Tag Archives: rest

Max Your Health & Happiness By Minimizing These 3 Things

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Max Your Health & Happiness By Minimizing These 3 Things

Balance is something that we all struggle to achieve in life. However, one way to produce more harmony is to get rid of or, at least, minimize the things that are doing us harm. A topic you can find out all about in the post below:

Social media:

I’m not saying social media is evil or anything, it’s just that it’s not always good for us, either. In fact, studies have shown that spending too much time on social media can aggravate anxiety and depression. After all, it’s easy to get caught up in gossip, drama, and comparing our lives to everyone else’s, as well!

With that in mind, it’s well worth minimizing the time that you spend on social media, even if you don’t cut it out completely. Happily, many phones now come with screen time controls that can be set to remind you to let go of your virtual life for a bit and live your real one, instead. Something that can help to make you both psychologically healthier and happier.

Over-trying:

Yes, it is possible to try too hard at things. So hard, in fact, that you put your mind and physical body under undue stress which can have a devastating effect on your health and happiness. To that end, it is a good idea to both know your own physical and mental limits as well as prioritize what is most important in your life and spend a more significant amount of effort on that. As humans, we can do anything, but not everything all at once!

Similarly, if you do find that you have caused yourself harm from pushing too hard either mentally or physically, it’s worth investing some time in rest, recuperation, and rehabilitation. For physical ailments, this may include accessing professional rehab services at your local clinic. While for mental overexertion a vacation or change of scenery may be in order, as well as coming up with strategies for minimizing stress that will ensure that you can cope better going forward. Yes, it may be hard to reduce or even minimize your effort in certain areas of life, but it could make all of the difference to your overall well being.

Worrying:

Now, worrying can be hard to cut out, especially if you tend to be an anxious person by nature. However, there is a way that you can prevent it from having such as hold on you and affecting your life. It’s all about getting to understand our thought and realizing that just because we think something, it doesn’t mean it’s true. Yes, this can be something that is tough to grasp at first because many of us tend to take the thoughts our brain generates at face value.

However, with activity such as meditation and CBT, we can gain some distance from our thoughts and learn to pick the ones that we choose to believe and act on. Something that can not only minimize the power of worry in our lives but also help us move towards a more healthy and happy way of living.

Maximizing the good and minimizing the things that cause us undue stress is the name of the game when it comes to increasing your well being!

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Guide To Chinese Massage Therapy

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Guide To Chinese Massage Therapy

There are many different types of massages available nowadays. However, one that has been popular for many years is Chinese massage therapy, also known as tui na. It is believed that this therapy originated in 2700 BC to balance the energies in our bodies. The theory states that the body is an imbalance of energies that can lead to stress, illness, and disease. Chinese massage therapy balances the energies to ensure a natural flow occurs and the body is relieved of stress. Today, Chinese massage is practiced regularly. This article reveals the benefits of this therapy in detail:

What are the benefits of Chinese massage therapy?

  • Treatment of soft tissue injuries – From sciatica and lower back pain to a frozen shoulder; Chinese massage therapy helps with a wealth of different soft tissue injuries. You can combine this with physical therapy for a complete approach. The masseuse will use techniques to help eradicate pain and ease any stiffness you may be experiencing.
  • Increased energy – Do you get those moments where you feel completely drained? Energy is something we all wish we had more of. Chinese massage therapy can provide you with more energy as it realigns the flow of Qi in the body. You will leave the spa feeling revitalized.
  • Decrease stress levels – When you couple decreased stress levels with the former part regarding increased energy; it is not hard to see why everyone should have regular Chinese massages. This treatment can do wonders for your psychological well being. It is extremely relaxing and will relieve you of any tension or stress you are experiencing. Practitioners of this treatment believe that the imbalanced energies in the body and the blockages of the flow of Qi disrupt an individual’s mental state. This is why Chinese massages are advised for those who suffer from depression or anxiety.
  • Helps with circulatory problems – In addition to the points that have already been mentioned, Chinese massage therapy is ideal for those suffering from problems with their circulation. The masseuse will focus on various pressure points and use an array of hand techniques to stimulate your circulatory systems. This is something that is beneficial for all.
  • Physical and mental well being – On a final note, it is vital to recognize that Chinese massage therapy focuses on the physical and mental health of an individual. This is undoubtedly the main benefit of all. Most treatments tend to focus on one or the other. There is no way you won’t feel the benefits of this type of massage.

When you take all of these points into account, it is not hard to see why Chinese massage therapy has been extremely popular for many years now. If you have never experienced this treatment before, do make sure you give it a try!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Meditation Recommendations

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Meditation Recommendations

Hi everyone! Something that I really enjoy doing is going to a meditation class offered by my local library. The woman who runs it, Joann Xi, is the founder of the Center for Health, Happiness, and Chan. This organization promotes a mindful and contemplative lifestyle and teaches the art of meditation to those in the greater Akron area. During class this week, Joann gave us a paper listing some helpful books, apps, podcasts, and websites that she recommends and I thought that I would share it with all of you. And, if you are interested in seeing Joann in action, check out my blog post which features her YouTube videos. She’s amazing!

From Eastern Traditions:

Books:

  1. The Art of Living: Vipassana Meditation as Taught by S.N. Goenka by William Hart
  2. Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh
  3. True Love by Thich Nhat Hanh
  4. Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism by Chogyam Trungpa
  5. Bringing Home the Dharma by Jack Kornfield
  6. The Wisdom of No Escape by Pema Chodron

Podcasts:

  1. Insight Hour Podcast with Joseph Goldstein
  2. Ram Dass Hear and Now
  3. Heart Wisdom Podcast with Jack Kornfield

Websites:

  1. https://www.secularbuddhism.org/
  2. https://www.lionsroar.com/

From Western Traditions:

Books:

  1. Invitation to Love by Thomas Keating
  2. Intimacy with God by Thomas Keating
  3. Contemplative Prayer by Thomas Merton
  4. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
  5. Fully Present by Susan L Smalley and Diana Winston
  6. Mindful Work by David Gelles

Audio Books:

  1. Going on Being by Mark Epstein
  2. Going to Pieces without Falling Apart by Mark Epstein

Podcasts:

  1. 10% Happier with Dan Harris

Apps:

  1. Headspace (Westernized version of eastern meditation practices)

YouTube:

  1. Zen Den
  2. Cosmic Kids

Websites:

  1. https://www.cac.org/
  2. https://www.couragerenewal.org

Integration of East/West:

Books:

  1. Living Zen Loving God by Ruben L.F. Habito
  2. The Mystic Heart by Wayne Teasdale
  3. The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan Watts

I hope that some of these wonderful options to help introduce you to meditation or further your practices prove to be beneficial to those who need it. Once a skeptic, I truly believe in the power of meditation and the amazing work that Joann is doing, so please enjoy!

Who else participates in meditation? What are some ways that help you to relax? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Meditation Station

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Meditation Station

Hi there! Something that I’ve been enjoying a lot lately is meditation. One of the libraries in my area has been hosting the two founders of a local nonprofit organization Health, Happiness, & Chan to teach meditation classes to the public. I have been going since the spring time, and found it to be really difficult. Dare I say, I even found it to be completely ineffective.

Then, we had a hiatus for a few months until the summer session began. Upon returning to classes, I had a total turn around during our hour together. I was able to complete the entire forty minute process when, before, I couldn’t even finish five minutes. It felt awesome and I left class feeling so uplifted and accomplished.

Unfortunately, but fortunately, one of our two amazing teachers (Both of whom are professors at Akron U.) has accepted a position at Harvard and is no longer with us. But, our other guru, Joanne is simply the best. I have such a strong connection with her and it was such a delight to be welcomed back to class by her with a huge hug.

Joanne has quite possibly the most beautiful voice known to mankind and, after all of us insisting on it for months, she has finally made a YouTube channel! The quality of her first few videos is not the best, but there will certainly be more to come so I wanted to share them with all of you, anyways. Joanne has such a gentle, kind, and nurturing spirit and you can literally feel it just by hearing her speak. So, subscribe and enjoy as she walks you through all different types of meditation!

