Monthly Archives: September 2014

Habit Forming: Meditation

For many years now, one of my hobbies has been to research ways to improve health and wellness not only for myself but also to share with others. I spend several hours a week reading advice and studies from prominent wellness experts. Although I always have more to learn, I have gained a lot of knowledge over the years. However, my problem, as I suspect may be an issue for many people, is finding the time and energy to put knowledge into practice. Then, once I begin, I usually find it difficult to continue those practices until they are habits. Does this sound familiar?

One of the habits that I am currently trying to form is meditating daily. Meditation does wonders for stress release as well as allows one to get grounded and re-focused. My eventual goal is 30 minutes of meditation a day but I have started with 5 minutes. I believe it is less important the duration of the meditation and more important that it is consistent. I thought that finding 5 minutes would be so easy but, once I got into a busy day, the day flew by without doing it. So, I have made a goal to wake up every morning and to take those 5 minutes first thing. Furthermore, meditation does not have to be done in a certain manner or position. As long as you are able to be alone and quiet, you will find the best time and the best way to set aside those minutes every day. For my personal meditation ritual, I like to multitask. So, now I do my 5 minutes while I am doing my other morning ritual of drinking hot lemon water.

Drinking hot purified water with lemon is a fantastic way to start your day. I usually heat 8-10oz of purified water and add 2 squeezes of lemon juice. I buy lemon juice in the bottle because it is inexpensive and much more convenient than cutting up fresh lemons every morning. But, fresh lemons work just as great. Personally, I drink lemon water because I am rarely hungry when I first wake up but the hot lemon water helps me to wake up feeling refreshed and gets my digestive system working enough that I can eat something. There are other wonderful benefits to drinking lemon water including, as some experts claim, having a detoxifying effect. You can discover more of the benefits of lemon water in this article: 5 Amazing Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water by Linnea Jensen

Just like needing to set aside time to exercise, even when you feel you might be too overwhelmed or busy, you will be grateful that you did this little ritual for yourself.

If you have always wanted to meditate, I hope my suggestions start you on the right path. If you meditate, let me know how you formed the habit and in what manner does meditation work best for you.

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Getting The Ball Rolling

Thank you for checking out my first blog post where I am “getting the ball rolling” to share some wonderful tips and tricks to living a wholly healthy lifestyle while on a budget. One of the reasons I started this blog is because I sympathize with all of you who are busy with many obligations, commitments, and responsibilities and how easy it is to let taking care of ourselves slip off our priorities list especially when you do not have a lot of money to spend. But, at some point, when we have neglected ourselves to focus on the other items on our priorities list, we eventually burn out and are unable to give our priorities the type of focus and energy that we initially had when we began to neglect ourselves in the first place. I have experienced this burn out to the point where I had to focus on regaining my health and begin to live wholly. When I did, I was able to give my other priorities the type of attention I thought they deserved in the first place. For most of us, the image of a healthy lifestyle mostly centers on nutrition and exercise. In the wellness world, a phrase is often said: “a healthy lifestyle is 80% nutrition, and 20% exercise.” While I believe this is mostly true and I will focus on these two elements, there are other key elements that comprise a wholly lifestyle like meditation and self-care that are equally as important. This post will focus on a simple, easy, and inexpensive self-care routine that can be done every day.

At the end of a long day or after exercising, many people including myself find themselves complaining about muscles that are sore, overworked, and/or stressed. Getting a massage at a spa is a great way to ease tension and inflammation but it is very expensive and, on a budget, it is simply out of the question. So, if a massage is not an option, is there anything similar?

YES!!! The answer: a child’s hard rubber bounce ball.

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I used to play with this toy all the time when I was a child but who knew that a simple and inexpensive child’s toy that has a one-time cost of about $5 could deliver the similar benefits as a $100 plus per hour massage? It does and you will not regret trying it out. You can find these balls at any toy store but online (like Amazon) is a good source too.

 

Since they tend to be the sorest areas for me, I mainly use it on my feet and my back. Although, you may find that other areas could benefit.

To use on your feet:
1) Stand
2) Place ball under one foot
3) While placing pressure on the ball, move the ball around under your foot

To use on your back:
1) Find a wall and stand with your back towards the wall
2) Place the ball between yourself and the wall
3) While placing pressure on the ball, move the ball around your back from your shoulders to your hips

If your muscles are tight, sore, and/or overworked, it will likely be somewhat painful on first attempt. However, you will feel wonderful afterwards. Optimally, to continue reaping the benefits, I recommend “getting the ball rolling” for at least 5 minutes every day. At minimum, do it after you exercise and you will not feel as sore the next day.

Another perk is that it is tremendously portable. It can go anywhere. You may find yourself wanting to invest in one for your work place, home, and gym bag. Even with two or more, it is a lot less than getting a massage!

Final note, if you do not want to clean it every time I place it on the floor, I recommend buying one for your feet and one for your back.