7 Tips To Kickstart Your Way Back To A Lighter, Brighter You

7 Tips To Kickstart Your Way Back To A Lighter, Brighter You


Sometimes it’s hard not to fall into the BLAH-trap this time year. The cold, dark days can make everything a challenge, particularly the ability to keep up with a healthy living plan.

While the 7am yoga class seems great when looking at the schedule from my cozy couch the night before, the reality of that pre-sunrise session which requires commuting in the 17° temps is not nearly as enticing. And don’t even get me started on my morning runs. Or rather lack of morning runs.

So yes, the intention is there — to take care of yourself, but the circumstances of life get in the way. Whether it’s the cold weather or a busy schedule, often the path of living well is impeded, sometimes to the point of total derailment. Couple that with the fact of being off track since the holidays, it may feel like a long haul back to the healthier version of yourself.

But there are a few simple things you can do. You don’t have to do all of them, see if you can find at least one or two…think small steps towards big change.

Here are 7 To-Dos to Find Your Way Back To A Lighter, Brighter You

1. Hot Yoga
I’ve praised the glory of hot yoga here before, but that was in the spring. Now with the freezing temps, it’s even better –> a total AH for the body. The deep sweat that occurs in these classes allows me to literally watch the toxins drip away which feels like the ultimate cleanse (even more so after my post class shower!). Plus being in the extreme heat is warming to the bones in a way that stays with me well after savasana.

2. Chill Out In A Sauna Or Steam Room

If hot yoga gets a big thumbs down from you (which it did from me for many years), then try sweating it out in a sauna or steam room. It has the same cleansing effect that gets the skin glow going along with an increased blood flow throughout the body. You will definitely feel lighter after spending time in there.

3. Take A Fitness Class
While moving your body is an obvious answer to getting lighter and brighter, taking class with others has the added benefit of participating in a group energy. Also, there may be more motivation if you go with a friend, and turn it into a social connection by having coffee or tea afterwards.

4. Stream Some Exercise At Home
The only issue I have with those fitness classes is that little thing called a schedule. Finding the right time can be a P*I*A! If you aren’t able to fit something in, then bring the class to your home. A lot of the studios offer streaming services, so for a small fee you can have access to those teachers and workout with them. A friend was telling me she has great experiences streaming her barre class, and in the yoga world, pretty much every celebrity teacher offers some form of instruction online.

5. Go Liquid For A Meal
Juice fasting in the cold is just wrong so I wouldn’t go there. But if you’re looking to lighten up you can still cleanse your eating. Try replacing one meal with a nourishing soup or a nutrient packed smoothie. You’ll get the satisfaction of a meal while giving your digestive system a break. If you’re feeling super enthusiastic, you could do this for an entire day. Also, there’s nothing wrong with drinking juice in the winter, in fact I recommend having a green juice in between meals. It’ll not only boost your energy, it’ll brighten your skin.

6. Limit Alcohol
I wanted to include caffeine in this category because I’ve read about the merits of quitting coffee. But that’s simply not do-able for me– particularly during these cold, dark days. But alcohol, on the other hand, has been much easier for me to forgo. Since I’ve cutback, I’ve noticed a definite improvement in my skin, along with way more clarity overall in my day to day.

7. Supplement Your Skin With Oil
I raved about my experience using coconut oil on my face a few months back, but now that it’s winter…it’s working overtime. It’s hard for me to imagine that I was once put off of using face oil because of my acne prone skin. It does not make me break out at all. My skin looks so much better! You could also try olive oil, almond oil, jojoba, or rose hips as well if any of those appeal. The result of more nourished skin helps show the brighter you from from within.

How do you get back to the lighter, brighter you?

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7 Comments

  1. justsylph@gmail.com' Maia says:

    When I know I had to be up early the next day , especially during winter, I take time to soak myself in Epsom salt bath. It’s simply a miracle! Your body loosens up with the fluidity of the water and it totally helps when you can have the water temperature to as hot as your skin can manage. I surprise myself sometimes how I can handle it. But it only takes a few seconds before your skin begins to acclimatize. It is friggin great for tightness and soreness. Just lay in there for 5-10 minutes, longer when you don’t feel like moving at all.
    Then the next day, you feel lighter. None of the dragging heaviness of getting up early, when the sun hasn’t peeked out yet and the temperature ouside is freezing. Plus, you will sleep like a baby. =)
    xoxo

  2. That’s a great tip, Maia – thank YOU! It’s so important to keep our bodies warm and supple, and the cold weather does nothing to encourage that. I’m going to try this one for sure. xoxo

  3. justsylph@gmail.com' Maia says:

    Are you familiar with the doshas? Vata, Pitta, Kapha?? These are body constitutions we all have; but due to lifestyle, they become imbalanced. The way to balance them varies each season through our food intake. I used to not give a hoot, you know, just enough for me before to know I’m dominant Vata, airy and spaced out lol. But the Ashtanga training focused on this because of our Ayurveda course.
    Dramatic changes, I tell you!! Since Fall and now Winter. We are what we eat, right? So it’s not always enough to have soup on cold days. It’s dependent on what you have in your soup that counts. Check it out: Doshas, even online. They offer like a free test to determine your dosha type. Then keep researching for what food can help keep the balance. I have a book from training. I’ll post in instagram. And you cae asily get the book at amazon. It’s where I got mine. 🙂 xox

  4. I am familiar with the doshas! I too am mostly Vata. Or at least I was back when I was very involved with Ayurveda years ago — bathing with sesame oil and taking all the herbs. It was A LOT of herbs! Do you do all those herbal supplements? It felt like I was constantly eating herbs. ????
    Thanks for the book suggestion. I’m heading over to Insta to check it out. xoxo

  5. justsylph@gmail.com' Maia says:

    Not much on herbal supplements. I began with that but they can get pricey! I make do with what I can easily buy at the stores, preferably the health stores.
    There are some people where their dominant dosha change depending on the season. Our instructor even suggested to do the dosha testing every 3 weeks. But I’ve stayed on Vata every time I do the test. My Kapha and Pitta interchangeably rules each other.
    The most noticeable change is the bloating. I switched to less dairy or gluten-free or whatever it is out there. But it’s actually all the other food I normally eat that was contributing to the bloating.
    I’m still on my almond milk though lol. And still gluten-free, most times… damn Mennonites here bake so friggin goood! 😉 xoxo

  6. I didn’t realize gluten free and dairy free were part of a Vata program. I love my milk in coffee and avocado toast each morning…not sure I’m willing to let those go! xoxo

  7. justsylph@gmail.com' Maia says:

    No, they’re not exactly part of the doshas. I wasn’t certain at first where my bloating was originaing so I was trying on different lifestyles. But I do find having almond milk for my smoothies work better for me than regular cow’s udder milk lol.
    As far as gluten, I learned more from the book I showed you. Say, buckwheat or rye, high in gluten… depending on how I prepare it as a dominant Vata, it can be easily digested by my belly, like toasting it. I look for the ingredients label as well. Pure rye bread is a no-no for dominant Vata but great for Kapha. Buckwheat pancakes are tolerable for Pitta and Vata but not so for Kapha.
    And I still have cream in my coffee 😉

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