4 Ways to Spend Time Alone

Spending time alone is vital to our emotional and physical well being. Allowing yourself some time alone can help you de-stress and recharge. For some of us, parents especially, getting time alone can be difficult, so you may have to schedule it. Below are some of my favorite ways to spend time alone. 

Get Lost

Try going for a long drive, or a walk and get a little lost. Explore new places in your community, new towns, or just a new store. Go somewhere that is unknown or out of your comfort zone. Take a nature walk on a different path than you would normally take. The combination of fresh air and sunlight is not only relaxing but a good source of vitamin D and a great way to get your steps in.

Relax

Easier said than done, I know. Sometimes we can get so caught up in the next task, that we forget to enjoy “the now.” One of my favorite ways to relax is by taking a bath or hopping in the jacuzzi. Combine that with the calming scent of a lavender candle, and boom, relaxation central. Scheduling yourself for a quick massage or pedicure are also great ways to relax if you have the time. But if time doesn’t permit, just taking 10 minutes to sip a cup of tea in silence will do the trick too.

Binge

I know this sounds crazy, a health coach telling you to binge, but hear me out. It’s ok to binge on Netflix every once in a while. Spend an entire evening catching up on Game of Thrones, it won’t hurt anyone. Sometimes, sitting on the couch and watching an entire series, is the best medicine.

Get Creative

Creativity isn’t something you either have, or you don’t. It’s something we’re all born with. Finding ways to boost that creativity can be difficult, but I’ve found a few activities that work. Get creative by writing, there are plenty of creative writing prompts online that can help you write anything from poems to short stories. Another way I like to get creative is by going to museums. Looking at artwork or even historical exhibits can get us thinking in ways that, sitting at a computer or watching a movie just don’t do. If neither of those sound appealing, try an adult coloring book. Research shows that drawing or coloring, also known as art therapy, often has tangible results that significantly decrease symptoms of physical and emotional stress.

10 Tiny Tips for Relieving Stress

IN THE MORNING

1.  Sweat

Starting your day off with a good work out is key to relieving stress, but also helps you get focused and ready for your day. The surge of endorphins that are released when you exercise will put you in a great mood. If you can’t make time to hit the gym, even squeezing in a 30-minute walk will do the trick.

2.  Read

Typically, a go to of mine is to read a self-help book in the morning, just a chapter or two before I get going in the morning, inspires me to be the best version of myself. Lately I’ve been picking up the New Yorker or a fiction novel, which I find helps boost my creativity and gets me thinking outside the box. 

3.  Tea

Never underestimate the power of a cup of tea. While I typically prefer mint for its stress and bloat relieving capabilities, chamomile or green tea work wonders as well. Green tea is a great alternative to coffee. While the stimulants in tea can keep you awake, they can also make your brain function better. The caffeine present in tea is enough of a dose to provide a lift for most people without causing the increased anxiety and “jitters” associated with too much coffee.

4.  Gratitude

This has been pivotal in reducing stress for not only myself but my clients as well. Whether it’s a prayer of gratitude or taking time to write down what you’re thankful for, helps put things in perspective. Negativity and constant worry add to stress, and when we take the time to appreciate what we have, we have the ability to transform that into positive energy. 

5.  Manifest

While meditation works wonders for many, I prefer manifesting. We’re talking about 7 minutes of focusing your thoughts on what you hope to accomplish for the day. Envision obstacles that may get in your way and create plans to overcome them. Devoting 7 minutes of your morning to this will leave you feeling empowered and ready to take on anything.

MID DAY

6.  Breathe

There have been countless times where I have felt stressed or worked up over something, and have worked my way out of it, simply by breathing. Taking 6 deep breaths, in the through the nose and out through the mouth, can help calm you down by releasing oxygen in to your brain. Another great breathing style that calms your parasympathetic/sympathetic system is 5, 5, 7. In for a count of 5, hold for 5, and out for a count of 7.

7.  Organize

Throughout the day our work space can tend to get cluttered, or maybe your home. While you may not be aware of it, clutter can negatively affect your mood and provide a lot of distraction. Taking a couple of minutes to declutter can go a long way.

AT NIGHT

8.  Walk

As soon as you get home, and before moving on to tasks around the house or cooking dinner, go for a walk. Take some time to balance out your day and let go of anything stressful that may have happened, so that you don’t bring it in to your time at home.

9.  Unplug

In the 30 minutes before you go to sleep, try not to look at any screens. No iPads, laptops, iPhones, or any other electronic devices. Let your mind unwind and give your eyes a break from the strain. Doing this will also make it easier to fall asleep.

10.  Let Go

A lot of times the stress created by the worries of what we must accomplish tomorrow, can keep us from getting the sleep we need tonight. Create a to do list to get your worries out of your mind and on paper.  

SAY NO TO KETO

It’s no doubt that the keto diet is the biggest health trend right now. You can’t open Pinterest without seeing the latest keto recipes. However, while a ketogenic diet is a great way to reduce inflammation and lose fat fast, that doesn’t mean its healthy.

