7 Best Ways to Boost Your Immune System During Covid-19

The body’s immune system is integral to fighting off infection and disease.  At times like these, it’s more important than ever to make sure it’s not only working as well as it can, but also performing better than before. Just like a muscle in the body, you can boost immune system strength so it works better, and this could mean either avoiding illness altogether, or only experiencing mild symptoms if you do get infected.

There are several ways to build and boost your immune system, and understanding the importance of your immune system is the first step. 
7 Best Ways to Boost Your Immune System During Covid-19
*This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author. This post may also contain affiliate and/or paid links. Rest assured that I only work with companies and individuals that I trust. While some of those companies and individuals may work in the medical field, this post is not intended to be a substitution for medical advice. Always speak to your doctor if you have concerns about your mental or physical health.
7 Best Ways to Boost Your Immune System During Covid-19

The Importance of the Immune System

 The immune system isn’t just made up of white blood cells, but consists of a vast network of tissues, cells and organs that work in tandem to maintain overall health and protect the body against infection. The human body is an ideal host for all number of pathogens, viruses, and parasites to thrive if unchecked; the immune system acts as our defense against these microbes and any of their subsequent attacks.

Every part of the immune system plays a unique role: the white blood cells are the first line of defense against any malicious foreign invader, whilst the blood marrow produces our infection-fighting soldiers.

Other parts of the immune system include lymph nodes that act as filters for foreign particles, and the spleen which controls the amount of blood circulating through the body removing old or damaged red cells.
As you can see, there are many parts of the immune system that all play their part in various and equally important ways.


Postpartum Anxiety Insomnia 1
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1. Sleep

A good night’s sleep can do wonders when it comes to the body’s overall well being, improving both physical and mental health. Sleep is when the body is able to fully rest, recover and repair itself in readiness for the day ahead, and not getting enough shut eye can have bad consequences.

Indeed, studies have shown that sleep-deprived patients are at a higher risk of developing an illness after exposure to a virus, underlying the importance of getting in that recommended 7-8 hours of dream-time.[i]

2. Vitamins and Antioxidants

Like any good machine, our body runs well if it’s fueled properly, and getting the right intake of vitamins and antioxidants promotes a healthy immune system. Blueberries, spinach, kale, garlic and ginger are beneficial on many levels.

In addition to having powerful effects on your antibody response[ii] they are also some of the best brain foods available, so you’ll enjoy better physical and cognitive health by eating them on a regular basis.

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3. Drink Less Alcohol

When consumed moderately, alcohol doesn’t seem to have particularly bad consequences for the immune system, and indeed the jury is still out over whether that single glass of red wine actually presents antioxidant-related benefits to the body.

Either way, it’s clear that high levels of consumption do have a negative impact, since studies have shown the white blood cell count to decrease below normal levels when a significant amount of alcohol is in the bloodstream.[iii]

4. Minimize Stress

When the body is placed in a stressful situation, the chemical cortisol is released into the bloodstream, decreasing the performance of your immune system. In addition, anxiety can impact your sleep pattern, which, as mentioned above, can reduce your body’s ability to recover at night. Try to prioritize a healthy mindset, and perhaps introduce some form of daily meditation to provide a sense of order to any chaos you might have in your life.

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5. Zinc Supplements

It’s important to get enough zinc in your diet since this mineral supports normal growth, heals wounds and keeps the immune system strong. Most diets should include enough zinc to adequately support working immunity levels; however, if you find yourself more susceptible to illness than others, consult a medical professional to see if you have zinc deficiencies that need to be addressed.[iv]

6. Probiotic Foods

A healthy gut means a happy immune system since the two are closely linked: around seventy percent of your immune system resides in your gut with probiotic bacteria living in the digestive tract and supporting our immunity levels. You’ll see most benefits from fermented foods (such as kimchi) or yogurts that contain live bacteria cultures that will boost the immune system.

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7. Exercise

The body’s circulatory system plays a key role when it comes to your level of immunity, essentially acting as a transport network for white blood cells to move about the body. You can increase the efficiency of this pipeline by exercising regularly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourages at least two and a half hours a week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes if at a more vigorous level.[v]

The Role of Weight Loss Supplements

The other benefit of exercise is that, alongside a healthy diet planvi, it helps to maintain an ideal body weight, and this is especially important in relation to COVID-19: obesity seems to worsen the effects of the disease and puts you at greater risk of complications from it.

If you are struggling with your weight, then perhaps consider some weight loss supplements. Phenocal is a popular brand on the market, made of all-natural ingredients that enhance your weight loss efforts by reducing the appetite and boosting energy levels. Taken regularly, it can make it easier to manage your weight and enjoy better overall health.

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Whilst there are many ways to boost immune system strength, there is no silver bullet cure-all that will do the job by itself. Using a combination of the above methods and maintaining a healthy weight with the help of a supplement such as Phenocal will give your body the best chance of fighting off infections.

Of course, it’s also vitally important that you practice good hygiene at all times, such as proper handwashing, and follow the recommended social distancing guidelines.


Author Bio:

Nathan Hodges is a passionate writer. He writes about health, fitness, nutrition & diet. His work gives a curiosity engaged to the readers.


References:

[i]https://www.orlandohealth.com/content-hub/7-ways-to-boost-your-immune-system

[ii]https://www.orlandohealth.com/content-hub/7-ways-to-boost-your-immune-system

[iii]https://www.health.com/condition/infectious-diseases/coronavirus/how-to-boost-your-immune-system

[iv]https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-21372790

[v]https://www.health.com/condition/infectious-diseases/coronavirus/how-to-boost-your-immune-system

[vi]https://www.healthwebmagazine.com/diet-nutrition/healthy-diet-plan-html/

 

100 Self Care Ideas That Are Social Distancing Approved

Anyone who isn’t currently practicing social distancing is putting others at risk.

With the COVID-19 Coronavirus on the loose, many people are retreating to their homes and avoiding large groups, i.e. social distancing.  Not all are finding this is easy, with the Millennials and Gen Z’s getting most of the blame.  Whether you’re currently serving a 14 day self isolation, or you’re still working and living life, you’ve likely noticed an increased level of boredom.  Most places are closed, events are cancelled, and even hanging out with friends is frowned upon. So what are you supposed to do during this quarantine? 

Well, my friends, it sounds like the perfect time to practice self care!
100 Self Care Ideas that are Social Distancing Approved
*This post contains affiliate and/or paid links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust. Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.

Pamper Your Body

With the added amount of stress due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, your body is likely in less than optimal health.  Social distancing provides us with an unlimited amount of time for self care without feeling guilty.  We don’t have to sacrifice time for self care because we suddenly have an abundance of it.  (Besides, with all the frequent hand washing and cleaning, I’m sure we could all use a little extra pampering.)

