Here are tips for protecting yourself while outdoors:
Try to stay out of direct sunlight for long periods of time.
Avoid sunburns and sun exposure by using adequate skin protection; use brimmed hats, protective clothing, and sunscreen.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration suggests using sunscreen rated as SPF 30 or higher and has both UVA and UVB protection, also known as “broad spectrum.”
Make sure to apply every 2 hours, and after swimming.
Protecting ourselves from the harmful aspects of the sun are a given.. and at the same time there are some positives we also need to take into account with sunlight-
Improves sleep (melatonin levels and function)
Reduces stress Maintains strong bones (Vitamin D)
Strengthens immune system Lessens depression (increases serotonin production)
Moderation is key ... studies show the benefits along with allows avoidance the aspects that are damage occur just fine at 8am to 12 pm which is also dependent on your location too. So be aware and take precautions and at the same time soak up some of the positives too..
#health #wellness #nutrition #coaching
Healthy living involves more than physical health, it also includes emotional or mental health.
The following are some ways in which you can support your mental health and wellbeing:
Get enough sleep daily
Take a walk
Try new things, often
Do some mind exercises (ex. read, do a puzzle occasionally during the week)
Make leisure time to do something that interests you
Learn ways to say “no” when you usually say “yes”
Create a strong network of good friends
Seek help early if you feel depressed
These are just a few tips to a more mentally healthy you! Do you have any techniques to share?
Please don't hesitate to ask questions...
#health #wellness #nutrition #coaching
Practices to try this week..
Reduce tension and pain by allowing yourself to focus on your breath and movement of the body through walking.
Mindfulness of Sounds
Tune into the sounds around you and build a deeper awareness of yourself and the space surrounds, engaging in the present moment.
***Be kind to yourself! Meditation is a practice that takes a while to cultivate.***
Try these out!
Walking Meditation How-To
Guided Walking Meditation Options
Mindfulness of Sounds Worksheet
5 Minute Mindfulness Bell
For many right now-- nutrition and exercise may not seem important which I get.. but it is because it can help you with the high levels of stress , mental health and if you are in recovery.. it's affecting all of us.
See stress effects our hormones (cortisol) , our neurotransmitters (ie serotonin), our Micro-nutrients (vitamins and minerals like our B Vitamins and Magnesium etc), our sleep and how we digest our foods...
Yes, stress is primal and yes, we have it from time to time.. we even may have the "fight or flight" stress but our bodies aren't made to sustain long term stress...
So from years of education and years of helping clients in a Health & Wellness Coaching aspect to now a Nutritional one, here are some steps that may be helpful..
Listen to your body. When something doesn’t feel right (mentally, emotionally or physically) acknowledging it is the first step to overcoming. Use the resources available to you to seek support, if needed. They are out there from Health & Wellness Coaches, Nutritionist, Therapist etc.. Please reach out.
Stay hydrated. Staying properly hydrated with water is just as important as eating healthy. A good habit is to always have water with you wherever you go. Avoid sugary drinks and alcoholic beverages, which can cause spikes in blood sugar that can increase hunger along with other aspects of mental health and those in recovery.
Practice healthy sleep habits. Eight hours is the recommended amount of sleep per night. The quality of your sleep impacts mental clarity, blood pressure and immunity. Sleeping less than six hours can affect your hormones and metabolism.
Exercise and stay active. Deep breathing, muscular exertion and regular movement can help improve your well-being, immunity and focus. Studies also show that it is helpful with depression, anxiety and for those in recovery it can lessen cravings plus it relieves stress and fills time that otherwise may not be filled.
Eat healthy meals and snacks. Adopting healthy eating habits involves making mindful decisions and avoiding processed foods as much as possible. If you have a long day ahead of you or you know your day will be stressful, make sure you have healthy, nutritious and protein-rich snacks on hand. These types of foods and snacks help optimize your brain and body, and can help minimize the stress that comes with hunger and low energy.
Prioritize stress management. Stress is normal, but living with it constantly is unhealthy and can become debilitating to your well-being. Long-term stress can contribute to obesity, heart disease and high blood pressure. Again use resources for mental health care (like counseling and/or emotional support via telehealth or AA meetings via video etc) to ensure that stress doesn’t stand in the way of your health.
Eating Well for Mental Health- Consuming fewer processed foods can lead to better brain and emotional health.
Contributor- Maxine Barish-Wreden, M.D., ABIHM
Sutter Medical Foundation
Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento (Link Here)
From a young age, we’re taught that eating well helps us look and feel our physical best. What we’re not always told is that good nutrition significantly affects our mental health, too. A healthy, well-balanced diet can help us think clearly and feel more alert. It can also improve concentration and attention span.
