Soak Up the Season: Outdoor Activity Challenge

Here in the northern hemisphere, the weather is cooling off as we move into fall. Well, it’s supposed to be anyway, but Colorado has still been unseasonably hot; I’m optimistic though! Heat and dysautonomia are a rough combination on me, so the slightly cooler weather of early fall allows me to do a lot more! This summer seems to have been hotter than usual for most people, and even my able-bodied friends that are extremely active in summer have been struggling.

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In the southern hemisphere, I know it’s starting to get a little warmer as you move into spring. The “transition seasons” have some gorgeous weather for getting outside and being active. Even though they can be a tad unpredictable, the nice days tend to be full of weather that’s neither too hot nor too cold. I always try to take full advantage of these short seasons!

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Natural Stress Reduction Challenge

steel-cable-1646051_1920Everyone is stressed nowadays. In fact, as a society, we’ve started glamorizing stress. Think that’s weird? Well, if someone was telling you that they had to somehow figure out how to run to 5 different stores, get their kids to three different sports (all on different ends of town), go to their own high-intensity spin class, and still work full time – what would you think? Odds are, most people think “Wow, they really have their life together! I am so not measuring up.” But, if you really stop and think about how that must feel, they probably feel like a frayed rope trying to hold up an elephant.

These levels of stress are severely unhealthy, and we’re doing them to ourselves. Society has put such a premium on “busier is better” that we don’t take time to relax or unwind.

High levels of stress have been scientifically proven to shorten our telomeres. Telomeres are essentially caps on the ends of our chromosomes that are responsible for protecting our DNA. While they naturally shrink as we age, long-term stress accelerates this shortening process. When the telomeres are no longer there, our chromosomes begin to get damaged, which causes aging and decreased cellular health. Yikes!

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(In summary: Being excessively stressed ages you prematurely and causes cell damage.)

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Self-Care Hydration Challenge

As the weather gets warmer here in the northern hemisphere, many of us get a lot more active! An increase in activity necessitates an increase in hydration. When it’s hot outside, even if you’re not active, you need to increase hydration as well. Heat causes you to sweat, and sweat causes you to lose a lot more water than you would if you weren’t sweating. While hydration is important year round, I thought the warmer weather would be a good time to really focus on your hydration levels!

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Self-Care Challenge: Boring Self-Care

Lately, I’ve been feeling less and less like myself. With everything going on in my life, my self-care routines have been abandoned – which has created this empty “not me” shell. I’ve still been helping support Izzy and her family (posts 1 & 2), recovering from my arm surgery (posts 1, 2, & 3), and then the general life busyness intensified.

Self-care is different for everyone. Some people go all out and spend an entire day in a spa or go on a full vacation to relax. Some people don’t like those things (my mom hates being touched by strangers so massages/manicures/pedicures are torture for her), or can’t afford them, which is fine. Other’s with limited funds or resources may do spa days at home (I created some luxurious bath bombs for use at home, and they were quite a bit cheaper than the ones you can buy), or choose to take a staycation. And then there is the amazing #BoringSelfCare movement, which I absolutely love!

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Or maybe taking a break in the grass is your idea of self-care!

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DIY Aromatherapy, Fizzy Bath Bombs

“Self-care” has really been a buzz word lately, hasn’t it? But, that’s for good reason, taking care of yourself really isn’t a luxury so much as it is a necessity. If you are at your wits end and have gotten to the point where you have started to “lose yourself” (you know, that moment when you say “wait, who am I anymore?!”) then you just can’t effectively serve/help/interact with the people around you!

Self-care can be as simple as locking the door when you shower so you won’t be interrupted, taking 15 minutes in the morning to enjoy your favorite beverage, or spending 5 minutes playing your favorite game on your phone while you wait for something to happen (like waiting for the kitchen timer to go off). It can also be extremely elaborate, like an entire spa day or going on a vacation (or daycation) by yourself!

These DIY aromatherapy bath bombs are somewhere in between the simple self-care and elaborate self-care. They feel extremely indulgent to use, but they only need about 20 minutes to assemble several of them and about a 20 minute bath to utilize them (though, I’ve found my baths last a tad longer when they feel this luxurious 😉 so, whatever you have time for). Continue reading