A growing chorus of doctors and researchers warns that electromagnetic fields from many of the hallmarks of modern life have been linked to a wide variety of health risks ranging from sleeplessness to cancer.

old cell phone, alison canavan, emf dangers

 

Wireless technology has forever changed how we communicate with our family and the world but is it coming at a cost and what can we do to reduce the harm to our self and our families ?

 

Up till 1984 wireless technology was only used in the military. Now in the US there are 4.7billion devices in use. Cell phones came to the market without any safety testing at all. When we evolved on the planet there was trace amounts if any of microwave radiation. Our bodies didn’t evolve with it and we have no protection against it. It’s an invisible but very real environmental pollutant.

WHAT IS EMF?

EMF or electromagnetic fields, are invisible forms of energy often referred to as radiation. They are associated with the use of electrical power and various technologies including wireless devices. As human beings we are electrical in nature and we are made of the same stuff as everything else: we are made of atoms. Atoms are made of electrons which are negatively charged and protons which are positively charged. We react to electromagnetic fields so it’s not surprising we react to these things.

 

IS IT COSTING US?

Most people are able to tolerate lower energy fields like AM/FM radio but increased exposure to the amount we are exposed to over time can be dangerous. As a society we are very fond of things that make life easier or more enjoyable. This can cause us to ignore potential health effects. The research in this space is new but compelling. In general its showing us that high artificial EMFs have been shown to disturb the human body’s natural energetic field, leading to stress and fatigue as well as DNA changes and degenerative diseases like cancer.

So what can we do?

EMF

  1. TAKE YOUR PHONE OUT OF YOUR BEDROOM AT NIGHT: Buy an old school alarm clock and remove the phone from your bedroom. This will lead to better sleep and give you a break from your device.

 

  1. WIND DOWN: Many of us expect to be able to look at our phones and screens, go to bed and drop off instantly – this is unrealistic for the majority of us! To reduce the amount of mental and emotional stimulation before bed have a no tech 60-90 rule. The blue-light that comes out of these devices can inhibit the sleep hormone melatonin from being produced which we need to drop into a deep restorative sleep.

 

  1. 1ST HOUR PHONE FREE: Don’t sabotage your day before it begins by looking through your phone first thing. Studies show us that doing this as soon as we wake can trigger stress and anxiety. Instead have a phone free hour for the first hour of each day. Studies show that just this small habit change helps us to be less reactive at work and with our loved ones too. Should we not be eating, showering and dressing for the first hour anyway?

 

  1. TURN OFF YOUR WI-FI AT NIGHT IN YOUR HOME: Turning off your wi-fi at night helps to give your mind and body a break from the 24/7 exposure.

 

  1. PROTECT YOURSELF: A website called safespaceprotection.com offers a wide range of products that can help to reduce EMF using adaptors and other devices that offers an all-in-one solution for clearing and protecting an entire home, school ,phones or office space from the harmful effects of EMF radiation.

 

  1. Talk to your child’s school and make sure the wi-fi levels are safe. In France and Russia they have reduced new legislation to ban wi-fi from preschool, Montessori’s and primary school. The level our children are being exposed to is simply not safe and we must wake up to this sooner rather than later. Watch GENERATION ZAPPED to see why we are playing Russian roulette with our children’s lives.

 

  1. Minimize your talk time, use earphones (not blue tooth or wireless headphones) or speaker function and try to eliminate any calls over 20 minutes. Scientists have no idea how long you can safely talk on a cell phone. And side effects such as headaches and dizziness have been observed after calls as short as two minutes. Another safety tip: Switch which side of the head you use your phone on from call to call so you spread out exposure.

8. Use antioxidant supplements to minimize radiation and other free radical stress. Chlorella, high quality algae, wheatgrass and green food supplements can be helpful in protecting against radiation and reducing brain, body and adrenal stress.

