Right on top of the frenetic pace of the holidays, we are confronted with the challenge of entering the New Year with resolutions to live a better, healthier life. Many of these will fail because they were unrealistic and unpleasant to follow. My advice is to relax, take stock of what works for you and what brings you joy, and rethink the little things that help you walk through life being well and feeling your best.
Quality (Not Quantity) Time — Value your time, filling your world with things and people you love. Make sure you fill your time with meaningful activities you have learned are important to you, and say no to anything that isn’t serving you.
Well-Rounded Wellness — Having a sense of well-being doesn’t mean trying to be young again, it means taking care of yourself — body, mind, spirit and emotions — in a healthy, balanced way. Really value what’s important and make sure health is a priority.
Self-Care Satisfaction — The ultimate freedom comes from having the energy to feel great in your own body. Take care of it and recharge by spending time on yourself with simple self-care routines, like winding down with a bubble bath followed by your favorite lotion in a scent you love. Creating little rituals can turn into enjoyable habits for self care.
Breathe In, Breathe Out — It’s very important to become aware of your breath and mindfully breathe, making you present. You will find that being present can change how you automatically react to situations, allowing you to respond in more beneficial and loving ways.
Meditative Moments— “Meditation” can be as simple as being aware of your breath, sitting quietly with a favorite cup of tea, going for a walk — anything you can do that allows you to unplug, pause and be mindful.
Get Moving — How to choose the right exercise? It’s the one you enjoy! Make your workouts mindful as with low-impact practices such as Pilates, barre, yoga, Zumba, walking and weight training. It really helps to find a workout buddy, or pair your workouts with podcasts or music that enriches you; anything that can keep you on task and coming back. You must value discipline when it comes to caring for yourself with steady exercise routines.
Take Care of Your Feet and Spine — They are quite literally your base for your entire life, and are where the alignment for your body begins. Tending to your body’s needs at every age, and keeping your body aligned with low-impact exercise and stretching will bring “juicy joints” necessary for comfort and agility, supporting your structure and enhancing your overall health, allowing leisure activities like tennis and golf to be most enjoyable.
Happy Hydration — Water Water Water! Proper hydration will keep you radiating from the inside out. Keep your body healthy with foods rich with fiber, and plenty of fruits and vegetables. How much you love and care for your body on the inside will surely translate to your outside.
The Art of Appreciation — After the flurry of holiday gift giving, take time to reflect and be thankful. We always hear about the power of gratitude — but grace comes from appreciating what you have, and enjoying the contentment that comes from wanting the life you have created for yourself.
Fancy Your Friends — Surround yourself with people you admire who seem comfortable in their own body, and treat themselves well. You will be inspired to follow suit.
Embrace Your Wisdom — Going through life with grace means enjoying wisdom we have learned and accumulated from all life’s experiences. As a cancer survivor, I did learn it’s all about how you handle what happens to you. Aging gracefully isn’t just physical, it’s about embracing the power that wisdom and life experiences give you to create and love the world you’ve built around you.
Quite simply, these gifts to yourself result in having energy, a sparkle in your eye because you like your life, feel healthy, and have a positive attitude about life. You have excellent posture because you take care of your spine and feet. You smile, because you are in the present moment. You aren’t trying to be 20 years younger, and are happy where you are on that journey. It’s not about having the perfect wrinkle-free face, or being the perfect size. It’s about loving the body you live in, and being comfortable and feeling at home with yourself. And of course, it is never too late; if you don’t like it, change it.
Happy New Year!
Shelter Island Pilates and Barre is now offering subscriptions to Pilates class videos as well as weekly classes and private sessions in person. Visit shelterislandpilates.com for schedules and details.