My 4 Favourite (FREE) Wellness Practices
Being completely transparent, I’ve started writing this post about 10 times now but every time I’ve deleted it all. My plan for my first post back was to share my daily wellness must-haves and I started my day by going through my entire apartment and picking out all of my favourite products. As I started writing this post, talking about my CBD oil and my tongue scraper, I felt super off about it. I started to feel super icky about talking about all of these different products in a way that made it seem like they were an essential part of living a mindful and “well” life. It felt wrong talking about these products as if I couldn’t live without them because although there are days where I feel like I need them just to get through, truthfully, none of these products are absolutely necessary. I would be doing you a disservice by telling you that you need a jade roller and super expensive facial oil just to participate in the wellness space and I recognize that having these things and seeing them as “must-haves” is such a privilege.
My goal with this blog is to make wellness & the idea of living a mindful life accessible to as many people as possible so today I’m going to be sharing my TOTALLY FREE wellness must-haves that are non-negotiable parts of my daily routines and that have completely changed my life!
My 4 (FREE) Wellness Must-Haves
I’m kicking this list off with introspection because it’s the first thing I do every morning when I wake up. I take a minute to turn inwards and see how I’m feeling and what I need in that moment and from that day. This is when I decide if I want to sleep a bit more, if I’m ready to get up, if I want to go for a walk before sitting down to work or if I’m feeling motivated and ready to sit down at my desk. I am very fortunate in the fact that I work from home and I can kind of layout my day however I’d like but this is still something I did when I worked out of home. When I had to go to a job or go to school, I would still do this same sort of reflection but rather than going back to sleep if I was feeling a bit tired that day maybe I would wear something cozy or I would stop and get myself my favourite coffee before heading to class/work.
Starting my day off by addressing my needs in that moment allows me to start my day off on a mindful foot. It allows me to immediately tune in to my own needs and wants for that particular day and kick off my day by doing something for myself before I venture into the rest of my day. By starting my days like this, I’ve noticed I maintain that mindfulness throughout the day and I’m able to check in with myself to see how I’m doing and what I need. Just like anything, this can take some practice so try setting an alarm on your phone to go off shortly after the alarm to wake up that way it will help get you in the habit of thinking about your needs first thing after you wake up. This can also be super helpful if you’re like me and you’ve somehow learnt to turn your alarm off in your sleep. This second alarm can act as a second wakeup call!
If you’ve never heard me mention journaling before, you’ll quickly notice it’s something I talk about in just about every post of mine because it’s truly THAT important to me. Before I really gave journaling a chance, it was always something that I thought was dumb. I never understood how writing out my thoughts and feelings could help me in any way at all. I resisted the idea of journaling so hard that once I finally leaned it and gave it a fair try I was kicking myself because I hadn’t gotten into it sooner.
For me, journaling is like my home-base or my safe-space (I really didn’t try to rhyme there, it just happened!). It’s where I go to start my day off on the right foot and it’s where I go when I’m not feeling great. It’s where I go when I feel like there’s something weighing on my heart that I need to get out or when I’m so excited or happy about something that I just need to bask in it.
My introduction to journaling sort of started when I was dealing with quite a bit in my personal life and I felt like I always had things to say to people but I never knew quite how to say it. I would write them letters that I had no intention of sending but it became a way for me to release my thoughts and feelings so that they no longer consumed me. Sometimes I would use this time to formulate what I wanted to say to that person and something I would just use it as a way to get it out without actually saying it to anyone. The first time I gave it a fair and honest shot, I felt so great. It was so cathartic and it was the emotional relief I needed.
I soon fell in love with the feeling I got when I journaled and I found myself wanting to journal daily but still had trouble figuring out what exactly I was going to journal about. I came up with a daily journaling format that worked perfectly for me and never ceased to set my day off on the right foot. Every morning, I start my entry by saying good morning to the Universe or my journal itself, whatever I’m feeling. I then write out how I’m feeling. This is my time to get any thoughts or emotions off my chest. I then move into listing all of the things I’m grateful for. I started off by listing just three but now I find myself listing things until I can’t think of anything else or I feel ready to move on. Finally, I write out something that I’m loving about myself that day and one thing that I want to get done that day to feel fulfilled for the day. This combination of topics sets my day off on a very mindful foot and allows me to get into some good vibes before I do anything else.
Now, I know I said everything on this list was going to be free so if you’re like me, you probably have 10 unused notebooks lying around that you bought just because they were cute but you haven’t touched them yet. No? Just me? Ok well if you don’t have 10 notebooks laying around, use any paper you have or even use your phone or computer! Just the action of writing out your thoughts and getting them out of your head is the important part so use whatever you have!
For me, journaling & meditating sort of go hand-in-hand if I’m talking about my wellness must-haves. It’s also another topic that you’ll likely hear me talk about a LOT because it’s truly changed my life.
I think the first time I tried to meditate was in a park, under a tree, next to a relatively busy road which as you can guess, was very unsuccessful. I used to get really frustrated with myself because I could never seem to clear my mind of thoughts. It wasn’t until I was introduced to Transcendental Meditation through a FREE (seriously so grateful for this because learning TM anywhere else is usually CRAZY expensive!) class in my city that I truly learned how to meditate. It was a completely new way of meditating that worked so well for me because the focus was less so on clearing your mind and more so on letting your thoughts pass by or “digest” as the teacher told us. I loved this method and through it, I learned how to get to that oh-so-good “tingling when you come-to” type meditation that I had always heard about but never experienced.
Meditating can feel so amazing and has been shown to do amazing things for your overall health and wellness. These days, you can find meditation resources EVERYWHERE! Just a simple Google search will bring you right where you need to go!
With each of these practices, I feel the need to start it off by prefacing with “this one was hard for me to get into to” but upon a little bit of self-reflection, I’m realizing perhaps I’m just a bit lazy… That being said, movement is one of those things where I have to convince myself to get up and do but once I do, I’m so grateful I did!
As someone who works from home, it’s very easy for me to sit at my desk or on my couch all day and not leave the house for days which is why getting myself up and moving, even if for just a walk around the block, is so important! I like to use movement to break up my day by getting out and getting some fresh air. I’ve really found getting in some movement in the middle of my day helps me through that mid-day slump and makes me feel that much more fulfilled in my day!
My favourite way of moving is getting outside for a walk but with winter coming I’m going to need to spice things up with my at-home movement sessions so if you have any suggestions, comment them below!