Cheers to a new season! These habits have helped me find practical ways to increase my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health and wellness.
My focus for the first month of the year has been to create healthy habits for this season. After a crazy end of the year that felt like me crawling across the finish line with nothing left in me, I entered the new year with desire to find healthy habits to promote overall wellness. Specifically, I wanted practical ways to increase wellness in the specific areas like physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness. Because my life functions in “semesters,” the beginning of the year is also the beginning of a semester, and a great time to develop a routine. While each day looks very different for me, I spent the past month trying my best to incorporate the following strategies.
Use a Planner
- I was gifted this Passion Planner, started regularly using it since January, and have been OBSESSED. There are so many benefits of using a planner, including time management, improving productivity, and creating time and space for positive activities, routines, and more. Using a planner itself is a healthy habit, but it also helps me create even more healthy habits and routine to my days!
- Passion Planner Details: The beautiful faux leather cover is filled with sustainably sourced paper. The whole concept of the planner is that it helps you define your short and long term goals and breaks them into smaller, actionable steps. There are spots for you to write quotes and challenges for weekly motivation, spaces to write on the good things that happened to remind you to stay focused on the positive things, along with personal and work to-do lists. There are also weekly and daily focuses, monthly reflections with question that keep you focused on your progress, and annual and monthly overviews. The design of these planners gives you the opportunity to create, design, and decorate each week as well.
- One of the most positive ways for me to start my day is with morning movement. Since I’m still not able to regularly run, I have switched my focus to strength training. I have been using Madeline Moves Workouts which are daily workouts uploaded to an app that I can complete from my home. These workouts have helped me feel strong, motivated, and encouraged at the beginning of each day!
- Though I haven’t been able to regularly run, I have started physical therapy and interval training to start running again. It’s been really slow building up my endurance again with new form, but progress is progress, and I’m thankful for that! I have been able to get out and moving again, and I really love how the repetitive movements help my mind and body feel good.
- “Mindfulness” is a buzz word I’ve heard for awhile, but never knew much about. The Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley states that “Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens. Mindfulness also involves acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them—without believing, for instance, that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel in a given moment. When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we’re sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future.” As someone who is always planning, looking forward, and multi-tasking, being still and in the present is super important. I have a goal for a time of daily mindfulness.
- There are so many mindfulness apps (see the top ones below), which I have found to be really helpful as a beginner in practicing mindfulness. The apps for mindfulness have guided practices, help you focus, and teach you all you need to know to incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine.
- Another thing that I have been focusing on this season is to eat nourishing foods. I have found that the better I eat, the better I feel. Moving to camp, so much traveling, and being home for the holidays had me out of my normal cooking routine, but I am now back to meal prepping, cooking nourishing recipes, and making healthy snacks when I am able. Along with making me feel better, eating nourishing foods helps me feel energized, focused, and motivated.
- I have a ton of resources on my blog to eat nourishing foods like recipe guides and shopping lists. I also post daily eats on my instagram.
- Y’all, having a positive attitude is a game-changer. This might be common sense by the time you’re an adult, BUT, it doesn’t make it any easier to practice! I have witnessed (in myself) time and time again how a positive mindset impacts my day. It’s so easy to get caught up in the negatives and especially because of my dramatic personality, if one thing goes wrong, I can find myself spiraling.
- So, how do I actually have a positive attitude? I try to start my day with positive affirmations right when I wake up. If I can immediately do one thing that makes me feel good (like working out), that will get my endorphins up and I can easily start listing things I’m thankful for. Throughout the day I try to focus on the good things (and thank the Lord for them!) I try to find humor in situations, talk to others, and ask for encouragement if needed. Reflection also helps to focus on the present, learn from failures, and turn negatives into positives. It’s important for me to remember that having a positive attitude doesn’t necessarily mean being happy and smiley all the time, but overall feeling a deep hope for the future.
- This year I am trying to increase sustainability through reusable items! While I have several reusable items (mine are from Eco at Heart), I specifically want to focus on this while I’m traveling and shopping. While I’m on the road, I have metal straws and dishes to keep in my bags to use at restaurants and gas stations, produce bags and grocery bags for shopping, water bottles and coffee cups to keep in the car, and other reusable items to minimize plastic. While it’s super easy to obtain these items, it’s more effort to actually use them. I found that if I actually keep these items in my car, there’s a much higher percentage I will actually have them and use them when needed. I used these on a road trip I took this month and though it sometimes required extra work to wash dishes, I actually got to use these items as they were intended.
- Related to this, Alan and I pledged not to buy new clothes this year. We are going to try to use what we have, borrow items, or buy previously used clothes if there’s something we need.
- Reflection is so important for learning. When I’m able to pause and think, I can actually reflect on my thoughts, feelings, and situations. This process helps me learn more about myself, others, the Lord, and the world around me. It helps me consider how I might improve in my actions, relationships, goals, and wellness.
- I spent some time reflecting on 2019 by writing down positives and negatives of each month of the year through a yearly recap. Looking to 2020, I am writing reflections at the end of each month so I actually remember details. This will also help me move forward into each month and consider how to meet new goals. (My passion planner has already helped with this!)
- Therapy is something I’ve been putting off for a long time. This year, I’m incorporating physical and emotional therapy, and though both are hard, I know they will bring long-term benefits.
I believe each new season will require different habits to promote wellness. Each season brings about new obstacles and challenges, so strategies will need to change accordingly. Some seasons might require several strategies for one area of wellness, but I’m currently working on all areas. For now, these healthy habits are working for me and I will try my best to keep them up in this season!
What healthy habits have you incorporated into this season?
Which area of wellness do you need to focus on right now?