Health & Wellness

  • 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.

  • Why Multitasking Can Hinder Living in the Moment and Achieving Peace of Mind

    Humans can truly only focus on one thing at a time. While this is both a blessing and curse, scientists are still unsure of why this happens exactly. Yes, some people would like to be able to multitask better than they are currently able but this might not always provide the desired benefits. Studies, like from Psychology Today, have shown that multitasking causes stress and makes your mind less effective. The more divided and distracted the mind is, the more likely it will get stuck or go off track.

    Now imagine a dog chasing after balls that are being thrown in three different directions. She goes a few steps in one direction, then runs three more steps elsewhere before turning around to go back for the first ball again. In this analogy, you can think of the dog as your mind and the balls as thoughts or distractions. Your ability to focus on a task is reduced the more constantly you shift your attention.

    Achieving Peace of Mind mommyrandr

    Needless Worry

    But that’s not the whole story. Worrying about non-present events falls into the category of micro thinking, and can actually drain your mental and emotional resources. It is not worth the time and effort, so it may be best to avoid the conflict of multitasking that cannot be won. Others might argue that if they can’t use their conscious mind to multitask, then why not employ the power of the subconscious instead? While it may not be obvious, people rely on their subconscious more than they realize. Remember: It’s one of our most powerful tools.

    When answering a question about a past event, people don’t usually have to consciously search through every minute of the past. Instead, the subconscious mind takes over and provides your answer before you’re consciously aware of it—much faster than a conscious search would take. Memorizing facts and actions requires a lot of energy. It doesn’t just take up space in the brain, it also takes a toll on emotions.

    The Mind

    The conscious mind is like the user interface of a computer because it can be manipulated with touch, whereas the subconscious resembles the processor. As automated as your subconscious is, it still needs to obey certain orders. The more complicated the order or task, the more likely it will lock up and freeze.

    For example, after a fight with your significant other, it can be hard to focus on work or sleep. This happens because your subconscious mind continues to think about the past event, sometimes even more so than during the time it happened. The emotional response of your brain then takes up all of your brain’s processing capacity and colors every other thought you have.

    In addition to the present, future time is important too. However, there is a glaring caveat to this statement that needs to be added. While it is important to think about the future, we should really only ever contemplate it on rare occasions. It’s not something we should spend much time thinking about, because just like the past, our future cannot be changed by thinking about it. But what we do in the moment will change it.

    The Future

    One of the worst things you can do when stressed is to think about what could go wrong in the future as the future is out of our control. We only have now. And what we do now, impacts the future. Furthermore, if you break your tasks and challenges into smaller chunks, it will be easier for your mind to deal with them and not just see the larger ones as more stressful. This is a great way to cure procrastination.

    The Zone

    When we focus on one task, even for a short period of time, it has a therapeutic effect. Every single person is probably familiar with the feeling of being so absorbed in an activity that they forget temporarily about everything else. They’re in the zone. This state of “zone” emphasizes maximal attention and enjoyment or pain, depending on the nature of the activity.

    The body uses this principle to reduce pain. When an individual suffers from a cut, burn, or another painful injury, the pain can be reduced by massaging the area around the wound. By causing the nerves to send pulses to the spine region, doctors can often lessen the feeling of pain from injured areas. The psychological effect in the brain is similar. By engaging in what’s going on right now, we can block out other thoughts that might cause us stress.

    Diversions

    The sensation of “diversion”—in some languages, a synonym for “fun”—is the soul of finding peace through focusing on the present moment and not anything else that might cause you stress. The activity does not need to be pleasurable. A simple, mundane task like scrubbing the bathtub will work just as well. Many people find activities like gardening, jogging, sports, or painting therapeutic. Even engaging in their work without any pressure can make them more relaxed. Instead of engaging your physical senses, meditation uses conscious thought.

    Regardless of the method or activity you choose, diversion tactics can be a singularly effective way to live in the moment and achieving peace of mind.

    Achieve Peace of Mind mommyrandr

  • 24 Things You Can Start Doing To Prepare For Autumn

    Summer is almost over so now is the time to do things to prepare for autumn. While Autumn doesn’t officially begin until mid-September it’s never too early to start slowly phasing out summer. Here are some things that you can do starting today to prepare for autumn.

