If you've read my emails for a long time, you know that I'm not a New Years Resolution person. My reason is that I find the best success in changing your lifestyle comes from daily action... let's call them habits, and you can start at any time. Likewise, many health downfalls come from regular "bad" habits - stopping at the drive-thru, scrolling your phone, mouth or shallow breathing, afternoon cookies or coffee (there's a reason for cravings, we can figure them out).
However, I do find it's beneficial to reflect on the past year: what I loved, what I learned, what I'd like to leave behind or do differently. I also like to contemplate what themes or intentions I'd like to set for the next year. We're not running around to parties this holiday, so it's a great opportunity to go a little deeper and be more mindful.
Even though 2020 rocked the world, the experience has been so different for each one of us. Some were insanely busy at work, others lost their jobs. Some took the opportunity to be active, others "finished Netflix". Some loved online learning and having kids at home, others struggled with juggling responsibilities... No matter where you fit in, I know that you are doing your best and you deserve a big hug and a high five.
Nevertheless, I think we need to do it a little differently this time around. We need to pay extra special attention to keeping our bodies stronger, less inflamed and more resilient - this is called a healthy terrain, it's also called wellness, and I wish we'd heard more about it this year.
The image above comes from a study that was done earlier this year. It shows that when the first lockdown began, people that had a disrupted sleep schedule, exercised less, did more comfort eating, drank more alcohol and ate more sugars and simple carbohydrates had a decreased immune response. Many of us fell into this category. It was like life was on pause.
Meanwhile, people that kept a routine, committed to regular activity, ate a whole foods diet low in sugar, and maintained a healthy gut flora ("good bacteria") had an improvement in immune response markers. Go figure ;)
The point of me sharing this with you is not about guilt or shame, it is to reinforce the idea that your health matters. The daily things you are doing for yourself might not feel like they are doing anything, but they make a big difference in the long run. I know there have been days, weeks, or maybe this whole past year where you've been off the rails - oh well. Don't beat yourself up, learn from it and let it go.
The time to take action, or keep your momentum is now. We can't stay on pause forever, it's time to press play.
A lifestyle focused on wellness:
- move every day
- eat lots of green vegetables (cauliflower and cabbage are also "green")
- moments of mental quiet - breathing, meditating, a cup of tea, a bath
- practicing gratitude
- connection and laughter
- drink lots of water
- enjoy nature, or bring nature inside by getting flowers or plants
We've been through so much this past year, the year of 20/20 vision and clarity. You did it, congratulations, let's close this chapter and bring on the next.
Happy New Year!
"Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."
~ WHO, 1948
Closed December 31-Jan 3