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Simplifying 2019: Part 2 - Wellness

December 29, 2018

Achy muscles. Scratchy throat. Pure, can’t-get-off-the-couch exhaustion. There’s nothing worse than feeling a nasty virus coming on and knowing it’s too late to stop it (ESPECIALLY when there are kids involved). And why does it always seem to happen when you have a million things that need to get done?! If there’s any way to swing it, I’d love nothing more than to kick off 2019 without sickness in my family.

But more than that, this year I am going after WELLNESS: a deeper kind of health that goes down to the soul. What do I mean by wellness, you ask? I love breaking a sweat in a yoga class and strolling the aisles of Whole Foods, but to me, wellness is much deeper than the latest health fad — or even physical health in general. Often, we think of health in terms of our bodies, and that’s a big part of it. How we feel physically impacts every area of our lives. But real health, I’ve learned, is holistic and includes our ENTIRE selves: mind, soul, body, all of it.

This means every part of our identity impacts our overall sense of wellness. If one part is off, our entire feeling of health is compromised. If our bodies are sick, it’s hard to think straight or relate to others in a meaningful way. Similarly, if we are emotionally unwell, our bodies pick up on it. We feel exhausted, we get headaches, or we lose our appetites.

On the other hand, if our bodies are healthy, we can invest more intentionally in the things we’re passionate about. And if we feel emotionally balanced, we can rest more deeply. See the pattern? The wellness I’m seeking in 2019 is whole-person wellness rooted in real rest for my body AND my emotions. I want to nourish my whole self so I can give my whole self more freely to the people and the things I love. Doesn’t it sound good?! If you’re hankering for a new kind of health this new year, here are some practical ideas to take with you.

Focus on nutrition for your whole self. I love the occasional sweet treat. And being a Florida native, I’m a sucker for carb-laden southern cooking. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying junk food. Where I get into trouble is when I’m not being intentional or thoughtful. Have you ever noticed that after indulging in two sugary desserts, you feel deprived of energy? The same principle carries over to our mental health. Why is it that a full-day true crime Netflix binge doesn’t actually feel restful? I’ve realized that what I feed both my body and my mind directly affect how I feel. So I’m making an effort to focus on physical AND mental nutrition — filling my life with things that give me energy and help me feel, work, and love the best I can.

Incorporate play into your life. Why do kids sleep so soundly (well, some of them)? Probably because they play so hard! I love getting to the gym when I can, but sometimes, exercise feels like another thing on the to-do list. Something I need to accomplish. But chasing my kids on the beach? A mid-afternoon dance party in the kitchen? That sounds do-able. Actually, that sounds FUN. This year, I’ll be trying to incorporate more spontaneous movement into my life to promote mental and physical wellness. And as a bonus, I’ll get to connect more deeply with my kids.

Run after real rest. We touched on this in the first post of the series: Rest is a vital part of keeping things running smoothly in our lives. Without time to mentally and physically rest, we won’t have anything to offer in our jobs or our relationships. Worse, we’ll lose our capacity to dream! While rest seems counter-productive, it’s actually the most productive thing of all. Rest refuels us and enlivens us, priming us to become the people we want to be. This year, I’ll be prioritizing this kind of rest. Who’s with me?

Consider what drains you. If one part of our lives isn't running smoothly, the other parts take a hit too. Is there a relationship that needs a boundary? A part of your work week that adds unnecessary stress to your life? A recurring social commitment that fuels your anxiety? Identifying what isn’t working — anything unsustainable in your routines or lifestyle — is the first step toward reducing stress and increasing wellness. Take some time this month to evaluate what you want to keep and what needs to go, and notice how much more joy-filled the rest of your life begins to feel.

Some other suggestions for wellness in 2019:

  • I absolutely love everything Alisa Keeton does. Her book, The Wellness Revelation, and her podcast have really given me freedom and shifted how I view health.
  • Simplifying routines related to food and exercise (and giving myself lots of grace) has been a big part of my own health journey. Check out our health & fitness printable to track your water intake and exercise!
  • Why is it that we drink way more water when the bottle is cuter? I’m a big fan of these stainless steel Swell bottles, especially the Happy Stripe water bottle from our collaboration with AT-A-GLANCE, available at Target!
  • Need a quick energy boost? Get your heart rate up and break a sweat! There’s nothing like a good, upbeat playlist for a family dance party. Our Launch Day playlist has my favorite songs to groove to.

xo,

Emily

Read the rest of our Simplifying 2019 Series (so far) here: Part 1 - Grace. If you haven’t picked up your 2019 Signature Simplified Planner yet, now’s the time! They're 20% off for a limited time! Get yours before they’re gone! Also, mark your planners for January 1. We'll be starting our annual Simplicity Challenge on Instagram. Join tens of thousands of women all around the world as we simplify our lives one step at a time, day-by-day throughout the month of January. Each step takes less than fifteen minutes and exactly $0 to complete. By the end of January, life is guaranteed to feel simpler. Follow along here!

Enter to win today's AMAZING giveaway! Today's giveaway includes a Hello Fresh gift card (3 FREE meals for a family of four), a signed copy of The Wellness Project by Phoebe Lapine, a sample pack from Rodan + Fields (thanks, Leah!), a Happy Stripe Water Bottle, and a “Well” Page Marker. Giveaway ends at midnight tonight. Winner will be contacted via email.

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copyright 2019 emily ley