Flu season is upon us, or is it?
AS FALL ROLLS AROUND, MANY CHANGES COME
Cooler weather, shorter days, football (I'm from TN. What can I say), comfort foods, holidays...
October kicks off one of my favorite seasons. I grew up in the mountains of east TN where I can smell football in the air, see the tree lines light up with brilliant color, and feel the cooler mountain air descending. Fall is a time we typically have family and community gatherings for schools, sports, and holidays. With shorter days we often spend less time outside, more time in our homes. We top it off with a lot of celebrations packed full of comfort foods and treats! Here in Fl we can light up the fire pit and roast those s'mores again!
Do you see where I am headed with this?
While fall ushers in some amazing times, it also means we often end up with lower vitamin D absorption, higher stress, and a lot more sugar for our bodies to process. It is no coincidence that medical and chiropractic offices fill up with people after halloween experiencing the sniffles and congestion. So how do we continue to enjoy all of the things we LOVE about fall and skip the parts we don't? These 3 weeks I will hand you some tools to address each of these areas. Incorporating, building these habits and tools into your daily routine as you receive them will get you through this season strong!
Before I begin, I am sure many are wondering about the "other" virus out there.
Anytime we are faced with insults that tax our immune system (low Vitamin D, increased stress and cortisol levels, and high sugar levels) we are at an increased risk of symptoms and complications from a host of viruses that may be "trending". However, the good news is that the same actions that helps us address these issues are the same things we need to do to remain healthy. Along with continued social distancing measures, frequent hand washing, no face touching our wellness protocol will help us fly through this season.
These week I want us to address stress management. Whether we are trying to navigate strained family relationships, cram more activities in than time allows, be too much for too many, and trying to keep the "magic of the holidays" alive for our home STRESS is an inevitable result. Incorporating these habits, on a daily basis, will mitigate the negative implications of stress and keep your mind and body strong.
Negative Implications of Stress: i.e. increase cortisol levels and adrenal function
- Poor quality sleep
- Disrupted focus
- Headaches and muscle tension
- Increased cravings
- Increased fat storage
- Increased irritability and poor disposition leading to negative interactions
- Reduced immune function, increasing risks of contraction, severity of symptoms, and length of symptoms
How to manage the level of stress and mitigate the effects: You will also find incorporating these habits lends you to respond to situations, challenges/opportunities, and people in a more positive manner.
- Deep breathing practice: 4x4x4 breathing stimulates the limbic system and resets/ reduces the stress hormones. This really does stop the surge of cortisol. All 4 components are very important.
- Complete every morning while praying/meditating, every evening before bed, and as needed during the day.
- Drop Valor, Release, Stress Away, or Believe in your hand and cup over nose and mouth prior to each breath.
- Gratitude Practice helps us to focus on the positives in our life and keep perspective which has tremendous effects on our brain.
- List (out loud or on paper) 3-5 gratitudes which are things, character strengths, people, or places you are thankful for.
- Complete every morning to reset perception and improve how you interact with others and challenges.
- Utilize as needed throughout day to shift mindset and thought processes. I use this with my kids when they whine or complain and still practice this daily.
- Abundance practice: How we speak to ourselves is incredibly important. Utilize these techniques laid out in the library (under healthy habits) to learn how to lift yourself up and reduce limiting beliefs.
- Meditation: Faith or focus on something that anchors you provides an incredible grounding. Sometimes doing this outside with your feet on the ground provides a true sense of security. Inhaling Frankincense or Northern Lights Spruce provide an extra level of focus, grounding, and comfort.
- Physical / outdoor activities: outdoor sports, hobbies, and fitness are imperative right now to ground us, provide that vitamin D and fresh air, and get us away from the electronics! (See my "blue light" article for more on how this impacts our health).
- Brain dumping: Keep a notebook nearby. Yes, actual pen and paper. Have a "to do list" of sticky notes up front and utilize the rest to write all ideas, concerns, emotions, and wish lists that may be fogging up your brain and keeping you from being PRESENT. This then allows you to focus on what, or who, is in front of you!
- Oil Support:
- Valor on jaw line and wrists twice a day and as needed for grounding and surety.
- Present Time oil blend on wrists daily in the am. This is a game changer. For me, it helps me set aside the lists and worries and really enjoy my time with the kids or husband.
- Joy diffused or dropped on wrists and rubbed over heart daily. This one is important. Daily use will slowly help rewire those emotions and thoughts. If you don't love the blend add a couple of drops of joy to 4 drops of Orange or North Lights spruce.
- Stress Away daily on wrists and chest/neck.
- Bedtime: Diffuse 4 drops lavender, 2 drops Believe or 3 drops gentle baby and 3 drops Higher Unity.
- As needed: Peace and calming throughout day and before bed as needed to calm anxieties and encourage deep breathing.
But what does this look like in practice?
Let's just say that we have family in town and we know there are stressful dynamics. Taking 3-5minutes alone before interacting with them to deep breath and speak your gratitude and abundance for the day shifts our perspective from them back to ourselves. This is powerful! It allows us to focus on what we can control, OURSELVES. Now look, I have some scotch-irish in me (ok, a lot) so I rely on these practices to keep my peace and "the peace" sometimes. I have had a lot of work to do in myself, and I am pretty darn stubborn, so this has taken me some time. BUT IT WORKS. Not only am I better for it, and my relationships much sweet and more sincere; but I am also physically healthier for it.
What to expect when you apply these habits:
- Sustained mental and physical well being.
- Lesser and shorter sick periods
- Better quality rest
- Less brain fog and fatigue
- Greater joy and success with each tasks
- Quality interactions and connections
- Less likelihood of getting caught up in someone else's drama, and more likely to be a part of a solution and positive impact.
NEXT WEEK: WE ENTER INTO LOW VITAMIN D, HIGH SUGAR, HIGH STRESS SEASON, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS FLU SEASON. Let us talk about Vitamin D (and maybe a little Zinc and C too).
Follow along over the next few weeks as we share how to navigate this season with a heart full of joy and a healthy body and mind!
This is the purpose of our wellness hub, to arm you with the information and tools you need to make healthier decisions on the day to day, and reduce your risks factors for all things that pose threats. Grab your passporttoday and search for the one habit you are going to swap out TODAY.
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Have you thought about creating a regimen that would keep your family healthy, and empower you to live healthy and well no matter what is thrown at us? Through difficult times often comes beautiful things. My hope is that many of you will create healthy and useful habits that will last a lifetime and generations! To start today check out our new "wellness box" recommendations or click our consult button today! $50 per e-consult, $150 for telephone or FT, and $200 in person. Through the end of June new passport holders (website members) can receive $50 off their personal consultation and plan.
In love and health,
Amber N Osborne, CRNA, APRN, MSN
A promise from me:
Our bodies will have a successful immune response when exposed if we create the right environment and give it the right tools!
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