9. “Small sustainable changes will eventually add up to huge results” Alison Canavan

  1. TAKE A SEA SALT AND SODA BATH: The Sea Salt and Soda bath is one of the most effective baths for detoxifying the body from chemicals and countering the effects of radiation. Use one pound of baking soda and one pound of sea salt in the bath and soak for 20-25 mins. Drink plenty of filtered water afterwards to help revitalize.

grounding

11. GROUNDING: The earth has natural electromagnetic waves so when we take off our socks and shoes and stand on the ground – sand, grass, soil or concrete which are conductive surfaces an energy exchange occurs. Think of yourself as a battery that takes in positive charged free radicals from our phones, wi-fi etc. your battery over time loses power so when we ground it helps to recharge us with much needed negatively charged electrons from the earth that neutralise the positively charged free radicals that cause inflammation and in turn disease. Standing barefoot on the ground for as little as 4 minutes a day helps to recharge.

Here You Can Read Expressions of Concern from Scientists, Physicians, Health Policy Experts & Others

 

After 15 years working in corporate customer facing roles I’d realised that I’d peaked in that place

Place Compare 1

Before & After

I enjoyed working but I felt a real guilt around not being involved enough in my two sons week. I wanted to do something more meaningful to me and I wanted to balance that with spending more time with my two boys. I wanted to feel passionate about my job. I wanted to love what I do.

I’m Ayshea Ryan and a year and a half ago I launched A Place For Space. We had just finished a seven month renovation project on our own home. My husband and I had worked really hard to arrange and provide for this renovation to bring our 1850’s period villa up-to-date and suit our family lifestyle. The thought of having the house just the way I wanted it and loving it and not being able to spend time in it properly working a 9-5pm job which realistically for me meant being away 8-6pm was just not sitting right with me.

It was at this same time, that a good friend of mine who had popped by to visit the newly renovated and organised house asked me to help her make the most of her beautiful new home. She has known me a long time and knew how passionate I was about organisation and how I consider it key to living a busy but relatively stress free life.

Her house was stunning but the ‘stuff’ was taking over. With five children she was overwhelmed with the clutter. By helping her to declutter her environment she was finally able to enjoy her beautiful home and minimize the stress that naturally comes with five children and all of their needs. And so the business was born.

Before & After

Before & After

Aim

The aim is to help people to be mindful of what they fill their homes with and to bring the joy back to busy family life. I firmly believe that by freeing yourself of the stuff you neither love or use allows you to love the space you live in.

A home is an ever evolving place, the needs change as the family grows. I encourage you to embrace change and not to be afraid of change as change is constant and something we can not avoid.  We must adapt and go with it.

The first step to declutter is to recognise the clutter. Once you begin to declutter you will begin to feel the benefits of reducing the stuff that surrounds you. Benefits such as letting go of something that was holding you back, freeing up your mind to help you make clear decisions or new changes.

Once you recognise the clutter and reach out to A Place For Space for assistance I will then call out to your home for a one hour consultation. I assess how big or small the project is.

I then make a plan how to tackle it with you.  A plan designed to work around you and what you are comfortable with. Send quote and estimated lead time for your consideration.

I encourage my clients to make time for themselves and time for their home organisation.  A healthy, clutter free home leads to a healthy clutter free mind.

Before & After

Before & After

Quick & Easy Declutter Tips

Tackle one room or category at a time. This makes the process less overwhelming. Try starting with one or all of the categories below.

1 Wardrobe & Cosmetics  – we just have way too much stuff. Adapt your wardrobe to your lifestyle. I used to wear suits for my old job but its casual now. Get rid off all with the exception of one.

2 Electronics – Got a box of power cords and adaptors with no corresponding appliance? Let them go. You’re never going to use that old Nokia charger again!

3 Kitchen – chipped dishes? Old cups you don’t like? Tupperware everywhere with no lids or lids with no boxes? Pair them up and bin any spares.

Try to declutter every season to keep on top of it, this makes decluttering much more simple.

Ayshea Ryan is founder of A Place For Space, she created it to feel free of paraphernalia and to create room to think in. You can find out more by visiting their website here.

Sponsored by Carton House

 

 

If you are looking to escape the outside world in the run up to Christmas then Carton House is the perfect place to spend an afternoon.

