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WD | The Wellness Playbook

My Wellness Playbook

The other week I was asked about everything I do daily to feel great. 

It's an approach that attacks from all angles.
As humans, we want to believe our conscious mind is in control of our every action.

But in reality, our conscious mind is pretty weak.

We're susceptible to our habits, rituals, routines, and environment.

There's no shame in using psychology to 'trick' ourselves into doing what we want.

Because if you don't choose to take hold of the steering wheel, your mind will take you on a runaway chase.

Here's a breakdown of my pillars...

1. Sleep

I’ve dealt with sleep issues ever since I can remember and have been a middle-of-the-night insomniac for at least 5 years. 

I've learned the hard way that you can only build something great on a strong foundation. And sleep is the concrete slab.

When neglected, it’s the most deleterious to our energy, focus, creativity, mood, performance, recovery and so much more. 

My playbook and how I curate my environment:
  • Stick to a strict bedtime (between 9-930pm)
  • No screens at least 30 mins before bed
  • No food 3 hours before bed
  • Get the room as dark as possible
  • Set room temp to 65 degrees F
  • Take a warm shower before
If my mind is racing, I'll do a brain dump and write anything that comes to mind into a journal.

I'll also focus on breath-work designed to slow the HR and calm the body.

A simple practice is to have your exhales be longer than your inhales (ex. 4sec in, 6sec out).

2. Meditation

Let's call it out - there's a stigma around meditation. I'm not sure if it's because it's tied to 'spirituality' or what, but it's real.

I used to think it was only for monks, weirdos, or yogis.

I tried to do it years ago and it was frustrating. I didn't understand the point. I wasn't "good" at it and I hate not being good at something.

But it clicked when I started to think of meditation like working out.

Each time your mind wanders and you recognize that it wandered, that's a rep!

It's made me more present, kinder, patient, and focused.

My playbook and curating my environment:

  • 20 mins first thing in the morning after I make my bed
  • Sit in the same spot on my couch, with the same headphones in
  • Sometimes I do a guided meditation, sometimes with gentle music
  • I start with a body scan, notice my thoughts, and quiet the mind to gain focus
  • Then I end with my daily intentions and a touch of gratitude
It took me 4 months to build up to 20 mins. I started with 5mins, then 10, then 15, and so on.

3. Nutrition

The first meal plan I did was 9 years ago.

I lost a bit of fat, gained some muscle, and saw an ab for the first time since high school. Woo!

I've since been fascinated with nutrition, human biology, performance, metabolic health, and doing whatever I can to feel my best.

In my free time, I love reading about nutrition and recently became a nutrition coach for fun.

It works best when we keep it simple...

No juice cleanses, fad diets, or magic supplements.

Eat real fucking foods to feel fucking great.

My playbook and curating my environment:

  • Eat whole foods. If I could find it in nature, it's likely on the list.
  • Cook in bulk. Keep healthy options readily available
  • Build my plate around protein
  • Addition > subtraction. Add more good stuff and the bad stuff will weed itself out.
  • Don't keep sweets or snacks in the house. 
  • Hot sauce & salsa is a great substitute for dressings & sauces
  • Don't drink calories
If I have ice cream in the freezer, I'm going to eat it. I know that about myself and I don't fight it or feel guilty anymore.

I know I need to set up my environment in order to hit the goals I set for myself.

4. Exercise

I started working out at the YMCA when I was 15. I was dedicated to baseball and driven to get better.

I did bench press, bicep curls, and spin classes. We've come a long way!

In the last year, I've transitioned from extreme effort all the time to a feel-good-first mentality.

I focus on durability, feeling good, looking great, and avoiding burnout (I thank Marcus Filly for that).

There's been a shift from aesthetics to performance to function/feeling to sport.

My playbook and how I curate my environment:

  • Follow a program. Don't make shit up on the fly, pay for a program, see results
  • Show up always. Consistency > intensity drives results
  • 10 hours of jiu-jitsu per week
  • 3 days of strength
Everything plays off of each other... when you get proper sleep & good nutrition, you'll feel better and have the energy to move.

5. Cold exposure

"I could never do that. I don't know how you do it. Not for me. I hate the cold."

I've heard all the excuses.

The first time always sucks. The second time usually sucks. But the third time is slightly doable.

love the idea of doing hard things that my mind wants me to avoid.

I don't have regular access to a cold tub/plunge so cold showers it is.

They aren't really enjoyable in the moment, but when the water stops running, I feel amazing.

My playbook and how I curate my environment:
  • Right after I meditate, I walk to my shower
  • Set a timer that starts with a countdown from 10
  • I don't go every morning, but definitely do when I'm feeling extra groggy
  • Typically go for 1 to 2 minutes

When you hear a countdown, you'll want to take action before it gets to 0.
It's a hack I use when I don't feel like getting into the cold.

My playbook isn't a cure-all and definitely isn't for everyone. It's something I constantly explore & tweak.

Be curious, experiment with new things, keep an open mind, and lean into the things that seem hard or scare you.

There's probably some extra magic there.

TP 🖤

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