Conversely, an inadequate diet can lead to fatigue, impaired decision-making, and can slow down reaction time. In fact, a poor diet can actually aggravate, and may even lead to, stress and depression.
Maxine Barish-Wreden, M.D., a complementary and integrative medicine physician with Sutter Medical Foundation, says one of the biggest health impairments is society’s reliance on processed foods. These foods are high in flours and sugar and train the brain to crave more of them, rather than nutrient-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables.
“A lot of the processed foods we eat are highly addictive and stimulate the dopamine centers in our brain, which are associated with pleasure and reward,” Dr. Barish-Wreden says. “In order to stop craving unhealthy foods, you’ve got to stop eating those foods. You actually start to change the physiology in the brain when you pull added sugars and refined carbohydrates from your diet.”
Stress and Depression, Sugar and processed foods can lead to inflammation throughout the body and brain, which may contribute to mood disorders, including anxiety and depression. When we’re feeling stressed or depressed, it’s often processed foods we reach for in search of a quick pick-me-up. During busy or difficult periods, a cup of coffee stands in for a complete breakfast and fresh fruits and vegetables are replaced with high-fat, high-calorie fast food. When feeling down, a pint of ice cream becomes dinner (or you skip dinner altogether).
According to the American Dietetic Association, people tend to either eat too much or too little when depressed or under stress. Eat too much and you find yourself dealing with sluggishness and weight gain. Eat too little and the resulting exhaustion makes this a hard habit to break. In either case, poor diet during periods of stress and depression only makes matters worse. This cycle is a vicious one, but it can be overcome.
To boost your mental health, focus on eating plenty of fruits and vegetables along with foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon. Dark green leafy vegetables in particular are brain protective. Nuts, seeds and legumes, such as beans and lentils, are also excellent brain foods. Dr. Barish-Wreden says a healthy diet can be more effective for treating depression than prescription medications.
“Studies have shown a reduction in depression of 40 to 60 percent when people are eating the right foods, which is a better outcome than most drugs,” Dr. Barish-Wreden says.
A Healthy Gut Researchers continue to prove the old adage that you are what you eat, most recently by exploring the strong connection between our intestines and brain. Our guts and brain are physically linked via the vagus nerve, and the two are able to send messages to one another. While the gut is able to influence emotional behavior in the brain, the brain can also alter the type of bacteria living in the gut.
According to the American Psychological Association, gut bacteria produce an array of neurochemicals that the brain uses for the regulation of physiological and mental processes, including mood. It’s believed 95 percent of the body's supply of serotonin, a mood stabilizer, is produced by gut bacteria. Stress is thought to suppress beneficial gut bacteria.
Failing to keep the bacteria in our guts happy with a healthy diet can lead to depression, says Dr. Barish-Wreden. Depression can take hold when the gut is inflamed by processed foods such as sugar and flours, even whole grain flours. To remedy this, Dr. Barish-Wreden says people need to scrap their poor dietary habits.
“Reducing flour and sugar helps create a new microbiome of healthy bacteria. Adding fresh fruits, fiber, fish and fermented foods will also help your gut bacteria truly thrive,” she says.
Mindful EatingPaying attention to how you feel when you eat, and what you eat, is one of the first steps in making sure you’re getting well-balanced meals and snacks. Since many of us don’t pay close attention to our eating habits, nutritionists recommend keeping a food journal. Documenting what, where and when you eat is a great way to gain insight into your patterns.
If you find you overeat when stressed, it may be helpful to stop what you’re doing when the urge to eat arises, and to write down your feelings. By doing this, you may discover what’s really bothering you. If you under eat, it may help to schedule five or six smaller meals instead of three large ones.
Sometimes, stress and depression are severe and can’t be managed alone. For some, eating disorders develop. If you find it hard to control your eating habits, whether you’re eating too much or too little, your health may be in jeopardy. If this is the case, you should seek professional counseling. Asking for help is never a sign of weakness or failure, especially in situations too difficult to handle alone.
Brain Food Your brain and nervous system depend on nutrition to build new proteins, cells and tissues. In order to function effectively, your body requires a variety of carbohydrates, proteins and minerals. To get all the nutrients that improve mental functioning, nutritionists suggest eating meals and snacks that include a variety of foods, instead of eating the same meals each day.
Here are the top three foods to incorporate into a healthy mental diet:
I am located in Hagerstown, Maryland.
**Due to COVID this practice has transitioned to seeing clients virtually through Healthie video chat, or by phone only.
**Still taking new clients!!
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**If there is a time not mentioned above that works best for you please reach out because I may be able to accommodate the request!
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