August Wellness Newsletter

A TED playlist to watch: The importance of self-care

Got a Meeting? Walk & Talk!
Got a Meeting? Walk and Talk

View the full playlist here!
3 Self-care Ideas (that take 3 minutes or less!)
  1. Write down 3 things you are grateful for. Doesn't need to be anything fancy or intellectual. Just the first 3 things that pop into your mind. Try doing this daily for a week and see if you notice any impact in your life. Spending time daily thinking about what you are grateful for can have a surprisingly positive impact on your mental health (and your physical health as well).
  2. Do a 3-minute mindfulness meditation. will let you can choose the length of time for your meditation. Of course, you can definitely do longer than 3 minutes if this is your jam. But for those who are skeptical or really can only find 3 minutes of time for this kind of self-care, the 3 minutes you spend in meditation can make a world of difference on your mental framework and on your day. 
  3. Read a short, but inspiring story about positive human connection OR do an act of kindness (although some of those might take longer than 3 minutes). We don't always stop and share or read or celebrate the positive stories. When we take the time to remember them, read about them, or talk about them, it can shift our perspective from one of despair to one of hope. 
10 Easy Lunch Meal-Prep Options

Bringing lunch to work is something we all have the best intentions of doing, but oftentimes time gets away from us in the mornings, and before we know it, we're busting out our wallets in the Chipotle, sandwich, and salad lines again and again. The secret to maintaining a lunch packing routine is meal prep. By planning a variety of options and preparing food ahead of time at the beginning of the week, you'll find that it's not all that hard to pack healthy meals you'll actually want to eat. 

Meal Prep Sesame Chicken Pasta Salad
Spend thirty minutes making this meal prep sesame chicken pasta salad and you will be good to go for work lunches during the week!  Packed full of healthy ingredients and tossed in a tangy sesame dressing.
-2 cups (4.6 oz) uncooked pasta

-2 large chicken breasts
-1 tablespoon sesame oil
-1 tablespoon soy sauce

Sesame Vinaigrette:
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-2 tablespoons rice vinegar
-1.5 tablepoons honey
-1.5 tablespoon sesame oil
-¾ teaspoons soy sauce
-1 clove garlic (optional)
-⅛ tsp salt

-10 oz bag of Mann's Power Blend
-sesame seeds
-green onions

  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
  2. Heat oven to 425°F.
  3. Toss the chicken breasts in the sesame oil and soy sauce and bake in a small baking dish for 10 minutes.
  4. Flip and return to the oven for 10 (small chicken breasts) to 15 (large chicken breasts) minutes, until cooked through.
  5. Allow to rest for 5 minutes on a cutting
  6. board before slicing into strips.
  7. Shake together all vinaigrette ingredients, and toss in a large bowl with the cooked chicken, pasta, and Mann's Power Blend, until completely coated.
  8. Divide amongst 4 storage containers (at least 2 cup capacity), sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions, and refrigerate.
Find more recipes here!
21 Free Self-care Activities 
To fill your cup quickly and often!
  1. Take a walk
  2. Laugh
  3. Meditate
  4. Practice deep breathing
  5. Journal about the things you are grateful for
  6. Write a thank you note
  7. Sing
  8. Eat your food mindfully (Read more on how to do this here)
  9. Do left/right brain exercises (to support your own resilience-video with examples can be found here)
  10. Exercise
  11. Weight lift (use canned food if no weights around)
  12. Dance
  13. Play a game
  14. Take a bath
  15. Drink water
  16. Take a nap
  17. Go to sleep earlier
  18. Make something (with your hands)
  19. Read a book or magazine
  20. Reflect on your best qualities
  21. Connect with a good friend
Read more

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." 


- Theodore Roosevelt

How to Stay Focused in a World Full of Distractions

We all know that the key to success in anything is focus and discipline. And while we do our best to stay focused, it is becoming more and more difficult to do so without some type of distraction getting in our way. Whether it's work/life balance, social media, coworkers, or the news,  it seems that our brains can't get a break to do what they know they need to do. The following are 10 ways to stay focused in a world full of distractions.

1. Put Your To-Dos in Writing
Many times, we allow our priorities to fall by the wayside because we don't fully realize how much is on our plate. If we knew from the very start what our workload was, we would spend less time allowing distractions to distract us. It is important that you put your to-dos in writing. Break down your day so you know what needs to be done by when and so that your to-dos don't sneak up on you.

