There are 48 more days left of 2018 and so many of us tend to wait until the new year to get our acts together! We are all too familiar with the "New Year's resolution" hype that so many proclaim, but, why do we have to wait for the new year to begin to strengthen our self-care game? Imagine how it would feel to enter 2019 already feeling physically, mentally, and spiritually strong? Why don't we focus just as much energy and enthusiasm on the "End of Year resolution?!"
Here are 10 tips for everyday wellness that will help you end 2018 with self-loving intention. Think about these wellness tips as the final chapter of your 2018 book. How do you want your 2018 book to end? My hope for you is that you conclude this year with a healthy dose of self-love, self-compassion, and self-care. I believe in you!
1. Simplify. Have you ever heard the saying "Clean Room, Clean Mind?" Don't let a messy desk or living space drain your energy! It is amazing how much an organized space can help with anxiety and stress reduction. Try spending 5 minutes organizing your space to reduce stress. Try getting rid of clutter and donating what is no longer of use to you to someone who may be in need. Homeless shelters are usually very appreciative of clothing and hygiene products, especially this time of year when the weather is cooler.
2. Healthy Eating. Choose fruit or veggies instead of processed snacks. If you are unable to pronounce all of the ingredients on a food label, chances are it is overly processed and not healthy for your body. At the grocery store, try shopping from the perimeter of the store where food is freshest. Also, try to shop at your local farmer's market where you can find food grown with love while supporting local farmers.
3. Stretch. Stretching is such an amazing way to care for your body and mind simultaneously. If you are new to yoga or have never tried it, a great place to start is Yoga with Adriene on YouTube. She offers an amazing 30 day challenge that is free of charge.
4. Spend Time in Nature. Have you heard of "earthing?" Earthing is a fast-growing movement based upon the discovery that connecting to the earth's natural energy is foundational for vibrant health. Try spending five minutes outdoors with no shoes on. My favorite place to practice this is either at the beach or on the forrest floor. If this is too "hippy dippy" for you, then maybe you might like to start with a simple stroll around the block. Sometimes all we need to improve our mood is a little fresh air.
5. Practice Gratitude. Feeling frustrated or overwhelmed with the stresses of life? Stop and think of 3 things you are grateful for. This can be a great way to shift our perspective from negative to positive.
6. Breathe. One minute of deep breathing can reduce tension. If you don't have a minute, try one deep breath. Your brain will appreciate it and might begin to think more clearly. Sometimes it can help to think of a feeling you would like to feel and think of that feeling when you inhale and then exhale a particular feeling that you would like to let go of. Example: Inhale the word "relax" silently in your mind, then exhale the word "tension" silently in your mind; or inhale for 4 seconds and exhale for 6 seconds.
7. Drink Water. It is recommended to drink 10 glasses of water per day for health and appetite control, but for those of us who forget to drink even a sip of water in the day, try starting with one glass and work that number up as the days progress. Sugary and caffeinated drinks (e.g., soda, energy drinks, fancy coffees, juice) can contribute significantly to your stress level and can leave us feeling that dreaded sugar crash and/or easily agitated. If you feel the need for some flavor or if the thought of water is too boring for you, try flavoring some soda water with a few drops of your favorite essential oil. I love Wild Orange and Lemon for energy and antioxidants. *Be sure that the essential oil is safe for consuming. I use doTERRA because it is the purest essential oil on the market. And even with doTERRA, make sure that the bottle says that it safe for consumption.
8. Unplug from Electronics. Try turning your electronics off one hour before bedtime to allow for more restful sleep. If you are one to spend time on social media, take some time to unfollow people or pages that are no longer inspirational to you. And, remember that when you find yourself comparing your life to the lives of those you see on social media or TV, remember that nobody has a perfect life and most people post only the positive aspects of their lives.
9. Eat at Home. Home cooked meals are typically smaller and lower in calories, fat, and sodium. Plus, it can be fun to try cooking new recipes and sharing the goodness with those you love. Try eating without the distraction of electronics to avoid overeating. Also, try packing healthy snacks with you to avoid an impulsive stop through a fast food drive through.
10. Meditate. Meditation does not have to mean buying a special pillow, dimming the lights, playing zen music, and chanting mantras. Meditation can simply be focusing all of your attention on some deep breaths. Your mind will wander, because that is what minds do. When this happen, try not to judge yourself for this and give yourself permission to refocus on your breath. Let your breath anchor you and feel your tension melt away. If you have a difficult decision to make, try quieting your mind with meditation to see if the answer comes to you.
And there you have it! May these final 48 days of 2018 bring you good health and happiness.