Winter Solstice

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  • Self-Care: The Mental Health Benefits Of De-Stressing

    Every day, millions of Americans try to cope with stress, anxiety, mood disorders such as depression, and the physical issues that can be brought on by those feelings. For some, the stress that comes with everyday life can lead to issues at work or in school, problems within a relationship, and feelings of guilt or inadequacy when it comes to parenting. These are very real problems that can lead to bigger issues if left untreated, which is why it’s so important to practice self-care and de-stress once in a while.

    It’s different for everyone; what works for you may not work for someone else, so don’t be afraid to customize your routine. Whether you want to try a new workout regimen to burn off some of that negative energy or just carve time out of your busy schedule to sit down with a good book, make sure it’s something that makes you happy and relaxed.

     Here are a few tips on how to get started.

     Create Your Own Space

     Everyone needs their own space to relax in, especially if they have a large family. Create a place where you can go to relax. A meditation room can work wonders for your mood on those long days when nothing seems to be going right; all you need is a yoga mat or comfy chair, some soft lighting, and perhaps a scented fragrance oil or some relaxing music. This should be a place you can go when you need a few quiet moments to yourself, so don’t put in too many distractions. For some great tips on creating such a space, read on here.

     Get Some Good Sleep

     Adequate rest should leave you feeling like a million bucks when you wake up. Unfortunately, many of us face the day feeling groggy, achy, and wishing we could go back to bed. This could be due to a lack of good R.E.M. sleep, which can be caused by any number of things. For some, it’s the need to get up and use the bathroom in the middle of the night; for others, it’s a pet or partner who is restless in bed. Taking steps to get good sleep can help you feel more confident during the day and will keep you from feeling fatigued when you have a lot to get done, so cut off liquids an hour before you go to bed, turn off all electronics, and consider investing in a good mattress or pillows that will help you get restful sleep all night long.

     Just say no

     Being unable to say “no” to people when they ask for your time or attention can lead to quite a bit of stress. It’s important to learn how to deflect those situations when you’re feeling overwhelmed so you don’t take too much onto yourself. There’s no need to be rude; simply let the person know that you are currently at capacity where your time is concerned.

     Do Things You Love

     Spending your time doing things you enjoy is a great way to reduce stress, and the beauty is, you can change it up every day if you want. Sit down with a good book, go for a hike with your dog, start a garden, or play a game of basketball with your friends. Whatever it is you love to do, set aside some time to do it as often as you can.

     Practicing self-care is one of the best tools we have when it comes to reducing stress and living a long, healthy life. Talk to your family members about how they can help — for instance, not bothering you when you’re in your meditation room — and take time every day for yourself.

     About the Author

    Dana Brown is the creator of HealthConditions.info, which aims to provide Internet users with helpful content and resources that will lead them to make healthier decisions.

  • How to Help your Children Cope With Stress

    Adolescence and anxiety. The two seem to go hand in hand. From peer pressure to changing hormones, your kids have a lot to deal with as they grow into adults. To help your children through this tricky transition period, give them these helpful tools to keep anxiety from overcoming their life.

    Encourage Clean, Healthy Eating

    In adolescence, children begin to become more aware of their bodies. They perceive a real, although at times exaggerated, connection between the way their body looks and the way they and the world, perceive them. Instill a good sense of self-esteem early, but also help them choose healthy, wholesome foods at this critical point of growth and development. Many find peace in eating a vegetarian or vegan diet, which is full of health benefits. Help your children find their way to a strong, healthy body.

    Find Peaceful Ways to Relieve Their Stress

    Stress often becomes more prevalent in the lives of pre-teens and teenagers. Social pressures, school performance and internal stress can be overwhelming when left unchecked. As your children grow, teach them the skills they need to overcome daily stress. Deep breathingcan be a dependable way to relieve emotional strain. Having a healthy hobbycan help as well. Planting a garden, painting with oils or playing an instrument can have a positive impact on the way young people process stress. These creative hobbies can build self-esteem and mental acuity as well.

    Provide Tools to Build Positive Relationships

    As a parent, you set the tone for the relationships your children will form during their life. This is why it is essential to build a positive, calm bond between all members of your family. Encourage non-violent communicationwhen it comes to resolving sibling or parental arguments. Don’t yell or allow anger to influence the interactions your child experiences or sees. Teach your children the value of positive, loving relationships and be sure to observe the connections they make with friends and schoolmates. Studies show that negative or positive  pressure from peerscan have a great impact on those of adolescent age.

