Welcome to the DW Healing Arts Be Well series of wellness tips for January 2016. Each day I will highlight a card from my Balance Resource Cards decks. The wellness resources will help you bring balance to your body, mind and spirit if used on a regular basis.
Take a moment right now, and practice today's wellness tip as you read this. Grab your journal, turn off your phone, find a quiet place without interruptions and set a timer for 20 or 30 minutes. This is time you are investing in yourself. You are worth it.
Give yourself permission to balance your life.
May you Be Well! Love, Deanna
Studies show that 5 – 10 minutes of meditation and deep breathing a day can significantly reduce the impact of stress and improve your health and well-being. There are many ways to meditate. The goal of meditation is to switch from doing something to simply being present in the moment.
I enjoyed having a tea break when traveling in Great Britain. It's a habit I wish we had here in the United States. I wait for the tea kettle to boil, while I select my tea bag. Sometimes I choose green tea, sometimes herbal tea and occasionally Jasmine tea. I allow the tea to steep for 5 - 10 minutes, so it is strong.
A cup of tea in a secluded spot provides a short meditation pause from your normal daily rush and helps increase your productivity. Savor each sip as your body relaxes. Try different herbal teas for their various health benefits.
I sometimes drink "Healer Tea" from Nuwati Herbals, when I feel a cold developing. It is a very powerful blend of herbs that boosts your immune system. One sniff of the bottle will have you sneezing and clear your sinuses before you even take your first sip! I add a bit of local honey and am soon feeling better. Sometimes I use my juicer to enjoy a combination of fresh ginger, a whole lemon and local honey to sooth a sore throat.
Whether you take a coffee break or a tea break, I hope you savor the warmth and enjoy the mini-pause in your routine.
"Somehow Jesus, I like prayer with a cup of coffee in my hands. I guess the warmth of the cup settles me and speak of the warmth of your love. I hold the cup against my cheek and listen, hushed and still. I blow on the coffee and drink. Spirit of God, bow across my little life an let me drink in your great life." - Richard Foster in Prayers from the Heart (Harper-Collins:1994)
Massage is a great self care practice for your body. Many people hold tension in their neck, shoulders and back. Find someone trained in Massage or other bodywork techniques by checking online listings such as American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) or International Association of Healthcare Practitioners (IAHP). Schedule a professional massage on a regular basis for self care. Have your massage therapist show you how to stretch or rub sore areas.
It is important to take a break from your regular routine every hour to increase productivity and restore your posture. Meditation and breathing are just a few ways you can take a break. Some other ideas for a quick break include taking a walk, doing stretches, changing positions at your work station, taking a 10 minute power nap, planning a vacation or using the many ideas from your other Balance Resource Cards.
Begin your day by pausing in silence. Take a few deep breaths, then allow your breathing to return to normal. Take a moment to set some intentions for the day. Taking a moment for this simple practice is helpful for introverts.
Life often feels busy. When you pause during the day, you create a still point which helps to anchor you in a whirlwind of activity. Pausing allows you to listen and hear your quiet inner voice that cannot be heard over the constant activity and noise of daily life. It allows you to become present in the moment. As the brain chatter and stream of thoughts slow down, you begin to notice what is happening within your inner landscape.
Life can be stressful. One way to relax your body, mind and spirit is to take a hot bath. Light some candles, turn on some quiet music and spend time letting go of the thoughts that bounce around in your head.
At the first sign of a cold, soak in a tub of warm water boost your immune system and eliminate toxins through your sweat glands. Pour 2 cups Epsom salts, 32 ounces hydrogen peroxide and a tea ball filled with 2 tablespoons of fresh grated ginger into your bath water. Soak for 20 minutes. Always get out slowly and moisturize your skin after you dry your body. Remember to drink fluids to re-hydrate as your body sweats out extra fluid with the toxins.
For a relaxing bath which can reduce muscle pain and relax tired muscles, try 1 cup Epsom salts, 1 cup baking soda and 10 - 20 drops of an essential oil such as lavender or vanilla. Soak for 15 to 20 minutes, then slowly get out of the tub, dry off, moisturize your skin and drink plenty of fluids.
Pamper yourself with a hot bath!
Studies show that your body contains a significant amount of water. It is important to drink purified water each day to keep your body well hydrated, to keep it functioning in top shape. Even if you drink other fluids throughout the day, your body still needs the hydration from pure water.
Drink room temperature water when possible, as it absorbs best. Avoid ice water and cold foods that shock the spleen and stomach muscles, which slows down digestion. Cold smoothies and protein shakes can also be a shock to your body. Try adding a cup of warm green tea at the end of the blending process to avoid extreme temperatures. Infuse room temperature water with lemon slices, cucumber slices and/or mint leaves for a refreshing flavor.
While some people do not like to drink fluids because of the frequent trips to the bathroom. However, the exercise gained from walking to and from the bathroom is a good way to build in regular breaks from your work. Urine should be fairly clear when you are well hydrated.
You may also want to consider the container you use for drinking. It is best to use a "green" container that is reusable and BPA free to avoid harmful toxins.
Gratitude boosts your immune system and elevates your mood. Check out Soul Pancake's study on Gratitude and their inspiring video responses. When people write a list of things they appreciate about a person, their happiness increases. Those who go a step further and actually tell the person why they appreciate them, the participant's gratitude levels multiply significantly.
Keep a daily journal with three things you are thankful for. Make an ongoing list of 100 or perhaps even 1000 things you are grateful for. Post your lists where you see them frequently to foster a positive attitude all day long. You may wish to say a prayer of thanksgiving to the Divine.
What are three things you are grateful for today?
If you haven't read Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv, I highly recommend it. There is growing evidence to prove what we already knew intuitively, that nature improves our overall health and well-being.
Spend time in nature for 20 minutes each day boost vitality of body, mind and spirit. Relax under a shade tree, feed the local birds, canoe on a lake, photograph the landscape, take your pet for a walk or enjoy gardening. Exercise in nature for an added boost to your energy level with activities such as cross country skiing in the winter and swimming in the summer.
If you don't have a place to enjoy nature close by your home, bring nature indoors to elevate your mood and feel a connection to the outdoors. Enjoy the sound of a water fountain or wind chimes. Buy a bouquet of fresh flowers. Purchase music with nature sounds in the background. Open your window for fresh air.
What are your favorite ways to spend time in nature?
The easiest way to maintain your health and build your energy reserves is by eating foods which transfer its original essence/energy to your body. Foods that are closest to their natural state are healthier than foods that are highly processed or have less of their original essence. You already know fresh organic foods are very healthy for you. A fresh apple will replenish your energy reserves much more quickly than a handful of potato chips. The apple has a higher percentage of it's original essence in it. Potato chips that are deep fried and highly processed have very little of the original essence of the potato they were made from. When eating, try to choose the healthier options when possible.
DW Healing Arts
Balance Resource Cards
Mind Body Spirit