Each year, each week, each day and moment we have an opportunity to ignite, reinforce or relinquish habits. Those that are “healthy” and life affirming we hope to keep around. Those that drain our life force and make us feel less optimal, we do our best to kick to the curb. Sometimes our efforts prevail and other times not, but at least we do our best, right?
I like to call healthy habits, rituals…those things I do routinely that make me feel energized, happy, radiant, relaxed, and alive! Last year I adopted (or reintroduced) rituals that rose to the occasion of making me feel my best––they made the cut for 2015 and will continue to be practiced this year. I’d like to share a few of them with you in case you are looking to establish some wellness routines that will help you feel sparkly.
Oil Pulling: This ancient Ayurvedic technique kept my breath fresh and teeth white and squeaky clean all year. You can read more about this ritual here.
Journaling: Year over year, this habit makes the cut. I journal every morning even if only for five minutes. I flood the pages with any thoughts, desires, accomplishments, dreams, challenges or musings that flow to me. To help you activate on a journaling practice, perhaps begin with this easy and meaningful New Year’s Resolution exercise.
Tea Time: Every morning I take the time to prepare tea at home. I enjoy sipping super antioxidant-rich Matcha tea the most with steamed almond milk, my custom chai spice blend (coming soon to my online boutique), and low-sugar yacon syrup. Matcha is unlike any other green tea. One serving from an adored brand, Panatea delivers ten times the nutritive potency of brewed varieties. The bright green powder is made by grinding whole Japanese tea leaves, and delivers an abundance of antioxidants, bioavailable amino acids, essential vitamins and minerals, and chlorophyll––A.K.A. Sunfood. P.S. If you are interested in getting your hands on this good stuff, I’ve been gifted a coupon code to share with those I love (YOU!) For any order at PanateaGreen.com enter code: matchamaster240 to receive a discount of 10%. Offer is good through February 6, 2015.
NIEDD (Nighttime Intermittent Electronic Device Detachment): I coined this term at the beginning of 2014 and it got a lot of attention. Why? Because we all know we need to “Power Off” at night. Scrolling through our Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook feeds, online shopping, and reading books on our iPads before bed seriously disrupts our sleep. Period. You can read the scientific details about it here on Huffington Post or just listen to your gut that’s telling you it’s not a good idea.
It also robs us of the precious time we could allocate to soul and body loving rituals like taking a warm bath, massaging our entire body with nourishing body oil (another ritual of mine), meditating, practicing some restorative yoga postures, doing deep breathing exercises or connecting with our loved ones.
Most often, we are already in a state of fight or flight and our adrenals hate us for it. They get confused and begin to think night is day and day is night. The bright light from our devices and a stimulated brain from reading, shopping, or looking at images keeps us in that activated state and kills our ability to sleep soundly. I shut my phone off most every night about one hour before bed. In that time, I take a hot shower, stretch, breathe, write in my journal, meditate, sip tea, or connect with family.
Meditation: With every new year, this ritual never gets left behind. As a matter of fact it becomes more consistent––I find myself in a state of meditation, that is in a place of inner calm, most of the time now. Meditation is not just for believers, spiritualists, yogis, and gurus. It is for everyone. Read about it here and if you are interested in learning more, stay tuned for approachable guided mediations that will be included in programs I am launching on my website in the months to come.
No Texting While Driving: I admit I was a car texter until early last year. I discovered how it was going to kill me, and not just by causing an accident. You can read about my major wake up call here.
Barre: I took up Barre early last year and it rocked my world and my body! The dancer in me loves the music, the grace, the flow of movements, and the athlete inside likes the intense cardio bursts, strength training and toning. Four to five days each week (when I’m in town) I visit the XTEND BARRE studio right around the corner from me. It’s an energizing and effective workout that tones and lengthens in a class that flies by! I still practice yoga nearly every day at home, but have taken up a more restorative and peaceful asana practice. Like the guided meditations, I’ll be sharing bite-sized barre routines and yoga flow videos in my programs coming soon.
Deeply Mindful Eating (DME): What I mean by this is I only eat when I am hungry, I try to enjoy all tastes (sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and umami) every day. I eat small portions, chew thoroughly, and eat without distraction. You can read more about this important habit here.
I’d love to hear what healthy habits you engage in! Please share in the comment field below. We are all in this journey together, and sharing inspires. xo