Let’s face it. We live in a crazy world. Work, kids, pets, jobs, meal planning, illness and other responsibilities fill our days and nights. Sometimes I wonder how we keep it all together. And yes, even some days I wonder what the answer is to actually surviving the day. And not only surviving but getting through life and staying healthy at the same time: physically, mentally and spiritually.
Global Wellness Day, the second Saturday of June, is a social project created to remind us to take care of ourselves. This task sounds simple enough, right? But that isn’t always the case. Somehow the responsibilities, schedules, deadlines, you know, the chaos of life, commandeered the driver’s seat. But now is the time to grab the wheel and take back control of our wellness. Even if it’s just for one day, ask yourself, “How can I live a healthier and better life?” After all, “one day can change your whole life!”
Below are my five favorite ways that help me decompress and get back on track to wellness in all three aspects of life: physically, mentally and spiritually.
Physical Wellness: Yoga
Physical wellness encompasses so many different aspects that it can be overwhelming at times. One way that I’ve found that fills various aspects of wellness is yoga. The time I spend on my mat (even if it is a short period of time) brings me back to my center. It fills me with life again. And it’s a pretty amazing workout too! I heard a friend say the other day, “I thought I was in decent shape until I started to practice yoga.” Yoga can be challenging, in a different way, but our body and mind hungers for the challenge. During each practice, we become more balanced, more aligned and stronger then the time before. We progress and grow each time we are on the mat, not only physically, but spiritually and mentally too.
If you haven’t tried yoga, why not give it a chance. At the bottom of the article, I’ve listed two of my favorite online yoga instructors and their videos are FREE. Check it out!
Physical Wellness: Gardening
Not many people know but I am an introvert. No I am not shy but I do I need time to decompress. And gardening is one of those ways that I do so. In fact, it’s my favorite way to decompress. There is something to be said about walking barefoot, digging in the dirt, pulling weeds, planting seeds, nurturing them, harvesting their goods and feeding my family. It fills my soul. Replenishes my spirit. And feeds our bodies. Gardening is my lifeline in this stressful world.
Is there a way you can get active by getting your hands in the dirt? Maybe a small urban garden planter to grow herbs in or possibly a small raised garden box in your backyard? My suggestion is to start small, but definitely don’t wait. Get your hands dirty now and reap all the benefits.
Mental Wellness: The Great Outdoors
I’m a simple woman with simple needs. Sometimes all I need after a long day is to walk barefoot through the grass and let the sun warm my skin. Being outside in nature recharges my batteries. It actually recharges my entire family. If you were to visit our backyard this time of year, you would most likely see my husband, Nathan, and I and our two dogs, Esmee and Emma (and maybe even a chicken or two…or five), lying in the grass together staring up at the sky. No one says a word (or a bark or peep). We just lie there soaking it all in.
And we’re not the only ones who believe that the great outdoors soothes the soul. A study published in the July 2015 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that a 90-minute walk through a natural environment had a major positive impact on participants. After spending time in nature, the brain scans of the participants showed decreased blood flow to the area of the brain that causes everything from bad moods, to feeling sad, to worrying and even to major depression. Nature naturally shuts down these negative feelings.
So put down your smartphone or your iPad and turn off the T.V. and trade in you gadgets for nature. It’s healing to the soul!
Mental Wellness: Books, Books & More Books
Reading a book, whether it is business related, health related, inspirational or even recreational, helps me unwind when I am stressed. It’s so easy to sit down after a long, what I call a “character-building” day and switch on the T.V. But what’s on T.V. rarely helps us grow or decompress.
Reading expands our minds. It’s proven to be mentally stimulating, reduce stress, increase knowledge, expand our vocabulary, improve our memory, help develop stronger analytical thinking, improve our focus and concentration and bring about inner peace and tranquility. All of this from reading a book? So dust off that book you’ve been meaning to read today!
Spiritual: Meditate on Gratitude
For me there is nothing greater than gratitude. In this crazy world we are inundated with the thought process of needing more. Our minds are forced to believe that we will never have enough, when in fact most of us have more than enough in life. We may think, “The Jones’ have a new car. I really want a new car!” Or “Did you see the big, beautiful house that is being built just down the road? Boy, I really need a house like that!” These thoughts can easily run through our minds on a daily basis, but only if we allow them to. Nurturing an attitude of gratitude helps replace these thoughts of need with a sense of contentment for what we have right here, where we are in life today. Yes, life can really dish out the lemons from time to time. And sometimes it’s difficult to make lemonade with them. But gratitude will always bring us back to what is most important in life.
Recently, after reading a book on living a life of gratitude I decided to embark on the challenge of documenting “one thousand gifts” over the next few months. These gifts are the everyday parts of life, some significant and other mundane but all remarkable through the eyes of gratitude. Gratitude changes lives. It heals hearts. It changes thought processes and opens new doors. After all, there is always something to be thankful for.
So on this Global Wellness Day why not refocus your energy on improving your health and wellness! What are a few ways you plan to enrich your life with wellness?
A few links to my favorite online Yogis: