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New Year, Better You: Be More Present in 2023

Have you ever been talking with someone only to realize after a few minutes of staring at the person across from you, you have no idea what they just said? In a world full of distractions, it’s not uncommon to get lost in thought.

Let’s face it, our attention span is short. Ads are bolder, louder and flashier than ever. Advertisers (and our family and friends) must work harder to keep our attention. And keep us present.

What does it mean to be present?

It’s exactly what you think. Being present means being focused on the moment you’re in – the conversation you’re having, the event you’re attending, the task you’re completing, or the show you’re watching. It means being able to pay attention to the present situation without your mind roaming.

We tend to get lost in our thoughts. Whether it’s because we feel anxious, stressed, bored or intrigued by something else around us – it’s just so hard to stop our brain sometimes. But I’ve got a few ideas on how to be more present.

How can I live in the present moment?

There are many tactics that you can do to work on staying present. These are a few ways to help you build present moment awareness. Find the things that work best for you and build those habits. Just like everything else, small tasks completed consistently will help you achieve long term goals. And in this case, help you focus on the present.

New year, new you? Nope. This year… it’s the same you, just a better you.

A drawing of a journal.

Try meditation and mindfulness journaling.

Meditation is a popular way to destress and bring more awareness to your surroundings. Sit in a quiet space, close your eyes, clear your head and be mindful of the moment. It takes patience, dedication and a little bit of energy. It also takes practice. Starting with just a few minutes each day can help you build the skill.

Journaling or practicing gratitude is another good mindfulness skill that makes you focus on what you have to be thankful for each day.

A drawing of a glass of water, two strawberries, and some pistachio nuts.

Practice mindful eating.

A good way to start practicing mindfulness is with your food! Be mindful throughout the day about what you’re eating. Think about what and why you’re eating, and the environment around you as you eat. Is it quiet or noisy? Are you surrounded by work at your desk or sitting at the kitchen table?

Pay attention to your food and how it tastes and makes you feel. Are you aware of your hunger and fullness cues? Take note of them. Often times when we feel hungry, turns out we’re actually just a little dehydrated and thirsty. Keep True Lemon citrus wedges handy to add a burst of fresh flavor to your water to help you hydrate more often.

Drawing of a woman practicing deep breathing.

Practice deep breathing.

Do you have worries about the future? The pressures of daily life creep up constantly in our minds. Try a breathing exercise to help you focus and stay present. Slow and rhythmic breathing can help relieve tension, prevent panic and reduce anxiety. While you’re doing this mindfulness exercise, take a body scan and notice how you’re feeling. This can help you target areas that may need more focus.

A drawing of a phone buzzing.

Unplug for a day – or at least a few hours.

A whole day without your phone is probably difficult. Especially considering our digital world, getting rid of technology may cause problems. The average person reaches for their smartphone more than 1500 times per week! Social media especially can have an impact on mental health and may contribute to increased anxiety. There is so much noise in our news feeds, it becomes a huge distraction from what’s important in our everyday lives.

Try this: set a timer and stop checking your phone. Yes, tough. But start small. Turn it off for 10 or 15 minutes and do something that brings you calm. Read a new book, go for a walk or spend time with loved ones.

Drawing of a calendar.

Create a routine.

We are definitely creatures of habit. And habits are great for consistency and long-term growth. Establishing a daily routine can help you stay mindful and productive. When so many tasks need to be done, it can be overwhelming and lead us to overstimulation through multitasking. Understanding what fits into your day where will help you focus on getting those tasks done at the right time without spreading yourself too thin.

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Written by

Amy Cimo is a Nutrition Coach, Personal Trainer and Wellness Enthusiast based out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. After going through her own health journey, she found her passion in helping others find balance between nutrition, physical activity and mindset to live healthy and be truly happy. Amy attended Louisiana State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She became a Certified Personal Trainer in 2021 through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and a Certified Nutrition Coach in 2022 through Precision Nutrition.