Last week I took my Mum to The Spa at Carton House and we indulged in an afternoon of pampering and relaxation. My mum is my rock and she is always by my side. For the past few years her love and support has enabled me to study and grow into a new career in wellbeing so what better way to thank her than with a relaxing treatment and lunch. My mum is difficult to buy for but her favourite thing in the world is a massage. I will say though she is a tough critic but as she walked into the relaxation room after her treatment she was smiling from ear to ear. She said Nancy was one of the best therapists she has had and she felt great.

RELEXOLOGY CONNECTS BODY, MIND AND SPIRIT

I was drawn to the reflexology session and my therapist Alla was excellent. Her knowledge and intuition was spot on and she picked up on everything going on in my body. Reflexology is an ancient art of healing the body and mind. After an invigorating foot scrub and an application of hot towels to the feet and legs, gentle pressure is then applied to specific points on the feet to establish a healthy flow of energy within the body and to encourage your body’s own natural healing system. It’s an incredibly relaxing treatment and Alla picked up on my digestive issues and also on my back pain. The treatment helped me to focus on healing and her aftercare plan helped me to fine tune my daily habits to what my body currently needs.

spa treatment, carton house, midweek treatments, inner peace, reflexology, massage, facial, pamper

The Carton House spa is one of the nicest I have visited. The beds in the treatment rooms are not only heated but also very wide and incredibly comfortable. This makes all the difference for me as it really enhances your treatment experience. The relaxation room (below) is so spacious as you can see in this picture. We ate sorbet and fresh fruit and snuggled under the beautiful blankets truly appreciating the time alone. After our treatments we relaxed in the pool, steam room and sauna.

A HISTORICAL TREASURE

Carton House is steeped in 835 years of history and you can also step behind the scenes for a tour of the house too. You can avail of the stunning 1,100-acre grounds and take a walk in nature after your treatment. Connecting with nature, especially if you live in the city is so important as it helps us to connect with our spiritual self and truly appreciate the beauty of the world we live in. As a daily mindfulness practitioner I love taking a moment each day to appreciate my surroundings. At Carton House this is incredibly easy to do.

spa treatment, carton house, midweek treatments, inner peace, reflexology, massage, facial, pamperFeeling fully revived and relaxed we headed to the main house for lunch. My mum loved the room we ate lunch in and in this picture you can see (above) the old kitchen that was used by the staff of the house many years ago.

spa treatment, carton house, midweek treatments, inner peace, reflexology, massage, facial, pamperWe had a delicious meal and relaxed and chatted over tea before heading back to the real world! Sometimes life can run away with us and with the festive season fast approaching its nice to take a break and de-stress.

The spa at Carton House are offering some great packages at the moment including:

Midweek harmony package (priced at €150pp) – this includes a 55-minute facial of your choice and a 55-minute massage of your choice and unlimited access to relaxation room, pool, sauna and Jacuzzi

To book visit Carton House Spa

Money, every choice you make, every activity you do, every change you contemplate, are in some way connected to your wealth. Yet most people rarely take the time that their financial situation deserves, to plan it effectively. You have income and you have expenditure.

Money Euro Bill Clip Clothes Peg Clothes Line

The basic premise is that your income exceeds your expenditure, leaving you with disposable income. So if you keep your spending below your income, you’ll always have plenty of money left over and you’ll never have to worry about money, never have a row about money, never have money be the root cause of concern or anxiety and never need to feel guilty or otherwise about having too much or too little money. Simple right?

Not exactly. Unless you’re extremely lucky, for most of us, it just doesn’t fall conveniently into place like that. The subject of money does, in fact, get cited in a host of situations from relationship issues, employment choices, lifestyle quality and in numerous ways, your health. Anything that can lead to anxiety, depression, guilt or restrict how well you look after yourself, can be detrimental to your health. And the condition of your finances can most definitely be a major contributor in these areas.

Having too much money, it may surprise you, can also bring its share of negativity. It can be guilt when those around you are short of money. Concern that relationships may not be for the right reasons. The uncomfortable feeling that some may begrudge your wealth or success.

