Spring Cleaning For The Mind, Body And Spirit

spring cleaning

Spring is a time for cleaning out the cupboards, drawers, and purging any unneeded items.  Plus, let’s be honest, what else is there to while we all patiently wait for the end of COVID-19?? With that said, it is also a time to take a look at ourselves as our minds, body, and spirit deserve some self ‘spring cleaning‘ as well.

mental health

Spring Cleaning For The Mind

The first step in spring cleaning for the mind is to throw away destructive self-talk. In other words, anything that depletes you of energy and ambition.

Start off by unplugging from negative outlets that bring your energy down. This can include:

  • Social media
  • The nightly news
  • Low energy television shows
  • Movies
  • Toxic relationships

Next, say ‘no’ to activities in your life that feel more like obligations. Don’t do something because you’re afraid to say no.  Instead, attend events that you look forward to going to.

Finally, spring is the perfect time of year to start a new project or activity that will bring joy and excitement to your life.

let's get physical

Let’s Get Physical

The warmer weather finally allows us to get outside and enjoy some much needed fresh air and Vitamin D.

Spring is the perfect time to focus on shedding excess weight that is slowing you down and putting strain on your joints. Visit the local farmers markets and enjoy the fresh produce that we will soon have access to and make refreshing smoothies, salads, and green juices.

By increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables, you will naturally encourage your body to eliminate toxins and weight.

Click here to read, Are You Eating Enough Colour?

benefits of dry brushing

Dry Brushing For Detox

Have you ever heard of the technique of dry skin brushing? If not you are not alone however it’s an effective way of stimulating the lymph system to detoxify the body.

How To Dry Brush

Starting at your feet, VERY gently brush your skin in upward or circular motions with a very soft bristle brush. Then, slowly begin to bring your movements up your body, along all surfaces of your skin toward your heart. Next, start at your hands and work up to your shoulders and upper back. Lastly do your chest all the way to your heart.

It feels fantastic and is a great thing to do first thing in the morning to energize your body by getting your blood flowing.

How to Dry Brush | goop

Hydration

Remember to stay well hydrated with spring water and naturally caffeine free teas.  Homemade teas can easily be made by utilizing fresh ingredients including:

Click here to read more about the health benefits of tea.

how to free your mind

Rejuvenating And Renewing Your Spirit

When we aren’t living our true purpose in life, it can be very draining on our spirit. This spring, take some time to meditate on what your true calling is and make movements to align with your calling.

Find forgiveness in your heart for people and situations that have offended you. Focus on feeling gratitude for the little things in your life. Engage in acts of kindness, whether that be for people or animals in your life. Explore new opportunities and experiences, travel, and find new ways to feed your spirit.

Regardless of what type of spring cleaning you are doing, enjoy the longer days and the warmer sun. Be fascinated with all of the miracles of new life that spring gives us.

5 Ways to Keep Your Brain Healthy

Brain function

Brain function and brain health has become a popular subject in the last decade.  This is likely due to the noticeable rise in neurodegenerative disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s.   As such, people’s interest in taking control of their cognitive health has also increased.

Brain health has also become a widely popular topic in the world of sports and recreation. Since concussions are now recognized to have significant short and long term impact on injured players.

The fact is, unless you have neurodegenerative disorders in your family or have experienced a head injury, you probably won’t start thinking about your brain’s health until you start noticing symptoms such as;

Here’s the thing, the longer you wait to take action, the worse the problem can become.

You really should start thinking about your brain’s health today!  Look at taking preventative measures rather than waiting for signs of cognitive decline to appear.

So, how exactly do you keep your brain healthy? There are many simple ways to improve brain function and keep your mind sharp. Some of which you may already be doing!

Ways To Keep Your Brain Healthy

5 Tips To Help Keep Your Brain Function In Tip-Top Shape

1. Exercise Daily

Exercise has a whole host of benefits for your mental and physical health. Endorphins released during exercise work wonders warding off depression and bolstering the immune system.

Physical fitness also has been shown to increase mental sharpness as people age. Especially past the age of 40. Daily exercise helps maintain acuity in the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which is responsible for judgement and decision making.

2. Try To Go Keto!

Yes, the foods we eat do have an impact on our mental and cognitive health. Research shows that consuming a diet high in healthy fats and low in carbohydrates (known as a ketogenic diet) helps promote brain health by pushing your body into a fat-burning state, creating what we call ketones as a by-product.

Ketones are a very efficient and sustainable source of fuel for the body and the brain. Burning mainly sugar (carbs) as fuel creates inflammation in the body and the brain while ketones are said to be a much “cleaner” fuel. A keto-adapted individual will experience less brain fog, less memory trouble and better focus.

Click here to read, “Keto For Dummies – Beginners Guide For Keto”.

3. Get Enough Sleep

The fog of exhaustion will cloud your mental ability. Our brains store daily memories while we sleep. You need rest in order to remember even mundane details of daily life. You might even consider taking a short nap after learning something new or important, to help store it in your long-term memory.

