Wellness Archives -

You’re Gorgeous, Grandma!

Gorgeous Grandma Day wilcowellness

  Pick up your phone and let your grandma know she is gorgeous on National Gorgeous Grandma Day, celebrated July 23rd this year.

Better yet make a date with your Grandma. She would love to see you today

P.S. Flowers are nice, Don’t forget the chocolates!

Healthy Beyond Hair: Ultimate Guide to Healthy Hair

Healthy Hair Inside and out WilcoWellness


Achieving strong, healthy hair takes time, a little effort, and a consistent routine of healthy hair habits.

The process begins with getting to know all those strands that top your head from the inside out. There are hundreds if not thousands of hair care methods out there, so rather than tossing around even more of them, we’ll spend this article discussing ways to get to know your hair. After all, if you don’t know what’s broken, you won’t know how to fix it.

Your Hair, Your State of Mind

 While some hair care fixes are as simple as finding the right hair product, other times it takes some further investigation to get to the roots of the problem. By and large, healthy hair is a reflection of a healthy mind-body system. Arguably no one knows this better than a person who has experienced hair loss as a result of stress.

Consider the responses of women surveyed by Moodsome—a webzine focused on women’s issues, including domestic violence—who were asked about the toll that chronic stress took on their bodies. The number one noticeable symptom of chronic stress was hair loss, by far, with many women claiming they lost whole patches of hair for three to six months or more following a traumatic event. This phenomenon is known as telogen effluvium, a common form of nonscarring alopecia triggered by hormone changes, particularly those hormones that flood the body in response to stress or shock.

Counseling… for hair loss?

Unfortunately, there is no magic pill for treating telogen effluvium. The condition is self-correcting, meaning, it should resolve on its own once your body’s stress hormones settle. That said, if you’re living in a constant state of stress and your body is perpetually in fight-or-flight mode, then the problem will persist. Hence, bringing relief to your mind is truly the best way to decrease the velocity of hair loss. Here in Wilco, we have a number of options available for relieving this stress response.

  • Reset with K. Lafleur-Anders: K is a Wellness Coach and Mind-Body Fitness Coach practicing out of Round Rock. Using self-guided wellness courses and mind-body workouts, K can help her clients identify the cause of stress in their lives and cleanse the toxicity that comes with it.
  • Lakeline Wellness Center: Based in Austin, Lakeline Wellness is a multidisciplinary, mind-body health center that offers everything from acupuncture and massage therapy to counseling and health & wellness coaching.
  • Austin CBT Center: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is widely recognized as one of the best psychological treatment options for people recovering from trauma. The Austin CBT Center offers state-of-the-art therapy that addresses depression, panic disorder, stress, insomnia, and more.

Wellness Beyond Hair

 Of course, stress-induced alopecia is not the only way one can lose hair temporarily. An estimated 65% of people who undergo chemotherapy will lose their hair as well. Although chemically-induced hair loss doesn’t last forever either, the experience can be a painful reckoning for many people, as it reveals the reality of their illness in a very concrete way and can pile more stress onto an already distressing situation.

According to a review published in the International Journal of Cancer, people who are undergoing chemotherapy may benefit from wearing a scalp cooling cap during their chemotherapy infusions. Experts believe that these caps may slow the flow of blood to the scalp, thus limiting the level of chemotherapy drugs that affect the hair follicles covering this area.

Some people may be surprised to know that hairstylists and wig designers have a personnel story behind their choices in their beauty career, which is great news for people in Williamson County since we have a number of wig shops in town. Among the most well-known in Downtown round rock, is a wonderful place called Divinely Designed Hair  This shop specializes in wigs for people receiving chemotherapy treatment, people who have lost hair due to alopecia, and more.

Hair loss due to chemotherapy or stress-induced alopecia can be a profound learning experience in self-love. It’s not uncommon for survivors to express that losing their hair, in turn, made them stronger and more confident in their inner beauty and brilliance. Indeed, the more we learn about our hair, the more we realize that the key to beauty on the outside truly is the wellness of mind and spirit.

