February used to be my least favorite month, though I cannot now tell you why. Oh, now I remember, because it was COLD and DARK. Now, I try to have a more balanced approach. I think it's a time to nest and slow down, to take stock, to pay attention to some of life's more subtle pleasures.
This month's newsletter is devoted to my awesome friends and readers who challenge me with new and interesting ideas and questions.
Here are some quick tips on topics that I think are interesting. Email me if you would like to see a more in depth article on these or any other topics!
I seem to eat really quickly and sometimes this leads me to overeat. Any advice?
Chew each bite 25 times. If that feels overwhelming, count the number of times you chew each bite and gradually increase the number of chews per bite at each meal until you reach the number that feels good to you.
Often I am distracted when I eat and I don't really pay attention to what I am eating. What can I do to be more mindful?
Make meals that are just a little bit messy; it will require you to be more mindful - pass up a sandwich for a salad or some chili. Either you will need to do a lot more laundry or you will become more mindful.
This weather is making it really hard to follow my normal exercise pattern, and I am getting cabin fever. How can I exercise in cold or inclement weather?
Don't let the cold keep you from your exercise, but do use it as an opportunity to change it up just a little. Be creative as you find exercises that work for you. Consider dancing in the house or running up and down the stairs a certain number of times. Exercise videos or apps can be a great way to explore new exercise modalities. Remember that little things can add up as well. Practice yoga or balancing poses while cooking or watching TV. If you spend long hours at the computer, consider standing rather than sitting while you work, take frequent stretch breaks, and, when you can, brave the cold for a quick refreshing walk, run or other outside activity.
I'm bored with my vegetables. The idea of one more floret or broccoli leaves me feeling uninspired or desperate for a chocolate chip cookie. What can I do?
How can I make small mindful changes towards healthy living?
Living healthy is a lifelong process, few of us successfully change all of our behaviors overnight. The most successful changes are those that are incremental and tied to something we are already doing. For example, check out my elephant journal post about meditating while brushing teeth. Or try replacing one soda or other drink with water, then gradually increase the number of glasses of water you drink over the course of a day.
Check out the Environmental Working Group's Dirty Dozen, Skin Deep App, and Food Scores App. When you are shopping, use these tools to inform your decisions. Buy organic vegetables if they are in the Dirty Dozen, select personal care products that are on the low end of the scale (less toxic), and select processed foods that are rated as less dangerous.
Are any of these questions ones that you have? Which of these recommendations resonate for you? Pick one to try. I would love to hear how it goes for you.
As the president of Break Through Academy, I work with individuals and groups to help them achieve their life goals through making choices to eat well, avoid toxins and be happy. As a strategic planning consultant, I work with organizations to improve performance through incorporating health and wellness into the fabric of their culture.