Health

Aging Happily

Do you associate aging with pain/discomfort and a loss of mobility? I hear lots of comments like “my ____ hurts all the time but, let’s face it, I’m getting old,” or “Growing older is hell!” (Or, “not for sissies!”)

But does it have to be that way? Certainly our tissues do deteriorate as we age—they’re just not made to last forever. But what if we changed the way we THINK about aging—could it help us hurt less and move better?

Clinical psychologist and cultural anthropologist Mary Pipher says yes! In fact, she says, it is possible to age with joy. Here are 5 ways she recommends for beginning to shift our thinking and cultivate happiness:

  1. Accentuate the positive. Attitude is almost everything, and we can control how we react to the hand we’ve been dealt. Pipher says a good support network is critical—friends and family are like an emotional health insurance policy. Whether you have a book club, travel buddies, lunch group, or time with grandchildren, reaching out and spending time with people close to us can help us cope with challenges.
  2. Take action. Sometimes people with a terminal diagnosis are the ones most committed to living life to the fullest. Sometimes surviving something difficult makes us that much more resilient. Pipher states, “Part of what allows us to deeply appreciate our lives and savor our time is our past despair.” Finding purpose in our lives is beneficial, like volunteering or becoming an activist. But, it’s important to be realistic. “Our goals can be greater than our energy level,” Pipher acknowledges, and we shouldn’t let them become a burden.
  3. Reframe your story. We can get stuck re-telling tales of woe: difficult surgeries or illnesses, loss of loved ones, children moving away or relatives becoming distant. Rather than focusing on pain, tragedy and loss, Pipher says we can “train ourselves to think in stories that allow us to flourish.” Rather than rehashing the challenges, we can reflect on what we’ve learned and how we’ve grown from the experiences.
  4. Make peace with death. Pipher refers to a “death positive movement” which includes making hospice more accessible, and speaking more honestly to the dying about what is happening to them. The more prepared and informed we are, the better equipped we feel to deal with reality. Fear doesn’t help! Like dealing with a bad storm or other challenges, when faced with death and loss “often we discover surprising reserves of strength and courage,” Pipher writes.
  5. Be kind to yourself. We need to be true to ourselves, say no when we need to, and say yes to our own needs. With age comes the wisdom of self-awareness, and we can embrace being more authentic. “As we age, we gain perspective,” says Pipher, “hopefully a forgiving one of ourselves.” We can appreciate who we are, decide what we really desire and go for it!” We can also choose to help others let their light shine.

I learned that in Traditional Chinese Medicine, they believe that everything starts with an idea. We put energy toward the idea, and manifest it into reality. If you think you are hurting and stiff and there’s nothing you can do about it because it is simply a part of aging, you will probably continue to hurt and feel stiff. But, if you can work on coping skills—focusing on the positives like wisdom/perspective and your support network—and enjoy whatever activities are still realistic for you, you will very likely be motivated to move a little more, and you will hurt a little less. 

“And while we are reframing our own stories, we can also reframe the story of aging that society enforces and that minimizes everyone of a certain age.”

Source: https://considerable.com/5-things-to-be-happier-as-you-age/

Category : Blog &Health &Personal Growth

Pollen Coping Skills

Almost everyone coming into my office these days is suffering from allergy symptoms (myself included!). It’s wonderful to see nature spring to life, but so many things blooming at once can cause suffering.

Even if you don’t have a true “allergy,” pollen can be irritating. It’s shaped like microscopic spurs. This helps it catch a ride to its target, by hooking onto insects and animal fur, etc. When it hooks into our eyes and nostrils and mucous membranes, the irritation causes our bodies to try to expel it through sneezing and tears and coughing.

Here are some tips to minimize discomfort:

