Oh hey, 2016!

I’m so glad you’re here. Because to be quite frank, I was good and ready for 2015 to go buh-bye.

Now a lot of great things happened in 2015 — my sweetie and I got engaged, another happy little niece entered the world, I completed my training to become a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, we traveled to Colorado and fell absolutely in love with it, and a ton of sweet moments and experiences in between.

But to be very real with you — and what you’re not seeing in these photos — is that it was an extremely stressful year for me. And to be completely honest, most of it was self-inflicted. You see, I’m a big time over-thinker and perfectionist, and those two combined can make for some wicked strong stress.

And my stress took quite a toll on my health, throwing me into adrenal fatigue and my hormones way out of whack: I started having dizzy spells and what I lovingly (heavy sarcasm there) refer to as “monster periods” complete with vomiting at onset. Yup. Now as someone who really cares a whole darn lot about her health, this is not only annoying as hell but kinda embarrassing. I mean, I understood exactly what was happening to my body and knew I was the reason why it was happening — that I’m making myself sick. Cue the self-loathing and even more stress and even bigger monster periods 🙂

So I’ve really needed a fresh start.

A time to reflect on things as they are and try to set them right, and without all of the stress-inducing self-loathing (the Pity Party’s no longer invited here). Just a no-looking-back, the-past-is-in-the-past, today-is-a-new-chapter type of fresh start.

And to keep myself accountable and you updated on what topics I may be writing about more this year, here are my 2016 health resolutions.

1. Stress less

Clearly this is my #1 health resolution!

Of course, it is easier said than done. So I’m doing 3 things specifically to help make this happen:

  1. I subscribed to Headspace, which provides really great guided meditations. One of my favorite podcasters (Stacey of Shutterbean from the Joy the Baker Podcast) talked about this awhile ago on one of their shows and I signed up for the free trial afterwards. But I was too cheap to get the annual subscription. I realize now how absurd that was! I’m the person who likes to say “the greatest investment you will ever make is in your health” and would rather not buy clothes for a whole year in order to afford organic produce and my fancy supplements. So I gave my inner cheapskate a slap in the face and finally subscribed. It is not to be regretted one bit. I definitely suggest you sign up for the 10 day free trial if you’re at all interested in meditation.
  2. Scheduling 2 breaks during my workday (like, I actually put notifications in my calendar) to do alternate nostril breathing (which activates the parasympathetic nervous system — the body’s relaxed, “rest and digest” mode) for 3 minutes. So 6 minutes total for the day. Not too significant time-wise but something that I think will make a big impact on my stress levels during the day.
  3. Journaling before bed, particularly focusing on the good things. I have a tendency to focus on everything that still needs to be done, everything that wasn’t done right, blah blah blah all while forgetting to savor the things that did get done and were done right. So I want to shift towards being more thankful and appreciative.

2. Move more

So in addition to running this here blog, I have a 9-5 desk job where I sit on my rear end for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Since I live in the city, I walk 3 miles to and from work (roundtrip) and make a point of spending my lunch break walking around the city (or stores, if it’s cold). But regardless, this is too much sitting! Even if it is on a balance ball chair.

The irony of a desk job is this (and I’m sure many of you feel me): even though you spend a whole lot of time just sitting, by the time you get home at night and cook dinner, you’re tired and just want to sit some more! And certainly when I’m blogging, it’s not like I’m not doing a yoga flow.

So my resolution is to spend at least 30 minutes 4 days a week getting my heart rate up and working a sweat.

And I’m hoping that this will also help with my first resolution as well, since exercise is a great way to relieve stress and anxiety.

3. Oil pull at least 3 times a week

For awhile now, I’ve been wanting to try oil pulling. They say it works wonders not only for oral health, but also for overall wellness. I figure it may take awhile to notice the benefits, so I am going to *try* to do it for the entire year. (I’ll be sure to write some posts about what exactly it is and how it’s working out for me!) I’ve already got my sesame oil ready to go!

4. Dry body brush everyday

Even though I’ve always been relatively thin and fit, I’ve had cellulite since I was 16 (and back then I was actually super duper fit since I played sports all year long). It definitely runs in my family, and I always considered it a fact of life… or is it!?

I was recently reading The Living Beauty Detox Program, which stated that cellulite is caused by stagnant lymph. Now good lymphatic flow is extremely important for your body’s natural detoxification process and overall health, so the idea that mine may be sluggy (perhaps the true genetic component at play?) worried me (more stress! LOL). Luckily, there are some really simple ways to stimulate lymphatic flow, one of which is dry body brushing.

I’ve written about dry body brushing before but have since then become pretty lazy with the practice. At best, I do it 2 times a week. So my goal is to start doing it everyday again. The impetus is not really a smoother derrière, though that would of course be a nice perk. I was just fascinated to read about the connection between lymphatic flow and cellulite, and believe this is a good practice to do more regularly.

In addition to dry body brushing, I’m also going to do some research into lymphatic massage and supplements to promote proper lymph flow and drainage. Stay tuned since I’m sure I’ll want to share my findings here!

Do you have any 2016 health resolutions?

I’d love to hear them!

Cheers to us making them happen this year (and not stressing even if they don’t!).

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