I am so excited to share with you 9 of my absolute favourite wellness practices. These are the tried and true practices that have kept me on a path of mental and physical wellbeing over the years. There is no particular order to them. I actually jotted them down in a journal while bathing my two small kids (Because that’s how my life is right now. Let’s go with it.). Take them. Share them. Make them your own. I hope you enjoy!
- Be your full Self. A lot of time we fall into the trap of trying to keep the peace and in doing so we deny our own ideas and our own potential in life. Author and feminist, Chmamanda Ngozi Adichie, writes about women, “Her job is not to make herself likeable, her job is to be her full self, a self that is honest and aware of the equal humanity of other people.” So my practice for you is not to make yourself likeable. Your job is to unapologetically be your own beautifully brilliant self.
- Failure is necessary. Failing is not a top ten favourite activity of mine (or a top 100 activity for that matter) but, the way I see it, if you are not failing, you are not trying new things. And if you are not trying new things, you are not growing. So does it suck and hurt your ego? Yes. But it is ABSOLUTELY an essential part of growth and change. View failure as a sign that you are challenging yourself and growing as a person.
- Don’t try to do it all. The day before winter break I had 3 people come up to me and say, “I don’t know how you do it all.” My reply was, “I don’t.” My husband takes my kids to school in the morning and picks them up most days. He does all of our grocery shopping and cooks most meals. If you are a family member or a good friend of mine, you received no Christmas cards this year. Because I didn’t send any. Don’t try to do it all. It is impossible.
- Surround yourself with those who inspire you. The people who you surround yourself with have a huge impact on your life. Make sure that people in your day-to-day life are those who lift you up. It could be their awesome outlook on life, or a wicked sense of humour, or an inspiring spiritual life.
- Take small steps. We live in a time when big sweeping actions are all the rage. 20-day juice fast! 90-day yoga challenge! Write a novel in one month! One of my favourite wellness writers, Dan Tricarico, warns against that. He says, “A commitment to the smaller action builds the habit.” I agree. If you do small actions over time, they create a habit. A habit over time has the potential to create remarkable change. Let’s embrace the small consistent actions. They have the power to change our world.
- Keep experimenting. There is no one way to achieve wellness. Your own wellness practices will change through time. This is good! Your practices can and SHOULD vary and develop based on your own needs, your work demands, your circumstances. Last week we had a Polar Vortex sweep through Alberta (It’s a real thing. You can google it). Temperatures were between -30 and -40 Celcuis. Did I even attempt to go to the gym or wake up at 5 am do my yoga? No! I allowed myself to hibernate in a big way. This week will look different. Experiment. Play around. Try new things.
- Know the WHY behind your wellness. Why are you keeping yourself healthy? Why is your health so important to you? Here it is for me — I want to be healthy because I have two young children and my gosh I need every ounce of energy possible to keep up with them. I want to be healthy because I am writing and publishing my first novel (more news on this soon!) and working full time as an assistant principal and that requires me to be at my optimum health. Knowing this gets me on my yoga mat or to the gym or eating broccoli when I would rather have cheezies (just writing that made me want to find those cheezies.). Know the WHY behind your wellness.
- Spend time alone. In a recent Instagram post, author Elizabeth Gilbert writes, “Isolation is when you cut yourself off from the world; Solitude is when you open yourself up to it completely, but with no distractions from anybody else.” Amen, Elizabeth! Spend time in solitude. Meditate. Pray. Write. Journal. Open yourself up completely to the world.
- Do more of what fills your heart with joy. This week I wrote in my journal, “I need to waste more time.” What I mean by that is I need to do less of the things that I HAVE to do or that I feel that I SHOULD do. And I need to do more of what fills my heart with joy. Like going for long walks outside. Or wandering aimlessly through the library. Do more or what you love.
Wishing you a fantastic last week of January! And here’s to changing the world! One small step at a time.