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    Making Time for Yourself

    Relaxing-Time in hammock

    We ladies tend to spend way too much time and effort on others and not so much for ourselves. We’re caregivers, moms, chauffeurs, chefs, party planners, finance managers and house cleaners all rolled up into one ball of stressed-out nerves.  So, when do we have time for ourselves? And, why do we feel guilty when we do spend time on something for ourselves?

    For most of us, it’s hard to find time to spend solely on ourselves and when we do, we’re hurrying back to relieve our husbands or babysitters. But, remember when you’re flying on a plane and they instruct you to put your air mask on before assisting others? There’s a very good reason for that! If we run out of oxygen (read: energy), our loved ones will suffer. We MUST take care of ourselves for our health and the health of others around us.

    When we constantly run around at work with our hair on fire, then rush home to help the kids with homework, run them to soccer practice and eat dinner on the run, this hurried schedule can lead to high levels of cortisol and adrenal fatigue.

    What’s cortisol and why should I care?

    Cortisol is the hormone that controls hunger, digestion, blood pressure, your sleeping patterns, energy levels and how you cope with stress.  So, basically everything that matters!  Cortisol’s main job is to increase glucose levels to give you energy in the event that you need an extra surge, say in a time of need, like an emergency at work or car accident. Ideally, this surge wouldn’t be an everyday occurrence like it is for so many of us. If you’re feeling wired, yet tired, have sugar cravings, are constantly racing from one task to the next, have difficulty falling asleep, anxiety, anger, indigestion, or carrying extra weight, you could be dealing with high cortisol levels.

    This constant surge can lead to high blood sugar levels (hello diabetes), increased body fat, mood issues (like depression), infertility, PCOS, bone loss and insomnia.

    So what do I do?

    It’s time to put on your tiara and kick back!  You MUST find time to break away during times of high stress and relax. I find deep breathing can help. Yoga can help you unwind after a busy day or you can start your day with yoga to set you off on a relaxed path.

    Write down a few things that make you happy. Find time during the day to do one of those things.  Just take 10-15 minutes for yourself and really focus on taking a few deep breaths and being present.  You can also try to:

    • Enjoy a cup of warm herbal tea like ginseng or chamomile.
    • Getting some sunshine and fresh air.
    • Get a weekly, or at least monthly massage.
    • Limit alcohol (it raises cortisol)
    • Wean yourself slowly from caffeine (also raises cortisol)
    • Chat with a supportive friend; share a laugh together

    There are also several nutritional therapies and protocols to consider. I personally find that taking a quality fish oil and B-Complex can help.

    poplar hot tub

    I’m excited to also share with you that I am leading a one-day Wellness Retreat at Poplar Springs Inn & Spa on November 15, 2014, in Casanova, VA. The focus of the retreat is on self-care and stress management. I’m going to show you some amazing ways to relax and support your body with proper nutrition and care that will bring your body back into balance. Participants will receive a massage or facial, healthy, locally-sourced meals, workshops, food demos and prizes!! You can register by calling the Spa at (540) 788-3410. Hurry, space is limited! For more info, visit www.UnlockBetterHealth.com.

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