Having just returned from a wellness retreat at the Miraval Resort north of Tucson, I feel recharged and ready to make some changes in my life. However, before I dive into this post, I would like to make it clear that this is a commitment I am making with myself, more than a sermon to y’all in how to live a better life. I have come to realize that if I don’t practice balance in my life, how can I impress upon our children the importance of doing so in their lives? I would love to hear your suggestions on anything that may have worked for you, so please comment at the end of the post! xoM
Drink More Water
Sounds silly, but this is one of the hardest things for me to do. Especially during the brutal summer months, I get terrible headaches from dehydration that sometime turn into migraines, so this one is a biggie. If you are like me and find water boring, add flavor to your water: ginger, lemon, strawberries, mint….any thing you have on hand.
Unplug & Get a Bit of Zen
Whether you care to call it a daily reflection or meditation, take 5 or 10 minutes a day and turn everything off, sitting with your eyes closed, concentrating on your breath and nothing more. I downloaded a free app onto my phone called Headspace that can guide you through each session and help set up a daily ritual, no matter where you are.
Take 5 Minutes to Plan Your Day
I find that this goes hand in hand with giving me some zen. Setting a timer for 5 minutes to write a to-do list helps set my mind to a day of intent. Never mind that I lose most of my lists…I still feel like I am accomplishing something by writing them.
Each of these hacks can be done at home or on the road, and I find that the stretching piece is one on which I don’t place enough importance. This spring, in an effort to become more committed, I sauntered over to CorePower Yoga when I was in Dallas, and signed up. With the largest yoga network nationwide, CorePower has a nice range of classes, from beginner to expert, and each class is only one hour long. If I cannot make it to a class, I take 20 minutes to do some of the stretches I have learned in class. As a long time runner, I find that stretching is one thing I cannot forego without some major side effects.
Turn Up The Music
It never fails to puts me in a good mood, so why not? Whether it’s Mozart or Skynard that gets your heart pumping, start your day off with some of your favorite tunes and see where it leads you. (Can you tell my daughter just helped me put together a Spotify playlist?)
Eat More Veggies
For my lastest blood draw , my cholesterol was through the roof. Go figure. All you have to do is look at my Instagram feed to see that I need to place more emphasis on eating healthy. I was inspired by New York Times food critic Mark Bittman’s book, Eat Vegan Before 6:00. He was told by his doctor to make some major changes, and rather than walk away from his career as a food critic, he tries to eat a diet where 2/3 of the time he is eating more plant based foods. He has some great recipes in this book, plus I get a lot of great recipes and ideas off the website, cooking.nytimes.com.
Place an Emphasis on Sleep
I have been reading a lot about the importance of sleep, and specifically of having a healthy nighttime routine. Setting my Nighttime App on my iPhone was a start in regulating a set time to go to sleep and to wake up. Plus, dimming the lights and reading before bed every night has helped me train my brain to winding down. However, in all honesty, getting a good night sleep can be challenging. So while I place an emphasis on improving my sleep, I plan to do some more research and check back with you in another post dedicated to this topic. Until then, bonsoir!
All photos were taken at the Miraval Arizona Resort by Marci Symington for texAZtaste.com. I am not a physician, nor do I profess that any of these hacks will work for you. I am just hoping they work for me.