  1. Monitor pollen levels. Most weather services give pollen updates daily. It’s best to avoid outdoor activities when the pollen level is high.
  2. Control your indoor environment. Keep the windows closed and run the air conditioner. In your car, recirculated air will have the least pollen in it.
  3. Stay clean. Change your clothes and shoes if you’ve been outside. Shower and wash your hair before going to bed. This helps keep pollen off of pillows, sheets, and furnishings.
  4. Wipe off your pets. If your pets go outside, wipe them off with a microfiber cloth as they come in. If you’re really sensitive to pollen, you might need to keep pets out of your bedroom.
  5. Rinse your sinuses. Use a Neti pot or commercial squeeze bottle to flush saline solution through your sinus passages. You can buy kits at the supermarket that include saline packets, or you can make your own solution with distilled water, salt, and baking soda. 
  6. Baby your eyes. If your eyes feel irritated, you can use an over-the-counter moisturizing or antihistamine drops. Be sure to clean your contacts if you wear them. My eye doctor told me to gently wash my (closed) eyelids and lashes with a washcloth, warm water, and a tiny droplet of baby shampoo. It really helps prevent problems for me!
  7. Consider a nasal spray. Over-the-counter corticosteroid nasal sprays (my doctor recommended Flonase) work well without making us sleepy. You could also try a more natural spray like Xlear (I use that one, too!). 
  8. Consider oral antihistamines. Ask your medical care provider if taking medicine would help you with your symptoms, or if there’s a homeopathic remedy that can provide relief. “First-generation” antihistamines like Benadryl work fast, but they don’t last long and they can make us really sleepy. “Second-generation” antihistamines like Claritin, Allegra and Zyrtec last longer and tend to be less sedating for most people. Second-generation antihistamines and homeopathic remedies usually need to be taken daily/regularly, starting a week or so before you really need relief.
  9. See a doctor. If you’ve tried at-home remedies and you’re still really suffering, or if your symptoms progress to sinusitis, asthma or other ailments, you might want to seek medical help. Try to find a board certified allergist.

DISCLAIMER: This article is for information/entertainment only and is not meant to serve as medical advice. Please work with your trusted medical care provider to create a detailed treatment plan that’s right for you.

Source: http://www.futureofpersonalhealth.com/prevention-and-treatment/a-10-step-guide-to-overcoming-your-pollen-allergies?utm_source=propeller

Category : Blog &Health

A Step Backward in Boosting Memory

 

The next time you can’t quite remember something, try walking backwards.

Not retracing your steps, but literally taking backward steps!

Multiple studies have shown that backward motion, imagining backward motion, or even watching a video simulating backward motion helped people remember past events compared to test subjects who walked forward or sat still.

No one really understands why (yet), but it may be that we simply associate moving backwards with the past, and it triggers a memory response.

Law enforcement may begin adding this technique to their interview protocol to help witnesses recall details of a crime. More research is being done to see if movement can help persons with specific memory challenges like dementia. 

But for now, we can all employ this simple technique to jog our memories. And you don’t have to jog! Just walk. Backwards!

Source: 

https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/can-you-boost-your-memory-by-walking-backward?

Category : Blog &Health &Personal Growth

The Importance of Self Care

 

I caught up with a friend over coffee this morning (something I HIGHLY recommend for soul nourishment!) and, knowing that I’ve been going through some challenges lately with my family and ex-family, she asked, “What have you been doing to take care of YOU?”

Here’s what I told her. Even as a busy self-employed person and advocate/caregiver for an adult child with a disability, I nurture myself with:

  1. Regular massage therapy, reflexology, and acupuncture. I’m lucky to have great relationships with colleagues in alternative care, and I enlist their help in staying healthy. Between 2 LMTs, 2 certified reflexologists, and a wonderful acupuncturist, I receive some kinds of bodywork almost every week. And I add chiropractic adjustments and sessions with a physical therapist when I need them to keep me going as well.
  2. Eating healthy. I now give myself permission to supplement what I have time to fix each week with a food service that delivers fresh plant-based meals and snacks to the house, all beautifully prepared and ready to eat. It costs a little more than making all my own meals, but it’s a huge time saver. And it’s very healthy. And at least I’m not throwing produce away because I can’t prepare and eat it all before it goes bad.
  3. Daily exercise. I got a dog. Six months ago I rescued an older lab mix who was so depressed and out of shape from being in the kennel for too long, that she couldn’t take long or brisk walks. I took her to obedience school where we had fun while learning and bonding. I gradually increased her walks and added run/walk/run intervals 2-3 times/week. Now she is healthy and happy and so full of energy we’re questioning if she’s really as old as we thought she was! She makes me laugh and makes me exercise and gives me tons of love and good protection.
  4. Classes for enrichment. Right now I’m taking a class at Flagler College called “World Geography.” It is “world geography,” but it explores the globe in a way that is of particular interest to people who like to travel: a little history, a little culture, a few travel tips. It’s easy, fun and interesting. Sometimes it’s good to open ourselves up to new experiences and challenges! I’ve also taken continuing education classes for my licenses, Spanish and American Sign Language, art workshops, writing seminars—there’s so much to choose from, it’s easy to be a lifelong learner.
  5. Creating art and crafts. When my younger son asked if he could move back home, I wanted to support his quest to save money and continue his education. It’s worked out well because he offers valuable emotional and logistical help as well. The only drawback was that I had to relinquish my craft studio. I moved all the supplies into my office and created a tiny workspace there. It’s a bit cramped, but actually, it’s great because I can work on projects little by little when I have gaps between client appointments. I don’t have as much time to work on this as I would like, but it’s a good example of doing the best you can with what you’ve got to work with.
  6. Rest. I have to remind myself sometimes that “a good day” is not necessarily defined by how much I accomplish. I need downtime, especially on weekends, and I honor that. Even if it means saying no to some social things that might be enjoyable in order to stay home on a nice day and look at a magazine out on my swing with a cup of tea or glass of wine. I simply can’t cram non-stop activities into every available moment. In that way, I’m kind of not as much fun as I used to be. But I am at peace.
  7. Cutting myself some slack. The house is a mess. Seriously, I would be pretty embarrassed if someone stopped by unannounced and saw how we really live. It’s not dirty, but it’s cluttered from multiple projects that seem to never end, and from being generally very, very lived in. There are lots of things I don’t do that I would like to. For example, one of my New Year goals was to meditate, journal and stretch each day, even for just 5 minutes each. I don’t do it, not even close to every day. 

