Meditation is not, by any means, a new concept. While it is commonly associated with Eastern spiritual practices, the overall concept of stilling, calming or training the mind is a commonly used tactic. A common myth with meditation is that it’s exclusive – belonging to health conscious young single people, or those devoting their life to spiritual observance. Truthfully, meditation is an effective tool that may be employed by anyone that has just 5 minutes of free time.
By: Eryl McCaffrey
We can learn a lot from nature. If we align our lives with the cycles of the seasons, we’re much more likely to maintain a healthy balance in our bodies and minds over the course of the year. When the summer sun is blazing and the air is moist, we should consume more water and enjoy the abundant natural supply of Vitamin D. Spring is the warm-up season – it prepares our minds and bodies for the oncoming heat, while allowing us to cleanse ourselves of frigid temperatures, sluggish bodies and sleepy moods. Spring offers a unique opportunity to tap into the energy we seemed to have collected over the colder months - let’s spring clean ourselves just like we spring clean our homes!
Four tips to spring clean your health:
- Give Herbal Tea a Try- Soak up the therapeutic benefits of soothing herbal teas like chamomile and peppermint as you bring your body back into balance. Reduce or eliminate coffee from your diet and try green tea if you’re craving a caffeinated boost. Mild flavored herbal teas usually don’t require sweeteners to taste delicious, an added benefit to those of us avoiding sugar.
- Get Outside- It doesn’t matter what you do once you’re in nature, just be sure to turn off your phone and intentionally unplug yourself for 30 minutes or longer each day. Reconnect to the greenery around you by practicing yoga, going for a walk, hike, bike or even taking a quiet moment on a park bench. Being in nature has been proven to ease anxiety and depression and it also provides us with an opportunity to activate our serotonin.
- Set an Intention- Get out your journal, laptop, phone or voice-recorder and set an intention for Spring of 2016. Be clear about what you want to let go of from the past few months and what you want to achieve this season. More importantly, zero in on how you want to feel in your mind and body over the next few months. Keep it simple and focused. Are you craving a stronger sense of inner peace? If so, ask yourself what steps you need to take in order to access that. Often the act of focusing on what we truly want to improve or strengthen allows us to set our life in that direction. Keeping mindful and consistent goals can prevent anxiety and put us at ease as well!
- Eat What’s in Season- Check out what your local market has to offer on the fruit and vegetable front and do your best to buy what’s in season. In doing so, you are aligning your body with the natural goodness of what the Earth has to offer. Many fruits and vegetables offer a variety of nutrients. On top of that, you will be supporting community businesses. It’s a win-win!
Working long hours non-stop isn’t always the key to productivity. More and more studies are showing the value of taking breaks during your workday to keep healthy and give your mind a rest. From exercise to eating, here’s some of our favorite ways to take small breaks to help recharge and keep healthy.