Unplug And Unwind For A Healthy Lifestyle…

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to take a camping trip near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) to unplug and unwind and enjoy some beautiful, pristine country with my family. With our pop-up camper in tow, vehicle stuffed with camping gear and the dogs, we left to meet our daughter and her family for a long weekend of fun and relaxation.

It had been years, since I was up this way and I somehow forgot how breath-taking and peaceful this area in Northern Minnesota really is. If you’ve never visited and enjoy the great outdoors, I would highly recommend it. It is a great place to get back to nature, unplug from technology and the media, get away from the busyness of daily life and feed your spirit to create balance.

Speaking of unplugging from technology and the media, did you know that “we are exposed to more stimuli in one week than our ancient ancestors were exposed to in their entire lifetime?”¹ That’s a little scary. Many people today have a hard time breaking away from all of the news and media, which is unfortunate and unhealthy. In fact, “one of the most powerful things you can do as a human being in our hyper-connected, 24/7 media world is say: ‘I don’t know, or I don’t care in regards to what’s happening all over the world all of the time.'”² If you missed a little more news you would probably feel less anxious, sleep better and over-all feel a whole lot better.

That was one good thing about this camping trip, we were all forced to unplug and be more present with each other, which is something we all can work on.  In this area, even if you bring your cell phone, you can’t really use it a whole lot. It is hard to get service, so forget about catching up on the latest social media posts. I brought my cell phone along on the hiking trails and down by the lake, but only to capture some of the gorgeous scenery.

We all need time away from technology to unplug and unwind and reconnect with ourselves to rejuvenate our mind and body. In my new book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living, I talk a little about self care and how renewing your energy is a necessity. We all need time to get away from our daily routines and work life. Even if you can’t get away from work, or don’t have the time built-up for a vacation, there are plenty of other ways you can unplug and unwind in your daily life. After a long day at work, why not get outside and enjoy a nice, long walk? You can also take in a yoga class or get a massage to relax your mind and body. If you live by a lake, why not go for a boat ride, take out your paddle board, go for a bike ride around it, or just sit quietly and take in the calming affects of the water? There are many options. The important thing is to get away and out of your regular routine. Oh—and make sure you leave your cell phone behind, or at least turn it on silent!

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Source:

¹Brian Johnson’s Philosophers Notes—The Daily Stoic. http://www.entheos.com/philosophersnotes/notes/all/The Daily Stoic, pg 4

²¹Brian Johnson’s Philosophers Notes—The Daily Stoic. http://www.entheos.com/philosophersnotes/notes/all/The Daily Stoic, pg 3

Rest, Relax And Rejuvenate…

Most of us live in a society where things always seem to be go, go, go! More, bigger, better, and faster are words many of us have adopted in regards to work, and lifestyle. While many of us have more things and a better life-styles than that of our parents, or those of a generation ago, why is it that more people feel unfulfilled and stressed and what is the solution?

Many people have demanding jobs and are required to juggle multiple things throughout a day. Many people also skip breakfast and are on the run from the time they wake, to the time they get home. Others skip lunch and may run from one meeting to another. We also live in a society where we are being constantly bombarded with information, from e-mails, to texts, to social media, and often feel like we just can’t keep up. It is no wonder many people wake up tired, instead of refreshed.

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While we all have stress in our lives, from work, children, family, household chores, etc., there are ways to control it and make it less frequent.

I recently came across the article, “Secrets to a Stress-Free Life,” that shared the story of Kathleen Hall, a famed stress expert that I found interesting.  She developed a “powerful but surprisingly simple mantra—SELF, an acronym for serenity, exercise, love, and food and started teaching it to others to great effect. These ‘four roots of happiness’ may seem almost too easy, but she insists they have a centering effect in even the worst of circumstances.”¹ Taking and making time for serenity helps us meditate and be one with ourselves and nature. It helps us to be in the moment and helps reduce stresses in our lives. Exercise helps the mind, as well as the body. Exercise helps to release endorphin’s in the brain, which in turn help us to feel good and have a better outlook. Love and friendships help to nurture our soul. They promote well being by giving us a connection to others. Nourishing food helps sustains us. Keep in mind that food is fuel. We all need to choose foods that give us energy and provide nutrients for the body, such as fruits and vegetables and foods that are of the earth. Food preparation can also be a means to share and gather with friends and family.

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While we will never be able to get rid of stress entirely from our lives, we can certainly try to change the ways we react to it and find more ways to rest, relax and rejuvenate our lives.

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Following are a few tips I wanted to share from the article:

Secrets To A Stress-Free Life:
by: Kathleen Hall

  1. Start Small—Relax into your day. Start with a small change such as a new morning habit, trying a new food for the day, etc.
  2. Connect—Put love and friendship first in your life. Try and make  it a habit to schedule time with others. Often times, feeling connected helps prevent health problems down the road.
  3. Focus on now—Try to focus on one task at a time and be mindful of what you are doing. Being in the present moment helps us to avoid stressful situations.
  4. Write it out—To help release negative thoughts, grab a pen and paper to write them down. Taking this action step will often help to release the negativity.
  5. Practice gratitude—Take at least 5 minutes each day to give thanks for all of the gifts in your life.
  6. Walk Softly—Often times when we are stressed, we walk with firmer steps. Try walking softly, or slower to help calm the mind.
  7. Take stock—Make a list of things that bring joy to your life and then make another list of things that drain you  and your energy. Compare the two lists and contemplate how you can add in things to increase joy.
  8. Love your commute—Use your travel time to work on your patience skills. Use deep calming breaths to help yourself relax and enjoy your time for thoughts.
  9. Try a mini-meditation—Memorize a three to five word phrase, or mantra that you repeat when you are feeling stressed, or keep a peaceful image, or photo near by to reflect upon.
  10. Own the news—Tune into the news only when you want to get more information about a certain topic. Don’t dwell on the negativity in the news, but instead try to send positive thoughts and prayers to those in need. Help out in situations where  you can make a difference, otherwise let information go.

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Source:
¹”Secrets To A Stress Free Life. http://www.marthastewart.com/266809/secrets-to-stress-free-life