Why You Should Allow Your Mindfulness Practice To Evolve With Your Needs

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This isn’t your standard New Year’s plan. No restrictive diets, no weekly weigh-ins, no “whole new you” for this new year—because, hey, you’re pretty great already. These four expert-led plans—designed to help you move your body, eat more veggies, get a better night’s sleep, or show yourself some loving care—are all about developing healthy habits that better align with your goals.

Wellness routines are intended to help us stay grounded and organized. But when it comes to how real life plays out, intention is only so helpful. Maybe you've grown to dread your routine, so you simply avoid it, or maybe it's impossible for you to stick to your routine for any number of reasons specific to your life. Whatever the root cause to explain why you no longer stick to your wellness routine, it's not helpful to beat yourself up over it. That's why instead of following a strict regimen, Layla Saad, author of Me and White Supremacysays she switches up her wellness practices depending on what's attainable and enjoyable for her at any given moment.

"Through the course of this pandemic, I've been through many different phases of [a wellness routine], Saad said during a recent episode of Glowing Live With Latham on Well+Good's IGTV. "I don't have this, like very regimented, 'I must do this, I must do that,' [mindset] because I'm also home with my kids, who are 10 and 6."

"Through the course of this pandemic, I've been through many different phases of [a wellness routine]. I don't have this, like very regimented, 'I must do this, I must do that.'" —Layla Saad, author of Me and White Supremacy

For instance, back in March, Saad was all about practicing yoga and meditation. "I really needed it. I go through phases of practicing yoga [and] meditation, where sometimes I do it for a while and then I don't," she said. "And right at the beginning [of the pandemic], I was like, 'I need to build myself an anchor every single morning so I can get through the day and not lose my mind.'"

Come August, though, Saad felt better served by a different mindfulness practice and wellness routine. "My kids and I signed up for guitar lessons," she said. "I just find it very relaxing, practicing the chords that our teacher is teaching us once a week in our socially distanced lesson. And so I find myself sometimes, at the beginning of the day, before I sit down to work, or when I've had a long day of writing, and I just need to switch off, I'll just sit…and I will just play this guitar for like 20, 30 minutes. And I find that sort of the repetitive task of going over the chords that I'm practicing takes me out of where my brain is and brings me into a different state."

Experts In This Article
  • Layla Saad, Layla Saad is an author, speaker & teacher on the topics of race, identity, leadership, personal transformation & social change.

Finding small practices—whether it's yoga, guitar, or masking (Saad also shared that she finds a skin-care routine to be a nourishing component of her evolving wellness routine)—that work with her schedule and being open to letting them change helps her stick with a wellness routine that feeds her self-care needs. …Even if the specifics of the routine don't always look the same.

To watch the full discussion, watch the episode of Glowing Live With Latham below:


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