- Any workout is good exercise for your lungs and heart along with the obvious benefactor, your muscles.
- A simple physical act like walking gives you some necessary down time for your brain. Your brain needs time to rest and recover similar to how your muscles need a rest. So, don’t bring a cell phone with you. Just walk and let your mind wander.
- If you’re walking outside, you’re also receiving an additional soothing effect to your nervous system simply from being in a natural setting.
Recently, I was listening to a podcast by Tim Ferriss on how to increase your productivity and I was very surprised at the advice. Instead of offering techniques for multi-tasking or other ways to become busier, he suggested five things to do every morning that seemed like what you’d do after sleeping in on a Sunday.
Could it be that slowing down actually helps not only our minds, but also our emotional state with understanding, processing, and proceeding with all the input that’s in front of us?
I’m going to try this until the end of February and see if it not only helps me get more done, but also keeps away the inevitable midwinter blahs. If you’re willing to go ahead with this, I’d love to hear about your efforts and results.
The first one made sense, make your bed. I get it, you create a small section of order where you can. The second one isn’t too much of a surprise either, meditate. I’ve had good luck with a 3-minute meditation as long as I really focus on breathing slowly and fully.
The third one was interesting. Tim suggests that you decompress your spine every day, several times a day if you can. He gave all sorts of methods such as hanging upright from bars in the doorway, using inversion tables, and buying gravity boots. I’m pretty happy stretching backwards over my $10 physical therapy ball from the sporting goods store.
Number four was the one that really surprised me, have a cup of tea. Don’t just microwave it either. He wants you to put the water on to boil, steep the tea leaves, and sip slowly. He recommended Reishi mushroom tea, but I think I’ll stick with my herbs for now.
Number five was to journal. He suggested that you answer a few questions, my favorite was “How can I make today better?” In the evening, you also answer, “What could I have improved on today?” Apparently, Tim got so tired of having the same answer for what he could improve, that he changed just to write in a new answer.
We all have busy days, so getting at least 3 out of the 5 things done is still considered a good start to win the day. Who’s with me?
Just smile. I’m not sure why smiling feels like a big effort sometimes, but it’s worth trying. Just by having your mouth muscles in a smile, your heart rate lowers and the level of stress hormones in your body goes down. It doesn’t even matter if the smile is genuine or not. You really can fake it ’til you make it. If you use your fingers to draw the outer edges of your lips upward, it still works.
I practice smiling at people. I need to, since it’s not always my first reaction. I suffer from RBF according to my daughter (resting bitch face). When I smile, most people smile back. It makes me feel good, it makes them feel good, and it feels like a small way to pay it forward. You could even build in a habit of smiling at people everyday on the street, in the store, at work, anywhere! Just beware that the opposite also works. Frowning can actually make you feel worse. So, smile more AND frown less. I will too.
Most of us evaluate the past year and hope the next year is better. Here’s an alternative to just creating new year’s resolutions. Instead of adding to your to do list, just focus on a theme for the year ahead by choosing three little words. The words I chose to help you this year are: Action, Reflection, and Balance.
By taking action, I can try out new things that may help you. One action I’ve already begun is using a new scheduling system where you can go online and see my availability and book your appointment immediately. If you’ve been a client in the past, you no longer need to enter credit card information to make an appointment. You’re recognized by your email address. Try it today by visiting www.Massagebook.com/biz/MassageByLesley Once you choose what treatment you’d like, you can see what times are open, and can back out easily if you aren’t ready to schedule yet.
With reflection, I can learn what did and didn’t work from my actions and make changes to improve. Reflection takes time (which is one reason this message is a little longer than usual), patience, and a willingness to be comfortable with uncertainty. Reflection not only builds these useful traits, it also allows for time that seems unproductive. In our instant society, the value of a pause is often overlooked. Even if I don’t learn things from my reflection, I’ve given my body and brain a different experience. That pause provides rest which is vitally important to good health.
