If you’re feeling stressed know that you’re not alone…
However, getting stressed over being stressed just makes it worse. Since April is National Stress Awareness month, lets’ talk about how to de-stress.
Our lives have always had a lot of stress in them, but the pandemic has made it much worse. And since women tend to juggle more—they may feel it more. The World Health Organization has called stress the epidemic of the 21st Century.
When you feel stress it triggers cortisol. Cortisol in turn puts stress on your body. You’ll feel the tight muscles, headaches, fatigue, anxiety, irritability, anger, and poor sleep. All of these in turn trigger more stress. It’s a vicious circle.
It’s also something that every one of your clients is experiencing.
Here are some tips you can use to reduce your own stress and share with your clients.
MOVE! Get some exercise or do some stretches. Movement helps flush stress from your system. Take a moment between clients to stretch and work out the kinks so you don’t pass stress from one client to the next.
Eat well. There are really two kinds of eaters. Those who live to eat and those who eat to live. When we choose fresh and healthy, that’s what we get.
Get plenty of sleep. Sleep trackers can really help to understand how much quality sleep you’re getting. Electronics deplete your melatonin. Avoid them for 2 hours before bed.
End your day on a positive note. Relax with an herbal tea, a book, puzzle or play a board game with the kids.
Clear your mind with a little yoga or doing some meditation. Ponder your gratitudes.
Consider taking a supplement or use soothing teas to help manage stress. Ashwagandha, B-complex vitamins, Kava, Rhodiola, Melatonin, and Glycine are some ingredients to include.
Most of us think of success in terms of our careers. It’s far more than that. Our lives are not lived in a vacuum with career the only thing we need to do. We also need to pay attention to our health and relationships.
A friend had been burning the candle at both ends focusing all his energy on his career. He ended up having a heart attack. Help arrived quickly, but he was terrified. His thoughts immediately went to his five-year-old son. He looked up the doctor, fearing for his life. “Please don’t let me die.”.
He didn’t think of his work. He thought of those most important to him.
His story was a wake-up call for me. Time to do things differently and take care of myself. It was time to stop being a career-focused workaholic and ignoring my own health and my family.
We all need balance in our lives. If we don’t take care of all three of life’s aspects, we and our families suffer. The quality of our work suffers.
Three legs of balanced living.
Feeling good can be its own success. When we’re healthy and fit, we have more energy and engage more with life.
Health is inextricably tied to food choices, movement, and sleep.
Eat to feel your best. We all have some food types that make us feel icky afterward and others that energize us. If you put regular gas in a race car it won’t run right. The same is true for people. Discover the right foods for your body type. The whole family will benefit from healthy meals.
Eating to feel your best isn’t a diet. It’s a lifestyle. If weight management is a concern, there are several lifestyle diets that can support you. Everyone’s body responds differently so try to understand your own metabolism and body type to bolster success.
Movement is the body’s lubrication. Our workstyles today don’t offer a lot of movement. Try to take mini-breaks every 15 minutes. Just for one minute, stand up, stretch, flex your body. Studies have proven taking even a one-minute break every 15 minutes keeps your brain working at peak efficiency.
Build movement into your day. Park farther from the store, take the kids or dog for walks, dance while you’re getting ready in the morning.
One really easy trick is when you fold clothes. Take one piece at a time and fold it while you walk to another room to create your pile. Repeat for each item and you’ll be amazed how many steps you can rack up. Every step does count.
If you look at many elderly people, (an aged parent or grandparent), they tend to be weaker and frailer. Much of that comes from a lack of movement. The adage “if you don’t use it you lose it,” does hold true. The patterns we follow now build us an edge so we can enjoy an active life even as we age.
Most people don’t get enough sleep. Studies show that if we aren’t routinely getting at least 7-8 hours our brain function drops. Our productivity and creativity drop.
Stress can keep us awake. Worrying about your career, finances or personal issues pull down your ability to sleep and impair your work the next day.
