This past Sunday, I attended Open Streets 704 for the first time and it was such an awesome experience. They literally opened up a whole length of streets in NoDa to pedestrians, bikers – basically anyone not in a car. I was hanging out in the Wellness Zone at the Novant Health booth for a majority of the day and it was so fun to see the community enjoy the outdoors together. We did some yoga & breathing sessions, played cornhole, pet all the dogs (guilty) and got to connect with so many great people.
Novant Health told me all about their ‘Live in The Moment Initiative’ – encouraging people to be present, live in the moment, and focus on what really matters. Overall wellness is SO much more about working out and eating healthy, it’s about truly taking care of yourself from the inside out. Are you thinking negative thoughts? Are you constantly running around from one thing to the next? Are you so stressed you can’t think straight? I won’t lie, I’m guilty of all of those things and have not been prioritizing self-care so in part, I’m writing this blog as a reminder for myself. I put my phone away, I moved, I laughed, and I could honestly feel the stress slowly lift off of me. Crazy how just 5 hours can make you feel like a new person.
One thing that I noticed at Open Streets was that almost every person there was doing every single thing I’m about to mention below to help you live more mindfully this summer:
- Unplug – when’s the last time you truly unplugged? I’m talking, turned off your phone and didn’t think about who was messaging you or what email you had to send. I can’t even tell you the last time I truly unplugged. BUT, I put my phone on do not disturb for a couple of hours & left it in my backpack while I was hanging out at the Wellness Zone and wandering Open Streets and it was the most FREEING experience. Do it. This includes unplugging from ALL of your technology too, not just your cell phone. 😉
- Get outside – Two words: FRESH. AIR. It really can change your whole mood. There’s something about the sun shining, birds chirping and just being one with the outdoors that can make any person happy.
- Move – Walk, run, bike, rollerblade, squat, jump. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, just move. There’s nothing better than a post-exercise endorphin rush.
- Breathe – You probably think this is silly because duh, we all need to breathe to live but I mean REALLY breathe. Take a full breath, count to 5, and let it out with a big sigh and don’t tell me you don’t feel a little more relaxed.
- Smile – I think almost every person at Open Streets was smiling and I really do believe it’s because they were unplugged from social media, they were moving (biking, walking, skating, etc), they were outside and they were breathing in the fresh air with the people they love. It’s hard not to smile when you’re doing all of those things.
This summer, try to live more in the moment with these 5 tips. You’ll be surprised how much a day off your cell phone and in the outdoors can do for your health. Next time you do it, share a photo with the caption “I unplug to…” with the hashtag #NHliveinthemoment.