Posted in Holiday Posts

Looking for Some Stress Relief for the Holidays?

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving. I know I did. We had good food and it was great to see my family.

I enjoy the holidays, but they can be stressful. From trying to prepare food, shop, and get togethers, the holidays can zap the positive energy out of anyone. I’ve put together a list of stress relievers I use to get my yin and yang back on track.

 

  1. Go for a walk. Just getting out in the fresh air and walking for a little while does me a world of good. I usually go at least two miles so I can clear out all that negative mojo that’s been building up.

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  1. Read. Immerse yourself in a good book. Did you know reading for just six minutes can reduce your stress level by sixty eight percent? What a way to calm down. So next time you’re stressed pick up a good book. It’ll do you a world of good.

 

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  1. Get together with a friend. They say laughter is the best medicine, and I wholeheartedly agree. There’s nothing better than getting together with friends and sharing memories. It’s also a great way to deal with the stress of the holidays.

 

 

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  1. Work out. Any kind of exercise is a great way to deal with stress. I run, and when I can’t run outside, I run on a treadmill. Not as much fun, but just as effective in burning calories and giving you the runner’s high that’ll get you through the day.

 

  1. Hike. If you can get out into nature and hike, I recommend it. There’s something about being out in nature that is calming. In fact, it’s been scientifically proven that it’s beneficial for you. Check out my post on Forest-bathing, you’ll see there are health benefits from just walking in the woods. Forest Bathing

 Photo by EJP Photo on Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-SA

  1. Bubble baths. Nothing says stress relief like a bubble bath. Before I had kids, I’d take one after I ran. A double whammy of destressors, that’s for sure and some days I needed it.

 

  1. Get a Massage. I can’t stress this enough. Getting a massage is an excellent stress reliever. In fact, it’s one of my favorites. It’s a great way to relieve those aches and pains as well and it’s good for your body.

 

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  1. Binge watch a Netflix Series. This is a great way to relieve the angst the holidays can bring on. This is one of my favorite things to do especially when it’s cold and dark outside. There are many great series out there to watch. If you need a recommendation, just let me know.

 

 

  9.Go to a Movie. This is another way to get out of the house and relax. There’s             always at least one good movie playing at the theater and a great way to forget about the holidays for a couple of hours.

  1.  Coloring. I know it sounds crazy, but there’s research suggesting that coloring in those adult coloring books is an excellent way to relieve stress. I haven’t tried it yet, but it’s on my list of things to try.

 

So there you have it, ten great ways to relieve stress over the holidays. I have a few favorites that work best for me and I’m sure you do, too. What are your favorite stress relievers? Leave a comment and share, I’m always looking for new ways to relax!

 

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Posted in Health

The Benefits of Forest-Bathing

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a busy week. We went on a quick vacation to Tahquamenon Falls and had a good time. We hiked along the river and got some great pictures. I love getting out into nature, it’s so calming and good for you, too! Experts are calling it Forest bathing.

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I mentioned it last week in a post and I thought I’d dig a little deeper. Forest bathing originated in Japan where it is called Shinrin-Yoku. Why is walking through a forest beneficial for us?

That is a very good question. The reason traipsing through the woods is good for us is because we inhale phytoncides when we breathe in the forest. These are antimicrobial volatile compounds derived from trees.

 

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These phytoncides are released by the trees and plants as a defense mechanism against fungus, bacteria, and even animals. These compounds are good for humans as well. According to one study, they enhanced the destructive mechanism in our cells that kill the cell when its time has run out. It also enhanced the anti-cancer proteins production.  Now that is good news.

To put this in layman’s terms, breathing in phytoncides enhances our own natural defenses.  I think this is incredible. It supports the theory that we’re all connected, with each other, and with nature. Wouldn’t you agree?

Not only is forest bathing physically healthy it’s also psychologically good for us, too. It has been found to be advantageous to people who are dealing with chronic stress. I can attest to the stress-relieving benefits of walking through nature, but now I have scientific proof. Yay Me! For more info about this, check out this post from Huffington Post.

