I’ve always heard the saying “life lives in circles”, and this week, I’ve never found that to be more true. As I find myself in Bangkok, Thailand – the very place I spent my younger, more carefree years – I can’t help but feel reflective.
Six years have passed since I last stepped foot in this incredibly beautiful city, and not only does it feel like an eternity, it feels like it was just moments ago I was crossing this same street. I’m overwhelmed with the memories, the familiar buzz and rhythm of the city, and the distinct sensation that I am the same, and yet everything is different.
Where I’ve been, where I am, and where I’m headed are at the forefront of my mind.
As I am walking the same steps I took six years ago, I am acutely aware that I am on a completely different path, and it has my mind swirling in circles: Do I love who I’ve become? How have my habits changed? What are the positives? What has remained the same, and is that a reflection of who I fundamentally am, or a lack of motivation to change? Who was I then, and who am I now? And are either of those people who I want to be?
They’re hard questions. They require an honest, open discussion with myself – a truthful, unbiased look into my deepest faults, strengths, weaknesses, goals, and motivations. A fair assessment of myself is necessary to uncover any worthwhile answers.
These moments of self-evaluation are pivotal. They’re the catalyst for transformation – and we must always insist on transformation, because transformation is change, and the only thing certain in this world is change.
When we want to change, we change. It’s a theme I’ve faced in many forms throughout my life: I cannot force someone to change, and someone cannot force me to change. Change is only brought about by awareness and the desire to do so.
These moments in Bangkok have been the stimulation for my awareness.
When I speak of change, it is not the milestones that I refer to, it is the accumulation of small details that ultimately add up to create the life we perceive. They are the daily decisions we make, the small conversations we have with ourselves 100 times a day, the unconscious actions we make time and time again, only to realize a decade later, we have involuntarily remained the same because our daily habits have failed to improve.
With all of these thoughts in mind, I realized I needed to realign myself with my core values, which fundamentally rely upon discipline and the constant seeking of knowledge. Remaining the same in an ever changing world doesn’t make sense, and in my time here, I have identified one important category that I feel I need to continually improve upon: my health, and I’ve broken it down into 5 daily habit changes that promote self-love and nourishment of the mind and the body.
Here we go!
5 Daily Habits I’m Changing This Summer:
1. Replacing TV With Educational Podcasts and Documentaries.
I waste anywhere from 2-5 hours a day on television programming – whether it’s the news, background noise, or a sitcom before bed. Harmless, right? I thought so, until I came to the realization that I am tuning out while watching TV. My mind is turning off, and that’s a scary thought. With that shocking revelation, I have turned the television off, subscribed to some amazing podcasts and found some truly fascinating documentaries and docuseries on topics I’m interested in: green lifestyle, women’s history, women’s healthcare, and the world news. My morning and evening routines have been transformed the most, as I now learn about the lives of famous women throughout history before bed, and catch up on my news while sipping coffee and getting ready for the day.
2. Going to the gym every single day, even if it’s only to stretch.
This is a big transformation in my frame of mind, and it challenges a fundamental idea of beauty that I’ve held since childhood. I am now prioritizing strength over skinniness, an idea that is vastly contradicted in current media today. This may be a no-brainer thought to some of you already, and I guess if I say it out loud, it sounds obvious to me as well. For years upon years, the media has and continues to emphasize thinner as more beautiful, and that message has long lived in my mind and was always reflected (whether consciously or not) in all of my actions. I have noticed differences in my metabolism in the past few years, as well as differences in how my mind and body respond to stress, and rather than unhappily fighting my body, I realize if I reframe my perspective on beauty, I am already a much happier, healthier woman. I am focusing all my energy on strengthening my body the way I want, rather than conforming to someone else’s idea of beauty, that may or may not work for my body type.
3. Kicking ALL added sugars!
Along with body acceptance comes the message of eating healthy. To me, eating healthy means always striving for well-balanced meals, moderation, and flexibility for life’s circumstances. I do not like extremes or dieting, especially when I feel deprived, however, I can recognize when there are certain food items that hurt my overall health.
Unfortunately, added sugars have a bad reputation for negatively impacting the body, and my theory is, why risk it? It’s only taken a few days to cut the sugar cravings and readjust my taste buds to being satisfied with naturally sweet foods, like fruit.
With ALL that said, I am a big believer in being flexible and finding the routine that works best for you and your lifestyle.
4. Drinking 16oz of organic, cold-pressed celery juice first thing every morning, and sipping a few cups of bone broth daily.
This may be jumping onto a bandwagon, but it’s a wagon full of celery, so how bad can it be? What I’ve found so far: Week 1, the first 8oz go down a lot easier than the second. Week 2, I only look forward to sipping the first 12oz. I’m hoping in week 3 I can love all 16 ounces equally. The benefits? So far, delaying my coffee for an hour after waking up already makes me feel better, and I’m feeling less bloated now that I am in week 2.
A homemade bone broth is said to possibly help with cartilage and joint health. I typically run a mile from medicine, and anything natural I can digest to aid the healing process of my knees and wrist from a previous injury can only be beneficial, plus it’s a tasty snack in between meals.
5. Converting 100% to a clean, green, nontoxic beauty routine.
What exactly does that mean? It means I am only purchasing and using brands that are free from harmful chemicals (there is a list a mile long), promote fair trade and ethical standards, are cruelty free, and last but certainly not least, are high-performance. I use websites like Credo Beauty, which have a wealth of research and information, to help me vet which brands are the safest and most effective to use.
My current skincare routine relies mostly on Tata Harper Skincare for cleansers, serums, moisturizers, and masks, followed by a slathering of sunscreen by Suntegrity or Badger Balm, and finishes with a few dabs of RMS “un” cover-up concealer over a blood vessel burst on my left cheek.
Concealer was one of the last items I switched over to green, simply because I barely wear make-up. I remember waking up one morning thinking how ridiculous I am to be carefully using only clean, non-toxic products on my skin, only to dab a chemical-laden concealer over it. Go figure.
The very last item I needed to change to give me a fully green beauty routine was my deodorant. Sadly, I have long known about the harmful chemicals in deodorant, but honestly didn’t want to risk not having body odor protection. This trip to Bangkok helped me to realize, that to focus on my overall health and well-being, I have to be fully committed, or else the whole process fails. I finally made the switch to Primal Pit Paste natural deodorant (love the product, can’t stand the name), and believe it or not, it feels like a detox, and all concerns of body odor have completely disappeared. Just like that, I have 100% converted – voila!
It’s not easy to change, and it’s easy to change.
You can convince me of both.
It’s difficult to change when you’re uninspired to. It’s easy to change when you’re ready, and stepping back into Bangkok again as a 29 year old, reflecting on the six years that have flown by, was just the spark I needed to give myself an honest reevaluation and a push to make healthier decisions for my mind and body, every moment of every day.
If you have any questions, advice, or thoughts to share – I’d love to hear in your comments below!
Until then, all my love from Thailand!