Gut Feelings

canstockphoto19913695Most of us experience stress in our daily lives on some level. When you are chronically stressed or if you add anxiety into the mix, you may experience a whole range of physical symptoms that can include digestive issues; which can make it difficult as you go about your day. Stress can affect every part of your digestive system. An estimated 60 -70 million people in the USA suffer from some form of “tummy troubles.” Read More

Stress & Self-Care…

If nothing in the world ever changed, there wouldn’t be Butterflies – Unknown

butterflyChange is a part of life & how well we handle the stress of these transitions can affect our overall well-being. Stress in small doses can be a good motivator, whether you are applying for a new job or position at work, planning a wedding or maybe you are moving to a new home. But if your stress is from constant worrying & it continues to build unchecked, stress can impact your physical health, such as:

  • your respiration & heart rate increases, which can affect your relaxation & sleep patterns.
  • digestive juices stop flowing with can lead to stomach upsets.
  • your immune system shuts down which may lead to an increase in colds, flu symptoms, etc…

When you are feeling stressed it is important to take time for self-care. Be aware of what is going on in your body & what you are feeling. You may be realizing that you need to try some different techniques to manage your stress better. You may want to try:

  • Meditation: Take a moment, stretch your body, slow your breath & to go inward.
  • Keep a Journal: Get your thoughts out of your head, & onto paper so you can stop thinking about them & focus more your day. Author Julia Cameron writes about doing Morning Pages… An everyday journaling ritual to clarify & prioritize both your positive & negative thoughts. Ms Cameron says” Think of it in Yang & Yin terms…Of meeting your shadow self & taking them out for a cup of coffee”. Most people want to only focus on their “positive” self & deny the darker or shadow parts of their personality. I think that we need to acknowledge & have compassion for all aspects of ourselves, especially when we are doing the best that we can. Until we learn to have compassion for ourselves, we won’t be able to have compassion for other people.
  • Set Healthy Boundaries with everyone in your life, (and maybe say No sometimes).
  • Do “YOUR” Best… you don’t have to be perfect.
  • Learn the difference between Worrying & Caring: Clinical psychologist Chad LeJeune, Ph.D.  says “Worrying is an attempt to exert control over the future by thinking about it; whereas caring is taking action.”
  • Pay attention to your physical needs: Maybe get a massage to relax tense muscles or try reflexology on your feet, it feels amazing. Eating better or changing your diet, especially if stress is affecting your digestion. And of course, the big one is the amount & the quality of your sleep.
  • Drink  Tea Daily: try an herbal tea, like Lemon Balm or maybe some Black Tea.
    Practice Self-Care Daily.  It is important to take moments for yourself throughout the day, take a breath, take a bath to help yourself to relax & unwind.
  • Diffuse Essential Oils

Essential Oils that you may want to consider for De-Stressing:

Lavender2Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)  is probably the most popular & well known of all of the essential oils.It is good for stress-related issues as well as insomnia.

Black Spruce ( Picea mariana) has a  sweeter and softer scent than most of the other tree essential oils. Diffuse it to get grounded or if you are feeling tension, stress or anxiety.

Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata) is a sweet, floral, base note that has anti-depressant and sedative properties.

Frankincense ( Boswellia carterii or thurifera )  is a wonderful essential oil that is known for its sedative properties, so diffuse it for stress or if you are feeling anxious. Read More

Inspiring the Possibilities…

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light and winter in the shade.”    –  From “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens (1812 – 1870)

canstockphoto12846846 I think that spring is all about great expectations; it is all about new growth both environmentally and spiritually. In many traditions, this is the start of the New Year, which to me, makes more sense because it is the beginning of the season of growth, not the beginning of winter. (The ancient Romans celebrated the Ides of March on March 15th (March is named after the Roman god Mars).

Being a gardener, spring is an exciting time; bulbs are starting to bloom, and I’m starting to see the new growth of my perennials. (I’m always amazed at these hardy, little plants that come back year after year). Some of my herbs from last year are starting to fill out, and I can’t wait to start adding them to my cooking; salads, sandwiches, and plates of pasta. (Bring on the  Pesto sauce).

My favorite herb is also one of my favorite essential oils. Sweet Basil is from the Latincanstockphoto0063361 “Basileum” which means royal or king. It is native to tropical Asia and has naturalized and grows wild all around the Mediterranean region of Europe where it thrives in the sunny weather. Basil has long been used in India for Ayurvedic medicine for colds & flues and in the middle ages, was used to treat “melancholy” and depression.   While they have identified 5 different chemotypes of Basil essential oil, I like to use the Sweet Basil ct Linalool variety. I find that it has an uplifting, fresh herbal scent. Read More