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It’s time to make some changes. Don’t you think? Because it’s easy for our daily habits to get stuck in a rut and not move towards the changes that we dream of. Yes, we might feel like we don’t have the time. But, even during the busiest seasons of our lives, we can make small steps towards new wellness habits.
As you might already know, I’m an advocate for making incremental changes that motivate you daily rather than giant leaps that often lose momentum after a week or two - anyone else been there too? So, I’ve created a list of my favourite wellness habits that can fit into your day in as little as 2 minutes...and we can all find a couple of minutes for ourselves...
This is so simple and you can even fit it into your workday. Find the natural pauses in your day like waiting in traffic, standing in a queue or waiting for the kettle to boil. Rather than reach for your phone, use these moments to be still; check in with yourself, repeat your favourite mantra. Breathe deeply and release anything that is weighing you down. Not only will you be amazed at how many of these moments you can find in your day but also at the benefits that you feel from pausing just for a minute or two.
Using positive statements throughout your day can help to counterbalance some of the negative thoughts and self-criticism that we all experience. I love using them to remind me of what my daily intentions are too. It’s important to choose affirmations that resonate deeply with you - here are a few positive affirmations to get you started.
Would you like to make a change in your diet? You’re not alone. Most of us have something that we’d love to change, but we find it challenging for one reason or another. I know that it doesn’t always feel easy, but the benefits are long-lasting and help us age with increased health and vitality. So, what is it for you? Do you want to eat cleaner - less sugar, meat, caffeine or processed food? Remember that slow and steady wins the race. Make incremental changes that you can acclimatise to, and you’ll be much more likely to make those changes permanent.
If you’ve tried meditation in the past and not continued the practice, then encourage you to give it another try. If you struggle to find 10-15 minutes a day, then start with 1-2 minutes...you’ll still feel some benefits, and it’s much better to move forward slowly than not at all. If you’re new to meditation, then here are a few more tips to help you make meditation one of your daily wellness habits.
CREATE QUIET ZONES
Start and end your day with quiet moments of connection. Leave the TV off and your phone out of sight while you settle down and enjoy some quiet time alone or with your family. These moments could be sharing mealtimes or simply sharing what’s gone well in your day. Making these moments part of your daily ritual will become a habit over time and can help to strengthen a deeper connection with yourself and those you love most.
RECONNECT WITH NATURE
Even in the colder months, it helps to get outside as often as you can. Nothing made me happier during the lockdown periods than to see so many more people making the most of a simple walk - either alone or with their families...what a wonderful way to re-connect.
Try getting moments of fresh air during your day too, by enjoying your breakfast outside, taking a walk at lunchtime or simply throwing the windows open while you work.
Think that naps are reserved for children and your retirement years? Well, research shows that they can work wonders for boosting our health and wellbeing. Even a nap as short as 10-15 minutes can leave us feeling more alert and more productive. I know that taking a rest in the middle of a workday isn’t always a practical option - unless you’re working from home - but they’re worth adding to your weekend wellness plan if you have a chance. Ready to give naps a try? Here are a few more tips for making power naps one of your wellness habits.
TRY A 30 DAY CHALLENGE
If you love a challenge, then this is for you. I create these for myself all the time, and they help me take that small step forward every day. Choose a wellness habit from this post - or any other habit that you feel inspired to start - and commit to doing it daily for the next 30 days. Print a copy of my 30 day wellness habit tracker, pin it somewhere you’ll see it easily and use it to track your progress. It’s incredible how keeping a visual record helps you to stay on track and increases your motivation.
Creating a daily gratitude habit is often referred to as life-changing, and I completely agree. In today’s media intense world, it’s so easy to get drawn into negativity and comparison. This causes us to focus on the things that we lack rather than those we are blessed with. Thankfully, it’s simple to change this with a simple daily gratitude practice…(and a little less media if you feel so inclined). It doesn’t take long to think of 3-5 things that you’re grateful for - try it now. Feels good, doesn’t it? It’s said that writing them down makes the practice even more powerful. Try keeping a gratitude journal or simply jot them down in your day planner, whatever feels more manageable for you.
Our senses are overloaded with more information than ever before and our stress and anxiety levels are at an all-time high...coincidence? I think not. It’s essential that we give ourselves a break from the never-ending stream of noise that is directed at us daily. It’s not only what we consume on our phones, TV and tablets but also the non-stop notifications, messages and emails. Try creating clear boundaries around using your devices, such as not before 8 am and never after 8 pm. Having control over the information we consume is so very important, and you’ll love how liberating it feels.
I hope that I’ve given you enough ideas to get started and that you feel inspired to add a new wellness habit to your day to start refreshing your mind, body and spirit. Remember to start slowly and, don’t wait...you don’t need a Monday or a new month...today’s the best day to start moving forward - don’t you think?..
AUTHOR: LEANNA DOOLIN
Co – Founder of holistic skincare brand, Pure Thoughts and advocate for women finding pause in their day to breathe deeply, give thanks and reconnect to what matters. Loves early mornings, dogs and books that you can’t put down.