2021 was my healthiest year in memory. I ate well, drank very little, exercised most days, consistently practiced yoga, read a ton of books, and experienced more calm and consistent energy than I had before. Here is a list of a half dozen tools that helped me on my wellness journey – some digital, others analog, some pricey, and others free. What I learned is that when I prioritize my health and wellness, I am more likely to empower and uplift those around me.
- Noom – Noom is an incredible tool. It helped me lose and maintain a 20-lb weight loss for a year. It is simple and seamless. The user experience gets you right into the learning path and provides easy to consume lessons with daily practical application. Not everyone will like this app – it is all about self directed learning and personal accountability not community or external/social validation. For me, it was perfect.
- Peloton – A fabulous device and community that is worth every cent. I purchased my bike in 2018 but didn’t use it much. Due to COVID and my discomfort with taking in-person classes, I used it more in 2021 than in the prior two years combined. Yes, the company has made some major marketing missteps, but the product itself is stellar and I still stan hard.
- Insight Timer – A wonderful free meditation app that opens you up to health, wellness and meditation discovery. I had used Calm for many years, but got tired of the same old thing and found myself skipping it more and more. Since I started with Insight Timer, I have been far more consistent and have discovered some excellent teachers and meditations. Even better – it’s free!
- Morning and Evening Routine – Rituals help us stay focused and honor the sacred. By giving myself 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes before sleep to meditate, journal, read and reflect, I have greatly enhanced my wellbeing, sleep, energy levels and focus. I also set up the coffee maker every night as part of my evening routine … it makes me so happy that the coffee is ready for me in the morning.
- Books – Reading and listening to books is one way I engage my intellect and keep reaching new boundaries of awareness and learning, which in turn keeps me well. I read and listen to fiction, nonfiction, and a lot of self-help books. Here are a few from the past year that I found particularly helpful
- Unwinding Anxiety: New Science Shows How to Break the Cycles of Worry and Fear to Heal Your Mind by Judson Brewer
- What Happened to You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing by Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Bruce D. Perry
- How to Do the Work: Recognize Your Patterns, Heal from Your Past, and Create Your Self by Dr. Nicole LePera
6. Yoga – Yoga is my passion. It is the one thing in my life that is mine all mine. I discovered it at a really tough time over 15 years ago. Since then, I have explored the historical, ethical, spiritual, and physical aspects of the practice, and even became a Certified 200 hour Yoga Teacher. Most Americans think of Yoga as a physical practice, but it is so much more than that. Yoga is an ethical code and a way of life. This year, I did a MASSIVE amount of hot Yoga. I believe I was wringing out a lot of old, stale emotions, energy, and thoughts as I prepare for something new. I can’t see what the next year brings for my Yoga practice.