1. Soak in the bathtub with a bath bomb or Epsom salts.

2. Take a thermotherapy shower by starting hot and finishing cold.

3. Give yourself a manicure or pedicure.

4. Deep condition your hair. 

5. Apply a face mask.

6. Dry brush your skin

7. Exfoliate.

8. Moisturize.  

9. Give yourself a massage

10. Try acupressure

11. Get plenty of sleep.  

12. Do a detox. 

13. Drink lots of water

14. Make a smoothie or fresh green juice.

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Work on Your Mental Health

The media coverage on the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic has us all stressing out.  All of the stress and anxiety is bound to have a detrimental effect on our mental health.  Plus, having to stay isolated can exacerbate those symptoms. The best thing we can do for ourselves is to use this time of self isolation and social distancing to work on improving our mood and mental health. 

15. Try online cognitive behavior therapy.  

16. Sign up for talk therapy via video conference 

17. Practice meditation.  

18. Listen to music.  

19. Do yoga. 

20. Write in a journal. 

21. Light incense or diffuse essential oils.  

22. Listen to a podcast.  

23. Find a way to help a charity.  

24. Read a self help book

25. Nurture a house plant.  

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Laugh and Play

Self care should never be all work and no play.  In fact, laughter is a great mood booster and we should find all kinds of ways to laugh and be playful, even while social distancing.  

26. Play a video game or app. 

27. Play a board game.  

28. Work on a large puzzle.  

29. Doodle a mandala. 

30. Watch your favorite movies. 

31. Laugh along with some stand up comedy or a funny movie. 

Self Care Routine for a Stay at Home Mom
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Keep in Touch

We often think of self care as being alone but taking care of ourselves means doing good things for others, spending time with those we love and sharing pieces of who we are.  This might seem hard to do while practicing social distancing, but there are still ways to keep in touch with others. 

32. Call a friend.

33. Video chat with someone.

34. Make a YouTube video.

35. Write someone an email.

36. Send a letter.

37. Mail a care package.

38. Deliver gift baskets to neighbors.

39. Decorate your front window.

40. Host a Netflix watch party.

Hygge Lifestyle
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Spend Time Outside

We need to spend as much time outside as possible while social distancing.  Of course it’s important to stay away from crowds and limit our interactions as much as possible, but accessing fresh air is so important for our bodies both physically and mentally. 

41. Sit in your backyard.

42. Take a nap outside.

43. Lounge in a hammock.

44. Do yard work.

45. Go for a walk around the neighborhood.

46. Go for a drive in the country.

47. Eat a meal outside.

48. Pitch a tent in your backyard and camp out for a night.

49. Paint your fence or deck.

50. Make a fairy garden.

51. Paint some rocks.

52. Have an outdoor bonfire.

25 Easy Outdoor Self Care Ideas
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Declutter Your Space

Decluttering is a form of self care because it’s something that we tend to put off doing.  Then the clutter sits there, reminding us of our failures and causing undue stress.  Use this time at home to deep clean, declutter and minimize possessions. 

53. Deep clean your kitchen and bathrooms.

54. Repaint or redecorate a room in your house.

55. Sort through your wardrobe and donate any clothes you don’t wear.

56. Organize your home KonMari style.

57. Clean out your closets.

58. Sort through your shoes.

59. Sort through your accessories and jewelry.

60. Declutter your cabinets.

61. Clean out your makeup bag.

62. Clean the garage or basement.

63. Go through all your old electronics, DVD’s, CD’s, cables, etc.

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Tap into your Artistic Side

Art therapy is a super important way to practice self care while social distancing.  Being creative means using our brains as well as developing hand eye coordination.  Even if you don’t consider yourself an artistic person, you might be surprised with what you can come up with.

64. Draw or paint a picture.

65. Sketch something outside your window.

66. Color in a coloring book.

67. Create your own story book.

68. Make a craft completely out of recycled material.

69. Build something out of wood.

70. Make your own dough and sculpt something.

71. Build a bird house.

72. Bake cookies, cupcakes or some other type of delicious dessert.

73. Cook a hearty homemade soup or stew.

74. Start an indoor herb garden.

75. Sew, knit, crochet or macrame.

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Learn Something New

Use this opportunity to learn something.  Learning is a way to improve our brain health.  Plus it offers a distraction from anxiety and loneliness and can boost our self esteem.  As adults, we often refrain from learning new things, or we start them but never seem them through.  Learning a new skill or hobby is truly making the most of social distancing.

76. Take an online class.

77. Watch YouTube tutorial videos.

78. Read an instructional book.

79. Watch a documentary.

80. Find a new way to utilize something you don’t use anymore.

81. Take an online photography course.

82. Practice hand lettering or calligraphy.

83. Learn how to play a musical instrument.

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Get Your Heart Pumping

Exercise is one of the most important parts of self care.  There’s no excuses while locked up at home with nothing to do.  If your local gym is closed, check to see if they’re offering online workout videos instead.  And don’t worry if you don’t have a home gym, there are so many different ways to stay physically active at home. 

84. Ride a stationary bike or run on a treadmill.

85. Try some online workout videos.

86. Stretch.

87. Dance.

88. Plank.

89. Run up and down the stairs.

90. Focus on improving your pelvic floor health.

91. Work out with an exercise ball.

92. Skip rope.

93. Climb a tree.

94. Do squats and/or lunges.

95. Jump on a trampoline.

amazing benefits of yoga for postpartum depression
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Be Present 

The world looks a little scary right now.  Try to focus on the positive aspects instead.  We are living in a moment of history, so document it.  Take photos, write about it and enjoy every single moment.  Use your time wisely and continue to have hope for the future.  When this is all over, will you come out of it a better person?

96. Take at least one photo each day.

97. Cuddle with your spouse, kids, pet or even a stuffed animal.

98. Sit peacefully and do absolutely nothing.

99. Work on your bucket list.

100. Make a list of everything you miss doing and plan to do again once this global pandemic is over.


100 Self Care Ideas that are Social Distancing Approved
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How To NOT Feel Isolated While in Self Isolation

Self isolation is the recommended course of action for many during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.

Those who have recently traveled, have come in contact with someone with COVID-19, or who are sick are putting themselves into self isolation.  This basically means to quarantine yourself within your home for two weeks.  And further more, social distancing has us all keeping away from friends and public places.  With all of this isolation and anxiety, how does a person avoid actually feeling isolated?  For moms with mental health issues, isolation can actually make symptoms of depression and anxiety worse, so it’s important to have some ways to manage the loneliness. 

During self isolation, try some of these tips to avoid feeling lonely.
How to NOT feel isolation while in self isolation
*This post contains affiliate and/or paid links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust. Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.
How to NOT feel isolation while in self isolation

Most people, especially moms, will not actually be alone during their self isolation or social distancing.  Spouses and children will likely be in isolation with them.  It’s hard to say whether this makes it better or worse for a woman with postpartum depression or anxiety.  Having the family around 24/7 might become overwhelming very quickly.  

While it’s great to embrace this gift of family time, make sure that each person is also getting enough alone time to themselves each day.  This could be quiet reading or doing a quiet activity all in one room, or have everyone separate into different rooms for an hour or two each day.  This will surely benefit everyone’s mental health during the isolation period.

If the entire family is beginning to feel isolated from the outside world, then consider some of these options.

