5 Must Have Essential Oils To Keep Around The Home

5 essential oils WilcoWellness

Essential oils can be used for a multitude of things

Think to yourself. When you hear the word “essential oil,” what comes to mind? For most, pictures of soap or perfume flood our minds. Essential oils (which may be referred to as EO) can be used in various products or services – aromatherapy, soap, perfume, and other personal care products.

 

However, the common question is: What else are they good for? As a very versatile product, essential oils can be used for a multitude of things. Some common uses are personal care, in-home cleaning, and all-over well-being. Keep reading for five must-have essential oils to keep around the home.

 

Tea Tree Essential Oil

Keep a bottle of tea tree oil in the medicine cabinet. This well-known med-aid helps treat various skin conditions such as athlete’s foot, fungus, eczema, and acne. Easily combine with lavender for a smell-good antiseptic to heal minor cuts, scrapes, bites, and burns. Tea Tree oil is incredible for kiddos because it saves the tears while cleaning and sanitizing while promoting faster healing.

 

Eucalyptus Essential oil

A few drops in the diffuser during cold and flu season may be just what the holistic practitioner ordered! Eucalyptus oil helps clear chest congestion and a stuffy nose. Combine with lemon oil for a fresher smelling homemade cleaner.

Shower your home with this tangy combo during your spring cleaning spree. 10 drops of Eucalyptus essential oil and 10 drops of Lemon essential oil combined with 4 ounces of distilled water and 2 teaspoons of witch hazel is the perfect DIY room spray!

 

Lemon Essential Oil

Are you doing a “clean sweep” around the house? Lemon oil can assist – almost anywhere! Add to the laundry for a fresh, clean scent, or add to an air freshener for a sweet summer breeze. Blend up home-cleaning remedies for tables, counters, toys, floors, and more around the home. It’s safe and easy to use!

 

Peppermint Essential Oil

Uneasy stomachs, for cramps and nausea, favor peppermint oils for their soothing scents. Mix with a carrier oil and run on your tum to reap the benefits. Additionally, peppermint is known for clearing the air by diffuser or by nasal passage (for when you feel sinus coming on!)

 

And when we mean “clear the air,” you’re going to have still to have that awkward conversation with your previous cleaning products company! Tell them, “SEE YA”! You’ve found a home remedy that works!

 

Lavender Essential Oil

Miss famous over here! People LOVE lavender essential oil (and with a good reason). It’s a standard blender because it goes well with so many other oils. It’s known for its sleepy or soothing properties and can be dropped into a diffuser to encourage a good night’s sleep. Additionally, it holds healing properties for various skin rashes. Use it to help heal minor abrasions while promoting calmness!

Be sure to speak with your practitioner

These are some of our favorite essential oils to keep around the house because of their versatility. Do not ingest oils, and be sure to speak with your practitioner to help guide you with the proper dosage of essential oils when welcoming them into your home. You can follow a fellow friend, Kelly Frick, for more information on essential oils. She’s a wonder on Youtube and Facebook. Thank you for stopping by our blog.

 

Where to buy essential oils locally?

  • Sanctuary Holistic Kitchen
  • Kelly Frick via DoTerra
  • WilcoWellness via Young Living  

Kelly Frick’s Blog:

https://kellyfrickconnect.com/

 

Some of our favorite videos from Kelly: 

YouTube Channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCqMIrJjgnrSU8G3nFTq-mQ/videos

What to do with your extra bottles? Upcycled bottles:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hA6kZoxCumA

 

 

 

 

The Many Benefits Of Laughter For A Healthier, Happier Life

laughter is the Best Medicine wilcoWellness

Given that humans are innately social creatures, community ties and intimate connections are essential to both present and long-term happiness

A 2017 study published in the Journal of Neuroscience reveals how social laughter, or “contagious laughter,” triggers the release of endogenous opioids in the brain. As we laugh together, this release both makes us happier and bonds us together. In the words of the philosopher and psychologist, William James,

“We don’t laugh because we’re happy, we’re happy because we laugh.”

But the benefits of laughter stretch beyond making us live longer, feel happy, and enjoy stronger connections to our social support networks. How else can laughter improve one’s health and wellbeing?

 

The Physical Benefits of Laughter

  • Boosts immunity: Laughter has the power to strengthen the body’s endocrine system and increase infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving resistance to disease.
  • Lowers stress hormones: Prolonged stress can cause everything from ulcers to tinnitus and brain fog. Laughter decreases cortisol levels by increasing oxygen intake and stimulating the circulation of feel-good chemicals throughout the body.
  • Decreases pain: Laughter both helps people forget about pain and improves pain tolerance by spurring the body to produce endorphins, otherwise known as “happy hormones.”
  • Relaxes muscles: Aside from being a terrific ab workout, laughter also strengthens another muscle: the heart. In general, the stronger the heart, the stronger the circulation of blood and oxygen, and the less tense muscles feel.
  • Prevents heart disease: Approximately 610,000 people die of heart disease every year in the United States, according to the CDC. Laughter is considered an excellent cardiovascular workout that reduces inflammation and boosts “good” HDL cholesterol.

The Mental Health Benefits of Laughter

  • Eases stress and anxiety: Laughter mimics taking a deep breath in that it pumps oxygen through the body and helps to calm us down.
  • Improves mood: Laughter can turn negative experiences into positive ones. In addition to improving your outlook and perspective on the world around you, a positive attitude uplifts others.
  • Strengthens resilience: Laughter is a powerful tool for resolving conflict and seeing the bright side of almost any situation. It’s not just a quick pick-me-up. It also creates strong memories that can remind you of your strength further down the road.
  • Reduces stress: By unleashing feel-good hormones, our stress hormone levels decrease, and our bodies are detoxed from stress hormones, cortisol, and epinephrine.

The Social Benefits of Laughter

  • Strengthens relationships: Humor is a powerful tool to heal resentments, disagreements, and hurt. The laughter-fueled release of serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins bonds individuals together for the short and long-term.
  • Attracts others: A person who laughs a lot tends to have an attractive and healthy glow. And by sharing a laugh with someone, we also communicate that we share the same worldview, at least in part.
  • Enhances teamwork: There’s a reason workplace culture and team-building is especially conducive to a company’s success. More laughter means stronger bonds and less stress, making work more enjoyable and less exhausting for all.
  • Helps defuse conflict: When tensions arise in meetings or fatigue, and stress gets the best of colleagues, it’s helpful for everyone to take a break and be reminded that we work to live– not the other way around!

