No matter how much we dial in our wellness routines and habits, life happens and we all occasionally fall off track. Course correcting early and often can help, but I’ve come to believe that the key to sustaining wellbeing lies in learning to master the skill of recalibration. Here are the three steps that I often take when I need to recalibrate and reset my wellness focus:
1. Block off space and time.
This first step is all about stopping so you can start again. I like to begin this phase on a weekend when I can minimize commitments. A big part of taking a full pause, however, means not forcing expectations on yourself. I find this to be the hardest part, but some simple mindfulness can help. By bringing awareness to any discomfort you have around slowing down and doing less, you can begin to detach from the urge to continue to grind and instead focus on the enjoyment of slipping into relaxation.
2. Find your foundation.
Once you’ve slowed your rhythm, then give yourself a few days for self-care. I like to do this following the weekend – a few weeknights with no commitments or evening work tends to do the trick. During this phase I try to focus on just doing some basic healthy behaviors, without any kind of rigidity. This can mean drinking water, cooking a healthy meal, maybe doing some light activity like a yoga class or a short run. Lastly, I try to spend some time outdoors or in nature, which I always find to be invigorating and good for positivity.
3. Reverse the momentum.
Once the healthy behaviors start to kick in, it’s important to commit to getting back on schedule. Start up your basic morning routine and recommit to whatever your cornerstone habits are. For me this includes: Moving Daily (30 min or more), Eating Whole Foods (don’t worry about calories), Resting (set a bedtime), Meditation (10 min or more in the morning). If you need some extra support, try making it social – do some sort of healthy activity or meal with a friend – this makes it more fun and it holds you accountable.
This post is part of a series called Things Unfinished. It is an exploration of creative endeavors that I started, but never completed. This particular piece was inspired by some coaching that I led with founders and designers who were looking to overcome burnout and learn how to work in healthier and happier ways. This is a hurdle that is near and dear to me.