Who else practices meditation? What are some of your meditation tips? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

7 Ways To Stop Stress

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7 Ways To Stop Stress

Is stress starting to get you down? Long-term stress can have lots of negative effects – it can damage your sleep quality, create achy muscles, make your skin more reactive to spots and rashes, raise your blood pressure, and bring on serious conditions such as heart disease and strokes. Taking steps to reduce stress could save your mind and body. Here are seven ways to counteract stress:

Take a hot bath:

Nothing beats a hot bath for helping you to relax. The hot water is great for your skin and can help your muscles relax, whilst pumping your body with feel good endorphins that help to rid it of the stress hormone cortisol. It’s the best way to unwind after a stressful day.

Get more sleep:

A lack of sleep could lead to stress, which could be affecting your sleep, creating a vicious cycle. Going to bed earlier and catching up on sleep could help you to break this cycle and destress. If you’re finding it difficult to get to sleep, consider changing your bedtime activities – staring at bright screens or eating lots of food can make it harder for us to get to sleep, so quit these activities an hour before bed. You may also be able to up the comfort of your bedroom with better bedding, sleep-inducing scents, and black out blinds.

Listen to music:

Listening to music that you like can release endorphins that can help you to overcome stress. Studies have found that calmer music and classical are most effective at combating stress, however, louder music may appeal to some people – it’s all a matter of taste.

Exercise:

Physical exercise also releases endorphins that can combat stress. It doesn’t matter what activity you do, so long as it helps to get your blood pumping, igniting those feel good hormones and flushing out the cortisol. This could be a long workout at the end of the day or a short five minute burst of HIIT when you don’t have the time.

Book a holiday:

A holiday in the sun could be just what you need to get away from the causes of your stress. Hotels like the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Villahermosa could offer the spa treatment you need on a budget. Cut yourself off from work if you need to or take a weekend away without the kids and get some much needed R&R.

Have a digital detox:

Much of our stress nowadays is technology based, whether it’s work emails or social media pressures or simply the strain of having to stare at a screen all day. There are many resorts and hotels that are now being marketed for this purpose such as these retreats at It’s Time To Log Off. Take a digital detox and watch your stress dwindle away.

Try meditating:

Meditation is also great for reducing stress and can be something that you can do at any time throughout the day. Finding some time to yourself, closing your eyes and freeing your mind of the things worrying you can help you to gain better perspective and reduce your cortisol levels.

Stress sucks. Take a deep breath, get yourself in the zone, and reduce your stress levels with the above tips.

Featured Image By: Flickr

Getting The Gear: For Outdoor Adventures

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Getting The Gear: For Outdoor Adventures

Nature enthusiasts, outdoor junkies, and those that just love a good hike in the woods rejoice, as spring is just lurking around the corner. Outdoor excursions in the snow can be fun and all, but the sunshine sure is nice! Anyone who enjoys an afternoon in the great outdoors knows that the company they spend it with (or their solitude) is essential in a pleasant day. But the gear that you choose is also important in making your time outside all the better. Let’s discuss further:

Trekking Poles:

I think everyone can admit to grabbing a huge stick off of the ground and going full Gandolf from Lord Of The Rings during a nature walk. Who doesn’t love yielding a great big stick and trudging through the terrain? It sure makes me feel majestic, anyways. But if you want the best of the best in trekking poles (AKA nothing that you found off of the ground.), then you might want to consider a few things. Can it fold? Is it lightweight? Will it help you get from Point A to Point B with some sweet relief on your joints? Find your best fit, and hit the trails!

Knee Sleeves:

Hiking the paths is no walk in the park, especially if you deal with pain from arthritis, injury, or occasional soreness. Although knee sleeves don’t protect your knees from injury, they do offer compression and support. They might be just the extra boost that you need to climb the highest mountain.

Dry Bags:

During water activities like kayaking or rafting or even if a random downpour drenches you during a trek, keeping your goods dry is a major concern. You can’t take pictures of the gorgeous scenery with a waterlogged phone or camera, after all. Dry bags offer airtight protection to keep water, water everywhere out and your possessions dry as a bone. Need to take a breather? Dry bags are also inflatable! Hello, cat nap pillow.

