(Note: This is post is part of the New York Times Wellness 30 day challenge. If you want to join in- sign up here. Each week I will post about the daily challenges.)
How the Challenge Works
Each day you will receive a new challenge (don’t worry, they are designed to be short and fit into a busy schedule, most taking no more than 10 minutes). Each challenge incorporates aspects of health: mind, body, and spirit. Most combine aspects of each. These are research-based activities, the science behind why they work is included in each daily message.
Welcome to the first week, let’s get it started!
Mindfulness takes center stage this week as we integrate a few moments of presence into our days with the mindful toothbrush challenge. I’ve used this technique a few times in my life, but like many things, I get distracted and find myself wandering off. The idea is simple, just do the one thing you are doing, in this case brushing your teeth; paying full attention to the sensations of brushing instead of scrolling through your Instagram account or planning your next days’ schedule or rehashing a difficult conversation from the day. Like me, you may find this much more difficult than it sounds.
Key concept: connect your intention to be present with a physical activity you do on a regular basis. This can be washing dishes, driving to work, walking the dog, or just opening the front door. These physical moments can be transformed into a way to stop, relax the body and let go of some tension.
This week also includes a mindful check-in prior to a six-minute body weight based work out. The work out is a fully guided video with music, a timer, and instructions. The mindful check-in is about clarifying why you are exercising: what benefits will you derive, how will fitness improve your life? It may be that you want to be healthy enough to keep up with your grandkids or regular activity will help you control your blood pressure.
Key concept: Recalling the reason for exercising before you do it will help you stay motivated. And maybe even enjoy it more!
Let me know how you are doing and good luck with the challenge!