I hate New Year's resolutions because there is always this connotation that at some point you'll quit or that the resolution will only be temporary. But recently I have decided that I really want to work on my overall wellbeing and in order to do that I have to make certain commitments. Here are the six easy commitments I have made to myself in order to get to an optimal state of health.
I don't want to sound like every other annoying person who talks about the incredible powers of meditation... but I'm going to be that person. I committed to starting meditating a month ago. I started with just five minutes every morning, reciting affirmations in my head. At night I would also meditate before bed for five minutes, reflecting on all the things I was grateful for that day. I usually am a pretty stressed out anxious person, always worrying about some assignment that isn't due for another month. But when I started meditating, I noticed a huge difference. When I found out about assignments I didn't get stressed anymore. When I feel overwhelmed by my family (because it's hard not to under quarantine) I remind myself during meditation that day that I am blessed to have them. Whereas before, I would've just been grumpy! Today I have amped up my meditation to ten minutes twice a day. It's not a lot, but something easy to commit to that has dramatically improved my spiritual and mental health.
Now before you're like "YOGA?! I can't afford 30 dollar classes," trust me, I can't either! That's why I have been using online yoga videos. Now, if you are anything like me I used to struggle to touch my toes while standing up without shedding a tear. I always had this weird annoying pressure on my lower back and my neck always felt like someone was pushing it forward from behind. I was sick of feeling immobile, and I also knew that for the health of my body in the future, I needed to work on making sure my body got the proper attention now. I couldn't commit to driving to classes nor could I even afford them. But I knew I couldn't let those excuses get in the way of my health anymore. I started with a thirty-day yoga challenge, and now every day, I do yoga or at least stretch. My body has never felt this mobile and I also feel connected to it. I know when my lower back hurts how to heal with it yoga, and that a pretty remarkable feeling.
And no, I'm not talking bout reading Instagram bios. Before 2020 I must admit that I was NOT a fan of reading, and the only time I truly read was if I had to for a class. But as I am getting older, I realized that I needed to read to obtain more knowledge and to write more eloquently. I knew I had to start with a really killer book to kickstart this journey to mental health. I went on the New York Times Best Sellers List website because I knew every book had to be amazing. I started with a book called "The Silent Patient" and finished it in a day a half because of how much I loved it. The next book I read was "Where the Crawdads Sing," and now I'm going to read "In Five Years." I find that because of how much I am reading, my writing is improving, and I look at situations with new perspectives.
I know this one seems so minuscule but it has changed my whole morning routine. I find that when I cook a healthy breakfast packed with protein and whole grains I eat healthier throughout the day. On top of that its relaxing and I feel like I start my day by accomplishing something. And my typical breakfast usually only take ten minutes to make: three scrambled eggs mixed with some feta and topped on a piece of ezekiel bread.
So to clarify, my breakfast is at 11 AM because I intermittent fast! Intermittent fasting is where you eat between a certain period, and when that time is up, you can only drink water and tea. There are a tremendous amount of benefits to intermittent fasting, but at the end of the day, it's a fancier and more relaxed way of calorie counting. I also am someone who bloats very quickly, and with intermittent fasting, it helped alleviate it. I fast for 16 hours and eat between an eight-hour time frame. So I eat between 11 AM and 7 PM but its really up to people's preferences the amount they want to fast and when! I also only do it five days a week because hello, your girl still has to live!
Connecting with the outdoors
I always loved to be outdoors. But since I began college and working, my schedule got hectic, and I tend rather lay down and binge Netflix than take a walk outside. However, I noticed the moments I did take my dog for a really long walk or go for a hike I felt more clear-minded. Now I made the commitment to go for a walk every day. Usually, it's with my dog, but I also have had my family embers and friends come along! It's a great way to bond with people while getting in some vitamin d and burning off the chips I eat daily.