Tai chi classes are paused for the rest of June. See you in July!

Micro Steps to Wellness

In our wellness series launch, we encouraged you to skip the New Year’s Resolutions, to count your blessings, and to reflect on your values as the starting point in your wellness journey.  In this post we want to offer some concrete suggestions for making micro-wellness moves. The following suggestions are designed to be simple and low effort but serve as foundational habits in your day.

Get Hydrated

Most of us are guilty of not getting enough water. Dehydrating drinks such as coffee and soda don’t help. It can be tempting to try and overhaul everything at once, to try and drink more water while cutting out excess caffeine and calories. With micro-wellness goals, however, it is important to start with things that are small and achievable. Just increasing the amount of water you consume not only improves hydration, but can help displace other, less healthy forms of consumption. 

When implementing this change, look for ways to make it fun and enjoyable. Sarah has a pair of go-to favorites. Lemon water in a glass bottle feels sleek and elegant, while ice water in a color-changing cup brings an element of fun to the work desk. Gary, on the other hand, prefers the Chinese tradition of having hot or room temperature water. These strategies make staying hydrated something enjoyable rather than a chore. Everyone is different, so search for solutions that suit you and bring a level of excitement to getting your daily amount of water. You might also try water infused with seasonal fruits and herbs. These drinks not only taste good; they can be downright beautiful. If you’re looking for ideas, this article is a great place to start: https://www.culinaryhill.com/8-infused-water-recipes/.

The fun doesn’t have to come from the water itself. Games and contests can be another great way to get more water into your day. For example, you could set goals for how much water you’re hoping to drink and small rewards for when you reach your quotas. An afternoon coffee or brief social media break can be a lot more enjoyable when you know you’ve earned it.  

Micro-movements

With winter weather keeping us indoors and gyms closed in much of the country, many people find they aren’t getting enough daily movement. If this sounds familiar, consider adding micro-movements to your day. These are small opportunities for movement that you can work into the existing aspects of your day. The benefit is that these activities are much easier to incorporate into a busy schedule than a block of time dedicated solely to exercise. Ironically, once you get moving, you will find you have more energy, not less, which can make further exercise easier. Some suggestions for getting started with micro-movements include:

• Brushing your teeth – this can be as simple as swaying while you brush, or full on squats if you’re feeling awake and ready for more of a challenge.

• Cleaning – our household trick is to put on energetic music. Something about an upbeat song we can all sing along to helps get us into the groove, and when everyone is dancing and moving, the chores seem to fly by.

• Cooking – much like cleaning, this is can be a great time to put on music and groove, but it can also be perfect for more meditative types of movement. Practicing Tai Chi, for example, is a great activity you can fit into even the tiniest of kitchens.

• Playing with the kids – if you have young ones at home, you have plenty of opportunities to get on the ground and crawl and stretch. Taking a little extra time to play isn’t just good exercise, it’s great bonding time that will benefit your overall well-being.

Finding your smile

Most of us are facing tough challenges at home, work, and in our communities. It’s easy for this to become overwhelming. Find the small things that make you smile. Looking at your answers from our values exercise can be a great place to start. (If you missed this exercise, see last week’s blog post here.) You can also go to your five senses for a cue. Here are some ideas to get you started: 

Smell: What smells do you enjoy? Consider lighting a candle with your favorite scent or putting on your special date-night perfume.  

Touch: Hug a loved one on your safe list, pet your cat or dog, or wear a favorite scarf. Get a massage! You can check out our website on the precautions we are taking to keep our clients safe.

Taste: Make a treat, have a cup of tea, or try the fruit infused water described above. 

Hearing: Put on some nice music or listen to the sounds of nature. 

Sight: Take a moment to check out the nature around you. Maybe it’s the view from your window, the sky outside, or light streaming through pine needles or leaves on the trees. If you live with your family, take a moment to really look at your family or loved one. Wear a favorite item of clothing that feels great and has a color that makes you happy.

Integrative Arts – Your Move for Life Specialists

At Integrative Arts, we help you achieve your wellness goals and live the vibrant life you desire. We started this wellness series to support you on your journey and help you shift from merely surviving to whole-heartedly thriving. Continue following our wellness series for more tools, tricks, hacks, and strategies to help you build a more vibrant life.

In health and wellness, 

Integrative Arts Co-Founders, 

Gary & Sarah