My Wellbeing Toolkit: Micki Havard
Posted by Rachael Gibson
Micki Havard (@mickiphit) operates a one-woman pilates and wellness empire outside of Atlanta, helping her clients with fitness, nutrition and self discovery. Because like us, she believes one thing alone just doesn’t cut it when it comes to overall wellbeing. So when she’s not dishing out support and guidance, what takes care of Micki? “Morning yoga and meditation, a good meal and a walk” make up a good day, she says, but she’s also an advocate of just getting out there.
“Move every day in some way - stretch, dance, walk etc.” she says, “Any movement is better than none.” And this isn’t just advice out of nowhere, it’s science - movement and mood are a two-way street, and just getting going can have a really positive effect on your overall happiness. It’s not about setting big goals for yourself (though if fitness is your goal we’re here for it) but thinking about the small steps (literally). Check in with yourself midday and if you’ve been at a desk all morning, maybe take a quick walk around the block. Or if you’ve had a couch day (amazing) but are feeling a bit sluggish, try a few quick stretches.
Moving WORKS because exercising reduces your reliance on fight-or-flight, meaning you’re less likely to feel those high heart rates and anxiety. And something like yoga, pilates or stretching where both mind and body are present are super calming too - you’re naturally slowing your breathing down which is instantly soothing, and you’re clearing your mind too. Try some yoga poses before sleep to help you drop off, and wake up more refreshed and lifted. And to make sure that positive mood you’ve got from your efforts lasts - try boosting it with an uplifting hit of wellbeing fragrance.
Sometimes all it takes to get moving is a reminder that it’s important, (HI here’s yours!) but for inspiration elsewhere, Micki has Becoming by Michelle Obama and Find the Good by Heather Lende on her reading list, which are sure to widen your horizons. And after the year we’ve had with every one of us having to adapt in some way to new circumstances, we’ll take all the life tips and wisdom we can get. “The pandemic has forced me to learn a lot more [about tech],” says Micki, “My husband and teen son help me A LOT… I am thankful that I was forced to stretch my mind in that way.” Whether tech has been your challenge or not, learning new things is another way to boost your overall mood. So that hobby you’ve picked up is actually doing you a wellbeing favour too! Find something that sparks your interest and give it a go, with no pressure. It might just be the antidote you’ve needed to all that new pandemic tech.
Whatever you choose though, make it a hobby or skill for YOU. Micki struggles with “putting others in front of [her] wellness practices at times” (don’t we all) so it’s important to make that time for yourself, and prioritise the little things that make a big difference to you. There will be times when an hour of self-care just isn’t possible, so we’re about helping you to build a toolkit of tips, products and techniques that you can reach for no matter what the rest of your day looks like. Be that an hour of pilates, a quick stretch, a chapter of a book or simply a moment of calm from a dreamy fragrance.
But when you do get that time, make the most of it through creating a kickass bedtime routine, “I’m obsessed with dry brushing,” says Micki, “it is part of my night time ritual. It has so many benefits: exfoliating dry winter skin, helps detoxify by increasing blood circulation and promoting lymph flow/drainage and reduces the appearance of cellulite.” Nothing affects how you look and feel more than sleep (or lack of it) so we are a little bit obsessed with ending the day right, and there are little things you can do that make SUCH a big difference. After your bath, shower (or dry brushing) try swapping your usual moisturizer for one supercharged with sleepy essential oils and a dose of magnesium to help you sleep, or just have a calming candle burning away as you wind down.