Posts for category: Health and Wellness
Valentine’s Day is a day usually celebrated with someone whom you love. Whether this love is romantic, platonic, familial, or the love between you and your furry best friend, the day is recognized as a day of love. Valentine’s Day has come and gone, but this doesn’t mean that the celebration of love needs to end. Since you’ve just celebrated shared love, why not switch gears for a moment and celebrate self-love?
“Self-love, self-respect, self-worth: There’s a reason they all start with ‘self.’ You can’t find them in anyone else.” -Anonymous
It is often the case that we give more love to others than we do to ourselves. We neglect to love the one person who we will spend every second of the entirety of our lives with. What is often not realized is that the more we love ourselves and strengthen the relationship that we have with ourselves, the more capable we are of sharing our love with others.
“Self-love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological, and spiritual growth. Self-love is dynamic; it grows by actions that mature us. When we act in ways that expand self-love in us, we begin to accept our weaknesses as well as our strengths, have less need to explain away our short-comings, have compassion for ourselves as human beings struggling to find personal meaning, are more centered in our life purposes and values, and expect living fulfillment through our own efforts”- Deborah Khoshaba, Psy.D, Psychology Today
The seven steps that Dr. Khoshaba prescribes are to become mindful, act on what you need rather than what you want, practice good self-care, set boundaries, protect yourself, forgive yourself, and to live intentionally. Imagine if you treated yourself with the unconditional love that you bestow on the people in your life that are dearest to you? Taking care of yourself first isn’t selfish.
You’ve likely heard the claim that you can’t love another person until you love yourself first. And well this is not entirely true; the significance of this claim is that our ability to love comes from within. There are endless ways to express self-love.
Taking care of your physical self by eating healthy, exercising, getting sufficient sleep, staying hydrated, maintaining your oral health, keeping up with annual medical check-ups, and just listening to the signs your body gives you is self-love. Taking care of your spiritual self through meditation, yoga, spending time in nature, journaling, and practicing gratitude is self-love.
Here are a few simple ways you can start practicing self-love today:
Create a gratitude journal
Implement a “treat yourself” day
Make a list of all the things that you like about yourself
Pay it forward
Go for a long walk
Learn something new
Let go of what no longer serves you
Clean out your closet
Take a nap
Make a cup of tea and read
Designated a “no screens” time
Get a massage
Write a letter to yourself and don’t open it for one year
Take a hot bath
Create a self-love mantra such as “I love and accept me for me”
When we take care of ourselves, we are better suited to take care of others, and that’s really how the world goes around. As the Beatles once sang, “All you need is love.”
The skin on our lips is very different from the skin that covers the rest of our body. Our lip skin is very thin and delicate. Our lips don’t have any hair or sebaceous glands (glands that produce oil), which help to keep skin lubricated and protected from environmental forces. The skin on our lips also doesn't produce natural sun-filtering melanin. For these reasons, our lips are very vulnerable to damage caused by the sun, the wind, and cold temperatures. Unprotected lips are also at a higher risk of developing skin cancer than other parts of the body.
While our lips are susceptible to chapping and cracking, repairing and protecting them is easy. Our lips deserve the same, if not more, attention than the skin on the rest of our body. Your lips take center stage on your face and deserve star treatment! To obtain and maintain soft, supple, and smooth lips following this simple lip-care regiment.
1. Exfoliate: Exfoliation is vital. Exfoliating once a week will help remove the dead skin on your lips and unveil the fresh skin the has rejuvenated beneath. Mix one teaspoon of honey with two teaspoons of sugar to make an at-home lip exfoliator. Simply apply the honey and sugar mixture to your lips and then leave on for ten minutes. Gently remove from your lips with cold water and a washcloth.
2. Moisturize daily: Your lips are like a sponge. When they are dehydrated, they dry out and shrink. Keeping them moisturize by applying a balm or lipstick with hydrating ingredients will improve the appearance and volume of your kissers. Avocado oil, coconut oil, almond oil, jojoba oil, sunflower oil, lanolin, and shea butter are all highly effective and natural moisture-providing ingredients.
Speaking of lanolin, we carry a line of lip products up at our front desk that all contain lanolin! Ask Honi or Ivonne to show you our variety of tinted balms next time you are visiting us.
3. Protect: You should never leave your house without sun protection on your face and your lips! Make sure your lip balm or lipstick has at least 15 SPF. Keeping something protective and moisturizing on your lips will also help prevent windburn and chapping due to cold temperatures and dry conditions.
4. Treat your lips to a mask: Treating your lips to an ultra-hydrating lip mask once a week is an easy and luxurious way to repair and rejuvenate your lips. Burt’s Bees makes a fantastic lip mask that will make your lips feel instantly silky and youthful.
5. Hydrate: When your body is dehydrated, your skin shows it. You’ll be surprised how much fuller and smoother your lips appear when you are sufficiently hydrated. Make sure you are drinking at least two liters of water a day.
If you follow these five steps, your lips will thank you!
In 2018, tracking our sleep was the leading trend in the realm of sleep hygiene. With the use of various technologies and applications, we were able to monitor different aspects of our sleep cycle, including length and depth. It is through this awareness that we have been able to make changes to our sleep environment and habits to optimize our sleep. We are no longer focused on solely sleeping longer though; we want to obtain a more a consistent and rejuvenating sleep so that we can perform at the highest potential in our everyday lives.