2. Use Your Phone to Keep You Honest With Time
Even if you have your to-dos in writing, you may still find yourself distracted by other things. In that case, use your phone to set up reminders throughout the day so you know if you are on time with your deliverables or not. If half the day is over and you are not done with half of your to-dos, then it's time to pick up the speed a little.

3. Unplug Completely
Most distractions come from online sources like email and social media. Regain some focus by going completely offline until you've completely finished the most important or difficult items on your to-do list. Enlist a partner to help you with this just in case there are emergencies. List your partner as a backup or include them in an auto-reply so if something really needs your attention, they can come get you.

4. Turn Off Notifications
If unplugging completely is not possible, try turning off notifications. Many times, the alerts are what distract us the most and kill our groove. Turn off notifications so that you are not distracted by that Instagram comment or Facebook tag.

5. Take a Break
Being bored with what you're doing or doing something for an extended period of time can really take a toll on your focus. Instead of trying to power through, take a break to reinvigorate your mind. Go for a stroll outside, do some push-ups, or simply stand up and do a lap around your office. You'll be surprised at how much a break can help you gain more clarity.

9 Ways to Create Peace in Your Life When the World Is Pure Chaos
As Dickens wrote in A Tale of Two Cities in 1859, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness."
Doesn't this ring so true today, too?
There are many views and perceptions for us in this world. If you watch and read the news you may become inundated with the negative, the sensational, the political, and  feel incredibly stressed or anxious.
And yet the whole world is not that. There are many great and  wonderful acts and human stories. You may have to search for them, but they are so uplifting.
 From  Falling Awake , Dave Ellis writes, "Moment by moment, we get to choose our conversations and community. What's at stake is enormous - everything we say, hear, watch, listen to, read, and see. No choices are more powerful than these."
Here are nine things you can do on purpose in order to have an extraordinary life - no matter what chaos exists outside of yourself:

  1. Have a target, a personal mission statement, a life purpose, or a compelling future that draws you toward your desired life.
  2. Have an uncluttered life. This includes physical and emotional clutter. Do a clean sweep of unwanted things, and then work on where and with whom you can be comfortable.
  3. Live in the present. It has been said, "The past is history, the future but a mystery. The present is a gift. That is why it's called the present."
  4. Give yourself extreme self-care. Be good to yourself. Not just nice, but extreme. Reward yourself with something that gives you energy rather than drains you of energy.
  5. Understand the myth of work/life balance. Have a center point to come back to. Balance is temporary, but a practice of daily centering and coming back to balance creates a more sturdy sense of security.
  6. Say no and yes with conviction. Many people do not tell the truth when others ask them to commit to something or help another, and that lack of naked communication costs them dearly.
  7. Choose to under-promise and over-deliver. It does not mean to make promises or commitments that are not well-conceived or important. But it does allow one to have some leeway.
  8. Respond, do not react. This is tantamount to living less a stressful life on purpose. As humans, we have a natural, built-in reaction of fight-or-flight. But our evolution also allows us to pause for a brief moment and survey the options that may be available to choose instead of a knee-jerk reaction immediately.
Read more here!

The Surprising Health Benefits Of Going Barefoot

Remember the guy in college who went barefoot everywhere? He may have seemed eccentric, but it turns out he was on to something. 

Walking barefoot, also known as "earthing," has gone from being a kooky counter-culture trend, to a scientifically-researched practice wi th a number of remarkable health advantages, such as increasing  antioxidants , reducing inflammation, and  improving sleep

A review published in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health looked at a number of studies that highlight how drawing electrons from the earth improves health. In one, chronic pain patients using grounded carbon fiber mattresses slept better and experienced less pain. 

Another study found that earthing changed the electrical activity in the brain, as measured by electroencephalograms. Still other research found that grounding benefitted skin conductivity, moderated heart rate variability, improved glucose regulation, reduced stress and boosted immunity. 

One particularly compelling investigation, published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, found that earthing increases the surface charge of red blood cells. As a result, the cells avoid clumping, which decreases blood viscosity. High viscosity is a significant factor in  heart disease, which is why so many people take blood thinning aspirin each day to improve their heart health. Another study in the same journal found that earthing may help regulate both the endocrine and nervous systems.

Learn more about Earthing here!
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