Happy New Year!
There’s something about the New Year. Maybe it’s that sense of possibility for the next 12 months. Perhaps it’s the feeling of anticipation to start something new. Or maybe it’s the hope that the year ahead of us will be better than the one behind us.
These sentiments have never been truer than in 2021. We’ve set some high expectations for this year – and most of us have hopes higher than ever before. A tumultuous and, in many ways, life-altering 2020 left our collective heads spinning. That said, the countless challenges we faced showed us just how resilient and adaptable we could be.
The good news? Yes, there is a great deal. We can build upon many of the changes we made in 2020, whether intentional, circumstantial, or not. For many of us, it felt as though we were simply doing our best to get through each day or new challenge for much of the past year. For others, the word challenge would be a euphemism. Several of us experienced losses never to be replaced.
Now that we’ve had some time to catch our breath, we can take a closer look at what we’ve learned and how we can apply those lessons to a new year.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a lasting impact on everyone throughout 2020. This catastrophic event confirmed the importance of many things, among them, building and maintaining healthy habits. If you didn’t already commit to getting and staying healthy in 2020, there is still plenty of time to start now, with 12 new months ahead?
We’re here to help. Below are just a few simple ways to boost your wellness routine, support your immunity, and make some positive changes in the new year.
1. Get into nature
First and foremost, spend more time outside! There is a growing list of scientific evidence showing positive links between being in nature and improved health. Just stepping outside, breathing in the fresh air, and feeling the sun on your face can improve your mood.
If you already practice grounding, try it outside—yes, in the cold. Go for a walk in some grounding footwear, and while hiking, touch a rock or tree with your bare hands. Find ways to make contact and reconnect with the earth and enjoy the season with all your senses. If you are unfamiliar with grounding and all its benefits, learn more here.
2. Exercise (preferably outside)
Home is undoubtedly the safest place during these times. Don’t make “staying inside” the reason you don’t exercise, though. Being too sedentary is bad for you on many levels. You can certainly go outside and remain safe.
Did you know that doing a physical activity like walking or jogging outside—instead of on a treadmill in a gym or your spare bedroom—can provide additional health and wellness benefits?
Fresh air, sunshine, natural surroundings. These elements can give you a lift that you just can’t find in the stuffy confines of a workout room.
If you’re working from home, take regular breaks and head outdoors for a quick walk around the block or your neighborhood. This simple activity can help clear your head, get the blood pumping and the thoughts flowing, and you will return to your workspace refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of your day.
This phrase has become the new hot one for many. Juggling work, home, and family life (sometimes all at once) felt exactly like that—a juggling act. For most of us, keeping up with it all left us drained by the end of the day, with little time or energy for self-care.
It’s essential to put ourselves higher on our priority list. After all, if we feel sluggish or tired, we’re not at our best. So how can we take care of everyone else? Just like scheduling breaks during your workday, fit the all-important “Me Time” into your busy schedule, too.
Take 10 minutes to read a book or soak in a bubble bath with those fancy bath products you’ve been saving. Or indulge by going to bed early! Getting the right amount of quality sleep is essential for good health, so don’t feel guilty about turning in at 9 p.m. or even earlier.
If you’ve never tried meditation, a new year is a perfect time to start! Meditation is the practice of being still and quieting your mind (we know—easier said than done!) Our lives are busy, even if we are spending most of our time at home.
Balancing it all and providing for everyone else is an even better reason to set aside a few quiet minutes for ourselves. It can set a positive tone for the whole day. There are many forms, all of which are helpful, restorative and nourishing; among them, mindful mediation and heart-centered meditation, or of course, your custom practice.
Try meditating while grounding, whether outside or using a grounding product indoors. Going deeper into meditation allows you to focus solely on the present—the grounding elements add a solid connection to the earth.
It’s an intense experience, and as faithful practitioners will tell you, deeply satisfying. Twenty to 30 minutes is ideal daily for many; even ten minutes here and there will foster great results. Due to circumstances caused by the virus this year, even more programs and mediums are available for participation.
There is a bounty of excellent sources for learning and starting from scratch: numerous books, podcasts, streaming, and Zoom sessions in addition to audio recordings and guided meditations are available for whether you’re are a seasoned portioner or a newbie interested in the beginning.
5. Grounding Yoga
Did you ever wonder why so many yogis do their practice on the beach or ground? Standing or sitting directly on the sand or grass gives them the added benefit of making direct contact with the earth.
Yoga instills a feeling of calm, balance, and security as you work through a series of intentional movements. It can go hand-in-hand with grounding’s practice of drawing on the earth’s natural energies to create inner balance and calm. Several websites and videos are available to help you incorporate yoga into your grounding practice and vice versa. We recommend doing so highly.