5 Ways to Build a Better Mindset and Healthier Habits

As we continue to embrace home decor and fashion that allows us to express who we are, our goal for the new year and a new decade is to embrace wellness and self-care so we can feel just as confident on the inside as we do on the outside.

Photography: Vincent Shakir
Makeup: Jessica Shakir

We turned to certified holistic nutritionist and Nourishing Your Body author Julie Hefner to get simple, sustainable tips that focus on mindset awareness and healthy lifestyle plans.

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“The New Year is always so exciting, fresh, and filled with hope,” says Julie. “We often reflect back on our health and think about what wellness goals we want to achieve in the coming year. Do you want to be more tone and fit? Or learn to handle your stress more effectively? Start by taking time for yourself. Be intentional about what your goals are and know there is a solution to help you achieve it. Once you find this answer and stick to it, your journey to discovering the new you or best you, or best version of you can truly begin.”

Mindset, Yoga, Journaling, Nourishing Habits, and Sleep are nutritionist Julie Hefner’s five wellness must-haves to get you to your healthiest body and mind this year:

1. Mindset – Mindset is the most important thing to help you find your healthiest body. 

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The way you talk to yourself, know yourself, and look at your habits are all part of the equation. Take time to self-evaluate before you start your new year so you can properly set goals for yourself and continue this practice of self-reflexivity into 2020. Take time once a day, week, or month to sit and reflect—mark a time in your calendar, seriously! Stay positive even if that means posting sticky notes with motivational sayings on them. Change cannot happen unless you set a healthy mindset.

2. Yoga – Yoga is the trifecta of health because it affects your body, mind, and spirit. 

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The good news is you don’t need a lot of space or a gym membership. Set up your yoga mat in your living room, park, beach or even at work. I like to use the Laura Ashley floral yoga mat because it’s bright colors put a big smile on my face and makes my soul feel radiant.

Serena Gym Bag | Serena Yoga Mat

Remember to exercise your gratitude when doing yoga. Gratitude centers us in the moment and helps us be aware of what we have, which allows our body to release chemicals that have a positive effect on our mind.

3. Journaling – This ties back into our #1 healthy habit – Mindset. 

Journaling is a great custom to develop that only takes 10 minutes or so a day. There are no rules for journaling, which is what makes it so freeing. Just make sure to incorporate positive self-talk, to give yourself grace with any mistakes or shortcomings, and to celebrate your wins—because they are often shadowed by our self-doubt and feelings of failure.

4. Nourishing Habits – These are my all-encompassing health tips that you should take with you into 2020!  

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  • Water and Tea: Fill your favorite water bottle and find ways to drink 8-10 glasses of water a day which will keep you more hydrated to reduce hunger, supply your body with more energy, and can help improve your energy level while raising your metabolism.
  • In the morning, start your day with warm water and the juice of a half lemon. This simple practice signifies that you are creating a win first thing in the morning to set you up for success. You can also try some nourishing teas like organic green tea, dandelion, or chamomile tea, especially at night before bed. Purchase a pretty mug or water bottle that will signify that you are starting something new, as you’re on your way to your healthiest you.
  • Choosing nutrient-dense foods will have a huge impact on your health. Look for foods that will build the body up and keep your blood sugar balanced. This will give you energy throughout the day and keep you from craving sweets and breads. It is also beneficial to give your digestive tract some downtime. I recommend a twelve-hour fast overnight.

5. Sleep – Establish a sleep routine. Sleep is where the body repairs itself. Guard it and protect it. 

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Aim for 8-9 hours a night. Create a sleep ritual every evening by dimming the lights and preparing for bed ahead of time. Even the tiniest amount of light will affect the production of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that is released when it’s dark that helps us sleep. Use an eye mask if you can’t get your room dark enough. Give yourself a 30-minute curfew from your computer, tablet or phone before bed.

Remember, a great morning starts the night before. When we are sleeping well, we handle stress better. Mediate by using an app for 5 minutes before you get out of bed in the morning. Going on daily morning walks and practicing yoga can help you manage stress better and get a deeper night’s sleep. 

Photography credits @vincentshakirphotography

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