My 2016 Health Resolutions
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!).
I just found your blog a week ago.. and I have been absolutely addicted ever since!! I LOVE your posts.
I had a rough 2015 myself.. Very similar to you, I put way too much stress on myself. My health suffered for it! This year is all about transformation for me. Transforming my mind, body, and spirit. More self-love, more exercise, more nourishing foods, LESS self-doubt, less sugar.. and less stress!!!
A lot of my resolutions are the same as yours! For oil pulling I like to do it in the shower as I shower first thing in the morning. Then I let the warm water wash it down the drain. I also use coconut oil instead of sesame oil. Coconut oil is said to have more anti-bacterial properties. It’s also my resolution to dry brush more as I currently only do it once a week. As for Headspace I’ve been using it for almost 4 months now & love it. It’s really helped me make my meditation practise more regular. My other resolution is to get my reiki practise up & purring along!
Great stuff Nadia!
If you find using sesame oil yucky for oil pulling I recommend trying coconut oil. I love it! There is good info out there about using it for oil pulling as it is anti microbial.
I really have appreciated your article about your resolutions. I found my way to you when looking for the benefits of Manuka Honey and I am delighted with the doors that have begun to open just by visiting. I have signed up for a free trial at Headspace and have just done the first session – all thanks to you. My resolution is simple. Come the end of 2016 I want to feel that I have been a better friend to myself – especially to my creative self. Looking forward to following your work and applying some of your suggestions as a part of my resolution.
warm wishes Heather
Absolutely. And those things really impact our stress levels and throw off our circadian rhythms, both of which tax the adrenals. This is something I’m going to be exploring more this year for sure.
So glad to hear you use Headspace too and love it! And totally – it’s super easy for the day to just fly by and forget to take a few minutes for yourself!
Those are great resolutions! I got a little foldable rebounder last year but haven’t put it to much use (we rent an apartment and our landlord owns a business below us so I always worry it will bother him!). I should add that to my list, too!
Thanks, Jessica! Wishing you the same 🙂 And oooh a treadmill desk… very nice! That’s definitely on my wish list for when we get out of our tiny apartment and into a house with more space. (Your blog is beautiful, by the way and I’m so happy to connect with you!)
Ages ago, humans sat together at night, in starlight, moonlight, talking, laughing, cooking and eating by a campfire, in cold weather sitting inside by a fireplace, in candlelight,all that natural light in the red/yellow range. Talking, sharing stores, their bodies calmed, gradually feeling sleepy as the brain’s pineal gland opened, filling their bodies with healing melatonins. Off to bed they went,around 9 – 9:30. Not today. Sitting in artificial light of bulbs and TV, all of it giving off harmful blue-range light the pineal gland cannot open, as they sit in the crashing excitement of TV, in total artificiality.
I love these resolutions! I use Headspace too and I love it!! And I love your idea of scheduling breaks while working. I always plan on taking breaks but by the end of the work day I haven’t taken any. I also really want to get a mini trampoline to bounce during breaks for detox and a great lymph node flush. Also I think it would be super fun!
Great post, Nadia! Way to circle the wagons and realign your health priorities – as hard as that can be. I, too, had a rough 2015 and was thrilled to see 2016 arrive. My resolutions were similar to yours – dry brushing daily and meditation breaks. And as a blogger — that whole sitting thing! My goal is to blog from the treadmill desk and not while sitting. Here’s wishing you a very happy and healthy year ahead!