To purchase oils or learn more go to www.mydoterra.com/kathyskinnerBalance, The Grounding Blend – oil of grounding, promotes a whole-body sense of relaxation. Begin your day by putting doTERRA Balance on the bottom of your feet for less stress throughout the day.Basil – oil of Renewal, supports those under mental strain.Apply it to the temples and the back of the neck to reduce feelings of tension.Console, The Comforting Blend – oil of consolation,soothes emotional pain after periods of extreme stress. Smell directly from bottle or diffuse into room.PastTense, The Tension Blend – oil of relief, helps reduce stress and anxious feelings and provide for grounding and balance of emotions. Apply to temples and back of neck.Don’t have a Diffuser?Read my previous post for some natural “Stress Relieving Tips”Not all brands of essential oils are equal. Just because it may say ‘Pure’ on the label doesn’t mean it is, which is why I ONLY usedoTERRA Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils.Check them out at www.mydoterra.com/kathyskinner
Just about everyone experiences stress in one form or another on most days. It can be from an ongoing issue or just an independent occurrence. Most of us consider stress coming from a negative situation, however, even good or happy events can cause stress. Over the long haul, stress not only is damaging to our body, it also can take away our JOY! Here are a few stress relieving tips you can start using right away.
Take a Slow Deep Breath…and then, take a few more. Within 60 seconds, deep breathing sends signals to your brain to relax your nervous system, which tells your adrenal glands to stop pumping out the stress hormones, cortisol. As a bonus, deep breathing will also increases your oxygen levels in your bloodstream which gives you more energy.
Deep Breathing Exercise:
- Sit, stand or lie down in comfortable position with good posture.
- Gently take a slightly deeper breath than normal – it should feel natural & comfortable, not forced.
- Hold it without straining then exhale.
- Gently take a deeper breath into diaphragm region of upper abdomen; should feel stomach rising as inhale & lowering as exhale.
- Hold slightly & then exhale, be sure to exhale fully.
- Repeat for at least a minute.
Perform this routine periodically through out the day, remembering to keep posture straight. Slouching compresses your lungs which means you won’t get as much air.
Analyze Your Stress. Separate the things in your life that you find stressful into two categories: things you can do something about, and things you can’t. If you can do something about the stress causer, then do it! If there’s nothing you can do, then accept it and move on – Practice the art of the Law of Least Effort. Know that this moment is as it should be, accepting it as it is, not as I wish it to be. Every problem is an opportunity in disguise. ( from Deepak Chopra’s book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success get it HERE)
Monitor Your Negative Thinking Stress is often the result of fears that are based in our imagination. If you have this tendency, start replacing negative thoughts with positive thoughts. Just changing your attitude can actually alleviate a lot of stress.
Emotional Release Crying is an excellent stress reliever, especially if you have bottled up sadness and grief. Let your unresolved emotions roll down your cheeks and out of your life. Laughter is good medicine, too. Even if you are angry or depressed, just say ha ha hee hoo hoo. Soon, real laughter will come…and with it, joyful tension release.
Meditation One of the ultimate goals of yoga is rest—and simple, quiet meditation accomplishes this quite effectively.
- Sit with your head, neck, and trunk in alignment and your legs comfortably crossed.
- Observe the quiet flow of your breath for several minutes.
- Then practice soham meditation (pronounced “so-hum”).
- On each inhalation, mentally say ‘so’.
- On each exhalation, mentally say ‘hum’.
- Stay with this mantra for at least 5 minutes.
- If you are more spiritual centered you could say “Let God” or “Praise God”
It will help you become one with your inner being, and soon your stress will melt away.
Cultivate a Meditative Mind For example, When you walk, walk mindfully. Feel the cool grass under your feet. Notice your surroundings. Notice the brightly colored flowers, the beautiful trees, a single bird flying in the sky. By staying in the present moment, you will fall in love with your life. Then anything that touches you—even stress, anger, anxiety—becomes meditation.
Write it out. If you are having a hard time dealing, then journal it. Just be sure to end with some positives. Also, keeping a Gratitude Journal will help keep you focused on all the good in your life.
