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Posts Tagged ‘wellness’

How to Remain Mindful Amidst Life Business

Posted on: February 29th, 2020
How to Remain Mindful Amidst Life's Busyness

Working full-time, busy schedules, and parenting children can be hectic.  Most parents today are working, shuttling their kids to activities, taking care of the household, and ending the evening with bombarding thoughts of the day, tomorrow, next week, etc.  Kids are running from school to activities and many are feeling overextended or have a little downtime. 

How best to be mindful in times like these?

Paying attention to the here and now takes as little as 5m.  Be intentional.  Slow down.  Imagine your thoughts just floating by.  Be alert to them, but don’t let them stick.  Let them drift away.  

Observe and describe your thoughts, but do not judge them.  If you find your mind wandering, this is normal.  Gently bring your mind back to the present and focus on one thing…an object, sound, color, body sensation, or your breath.

Some highlights of mindful activities are listed below, but for more info check out the Healthline Website on Tricks to Reduce Anxiety.

  • Try a guided meditation or app.  Headspace, Insight Timer, and Calm Mind are some helpful apps to get you started.  Many involve breathing deeply to help you feel centered and peaceful.
  • Practice breathing.  Before you speak, before checking an email or messaging someone, while waiting in line, at a stop sign or traffic light, etc.
  • Color.  Coloring is relaxing.  It helps reduce anxiety and increases focus.
  • Take a Walk.  Listen for sounds as far away as possible.  Count your footsteps with your breath.  Notice your surroundings.  Look for soothing colors.
  • Eat a meal slowly and thoughtfully.  Use all of your senses to experience the smell, taste, texture, or sound it makes.
  • Safe Place imagery.  Imagine with all your senses what your scene looks like, sounds like, feels like, etc.  The important part…the brain doesn’t know the difference between what you imagine and whether you are actually there.  
  • Wish others happiness.  Even those who bother or annoy you.
  • Turn off your phone.  Turn off notifications.  Give yourself a technology fast.  Leave your phone in a different room.  Designate a tech-free zone, or tech-free time frame.  

Need more ways to be more mindful in your life?  Contact me at SHCS.

Tips to Make This Year Less Stressful

Posted on: February 7th, 2020
Tips to Make This Year Less Stressful

t’s 2020.  Our nation has never faced more division than now.  Race, hate, and bullying are rampant in society.  Concerns about war, natural disasters, and school shootings contribute to this societal stress.  News reports and social media platforms not only keep us informed but keep us on high alert and wary of things happening all around us.  Everywhere we look, stress is upon us, good stress and bad stress. 

But there are things we can do to experience less of it.  Here are a few highlights, but for more info, check out the Healthline website.

  • Exercise: Exercise relieves mental stress and reduces anxiety.  Find something you enjoy and get moving.
  • Just breathe.  Breathing deeply controls the relaxation response, lowers your heart rate, and helps you feel more peaceful
  • Journal.  Write down the things that cause you stress.  Then, practice identifying the positive things going on in your life.
  • Self-Soothe with your senses.  Burn a scented candle or use essential oil.  Chew a stick of gum.  Hug or cuddle someone you love.  Pet your dog or cat.  Listen to calming music, water, or nature sounds.  Look at soothing pictures.
  • Reduce caffeine.  Higher levels are linked to increased anxiety.  
  • Spend time with friends.  Having strong connections reduces stress and anxiety and may help you get through harder times in life.
  • Laugh.  Laughing reduces stress, tension, and improves mood and the immune system.  Watch a funny show.  Read a funny book.  Laugh with friends.
  • Say No.  Take control of your life.  Be selective about the things you take on and say no to things that add to your load.
  • Prioritize.  Make time for what needs to be done today.  Stop putting things off.  Stay on top of your to-do list. Try starting with just three tasks a day.  
  • Take a stress-relieving class: Try yoga or Tai ChiIt may help lower blood pressure, heart rate, and GABA, a neurotransmitter that is lowered in mood disorders.
  • Be Mindful. Use the breath, a sound, an object, or a physical sensation to anchor yourself in the present moment.  

Still, want to learn more?  Contact me at SHCS!

A Guide to a Healthier Happier You

Posted on: January 17th, 2020
A guide to a healthier, happier you.

If you are like me, setting goals for the year might be both inspiring and daunting.  It’s one thing to be motivated and another to create it.  The trick I’ve learned is to make goals that have reasonable outcomes and that involve smaller steps that can be “chipped away” gradually over time.  

One of the benefits of a new year is simply a fresh start.  A time to regroup and think about what’s working, what’s not, what is a drain to our lives, and a time to revisit things that generally make us feel happy.  Our thoughts, physiology, and behaviors are all connected.  So, why not take a look at these aspects more closely and “clean house,” so to speak.  If living more mindfully and emotionally healthy is important to you, try some of these tips for starting your year out with success.

What are you eating? 

The types of food we take in are directly linked to our mental health. Healthier options result in better wellness overall, however poorer food choices are linked to higher rates of depression and anxiety.  Not sure what you eat?  Try a food diary or app to track patterns.  

Get Physical. 

10-20m a day of brisk walking has wonderful mental health benefits, discharges heightened emotion, and can assist with improved sleep.  Walk your dog, or find a buddy.  Either way, get moving!

Improve your sleep

Do you have sleep hygiene?  Do you get enough sleep?  Consider how you prepare your body for sleep.  Taking a bath, doing quiet activities (reading, journaling, coloring, etc), stretching, and stopping screen time 1-2 hours before sleeping results in a better quality of sleep.  Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day is another benefit to consistent sleep cycles.


Seriously, we are a society bombarded with stimulation and anxiety.  Tense and release your muscles, try a few yoga poses, listen to calming music.  Find an activity that is enjoyable, results in feeling calmer, and do that activity often!

Have Fun

Accumulate positive experiences.  Play board games, go bowling, get outside, play!  Pleasure increases the “feel good” chemical in the brain.

Connect with healthy people

Spending time with others (i.e family, friends, religious community, and pets, etc) reduces loneliness and improves our social well-being with others.  Read more here: The Power Of Connections.

Practice gratitude and positive thinking

This does take effort, but reflecting on the positive aspects in one’s life has long-term health benefits and can change the brain for the better!

Consider therapy 

While not everyone needs therapy, it is a place to vent concerns, learn new ways to cope, establish goals, and creates a climate for improving one’s situation with support. Anyone can benefit from talking to someone and learning new ways to better one’s self.

Create a new habit

Did you know it takes 21 days to create a new habit?  To create a new habit or change an old one, first determine your goal.  Break that goal into smaller steps.  Begin tracking the behavior you wish to change.  Next, consider a healthy alternative behavior you could do instead.  Track your progress, and include that change daily so it becomes a routine.

Be kind to yourself

If you have a setback, look at your self with compassion and not with criticism.  Goals might take longer than expected sometimes.  It’s ok.  Keep plugging away!

If you find that you’d like more support with goal-setting and improving your mental health wellness for the better, contact me at SHCS!