Huffington Post

It’s important in our hustle and bustle world that we teach our kids how to take care of themselves, and one of the things we need to teach them is how to decompress. Not only is forest bathing a great way to relieve stress, it’s a great way to reconnect with your family. It’s important to reconnect with our loved ones. It’s vital to everyone’s psychological health.

 

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So get out into the forest and get moving! It’s good for your body and your soul. Thanks for stopping by, I’d love to hear your thoughts on forest bathing so leave a comment. Or maybe you have other stress relieving habits you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you!

 

Posted in Future, Parenting

What Should We be Teaching our Future Generations?

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’m back today and I’m talking about some vital skills our future generations will need to survive on our planet.

 

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Our kids are going to inherit this messed up world we inhabit and they’ll inherit all the problems our greedy society has created in our quest for more. More money. More possessions. More power. More. More. More.

 

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The thing is we’re teaching our kids that striving for more is the only way to be. It’s not.  We need to teach our kids the concept of enough and the concept of balance.

 

Why?

 

Because being in Striver mode all the time is not good for our health.  If we continue in Striver mode and we continue to reproduce at the rate we are, we’ll soon be fighting over smaller and smaller space. We’ll be producing more trash and our landfills will overflow. This is a problem. By any chance did you see the movie “Wallie?” The Trailer is below.

 

 

In the movie, humans have to leave earth and move out into space into a floating world because earth is no longer able to sustain life. It’s covered in garbage and all the humans are too heavy to move or exercise. It’s an awesome movie and I’d recommend watching it with your kids if you get the chance.

That’s where our society is headed if we don’t start taking care of our planet and each other. Haven’t you heard? Obesity is an epidemic.

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We need to teach our kids to slow down and take care of themselves.  Because we’re in Striver mode, we eat fast food and processed food. We do this because it takes less time to prepare and gives us more time to work. What happens when we reach that pinnacle of success? We have more money than we ever dreamed of, but we can’t enjoy it because we don’t have our health.

 

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Sad.

We need to slow down and teach our children to garden and how to cook for themselves so they can control what they put in their mouths. By doing this, they control their health.

 

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  We need to teach our kids to be fair. We can do this by teaching them to empathize with their fellow man. Empathy? How do you teach that?  By encouraging a love of reading.  By reading about different characters, our kids step into their worlds and learn about them.

 

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The more knowledge and tolerance they have for others, the better they’ll be at getting along with their peers. A vital skill when space is becoming smaller and smaller, wouldn’t you agree?

Reading you say? Yes reading. It’s also an awesome coping mechanism when you’re dealing with stress. Just an FYI. 🙂 Sadly, it isn’t a cure-all. We need to teach our kids how to communicate, using I messages so they can resolve conflict without a lot of negative feelings.

These Negotiation Skills will be in high demand in the future.

How can we teach this? By having our kids interact with their peers. Don’t let them play video games all day long. Don’t let them use their phones as their only means of communication.  Arrange play dates and get them outside, playing games, and solving their own conflicts.

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Last but not least. Teach them a love and respect for nature. Walking in nature is good for you. It’s called “Forest Bathing.” This practice originated in Japan, and there’s scientific proof it’s beneficial. Something I’ve known for a long time, but didn’t know there was actual proof of it.

 

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“A 2010 research review found that forest environments promoted lower concentrations of cortisol, lower pulse rate, lower blood pressure, greater parasympathetic nerve activity, and lower sympathetic nerve activity than city environments. [6]

Forest environments have been found to be advantageous with respect to acute emotions, especially among those experiencing chronic stress.[7]

Nature isn’t just good for you, we as a species need the trees and the bees in order to survive. The bees are our biggest pollinators. Thirty percent of our food crop depend on them to grow and ninety percent of our wild plants depend on them to flourish. That’s a tall order for those tiny bees wouldn’t you agree?

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And trees? They provide oxygen. It takes TWENTY-TWO trees to provide enough oxygen for one person. There are 7.442 BILLION people on earth. That’s a lot of trees. Now do you see why it’s important to have a love and respect for nature?

 

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So there you have it.  My view on some of the essential skills our kids will need to survive on a shrinking planet. Are there any vital skills I’ve missed? Share your thoughts!  I’d love to hear from you!