My Wellbeing Toolkit: Colette Dong
Posted by Rachael Gibson
Self-described movement addict and founder of The Ness, Colette Dong (@colettedong) is no stranger to the benefits of self care, and putting how you feel, first. She lives fitness every day in big, busy NYC, so her wellbeing toolkit is a treasure trove for anyone doing it all, and then some.
“A good day of wellbeing for me means doing whatever you want, when you want it...without the guilt of what you think you should be doing instead”, she says. “Speaking of guilt! I always feel like there is something more productive I should be doing, so I often go to battle with myself...I have to remind myself that it’s the small pieces that build the bigger picture and no task is less important than the next. It all counts!”
If this battle with guilt - even coming from a business owner like Colette - sounds all-too familiar, finding a technique to bring your runaway thoughts in check can be a super-useful addition to your toolkit, like journaling or focusing on small steps, big difference rather than big, fix-all goals. But working on the wellbeing that works for YOU will let you see a really big difference over time.
“The one small step I recommend for each day is to get up and move! It’s not just about physical changes, it’s the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity”, Colette says, “whether it’s a full workout, walk or a two-minute dance party, you really need to get your heart rate up every day”. If a full-on workout isn’t for you right now, that’s ok, “choose something that brings you joy because in reality humans don’t do things that they don’t want to do, so you’ll need something you can stick with.”
We’ve all heard how making it a lifestyle can be invaluable for your fitness goals, but the same applies to wellbeing too. Looking for moments that naturally slot into your day like investing in a good hand soap can improve your wellbeing without you even trying, “it’s worth it to splurge [on an] amazing scent and formula, in turn you will have multiple moments in the day where you feel relaxed, happy and calm.” Choose a natural scent with ingredients that suit your goals, like calming lavender if that’s your aim, or something more zingy and uplifting like grapefruit to give you an energy boost.
Aside from great hand care, Colette’s toolkit also includes reading fiction, “stories you can escape to and other realities” - a break from the doomscrolling, right? And burning a 3 wick candle. “There is nothing like lighting a big candle to shift your energy. I use them to set the tone of my space and honor a new intention. Whether that is to focus, calm down or manifest something in my life I use lighting the wicks as a physical representation.” Having a candle burning away in the background of whatever you’re getting up to is SUCH a quick win, helping speed you towards your goals of less stress, more energy, better sleep or feeling refreshed.
Now that we mention doomscrolling...what about bigger, more significant changes to your habits? It might be shifting your daily exercise from evening to morning to give you more energy, or committing to a full-on bedtime sleep routine. Colette is an advocate of the no-tech at nighttime rule, “I feel grateful for tech because it has enabled us to grow our digital platform internationally and connect with clients we never would have. My one hard rule is that I leave my phone in another room before bed. That way it’s not the last thing I see and the first thing I wake up to each day.”
For more ideas, tips and inspiration for finding what works for YOU and building your own wellbeing toolkit, head over to the NEOM blog and dive in...