What does living the KIND life mean to you? I’ve partnered with KIND snacks to reflect on how I live KIND – and I’d love to hear how you do as well!
As I get older, I’ve discovered more and more the importance of living KIND. What is living KIND? There’s no right or wrong answer, but to me, this means doing the KIND thing for my body, my taste buds, my mind, and for others. Here are some more details on the ways I work to live KIND on a daily basis.
1) Doing the KIND thing for my body with regards to fitness.
Doing the KIND thing for our bodies will look different every day, and I’m a big fan of using an intuitive exercise approach (just like with intuitive eating). Ask yourself: what form of movement will serve me best today? Some days, this means getting in a sweaty, heart pounding workout. Another day, it might mean a restorative yoga class. Yet another day, it might mean some fresh air in the form of a social or solo run, or a casual walk. Just like with food, we should aim for variety in our fitness endeavors – and that includes rest days, too. Those are just as important – both mentally and physically – as active days! (See also: How to Know When You Need a Rest Day)
The most important thing? Try to find the joy in movement. Just because someone else is doing something doesn’t mean you have to – find what serves you best and remember that movement is your time to de-stress, not ADD stress. If exercise is adding stress, it’s time to take a rest day – or to try something else entirely. (See also: How to Love Exercise – Or At Least Not Hate It)
2) Doing the KIND thing for my taste buds.
This is basically a fancier way of saying that I practice intuitive eating. It’s so important to listen to what our body is telling us day to day! Here are some of the main things I focus on:
Am I hungry? Do I need food? Before my stomach actually starts growling, hunger usually manifests for me as a general feeling of being annoyed/anxious. This is my cue that it’s time to eat a meal or a snack, because getting “hangry” never ends well for anyone. Being too hungry is not only really stressful physically and mentally – but it also means you’re likely to overeat at your next meal because you are too hungry to eat slowly/pay attention. Be prepared by bringing healthy snacks with you everywhere! I often have a KIND bar floating in my purse or backpack (yes, I totally bring a backpack to the office – I know, I’m so cool) – my ultimate longtime fave KIND bar is the coconut almond, but I have been enjoying their savory STRONG & KIND Bars lately, too.
Am I full? Should I stop eating? Your body will tell you when it’s had enough if you listen to it. This is easier if you eat without distractions and eat slowly enough that your body has time to catch up! How much food you need will vary each day based on a variety of factors, so acknowledge but don’t judge what your body is telling you. One day you might have the exact same meal as usual and it’s perfect, then the next day it is too much or not enough. That’s okay and completely normal!
Is what I’m about to eat what I really want/need right now? Sometimes, we try to make healthier choices even though it’s not what we actually want. Have you ever done this before, like if you go out to a great restaurant where you love the burgers but you decide you should just have a salad instead? If we ignore our cravings, they will usually come out later in the form of a much stronger craving, like an intense sweets craving. (See also: How to Get Rid of Sugar Cravings) Instead, next time, think about what you really want/are craving, but then be smart about how you can indulge that craving while still fitting in some balance. Having the burger or pizza? Add some salad on the side so you get some nice veggie volume in there. Want a big ole plate of pasta? Make sure there’s a protein in there to help with satiety, and then again, add some veggies for volume. If you indulge your cravings and listen to what your body wants, you’ll find you actually do end up craving veggies and things that make you feel good a lot of the time, too – I promise. (See also: Because Being Healthy Means Not ALWAYS Being Healthy)
3) Doing the KIND thing for my mind.
In addition to challenging negative self talk, which is so important for a happy mind, focusing on balancing work and relaxation time are key for me so I don’t get burned out or run down. I also make sure to consciously plan a fair amount of social time, because I’m a big extrovert and happier when around other people. I love making workouts social, and I also work out of a coshared office most days of the week so I’m not at home by myself all day. Another thing I’ve added lately in an effort to be KIND to my mind is meditation! I downloaded a meditation app and have been working to incorporate it most days of the week. I find it really helps, especially when I don’t have time to fit in yoga, which is another of my favorite KIND mind (and body!) activities.
4) Doing the KIND thing for others.
Doing the KIND thing for others can take a lot of different forms. Sometimes, it means sending a nice note or some flowers to a friend or family member just to let them know I’m thinking of them. Sometimes, it means volunteering in my community, like I did as a coach this past fall for Girls on the Run. Sometimes it means leaving an anonymous Operation Beautiful note or message.
But most often, I try to do the KIND thing for others by spreading a message of positivity and balance through this blog and my AnneTheRD nutrition practice. It makes me so happy to hear that others have found a healthier, happier, less stressful relationship with food and exercise through my words, whether written or spoken.
At the end of the day, for me, living KIND is always a work in progress. I’m certainly not perfect and there’s always more I could do for myself and for others. The important thing, though, is trying. Aiming to live just a little KIND-er, every single day. 🙂
How do you “Live KIND. every day™”? What are you doing for your body, your taste buds, your mind, and your community/the world?
This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of KIND.