Monday, June 21, 2010

What About Me?

I've been asked a number of times what I do as a natural health care practitioner, to relax myself. Many people might think massage and other types of bodywork are the number one things on my list of things to do. I will say they are "up" on the list, of course. :-) Massage and bodywork have numerous benefits including relaxation and improving overall health and wellbeing, but there are a number of ways that I can use to take care of me. These are just a few of my favorites:
  • Walking
  • Breathing exercises 
  • Meditation
  • Reading
  • Appreciate as much as possible - even the simplest thing
  • Driving
  • Motorcycle riding
  • Petting my cat, Lucky
 You'll notice these activities are mostly free and readily available. I find it's good to have a ready-made list to help me to access that relaxing point which I might not otherwise get to when I'm feeling stressed and overwhelmed.

I urge you to make your own list today. Discover what helps make YOU feel relaxed and gives you that break that you may need, or need without knowing you need it. :-)

Oh, and........ I love coloring mandalas like the one you see below!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What are You Drinking for Energy?

A friend mentioned to me the other day that she doesn't need alcohol to give her a boost while out with friends. She simply drinks caffeine drinks to get her energy.


Those energy drinks in a can may have excessively high amounts of caffeine.  Studies have shown that not only do they increase your energy, but they may also have enough caffeine to induce rapid heartbeat, dizziness, high blood pressure, vomiting and other unpleasant effects as reported to the US Poison Control Center.

Many consumers of these so-called energy drinks are teens and young adults who may mix the drinks with alcohol - encouraging an even more detrimental affect on their bodies.

So what can you do to give that burst of much needed energy to persevere through the day?

For starters: consider getting more sleep. Now there's a thought! Stop burning the candle at both ends already. Your body requires 7-9 hours of good quality sleep to feel its best. Add to it a healthier diet and some exercise and you may just find you don't even need those energy drinks at all.

And yet, for those times when all else fails - consider drinking green tea or green tea with added ginseng to give you a healthier dose of pep. An added bonus is green tea might just help your metabolism to burn off those couple extra pounds.

The Best Place to Start is With You

And the best starting point is with the question: What do you do for YOU?

How do you take care of yourself?
What relaxes you?
Do you make time for you or do you push through to get to the "end result" of your day?

Most of us start off our day with a to-do list a mile long. And that's ok - to a point. It's productive to have a plan and goals set for the day, but it's important that those plans and goals include regular self-care too, to avoid burnout and the feeling of "what am I doing all this for?".

Self-care can mean anything from starting your day with a good breakfast to getting a massage during free time to taking time to relax with a walk in the sunshine. Of course, there are probably millions of ways to provide self-care for yourself. But it needs to be scheduled in right along with work, shuffling kids, and house and yard work.

Make a list of your daily activities today and find out for yourself where you are with your self-care routine. It might surprise you to find yourself near the bottom of the list.