Take a Relaxation Break To prevent the buildup of stress, Spend at least 5 to 10 minutes in savasana (corpse pose) daily.
- Lie on your back with your legs and arms a comfortable distance from your torso.
- Close your eyes, and let your muscles melt into the floor.
- Then let the lungs do their job. Take a deep breath.
- Bring your attention to the sensation of the breath flowing in and out of your nostrils, and notice how the exhalation is slightly warm and the inhalation is moderately cool.
- If your mind wanders, gently bring your focus back to the breath. When thoughts arise, let them go.
This practice balances the nervous system and fosters a relaxed, clear state of mind.
Viparita Karani. (legs up the wall)
- Lay on the floor with your bottom next to a wall.
- While keeping your legs up the wall, elevate your pelvis on a bolster or folded blankets.
- 5 minutes does the trick for me
This pose stimulates the blood pressure sensors in the neck and upper chest, triggering reflexes that reduce nerve input into the adrenal glands, slow the heart rate, slow the brain waves, relax blood vessels, and reduces blood pressure.
Other Stress Relief Yoga Poses Shoulder stand (sarvangasana), plow pose (halasana), half spinal twist (ardha matsyendrasana), locust pose (shalabhasana), and lion pose (simhasana) Check out this site with photos for poses and more!
Get at least 7 or 8 hours of sleep at night. And if possible, don’t wake to a blaring alarm clock since the noise causes a flood of stress hormones to be released.
Exercise regularly but don’t overdo. Exercise is a valuable release for pent-up stresses. Just Know your limits and don’t over exercise, since it can cause stress on the adrenals.
Bath of Ginger & Baking Soda for Quick Relief.
- To a hot bath add
- 1/3 cup ginger or( 3 drops doTERRA Ginger Essential Oil)
- 1/3 cup baking soda
- Stir and get in
- (Then, even if you are not a singer, sing in the tub!
- Even if you’re not a dancer, dance with your arms. Spontaneous music and movement will help you get back in touch with your carefree side.)
The circulation-boosting effects of ginger and the alkaline properties of baking soda will counteract some of stress’s effects on your body.
I hope this gave you a few things to try right NOW!
Hugs, (another stress reliever)
Check out These 5 Essential Oils to help you feel Less Stress
The daffodils are blooming, tulips are poking up through the dirt and the grass is getting greener after it winter dormancy. Yes, Spring is in the air. With the sun shining more days, you may be feeling the nudge to get outside. Go with your instinct, get out for a walk. Better yet make it your new daily Springtime activity!
March 30th is ‘Take a Walk in the Park Day’. The American Heart Association has dedicated April 6th as ‘National Walk Day’. The entire month of May is ‘National Walk Month’. Are you getting the hint? Need a few more incentives? Here’s a list of some of the benefits of walking that might give you some more encouragement:
- It Can Help Curbs Diabetes According to the American Diabetes Association you can begin with a 5 minute slow-paced saunter, stretch for ten minutes, followed by a walk at moderate pace. The idea is to do something everyday building upon it to a longer and/or faster pace.
- It Lowers Risk of Cardiovascular Problems A study by the Harvard Medical School revealed walking 20 minutes day can alleviate the risks of cardiovascular ailments by 30%. It does this by enhancing the level of HDL (good) cholesterol, and curbing the production of LDL (bad) cholesterol.
- Helps Give Your Memory a Boost A recent study from the Boston Healthcare System discovered that adults who took around 10,000 steps or more daily performed better on memory tests than those who walked less.
- Helps in Preventing Cancer A Harvard University Women’s Health Study published their findings in 2012 that walking for 4 hours a week can possibly decrease the chances of cancer by almost 54%.
- It Helps to Reduce Stress. A five to ten minute walk can help to clear your head. The change of the scenery and focusing on breathing can help lower your cortisol, so your stress is lower. Researchers are discovering that surrounding yourself with nature can be one of the most powerful stress-relievers out there. According to a study in the journal, Environmental Science & Technology, researchers discover that people experienced the largest boosts to their mood and self-esteem after just spending five minutes outside. For even more stress relieving techniques while walking read Thich Nhat Hanh’s, A Guide to Meditation Walking.