Regardless of whether or not you have a heap of hair on your head, you are beautiful within and therefore you are blessed.

For those who have hair that is frizzy, dry, damaged, or wrought with split ends, you too can transform your hair by nourishing your inner self.

A few general tips:


  • Eat like your hair depends on it. Choose eggs, berries, fatty fish, avocados, nuts, seeds, leafy greens, and pretty much anything with Omega-3 fatty acids. Avoid sugary foods and diet soda, which cause a spike in insulin. Salty snacks and fast and processed food are best cut out as well.
  • Castor oil. You need it. Castor oil is well known for its ability to promote hair growth. What’s the catch? There is none. As long as your castor oil product does not include any hidden ingredients, you won’t have to worry about sulfates, parabens, or other nasty chemicals that damage your hair.
  • Treat yourself to a new do. Wilco is a haven for hair salons. We are big fans of Steven Todd Salon, a funky and upbeat salon that was converted into a bus and that boasts the tag line, “All Heads Are Welcome.” We’re talkin’ confidence, style, and fun on wheels.


It may be cheesy, but boy, is it true: when you shine from the inside, your hair follows suit.










Mindfulness for PTSD: The First Steps to Finding Peace

mindfulness-and-PTSD WilcoWellness


With the proper guidance, practicing mindfulness can help relieve symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder.


Your body knows what it needs before you do; it tells you when you are hungry or tired when you need to use the bathroom, hot or cold when you are in love, and scared or happy.

Anxiety is the result of your body telling you there is too much going on. It happens to everyone, and a little bit can help us live healthy lifestyles, but it can become a problem if the feeling never turns off. Practicing mindfulness can help you know why you are feeling this way, how you got to where you are, and how to proceed to get better.


What is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a mental health disorder that results after a traumatic event or series of events. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, it affects nearly 7.7 million Americans.

Potential symptoms include but are not limited to:

  • Flashbacks
  • Obsessive thoughts
  • Avoidance of triggers such as people, places, or events
  • Oversleeping
  • Nightmares
  • Loss of interest in hobbies and passions
  • Hyper-focusing
  • Lost memory
  • Depression
  • Severe anxiety

These symptoms can develop immediately or years later.


The first steps to finding peace

Reducing the symptoms of PTSD starts with mindfulness. In this guide, you will find the resources needed to get started in your journey to finding peace. This guide is not a treatment plan; it is simply a collection of practices that can help you on your way to recovery.


Explore your breath and get out of your head

Mindfulness and meditation go hand-in-hand when relieving anxiety symptoms. It connects you with your anxiety and enables you to respond with a calm head and heart. Studies have shown that just 15 minutes of meditation a day can have long-term benefits on emotional health, brain health, and physical health. There are several kinds of meditation, so explore your options to find the one that’s right for you.


In an interview with Erik Leslie, CEO and Lead Trainer of SatiMind, he provided insight into how meditation can be a tool to cope with symptoms of PTSD, like an abundance of stress and anxiety.

Numerous studies suggest meditation can reduce symptoms of PTSDS, but particularly in war vets. These studies provide information that meditation reduces stress hormones by calming the body’s “fight or flight” response, which occurs in the sympathetic nervous system.

It’s not as easy as it may sound, or for most, mediation after a traumatic event doesn’t come easy. He explained that some people attempt meditation but will find out that the quiet of their mind will craft an invitation for flashbacks from their trauma. It’s essential to find a guide, counselor, or therapist that understands both trama and meditations.

SatiMind offers meditation tools to help you cope with stress, reduce anxiety, and prevent burnout. They offer access to coaching, training, and group courses to discover your meditation style and reduce tension in your day-to-day life. They work to reduce the frequency and intensity of PTSD symptoms, like flashbacks and panic attacks. With the hope that meditation can be a sound, calming practice, many of their patience allows them to start the much-needed healing process.

