Health & Wellness

  • Soak Up The Sun With These 12 Summertime Wellness Activities

    Summer is in full swing and just because the kids are home that doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of these summertime wellness activities. Take some time to recharge yourself with these fun things to do that’ll get you feeling rejuvenated.

    Visit Farmers Market

    If you love experimenting in the kitchen trips to the farmer’s market will surely be among your favorite things to do. There you’ll be able to find fresh seasonal produce and other products from local businesses and farms. Additionally, these markets provide an opportunity for you to sample the foods and partake in a few fun activities.

    Enjoy Some Summery Delicacies!

    Speaking of the farmer’s market, take those newly purchased ingredients and create a delicious dish with them. Depending on your mood, you can spend time in the kitchen creating alone or invite family or a few friends to join you. If it’s too hot to put the stove on, go out and sample some summer-themed cuisine. Whether you cook or go out, you can instantly improve your mood with food, plus discover some new recipes along the way that you might just adore.

    Outdoor Fitness

    If you don’t want to spend money on a gym membership or are tired of working out in the house, opt for a new change of scenery and go to the park. Summer is the ideal season to work out outside and take advantage of the wonderful weather. If you have a backyard, even better, especially if you’re someone who prefers their privacy. But if that’s not an option for you then public parks, it is! Did you know, that public parks host fitness classes and also have fitness equipment that you can use? It’s true. If you’re an NYC resident, the Parks & Rec site offers a plethora of outdoor fitness activities that are worth checking out. You can check your own local Parks & Rec site for activities near your home. This summer (and every summer), you should absolutely make it a point to exercise outside.

    Health Tip 1: While summer provides an opportunity to take your fitness routine outdoors, avoid working out in excessive heat as it can cause a myriad of health issues such as heat cramps, heat-related collapse, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. Warning signs include excessive sweating, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting, fatigue, vision issues, low blood pressure, and confusion. Read more on Mayo Clinic, on how heat affects your body

    Health Tip 2: Avoiding the sun at its highest peak between the hours of 11am and 2pm, drink plenty of cold water, dress lightly in breathable pieces of cotton to avoid heavy sweating, and eat a popsicle or drink a smoothie, not just because they’re tasty, but because they will help cool you down. 

    Challenge Your Photography Skills

    Whether a novice or an expert behind the lens, if you love taking photos summer is the perfect time to rediscover your city. Take a few hours, regardless of weather, to visit locations you regularly frequent or seek out places you haven’t previously been to and capture what makes these places unique and special to you. If you’re new to photography this will also be a great learning approach while you enhance your skills.

    Bike Ride

    While all of these activities are fun, bike riding has long been my personal favorite. You can see a lot more of your neighborhood on a bike than you can on foot at any given time. Check your neighborhood for the Citibikes if you don’t own one and get out there and discover the world around you. Even if you’ve been a part of the area for a while there is a slew of health benefits associated with such as reducing stress, it will help you sleep better, and can boost your energy.

    Personal Tip: Sometimes I like to combine walking and cycling. I’ll usually walk until I’ve decided I’ve walked far enough then seek out a Citibike to ride back home. 

    Start Home Garden

    Starting your own home garden is a lot of work I’m not going to lie to you, but it can also be super beneficial and fun. Not only can a home garden give you something to do regularly, maintaining a garden can also improve your mental and physical wellness health putting you in a calming mood. According to a meta-analysis from a 2017 Preventative Medicine Report, gardening has shown a  reduction in depression and anxiety, while showing an increase in life satisfaction. Not only do you get to grow whatever you want, but you also have a great activity to keep you busy throughout the summer and beyond.

    Take A Road Trip

    When you go on a road trip with family or friends, you can create priceless experiences that you can look back on. Along the trip, you get the chance to catch up with friends and relax. Road trips are year-round fun but during the summer months can be even more enjoyable. Depending on where you travel the summer months are ideal for road trips across the U.S. World of Wanderlust has a fantastic listing of 15 places to road trip during the summer that is absolutely worth checking out. While I enjoy a good spur-of-the-moment local road trip if you set aside enough advanced time with thorough research your next road trip will allow you to explore various parts of the country.

    Health Tip: Ensure you get enough sleep before getting behind the wheel. Driving for long hours can take a toll on your back and legs be sure to have proper driving posture. Download road trip-based apps like Roadtrippers. It allows you to plan your route showing you how much time it will take and things to do between your start point and your destination. Make a playlist or listen to an audiobook to starve off boredom. In the event, your body starts to get tired you can do some car stretches for relief.

    Reminder: Don’t forget to bring your charger!!

    Go for a Neighborhood Walk or Hike

    It goes without saying that summertime walks and hikes are more enjoyable because of the warmer weather. Wandering around the neighborhood has always been my personal favorite. It’s what I consider an easy way to escape the confines (and noise) of the house. It’s also a great way to discover new local businesses. If you want to venture a little further away from home, you can go on a hike. See your town in a whole new light from on top of a mountain.

