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Break a Bad Habit Recap
Last month’s wellness challenge was a tough one for me. The challenge was to break a bad habit, and my habit was biting my hangnails, something I hate that I’ve never been able to beat. I found that setting the intention to really focus on it for a month helped a lot. Just putting the commitment behind it and having support from this community made it finally feel doable for the first time ever.
Whenever I caught myself going for it, I would stop, take a deep breath, and try to redirect my stress or thoughts to something else. Overall, I’d give myself a B+ on the hangnail project. I definitely cut down on biting, and now feel much more aware of it, but I wasn’t able to completely kick it.
That said, it is an ongoing process, and I plan to keep using the tools I learned about breaking habits to stop for good. Hopefully sooner than later!
How did you guys do with the last challenge?
March Wellness Challenge: Daily Meditation
This month’s challenge is about adding something into your routine instead of taking something out. I don’t have to tell you the benefits of meditation at this point, but until you’ve tried it, it’s hard to believe how life changing it can really be.
I’ve always wanted to try a full month of daily meditation, but have never once actually completed it. This time, with your support, I’m committing to making it happen! I’ve watched friends make incredible transformations in their life with meditation (example here), yet I can never seem to get it together to make it happen for myself.
When to Meditate
There is no right or wrong time to meditate each day. I’ve talked about it with my therapist in the past, and she said that many of her patients get more anxious if they meditate at night, but find that it’s an effective stress management tool during the day. Personally, I like to do it first thing in the morning, before our usual morning chaos ensues. It sets a good tone for the day ahead.
If your timing changes every day, that’s ok too! I am more likely to stick with it if I have it scheduled for the same time each day, but you do you. Whatever works to get the job done.
Headspace: This is my personal favorite meditation app because I love Andy’s voice and I love how many different options they have. If you haven’t used Headspace before, I recommend starting with the 10-day basics challenge to get started. It will walk you through everything you need to know.
Journey LIVE Group Meditation: My friend (and old boss!) works for a company called Journey that is different from other apps because it has live meditations taught by experienced meditation teachers, similar to a Peleton model. You can also do a group class with friends which is super cool. Today they’re launching some mom-focused classes that I’m going to be trying out! Use code JEN when you sign up and it’s free for a limited time during pre-launch.
Breathe (Apple Watch only): I don’t have an Apple Watch but Anel swears by the Breathe app on his. It just vibrates on your wrist for inhales and exhales. You can set it to go for 1-5 minutes. Anel is doing this challenge with me and is starting with 1 minute each day for the first two weeks.
Calm: I haven’t personally tried this app but I know a lot of people who swear by it. You can use it for meditation, sleep, mindful stretching, and music. I’m definitely going to give it a try during this challenge.
If I missed a meditation app that you love, let me know!
Read More About Meditation
If you want to read up more on meditation, here are a few articles that I have found to be interesting.
How a Month of Zen Meditation Changed My Life (Fast Company)
7 Ways Meditation Changes Your Brain and Body (Business Insider)
12 Science-Backed Benefits of Meditation (Healthline)
I’m looking forward to this challenge! I recently found out [after years of feeling anxious and overwhelmed about once a month] that my cortisol levels are crazy high–my naturopath described it as I was “fighting tigers”. In addition to taking seriphos every day and a few other supplements, she recommended meditating every day. This challenge will encourage me to actually start a new habit. I also have an Apple Watch and the Breathe app always seems to go off when I need it most, and I have to stop ignoring it.
I hope the Breathe app helps with your anxiety! Keep me posted.
Insight Timer is a great meditation app. I use it (almost) every day.
I second this. It’s my favorite meditation app by far.
Awesome, I’ll check it out!
Count me in! I try to meditate on a regular basis but life seems to get in the way. Hoping this will help me get into a good rhythm so I can keep it up after the challenge is over. I do like the app Calm especially in the evening as they have a special option for sleep.
Great! So happy you’re on board.
I love this challenge! Meditating is super beneficial, and I do not do it enough. I have a fitbit versa, and it has a “relax” app, where it guides you through deep breathing, and I love it!! I will definitely utilize this during this wellness challenge!
Yay! Glad to know you’ll be joining us.
I just downloaded calm and completed day 1 of their 7 day free trial. I liked it and I think a little more than Headspace. I’ve tried Headspace before and couldn’t get into it. I want to try and make meditating a daily thing or at least if not daily every other day. I don’t think I can do it in the mornings though because I’d fall back asleep! lol
Ok, I need to try Calm next. Everyone is saying this!
Loving your monthly wellness challenges! I didn’t really break a habit in February but I’m ready to take on a meditation challenge. I have been meditating daily (missing one or two days) for over 18 months and I can say it’s truly helped keep things balanced for me. I LOVE the app Stop Breathe and Think!! I almost made 50 days straight before upsettingly breaking it last month. So my goal is to meditate every day of March to keep up my current streak!
Nice work! I’m so impressed. 50 days is incredible!
This is a great one, Julia! It’s so hard to find the time to make it happen every day, isn’t it? That’s the biggest challenge for me, at least.
Encounteringpeace.com offers a good Christian based daily meditation if any of your readers are interested in that.
I totally agree. One thing I realized last night, though, is that it doesn’t have to be a big thing. You don’t even really need an app! I literally just sat for 2 minutes breathing and feeling grateful and counted that as my meditation.
Hi Julia – Thank you, I really appreciate your post and the supplemental readings you provided! I’m currently using Breathe, Calm and Headspace on a daily basis to help me decrease stress and anxiety. In my experience I have found that Headspace is the best way to start your day, Calm is the best way to end it, and Breathe is the best way to check in throughout it. The short meditations for sleep in the Calm app have completely changed how I shake off a stressful day and have enabled me to shut my mind off without “counting sheep” so I can get to & stay asleep longer. Thanks for choosing another great challenge! KR Sally
Great and specific tips, thank you!
I started meditating a week ago and I already see the effects. I’m more calm, relaxed and happy as a result of meditation. It also teaches to block away bad thoughts, and I’m super happy I started meditating 🙂
I have meditated daily for over a year now and will never go back! Life changing. So glad you’re committing to this, Julia. An app rec for you: Insight Timer. It’s free! I like searching for Sharon Salzberg meditations. She’s great.
Also, funny story but I bit my nails for my whole life, always wanted to stop but never could no matter how hard I tried. Five months into daily meditation I noticed I had stopped without trying! 🙂 I actually offer personal meditation coaching now because I found custom made meditations really got me into it initially (I worked with a meditation/spirituality coach for 9 months!) I’ll link to my website in case you or any of your readers are interested in working with me. Namaste! Xo.
I know I’m a bit late to the party on this post 🙂 but I wanted to chime in and say I found a lot a good meditations for free on YouTube. I just searched for mindfulness meditation. I did the free trials on headspace and calm but didn’t feel either was worth the fee. I need to get back into meditating myself, thanks for the nudge!
That’s a great idea! Never even thought of that.