The hustle-and-bustle nature of a modern lifestyle isn’t exactly conducive to optimal well-being. Experts agree that proper nutrition, plenty of exercise, and a dedicated amount of “me” time are essential for a happy, healthy life. Despite this, nearly 64 percent of Americans say they’re too busy to make their health a priority (yikes!).
Actor, singer, and mental health advocate Alyson Stoner may have found one of the best ways to circumvent a common self-care time trap of hectic weekdays. The 29-year-old professional dancer and Disney Channel alum shared her favorite wellness hacks as the keynote speaker of this year’s Chronicon event in New York City. Chronicon, which took place May 19, is an annual convention hosted by speaker and self-love guru Nitika Chopra that highlights and celebrates the shared experiences of those with chronic illnesses and disabilities through brand activations, panel discussions, and creative activities like live mural painting and complimentary manicures.
Nitika Chopra (left) and Alyson Stoner at Chronicon on May 19, 2023, in New York City. (Photo: Laurel Creative / laurelcreative.net)
The importance of daily “micro resets,” according to Alyson Stoner
After addressing the audience at Chronicon, Stoner answered questions about her wellness journey and her digital wellness platform, Movement Genius. Co-founded by Stoner and her sister Correy O’Neal, the platform offers users an affordable, holistic way to improve their well-being by providing on-demand access to classes led by fitness instructors, psychologists, and meditative coaches.
In her time working with the Movement Genius team, Stoner says she has learned a multitude of stress-relief hacks and a number of ways to incorporate movement into her busy schedule. One of those tricks is using transition moments in your day—like your daily commute or mid-afternoon break—to perform what she calls a “micro reset.”
Stoner uses these micro resets to perform a self check-in with her physical, mental, and emotional well-being on the days she can’t dedicate a full hour to self care. From there, Stoner can decide what it is her body and mind needs most, whether that’s a quick 10-minute workout or a stress-relieving phone call with a friend. “It’s helped [me] weave it into the day in a way that’s natural,” says Stoner.
In order to find out what her mind and body need most, Stoner uses three questions to guide how she uses her transition periods throughout the day.
3 questions Alyson Stoner asks herself with “micro resets”
1. “If my mind and body were a battery percentage, what’s my capacity?”
Are you operating at a full 100 percent right now or do you feel like you’re dipping below 20 percent? Stoner uses this question to decide whether or not she has the capacity to take on more tasks in her day and work out what her mind and body need to recharge.
“If it’s a matter of, no, I just physically don’t have the energy to add this on top of everything else, then I know it’s a question of energy,” says Stoner about finding time for fitness.
2. “If my thoughts were moving from 0 to 100, what speed would I be at right now?”
Do you feel like you have about a million things to do yet so little time? This question can help you gauge your stress and anxiety level throughout the day, and help you determine whether or not your plate is too full. If your thoughts are sprinting at an 85 out of 100, ask yourself what the sources of your racing mind are, and consider what tasks you might be able to put off for another day.
And if you’re still feeling overwhelmed, try using your transition moment to perform a grounding technique like somatic release or meditation.
3. “If my mood were a color, what color am I feeling?”
Are you fiery red with anger? How about a deep, contemplative blue? For some, associating emotions with colors can be easier than describing the complexity of your feelings. We typically associate bright, fun colors like hot pink with happiness (dopamine dressing, anyone?) and dark, somber colors like navy with sadness. If you’re having a difficult time pinpointing which emotion you’re feeling, close your eyes and picture what color best captures your mood.
“These three questions help me check in and orient with where I am in that moment,” says Stoner. She adds that, though simple, these questions reveal her mindset, energy levels, and what her body and mind might need more of. From there, she says you can make an informed decision on how best to utilize transition moments throughout the day and craft unused pockets of time for self care.
Ready to reclaim your “me” time? You can try one week of Movement Genius for free right now and get instant access to its team of psychologists, fitness instructors, and holistic wellness coaches.