But every day is a balancing act. As I contemplated the things I do to take care of myself to answer my friend’s question, I realized this was a pretty good list. As I do love to travel, I’m planning to see my sister in Phoenix in May, and finally visiting Italy in October (a bucket list item!). It’s good to have things to look forward to. I also discussed with my friend my vision and plans for growing the reflexology side of my business, and for helping my son achieve more independence and a better quality of life. We’re slowly chipping away at long-term goals while juggling work and some fun stuff and all the necessary chores and errands.

Do I feel overwhelmed some days—yes! Do I have trouble sleeping some nights—yes! But that’s all the more reason to take care of myself with the 7 things outlined here!!

What do you do to take care of YOU? Your list might be very different from mine, but I hope you do make self-care a priority.

Category : Blog &Health &Personal Growth

Healing Is a Collaboration

 

I recently read the most marvelous quote: “When ‘I’ is replaced by ‘We,’ even ‘Illness’ becomes ‘Wellness.’” (It’s been attributed to different speakers, most often Malcolm X.)

It made me think of my own profession immediately. People sometimes ask if I think of myself as a “healer.” I don’t. 

I believe that our bodies know how to heal themselves. But sometimes they need a little help because we have more stressors in our modern world than our bodies can handle. And also because we’ve lost touch a little bit with our intuitiveness and somatic sense.

So professionals like me can help. I’m not a healer, but a facilitator. I hope to be part of the “we” in “wellness”!

As I like to tell people: “Your body is trying to tell you something; I’ll help you listen.”

In his book, “In An Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness,” Dr. Peter A. Levine describes how our typical western medical model of seeing a doctor for “treatment” just doesn’t work in the case of healing from trauma. 

Of course, there are times when it makes sense for a doctor to stand as the authority figure, holding all the knowledge and “treating” the patient.

But in the case of stress, (trauma, PTSD), this power differential and sterile separation between doctor and patient tend to disempower and marginalize the sufferer, adding to their sense of despair. “Missing,” Levine writes, “will be the crucial collaboration in containing, processing and integrating the patient’s horrible sensations, images, and emotions. The sufferer will remain starkly alone, holding the very horrors that have overwhelmed him and broken down his capacity to self-regulate and grow.”

I like to think that massage therapy and reflexology both involve a lot of collaboration. There’s definitely trust. And there’s definitely communication that happens, both spoken and unspoken. People ask me, “How did you know that that was a problem area for me?” “Your body tells me,” I answer. I can feel tension and “knots” and heat in tissues, and “congestion” in the hands and feet that indicate an area is stressed.

I’m not suggesting that I can help people resolve horrible sensations, images, and emotions. That is way out of my scope of practice. But, the healing power of touch is a fantastic way to get back in touch with our bodies, replace tissue memories of hurtful events with supportive touch, and begin to heal mind, body, and spirit. It can help us self-regulate, as we calm stressed-out systems and restore balance (homeostasis).

Levine writes, “Trauma is a fact of life. It does not, however, have to be a life sentence. It is possible to learn from mythology, from clinical observations, from neuroscience, from embracing the ‘living’ experiential body, and from the behavior of animals; and then, rather than brace against our instincts, embrace them.”