- It Helps to Tone Your Butt and Thighs Many fitness professionals say that the ideal way to tone your thighs and butts is to walk as fast as you can. They suggest you try to squeeze your butt after every ten steps.
- It Helps to Improve Balance Studies have proven that walking on natural, uneven grounds, such as hiking trails and steps, reduces chances of slip and fall injuries in the elderly and enhances their balance.
- It Boosts Immune Function. All you need to do is walk for a half hour every day. This provides a boost to the cells in your body that are assigned to attack bacteria.
With all these benefits, walking is the foundation for good health and makes life better!
How about starting TODAY!
The time between Halloween and New Year’s Day can get overwhelming with all the things we feel obliged to do. In my two previous posts, De-Stressing the Holidays and De-Stressing the Holidays with Meal Shortcuts , I shared many of the things I do to make this time of year more enjoyable. Over the last several years I have been delving into essential oils and have found them to be amazing in bringing even more balance and harmony into my environment which helps me and those around me.
One of the many things I like about essential oils is that they do most of the work. All I have to do is open the bottle and put a couple drops into my diffuser or take a whiff from the bottle!
Here is a great gift for just about everyone any time of the year
Mix 1 cup Epsom Salts with 10 drops of your favorite essential oil(s) and store in a sealed jar. Tie it up with a bow for gift giving!
De-Stressing Essential Oils*
Cypress – encourages one to cast aside worries and let go of control so they can enjoy the thrill of being alive
Elevation, The Joyful Blend – assists in letting go of lower energy vibrations and can soothe the heart and balance emotions.
Geranium – is a great balancer, due to it being an adrenal cortex stimulant, & helps regulate moods. It creates a sense of security and comfort It is gently uplifting and balancing.
Lavender – calms the insecurities that are felt when one risks their true thoughts and feelings.
Lemon – improves one’s ability to focus, restoring energy and mental flexibility
Lime – instills courage and joy in the heart and reminds one to be grateful for the gift of life.
Roman Chamomile – restores one’s confidence to do what they came to do
Serenity, The Resting Blend – assists to calm feelings of hostility, fear, anger, jealousy, rage and resentment
Ylang Ylang – assists those feeling over-stressed and helps restore joyfulness
*NOTE – Not all essential oils are of the purity which is why I ONLY purchase from one brand, doTERRA Certified Pure Theraputic Grade Essential Oils. If you would like to learn more and/or purchase at Wholesale pricing, contact me, Kathy@kathyskinner.com
This is a great diffuser to bring those up lifting aromas into yorur home or office. I’ve had mine for over 2 years and love it! Get it HERE
Blessings for a wonderful Holiday Season,
We are just about half way into the year and a good time to check in on those New Year Health Goals you made. I hope you are still working on them. But maybe things aren’t coming along so well. After the initial gung-ho and the first results, it is sometimes hard to stay motivated. This especially happens when the positive results are not showing themselves as much or maybe not at all! There can be lots of reasons for the plateau.
Below you will find a check list to help you with conquering plateaus and getting back on track. The list can be applied to any ‘Healthy Habit’ Goal you have set up for yourself, from physical, emotional, to relationships and more.
Plateau Check List
What Goal did you set for yourself? ________________________
Ask yourself these three questions:
- “What am I doing?” _______________________________________
- “What’s working?” _______________________________________
- “What isn’t working?” _______________________________
Tips to Break Through the Plateau and Get Back on Track
- Be accountable to yourself. Keep an ACTIVITY JOURNAL. Write down what are you doing? Eating? Feeling? Why do you suppose you are or aren’t doing what you said you wanted to do?
- Revisit your “WHY”. What good results will you get by developing this ‘Healthy Habit’?
