As I closed the back cover on 2020, I took a moment to pause and think. How do I want my 2021 story to begin? I chose to begin with an intention to Hydrate and Nourish my body, mind, and spirit.
While I feel like I handled the challenges of the pandemic quite well in 2020, I also know I slipped into a few unhealthy patterns. Through the holidays (actually from Halloween through New Year’s Eve) I was consuming more sugar and wine than normal. By the time New Year’s Eve rolled around, I wasn’t feeling good at all. The over-indulgence was too much. I felt sluggish, tired, and a bit puffy.
On January 1, I was excited to let go of my two unhealthy habits. For seven days, I only chose things that would hydrate and nourish my body. This choice led me to sleep better, feel more focused, feel more relaxed, and have more energy. And it wasn’t hard at all!
After a full week of hydration and nourishment, I was ready to enjoy a little indulgence. This past weekend, I enjoyed a few glasses of wine. I also enjoyed a small dessert on Sunday night. Here’s the thing, I think it is important to indulge some of the time. It’s when my indulgence becomes a habit that I feel the need to make a change.
So, what is the difference between an indulgence and a habit?
When I choose to indulge, it is a thoughtful choice. I give myself permission to enjoy wine, chocolate, ice cream, pizza, buttermilk pancakes… (I could go on and on here!) Indulgences bring me joy. While I have many favorites, indulging brings me more joy when I make a conscious choice. In a weekend, for example, I will make room for 2-3 indulgences and be completely joyful and happy when I experience them. Then, during the week, I will focus more on hydrating and nourishing my body so that I have balance.
When I am stuck in a habit, it is a pattern instead of a thoughtful choice. I am on automatic pilot, and there is no joy in the experience. I often feel guilty for being overly indulgent and the special feeling I get with a true indulgence is missing. If I stay stuck in the pattern for too long, it begins to weigh me down. I feel tired, sluggish, unfocused, and anxious. My body feels puffy and sore and movement takes more effort.
As my 2021 story comes to life, I will be mindful of balance. I will balance hydration and nourishment with joyful indulgences. When I see a habit forming that leaves me feeling tired, sluggish, and anxious, I will pause, breathe and hit the reset the button.