January is a month of the year that is usually known to be a “reset” for most people. After rushing around for the holidays, no matter what you celebrate, it can tend to be a bit overwhelming. This is why the beginning of the year is the ideal time to recharge, reset, and to become in tune of what we need, both emotionally and physically.
International Mind-Body Wellness Day, celebrated on January 3rd, was created for this purpose. Not only to learn more about the mind-body connection, but according to National Today, an “opportunity to celebrate how a healthy mind and emotions can lead to a healthy body.” The mind-body connection plays an important role in our overall well-being and mind-body wellness is a concept that has been around for thousands of years. It can include mindfulness, meditation, changes in diet, and/or spirituality – anything that personally helps you achieve balance and promotes connection amongst mind, body, and soul.
How can this be done? While the idea of it may seem fairly overwhelming at first, the practice of it can be quite simple. First, it should be something that you enjoy. As individuals we are inherently unique with varying interests, so what we consider to be mindful or relaxing may not be for somebody else. For example, meditation is never something that I, personally, got into or found beneficial for myself. However, this doesn’t mean that other people don’t find this enjoyable or useful for themselves. Practicing mindfulness can be done in many different ways. Outside of meditation, there is yoga, journaling, and even mindful eating.
A good night’s sleep, while important all of the time, is especially important when you’re trying to achieve balance with mind and body. Restful sleep can help reduce stress, improve mental clarity, and prevent extreme daytime exhaustion the next day. To get a good night’s sleep, try to avoid drinking too many fluids, especially caffeinated beverages and stay away from technology or watching TV right before you go to bed.
Some other ways to create balance include eating (mostly) healthy, staying hydrated, and getting some form of exercise daily (that you enjoy). It’s also important to listen to both your body and mind and to find what works best for you. And while everyone may have different practices on how to achieve it, creating a mind-body connection is important and can contribute to our overall health and well-being.
Mollie Clupper works for MHA as a Communications and Support Specialist. Using her own experiences, she wants to help bring awareness and end the stigma surrounding mental health. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, drinking coffee, and spending time with loved ones.