2016 Cleanse: Mind, Body & Makeup Bag
Posted on January 06 2016
There are a million and one of these articles floating around…but New Year, new plan of attack right?
When you're breathing deeply [#mindfullness] in a room full of mineral dust.
It’s week one of the new year and odds are your newsfeed is cluttered with articles advising you on ways to kick off 2016. New and improved juice cleanses, the perks of Dry January, discounted gym membership ads and articles about the latest must-have gym accessories to go with your new membership…and the list goes on. If you’re like me, you’re somewhere in between perturbed by the redundant annual advice and ecstatic about the fresh slate of a new year. So I figured, the ideal New Years game plan must lie somewhere between juice-cleanse-dry-January and online shopping spree. Here’s what I came up with:
2015 was wild and the holidays only amplified the crazy. With family in town and holiday orders to tend to, I like many, was propelled into 2016 at maximum speed. And as I lay in bed the morning of January 1st scrolling through every email and social medium on my phone to postpone the departure from my bed, the internet stars aligned. On the very top of my newsfeed was a Psychology Today article on the power of mindfulness.
What I learned: Mindfulness is a state of open attention to the present that allows you to take a more objective look at your own thoughts and feelings. The more mindful you are, the more awake you are to the moment that you’re living in.
How I plan to attempt to attain this mindful state: journaling, mediating, improving my yoga attendance and drafting up some type of vision board. Psychology Today says that mindfulness is taking the time to think about your thinking. For me, to journal means to slow my mind down long enough to transcribe my thoughts onto a page. And as it turns out, meditating doesn’t need to mean 45 minutes in a silent room with incense, it can be 5 minutes dedicated to focusing on your breath. Thus, yoga is an excellent place to hone in on your breathing and to channel your energy toward all things positive. And in that same vein, a vision board [be it in the form of Pinterest, an old-fashioned cork board, or bullet point list] of positive things aids in the manifestation of mindfulness but channeling your energy toward encouraging goals and ideas.
In past years, I’ve decided to jump abruptly into a brand new gym memberships or workout grind. This year, I’m going to apply my mantra of mindfulness to my fitness regimen by working from the framework of self care. Rather than jumping head first into the icy pool of 5 AM runs and juice cleanses, I'm going to honor my body by listening to what it needs. This abrupt approach to physical change never felt like a good idea, but I wasn’t sold on ditching it until I stumbled upon a slew of scientific facts to explain exactly what it was doing to my body.
What I learned: Jumping into strenuous exercise routines and diet plans can cue your body to release more toxins than it is equipped to handle, which can leave you feeling sick and lethargic.
How I plan to infuse my fitness regimen with self care: gentle exercise, quality sleep, and a cocktail of healing rituals. What qualifies as gentle exercise is subjective, so to decide what it means to you personally requires you to listen to your body. Pushing yourself to exercise is healthy, as long as you aren’t stressing your system beyond capacity. Equally as important to getting exercise is getting enough quality sleep to charge you up for the day. I won’t bore you with the countless benefits of sleep, but navigate yonder if you need motivation to pencil in a nightly 7-9 hours. Finally, a cocktail of healing rituals. My recipe will most likely consist of an occasional therapeutic massage, getting into the habit of dry brushing my skin before showering [a flowin’ lymph system is a healthy lymph system] and drinking more tea…but to each their own! Cheers to #selfcare and giving your body some love in return for all of its hard work.
An abundance of ambitions for the new year is great, but the odds of making them happen are lower when you have an abundance of everything else as well. For instance, my living environment tends to reflect my mental state. The clutter status of my closet, bedroom, or makeup bag tends to correlate directly with my stress level. And it turns out this isn’t just me.
What I learned: The more things you have, the more your sensory system has to interpret. Clutter drags your attention is multiple directions, over-stimulating your brain and inhibiting your ability to relax, focus, problem-solve, and create.
How I plan to conquer the clutter: reorganizing, recycling and revamping! Word on the street is all of these things are more fun with good tunes, so my plan is to bust out my best playlists and conquer my closet, bedroom and makeup bag with gusto. The experts recommend getting rid of any clothing and belonging that you haven’t used in the last six months. They also suggest taking a step back and asking yourself if you would purchase your belonging today if you were to see it in a store. Once the recycling and reorganizing is done, revamping can be easy. Grab a new plant or frame a new photo to add some new life to your environment. Clearing your spaces means clearing the mind, and creating space for your 2016 change!
Here’s to 2016 being the best year yet!