How’s Your Self-Care?

Don’t pick that up!  It’s not yours to carry.
-Heidi Murray
Pray or worry, but don’t do both.
-Curtis James Jackson III
by Neissa Springmann

by Neissa Springmann

I have concluded that the genetic makeup of a female consists of two specific genes: one is called “Fix” and the other is called “Worry.” As a young adult, I realized that I had both genes — or curses rather — and they were sabotaging my life. Not only did I want to desperately fix anyone that would allow me into their lives, but I also worried about everything! It wasn’t until I received wisdom from a friend that I finally realized that not only was it not my responsibility to fix someone, but it was impossible! In addition, my straight-shooting father advised that worrying was a complete waste of time and energy and would simply minimize my joy and overall quality of life. After all, worrying seems a bit counterproductive to my faith!

Below are some helpful self-care tips that will send you on your way to feeling less stress, more rejuvenated and thriving through life!

Here’s to your self-care!   ~Neissa

The Stress & Sleep Connection

Did You Know…
…that stress raises cortisol levels, making a good night’s rest feel near impossible?

Sleep is as important as a supplementation, detoxification, good nutrition and exercise, and is impossible if your hormones are imbalanced. If you are physically not able to sleep, it could be because of high adrenals and cortisol levels, which are increased by stress! If high, sleep is impossible. Chronic high cortisol levels can also lead to heart attacks, the leading killer among women. Cortisol is sensitive to light; therefore, even the smallest amount of light can raise levels, creating a disturbance in sleep.

How can I apply this to my life?
Turn off your television and remove all light sources (your computer, perhaps?) from your bedroom.

We Need Magnesium! Here’s How to Get It!

Did You Know…
…that magnesium and sulfate detoxify the body and can reduce stress?

Magnesium is the second most abundant element in human cells and the fourth most important positively charged ion in the body. It helps the body regulate over 325 enzymes and plays an important role in organizing many bodily functions like muscle control, electrical impulses, energy production and the elimination of harmful toxins. Most of us are deficient in magnesium which is why soaking in an Epsom Salt bath, which is high in magnesium, is one of the easiest ways to get a boost.

According to the National Academy of Sciences, American’s magnesium deficiency helps to account for high rates of heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, arthritis and joint pain, digestive maladies, stress-related illnesses, chronic fatigue and a number of other ailments.

Our magnesium levels have dropped by half in the last century due to changes in agriculture and diet. Industrial farming has depleted magnesium from soil and the typical American diet contains much less magnesium than that of our forefathers. In fact, the modern American diet with its fat, sugar, salt and protein actually works to speed up the depletion of magnesium from our bodies! In addition, Epsom salt is rich in both magnesium and sulfate. While both magnesium and sulfate can be poorly absorbed through the stomach, studies show increased magnesium levels from soaking in a bath enriched with Epsom salt! Magnesium and sulfate are both easily absorbed through the skin. Sulfates play an important role in the formation of brain tissue, joint proteins and the proteins that line the walls of the digestive tract. They stimulate the pancreas to generate digestive enzymes and are thought to help detoxify the body of medicines and environmental contaminants.

How can I apply this to my life?

Enjoy a candle-lit Espom salt bath at least twice per week. Now that’s a great excuse to make time for a long soak!

How Do You Speak to Yourself?

Did You Know…
…that you can reduce stress by eliminating negative self-talk?

It’s hard to be happy when someone is mean to you all the time! -Christine Arylo

Positive thinking helps with stress management and can even improve your health. Researchers continue to explore the effects of positive thinking and optimism on health. Health benefits that positive thinking may provide include:

  • Increased life span
  • Lower rates of depression
  • Lower levels of distress
  • Greater resistance to the common cold
  • Better psychological and physical well-being
  • Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
  • Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress

It’s unclear why people who engage in positive thinking experience these health benefits. One theory is that having a positive outlook enables you to cope better with stressful situations, which reduces the harmful health effects of stress on your body.

Here are some common forms of negative self-talk:

  • Filtering. You magnify the negative aspects of a situation and filter out all of the positive ones.
  • Personalizing. When something bad occurs, you automatically blame yourself.
  • Catastrophizing. You automatically anticipate the worst.
  • Polarizing. You see things only as either good or bad, black or white. There is no middle ground.

How can I apply this to my life? 

  • Identify areas to change.
  • If you want to become more optimistic and engage in more positive thinking, first identify areas of your life that you typically think negatively about, whether it’s work, your daily commute or a relationship, for example. You can start small by focusing on one area to approach in a more positive way.

  • Check yourself. Periodically during the day, stop and evaluate what you’re thinking. If you find that your thoughts are mainly negative, try to find a way to put a positive spin on them.  Watch this fabulous video “The Story of Self Talk” below to remind you of the power of our thoughts.

  • Be open to humor.
  • Give yourself permission to smile or laugh, especially during difficult times. Seek humor in everyday happenings. When you can laugh at life, you feel less stressed.

  • Follow a healthy lifestyle. Exercise at least three times a week to positively affect mood and reduce stress. Follow a healthy diet to fuel your mind and body.
  • Learn to manage stress. Find hobbies and practices that help you relieves stress- mentally, spiritually, and physically. For yoga poses to release stress, click here. 
  • Surround yourself with positive people. Make sure those in your life are positive, supportive people you can depend on to give helpful advice and feedback. Negative people may increase your stress level and make you doubt your ability to manage stress in healthy ways.
  • Practice positive self-talk. Start by following one simple rule: Don’t say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to anyone else. Be gentle and encouraging with yourself. If a negative thought enters your mind, evaluate it rationally and respond with affirmations of what is good about you.
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