Ketosis occurs when there are raised levels of ketones in your body tissue. This is achieved by the low carb, high fat diet. Ketones are produced in the liver from the excess fat, which is then used as fuel throughout the body, including the brain. The brain is a hungry organ that consumes lots of energy every day, and it can’t run on fat directly.

You may follow a ketogenic diet, or maybe you’re considering trying the health craze that is sweeping the nation, but we can tell you right now, the results are not long term. Many of the keto approved meals will keep you in ketosis, but that doesn’t mean that they are good for you. The most important part of a healthy diet is the quality of the food. A ketogenic diet is a perfect example of quantity over quality. A good rule of thumb for any diet is to eat foods that spoil. Just because the foods you are eating will keep you in ketosis, doesn’t mean that they are good for you, especially if the ingredients are all processed.

Results from the keto diet are questionable as well. Because the diet is so restrictive, health experts say it is not an appropriate diet to follow long-term. As with many fad diets, once you stop following them, weight regain is inevitable. Going back and forth from a restrictive diet to your normal eating habits, can contribute to disordered eating. If your main issues with food are portion control and binge eating, starting the keto diet may help you lose weight in the short term, but it will not help you get to the root of your health issues.

If you have been considering trying the keto diet, we encourage you to contact us first. Let us help you change your eating habits for good so that you can have the body you want forever.

Benefits of the Hygge Lifestyle

With fall quickly approaching, some people are sad to say goodbye to the sunshine and margaritas, and others can’t wait to curl up by a cozy fire and sip cocoa. Sure the desire to get cozy is usually caused by the colder weather, but practicing the art of being cozy year round, could benefit you immensely. This “art of being cozy” is known as hygge. Hygge is a Danish word, pronounced ‘hooga’, that refers to a state of coziness and a feeling of togetherness. Hygge is the mindset of living extraordinarily in the present. This kind of mindful behavior is not only good for your mental health, but your physical health as well. Some physical benefits of the hygge lifestyle include; weight regulation, improved sleep, and reduced need for unhealthy coping behaviors like drugs and alcohol. Like most mindful behaviors, hygge benefits you emotionally by reducing depression, stress, and anxiety.

Ways to Incorporate Hygge in Your Life

Light a candle

o Turn down the lights, and light a candle, create a warm and soothing ambience in your home.

Make a comforting meal

o Pick your comfort food and make a habit of having it once a week. Or try a new recipe for a stew or roast.

Warm beverages

o Pour yourself a cup of coffee, put on a pot of tea, or try some warm water with lemon.

Get Outside

o Go for a hike, take a bike ride to the beach or park, spend time outside and connecting with nature.

Wear comfy clothing

o Yes, we are giving you an excuse to wear sweatpants, yoga pants, or pajamas. Feeling comfortable in your clothing is another part of the process.

Declutter

o You can’t relax in places that are overwhelming. Strip the excess items from your home and create a more inviting space.

Unplug

o Give yourself a break from technology, whether you do it in the morning or right before bed. Take an hour to give yourself a break from your phone, your computer, all screens and electronics.

Cuddle under blankets

o Texture is a big part of hygge. Surround yourself with soft items like throw blankets, fluffy pillows, and comfy furniture.

So grab a book, a blanket, and a cup of tea, and see how practicing the hygge lifestyle benefits you. Feel free to share with us your favorite ways to achieve coziness!

How To Take Back Your Life

Human nature instills in us a desire to be liked and accepted, but the pursuit of this will kill you. Good news is, you can make a conscious effort to stop giving a crap. With social media constantly shoving images in front of us, showing us what we "need" to be happy, it is more important than ever to put this in to practice. Why spend a lifetime chasing after a mirage, when you can be happy now? Now, you won’t stop giving a crap overnight, it takes a while to train your brain to do this. However, once you do I can promise you, you will feel a ton better. 

Comparison Will Kill You

You will continue to feel unworthy, unimportant, and unfulfilled the more you desire what others have. This is called the comparison game, and here's a secret: you'll lose this game every time you play it. We spend so much time comparing, that we find we are not doing. Social media is the biggest contributor to this. How many times have you gotten lost on Instagram, scrolling through photos of vacation destinations you are dying to visit, or fitness models whose bodies you would kill to have? This is an example of time you have wasted on comparing instead of living. Congrats you have lost the game. 

Play On Your Strengths

Now, we want you to be a winner, so here is our biggest tip. Be strong. We all have our faults, or weaknesses, and we may never overcome them, but we can always play on our strengths to win the game. Recognize your unique abilities and work at them daily, like a muscle they require constant training and exercise. If you are a creative type who is lousy with their finances, focus your energy on perfecting your art and creative skills, and hire an accountant. Don't waste time trying to be perfect at everything and focus on perfecting the skills you already have. 

"Greatness is merely an illusion in our minds, a made-up destination that we obligate ourselves to pursue, our own psychological Atlantis." - Mark Hanson

Choices

From this point on, the only thing holding you back are your thoughts. Once you gain control of your thoughts, you free yourself from negativity and open yourself up to happiness. So make smart choices! Stop scrolling through social media, staring at a life you'll never have, and start living the beautiful life you were meant to live. Choose to play on your strengths and think positively about yourself. Live your life to the fullest, and most importantly, don't give a crap!