 

So what can you do differently and what can you be more aware of?

The first step in managing and planning your finances with more efficiency, is to establish where you currently are. Most people know what their income presently is, but (as 26 years of reviewing people’s finances has shown me) they are not so sure about their expenditure. They’ll know the main items, the mortgage/rent, the weekly trip to the supermarket, the mobile phone or TV subscription, but there is so much more that never gets included. Think of the last time you took €50 out of an ATM to pay €15 for something. What did the other €35 get spent on? I see people listing things like a car loan but not petrol, tax, insurance, NCT etc. I also see them list “Food” but only total the supermarket. Further questioning may reveal more spent in the butchers, smaller purchases during the week, takeaways etc. To get an accurate picture, an exercise where you keep a detailed list of spending for a month. Every single cent, noted when spent and written or keyed in that evening so it’s not forgotten.

Tips. A few basic actions that most people can do, to improve (or create!) the gap between income and expenditure:

 

  • Examine 3 months’ banks statements and make sure you can account for every single transaction.
  • Compare utility service providers to make sure you are currently getting the best value.
  • Plan your shopping. Make a list and don’t shop while hungry.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute to compare before you renew things like car or home insurance.
  • Review premiums being paid on things like mortgage protection and life cover. You DO NOT have to only take them out with your own bank.
  • Know your rights when an item is faulty and do not be fobbed off with “it’s out of warranty” (especially true with large kitchen appliances that break down after 18 months!)

 

Planning. Once you have a better idea of actual income and expenditure, you can plan a little more accurately. Financial planning is primarily aimed at ensuring your current, future and unexpected income remains at least sufficient for you to live on. Everybody’s circumstances are different, so it is important to consider the financial loss that would be suffered in certain eventualities.

One person may not be paid at all if out of work due to illness or injury while another may be paid for a length of time by their employer. Some may have nobody financially dependent on them while others provide for a whole family. In my own case of being diagnosed with cancer quite suddenly, having serious illness cover in place made a massive difference to our financial wellbeing. (Thankfully, I’m over 13 years clear.) Protecting your income against such eventualities and making sure that you will have sufficient income in retirement, deserves relevant attention.

In the same way that your health and wellbeing require planning, consideration and a degree of effort, so too does your wealth require planning, consideration and a degree of effort. Your health and wealth are inextricably linked. Giving each the attention they deserve, will greatly enhance your chances of being a better, all round (dare I say 360 degree!) happy and contented person.

If you would like to contact Dave his website is:

Instant-messaging, food-to-go, flash sales, relentless emails – all factors contributing to the increasingly fast pace of modern day life. Staying calm before and winding down after a busy day have never been trickier to master.

 

Ashwagandha hand

All of us are beautifully unique and have different ways of managing this busy lifestyle but fortunately, to supplement these there is a natural remedy out there to help restore calm and balance to our bodies and minds.  

Introducing ashwagandha…

Whilst some of us are still to learn of the benefits of ashwagandha in the UK, it has been used for hundreds of years in India to not only manage stress-related conditions but also help with chronic fatigue, insomnia and adrenal fatigue to name a few.  

Classed as a modern-day ‘adaptogen’, ashwagandha adapts to the needs of the body, helping to support it and reduce negative changes during times of emotional and physical stress.

Here are five ashwagandha benefits:

