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Mindfulness

How to Make Your Wellness a Priority 

 

After a grueling year finding our way through the pandemic, things are slowly but surely returning to some sense of normalcy. But with all the stress that we experienced from COVID-19, you may have found it tough to keep up with your normal healthy habits and routines. If you feel like your wellness has taken a seat on the back burner, you aren’t alone—and it’s never too late to pick up where you left off!

 

If the thought of returning to your pre-pandemic habits and routines makes you want to crawl into bed and hide, don’t fret. With the help of the right tools and strategies, you can remove the overwhelm and ease your way back into the process.

Assess Your Wellbeing

Before you can make any concrete goals, it’s important to take some time to assess where you are now and what areas of life you’d most like to focus on. Maybe your sleep hygiene flew out the window, or you stopped taking your daily walks. Wherever you currently stand, what matters is you analyze what parts of your life matter most to you.

 

You might find that your list of goals is miles long and there’s a lot you want to tackle. While there’s nothing wrong with that, an important step to setting achievable goals is narrowing down your priorities to only the most important items, and leaving the rest for another time. If you try to go after too much at once, you could end up stretched beyond capacity and ultimately burn out quickly. To avoid this, try honing in on just three to five goals that are the most important to your wellbeing.

Be Kind to Yourself

Getting back to our goals after taking a long break can be challenging, and this is especially true when it comes to returning to our pre-pandemic lives after so much disruption. A critical part of the process is to remember to give yourself grace and kindness along the way. It can be easy to feel frustrated or discouraged if we aren’t exactly where we want to be. You might feel shame, frustration, or fear of whether or not you can measure up. That’s natural! That said, you don’t want to let these feelings debilitate you from getting back on track.

 

To combat this, make it a point to speak lovingly to yourself at all times, and to remember that so much of your ability and confidence to achieve your goals is a direct result of how you think about yourself and support yourself along the way. Avoid falling into the trap of speaking negatively to yourself or doubting capability, and instead try to be your own biggest cheerleader. It might feel tough at first, but the more you practice, the more natural it will become!

Track Your Progress

It can be tough to reach our goals if we don’t track them in some way. One tracking method called visualization can do wonders for your motivation and commitment to the process. When you visually track your goals, you’re able to apply structure and clarity to your efforts. This helps you stay on track, see how far you’ve come, and give you a source of encouragement when you’re feeling down.

 

While the thought of getting back to your own health and wellness after a long period of time can feel overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. If you remember to give yourself grace and keep in mind the fact that you deserve to feel your best, you will be better equipped to show up for yourself day in and day out. And to help you get started with visual goal tracking, these printable habit trackers are the perfect way to get going with your goals.

 

Remember, it’s never too late to make yourself a priority!

Click on the picture to download your own copy of the Wellness Wheel

Don’t Let COVID-19 Keep You from Your Yoga Practice

Today’s guest post is from Sheila Johnson, author and founder at Well Sheila.  Read her amazing post and be sure and check out her great website!

 

Don’t Let COVID-19 Keep You from Your Yoga Practice

 

If you’ve been self-isolating for some time, you may have found that many of your normal routines have gone out the window. But your yoga habits are not something you should toss so easily. Practicing yoga is a great way to stay healthy and sane in what is ostensibly the most stressful time in our lives as a whole since 2001. Unfortunately, online classes cost money, and if your hours have been cut or you’ve experienced layoffs, that might be in short supply.

 

Never fear, however, because there are plenty of ways to fit your yoga routine into your day without watching your savings dwindle away. Here’s how:

 

Get comfortable.

 

The most important aspect of your at-home yoga practice is having the right space. This doesn’t have to be an entire room, and even a small corner is enough if you set it up correctly. One thing you do need is peace and quiet. This can be tough if you have a house full of children or your spouse is also working from home. In this case, it might be best to think outside of the proverbial box and outfit your garage or shed with your yoga gear.

 

Gear up.

