Friday, March 29, 2013

Back to wellness: lessons learned!


The other day I looked at my blog and could not believe that February 2nd was my last blog entry!  What have I been doing all this time?! I love blogging, yet it's been almost two months since my latest post.  I think the answer is that I've been having too much fun - a good problem to have.

In an effort to make up for lost time, I thought that I could reflect on a few things I've learned this and last month that I didn't capture in my blog:

1. Fun times are awesome, but if you don't take care of yourself it WILL catch up with you!

February and March have been what I call "fun months" - new experiences, sunnier days, traveling, wine tasting with girlfriends (x2), spa trips, countless birthday parties, and more.  I have had an absolute BLAST and don't regret any decisions I've made.  However, I've ended up sick at home a few times, and have had moments where I've stopped to ask myself "when is the last time you worked out or took care of yourself?"

I've learned that fun can catch up with you when you don't take care of yourself.  Even though it's not "bad" to take a short break from some healthy habits, it's important to cultivate awareness so you can keep yourself better in check.  Scheduling exercise during the work week (even 20 minute walks!) has been helpful because it reminds me to make time for myself and prioritize my health.  My workout yesterday at the gym made me realize how important it is for me to make an effort to be there each week, and how much I love being there.  I'd rather keep up with my workouts (even if I go once a week) so that it doesn't feel like I'm starting from square one.

2.  Listen to yourself and go with your gut.

In January, I came across an article that talked about making important decisions by listening to yourself and going with your gut, instead of using your ego.  This article was (frankly) life changing.  The author explained that as humans, we are wired to think with our rational, analytical mind - or "ego" instead of just listening to our heart and how we feel.  It said "when is the last time you've taken a moment to stop, pause, and listen to yourself and how you're feeling?"  This was a really good point. 

In January, I was faced with making a pretty big decision in my life that I had been struggling with for a long time.  I decided to commit to stopping my "mental chatter" and just listening to myself and going with my gut.  The new approach worked, and I can't tell you how fast the answers came to me, and how much peace I felt.   I have even started practicing this at work and it's been so helpful!

3.  Start the day with music!

My friend Marianne told me that she likes to start her day with music.  I had never thought of this concept before or imagined it would be my thing, but it absolutely is!  After being introduced to the world of smart phones a couple months ago, I started playing Pandora in the morning.  I typically pick something upbeat like Michael Buble or Frank Sinatra, which instantly brings a smile to my face and makes waking up easier (and putting on makeup while drinking tea more fun!).

4. When you're feeling sick, eat like you want to get better (not worse)!

I have been sick four times this year - that's four times in 3 months!  I don't think I was sick more than once in all of 2012.  When we are sick, we tend to go for foods along the lines of ice cream, soup, macaroni and cheese, and other comfort foods.  It makes sense to want those things, but after being sick for about 2 weeks in January, I read an article about doing a quick detox to make you feel better, which (no DUH) included things like vegetables, fruit, tea, water, smoothies, and other natural, healthy products.   This week I got sick (yet again) and decided that I would eat as if I was not sick and wanted to be healthy.  Most meals included salmon, steamed veges, fresh salads, eggs, and healthy grains.  To no surprise, my cold cleared up the next day. 

Happy Friday!  Note: I am hoping to make April a wellness focused month, full of blogging!