    Discuss Addiction Dangers

    Too often, the pressures and anxiety that children feel leads to them coping in negative ways. Drugs and alcohol are a real threat to the health of teenagers and pre-teens, so it is vital that you begin discussing addiction dangersat an early age. Have conversations about what is healthy and unhealthy when it comes to these possible toxins. Calmly convey your feelings on addiction and the well wishes you have for your children’s future.

    Maintain Spiritual Connections

    In this busy world, it can be easy to deprive our souls of the nourishment needed. Adolescents who don’t have a spiritual connection to themselves, or the world, may feel more confused and anxious. Ground your family’s everyday life in peaceful forms of spiritual practice. Make a family meditation space at home, or build each person their own space. Set aside a few moments of each day for every member of your family to come to their center and be thankful for the gifts they have. Teach your children how to remain mindful and find peace in their lives.

    Allow Time for Meaningful Rest

    We all need sleep to refresh our bodies and minds, but growing children may need more of it. Lack of sleep can lead to increased feelings of anxiety and stunted emotional growth. Ensure your children are getting the rest they need by setting a sleeping schedule early. Have your kids go to bed and wake up around the same time each day. Make their bedroom an oasis of comfort to help soothe them to sleep. Block out harsh lighting and keep the temperature cool at night. Use cool, natural fabricssuch as bamboo, for bedding and blankets.

    As a parent, your first instinct is to love and nurture your children. You can’t take all of their problems away but you can give them the tools they need to bring peace and calm back into their lives.

    Photo Credit: Unsplash

    About the Author:

    Dana is the creator of HealthConditions.info, which aims to provide Internet users with helpful content and resources that will lead them to making healthier decisions. Dana has 15 years of caregiving experience, and after seeing some patterns of poor health she became determined to help inform people about healthy living.

     

  • Why I’m okay with being the “bad mom”

    Oh, moms. We have such an immense amount of pressure resting so precariously on our shoulders, don’t we? Pressure from ourselves, our partner, our families, society. To be the perfect this, the perfect that, the mom carting her smiling kids off to class after class so that they’re well rounded, good members of society. We run ourselves ragged attending appointments, cleaning, ensuring all the bills are paid on time, stress over finances and budgets, stay up late making sure things are prepared for the following day, counting down the hours of sleep we might get if we fall asleep right NOW. I was on FaceTime with my mom complaining of my exhausting and lack of time to shower for the past 3 days when I realized how ridiculous I sounded. Mind you, I’m a mother of a newborn and a 2 year old, so most days I do feel pressed for time to pay attention to myself, but let me tell you, that is the LAST thing you want to forget about. I realized I hadn’t showered in 2 days, I was wearing the same clothes, that had spit up and various things wiped on it from my toddler, I could smell my BO every time I lifted up one of my babies, yet kept telling myself that I’d shower as soon as they were asleep, only to get caught up in clearing the sink of dirty dishes. Moms, and people everywhere really, STOP! Self care is so incredibly vital for you to continue doing what you do. As mothers, I’m very aware of the judgment that comes with pretty much every move we make. Go out one night, and you’re hearing the backlash saying all you do is party and you’re never with your kids. Go out, and enjoy yourself. Have that extra drink, eat that last mozzarella stick and laugh and joke about completely inappropriate topics, your kids will have a better ‘you’ tomorrow because of it. I let my 2 month old cry it out for 20 minutes while I showered and lathered on my nice lotion, something minor, but also something I usually skip to tend to one of them. And you know what? I’m more relaxed, I smell good, and that 20 min was enough to make me lovingly pick her up and soothe her quickly, whereas 30 min ago I was ready to tear my hair out and hurriedly rock her to stop the screaming. If you’re not taking time for yourself, you WILL burn out, you WILL yell at your kids out of frustration, and your relationships WILL start to deteriorate. For me, I had to humble myself immensely and understand that while I could ‘do it all’ it was leaving me exhausted and empty, and for my kids, myself, and my relationship, I had to accept help, and start pouring into myself again. For me, that first step was seeking professional help. At first, I was embarrassed. I was scared of the stigma that comes with “therapy”. I didn’t want to seem crazy, like I was incapable, or that I was having serious issues. I sought help at church, but felt like I was brushed off and dismissed, to “let god handle that” wasn’t a good enough answer for me. I researched a little more, and found a therapy group called Winter Solstice, that I was willing to try. After my first session with Dr. Renee Winters, I felt motivated, understood, and like I had a plan to move forward and get shit done in my life. I felt for the first time, that I wasn’t the only one going through the hectic ness of life and maybe not coping so well, but, through a few sessions, that began to turn around for me. While I personally, have been going to her for issues with my relationship, her guidance has leaked into all areas of my life. I know many of my mom friends, and family members can relate to things that I’m going through, nothing helped me more than hearing things from an objective, psychological point of view. Therapy isn’t just for crazies or anger management. I want to lift that stigma from seeking help, and talk openly about these things. No one should ever be looked down upon for wanting to better themselves, and hey, we can’t all do it alone. I truly believe that going to counseling, for whatever reason in your life, is the most beneficial thing that you can do for yourself. Finding the right therapist for you is half the battle, and I can’t recommend Dr. Winters enough. I was skeptical and frightened that I was going to be forking out money to sit on a couch and be asked “how I felt about that” over and over again, but was pleasantly surprised to realize that sessions with her were more likened to venting to an old friend, who instead of listened sympathetically and told you what you wanted to hear, offered constructive advice that produced tangible results. Mamas, daddy’s, family member, old coworkers. I implore you to take care of yourselves before all else. Yes, even before those sweet babies. You can’t pour from an empty cup.

