We’re crazy busy these days.
So busy in fact, that our texts don’t send fast enough.
We send emails while we eat.
We scroll social media while on the toilet.
And when the wifi goes down on the airplane, we get annoyed at the inconvenience.
We’re also tired and stressed.
We’re so tired, we feel wired at the end of long, busy days and we can’t seem to get the sleep our bodies (and minds) need to function optimally.
And during all of this busy, tired living, we’re glued to our little screens like true addicts.
We feel exhausted. We feel like everyone has their “ish” together but us. And it’s one vicious cycle that we can’t seem to shake.
Yikes. Talk about an energy drain.
The good news? We can fix it with a few small adjustments.
I was asked me to write this piece on jumpstarting your mindset, and had a BILLION ideas come to me.
Mindset education is my FAVOURITE.
But I was a little perplexed on how to present the 7 day guide, because quite honestly, cultivating wellness and mindfulness in your life takes daily, consistent practice that definitely extends longer than 7 days.
But, because I’m always up for a challenge, here are my favourite ways to cultivate mindfulness and get the energy and happiness flowing in your life in just 7 short days.
The time will pass anyways, so see what you can gain from this challenge.
And if you’re really feeling daring, feel free to practice these activities daily for 21 days or longer. You might surprise yourself with how good you start to feel.
**Also, if you’re really struggling, reach out. These habits are what I teach in my inner circle online and I’d be happy to coach you to ultimate wellness.
Before we begin: things you will need for this challenge
1) A water bottle - Drinking half your body weight in ounces every day is one of the BEST ways you can increase energy, lose weight and start to feel more clear headed. Carry a water bottle with you all week and jot down how many times you fill it up and drink it each day in your journal.
2) A journal - When we let thoughts swirl around in our heads all day, we feel overwhelmed and stressed out. Whenever thoughts arise, jot them down on a dated page in your notebook to come back to when you need them. And always remember that worrying about something doesn’t fix the issue.
3) An open mind - It’s in our nature to defend what we’re currently doing and believe that an alternative won’t work for us because of x, y and z. Do yourself a favour this week: let go of your excuses as to why you can’t and open your mind to new habits and behaviours that could make your life a little easier and more enjoyable.
Alright, now that that’s out of the way. Let’s get to the fun stuff!
Introducing: 7 days to kickstart your mindset
DAY ONE: WHAT’S MY MORNING ROUTINE?
How you start your day is everything. It sets the precedent for how your entire day unfolds. It means the difference between racing to work with coffee spilt on your pants and sweat ruining your fresh blouse or strolling into work with a smile on your face, packed lunch in hand and an awesome plan set to crush the day.
The thing is, we are totally in control of how we spend our time when we first wake up and most people will admit to not having a set routine at all.
In fact most people will admit that they spend the first 10-15 minutes of their day scrolling social media. Before they even get out of bed.
Can you relate?
Not only is this totally increasing your cortisol (stress) levels, but it’s depleting your energy, self confidence and decision making abilities BEFORE you even start your day.
So, it’s time to set yourself a morning routine.
It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate, but simply deciding to get up 30 minutes before anyone else in your house to sit, read, meditate, etc. can mean the difference between a stressed out you and a calm, relaxed you. Yes, even during (especially during) the busy seasons in your life.
What is something you can do for YOU each morning when you wake up that will lead to increased happiness in your day?
Some of my favourite ways include:
drinking coffee on the deck
reading an uplifting book
going for a walk
DAY TWO: WHERE CAN I CLEAR SPACE?
I mentioned earlier that we’re BUSY. You can feel this chaotic energy most places you go and it only adds to our general feelings of tired, wired anxiousness. Your physical space is a reflection of your inner space.
You know, like when you’re having a really hectic week and the laundry is left unfolded on the couch, the dishes are piled up, newsletters and mail are scattered on the table and you can’t remember the last time you washed your hair?