- Find a ‘Healthy Habit BUDDY’. Set up check-in dates to encourage each other on your progress. Knowing you have to tell someone that you spent 20 minutes walking or clearing out closet clutter will help to keep you on track. My Buddy ___________________________
- Change up your routine a bit. If packing your lunch and snacks for the day isn’t happening every morning then switch it to the evening before, preferably when making dinner. This way you can stay more on track with your goal to cut expenses and/or unhealthy eating. What needs to change up? Changes to make _______________________________________
- Have you been calendaring the ‘little’ activities to do that will get you to your goal? I love this quote from John Alder -“If you want to accomplish something big, PUT IN ON YOUR CALENDAR. CONSIDER THAT IT’S NOT EVEN REAL UNTIL IT IS SCHEDULED.” What to calendar ________________________________
- Are you getting enough of the basic food groups? Protein? Fiber? Healthy Fats? Veggies? Water???? The body needs fuel to get things done! What foods to increase ____________________________
Foods to decrease______________________
- Are you getting 7-8 hours sleep most nights? Without adequate sleep, our hormone balance is off, making it harder to get the things done we need to do, react in a rational manner to situations that come up, to process our food and make good health decisions. How many hours am I averaging NOW? _______
- Are your goals realistic? Do they need a little tweaking? Maybe a goal needs to be pitched because it isn’t relevant anymore. What to tweak _______________, what to pitch _____________________________
Check out my Back to Basics blog post for more ways to get back on track.
Needing a little bit of help, encouragement? Contact me at Kathy@kathyskinner.com. I’m here for YOU!
We are now in the 2nd half of January, so how is your New Year coming out so far?
Are you part of the 5% still working toward their goals? Or are you in the 95%, those people who have made a New Years Resolution and have already broken it?
Most people don’t even make resolutions because they have been disappointed year after year on their lack of follow through.
That’s because so many of the times resolutions are just “wish lists”.
It is only natural that at the beginning of each New Year, people want a fresh start. If you have been ‘wishin an dreamin an hopin’ with out planning and taking action on that plan, then you are just dreaming. The nice thing about setting a goal and taking action on the plan towards achieving it, is that you can start ANYTIME! Yes, it is not too late!
Check out these 3 Things to Increase Your Goal Success
- Start focusing on WHY instead of focusing on WHAT
I think we are all pretty good at making plans. But it is the following through that is the real struggle. At the beginning, we are filled with excitement of the idea. As the weeks go by and we aren’t seeing the results we want, it can get really hard to keep on going. At least that is what happens to me if I don’t have a really STRONG WHY I AM DOING THIS!
So what is your WHY? Is it really a certain weight or dollar amount? Or is it really what that weight or money will get you, how you will feel? Like more energy, stamina to keep up with the kids, do more with family and/or friends, more emotional freedom. I have often told people to keep asking themselves why until they get an answer that makes them wan to cry. Then you know you got it!
Write it out in positive statements in the present tense, as if it is happening NOW! Read it, preferably out loud, morning and night. Some find making a ‘vision’ board a very helpful reminder.
- Focus on Adding the Right Things into your life instead of taking the wrong things away.
The idea is to increase the good things or habits so as to crowd out the not so good. One of the nice things about this is it reduces guilt. Guilt just adds more stress and bad feelings which aren’t very productive.
- Surround Yourself with Support
Surround yourself with good people who posses solid experience, sometimes family or close friends are not the best choice because it means you will be changing which will directly affect them. The more people you associate with (through being with or through CDs, books, presentations, etc.) who relate to your goals/dreams the more support you will get for those goals and dreams.
Need a little more help with setting and achieving your goals? Check out a previous blog on how essential oils and asking good questions can possibly do just that. Get it HERE
Achieving a goal is a process and it is in that journey that we really find success!
Blessings on all your efforts,
P.S. Leave a comments below on what you have found helpful towards reaching your goals. I always like hearing from you!
Picture yourself at the Holiday family gathering. You are so proud of yourself as you’ve managed to stay away from the wonderful assortment of appetizers and those creamy mash potatoes smothered in rich gravy. But then Aunt Nellie appears with her famous apple pie. You love her apple pie! So you have a bite to avoid offending her, and next thing you know, you’re back for seconds!
