Healthy Living

Spiritual Wellness

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Today at work I am sharing with my colleagues information on spiritual wellness. First I must say this is not a strong area for me, I do not have much spirituality in my life. I am a non-believer so I don’t have religion and I don’t normally take time to connect with myself, which I should learn to incorporate into my overall wellness. I have to remember that spiritual wellness, doesn’t have to mean religion.

Spiritual Wellness is a personal matter involving values and beliefs that provide a purpose in our lives. Spiritual Wellness is different for everyone, for some it is about religion, for others it is about self-reflection and self-awareness.

Tips for Spiritual Wellness

  1. Journaling helps you clarify your thoughts and feelings, get to know yourself better, reduce stress and help you problem solve. Obviously I like to blog but I wouldn’t say it counts towards my spiritual wellness, for that I need to write without a censor, which isn’t really what this blog is about…

    If you want to journal but don’t know how to get started, look online for some writing prompts, I found some good ones here.

  2. Try yoga. Yoga is a physical technique that can help improve your spiritual wellness by reducing emotional and physical strains on your mind and body. Yoga is taught at all different levels and can help lower stress, boost the immune system, and lower blood pressure as well as reduce anxiety, depression, fatigue, and insomnia.
  3. Take time to meditate. While managing your time and daily tasks can be hard, it is crucial to devote time to connecting with yourself. Whether in the morning when you wake up, during your lunch break, or before you go to sleep, take five to 10 minutes to meditate each day. Here are some great apps for your smartphone to help with your own meditation, I am going to try one today.
Healthy Living

Physical Wellness

Physical wellness involves aspects of life that are necessary to keep yourself in top condition. Optimal physical wellness is developed through the combination of beneficial physical activity/exercise and healthy eating habits. Components of physical wellness include building muscular strength and endurance, cardiovascular strength and endurance and flexibility.

Are you engaged in physical wellness in your life? Do you have an established exercise routine and get an adequate amount of sleep?

Physical wellness is a cornerstone to your overall wellness. Not only does exercise improve your physical well-being, studies have shown exercises improves mood, cognitive function and quality of sleep. Sleep is also a key factor in your physical well-being. Sleep, or lack of, affects our bodies from an increase in inflammation, reduced immunity, depression, weight gain and raised cortisol (stress hormone).

Here are some tips to increase physical activity at work.

  1. Stand instead of sitting, this burns more calories – want a little extra burn, get an aerobic step for your desk do some steps or calf raises while working.
  2. If you do sit, sit on an exercise ball at your desk, instead of a chair (this builds core strength).
  3. Keep some small hand weights at your desk
  4. Get up and walk around after sitting for 30 minutes
  5. Stretch!

Can you do this??

stretch

Healthy Living

Environmental Wellness

We may not think much about Environmental Wellness as part of an overall wellness plan, but our environment and how we feel about it can have a huge impact on the way we feel overall. Environmental wellness refers to one’s relationship to their surroundings that affect overall wellness.

I shared some information with my co-workers about how to Feng Shui their desk ti improve their environmental wellness. Feng shui (pronounced “fung shway”) is the ancient Chinese practice of arranging physical objects to attract positive energy. It’s based on the idea that everything in a person’s surrounding environment affects his or her inner life.

One of the basic tools for a feng shui is the bagua map. It’s a nine-part grid depicting the different areas of a space and how they correspond to different areas of life.

 

Does it work? I don’t know, I can’t hurt to try, maybe the psychological benefit alone makes it work, who knows.

Read more about Feng Shui here .

Healthy Living

National Wellness Week

A while back I joined the wellness committee at work. I did this when I was taking my wellness course for my degree and I realized that I was enjoying sharing wellness tips that I have learned with others.

This week is National Wellness Week, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and at work I am sharing information daily about the eight dimensions of wellness.

Wellness is not just about physical wellness, or emotional wellness? There are actually eight dimensions of wellness that encompasses the whole person. I to share what I have learned here on my blog as well, so I will be adding a new post daily all week about a different aspect of the wellness wheel.

wellness-wheel

Healthy Living, Purehaven Essentials

Living Naturally

Since being diagnosed with an autoimmune condition, I have become focused on healthy living, which includes the products I put on my skin and use in my home. No one yet understands what exactly causes MS or other autoimmune diseases, except that it is some sort of environmental factor to those who are genetically predisposed.

The American Autoimmune Related Disease Association (AARDA) state that 50 million Americans suffer from autoimmune disease! Researchers have identified 80-100 different autoimmune diseases and suspect at least 40 additional diseases of having an autoimmune basis. These diseases are chronic and can be life-threatening, this is crazy and unacceptable.

What can we do about it?

