We all need self-awareness and connection to grow and move forward as a person. Here are the 4 practices you need to live your happiest, healthiest life.
You, doing you.
It’s a wonderful thing when you are able to choose for yourself, and find a method that works for you. Maybe it’s about finding food that feeds you, or movement that moves you…
And that’s what allows you to absolutely kill it at living your life.
But how do you become self-aware enough to get there? Here are 4 practices that will help you attain a joyful start to your year:
1. Keep a “What I just enjoyed eating” food diary.
No, this isn’t a “calories, macronutrient analysis, processed vs whole, good vs bad” kind of food diary. It’s about being honest with and asking yourself: what did I like about each and every morsel I put in my mouth today?
There is no right or wrong answer. It’s just you, writing the play-by-play of what you’re doing and the “why” you’ve got leading to those actions. That’s all it is…no morality. Food isn’t moral. It also doesn’t have mystical powers. It either feeds you or it doesn’t.
If you find that your reasons for enjoying are texture, color, craving, sustenance or fuel-related, you’re eating in a balanced way. If your reasons are responsive to your emotions or attempts to be overly health-obsessed (yes, there’s a problem if you spend all your time worrying about what’s in your food and how good it is for you too), your eating habits tend to lack balance.
Keeping this kind of a food diary is research, not a graded exam. Use it as a source of inspiration instead of accountability and routine, so you may find joy and ritual in your daily practices that give you a deeper, more mindful connection with yourself. The more you connect with yourself, the more positive your outlook will become.
2. Plan for “you” time.
Do you plan out each and every part of your productive life in a calendar for your work, appointments, picking up the kids, and social or professional gatherings? If yes, do you also have a planner for you?
For your self-care, hobbies, relaxation, and time for just “be-ing” vs. “do-ing”. If not, go ahead and plan it all out, meticulously and diligently. That is the plan you need to follow and complete…diligently.
If it’s not planned, it won’t happen. And if that doesn’t happen, you’re doing absolutely everything as an uncared-for, depleted version of yourself that is entirely impossible to maintain.
So please, plan that self-care plan. You are the most important part of your daily plans. Without you, none of it happens. Recharge the battery and fill the gas tank. This will allow you to give more to everyone else and move yourself through all the spectacular things you plan to do.
3. Don’t seek external validation.
When you are getting dressed and prepped for the day, refrain from seeking external approval with the question: “How do I look?”
Instead, tap into your internal scale of 1-10 by asking yourself: “How do I feel?”
Clothing yourself to feel comfortable and as a way to express yourself will reduce the stress and anxiety that results from needing approval.
Bonus points: you just automatically added actions for self-care to your daily plan, effortlessly. When you feel like you are being seen, heard, loved, and valued for you…that is priceless under every circumstance.
4. Never, ever use numbers to determine your health and personal worth again.
That’s right. Don’t weigh yourself at all, and don’t count a single calorie or gram of fat. Don’t count your social media “likes”. Quit determining your personal value through your assets, possessions or dollars in the bank.
All of that has nothing to do with how important and lovable you are.
Listen to your body while feeding and caring for it. That will give you the intuitive ability to find and remain your healthiest weight for you. It will build your confidence in your choices and in who you have chosen to be, which will lead you to more productive thoughts and actions.
Without all that time spent in self-assessment, you will find purpose.
Adapted from the original article.
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Rachel Harvest, MS, RD, CDN is a NYC-based Registered Dietitian, behavioral health nutritionist, and wellness coach. With her philosophy centered around the love we need to give ourselves before finding our health and happiness, Rachel is on a mission to help you dig deep within to create the life you want for yourself. To work on you with somebody who loves you no matter what, visit Rachel at The Harvest Method.