Happy New Year! I’m excited for new opportunities in 2019 for growth and exploration, I’ve set my intentions and am looking forward to the journey. I’ve created a Week of Wellness Challenge with the intention of helping people find pauses for mindfulness in their everyday lives. Enjoy!
Sunday Skincare - Create a face mask! Use a bowl or a plate to mash together a raw banana, 2 tsp of agave/honey, and 1/4 cup of plain vegan/regular yogurt. Banana has great brightening properties and honey is a great antibacterial, you can actually wash your face with it, fun tip!
Set your intention for this week with this act of self-care. While you are mixing your mask make sure that your focus is completely on this activity. While you gather your ingredients and start to mix them, take note of the texture of each ingredient, the smell, and how the texture looks. This is a brilliant form of meditation, allowing you the space to create something for yourself as a form of self-love and this is your only focus.
While the mask is setting on your skin you can either journal, meditate silently, or simply reflect on your experience of stillness, on your experience without other stimulation allowing yourself to dive in to the smells and textures of the ingredients. What did this experience bring up for you? How can you use this practice in other areas of your life?
Monday Making breakfast. Taking note of each step of either making your tea, coffee, or juice - the smells, texture, and how it tastes - use this time to dive into your experience. Step two of this activity is to eat breakfast/drink your coffee, tea or juice silently. Create this experience of stillness and reflection while enjoying your food. You can still eat breakfast with others, but encourage them to also eat silently along with you.
During my 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training, I was in France with 15 other people sharing a house. Each morning we had silent breakfast, all together enjoying our meal and each others company. I encourage you to try this at least one day during the week and see how it feels to try it every Monday.
Tuesday Meditate on the train. While you are in your commute, either on your walk, train/bus ride, or car drive to work. Take this time to connect with yourself, this could be noticing the scenery, listening to a guided meditation or practicing your own meditation. Allow this time for you to connect and restore.
If you work from home, Find a comfortable seat and practice your meditation at home or on your walk to your co-working space, to get coffee, or just take a walk outside :)
Wednesday Free Writing Journaling. I created a prompt for Free Writing Journaling as well as other journaling prompts. This type of writing really shows us how quickly our minds move and sporadic our minds can be. Meditation is not about being completely blank, it’s about staying present and using thoughts and experiences to become more connected to your mind-body. Through this exercise you may write random things, a story, or a regular journal entry. This time is for you to be creative and enjoy the process!
Thursday Yoga! Ideally, find a restorative yoga class or a vinyasa/yin(restorative) class. Classes that are fully restorative/Yin or have it in the mix are going to challenge you to be still and meditate. These classes are slow moving, deep stretching, and can be cathartic. I really enjoy a restorative class as a form of therapy. This time of stillness and slow moving allows me to dive deep into my body and meditate on the past week.
Friday Gratitude Journal. Writing 3 things a day that bring us joy or that we are grateful for, allows us to stay humble and find more ease. While we are reflecting on what we’re grateful for, we are allowing ourselves the space to be present and find joy in what we have.
Saturday Mindfulness Checklist. Creating a daily or weekly checklist can be helpful for us to see how far we’ve come and plan where we’d like to go.
Let us know how this challenge goes for you in the comments! What was your favorite practice to implement?
If you’re in Chicago, be sure to check out our events! We have plenty of slow, restorative yoga classes that will help you pause and create more moments of mindfulness.