It’s time to make some space so we can breathe again.
Some of my favourite ways to do this include:
Decluttering my office
Writing down all of the “to-dos” in my head on paper or in my journal
Getting rid of old clothes and clutter
Unsubscribing from email lists that I no longer need
Unfollowing social media accounts that make me feel less than or down on myself
Where can you make some space for yourself this week?
Start with one area, maybe your physical office or kitchen and then move on to your closet, your inbox and your social media.
DAY THREE: WHAT AM I FEEDING MY BODY?
Like it or not, what you are eating is a direct reflection of your energy levels, mindset and body composition.
No, I am not about to say cut carbs, sugar and delicious things out of your life.
I’m simply going to suggest you be a little more MINDFUL this week while eating.
And maybe while we’re at it, we could add a little more water to our days? How’s that water bottle carrying going? Mindfulness just means to ‘pay attention to’. That’s all. Nothing crazy. Just be present while you’re eating. So maybe we put the phone down and answer emails after our 10 minute lunch, instead of trying to do both simultaneously.
A helpful activity you can do to be more mindful of what you’re eating:
Make a list of all the foods that nourish you (think berries, salmon, nuts, avocados, eggs, arugula, watermelon, etc.)
Make a list of all the foods that deplete you (think starchy breads, sugary snacks, microwave dinners, booze, salty chips, etc.)
Keep this list in sight for yourself (in your journal perhaps? Or on the fridge at home?) and every time you go to eat something, ask yourself: “is this nourishing me or depleting me?”
Your body is the only home you have to live. If you want more energy out of it, you need to feed it in a way that reflects that.
Be compassionate with yourself. Don’t try to go all or nothing.
Just start to pay attention and make better choices when eating for yourself, by yourself.
It could be as simple as replacing your morning drive thru bagel with some homemade scrambled eggs on toast with avocado.
You’ll be glad you did.
DAY FOUR: WHEN AM I MOVING MY BODY?
Your body wants to move.
It will actually give you MORE energy if you do.
But so many of us have been conditioned to believe that exercise is just for physical aesthetics.
We have also been conditioned to believe that in order to “see” any physical results from a workout regimen, we needed to spend hours on an elliptical or bike and it has to be HARD in order to be WORTH it.
“No pain, no gain”, right?
Exercise doesn’t have to be punishment.
In fact, you’ll see better results from your daily movement practice when you actually enjoy what you’re doing! What a novel idea, hey?
Your body will produce FEEL GOOD endorphins when you exercise, which will lead to more energy, increased happiness, decreased stress and higher confidence.
So, how do you like to move your body?
Is it walking outside? Light yoga? HIIT training? Lifting weights? Dance? Kickboxing? Running? Baton twirling? A mix of it all?
What form of movement speaks to you in THIS season of your life?
And when can you make time for 30 minutes of movement 4-6 times per week?
**(If this is an area you struggle with, email me personally and I’ll set you up with a digital library of workouts you can take anywhere with you. They’re designed with the busy person in mind and can be done from home or gym)
DAY FIVE: WHEN AM I FEEDING MY MIND?
Serious question: when was the last time you sat in silence and focused on your breath?
This is also known as meditation. And if you choose to implement just 5 minutes of silent breathing into each morning or afternoon, clinical studies have shown that you WILL in fact decrease your stress, lower your resting heart rate and blood pressure, improve digestion and feel more relaxed during busy times.
So, why aren’t we all meditating?
Because our minds are racing and we have this idea that “doing nothing” is lazy or unproductive.
And also, because most people assume that they don’t know how.
The exact opposite is true: when you take just 5-10 minutes each morning to fill your cup and feed your mind through silent breathing (something you’re naturally really good at, by the way), you become more present, focused and creative in your own life.
Oh, and you decrease stress, increase energy and feel HAPPIER.
Shall I sign you up?
One of my favourite ways to start practicing this:
Sit cross-legged on the couch or with feet on the floor and hands in your lap.
