Happy New Year! You made it through all the craziness (fun and hard) of 2018 - including the holidays. Well done!
I realize you're already a week into your new year, and you may have already made some resolutions for the year (or as long as you can commit to them). So, I'll keep this brief...
What's your intention behind those resolutions? How will your life be different if you stick with those resolutions? What impact will they have on your well-being and those around you?
These questions are important to answer because the more heart, soul, and intention you have in making your New Year's resolutions, the more likely you'll be able to stick with them.
On the other hand, you could just skip the resolution bit and go straight to the intention piece. According to Webster's, the words resolution and intention can be used interchangeably. However, resolutions have the tendency to carry more judgement - you followed through with them or you didn't (aka failing). Intentions on the other hand start out as hopes and inspirations - neither of which are fail-able.
If you're drawn to making health-related resolutions, consider creating an intention around improving self care. Self care is the holistic approach to creating balance between body, mind, and spirit well-being. Self care through nourishing your body with regular meals and snacks is just as important as creating time for relaxation, pleasure, reflection, and social connection. If this type of intention speaks to you, here are five ways to improve your practice of continued self care:
1. Commit to getting more high quality sleep ~ Set a bed time and stick to it during the week and on weekends. Support "sleep-readiness" by turning off screens at least 1 hour before bed. Consider taking a warm shower or bath by candle light or doing some gentle yoga before crawling under the covers. Even intimate touching and sex can be helpful for some to relieve the stress of the day (Big Disclaimer: be sure you're in a safe place with your intimate relationship)
2. Cultivate more self compassion by identifying negative thoughts ~ Learn to re-frame negative thoughts with curiosity, kindness, and empathy. If you wouldn't say the thought out loud to your kiddo, pet, or best friend, you don't deserve to hear that harshness either.
3. Observe any biases you may have around weight, the definition of health, and the way you define fitness (aka strength, muscle tone, etc) ~ Acknowledge and challenge these biases by interacting with people in person or through social media who promote body liberation and Health At Every Size (R). Some great Instagram accounts include @tessholiday, @themilitantbaker, @harri_rose_, @sonyareneetaylor, @mollybcounseling, @benourishedpdx - just to name a few. If you're more of a podcast listener, check out Food Psych, Love Food, Body Kindness, and Fearless Rebel Radio for starters.
4. Move your body in a way feels good to you from a place of self care rather than for aesthetics (or to alter your body shape/size) ~ Shifting your focus on exercise away from a "to-do-chore in order to be healthy" (read loose weight, tone, sculpt, etc) and more toward moving your body in a way that feels comfortable, pleasurable, and fun - regardless of how many calories it burns.
Because here's the secrete - if you actually like the movement you're doing, you'll probably want to do more of it, and your body will feel better...even if your size/shape stay exactly the same.
5. Learn to set boundaries around your use of time with your work, family, social commitments (including social media) ~ Create some blank space in your calendar to allow time for relaxation and self reflection to support personal growth.
I hope you find these tips helpful as you launch into 2019. Wishing you much food peace and body liberation in 2019! ~ Amanda