Sleeping less than six hours a night has been shown to decrease mental sharpness even after one night. I am sure if you have young kids, you know exactly what I am talking about. What’s more, good quality sleep has also been shown to help the brain detoxify, which is crucial for keeping the brain healthy and sharp.

4. Flex Your Mental Muscles

You can improve your logic, problem solving, mental orientation and corrective thought process by working on puzzles and doing difficult mental tasks. For instance, start doing crossword puzzles. Studies show that older people who do crossword puzzles have better scores on a variety of cognitive tests than those who don’t.

To be fair, researchers aren’t sure if the puzzles cause better mental ability or if people with better mental ability tend to do more crossword puzzles. Nonetheless it can’t hurt to try! Don’t like puzzles? Try memorizing your friends’ and family’s phone numbers and birthdays.

5. Express Yourself Creatively

Creativity has more than one advantage when it comes to keeping your mind sharp and keeping a positive attitude. Creativity forces you to think and flex your mental muscles!  The results of creative work have been shown to reinforce self-confidence and help individuals enjoy their daily life. Try your hand at;

  • Writing poetry
  • Sewing
  • Taking up a musical instrument
  • Gardening
  • Painting

If you don’t feel artistic or creative, baking or writing in a journal are other great ways to express yourself. Try applying creative approaches to daily tasks like shopping on a budget or creating a new recipe with limited ingredients. Keep a good attitude about your ability to find solutions in everyday situations.

Your brain is an extraordinary machine, and although there is still a great deal we do not know about it, it doesn’t stop us from wanting to expand its capabilities. Don’t blame age for declining cognitive abilities. Instead, test out some of the methods listed above and keep your brain sharp!

A Fun Way To Beat Depression & Anxiety!

mental health benefits from playing sports

How many times have you heard, “You should exercise! It helps you lose weight!”?  There’s no doubt that physical activity is great for your health and well-being.  It strengthens your coordination.  It helps you to accomplish daily tasks and helps you have a better posture.  There are obvious physical benefits from playing and participating in sports.  However, there’s more good news; playing sports can positively affect your mental health too.

Feeling Stressed?

When we are stressed or we have negative feelings, physical activity is recommended as a good antidote.  A kind of natural antidepressant.  Indeed, it would evacuate our black ideas as if by magic!  There’s a reason why we say “Go get some fresh air.  It will calm you down”.  So, let’s find out why exactly this is.

Some researches show that a brisk walk helps to increase our positive emotions which in turn decrease our negative emotions.  Ten minutes of brisk walking would be the equivalent to ninety minutes of well-being.  So, finding an activity to practice each day (or at least four times a week) will make you feel better both physically and mentally.

How To Naturally Overcome Depression & Anxiety?

When it comes to depression or strong anxiety, physical activity improves intellectual capacity and mood!  Thus, in certain states of chronic fatigue, we wouldn’t prescribe rest but rather physical exercise.  This would create a flow of energy and optimism! Exercise can also serve as a distraction.  Allowing you to find some quiet time to break out of the cycle of negative thoughts that feed depression.  Click here to read, “5 Natural Solutions For Coping With Stress!”

Moreover, it promotes several changes in the brain including neural growth, less inflammation and releases endorphins .  These are chemicals in your brain that cope with pain or stress.  In addition to all of that, there are other amazing benefits.

Physical activity contributes to:

  • Increased longevity
  • Strengthened immune system
  • Reduced risk of cancer
  • Decreased risk of diabetes and increased insulin sensitivity
  • Sexual wellness
  • Improved sleep quality

Click here to read, “5 Ways To Heal The Mind & Body By Using This One Oil!”

Exercise – A Natural Booster For Self-Esteem!

Yes, exercising helps you fall asleep faster and get into a deep sleep.  And we all know that a good night of sleep helps us with our performance at work but also improves our mood.  You know what one of my favorite benefits of working out is?  Self-esteem!  Exercising regularly can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem.

As your strength, skills, and stamina increase through playing sports/exercising, your self-image will improve as well.  However, even if exercising is good, doing it voluntarily while savoring these moments is better!

Do not impose something on yourself.  Studies have shown that mental presence in exercise affects our psychological state.  Being aware of the ‘goods’ exercise provides when you perform it will be much more profitable.

Do Not Force It!

Regularity is more important than the intensity of the effort.  If all goes well, you will see changes in both your physical and mental health after eight weeks.  Patience is the key word!  Don’t forget, whatever you decide to do, do it with a smile!

For more information on how to improve your life and well-being, click here to read, “Wellness – 6 Essentials for a Vibrant Life”.

4 Tips to an Abundant, Joy Filled Life

4 Tips to an Abundant Joy Filled Life

We all want to live in a rich, fulfilling and abundant life. But sometimes it feels like it is far out of our reach. We can get bogged down with the daily struggle and sometimes it feels difficult to turn life around and create abundance, health, time freedom, wealth and happiness in our day to day lives. There are several tips that you can follow to create the best version of your life from no matter where you are starting from.