One thing many people don’t realize is our electronic screens deplete the brain’s melatonin reserves. Melatonin is the chemical that helps us sleep. Turning off electronic screens an hour before bedtime helps you sleep better, longer.
You may find it’s a great time to do some relaxing stretches, Yoga moves, or meditation. Read something…a physical book or magazine, not electronic.
Have a relaxing cup of tea. Experiment to find what changes help you sleep better.
Whether you think of it as your career, work or wealth, it’s what provides your income. For many people, 2020 brought a lot of career changes. Working remote, changing jobs or putting in a lot of overtime hours.
Hopefully, it is something you love. Spending your life doing something you hate is a bleak thought. If you don’t love what you do, make a plan to change.
What would allow you to do something you’d really love? When you love what you do, you’re more energized, productive and fulfilled.
Career change? Maybe you want to go into business for yourself. That takes time and lots of planning…and setting aside a nest egg.
If you run your own business, you want to learn, grow, and implement. Discover what works and learn from what doesn’t. Your work benefits from making a plan and following it.
Working remotely? Don’t let it take over your life. Schedule a start time and an end of work day time. Try an alarm on your phone to remind you it’s time to shut-down the office and spend time with family.
Success in Relationships
Relationships are key to emotional and mental health. Family, friends, a partner/spouse each bring their own value. Relationships enhance your feelings of belonging and feeling loved.
When we give and help others we get far more in emotional return. Giving without keeping score enhances every relationship. It makes you freer and happier.
In your family work together, clean together, and play together. Not only are we raising the next generation of adults, together time makes magical memories.
Decide what your top goals are for today, this week, this month, this quarter, and this year. If it’s a big goal, break it into doable chunks. Put those steps on your calendar. In each area of your life, what is the one thing you will do today? Tiny micro-steps, make change happen.
Our world has gone upside down. We’re experiencing things we never expected to encounter… and it’s deadly.
The coronavirus has been devastating to businesses, families, and literally impacted the world.
Did you know we women are more prone to depression than men are? Losing jobs, fear of losing a home, or the worst…losing a loved one to the coronavirus are REAL potentials.
For many…those fears have become realities.
What you may not know…
You may have stress relief within reach to help you.
Your furry buddy!
Doctors have known for years that canine visits helped those who were hospitalized. They bring smiles.
Their snuggles do even more. Touching a dog is magical. The outside of a dog, caressing that lovely fur triggers brain reactions. It’s like eating chocolate…it triggers a feel-good response.
Ever noticed if you, or one of the family, don’t feel well physically or emotionally the dog hangs out a little closer. They share their empathy. It radiates from them to us slowing breathing, calming the heart rate.
They may have their personality quirks, but they offer complete and total adoration, trust, and belief in you. They can’t conceive of betraying you.
I read recently of how they are now letting good citizen dogs lay next to a child receiving a chemo treatment. It distracts the child, it calms them. Of course dogs love that bit of attention too.
There’s a really great book by Jon Franklin, The Wolf in the Parlor that explains the brain connection we share with dogs. I found them used on Amazon. It’s a great read.
Ramp up your furry friend’s happiness quotient
So while we’re stuck at home sheltering in place with this coronavirus, do something nice for your fur baby. Here are four quick, easy ideas.
Take them for a walk. You know how much they adore going for a walk. This time relax, take a deep breath and let them have a “walk their way”.
My Havanese doesn’t get that walks should be for exercise. He thinks they are for sniffing their way along.
While your dog leads the walk, tune in to your surroundings and look, listen and even feel nature around you that is so easy to miss when we walk OUR way.
2. Give them a good brush. It will keep them cleaner and tidy if you can’t get them in for a normal grooming regime. It also gets your hands in the healing fur.
3. Bake them some treats. Even better if you have kids at home. It can be a group kitchen skills learning session. Your dog won’t care if they don’t look perfect.
4. Schedule cuddle time. My “Tigger” knows that each evening about eight, my husband and I settle on the couch to watch a Netflix show. He heads right up to share my seat with me.