 

Where to Laugh in Williamson County, Texas:

Take a moment and have a giggle at a few great places to catch a laugh with your friends, family, or co-workers:

#1 – CSZ Austin – Home of ComedySportz 

 

#2 – Drive-in Comedy Shows at Blue Starlite Drive-in

 

#3 – The Georgetown Palace Theatre

 

They say that laughter is the best medicine, and over the years, numerous scientific studies have proven that happier people tend to live longer. Along with a healthy diet and exercise, living a happier and less stressful life is one of the keys to longevity. There is no single recipe for happiness, as different people find happiness in different things. However, one thing is certain; laughter is a simple pleasure that can make anyone, whether young or old, feel better.

 

Spring Forward: Mind, Body & Soul Cleanse for a Healthy Spring

Samantha Becomes a Wife Wilcowellness

People, places, and things. Why do we spend so much time forming attachments to things that do not necessarily matter? 

Like toxic relationships or unnecessary belongings, these trivial things overburden our lives. 

 

Holding onto items that no longer serve us stems from suffering – and in a strange way, it seems comforting to do. Humans tend not to let go of things because we fear they cannot be replaced, or they will completely vanish from our lives if we let go. 

 

When you decide to let go of these things, the space they use to take up can be utilized with something better to serve you. In this blog, we discuss how cleaning your mind and space can create infinite possibilities. 

 

Most people do not find “letting go” an easy task, but it’s as simple as dropping thoughts, emotions, or things that take up way too much space within your headspace. For example, when you were a child, you would play with toys, but as adults, they do not serve a purpose in your life as they did when you were a child. You learned to drop the attachment with these toys. You learned to let go. 

 

“When you are unattached, you have inner freedom. You have no investment in a particular outcome, and so you do what is necessary in the moment. You explore every option and are receptive to all new information. You do all that you know to do, and then trust, because you have no attachment to either the result or how the result is produced,” writes Charlene Belitz and Meg Lundstrom in The Power of Flow: Practical Ways to Transform Your Life with Meaningful Coincidence.

 

It’s funny how life works. It offers a line of help each day, which encourages you to let go of anything that might be taxing your spiritual, physical, emotional, or mental health. 

 

Stop what you’re doing right now. Can you take inventory of your current life? If something is making you unfulfilled or unhappy, it may be time to reconsider the space it’s taking up. 

 

Consider people in your life. Do you have a relationship with someone who is draining or toxic? Relationships that provide no personal growth for either party are involuntarily draining. Yet, we find time to spend on these individuals for many different reasons (and end up suffering within). 

 

Who? You? Yes, you! What are some reasons that you spend with toxic people? If you need a reminder, here are a few:
  • They have astounding “assets,” like a swimming pool in the summertime.
  • They make you feel “special” by delivering cheap comments (but may later talk trash on you.
  • They may be fun to hang out with but do not care about your well-being. Can you call them if you have a flat tire or broke up with your boyfriend?

Reflect on your relationships that may make you feel unhappy, empty, or uninspired. If you’re unsure which relationships these are, take a look at your physiology when you’re with “prospective” people. Do you feel frustrated, emotional, and drained after spending time with these people? Sometimes, you might feel physically exhausted after having dinner with a friend. THESE are the people that drain you.  

 

You might have a better picture in your head of who these people are, but we don’t recommend immediately severing your connections with them. You might want to slowly distance yourself from them by cutting communication back and not attending social gatherings that may include them. 

 

When you let go of people who no longer serve you, there’s a space left open for people that do. People who make you happy, inspired, and encouraged to align your path with come along with ease. Be it that, you need to become that you wish to attract. 

 

If you desire to have more love, trust, and loyal relationships, you must embody your qualities and values yourself. 

 

Individuals must be like-minded and vibrate on the same frequency to form strong friendships and connections; interests and personalities may differ. With the same outlook on life, you’re able to build a strong bond. 

 

You will align yourself with things that matter when you start to pursue fulfilling and sustainable relationships. You will slowly become aware of things that are important as you allow for space within your life. It’s a natural process that makes you inclined toward healthier decisions that provide you with a sense of peace, joy, and fulfillment. 

 

It’s similar to when you start a new health and fitness journey where you no longer want to eat rubbage foods, instead gravitating towards healthier food options. You might also begin exercising during this time and become aware of how your body feels while progressing along your fitness journey. In the beginning, you may not want to eat right and exercise, but along the way, you desire that time spent making yourself a better person. 

Decluttering the home to find things that no longer serve you can bring a similar sense of satisfaction. There’s an inner reward that comes when you do something that brings natural happiness, especially when you no longer have space for harmful or toxic situations. 

 

 “The idea is to not have to let go, later, of what has become a burden, but rather to not hold on in the first place. Not holding on doesn’t mean being at a forced distance from what’s happening, but being fully with it.” – John Frazier, The Freedom of Being: At Ease with What Is

 

When your mind and body no longer become attuned to higher states of wellness, they physically no longer need destructive or toxic habits to provide fulfillment as they once offered. 

 

It’s not always easy. We sometimes want to obsess over insignificant circumstances or events that don’t serve us. The best piece of advice I can offer to you is to gain control of your mind with small steps. Consider these simple phrases, mantras to get you started: 

  • I have processed this and no longer need to visit it. 
  • All is well; I am safe. 
  • I breathe out fear and breathe in love. 
  • I am releasing what no longer serves me & expanding into my highest potential. 
  • I will not hesitate; I will just do what I need to do. 
  • I will accept what I cannot control.
  • I accept myself as I am. 
  • I’ve done more than enough today. 
  • I am human. 
  • I will live in the present. 
  • I will be a magnet for ideas today. 
  • I will acknowledge my self-worth. 

