Somehow it’s already the middle of October and that blows my mind. Fall is nuts — it’s the busy season for work, the time when school work builds up, and also the season when all I want to do is go outside and do fun things. Nevertheless, there are times when I feel like I’m scrambling to make it. It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed and like things are spinning out of control, which is why I wanted to share a few of the practices I’ve been incorporating into my daily routine this season. I am far from perfect at implementation, but here are a few bits from my fall wellness routine!
STRATEGIES TO IMPROVE MY WELLNESS THIS SEASON
My absolute go to for stress relief these past few weeks has been fall walks. The trees are changing colors, there are crunchy leaves on the ground, and the air is crisp. What could be more soul-soothing then spending time outdoors soaking in all that goodness? It’s amazing what even a quick 10 minutes of movement outside can do to change my perspective, attitude, and motivation!
TIP: Move. If you don’t move on an every day basis, just start. You don’t have to be a runner to move. Even adding 10 minutes of intentional movement by taking a walk around the block or a lap around campus/office can make a huge difference in your perspective and attitude. This can be incorporated into your day when you start to get stressed or even used as a preventive action to combat anxiety!
A busy schedule means more time on-the-go and less time at home. Knowing that, I prepare a lot of food that I can take to work during the week and snack on throughout the day! My favorite meal I’ve been eating recently is protein waffles! I have been making 5 servings of BodyByBree’s recipe (it’s super easy to make a big batch using a blender and waffle maker!) and of course topped with almond butter, greek yogurt, berries and granola which is a super filling and nutritious breakfast every day!
When I have a few extra minutes in the morning I pair my waffles with almond milk lattes that I make in my home by making coffee, frothing almond milk, and adding a sprinkle of cinnamon on top.
And since it’s fall and pumpkin is in the air, I tried this recipe for healthy pumpkin muffins, and was super impressed. I’ll be honest that I chose this recipe because it only had a few ingredients that I already had available at my house AND I only needed one blender. The muffins were delicious and the perfect little fall treat.
TIP: Choose a recipe that will satisfy you! Satisfaction can come from filling you up, fulfilling a craving, or even making something new. Decide what would nourish you and then explore the internet to find something that looks amazing. (And then obviously send it to me so I can make it too!)
Something new I’ve been participating in these past few weeks is running with one of Kirksville’s running groups. This running group has existed for years and after a couple of months of debating, I finally got over myself and decided to join in on a morning run. I think it took me so long to join in because I was not only intimated, but also just enjoyed doing my own thing. However, I have now committed to running every Tuesday morning at 5:30 a.m. with the group and it absolutely kicks my butt because I have to keep up! This commitment has been really good for a challenge and community.
TIP: If you find yourself getting bored or unmotivated, try something new! Maybe you could find a new activity or class to add in throughout the week. Or if you love what you’re doing, maybe find a work out buddy or someone to push you and challenge you. Or maybe you just need a new baller playlist.
It’s funny how easy it is to let spiritual practices fall to the wayside when life gets busy. I have to put in so much effort or else other things will become the priority. Attending weekly church services has been good this season, but the most refreshing part of my week is to have weekly accountability. I meet with two amazing women every Thursday morning before work and it’s been so good to have that intentional weekly time to be honest, vulnerable, and real about the state of my heart.
TIP: Determine what it is that you need and find an action that can fulfill that need. For example, if you decide that your life could use more prayer, you could set an alarm on your phone to remind you to pray on your way to work, or you could read a book about prayer. Deciding that your faith needs to grow is great, but it’s more important to figure out what that actually means and how it can be supplemented with action.
These past few weeks have been filled with reading textbooks about leadership theory and ethical case studies. While I’m learning a lot, let’s just say they aren’t my favorite picks. However, it’s really different for me to academically learn something than to learn something in a more personal way. What has been getting my mind moving lately is listening to the For the Love podcast by Jen Hatmaker. I’m obsessed with Jen. She also has a couple of books that I have loved reading, but her podcast has been my go-to this season. Jen has several series on topics like people, home, stories, family, Jesus, community, food, culture, and all of the things. She interviews super cool people that are doing amazing things, and listening usually motivates, inspires, and leads me to think bigger.