  1. Stress is often at the root of our sleeping problems. When we’re troubled, our sleep is too. Ashwagandha nourishes and strengthens a weakened and over-anxious nervous system, helping the body respond better to stress. Thus helping us to relax enough to get a better night’s sleep.
  2. Ashwagandha acts as a depressant to the central nervous system, exchanging feelings of anxiety for feelings of calmness. Stress normally causes a surge in the adrenal hormones – adrenaline and cortisol – that increase alertness. Ashwagandha tackles the problem at the root as it acts directly on the trigger of stress by regulating the imbalanced cortisol level and nourishing the adrenal glands. A recent study found that ashwagandha safely and effectively improved chronic stress levels in adults taking it daily for 60 days.
  3. A big added bonus of taking ashwagandha capsules is its ability to protect your skin. Stress can play a large role in skin damage by producing high levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, which in turn, blocks the production of important proteins that are necessary for healthy skin. One of these proteins is collagen, which helps to keep skin firm and elastic.
  4. Further studies have found that taking ashwagandha capsules can improve muscle strength, making it the perfect solution for reducing stress, improving sleep and making those trips to the gym even more effective.
  5. Ashwagandha can be taken to help improve libido in women and testosterone and stamina in men, a recent study has shown. When we are stressed we produce a lot more adrenaline and place pressure on our adrenal glands and organs such as our kidneys. Ashwagandha regulates the amount of adrenalin produced and strengthens organs; improving stamina as well as increasing sperm count and motility in men, and improving libido and ability to achieve orgasm in women.

Wholistic Ashwagandha 60 Caps – RRP €28

 

ashwaganda product shot

Ashwagandha is an organic whole root, native to the dry regions of India and is often referred to as ‘Indian Ginseng’. It’s considered one of the most powerful herbs in Ayurvedic healing and has been used for centuries. Pukka’s Ashwagandha contains only the highest grade, sustainably cultivated organic root. Ashwagandha is an excellent supplement for helping strengthen the immune system, particularly after an illness. It’s made from organic ashwagandha and is suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Pukka’s Wholistic Ashwagandha is also free from dairy, wheat grain, gluten, added sugar and soy and is available from all good health stores nationwide.

So your stressful life has contributed to sleeping issues? You have been diagnosed with adrenal fatigue or all at the very least the symptoms seem to fit. Your energy levels have dropped off significantly over the years and it’s especially problematic during afternoons.

 

Fatigued Coffee

The best remedy combines B-vitamins, magnesium, adaptogenic herbs and critical amino acids like GABA. However, there is no such thing as adrenal fatigue. Unless you have Addison’s disease, your adrenal glands are working as intended. It’s the signaling upstream that is the problem.

Adrenal glands don’t excessively secrete cortisol to the point where they can’t produce unless damaged. This is the finding by the vast majority of scientific research. So why do adrenal fatigue support formulations work? It’s because the effective formulas are resetting the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis (HPA axis) just as the vitamins, minerals and herbs previously mentioned.

Why is this distinction important? If only your cortisol levels are tested a patient can get a false negative for “adrenal fatigue” or worse. Then the patient is given cortisol that might exacerbate the situation. This is one more reason to always choose well-formulated herbal based supplements rather than synthetic stimulating or suppressing cortisol drugs.

Cortisol plays a critical role in sleep, stress and inflammation. Our cortisol levels should be highest when we first awake so we are alert and then it tapers off quickly. When perceived stress or chronic inflammation occurs, cortisol secretion is initiated. During times of stress it boosts our system in a threatening situation. Where there is chronic inflammation, cortisol reduces the inflammatory response to protect us from the aging process. Unfortunately sleep is interrupted when cortisol is secreted anytime other than early in the day.

There are four triggers causing HPA axis imbalance between these three glands mistakenly referred to as, “adrenal fatigue,” according to Dr. Thomas Guilliams, an expert the field of Molecular Immunology.

  1. Perceived stress.
  2. Inflammation primarily in the gut caused by small bacteria or candida overgrowth.
  3. Sugar dysregulation.
  4. Circadian dysregulation.

While this topic deserves a deeper dive, the important takeaway is that the HPA axis includes a set of neurotransmitters with self-regulating feedback loops. When the body isn’t in balanced, the pathways either no longer result in cortisol secretion or the cells become cortisol insensitive like a diabetic in the presence of too much insulin. This is the body’s system of checks and balances.

To address the four triggers, incorporate stress-reducing behaviors like meditation, yoga, essential oils and supplements. Begin by reducing inflammation in the gut by eating a healthy diet reducing sugar and eliminating rancid vegetable oils. Try to get outside and take in natural light and stay away from your computer screen late at night.