Here are a few things I learned from Erik about meditation:

Practice Meditation Where You Feel Safe

Where do you feel safe? Where can you open your heart and mind without interruption or hesitation? Find this place. It’s important to feel comfortable, settled when you meditate. You should avoid meditating in areas where triggers may occur. For many, meditating at home in their living room is a good place.

Be Mindful Elsewhere

You don’t always have to practice meditation to become mindful. It’s possible to reap the benefits while avoiding the difficulties that come hand-in-hand with meditation and trauma. Distractions work great! Consider taking up a hobby to keep your mind and body distracted – wash dishes, go for a walk or cut the grass. It’s not so much what you are doing but how you shift thoughts to the activity at hand. When you’re thinking about the chore, you’re not trying to meditate, but it happens to occur anyways.

Be kind to yourself when you are feeling anxious.

The way you treat yourself when suffering from the symptoms of PTSD can have a significant impact on how those symptoms evolve. The next time you are feeling anxious, remember that your feelings are valid.

Here are Five Ways To Focus On Self-Love and treat yourself with kindness in your everyday life.

Your experience with PTSD is unique to you. Everyone is different, yet you may be surprised at all you have in common. Your wellbeing is worth the effort to start practicing mindfulness today.

This tool does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you read on our site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

Thank you, Erik, for allowing me to interview you. You’ve opened our minds to researching more about mindfulness. We hope that you continue on your journey to helping others!

SatiMind Meditation



There are local, state, and national resources available for survivors of PTSD. If you think you experience these symptoms, you must reach out to someone for help.

Luckily, Williamson County offers many resources for those who need it most, especially when suffering from PTSD. They can help you seek treatment and take the necessary steps to a healthier, happier life one day at a time. They can also recommend peer support and community programs.


Heroes Night Out

1150 S. Bell Blvd, Cedar Park



Heroes Night Out offers services for veterans living with PTSD. At their resource center, you can find counseling, support groups, and home loan specialist consultations. Veterans searching for employment can find aid from the Texas Workforce Commission once a week at Heroes to Hire Wednesdays.


Rock Springs Hospital

700 SE Inner Loop, Georgetown



People of all ages living with mental illnesses or addictions can find aid at Rock Springs Hospital. Therapy is offered for military people in the Resilient Warrior program, which is accessible 24/7.


Texas Vet. Org



Texas Vet. Org offers a collection of resources for all Texas veterans. Find aid through peer support, counseling, caregivers, support animals, and help to transition out of military life.


Austin Dog Alliance

1321 W. New Hope Drive, Cedar Park



Veterans living with PTSD can find psychiatric service dogs through the Hounds for Heroes program. If you can’t adopt, consider Volunteering at the Pet Adoption Center.

If you are living with PTSD, there is always help. Reach out to an organization or trusted friend or family, and start recovery today. Remember, life is meant to be enjoyed.




Improving Communication for Stroke Survivors: It’s a Team Effort

Communication After a Stroke WilcoWellness


How a person is affected by a stroke depends on

the severity of the stroke

and what region of the brain the stroke occurs in.


After a stroke, an injury to the right or left hemisphere of the brain can cause speech problems that make it difficult for a survivor to express themselves.

How a person is affected by a stroke depends on the severity of the stroke and what region of the brain the stroke occurs in.  The brain’s right hemisphere is the control center for spatial orientation, cognition, and emotional regulation. If you have suffered a stroke on the right side of your brain, you may experience short-term memory loss or have difficulty maintaining your attention.

The left hemisphere is responsible for one’s ability to talk and understand what is said to them. Conversely, a left-brain injury can result in communication impairments that make it difficult for you to get your words out. This phenomenon is called “aphasia.” For right-brain stroke survivors, their native language can start to sound like gibberish- a phenomenon known as “dysarthria.”

In this article, we will be focusing on the communication difficulties that can arise from a stroke and how a support team that includes family members and speech therapists is integral to the survivor’s recovery.


