feedback that was right in front of me, waiting to be acknowledged.
Do you listen to your body? Like, REALLY listen to it? I definitely didn’t. I mean, if my hamstring was pulled or tight I would take it easy on it…but that’s about as far as I went. I tend to eat quickly, and often at the kitchen counter so I can just get it over with and move on with my day. AND I never really paid attention to what foods felt like in my body once I ate them. I also didn’t really pay attention to which workouts my body responded to the best- which ones really did something good. Instead, I would always just do what I liked and I did it often #beastmode. Very little mindfulness going on in my life…lots of action, but no reflection.
But now I do…a little more every single day. I am more mindful in all areas of my life…and it feels incredible.
So let me break down exactly what I do and when because it is super easy to do and really makes a huge impact.
My super simple mindfulness tips
- Be more mindful when you eat. I know we are all super busy, but taking the time to sit down, eat slowly and enjoy your food is SO important for digestion, registering fullness and recognizing which foods make you feel your best. I have a sensitive stomach…like super annoying. So, being mindful while eating has really helped with my digestion and makes my stomach so much happier after every single meal. ALSO, it makes it flatter and less bloated, so that is a huge pay off! Eating mindfuly helps me identify the foods that make my stomach reacts well to and which ones make it a raging bitch to deal with. Beef makes my stomach not so happy…so does too much cauliflower. I haven’t cut these items out, but I am way more cautious about how much I eat them and what I combine them with. I also feel full and satisfied instead of stuffed and groggy because I register fullness in a much more normal way. It takes focus but can totally change your relationship with food!
- Be more mindful with your workouts. Realize what works for your body, what feels good and what gives you that happy exercise high. Being mindful in your workouts allows you to focus a little better on every movement and get more out of your workouts in the process….instead of just going through the motions. Practicing mindfulness will also help you realize what type of workouts make you happy, what does it for you. At the end of the day, if you don’t enjoy the workouts you are doing, you will start to dread it and think of it as a chore instead of a fun act of self care. And, on the same note, don’t force yourself to do things you don’t like! Instead, find what you like and you will be way more likely to show up for it. And there is no shame here! If you don’t like what I like or what other people like- who cares? You have to do you and do what makes you feel your best. And the only way you can do this is by practicing mindfulness and identifying what works for you and makes you tick.
- Be more mindful with your time. One of my goals for 2018 is to say no more often to things I don’t enjoy. I often find myself saying yes to things that don’t sound fun to me because I want to make other people happy…and there really isn’t anything extremely wrong with that UNTIL it makes you unhappy or takes up too much of your time. I love being there for other people, but you have to learn when to draw the line. Sacrificing your own happiness for a friendship or a relationship or your career is NOT what you should be doing. You won’t always LOVE everything that happens and everyone you have to encounter, but learning to be mindful with your time will make you a much happier person. Being mindful with time will also help with productivity! If you are aware of your valued time, you are more likely spend time doing things that serve you well and make you happy. Identify what makes you happy, cut back on the things that don’t make you happy. Simple as that! AND never feel guilty in the process.
- Be more mindful with your happiness. What makes you truly happy? Kind of a hard question to answer for most people…and for me too! I had to really think about it and realize what in life makes me feel the most happy and the most alive. When I realized what those things are (there are a lot of them) it was so incredible to think about making more time for those things. And they don’t have to be crazy complicated things either! Putting on a face mask, pouring a glass of rose and watching tv in my robe makes me SO happy…so I do that whenever I feel like it. Taking Puffin to the park makes me happy, and him happy, so I do it all the time. Spend time doing the things that make you happy…it’s an easy idea but so many people spend so much time doing things they dislike. Be mindful of your happiness and nurture it. I find that realizing this has also made me a more attentive partner to my husband and a better friend…kind of like I want to share the general love and happiness!
No one knows you better than you…and you only get one life to live….so why not spend it doing things that make you truly happy? Practicing mindfulness will allow you to prosper, get over things quickly, have better relationships, feel more energized etc etc…seriously the benefits are endless. And all you have to do is FEEL. Feel how your body reacts, how your brain reacts and how your heart reacts to certain things and identify ways to amplify the good feels and improve the negative feelings.
So that is my TOP self care tip for the year…and I honestly think that doing this will help you with whatever other resolutions you may have made. The more in tuned you are with yourself, the better you’ll be at following through and living your best life.
Take time for “you time” where you are alone with your thoughts as a form of meditation- some active reflection. I do this while I go on my stair hikes. I think through things and bring some clarity to things that have been bothering me and weighing me down. Find sometime in your day to give this moment to yourself. It doesn’t have to be super long either…you can totally achieve this 10 minutes a day. Then add more when you need it. Feel it out. Be mindful and realize what you need.
Now lets go out there and crush our goals for this year…there is not time like the present for starting fresh and improving your life. Love you all!