 

Start in the Comfort Zone

Don’t feel ashamed of starting your journey within your comfort zone. I promise that you will watch things unfold, almost like magic. You will want evidence that you are making the right decisions, and that’s why we suggest starting here. Once you understand that life is coming to the rescue, you will begin to make bigger and better decisions that align with your deepest desires. 

 

“If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.” – Mother Theresa

 

If you’re unsure where to start, consider starting within your home. Go room by room, collecting items that no longer serve you or your family, and give them to a place that will get better use.  

 

You may consider asking the universe and yourself for guidance on how and when these items should be released from your possession. Do you need these items out immediately? Can you afford to keep these items around until your next moving date? Only you can decide. 

 

Naturally, the creative universal intelligence will help you find the right people who need your things. Consider researching different organizations in the area, and soon enough, you’ll find yourself inclined to give something somewhere with intent. You’ll know it’s the right time or place, especially if your intentions align correctly with the gift of giving. 

 

Be open-minded. The universe operates in mysterious ways.

Humans naturally think in linear patterns. However, in doing so, we block a great deal of mystery and synchronicities to occur. And if you think about it, the universe is a professional at “thinking” in multidimensional levels. That’s how it operates, and events will occur accordingly. As selfish as we’d not like to admit, that’s how the universe works, and events happen accordingly (and not on your own time). 

 

You must be open to opportunities by creating space within your life.

Who wants a boring life, anyways? People who always talk about how boring and mundane their lives are rarely taking risks and are probably doing the same tasks repeatedly. They do not make space for new excitement. Many of these people do not believe in the great mysteries of the universe and miss out on infinite possibilities. Yet, opportunities and new experiences are waiting to be unfolded! 

 

When you live life from an open perspective, you begin to see each situation as a new opportunity or mystery and with synchronicity. Rather than being attached to the idealization of timing on how things should play out, you’ll open the door for infinite possibilities to occur. 

 

“Life does not know what it will become until it reveals itself.” – Unknown

 

Once you mentally and emotionally detach from a situation, there is an infinite number of events and circumstances that will unfold. Instead, surrender control by allowing yourself to feel blessed for whatever shows up. In that case, you will start to find joy, peace, and happiness in everything you do. It’s the universe providing fulfillment in your life that you co-created! 

 

“The less you hold, the more your hands are open to what’s here, unexpected, transformative. In every moment is the possibility for a discovery, a radical undoing,” explains Jan Frazier.

 

This spring, challenge yourself to learn from others and detach from the idealization that life must go a certain way. Let go of things, people, places, or things that no longer serve you in exchange for infinite space for opportunity. You might find it hard to let go but do it anyway. Don’t let your limited way of thinking prevent you from mastering the lessons that life has to offer you, especially one of which is detachment. 

 

Understand that detachment does not equal apathy. It’s quite the opposite as it implies that we are handing over the process of life into a greater force that knows what’s best. We challenge you to accept that everything you want and need can be delivered to you if you make space for it. 

 

Aromatherapy: The Ultimate (Beginner’s) Guide to Essential Oils

Essential OIls WilcoWellness

What are essential oils?

Essential oils are volatile plant extracts that are very concentrated. Oils are obtained through several different extraction methods, and what part of the plant the oil comes from can vary. However, the oil is usually extracted from the most aromatic part. For example, citrus oils come from the rind, and rose oil comes from rose petals.

One might think essential oils are gentle and mostly unreactive because they’re all-natural. However, that’s not the case at all! They’re very potent – sometimes 50-100% stronger than dry herbs! When using essential oils, a little bit goes a long way. It should be appropriately diluted before applying directly to the skin.

Disclaimer: We do not condone the consumption of essential oils. It should only be done under the guidance of a qualified practitioner. To learn more about essential oils for your health speak with our local expert Kelly Frick.

How Should I Dilute My Oils?

As stated before, essential oils can be very potent. The risk of using undiluted oils is skin sensitivity. Intolerance to oils may occur because of the high concentration of plant oils.

 In most cases, you’ll need a carrier oil – a neutral, plant-based oil that can act as a base to help better facilitate the absorption of the oil on the body. Some of the most common types of carrier oils are coconut, sesame, and olive oil. SHK also cares for jojoba and argan oils.

Though specific dilutions can vary based upon personal needs, the general rule of thumb is a dime size carrier with 3-4 drops of the essential oil as a good ratio. 

What can Essential Oils be used for?

As a very versatile product, essential oils can be used for a multitude of things. Some common uses are personal care, in-home cleaning, and for all over well-being.

In this blog, we’ll discuss the most popular essential oils at Sanctuary Holistic Kitchen and the benefits they can bring into your home.

Most Popular Blends at Sanctuary Holistic Kitchen:
Sleepy Head: Fall and Stay Asleep

If you find yourself tossing and turning each night, it might be time you consider some aromatherapy. Several studies show in great detail just how beneficial individual senses can be for ditching the “counting sheep routine,” even during times of high stress.

For example, one study suggests that when an ICU patient sniffed lavender, chamomile, and neroli, their anxiety levels plummet, and their sleep quality improved.

Before “hitting the hay,” take a single whiff to reap the benefits all night long. For longer-lasting benefits, try loading up a diffuser with this sleep-time blend or picking up a pillow spray.

Pick up the “Sleepy Head” remedy from Sanctuary Holistic Kitchen for a better night’s sleep. Made kid-safe with tangerine, ylang-ylang, and lavender.

Other Essential oils that help induce sleep: bergamot, clary sage, frankincense, chamomile, neroli, marjoram, cedar, sandalwood, patchouli, vetiver, and of course, lavender.

Super Shield: Odor Elimination

Block out strong odors with Super Shield. Diffuse for a fresh, clean aroma around the office or house or topically applied for cleaning purposes. As a warm, spicy blend, it’s easy to make any office space cozy and uplifting. Consider diffusing near trash cans to counteract unpleasant senses.

Refresh carpets by combining a cup of baking soda and 5 drops of Super Shield. Let these two sit overnight. By morning, you can sprinkle over carpet and vacuum thoroughly for a fresher-smelling home.

If your honey’s feet stink, offer up a foot massage with Super Shield to help with the smell. You must dilute for topical use.