He soaks up attention, lets me pet his soft as velvet coat… and we all destress. How do you like to destress with your fur baby?
Every few months we see news of the latest ingredient. Coconut oil is the latest, greatest ingredient all over the news…But how do you know it is the right or even safest ingredient for YOU?
Manufacturer’s need to sell their product. They hire great marketing agencies to tout their development… one they have invested a lot of time and money on.
But there is a sometimes a gap between the market hype and consumer’s best choice. Here’s my insider scoop on this latest craze.
There are two general types of product companies. Those who develop blends of ingredients targeted to solve different problems. They may use one set of ingredients for skin rejuvenation and a completely different set for acne.
There are also those who base their products around a single KEY ingredient. This varies with current “hot trends.” Right now coconut oil is one of those ingredients.
But is coconut oil right for you?
Coconut oil is a tropical oil from the nut of a palm tree. Check the jar of coconut oil in your cupboard. It’s not liquid but solid at room temperature. For those with problem skins…this is a yellow flag.
In the 1960s tests ingredients testing established which ones tended to cause breakouts. Based on results they were assigned a ranking from zero – no risk, to 5, high risk. These test results became the gold standard for all products produced since.
Coconut oil rated a 4 out of 5 meaning it has a high risk of causing clogging. It is full of fatty acids which oxidize on the skin gluing dead cells to the surface and slowing or clogging oil excretion from the follicles. If you are using a product with coconut oil in it and noticing more breakouts…it’s probably your product. It may be time for a change – quickly.
If an oil like this is only on your skin temporarily, as in a makeup remover, you may not have an issue. The longer it’s in contact with the skin, the higher the risk of a problem. People who use comedogenic oils as a hair conditioner should keep an eye on their scalp or hairline for breakouts it could trigger. Sometimes even people who normally don’t have blemishes can have a response to a clogging ingredient.
Bleached, dry, color-treated or weather-damaged hair may love the fatty acids in coconut oil conditioner.
If you have fine, thin, dry, or sensitive skin, you may not have any issues.
It’s not that coconut oil is a bad ingredient…it’s learning what ingredients are best for your skin.
Acneic skins might find a product with jojoba oil a better choice. Jojoba is an ingredient that doesn’t solidify at room temperature. Its comedogenicity rating is zero. It actually has the ability to emulsify sebum so helps acne clients purge follicles rather than be something that aggravates their skin.
So when the next…newest and greatest ingredient shows up in marketing…save yourself some money. Before you buy…investigate the ingredient first to see how it might work with your skin.
If you need help trying to sort through all the products on the market and their hype…speak to a trained qualified esthetician who has taken the advanced classes to help you make smart decisions.
I saw an article on this come across my desk from the Institute on Natural
Healing and I had to share. Is it really magic? Maybe not but it is so right in front of us we frequently miss it.
As women who try to eat healthily and maintain our weight, we’ve noticed that as we get older our metabolism may not work as well. (Sometimes like I feel there was a Shetland pony somewhere back in my gene pool.) And…it seems to get worse every year.
So what do we do? Maybe cut out the sugar, avoid or minimize starchy carbs. Even reduce portions because serving size ties to calories…which add up to pounds.
There’s a new study that shows there is a crucial factor in keeping you strong and healthy, independent and out of assisted living. If you start now… it will help you avoid that dreaded fate.
So here’s the story…
A study in Newcastle in the UK followed 722 people who were 85 years young. They logged their height, weight, diet and studied their medical records. They monitored any changes in their abilities and disabilities for five years.
Their results supported their hypothesis that the amount of protein eaten directly related to keeping people strong.
They confirmed that currently recommended levels needed to be raised. Maybe it’s that we’re living longer. Maybe it’s because protein levels are lower per serving in what is available to us versus 50 years ago.
So if you normally have 2000 calories per day, you should be getting about 150 grams of protein. If you’re pinching it to 1200 calories you need 90 grams.