    Prepare For Autumn By:

    Doing A Closet Cleanse

    Take a look at your fall clothes from last year and see what’s worth keeping. Donate or give away in your local ‘But Nothing’ Facebook group what you no longer want to make room for this season’s trends. Don’t go too heavy on certain trendy pieces because you want items that you can continue to year over the next several fall seasons.

    Saying Bye-Bye To Your Summer Beauty Routine

    The beauty products you would use in the summer aren’t the same as those you’d use in the fall or winter. Because the fall air is cooler and drier our skin can crack and dry out. So as a way to prevent this you should change your beauty products that focus on hydration and moisturizing to keep your skin smooth and glowing.

    Review Your Goals For The Year and Years’ Ahead

    Take a look at where you are now in the year have you accomplished much on your to-do list? If so, wonderful! Keep up the great work. If not, then now is the time to reassess and make a plan to help you complete those goals by the end of the year – or at least have them started. Also, the start of the year isn’t the only time to make new goals. You can make goals any time during the year. Use this time to look at what you want to accomplish next year and note what you need to do to make it happen.

    Pulling Out Your Flannel Sheets and Heavy Blankets

    I don’t know about you but I love nothing more than getting snuggly under the covers with warm sheets. You may not need both at the start of autumn but you can certainly mix-n-match them until it gets cold enough for both. I’ll sometimes use a regular fitted sheet and a flannel top sheet like a thin blanket. Speaking of blankets, pull out and wash (or Fabreeze) your heavy blankets. Don’t get caught out there in the middle of a chilly night and no blanket to keep you warm. Keep it folded at the foot of your bed for each reach in the middle of the night.

    Stocking Up On All Your Favorite Autumn-Scented Candles

    If you haven’t started doing so now is the time to start stocking up on your favorite autumn-scented candles. You’ll be hard-pressed to find them mid-season and if you do all the good scents are usually gone. If you find a new scent you love buy more than one. Don’t leave it thinking it will be there when you go back the next time. It won’t. Trust me. I’ve learned this lesson the hard way.

    Ordering Pumpkin Spice Lattes

    Nothing signifies the impending arrival of the fall season than the annual return of Starbucks’ infamous Pumpkin Spice Latte. While their fall meu comes out a month before fall that doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself to an early taste of fall. Think of it as a way to slowly say goodbye to the warmer weather while saying hello to the cooler months that are on the way.

    Looking Up New Fall Recipes

    Prepare For Autumn

    As the weather starts to cool, the more inclined we are to stay indoors, which means munching. Use the time indoors to try new delicious recipes that your stomach will love.

    Go On An Autumn-Themed Adventure

    Rent a cabin, go apple/pumpkin picking, visit a winery, go for foliage hikes – all of these are things great things to do to welcome autumn.

    Adding Autumn-Themed Decor To Your Home and Porch

    Don’t keep the fall decor to the inside of your house. Take it to your porch or apartment door. Hang a fall floral wreath, place a pumpkin or two, or a basket of pinecones. You can also bring a little personality to your pumpkins by painting them various colors or adding designs to them. Pinterest has tons of autumn ideas for your home.

    Stocking Up On In-Season Fruits and Veggies

    There are several fruits and veggies that come into season in autumn. Fill your cart up with apples, cranberries, pumpkins, butternut squash, beets, cabbage, brussels sprouts, and eggplant. You can get a complete list here.

    Getting A Humidifier

    Prevent your skin from drying out by getting a humidifier. I recommend putting it in your bedroom since that’s where we spend the most time. It will help keep your passageways giving you a better night’s sleep.

    Increasing Your Vitamin D Intake

    During the summer our bodies get plenty of Vitamin D from the sun but in the fall (and especially in the winter) that isn’t the case. To prevent Vitamin D deficiency you should consider taking a supplement. You can also add more Vitamin D-enriched foods to your diet such as salmon, mushrooms, almonds, carrots, and eggs to name a few. You can learn more about Vitamin D intake here.

    Buying Firewood (Burning Or Decorative) For Your Fireplace

    Prepare For Autumn

    I’ve been fortunate enough to have had 2 apartments with fireplaces. They weren’t working fireplaces but that didn’t mean I couldn’t make them appear like they were working. You can stack the logs one on top of the other in the fireplace or display them like you intend to burn them. If logs aren’t your thing you can place oversized candles inside, that you can light, to set a warm and cozy ambiance.

    Replacing Your Thin Summer Curtains With Thicker Heavier Ones

    Aside from putting cute little pumpkins and other autumn decor all over your house make sure you change your curtains. Your thin summer curtains aren’t great for keeping the cold out. However, by hanging heavier ones, you’ll create a warm cozy environment and save money on your heating bill.

