Participation in the plant-based lifestyle isn’t just about what you eat, or what you don’t eat, it’s about your personal journey to better your health and vitality through incorporating less processed foods. The journey to wellness includes more than just the foods you eat, it includes finding your place, connecting with the world around you, and living in the moment. Even if you don’t connect with the plant-based diet, you can still enjoy the following tips for connecting with yourself and the world.
Go for a Float!
I’ve tried to find time and a quiet place to begin a meditation practice, but living in New York there are not many quiet places. So when I heard that a place called Lift - Next Level Floats was opening just a few blocks away, I was curious to try it out. Floating is the practice of laying in a tank of salt water for a period of time, typically an hour, in complete darkness and silence. Floating allows all your senses to float away and you're only left with the thoughts. I could write an entire post about what it’s like inside the tank, but for me I left the tank with a feeling of hyper focus about what really matters in life. For more about what it’s like to float, you should read this article by another health blogger or let Homer Simpson tell you all about it.
Yoga is both a physical and mental practice that looks within to help understand the world around you. The classes can be a workout because you work muscles you didn't know you have as you move from pose to pose. While stopping into a local Yoga studio for a one off class is a good way to start, I would suggest finding a multi-week workshop to build a deeper practice. After practicing for a year, I took a workshop hosted by Mitch and Jewels. The four weeks of classes deepened my practice and made me feel part of a larger yoga community. In addition, the practice of Yoga focuses you on living in the moment and being open to the world.
Go for a Walk
New York is busy city and it’s easy to get caught up in the bustling streets and crowded subway cars. A few weeks ago, the weather was nice and I took the chance to walk home from work, and I would highly suggest it. There is something refreshing about walking the streets of New York that is very peaceful when you have nowhere to go. I walked down Park Avenue recapping my day in the office. I meandered through Tribeca wondering what’s next in my career. I found myself on the Brooklyn Bridge in awe at what people can build. And finally...I found myself at home...in Brooklyn. You need this mental break every once in a while to process everything that happens in a day, to reset, and to refocus on what’s important. It's even better if you can get out of the city and take a hike.
Related Article: The Benefits of Hiking
The biggest challenge to finding time to process is one that follows you around everywhere you go, your cellphone. Today everyone is always connected, on the train, in the elevator, or walking down the hall phone in hand. Those small moments used to be filled with thoughts and ideas, but are now filled with Two Dots, checking on Sim City, or scrolling through Twitter. Without realizing it, you’ve lost thousands of moments to process and think. I took this to the extreme last fall when I turned off all my digital devices for a week. That meant no phone, no computer, no internet, no TV. The experience allowed me to get out the door and connect with my neighborhood.
Even if you don’t follow a plant-based diet, you can still enjoy the wellness that comes from connecting with yourself, your community, and the world. How do you de-stress? Add your ideas in the comments below or tweet at us at @Forkfuloflove. Also, if you join our mailing list before September 1st 2015, you'll be entered for a chance to win a $25 gift card.
Scott Wittrock is the business, technology, growth manager, and occasional guest writer for Forkful of Love. He began exploring a vegetarian diet in 2013 as a way to live a more sustainable life. As part of the Forkful team, he writes a monthly column on the benefits of living a plant-based life including sustainability, cultural, and well being.