The holidays make it especially hard to deal with food distractions. There are so many triggers that can cause us to overeat or make unhealthy food choices. That’s why it’s important to understand your eating triggers and learn strategies to deal with them.
Here are a few common triggers and how to overcome them.
KNOWING WHY YOU CAVE
Family pressure: Many times you feel forced to eat foods because people keep putting it in front of you.
Why you cave: You don’t want to offend. Every family has “food pushers” who are hard to turn down, even for the most disciplined of us.
Solution: Learn to say no politely, such as “No thank you, I’ve had enough. Everything was delicious”, or “I couldn’t eat another bite. Everything tasted wonderful”.
If that’s not possible, get creative. Tell her, ‘I love your pie so much. I’m going to take some home with me.’ Then you have the option of throwing it away, giving it away, or dividing it into smaller portions and freeze to savor each separately later.
Social snacking: At a party, you make multiple trips to the cheese & cracker tray and the dessert tray and drink too much wine – like everyone else there.
Solution: Sit down, away from all the goodies. When you move around at parties you tend to graze more and lose track of what you’re eating.
Another tactic: Eat a healthy meal or snack with Protein in it before you go to the party so you’re less inclined to overindulge, and drink 2 glasses of water before having each alcoholic or high calorie beverage.
Cleaning your plate: Why you cave: If I want dessert, Mamma says I have to eat everything on my plate.
Solution: Remember YOU are now in charge of YOU and YOUR BODY. You get to decide what you are and what you are not going to eat!
What to do Before, During & After the Gathering
- Eat a healthy breakfast if your Thanksgiving meal will be at lunch. Eat a healthy breakfast and lunch if you’re meeting for supper. Portion control will be easier this way.
- Drink your water. Recent studies found that when people drink more water throughout the day; they end up eating fewer total calories. Water and water-rich foods can help you feel full longer. Keep a cup of water in hand at parties, sip water between bites, and meet your daily quota to help prevent overeating.
- Work out before the big meal. If your health club is closed, why not take the dog for a brisk walk? Even vacuuming the floors or shoveling snow can get your heart rate up. Working out up to 90 minutes before the meal will help keep your metabolism raised for at least four hours and your body will be able to process the meal more efficiently.
- BEFORE you arrive have a glass of water, a protein rich snack and/or take a ThermoBond tablet. (They help lower fat absorption. Get them HERE)
- When you get to the gathering. Be social! Greet everyone BEFORE you have any food or drink. And don’t stand around the food table. Focus your energies on making conversation with others instead of focusing on the food. Remember conversation is calorie-free.
- Be wise when choosing appetizers. A small portion of some appetizers may help you from overeating at dinner. Pick up a small plate, and stick with vegetables, but limit or avoid the creamy dips. Restrict your intake of butter crackers, chips, cheese and meats. If you must have a deep-fried appetizer, eat only one small serving. Never go back for seconds for appetizers.
- Filling your Plate. Put the turkey or meat (size of deck of cards) in center of the plate with a little potatoes & gravy on top. Add a SMALL spoon of everything else around the edge. This keeps everyone happy that you took their special dish. If you don’t care for something, don’t eat it. PLAY with it. Only get another spoon of what you REALLY like BEST. YES, you should have food left on your plate. After all, you need to save room for a SMALL piece of dessert!
- Slow down. Savor your food and the experience of eating. You’ll eat less, feel more satisfied, and recognize feelings of hunger before it’s too late.
- The Day After. Drink plenty of water (1/2 your body weight in ounces of water)
- Next 3 Days eat less especially sugary & fatty foods
No moderation + No planning = Weight Gain
Set your goals, make a plan, and write everything down. If you want to maintain your weight, then identify the events that you might be at risk for this holiday season. If you have a gathering to attend, write down your strategies (see the above list). Review your strategies each day so you will know what to do when a temptation appears!
Many blessings on you as you celebrate this wonderful time of year,
Anyone willing to make a comment about a major reason why you might find it difficult to manage your weight during holidays?