Lastly, balance helps to move between action and reflection effortlessly. Honoring both equally provides perspective that leads to wisdom. Similarly, a healthy muscle is not one that stays in either a state of contraction or relaxation. Healthy muscles move fluidly from one state to another, regularly and with ease.
I look forward to sharing the benefits of both my actions and reflections with you this year and bring us all into balance!
Are you having trouble remembering things lately? Stress can impair our memories, even if it’s the good stress that comes with holiday hustle and bustle. Luckily, the things that boost your memory can also help reduce your stress. Try fitting these three things into your holiday schedule:
1) You’ll love this one! Enjoy that cup of coffee, as long as it’s before 2 pm. Caffeine helps you store memories in your brain. Not a coffee drinker? You can get that burst of caffeine from tea, green tea, chai, and even chocolate. I told you that you’d like this one.
2) Get social. Studies show just 10 minutes of stimulating conversation boosts your memory. You get a lot for a little effort here, since exercise helps with other brain functions as well.
3) Get some exercise to bring up your heartrate. It creates more nerve cells in the part of your brain used for long-term memory. A half hour a day of walking, jogging, or working out is all you need. Dancing qualifies too.
All through December, massage facelifts are just $29. You can come in for that 20 minute treatment alone, or add it onto your next massage.
If you want to see my availability and book an appointment instantly, visit https://www.massagebook.com/Saratoga_Springs~Massage~MassageByLesley You can also buy gift certificates there, too! Click on “Other Certificates” to see the holiday specials. The new features will be integrated into my regular website soon, but you can start using it now or just take a peek!
- Don’t multi-task. Take things one at a time.
- Put on some peaceful music.
- Take a 5-minute break and stretch or walk.
- Read a poem or short article and only focus on that until it’s done. Then, go back to work.
- Step outside. Nature is soothing.
If you want to see my availability and book an appointment, visit https://www.massagebook.com/Saratoga_Springs~Massage~MassageByLesley You can also buy gift certificates there, too!
With the colder weather, you’re inside more often and are subject to pollution from the objects in your home and office. You can clear the air and add some natural beauty by simply adding houseplants.
Aloe vera is a common, easy-care plant that helps to remove formaldehyde given off by flooring and other building materials. You can even use the gel straight from the plant to help with burns and other skin issues.
The Boston fern survives even if you forget to water it regularly. This might be a great plant for an office.
The English Ivy removes toxins from cigarette smoke and pesticides. It is especially helpful if you have allergies or asthma.
My favorite air purifier is the spider plant. It also keeps carbon monoxide levels low and doesn’t need a lot of light, although it does like regular watering.
Find a plant you enjoy and keep it around. For more info, visit http://www.sustainablebabysteps.com/types-of-houseplants.html
Text neck is a very real thing. Over the years, I have seen the areas of muscle tightness move around to different parts of our bodies. It corresponds to the changes in the technology we use. I have less mouse-related shoulder issues and more text-related neck issues as I spend more time on my smart phone and less time on my laptop. This seems to be true of the majority of you that I work on. Yes, I suffer from it too and am learning how to help you thru my own aches and pains.
What we do everyday matters! It can build up, but there is a simple cure. All you need is a little vigilance and effort and do some regular stretching. Taking care of your neck now will also help prevent and alleviate issues in the future such as pinched nerves.
Here’s an excellent website to give you many more stretches and some good background info http://posturedirect.com/how-to-fix-text-neck-syndrome/
“A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depend on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.” Albert Einstein
If you want to move better than you are now, massage cupping is for you. Whether you need more flexibility, better range of motion, less pain, or you’re just not getting around as well as you once were, I can help.
Massage cupping isn’t new, it’s just not well known. Cupping has been done for thousands of years in Egypt and Asia. Luckily, since then, they’ve invented a machine that creates easily regulated, gentle pressure so I won’t need to leave circular marks like you’ve seen on Olympic athletes and celebrities.
Cupping can be as gentle and relaxing as you’d like. It can also create incredible changes in your body from both old and new injuries. I personally have had results from one session of cupping on injuries I had decades earlier.
Best of all, I can combine cupping work right into your regular massage session so you get the best of both worlds.