A better 2020. I know, it’s such a banality. Everywhere we turn we are bombarded with posts, tips and advice to change ourselves and our lives with the beginning of the new year. I hear ya! (And I feel ya!) It’s annoying and maybe not the best way to motivate us to make a change, let alone, a lasting one. Lose weight! Be more beautiful! Make more money! So much superficiality surrounds us. So many people offering plans, mentoring, coaching to change what you are into something different, something other than what you already are.
I am of the belief that we are all amazing as we are, but sometimes, intuitively, we know that we could love ourselves and others more. We could feed ourselves better, treat ourselves with more kindness, give our bodies movement needed to sustain our health. We could spend more time helping others and being of service to others, the animals, and our planet.
The following list that I present to you today is meant to inspire you to live a more conscious, meaningful and contented life. I believe that our emotional self is directly related to, and influenced by, our physical self. And our spiritual self is also affected by our emotional and physical. It is all related and connected so closely. And each part is important to tend to in order to feel whole.
Focusing solely on the physical, we may lose conscious connection to the emotional or spiritual aspects. Focusing too much on our emotional or spiritual and we neglect the physical. It is all a very delicate balance.
So, as a human being, who struggles just as any other of my fellow human beings, I wanted to share some of the things that both have helped me to feel more balanced and whole over the years that I began to consciously chose to create my life instead of just let life happen to me and also some things that I want to begin to incorporate into my wellness plan, not just on January 1st, but every day, no matter if it’s a “new year” or not. Because I believe in love and I believe we also need to love ourselves and that means having a look at ourselves periodically and, yes, making practical, attainable changes in our lives that will just make us feel good, love our lives and find a sense of balance, wholeness and wellness.
the quality or state of being healthy in body and mind, especially as the result of deliberate effort.
20 for 2020
- Make your self a priority. Being a wife and mother, I spent a long time of my life feeling guilty for even considering this. But it is so, so important. Think of yourself as you would someone you truly care for and retrain your mind to believe that! You are important. You need love and affection. You need rest and restoration. You need to take care of you. And if you still think that sounds selfish, consider that if you are not well, how can you be of service to anyone? So, taking care of you and making yourself a priority is not selfish.
- Eat in color. No, not candy and food dye color, we’re talking natural foods. Fruits and veggies. Get your servings in and make it a goal to have color in all of your meals and most of your snacks. These foods are a gift of the earth and they do our bodies wonders, providing us with energy, water, vitamins and minerals. It’s been said again and again, EAT YOUR VEGGIES! It doesn’t matter how you enjoy them, raw, cooked, boiled, stewed, just get them into your body. 🙂
- Allow yourself some “bad” foods. This may seem contradictory to number 2 but it is essential for wellness. Eating only fruits and veggies, you will go crazy. Allow yourself the cake, candy, ice cream, muffins, popcorn, chips, pastry, cookie. I used to try and be so “good” I failed at wellness all the time. Now, I always allow myself a treat. I love my cookies and chips and I have that pretty much daily, or at least when the craving strikes. I have maintained my healthy weight, even with the treats because I eat healthy all day and then allow for my treat. I also don’t overdo it. If it’s not “bad” in your mind, you’ll be less tempted to go all out. Just consider it a part of you taking care of you and feeding your soul. Obsessing over “good” and “bad” is not at all mentally healthy. (FYI there are a ton of organic and natural options to choose from.) Some of my favorites are: chocolate almond milk, Kettle brand chips, organic popcorn, Que Pasa Vegan Nachos (so yum), the list goes on and on. But I also love to bake cookies, muffins and other sweet treats with healthy ingredients, so remember that is still an extremely viable option. Treats don’t have to be chock-full of non-foods and unpronounceable ingredients. Check out my recipes for some inspiration.
- Move daily. Yoga and walking, although lightweight, are still my daily activities. I don’t like to sweat. I like to stretch and exercise myself but I like to feel comfortable and still able to keep myself in a condition where I can still take care of my other duties and spend time with my kids without being a total grump (chosen over censored word) because I am too sore to actually move. I stick to familiar forms of exercise because my body loves them and expects them. Do what you enjoy as a form of movement. And please do it in a gentle way with the intention of keeping yourself in a healthy state, rather than focusing on weight loss and how you look in the mirror or fit those jeans, although that may be an added bonus.
- Make a playlist. Did you know that listening to music is really good for your health and wellness? It doesn’t matter what kind of music, as long as it resonates with you and makes you feel good. Sometimes we need heavier music, depending on our mood, and sometimes we need relaxing music. Make yourself a playlist or two, or three and play music as often as you can. Music can help us to process emotions through melodies and especially lyrics, so don’t forget to sing along and open up your throat chakra.
- Make a book/reading list. Reading is also important for our mind and our emotions. There are so many genres to choose from and these choices can be different at different times, depending on what we are feeling or going through in life. Make a list of different genres of books and take some time to read, whenever you can. This should be an enjoyable hobby.
- Write down your goals. So, I didn’t want to get into resolutions but goals can be important. Keep them attainable and realistic, but also a little out of reach, otherwise you will set yourself up for failure and disappointment. Having goals, even daily goals, like cleaning your kitchen or folding the laundry still count as goals and meeting self-imposed goals really does something for our self-esteem and overall feeling of wellness.
