TRUSTING THE PROCESS…
Over this past month I’ve felt extremely motivated to invest a little extra love into myself. As a Holistic Nutritionist I’m always helping patients to nurture their health and well being, so much that sometimes I forget to set time aside to actually practice what I preach. I thought it would be neat to dedicate thirty days towards bettering my health by integrating a few new sustainable habits into my life. Routine looks and feels completely different for each and every one of us depending on what the body needs most to feel supported from the inside out.
Having an education around health and wellness is one thing, but actually following through with implementing these practices is another. It’s natural to resist change so at first it takes a little extra work and commitment to make a new habit stick longterm.
In order to implement sustainable habits into my life its important that they are simple, basic, and short. I decided to jot down a few areas I wanted to focus more attention on like mindfulness, digestive health, and daily detoxification. I then wrote down a list of all the things that might help support these areas. I narrowed down that list to five simple rituals I could actually see myself doing every morning (weekends included!)
1. Practice meditating everyday
2. Take an apple cider vinegar shot every morning
3. Drink 2 litres of water everyday
4. Put my phone on airplane mode 8pm-8am
5. Dry brush before showering
TAKE TIME TO PREPARE …
I decided to start setting in advance to set myself up for a successful month. I created a simple meditation nook in the corner of my living room with my Halfmoon sit set, a warm cozy blanket, a couple of candles, and my journal. Next I bought an all natural dry brush from Amazon for under $15 dollars. I also bought a big jug of apple cider vinegar and found a cute little shot glass to drink it out of. Finally, I dug out a big 1 litre glass jar from my cupboard that’s easy to drink water out of on the daily.
Be able & willing to ADAPT your routine to the circumstances that present themselves…
Healthy stress management is definitely an area of my life that needs a little extra love and attention. It’s crazy how different I feel on days that I actually make time to nourish my mind with deep breathing and guided meditation. Being a yoga instructor, I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself to be the “perfect” yogi, however, I’ve come to realize that the “perfect” yogi does not actually exist. It’s about making time everyday to integrate gratitude, stillness, self love, and forgiveness into our everyday life.
During the first week I felt extremely motivated to add meditation into my morning routine. After going strong for two days, the weekend came by and hit me right back down to square one. To explain, we had a few friends over for the weekend and although I felt 100% dedicated to my goals, after a couple kombucha cocktails Friday night my determination to go to bed at a reasonable hour hit the dust. After skipping my morning meditation practice both Saturday and Sunday morning I felt heavy with disappointment. I was equally unsuccessful with my other goals and couldn’t figure out why it was so overwhelming to do things I knew were good for me. Why so much resistance to change??
After taking some time to reflect on my first week, I noticed my tendency to constantly seek perfection. I felt that if I didn’t wake up with the sun and meditate like a pro, what was the point of bothering to practice at all? WRONG! It’s okay to adapt to life and go with the flow. If you stay up late on Friday night then just sleep in and do an afternoon meditation or walking meditation through the forest instead. Being able and willing to adapt my routine to the circumstances that presented themselves was definitely my biggest take a way from week one.
Slow & steady IS the race…
I decided to try a new approach for the remaining weeks of the month. Instead of trying to add everything in all at once, I simplified things by only introducing 1-2 new habits every week.
Over the course of week two I focused on my goal to meditate every single day. I always used to feel that as a yoga instructor I shouldn’t need an app to guide me through meditation. I believed that I should have been able to master mediation all on my own. I was again SO WRONG! It’s okay if you are new to meditation or are a little out of practice (like me) to ask for help whether that’s from an instructor, guru or even an app on your phone. Most days my mind is buzzing louder than a bee hive and staying present can be harder than ever! I discovered an app called CALM and have really been enjoying the extra guidance it has provided me.
Also during this week I have been very dedicated to taking a shot of apple cider vinegar (ACV) every morning immediately after my meditation session. Raw, organic, unpasteurized ACV with the “mother” has so many amazing benefits for the body. One of the main reasons I take a shot (1 part ACV: 2 parts water) every morning on an empty stomach is to help stimulate my digestive organs and tell them “I’m awake now, time to get going!” Some of the other benefits of taking ACV is to support daily detoxification, improve gut health, lower glucose levels, relieve heart burn, alkalize the body… the list goes on! The first thing I noticed in this week is that my digestion became much more regular and my bloating went WAY down.
Week two wasn’t perfect, but one thing that became much more manageable was taking an extra 15-20 mins every morning to dedicate to myself.
Consistency is the KEY to sustainability
Week three was all about hydration! Drinking more water significantly improved my skin, digestion, energy, and mental focus. Something that helped me to be consistent in my water intake was choosing the right water bottle. I chose one that is easy to drink out of, plastic free and a manageable size (one litre). Prior to this month I was only drinking about half a litre per day. So as not to get overwhelmed I decided to set a manageable goal of increasing my intake by half a litre every one to two days. I recently started drinking distilled water and am really loving the switch from regular tap water.
During this week I also started to really focus on digital detoxing. What this means to me is choosing a time of day to turn off all electronics (especially my phone). Actually getting into the habit of remembering “it’s 8pm, time to turn the phone to airplane mode and get off my computer” can be really challenging at first. Since consistently working at this habit throughout the week (although not always perfect), I found it much easier to establish a healthier balance, with my phone specifically.
If at FIRST you don’t succeed, try, try AGAIN…
I started integrating dry brushing into my routine this week and have actually started to crave the feeling on my skin. Our skin is one of the body’s primary elimination organs, as a result, dry brushing can be such an amazing self care ritual for supporting daily detoxification. It works to stimulate the lymphatic system by increasing the removal of waste through lymph fluid. It also helps to improve the texture of your skin by making it softer and even reducing cellulite. As dry brushing is a stimulating activity, I recommend adding this into your morning routine when possible. Depending on how much time I have, I usually try to dry brush for about 2-3 mins.
It has been really neat to see how all five habits have come together. By gradually introducing new habits every week, this has become a much more sustainable routine and overall much less overwhelming. I feel proud of my accomplishments and am excited to continue integrating these practices into my daily life.
LOOKING BACK OVER THE MONTH…
Over the past month i’ve been really focusing on surrendering to the process, and accepting myself for exactly who I am, imperfections and all. No change happens overnight and there’s no quick fix to sustainable health. It takes consistent dedication, daily motivation and endless self love to truly make a new habit stick longterm!