Don’t let conversion get you derailed. It’s not that hard. There about 7 grams of protein in 1 ounce cooked meat. Four ounces boneless chicken breast when cooked yields about 3 ounces or 21 grams.
In addition to including protein in every meal, think about adjusting snacks so they are protein rich.
My naturopath once told me, “protein every time you eat. With every fruit or veggie, (carb), balance it with some form of protein.”
Some excellent sources of protein include:
Organic turkey and chicken
Grass-fed beef and pork
Wild-caught fish and shellfish
Raw nuts and seeds, including almonds, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts
Full-fat organic dairy
Whey protein drinks
Starting as young as you can to live for longevity. Keeping yourself strong may mean you can avoid that nursing home. You could live out your days living life on your terms and able to do the things you love.
Hungarian Mushroom Soup gets its name from the incorporation of Hungarian Paprika which as a bit more flavor than regular.
Winter calls for some comfort food and mushroom soup fits the bill perfectly. War, and yummy, it’s also incredibly good for you. Mushrooms are full of antioxidants…great during cold and flu season. Consider this your base recipe and feel free to experiment.
1 lb. fresh mixed mushrooms (Shiitake, Maitake, Oyster, Lions Mane, Baby Bella… whatever you fancy) chopped (The first time I had this, they were chopped very fine as he was handing out samples. But chop them however you prefer.)
2 cups finely chopped onion
4 Tablespoon butter
3 Tablespoon flour
1 cup milk (any kind you prefer)
1-2 teaspoon dill weed
1 Tablespoon Hungarian Paprika (kickier than plain . If not in your local store check Amazon.)
1 Tablespoon Tamari (soy) sauce
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups chicken stock (I substituted ½ cup white wine)
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Fresh ground black pepper or to taste
½ cup sour cream
Saute’ onions in 2 Tbsp butter, salt lightly. A few minutes later add
mushrooms, 1tsp of the dill and ½ cup chicken stock, soy sauce and paprika. Cover and simmer 25 minutes. Set aside.
Melt remaining butter in a large saucepan; whisk in flour, cook while whisking (a few minutes). Add milk; continue to cook, stirring frequently over low heat, about 10
minutes until thick. Stir in mushroom mixture and remaining stock. Cover and simmer 10-15 minutes. Just before serving add salt, pepper, lemon juice, sour cream, and if desired additional dill. Garnish with parsley.
Since I wanted this to be a main dish instead of just soup, I added about 10 oz chopped protein and made extra of the sauce. Served with crusty bread. Hubby gave it a 10.5!
For my double batch I prepared just the mushroom part and after it
simmered and cooled, put it in a freezer bag. Now I can make quick soup whenever I need it.
Note: This can also be thickened a bit more and turned into a super yummy gravy with or without the protein. How about using some of that leftover turkey or ham and making a melt? Testing a recipe shortly.
Start your plan now to de-stress the holidays. The winter holiday season can mean you’re super busy not only at work but at home. This means more stress and all of its side effects.
Did you know we women are more prone to depression than men are? And the winter season with shorter periods of daylight can bring on depression.
Research studies have shown death rates peak in December and January across the US, regardless of what part of the country you live in. Stress is a key part of those numbers.
There are dozens of ways to make holidays less stressful, but here are 5 easy favorites.
1. Dump the expectations to reduce stress!
It is super easy to take on more than even Wonder Woman could accomplish. Think about the things that are your favorite parts of the holidays and focus on those. Delete those things that create more angst for you.
If that means cutting out long-distance travel, do it. If it means buying cookies for the school instead of baking them…do it, and don’t feel guilty.
When work gets stressful and overwhelming with clients asking for extra hours…set boundaries and stick to them.
Think about limiting your social engagements to a “doable” level. Instead of feeling obligated to be everywhere and do it all… focus on the events and people that give you the most pleasure.
2. Make holidays a family team effort.
Get the kids and spouse involved. Delegate so everyone gets a part of the workload and more engaged in the fun. Delegate set priorities and simplify.
