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5 ways to cultivate positive energy anywhere

5 ways to cultivate positive energy anywhere

More goodness from Ellie to start your week...

Earlier this week I was sitting at work, scrolling through my inbox. It felt like I had been putting out tiny fires for hours. My body was clenched, my breath was shallow, and I was feeling overwhelmed. Normally, I don’t notice these feelings. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that I normally don’t interrupt these feelings.

mindful closet: 5 ways to cultivate positive energy

Instead, the tension continues for hours and I don’t fully realize I’m clenching until I arrive home, completely drained, capable of only binge watching Netflix.

I’ve been trying to leave enough space (in my schedule and in my mind) for me to notice when I’ve fallen out of alignment. Rather than running on autopilot for hours at a time, I’m attempting to slow down, recognize when I feel stressed, and do something to change my state.

Sounds simple enough, right? But when the day is in full swing and you’re balancing 6 plates, taking a moment to breath can easily be forgotten. (I am completely guilty of this.)

I decided to start managing my energy the same way I manage everything else. Everyday, regardless of obligation, I schedule 2 breaks for myself; one at lunch, another in the afternoon. While I’m learning to recognize stress in the moment, having established breaks helps me to slow down. I give myself the opportunity to be flexible and respond to my situations, rather than running from meeting to meeting, task to task.

Below I’ve compiled my best strategies to release stress, change your state, and cultivate positive energy.

  1. Dance Party : Even when I don’t feel like it, I start every morning dancing super hard to Beyonce. Nothing helps me to lighten up and loosen up like explosive dance moves. If you think you don’t possibly have time to take a dance break, consider every car ride an opportunity to jam out.

  2. Take a Walk : Walking is free and accessible to everyone. This is my go to when I’m at work. Even without a ton of trees, walking around my office’s parking lot lifts my mood and clears my head.

  3. Read a Novel : I’ve found myself exclusively reading self help and business books for the last few years. Then I picked up the Cormoran Strike novels by J.K. Rowling. I finished the series in days. Everytime I opened the book, I was completely transported, absorbed into the mystery of who killed London’s most affluent super model. Probably popcorn fiction, but reading a good book can help you get out of your head and ‘live’ somewhere else for a bit.

  4. Meditate : This one had to be on the list, right? You don’t have to sit in Lotus Position om-ing to meditate. You can meditate by sitting at your desk and taking a few deep belly breaths. You can jump on an app like Headspace or Calm. Taking a few moments to breathe deeply, center your thoughts, and relax can be an absolute game changer in your day.

  5. Get Creative : Creativity without expectation is incredibly freeing. Even if you don’t consider yourself an artist, there are hundreds of ways to get creative in your daily routine. Spend some time doodling or free writing. Maybe curate an interesting Pinterest page or think about how you would redesign your bathroom. Those selfies you are always taking? Consider them self portraits. The key here is to remove judgement and let your inspiration flow.  

Follow Ellie on Instagram for more healthy living tips! 

ellie's mindful yoga wardrobe

ellie's mindful yoga wardrobe

In case you haven't heard, I'm creating an ecourse. You'll be hearing much more about it over the summer, but as I began to seriously consider the idea, I knew I would need help. Tech guru, I am not. I met Ellie at my minimalist wardrobe workshop when she agreed to be my guinea pig for a wardrobe edit. We bonded over our desire to live intentional lives, the only difference being that she's figuring it all out about 10 years before I got a clue! ;) Ellie went to school for fashion, has worked in interior and graphic design, and for the last few years, has worked as a digital marketer. She's super into holistic health and also teaches yoga. In addition to helping me with the ecourse, Ellie is going to be writing some guest posts for the mindful closet blog. I love hanging out with her and know that you will too!  ---Dacy

As a yoga teacher with a committed practice, I find myself in workout clothes daily. Whether I’m flowing at home or teaching in studio, my yoga pants are on and I’m ready to sweat.  

For years, my active wardrobe has consisted mostly of faded sorority tee shirts and obnoxious leggings, all of which fit poorly. While my "real life" wardrobe is becoming more refined by the day, my yoga clothes were looking run down, sloppy, and careless.

Honestly, I never thought my workout clothes mattered. I’m just going to sweat in them, right? In fact, by the end of a hot yoga class, I’ll have completely soaked through my shirt. Who cares if that shirt is ugly?

It wasn’t until I started teaching yoga that this mentality was challenged. As my classes went on, I started to notice how how unflattering my outfits were. In fact, I found it distracting. "Whoa, have I gained weight? Is this a child’s shirt, why is it so short? It's becoming really evident that I haven’t brushed my hair today…"

Whether you’re teaching or practicing yoga, nothing quite steals your thunder like insecurity. My clothes were affecting my confidence because ultimately, I wasn’t showing up as my best self.

While I thought my workout clothes were an exception, practicing yoga is my real life. It was time to take mindfulness off of my mat and into my leggings.

After dropping off my tee shirts at Goodwill, I began to consider my yoga style. Like my everyday outfits, I wanted my yoga clothes to feel effortless, sophisticated, and organic. Obviously, function is crucial when attempting to down dog and head stand, so I opted for a reliable (and sustainable) yoga company, Manduka. By buying only one pair of leggings and 3 tops on sale, my yoga wardrobe is almost complete! Goodbye electric blue camo-print leggings, hello chic bralettes and timeless wraps.

These changes were small, but they have made a huge difference in my life. Now when I teach, I feel at ease in the front of a room. I’m more eager to chat with my students, I laugh more easily, and I’m proud of my strength on the mat. It’s not about how I look in my new clothes, but how they make me feel.

Do you have pieces in your wardrobe that "don’t count"? Maybe it's gardening clothes or pajamas. How do you feel when you’re wearing them? I’d love to read about your experience! Let me know in the comments below!