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4 Alternative Ways To Enhance Your Wellness

Perhaps I am unique in this, but, in many ways, existence during the lockdown and the chaos caused by COVID-19 has led to an awakening in my soul about what it means to live a life that embodies wellness, happiness, and balance.

Trust me, I recognize the stress that comes when the dogs decide that the best place to fight is under my feet while I am trying to work. Or trying to keep track of my high school senior’s on line work, or those of you who’ve taken on a new role as “teacher” home school style.

Or, the worst, a trip out for necessities feels like an obstacle course around people who are not social distancing and not wearing masks. These practices benefit everyone’s health. If you do one thing for a healthier life, practice appropriate social distancing.

It is enough to make you want to hide in bed and drown your sorrows in a gallon of something decadent. And, let’s face it, many of us have succumbed to those unhealthy choices.

However, because of a desire to make changes in my life, I have been inspired to make different choices. There are many approaches to finding relief of stress and pain. Each one empowers us in a different way. True wellness comes from acknowledging that our bodies and spirits require nurturing in multiple ways. This includes: eating healthy foods, staying hydrated, exercising, and getting enough sleep. It can include adding CBD oil products from Olani Organics into your routine, but here are some other suggestions.

Wellness

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Embrace Forest Bathing

The Japanese term shinrin-yoku literally means “forest bathing.” It’s a practice of wellness that embraces being in nature. This is not about hiking or exercising to build up a sweat. It’s about breathing in the scent and power of the forest. Feeling the cool breezes on your skin. Dancing with the twinkling sunbeams and whispering with the shadows of the leaves. Listening to the chittering of hidden creatures and the conversational songs of birds. Smelling the spicy scent of pine needles, or the rich aromas of the earth.

Forest bathing is about being connected with all of your senses in a way that allows you to breathe more easily, and simply be. It empowers you to acknowledge, even for a moment, that life contains more than the stresses we carry with us on a daily basis.

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Meditation

I only recently discovered how powerful meditation can be in bringing me back to balance, and now I can’t stop. I guess there are worse addictions to have. Of course, many people see meditation as that “woo woo” stuff of completely emptying your mind while saying strange mantras. It doesn’t have to be that.

Unless someone has been practicing meditation for years, it doesn’t seem possible to completely empty one’s mind of all thought. However, with practice, meditation provides the space to simply be in the moment, breathing deeply, and acknowledging your thoughts without judgment. We all could use a little less judgment in our lives, especially when our harshest critics are ourselves.

There are many different ways of approaching meditation, so it is easy to explore and find one that makes you comfortable. Some methods include mantras, readings from spiritual or religious texts, sound meditation, tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique or EFT), walking meditations, and yoga. Meditation can be guided, or you can simply sit quietly, and focus on your breath, allowing your thoughts to flow or not. Ultimately, just like any wellness technique, meditation requires practice, and a willingness to try something new.

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The Power of Creativity

We all carry inside ourselves a magical tool that can help inspire wellness and enhance our existence-and that is the power of creativity. Many will deny this power. They will claim they aren’t good at drawing, painting, etc. But we don’t have to be good at something to be creative. All we have to do is let go and try.

Just like any muscle, our creative muscle benefits from being flexed, stretched, and trained. Reaching into that creative power allows us to let go of the restrictions of what is, and imagine what could be.

How does using creativity help with wellness? By dipping our toes into new ways of thinking, being, and doing it awakens in us the possibility of change. It frees us to see ourselves and our world differently. When losing ourselves in creative acts, whatever that might be, time flows in an unusual way, similar to meditation. Creativity allows us to simply enjoy being in the moment of the creative act.

Add any of these (or any others creative acts) to your life to help you find balance and wellness: dance, sing, paint, tell jokes, craft, write, play an instrument, sketch, build something, etc.

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Daily Gratitudes and Brags

Sometimes it is hard to be grateful for what we have when everything feels chaotic and difficult. However, practicing daily gratitude and writing them down (at least 10) helps us recognize the good in our lives. If you are not feeling particularly grateful, look outside and be grateful for the beauty in the world. This helps with wellness because you are training your brain to look for the positive.

I also suggest that you learn to brag, (in writing) about yourself. This is about recognizing who you are as a person, and the value you bring to existence. We all have worth, but for some reason we tend to only see ourselves in the negative rather than the positive. Even though it can be difficult, writing 10 brags a day brings you one step closer to change. If you are stuck for a brag, try going meta: I am wonderful because I am writing these brags down.

And, Finally . . .

Don’t forget to laugh. Laughter is always the best medicine and our absolute favorite! 

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