    In addition to being incredibly physically gratifying, walks are known to be a fantastic way to decrease anxiety, burns calories, boosts your creativity, clears your mind, and release endorphins to make you feel happier. Walking is truly one of those activities that can lift your spirits and put your mind at ease.

    Health Tip: Avoid walking and hiking on extremely hot days. Being outdoors for too long can cause heat cramps, heat-related collapse, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. Warning signs include excessive sweating, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting, fatigue, vision issues, low blood pressure, and confusion.

    Organize A Picnic Alone Or With Friends

    Everyone loves picnics, and summer is the perfect season to head outside with some delicious food and soak in the surroundings. Nothing can bring you more joy than dining with the people you care about. You also get some free time to relax and chat while enjoying the lovely weather. Picnics are very inexpensive and simple to set up. Make it a potluck in which everyone brings a dish and a drink so this way one person isn’t doing all the preparing. These outdoor meals can be as fancy or simple as you want, and they can even have a theme to make them fun. The goal is to eat good food, sip delicious drinks, and enjoy everyone’s company.

    Spend Time In The Park

    Parks are such peaceful and healthy places to visit. There are so many things to do from walking, biking, or laying on the grass. According to the National Recreation and Park Association, people who spent time surrounded by greenery saw “improved blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reduced stress, improved general health perceptions, and a greater ability to face problems.”  That said, grab a blanket and head to the park, find a shady tree, and spend the time taking in the scenery around you. Bring a snack and a drink along with a book, journal, or some music that’ll put you in a good mood.

    It’s Time to Cool Off in the Water

    Swimming is a great summertime wellness activity, and no list would be complete without it. Pool time is not only a perfect way to beat the heat, but it will also allow you to unwind after a demanding day or week at work. If you’re lucky enough to have a pool in your backyard or in your building make some time to escape whenever it best fits your schedule. But for those of us who aren’t so fortunate, you can seek out community pools or your local hotels. During the summer some hotels, with outdoor pools offer day passes so you can lounge all day.

    Additionally, swimming is packed full of health and wellness benefits such as reducing stress, providing you a full-body workout, you can burn calories, increasing your energy levels, and as a whole is great for your overall well-being especially when paired with healthy eating habits.

    Try A New Flavor of Ice Cream

    Whether from an ice cream shop or off of a truck, enjoying an ice cream cone is an ultimate cool-down snack escape. Get a couple of scoops of your favorite flavors or you can be bold and daring and try something completely new. The only health benefit of ice cream is that it makes us happy, and that’s the ONLY benefit that matters.

    What summertime wellness activities will you be partaking in?

  • Don’t Be Chained To Your New Year Resolutions Instead Leave Room For Magic

    The new year is here and some of us are already struggling to keep up with our New Year resolutions. Just like everyone else, you’ve started the year with a list of goals and ambitions containing a ton of things you want to rediscover or start for the first time.

    But sadly, you’ve barely found time to breathe, let alone focus on your New Year resolutions. Which means by now you’ve probably started being hard on yourself for your lack of consistency or even starting the task, and you might even start feeling like a failure. But I want you to know, it’s okay if you haven’t started or don’t complete every item on your list. Don’t be chained and feel suffocated by your resolutions instead, I want you to leave a little room for magic.

    What does leaving room for magic mean?

    It means as a human being you are allowed to take frequent breaks and enjoy your current life. Of course, New Year resolutions are important to you, but you shouldn’t miss out on small joys in life in the pursuit to fulfill your resolutions. It’s fine if goals don’t go the way you planned or you end up not doing them at all. Yes, it’s essential to have some goals that help you improve yourself and you quality of your life. But your resolutions shouldn’t chain you down completely. They shouldn’t become the reason why you are constantly stressed feeling like you’re not doing enough.

    I’ve been in this situation and until recently, I was really hard on myself about it. Imagine being hard on yourself about not doing enough during a pandemic when your only goal is trying to survive. I told myself repeatedly it was okay and that I would eventually resume those projects, and if I didn’t then they weren’t for me. But recently, I slowly but surely felt the spark again and I’ve allowed the magic to take hold and guide me back to plans.

    This is what it’s all about. Letting things happen naturally in whatever direction it takes you in. Allow yourself to focus on other things besides your resolutions and treat them like something that you know will improve your life. That’s the magic.

    Can I leave room for magic AND accomplish some goals?

    Absolutely! If you really want to try and stick to your New Year resolutions you just need to plan. Not obsessively because if you’re obsessive about your plan you’re definitely not leaving room for magic. All you need is a flexible, keyword there, step-by-step plan that you can follow to help you work towards your yearly goals. The purpose of planning, as you might already know, makes the process a lot less overwhelming, which is always a nice thing.

    The last thing that you need to remember is to keep it simple. For example, instead of setting a goal to read 100 books in a year, start by setting a goal to read a couple of minutes each day. Don’t focus on the amount of time you read but the idea you took time to do it. And if you couldn’t read one day because you went out with friends or you took an online hobby class or you just didn’t feel like it, that’s fine. It doesn’t mean you failed your goal. You’ll read the next day.

