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Working on Wellness: A Year of Conscious Living Challenge 1

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PHOTOGRAPHY by
Olivia Hayo
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January 25, 2019
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Credit: Danielle Macinnes

Hi! It’s Maria, managing editor of Edible San Diego and Olivia, our associate editor and lead photographer. This year, we’ve committed to partnering up to improve personal wellness together. The natural health experts at Bastyr University generously offered to sponsor this series so we can bring all of you along throughout 2019.

Each month we’ll pose a two-week challenge that we think will positively impact our wellbeing and report back with our results. We invite you join us on this journey as we embark on a year of conscious living. To keep things honest and real, we’ll be checking in on Instagram to support and share our experiences as we tackle each challenge.

Let’s start off with some introductions, Olivia, you can go first.

Olivia: Thanks, Maria, I think you summed up our intentions perfectly. I’m so excited to be teaming up with you on this series. I always had a very active lifestyle, but now at 33, I find that my days often feel very stationary and really look forward to shaking things up. I love to cook what I find at the farmers’ market and exploring San Diego with my husband Shay. We live downtown with our feisty cat, Jack, and love our city life.

Your turn, Maria!

Maria: I find that talking about myself is hard, but to give you the basic details: I’m recently 41 and beginning to adjust to what that feels like. I have a 13-year-old named Jonah and a pug named Igor that I am obsessed with. I enjoy cooking, writing, and being creative, but mostly I love eating and I hate diets. I like coffee shops, am a sucker for too many sweets, and live in La Mesa.

Phew, with introductions out of the way let’s talk goals.

Olivia: My main goal for this wellness series is incorporating intention into my daily routine. With a busy and shifting schedule this will mean making the most of my time, energy, and resources. Within in this main goal I want to prioritize exercise and scheduling time for meal prepping so I’m less tempted by take-out and delivery options—there are just so many convenient options these days! I hope that pursuing the overall goal of balance through better intention will result in more energy and a renewed sense of physical and mental strength.

Maria: Oh, I hear you! I’m often too busy working, being a mom, and trying to stay sane to enjoy leisurely activities like self-care, but age and depleted energy levels are forcing me to reconsider. In trying to define personal wellness goals for myself, I’d say my most important goal is to feel greater balance and energy—emotionally, mentally, and physically. I hope to improve how I’m feeling by eating better, establishing a better sleep routine, practicing mindfulness, and exercising more. I started making small changes since the beginning of the year and am already feeling the positive benefits. We can do this!

Olivia: Yes, we can! Our first challenge is something we’ve discussed many times so I’m excited to launch this series with a 14 day digital detox starting February 1, 2019.

Maria: I agree, it’s a great way to start the year off, too. Here’s an idea of why I’m in need of this challenge: The first hour of my typical day starts with an alarm clock chiming on the phone. After hitting snooze three times, I scroll Instagram for 15 to 20 minutes followed by a quick check of the weather, personal email, daily motivational text messages, and the Apple News Feed. I have to hoist myself out of bed feeling like I could use another 20 hours of sleep.

Depending on my projects, I spend upwards of 14 hours a day or more on an electronic device between my laptop to cell phone. That’s not including my Netflix and crochet time at the end of the day. I also often have Netflix on in the background for noise during different parts of the day, not that I even fully invest in watching something.

I definitely feel that these patterns of behavior are not working to my benefit and I’m hoping this two week digital detox will help me stay focused when I am working, and increase engagement with the people, places, and activities around me.  

For two weeks I’ll stop burning so much time in the digital world and try to commit to screen time only for work as necessary between 8:30am and 6:30pm—and no TV. Instead, I plan to commit my evening free time to reading books, working on creative projects, exercising more, meal prepping, catching up on sleep, and if I’m really bored there’s always something to clean. Maybe I’ll pick up a paint brush or bust out the sewing machine. What about you?

Olivia: I see so many similarities between your routine and how I start the day. That first hour flys by and feel like there’s got to be a better way to start my day. Once I get out of bed I usually get straight onto the computer and dive right into emails and work, putting off essential tasks like a proper breakfast and then only having a late lunch once I take a moment to breathe.

It’s very easy for me to get lost in the digital vortex especially when I’m being productive but it’s become a detriment to maintaining a balance in my daily life. I also hope this two week digital detox will help me regain focus and allow me to reconnect with people and activities I care about.

While I won’t be giving TV up completely like you, Maria, I do plan to limit it to an hour per day after 6:30pm. It will be a significant reduction since I generally have the TV on in the background while I’m working and falling asleep at night. I hope I’ll end up actually not using that hour in favor of pursuing interests and priorities I plan to tackle: being active in the evening, making time for preparing meals, and winding down with reading and music.

Maria: Well, we’ve got our work cut out for us, but I know the effort is worth it.


Join Maria and Olivia by challenging yourself with a 14 day digital detox of your own starting February 1, 2019. Follow along and share your experience using #EdibleSDWellnessChallenge and tagging Edible San Diego.

Instagram: @ediblesd | Twitter: @ediblesandiego | Facebook: @ediblesandiego

About Our Sponsor

The nutrition faculty at Bastyr University is on a mission to support the local community through health and nutrition education. Bastyr University opened its campus in San Diego in 2012, while the main campus in Washington State recently celebrated its 40th anniversary. Bastyr is a global leader in evidenced-based natural health education, and the local campus located in Sorrento Valley offers two nutrition degrees: Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Culinary Arts (BSNCA) and Master of Science in Nutrition for Wellness (MSNW).

ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS
Maria Hesse
Maria Hesse is Edible San Diego's executive editor, a food and lifestyle designer, pug photographer at PugsMutt.com, and co-author...
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