Feel Lighter

Ditch bad habits to enjoy summer to the fullest.

Summer is the perfect time to assess what’s weighing you down in life and fix it, says Mary Harris ‘08M, a Certified Holistic Health Coach and specialist professor in the Department of Communication. On her blog, “Wild Mary Blossoms,” Harris shares healthy living advice that can help anyone enjoy “a soul-expanding life.”

Here, she shares some positive lifestyle changes you can make this summer to help lighten the load.

Declutter Your Life
Look at your environment—your home, car, office—and get rid of what’s not being used or adding value to your life. The benefits are threefold: it’s physical work, it’s emotionally freeing, and giving things away will help you feel whole spiritually, says Harris.

Stop Multitasking
Monotasking, part of the “slow living movement,” follows the philosophy of prioritizing tasks and fully focusing on completing one thing at a time, says Harris. It can be as simple as cutting back on the number of goals you set each day to keep yourself from rushing through tasks.

Practice Mindfulness
Be mindful of environmental toxins—in what you eat, wear, spray on the lawn, put in your hair—to identify if something is directly affecting your well-being, says Harris. And be mindful of habits that can affect you negatively, she says. Do you shop out of necessity or to fill a void? Does spending an hour on social media each day keep you from having time to exercise?

Release Yourself From Your Routine
Getting stuck on autopilot can weigh you down and keep you from living life in the moment. “Structure is important, but if you can, pepper in spontaneity every now and again just to break a link on the chain,” says Harris.

Do A Digital Detox Day
“I feel like we’ve really distracted ourselves in so many ways and it’s created this internal heaviness where people get so anxious about checking their email, so anxious about having their phone,” says Harris. She suggests you unplug from your phone and computer and instead enjoy time with friends, connect with nature, or read a book.

Get Outside
“Being active is one of the best ways to live lighter because it helps your mental state in a natural way,” says Harris. “So kayaking, walking, hiking, dancing, or just sitting outside and existing—it’s so important.”