Pick up the “Super Shield” remedy from Sanctuary Holistic Kitchen to fight common odors around the home or office. Made safe with clove bud oil, lemon peel oil, cinnamon, eucalyptus radiant leaf oil, and rosemary.

Just Breathe: Respiratory & Headache Relief

Clear airways and congestions with one dropper full of Sanctuary Holistic Kitchen’s “Just Breath.” This blend of Mullein, Vitex, Oregano, Tulsi, and Ginger helps clear airways and congestion, making breathing easy again.

Additionally, this product helps take the edge off headaches caused by respiratory ailments. Considering picking up a bottle to minimize the effects of seasonal allergic threats and gaining a restful night of sleep (no more waking up for a tissue).

Most Popular Oils at Sanctuary Holistic Kitchen:
Tea Tree Oil: Promote Healing

From hand sanitizer to insect repellent, tea tree oils have been used for centuries for traditional medicines by aborigines. Native Australians crush up the leaves to extract the oil, which is then inhaled to treat colds and coughs or directly to the skin for healing.

Known for its germ-fighting properties, many use tea tree oil to prevent infections and promote healing, commonly used for fungal and bacterial skin infections. Again, we do not condone direct application or consumption of essential oils. We recommend only following the guidance of certified aromatherapists for recipes in regards to skincare.

Some of the most common uses for tea tree oil:

  • Hand sanitizer
  • Chemical-free mouthwash
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Insect repellent
  • Banish mold on fruits & veggies
  • Relieve Psoriasis
  • Control dandruff
  • Treat athlete’s foot
  • Natural deodorant
  • Ditch nail fungus
  • Antiseptic for scrapes and minor cuts
  • Promotes wound healing
  • Soothe skin irritation
  • Fight acne

Generally speaking, tea tree oil is safe when utilized on adults’ skin, but allergic reactions can occur. It should not be swallowed and can be toxic if done so. Please use caution when using the oil to benefit children and pets. Keep out of reach of children! It might be a good idea to use a small amount on your skin and wait 24-48 hours to see if there’s a reaction when using it for the first time.

Eucalyptus: Ease Pain & Silent Cough

Originating from Australia, eucalyptus trees are now grown globally and used for medicinal purposes. Their healing power comes from leaves that are dried, crushed, and distilled to release essential oils. After oil extraction, it must be diluted before put into fair use as a medicine.

Remember as a child when your mom (or guardian) would rub Vicks VapoRub on your chest to help a cough? Thank eucalyptus oil for the soothing relief! Eucalyptus oil helps calm down coughs but also helps get a mucus build up out of your chest.

Most common uses of Eucalyptus Oil:

  • Ease joint pain
  • Freshen breath
  • Soothe cold sores
  • Silence a nasty cough
  • Control blood sugar
  • Breathe easier
  • Disinfect wounds
  • Keep bugs away
  • Clear chest cold and congestion
Spiritually Connect with Frankincense

Frankincense comes from the Boswellia tree’s resin, which usually grows in mountainous religions of the Middle East, Africa, and India. It can be inhaled, steeped in a tea, taken as a supplement, or safely absorbed through the skin.

And let’s be honest: People love frankincense, and with good reason. From enhancing meditation and spiritual practices to beauty routines, its earthly yet uplifting aroma is ideal for finding spiritual connectedness and grounding.

Diffuse this oil for an empowering earthly aroma to create a relaxing and safe space. Additionally, frankincense helps cultivate smooth, radiant skin when used topically.

Pick up this woody, spicy-smelling aroma at Sanctuary Holistic Kitchen to better spiritual connection and radiant skin.

With a single whiff, essential oils can make you feel good and lift your mood. For some people, it may help alleviate symptoms, like headaches, coughs, and colds. Whether you’re looking to heal your mind or body, stop into Sanctuary Holistic Kitchen for the most popular natural remedies in Williamson County.

Five Ways To Focus On Self-Love And Boost Your Self-Esteem

I-love-you-self-esteem WilcoWellness

Self-esteem has a direct relationship with our overall well-being

A 2019 interview by the National Health Interview Survey revealed that at least 18.5% of adults experience severe symptoms of depression, with symptoms ranging from sadness and emptiness to irritability and changes in cognitive function.

In the way we speak to ourselves and think of ourselves, there is nothing truer than the old adage that beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Poor self-esteem isn’t restricted to those who fall outside the standards we see on TV. Many celebrities who would seem to have it all have admitted to suffering from poor self-esteem, from Kim Kardashian to Jennifer Lopez. Beauty and appearance anxiety are issues experienced globally, with nearly 85% of women admitting to having opted out of social activities due to not feeling good about their appearance, according to the Dove Global Beauty and Confidence Report.

Low self-esteem is prohibiting women and girls from living their lives, from believing in the power of their voices, from asking for a raise at work, and from asserting their boundaries in relationships. With the negative influence of social media and advertisements only increasing, it’s no wonder that depression and suicide rates are also on the rise.

By striving to love ourselves and encouraging other women to love themselves, we do more than raise self-esteem. We save lives. In observance of International Self-Esteem Month, one way to strengthen self-love and gratitude is to practice mindfulness. In other words, to pay closer attention to negative thoughts when they arise and to consciously reroute our minds towards positive thinking.

Remember, no matter how perfect you might think someone else’s body is- or their life, for that matter- there’s a good chance that person focuses much of their energy on their flaws. For that reason, no amount of exercising and eating right can improve a person’s self-esteem if that person perceives themselves through a negative lens. Confidence truly does come from within.

