How you all are prioritizing wellness in the wake of COVID-19.
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As we are heading into an unconventional holiday season and approaching a brand-new year in 2021, it's going to be more important than ever to ground, center, and align ourselves. This year’s energy is less about resolutions and #goals. It’s about creating intentionality, peace, and grounding within ourselves first.
The season’s energy can bring about grief for a plethora of reasons outside of our current times, the nostalgia of how we were accustomed to spending our time, and the people we were surrounded by. Putting a few grounding routines and mindfulness practices into the new daily life can make a huge difference in emotional and spiritual wellbeing.
Here are a few practical tips that you can take with you for the next few weeks as you ease into 2021 feeling grounded, intentional, and inflow with your energy.
Check out this article where I share with you a few non-fussy and easy breathing techniques that you can try out anytime. Mindful breathwork is the #1 way to regulate our body’s natural healing systems. It helps us calm down our body especially during a time where we are experiencing a lot of transitions. It also helps our body release and regulate feel-good hormones that we might be lacking, especially during seasonal changes.
In times of lower daylight and sun exposure, we have to take extra caution to allow our bodies to produce some of the feel-good hormones, and we can do that by mindful breathwork.
A breathing practice doesn’t have to be complicated. We aren’t talking about going into an hour-long shamanic breathwork session. We’re talking about adopting a 30-second to a three-minute routine that you can repeat several times during the day as you wish. This is a gamechanger for how your body releases and processes hormones, promotes calmness and peace, and regulates flow within the body. Find one to two breathwork techniques that feel doable and implement them into your daily life right away.
In this unconventional year, nothing has been normal. You might feel that your routines, your patterns, and even your identity have changed in the last few months. With so many things in flux, we could experience something known as a spiritual hangover. This is when you’ve been doing a lot of mindfulness and inner work, self-reflection, and getting hyper intentional about what you’re creating in your life. Because of this, you very well may be exhausted.
Now, our natural inclination is to fill up our time, to create more projects, to be busy, to surround ourselves with more stimulus and to-dos. And as much as we may want to do that, it’s okay if we just allow ourselves to be exhausted.
No one is expecting you to be a super person at a time where we are all doing the best that we can. So, what would it be like for you to give yourself time and permission to rest? This may be a radical idea, but try clearing out your time, even if you have to schedule it in your calendar. Remind yourself—I’m going to do nothing but rest and serve my soul in a way where I do something that feels energetically nourishing rather than depleting. For you, this might be literally sitting and watching TV. It might be working in the garden. It might be listening to music. It might be a breathwork dance party. Find the form of rest that aligns with you and catch yourself if the habit of creating busy work starts to creep up.
In 2020, we cheekily called it 20/20 vision—The Year of the Vision and played that one to the ground. But this year really did clear up the vision for many of us. Now is a great time for you to be very intentional about habits, thoughts, patterns, and even people that you may want to separate yourself from going into the next season of 2021.
Reflect on where your precious time, energy, and resources have been going and if it aligns with what you envision for yourself to experience in the upcoming year. Your energy is more valuable than ever. We have experienced working from home, separating from our families and friends, changing routines, adapting new roles, and so much more. The time, the energy, and the resources you will utilize going forward must come from a place of absolute intention.
You must involve play and joy back into your life. Staying in a state of worry, sadness, and grief can become extremely harmful to your overall well-being. Yes, we absolutely do need to process and acknowledge it as a collective, AND we get to find ways where we can still have fun. We have so many blessings to count; we have so many things to be grateful for and it’s okay if you give yourself permission to do something that makes you crack up.
In fact, go ahead and place both your hands on your belly and laugh like you heard something hilarious. I mean it. Laugh like you heard the funniest thing in the world. Put on that comedy and laugh. Tell that dumb joke to your friends. Tell yourself something that brings you joy. Dance. Move your body. Express yourself. Let’s fingerpaint.
Not only is this energetically healing, when we laugh and find joy, we actually produce the feel-good hormones right here in our own body. When we laugh, we’re essentially pumping out our gut hormones that have oxytocin, serotonin, dopamine. Turns out, 95% of our neurotransmitters are produced in our gut flora; When we allow ourselves to move, have fun, and play, we’re not only having a really good time, we’re also giving our body a dose of amazing feel-good hormones.
Notice if your relationship with joy and fun have been compromised in the last few months. If you’ve been going through it or if things have been tough, maybe you have felt guilty for having fun. Maybe you’ve been feeling guilty for doing something that brings you joy like playing outside with your pets or laughing like a maniac. Right here, right now we get to do something completely radical—we get to give ourselves that permission to play. We get to know that we are living, we are alive, we are well, and we have the opportunity to decide to be intentional about the vibration and the energy we are wanting to bring with us into 2021.
So as you ease into the flow of 2021, breathe, be gentle, reflect, and have fun.
