For lots of people, the start of a new year signifies making changes for a new beginning, a renewed sense of self and creating goals that will help us be more successful and feel more accomplished than the year prior. But setting all these new expectations for ourselves can lead us to feel stressed, anxious, depressed or even completely defeated before the first month of the year is even over! So how can we stop ourselves from mentally spinning out of control and crumbling underneath the pressure of all the chaos?
You can regain balance and compartmentalize your plan of action with these various components of wellness: physical, social, environmental, financial/occupational and emotional wellness.
Physical wellness involves things like moving your body, eating well-balanced meals, getting good sleep, receiving preventative medical and dental care, as well as sexual health screenings.
1.Reduce Screen Time Before Bed.
Something I continuously struggle with is getting to sleep and staying asleep and I know I’m not alone in this! But I’ve been improving my sleep habits by cutting off my screen time two hours before bedtime.
That means NO cellphones, NO television and NO tablets for two whole hours! I promise you, from personal experience, this has helped me fall asleep faster and stay asleep until my alarm goes off. I know, it sounds extremely challenging but it’s as simple as shuffling around your evening routine. Instead of watching Netflix until I start dozing off on the couch, I’ll do small household chores like washing dishes to avoid brain stimulation and have one less thing to worry about taking care of the next day. If small household chores don’t take you two hours, utilize your remaining time to do things like give yourself a mini at-home facial or spend some extra time brushing your teeth and flossing than you normally do. Avoiding the stimulation of screens will make it easier for you to clear your mind and prepare your brain for the rest it needs.
2. Move Your Body.
The mental benefits of aerobic exercise have a neurochemical basis. Exercise reduces levels of the body's stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. It also stimulates the production of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that are the body's natural painkillers and mood elevators. Focus on exercise and nutrition to improve your physical wellness, incorporate 3 sets of ten minute at-home workouts to your daily routine and clean up your diet. Add more lean proteins, greens and complex carbs.
3.Protect and heal your energy.
Maintaining a healthy emotional life is very important to your overall health. I don’t know about you, but I’m an emotional person who doesn’t like feeling vulnerable. But what feels even worse is bottling everything up inside until I feel like a volcano that’s on the verge of
eruption. When your emotions are weighing you down, an easy way to get everything off your chest without putting yourself In a vulnerable position is writing in a journal. To some, the thought of keeping a journal may seem juvenile but putting your feelings down on paper and freeing your mind of the clutter can make you feel like the weight has been lifted. My emotions take me on a wild roller coaster ride more often than not and keeping a journal just wasn’t working for me, so I tried getting energy work done ones a week.
Reiki energy healing changed my life! Reiki is a form of alternative medicine called energy healing.Helps to cope better with stress, anxiety, depression and chronic pain. Reiki comes from Japanese word Rei which means "universal life" and Ki that means "energy". Reiki practitioners use a technique called palm healing or hands-on healing through which a "universal energy" is said to be transferred through the palms of the practitioner to the patient in order to encourage emotional or physical healing. By the end of the reiki session, you will feel grounded and rejuvenated. Even after getting energy work done so few times, I feel like it really helped me! I feel less stressed and anxious and more grounded and it has helped me look at things from a different perspective. My outlook on life is shifting for the better and I highly recommend giving reiki a shot!
4.Get rid of toxic people. Social wellness revolves around having a strong social network that can support you and give you guidance or advice when you seek it. This is your ability to establish and maintain positive relationships with family, friends and coworkers. The main focus here is HEALTHY relationships so if there are people that cross your mind and make you feel tense while reading this, then that may be a sign it’s time to sort your circle! Trust me when I say I know this is a tough one to put into practice and it may take a while to completely cut ties with someone or even realize who the toxic people are in your life. It took me a couple years to figure out who was poisoning my watering hole and once I realized it was my very own fiancé, it took me another long, messy, emotional four months to totally sever the multiple tethers that bound us together. This was obviously a very hard pill to swallow because I wasn’t just putting this person in the past and leaving them there, I was also remapping my entire future because he no longer played a part in it. There is no doubt that this was one of the hardest challenges I’ve faced in life, but I was at a crossroads and realized my life would be better off adjusting to his absence rather than suffering from his presence. So if you’re struggling to let go of those that are holding you back, try to remember that the bridges you burn will light the way to a brighter future.
Environmental wellness is something that can bring us all a brighter future! This includes taking care of the global environment and your personal surroundings.
Don’t get intimidated by thinking on a literal global scale, no one expects you to save the entire planet! But you can do small things to make a big difference, such as decluttering your closets and donating clothes you don’t wear or other items you no longer have use for. If the thought of digging and sorting through your closets stresses you out, try something you don’t have to put as much time and thought into, such as buying a few reusable grocery totes and some reusable metal straws to minimize your need for single-use plastics. PLOT TWIST! You can even kill two birds with one stone and tackle both your physical and environmental wellness needs by going on a nature hike and picking up any trash you find along the way! Why not organize a group hike, invite some friends to clean up the environment with you and then you’ll be able to check off your physical, social and environmental wellness practices within one!
6.Make smart financial choices.
Financial wellness correlates with your ability to live within your financial means and planning for future financial health. This is the area of wellness that I personally struggle with the most. I am great at creating a budget, but following that budget is an entirely different story. Every time I budget my finances and cut out anything that isn’t absolutely necessary to spend my money on, I end up finding another expense to waste all my savings on! I’m sure you’ve all heard the phrase, “more money, more problems,” but have you ever heard that you can avoid having more problems if you have a plan for all that extra money? I recently heard this come up in conversation on a podcast and it really resonated with me. I’m a visual person, so when I see a large amount in my savings account, my brain automatically starts thinking of all the ways I can treat myself! And this is where I get into trouble, so now I am working on creating a visual aid of all the things I’m saving for, how much I need to save for each, and how much I can put aside from each paycheck to put towards my savings. For example, I’m currently saving up to move and also have a trip to the Stagecoach music festival coming up in April. Even though I already paid for my pass to the festival, I still need money for transportation, accommodations, and food for the weekend. So even though I promised my best friend I’d go with her to the festival, I had to bite the bullet and sell my pass. I’m definitely experiencing a little FOMO, but knowing that the money I’m getting back for my ticket will be going towards a new place for me to call home feels much more rewarding. Saving money and sticking to a budget may mean you have to make some sacrifices but if I can do it, you can too!
Written by @melanie.pearlskinstudio
Edited by @ksydelgado_photography