Qualified therapists use their extensive knowledge of Anatomy and Physiology to carry out Massage treatments. The massage is the manipulation of the soft body tissue that is used to enhance a person’s health and well- being.

Massage Beach Lady

Most of you will remember when you were younger and perhaps fell or hurt yourself, having your Mother or Father hold you, or rub the injured part of the body, “to make it feel better”. Touch is a huge part of healing in general and Massage is one form of healing as well as being a relaxation and stress relieving treatment.

There are many different types of Massage and each one works in its own unique way. For example:

Aromatherapy: The therapist uses essential oils and it is the oil as well as the massage technique that’s work with the individual to relieve stress, provide relaxation etc.
Sports Massage: Will usually be concentrated on a particular part of the body that is causing a problem.

Holistic Massage: Your therapist will first sit down with you and discuss your Lifestyle in detail, then they will run through a questionnaire to determine if a Massage is suitable for you or not. They will discuss your Lifestyle with you and suggest numerous ways that you can improve or change things to make your Life better, this combined with the Massage will have a more effective outcome.

Massage is suitable for most people but there are certain contraindications when a person should not have a Massage. It is advisable, particularly if you have a Medical condition to first get advice or written permission from your Doctor or discuss this with your Therapist before booking an appointment.

Some Contraindications:

  • Fever.
  • Cardio Vascular conditions.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Contagious diseases.
  • Recent surgery.

Some people are unsure how the treatment is carried out and often have some undue concerns. Before the Massage begins the therapist will leave you to undress in private then you will lay down on a plinth or massage table. During the Massage you will be discreetly covered by towels or a cover and only the part of the body that is being massaged will be exposed as the therapist begins to oil your body and begin the treatment.

The Massage relaxes muscle tissue, which diminishes tightness or tension in the muscle. It improves circulation pushing oxygen into cells and helps to eliminates any toxins or waste from the body. There are several benefits to be gained from having regular Massage treatments. Massage can help to relieve chronic pain and having a therapeutic Massage can enhance your overall sense of wellness.

Massage Towel

Some of the many Benefits:

  • Improves lymphatic drainage.
  • It enhances your joint mobility.
  • Relieves muscle tension and stiffness.
  • By helping you to relax, and unwind.
  • Relieves headaches.
  • Reduces anxiety.
  • Insomnia.
  • Back, and neck pain.
  • And much more.

When Massage relieves stress, it helps the body, as a whole. It will also increase your self-esteem, help you to relax and bring clarity to a troubled mind. It has so many benefits on an emotional and physical level. It is appropriate for adults and children alike and is also suitable for pregnant women. (unless otherwise advised by a doctor)
It is so much more than “Just a massage”, it is a whole life change with wide spread benefits.

Working with and learning about firstly natural skincare products; secondly discovering professional and natural makeup, it was only natural to complete the triangle with natural fragrances.

Over the past few years, I have lost interest in dousing myself in the usual front runners of perfumes and opted for more natural and subtle fragrances. I suppose the main reasons for my change of heart would be:

  1. The amount of synthetic ingredients perfumes can contain.
  1. They can be so over powering to the senses (ever been knocked sideways by a stranger passing you who has most obviously bathed in a bottle of Eau de Parfum?).
  1. Photosensitivity: I have met far too many women with strong pigmentation on their necks where they have sprayed perfume for years for it to have only reacted to UV and damaged the skin.

Shopping for and discovering natural perfumes has awakened my senses in the best way possible and has me enjoying spritzing liberally once again. Natural perfumes simply use organic plant alcohols with 2 or 3 essential oils. Essential oils are classified as base, middle or top notes which classifies the staying power of a scent: base notes linger, top notes will disappear more quickly. Many citrus notes are top; some floral and herbs middle; base notes can be more woody, pungent. Oils have synergy so there is usually a mix of notes in a perfume.

