Fulfilling Your Spiritual Needs

Spirituality means different things to every human being. When we talk about spirituality, we are not necessarily speaking about religion. Spirituality is concerning the human spirit, which is something most of us require to feel our overall wellness meter rise, even if we don’t find ourselves to be particularly “religious”.

While it’s quite a broad topic, it includes a sense of connection to something bigger than ourselves, even if it’s just a deeper, more meaningful connection to those around us. Some may find spirituality to be linked with their association to a religious building (think church, temple, mosque, etc), while others may find that it’s their personal relationship with their own beliefs. 

Whatever works for you and makes you feel connected is what’s best. Don’t believe you have to do what someone else tells you to do, this is YOUR journey with yourself! 

Some people get that connection through a higher being, is that something you’re interested in? Some find that the earth itself fulfills their needs, and spending time outside makes them feel rejuvenated and full of love and life. It’s entirely up to YOU as to what you do! How does this connect with our wellness?

Many people feel lost, depressed, confused and full of questions when they don’t feel that spiritual connection they desire. Whether it’s shame, bad past experiences, growing up with a certain belief that you eventually grew out of, it’s something to look back on every now and then. What do you feel pulls you to a deep level of understanding and love? If you’re entirely questioning where to go, I recommend reading up online about different religious beliefs. Maybe there’s a church, temple, mosque, or even just a bookstore nearby to spend some time at to get your questions answered. 

Something important I should put here, is your beliefs should never make you angry, hopeless or secluded from the world. If you explore and feel like you’re being forced to do what you don’t believe in, it’s time to move on! Do not entertain which does not support you, your wellness journey and your beliefs! 

Others maintain their level of spiritual wellness by connecting to the community around them. Supporting others by volunteering, giving, and helping is definitely something we all can do, even if it’s just five hours a week! It doesn’t have to be any organized religion (or beliefs in a higher power) that leads you to what fulfills you! Listen to your heart, your spirit, and you will end up right where you’ve always wanted to be!

Until next time, my friends!

Kelsie

Exercising Your Way To Overall Health and Wellness

Exercising and health go hand in hand on any wellness journey. When we were younger, how many of us remember being limber, climbing trees, doing cartwheels across entire parking lots? Being able to play outside for hours on end, maybe days on end with a seemingly endless store of energy!

As we get older, many of us gradually become more and more sedentary. A sedentary lifestyle is not the same as physical inactivity, but is defined as a person who spends most of their waking hours sitting and lying around. The majority of us in the western world have sedentary jobs where we sit at a desk for our entire shifts, we come home to sit and watch TV or to chat with our family.

The less we exercise, the harder it is for us to have energy. I know that sounds backwards, but it’s true! It’s harder to stay awake when you’re routinely physically inactive, it’s harder for our bodies to function properly and our joints and muscles become stiff and achy. Lack of physical activity can also be a contributing factor to anxiety, cardiovascular disease, depression, migraines, and even several types of cancer. Health is wellness, and health is wealth, so we need to do what we can during our lives to maintain a good level of physical activity!

What is a recommended amount of exercise we should try to get per week, and how should we work out?

A basis is to get a little of exercise each day, even if it’s 30 minutes. You could walk around your neighborhood with your pets or family after dinner for 30 minutes, maybe you enjoy yoga, which can definitely be an exercise! Cycling is also a great exercise, and you can get lost cycling across town for much more than 30 minutes! 

We must make sure to ease into any new work out routine, and always make sure to check in with your doctor to see if you’re in a good state to start (your doctor might even have a good plan for you!) 

Easing into a new workout routine is beneficial to making the gradual change into making it a habit, but to also make sure we don’t get burned out too fast! Eventually, the endorphins will flow every time you start your routine, you’ll get fresh air and a good dose of vitamin D, or even connect with community like we talked about in our last post! The better we feel overall, the easier our days become, the deeper we can connect with ourselves and everyone around us, and feeling good is definitely a plus no matter what age we are!

I hope you all are enjoying these posts so far! What workout routines do you have? Leave them below, or connect with me on my other platforms to discuss! See you next time!

