The shift into a new year is a great time to get thinking about ways to refresh your wellness routines and lifestyle habits. Making mindful, micro-changes can lead to big shifts in our overall health and wellbeing. Need help thinking beyond the typical sizzle-then-fizzle New Year’s resolutions? Here are a few great wellness resets to set your year off in the right direction:
Set intentions with crystals
Choose a crystal that resonates with your overall intention for where you’d like to direct your energies this new year. Whether it’s heart-healing, finding more courage, speaking up, feeling grounded, finding inspiration, or awakening insight, there’s a crystal for that! Set it in a special place in your home so that you will see it and be reminded of your intention, or better yet, carry it with you!
Refresh your skin
This is a great time to toss those expired beauty and self-care products we’ve accumulated throughout the year, and make some conscious choices as to what best serves our skin—it is, after all, our largest organ! Choose natural products with high quality ingredients, or better yet, make them yourself.
Declutter your closet
Pack up everything you no longer wear or the items of clothing that make you feel anything less than great about yourself. Donating your unused sweaters and ill-fitting jeans not only clears your space for better choices, but helps others in need. You might also take a closer look into cupboards and shelves and see what objects are adding to clutter and congesting the free-flow of energy in your home. Keep what brings you joy and sell, donate, or repurpose anything that doesn’t.
Cleanse your space
Get the vacuum into those hard to reach places, dust the nooks and crannies, briefly open windows to allow cross-current air flow, and then smudge your space. Burn some dried sage, cedar, or palo santo, and wave the smoke into the corners of each room to negate any heavy energy lingering at home. Find out how to make your own here.
Adults often think that making art is only for professional artists or children, but we are all creative creatures. Awaken your spirit with creativity: pick up some supplies and let yourself play and explore. Don’t get too hung up on outcome; let the process be the purpose!
Create an altar
While we don’t all belong to a formal religion, we can benefit from the ritual of mindful attention and gratitude. Find a place in your home in which to build a special space: place photos of people you love, trinkets that remind you of happy times, a candle, and an element of something natural (dried flowers, palo santo, a small plant). Make a point of visiting this nook each day, light the candle for a few minutes, and take some deep mindful breaths, reminding yourself of the blessings in your life.
Balance your dosha
According to Ayurveda (India’s holistic wellness system), as weather turns damp and cold, balancing the sluggish kapha dosha (constitution) is key—this means it’s especially important to eat plant-based meals that are warmed or lightly cooked, up your intake of bitter foods such as dark green vegetables, and cut back on foods high in sugar (heavy, sweet fruits such as bananas and mangos, alcohol, and desserts!) Balancing our kapha dosha also means we need to focus on stimulating our minds and moving our bodies every day to balance out the seasonal lethargic and stuck energy. Read more about how to balance kapha here.
Forest bathing, or immersing yourself in the sounds and smells of nature, has been shown to increase feelings of wellbeing and to lower stress levels. Get out there, or transform your indoor spaces with plants, woodsy essential oils, or flowers to ground you in the natural world.
Start a new journal
Whether you pick up a blank notebook, or a more structured one like the Five Minute Journal, set aside a moment at the end of your day to reflect and record your insights. This exercise helps us to process our challenges and to grow. It makes us more conscientious and aware of our thoughts and patterns. Reflecting on what you are grateful for that day also has added health benefits—it reduces stress and helps to reframe difficult moods. If you’re interested in understanding more about your subconscious mind, try starting up a dream journal and researching the symbolism that messages that arise during the night!
Learn something new
It’s not only our bodies that benefit from being refreshed, our brains need it too. Join a book club, register for a workshop, take a class, or even sign up for online/distance learning, and exercise your mind. If you’re pressed for time, borrow a book from the library and learn about a topic you’ve always been interested in.
Rather than looking to the traditional diet or exercise transformations as the calendar flips, consider the multitude of other life-affirming choices—clean, clear, create, attune, refresh, reflect, or refine, and set the tone for the kind of energy you would like to encourage more of in your life in 2019.