Step Two: We have the courage, now what

Last month, I issued a challenge to meditate for up to 10 minutes a day. Congratulations to those of you who did it or tried doing it. You should be feeling better, have more willpower, and reduced stress. I would like to see this continue and I hope you see it is worthwhile also.

So now what for this month? Most of us our very lucky in our lives and we have much for which to be thankful. I would challenge you to write down one thing everyday for which you are grateful. It can be as simple as seeing the sun every day.

You can pick the time of day, in the morning, when you first wake up, or right before you go to bed.

Please leave things for which you are grateful in the comments below. Good luck and I cannot wait to be inspired by your comments.

Welcome to Self Care. Step One. The Courage to Relax.

Self Care. Down Regulation. Recovery. These are the words we see more and more, and it is a very good thing. People in the world are running themselves ragged, experiencing chronic stress at record levels, and never stopping to enjoy the scenery. They are driving themselves to sickness and disease. 

So my question is this for those who are reading this blog post: What do you do for yourself to recover and recharge? A person must be resting for five minutes for the body to experience relaxation. Do you give yourself that five mins every day(outside of sleeping)? Does your mind race too much for you to take a "time out" and give it a break?

So now we come to our first monthly goal, Step One. I challenge you to give yourself five mins a day of that relaxation(lying down preferably), and concentrate on the rise and fall of your belly when you breath. I know, I know, five minutes is a long time to be still. If this seems too much, start with one minute. Set a timer, and after a week, increase it to three mins. A week after that, move to five, and finally ten by the end of month.

It takes courage to relax in this fast paced, modern world. There are many distractions, but I know you can do it.

 Please try this, and comment below on how it goes. May you feel rest and refreshed.

Heads up!!!

If you haven't heard about text neck, it's a new syndrome that Kenneth Hansard, chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, calls an "epidemic." The Washington Post writes:

The human head weighs about a dozen pounds. But as the neck bends forward and down, the weight on the cervical spine begins to increase. At a 15-degree angle, this weight is about 27 pounds, at 30 degrees it’s 40 pounds, at 45 degrees it’s 49 pounds, and at 60 degrees it’s 60 pounds.

That’s the burden that comes with staring at a smartphone — the way millions do for hours every day... Over time, researchers say, this poor posture, sometimes called “text neck,” can lead to early wear-and-tear on the spine, degeneration and even surgery.

Can’t grasp the significance of 60 pounds? Imagine carrying an 8-year-old around your neck several hours per day. Smartphone users spend an average of two to four hours per day hunched over, reading e-mails, sending texts or checking social media sites. That’s 700 to 1,400 hours per year people are putting stress on their spines, according to the research. And high-schoolers might be the worst. They could conceivably spend an additional 5,000 hours in this position, Hansraj said.

How much time do you spend staring at that cell phone or tablet? The latest studies say that, on average, Americans look at their mobile devices 162 minutes every day. Just like sitting too much, staring down at our devices too much can be detrimental. 

A few years ago, I totally unplugged on vacation; not only did I give my neck a break, but I also was looking up and enjoying the view instead of reading rants on Facebook or perusing e-mail. IT WAS AWESOME. 

So, try small changes in your routine... If you normally look at a device during dinner, try looking at the person you're dining with instead. If you spend hours on the weekend playing the newest game that all your friends on social media are insisting you play, set a timer for 15 minutes and do some stretches before crushing the rest of that candy!