    Taking Your Air Conditioner Out The Window 

    The arrival of autumn means cool breezes. Open the window and save a few dollars on your electric bill by opening the window. Also, by mid-October, you’ll want to turn on the thermostat, and if your air conditioner is still in the window you’ll be letting the heat out – and letting the cold in.

    Getting Thick Plastic For Your Windows And Doorways

    Speaking of a drafty house, ever wonder why your house is chilly and you can never figure out why? Check your windows and doorways. Despite them being closed and locked air has still found a way inside. Every winter, usually around January when winter really sets in, I put plastic up to the windows to prevent the cold from coming in. I seal the entire window leaving enough slack for the air to fill it without tearing the tape and boy can I tell the difference, and you will too. You’ll be amazed at how much air is trapped in the plastic and how much warmer your house will be.

    Looking For Cracks And Plugging Them To Prevent Rodents

    I’ve lived in New York City for 20 years so I’m quite used to sharing my city with rodents but what I won’t do is share my apartment with them. When I first move into an apartment I plug cracks and holes with steel wool. Once I’ve settled in at the end of the summer season, I look for new cracks and holes because when the weather drops rodents will look for warm places to sleep. Wearing gloves using a butter knife I rip the steel wool apart and stuff it into holes. Rodents can’t claw or eat their way through it so they can’t invade your space.

    Taking Your Car To The Mechanic For A Check-up

    Don’t wait for something to happen to your car for you to take it to the mechanic, especially during the colder months. Get that overdue tuneup, get your quarterly oil change, and check your breaks. This will give you the confidence to know that your car will make it through the colder months without any issue that could have been prevented.

    Treating Yourself To A New Winter Plant

    If you think plants are just for the spring and summer months then you’ve thought wrong. There are a number of indoor plants that thrive during colder months. Treat yourself to a snake plant it naturally grows in drier climates so it can withstand heat from the radiator or space heaters. The ZZ plant can tolerate infrequent watering so if you plan to go out of town for the holidays you won’t have to worry about it when you return. Cast-Iron Plant is another plant that does well in drier climates. Treat yourself to one or two or a few.

    Reading One Book From Your Summer Read List

    Remember that summer read list you created but never read anything from it? Now is the time to choose a book from that list and read it. By taking time out of your day to read a few pages you’ll find be done with that book in no time flat. If you can get through more than one read before the end of summer even better.

    Creating A Fall Reading List

    Grab your summer reading list, cross out the word summer, insert fall, and add books that you want to read before the end of the year.

    Getting The Flu Shot (And Your Covid-19 Vaccination / Booster Shot Too)

    Flu season is almost here so be sure to get your flu shot. The 2020-2021 flu season was low due to everyone being indoors and masking up. With the reduced masking mandates we could see increased numbers so get your flu shot, and while you’re at the pharmacy get your covid vaccination and booster shot too. It’s been approved by the FDA now so there’s no excuse to not get it – and keep your mask on.

    Getting Your Body Ready For The End Of Daylight Savings

    Daylight savings ends in the fall so it’s best if you get your body prepared for the time change. Start going to bed a little earlier as the fallback time change gets closer so your body is used to the time difference.

    Purchasing Your Thermals

    Thermals are a must-have to keep warm during the winter season so don’t wait for it to get cold to get yours. Get them now as you prepare for autumn so that you get them before they sell out in your size. I personally don’t wear thermals I wear fur-lined leggings. I wear them under my jeans to keep warm.

    Prepare For Autumn

  • 10 Ways To Spring Clean Your Mind, Body, and Spirit

    With the arrival of spring comes the need to spring clean. We clean out our closets, spare bedrooms, and cracks and crevices that haven’t been touched since who knows when. Often, we think that’s where the cleaning ends when our bodies could use a little spring cleaning as well.

    Here are 10 Ways To Spring Clean Your Mind, Body, and Spirit:

    Start The Day With Positive Affirmations

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    Starting the day by saying something uplifting to yourself each day will improve your mindset. It will allow positivity to flow pushing out the negative. These personal little pep talks will not only increase your self-love but your self-worth. They will help motivate you to push through any difficult moments you may be experiencing.