Hm, healing involving neuroscience AND instincts—sounds amazing! Bodyworkers like me endeavor to effect change in the “living, experiential body,” and hold space for clients dealing with challenges, without judgment. I learned in meditation to be unconditionally present with whatever comes up, and I try to bring this to each therapeutic session.

If you’d like to learn more, here are some resources for you:

http://www.dailygood.org/story/2231/in-an-unspoken-voice-the-changing-face-of-trauma-peter-levine/

https://theconnection.tv/the-proven-healing-power-of-touch/

https://www.apa.org/monitor/julaug02/massage

https://www.himalayaninstitute.org/amrit-blog/vibrant-health/wired-touch-connecting-others/

http://pediatrics.med.miami.edu/touch-research

Category : Blog &Health &Massage Therapy &Personal Growth

Healthy Communication


 

It seems harder than ever to have a pleasant and meaningful conversation these days, especially with someone of an opposing viewpoint.

Since each of us is only half of the equation, there’s only so much we can do. But we CAN use some techniques—and encourage others to do the same—to improve communication. 

Here are five, based on compassion and mindfulness:

  1. Be fully present. This is not a good time for multitasking. Put devices away, put other conversations and issues out of your mind for now. Focus for a second on your weight on your feet, or sensations in your hands. Try to slow down the pace of your speech—choose your words carefully for clarity, and think about your tone and how you are coming across. Give this present engagement your full attention.
  2. Be a good listener. This is harder than it sounds! We usually start to think about how we’ll respond before the other person finishes, and we miss some of what’s being said. Try to listen with your complete attention. Make a quick mental note of your questions or responses, and then shift fully back into listening. (Even if you forget a question or response, that’s probably OK in the grand scheme of things!) We all want to be heard. Maybe a good extension of the Golden Rule would be: listen to others as you would have others listen to you!
  3. Seek to understand. Oren Jay Sofer, author of “Say What You Mean: A Mindful Approach to Nonviolent Communication,” says that “The foundation for productive discussion and skillful negotiation is in the quality of connection and understanding we create. When our interactions are driven by an agenda, by getting our way, wanting to win, being right or making a point, we limit the possibilities for mutual understanding and creative outcomes.” Come to every conversation with curiosity, compassion, and respect.
  4. Focus on what matters. As we listen well and seek to understand the person we’re conversing with, we need to ask ourselves, “what really matters” about whatever the other person is saying. Why is it important? Sofer writes, “Listening with this kind of attention helps us get beyond surface positions to the underlying values in a situation, thereby creating more room for understanding, collaboration, and creative problem-solving.” How much more powerful and productive will our communication be if we can make a meaningful connection with someone—even someone we don’t seem to have anything in common with?
  5. Pause. Remember the sage advice about counting to ten? Rather than shooting back at our counterpart with rapid-fire points of our own, it can be very powerful to pause and think. Nod, ask the person to repeat themselves or repeat what you think they said in your own words. Then ask yourself, will what you’re about to say increase connection and understanding? If not…sometimes holding our tongue is the best response! We have to choose the right timing in order for speaking our truth to have the most impact.

Most of us learn communication skills in the most informal ways, often from people who aren’t skilled communicators themselves. We develop bad habits. But with practice, we can create healthy new habits!

Source: http://www.dailygood.org/story/2193/5-core-practices-for-more-meaningful-conversations-oren-jay-sofer/

Category : Blog &Health &Personal Growth

Reflexology Calms a Distressed Heart

A couple of weeks ago, I rushed my son to the emergency room with terrible abdominal pain and violent vomiting. He had some pain on his right side; thankfully a CAT scan confirmed that it was not his appendix. After a six-hour ordeal, the doctor decided it was either food poisoning or a viral “stomach bug.”

But my son was dehydrated, and they started him on IV fluids. (He was so dehydrated, they had trouble getting the catheter in a vein in his arm. So they used a small ultrasound machine to help locate a vein too far below the surface to see or palpate. That was pretty cool to watch!)

And maybe because he was dehydrated and frightened, his heart rate was too high. Even after resting for a few hours, his heart rate hovered between 105-110, even jumping to 114 for no apparent reason. The doctor said it had to be below 100 for him to be released.

They brought in an inflatable cover for the IV bag to squeeze it, to help get fluids in him faster. After another hour, his heart rate still would not budge below 105.

So I thought, here I am sitting right next to his left hand, and this is not the arm that has the IV in it. What would happen if I did reflexology on his hand? The heart reflex area is in the left hand—maybe I could support his heart through his hand reflex.

I asked his permission, and I started gently working on the heart reflex—press, release, press, release, nice alternating pressure, slow and rhythmic. 

