Monthly Archives: May 2017

How to De-Stress Instead of Distress?

We share helpful tips on how to de-stress when otherwise in distress!

  1. Meditate to relax and spiritually connect with oneself deeply at the very core on a regular basis. Besides meditating, set aside a me-time to do something fun for yourself. It could be anything just for 15 minutes a day that gives you a lot of joy.
  2. Practice light yoga or other physical activity to keep up the energy level and boost metabolism.
  3. Practice taking deep breaths to relax oneself and to deeply connect at the very core on a regular basis.
  4. Watch your white sugar consumption and replace with natural substitutes wherever possible. Sugar is no different than any other addictive substance. Hence it is very important to limit the intake of refined sugar.
  5. Eat more whole foods and limit the intake of processed foods. Whole grains and complex foods go a long way to increase our metabolism, prevent diabetes and contain much more nutritional values than processed foods.
  6. Absorb plentiful sunshine and get some vitamin D. If you live in a place without regular sunny days,  it is recommended to take vitamin D supplements. Vitamin D enhances mental and physical activity and prevents depression.
  7. Schedule only limited blocks of time to be on social media and minimize gadgets and device usage. Enjoy life’s bountiful gifts by being in the moment.
  8. Organize your day, prioritize all your activities by order of importance and de-clutter all your belongings.
  9. Connect with your family, friends and loved ones by appreciating them for their love and support on a regular basis. Feelings of gratitude and being loved uplift our moods and immediately alleviate stress.
  10. Last but not the least, make someone else’s day by doing something special for them and making them smile.

How To Breathe Your Problems Away?

We really never give breathing a second thought. We mostly feel convinced that we are breathing properly – it is really surprising how many people are actually not doing this basic task correctly. The other strange fact is that we were doing it right when we were little babies – if you watch babies sleeping, you will see their abdomen move up and down as they breathe. They are actually taking in nice deep relaxing breaths. However, as we get older, maybe from stress or from anxiety and panic, this basic instinct of correct breathing gets modified and we start taking in shallower and often rapid breaths that hardly go past 1/3 of our lungs. Stress often prepares our body for a flight or fight mode, which may lead to short and rapid breathing or hyperventilation that in turn can become a habit with continuous levels of constant anxiety.

Improper ways of breathing can affect our well-being both physically and mentally. Insufficient oxygenated blood can make us feel exhausted, increase our blood pressure, tire our muscles quicker and affect the activity of the brain. Thus, we would feel more tired and sluggish due to the lack of essential nutrients in the blood. On the other hand, taking deep breaths has the opposite effect of lifting up our moods as well as boosting our physical well-being when we have sufficient oxygenated blood flowing through our system. The saying, ‘Take a deep breath and relax’ is truly a healthy saying. It is literally how we should be breathing to feel relaxed as well as super energized.

Proper breathing starts with the nose and not through the mouth. Also, the breathing should be silent and if it is not, then we are either hyperventilating or have obstructions in the nasal pathways that typically lead to sleep problems and snoring. Finally taking deep breath may require some amount of practice to nail it. Our breathing system involve the diaphragm and muscles in the abdomen and chest. In order to get a feel for proper breathing, sit upright and comfortable, place your left arm on your upper chest while your right arm should be on the abdomen, in the cavity of the rib cage. Inhale deep until you feel the air go all the way down to your belly, then slowly exhale – all the while being conscious to have our body muscles relaxed. When we breathe properly, the right arm placed over the abdomen should move up and down, just like it did when we were babies!

How To Maintain A Healthy Pregnancy?

Early prenatal care is important in promoting a healthy pregnancy. It starts with prenatal visits to the doctors to ensure that we are staying on top in all of the following areas:

1) Avoid smoking, drugs and alcohol: These are the absolute no-no(s) to get out of the way. Smoking or even second-hand smoke, alcohol and drug intake can affect the development of the fetus and affect the infant’s health. During pregnancy, the expecting mother should not have anything to do with these harmful substances.

2) Medications: Most pregnant woman may already be taking some medication, such as for acne or for chronic pain or for any other medical condition. It is important to discuss with the doctor which of these medications are still safe to take.

3) Avoid toxic substances: At all costs, we must stay away from exposure to any harmful chemical solvents or other toxic substances, such as lead or mercury.

4) Minerals/Vitamins: We have to ensure that we are taking adequate amounts of folic acid as supplements throughout the pregnancy to prevent the child developing any neural tube defects. The good news is that most prenatal vitamins will have at least 400 micrograms of folic acid. Also your healthcare provider may give you supplements of vitamin B12 and assess that your iron levels are adequate.

5) Eat a Healthy Diet: It is important to have balanced meals with variety of fruits and mixed berries, leafy green vegetables, whole grains, nuts, proteins and low-fat dairy products to ensure the developing fetus has all the required nutrients. Also during this time one should drink plenty of fluids. Here is an awesome link that helps pregnant women to create a checklist of their daily meal plates:

6) Eat a safe diet: Pregnant women should avoid all kinds of raw fish, processed meat, undercooked meat and unpasteurized cheese. They should also avoid fish with high content of mercury. The FDA guidelines for pregnant women are that 12 ounces a week of fish with low levels of methyl mercury, such as shrimp and salmon, is a safe choice during this time.

7) Limit Caffeine Intake: Excess caffeine can increase the risk of miscarriage. Your doctor can dicsuss with you and recommend the total amount of caffeine you can take. They may suggest an upper limit of 200 milligrams of caffeine per day.

8) Maintain a healthy weight: The doctor will recommend how much weight you can safely gain during pregnancy based on your current weight or BMI. It is important to follow the weight-gain chart as gaining too much can lead to many other problems such as gestational diabetes, high blood pressure etc.

9) Maintain physical activity: It is very important during this time to maintain a light level of physical activity. Some of the best forms of exercise during this time is walking and swimming with minimum physical strain. Activity improves sleep during pregnancy, helps to maintain healthy weight gain and also makes childbirth easier.

10) De-stress and relax: Last, but not the least, relaxing and de-stressing throughout your pregnancy is probably the best thing you can do for yourself and for your bundle of joy. Try to engage in peaceful and relaxing activities even when you feel anxious or stressed out – with a little bit of mindfulness and meditation, you can de-stress instead of distress!