Hi friend! I hope you’re having a beautiful week. I took the weekend to totally hibernate and relax, taking lots of epsom salt baths (see below!), reading books, and generally recharging after a pretty busy couple of months.
As promised, today I am sharing Part 2 of My Top 20 Habit Changes for Lasting Health. If you haven’t read Part 1 yet, you can hop on over right here. Don’t worry, I’ll wait 😉
Starting January 18th, I’m going to be running my Love Your Healthy Self Nutrition Program. It’s an evolution of my old Reset Yourself Nutrition Challenge that takes those foundational concepts a step further. I ran the first round in July and the group was so incredible. I was really blown away by the participation and feedback. And since we’re starting a brand new year, I thought it would be a good time to offer you some support and encouragement as you undertake nutrition-focused changes to you life!
It’s a 28 day guided program (complete with online cooking classes, guided meditations, yoga classes, and Q & A sessions!!) to give you the tools & knowledge to make lasting habit changes to help improve your sleep, clear up your skin, improve digestion, & balance out your moods with just a little bit of time dedicated to your self care & nutrition every day. You can check out all the information right here and if you sign up by midnight on Wednesday January 13th, you’ll get a special discount!
Like I mentioned in Part 1, your level of health equates to the things you do the most often and consistently in your life. These don’t necessarily need to be huge habit changes that require a ton of time, but consistency is definitely key here. Check out the rest of my favourite habits below!
11. Fell in love with yoga and developed a daily meditation practice
I’m a firm believer that a great foundation for lasting health comes from the food you put in your body. However, it’s only a starting place. In order for me to feel calm and happy, I need to put a lot of effort into maintaining my emotional and mental health as well.
If you’ve been around for a while, you know I’ve struggled mightily with anxiety in the past and committing to a physical yoga practice and the self-study that grows from that practice has been instrumental in giving me the tools to manage my anxiety from a whole different perspective.
I’m not saying you have to run out and buy a mat, but I would absolutely suggest you find some space for mindfulness in your daily life. If you’re super busy, try Soul Seconds as a great spot for guided meditations that are 5 minutes or less!
12. Made time for regular nature walks
Connecting with nature, breathing in fresh air, and just generally giving myself a change of scenery does wonders for my mental and physical health. Even if I don’t have the time for a huge walk, I try to get in at least 10 minutes of fresh air to reboot my creativity and disconnect from my phone and computer.
13. Pushed outside my comfort zone
Over the last few years I’ve been really trying to push myself out of my comfort zone by trying new things like pilates, yoga, HIIT, new foods, different travel destinations, and even living in new cities. I think being able to be comfortable with discomfort (a lesson I learned on my yoga mat!) can help you learn to stay calmer in stressful situations and may lead you to discover a new hobby that you absolutely love!
14. Epsom salt baths
If I had a little table that I could set up in my tub I think I would do ALL my work there from here on out. Seriously, epsom salt baths are just the best at helping calm my nervous system and flood my body full of relaxing magnesium.
I’ve been reading a lot about the chronic magnesium deficiencies in many North Americans thanks to nutrient deficient soils and changes in diet. So if you struggle with twitchy muscles, nervousness or anxiety, or have a hard time falling asleep, I would suggest drawing yourself a big tub with at least two cups of epsom salts (and maybe your favourite essential oil!) and relaxing in there for at least 20 minutes. The tub allows your muscles to absorb the magnesium, which can relax your body and mind.
15. Invested in a diffuser and quality oils
I’ve been obsessed with my essential oil diffuser for the last several months not only because it makes my house smell like magic, but because certain oils can help calm my brain, give me a bit of a boost when I’m feeling low, or even help soothe my lungs during cold & flu season.
The thing you want to keep in mind with essential oils is that they are very powerful plant medicine and so you want to make sure you are using the highest quality oil you can afford. My teacher, Meghan Telpner, has a great resource on how to source the best oils right here and you can find beautiful diffusers everywhere now. You want to make sure you don’t heat the oils, which is why I love ultrasonic/humidifying diffusers. You can order them online or check out your local health food store or Winners!
16. Invested in myself
When you start your own business the first few years can be inconsistent when it comes to income and so it’s really easy to be afraid to spend money on yourself. I’ve always set aside a small budget every year for personal/professional development in order to keep my mind open and continue to learn new things about myself and the field I work in.
Sometimes that’s a $150 e-course on How to be Healthy at Home or a more expensive investment such as a yoga teacher training. You can find so many free or affordable e-courses online nowadays that it’s a great way to keep your brain healthy and push yourself out of your comfort zone learning about new things.
17. Gave myself a full day off every week
This one is still hard for me, but I’ve been getting better at it! Whether you’re self-employed, working from home or office, or a fierce mama-bear, it’s so important to take some time for yourself to stay mentally and emotionally balanced.
Depending on your circumstances, it may not be an entire day off, but could you take a couple of hours to go to yoga/the gym and have a nice epsom salt bath after? Or maybe spend the day outside with the family, without worrying about running to appointments, sports, school, or other engagements. Just enjoy being in the present moment and remember that your work responsibilities are rarely so important that they can’t wait a few hours for your attention.
18. Made time for friends
I have a tendency to hermit myself away since my work requires me to be engaging with my amazing community regularly. I love my work, but as an introvert I need some quiet time to recharge.
Finding the balance of too much hermitting and not enough friend time took some work, but I feel so much better when I create space and time to honour the most wonderful people in my life. Even if it’s just an hour together once a week, it helps to ground me and recharge my spirit!
19. Learned to listen to and love my body
If you’ve been here before, you know that in addition to anxiety I struggled for quite some time with disordered eating through binging and purging and highly restrictive “healthy” eating.
Learning to listen to my body, to be ok with her gaining weight as I re-established a healthy relationship with food was f*&%ing hard. Looking in the mirror and seeing a body I wasn’t used to seeing definitely pushed me to my limits when it came to self-love and acceptance. But finding the freedom from restrictive and damaging relationships with food was absolutely worth every second of struggle and every pound gained.
And through a lot of self-work and self-study (thank you yoga and meditation!) I was able to come to a place where I really, truly, and completely loved my body, just as she is.
I’ve only recently come to a place where I can exercise without it turning into punishment or experiment with elimination diets without it being an exercise in restriction with weight loss as the final and only outcome.
So if you’re struggling here, it’s ok. Find someone trained to support you with this level of healing (I can put you in touch with some great folks!) and follow the body positive movement. Your body, mind, soul, and spirit will thank you.
20. Learned to honour what my body says
Though this may seem the same as above, it’s actually quite different. It can be very easy to hear what your body tells you once you know how to listen. Actually doing something about it can be a whole different ball game.
How often have you been exhausted, but still went out because you felt guilty cancelling plans? Or do you notice that certain foods make you feel like sh*t, but you continue eating them anyway because to change your diet would be hard?
Yeah, I’ve been there. And it is hard. Hard to say no. Hard to change the way you eat. Hard to create a new life. It’s hard, but not impossible. You have to be willing to hear what your body is telling you and you have to be ready to make some changes. It doesn’t happen overnight and it’s never a linear process, but it can be done!
With patience, compassion, love, support, and persistence you can make habit changes to support your health long-term. If you would like some support in making that happen, then you might be interested in joining my Love Your Healthy Self Nutrition Program. I’m here to guide you in any way that I can.
Thank you so much for your love and support.
Have a beautiful week!