Kelsie

Creating Community and Togetherness

One of the basics about us as humans is that we are very social creatures. Thousands of years ago, we stayed together in groups, formed our own societies and relied on each other for support, safety, food and families. As society has gone on, we’ve definitely massively increased our population, but more and more of us find ourselves to be rather lonely.

In western cultures, it’s normal for a child to move out when they’re 18 and to begin their own lives, whether that be career or college. Maybe our kids come back for a holiday here or there, or a birthday, but usually families don’t see each other daily. We have societies in the east who find themselves hyper focused on careers, and families and friends are pushed aside as we strive to do better at work and with our career, working long hours and leaving little time for even ourselves.

What happens with these decreases in community and family is we find ourselves lonely, depressed, and secluded. This can lead to us questioning our own self worth; questions of “am I good enough? Do people remember me? Is there something wrong with me?” Or even “There’s something wrong with everyone else…” It leads to a very toxic view of life, those we once called our close friends, and even complete strangers that we won’t give the time of day to. 

Everyone goes through periods where they want to be alone, but it is unhealthy to be completely alone for long periods of time. When was the last time we texted an old friend to meet up face to face instead of just texting and keeping it at that? When was the last time we explored a new place and had a conversation with a stranger? It’s not just good for us emotionally, but intellectually as well. There’s so much to learn and absorb from others that fuel us inside and out.

Take time to reach out to those you love, those you care about and maybe those you don’t know, like a new neighbor or a person you see sitting alone at a restaurant. Take time to see what people are up to, or invite them out to where you’re going! Some people love that sense of togetherness through the gift of volunteering, in which there are many options available to connect with your city! Community is great for our overall wellbeing, and important for us as a species! Who will you reach out to this upcoming weekend?

Take care, let’s get together in a couple of days and look deeper into our wellness journey!

Kelsie

Getting Good Rest On a Wellness Journey

How many of us aim for that sweet, scientific suggestion of 8 hours of rest per night? How many of us actually reach that goal of 8 hours? Is that really all we need?

Depending on your age, it looks like around eight hours of rest per night is the “goldilocks” amount for rest; just enough. Some of us crash and slip into a deep sleep for up to 10 hours a night, some of us struggle to gather pockets of naps throughout a night and total at about 5. What is it about rest that connects to our overall wellness, happiness, and health?

While doctors aren’t 100% sure of the purpose of sleep (let alone those weird, wild dreams we seem to have), most can agree that it’s a sort of “reset” for our bodies. We shut off our consciousness for the dark hours, our bodies function on the bare basics, and we lay motionless for hours. During these hours, our body sort of rejuvenates, as long as it’s the “right” kind of sleep. We go through an overnight fast where our bodies aren’t working so hard on digestion, but on repair and restoration. Our heart rates drop, breathing comes to a steady wave, and hopefully once we’re awake, we’ll feel ready to conquer the day.

What are the foundations on getting the best nights sleep we deserve? We start hours before actually hitting the hay. When you eat late meals, it can cause heartburn or even slight energy spikes that can cause us to be restless. When your body is digesting, it’s not in peak condition to fall asleep. We also need to look at what we’re drinking. Most of us have a soda or two a day, but are we drinking it close to when we should be getting ready for bed? Soda normally contains caffeine and sugars, both of which cause energy spikes that can leave us tossing and turning hours after we’ve laid down for bed. If you drink soda, coffee or caffeinated teas, try to cut back at least 4-5 hours before you intend on going to bed.

What else can we do to make sure we get a good nights rest? Most of us are connected to our phones, tablets or laptops for most of the day. The constant flow of these blue light sources triggers parts of our brain that is kept awake by the same natural stimuli – the daytime sky. Blue lights tell our brains that it’s daylight, time to get up and at ‘em, not to get prepared for a restful sleep. Cutting back on our consumption of electronics in the evening hours is a great way to not only give our brains and eyes a rest, but to settle down for the evening as well.