Make a Connection

Even though we can’t go out and socialize with our friends right now, we can still make connections with others.  We need to stick together, especially during these uncertain times. This is something we should be doing daily or at least a few times a week in order to maintain our mental health.

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Phone a friend or family member. Simply talking to another human being helps you avoid isolation.

Video chat with a friend or family member.  It helps to see another familiar face from time to time, and not just hear their voice.  This is also a great option for younger kids.

Write a letter to someone.  It doesn’t even have to be someone you know.  Consider writing letters with your kids to senior’s homes, hospitals, government offices, army bases, etc.  It would make someone’s day.

Write an email to someone.  Same as above, but send it online instead.  You can find e-mail addresses for most places on their websites.  Let your favorite local shop know how much you miss their store/business while it’s closed, and can’t wait to be back there again. 

Read a book or watch a movie.  Going on adventures with the characters in a book or a movie is another way to help you feel less lonely and isolated.  Now is a great time to start binge watching that TV series you’ve been wanting to start.

Adopt or foster a pet. If you’re going to be locked up inside the house for weeks anyway, why not foster a pet to keep you company?  You could all benefit from the company during this anxious time.

Find a Distraction

Don’t count the days of self isolation on a calendar, find a way to pass the time.  Keeping the mind distracted is a great way to avoid things like intrusive or anxious thoughts while you are quarantined at home. 

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Cook or Bake.  Don’t do it with the intention of “getting dinner on the table” as that will likely stress you out even more. Spend a day cooking some homemade soup or baking fresh bread or muffins with the kids.  Take your time and don’t worry about the mess. 

Clean.  Self isolation is the perfect time to clean out that closet you’ve been avoiding for months.  Start your spring cleaning early and tackle on the big messes that you never have time for. Decluttering is also a great way to maintain your mental health. 

Craft.  You can find hundreds of crafts you can do with the kids on Pinterest.  Or maybe you’d rather do something just for you?

Learn something new.  Nothing keeps the brain busier than learning. If you’re planning on homeschooling the kids, that will keep all of your brains busy.  Trying to pick up a new skill?  Now is the perfect chance to focus on it undisturbed for weeks!  Interested in knitting? Check out Love Crafts for everything you need including free PDF patterns! 

Leave the House

If you’re in self isolation or practicing social distancing, you should be avoiding other people and public places.  But that doesn’t mean you have to be locked up within the walls of your house.  There are still several ways that you can safely leave the house in order to avoid complete isolation.

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Spend time in your own backyard.  Good weather or not, spending some time each day in your own backyard is a great way to get some fresh air and sunshine.

Walk around the neighborhood.  You can also go for a walk in your own neighborhood, especially on a sunny day.  The natural Vitamin D not only helps to boost your mood, but the coronavirus doesn’t survive long in the sun. 

Go for a drive.  Why not pack the kids into the minivan and go for a drive in the country?  See if you can spot any wildlife or signs of spring.  Take photos along the way and compile an album.  Stop for a picnic lunch on the side of the road and play some fun family car games. 

Work on Yourself

Having weeks of undisturbed time at home means you finally have the chance to focus on yourself.  This global pandemic is going to change our entire world in ways we never imagined.  Let’s begin to prepare for the aftermath of it by using our self-isolation time to reflect on our lives. 

100 Self Care Ideas that are Social Distancing Approved
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Exercise. There’s no better way to avoid stress, anxiety, depression and isolation than to exercise daily.  Exercise is so important for both our physical and mental health.  You don’t need a home gym, either.  Watch yoga videos on YouTube or turn on some music and dance!

Read self help books. Maybe you’ll actually finish some of those books that you’ve been saving for when you have time.  Or try listening to some inspirational podcasts.

Try cognitive behavior therapy. If you’ve been putting off therapy because of a lack of time, self isolation is the perfect time to try online therapy. By completing an online therapy course, you can emerge from self-isolation with better tools to help you be successful in life. 

Meditate. There are several different ways to meditate, even if you’re not a fan of it.  Download a guided meditation app or simply spend time being mindful and grateful. Practice deep breathing and stretching for optimal health.  Turn on an essential oil diffuser and listen to some soothing meditation music. 

Focus on the positive. Self isolation is not the ideal situation for everyone. You may be worried about your job and bills and having enough food.  Instead, try to find something positive to focus on each day and write it down.  At the end of this quarantine, you can look back at this time and feel the happy moments instead of the negative ones. 

Make plans for the future.  Thinking about the future is a great way to avoid isolation and anxiety about the coronavirus. Sit down as a family and decide what things you’d like to do when this is all over.  Maybe you’ve learned to live with less or have realized where your true priorities are.  This is the time to set goals and make plans for the rest of this year.


Why Every Woman Needs a Day to Themselves: 6 Essential Self Care Tips

Women need to practice self care because they take on a lot. Whether it’s a mom juggling the kids’ school and activities or a college graduate in the thick of their thesis paper, life can be quite exhausting. All of this overthinking and overworking can have a real impact on our mental health.  That’s why every woman needs a day to themselves from time to time.

To get you started, here are six essential self care tips for that special day all to yourself!
Why Every Woman Needs a Day to Themselves: 6 Essential Self Care Tips
*This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author. This post may also contain affiliate and/or paid links. Rest assured that I only work with companies and individuals that I trust. While some of those companies and individuals may work in the medical field, this post is not intended to be a substitution for medical advice. Always speak to your doctor if you have concerns about your mental or physical health.

Get Good Sleep

Sleep deprivation can have multiple compounding effects on the body. So without it, our bodies fail to repair damaged tissue, metabolize hormones, and even create memories or simply retain lessons learned. So, while women are stressed at work or worried about their kids in some way, it’s hard to shake it off before heading to bed.

To combat this, one essential self-care tip is to change your bedtime routine. Avoid foods with caffeine and sugar and, instead, drink some soothing chamomile tea. Another nasty habit women tend to have before bed? Checking their phone and watching television. For many reasons, it’s important to put these devices away or turn them off and on silent. Not only do they stimulate your brain when you should really be unwinding, but the blue lights screw with our melatonin hormone, which, in turn, confuses our circadian rhythms and disrupts proper REM. Instead, read a self-care book or write in a gratitude journal.

Other than your phone, keep bedroom lighting to a minimum to achieve proper sleep. Use blackout curtains and avoid using a nightlight, even in conjoining bathrooms. To get the best rest of your life, it should be perfectly pitch dark!

Postpartum Anxiety Insomnia 1
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Be Mindful of What You Digest

This goes for food and everything that goes along with it—like nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Food is such a crucial role in how we feel, mentally and physically, and it can be affected on a daily basis. Reach for high-nutrient foods such as fatty fish, dark leafy greens, and brassicas (think broccoli and Brussels sprouts). The best way to be more mindful of what you digest is to know precisely what your body is absorbing. When you eat fast foods or takeout on a hurried day, you rarely stop to question what’s in it or from where it came. Instead, make sure you get the proper nutrients by creating a healthy meal at home, for family dinners or to carry into work for lunch.

