August is National Wellness Month and the perfect time to focus on practicing self-care, managing stress, and promoting a healthy lifestyle.

Practicing self-care and wellness isn't always easy. Our schedules are busy, our world is stressful, and we often feel guilty for taking time to care for ourselves instead of everything and everyone around us. Me-time usually ends up as last on the agenda or not at all. Some of the more common ways to practice self-care include eating well, adequate sleep, and regular exercise. Other forms of self-care are just as important but not as obvious.

Here are a few additional ways to practice self-care and wellness.

Learn to say NO.

Learning to say no is difficult for many people. Stretching ourselves too thin can lead to more stress and burnout. Having the self-awareness of our time and emotional limitations can assist in the having the confidence to turn down taking on another task. Boundaries are a wonderful thing!

Schedule time for yourself.

Scheduling "me time" is an important step in ensuring that self-care happens. This can be anywhere from a few minutes each day to engage in a recharging activity or a self-care trip to get away for a weekend. Its often hard to find extra time in the schedule but setting a regular routine can help with making sure your self-care time happens.

Get organized.

Getting organized can be a big first step in developing healthy wellness and self-care habits. Keeping a planner or organizer of your appointments and responsibilities can assist in the scheduling process. This allows a more structured opportunity to ensure your own time and keep on top of the daily routine. Maybe the morning dash to work or school can be eased a bit by getting things ready the night before or delegating more to others in the household.

Start a new hobby.

Find something new that you've always wanted to try or pick up an old favorite one that has fallen by the wayside. Take those guitar lessons. Buy a coloring book and a box of shiny new colored pencils. Find a yoga class that you've wanted to try. Spread your wings and find a new passion.

Practice self-love.

Don't be your harshest critic. Start a gratitude journal and include yourself in it. Be your own best friend. As Oscar Wilde once said, "To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance."

Every day should be a wellness day but with a renewed focus on taking care of you, it can become a life long habit! Be well!

Cortisol and Stress

Deadlines! Rush hour traffic! World events!! Family drama! Stress is a normal part of life. Things that happen to and around us puts stress on our bodies. In some instances stress can be a good thing such as keeping us alert and ready to avoid danger. The problem arises when our bodies stay in a steady state of stress and being on "high alert" constantly. 
Cortisol is the body's main stress hormone and works with our brain to control a variety of functions such as reducing inflammation, regulating blood pressure and glucose levels, controlling sleep/wake cycles, and managing the body's use of carbs, fats, and proteins. It is made in the adrenal glands and might be best known for its ability to fuel the "fight or flight" instinct in times of crisis. After danger has passed, your cortisol levels should drop and bodily functions should move back to normal. If the body is on high alert in a constant state, cortisol levels can stay elevated. Cortisol can then shut down or impact other systems that get in the way such as your digestive, reproductive, or immune systems. This can lead to a number of issues such as but not limited to:
*Headaches   *Weight gain   *Sleep issues and fatigue
*Digestive issues   *Anxiety and depression
*Memory issues   *Inflammation

Fortunately there are many things you can do to decrease your levels of cortisol.
* Focus on sleep - the length and quality of sleep can impact cortisol. Over time, sleep deprivation can cause increased levels. Interruptions to sleep can increase your levels and disrupt daily hormone patterns. Try to keep a consistent bedtime schedule and limit caffeine and bright light before bed.

* Exercise - Intense exercise does increase cortisol levels immediately after but then the levels drop later. The amount of cortisol released does decrease over time with consistent training. Mild to moderate exercise on a consistent basis does not cause an immediate release but still lowers levels later on. So get moving!

* Eat a well-balanced diet - Nutrition can play a role in cortisol levels. Sugar is a trigger for cortisol release and regular consumption can keep levels elevated. Dehydration can also increase cortisol levels while dark chocolate in moderation, fruits, black and green tea, and foods high in omega-3 fatty acids and magnesium can help regulate levels.

* Mindfulness - Be aware that you are engaging in "stress thinking". Mindfulness can help you to become more aware of stress producing thoughts and replace this with stress reduction techniques that work for you such deep breathing, meditation, yoga, journaling, or meaningful mantras.

Stress is inevitable. What matters is how we respond to it. Don't let stress turn into distress.

"Ships don't sink from the water around them; ships sink because of the water that gets in them. Don't let what's happening around you get inside and weigh you down."

Author Unknown

Jill Menefee, PT

Party O: Orgasms, Ovaries and
Other Things Your Doctor Never Told You!

Thursdays, August 8th & August 22nd from 6:30-8pm

Join us at CTS for an open and honest discussion about sex, hormones, orgasms, and ovaries!

Part 1: Let's Talk About Sex!
Thursday, August 8th, 6:30-8pm
- The most common sex myths uncovered
- How to get the sex life you've always wanted
- Top three orgasm tips from an expert!

Part 2: Periods and Hormones 101 Thursday, August 22nd,  6:30-8pm
- The top three most common period problems
- One simple step you can take to regulate your hormones and get better periods

Admission is FREE! 
Click below, email or call 858-457-8419 to RSVP. 
Men's Pelvic Pain Support Group
Tuesday, August 20 at 6pm

1 in 12 men suffer from pelvic pain and most suffer in silence.

Let's gather together and share our experience and resources. Together we can heal & help others get on the road to recovery. For more information, contact Milan at or 858-457-8419.
Vulvodynia Support Group
Saturday, August 17 from 10am - 12 noon

Do you or someone you know: Suffer from chronic vulvar and/or vaginal pain? Have pain with intercourse? Been diagnosed with interstitial cystitis (IC)? Have pelvic floor dysfunction? If so, please join our support group! Contact Cindy Furey to RSVP - 858-457-8419 or