The Role of Speech Therapy in Post-Stroke Recovery

A stroke in either hemisphere can result in a spectrum of frustrating speech impairments. If left untreated, the injuries that cause these speech impairments can lead to other health conditions, like swallowing difficulties and aspiration pneumonia. To avoid these complications and minimize a survivor’s hospital stay, speech therapists and language therapists step in with exercises and treatment plans that help survivors recover as quickly as possible.

In the first three days after a stroke, a survivor may feel exhausted; it’s at this time that their support team will perform tests and bloodwork to determine where the stroke occurred and what challenges could lie ahead for the survivor. As many as 40% of stroke survivors experience aphasia as a result of brain injury. Fortunately, the outlook of improvement for communication recovery is generally very good with the involvement of a speech therapist, the support of family, and the determination of the survivor.


How Speech Therapy Works for Stroke Survivors

The rehabilitation program that a speech therapist forms with the survivor and often in cooperation with their family depends on the nature of the stroke and its effects on the survivor. Some speech therapy exercises that survivors may be tasked with include:


Breathing exercises: If you have ever tried to speak when you are out of breath, you can understand the struggle that many stroke survivors face when trying to get their words out. Often, regulating breaths can be difficult, especially when speaking- making it difficult for the survivor to make it through a full sentence without gasping for air. Speech therapists can help by working with the survivor to “plan” their breaths and relearn how to construct sentences without exasperation.


Tongue strengthening exercises: Tongue paralysis presents many safety and communication concerns for survivors and their families. Tongue strengthening exercises focus on improving the tongue’s mobility and the survivor’s control of the muscles involved to make it easier for survivors to form words in their mouth. It’s easy to take our ability to form words for granted, but stroke survivors often have to relearn the muscle memory involved in word-formation. Speech therapy can also improve the neural pathways needed for this muscle memory.


Image naming exercises: Speaking of neural pathways, one consequence of strokes is that survivors can have difficulties putting a name to an image or object. They may feel like the name for just about everything is at the tip of their tongue, and without therapy, many survivors lose motivation to strengthen those neural pathways. Relearning how to put words and names to things and images is a common exercise in speech therapy that can drastically improve the way a survivor connects what they see with what they speak.


How Caregivers Can Help Survivors and Encourage Communication

Once a stroke and the challenges it presents have been identified, speech therapists can set straight to work developing a rehabilitation plan. But they will only be around for so long, and at some point, the survivor will have no other than their familial support system to help them keep up with the treatment plan. Here’s how caregivers and loved ones can offer their support:


  • Give survivors a chance to speak for themselves without finishing sentences for them. Encourage them to try and say whatever is on their mind and tell them that there’s no need to rush; progress is made little by little.
  • Don’t hurry the silence. It can take a bit longer for survivors to comprehend what was spoken to them and figure out how to respond. Give them plenty of space to process what they heard and respond without becoming frazzled.
  • Speak normally. Talk to them the same way you would take to anyone else. It is not helping them when you speak louder or slower than you normally would. Express to them that you are happy to slow down if they ask you to.
  • Keep it simple. Challenging a survivor to express complex ideas or respond with extended sentences may only breed frustration and cause them to feel discouraged. Ask more yes or no questions, and don’t overload them with too much information at once.
  • Be patient. Recovery is not always linear and stroke survivors can have good days and bad. When bad days rear their ugly heads, ensure your loved ones that setbacks aren’t forever and that you won’t give up on them.


Local Support for Stroke Survivors in Williamson County


There are many resources available for stroke survivors and their support teams both online and in person. They include:





Most stroke survivors begin to make significant improvements after three to four months of persistent rehabilitation, but some survivors may need to continue their exercises and treatment plans for upwards of two years after their stroke. Though some people make full recoveries, others will never be the same again. By staying strong for them and uplifting their spirits each day, your love and support can make a major difference in their short and long-term prognosis.




National Inventors Month – Be More Creative

National-Inventors-Month-Be-Creative WilcoWellness


1o Ways to Be a More Creative Person in Williamson County


Without Alexander Bell, a Scottish scientist, we would not have phones! Can you imagine life without phones? This inventor spent his lifetime working with optical telecommunication and eventually created the first practical telephone. Creators and inventors are imperative to the growth and development of the human race and the modern world. That’s why in May we celebrate National Inventors Month.