Even if you don’t have time to go grocery shopping, you can have your local supermarket deliver weekly produce and ingredients straight to your doorstep. Not to mention, there is practically an endless variety of boxed meal delivery services from which to choose. Supplements can also improve our physical and mental health enormously. While it’s always best to first consult your physician or nutritionist, several supplements that could be beneficial are Vitamin D3, iron, omega-3, and even digestive enzymes.

Probiotics can especially enhance your gut health. Called the “second brain,” our gut plays a significant role in mental well-being, as our digestive tract is responsible for 90% of serotonin, which plays a major role in our mood and mental state.

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Spend Time Outdoors

Fresh air does more good for your body than you realize. So, it’s essential to remember to take a step outside every now and then. Seasonal Affective Disorder rears its ugly head in the winter as we tend to stay indoors, plan for the stressful holidays, and experience nothing but a cloudy gray haze. But it’s still important to get some sun and nourishing Vitamin D, which can be a real mood-booster.

You don’t have to go for a run—just a leisurely stroll in the park is enough. And, in doing so, you will also be getting some physical exercise, which will help clear your head and allow you to sleep sounder and deeper.

25 Easy Outdoor Self Care Ideas
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Organize Your Home and Thoughts

Sometimes, even the clutter we leave lying around can affect our mental state. It’s important to reassess the home every so often, declutter, and organize. Whether that means donating boxes to secondhand stores or gifting items to friends and family, tidying up your living space can leave you feeling refreshed. And that, in turn, can improve your mental clarity. Brightening up your space with new home treasures and décor can drastically change the look and feel of your home, bringing you a refreshing new outlook to your day to day!

When it comes to your thoughts, those need to be organized too, but in a different way. There are several ways to bring clarity to the mind. You can create lists as a way of “brain-dumping,” which can center or ground you, leaving you less overwhelmed about all the tiny menial tasks, and even big ones, too! Here’s a fantastic brain dump exercise to help guide you.

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Slightly different than a brain dump, one essential self-care tip is to create a gratitude journal. It seems simple enough, but, by acknowledging the small moments and accomplishments you feel grateful for, you can let go of regrets and learn not to be so hard on yourself. You can start with morning affirmations and end with what you enjoyed about the day.

Meditate and Learn to Breathe Again

Chronic stress can lead to depression, anxiety, and a whole range of mental and even physical health issues. However, according to some studies, meditation has been proven to alter our heart rate and blood pressure, reducing these stress-driven health issues.

And this lies in the relationship between our diaphragm and our sympathetic nervous system’s “fight or flight” response. Breathing exercises that accompany meditation engage the parasympathetic nervous system, which essentially tamps down the “fight or flight” response that chronic stress brings. And, by breathing through the diaphragm, women can trick the mind and body into this parasympathetic response. Here are some beginner tips for developing a meditation practice.

Meditation Tips for People Who Hate to Meditate
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Create a Self-Care Reminder

Every once in a while, a woman needs a day to themselves. And, with our hectic lives, it’s important to pencil it in, guard it, and cherish it. Make it a regimen and schedule it once a month, at least. But, until that day, also be sure to practice a little self-care in your everyday routine.


Author Bio: Carolyn Eberhart serves as the Digital Marketing Manager for Natural Life. Carolyn oversees all digital marketing efforts relating to Paid Social Media and Email Marketing remotely from Redwood City, CA. During the week she is passionate about her career, cooking, exercising and hanging out with her family and on Sundays you can find her cheering on the Buffalo Bills!

How to Cope With Parental Burnout: 5 Practical Ways to Recharge

How to Cope with Parental Burnout
*This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author. This post may also contain affiliate and/or paid links. Rest assured that I only work with companies and individuals that I trust. While some of those companies and individuals may work in the medical field, this post is not intended to be a substitution for medical advice. Always speak to your doctor if you have concerns about your mental or physical health.

Parenting is a beautiful journey that we can pretty much compare to a roller coaster ride – filled with ups and downs that does not seem to end.  Unfortunately, there are times when parents can feel excessively tired, cranky, unproductive, useless, and not enough.  Have you felt the same way too?  Then this means that you are suffering from parental burnout.

What is Parental Burnout?

Parental burnout exists and is becoming more prevalent lately.  It is a term that describes resentment, physical and emotional fatigue, de-motivation, and even depression in some parents who are overly stressed with parenting and a pile of other obligations.

According to studies and research, the changes in our society and culture are huge contributing factors that brought about the rise of this syndrome.  So how do you know if you have parental burnout?  These are the signs that you need to watch out for:

    • Emotionally distancing from child
    • Lack of motivation to go on
    • Feeling useless as a parent
    • Easily angered by the child even for simplest and smallest reasons

The bad thing is that not only parents are affected by parental burnout.  This can take a toll on your child, too and the effects can last for a long time.  For this reason, moms and dads should partake in activities that allow them to “recharge” and prevent fatigue.

Having said that, I decided to ask other parents for practical solutions on how to cope with parental burnout.

How to Cope

If you feel like you can no longer take it all, here are some of the many suggestions from parents like you and I to avoid falling prey to parental burnout:

Shop

I shop for my son to de-stress.  I usually do this with a mom friend so I have a chance to talk to another adult (and keep my sanity lol).  This technique is like hitting two birds with one stone – shopping for things that my kid needs while socializing with other moms without feeling guilty of leaving my husband and kid behind.  I feel invigorated after doing this kind of errand.  You should try it, too.

Have a Vent Buddy

It is really frustrating for me every time my 3-year old son and I argue.  I always remind myself that I need to understand his context because he does not always get my point of view… and shouting at him does not help at all.

Whenever I feel like I am about to explode, I take a break from arguing with my son and call or text a friend.  I whine, and nag, and even swear if need be just to let everything out of my system.  After this, I feel a bit better and all my anger has simmered.  By the time I go back to my son, my head is already clear and I can better “hear” what he is saying.  This way, we can better communicate with each other.

If I can’t reach anyone, I simply send an email to myself – the same thing I want to tell my vent buddy during a phone call or text message.

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Relax and Watch a Movie

I feel overwhelmed with all the responsibilities – imagine another human being is fully dependent on me for everything.  As a result, I worry almost every time even when I am near my kiddo.  This is where parental burnout comes creeping in.

When this happens, I watch a movie – more than once a month.  I choose movies that do not last for more than two hours.  As I am engrossed with the characters in the movie, I temporarily forget about my woes and worries.  This, honestly, feels like a mini-vacation for me.  As soon as I go out, I feel like a different person.

Go for a Run

This is the same thing as having a vent buddy as this helps keep my head clear.  Before I go to work, I run for 15 minutes to decompress and work on things that are stressing me out.   

This 15-minute run might not be much but it helps me work something out on my head while keeping my body healthy and active.  By the time I get home, I feel happier and, surprisingly, more patient.

25 Easy Outdoor Self Care Ideas
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Let Your Partner Take Over

Parenting on your own is hard.  Plus, it makes you crazy as you incessantly want to control everything.  Sometimes, I decide to take a step back.  I tell myself to bail on some activities and let my husband handle it.

