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It’s not breaking news: the new year equates to a must-do, or you’ll be disappointed mentality. From cutting sugar to being kinder, every January 1st of my adult life I have penned a laundry list of New Year's resolutions.... and to be honest, every year I find myself feeling overwhelmed by my somewhat fictitious commitments. It only took thirty-something trips around the sun, but I finally learned my lesson.
I’ve officially ditched the traditional notion of resolutions for goals. After the champagne toasts are over and my yoga pants are on, I set goals. My personal mantras to make *me* better. It could be one or three, but I outline real, authentic goals that illicit an overjoyed feeling when it comes to a fresh perspective. Forget the whole new year, new you—I am now embracing the new year as a continuation of my journey. An exclamation point on my well-being.
But what really made me say goodbye to resolutions? Despite how much I enjoy sparklers and the dressy attire, these are the three reasons why I changed how I view the start to a new year. It’s about time we loved ourselves a little more and kicked some serious butt.
Real talk: Resolutions set us up for disappointment.
I once read a blog that said when you set expectations, you set yourself up for disappointment. Lightbulb moment: resolutions are just that. Whether it’s my wellness plan, work, or a relationship, I’ve found this truth to be, well, pretty true. So instead of making resolutions, I look at the new year as a chance for simple, positive guiding principles that can influence my actions each and every day. You shouldn’t feel bad about yourself just because the scale doesn’t show that magical number you wanted to reach by a certain date or your busy calendar had you miss your gym session. Life happens—and I am finally realizing that.
Feel the focus: Find what's most important to you.
As we welcome a new year, find one area of your life you want to focus your energy on. For me, it’s all about mental (and emotional) wellness. By refining my new year's goals, I can shift my focus to one element of my life that I would like to improve on personally and everything else that benefits my well-being is an added bonus. Fitness, finances, relationships, balance—aspects of our life can feel overwhelming. Streamlining a relatable goal can help prioritize what is most important to you in the new year. And don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t have to be a lofty goal either... find that one thing you are hoping to shift for an even more amazing you.
Note to self: It’s okay to fail. Seriously.
It took a long time for me to not feel guilty for not meeting (or exceeding) my resolutions. Why didn’t I do it right? Why couldn’t I make it happen? These negative questions would plague the lines of my journal just a few weeks into the new year. I used to feel like my resolutions were this hard deadline I must achieve. Now, by establishing goals and accepting that they can shift, I’ve created a sense of positive accountability, accepting that it’s okay to reset my priorities and update what I want to achieve as the year progresses. Maybe I didn’t stick to my meal plan by eating a homemade brownie at work. Or maybe I didn’t hit the bench press reps I was on track to complete today. But guess what? I enjoyed that treat. I still made it to the gym. Owning change and accepting accomplishments—even if they seem small—is something we should all be proud of.
So this new year, join me in ditching resolutions and setting goals! Watch out 2020; this is going to be our best year yet!
Since 1992, April has been recognized as Stress Awareness Month. It was established to help shed light on the issues behind stress, teach us how to fight it, and create methods to overcome it. While this initiative has existed just shy of three decades, this year it seems particularly important.
With a year under our belts in pandemic mode—a lot of us had to get creative when it came to keeping our cool. On top of that, everyday stresses didn’t just magically disappear during this time either. Just think about it—have you ever been in a situation that was overwhelming? Maybe you’ve had a looming deadline or a to-do list that seems, well...totally un-doable? If you’ve ever felt you were in over your head, please know you’re not alone—you never are. At one time or another, we’ve all been affected by stress—although each person may manifest it differently. Me? I'm definitely a frequent rider on the "hot mess stress express."
There are many ways to help combat stress—some of us seek out support from friends and family, while others find solace in taking up meditation or unwinding with a relaxing yoga class. Whatever helps you find peace, just keep doing you. But also know we have some resources to help you overcome stress whenever the need arises.
