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Health and Relaxation – Meditation

3 Nov

Yesterday was National Stress Awareness Day.  Stress sucks.  It makes you look like this:

stressed-girl

And it makes you feel ever worse.

I wanted to share how I de-stress and specifically talk about meditation.

Guided meditation is my absolute favorite.  There are tons of videos available for free on YouTube with all sorts of meditations.  There are ones for relaxation, sleep, healing, raising vibrations, etc.

meditation-cartoon

I prefer meditations with background music, and low pitched voices.  I know that’s pretty specific, but I’ve been at this for a few years now, and I have learned that high pitched female voices actually raise my anxiety, thus having the opposite effect instead of relaxation.

I have two favorite sources for guided meditations, which I am excited to share with you lovelies.

First is Kelly Howell.  She has her own website and her meditations are usually paid.  They do appear on YouTube regularly, and they do get pulled down regularly.  I ended up buying two because I got tired of my favorites being pulled.  The good news is that you can also try it for free through her website.

Second are The Honest Guys.  My top five favorite guided meditations is their Blissful Deep Relaxation session. I love the voice and I love the sounds of the sea in the background.  The sea is my go to happy place thought, so if you hate the beach this may not be your thing.  Their videos are available on YouTube and I’ve  never experienced one being pulled down.  I think I marked the Blissful meditation as a favorite in 2011 and it’s still online.  I still use it too!

So, now that I shared with you my faves you are probably wondering why should I meditate?

It can change your brain.  Check out this article from Forbes.com

Here is what the Mayo Clinic says about the benefits of meditation:

Benefits of meditation

 

Meditation can give you a sense of calm, peace and balance that benefits both your emotional well-being and your overall health.

And these benefits don’t end when your meditation session ends. Meditation can help carry you more calmly through your day and may improve certain medical conditions.

 

Meditation and emotional well-being

When you meditate, you clear away the information overload that builds up every day and contributes to your stress.

The emotional benefits of meditation can include:

  • Gaining a new perspective on stressful situations
  • Building skills to manage your stress
  • Increasing self-awareness
  • Focusing on the present
  • Reducing negative emotions

Meditation and illness

Meditation might also be useful if you have a medical condition, especially one that may be worsened by stress.

While a growing body of scientific research supports the health benefits of meditation, some researchers believe it’s not yet possible to draw conclusions about the possible benefits of meditation.

With that in mind, some research suggests that meditation may help people manage symptoms of conditions such as:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Asthma
  • Cancer
  • Depression
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Pain
  • Sleep problems

Meditation got me though one of my most difficult times in my life, my dad’s brain injury in 2011.  It was horrible and stressful and I couldn’t cope.  Then I found Kelly Howell, and my world started to change.

I meditate outside on my lunch breaks (weather permitting).   I love doing this, actually.  I have a park near my work and it’s perfect for a quick session.

There is also no shame in doing it in your car when the weather sucks!

At home before bed or at wake-up.  Both are great.  One winds me down, and the other starts my day in a pleasant and relaxed way.

Of course, I do not go around meditating 3 times a day.  I have, when I needed it.  But, normally it’s a one a day thing.

If you are new to this, it may feel super weird in the beginning.  You may be anxious about not being able to relax enough or be in the moment enough, that your thoughts will race.  They will, and it’s okay.  With time, you are learn to let those thoughts go and get in the meditation zone.  It can take months of regular practice to get there, so don’t get discouraged.

Thanks for reading!

How do you relax?

~Anna

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Review – Supergoop! Setting Mist with Rosemary

16 Jun

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I am a huge fan of setting mists.  My face tends to be oily in the summer, and that’s when I usually will use a setting mist on a daily basis.  I like the way  it helps to set everything.

I am vaguely familiar with the Supergoop! brand through my Ipsy and Birchbox subscriptions.  I have tried other sunscreen products from them in the past, and they were okay.  However, this I thought is their best product I’ve encountered.

This is a setting spray with SPF!

I am so INTO this idea, especially for summer time outdoorsy activities!!!  (this requires 3 exclamation points, this is the level of excitement I am at)

From the Supergoop! website:

Scoop on the goop!
You may be sporting sun savvy style with a full face of UV protection infused make-up each morning, but did you know that by noon, that UV protection is likely no longer? The secret to totally sun-safe skin is reapplying your UV defense at least every 2 hours, when in direct sunlight. No time or desire to tamper with that airbrushed coverage, detailed contouring or perfect pout you created just a few hours ago? Well, now you can refresh your UV defense without hassle and still maintain your gorgeous full face of make-up!

What Makes This Goop Super
• Innovative 3-in-1 mist delivers broad spectrum SPF 50 protection while serving double duty as your setting mist to finish your morning make-up routine as well as a mid-afternoon refreshing spray
• Optical diffusing silica silylate controls oil and scatters light to reduce shine and provide a matte finish
• Enlivened with an invigorating essence of antioxidant rich rosemary that helps improve complexion and soothe inflammation

Who This Is Ideal For
This invigorating Defense Refresh Setting Mist is great for all skin types.

My Review

Does this work?

YES – it sets and protects.  Here is how I like to use this – when I go biking outdoors in hot Chicago summer.  I will do minimal make-up (blush and eye brow fill) and set this.  I spent 3 hours in the sun, no burn.  On the plus side, this also prevented my face from becoming oily the way some other sunscreen products can.

Will I buy this?

YES – the smallest size, perfect for travel is $8.00!  Take it with you camping, hiking, bike riding, beach, and you can respray as needed.

Have you guys tried  Supergoop! Setting Mist with Rosemary?  Do you like it?

~Anna

Related: Dupe – Urban Decay vs NYX Setting Spray

                Dupe War #5 – Setting Spray

Happy Halloween – Get scary fit!

31 Oct

I know I just posted another workout video but couldn’t resist sharing this one.  Plus- it’s only 4 minutes long.   You have no excuses not to try it.

Zombie Workout!  I recommend listening to Thriller while you do this workout.  😛

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Have a happy, fun and safe halloween!  -k

Victoria’s Secret Model workout

30 Oct

In only 10 minutes you can feel great and get your heart pumping!  No – you don’t not have to be model thin to be beautiful but working out helps you feel less stressed, sleep better and helps you feel like a badass.

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read more HERE and HERE

Fitness- 6 week 6 pack

17 Sep

I admit it,  I probably do have a workout DVD obsession.  My new favorite is the Jillian Michaels 6 week 6 pack series.  It’s pretty much two different workouts – level 1 and level 2.  They are fast paced and only take about 35 minutes.

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Don’t let the name fool you.  You will also be working your tush, arms and legs but with focus on your core and shredding body fat.  The other nice thing about this workout DVD is that Jillian Michaels does a nice job of showing you adjustments if you can’t do a certain move due to injury or aren’t at an advanced performance level.  I defiantly felt sore after doing these workouts and feel like they could give you results.  Now, bear in mind you won’t get a 6 pack in 6 weeks if you don’t adhere to a pretty strict diet.  But you can get an amazing workout and feel great.

-k