For instance, I let my husband take my son to the park so I can stay at home.  I can clean, read a book, catch on my favorite series, or just sit down and relax.  This rewards us both – my husband gets to bond with my son and I get some time to reboot.


Remember that parenting is not like a job wherein you can just resign anytime you want.  You cannot give up or quit on your kids.  But if you take note of the practical tips in this post that are proven effective by other parents, I am sure that you will feel happy.  You will never fall prey to parental burnout ever again.


Author Bio: Elkyra Park is a first-time mom who can no longer count how many baby products she has reviewed for her sanity and her son’s sake.  She discusses about the realities of parenthood and how to gracefully cope with the struggles over at www.easyparentinghacks.com

How to Have Some Time for Yourself as a Busy Parent

If you are a parent then you might feel as though at times, your work is never done. You may find that you are being constantly torn between homework, dentist appointments, soccer practices and more. If you want to help yourself, then you need to practice self-care. This will help you to become way less stressed in the day and it will also help you to recharge too.

How to Have Some Time for Yourself As a Busy Parent
*This is a collaborative post and may contain affiliate and/or paid links.

Find Ways to Recharge

As a parent, you may feel as though you need to put other people’s needs before your own. You need to start focusing on yourself more and you also need to set some money aside so that you can pamper yourself too. Of course, the way that you do this will depend on your circumstances and your budget. If you are stuck for ideas then get a manicure, buy yourself a new item of clothing or even go for that haircut you’ve been meaning to get. This will help you to stay focused and it will also give you the chance to truly unwind.

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Children and their Bedtime

If your children have a bedtime, then don’t be afraid to take advantage of it. Children are often deprived of sleep, even if they don’t know it themselves. If you set an earlier bedtime, then you may have to face a bit of a battle but if you are able to push through, then it will benefit everyone involved. Your kids will be more alert, and they may even do better in school as a result. If finding your children a school that they can attend next year is on your agenda then you can find out information on Montessorri schools here.

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Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the practice that helps you to be in the current moment. If you are able to do this then you will lower your stress levels and you may even find that you are able to enjoy your day to day tasks more. If you are driving, then don’t let your mind race ahead. Instead, just focus on your hands being on the wheel. Mindfulness will take time to master but if you are able to do it then you will soon find that you can reap the benefits far more than you realize.

Carve out Time for Yourself

Designate two or even three 15-minute intervals per day to focus on yourself. If you have a schedule or a planner then do this in a way that you would everything else. When you do, you will soon find that you are much more likely to stick to your plans and this can really work in your favor. You may be tempted to avoid doing anything in your alone time, and this is understandable, but you have to avoid it as much as possible.

My Self Care Workbook - A Free Printable PDF
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Prioritize Partner Time

If you have a partner, then you need to do everything you can to spend time with them when you can. This could involve putting the kids to bed early or it may even mean trying to book the day off work from time to time. Either way, if you don’t make time for each other then you may find that you never have it, and this is the last thing that you need.

Keep in Touch

Keeping in touch with your friends or even your family can be a way for you to recharge your batteries. If you want to do this then try and hire a babysitter or even have a special afternoon out. You can also plan some afternoon activities at home if you want, either way, if they have kids then there’s a chance that they’ll need a break as well and the more you can give them this, the better you’ll all feel.

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Have a Good Diet

If you don’t have a good diet then this won’t work in your favor at all. You may feel that you are far more tired during the day and that you struggle to get through the day without having a nap. If you want to get around this then you need to try and make sure that you are eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, and that you are also staying away from caffeine. After all, caffeine may give you a short-term fix, but it won’t do you any good in the long-term so do keep that in mind. If you don’t have time to have a good diet then making meals ahead of time is certainly the way to go, not to mention that you can get the kids involved too!


How to Put Your Mental Health First When Life Gets Unexpected

Life has a habit of surprising us and even when things are floating along nicely, there’s always a chance of a bolt from the blue upsetting our mental health. The unpredictability of life is what makes our existence precious and exciting, but not knowing what the future holds can also trigger anxiety. When a curve ball does come out of nowhere, how do you react?

Many of us switch to autopilot, but our responses and instincts aren’t always beneficial for our mental health and well being. If you’re going through a tough time, here’s a guide to some of the most common causes of stress and distress and some tips to help you put your mental health first.

Put Your Mental Health First
*This is a collaborative post and may contain affiliate and/or paid links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.  Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust. 

Relationship breakdowns

The relationships we have with other people can make or break us. Being with a single person or having a group of friends can make us feel ecstatically happy, but there’s also a risk of coming into contact with people who don’t have a positive influence. At some point, the majority of people will decide to break up with a partner or let a friendship slip away because that relationship isn’t making them happy.

Spending time with friends and your partner should lift you up, make you feel safe, secure, content and give you hope for the future. If you question your own worth at any point, feel like you can’t be yourself around another person or wake up every morning wondering if you’re making the right decision, it’s time to re-evaluate your relationships.

If you’ve been with a partner for a long time, you’re married or you have children together, it can be incredibly tough to make the decision to separate. You probably envisioned spending the rest of your lives together and the thought of being alone is scary.

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If you have decided to break up with a long-term partner, and there are legalities involved, make sure you get the advice and support you need from a legal firm that specializes in family law. It’s very common to have questions about the processes that are involved.  An experienced legal team will fight in your corner and give you the information you need to understand what the next few months will entail and what rights you have.

In addition to seeking professional advice, it’s also critical to take advantage of emotional support. At this time, you might be hurting and feeling very low. Reach out to close friends and family members, talk to a therapist or a charity helpline if you’d rather speak to somebody you don’t know.  Remember to take good care of yourself. Spend time with people you trust that make you feel good about yourself. There is no universal guide to healing after a breakup, so don’t put pressure on yourself or compare yourself to others.


Loss

The loss of a loved one is one of the most difficult hurdles human beings have to overcome. We spend our lives building families and groups of friends and to lose somebody that you love can cause immeasurable pain. One important thing to remember when you’re dealing with bereavement is that everyone is different. People cope with grief in very different ways and there is no cookie-cutter mold that you have to fit into.

In the early days, it’s common to feel numb and to try and fill your time, often doing tasks that really don’t need to be done. Most of us like to try and keep busy purely so that our minds aren’t occupied by thoughts of that person and feelings of sadness and despair.

When you feel able to open up, talking is hugely beneficial. It can be dangerous to keep your emotions bottled up. Don’t be afraid to cry and don’t feel that you have to be strong for others. You might not want to sob in front of your kids, but make sure you have an outlet for your feelings. If this means going to the bathroom for 5 minutes to take time out or making a call to a friend so that you can let it all out, this is what you should do.

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They say that time is a healer and to some extent, it is. The problem is that time can also make others forget. When you first lose a loved one, you may find that you’re inundated with flowers, cards, and messages. As time passes, the texts and calls to see how you are dry up as people get on with their lives. This can be very difficult to take.