    Published by: thismamabearsarms

     

  • Making The Most Of A Bad Situation

    Using Holistic Methods To Grow From A Major Life Change

    Going through a major life change can have strong effects on your emotional, physical, and mental well-being, whether good or bad. It’s difficult to know how to move forward after such a change, especially if it involved the death of a loved one, a divorce, or a move to a new and unfamiliar town, because those events can alter us in unexpected ways. However, it’s important to learn how to cope and make those changes work for you, even if it seems like it’s in a limited way at first. Taking this opportunity to better yourself or your life can help you heal following such a major transition, and using holistic wellness techniques can have a major positive impact on your overall well-being.

    Here are some wonderful holistic approaches to wellness after a significant life change.

    Get organized

    Getting a divorce or making a big move can be extremely stressful; however, if you look at it as a chance to declutter and get organized, you’ll actually be helping to improve your mental state. Holding onto physical items from the past can keep you from moving forward, especially if there are strong memories attached to them. Go through your belongings and make a keep pile, a trash pile, and a donate pile, and think hard about what you want to keep. Letting go of some of those things — and perhaps finding a good home for them somewhere else — can help you move on after a major life change. Remember that you don’t have to get rid of everything; if there are several items that you don’t use much anymore but want to keep, consider boxing them up to go through at a later time when things have slowed down a bit and the task doesn’t feel as overwhelming.

    Give back

    Helping others can have a huge positive impact on your mental health and emotional well-being, and the time period following a big change in your life is one of the best times to get involved. You can use your own experiences to make a difference in the lives of others; for instance, if you lost a loved one to cancer, you might start a nonprofit that raises awareness about the disease, or sell your artwork and give the proceeds to a local hospice. Think about the best ways you can get involved in your community.

    Treat your body and your spirit right

    Many life changes bring stress and anxiety or even depression, so it’s important to focus on your health and use the time immediately following to get serious about the well-being of your body, mind, and soul. Daily exercise helps tremendously with stress and anxiety and can help you get into shape, if that’s what you’re after. Eating well-balanced meals with plenty of dark leafy greens is a good idea, too, as is getting enough rest. This can sometimes be easier said than done when you’re going through a rough time, so establish a bedtime routine that includes relaxation, such as taking a hot bath or lighting a lavender candle. Take a break from the screens — computer, phone, and television — before bed as well, as this can help you sleep better.

    Eliminate toxic relationships

     Going through a period of change in your life means you can really get to know who your real friends are. The people who are there for you and support you unconditionally are the ones you should maintain relationships with; anyone who only contributes toxicity to your life should be let go. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good and who you feel good being around.

    Holistic health in addiction recovery

    Perhaps one of the biggest life changes someone can experience is beginning a path to sobriety after struggling with an alcohol or drug addiction. Holistic therapies, especially when combined with the above tips, can be extremely beneficial to those in addiction recovery. Acupuncture and hypnosis are therapeutic and cathartic, and patients may see benefits as early as their first session. Activities like yoga and meditation can be performed alone or with a group, and can help establish a lifelong mindfulness practice that will be helpful on the journey to long-term sobriety.

    Remember that you may need someone to talk to during this transition period, so consider seeking a counselor or therapist who can help you get through it. Reach out when you’re feeling low, especially if you think you might be suffering from depression.

    Author: Dana Brown