2020 goals for more than just your physical health
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There’s nothing quite like coming home from a stressful day at work to a majorly excited dog or cat who loves you unconditionally. More than much-appreciated companionship, did you know your four-legged friend can elevate your wellness?
Whether it’s extra "walkies" getting you up and moving outside, or the stress relief of having your best friend nearby, here’s a few ways owning a pet can improve your physical and emotional health.
Exercise isn’t always at the gym. Whether it’s running around at the dog park, hiking, or just taking a walk, you can really step up your fitness with Fido! Dog owners are 54% more likely to stay active than those in a floof-free home. Have a pet that doesn't like to walk? No problem. Drop in on a last-minute fitness class after work—we promise they'll be twice as excited when you get home.
Feeling overwhelmed? Sometimes just the boop of a snoot can do wonders for everyday stress, and even anxiety and depression.
“One of the major signs of depression is the feeling that life has no value,” says Susan Levy, an internist and geriatrician. “When you’re responsible for another living thing, it gives you value, which is key to breaking out and preventing depression.”
Plus, who doesn't love a good puppy cuddle?!
Sometimes your pet can be *so* cute your heart just can’t take it, but actually, being a dog or cat owner can actually make it stronger. Not only does going on regular walks potentially help reduce your risk of heart disease, but owning pets can lower blood pressure. Heart eyes for that one.
If you want to get out more, your pup is the perfect icebreaker. Grab your pet’s leash and walk down to the new dog-friendly brewery in your neighborhood, or stop to chat with the fellow dog moms and dads on your evening walk. You and your dog will have new friends; it’s a win-win.
Don't have a furry friend? There's plenty of other ways to increase your wellness. Book a massage, acupuncture, yoga, and more on Mindbody!
When you think of self-love what do you think of? Bubble baths, walks on the beach, facemasks, or what? Self-love can mean so many different things but when we think about self-love, we have to acknowledge loving ourselves both on the outside and on the inside. The way that we show ourselves love is one of the most important things we will ever do.
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 self-love defines and redefined itself for you over the years, here are a few foundational tips to think about when easing into your self-love journey.
Don’t we love this one? Loving ourselves has a lot to do with the boundaries that we have for ourselves, with others, and for others. Take time to think about your own emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual needs when setting boundaries that reflect your personal needs. Boundaries don’t have to be big and scary; they are here to remind us that you get to have your lived experience and still have expectations about how you’d like to be treated and what you’d like to feel.
When thinking about your boundaries, ask yourself:
In a world where perfectionism and curated existences have been rewarded, begin to cultivate compassion for yourself. You are a soul having a human experience and it’s totally okay if things are not perfect.
Mindfulness exercises such as Breathwork, self-care activities, and self-compassion, all help train the mind, emotions, and even the body’s stress chemicals to be able to deal with undesired situations. Self-compassion means, can you be nice to yourself? Can you find empathy and kindness for yourself in the middle of what feels chaotic, stressful, or unwanted? Self-compassion means that we get to make mistakes, have our plans not work out the way that we wanted, and we still get to celebrate that we are doing the best that we can and it is enough.
When thinking about self-compassion, ask yourself:
In every sense of the word “nourishment”, begin to learn what nourishes you and what depletes you. Nourishment doesn’t just mean food for yourself; it means that whatever you are consuming whether it be media, podcasts, people, energy, information, etc. all impact the way that we think, feel, and experience life.
Nourishing yourself definitely goes right along the lines of having your boundaries intact and practicing self-compassion.
When thinking about nourishment, ask yourself:
That’s it. Those are the foundational steps to cultivating a self-love practice that you can ease into your daily routine. Come back to these questions often, because like anything else, self-love is a practice and it takes effort, time, and intention to maintain.