To help you cope and to make the grieving process more tolerable, don’t be afraid to lean on others and to seek advice. Many people find it helpful to go to group support sessions and to talk to a counselor about their feelings. You might also find that creative activities enable you to express your emotions.  Exercise, especially activities that are designed to clear your mind and promote relaxation like yoga, help you sleep if you’re struggling with insomnia.


Unemployment and money worries

If you lose your job or you’re worried about debt, money problems can consume you and contribute to intense anxiety. If you’re trying to raise kids, run a household and keep a roof over your head, it can be very difficult to tackle debt, especially if you’ve lost your job. If money worries are getting you down, and you’re facing an uncertain future, for which you weren’t prepared, there is help out there.

Often, when bad news comes out of the blue, the easiest path to take is to bury your head in the sand and hope that everything blows over. In reality, the longer you ignore debt, the more serious the situation becomes. If you’re unemployed, money issues may be temporary, and finding another job could provide a solution.

If the scenario is more grave, the sooner you seek professional advice, the better. You don’t want to be panicking every time your phone rings or there’s a knock at the door. If you’re chasing your tail and can’t pay your bills, a financial adviser or a debt charity can help you out. There are paths you can take and there may be simple solutions that could save you a huge amount of stress.

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Anxiety can really take its toll on your physical health, as well as your mental well being. If you are anxious all the time, and you’re finding it tough to relax and stay calm, there are self-help techniques you can try. It’s also beneficial to talk about how you feel and to ask for help. Often, we make assumptions that people won’t want to be burdened by our issues but that’s usually not the case. You might find that your family and friends are more than willing to support you.

Life is never plain sailing, and most of us have to deal with challenges and obstacles that seem to come from nowhere. If you’re going through a tough time your health might suffer, and this is why it’s crucial to try and look after yourself as best you can. Focus on getting through each day, maintain a positive mindset and accept that some days will be harder than others.


6 Reasons Art Therapy is One of the Best Forms of Self Care

Art therapy is something entirely different than craft time with the kids.

If you’re like me, then supervising a craft with the kids normally consists of a lot of mess and frustration.  But ultimately, they LOVE doing it, and that’s why we put up with it.  Kids are happiest when they have a chance to be creative, get messy and use their imaginations.  And it’s time that moms take a lesson from the kids.

Art therapy is a form of therapy which incorporates the visual arts such as painting, drawing, sculpting and so much more.  Formal art therapy is done with a licensed therapist who would guide you through the process and help you to open up suppressed feelings and emotions.

But you don’t need a professional to reap the benefits of art therapy.  Simply picking up a paintbrush and letting your imagination go wild can be one of the best forms of self care.

Here are some of the benefits of art therapy.
6 Reasons Art Therapy Is One of the Best Forms of Self Care
*This post contains affiliate and/or paid links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust. Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.

Art Therapy Art Therapy

Art Therapy


Stress Release

Putting a paintbrush to canvas is a great way to relieve stress and tension.  Create something abstract by using big, bold strokes and don’t worry about making a mess or staying in the lines.  You can even go so far as to use your fingers, hands or even your feet to create art.  Involve your entire body in your movements and let the stress melt away.

Meticulous movements also have a way of releasing stress and tension.  When life feels hectic and out of control, keeping within the fine lines of a paint by numbers canvas or detailed coloring book can give us a sense of empowerment and control. 

Winnie's Picks Paint by Numbers
Winnie’s Picks Paint by Numbers

Builds Confidence

The ability to create something beautiful gives us a confidence boost like no other.  Plus, successfully completing a project does wonders for our mental health.  It makes us feel capable and proud and as though we can tackle anything.

While some art forms take years of practice to master, beginners can still create masterpieces.  A paint by numbers canvas is a great option for the beginner artist who wants to create something that looks professional but lacks the skills.  The fine details are a great way to relieve stress and taking some time each day to work on it can easily be fit into your self care routine.  

Winnie's Picks Paint by Numbers
To make it even easier, you can get a paint by numbers set from Winnie’s Picks which comes with everything you need.

Distracts the Mind

Activities that distract the mind are great for those who are suffering from anxiety or depression.  Similar to watching television, playing a video game or listening to music, art therapy focuses our minds on something other than negative or intrusive thoughts.  This is a welcome distraction before bedtime if you’re battling insomnia or on especially bad mental health days. 

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Opens up Emotions

Formal art therapy is used to help patients open up suppressed emotions or memories that they need to deal with.  So it’s no surprise that allowing ourselves to open up our creative side also lets out a flood of emotions.  When you feel sad or angry, worried or stressed, try expressing those emotions using an art form such as painting or drawing.  Doing something creative can actually increase our dopamine levels, which makes us feel happier.  

Express Yourself Without Words

Unless you’re an accomplished writer, words are often a difficult medium for expressing yourself.  When we feel something, we picture it in our heads and then try to describe that picture to someone else.  Instead of simply describing it, draw or paint it out.   Close your eyes and imagine it.  If it was in a dream, then do it as soon as you wake up so you don’t forget. 

This is a great art therapy practice for those suffering from scary and intrusive thoughts who might be too afraid to explain them out loud.  It’s up to you whether or not you want to show it to someone, but getting it out of your head and onto paper or canvas can help you release them and feel better.

Intrusive Thoughts
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Taps into the Subconscious

The thoughts and images in our subconscious have a strong effect on our conscious minds.  Most people seek therapy in order to tap into that subconscious mind to find out what is hidden in there.  Art therapy can work in the same way.  

Try splattering some paint on canvas or scribbling something with a pencil and then imagining what you see in it.  Create something without thinking too hard about what it is and watch what happens.  Our subconscious minds can leave us clues through another medium such as art.

Winnie's Picks Paint by Numbers
Winnie’s Picks Paint by Numbers

Art therapy is not for everyone, but those looking for an outlet for stress or anger should definitely give it a try.  Find a peaceful location and allow yourself enough time to access your creative side.  You can even try a group art therapy class which will encourage you to socialize with others.  A family or friends paint night can have a similar effect.  And most importantly, whatever you create, show it off.  Hang it up in your home, sell it on Etsy or share pictures online.  Be proud of what you’ve accomplished and who knows, it might be worth something one day…

Why All Moms Need To Spend A Day At Thermëa

Thermëa by Nordik Spa-Nature is a Scandinavian-style spa in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Focused around the concept of “thermotherapy,” Thermëa is a secluded getaway located in the heart of the city of Winnipeg.  Like many other spas, you can get massages, facials and other body treatments performed by licensed professionals.  But there is one thing that sets Thermëa apart from your average day spa.  It’s called The Thermal Experience.

Jess and I got the opportunity to check out Thermëa for ourselves and explore the unique benefits of this outdoor spa.  Janis, Thermëa’s marketing director, gave us an exclusive tour of The Thermal Experience, as a crowd gathered outside waiting for the spa doors to open.  Despite the spa being at maximum capacity that day, it wasn’t crowded and the mystical steam rising up over the outdoor pools provided a sense of separation from the other guests.

