Weird—and Wonderful!—Ways to Work In Wellness

Whoops! I woke up this morning with my body giving me a clear indication that I have not been honoring my self-care. Since this coincides with family arriving for Thanksgiving, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite blogs for the rest of the week. 

I choose this blog because it has great tips on how to work in wellness during the holiday, but it’s also a terrific reminder for me!

Many people are so focused on the time that they don’t have for wellness that they miss all the small opportunities they do have to work physical and emotional wellness into their day. Taking advantage of these tiny moments can boost physical and mental energy, and generate a sense of well-being. 

Here are some ideas for slipping in your wellness fix—just don’t worry about what some people may think.

After all, isn’t your wellness more important than a few seconds of potential judgment from a stranger, friend, family member, or co-worker?

Minutes Matter

Do you ever stand there and wait for your lunch to heat up in the microwave, or that pot of water to boil, or cup of coffee or tea to brew?

Don’t just stand there!

Even doing a few minutes of exercise can give you an energy boost. And those minutes add up. Do them throughout the day and before you know it, you’ve gotten in a 15 to 20 minute workout.

Take that minute or two and do counter push ups, lunges, toe raises, and squats. You can also dance or march in place.

I only got caught once dancing in front of the microwave in my work break-room. At the time my co-worker thought I was a little weird, but she also noticed when I started losing weight!

You can do these and other exercises at work while on conference calls if you have a headset or speaker phone. Just do your push up off your desk. You can even throw in some planks. If you’re wearing a skirt or a dress, however, you might want to have an office door to shut!

A mini-stepper or pedal exerciser can fit under your desk and are also great to do while you’re on the phone.

House Work Aerobics

Have you ever worked up a sweat cleaning the house? You can make it even more aerobic by doing lunges while vacuuming, or each time you head up or down stairs, go up and down an extra time. You can do single shoulder presses with your bottle of cleaning solution as you walk from surface to surface.

Be creative—but safe—as you make your house sparkling clean.

More Wellness While You Wait

All the time we spend waiting in line adds up, so take advantage of it. Meditate, pray, or practice appreciation while in line at the grocery store.

What can you appreciate?

How about the sheer abundance of food that we are blessed to choose from, or all those workers who keep the store clean, the shelves stocked, and those check-out lines moving? How about your favorite foods? There’s a lot to appreciate at the grocery store if we just take the time to look for it.

And if you are willing to look a little weird, you can get in stretches, toe raises, or lunges while you wait.

You can also meditate while waiting for your doctor or mechanic. Feeling a little tired? Shut your eyes and rest for a few minutes as you wait.

Doing the dishes and other repetitive tasks are also a great time to clear you mind and tune in to your spiritual side.

Tube Time

How much time do you spend sitting and watching TV? How about taking each commercial break to get in a few sets of exercise?

Keep some dumbbells, balance board, or other fitness gear nearby to make it easy. Or sit on a stability ball and build your core strength as you watch your favorite show. Why not throw in some crunches during the commercials?

Reconsider Lunch

Lunch is a great time to get in a workout, but you may not have time to hit the gym. What can you do?

Bring your workout gear, change clothes in the bathroom, and plug an exercise DVD into your computer.

No time or place to change? Are there stairs in your building? See how many times you can go up and down them in the time you have.

Or strap on your walking shoes and head outside. Even a walk around the block can clear your mind and bump-up your productivity in the afternoon. Grab a co-worker to get in some social time, too.

Post Positive Messages

Wanting to shift your mindset, but no time to journal?

Post affirmations, things you appreciate, and other positive messages on your computer screen, bathroom mirror, or above the kitchen sink. Every time you see them, remind yourself to take a moment to breathe and shift to a more positive thought.

What’s the Alarm?

Set the alarm on your cell phone or computer to remind you to drink water, eat a healthy snack, focus on an affirmation, take a moment to clear your mind, or do 10 jumping jacks.

When you start looking for time to work wellness into your day, you may be surprised at all the time you really do have.

I’d love to hear how you work wellness into your busy day.

Together we can do it!


An APPLE for Mental Wellness

Deadlines. I have some long-practiced negative catabolic energy around them that always seems to catch me by surprise.

Yesterday I spent a lot of time and energy either berating myself to focus, which is a lot like slamming your foot down on the gas pedal of a car and then careening out of control, or taking my foot off the gas completely, which feels a lot better but doesn’t get you anywhere.

The end result was that I made a little progress on an article I am writing, but I wasted a lot of time and mental energy that could have been better used.

So today, my plan is to more gently and steadily push down on my mental gas pedal and actually get somewhere. The result will be improved mental and emotional wellness, which are key facets of optimal physical wellness.

Just like the old saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” I’m going to apply my APPLE principle, which can be used anywhere you want change.

AwarenessWhat is really going on?

I think at the root of my deadline struggle is fear. Fear that I don’t know what in the heck I’m writing about (particularly if it is a technical subject, which describes just about all of the articles I write.) Fear that all the articles I’ve ever written were just flukes and now the game is up and I won’t be able to do it. Fear that I’m letting people down and negatively impacting others (sources, copy editor, and graphic designer), which comes true when I don’t meet my deadlines. And even fear that I’ll miss out on other things I really want to do, which of course comes true because I’m wasting so much time.

The fear–real or imagined–creates the undesired outcome which just enhances the fear and the spiral gets worse.

PossibilityWhat is a realistic outcome?

I could absolutely finish this article today, or by Noon tomorrow at the latest. And I can have all the articles for the publication I write and edit done by next week.

PatternWhat are the thoughts, beliefs, or behaviors that I need to shift?

  • I am using other things as a distraction—busywork, email, social media, even food (hello extra protein bar that I ate yesterday.)
  • There is some self-bullying going on. When I can’t take the bullying, I reach for a distraction.
  • Ultimately, I’m avoiding engaging the fear and catabolic emotions that come up for me around deadlines.

LearnWhat are new thoughts, beliefs, or behaviors that support Who I want to be?

It’s helpful to recognize that my Gremlin—that inner critic that we all have that tells us we’re not good enough—is behind some of my fears and they are not true. I absolutely know a lot more than I think I do—and I have resources I can turn to if I really need more information. And I’ve been writing this publication for more than 10 years. That’s too consistent a record to be a fluke.

It’s OK to acknowledge the fear and negative consequences. They don’t make me a bad person. And I have proven to myself in other areas—working out, relationships, etc.—that I can still have fears and do the action anyway.

EngageWhat are the actions that will bring new results?

  • One thing that’s worked well for me in the past is focusing on how awesome it will feel when I get the articles written. That will be my renewed mantra.
  • When I am aware of self-bullying or fear, I can stop for a moment and sit with the emotions. And then I can decide to move forward anyway.
  • I can hold off checking and responding to email and put limits on social media.
  • Prioritizing other tasks can help keep me focused.
  • Breaking down the articles into doable pieces and giving myself credit for hitting those marks is another incentive for forward momentum.

Whew! I feel a shift towards more positive anabolic energy and am ready to get moving on this article.

What’s holding you back from being your best self? How can you apply the APPLE principle? How does that help you create sustainable change?

Together we can do it!

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