What are your healthy habits?

We spend a lot of time here at Norte encouraging healthy habits.

One of the best healthy habits for kids is walking or rolling to school. That’s because the rewards for this daily habit have cascading benefits for kids and the community. The bell rings, the bike train begins, and students arrive at school fired up, ready to learn, and, before they even sit down, they have an accomplishment in the bag.

But healthy habits are not just for kids. So today, I thought it would be interesting to ask the Norte staff what three habits they practice—or try to practice—to apply the mantra happy, health, strong to their lives. I received a mix of responses with some intriguing insight into the reward mechanism that their habits generate.

Abby Havill, Program Coordinator

  1. Walks in the woods with my dog (Good boy, Topo).
  2. Mountain biking and alpine skiing
  3. Deep, deep breaths

Aaron Selbig, Systems and Communications Coordinator 

  1. Go ahead and eat the ice cream (just not too much ice cream).
  2. Make some family time every evening—eating dinner together, playing Quiddler or watching “Game of Thrones.”
  3. Running. I wasn’t always a runner; I was inspired much later in life by my mother, who ran to keep fit and clear her mind. She died seven years ago, but her legacy lives on, and these days, I run for the same reasons she did. After a few miles of running, I find myself entering a sort of transcendental state. When I find my rhythm, the miles slip away effortlessly, and I feel like my mother is running along with me.

John Deely, Wheelhouse Manager

I always try to show myself a little love every day with a handful of healthy habits.

  1. I try to eat well-prepared and healthy foods. I never drink alcohol or other things that contain too many chemicals or sugars. It’s boring, I know.
  2. I try to do yoga every morning (I use a YouTube channel called “Yoga With Adriene“), and the typical practice is about 25 minutes.
  3. I ride my bike or go to the gym at least five times a week, without fail.

I do other things, too, like mental exercises such as focusing on mindfulness and practicing gratitude in all things.

Wes Sovis, Donor Relations Specialists

  1. I exercise six days a week. Running, cycling, strength workout, rollerblading with my dog—doesn’t matter. I try to move for at least an hour, six days a week.
  2. I also try to make sure I get at least 8.5 hours of sleep per night.
  3. I eat a vegetable once a week. ? [That’s probably not enough, Wes.]

Lauren Dake, Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator

  1. Building a run or bike ride into my daily errands—yes, I regularly run down the road with packages for the post office.
  2. Taking time to get together with friends—whether a morning paddle, walk, or glass of wine. We try to get together once every few weeks.
  3. I set the alarm for the same time every day for consistency. There’s not much of it around the house, but at least we wake up at the same time! ⏰

Jill Sill, Interim Executive Director

  1. I take the time to drink loose leaf tea. Tea made this way tastes so much better to me. This simple step requires that I slow down a bit in the morning. ?
  2. Podcasts have become my companion during busy days. They’re my insight into the world, other people and times, and their unique experiences. As a result, I feel more informed, more connected, and more empathetic.
  3. Saying “what are you hopeful for” when I can tell my children are going to ask for something. This little question allows them to share what they want openly and to feel heard. This practice is all in the name of conflict reduction, and honestly, that is a pretty healthy habit!

As for myself, I start the day with a warm ceramic mug of coffee while sitting on the front porch clearing my mind—I sometimes even forget to drink the coffee. Then, as with Wes and Abby, I share the affinity for taking a hike with my dog. Her free spirit always lifts mine. And, lastly, when I’m stressing, I need to jolt my consciousness away from worries—it can be a walk or deep breathing, or maybe playing loud music (maybe dancing), putting an ice pack on my head, or sneaking in a ten-minute midday nap—anything to reset the day.

What are your habits? What are the ones you’re working to improve? If you want, reply to this email. I’d love to hear about it.

Enjoy your day,

Gary Howe
Advocacy and Communications Director



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