This summer I took time to unplug and re-boot. Limited social media and blogging. I thought it would be difficult at first but it was so refreshing! I felt guilty for not posting enough and sometimes even lazy for taking a break to take care of myself. Why is it that we sometimes feel guilty for putting our health first ahead of projects and deadlines?
Mental and physical health are so important to our everyday lives. Poor health in either area can have short and long lasting effects on your work, relationships, and self-esteem. Social media, society pressures and television can also have a negative impact on your subconscious and affect you in ways of which you’re not even aware. The shows you watch, the music you listen to…it all makes a difference. We’re so attached to our screens and perpetually stimulated often times not giving our minds time to rest or our bodies the fuel it needs. You absolutely have to take time to unplug. I want to share with you some of the takeaways from my own health re-boot and would love for you to share yours below!
I’ve never had a problem eating if you know what I’m sayin’… I love food…but when you’re super busy sometimes it’s easier to eat out or even worse, skip meals. I never really thought about the effects of “not having time for lunch” would have on me—if anything I thought I was saving calories! Obviously that’s stupid. Your body needs fuel, good fuel, spaced out throughout the day to keep you going and your energy levels high. I was ALWAYS tired, in part because of my schedule, but also because of my diet so the first step in my re-boot was to re-think the way I was eating. I started with the Arden’s Garden 2-Day Detox and followed up with a healthy eating plan and schedule. Meal prep, meal prep, meal prep!
I like to think I’m moderately active. I walk to work, go to the gym (when I feel like it) and try to make healthy choices. I ran my 3rd half marathon two weeks ago and was feeling pretty accomplished. Although I’m not completely inactive I felt I needed a change to my fitness routine. I can admit I don’t push myself that hard in the gym and I give myself a pass if I’m tired or don’t feel like working out one day. I needed someone to hold me accountable, push me outside of my comfort zone and get me the results I was looking for.
Cue the personal trainer.
Best and worst decision of my life.
The worst (not really) because let’s face it, it’s hard as shit and I want to cry every session, but the best because I’m making a long term investment in my health. The best because I feel great and have so much more energy. The best because I’m learning how to push myself physically in ways I’ve never done before. And the best because I’m putting myself first. So worth the time, money and energy.
STEP AWAY FROM THE PHONE, COMPUTER, EVERYTHING! Take a deep breath and unplug.
I attended a short talk yesterday titled “Surviving to Thriving” by Dr. Kristen Race, Ph.D. She shared awesome tips for stress-relief and mindfulness. She reminded us of the importance of building resilience against the inevitable stresses in daily life. There is always going to be something but the key is how you rebound and reboot. How you handle the stress can send you into a spiral of chronic stress, lasting hours, days or years, or keep you at your optimal brain functioning level allowing you to think clearly and logically. I want to share with you my favorite notes and takeaways from her talk in hopes it can make a difference for you too.
| Mindfulness |
Pay attention to the present moment with kindness. As we practice it gets easier, just like muscle memory.
| Breathing + Meditation |
Start with 5 minutes/day to disconnect, close your eyes and simply breath. Focus only on your breath and “wrestle your mind to the ground”.
| Connection |
Make time to visit friends and family instead of texting or calling. Low real-life social connection, eye contact, hugging, etc., is worse than smoking or high blood pressure.
| Engrave the Good |
How many times has someone given you constructive feedback, both positive and negative, but only the negative stuck with you? Naturally our minds are more sensitive to negative information with stresses enforcing those negative experiences. “Magical moments are easy to miss when you’re not paying attention.” This could be something as simple as an admirer gazing at how beautiful you are and you don’t even notice or how excited your dog is to see you when you get home.
| Three Good Things |
Recognize 3 good things from your day at the end of the day. 3 minutes for 14 days. Try it and see how you feel!
| Embrace the Mistakes |
Making mistakes is a part of your life journey. It’s inevitable. Show the same compassion to yourself for a mistake the same you would a friend. Keep it positive and don’t be so hard on yourself!
| Kindness |
Performing 1 act of kindness a day can improve mindfulness and boost serotonin. It benefits you just as much as the other person.
| Tying it All Together |
Play the “Rose, Bud, Thorn” game at the end of the day.
Rose: A good experience.
Thorn: A obstacle or mistake.
Bud: An act of kindness.
“The best support you can give yourself is a calm and aware presence.”
I hope this reaches someone who needs it! I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences below!
Well wishes and happy thinking!
Personal notes above from Dr. Race's talk are majority direct quotes and paraphrases.