This month is dedicated to dreams that have become a reality because of creativity, hard work, and dedication. Additionally, we encourage our readers to become more creative this month with a few fun yet helpful tips. Read on!


#1 Become an expert yourself

Some say the secret to success lies in deliberate practice. Studies suggest that being an expert in anything requires 10,000 hours of training. Doing something over and over will not cut it. You’ll need to push yourself to become a master at the task. Go beyond what you know, and you’ll be an expert in no time.


#2 Listen to Entertaining Experts

TED talks are free videos of fascinating, funny, or inspiring speeches crafted by brilliant people. Watch The Most Popular TED Talks of All Time get you started. Make a goal to watch one every morning to boost creativity daily.


#3 Read up on Historically Known Geniuses

If you’re a geek, like many of us, you’ll love to check out the Time Magazine article that presents a list of the  Best Inventions in 2018. Technology has advanced so far in today’s modern world. Be sure to check out the Xbox Adaptive Controller, which allows individuals with limited hand and arm mobility to play video games that Microsoft developed. Dive deep into educating yourself about the ICON Vulcan 3-D Printer that is well on its way to ending homelessness, one layer of foundation at a time. Fashionistas will love the ‘unbreakable’ pantyhose called Sheerly Genius Pantyhose. This article will blow your mind!


#4 Explore Local Inventors

Did you know that the greater area of Austin is a grand hub for inventors and creatives? Some of the most significant growth industries in this area are Space Technology, Creative & Digital Media Technology, Clean Energy & Power Technology, Data Management, and Advanced Manufacturing. Austin is home to some of the most significant corporate and regional headquarters, including Dell, Facebook, Apple, General Motors, and Visa.


Even more locally, you can celebrate Inventors month by visiting The Williamson Museum. Visit the historic courthouse and read about women who impacted Williamson County and played in Willie’s Kid Corral. Museums are a great place to learn about dreamers who influenced history, especially locally in Williamson County.


#5 Fully immersive Experience

Let’s say you want to know everything this is to learn about Pollinator Gardens. You could spend time volunteering in community gardens, speaking with local research experts about bees, or searching how to build your own online. Attend festivals and email local community groups. The idea is to fully immerse yourself in the Experience by getting involved in any way possible.


#6 Get a mentor

Not only will they show you the way, but you’ll feel guided through the journey—research local organizations in your field of pursuit to grab a mentor.


#7 Take some time off

While we won’t write you a ‘sick day doctor’s note’, we encourage you to take some time off. Allow your mind to wonder. It’ll do good for the subconscious! Take this as an excuse to take off work and allow yourself to be playful with the family or on a solo stay-cation. When you take time off from working hard, it allows for creativity to bloom.


#8 Generate Ideas & Keep them Safe

Creative people tend to have many great ideas but don’t always know how to keep track of them (let alone get them all done). Save a Google Doc with ideas and mark them for priority level. You may have a run-on list, but at least they’re all kept safe. Visit them when you’re feeling inspired and ready to get things done!


#9 Be aware and open-minded

Above all else: Creative people think of difficult situations as opportunities, not challenges. Become more aware and practice mindfulness. You can do so by intentionally noticing things and not judging people you meet my expectations. Try to keep an open mind and resist categorizing folk.



#10 Refer a friend to Wilco Wellness

You don’t have to invent something larger than life to the creative juices in the brain. You can start with these few tips above. We hope you find inspiration to take some off, get a mentor or explore the city that we live in.


If you find yourself inspired, please share this article with a friend. Our directory is full of outstanding and creative individuals.

We’re happy that you’re here with us as we all grow and learn from one another.


As a closing note, If you know someone who is creative and inspires others, send them our way. We’d love to join them in our health and wellness directory.



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:



Some of our favorite videos from Kelly: 

YouTube Channel:


What to do with your extra bottles? Upcycled bottles:






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

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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

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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.