As part of your self-esteem practice this month, the following strategies can help you spark confidence from within, accept yourself flaws and all, and love yourself to bits:

#1 – Speak to yourself lovingly

The way you think impacts the way you perceive, and the way you perceive impacts the way you experience. If you think negatively, you will develop a habit of perceiving yourself in a negative light. Consequently, you will consciously and subconsciously attract negativity into your experience. The first step to improving your self-esteem and brightening your perception of both yourself and the world is by speaking to yourself through a filter of love. If you find yourself regularly drowning in negative self-talk…

#2 – Dedicate yourself to a journal

There is a mysterious power to journaling that only those who dedicate the time and energy into regularly and thoughtfully doing so have the fortune of experiencing. There are many ways to journal and no single outline for how it should be done. It may be beneficial to write out any negative thoughts that you seem to be centering in on, but once they are on paper, consider them banished. Move on from them by spending a little time each day listing or detailing the positive attributes you view in yourself, the goals you wish to accomplish, and the ways you would like to give back to the world. And if you can’t quite find anything positive to say…

#3 – Accept your flaws

We all have them, but we can’t quite embrace them until we have learned to accept them. Some of the most influential people have made careers off of embracing their flaws. Only when you learn to accept yourself for exactly who you are will you be able to focus your energy on your true purpose in this world. Make no mistake; your quirks are not your flaws. Your quirks make you unique, and they are something to flaunt, not to hide. But for those days when you feel like your flaws are getting the best of you…

#4 – Practice self-care

Reality check: it’s very unlikely that one day you will wake up without noticing a single imperfection in yourself. On some level, you will always experience a grain of self-doubt or a lack of self-esteem. But that doesn’t mean you, as a whole being, aren’t perfect exactly as you are. Sometimes, no amount of meditation, exercise, journaling, or affirmations will change the way you think because bad days happen, and that’s exactly where self-care comes into play. Even on your worst days, a soothing face mask, a massage, or a new set of essential oils does wonders to help you reset your mind and renew your strength. Speaking of…

#5 – Share your strengths with the world

It may take a while to arrive at a place where you are able to consistently focus on your strengths rather than your perceived flaws. Like any sport, practice, or art form, positive thinking takes discipline and hard work. One of the best ways to harness those strengths you have trained yourself to focus on is volunteering. Regardless of what you have to offer, there is a place in this world where your strengths are needed and desired for the betterment of the community and the world as a whole.

Have you ever seen a person smile so vibrantly that their joy made you smile? That person may never know how they affected others so positively by simply being present and embracing the beauty of the world around them.

That person, like all of us, has their moments of shame, self-doubt, and poor self-image, but at that moment, it was their smile that shined through- not their imperfections. Your strengths almost always overshadow your flaws in the eyes of others. This month, make a choice to view yourself with the same grace.

Resolution Wellness Check

Resolution Wellness

New Year, New You:

If one of your New Year’s resolutions to better yourself is transforming your body and eating healthier, you are not alone. According to YouGov, in 2019, 48% of people wanted to lose weight, 59% wanted to exercise or workout more, and 54% wanted to eat healthier for their New Year’s resolution in 2019. This is a common goal that so many of us share!

Unfortunately, research also shows that two-thirds of people have found it difficult to lose weight amid coronavirus and the resulting lockdowns. In fact, doctors report that many of their patients have gained an average of 3 to 15 pounds of weight during the lockdown earlier this year.

No doubt, 2020 has brought many challenges for us all, from emotional eating to spending excessive sedentary time at home. The impact of these lifestyle changes has contributed to weight management challenges for even the most disciplined dieters and workout enthusiasts among us.

The first step to achieving a healthy body is to reset your mind

Before you start lifting weights, lift the guilt from your shoulders, and start the new year with a positive approach to your health and wellness goals.

To Trim Down Your Waist, Trim Down Your Goals

If it seems that your goals are too hard to achieve, perhaps they are simply too large to accomplish in a reasonable amount of time. It’s easy to become disappointed and unmotivated if you expect to take giant leaps rather than baby steps.

Instead of envisioning one grand goal for a new you, break your goal down into miniature milestones. Take it slow and steady, and remind yourself that the changes you wish are more likely to become permanent changes when they are realistic and focused.

Examples Of Mini-Milestones For Weight Loss May Include:

  • I will lose one pound a week for two months.
  • I will lose six pounds a month for the next two months, and I will adjust my goals if they become unattainable for me.

Examples Of Mini-Milestones For Dieting May Include:

  • I will have one bowl of salad every day for lunch.
  • I will meal-plan three meals a day for the next two months.

Examples Of Mini-Milestones For Disciplined Desserts May Include:

  • I will have one dessert a week.
  • I will have one small piece of chocolate a day.
  • I will have one cheat day a month.

Small changes tend to be more impactful in the long run because they are easier to maintain and are more focused. Don’t be afraid to combine mini-milestones, either.

Attaining three mini-milestones, such as eating one dessert a week, eating a big salad for lunch, and losing one pound a week, is more feasible than one, broad goal of losing 5 pounds a week yet having no direction to accomplish it.

Healthy mind, healthy body

Positivity is the key to a healthy mind, and a healthy mind is the key to a healthy body. Our environments are full of triggers that can cause us to emotionally spiral and lose control of our goals. The first step to gaining control is to change our approach to stress and find healthier ways to cope.

Consider these four values with regards to how you cope with stress:

  1. Commitment

Commit to the relationships you have with yourself, your loved ones, your job, and your passions. Reduce exterior stressors as best as possible. Do not let what you cannot control affect you.

  1. Control

Life throws curve balls. It doesn’t matter how in-control you think you are. When changes shake your world up, embrace the changes with openness. The more flexible you are, the more you can maintain control over those mini-milestones you’ve set.

  1. Challenge

Don’t let changes or challenges scare you. At the top of the mountain is a beautiful view that you never thought possible. Though you cannot control what challenges come your way, you can embrace them for the purpose they serve in bettering you.

  1. Connection

Connect with yourself through forgiveness when you make mistakes, and connect with others who believe in you no matter what mistakes you make. Be confident. You are here for a reason and you are loved, no matter what shape you are in.

Incorporating workouts

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to huff and puff your way through workouts in order to lose weight. What you do need is to be consistent, however.

Find a workout plan that you enjoy and change it up when you become bored. While some enjoy running or biking, some have a blast and see excellent results with Zumba. Explore new exercise activities, and do a different one each night of the week to avoid burnout and keep things fresh.

Here are some workout reminders to help you avoid burning out:

  1. Start low-impact and work your way up to avoid over-stressing your body.
  2. Choose exercises that don’t make you roll your eyes.
  3. Find an “accountability partner” or family member who will work out with you and keep you motivated.
  4. Take as many breaks as you need at the start, and reduce the number of breaks you take as you build your stamina.
  5. Rest days are good for you, but if you’re the type who needs to do something every day in order to keep the routine flowing, add yoga or meditation on rest days and use the time to train your mind.

Workout to achieve overall wellness rather than a slim body and you will find that the weight sheds itself. Become more mindful and see greater results.

To attain overall wellness, it is important to find a balance between your mind, body, and soul. Some simple ways to do this are:

  • Meditate: meditation helps to improve memory, mood, attention, immunity, sleep, and creativity. Just a few minutes of meditation a day will reward you in immense ways.
  • Journal: No need to write a novel or follow any format that doesn’t interest you. Try writing out your goals as if they have already happened, the steps you took to accomplish them, and the way you feel now that you have.
  • Get outside: Spending time outside freshens your mood, promotes good sleep, and makes you happy. That’s a fact!

Feed Your Entire Self

Though crash dieting and stress-inducing workouts may achieve temporary results, the effects can devastate your long-term resolutions. By feeding your mind with self-love, meditating, forgiving yourself, and learning discipline, you will enjoy the process of achieving your resolutions and find that the rest takes care of itself.

Benefits Of Cuddling

Jan. 6th National cuddle day

Cozy Up To Good Health:

No other winter in recent memory has called upon us to stay inside quite like this one has. Many of us have taken this time to get extra creative with our indoor family activities, even learning new skills and taking up new hobbies.

But every now and then, we need to relax, and there just so happens to be one underappreciated activity that relieves stress, relaxes the body, and boosts immunity. Can you guess what that is? No, it’s not exercising. This activity is fun and easy. It’s cuddling! And we all could use more of it.

These are some of the benefits of cuddling:

  • Boosts the immune system. When we cuddle up next to a partner or even a pet, our brains release a burst of serotonin, which is linked to improved immune function. The release of serotonin also reduces cortisol, a chemical that is connected to diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and more. In case you didn’t know, professional cuddlers are totally a thing. They must be really healthy!
  • Releases the “love hormone.” By that, we’re referring to oxytocin – a hormone often referred to as the love hormone because it’s triggered by everything that has to do with love, from cuddling and kissing to childbirth and breastfeeding. Aside from producing that irresistible, lovey-dovey feeling, oxytocin is known to reduce anxiety and depression, relieve stress, and strengthen the bond shared with those we cuddle.
  • Snuggling up is oh-so-good for the heart. Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that cuddling is a superior medicine for the heart. For their study, 100 adults with spouses or long-term partners were asked to hug and hold hands while watching a 10-minute video, while another group of 85 individuals were asked to “rest quietly” without their partners. Following this portion of the experiment, individuals were asked to talk about a recent stressful experiment. Those who had no contact demonstrated significantly higher systolic and diastolic blood pressure and faster heartbeats too.

The more cuddling, the better.

Learn how to be a better partner with these cozy-on-up-tips:

Read your partner

Being a great cuddler isn’t actually about what cuddling gives you. Instead, it’s about how well you can read your partner and adapt to their movements and comfort levels. Contrary to popular belief, women aren’t the only ones who love cuddling. Research finds that men tend to value it even more than women in relationships.

Slow it down

Tempting as it may be to jump right into a full tangle, remember that the journey is the destination. Take it slow by starting with small caresses and communicating your way closer and closer.

Explore the details

The body is full of unexplored nerve endings and places that you wouldn’t think of to caress. Similar to how it doesn’t feel like much at all to tickle yourself, these details are ones you’ll have to discover on your partner. You would be surprised by just how amazing it feels to have your earlobes rubbed in a circular motion or to have the very tips of your fingers massaged.

Find confidence in silence

True intimacy includes the ability to communicate openly. It’s also the ability to know when to turn it off and simply enjoy one another’s presence. For new partners, learning to cuddle is a way to strengthen a bond, and also learn how to simply be present without filling every second with conversation.

Ask. Then ask again

There remains a misconception around consensuality– that constantly asking your partner if it’s okay to touch one place or place an arm around another is weak or unassertive. There’s something about asking and being willing to accept whatever answer you’re given that’s incredibly attractive, though. Even better, one partner’s communication opens the door for the other to speak up about their preferences too.

In addition to all its other benefits, the release of oxytocin crystallizes emotional moments and cements them into our brains. Make those memories even sweeter with a sustainable oil candle, Himilayan Salt Lamp, or Anointing Body Oil from Sanctuary Holistic Kitchen. Life is short, but time really does seem to stop in those special, intimate moments when we are close to someone we love.

Wintertime: Avoiding Dry Skin and related stressors

Healthy Holiday Skin

 

Burr! Cold weather can be tough on the skin, especially during today’s pandemic times of masking up.

Our Texas air tends to be very dry due to cold temperatures and low humanity levels, which draws moisture away from the skin.

 In combination, most of us have been staying indoors to practice socially distancing, but the dry indoor heat can wreak havoc – leading to cracking or bleeding. Some skin conditions, like eczema or psoriasis, may flare up due to colder, dry months.

While moisturizing helps, you can do more to help heal your skin. Hold tight until spring! Here are some tips to help reduce skin irritation, redness, and chapping while cultivating healthy skin:

First and foremost, get to know your skin!

Whether you worship the sun or uphold (what may seem) “too high of” sun safety standards, it’s essential to get to know your skin, and it’s habits. Keep notes of new changes or growths and how your skin reacts in different climates. Once you know your skin better, you can prepare for different scenarios.

Keep Safe with Sunblock in Wintertime.

You might be thinking, “Oh! It’s wintertime. We don’t need sunscreen.” However, wearing sunscreen in the winter is just as important as in the summer. If you wear base make-up, look to see if there is a version available with sunscreen.

According to Beaumont Dermatologist in Farmington Hills, Brian Kopitzki, D.O., “Sunscreen should be worn every day you plan on spending time outdoors, all year round,” due to the thin ozone layer and snow intensifying the sun’s rays.

Skip long, hot showers (even if they sound like a cure-all).

We know a nice, hot shower sounds delightful after a cold day. Though tempting, avoid at all costs! You see, when you shower with hot, harsh water too vigorously, you are washing away the most outer layer of skin (including the skin’s natural oils). When possible, bathe with luke-warm water (especially on your face and hands).