In less than a minute, his heart rate dropped to 99. 

I left the heart reflex and did some “relaxation techniques” on his whole hand. His heart rate jumped back up to 105. I did some work on his central nervous system reflexes, thinking maybe that would be calming. No effect on the number. I went back to the heart reflex area—heart rate dropped to 99. 

I gently worked the whole surface of his hand just for good measure. Each time I went back to the heart reflex area, his heart rate would drop to 97-99. It was so consistent, that the nurse came in a few minutes later and started to disconnect the IV. “We’ve been watching your numbers from the other room,” she said. “Your heart rate has been under 100 for several minutes now, and the doctor says you’re good to go.”

She couldn’t see that I had been working on his hand, and I didn’t tell her. I was just happy that he got to come home to his own bed to recover. Which he did, with a few days of rest, broth and Jell-O and popsicles. 

Will reflexology provide such a dramatic, positive result in every situation? Probably not. Believe me, if my son had needed to have his appendix removed, we would have opted for surgery, not reflexology on the appendix reflex!! 

But reflexology IS—always—supportive of our health and helpful in getting our bodies to function optimally. And when you can see the evidence of that measured on hospital monitors, it’s very validating!

Category : Blog &Health &Reflexology

Making Exercise Fun!

 

Several people have told me recently that they find this wintery after-holiday time of year rather de-motivating. It seems especially when it comes to exercise, folks have gotten out of their routines and are having a hard time getting back to it.

Sound familiar? Or maybe you’re the kind of person who always finds exercise more of a chore than a joy. Here are some ideas for making exercise fun.

Take a hike. Walking is great exercise, and being outside is best. Go to one of our local parks and explore a trail. Walk with a friend and have a nice chat. You can load apps onto your phone like Runkeeper to find routes that others have mapped out in your area for specific distances. If you’re local, you could walk around downtown St. Augustine and/or Lincolnville and check out the historic markers along the way. (Google “self-guided walking tours” for ideas!)

Dance like no one is watching. Put on some of your favorite music, or find some new tunes on YouTube, and go wild! Be as traditional or as silly as you want to be. This is a great way to uplift your spirits as you burn some calories.

Try something new. If dancing doesn’t do it for you, look up instructional videos on YouTube—yoga, Tai Chi, kickboxing, etc. You can find almost anything of interest without leaving the comfort of home.
Play video games. If you know someone with a video game console, you can play active games like bowling, golfing, fencing, tennis, boxing, dancing, etc. It’s surprisingly fun to play virtually! If you don’t have access to a video game console, you can pick a used one up inexpensively at a pawn shop, flea market or online.

Be a kid again. When was the last time you jumped rope? Or played tag or duck-duck-goose? Or hopscotch? Get a little group together and recreate some of your favorite childhood games—what a hoot!
Join a club or take a class. Maybe trying something different will ignite new interest in being active. Join a sports league. Take a self-defense class. Sign up for a 5K and join a group that’s training for it. (Lots of people walk them, or do a slow pace of run-walk-run-walk intervals.

Tackle a household chore. Have you been putting off cleaning out the garage? Or organizing a closet or pantry? Put on some peppy music and get to it! Plan ahead for what your reward will be for getting it done. This can be a great motivator!

Don’t just sit there—stretch! If you like to watch some TV in the evening, get up out of your seat and do a few stretches as you’re relaxing. Some people even do a few more challenging moves during commercials (a couple of push-ups, or crunches, or a plank). As long as you don’t overdo it, having a nice stretch and some deep breathing might even help you sleep.

Just remember, exercise doesn’t have to be drudgery, and you don’t have to commit to hours and hours of activity to benefit from it. Every little bit helps improve fitness. Sneak in a little bit of movement, change your routine, and keep it fun!

If you can’t find a group that shares your interest but you want to connect to others, look on a website called MeetUp. If you still can’t find your tribe, you can start a new group and let others find you!

Category : Blog &Health &Personal Growth

How Your Bedroom Can Help You Sleep

 

Do you have trouble sleeping? Try these tips to get your best night’s sleep.

Keep your room dark. Darkness triggers our brains to produce melatonin, the hormone that signals our bodies to prepare for sleep. Unplug anything that emits light. Keep a flashlight next to your bed for late-night trips to the bathroom, rather than leaving a nightlight on overnight. Use dark curtains or blinds on your windows. But be sure to open them during the day—the sunlight will help stop the production of melatonin.

