Body Wellness Series
This article is part of the Body Wellness Series. It's a proven fact that our thoughts influence our behavior. Body Wellness is a mindset we adopt to move beyond the preoccupation we have with our physical body and the "right" way to eat and upgrade our daily thoughts about food choices, body, weight, and lifestyle. It's a concept central to my coaching practice but also essential to keep in mind for any mindful cook and eater looking to achieve greater vibrancy and ease. Because as Tony Robbins says: where our focus goes, energy flows.
'Tis the season when our calendars get increasingly busier by the day. We're inundated with obligations and parties and holiday prepping. Maybe some of us feel pressure to "perform"; to put on our stage face and decorate, bake, and shop more than we'd like. To continue pushing forward no matter what, because we've got to keep.checking.off that to-do list!
We spend most of our time in reactive mode, automatically reacting to urgent matters that are not necessarily important or meaningful activities. The adrenaline and sense of urgency is seductive. We feel important. But what would happen if we could break the cycle of reactivity? We would live more intentionally, life would be less complicated, and we'd have more time for the important and meaningful. Especially useful during the holidays!
Through nutrition school, working with private clients, and in my personal journey to Whole Nourishment, I've learned when our thoughts, feelings, words, and actions are aligned (e.g. when we're in tune with and operating from that core, authentic place) we find the sweet spot between productivity, calm, and wellness.
When we know our priorities, we deliberately plan our days.
A key strategy to finding that sweet spot and living intentionally is to carve out white space each day. This is something I've learned to make time for over the years, and I encourage clients to do the same.
What is white space? How do I benefit from it?
White space is the time we prioritize in our schedule to realign; to slow down, check in, and just be. We're not pushing anything forward. We're purposefully pausing to recharge. We're doing less to achieve more. Although this sounds counter-intuitive, I've noticed two benefits to embracing white space.
- Hitting pause in our day is like allowing dough to rest before rolling, shaping, and baking. It becomes more pliable and willing. When we take time to recharge, we're more effective and efficient with our time and energy.
- Honoring white space breaks the cycle of automaticity. It encourages more awareness; we tune into how we're feeling, what we need as a result, and course-correct as appropriate. It creates space between one part of our day and the next, allowing us to respond to events and make decisions in a deliberate way rather than react impulsively.
How Do I Make Time for White Space?
- Create a list of accessible "me-time" activities: If your days are hectic and busy, think of quiet, calming activities that clear your mind. This might be a walk in the park, journaling, soaking in a bath, massage, meditation, or yoga. If you already have plenty of quiet time in your day, get creative. You might want something more energizing and playful. Dance lessons? Hula hooping? Volunteering for dog walks at an animal shelter?
- Schedule the activities in your weekly calendar and honor them: Literally, block your calendar and treat this time as sacred. Use the time to disconnect from to-dos, recharge your batteries, and reconnect with your intentions for the day.
- Keep the activities simple and short: Even 5 minutes is effective for breaking the autopilot cycle and has a cumulative effect, when done consistently.
Living intentionally plays a significant role in Body Wellness. It fosters consciousness and helps us respond deliberately rather than react impulsively. As a result, we're more careful about how we spend our time and we make better food choices.
This week, instead of posting another recipe, I wanted to pause and collect my thoughts. With the deluge of festive recipes and holiday gift guides scattered across the internet, I needed to remember it's okay to not always be pushing forward. I'm giving myself permission to slow down, take a step back, and intentionally choose what I want to share with you this week.
We can all benefit from giving ourselves this permission more often. So I trust that what I needed to write about this week also helps you this holiday season, and all year long.
For more holiday wellness support and tips on slowing down, read: