wellness

Tips and Tricks For Relieving Stress

Stress is a universal experience that touches every aspect of our lives. From the pressures of work to the demands of personal relationships, stress can manifest in various forms, leaving you feeling tense and overwhelmed. But what if there was a way to break free from its grip and embrace a life of greater ease? Keep on reading to learn more. 

Yoga 

Yoga has emerged as a go-to solution for stress relief and physical fitness! Through mindful movement and breathwork, yoga offers a powerful tool for releasing physical and mental stress.  

Embrace its profound capacity to nurture both body and soul as each pose and sequence guides you on a transformative journey toward greater harmony and vitality.

Avoid Procrastination 

One easy strategy to regain control over your stress levels is to proactively manage your priorities and steer clear of procrastination during periods of relative calm. 

Procrastination not only induces stress but can also take a toll on your overall health and disrupt your sleep patterns. To combat this effectively, consider creating a prioritized to-do list with realistic deadlines. Break tasks into manageable chunks and allocate dedicated time slots for completion.

Discover the power of singular focus and propel yourself towards success! 

Practice Saying No

Overcommitting yourself can escalate stress levels and impede self-care efforts. So, saying “no” more often, especially when feeling overwhelmed, is essential for maintaining balance and reducing stress levels. 

Prioritize your commitments and decline those that unnecessarily add to your load. Remember, it’s okay to prioritize your well-being over additional obligations.

Write Down Your Thoughts 

Studies have shown that expressive writing can be particularly beneficial for individuals managing chronic health conditions, including mental health challenges like depression. Regular journaling may also contribute to a higher quality of life and encourage proactive self-care behaviors. 

So, start writing and take advantage of journaling as a positive outlet for your emotions, providing a sense of relief and empowerment in managing stress and anxiety.

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Daily Rituals To Boost Your Self Esteem

Implementing simple daily rituals can significantly impact our sense of self and overall mental health. Here are some sample daily rituals that you can try to improve your sense of self:

Morning Gratitude

Kickstart your day on a positive note by practicing morning gratitude. Take a moment to reflect on five things you’re grateful for and jot them down in a journal. 

Daily Affirmations

Empower yourself with positive affirmations that resonate with your values and goals. Create a list of affirmations such as “I am capable,” “I deserve happiness,” or “I am worthy of love,” and recite them to yourself each morning.

Journaling

Take time to journal your thoughts, feelings, and experiences each day. Whether you prefer to write free-form or follow structured prompts, journaling provides an opportunity for self-reflection, emotional processing, and personal growth.

Physical Exercise

Prioritize your physical health by engaging in regular exercise that you enjoy. Exercise not only strengthens your muscles and improves cardiovascular health but also releases endorphins, neurotransmitters that promote feelings of happiness and well-being.

Incorporating these sample daily rituals into your routine can help you cultivate a deeper connection with yourself, enhance your well-being, and navigate life with greater resilience and joy. Remember that self-improvement is an ongoing journey, and small, consistent actions can lead to meaningful transformation over time. So why not start today? Take a moment to choose one or more of these rituals and commit to incorporating them into your daily routine. Your future self will thank you for it.

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Strategies for Renewed Energy and Balance

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Are you feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and emotionally drained? You might be experiencing burnout. Burnout is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion caused by prolonged stress and often affects individuals who are passionate about their work or responsibilities. However, it’s essential to recognize the signs of burnout and take proactive steps to manage it before it affects your overall well-being.

Manage Your Daily Productive Window:

Identify your most productive hours during the day and prioritize your tasks accordingly. By aligning your most demanding tasks with your peak productivity times, you can optimize your performance and reduce the risk of burnout. Remember to schedule regular breaks to rest and recharge.

Minimize Daily Stressors and Hassles:

Take inventory of your daily stressors and identify areas where you can make positive changes. Whether it’s setting boundaries with work or prioritizing self-care activities, find ways to reduce unnecessary stress in your life. Practice mindfulness techniques such as meditation or yoga to help you stay grounded and centered amidst life’s challenges.

Place It in Perspective:

It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day stressors and lose sight of the bigger picture. Take a step back and evaluate your priorities and goals. Are you overcommitting yourself? Are there areas where you can delegate or ask for help? By placing your current situation in perspective, you can gain clarity and make informed decisions to prevent burnout.

Do Not Force Yourself Through It:

Recognize when you need to take a step back and prioritize your well-being. Pushing yourself to the brink of exhaustion will only exacerbate burnout. Allow yourself to rest and recharge, whether it’s taking a mental health day or engaging in activities that bring you joy and relaxation. Remember, self-care is not selfish; it’s essential for your overall health and well-being.

Remember, managing burnout is a journey, not a destination. By implementing these strategies and seeking support when needed, you can overcome burnout and cultivate a life of health, happiness, and fulfillment.

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Promoting Community Well-Being: A Collaboration Between The Elkton Community Education Center and Vista Wellness Center

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By: Jen Champion 

The Elkton Education Community Center (ECEC) and Vista Wellness Center are collaborating to address the healthcare needs of Elkton and surrounding communities.

Introducing holistic health services, particularly yoga, is a component of their ECEC Rural Health Care Initiative. 

The Wellness Initiative focuses on preventative programs and partnerships to enhance accessibility to health and wellness services. The initiative aims to improve the overall quality of life. It is open to all community members, with a particular emphasis on seniors, individuals with chronic illnesses, and those with limited incomes.

Jen Champion, a yoga instructor with Vista Wellness Center, is on the ECEC campus every Wednesday, offering floor and chair classes. Yoga and holistic approaches to health enhance an interconnectedness of physical, mental, and emotional aspects and help to alleviate symptoms and promote a healthier lifestyle.

At the heart of ECEC’s success lie its volunteers. The commitment of volunteers is pivotal in implementing and sustaining programs and their 30-acre campus. 

Their Youth Employment Project hires local high school students to work as tour guides in the Butterfly Pavilion and Fort Umpqua, help maintain the gardens, and staff the Outpost Café and Produce Stand. AmeriCorps volunteers play a part in ECEC as well. Currently, Ruby Ackerman, an AmeriCorps Member, serves as a Wellness Advocate and plays a significant role in bringing yoga to ECEC.

ECEC is bridging the healthcare gap in rural areas. Within their Rural Health Care Initiative, they provide yoga classes and a range of holistic services, nurturing the vitality and wellness of residents and the vibrant communities they create.

Interested in providing services for the initiative?  Contact Ruby Ackerman

Connect with Jen and Vista Wellness Center 

Map of Oregon in segments of areas with unmet healthcare needs.

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3 Ways to Master the Art of De-Escalation

Conflict is an inevitable part of life, whether in personal relationships, professional settings, or even casual encounters. But how you handle conflicts can make all the difference in resolving issues and maintaining harmony in your relationships. 

That’s why it is vital to develop and employ healthy techniques for de-escalating conflicts in a constructive and beneficial manner. 

Let’s explore some effective de-escalation techniques that can help diffuse conflicts and pave the way for peaceful resolutions.

Resolve the Conflict as Early as Possible

While it may be tempting to brush off small issues, doing so can make conflicts increasingly more challenging to resolve in the long run.

Long-term conflicts can be more difficult to resolve over time and can linger between you and the other people involved. But proactively addressing this conflict at the earliest stage possible can prevent it from escalating further. 

Identify and Understand the Goal

One crucial step in de-escalating conflict is identifying the goal and outcome you wish to achieve. You can set the stage for productive communication and problem-solving by taking the time to reflect.

Consider asking yourself, “How will I know this conflict is resolved?” This question can help you think about ways you can resolve the conflict by apologizing or trying to understand where the other person is coming from.

This approach will allow you to seek common ground and work towards a resolution that benefits everyone.

Promote Understanding and Open Dialogue

While you have your own side of events when conflict happens, acknowledging the other person’s point of view can help toward a resolution.

Fostering open communication and active listening is key to de-escalating conflict. You can bring empathy and understanding into the conversation to make each person feel heard. After all, everyone has their own side of the story.

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How to Deal With Feeling Overwhelmed

Feeling overwhelmed? Take a deep breath, remind yourself you’re okay, and this feeling will pass. 

When anxiety strikes, it can feel like you’re stuck in a never-ending cycle of fog and fear. But don’t forget – you’re not alone! 

Take a moment to pause and take care of yourself by stepping back and approaching your things from a different angle. 

Here are three steps to help you get back on track and gain control. 

Step 1: Step Away and Take a Deep Breath

When life feels overwhelming, it can help you step away from the source of your stress and focus on your breathing for a few moments.Deep breathing can help you reset and refocus on the present moment to tackle the tasks ahead with a clearer head.

So, create some distance from your busy life with deep breathing exercises to increase relaxation and reduce tension. 

Step 2: Reprioritize By Creating a ​​”No” List

It’s ok to say no! You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. To protect your time and space, you can create a ‘no’ list and stick to it! 

By removing anything that doesn’t align with your wants or needs, you can step out of overwhelm and take care of your mental, emotional and physical health. Reprioritizing your to-do list and setting healthy boundaries for yourself can help you feel more in control of your schedule.  

Step 3: Remember to Celebrate Your Wins

Sometimes it’s helpful to take a step back and appreciate all you have accomplished. It’s a great reminder of how far you have come!

Even if you’ve taken a small baby step toward your goals, it’s still progress. Acknowledging your hard work and appreciating yourself in the process can help you stay focused on the bigger picture! So, take the time to appreciate the little things and treat yourself because you’re worth it!

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3 Techniques to Master Intense Emotions

Are you feeling overwhelmed by intense emotions that seem to linger? 

Many of us struggle to find effective ways to manage our emotions, particularly when they become too powerful to ignore. But by engaging in certain processes, we can interrupt the cycle of distress and move toward healthier emotional responses. 

In this blog post, we will explore the importance of understanding our emotions and how to assess and respond to them in a healthy way. Read on to learn more!

Don’t Avoid Your Emotions

You may be used to pushing away emotions or avoiding them altogether, but it’s essential to take a moment to notice them as they arise. 

Observing the sensations that come up as part of this experience can be helpful. Doing so can help break the cycle of avoidance that can make these reactions even more intense. 

Acknowledging the humanness of your responses can help you better understand the message these reactions are sending. 

Practice Compassion 

It can be easy to slip into the habit of criticizing yourself when your emotions are intense and difficult to manage. However, it’s important to remember to practice self-compassion in these moments. 

Instead of getting angry and frustrated with yourself, try to be empathic and understanding. Speak kindly to yourself, and acknowledge the difficult emotions you are experiencing. 

You can say things like, “I’m feeling overwhelmed right now,” or “It’s hard to be calm right now.” These phrases help validate your experience and make it easier to cope with your emotions. 

Connect with What Matters Most

When you feel strong emotions, it can be tempting to get swept away in them and forget what really matters. But it doesn’t have to be that way. 

Instead, use your emotions to connect to what’s important to you, and it will help you determine how you want to respond to the situation. Do you want to stay connected with the person you are interacting with? Do you want to take on a new challenge? Do we want to replenish your resources so that you can do something else important later?  

Doing this will help you make decisions that align with your values and bring you closer to your heart’s desires. 

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The First Lady of the Flute Interview

We hope you enjoy this interview with Jen Champion and Mary Youngblood, The First Lady of the Flute.

Mary is an accomplished Native American Flute Player and a two-time Grammy Award Winner.

Mary has over 200 flutes and plays them for her enjoyment and healing and for celebrations, ceremonies, festivals, and the healing arts.

Playing and listening to the flute is beneficial for the health of the player and the listener in enhancing deep breathing and reducing stress.

You Can Listen To The Full Interview Here

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The Power of Music

Have you ever felt the power of music? 

Music has long been known to bring joy and wellness to those who listen. It can soothe, energize, and inspire you by lifting your spirits and bringing you inner peace and harmony. 

From the calming effects of classical music to the energy of rap and hip-hop, music can create a special connection. 

Music Lowers Stress

Listening to calming music has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety levels. It can help to relax the mind and body, allowing us to cope better with difficult emotions. Music can also act as a distraction from worries and help increase well-being.

Music evokes positive emotions and can help lift your spirits and make you feel better by distracting you from negative thoughts, allowing you to focus on the positive.

Music Helps in Building Connections

At its core, music is about storytelling and conveying emotion. 

Through music, we can learn from each other, open up to new perspectives, and create a stronger sense of community. 

It can help you express yourself and share your stories in a way that can be healing and empowering –  as it creates a sense of belonging.

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3 Steps to Self-Love: Embrace the Joy of Self-Dating

Are you ready to embark on an empowering journey of self-love? 

Taking the time to date yourself is a beautiful way to get to know your true self and unlock your highest potential. And as you start this journey of self-love, you’ll find yourself becoming more and more confident.

So, forget society’s stigma around being single – take time for yourself and experience the amazing things that come with it.

Remember, for anyone else to love you, you’ve got to love yourself first. 

If you are still thinking about taking the plunge and starting to date yourself, here are 3 ways to embrace self-dating and find the confidence you deserve. 

Indulge in Some Self-Care 

Taking the time to indulge in self-care can help you stay healthy, reduce stress, and feel more connected to yourself. 

So, take some time out to show yourself some love.

 Plan a Date Night With Yourself 

Treat yourself to a solo date night every now and then! 

Taking yourself out on a date is a great way to practice self-love and self-care. It allows you to reconnect with yourself and your needs and desires without any distractions. 

So set aside a specific day and time for your date, just like you would with someone else. Put it in the calendar and make sure to follow through. 

Let yourself indulge in whatever activity you feel like, whether it’s going to the movies, indulging in a spa day, trying a new restaurant, or just staying in and watching your favorite show.   

This will also help to bring a stronger and more confident version of yourself into the dating scene.

Treat Yourself With Love And Kindness

Being kind to yourself is often easier said than done, but it’s one of the most important things you can do for your mental health. 

Instead of beating yourself up for your missteps, try to focus on the positive and be compassionate with yourself. 

Talk to yourself in the same way you would talk to a best friend, and don’t be afraid to give yourself a break. Self-compassion and love can help you stay motivated, reduce feelings of helplessness, and ultimately lead to better mental health. 

Remember that every day is Valentine’s day if you love yourself. So instead of feeling valued on just this one day, let’s make every day a day to celebrate love.

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How to Care For Your Physical Health to Improve Mental Well-Being

By: Hailey Sullivan

There’s a misconception that physical and mental health are two separate things, requiring different needs and methods of care to achieve wellness. However, the two are actually closely linked. Physical activity has a considerable positive impact on mental health in various ways. This study notes that individuals who would regularly partake in physical activity had lower rates of morbidity, spent less time in hospitals, and had reduced the impact of various psychiatric disorders. Physical health was shown to be related to better moods and a better quality of life overall.

You can start caring for your overall well-being by changing bad habits and making gradual, positive changes. This article will discuss various ways to improve your physical health to achieve mental wellness:

Improve sitting posture

Correcting your posture may not always be an immediate concern for you, but doing so can make all the difference. These data points reveal that workers stay seated for roughly 42.7% of the workday. Given that many spend around a third of their day at work, it’s vital that you transition to a healthier working lifestyle, lest you worsen your physical condition. Ergonomic office chairs are one of the best investments for your posture, helping ease back, neck, and shoulder pains. Ergonomic chairs, such as those listed in this article, provide special lumbar support that adjusts and conforms to your body to give the right structure you need. Try finding a chair that keeps you comfortable and doesn’t put too much strain on your body or one that can evenly distribute your weight and align your spine to prevent pain later on.

Good posture can help minimize aches and pains, preventing the development of physical ailments and complications. Try to regularly check how you’re sitting and adjust yourself accordingly, or stand up and walk now and then to lessen your time spent sitting. Maintaining good posture through an active lifestyle can also boost endorphins, the hormone released by your body when doing pleasurable activities, which prevents strain. Keeping your body in its best state does the same for your mental health.

Ride a bike

Biking accomplishes all kinds of things at once—it’s an enjoyable way to get to where you need to go while improving your physical and mental health. It’s also an effective workout that doesn’t have to stress out your joints or body too much, and you have the added benefit of gaining strength and preventing health complications. A stronger body means less time in hospitals or feeling sick; without the emotional and financial burden of those things, your mental health can flourish.

Different kinds of cycling can also benefit your mind in different ways. Mountain biking can help improve your concentration and mindfulness when navigating tricky terrain, and road cycling can offer a smoother and more exciting ride that boosts your mood. Even if you’re just looking to get from point A to point B, your overall well-being can still benefit from this good exercise, especially when you’re outside or immersed in nature. This guide for finding the best bicycle notes that there are many types that can suit your needs. Aim to find a bike that can work across many terrains and is easy to maneuver. Keep it simple if you’re a beginner, and go for lightweight, durable options.

Get a massage

Massages are essential for relieving bodily pain that conditions or injuries can sometimes cause, but they can also provide healing for a stressed-out mind. Experiencing a physical ailment can dampen your quality of life and worsen your mood. Undergoing massage therapy can help you take your mind off of the anxiety as your body’s aches are alleviated. Even if you don’t have a physical condition, you can still benefit from stress relief as massages produce feelings of caring, comfort, and connection. Read our post for more ways massage therapy can improve your physical and mental well-being.

There are many ways to care for your physical health, and there’s no right or wrong way to go about it as long as you’re getting it done. Keeping a consistent exercise routine or changing habits to support your body’s needs can greatly help improve your mental health. You’ll feel much better, and it will show inside and out.

Attitude, Action, and Abundance

By: Jen Champion 

“Affluence, unboundedness, and abundance are our natural states. We need only to restore the memory of what we already know.” ~ Deepak Chopra

Close your eyes. Focus on what abundance looks like to you. Is it an overflowing number of friends, money, and travel opportunities?

Does it contain a new car, a promotion, or better care of your current possessions, health, and family?

Our ideas of abundance can differ through our stages of life, but understanding and practicing how to live an abundant life remains the same.

We are gifted joy and fulfillment when born, and we must stay acquainted with attitudes and actions illuminating the journey. Our attitudes and actions are shaped by our experiences along the way. Areas in the path may remain easy to access, and some will get cluttered and need to be redesigned and redirected for a well-maintained passage to joy, the treasure in our hearts.

To help us along the way, here are a few questions to consider and affirmations to practice. May you have patience and ease in your journey to the wellspring of joy in your heart, the source of your abundance.

Eliminate words and actions that demean your self-worth. What words can you remove that devalue you and others? Affirmation: I live in abundance.

Do not compare yourself with others. Do you worry about what others think of you?  Affirmation: I am secure with my self-esteem. I live in abundance.

Make time to pause and rest when you don’t have enough endurance to fulfill something. Know your capacity and be honest without feeling guilty.Affirmation: I take time to rest so I can do my best. I am secure with my self-esteem. I live in abundance.

Replenish your wellspring of vitality. Do not deplete it with attitudes and actions that steal your glory. What unhealthy habits can you remove from yourself? What fulfills you? Affirmation: I am filled with good health and joy. I take time to rest so I can do my best. I am secure with my self-esteem. I live in abundance.

Practice Reciprocity; taking something and giving something.

Where do you feel you have an abundance of something? Can you offer a compliment or thank you more often?

Affirmation: I will share and serve. I am filled with good health and joy. I take time to rest so I can do my best.

I am secure with my self-esteem. I live in abundance. Focus, intention, and visualization convince our brains that we will achieve our goal, creating a greater chance of success in the action. Scientific research confirms that affirmations, visualizations, and meditations help us change our brain’s patterns, as the brain does not distinguish between an action and a visualization.

The practice of seeing is believing changes the neuroplasticity of our brains. They grow and adapt to our experiences.

Over time, we can reshape the grooves of our brains and create new neurons and connections in ways that support the whole self and the manifestation of abundance. We can explore beyond our current consciousness and expand our unconscious in this space.

As our joy and abundance grow, we connect deeper with ourselves, our families, our workplaces, and our community. Our collective consciousness and actions raise and empower each other. We restore and rejuvenate, and limitations and feelings of depletion dissipate.

We are gifts of nature with an inherent joyful spirit connected with all creation. Daily routines aligned with attitudes and actions of gratitude and joy reveal our treasure in the heart.

Once we remember the resource of our wellsprings, we will live with more ease and grace. With the brilliance of every human, caring for each other and our planet, we have the potential to end the wars and restore our sweet mother earth.

May this visualization practice deepen our affirmations and manifest transformation.

Affirmations:  I will share and serve. I am filled with good health and joy. I am taking time to rest so I can do my best. I am secure with my self-esteem. I live in abundance.

Get into a comfortable position where you will not be disturbed. Rest your eyes. Go through these phrases:

I am aware of my body and breath at this moment.

I am relaxing and feel safe.

My affirmation strengthens my intention.

I have a mental picture of my goal. I see myself in the experience.

I know this scene in detail. My environment is safe and full of opportunities to live this goal.

I engage my senses as deeply as possible. Repeat affirmation. Open to feeling abundant in your whole body.

Rest in this space as long as you can and embrace your abundance.

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