Make NEW traditions that focus on involvement, relaxing and having fun.
If that means less decorating or less than perfect decorating or gift-wrapping…go for it.
Maybe it means getting a grip on the spending and setting limits on the quantity and price of purchases.
Maybe it means teaching kids the benefits of helping others. One less gift for themselves and the opportunity to pick out something for someone less fortunate.
3. Get active…
When we get busy and stressed, often the first thing to go is the exercise routine. Just 30 minutes of moderate exercise makes a huge difference in stress management. Take the kids and the dogs and get out in the fresh air for a walk.
Weather too lousy for outdoors? Walk at the mall. Or move exercise into your living or family room. Kids love games and videos – dig out the PlayStation, Xbox, Wii or Nintendo. There are great exercise games available for all of them. Let everyone join in and it becomes playtime.
Studies have shown video exercise games are just as effective as a gym workout or a 30-minute walk.
4. Start early to reduce stress
If you wait until the last minute, things always get more stressful. Starting early can make all the difference. Shop early, bake early (and freeze), and decorate in stages. If you mail out cards or write a holiday letter… get them ready to go now.
My personal favorite part of this is shopping. When we go on vacation…regardless of what time of year that is, I look for gifts that the recipient will love and allow them to share something from our experience. Be sure to put them where you’ll be able to find them months later and label them with the recipient’s name.
5. Entertaining? Get guests involved.
Instead of trying to do it all, make it a potluck and let each guest contribute. Guide them with choices so you get a nice diversity not six of the same thing.
To minimize party stress, keep it relaxed and casual.
What are your favorite ways to minimize holiday stress? Please comment or message me.
Ever get up one morning to a strange new pain? Or maybe you were just going about your day when wham…ouch. A part of your body that seemed just fine yesterday was extremely unhappy. Time to call the doc?
Nah, most of us hate going to the doctor. So we decide to wait and do a bit of self-diagnosis.
We’ll take an OTC pain reliever and see what happens. Maybe we’ll try a hot bath, icing, or just rest the area. But what if it doesn’t improve?
Let me share a story…
Last spring while it was still too cold and rainy to want to walk outside, I decided to take up yoga. Found a good YouTube guru and followed along. Took it nice and easy…or so I thought.
Then came stabbing pain in my groin. First just problems going up and down stairs.
I was pretty sure I’d pulled a groin muscle and my massage therapist thought so too. Little Advil, little ice, take it easy, stretch the muscle gently. Go for easy walks. No improvement, nada.
A big believer in alternative medicine, I saw my chiropractor. My pelvis was out of alignment. He got me rebalanced and things were a bit better.
Then we were in the middle of a move and discomfort got relegated to the back burner. Packing and preparing… then unpacking took precedence. Oh, and then there was a vacation. The pain plagued me the entire trip. Sitting for hours on the plane was the worst.
A friend mentioned hemp balm so I got some of that and tried it topically. It did seem to alleviate the pain. But the Problem didn’t go away.
Finally – after six months I went back to my chiropractor. Two minutes of manipulations and he told me, “Degenerative arthritis in your hip. Go see your PCP and get an x-ray.”
I did, and then went home and researched. Options could help it… yea!
The doctor’s office called the day after the x-ray and wanted to refer me to an orthopedist. I put them off and waited until I could consult with my chiropractor. He burst my bubble. No cartilage. Back to my PCP.
Two weeks later I finally saw the orthopedist. He confirmed the diagnosis. No injections would help. Only option – replacement. So… I’ve got that scheduled.
I have to wonder…What if I’d had called the doc months ago? How different might the last six-eight months have been?
Sometimes it doesn’t pay to ignore pain or try to work through it.
WebMD advises that if acute pain doesn’t go away in a month or two, maximum… see your doctor. If you have shooting pains or it’s worse at night, don’t wait that long. Acute pain shouldn’t be ignored for six months!
We can trace the roots of wellness back to Greece, Rome and Asia. They all influenced what we today call wellness.
