Most of us have had a lot of time to re-imagine our lives.
To successfully navigate our changing world brought on by life’s circumstances, many of us have had to learn the fine art of the ‘pivot’. Restrictions we ordinarily would never have chosen for ourselves became necessary in our ongoing day-to-day experiences. We have had to learn to accept and live with uncertainty.
As we turn the page on this past year, looking forward allows us to happily shake ourselves free from what was, to what is before us now, and step into a new creation.
A new year is an ideal time to envision our best selves. Who am I now? Is part of that envisioning.
Our best self is easier and faster to achieve with a wellness routine, one that supports and empowers us to continue along the road to fulfilling our highest vision. Feeling well focused, having more energy and a sense of all around improved wellness resonates with most of us. Importantly, we are better equipped to navigate changes in the world around us.
Wellness routines are meant to be flexible and adjustable, allowing for rotating schedules and responsibilities around work, family, social and community life. If you are unaccustomed to making your wellness a priority, it may take a different mindset to adopt a wellness routine,
i.e. a “want to” rather than a “have to”.
As long as what you are doing is healthy and empowering -- allowing for the natural rhythms
of life’s ebb and flow -- you will feel more present, and more able to manage what is before us.
With so much uncertainty in our lives today, it becomes even more important to learn to accept the things we cannot change. Acceptance reduces our stress levels and allows us to better control our reactions and our thoughts.
Affirmative thinking is an important empowering step on the road to wellness. Finding the ‘half full’ rather than the ‘half empty’ can go a long way to relieve anxiety. We do not stop trying our best to achieve a better outcome, yet we work with the reality of the here and now.
The adage, ‘One day at a time’ helps millions of people around the world in recovery.
Follow your thoughts, paying attention to the words you speak and how you speak them. Positivity, optimism, gratitude and happiness can be contagious and uplifting -- mentally, physically and spiritually.
Keep in mind that change is constant and inevitable.
In my book, Living the EnerQi Connection, I write about nature’s seasons to describe changes in life that are cyclical and ongoing. The warm, sunny, rainy days of Spring turn into the long hot days of Summer, which in turn become the shorter, cold, darker days of Autumn which leads to even colder, wet, windy, dark days of Winter…and then back to a new Spring. While we may move ourselves to places with less intense weather cycles, we cannot control the natural changes of the universe.
We can, however, control and gain mastery of our emotional health, physical well-being, spiritual connectiveness, and mental calmness by maintaining an established meditative practice, deliberate sleep habits, a healthy varied diet, consistent exercise and a well-rounded lifestyle.
A meditative practice is a wonderful way to start and/or finish your day. Experiment with different practices to determine what works best for you. There is no right or wrong way to meditate, with exploration you will find your right path. Intentional practice will help you to stay present, balanced, and better able to cope with the demands of an everchanging world.
Aromatherapy has been shown to enhance relaxation from stress while helping to lower cortisol levels as you move through the day. Choose Lavender oil, Orange oil, Yin-Ylang, Sandalwood or any pure organic natural aromatics that provide your idea of a pleasant smell. Automizers are easy to use while ensuring a continued scent experience in your space.
An option for an immediate hit of calmness is to place a few drops of oil on a cotton ball or tissue to carry up your sleeve or in your pocket. Together with a slow deep breath, this can readily transport you anywhere, anytime, to a sense of calm, to at least momentarily, quash feelings of anxiety.
Most anytime and anywhere, you can tap into the power and art of taking long, deep, slow, abdominal breaths. Belly breathing allows us to take a moment to empower, relax, connect within and recenter ourselves.
Always, make time for restorative sleep. Sleeping well is a precursor to a healthy immune system and balanced mental/emotional wellbeing.
In bed, before you fall asleep, relax your body and your mind. You may choose long, languid deep breathing, meditative breathing, or mindful breath, as a way to slowly drift into a relaxing sleep. Visualize yourself floating as you drift into your happy place. Connect with a feeling of gratitude or love, if only for a very few minutes.
Spending time outdoors in nature, even if just for a short walk, is a primary way to enhance overall wellness. Pay attention to your surroundings, notice colors, smells, the sky, clouds. Breathe deeply as you make a mental note of your sensory experience. You can then recall those moments of beauty throughout the day using a slow deep breath to move you to a relaxing stress-free moment.
When short for time, a quick 3-min burst of movement, elevating your heartbeat, can stimulate dopamine receptors in your brain. Regular, ongoing, scheduled walking, running, or a workout will activate the feel-good brain endorphins to stimulate relaxation, calmness and enliven your life force or EnerQi. Stress levels are reduced or eliminated when endorphin levels are elevated.
EnerQI is a term I coined meaning the energetic vibration or electromagnetic force field that surrounds each of us as we move through life. A steady workout routine stimulates this force field while enhancing blood and oxygen, circulating cells, lymphatic fluid and stimulating the brain and the organ system.
In order to stay strong with an elevated immune system you will need to choose clean, pesticide- free, (organic if possible) healthy foods for your meal selections.
Select from the rainbow of colors from the varied fruits and vegetables you see seasonally. The brightest and darkest fruits and vegetables are the most phytonutrient rich in the vitamins and minerals we need to enhance our immune system and feed our brains.
You may want to explore a Mediterranean diet which includes olive oil, nuts, seeds, whole grains and legumes. Eat lean animal protein in limited amounts, adding healthy fats, seasonal fresh fruit, and vegetables. Drink 6-8 glasses of water a day, turn away from processed snacks, excess amounts of white or yellow foods, caffeine, alcohol, drugs and added sugars.
Important healthy tips- Choose portions the size of your palm; chew thoroughly, eat slowly; stop when you are full, practice moderation when eating desserts; eat earlier rather than later in the evenings.
This may be an opportune time to consult online with an integrative medical practitioner. An herbal tonic, tincture, or vitamin addition might be helpful. When the time is right, Acupuncture, Bodywork, Body Alignment can all be welcome additions to a wellness program.
The power of connection, often challenging in these times, is an eloquent reminder of our humaneness.
Maintain communication with family, friends and coworkers even though in-person gatherings may not be possible. Reach out for professional help immediately if you feel yourself spiraling into depression or despair. Avail yourself to the wonders of digital communication via Facetime, Zoom and the like.
Sensitivity and helpfulness to the needs of others is important during anxious times.
Reaching out to those in need is especially valuable. A simple smile or greeting while establishing eye contact can go a long way to brighten a day.
A well-rounded wellness program includes healthy sensuality. If you do not have a lover, be your own best lover by exploring and welcoming your body’s wants and needs.
Tap into your creative expression by coloring your life with music, art, reading, cooking, puzzles, gardening, dancing etc.
These simple wellness steps are intended to enhance and empower you. Moving forward with clarity and purpose is vision paired with action. It is a new world out there; allow yourself the opportunity to feel empowered, make your lifestyle work for you in the best possible way. Each one of us has the power within to make our life, humanity, the world, a better place.……
One day at a time.