Well, in my opinion we have to go back to times when we weren’t putting toxic chemicals into and on our bodies. Most people have learned to read labels on the food they eat; however, it’s equally important to become ingredient detectives when choosing personal care and home products, which is why I am so happy to have been introduced to the Purehaven Essentials line of personal and home care products.

All of their products are free of harmful chemicals. Their formulations are based on as many natural, plant-based, wild crafted and certified organic ingredients where possible.

Check it out for yourself, let me know what you think.

PUREhaven Essentials

 

 

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Wellness at Work

My job requires me to be at my desk all day. I am grateful that my workplace values wellness and has equipped every office with desks that raise to standing height, so I spend much of my day standing.

I found a way to keep myself entertained at work while trying to stay active. I grabbed  four of reams of copy paper and stacked them two up, side-by-side. I am using them for calf raises and for step ups.

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It could be a tad higher for step ups but I risk the paper shifting and me falling down, which would likely be frowned upon by HR in the instance of a workplace injury. I’ve decided I need to purchase a fitness stepper for my office. I have purchased some resistance bands that I intend on using, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet.

Over the next two months I am going to really try to improve the strength in my legs and my cardio capacity for a hiking trip that I have planned in August. I am looking forward to climbing the tallest mountain in Maine, something I have always wanted to do. Once I got my MS diagnosis I knew I needed to make it a priority, while I am doing fine now, the uncertainty of this condition is always at the back of my minds.

 

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When you’re out of the groove

I wanted to write this post about how to get re-motivated when you’ve lost your spark, but sadly I don’t actually have any advice to give as I am trying to discover this myself.

I have been away from my general fitness lifestyle routine and all social media for a little while due to multiple changes and stressors in my life that I am dealing with.

I’ve mentioned before, I recently moved, which has been great, I am loving the new place. I am now in the throws of what is looking like is going to be a complicated divorce. It’s not fun, its greatly affected many aspects of my life and has many things difficult.

My father passed away sort of unexpectedly a couple of weeks ago and that too has really thrown me off my game. I’ll admit that I have felt the ugly feeling of depression of the past month or so and it’s really wearing down on me.

I know what I need to do. I need to again look to exercise and helping others as my passion. I need to get back to the gym and start slow and remember that It is good for my physical and mental well-being.

Next week I start two new classes, Wellness and Introduction to Community Health. Both of these are in line with my goals and should be very helpful and informative. I’ve also joined my company’s Wellness Committee; I am looking forward to making Wellness a cornerstone of my life once again.

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Whatever it is, it is working

Today I met with my neurologist to go over my MRI results from a couple of weeks ago. The exam was brief, he poked me in the face with a broken tongue depressor like he normally does, yep still numb, he took some vitals and then we reviewed my scans, which I requested a copy of and I am excited for them to come in.

I truly think the human body and health technology is fascinating. I think about how someone could have discovered the use of a magnet to look at the insides of things and what they were doing when they discovered it, was it by accident, were they trying to do something else, like so many interventions and medicines that have been developed. I’ll have to look it up to satisfy my thirst for knowledge.

The absolutely wonderful news is that my MS has not progressed. The MRI of my brain revealed that there are no new lesions and no worsening lesions. The MRI of my cervical and thoracic spine indicated no lesions still. Part of the report reads that the small subtle lesion seen in the right cerebellar hemisphere is seen, but does seem to be less conspicuous. What does that mean, does it mean that it is healing? Well, maybe or maybe not. It is possible that the lesion was active during my last MRI and is now calm.

Either way, I am happy. I believe that the combination of my healthy eating, exercise and my disease modifying drug, Copaxone is working for me. I am one of the few women who did not have a post-natal flare and I do not need to see my neurologist for another year, unless something changes.

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Are we over-medicalized? 

I wanted to share this interesting TED talk I watched for my Healthcare Economics class.

In the talk Ivan Oransky, a health reporter for Reuters Health discusses the culture of our healthcare in which we are medicalizing every aspect of our lives. He points out that there is a “pre” condition for everything right down to pre-acne and we are spending trillions of dollars on healthcare, and people are dying. People are dying as a result of the treatments, not always the condition.

I have to agree with this. I think that we as a culture have this “fix-it’ mentality. We go to the doctor with something that is not right and we want it fixed. We want a pill or a treatment or something to do the job that sometimes a simple lifestyle change can fix. We are a society of quick fixes. Take a pill and be done with it.

We end up taking one medication to offset the side-effects of another medication, until we’re on a cocktail of medications for one or two issues.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not anti-medication at all. I believe that it has a place and is important in many situations; however, If we want to be healthier and reduce overall healthcare costs, we need to focus on lifestyle.