1. Gratitude

The most important aspect of creating an abundant, joy filled life is having an attitude of gratitude. By focusing on the most positive aspects of our lives, we are able to increase what we focus on. Find gratitude for even the most small things in our day – the gift of being able to move our limbs and walk! Or the gift of having food to eat throughout the day or the ability to be connected to everyone we could want simply at the touch of a button on the device in our hand.

If you are struggling to find something to be grateful for, just sit with your breath for a few minutes. Follow the inhalations and exhalations and have gratitude for the rich oxygen flowing into your body to nourish and fuel your cells and brain.

When you are able to focus on small pieces of gratitude, your overall abundance of gratitude grow and spills over to be your main focus during more of your day.

2. Detachment

Detachment from the outcomes that you are hoping for is an essential part of living a life that is balanced and healthy. It is the ability to not focus on how events will play out and how it will affect you, but how you can thrive every day no matter what happens. Things have a way of working themselves out, and by trying to stay neutral to outcomes, both good and bad, it helps you to stay level and not follow the highs and lows of life.

3. Attraction

Use the Law of Attraction to your benefit and use the magnetic attraction of like and like, to draw things into your life that you would like to see. Create space in your life to allow new things to come into your life, but again, stay somewhat detached by knowing that either way, life is good when you are filled with gratitude.

4. Refuel

Take time to refuel your body, mind and spirit and know that the time you spend with yourself, enjoying your own company is a worthwhile investment into your health. Enjoy hobbies that you have long forgotten about and devote a few hours per week to you own mental health and clarity, to clear the way for feelings of gratitude and to become clear on what you would like to attract into your life.

Spend time with your family and friends, those who make you feel good about the world and focus on the positive parts of your life and they are sure to multiply.

Stressed to the MAX!

Hippocrates in 460-377 BC was aware of ‘stress’.  So why has it taken so long for ‘stress’ and mental health issues to finally receive some acknowledgement in OUR time?  Walter Cannon in 1929 confirmed that the stress response is part of a unified body-mind system to take flight or fight. Canadian scientist Hans Selye spent 40 years of his career extending Cannon’s concepts and has since made stress a major concept in psychology and medicine today.

Lately, everyone seems to be getting on this ‘hot’ topic. The media, talk shows, books, research, the Occupational Health & Safety Act, Worker’s Safety and Insurance Board, and the list goes on, finally want to talk about stress and mental health issues. What took them so long?

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines Mental Health as, ‘The state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.’

The Canadian Mental Health Association defines Stress as ‘the body’s response to a real or perceived threat. That response is meant to get people ready for some kind of action to get them out of danger. But most of the threats people face today aren’t something that they can fight or run away from. These threats are usually problems that people have to work through. Stress is a reaction to a situation—it isn’t about the actual situation.’

Here are my thoughts about stress and mental health issues:

They are REAL. They EXIST.

Very few understand the IMPACT stress and mental health issues have to one’s life, unless you’ve been there, or know someone that’s been there. For those of you who are still sitting on the fence as to whether or not you think this is truly an illness, I would say, ‘it’s time to wake up’. This illness is affecting 1 out of 4 people daily! People lose their relationships, their jobs, their motivation to live, their clarity, their understanding of self AND finding all that again, takes time, patience and plenty of love and support. It’s a long and up hill battle to get your life back, and to eventually find out that your life will never be the same because, THIS stress, mental health issue, changes you, forever.

Have a heart.

If you feel a friend or a loved one is not their self, take the take to listen and extend a helping hand. Suggest natural therapies such as homeopathy, naturopathy, counseling, chiropractic and other modalities to assist them back to health, to work, and to their life again. Slowly, with understanding and guidance, those experiencing stress and mental health issues, will make a recovery to a place of wellness. Until then, direct them to organizations such as the Canadian Mental Health Association or Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, or a psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker or other professional that has an expertise in the field. Together, we can make a difference in someone’s life with compassion and genuine interest by acknowledging and honoring the stress they are going through with support and direction to expert care.

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Blog by Guest Author:

Pic-of-LucieLucie M.H. Fournier RN, COHN(C), BA (Psych)
Founder/Workplace Health Strategist
With over 30 years of experience in disability management, and a return on investment on average of 1:7, Fournier disAbility & Health provides customized and results oriented services in Absenteeism Management including Attendance, Sick Time/Short, Long Term Disability, and WSIB claims for employers across Ontario.
Expertise in 5 distinct niches of disAbility management include:
1. Complex claims management resolution
2. Mental health claim return to work & accommodations
3. Advanced level training for internal claims manager to make a significant impact on the health of the employee and wealth of the organization
4. Transitional Leadership when moving to & from a 3rd party disAbility Management company
5. Sensitive claims & disAbility management of professional staff, such as HR, health team, and/or executives such as supervisors, managers, directors
Find Lucie at www.FournierHealth.com and https://www.facebook.com/fournierhealth/ and https://www.linkedin.com/in/luciemhfournier