Along with these basics, we can help ourselves when we find it a struggle to get good sleep. If you live near a busy road, in a large city, or maybe even work nights so your days are left for you to rest, you may have bright lights keeping you up all night. Invest in some thick, dark black-out curtains to hang for most of your rooms. Drape these across your windows when you need them, and they will block out most, if not all, of the light pollution, making it easier on your eyes and easier for you to fall fast asleep. If you dig the taste of teas, try a calming cup or two of a wide variety of flavors! Chamomile is a fantastic, great tasting tea that is known world wide for bringing calm, peace and tranquility, perfect for dozing off. Valerian root, while it may have a funky taste and smell (some liken it to stinky feet!), it can hit you like a small dose of a tranquilizer and will help you fall asleep fast. 

Something I’ve recently invested in myself are essential oils! Smells trigger parts of our brains that help guide us through our world, whether it be the smell of delicious food, the smell of a loved one’s perfume, or a field of flowers. The top go-to choice of most people with peace and sleep in mind is lavender! A fragrant, calming scent that you can use to help fight the insomnia away. You can put a few drops into a diffuser, or even on a cotton ball and place the ball into your pillow before bed. The smell will calm and relax you until the next thing you know, you’re waking up bright and early, relaxed and ready to take on your day!

We all know a good nights rest is what we need to feel our best, and also helps us along our wellness journey. Sleep repairs and refreshes, and helps gives us the energy and clarity we need to become the best “us” we can be! If you have more tips, feel free to leave them in the comment section below!

I can’t wait to see you all here next week, where we’ll touch on our connection to community and chat about fitness and how this can help deepen our sense of wellbeing! 

Kelsie

Eating Healthier On a Wellness Journey

Most of us in the USA remember the “Food Pyramid”, right? Eat a certain amount of this, certain amount of that, little amounts of this and you’ll feel your best. Or maybe, when we were growing up, we remember being told “You have to eat your veggies before you can have dessert!” Some of us would gobble the broccoli down without a second thought, but a good portion of us remember tearfully refusing, or maybe sliding some off to the family pet to make it look like the food was in fact eaten!

We got through our childhood and teenage years, maybe not eating the healthiest food, but eating tons of fortified foods to get us through long school days and long study nights. Chips, chugging back soda, maybe some of us ate cereal in the morning with some milk. Fortified foods do come with the basic nutrients that otherwise wouldn’t naturally occur in the foods we were eating, and they helped us get through.

The older we get, we either turn towards a healthier way of eating (or, maybe we lived that way as a teen and stuck to it), or perhaps we turned to the fast food joints for every dinner meal (sometimes lunch, too). Greasy, processed burgers and fries for the weekdays, then pizza during the weekends. Maybe a tub of ice cream along the way. When we eat what doesn’t suit out bodies we primarily notice the pounds and inches slowly forming around our waist, but beyond that, there’s physical damage to our internal being. Cholesterol goes up, blood pressure soars, and the risk of heart attack and strokes increase every year. 

“The major cardiometabolic diseases—heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes—pose substantial health and economic burdens on society”…“This study establishes the number of cardiometabolic deaths that can be linked to Americans’ eating habits, and the number is large…”, quoted from the NIH (cited below)

When we eat what is not good for us, not only do we suffer physically, but psychologically as well. If we are not eating the nutrients we need to sustain our bodies on the day-to-day basis, we suffer from lethargy, depression, anxiety and irritability. “You are what you eat” isn’t just an old saying, it’s reality. If you eat better, colorful and nutrient-dense food, you will glow from the inside out. Your diet is reflected onto not only your skin, weight and hair, but your attitude and how you manage every day stresses.

We don’t have to dive head first into one of those hip raw vegan diets (where you eat almost entirely raw foods), but we start small. Drastic changes can cause bloating, digestive issues, so if you’re just starting out, start small! The best steps to first take is cutting back on processed foods. A good way to know if what you’re eating is overly processed, is to get closer to the food source. If it’s in a box, can or bag, it’s usually processed to some extent. The closer you are to the true, original food, the better and more nutrient dense it is! Learning to cook yourself dinner even once or twice a week is a good start, and at least you’ll know where your food came from!

As we go on, I plan on adding more nutrient facts, and recipes that anyone can do at home! The wellness journey doesn’t have to be extreme when we first start, the point is that we start to begin with. I hope to see you all here again with my next post, and keep in touch! Thank you for reading!

Kelsie

Sources: https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/how-dietary-factors-influence-disease-risk