Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Art of De-Stressing

The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.  ~William James

Stress: We cannot live with or without it. One of the challenges of life is balancing insufficient stress, (boredom), with too much pressure. I thought it would be helpful to write a post about some of the most helpful ways that I have found to manage stress. I hope reading this brings you a sense of calm, peace and serenity. Namaste.

1. Comedy: On average adults laugh 15 times a day, compared to children that laugh 400 times a day. Find something funny..just find a reason to laugh.

2. Set realistic expectations for yourself. If you are having a rough day, outline the accomplishments that you achieved on a good day, recognize your strengths and give yourself grace.

3. Forgive others and carry less grudges. When we choose to hold on to anger and resentment we punish ourselves the most.

4. Set a schedule and optimize your time. The routine and order will bring a sense of regulation.

5. Don't dwell on the past or anticipate tomorrow's "what might happen". Live in the present moment and focus on the day at hand.

6. Take a time out each day to relax: Take a warm bath, go for a walk, read a book, or listen to some music.

7. Do something for another person that can never repay you. It is proven that giving increases happiness.

8. Talk about your worries with another. Reach out and ask for support.

9. Do your best and let go of the facade of perfectionism.

10. Get a good night's sleep.

11. Eat healthy, nutritious meals and get some exercise.

12. Clean and organize your living environment. Chaos and disorganization leads to higher stress levels.

13. Get a massage or relax in a jacuzzi to unwind muscles.

14. Drink enough water and water and stay hydrated.

15. Practice meditation and yoga or Tai Chi.

16. Practice progressive muscle relaxation and deep breathing exercises.

17. Incorporate aromatherapy: it only takes 2 seconds for aroma to enter the brain and reduce physical and emotional stressors.

18. Drink some soothing herbal tea.

19. Eat chocolate: it contains theobromine and phenylethlamine antidepressants that are believed to trigger the release of neurochemicals that give us a natural high.

20. Take herbal supplements like St. John's Wort and Kava Kava.

21 Lastly, visualize places of peace and serenity..choose positive thoughts and conversations. Allow yourself to pace the stimuli that you take in.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Activities for Small Children

" The time has come,"
The Walrus said,
"to talk of many things: Of shoes-
and ships- and
sealing wax- Of
cabbages- and
kings..."
- Lewis Carroll

I thought it would be fun to compile a list of some of my favorite activities for small children. I hope it inspires creativity and imagination to your day. Hope, love and peace. Namaste.

1. Read some classic poetry to your child..I love "There Was a Child Went Forth" by Walt Whitman.

2. Watch a classic movie like "Charlotte's Web".

3. Make homemade rice pudding with tea for an evening treat.

4. Bake some homemade cookies.

5. Listen to some classical music and have your child paint or draw while listening to it.

6. Blow some bubbles.

7. Bake homemade banana bread.

8. Make homemade play-dough and play with cookie cutters.

9. Get some music instruments for kids, put on some music and play "band".

10. Make paper airplanes.

11. Make some soothing homemade soup.

12. Have an indoor picnic on a blanket and toast marshmallows over a candle.

13. Plant some grass seed indoors and watch it grow for a reminder of Spring.

14. Make homemade pizza.

15. Have a puppet show.

16. Look at pictures with your child of when they were younger.

17. Make homemade cupcakes and let your child frost and decorate them.

18. Play "dress up" with vintage clothes.

19. Make "potato stamps" for an art project.

20. Have  a dance party..put on some music and "jam".

Friday, January 27, 2012

Ways to Warm up the Winter


"You'd be so lean, that blast of January
Would blow you through and through.  Now, my fair'st friend,
I would I had some flowers o' the spring that might
Become your time of day."
-  William Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale, Act IV Scene 4 

By the end of January, "Winter doldrums" set in for many people. I thought it would be fun to compile a list of fun activities to do at home that can brighten up a cold day. Wishing you all warmth, happiness, peace and love. Namaste.

1. Buy a beautiful journal and take some time to record your inner thoughts.

2. Schedule a facial or do a home facial, (I like to do Dr. Hauschka facials at home).

3. Make hot chocolate the French way: Break some Swiss chocolate into pieces and melt it in a saucepan over low heat. Slowly add milk, while stirring and simmer gently for 5 minutes before serving.

4. Bake some homemade bread.

5. Renew friendships: schedule lunch with someone or call someone you have not connected with in awhile.

6. Get a manicure/ pedicure.

7. Plan a pajama party for one: Rent a great classic movie. Put on some warm flannel pajamas and settle into bed with a tray table of yummy snacks.

8. Get a make-up lesson at a department store.

9. Go to an art museum.

10. Go the Zoo and enjoy the indoor exhibits.

11. Add a healthy new vegetable to your repertoire.

12. Go for an outdoor hike.

13. Take a day off and spend it with a new book, a cashmere throw, herbal tea, and a fire or candles.

14. Exercise for at least an hour..no matter how you feel.

15. Edit your wardrobe.

16. Drink homemade lemonade with honey.

17. Buy some indoor plants to bring nature into the home.

18. Read some inspiring poetry.

19. Take a dance lesson.

20. Try a hot-stone massage with warm oil.

21. Take a decadent bubble bath.

22. Eat some food with a little spice.

23. Make a dinner with food that reminds you of Summer, (i.e. grilled seasoned fish).

24. Write a letter to someone on beautiful stationary.

25. Re-read a favorite book from childhood.