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I’ll be honest: I don’t have much free time.

Recently, I shared that Kim Kardashian can optimize her schedule down to the minute. I’m still learning this skill as I navigate my many roles as an entrepreneur, leader, and overall human being.

Regarding wellness, my routine has to be low-maintenance. I don’t have hours to spend in lavish spas and I have limited days to spend at all-inclusive retreats. (Believe me, I’d be the first to sign up!) Instead, I had to stop and define what wellness meant to me before choosing the right modalities to invest my time and money in.

Over time, I’ve found three main practices that give me the benefits and flexibility I need and are worth carving out space for in my calendar. I’m sharing each one with you and some guidance on how to take care of yourself, even when busy.

What Is Wellness?

First thing: What does it mean to be well? For me, wellness extends beyond just exercise and food. (Though I’m passionate about gut health and finding balance.) When it comes down to it, the most important part of any wellness plan is to enjoy it.

I know it sounds simple but look around or within. It’s not worth it to endure through the latest wellness craze in the name of health while being miserable every step of the way. If you take nothing else from this article, remember: Don’t force it. Just because you read or watch something that indicates this or that is the best way to achieve some (usually) unrealistic goal, doesn’t mean you should subscribe to it. Wellness is feeling comfort, joy, and pleasure from the experience. So if you’re unhappy with your routine, don’t be afraid to switch it up.

Let’s jump in with three of my favorite ways to heal and connect with myself.

“Wellness is yours to define. While there are scientific studies, ancient wisdom, and mentors to look to for guidance, ultimately, deciding what works comes down to your own preferences.” – Nancy Twine

1. Walking

One of my go-to healing practices also happens to be a form of exercise: Walking. (More specifically, outdoor walking.) I love low-impact exercise. Low-impact exercises skip all the intensive jumping, kicking, and slamming of high-impact workouts. Not only will your joints thank you down the line, but low-impact exercises are still effective for maintaining good health while being sustainable long-term.

Three main benefits of this healing practice are:

Getting my body moving

I’m engaging parts of my body to improve circulation and organ health.  I’m also raising my heart rate, which not only gets more oxygen moving throughout my body, it’s helping me to burn more calories and lower my cholesterol.

Having a much-needed screen break

As a remote worker, walking is a great way to carve out time each day to take space from technology. Unfortunately, I spend so much time in front of the computer screen. (More than I care to admit!) It’s easy to have the day go by so quickly and say, “Oh my gosh, I hardly moved my body today.”

Reconnecting with nature

I love outdoor walking because that’s my daily time with nature. Sunlight and fresh air give me an energetic boost to start or break up my day.  Also, the best-known benefit of sunlight is its natural ability to boost the body’s vitamin D supply and prevent deficiency.

I also love outdoor walking because it is a form of meditation. When I go on my walks, I’m not listening to music, on the phone, or trying to multitask. I’m just letting myself be. Being with my thoughts has allowed me to generate some of my most creative ideas without distraction.

2. Acupuncture

To be transparent, I used to fear acupuncture because I couldn’t shake my apprehension about inserting several needles into my body. My first experience with acupuncture was a few years ago after visiting a wellness resort. I was trying to experience many different things then and wanted to try acupuncture.

With a little research, I took in the basics of acupuncture. I learned that the ancient practice of Traditional Chinese medicine believes the human body has more than 2,000 acupuncture points connected by pathways or meridians. Practitioners tap into these areas using hair-thin needles to activate and balance energy flow or Ch’i. (Also spelled Qi and pronounced “chee”).

Ch’i isn’t often discussed in Western cultures, but it’s the concept of having internal harmony and balance with nature. This inspired me to continue studying Traditional Chinese medicine to discover herbs, tai chi, and other energy balancers, which only deepened my love and respect for acupuncture.

For me, acupuncture has given me amazing results. Some of the ways I feel the benefits of acupuncture are:

Total relaxation

Despite my reservations, I found acupuncture to be one of my life’s most pleasant and calming experiences during my first session. Sensations from the needles continue to be minimal, at most. I can (and am obligated to) sit still during my sessions without the stress or anxiety I thought I’d have.

Energetic restoration

Acupuncture targets ailments like trouble sleeping, anxiety, depression, digestive issues, and fertility. I’ve found that it quails my anxiety and restlessness, allowing me to fall asleep easier. I also believe it activates my parasympathetic system. (The network of nerves that calms you after experiencing stress or danger.)

It just feels good

Remember that note on not forcing it? It also applies to allowing things just to feel good. No need to find a scientific benefit for every aspect of your wellness ritual. Sometimes feeling good is enough reason to incorporate something into your practice.

3. Regular Massages

I know what you’re thinking: Didn’t you just say you didn’t have hours to spend in a spa? You’re correct, but that doesn’t mean I don’t make time for spa treatments. Massages are right up there with acupuncture for ultimate relaxation, which my body craves. Since I work a lot and am constantly on the go, it’s important that I prioritize this sacred space to relax and unwind completely. With a talented masseuse, the benefits of massage are endless, and the different ways to experience this therapeutic experience all come with their own advantages.

My favorite massages are foot acupressure massages. These massages require your masseuse to precisely target areas of the foot through pressure points to activate certain body parts. Fair warning: Sometimes, the sensation can be so intense it feels slightly uncomfortable. (But in the best way!)

Foot acupressure massages also have their origins in traditional Chinese medicine. Like acupuncture, acupressure pinpoints the pathways and meridians in the human body but uses the hands instead of needles to adjust Ch’i. Why should you add this to your wellness routine?

Improved lymphatic function

Your lymph nodes help the body fight disease and infection.  Massage helps improve the functioning of the lymphatic system by reducing swelling and fluid buildup.  This is why you’re often offered water after a massage – to help expel the toxins that may be released during the process.

Improved circulation

Soft tissue manipulation stimulates blood flow, and improved circulation means looser muscles. If you sit, exercise, or walk a lot, adding massage to your healing practices can release tension stored in the body.

Open up energetic congestion

Acupressure massages are about improving the life force within you. Your ch’i becomes unblocked by generating calmness, muscle relaxation, and circulation. (Even if you don’t believe in this energy work, you can understand that relieving stress in the body brings you back to focus and restores stamina.)

Whether it’s foot, back, or full body massages, I find this modality to be an opportunity to unplug, unfold, and undo whatever difficulty or strain has been impacting me consciously or unconsciously.

Make Your Healing Count

Wellness is yours to define. While there are scientific studies, ancient wisdom, and mentors to look to for guidance, ultimately, deciding what works comes down to your own preferences. Research, try new things, and don’t force what doesn’t feel right. Your healing practices should be uncomplicated, sustainable, and joyful — Don’t settle for anything less.

What healing practices do you swear by? Let us know how you’re staying balanced in the comments!