Rest And Relaxation:

After a long day outside, a relaxing sit down at sunset is a must. Grab a cold lemonade, kick off your shoes, and take a seat on a sturdy, wooden porch swing. First of all, they’re just pure fun and they add the sweetest hint of Southern charm to any home. Let the cool breeze blow your hair as you rock back and forth and congratulate yourself for a job well done on the trails.

Take full advantage of experiencing the great outdoors with the most helpful gear as you trek around Mother Earth. Of course, it won’t turn your next excursion into a walk in the park, but where’s the adventurous fun in that?!

Featured Image By: XPATMATT

Enjoying An At Home Spa Day

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Enjoying An At Home Spa Day

Many of us love the idea of heading to the spa for a day of total relaxation. Slipping on that white fluffy robe and slippers, indulging in a massage, a facial, a manicure, or pedicure. Lounging around on those beds reading a magazine and maybe enjoying a glass of champagne. It can be a girls’ dream day, but it can also be an expensive one. However, there is no reason why you can’t get the same level of relaxation at home from your very own bathroom.

There are simple things that you can change in your bathroom to make it feel more spa-like, and there are certainly bigger investments that you can make to improve how your bathroom looks. But every girl deserves a place to chill, and the throne room can be that little piece of heaven that you crave at the end of the day. Creating an at home spa experience isn’t all that difficult, so let’s discuss how to do just that:

Major Changes (If You Want!):

One of the biggest transformations that you can make to your bathroom, and also the most expensive way to achieve a new look, is to replace the bathroom entirely and fit a new suite. You could use this opportunity to change the layout and even consider something a little different like a free-standing bathtub – companies like Kardiel have a great selection! Whichever way you want to go, replacing your bathroom can be the ideal way to create an at home spa experience. While it can cost you a fair bit to remodel, it can also increase the value of your home, meaning the investment is never truly lost. Talk about a win/win!

Making Simple Updates:

If you don’t want to replace the whole bathroom, you could choose to update it in other ways. Changing the tiling you have on the floor, swapping the basin for a vanity unit, or painting the walls in a more neutral tone could really brighten up the bathroom area and change the way that it looks and feels. You don’t even have to be as extreme as getting the paint brush out, sometimes just investing in some new towels and colorful accessories or prints for the wall can give your bathroom the update that it needs.

Light All The Candles:

One of the great ways a spa can help you relax is because they have a clever use of low lighting, and one way to achieve that is through candle light. You could consider oil burners, which takes advantage of the light as well as an essential oil scent to help you relax even further. Lavender or eucalyptus are always good ones to consider. Candles also help to relax the mind, so having a nice warm bath by candle light could be the perfect remedy for a stressful day.

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 What’s your favorite candle scent?

Smartphone Savvy:

While you may be thinking that the last thing you want to be doing while relaxing in your bathroom is to be messing around on your phone, please reconsider! There are some great apps that you can download to recreate the sounds of a spa. Mood music or even listening to some guided meditation can be a great way for you to channel your thoughts and enjoy your R&R time.

DIY Treats:

Part of the spa experience is to enjoy a treatment or two, and while a massage might not be in the cards unless you have a willing partner, there are other treatments that you can easily do at home. You could consider putting on a face mask, which is a great way to deep clean your skin and pores, and adding a few slices of cucumber over your eyes might help you feel like you are actually at the spa. You could also give yourself a pedicure or manicure by filing and shaping your nails and adding a splash of color with some vanish. There are some great DIY beauty methods you could also try like coconut oil added to your hair for a conditioning treatment or creating a body scrub from coffee. You can find a ton of articles online full of ideas and recipes!

Pop Some Bottles:

Finally, whether you enjoy a glass of bubbles, your favorite wine or beer, or even just a hot chocolate or a good cup of tea, arm yourself with your favorite drink, put on your best robe, and get ready for a soothing evening in. Enjoy!

Featured Image By: Pixabay