Wellness Wednesday

Release Date

Description and Link

 7/28/21

Water: The Ultimate Super Food – Part 2!

Facts about water:

  • 96.5% of water on Earth is in our oceans.
  • .001% of all the water on Earth is currently floating in the atmosphere
  • If all that water fell to the Earth at once it would give the entire Earth 1 inch of rain.
  • A newborn baby is 78% water
  • Adults are 55-60% water
  • There is about 1 cup of salt in a gallon of ocean water

Why not grab a glass of water and do this brief meditation?

What you will need:

2 glasses/cups/mugs
Water
Post-It note/tape
Pen

Label 1 glass with your current reality, or some aspect of your life you want to change. Label the other glass with your future reality or what you plan to bring into your life. Pour a small amount of water in each glass.

Pick up the current reality glass. Close your eyes and think about this reality. Place the glass back down.
Pick up the future reality glass. Close your eyes and think about this reality. Place the glass back down.
Pour the water from current reality glass into the future reality glass. Drink the water.

Maybe meditation is not your thing. Try listening to some rain sounds and think about a day when you stayed inside listening to the rain. https://youtu.be/WHPEKLQID4U

 7/21/21

Water: The Ultimate Super Food

 Facts about water:

  • It is a vital nutrient to every cell in our body
  • It regulates our body temperature
  • Water in our bloodstream brings metabolized carbohydrates and protein throughout our body
  • It flushes away our waste
  • It keeps mucous membranes moist
  • It helps with digestion

 Why not grab a glass of water and do this brief meditation?

Hold a glass of water in both hands.  Close your eyes.  Take a moment to soften your face, relax your jaw, and smile.  Tell the water (either verbally or in your head) one thing that you hope to manifest (or bring to your life) this week.  Tell the water how much you appreciate all it does for your body.  Open your eyes.  Smile again!  Drink the water.  As you drink imagine that miracles are flowing through your body creating the manifestation you will receive this week.

 Maybe meditation is not your thing.  Try listening to some wave sounds and think about a trip to the beach.  https://youtu.be/WHPEKLQID4U

 7/14/21

Today we will work on a guided meditation.  Find yourself in a comfortable seated position.  If you would like something to listen to during the meditation, play your favorite soothing song.  Or use this link for Meditation Music https://youtu.be/m79siKILI3A.  It is also ok to listen to the world around you.

To begin, close your eyes and start to focus on your breath.  Noticing each inhale and exhale.  Where are you breathing into?  Your belly? Diaphragm?  Chest?  Are you breathing fast? Slow? Somewhere in the middle?  Open your eyes after a few breaths or when you are ready.

After you slowly open your eyes, consider your thoughts during this meditation.  Were you just sitting with yourself or were you focusing on your to-do list?  Either way is ok.  This time, when you close your eyes, imagine an imaginary hand coming over you to pick up each thought and gently toss it away.  Those thoughts are not currently serving you.  Just breathe again.

When you are ready, notice the world around you.  What sounds do you hear?  What sights do you see?  Do you smell the aroma of coffee? What other scents do you notice?  What is the temperature like?  Is it hot, cold, dry, humid?

Close your eyes one more time, notice your breath, then scan your body from head to toe and toe to head noticing how you feel.  Bring yourself back to your breath.  Slowly open your eyes when you are ready to rejoin the day.

 7/7/21

We often hear that small changes can impact your life.  I agree 100%.  Do you remember the Wellness Wednesday I sent on 5/26?  If not, that is ok, it is attached for your reference.  One of the links was “21 Tiny Habits to Improve Your Life in 2021 Effortlessly.“  I gave you a challenge to pick one of these habits to try for a month.  Did you pick one?  How did it go? 

I picked the habit of saying “no” to something once a week.  It went well, not at first, but once I got the hang of it.  It is very hard to tell people “no” when you are used to saying “yes.”

If you haven’t tried one, why not give it a try this month?  Below is a link with more ideas.

5 Small Habits That Will Change Your Life Forever https://youtu.be/-fgbQsVtsfo

 6/16/21

Breathe deep and focus the mind for myriad health benefits.

Meditation has ancient roots in cultures all over the world. Despite its rich history and traditions, you don’t need much to experience the advantages — just a quiet room and a few minutes. Here’s how:

  • Find a guide. Meditation is a solitary practice, but a good podcast or app can provide useful tips and techniques to help keep you on track. Mindful.org is another excellent resource.
  • Practice, practice, practice. As with learning any skill, improvement in meditation requires repetition. Don’t burn yourself out in the first week — play the long game and start with just 5-10 minutes each day, building up to 20-40 minutes a day.
  • If at first you don’t succeed, try again. Your mind will wander; it happens to everyone. You’ll sit down to focus and end up thinking about groceries or bills. That’s natural and expected. Progress comes when you pause and bring your attention back to the breath each time.  

