5 Simple Ways to a Happier, Healthier You
By Daniel Harrigan | Jan. 6, 2018
We’ve rounded the corner to the start of a new year. Millions of people have set new resolutions and are already finding out that change is hard. But unlike introducing a tough daily workout regimen, an all-new diet, or commitment to write the great American novel, self-care doesn’t have to be a shock to your system — or your schedule — to create positive, healthy change. Here are a few simple ideas for self-care that you can add to your life as gradually as you like.
Feed Your Brain
Consider community education classes at your local college. Classes are small, affordable, and can be a great way to meet new people and learn a new hobby or craft. Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City lists lots of fun, mind-expanding options for your new challenge. Looking at their Extended Education classes online, you’ll find Aikido (and many other martial arts), beading, photo editing, golf techniques, and more. View the catalog online or call (231) 995-1700 for a schedule of classes.
Stretch Your Bod
Not only does traditional Hatha yoga afford many physical and mental benefits, Bikram yoga, aka hot yoga, is a great way to get through the winter, thanks to the 105-degree room in which you practice the 26 postures that make up the Bikram system. Two to try: Bikram Yoga in Traverse City, 845 South Garfield Ave., (231) 392-4798, bikramyogatc.com. Yoga Roots in Petoskey and Harbor Springs, celebrating ten years in business, is a great option if you’re keen on giving yoga a try — but without the 105-degree intensity. (231) 838-8992, yogarootspetoskey.com.
Conserve Your Time
Have you ever tried to change your diet while the person sitting next to you is eating 1,600 calories and countless carbs in one meal? How many single people out there have eaten a bag of microwave popcorn for dinner? Having a healthy dinner to look forward to without the planning, shopping, prepping, or waste is one way to create more free time for yourself. In Traverse City, WhiskTC offers meals that are prepped, portioned, and labeled with recipe cards. Most meals take only 15 minutes to fix. If you’re outside of the Traverse City area, you can look for a larger company like Freshly (freshly.com), which delivers fully cooked meals that require only reheating. whisktc.com or (231) 342-0391.
De-stress Your Self
Himalayan Sea Salt relaxation therapy (pictured), an alternative wellness option said to emulate the Eastern European practice of sitting in old salt mines to relax, de-stress, and detoxify your lungs, has arrived Up North. “Our main goal is total relaxation,” said Carol Saxton, who co-owns Urban Oasis Salt Spa with her husband, David. To that end, the spa offers a quiet room, reiki, foot scrubs, yoga, and more. Guess what, parents? They also have a children’s room, so you get to relax, for real. Find it at 1545 S. Division St. in Traverse City. (231) 938-602, facebook.com/UrbanOasisSaltSpa.
Give Your Best
Volunteering is a reward unto itself. The right match can help you to focus beyond yourself, learn new skills, and deeply connect with people you might not otherwise have known. Opportunities abound regardless of where you live. The Father Fred Foundation in Traverse City is almost always searching for drivers to help with donation pickups. There’s also Meals on Wheels in most cities, and Habitat for Humanity in Traverse City, Cheboygan, Gaylord, and Harbor Springs. Father Fred Foundation (231) 947-2055, fatherfred.org. Meals on Wheels (800) 632-7334, nmcaa.net/meals_on_wheels.asp. Habitat for Humanity (855) 422-6424, habitatmichigan.org.