    Set Goals

    No law says you can only set new goals at the start of the new year. You can start a new set of achievable goals anytime you want, and by “achievable” I mean, goals that will help get you to the finish line of your master plan. You can easily set a goal of being a billionaire but what goals do you need to achieve in between to get you there?

    If you haven’t set any goals yet, whether they be personal or business that’s fine. Take some time out to really think about what those steps entail and put them someplace where you can see and read them every day – like on the bathroom mirror or the fridge.

    Rid Yourself of Toxic People in Your Life

    If there are people in your life who aren’t being supportive of you or who are causing unnecessary drama and stress in your life then it’s time to cut the strings. I know it may be hard because you’ve known that person for so long and have shared so many great memories with them, but if the relationship is clouded in negativity it will only plague you and keep you down. You need to wish them well and release them from your life.

    This also goes for blocking and muting certain social media accounts. Regardless if they’re family or not, if they’re doing nothing but spreading negativity, misinformation, or maybe they’re just annoying then it’s time to spring clean them from your timeline. Out of sight, out of mind.

    Get Some Sun

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    With the arrival of daylights saving and spring means the arrival of nice weather. Get outside as much as the weather will allow. I know in some places spring can still bring chilly rainy weather but at least it’s just a jacket and not a down coat, so that’s good. The spring sun will give your body a renewed sense of energy, gives your body much-needed vitamin D, and cause having the sun on your skin feels good.

    Take Your Vitamins

    As we get older, our bodies have a harder time processing the nutrients we need from our food to keep us healthy. Therefore, by taking supplement we are ensuring that our bodies are getting everything it needs to allow our insides to age as gracefully as our outsides. Vitamins serve many purposes like improving short-term memory loss while increasing our overall energy. If you have a habit of forgetting to take your vitamins then set a reminder to do so and keep the reminder going until it becomes second nature.

    I like taking my vitamins at night just before bed as I feel more energized the next day. The vitamin breaks down while I sleep and when I wake up I’m ready to do the job at hand. As opposed to taking them when I wake up and waiting all day for them to take effect.

    Drink Plenty of Water

    Say farewell to juices and carbonated drinks that are filled with nothing but sugar, which does nothing but ruin your teeth and shape. When you feel the thirst coming on having a glass of water instead. Water is a true thirst quencher. It jump-starts your energy and gives you clear skin among other things. If plain water is too boring for you, you can infuse your water with fruits or drink flavored tea with a few drops of honey for sweetness.

    Change Your Eating Habits

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    Ditch the processed and fast foods in favor of healthy home-prepared meals. While those hot McDonald’s fries may smell good they’ll do nothing but clog your arteries and add on the pounds. Stay away from foods that are pumped with hormones. Choose organic products and produce, and be sure to read the labels on foods you’re purchasing. If it contains twenty-letter ingredients you can’t pronounce then stay away from it. now I’m not saying that you can never enjoy certain fast foods, cause to me that would be unreasonable. But what I am saying is cut down on how much of it you’re eating. If you’re eating it 5 nights a week then work your way down to two to three nights a month. It’s won’t be easy but it will be worth it in the long run.

    Get Fit

    As much as we may want to manifest a flat stomach it doesn’t work that way. To spring clean your body, it’s going to take more than just eating right and drinking water. You’re going to have to -clutches pearls- work out. Oh, the horror I know. Now I’m not saying you have to go hardcore at the gym 7 hours a day 7 days a week. But, you should make it a priority to get in a gym or if you prefer begin a workout routine at home. Several online fitness routines will get your body in shape not just for beach season, but ALL seasons.

    Be Grateful

    Be thankful that you’re alive and well to see a new day, and for everything you have in your life. It’s easy to take for granted everything that we have, and we must remember what is here today can be gone tomorrow. To ensure showing gratitude is a part of your daily thoughts you can start or complete a gratitude journal or you can participate in a 30-day challenge. There is an endless amount of ways that you show how grateful you are for all you have.

    Take A Timeout

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    When I say take a timeout I don’t mean go sit in a corner, well I mean you could if your corner is considered your happy retreat. You see, timeouts aren’t just for kids, they’re for adults too. It’s all about giving yourself as much time as you can throughout the day to take a step back to clear your mind so you don’t feel frazzled. No two timeouts are the same. Someone may take a timeout to nap while someone else may take the time to read a few chapters of a new book, or maybe do some meditation. So take as much time as you need to mentally, physically, and emotionally detox.

    Those are my 10, can you think of any other ways to help spring clean your mind, body, and spirit?