 

Speaking of yoga gear, now is the perfect time to review what you do and don’t have. An effective home yoga studio should have at least a mat, as well as props like blocks and a yoga strap. You’ll also want to check the closet to ensure that you have comfortable, form-fitting clothing so you don’t feel constricted. Even if you don’t have any of this handy, everybody’s favorite store, Target, of course, has everything you need to get started without breaking the bank. And, if you are still uncomfortable going out into the public, Target offers free shipping on $35 or more purchases. What’s more, according to these Target savings tips, you can also save money by shopping Top Deals and browsing through their weekly sales.

 

Learn to meditate.

 

Meditation and yoga go hand in hand, and as Think Positive 30 explains, there are many health benefits. But the former is often more difficult to master than the latter. Surprisingly, although meditation is a time when you’re supposed to disconnect, technology may actually be your greatest ally here. You can use free or inexpensive meditation apps – Women’s Health likes HeadSpace, Calm, and a handful of others – to get yourself in the right mindset to relax.

 

Know how to stay safe.

 

Keeping yourself safe when doing yoga outside of the classroom setting means listening to your body. Don’t overdo it, and, if you haven’t practiced in a while, be gentle with yourself. While you should certainly try to give yourself new challenges each day, if you get to a point where you feel worse after than you did before, you’ll be doing yourself more harm than good. When your goal is to save money, the last thing you want is to have to pay for expensive doctor visits because you threw your back out trying to progress too fast without guidance.

 

Becoming the master of your own yoga domain is empowering to say the least. And it’s an excellent opportunity to break away from the monotony of quarantine. Don’t buy into the notion that you have to funnel hundreds of dollars and countless hours into designing your own home studio. All you really need is a quiet corner and the willingness to ease into a new routine and treat your mind and body with respect.

Image via Pexels

The Benefits of Mindful Meditation

The Benefits of Mindful Meditation

Krista Harper

 

Meditation has been around for thousands of years. Initially, the practice was linked with certain spiritual aspects of some religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism. It was used as a technique to help people achieve a higher plane of discipline in the said religion. It has evolved over time, however, with much of today’s discussion about meditation focusing on its benefits upon the wellness of the body and mind. Men and women of science have come out to show the positive changes that the body and mind can undergo as a result of consistent and mindful meditation.

What is Mindful Meditation?

Although there are many different meditation techniques, mindful meditation is one of the best and most effective. The trick here is to focus your mind on your very own experiences and make the conscious decision to focus upon your sensations, emotions, and thoughts in the present. Here the person meditating must be aware of their body and mind, practice breathing techniques for focus, mental imagery and muscle relaxation. When you focus on your experiences, a lot of things that were shrouded before suddenly become very clear.

 

Benefits of Mindful Meditation

Practicing mindful meditation is quite effective and offers practitioners a wide array of benefits to help nourish the body and mind. Some of these include:

 

Better sleep

Sleep is a crucial part of our lives. With proper sleep, you are more likely to find yourself in a great mood and feeling well balanced, full of energy and sharp as a whip. When you practice mindful meditation, you are able to clearly see what is keeping you from having a good night’s sleep.  This way, you have avenues to address the problem and achieve better sleep. According to certain research, mindful meditation has even helped older adults with sleep problems improve their quality of life by elevating their quality of rest.

 

Lowering stress

Stress is one of the few things that can cause us to get sick emotionally and also have a physical manifestation by evolving into other illnesses. Due to the fast-paced lives most people lead, we find that people don’t have an appropriate outlet for their stress. Therefore, it simply continues adding up to the point where everything can devolve and even begin to cause issues like heart disease, obesity, anxiety, and even depression. By practicing mindful meditation, you can actually reduce the amount of the stress hormone cortisol in the body bringing peace and clarity of mind.

 

Boost productivity

In most cases, the path to success is determined by how productive you are. The more productive you are, the better you perform at work and the better the chances of moving up the ladder. Researchers have found conclusive evidence that mindful meditation does a lot to enable the brain to retain attention for longer periods of time. What’s more, you also find that there is a significant change in executive functioning, working memory, reduced anxiety, and visual-spatial processing. As such, you are able to work for longer and process information a lot better. This will often give you an edge in a competitive environment.

About the Author:

Krista Harper is a local yoga instructor and freelance writer from Southern California. She regularly covers lifestyle, mental health, and nutrition topics and has a passion for helping people create balance in their lives.

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