Thursday, March 8, 2018

Finding Daily Moments for Self Care

Just this week, I witnessed 3 working women break down with the realization that they haven’t felt they had time for self-care.  One devoted woman has been caring for her chronically ill neighbor since his recent surgery, spending every dime on meals for him and his sister, missing her beloved dog, running from home to hospital to work back to hospital.  Another, a working Mom looking very tired, hair undone, told me she has not had any time for grooming due to sick kids and a travelling husband.  Another, a doctor/mom seeking care for her (made worse by stress) neck pain described her life as if her hands are always holding a plate of marbles only able to focus on the marble that is rolling off. 

With our modern day hectic schedules, we often put ourselves last. Things like exercise, healthy eating, and sleep need to be added to the calendar in order to be accomplished.  And usually there is a trade-off such as less income, less time for relaxation or less time for family.  We can’t create more minutes in a day, so what can we do?

Consider a different approach.  Rather than changing your life, work on changing your state of mind.  Psychologists advise modifying your mental perspective as a way to cope with any difficult situation. Pondering this and my stressful day ahead one morning, I realized that pausing to take my fiber and B complex supplements represents a tiny moment of self-care.  Just realizing this gave me comfort.  

When I had time to think about it more later, I realized that there ARE times we build in our day for ourselves: preparing a delicious beverage, grooming, meals, a phone call to a friend or loved one.   Rushing through these rituals saves only seconds to a few minutes; time we can often actually spare. 

Make this advice your own to re-visit how you see your daily routines and habits and identify those that are purely for you. Smell your coffee, give your hair an extra brush, scrub your back during your shower, call someone who makes you laugh. These seconds of self-love and self-care will pay off with moments of less stress, more happiness, and ultimately, better overall health.  Enjoy the moments!    

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

10 Healthy New Year’s Resolutions You Can Make Your Own

Still haven’t committed to a Healthy New Year’s Resolution for 2018?  It’s never too late to start a new health routine, but the first week of the new year is always inspiring.  If you already are inundated with resolutions, consider trying one of the following out.  Don’t get discouraged if you don’t stick to the plan; do the best you can.  Even a little of one of the following ideas will make you healthier.

1)Set a timer to take a deep breath every hour.  This not only opens the lungs and improves posture but is great deep breathing training for both fitness and relaxation.    
2) Stretch for 5 minutes a day while focusing on a beautiful scene (even a photo) works to relax your body and your mind

3) Take the stairs for at least 1 flight each time you are faced with an elevator/escalator to increase your cardiac fitness and calorie burn

4) Try a new piece of equipment at the gym or a new home exercise.  Start with just 10 minutes to relieve workout routine boredom and challenge new muscles.

5)Add an extra work out a week:  this can include a new fun class, an extra walk, a new sport (golf, tennis, bowling!)

6) Each time you drink soda or alcohol, swap half to seltzer.  Add it to white wine or liquors to cut down on alcohol intake.  Both the sugar in regular soda and the chemicals in diet drinks should be limited to 1 drink or less a day!  

7) Walk for 10 minutes after one meal daily.  You will likely eat less as you will limit eating time to include walking.  Your metabolism after eating will increase also!

8) Go to bed 20 minutes earlier.  Sleep de stresses, allows clearer thinking, and lets your body and brain have the rest it needs. 

9) Swap tea for 1 coffee in the AM and 1 boozy drink in the PM  Tea can rev or calm but is filled with cancer preventing antioxidants
and boosts immunity

10)  Feel Grateful for a few minutes at the beginning or end of every day.  Studies show being grateful is directly related to happiness and reduced illness. 

Give your favorite a try for a week or 2.  Don’t find yourself doing it regularly?  Try another.  Repeat as necessary.  Best wishes for a happy, healthy, and more beautiful 2018!!!