Say “no” to tanning!

You might be missing the sunshine, but skip tanning that may lead to cell damage (which may, in turn, lead to skin cancer). The harmful ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation are not worth the risk, even during those bleak, dark days. Collect sunshine by going for a brisk walk with the protection of sunscreen.

Go shopping for the best winter moisturizers!

Cold and dry months require a different type of moisturizer to combat potential skin damage. Shop local to choose a new moisturizer based on your skin type. If you’re more prone to breaking out, stay away from oil-based formulas and go for one with lipids instead. If you have dry skin, grab one with an emollient moisturizer. It may seal in moisture better while providing an added layer for protection!

Here are a few of our favorites both local and in Texas:

You might be interested in Farmhouse Fresh’s Whoopie Cream Shea Butter. Our CEO, Deborah Price, loves swears by this brand. She says it “smells delightful and locks in moisture!”

Locally, ElieCat makes lip moisturizers and hand cleansers. Recently, we purchased marketing gift samples from her and can highly recommend her products. She’s easy to work with, fun, and her products work wonders.

The owner of Herban Veda, Caitlan Rowe, makes year-round products within her apothecary. She focuses on recycled and compostable packaging as well as sustainable and homegrown herbs. We love her Tri-Doshic Rose and Honey Face Mask, which is suitable for all skin types and made to “balance all constitutions” and “take your skin on a journey back in time.” And we’re here for it!

Lower stress levels to avoid skin from going haywire

Your skin is your body’s biggest organ. And when stressed, it can drive our skin haywire. While many bottled-up tinctures and masks may help soothe or aesthetically please, a solid skincare routine may not cut it. There’s a chance that an imbalance of hormones is happening beneath your epidermal surface due to higher stress levels.

Healthline suggests practicing long-term stress management (like yoga), avoiding processed or artificial foods, and drinking a homemade stress tonic to build back the body’s defense. Read more in the link below.

Call a local expert!

 We love our skin here in Williamson County, TX. So much so that we can recommend a dermatologist in about any town in the county. Local skin experts help patients better understand their skin and what they can do to achieve better dermal health.

If you or any other person has a medical concern, you should consult with your health care provider or seek other professional medical treatment. 

Thank you for stopping by our blog. We appreciate our family and hope you the best this holiday season. Stay happy, stay healthy!

Don’t Put the Book Down for a Life of Longevity

WilcoWellness Read 4 Longevity

 

Great news, bookworms! New research suggests reading a good book every day could be associated with living a longer, happier life!

Experts from Yale University School of Public Health found a corresponding link between reading more and an increase in longevity.

About the study

In the nationally representative Health and Retirement Study, a cohort consisting of 3,635 participants provided information about their reading habits over a 12-year period. The National Institution of Health analyzed everyone’s daily reading time against their health records for the duration of the study. To make things easier, participants were classified based on the total time spent reading. Individuals could fit into one of the three categories:

  1. No regular reading
  2. Reading up to 3.5 hours per week
  3. Reading more than 3.5 hours per week

After comparing the statistics, the final conclusion was that reading books contributed to a survival advantage over reading magazines and the newspaper. Influential factors were taken into consideration, but findings remained the same. These factors were such economic status, cognitive ability, and educational levels.

It’s interesting to note a 23% drop in mortality risk presented in the group of participants who read more than 3.5 hours a week. To put in perspective, that is, on average, a bit over 30 minutes per day. These super-readers lived an average of two years longer than those in the non-reading group.

Choose hardcover copies over newspapers and magazines

Oh, don’t put the book down yet! It’s fascinating to know that newspaper and/or magazine reading doesn’t calculate quite the same as books. Participants who only read through magazines and newspapers did show signs of longevity, but not as those who read books.

Cause and effect were not the intentions of this study. However, good evidence did shine through linking longevity in life by those who read.

Importance of Reading

Several studies suggest reading can affect many aspects of one’s life: mental health, economic well-being, and family circumstance, to name a few.

The University of People: The Education Revolution suggests stepping out of your comfort zone will surprise you with these reading benefits:

  • Creative thinking
  • Improve concentration
  • Better perspective
  • Can help you destress
  • Provide a sense of belonging
  • Create a great conversation starter
  • Improve vocabulary

As a bonus, the Expert Editor suggests reading strengthens the brain by bringing existing neural pathways in the brain to life. Complex poetry may help the brain remain elastic and active while keeping the brain sharp.

Conclusion

Nothing creates more inspiration than being transported to a whole new reality via a good book. It’s an escape, creating readers to be more empathetic, creative, and life of longevity. Whether you pour your free time into a new book each week or spend months casually reading a best seller your friend recommended, psychologists say your time is being spent well.

If books aren’t your jam, then perhaps you have not found a good genre for your liking. Keep trying! Search for books that work for you. You may even consider sitting in a bookshop grazing over several different selections.

Start your book hunt by searching this list of 100 Best Novels or visiting a local library. A book can be the gateway to new opportunities, especially for those wanting to learn and grow!

Bonus tip #1: Don’t forget to give books; they make great gifts! Stick a card inside with a special message for your friend to have a memorable bookmark.

Bonus tip #2: Whether you’re a young reader or you’ve been reading for decades, the book club is a great way to get social, meet new friends, and learn different perspectives. There are many virtual opportunities to discuss the latest book you’ve read. Check out, meet up! Or at Williamson County Public Libraries for opportunities to sink into a good book.

Got Monkey Brain? Learn how to Take Control of Monkey Mind!

Tame Your Monkey Mind

Techniques to Tame Your Monkey Mind

The most powerful part of you is your mind. Your thoughts, negative or positive, will influence the way you live your life. In this blog, you’ll learn that when thoughts are swayed negatively it may cause high-stress levels which are detrimental to your health. However, sometimes it’s hard to control racing thoughts, known as monkey brain.

What is monkey mind syndrome?