The simple act of sitting quietly has persevered through the ages for good reason; research shows it has numerous health and wellness benefits, ranging from stress and pain reduction to smoking cessation.

 6/9/21

ABC is shorthand for the useful stress-management technique pioneered by psychologist Albert Ellis in the 1950s, then adapted by Dr. Martin Seligman. The popular model helps reevaluate problems to regulate emotions. This strategy is an easy-to-remember framework, where:

  • A = adversity — experiencing a stressful situation or event, often something outside of your control
  • B = belief — your internal understanding or explanation about why it happened
  • C = the consequence — how you feel as a result of your belief.

Experts suggest challenging your B is the key to reducing negative emotions and developing greater resiliency. Next time you experience a difficult situation…

  • Pause to objectively evaluate: Practice taking a beat before allowing emotions to take over.
  • Identify your beliefs: Why do you find the situation stressful? For example, do you feel a loss of standing with others? Do you perceive unfair treatment or a threat? You may find it helpful to write these down after taking time to reflect.
  • Dispute your initial reactions: Do they seem reasonable? Can you think of alternative interpretations that are more plausible?

Since we can’t always avoid adversity, coping tools are important. By examining and challenging your beliefs, you can change how you react and feel. If you experience significant ongoing stress, consider talking with a behavioral health professional; connecting with our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a good first step.

 6/2/21

Breathe from your diaphragm as a calming aid.

“Take a deep breath” is a phrase we’ve all used to encourage someone to relax and pause a moment. When we need calming energy, it’s a great tool. Regulating the breath is a foundation of many practices including yoga, meditation, and tai chi.

A method called diaphragmatic (named after the large dome-shaped muscle beneath the lungs), or belly breathing, improves oxygen exchange (trading energizing O2 for outgoing carbon dioxide). It also slows heart rate and can lower blood pressure. Many people find the practice stress relieving as well as invigorating.

Here’s how:

  • Lie down, or sit up straight, and place a hand on your upper chest, with the other just below your rib cage
  • Inhale slowly through your nose, deliberately expanding your abdomen, while keeping your chest still
  • Relax to exhale through your mouth, without force or effort
  • Repeat this cycle 3-10 times, ensuring the hand on your belly moves steadily with your breath, while the hand on your chest remains stationary throughout the exercise.

Use this technique to dial down tension or anxiety, or incorporate it as part of a daily relaxation ritual. It may feel effortful at first, but with regular practice your diaphragm will strengthen and it will come naturally.

 5/26/21

May is Mental Health Awareness month.  When a person has positive mental health they live their life to its fullest potential, cope with daily stressors, work productively, and make meaningful contributions to their community.  Sometimes life becomes challenging and we aren’t able to achieve those things.  That is ok!  You are not alone!

Take a few moments to review some of these mental health resources below.

Videos

A Therapist Shares 7 Tips for Managing Anxiety | Bustle https://youtu.be/XJF9lgmqN78

How Do I Shield My Children From Stress?  https://youtu.be/iVYStECa_Dw

21 Tiny Habits to Improve Your Life in 2021 Effortlessly  https://youtu.be/ZXTy_dKwMa0  (This video is 13 minutes long but it has some great small suggestions.  I challenge you to pick one and try it for a month.  Let me know how it goes.)

Resources

Mental Health Month | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness

Employee Assistance Program (EAP) - MyUTSW (utsouthwestern.net)

What Is Mental Health? | MentalHealth.gov

 5/19/21

According to Wikipedia, Sleep is: “a naturally recurring state of mind and body, characterized by altered consciousness, relatively inhibited sensory activity, reduced muscle activity and inhibition of nearly all voluntary muscles during rapid eye movement sleep, and reduced interactions with surroundings. It is distinguished from wakefulness by a decreased ability to react to stimuli, but more reactive than a coma or disorders of consciousness, with sleep displaying different, active brain patterns.”

For some people sleep comes easy, they just close their eyes and they are asleep.  For other people sleep is elusive.  They need to chase sleep.

No matter how sleep comes to you, you need to take some time to sleep.  Rest and sleep are essential to the recovery of your body.  During sleep we disengage the mind and let the body repair itself.

Below are a couple articles about sleep.

Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep | National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (nih.gov)

The '8 Hours of Sleep' Rule Is a Myth. Here's What You Should Do Instead | Inc.com

5/12/21

It’s time to take a deep breath, in and out.  Today, take a few moments to observe your breath.  Is it fast?  Is it slow?  Are you breathing into your chest?  Your diaphragm?  Your belly?  Are you breathing in through your nose or your mouth?  Are you breathing out through your nose or mouth?

As you can tell the simple act of breathing is very complex.  There are several breathing exercises you can do it learn to control your breath and slow your mind.  See the link below for more information. 

6 Breathing Exercises Breathing Exercises: 6 Ways to Breathe Yourself Calm (greatist.com)