If 2018 was the year of leaning in, then 2019 is the year of letting go. We’ve seen mass movements toward living lighter with the help of crazes like the KonMari Method, forgoing single-use plastics and even an industry-wide shift toward sustainable fashion and beauty habits.
But, like any move toward living a meaningful life, you have to approach wellness from 360 degrees. That means diving deeper to identify and remove toxicity from more than just your belongings but your career, finances, relationships, diet and your lifestyle in general.
Here’s how to get started…
Money undeniably causes an immense amount of stress and toxicity in our lives. Understanding your financial situation may seem daunting but it’s one of the most freeing things you can do.
Start by tracking where your money is going each month, write down your financial goals, and don’t just stick to numbers. If you set your mind to saving for a European getaway, rather than just saving a set amount of dollars, you’ll find it easier to stay on track. Finally, create a realistic budget that allows you to meet your goals.
And remember, budgeting doesn’t have to mean going without things you love. If a weekly brunch date with your girlfriends or monthly trips to your aesthetician are a priority, include them in your budget.
We all have a pretty good idea of what we should be eating, but following through and putting our knowledge into practice isn’t always so simple. Our diets play such an important role in the healthy functioning of our mind and body. If your diet is out of balance, there’s a good chance your mind will be too.
Whether it’s a particular food group (sugar, sweet carbs, caffeine or alcohol) you know you should be cutting down on, or simply a bad habit such as late-night snacking, boredom or emotional eating, identifying and taking steps to move toward a more positive outlook on food is crucial. Remember, food is fuel for our bodies and even works as natural medicine.
Try to focus on eating fresh and organic fruits and vegetables, preferably purchased from local Farmer’s markets, healthy grains such as beans, lentils and chickpeas and fatty fish high in omegas. Detox your kitchen and room anything with artificial sweeteners, preservatives and flavours. If you can’t explain what all of the ingredients on a label are, it’s probably time to toss it.
When replenishing your fridge, write out a list before you hit the grocery store or Farmer’s market and only buy what’s on the list. This will help you to make better choices and stick to your budget.
Lifestyle is such a broad term but it really comes down to the small actions you make every day that can be improved by making some non-toxic changes.
Start with your sleeping habits. Eight hours of rest is essential for the proper functioning of our bodies. If you need to invest in some earplugs, an herbal sleep remedy or new set of pillows to improve your sleep, now’s the time to do it. Identify things that are negatively impacting your rest such as irregular bed times, eating or drinking before bed or having your phone too close by. Remove those inhibitors then set yourself a routine and stick to it.
Next is your beauty routine. Clean skincare and makeup are having a moment meaning there is more choice than ever before to rid your beauty bag of chemical-ridden products that are causing more harm than good. Throw away any makeup or skincare items that are past their recommended usage date and try to swap as many products for natural and organic options as you can. Remember, when throwing away old or toxic products, recycle as much of the packaging as you can.
When it comes to exercise, it’s understandable that not everyone is going to become a gym junkie. However, poor exercise habits can lead to serious health implications and a negative attitude toward movement is as toxic as toxic gets.
To help, stop thinking about exercise as a chore on your to-do list and find some kind of movement you enjoy. When you realise that exercise is about more than just losing weight, you’ll open yourself to enjoying even the simplest forms of exercise such as coastal walks or a dip in the ocean.
And remember, a toxic relationship with exercise goes both ways. If you’re overworking your body in an attempt to reach a goal, you can quickly lead yourself to burnout and miss out on all of the positive mental aspects of a sweat session.
Relationships have been left to last because they’re the hardest to rid of toxicity however, you stand a better chance of tackling them head on if the rest of your life is in balance. Toxic relationships can come in the form of an ex-partner, friendship or even a family member.
They’re easily recognisable as those people who distract you from a positive mindset or stand in the way of positive habits. They’re often making you feel guilty or ashamed for having an interest in something they don’t, causing confrontations or making you feel like you’re putting in a lot of effort without receiving any support or happiness in return.
One of the most important things to remember when removing toxic people from your life is that ghosting them is not ok. It only stands to hurt both you and them. Begin by setting boundaries within the relationship, communicate your intentions clearly to the toxic person and be firm about enforcing them. If you need to delete their number or block them on social media, do it.
Then, you need to go to work on your own mind and highlight all of the positivity you stand to gain by cutting them out of your life. Once they’re out of your life, there’s no turning back. Try to cut communication once and for all and allow yourself to move on to productive and positive relationships.