As new parents, there is this feeling of constant momentum inherent in taking care of a baby.  A feeling of always having to do something:  to prepare something, to do research on something, and of course to clean up something!  This article for parents is helpful in reminding us all to re-charge.  We get so used to going and going, it is often very hard to find discipline in letting ourselves rest and decompress.  Somehow we get addicted to this feeling of constantly moving and we feel we are being more productive if we keep up this momentum but it is not the case.  This last part is true for many people, not only new parents.

So, what can we do?  First make a choice to not run in that impossible race that does not exist.  Remember there is always going to be something else to do.  The house may not look close to perfect for a while and even if it does it will only last a day!   Make a conscious effort to force oneself to do nothing and to rest at times or reconnect to something that rejuvenates you.  Your vitality and good mood are equally and probably more important to the health and well being of your little bean than most of the “Tasks” we need to do.  Burnout is not something that benefits anyone at any time especially not as a new parent.  Please use this article for parents as a reminder.  There is of course true postpartum depression which is not what I’m speaking about.  If there are symptoms of depression seek professional help immediately.

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co-sleepingNothing brings up more controversial feelings and debate in parenting than the topic of how we sleep with our baby.  As a friend of mine puts it, “it is the lightening rod topic.”  What I find so incredible about this subject and many things about parenting in general is how invasive people can be when discussing it.  Maybe it stems from some deep-seeded tribal wisdom or consciousness that we are not attached to anymore.  A way of protecting the young.   The amount of advice offered so freely is amazing and can make even the most outspoken person’s head spin!

There have been many great and well informed articles written on the whole topic of co-sleeping and I encourage you to read the experts’ perspective on each side.  Listen and notice how you feel while you are reading their words and make a sensible choice for yourself.  This is important before you disclose your decision to relatives or even close friends so you know how you feel about it.  It is always helpful to have some expert advice backing you up when dealing with others’ opinions on what you should be doing with your child.

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aroma therapy candleThe word aromatherapy often appears in my articles,  so I would like to share some simple  tips on how you can use it to enhance the quality of your environment and to help improve your mood.  First, go to your local health food store and check the lovely assortment of flora and fauna sitting there on the shelf!  Always make sure it says 100% pure on the label.  This means exactly what it says without that marker you may be purchasing artificial oil which will not have the same healing value.  You can, of course, purchase essential oil online but going to the store allows you to sample scents prior to buying.

If  you or anyone you live with has allergies, be very mindful when making your selection.  Avoid the strong scents at first such as eucalyptus or tea tree.  Though they have great therapeutic value, they can be very overpowering when introducing aromatherapy for the first time in your home.  Try the more simple and equally beneficial scents of citruses!  Grapefruit, sweet orange and even lemon are fantastic!  Bergamot, a citrus fruit similar to grapefruit and the main ingredient in Earl Grey tea, is one of my favorites.   Most people will not have a problem with these scents (unless they have a food allergy to them).  In addition, they have the familiarity factor which make people feel comfortable and welcome.  Citrus scents are great to use in those dark winter months to bring a little sunshine in your home and combat depression.

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Spine curveHow many times have you thought…I wish I had better posture? Maybe at one time you did have good posture, but with years of being slumped over a computer, gravity has pulled you forward. Maybe you noticed your reflection accidentally and gasped ” What happened to me!”…Or like me you may have suffered from scoliosis since birth and always had difficulty feeling comfortable and aligned. We feel guarded and are protecting our hearts when we roll our shoulders forward. Life’s trials and tribulations understandably can do this to all of us. This makes us give-in to low self-esteem, leading our physicality to display any anxiousness we may feel inside.

Well, after many years of searching I can honestly say I have solved a good deal of my discomfort and found ways to sort out my posture. I’d like to share with you one simple seated technique you can do in a chair that will help. You can practice this even at work-no one has to know what you’re up to!

Good posture should feel Good! Not stiff or uncomfortable. Dismiss the saying you may have heard in grade school: “SIT UP STRAIGHT!.” It is incorrect. The truth is the spine has curves (Cervical, Thoracic, Lumbar and Sacral) Therefore, it only makes sense that we should align our posture in accordance with those curves.

Here’s the technique, which I call seated posture with coccyx bones pointed backward. (catchy title-I know). If you have Lordosis (sway back) posture this may not be the most effective technique for you. Feel your coccyx bones on the chair-they are the two bony parts under your bum! Most of us will sit on them pointing forward. Try arching your lower back a bit and have your coccyx bones pointing diagonally towards the back. Now feel how your spine stacks itself up on top of itself. Do you feel how your neck is in a better position? Try the old way with the coccyx pointing forward-you feel how your whole torso collapses onto itself and your neck jets forward? It is also more difficult to breath. Now try the new way-pointing those bones towards the back. There should not be too exaggerated of an arch of the spine. Feel your muscles support the spine. Now gently raise your chest up about an inch. This is referred to as “Heart to the sky.” Try it. Lift your heart to the sky. Now your chest is open and you have a better ability to breath. This position also feels great for the spirit! Gently look up to the ceiling, move your neck around a bit. This looking up will counterbalance constantly looking down.

Try this discretely next time you are in a meeting or an interview- you will feel so grounded and present because you are! It is very pleasant to be around someone in this state and you will probably get the job or the loan because you are solidly in your body not pretending to be confident. To pretend confidence is generally a turn off and a sure sign that you’re not secure. True confidence is presence and awareness-ability to roll with the punches/take what comes your way with dignity.

The position should feel relaxed and natural. This will probably happen more as you get used to it. Eventually you will be able to use it in standing and than in walking. Remember, Heart to the sky (and feet on the ground).  Most importantly, this technique can greatly improve your posture.