We always talk about how wellness and self-care might mean different things to each person. What works for someone might not quite fit for another. Knowing what is helpful to you takes some time because you've got to experiment and discover new methods and consult with healthcare professionals and other experts. Plus, your wellness routine might see different changes year to year, month to month, or even day to day, depending on how you're feeling both mentally and physically.
Part of the discovery aspect might include asking friends, family, even co-workers what helps them. You might already do that already, but if you don't—and since we're a community here at THE/THIRTY—we polled our readers on Facebook and Instagram as well as our staff for the wellness practices they swear by. Read about them below and see which ones you'd be interested in trying, learning, or continuing.
Photo:PhotoAlto/John Dowland/Getty Images
"A few weeks ago, my friend Maryam Ajayi was in town (New York) from Los Angeles to teach a breathwork class at the Grand Street Healing Project focusing on expansion and ease. An energy healer and business growth strategist, Maryam is a prime example of someone who exists—thrives, even—in two places at once: in the down-to-earth business world as well as the invisible, amorphous space of energy that's here, there, up in space, everywhere. Feet firmly planted on the ground, I, however, am not. A skeptic through and through, I went to her class open enough, I thought, but mostly just intellectually curious about the work she does and intending to support her as a friend.
"I was in for a big surprise. It turns out breathwork is a deeply physical process of intentional breathing that I was not really prepared for. After going around the room, introducing ourselves, and stating our intentions for the class—expanding beyond past trauma, easing into future success, both personal and professional, etc.; mine was, "Um, curiosity?"—the group spent the next 50 minutes lying in the dark and going through a series of intense breathing patterns, at times screaming into the darkness. Think aerobic savasana on steroids.
"My body and brain resisted at first, but, like Maryam said before and during the practice (which featured her kick-ass playlist), eventually I succumbed to the meditative state of the breathwork and allowed myself the release I didn't even know I had been craving. The woman next to me audibly sobbed. Someone else said they fell asleep. But we all woke up refreshed and renewed. Sounds cheesy, but it was pretty amazing. I'm still somewhat dubious on all things woo-woo, but even as a pure relaxation exercise (i.e., without a spiritual or healing purpose), breathwork was transformative and will stay with me for a long time. Heck, I think I'll go back for round two." — Giselle Childs, Copy Editor
Photo:Cavan Images/Getty Images
"I did Reiki for the first time last year, and it was life-changing." — @brewingupstyle
"Hypnosis is the bee's knees! So powerful." — @chela_bela
Photo:Hoxton/Tom Merton/Getty Images
"Like many people, I struggle with anxiety and occasional panic attacks. It wasn't until my early 20s that I really started to experience the physical repercussions of my anxiety and how it affected my sleep. I typically have a hard time falling asleep, and even when I do doze off, I'll toss and turn throughout the night or worse, be awoken from a panic attack. I try not to resort to medications or sleeping aids, so I finally turned to meditation for help. I've incorporated meditation into my routine twice a day: once, right when I wake up before I can look at my phone or get my day started (side note: looking at your phone first thing in the morning does terrible things to your nervous system and worsens anxiety) and once right before bed. For my morning meditation, I'll try five to 10 minutes of mindful listening, which is great for beginners like myself, and in the evening, I'll do a quick ayurvedic breathing exercise and then a guided sleep meditation because there's nothing better than a soothing voice guiding you to sleep.
"After doing this every day for a few weeks, I've noticed a huge change in my overall mental well-being; I'm feeling less anxious throughout the day and sleeping better without waking up in the middle of the night. While diet, sleep, and lifestyle are all factors in mitigating anxiety, I've found success in meditation and will continue to practice and hope to reap even more of the benefits in the future." — Schuyler Youngstrom, Manager, Email & Partnerships
"Sound healing practice has made incredible change in my life. I can speak endlessly about the benefits. This year I launched a house of experiences in Mexico where sound healing is included for guests during their stay. Sound made me do it." — Katerina B. on Facebook
"I started getting semi-regular massages in high school to alleviate pain from sports injuries and make a point of getting massages at least once a month since moving to New York after college. I've found massage to be much more helpful than over-the-counter pain killers not only for alleviating muscle tension but also for helping to promote relaxation and melt away stress.
"Now, since I am decidedly more desk-bound than active on the playing field, I have found a new form of massage that aligns with my lifestyle: FaceLove. This boutique massage studio describes its practice as a 'holistic wellness experience rooted in the healing power of high touch' and includes a combination of massage, acupressure, facial exercise, and aromatherapy that help to reduce stress, combat fatigue, and alleviate tension throughout the body.
"Time and budget permitting, I like to treat myself to a 45-minute Pure Love session, which targets the jaw, temples, eyes, base of the head and space between the eyebrows, and basically obliterates any tech-neck and tension I tend to hold in my neck, shoulders, and forehead. While FaceLove is currently a single NYC-based boutique, many massage therapists can incorporate facial massage into your treatment if requested. Either way, the power of massage and high touch is an integral component of my personal wellness routine, and I always recommend it to my fellow stressed-out friends." — Drew Elovitz, Director of Content Strategy
Photo:Enrique Díaz/7cero/Getty Images
"I incorporated Ayurvedic herbs and breathing techniques to help heal my digestive issues, and it was powerful!" — @esther_ban
"The human design helped me accept myself a lot. I'm a manifestor/generator and that includes a lot of downtime processing and aligning, but then I go through phases of getting it done. It really helped me to not feel guilty about that downtime but to realize that it's actually very powerful for me. I am also feng shui-ing my house and I'm discovering components that are off (mirror placements, etc.), and it just so happens to be in areas where I'm affected. Keeping an open mind, but it's still interesting. Astrology is ALWAYS my go-to and number one though! It's such a great life map (if you do the full natal chart/ aspects, etc.). I don't use it daily because I never want to pre-manifest, but I love seeing character traits and pivotal transits, etc. It's also very helpful for me to accept and move through challenges in my life." — @caitlinciara