2018 – What. A. Year.
For me, 2018 was truly a year of growth (aka: my word of the year!). I grew in my relationship & friendships, in my full time job, monetarily, and in my Wellness journey. I formed new habits and discovered new interests that only affirmed that I’m moving in the right direction towards a happier and healthier life. And with this knowledge, here are the habits I’m bringing with me this year! For each, I had at least a month to implement and see what truly made an impact on my health.
1.) BOUNDARIES ON ELECTRONICS
I am a SUCKER for Instagram and Netflix. I’m a notorious binge watcher and can watch seasons of a show in a day. Same goes for the gram: I find myself mindlessly going down a loop hole and then POOF – hours have gone by. I realized that that’s not how I want to spend my time and energy. I continuously wrote in my intentions about spending quality time with those currently in my life and connecting with new people, and if I truly wanted to live into that, then I needed to make time to plan ahead of those things. And I gained more time once I set some boundaries on my use of electronics.
I started with a night time routine where I tucked my phone away at 9pm. I set my alarm for the next morning since I do use my phone as an alarm clock, then turn on the “Do Not Disturb” function, and away it goes until the next day!
Giving myself this time each night ensures that I connect with my boyfriend free of distractions or better connect with myself. I take baths and instead of scrolling, I read. Or I listen to a podcast or music as I start to wind down for the evening. And initially, what made it easier to implement was that I told people about it so I had less distractions towards the end of the night! All of my friends are in complete support and some have started creating electronic boundaries of their own.
By the last few months of the year, I created a morning routine that included “no phone time until after a morning activity” which means either a workout or eating breakfast. I like that my day doesn’t begin with a flood of blue lights and OTHER people. I can use that morning time to naturally wake up and think about my day. Sometimes if I’m awake enough, I’m mindful and attentive enough to create some intentions for the day. Other times, I just go through my morning routine and I’m allowing my body to do it without any distractions.
Mentally, I feel more in tune with the natural rhythm of my body; I know how I feel when I wake up and when I fall asleep. It gives me time to be introspective and think about topics or interests that I truly care about, in that protected time. If my boyfriend is awake or around, we can share our day with more intentional listening. And, it’s kind of fun to not feel so attached to the digital age!
As I mentioned above, I created both a morning and evening routine last year. I feel so much lighter, both mentally and physically since implementing them. Through my routines, I’ve given myself time back to focus on my priorities and fully invest myself into my interests or incorporate said interests into my routines ie: Ayurvedic techniques (tongue scraping and dry brushing). I used to just talk about doing these things but never put anything into practice; not anymore!
My routines also give me about 45 minutes to an hour of alone time. I’d say I’m about 50/50 when it comes to extraversion and introversion. But with my full time, I’m interfacing with thousands of people a week so I feel the need to recharge more than I think I would if I worked in a less personable environment. It’s such an integral part of my daily self-care routine since I live with my boyfriend; this way I can manage my emotions and stress without needed constant time alone, alone.
If you’re curious about creating a morning routine, figure out why you need one and use that to identify what activities or lack there of will help you feel more connected to your “why.” If you need the morning to journal, do it. If you need to go through your planner so you can effectively tackle your day, do it. The overall purpose of a morning routine is to make sure you’re starting your day off on the right foot…and being aware of what that right foot actually is and feels like. And same for that evening routine; you should feel that you’re setting yourself up to accomplish big things the next day!
3.) CLEAN PRODUCTS
A few years ago, I ventured into clean beauty with a few pieces of makeup from beautycounter. I rarely wore makeup back then and still rarely wear makeup now, but 2018 was the year I finished cleaning up all of my products. Not just makeup, but skincare, laundry, and household products.
I know it can seem daunting, expensive, and excessive to take on a transition like that but the easiest thing for me to do was buy the non-toxic version of that product once I ran out. Simple, right? I started in 2017 with my laundry detergent (I buy from The Laundress) and shampoo & conditioner (I use Rahua) and now I can confidently say all of the products I use are clean, non-toxic, and healthier for my skin.
For quite some time, there wasn’t a brick and mortar store to purchase these things, so I ordered a lot of my items from The Detox Market and from Whole Foods, But now that Follain has opened up in Dallas (and just steps from where I work), it’s my staple to pick up my favorite products. I’m planning to do a separate post about the exact products I use if you’re curious so stay tuned!
4.) HOLISTIC HEALING
Okay, so I’m not well versed in this category (yet), but I want to share my experiences this past year with natural medicines and holistic healing. I’m not a professional so if you’re curious about trying some of these techniques, I’d recommend you do your research and consult a professional if you want to learn more!
I’m fortunate to only get sick once or twice a year now, with those instances being a small cold that only hits me for a week or so. Last year, both of those times were induced by these Texas allergies! Anyone else out there have the worst allergies? My boyfriend makes fun of me that I should live in a bubble, but I’ve had terrible allergies since I can remember. Anyway, colds from allergies.
When I was sick, I relied on essential oils, herbs, and lots of rest and hydration. And it worked! I will say that I probably felt ill for almost 2 weeks, whereas in the past with antibiotics, I probably could’ve felt “better” in a few days. But there’s so much research now on how antibiotics ruin the gut and can cause greater health issues down the line because it’s killing the bad AND the good bacteria in our systems.
My go to natural medicine things:
- Thyme Tea – steep thyme leaves in warm water for 5 minutes or so (I usually let mine steep longer). Sometimes I add some cinnamon and honey but if you’re going to, make sure the water is warm because if it’s too hot, the the excessive heat actually disrupts all the valuable healing properties honey has.
- Oil of Oregano – add 1-3 drops of the oil to 1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil. Stir it together and then place 1/2 teaspoon of the mixed oils under the tongue; let is site for a few seconds before swallowing.
- This isn’t my favorite taste but I find this to be VERY helpful so it’s worth it for me
- You can also add 1-3 drops of the oil to your thyme tea!
- Eucalyptus plants – if I’m congested, I’ll buy eucalyptus and place it in a vase in my shower. The steam from a hot shower will release the oils from the plant. Just take a few deep breaths and you’ll find yourself breathing easier in no time!
- If I don’t have fresh eucalyptus on hand, I just add a few drops of eucalyptus into the water at my feet in my shower. I’ll put the drain stopper in and let some water build up so it can act like a little steam bath.
5.) READING & PODCASTS
It may seem small, but I got a library card and it changed my life! I decided midway through the year that I wanted to engage my brain more, get curious, and “learn” again. I truly love school and studying and am working to recreate that feeling by reading books and researching my interests.
- My favorite books from last year: The Woman Code by Alissa Vitti and Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
I also dove into podcasts towards the end of last year to stay curious! First, I started listening to podcasts a few years ago but I only kept up with one: the Food Psych podcast with Christy Harrison. I was listening to it when I was still practicing therapy at an Eating Disorder treatment center since she covers other topics related to food, mental health, and disordered eating.
This last year, I found the Almost 30 podcast and my mind. was. blown. away. Every topic that I was slightly interested in is covered and all of my favorite humans in Wellness that I follow on IG are interviewed. I listened to it everyday for at least 3-4 weeks in order to catch up. But man, what a dream it would be to be featured on there on day!
In the meantime, if you have any favorite podcasts to listen to, please let me know!
Well, that’s my snapshot or 2018. It was the BEST year of introspection because now I feel that it’s time I share my voice and knowledge with others. But I wouldn’t feel this way if it weren’t for all of the self-love and care I prioritized in 2018. Let me know how I can support you in 2019 to make it your best year yet!