Natalie Goldberg, Buddist and Award-winning Writer, suggests that the inner – unsettled, restless, or confused – “monkey mind” is the inner critic keeping you from your goals. It’s the ‘self-talk’ of the conscious mind providing a running monolog of your everyday life. Think of it as a big mixture of conscious thoughts and unconscious beliefs your brain uses to interpret and process daily activities. This talk can either be negative or positive. 

When self-talk is cheerful and supportive, it can be beneficial as it boosts confidence and mood. Negativity can be self-destructive and defeating. Unfortunately, humans are more prone to negative self-talk, including assertions like “I can’t do anything right” or “I’m a waste of space” when stressed. A negative thought can leave you feeling stressed and creating more cortisol (which makes things worse in abundance). What a vicious circle!

It takes a lot of control to shut-down a monkey mind because it’s the part of the brain connected to the ego. Monkey’s mind keeps you distracted and paused in your tracks from moving forward. The constant monkey business makes it impossible for us to slow down and enjoy the present moment. The commotion creates our unhappy, angry, and negative moods, which hampers our ability to connect on present times. You might even stop having positive interactions with your peers. Good news! There are ways to calm the barrel full of monkeys swinging around in your lovely head.

“Trust in what you love, continue to do it, and it will take you where you need to go. If you are not afraid of the voices inside you, you will not fear the critics outside of you. Stress is an ignorant state. It believes that everything is an emergency. Nothing is that important.” – Natalie Goldberg

Tamed monkeys are not impossible, but understanding is the first step

Do not be afraid. Taming the monkey mind is not impossible, but understanding this concept is essential. Start by understanding that your thoughts do not need to rule you and your life. Zen Buddist reminds us that the constant chatter – flying and flinging drunken monkeys in mind – can only be shut off by controlling your account better once you are mindful.

Monkeys in the Mind need a reminder to stop swinging

Choose to have an (awkward) conversation with yourself to calm down a monkey that is in full swing. Understand why you are having such a hard time listening to the thoughts. You might try to journal or speak to a guidance counselor about recurring feelings. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Why are you feeling this way? Try Gabrielle Stone’s “Thought Onion” method to peel back emotions and get to the core of your thoughts, sometimes even Monkey Mind. It’s a tool to help heal your life!
  • What is your mind trying to remind you of? Dreams (even daydreams) have a way of telling you, “Hey, let’s get with the program!”
  • Are you anxious about something in the past or future?
  • How can you address past feelings? You can create an action plan for dealing with self-resentment by speaking to an Integrative Health Counselor.

Practice Piko-Piko for Happiness Breath

Allow YouTube influencers to teach you about the practice that connects us to embodying, feeling, and expressing happiness somatically (physically) known as Piko-Piko. As an effective breathwork practice, you will open your mind, body, and heart in powerful ways. Attempt this method for about 1-3 minutes a day for an effective monkey-mind remover. 

Let go of the branch and grab a pen

Journal practice is another outlet. That little monkey in your mind just might need to be heard. Once you allow yourself to voice your concerns, it might settle down when used deliberately. Set a sturdy time – perhaps 15 to 20 minutes – aside to address what’s going on in your noggin.

When you’re journaling, try to ‘brain vomit’ everything that comes to mind. It’s helpful to pay attention to anything that comes to mind repeatedly. When the timer beeps, tell that monkey to swing on someone else’s branch and keep your promise to not address any more worries until the next journaling session.

If your monkey tries to come back, try to say: “The session has ended. You must wait until tomorrow to speak of your worries, and I will listen then.” Soon, you will keep your worries about your monkey appointments. It’s a great way to handle stress when it comes to mind.

Interrupt a noisy monkey with a Mantra

When your monkey keeps ‘oo-ee-oo-ee-ing’ all the negative vibes, stop him/her mid-sentence with a powerful mantra. You will draw attention to a sound or phrase that will create peace within your mind. Recite these mantras allowed for better peace of mind:

  • I am doing my best.
  • It’s okay to have problems; struggling is part of being human.
  • I love and accept myself for the way I am right now.
  • I am enough.
  • I am human and make mistakes.
  • The past is in the past; I cannot change the past and will not choose to live there.
  • I will always strive to be better.

It’s always a good idea to check out Pinterest for more Powerful Self-loving mantras.

‘Grounding’ your Monkeys from Jumping on the Bed

When there’s a whole slew of monkeys playing around in your mind, it’s hard to bring yourself back to the center. Try the 5-4-3-2-1 Coping Technique known as “Grounding” to bring back a wandering account. You can do this by pausing your thought process and taking notice of things in your current environment. Ground yourself by naming the following this aloud:

  • Five things you see around you (example: cat, door, picture, yoga mat, and refrigerator)
  • Four things you touch (example: feel your hat, stomp on the ground, run fingers across the railing and coldness of ice in your drink)
  • Three things you hear (example: cars driving by, fan on the ceiling spinning, and cat licking himself)
  • Two things you can smell (example: corn chowder soup cooking for lunch and a vanilla-scented candle)
  • One thing you can taste (for example coffee in your cup)

Utilize this Technique when you are feeling stress, anxiety, or an abundance of overwhelming emotions. If fear is something that you cannot control, speak to a professional for additional help! There’s no shame in getting the help that you need.

Distract the Monkeys in your Noggin’

Not always in a perfect world, our minds go silent because you choose to engage your account in an activity that draws you in ultimately. For me, it’s reading an engaging book or watching a cooking show. Pay attention to when your mind has cut off the monkeys; you may need to engage in them more often.

Go ‘BANANAS’ for Meditation Motivation

Yoga With Adriene will calm the tribe as she offers meditation for inner peace in this video. It might be the most effective Technique! You can check out her YouTube channel for more yoga practices to regain your thought processes’ power and control. It’s a daily thing in our house to help rid our backs of wild monkey brains!

Self-shaming, negative thoughts cause high-stress levels, which you know are detrimental to our health. As we’ve learned from this article, stress can lead to a weakened immune system resulting in digestive problems, nutritional deficit, heart issues, and blood-sugar irregularities. When your body is stressed, you are more susceptible to getting an infection or becoming ill. Taming your monkey mind takes practice, but with these tips above, you’ll be ready for your own game of barrel full of monkeys! Practice these methods and report back to Wilco Wellness. We want to see how you are doing!