- Learn about what interests you. It can be anything at all that you’ve always felt drawn to. I like to watch documentaries or shows that show different perspectives. Sometimes, I like to chose something to take in that I totally normally would not because I like to practice expanding my knowledge base and seeing the world in a different light. Continuing to learn and stimulate our minds is linked to living longer and staying more mentally and physically healthy.
- Try out some new recipes. Of course, I had to slip this one in. It is something I love and it can help you with numbers 8, 5, 3 and 2. Not only is this a good way to learn new things, it can help you also save money, save the environment and feel satiated.
- Do things out of your comfort zone. Nothing great was ever achieved by those who stayed comfortable. How do you feel when you imagine everything to be monotonous and ordinary day after day. Now, how do you feel when you imagine doing something you feel uncomfortable about? Are you feeling fearful, cringing, holding your breath? Break out of comfort and into discomfort and you will have just mastered a part of yourself. The fear and cringe will be gone and you will now feel more confident, have greater self-respect, and be less fearful in the future. Choose some things that you would never think to do, or have been too afraid to do and do them. Dream big. Try new things. Give yourself the gift of new experiences. You will be glad you did. Recently, I did a boudoir photo shoot for myself with a photographer and it was exactly because I have never felt “sexy”, especially after having 4 kids. But you know what? I’m also not a fan of widespread definitions of “sexy” and standards of “beauty”, so I wanted to also show that stretchmarks and some sagging skin can still be beautiful. I also have a few more lines on my face than I did a few years ago, and those are beautiful too.
- Be in more pictures (and videos). One day you will be dead. Sorry to be blunt, but it’s true. Leave your loved ones with some memories of you in your physical form. This can also be a self-confidence practice for those who really have low self-esteem. Be in the pictures and videos and view them, even just to practice not judging yourself so harshly. Learn to love your smile, your lines, your curves, your voice, your eyes. You are not your body but you inhabit it. Try and see beyond the physical and into the spirit that animates it.
- Call or get together with an old friend. Maybe you drifted apart over the years, but this person is still on your mind from time to time. Why not call them up and reconnect? Get together and catch up. Allow yourself to travel back in time and reminisce over old memories while simultaneously creating new ones.
- Start your day with a prayer or intention. When we wake up and check our phones as soon as our eyes open, we set our day off with anxiety. I know from experience. Even if I don’t check my phone, I can start my mind going with all of my to-do’s and/or things I am anxious or even angry or sad about. So, I changed that for myself by doing my prayers and reiki first thing. It starts my day in a positive light and focuses my mind in a different way. Setting intentions, we subconsciously carry them with us throughout our day. Writing an intention down will also help solidify it’s birth into our reality. Intentions do not have to be huge or insurmountable. You can simply intend to be present, to drink enough water, to take the stairs, to get some fresh air. Big or small, having set an intention, you are bound to be conscious of it throughout your day and that is great for self-development.
- Keep a gratitude journal. At the end of the day, or throughout the day, write down what you feel grateful for. What blessings crossed your path? What prayers were answered? Acknowledging these and reflecting upon them with gratitude creates space for more. Whatever we think upon, we are essential asking for more of. And gratitude is a vitamin for the soul.
- Say “I love you”, more. Nothing is permanent. Nobody is getting out of here alive. Say it and express it as often as you can.
- Ditch social media for actual social activity. Instead of so much wasted time stalking people on their accounts and feeling involved in their lives with likes and texts, how about getting together and hearing and seeing them in person! It’s not very popular anymore but believe me, it used to be an actual thing. It did. And it wasn’t that long ago. Introverts, I know it’s tough sometimes, and even draining, but you have to admit it can feel really good. No one wants to be alone all of the time. We are social by nature, even if sometimes it feels awkward. Visit family or friends, join a group with shared interests, or to meet new people. Most people are great and not too scary. We can also learn and gain so much from human face-to-face, in-the-flesh interaction.
- Go someplace new. A new cafe, restaurant, bookstore, mall, town, city, country. I’m sure these are already on your bucket list so what better time that now?
- Color, sculpt, mold or paint. Get artistic! Even if you don’t consider yourself an artist, art is expression, so express yourself! Buy some paint and canvases, coloring books and pencil crayons, sharpies, fabric, felt, whatever! Just get those creative juices flowing and you will also feel yourself and your life to be flowing much better. Art can help us release and process emotions. Writing and photography are art too, so take pictures or start a journal.
- Take vitamins. Vitamins can change how we feel quite a lot. A daily multivitamin is a great start. With google we now also can find so many remedies for different personal ailments so find a vitamin or mineral to help you with a personal ill. (Always consult with your doctor first.) I, personally take magnesium and kelp to help with my migraines. I also have been taking probiotics for years to help with digestion and cranberry to help with UTI prevention. Vitamin D is pretty rad too.
- Try using essential oils. Well, I am biased here. I tried DoTerra and I loved it. Literally, it changed my life. If you have any questions about oils, send me an email or leave a comment but there is so much information out there on how beneficail these plant essences are for our health and wellness. The plant kingdom has so very much to offer!
I sincerely hope that these 20 suggestions for 2020 have inspired you in some way to better yourself and those around you! You are important, now, and every day of the year.