Close your eyes.
Inhale deeply through your nose.
Exhale deeply out your mouth.
Do this a few times until you settle in to your seat.
Then, for 10 breaths, simply focus on deeply inhaling in through the nose, holding for 3 seconds, and then deeply exhaling through the nose, and holding for 3 seconds.
Feel free to attach a word to each inhale like “IN” and a word to each exhale like “OUT”.
When you’re ready, wiggle your toes and fingers and pay attention to what you hear before opening your eyes.
Set one intention for your day, like “I am relaxed and happy”
Deep inhale in. Deep exhale out.
Open your eyes and carry on with your day.
This takes only 5 minutes, but will make a huge difference in your life if practiced consistently.
DAY SIX: AM I CONSUMING OR CONNECTING?
One of the biggest contributing factors to our lack of energy, time and feelings of unworthiness is our addiction to scrolling social media.
Or as I’ve heard it bitterly referred to as, “life porn”.
Something you may need to ask yourself is: how much social media am I consuming? And am I consuming more (scrolling) than I am actually connecting with people?
We are hardwired as humans for connection. Our basic needs are quite literally to feel loved, heard, seen and like we belong.
So it’s no wonder we’re all addicted to chasing “likes” and “comments” on photos that we carefully polish of ourselves.
A really simple way for you to INCREASE your energy (and self worth) this week is to commit to scrolling less and connecting more.
What do I mean by connecting?
I mean having face to face conversations, calling up your best friend or sibling, sending “thinking of you” texts to 3 friends and telling strangers you meet that you like their hair or clothes or they have a nice smile.
Interestingly enough, genuinely connecting with people has actually been shown to lower feelings of depression and anxiety as well.
So go ahead, put down your phone and ask a friend or coworker to join you on a walk outside at lunch. Or make plans to have a girls night this weekend. Or a play date with another mom. Or make plans to hit up a local exercise class with your spouse.
I have a feeling you’ll feel a little lighter and happier afterwards.
And you might even forget to check your phone.
DAY SEVEN: WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT TODAY?
There have been so many studies conducted on the benefits of gratitude at this point, but it isn’t always easy to feel thankful when SH#% hits the fan, is it?
Establishing a daily gratitude practice can be as simple as thinking of 3 things you’re grateful for when you first wake up, to journalling them out over coffee to book-ending your day with a list of things that make you smile.
And whenever you find yourself sulking, sad, throwing a pity party (hey, we all do it), just ask yourself: if I wanted to be, what could I be grateful for right now?
That question can single-handedly turn your day around.
What’s good about today?
Do you have a job? A car? People who love you? Limbs that work? A mind that can read this? Food in your belly? Plans for this summer? Clothes that fit you? A gifted singing voice? A natural ability to make people feel loved?
One of my favourite activities to do that never ceases to make me smile is to make a list of 20 things that light me up.
I do this frequently and often read over my list for a quick “hit of happiness” when I need it.
I’ll share some of the things on my list in hopes that it inspires you to create your own:
Newborn babies. Perfectly blended smoothies. Funny internet memes. Witnessing human kindness. When crowds sing in unison. When my omelette flips perfectly. Great music. Sunny mornings. Frothy coffee. Meditating outside. Being super productive. Road trips. Shrimp tacos. Puppies. Cactuses. Organizing my house. Having time for a nap. Meeting new awesome friends. Trying new wines. Writing. Reading good books. Twinkling patio lights. Fresh sheets. Swimming in the ocean. Remembering someone’s name. Finding money I forgot I had. Peanut butter. Laughing so hard you cry. Love.
So, if you chose to be grateful right now, what would go on your list?
And there you have it. 7 days to increased energy, a more positive mindset and hopefully some new habits you can carry forward with you into your life.
Always remember that you are the one in control and everything you need to improve your mindset and habits is already within you.
The key is to just start.
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