Understanding the circadian rhythm is key to optimizing our sleep and will be a leading wellness trend in 2019. Two main hormones fuel our circadian rhythm, cortisol, and melatonin. Cortisol peaks during the daylight hours, while melatonin releases in the evening. When our hormones are out of whack, finding a deep and restful sleep becomes a real challenge.
Ellen Vora, a holistic psychiatrist, explains that “the human body functions best when it is in sync with the sun and the moon.” One of the best things that you can do for your body and your circadian rhythm is to go to sleep at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every day. Keeping to the rise and fall schedule like the sun and the moon will help regulate your hormones and your ability to find the rest your physical and emotional body needs.
“Each morning when you wake up at the same time, you get sunlight through your eyes, which helps reset your circadian rhythm. This reset impacts every organ system and every disease state. In addition, your brain then knows when to fall asleep and when to wake up, and this allows your sleep cycle to become more efficient, and increase deep sleep,” exclaims Michael Breus, Ph.D., a board-certified sleep specialist.
For most of us, every other aspect of our daily lives adheres to a timed schedule. It is time we start subscribing to a better sleep schedule and treating ourselves to the rest we need and deserve. The earlier you can go to sleep the better, but the most important thing is that you pick a time that works for you and stick to it. We all know how amazing it feels to wake up after a truly restful night of sleep. Imagine if you could wake up feeling that way every morning?
The good news is you can! It’s all about resetting your internal clock and doing so is all about consistency.
Tips for winding down before bed:
- Practice a guided meditation
- Listen to a recording of soothing nature sounds
- Enjoy a hot caffeine-free tea
- Make your bed an electronics-free zone
- Create your to-do list for tomorrow before you get into bed
- Put your phone on “do not disturb” or silent
- Read a light-hearted book
- Try aromatherapy
Ayurveda is a 5,000-year-old holistic approach to health and wellness. One of the main principles of Ayurveda is that the mind and body are indissolubly connected. According to Deepak Chopra, “Freedom from illness depends on expanding our own awareness, bringing it into balance, and then extending that balance to the body.”
Ayurveda is a way of life. It is a way of life that has started to become more mainstream in the past few years as many of us are becoming more conscious of our own mind-body connection. Western medicine has long viewed the body as parts that make up a whole. Eastern medicine, on the other hand, sees the body as an entire entity inextricably connected. Our modern approach to health and wellness though is starting to blend the two.
An understanding of Ayurveda and the lifestyle associated with this approach to comprehensive wellness can help you lead a more fulfilled, healthy, and happy life. When you understand your body and what works for you and doesn’t work for you, you are better suited to make decisions that will affect you in only a positive way.
There are three doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha) associated with the five elements of nature (space, air, fire, water, and earth). Discovering your dosha, which is based on your body frame, weight, complexion, eyes, hair, joints, sleep pattern, body temperature, temperament, and how you react to stress, can help you create a lifestyle that is best suited for your unique nature.
Living in harmony with your mind and body can be done through eating a healthy and colorful diet, living in tune with nature, getting sufficient and restful sleep, exercising, and embodying the law of least effort.
This isn’t a call to prescribe to one wellness approach over another, but more of an invitation to develop an intuitive and conscious relationship with your mental, emotional, and physical self. It is this invitation that many of us are starting to RSVP to, especially as we move into 2019.
Simple Ayurveda practices that you can start incorporating into your daily life:
- Drink warm water with ginger two to three times a day
- Laugh out loud
- Scrape your tongue
- Eat your biggest meal at lunchtime
- Rise with the sun
- Give yourself time to rest
Every night while you are asleep, your digestive system is hard at work. One of its many nightly tasks includes removing toxins from the body and depositing them on the surface of your tongue. You must remove these toxins; otherwise, they reabsorb into the body. A build-up of toxins in the body can lead to all sorts of health issues, and not to mention some kicking breath.
Brushing and flossing your teeth is critical to maintaining your oral health, but if you don’t properly clean your tongue, you are still leaving tons of bacteria and toxins behind.
Fret not though! The simple act of tongue scraping is a daily practice that can significantly improve not only your oral health but your overall health. Tongue scraping is an Ayurvedic self-care ritual and growing trend in 2019. While many of us likely brush our tongues while we are brushing our teeth, using a proper tongue scraper is far more effective at removing all that accumulated gunk.
A tongue scraper is a U-shaped piece of copper, tin, brass, gold, or silver that you can purchase at nearly any health or grocery store. To scrap your tongue, all you need to do is stick it out and gently scrape from back to front. After each scrape, rinse off the scraper. Repeat this process five to ten times, or until your tongue feels clean.
Once you’ve scrapped your tongue and seen what comes off of it and how amazingly fresh and clean your mouth feels afterward, you likely will never start a day any other way.
The benefits of scraping your tongue every morning include, but are not limited to:
Elimination bad breath
Prevention cavities, tooth decay, and periodontal disease
Strengthen of your immune system
Enhanced taste buds
Removal of toxins in your body