To say the last year and a half was tough would be an understatement. In fact, it will probably go down as one of the most difficult times for our modern generation. In one of the many social polls we conducted during the pandemic, some of you described this time as a sheer “dumpster fire” or “like stepping on a Lego.” And to be honest, I couldn’t agree more.
Luckily, we’ve been able to get back to some form of normalcy in our lives and wellness routines over the last several months. As vaccines became available to the public, wellness businesses welcomed fitness fanatics, haircut seekers, and massage lovers back to in-person wellness experiences. And thank goodness for that—my roots and horrible posture from working from my bed were both getting wildly out of control. This girl needed a good massage and cupping session stat.
If there’s one thing we learned from the pandemic, it’s that our wellness routines are as personal as they are important. During shelter-at-home, those routines looked a bit different. For many, it meant taking a new approach to the “typical” wellness services we count on—I’m looking at you DIY haircuts, at-home waxing sessions (ouch!), and virtual swerking classes.
Now that we can leave our humble abodes to take advantage of in-person experiences again, the word “wellness” has seemingly taken on a new meaning.
Recently, we conducted another one of our famous social polls to see what wellness means to you, our Mindbody community, now that we're slowly but surely getting back to our regularly scheduled programming. We also tapped some of our most influential Mindbody business owners about the ever-evolving wellness landscape.
Here’s what you all had to say.
According to our annual Mindbody Wellness Index, 60% of Americans say they’re more focused on their health and wellness since COVID. Consumers are now realizing they need to take greater care of themselves to optimize and preserve their health. When we asked you on Instagram how important wellness is, a whopping 98% said it was more important than ever. When it comes to how you’re practicing wellness, though, the answers were all over the board. Many of you pointed to journaling, practicing breathwork, and daily workout routines (cycling and yoga topped the list) as being the activities that help you keep your chill throughout the week.
I’m also happy to report that over 50% said you tend to feel more blessed than stressed on a daily basis—which is more than likely a big improvement. Let’s be honest, a year ago I would’ve bet a billion dollars that 99.9% of us knew no other feeling than anxiety—am I right? But even with the stress in our lives dwindling, many of you are still experiencing burnout at the end of a long work week (guilty!). But instead of succumbing to a bottle of wine for relief (please, that was so 2020), you’re unwinding by going to your favorite workout classes—with hot yoga, barre, and Pilates as your faves.
Let’s be honest, we should credit the business owners in this space for helping us reignite our spark when it comes to our wellness routines, right? Thanks to them, we’ve been inspired to prioritize the activities that help us feel our best. In turn, we thought it’d be interesting to learn what wellness means to them—and how that definition has changed over the past eighteen months.
Here’s what they had to say.
“Wellness is living in balance—mind, body, spirit. Highs and lows. It all ebbs and flows and we can navigate it a bit better when we take time to move, breath and remember who we are, and how we are connected to this big, beautiful world.” - Jess Pierno, Founder, Owner, and Chief Inspiration Officer of Yoga Heights
“Wellness is a true balancing of the mental, physical, and spiritual. It has definitely evolved over the years for me—from something that I just thought was about exercising and eating a healthy diet—to also incorporating balancing and healing internally and spiritually.” - Stefanie Patterson, Owner, Indianapolis Salt Cave and Halotherapy Center
“My sense of wellness has evolved from staying healthy and motivated, mind/body/spirit... to being more gentle with myself, less demanding. Accepting my limitations, taking time for resting, and gaining real clarity about what's important. I care less about what people think of me—difficult as a performer and as a business owner with so many demands on me—and more about getting quiet and tapping into the divine source inside of me that helps me discern my next move. In this way, I know my motives are as pure as possible and I'm not getting distracted—not that I don't make mistakes! Those are necessary, that's how we learn!” - Johanna Krynytzky, Owner, Hip Expressions Belly Dance Studio
“My studio name reminds us that we are constantly evolving. The past 18 months have certainly shown us that! Wellness to me means doing your best on any given day to make sure that you are taking care of yourself as best you can. It leads to resilience. Diet, exercise, sleep, a sense of community, and some form of faith. It all matters. Setbacks happen all the time, and every day is a chance to start again. We strive to be 'cheerleaders' for our clients when we sense that things are coming out of balance in their lives. So many have been with us for 18 years and are friends—they are our community and we all watch out for each other.” - Mo Wolfe, Owner and Founder, Evolution Pilates
I think we can all agree that there isn’t one true definition of wellness anymore. To some of us, it means getting that hot yoga sesh in daily, and to others, it means carving out time to treat ourselves to a massage or manicure. As long as you’re actively pursuing wellness—whatever that means to you—you're on the right track.
Our MO has always been about connecting the world to wellness—a term that's seen a lot of change lately. Whether you’re fully embracing the in-person experience or still delighted by the convenience of practicing at-home wellness, the Mindbody app makes it easy for you to book experiences that help you feel like YOU again.