Beauty. When you hear this word, what images does your mind conjure up? Most people think of external features. I admit I often neglect internal beauty in lieu of visions of a perfectly winged eyeliner, highlights and a dress tailored to a T. This New Year, I am focusing on beauty from the inside.
Here are the ways that I am working that angle; try the options that might work best for you.
At the end of summer 2010, I cracked. My husband and I were (unsuccessfully) trying for our first child, I was traveling for work in order to cover for another team member on maternity leave (sadistic, no?), and I had recently moved to the far western suburbs with no friends for miles. Big life changes, a lot of stress.
A therapist helped diagnose me with anxiety. I eventually was able to talk through life’s issues and rewire my way of thinking. I started to feel more beautiful on the inside, and that feeling increases every day.
Reading has always been my release valve, but I often felt my mind wandering when trying to crack open a self-help book. They are rarely entertaining and often do not contain practical applications for my life.
When I picked up the book 10% Happier by Dan Harris of ABC News, I immediately connected with the term “monkey mind.” Many of us jump from thought to thought, “constantly lurching from one pleasant experience to the next, never fully satisfied.” Harris takes you through his journey from meditation skeptic to full-on believer and explains how he credits meditation and mindfulness with making him a happier person. Even if you don’t prescribe to his way of thinking, reading a book with a different perspective is a beautiful thing.
You have heard this a million times: drink more water. Even a 1 percent dehydration level can adversely affect your mood, attention, memory and coordination.
My solution? A water intake tracker bottle. You can buy one online or create your own with a permanent marker–mark hour by hour how much water you need. If you buy a 32-ounce water bottle, mark the first five-hour intervals, then refill and mark the second five hours (adjusting for weight and health issues).
I haven’t officially had a regular workout routine since 1999. That’s high school, folks. I discovered the Aaptiv app that caters to my need for low-impact action and even offers programs for pregnant moms based upon their trimester, complete with post-natal stroller workouts!
Moral of the story: Make sure that you focus on that inner beauty because if your mind, body and spirit are a mess, that great pair of shoes won’t get you very far.