Here are some blog posts that are always available to you when you feel a little stressed out:
When in doubt, breathwork expert and sound healer, Shanila Sattar, always has tips to help ground yourself—especially in times of need. In this blog post, she gives you the recipe for incorporating self-love into your daily routine by encouraging us to ask ourselves these questions: How do we treat ourselves? How do we talk to ourselves? What foods are we putting into our bodies? How are we thinking about our overall well-being when practicing self-love? As we all know, self-love defines and redefines itself for everyone over the years, here are a few foundational tips to think about when easing into your self-love journey.
Yoga Nidra, or “yogic sleep,” is a practice that has been around for thousands of years and it aims to restore the mind, body, and soul through deep, guided meditation. The way it works is like the way a power nap helps one feel refreshed during a particularly exhausting day, except you aren’t technically sleeping. I describe it as a long-form of savasana—anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour. (Real talk: savasana is one of the best parts of practicing yoga, am I right?)
TLDR: I learned that I could conquer stress in a matter of minutes with Yoga Nidra.
Are we safe in saying this last year brought up a ton of emotions the likes of which we did not plan for? The good, the bad, the “unprecedented”—our hearts and minds have been taken on a wild rollercoaster ride, and for many of us, our mental health is suffering. With our minds running in thousands of directions, it’s hard to notice our own needs. Yes, our attention to the goings-on of last year is vital but caring for ourselves is as important as ever. Here are some tips from our favorite yoga instructor, Dani Schenone.
Have you been feeling it? The big emotion floating around the last year is the Big Anxiety. Coupled with the stress of what the COVID-19 pandemic has bought for millions of people, disturbed wellness routines, and worry, we have a recipe to create massive damage to ourselves. Adjusting to the new normal, with social distancing practices in place and adapting to precautions and routines, may be the root of even more anxiousness for many as we’re navigating uncharted territories.
If you've got those familiar feelings of stress and anxiety coursing through your body right now, you're definitely not alone. We get it. Times are uncertain, our mental health is taxed, we're doing what we can to reduce stress and anxiety in general, and relaxation has taken a back seat. It’s no secret that stress is proven to weaken our immunity, so now more than ever, it's important to relax, deal with what's happening, and find the coping mechanisms to help you reclaim your mental health and reduce your involvement in stressed moments. Let's deal with stress and anxiety together and see what we can do to reduce them.
Meditation will change your life if you let it. The pace of our modern life is at least ten times what it was just 10 years ago. Technology improved our lives but also created a more frenetic and stressful pace. If we decided to stop, breathe, and become more mindful, we would reduce stress and experience much more enjoyment in each moment of our everyday lives.
There’s always something to worry about. Whether it’s our career, relationships, dating, or trauma, we go through moments that bombard us with negative thoughts that can make us feel anxious and stressed. Our worries may often define our choices, our view of the world, or ourselves. This doesn’t mean they are faults, flaws, or downfalls—we just need to practice managing them in a healthy way, placing deserved value on self-care. Yoga is only one connection. Check out these seven yoga poses that can help your mind and body when you’re experiencing anxiety, depression, or overall stress.
We’re all guilty of our routines and habits running our lives at one point or another. We’re all guilty of being attached to our schedules and our to-do list. We’re all guilty of running on a loop every now and then. As the energies of 2021 continue to shift, we get to ask ourselves the intentions of why and how we are participating in the places we are participating in, the thoughts we are thinking, the habits we are cultivating, and the communities that we are a part of. This intention and mindfulness process can not only shift our own experiences but of those around us as well.
If you have found meditation to be useful in trying times, right now is an incredible time to also try virtual sound baths to receive the deep sound healing benefits. As many of us are processing a variety of emotions as a collective—stress, worry, fear, anxiety, uncertainty—we can start to cause long-term damage to our bodies, especially to our immune and nervous systems. Giving ourselves self-care in a way that is easy, non-intrusive, and simple, can be the perfect way to help your body restore.
These resources aren’t the only thing we have to help you deal with stress—they’re just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, there are tons of classes available to you on the Mindbody app and through Mindbody Flex to help you reignite your calm whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed. And always remember, at the end of the day, your best is always good enough.