TIP: Don’t let your academic focus be the only thing you’re learning about. If you’re not in school, find something else to learn about. I think it’s super important to keep our minds moving about things we don’t do on a regular basis, like work or school. I think when we get our minds moving we can find ways to live more full and complete lives.
Okay the biggest thing I have to say is about relationships is that ALAN IS THE MOST INCREDIBLE. I honestly feel like I could celebrate him every single day because of who he is and how he lives. As my husband, he walks through each day radiating patience and forgiveness. He recognizes my needs and cares for them deeply. Alan prioritizes making me laugh and succeeds over and over! He works so hard for our little family and it makes my heart swell. I feel like I married up and honestly I am amazed I get to be a wife to a guy like Al. These past few weeks have been nuts but I am extra thankful to know I am supported and loved.
Also, one of my most amazing friends, Meagan, lives in Columbia, MO, which is about an hour and a half form where I live. We have committed to doing monthly meet-ups, and so far we are 2/2 which is honestly amazing. I’ve been really loving our more regular time seeing each other and it gives me something exciting to look forward to every month.
TIP: Make time for relationships. The one way you can count on relationships improving is by putting time into them. Call the person you’re missing, send a text if you’re wondering how someone’s day is going, or write a letter just because. Pick a person and put an action with the relationship. You will not regret putting time into relationships. Ever.
Finances are hard and money is weird. Alan and I use EveryDollar to track our finances, and it’s been super helpful for us. This means that every month we budget, track, and talk about what the heck is going on financially. We have been doing this since before we got married and it truly helps us ball on a budget. One thing that has been great about budgeting is being able to feel confident about spending money on “treats.” Basically, I can be pretty frugal which makes me not want to spend money on anything so we can save it for bigger things. However, being able to allot certain amounts each money for treats gives me confidence to buy something I will enjoy (let’s be real, this is always, always something perishable like coffee, fruit cups, ice cream, or RxBars or Perfect Bars).
TIP: Set money aside for treats. Even if you have to ball on a budget (seriously, we get it), using a small amount of your income to buy something you love can be a motivating and enjoyable experience!
WHAT’S BEEN SAVING MY LIFE RIGHT NOW
Barbara Brown Taylor asks the question “What is saving your life right now?” in one of her books. This is also the question that Jen Hatmaker asks at the end of each of her podcasts. When I think about this season, the two things that come to mind first are coffee and Alan. The dynamic duo. The cups of caffeine or my husband are with me throughout every hour of the day. The cheer me on, pick me up when I’m down, and give me the nudge when I need it. God bless them both.
I have found that in busy seasons it is hard for me to make decisions. I get so mentally exhausted by the end of the day that I honestly could not choose if I want you to pick me up or if I want to walk home, or if I want another cup of water. Seriously. So for me, the least amount of decisions I have to make in a day, the more freedom there is in my mind. This is one of the reasons why I have so many routines put into place.
There are so many things I can’t control, but there are a few that I can try, like going on a walk to relieve stress or making waffles for a nourishing breakfast. It’s some of those step-by-step things that I can control, like going to weekly accountability or spending time with my husband. I know that I’m not going to get each of these things right all of the time, but if I am trying, I know at least some will be in my routine this season. Whether the practices are related to physical, spiritual, relational, or mental wellness, each are important and will improve my overall wellness.
you got it!
I hope you all are encouraged by these practices. I don’t want you all to read these practices and be overwhelmed if you’re not where you want to be, because honestly, we are all just out here trying to improve. So I hope you find take the time to figure out what you need and make a fall wellness routine that works best for you. You can also read about more more health and wellness tips in this recent post.
If you’re willing to share, I’d love to hear what you are doing to prioritize your wellness this fall! Happy fall!