Keep your room cool. An hour or two before sleeping, our body temperature begins to drop—this actually helps us feel sleepy. Keeping our rooms cool can facilitate this and help us get our optimal sleep. A temperature in the 60s or low 70s is best.

Choose the right mattress. A chiropractor told me that a foam mattress is better than a spring mattress because our weight is supported all over, and not just where the springs are. But some people find a foam mattress too warm. A softer mattress conforms better to our shape, which might be best for someone who sleeps on their back and has significant curvature in their spine. If you sleep with a partner and there’s more than a 75-pound weight difference, you might be better off getting a mattress with adjustable firmness settings.

Choose the right pillow. This is a tough assignment! Generally speaking, we just want to support the natural curve in our neck. Back sleepers need to make sure the pillow is not so thick that their chins are pointed down toward the chest. Side sleepers need to make sure their heads are not tilted up toward the ceiling or down toward the mattress.

Set up a reading space. Ideally, our beds are used only for sleeping and being intimate. If you lie in bed awake, reading or watching videos, or tossing and turning, you’re training your brain that this is what beds are for. It’s far better to have a comfortable chair with a lamp where you could sit and read, meditate or listen to music. If you have trouble sleeping for more than 20 minutes during the night, move to the chair for a bit, and get back into bed when you feel drowsy.

Feng shui your space. Sometimes people improve their sleep just by rearranging the furniture. There are many feng shui principles you can apply to your bedroom—like using the right colors, having a solid headboard behind you, having a table on either side of the bed—to help the energy flow and improve the comfort of the room overall. There are whole books on the subject, but you can do a quick Google search to get you started.

Move electronics to another room. Everything that’s plugged in emits light that stimulates our nervous systems and interferes with melatonin production. If you don’t have a cell phone or tablet in the room with you, you won’t be tempted to check email or messages! Use an alarm clock instead of your phone. It will make a big difference in your day if you start with moments of calm instead of hitting your technology first thing.

Source: “How Your Bedroom Can Help You Sleep” by Marty Munson, “Better Homes & Gardens” Magazine, November 2018

Category : Blog &Health &Personal Growth

Giving Healthy Gifts

 

This is the time of year when many people are buying presents. While I don’t like how much emphasis our culture has put on shopping, it is nice to celebrate the holidays with a gift as a gesture of love.

So with that in mind, I appreciated a supplement in a recent “Parade” magazine—an “article” by Nicole Pajer to drive traffic to the site greatcall.com/gifts where you could get stuff for 50% off—highlighting healthy choices for gifts this year.

My own #1 recommendation would be to purchase a gift certificate for reflexology or massage therapy. Supporting relaxation and boosting wellbeing—presents don’t get any healthier than that!

My personal #2 recommendation would be to go to local galleries and shows that feature local artists. You might find a one-of-a-kind treasure that would be perfect for your unique loved one. Every time they see this piece, it will bring a smile. And you’ll be supporting an individual who loves to create rather than supporting the commercial engine of mass-produced merchandise.

Here are some of the recommendations from the article:

  1. A meal kit subscription. People are busy, and services like HelloFresh, Green Chef, and Blue Apron deliver ingredients needed to prepare healthy meals. The upside is that it’s convenient and there’s no waste because you receive exactly what you need for each meal. The downside is that there’s a lot of packaging that may or may not be reusable, and the shipping itself contributes to environmental stress.
  2. Popsicle maker. Using molds to create your own sweet treats allows you to use much healthier ingredients like whole fruit, Greek yogurt, nuts, honey, etc. There are “quick pop makers” that freeze the pops more quickly than putting them in your regular freezer. A fun endeavor like this can be a great family activity!
  3. Sponsor someone on a charity walk. This is a healthy gift that also gives people an activity to do together. A whole family or tribe of friends and neighbors can do a charity walk as a team.
  4. Pay for someone’s plot in a community garden.
  5. Host a dance party. Maybe your gift can be an invitation to a themed dance party—a fantastic way to have fun and get some exercise!
  6. Help someone connect to family. You could get a gift certificate to a DNA analysis service. It’s fun to learn about our own heritage, and some of the services will help participants find relatives they may not have known about.
  7. Give family-friendly games. Encourage game nights! Life gets busy and sometimes we need help making time/reasons to get together in person. Games can help multi-generational groups find common ground.

My hope is that we can find ways to keep joy in the holiday season, making wholesome choices that encourage togetherness, simplicity, and happiness. May your holidays be peaceful and healthy and fun! 

Category : Blog &Health &Massage Therapy &Reflexology