The holiday season is officially over, and it is time to get back to the daily grind of work or school. While I am not super stoked to end my vacation and days spent binge-watching, seeing old friends, and getting drunk at family gatherings—it’s also a new year, which means new beginnings, and the perfect time to purge bad habits and start fresh. While most of us are still desperately trying to hold onto our new year’s resolutions and detox our bodies of all the heavy food and liquor from past weeks, here is my way to start clean and rid our bodies, minds, and hearts of the waste that held us down over the holidays and in 2014.
1. Eat raw, whole foods
Stay away from the processed, packaged junk and opt for whole vegetables and fruits for meals instead. Your body will certainly thank you for the fresh, colorful delights that don’t come from a box. And in addition, try to make one meal a day raw—whether that’s your lunchtime salad or a snack of raw fruit and nuts, aim not just for meals made with real food, but raw foods for better energy and greater intake of nutrients.
2. Drink more tea
Did you know that drinking tea might actually be better for you than drinking water? While drinking water hydrates your body, tea does the same thing except with the added benefit of antioxidants—so you’re getting a double health boost with every cup!
3. Cut out the bad
Cut out white bread and pasta and aim for whole grains instead. Ditch the refined sugar and get your sugar high from fruits like dates with almond butter or antioxidant-rich, freshly squeezed juice. And cut down on the caffeine with maybe one cup of coffee a day (or none!), and try green tea instead.
4. Exercise for at least 30 minutes each day
As you get back in the swing of things, staying active might feel a bit intimidating, but don’t let your busy life take hold and discourage you from exercising regularly! Set a realistic fitness plan for yourself and stick to it. Try waking up early for a quick morning run or 30-minute at-home yoga session or sign up for Pilates or Zumba classes after work. Try exercising with a friend so you both can help encourage each other to stay on track (plus it makes working out a whole lot more fun when you get to do it with a buddy!).
5. Meditate for 20 minutes each day
We are always running around chaotically and never stop for a moment to pause and breathe. Saving twenty minutes each day just to chill is totally necessary to keep our cool. Reserve a spot each day just to relax, reflect, and meditate. Personally, I like to add meditation to my bedtime routine to help calm my nerves at the end of the day. When I am all cozy in my bathrobe (after I’ve finished my nightly beauty regimen) I lie down on my bed with the door closed and listen to some soft music as I focus on my breath. You can try meditating before bedtime, in the middle of your lunch hour, or just after waking up to bring some positivity and calmness to your day—whatever works for you! Just remember meditation should be as important and regular as brushing your teeth—without a sense of calm our stress levels and tension increase and our focus falls apart.
6. De-clutter your space
Revamping your home and work spaces and getting rid of what you just don’t need can bring a sense of invigoration and cleanliness back into your life. Allow this new year to be the time to finally update your closet and get rid of those old shirts and skirts that just don’t fit; de-clutter your desk and let go of those old homework assignments you don’t need anymore. Cleaning out our spaces can be a way of letting go and subconsciously clearing our mind of unnecessary clutter and chaos in our lives.
7. Journal your thoughts
So many of us bottle up our emotions and don’t let go until we crack under the weight of our too many not-talked about feelings and circumstances. Unleash your anger and heartache into writing and let go of what is holding you back. I’m guilty of always wanting to push the bad thoughts underneath the rug instead of having to remember painful experiences and write about them. But while ignoring the issue in the short-term can work, in the long-term it is a recipe for disaster. While I am not always comfortable discussing what embarrasses me or makes me sad to a friend, a piece of paper won’t judge and is actually therapeutic in letting go and moving on from the pain fully.
Every time someone hurts me or pisses me off I tend to blame the person and push him or her away. While I, of course, don’t want to surround myself with people who cause me pain, my negative response to their actions only really internalizes my own suffering and surrounds myself with further negativity and isolation. Practicing sympathy for another person can help open our hearts and break the barriers we create when others negatively affect us.
Recently, a guy I know rejected me and made me foolish for ever liking him. While I initially felt hurt by him, I discovered that he was hurting more than I was after suffering a tremendous heartbreak. What I came to realize was he really needed a friend more than a lover, and offering my support and understanding was a lot better for him and for me than giving the cold shoulder. When we start to express care for one another and not write people off for what appears on the surface do we then become more whole human beings better able to relate to one another.
What are some ways you are detoxing for your mind body and spirit?
Related: How to Journal Away Your Pain
Also by Jessica: Yoga in Bed for Gentle Waking and Relaxation
Photo: Caroline via Flickr