Wellness. Wellness might be one of the top buzzwords from 2018 and it is still going strong right into 2019. Honestly, I think it is a good thing. There is never a bad time to focus on our minds, hearts, and bodies, and work to improve them daily. But what does that actually look like? Many people go straight to thinking about fitness and working out, but when in reality it is so much more than that. If we are being honest, when I read the word wellness I get swept away into this fairytale land of spas, no obligations, and salt lamp rooms where people are meditating and focusing on their breathing. Think zen vibes, dewy skin fresh out of the steam room, lemon/berry/mint infused water out of a ice cold pitcher poured over 5 ice cubes in a tall glass, hotel robe, and floating around the kitchen about to make some wholesome and healthy snack. Oh, and don’t forget the celery juice. Oh god, celery juice. Spare me. If you know me, celery to me is as close to the devil himself. I won’t even get near celery in the grocery store. It is my nemesis. Anyway, now that you have that dreamy, spa-like image in your head, unfortunately, this is also very off base because it is so far from reality. At least my reality. Wellness is about self-care, mindfulness, health, and being able to balance them all, no matter what your reality is.
Let me paint a reality that happens to me: the alarm sounds the the morning, I’m running late, and I don’t have time to put my serums on without being late to class. I get to campus, can’t find a parking spot, now I’m subtling swearing under my breath and I realize that I still have to print off my homework assignment for that one teacher that doesn’t believe in online submissions. I begin to resent her and now my mood is ruined and my day has been thrown in the trash. I get to class and realize the printer isn’t even working today. Fuck.
So, tell me, how in the world am I supposed to practice wellness amongst all of that?! Amidst the chaos, I have found some sort of a balance that works for me, but I have to be intentional. You know when you read a book but decide to skip over the preface (I used to do this all the time) and you end up missing some parts/background that are key to the book? That is what I am setting up right now. The preface to my “5 things I do to practice balanced Wellness” is to be intentional. Without being intentional, I cannot do the following to practice wellness.
Meditate and read my devotional
I am a big believer in mindsets. If I begin my day with a negative mindset, more often than not my day goes to shit. When I take the time in the morning to just pause and give myself a few moments to reset and breathe, I feel more calm and collected to take on the day. As often as I can, I will meditate and/or read my devotional to start my day in a positive and uplifting way. I try my best to ignore my phone and just focus on the time I am spending with myself, my mind, and my body for the few short silent moments. This really makes me feel “at center.”
The devotional I am reading: New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp
The meditation app I love: Headspace
Mentally workout before I actually workout
While physical exertion isn’t the main attraction of wellness like some may think, it is still a key aspect, and one of the hardest things about working out is getting yourself to want to workout. Your mind is half of the battle. Before even getting to the gym I practice self talk that gets me excited to go to the gym and I try my hardest to not let my mind wander to negativity. Usually I will picture what I want to achieve and talk to myself in a way that only promotes the idea that I can do it. I always have something that is motivating me. For example, in September my best friend is getting married in Maui, so that is my current motivator because I wanna be looking GOOD on the beach, if you know what I mean.
Another thing that gets me mentally prepared is having a workout routine that I know works and leaves me feeling like I really worked hard. There is nothing like wasting your time in the gym when you don’t know if you are doing the most efficient workout you can be doing. That is why I have been loving Kayla Itsines Beach Body Guide program on the Sweat App. It is $20 a month or $120 for the year. It may seem like an investment, but A) it works B) it is cheaper than most gym memberships C) do it with a friend and split the cost! That is actually what Payton and I do. Doing that actually puts in place a workout buddy and someone to keep you accountable! Everyone wins. Don’t forget to mentally workout, before you physically workout!
Listen to my body
This might be the most important thing I do to practice wellness. You can douse yourself in essential oils, do yoga 14 hours of the day, and even drink celery juice daily (vomit) and you may just be hurting your mind, body, and spirit instead of improving yourself. Pop culture tells us we need to try all of these new trends to *live your best life*, but the reality is is that most of these “trends” are just fads and people have truly lived their best lives without any of these things for years before. Yeah, I am a sucker for a good health/beauty/wellness trend, but at the end of the day, I always evaluate what actually is putting my mind, body, and spirit at ease. Some things might work for some people whereas some don’t. We are all unique and different human beings and there is not a one size fits all. We must listen to our bodies and also celebrate that.
Listening to my body sometimes reminds me that it is essential to treat myself. Deprivation is something I just don’t believe in. Many people are wired a way that when they accomplish something, they look to be rewarded. At least I do. For me, I find that little rewards remind me that I am doing something and working toward a goal I have set. Rewards are reminders to keep going.
So here’s the thing. Once I find something I love, I become obsessed with it. Right now I am having a MAJOR moment with Skinny Dipped Almonds. So much so I added a “Snack” list on my amazon store that literally only consists of these almonds LOL. This is how I reward myself. I keep a bowl on my counter (usually the dark chocolate raspberry or plain dark chocolate kind) and I will grab a handful after working out or accomplishing a task I set out to do that day. Funnily enough, this bowl of almonds also motivates me to keep working toward my goals. I know, I know, it’s just a bowl of chocolate covered treats, but you should try it. Find the thing that reminds you to keep moving forward and put it in plain sight and reward yourself on a consistent basis.
WATER, WATER, WATER with a lemon
Yawn, everyone talks about water. Usually when I hear someone suggest water as a way to do or improve something, I think of that interview of Kendall Jenner when she is asked about her skin and she says the one and only thing that keeps her skin clear is water. Like are you fucking kidding me, Kendall. Water is all you can tell us?! (I guess she now has that Proactive ad, but ya okay we will all believe she actually uses Proactive…). That being said, water is probably the most essential component to balanced wellness. When you are hydrated, your body is able to function at its highest capacity, mentally and physically. Not to mention it is something everyone can do. I think water is boring, so when I don’t have an Essentia in hand I have a glass of water with lemon because, like I said, water is *yawn.* Besides, water helps me wash down my chocolate almond treats 😉
Before ending this post, I asked you guys what are some ways you practice balanced wellness and I wanted to share what some of you guys said! Definitely taking some of these and implementing them into my quest to achieve balanced wellness.
“Work through different journal prompts each day to check in with myself and challenge myself.” -@blomsobritt
“Taking some me time!! Doing things that I love like coloring or working out or journaling.” -@nicki.clausen
“Move your body within the first 10 mins of waking up!! Creates serotonin and happy thoughts!” -@sammiekcook
“For me, balanced wellness means finding small moments to step away from work projects or school/studying and just spending time doing things that bring me joy, encourage me, or strengthen me. This includes running and short gym sessions, reading in a quiet space, listening to my favorite music, going on nature walks, and spending quality time with the people I care about. In my real life lol, I don’t have the time to really dive into a certain aspect or practice of wellness, so balance means setting aside those short moments to focus on the things that strengthen both my body and my mind.” -@hannah.e.pickering
“Go for a swim and steam sauna!” -@liesenarkevitz
“Gym dates with my sister, balancing textbooks with books I actually want to read!” -@katie._reimer