If we go back to the Oxford English Dictionary, we can trace wellness back to the 1650’s. It referred to the opposite of illness… being in good health.
In the 1970s, a group of doctors created models for wellness including assessment tools. They established the National Wellness Institute in the U.S. and the modern movement began.
As our modern lifestyle affected millions of people’s health, the need for wellness globally became clear. The Global Wellness Institute was established with the goal of eliminating preventable diseases.
So what makes up wellness?
In my research, I found the “pillars” of wellness defined into from 3 to 12 categories. But when you look at them… it boils down to three interrelated basics.
Body – if you don’t take care of your body… it will pay you back.
Body self-care includes diet. Yup, you are what you eat.
It includes movement. We are made to move… not sit like lumps of coal. Exercise, stretching, and breathing are all important.
And sleep. The body needs rest and sleep to restore itself. During the day, we are in protection mode. When we sleep is when the body does self-repair.
Mind – like the body, the mind needs stimulation. It wants input.
We’ve watched the mind of a child grow, learn, remember and build on it. We never lose that need. Whether it’s a formal class, exploring nature or learning anything new…it helps the mind thrive.
Soul / spirit is the third component. It includes how we connect with others, values, beliefs, our emotions. It’s also tied to our surroundings, our environment. To flourish, it wants relaxation. A time to slow down and just be. It’s your soul that loves those hugs.
Spa Wellness Insider explores all of these…
I’d love to hear your definition or your favorite wellness activity…. Anything that nurtures body, mind or spirit. Please post and share…
There’s nothing like a hug from a friend to boost your day. But did you know hugging can actually help keep you healthy?
Science has been studying hugs for years and their results confirm what we all knew…hugging makes us feel better. But we underestimate the “why” we need those hugs and how they benefit us every day.
Here are 7 key reasons you should offer and get hugs…
Stress relief – when we hug, it triggers the release of chemical hormones. Endorphins travel throughout our body relaxing muscles, de-stressing us and even improving heart health.
Immune booster – Those endorphins boost our immune system. Ever noticed when people go through a crisis they often get sick or catch a cold? It’s tied to stress and hugs help you fight back naturally.
Unfortunately, as we age…we may suffer from fewer hugs. Studies have shown few hugs lead to a detrimental impact on health. Get more hugs and you will stay healthy longer and heal better, faster. Seniors who aren’t getting hugs from loved ones benefit from access to a pet they can hug and stoke.
Connectivity – In a world of electronics, we tend to connect more with cell phones than we do with other people. Skin to skin contact – a good hug, helps build relationships, offer comfort and improve outlook. We know babies need held and cuddled. So, it seems, do we adults.
Self-esteem – Hugs make you feel better about yourself. They build confidence. Hugs reduce fears and anxiety. They also strengthen relationships. Couples who hug more have better relationships.
Happiness booster – The release of oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine boost our feelings of happiness and reduce depression. The deep touch we experience during a hug or even petting a cat or dog works on our nervous system. It helps us stay balanced and even sleep better. They also work on the part of the brain that makes us feel hunger. More hugs reduce cravings and can help us keep a healthy body weight.
Improve Performance – Studies show that when athletes give each other team hugs the boost in hormones improves their performance. So send your kids, spouse or friends off with a good hug to improve their day…. And get the same benefit for yourself. Hugging is a win-win activity. Everyone gets equal benefit because our body activates what it individually needs.
Pain relief – Yup, studies have proved that the touch of a loved one can reduce our response to pain. A hug, hand holding, stroking between those with an emotional connection release hormones that provide a drug-free method of pain relief.
A good hug is genuine. It’s freely offered and accepted. It’s never pushy. A heart to heart hug that lasts for 3 breaths or about 20 seconds gives the greatest results.
How many hugs? There aren’t any scientific studies on a quota of hugs needed but the psychotherapist, Virginia Satir is often quoted. People need 4 hugs a day for survival, 8 hugs a day for maintenance and 12 hugs a day for growth. Most of us need more hugs that we are getting.