What I love about the simple formulas is people’s reaction on smelling a scent: it stirs an emotion and takes them back to a memory of something or someone. The obvious benefit of natural perfume is the organic agriculture behind the ingredients and the non- use or need of any synthetics. Our skin absorbs so much of what we apply to it (and how many products do we apply a day?), and one must take into account what we also breathe in when we spray perfumes.

The staying power of a natural fragrance will never be as strong or as long lasting as the synthetics, but then again, spraying onto the pulses and hair and enjoying the scent won’t be so damaging to our health or the environment so I’m quite happy about a little re-spray half way through my day!

There have been controversial ingredients used by perfumeries in the past, and still possibly today, such as musks which are derived barbarically from deer and civet cats. The argument here is obviously that that is a natural derivative but I think the earth offers us enough notes in plants to leave the animals out of it. With synthetic perfumes, you just don’t always know what exactly is in them so isn’t it easier to read a label of transparency, understand it and know what you’re wearing is good for you… body and mind!

When it comes to ingredients I just can’t deny how lovely it is to read such a simple and short list:

  • Alcohol (plant)
  • Cornflower Water
  • Labdanum
  • Patchouli
  • Clary Sage (Pure Patchouli perfume Acorelle)
  • All ingredients from organic farming made from organic ingredients

Just this 2017, V.Claire Natural Cosmetics introduced natural perfumes, Acorelle.

Acorelle

There are 9 perfumes divided in effects of Energizing, Balancing and Soothing… Let your senses guide you to your favourite!

Are you feeling overwhelmed, over stressed and over Summer (and it hasn’t even started yet!)?? Could mindfulness help?

Well author of the Irish Better Birth Book and Founder of the award winning GentleBirth antenatal program Tracy Donegan, shares a great technique for coping with stress this summer.

sumer is coming, summer holidays, mindfulness, tracy donegan, gentlebirth, summer stress, summer camps

Summer is coming and like many parents around the world you’re scouring the pages of the local summer camp brochures trying to figure out how to keep the family sane. If you have younger children then summer camp might not be an option. Being pregnant and entertaining a 5 year old for the summer can be stressful.

As a Gentlebirth mum you know how important your daily practice is but between practice times you have a multitude of opportunities to use the tools every day.

Forget the meditation cushions and incense – and even the headphones (hardly practical when you have twin toddlers racing about the house).

DAILY PRACTISE

Your daily practice isn’t always about lying on the couch with your headphones on (wasn’t it so much easier on your first pregnancy)? The reality is those moments of madness are often the best ways to bring your focus training out of the GentleBirth App and right into your kitchen.

Author and meditation expert Jon Kabat-Zinn says children are like “live in Zen masters” and it’s so true. I guarantee you’ll have at least 10 opportunities to practice your Heart Breathing every day this Summer (particularly each time you hear the words “I’m bored”).   Try out the practice below and before you know it you’ll be paying more attention to how you’re reacting to the daily stresses of life, you’ll start to differentiate between what you can and can’t control and by doing this you’re activating brain circuitry which is protective of your mental health. Does that sound like something you don’t have time for? Focus training doesn’t mean adding anything else to your day – you’re just being more present in what you’re already doing (loading laundry, preparing dinner, changing diapers).

When you find yourself feeling stressed – what can you do in that moment to respond differently (in a way that is good for you and your family)?

TRY THIS

BreatheTake 3 deep breaths right down to your belly.

Find your feet – look at them if you can and wiggle your toes if you’re barefoot. Are your feet warm or cold? What else do you notice? (Pay no attention to the remnants of the pedicure you got for that wedding 6 months ago or that’ll just invite judgy mind to join in). If you’re wearing shoes do they feel comfortable or tight? Stay with this exercise for a few moments more – as you can probably tell this exercise has really nothing to do with your feet but it’s reducing activity in one part of your brain and activating another healthier brain circuitry.

sumer is coming, summer holidays, mindfulness, tracy donegan, gentlebirth, summer stress, summer camps

So let’s say F- THAT to Summer stress (or any kind of stress you’re experiencing at work or home) with this mindfulness technique.