    Simple also means putting things on your resolution list that you have an interest in. Nothing on your list should feel like a burden so be sure to include things that you truly enjoy doing which will help you accomplish tasks on your list.

    New Year Resolutions

  • 40+ Hours of Soothing Christmas Music To Calm You This Holiday Season

    Traditional Christmas music, as a whole, can be jolly and bright but if you’re feeling stressed and are looking to slow down and unwind while keeping the spirit of the season these soothing Christmas music playlists will do the trick.

    Below you’ll find a curated mix of artists and instrumental sounds ranging from piano, harp, cello, and guitar. These soothing Christmas music playlists are great for meditation or ambiance. Combined these playlists have almost 1000 songs spanning almost 45 hours of relaxed listening time.

    Soothing Christmas Music

    Relaxing Christmas Music 2021 101 songs | 4 hr 30 min

    Christmas Spa Meditation 14 songs | 1 hr 8 min

    Relaxing Guitar Christmas  270 songs | 12 hr

    Cat Trumpet 10 songs | 26 min 59 sec

    Cozy Christmas Jazz – 51 songs | 2 hr 40 min

    Cello Hymns Peaceful and Relaxing – 92 songs | 2 hr 56 min

    Christmas Calm Instrumentals – 328 songs | 13 hr

    Relaxing Christmas Music – 10 songs | 29 min 13 sec

    Christmas Study – 83 songs | 3 hr 53 min

    Christmas Harp – 120 songs | 2 hr 45 min

  • Feeling Down and Out? Here Are 5 Ways To Bring Joy Into Your Life

    The past two years have not been easy on anyone. The uncertainty of the pandemic has, quite obviously, led to a sharp rise in the number of those hit by anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders. Being cooped up at home for over a year coupled with a complete change of our daily life and routine has been stressful for all.

    My world (like yours) was turned upside down. The bouts of depression, anger, confusion, and sadness have taken a toll on me physically, mentally, and emotionally. I found myself at times unable to deal with any of it. The kids slept in for as long as they wanted, ate snacks for breakfast, and online school meant they were on zoom in their pajamas or assignments sometimes weren’t completed. I felt guilty and embarrassed but I was dealing with everything happening the best way I could. It wasn’t perfect by any means but it also prevented me from truly losing it all.

    Today things are slowly going back to “normal”, and I use that term loosely as I don’t think we’ll be living like it was 2019 any time soon, so I find myself trying to readjust to routines that I’ve forgotten. To gain back inspiration for projects I shelved. To find strength and joy in my life once more. If you feel the same I assure you the concept of regaining all is not lost. It takes time, patience, and trust within yourself to know happiness is on the horizon.

    Be Close to Family & Friends

    If there’s one thing this pandemic has taught each one of us, it is the value of closeness to some of the best relationships in our life. Being at a physical distance from them can be tough, and sometimes, overwhelming too, but thanks to the power of technology, you’re just one video call away from being able to see them. And if you’re not in the mood to Zoom a good ole fashioned phone call will do the trick. It’s all about staying in regular contact with your loved ones.

    Spend Time Doing What You Truly Like

    Now’s the perfect time to pamper yourself a bit, and do more of the things that you love doing, but didn’t get the chance to do earlier. It can be anything from painting, watching your favorite TV shows, or playing an instrument. Use this time to do a little something for yourself. Don’t fall into the trap of trying to be productive just for the sake of it. No matter how big or small the activity it’s totally worth doing something that will make you feel better and recharge you.

    Make Your Favorite Meals

    If there’s one thing that can instantly make you feel better and is something that everyone in the world enjoys, it’s a good meal. So go ahead and recreate a delicious meal in your kitchen, and enjoy it with everyone in your home. Since moving into an apartment with modern amenities, I’ve been able to savor the moment of this simple pleasure in life. I’ve never happily cooked so much. I’ve discovered new recipes that become new family favorites.

    Catch Up on Sleep

    Sleep can be the most relaxing, yet fruitful activity you can engage in during the lockdown (or at any time). Sleep in with no regrets this time, and get your body the chance to truly heal and recover from the previous days. Getting enough sleep will, in fact, also improve your mood and make you feel happier in general. Additionally, cat naps are another way to catch up on sleep. If you find yourself feeling drained and unable to focus during the day. The sleep will rejuvenate you allowing the creativity to flow in your newly refreshed mind.

    And lastly,

    Start Being Happy TODAY

    I learned a long time ago that we are in charge of our own happiness. Once I realized that then the only sensible step would be to wake up telling myself that it would be a good day and that I’m going to be happy and enjoy whatever moments are put forth. I also told myself that no one can take my joy unless I gave it away. I guarded my happiness and made sure nothing and no one around me had the power to make me miserable. From there on out I saw a difference in my life and never looked back.