August is National Wellness Month. I can think of no better time to check in with yourself than at the tail end of summer. After all, we’ve been traveling, somewhat off our schedules (and perhaps our eating routines) and facing the hectic fall months ahead.
What Is National Wellness Month?
During the month of August, we focus on our well-being such as self-care rituals, stress management and healthy routines. What those look like for me will vary from what they look like for you.
What are Some Ideas?
In May, I explained how tidying your wardrobe is good for your mental health. Read that post here. Besides tidying, what else can you do? A few wellness routines I’ve enjoyed include yoga, walking, pranayama (breathwork) and a once-a-month massage. None of it is indulgent. In fact, it is imperative to focus on your well-being. There’s only one you in the world, and we need you to take good care of you to remain balanced, healthy, and vibrant.
My Journey Began in 2019
Over the course of several years, I’ve shared my wellness journey in blog posts, on my podcast, in social media posts and in my monthly newsletters. It all started with twice-a-week yoga in January 2019. After months of hearing the word “yoga” run through my head, I gave in and took up yoga. That was the start of something new and better for me. I didn’t realize then how good yoga and the other healthy habits to follow would be for me. I wasn’t conscious that I was starting a wellness journey. Yet, over 3-1/2 years later, it is a journey where I continue to add layers. My goals have always been to feel as good as I can and to be kind to my mind and body.
Is it Too Late?
Sometimes we look at what someone else is doing and discourage ourselves from making changes. The perfectionist might think a walk around the block is a waste of time when the neighbor is training for a marathon. Not true! A walk around the block is immensely better for you than no walk around the block. Start where you can. Don’t look at what anyone else is doing, especially if it will discourage you from trying. Nothing done for the sake of your well-being is ever a waste of time.
Ideas for Getting Started
Don’t knock a simple, mindful walk. Walks are helpful for clearing your mind, reducing stress, getting mentally unstuck and finding balance. If a walk to the end of your street and back is all you can do, do it. If a 10-minute bath on Sunday nights is all you have time for, take the plunge.
If you are stuck and not sure where to start, do a little self-reflecting and set a goal that is fail-proof. One idea: stretch for 10 minutes two days per week. Another idea: a simple bedtime routine will help you relax and sleep better. It can be something like lavender spray on your pillow and 2 minutes of deep breathing before lights out, for example. One tiny seed planted and nurtured will bloom.
I Set a Reasonable Goal
When I started my wellness journey, twice-a week yoga felt manageable. That was all I asked of myself, and that was all I did for a while. I slowly added layers to my wellness routine like more frequent yoga, healthier eating, and warm baths in the cooler months. I knew if I asked too much of myself, I would not stick with it, and I would get discouraged. I wanted this to stick for good, and I knew the best way to do that was to make it EASY.
COVID Altered My Plan
A year after I started my wellness journey, COVID happened. There were a couple of weeks of uncertainty before I started doing yoga at home using YouTube. Three years later, I’m still doing yoga at home in my closet first thing in the morning. While it seemed that COVID would take me off track, it was the thing that pushed me to enrich my yoga experience. I follow many yoga instructors now, which varies my routine. Sometimes I have 30 minutes for a full flow, and other days I only have 10 minutes. Regardless, I feel accomplished and happy.
Why does wellness matter?
Wellness matters because you matter. You are worth it. Things that are good for your body are GREAT for your mind. All of it works together. When you are feeling your best, your interactions improve, and your life turns in a positive direction.
Not feeling it?
Don’t wait to feel like you want to do it. Just start. The good feelings will follow, I promise. Wishing you a beautiful month of checking in and taking great care of you. Need encouragement? Message me. I’d be happy to offer my support.