“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
– Melody Beattie
As the month of November comes to an end I begin to sense the spirit of gratitude slowly fade away. The “month of gratitude” may be over, but I do not plan to stop practicing gratitude thereafter. My gratitude practice is a lifestyle. A lifestyle that makes every day of my life a magical and wonderful journey of discovery and appreciation. Even in the midst of grief and profound loss.
Until the next post.
Take care + be well,
Computer and social media use have become an ever increasing part of our lives. I remember when my kids were the only ones in our household who stayed continuously connected to the computer, other digital gadgets, or used any type of social media platform throughout the day. Well, a lot has changed over the years, as I am sure it has for many other families as well, given that more adults use their computers and smartphones today for a variety of reasons, not just for work.
Many adults today must stay connected to their devices and/or social media for work purposes, but a larger majority stay plugged in to maintain contact with family and friends from near and far or just for sheer entertainment. Still, young adults are leading the way when it comes to staying digitally connected.
It’s often very hard to not reach for our smartphones when we hear that little signal from our phones letting us know that we just received a like, a comment or a new follow. Similarly, email updates can add to our “digital anxiety” when we receive an email notification and suddenly feel compelled to see what surprise awaits us in our inbox, or we suddenly realize that there are a host of emails that we need to delete. Furthermore, who has never been enticed to check their phones before going to bed at night? We have become a “plugged-in” society and it seems that, in many ways, this way of life has somewhat removed us from society instead of helping us become more connected to each other. It is funny how something that was originally designed with the intent to make life easier has fallen short of helping us feel more at ease in life. If any of these feelings resonate with you then it might be time to consider doing a digital detox.
A digital detox consists of taking a break from all digital life for a specified amount of time. The time can be any length of your own choosing and based upon your own unique needs. I usually make an effort to take one at least once a year for a week, but some people have been known to take a much longer break. How you plan your digital detox is all up to you. I must add that if you are going to do a digital detox and you are online regularly, make sure to let your followers know ahead of time that you will not be posting anything for a while and provide them with a brief explanation of what you will be doing; otherwise they may lose interest or have concerns about your absence. Trust me, they will thank you for it and you will be glad that you did it.
Here is a list of my top 10 benefits of doing a regular digital detox:
- A digital detox allows you to ease through your day, feel less pressured and get a lot more accomplished.
- Allows you to live “in the moment” and pay more attention to “the little, but meaningful things.”
- You get to take control of your life once again – even if only for a short time.
- You will find yourself with the freedom to eat your meals more mindfully.
- You get to set an example for your kids and show them that it is alright to focus on other things in life besides our computers and smartphones.
- You will find yourself feeling a sense of calm and relief as you unconsciously become “deprogrammed.”
- You will be contributing to your physical health by spending less time near harmful EMF’s (Electronic Magnetic Fields), increasing your change of getting carpal tunnel syndrome and improving your adrenal system.
- You will be teaching yourself to become less dependent on digital devices and social media.
- You will be contributing to your mental health by reducing the likelihood of depression, ADHD and other conditions that are related to excessive digital device and screen time use.
- You will find that you have more time to spend with family or friends and do the things that you thought you would never have time for.
If you decide to do a digital detox I wish you a happy, peaceful break from being continuously “connected” – Enjoy!
Until the next post.
Take Care + Be Well,
When you can’t get enough sunshine…create your own.
Can you feel it? It’s there in the air. The slightly cooler weather. The change in the way that the sun lights up a room? The yearning for comfort food. The cries for pumpkin spice everything. The Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations inside every store that you set foot in. Wanting to pull the covers up to your chin and press the snooze button on those early chilly mornings before you get out of bed.
Regardless of whether you call it Autumn or Fall… it’s here. That time of the year that makes us want to hibernate a little bit and spend more time indoors. As someone who enjoys both the outdoors and warm sunshine on my skin I am going to miss the warmer months and the opportunity to soak up vitamin D naturally.
Spending time in the sun, of course, has its pros and cons. We want to avoid exposing ourselves to too much sunlight as not to increase our chances of getting skin cancer — even with sunscreen. Yet, with sunlight being a natural and ideal way of getting vitamin D into our bodies to maintain our health, we also want to be able to reap that benefit.
During the spring and summer months our bodies produce vitamin D naturally when we spend at least ten to twenty minutes outside receiving ultraviolet B rays from the sun. Yet, during the fall and winter months most of us are less likely to be able to so, which means that we are often left to find others ways of ensuring that we are getting enough vitamin D and maintaining our health and nutrition.
We can do this by eating more vitamin D rich foods such as fortified milk, orange juice, cheese, eggs, mushrooms, or fatty-fish such as salmon, mackerel or sardines. For my vegan friends, tofu or fortified plant milks can be good sources of vitamin D. Just be sure to double check your labels. Furthermore, vitamin D supplements tend to be good options for those who may feel as though they are are not receiving enough vitamin D from their food sources. These are just some of the ways that I manage my vitamin D levels as a flexitarian. As always, it would also be a good idea to check with your physician or nutritionist to determine what your unique vitamin or nutritional needs might be.
I think we all know that vitamin D is important for our bone, nail, hair and teeth health, but did you know that it also plays a role in the human cell life cycle and helps regulate both immune and neuromuscular systems?
Potential Benefits of Vitamin D
- May aid depression or S.A.D (Seasonal Affective Disorder / Seasonal Depression).
- May decrease inflammation.
- May prevent bone loss or bone disease.
- May provide relief for some chronic conditions such as Crohn’s Disease, Arthritis or Multiple Sclerosis.
- May aid cognitive function.
A few signs of vitamin deficiency include hair loss, muscle pain, having wounds that heal slowly and fatigue. These are symptoms that could also, very easily, be associated with other conditions which is why you should seek professional medical help in the event that you experience any of these symptoms – especially if you are experiencing grief and assuming that your symptoms are solely related to stress from the loss that you have experienced. Deficiency in this vitamin is common and easy to remedy so don’t be afraid to get any of these symptoms checked out.
Until the next post.
Take Care + Be Well,