I was already planning on writing on this topic when I happened upon Goop.com this morning and their featured post of the day titled, “How a Pacific Northwest Glacier and the Ocean made an incredible clay.” Let the record show that I have nothing against Goop or clay and actually rather enjoy the former and find the latter in mask form to be a very effective skin cleanser. In a lot of ways this health and wellness bubble feels like the natural swing of the pendulum. For decades the food we ate and the products we put on our bodies have been chock full of chemicals and pesticides and it’s just now in the age of social media that more than just a small minority group of people living in Topanga Canyon care and are willing to do something about. In the age of crystals, cupping, and curated vitamins, though, it has me wondering how you define living well and healthfully for you since one has neither the time or disposable income to do all the things– to meditate in the morning while rose quartz rolling your face before consuming an apple cider vinegar smoothie that you drink while consulting your sugar coach on your current detox followed by a stand up paddle board yoga sesh that you complete in time to rush home to ferment your own foods because #guthealth. I could go on, but in short, you can’t do all the things so you have to decide what’s important to you. What makes you feel well? I’ve been thinking about this a lot. When life starts spinning and I feel spread thin or stressed about all of the things on my plate, what are the hard and fast things I know I can turn to that will make me feel centered and balanced and well. These are my 10, in no particular order. I would love to know what is important to your health and wellness.
(above and below image via Goop)
- Eating good food, mostly made at home. I have come to peace with the idea of spending more money on better food. I think it taste betters, leaves me feeling better after I eat it, and is better for the earth and the people growing it. For me that means buying organic, not eating a lot of processed foods, and choosing local restaurants with healthy-ish menus that buy in smaller quantities and usually more thoughtfully. We try to eat at home during the week but eat out frequently on the weekends.
2. Moving my body. I don’t do the same thing every day. It just doesn’t fit in my schedule right now with work and two young kids and I also don’t really enjoy doing the same thing every day, but I do take meetings when I can at Town Lake, walking and talking along the way. I run in the mornings before breakfast when I can and get to barre class when I can which is a real treat. If none of those things has happened in a day then I pack up the girls after dinner and we stroller and scooter around the neighborhood. I’m happier when I’m feeling strong and fit-ish and moving my body in one way or another.
One on one time with Aaron. I feel so refreshed when I get one on one time with Aaron, whether it’s dinner or a concert or just watching a movie at home after the kids go to sleep without our phones. We spend so much time trying (in vain) to complete full sentences to each when the kids are around. I thrive on slow time together.
Taking care of my skin. For the past couple of years I have been learning more about taking better care of my skin– probably a common rite of passage for the thirties! I’ve noticed that I feel better mentally and physically when I take those 5-10 minutes in the morning and evening to go through my whole (varying) routine.
Time with my girlfriends. I once read that women in particular thrive on time with other women. The article traced it back to more primal times when men would leave the pack and hunt for the tribe, while women stayed back and communally took care of the children and homestead. Women, it said, were wired with more of a “village” mentality and I don’t know if that’s true for every woman, but my mental state needs time together with my girlfriends.
Being present for my family. Being physically and emotionally present for my family gives me a sense of contentedness that nothing else does. It feels like I’m living part of my true purpose in life. In order to be able to do this it means that I have to be weary of saying yes to too many things and over scheduling our life.
Doing things for other people. I think that when we do something for someone else– whether it’s donating to a friend’s cause, raising money ourselves for a movement, or helping out a friend or stranger who has a need that we can fill, it reminds us that there’s something bigger than us and the day to day mundaneness of life. It feels meaningful and brings me a lot of joy.
Taking vitamins and supplements. After Ever was born, I did a lot of research on vitamins and supplements. I wanted to make sure that the milk she was getting from me was as nutrient-rich as possible and that I was fulfilling my own physical needs. A doctor in the hospital recommended 5000 daily IU of Vitamin D and that got me started down the rabbit hole of learning about vitamins and supplements. In addition to the Vit D, I also currently take turmeric, fish oil, a prenatal multi, and a probiotic. My favorite brand is Garden of Life.
Having an uncluttered home. Feng shui is real! I actually am not well versed in the details of how it works, but I know that an uncluttered home, made bed, and clean kitchen are needed for me to feel at my best.
Trying new things. I think this is the most distinct difference between how Aaron and I are wired. When he finds something that he loves, he can rinse and repeat that same formula with contentedness forever. I, on the other hand, am always seeking out new adventures, activities, restaurants, and recipes. Variation and newness keep things exciting for me. Some times new things are a bust but it’s also the only way to grow and broaden your palette / horizons / or whatever it may be. So guess what? At some point I will probably try cupping and crystals and all of the wonderful, goop-y things, but I’ll only adopt what feels right for me.
What keeps you feeling well?