Read more about all the benefits of thermotherapy, and why it’s an awesome form of self care for moms.
Why All Moms Need to Spend the Day at Thermea
*This is a sponsored post meaning free passes were exchanged for an honest review. Please note that while this post does contain health and wellness information, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.

Why All Moms Need to Spend the Day at Thermea Why All Moms Need to Spend the Day at Thermea


What is Thermotherapy?

Thermotherapy is a type of physical and psychological therapy powered by temperature.  Heat therapy is known to have many benefits, and has been used by medical professionals, physical therapists and athletes for decades.  The process of alternating heat and cold is known to speed up recovery in cases of muscle injury.  A rapid change in body temperature can also eliminate toxins from the body, increase blood circulation, relieve stress and strengthen the immune system

Thermëa offers a unique way to experience the benefits of thermotherapy. The outdoor spa is a beautiful maze of pools, saunas, steam rooms and various indoor and outdoor rest areas – all available for use with one daily pass.  The Scandinavian style of the spa, with it’s minimalist wood and stone elements, fit perfectly against the backdrop of Winnipeg’s ever-changing weather.  The bare trees and snow covered ground made it feel like a mountain-top retreat away from the noise of everyday life.

Thermea by Nordik Spa-Nature
Thermea by Nordik Spa-Nature

As breath-taking as the grounds of Thermëa are, they’re not just for show.  The layout is actually designed to encourage guests to follow the 3 Step Thermal Cycle.

Hot.

The first step in the thermal cycle is to heat things up. Exposing the body to heat helps to open up the pores and causes you to sweat out all the bad toxins in your body.  There are two dry saunas and two steam rooms to choose from for the heat cycle. 

The popular Finlandia dry sauna holds Aufguss rituals every hour, during which a staff member infuses the stones with ice and essential oils and then uses towels to circulate the hot air and steam around the room.  These sessions do get crowded, so make sure you get there early to choose a spot.  And keep in mind that the higher up you sit, the hotter it gets and the faster you’ll sweat it out.

Thermea Finlandia Sauna
Finlandia Sauna

The two steam rooms are located in the Vaporo building, one infused with eucalyptus, the other with orange essential oils.  The steam in the rooms is incredibly dense and as soon as you walk in the door you can feel it take over your entire body.  After a cycle in the steam room, there are scented exfoliating salts available to scrub all over your body and a shower to rinse them off.  This helps to get rid of dry skin and wash away the layer of gunk that you’ve just sweat out. 

Most importantly, remember to drink lots of water, especially after a hot cycle!  You will need to replace a lot of the fluid you’ll be sweating out.  Throughout Thermëa you will find delicious flavor infused waters, and you are encouraged to bring your own plastic refillable water bottle.  (Jess and I thought we were drinking enough water, but we didn’t, and ended up with headaches at the end of the day – so drink twice as much as you think you need!)

Thermea Infused Water
Pineapple Rosemary + Cucumber Mint Infused Water Station

Cold.

Once you’ve completed a hot cycle, you now need to expose your body to a cold temperature. This will improve your blood circulation, close up your pores, speed up your heart rate and boost your adrenaline levels.  If you’re brave enough, plunge through the Polarbër pool which is extremely cold and works really fast.  Or you can stand underneath the Icebër waterfall for a few seconds.

Thermea Polarber
Polarbër Cold Plunge

As shocking as the icy water might feel, try your best not to scream.  The main areas of Thermëa are silent, and if you missed one of the hundreds of signs that say “whisper” a staff member will gently remind you (Jess took the liberty of testing that theory out for herself).

If you’re not a fan of submerging yourself into icy cold water, the Tempër pool is comfortable but still cool.  If it’s a colder day outside, you can simply walk around or sit by one of the many fire pits instead.  The cold cycle only needs a few seconds to work, but you can literally feel your heart start pumping and the adrenaline rushing through your veins.

Thermea Temper Pool
Tempër Pool

Rest.

And finally, our favorite part of the thermal cycle – the rest cycle. Resting after exposure to heat and then cold will turn all that adrenaline into endorphins.  Increasing our endorphin levels can help relieve stress, improve our mental health and create an overall sense of calm and happiness.

Thermea Flam Outdoor Cottage
Fläm Outdoor Rest Area

The Gëser hot tub was, by far, the most popular resting spot on this cool spring day.  There are also several outdoor areas, including Fläm, a little wooden cottage with a fire pit in the middle surrounded by Adirondack chairs and cozy blankets.  One of the most unique features to relax in were the heated hammocks.  You can zip yourself right into them and take a nap or just swing and relax in complete bliss. (In fact, some people were zipped up so snugly that it was hard to tell if there was anyone in there at all – the best way to tell is to look for empty flip flops on the ground!)

Thermea Heated Hammocks
Heated Hammocks

The Relaxa relaxation chalet consisted of two different areas.  One had comfortable heated benches with tons of natural sunlight and was perfect for reading.  It even had ropes to help you get comfortable in the seats without too much effort.  The Tellura section was warm, dimly lit and stocked with heated mattresses, perfect for meditating or napping (which we totally did)! Just outside the room, you can help yourself to a variety of organic teas – supplied locally by Cornelia Bean

Thermea Rellaxa
Relaxa Heated Benches

The Restö on-site restaurant was another great place to relax while enjoying a gourmet meal made from locally sourced ingredients.  If you’re visiting with friends, it’s one of the few places where you don’t need to whisper.  There were several different places to sit but all the areas are heated and closed to the public so fine dining in a bathrobe was the ultimate luxury.

Thermea Resto
Restö Upper Level

We choose to have our lunch in the newer lounge area and enjoyed the view through the floor to ceiling windows.  These window panels actually open all the way up during the warmer months to provide a unique indoor/outdoor dining experience.  Make sure to load up some money on your electronic bracelet when you check in so that you can dine at the restaurant wallet-free. (I highly recommend ordering a pitcher of the White Sangria!)

Thermea Resto Lounge
Restö Lounge

Repeat.

After you’ve had a sufficient rest period, you can begin the thermal cycle all over again.  By completing the cycle three or more times, you can enjoy the maximum benefits of thermotherapy, as well as explore all the different features that Thermëa has to offer.

The facility is open from 9 am until 10 pm and guests are welcome to stay for the entire day.  Interestingly enough, the atmosphere seemed to change constantly throughout the day.  The early morning sunrise brought a sense of peace and serenity.  By the early afternoon, it felt warm, sunny and uplifting.  We ended our visit around 4 pm but would have loved to stay longer and see how beautiful the place is when it’s lit up at night.

Thermea Herbal Tea by Cornelia Bean
Herbal Tea Selection by Cornelia Bean

There are no time limits, schedules or restrictions, which was a welcome change to our normally busy lives. You’re welcome to take a 2 hour nap in your favorite spot or hang out in the hot tub all day long if you want to.  Everything is self-serve and you can wander throughout the grounds as you wish.  It was clear that the staff worked hard to maintain the environment of peace and relaxation.  They were constantly restocking, discreetly cleaning, tending to the fires and gently reminding everyone to keep their voices down.