 

Focus – stop whatever you’re doing

Feel your breath – breathe in and out deeply

Find your feet – notice how they feel, wiggle your toes and respond with Fierce kindness towards yourself.

 

The school holidays won’t magically become a fairytale when you become more present with mindfulness but you’ll have some tools to make it a little less stressful for everyone.

#SelfcareSunday #mindfulness

essential oils, stress, allergies, headaches, anxiety, natural health, holistic health, essential health, caroline jackman, alison canavan, be complete, lavender essential oilOne of the most popular essential oils used around the world, people often associate Lavender with aiding a good night sleep. A wonderfully calming blend, Lavender’s antidepressant, soothing and antibacterial properties make it an incredibly versatile essential oil with a multitude of practical uses in the home. Here are my top 10 suggestions for using Lavender:

  1. Sleep

Lavender is the first oil I recommend using on children who struggle to wind down or sleep through the night. Diffusing a drop or two of lavender in their room at night is a practical way for them to benefit from the relaxing effects. Diluting lavender and rubbing it on the soles of the feet is another good application method. Add a drop to an adult’s pillow or inhale deeply to promote restful sleep.

  1. Allergies

Hay fever and allergies can interfere with everyday life and stop people from taking part in activities outdoors. A natural and effective way to help avoid the irritating symptoms of allergies is to take lavender internally with lemon & peppermint. Add a few drops of each to water or place in a veggie capsule and consume internally. Easy & natural routine to use in the springtime!

  1. Soak away stress

More than ever we’re suffering from high levels of stress and the demands of balancing stressful jobs with busy home lives. Placing a few drops of lavender in the palm of the hands and inhaling deeply, or rubbing some on the back of the neck is a good technique to use to keep stress levels down. For adults in need of a good relaxation routine, mixing a few drops of lavender with Epsom salts and soaking in the bath is a great way to benefit from the relaxing properties of the oil.

  1. Room Freshener

Lavender is a sweet smell that many people have positive associations with. Instead of using chemical air fresheners, freshen up a room by spritzing a mix of lavender & water or adding a few drops to a diffuser. Add lavender to a cotton ball and place it at the bottom of the bin or a jar in the bathroom to get rid of nasty smells.

  1. Burns

Whether it’s a burn from the cooker or from sitting in the sun, Lavenders analgesic & soothing properties can provide a welcome relief. Applying it topically to the area can help the skin to heal and at the same time calm and ease the pain.

  1. Earache

Earache, temperature and sick feelings that often come with them are distressing especially for children. Warming lavender ever so slightly, mixing it with a carrier oil and applying it around the ear (never inside the ear) can help relieve the feelings associated with earache.

  1. Cuts & Scrapes

Create a bottle of ‘magic spray’ as first aid for when children cut or scrape elbows and knees. Mix with some carrier oil in a glass spray bottle for a handy way to apply to grazes in awkward places. Lavenders disinfecting properties will help keep the area clean and soothe the skin.

  1. Headaches & Migraines

Apply some lavender to your temples and the back of your neck for a regenerative effect. Inhale from the bottle or palm of hands at the first sign of a headache.

  1. Insect Bites

Use lavender to repel insects and creepy crawlies by spritzing around windows & doors or diffusing. If you’re unlucky enough to be bitten, applying lavender topically can help to sooth the bite and reduce the inflammation and itchy sensation.

  1. Anxiety

Apply lavender topically on the back of the neck and over your heart before situations that can induce anxiety. Avoid the chemicals in perfume and apply lavender around the neck to smell great and help with emotional balance.

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When selecting essential oils it’s important to choose 100% pure essential oils for the safest and most effective health benefits. Only certified pure therapeutic grade oils should be taken internally or used neat on the skin. Always dilute essential oils with carrier oil if applying topically to children.

Essential oils can be used aromatically to affect mood and open airways; topically for quick absorption into the body through the skin, and internally for immune & digestive support.

Essential oils are a great way to improve your health easily and quickly. Drop me a line if you’d like to learn more about using essential oils or where to purchase 100% pure oils.…

caroline@honestabouthealth.com