Christine at Homegrown Holistic Coaching
3 Things to Let Go of Today for a Healthier Life
This month marks 5 years since I shifted away from chemistry and patent law and enrolled in my first Pilates and holistic health coaching certifications.
I’ve been practicing preventive health for as long as I can remember. I’ve been a fitness fanatic since the days of Richard Simmons and Jane Fonda (yep, THAT long ago!) And Pilates saved me 13 years ago from the chronic anxiety I’d been living with (while not truly understanding what was going on with my mental health at the time).
These certifications were the fusion of all my favorite interests: simplicity, food as medicine, movement, stress management, self-care, mindfulness, and living a cleaner, nontoxic, Earth-friendlier lifestyle.
Since then, soooo many aspects of my life have changed. It’s hard to recognize my former self (who I already thought was a pretty healthy person!).
In honor of this holistic health-iversary I’m sharing three things that I’ve let go of for good.
1. LONG INGREDIENT LISTS.
This goes not only for the foods in your refrigerator and pantry, but also extends to cleaning supplies, cosmetics, and your other bath and beauty products.
As often is the case, less is more. Your body, specifically your liver and kidneys, work hard to keep your body safe and clear of toxins. Your digestive system, skin, lungs, and lymphatic system are on the job too.
Protect your liver and overall health from an excess of chemical exposures by reading labels and opting for products with short ingredient lists. The shorter, the better.
Here’s a few ideas:
--Swap packaged foods for whole foods. The entire produce section is label-free because the foods there don’t require one! In general, shop the perimeter of your grocery store for healthier options.
--Pare down your beauty products. For those that you do keep, as you use them up, replace them with safer ones. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a great resource for consumer guides of all kinds.
--Think about streamlining your cleaning products too. I clean almost entirely with rubbing alcohol, vinegar, baking soda, water, and essential oils. I also use EWG-approved laundry detergent.
How often do you get sucked into social media, answering emails after dinner, or binge-watching TV series? It’s so easy to get distracted. But remember, when your time and energy is focused outward, there’s less of it available to you for focusing inward.
Our phones, shopping, drinking, and even overworking keep us focused outward. When you are feeling anxious, exhausted, sick, or a little down, your body is not telling you to go buy another pair of shoes, to add to cart, pour another glass of wine, or hop on your work laptop after dinner.
When you say YES to distraction, you are saying NO to the attention and nourishment that your body really needs: to slow down, to be gentle with yourself, and release what you don’t need to hold onto so tightly. Practice a healthier way of comforting yourself so you can heal.
One of my recurring thoughts is “There's too much to do.”
And it’s almost never true.
When I hear this thought I know to look for distractions. Am I on my phone when I really don’t want to be? Am I cleaning or cooking instead of working (yes, I do this!).
When I hear myself declare that I’m busy, what it really means is that I’m not paying attention to what would be good for my mind and body.
You probably have a list of things that you’d be doing if you weren’t so busy.
You’d journal more, make more art, invite friends over for dinner, work out, or even tackle that closet re-org. You’d do a lot of good things. But you can’t. Because you’re busy.
Busy will always feel like you’re simply doing what you have to do.
In actuality, busyness IS what’s standing between you and the life-giving, joyful things that excite you.
Busy keeps everything the same.
To have a different life, reexamine your relationship with busy.
Letting go of these things has made the biggest impact on my life. Learning how to let go and how to create healthier habits comes with practice. I’ve been practicing for years and I'm still finding new ways to be healthier, improve my relationships, and say Yes to what matters most to me.
This work is available to you to. Borrow from my list and see where it takes you.