Thermea Tellura
Tellura Meditation + Nap Room

Why is This So Good for Moms?

Thermëa is an amazing place for all adults, regardless of age, gender or physical limitations.  But moms in particular can benefit greatly from using thermotherapy on a regular basis. 

Both pregnant and postpartum moms can get relief from muscle aches and pains (obviously, check with your doctor first).

It tones the skin and increases elasticity, which will help restore post-pregnancy skin.

Encourages better sleep and helps ward off fatigue and exhaustion.

Reduces stress, anxiety and tension.

Increases mental clarity, concentration and memory.

Detoxifies the body which boosts the immune system.  This is especially important for moms with school age kids who bring home all kinds of germs.

A spa day is the ultimate luxurious self care option for moms and a visit to Thermëa or one of Groupe Nordik’s other thermotherapy spas should be on every mom’s bucket list.  After spending the day at Thermëa, including a hearty lunch and an afternoon nap, I felt completely renewed and refreshed.  And as we drove away, I was simply counting down the days until I could return again.

Thermea Front Desk
Get A Thermal Experience for less than $60 CAD.

For less than $60 CAD, you can spend an entire day enjoying The Thermal Experience, but make sure to arrive early, especially on weekends and holidays!  To learn more about Thermëa, including accommodation packages and to purchase online gift certificates, visit their website https://www.thermea.ca/


 

How To Reduce Mom Guilt By Embracing A Hygge Lifestyle

Moms can never seem to relax without feeling guilty about it, so maybe it’s time we took a lesson from the Danish.

The Danish people are  a happy people, despite the fact that their weather is very similar to that of my hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada (a.k.a. Winter-peg).  How do the Danes manage to remain so happy despite the long hours of darkness and extreme cold temperatures, while we’re all miserably suffering from seasonal depression over here?

I believe that it has a little something to do with their lifestyle.  Specifically, the hygge lifestyle.  Learning more about the hygge lifestyle and incorporating it into our own lives can have a lot of benefits, especially for busy moms.  It’s not just something that we can practice on the coldest of winter days, but something that we should be mindful of everyday.

Most importantly, embracing a hygge lifestyle can help moms to feel a little less guilty about slowing down and taking care of themselves.
Hygge Lifestyle
*This post contains affiliate links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust. Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.

What is Hygge?

Hygge(HOO-ga or HUE-ga) is a Danish word that does not have an exact translation in English.  It is used to describe a particular mood or feeling but also to describe the many different ways a person can create this mood and feeling.  And that mood and feeling is one of happiness, contentment, peace and warmth.

Hygge is a certain way of living life.  It’s about being conscious of your every action and movement.  It’s moving slowly and never feeling rushed or pressured to be anywhere or do anything.  To live a hygge lifestyle is to focus on the things that make us feel happy and warm on the inside, despite the cold darkness and chaos that’s happening around us.

Seasonal Affective Disorder
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Hygge Essentials

Similar to creating a self-care sanctuary, it’s important to surround yourself in the proper environment for practicing hygge.  While hygge is most popular in the winter months when it’s cold and dreary, it can actually be practiced year round.  All you need to create the perfect hygge environment are the right tools.

Indigo.ca
Candles

Candlelight is a cornerstone of hygge culture.  The soft, low lighting and irregular flickering of a candle is something that artificial lighting just can’t re-create.  Sitting around by candlelight in the winter is sure to inspire a feeling of coziness, warmth and togetherness, maybe even romance.  You can even take the mood lighting up a notch by plugging in a color changing diffuser filled with some relaxing essential oils like this one from Rocky Mountain Oils.

Cozy Blankets

Being wrapped up in a blanket provides us with a sense of warmth and security.  It’s like channeling the spirit of ancient Vikings wrapped in bear skins as we huddle by the fire.  You may not have a spare bear skin lying around but a soft sherpa throw or weighted blanket can do the job.

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A Quiet Sitting Place

A comfortable place to hang out is definitely a hygge essential.  Whether it’s a couch, bed, comfy chair or cushions on the floor – you’ll want to make sure it’s your favorite place to spend some time.  Maybe you already have a designated self-care space, or maybe you have to move some furniture around, but find that one perfect spot in your home that you can escape to.

Comfortable Clothing & Wooly Socks

I’m talking about that one pair of sweatpants that you would never wear out in public.  They’re soft and warm and worn in (or worn out).  Perhaps the waistband is stretched out or there’s a hole in the crotch from where your thighs rub together, but it doesn’t matter because they are the comfiest pants in the world.  Comfort doesn’t always have to mean sacrificing style, either.  And socks, you have to get the warmest, coziest socks you can find.  Warm feet are the quickest way to feel cozy!

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Indulgent Foods & Hot Drinks

Another essential part of the hygge lifestyle is the indulgent, soul warming soups and stews, rich cakes and hot drinks like apple cider, hot chocolate or herbal teas. Normally, these are things saved only for special occasions, which is what makes them so indulgent.  Eating foods that remind us of holidays or our childhood can boost our moods as we reminisce on happy times.  And don’t worry about the calories, because we’ll need all that extra fat to keep us warm in the winter!

A Hygge Weekend

Adopting a hygge lifestyle everyday is not a practical solution for everyone.  But scheduling a hygge weekend can be a great way to practice self care and unwind after a busy week.  This is also an activity that can be done with the entire family, with benefits for everyone.  So choose a weekend where you don’t have anything else going on and schedule it!

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Next, make preparations ahead of time so that you don’t need to worry about a thing:
  • Stock up on candles and matches.  (Or firewood if you have a wood burning fireplace!)
  • Get the ingredients to make a hearty beef stew, indulgent cake and soul warming drinks like coffee, tea, warm cocoa or hot apple cider.
When the weekend comes, get your Hygge on!
  • Stay in bed for as long as possible.
  • Wear your comfiest clothing, slip on cozy socks or slippers and wrap yourself in a warm blanket.
  • Light some candles or a fire in the fireplace.
  • And then… do whatever makes you happy.  Play board games with the family, watch a movie, read a book or take a nap.
  • Don’t worry about phone calls, to-do lists, housework, or even check the clock.
  • Use up your cheat days and eat a hearty meal, load up on carbs and indulge in cake and coffee while sitting around the dinner table laughing with your family.

Remember, you’re not being lazy or unproductive – you are embracing the art of hygge.  Doing all these things is good for the soul!

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The Benefits of Hygge

Hygge encourages us to live with intention and focus on what’s important.  Resting our bodies, spending time with loved ones and indulging are all important.  Among all of the things that “need to be done” like laundry and dishes and cooking and cleaning, we should remember that these things are just as important.

Often, when we take time for ourselves, lounge around in sweatpants or eat cake – we feel a sense of guilt.  As if we should be doing something else more productive.  But choosing to live a hygge lifestyle gives us permission to do all of those things.

And while we can’t eat cake and wear sweatpants everyday of our lives, we can remember to move a little slower and take in every moment of every day.  We can choose to do the things that make us happiest and instead of feeling guilty, we can feel proud.  This is the hygge lifestyle.

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