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How To Live Happier (And Healthier) This Summer

How To Live Happier (And Healthier) This Summer

There is a reason that summer is the best season. Not only is the weather a little nicer, but the long days and bright skies seem to put a smile on just about everyone’s face. It’s also a time of great change – which means that many of us feel inspired to make changes in our own lives during this period – whether they relate to healthy eating or working out. 

How To Live Happier (And Healthier) This Summer hope zvara blog

With that in mind, here are some top tips that you can use to live happier (and healthier) this summer! 

 

  • Find a way to introduce exercise into your daily routine – whether you tackle a core workout in your living room or an outdoor exercise session with a friend. If you find it hard to get excited about working out – then change up your routine a little. Sign up for a new class or try something completely new – as this is the easiest way to find a fitness activity you’ll love. 

 

  • Do not set aside any health concerns in the hope that they will go away. Instead, start taking better care of your health by attending regular checkups with your doctor. If you don’t have the time in your schedule to make an appointment, consider signing up with an online GP to receive the care and attention you deserve. 

 

  • Understand that everybody is a bikini body – and that no matter what size you are, you look beautiful. Letting go of negative body image and understanding that the pictures we see on social media are not accurate depictions of real-life can significantly boost your confidence. 

 

  • Begin treating mental health issues with the same care and grace you would use to deal with a physical injury such as a broken bone. For example, while you would not continue to walk on a broken leg – you shouldn’t suffer in silence if dealing with mental health struggles. Instead, you should speak out – whether you have a conversation with a trusted friend or family member or reach out to a licensed professional. 

 

  • Start each day off on the right foot with some positive affirmations. For example, you should stand in front of the mirror each morning and recite five positive phrases about yourself – whether you complement your smile or your ability to do your job. In addition, getting into the mindset of being kinder to yourself is a great way to boost your confidence naturally over time. 

 

  • Strive to curate a manageable work-life balance, where you dedicate a fair amount of time to your career progression and your social life. While you may be keen to get that raise at work – understand that some things are more important. 

 

  • Spend more time doing things you love – and don’t be afraid to turn down plans if you don’t feel like going out. Too often feel as though we have to say yes every time we are offered something – and this is not the case. You have the right to decide exactly how to spend your time – and there’s nothing wrong with wanting a little time alone. 
8 Practical Tips On How To Stop Unwanted Hair Loss

8 Practical Tips On How To Stop Unwanted Hair Loss

Hope Zvara Blog 8 Practical Tips On How To Stop Unwanted Hair Loss

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Hair loss affects close to one-third of the world’s population. Many factors trigger hair loss, from hormonal changes to certain medical conditions. Take, for example, baldness, which is very common in men, although some women experience it. It can be a gradual hair loss process but sudden for others, leaving them with patches of baldness on their head. 

Note that hair loss is a natural process. Therefore, you shouldn’t worry about a few follicles falling off. Fortunately, there are a couple of ways to stop unwanted hair loss.

Consider Using Prescription Medications

There are certain clinically approved medications like finasteride and minoxidil that help with hair loss. Finasteride works by inhibiting dihydrotestosterone (DHT) hormone from causing follicle shrinkage, leading to hair fall out. 

Also, it promotes improved hair growth and regrowth. You should start seeing some noticeable hair growth results within three to six weeks of using this medicine.

Apart from finasteride, minoxidil increases blood flow and the fast uptake of nutrients to the hair follicles, thus encouraging hair regrowth.

Increase Your Nutrients Intake

It could be that your sudden hair loss associates with nutritional deficiencies. If that is the case, your hair loss treatments could be as simple as eating foods rich in iron, copper, zinc, and protein might work wonders for you. 

Also, vitamin D deficiency could be another reason for your hair loss. In fact, you should consider using multivitamin supplements. However, you need to talk to a physician if you have any other health issues before using supplements.

Many supplements link to hair growth, such as biotin, rich in vitamin H or B7, and Ginseng that contains phytochemicals that promote hair growth. Having a doctor’s prescription on the type of supplement to take helps avoid any allergic reaction.

Better Hair Care

If you’re experiencing hair loss, anti-DHT shampoos are your best option because they help combat it. Hair shampoos with 1-2% ketoconazole ingredient block conversion of testosterone to DHT thus, preventing hair loss. 

Also, it would help if you avoided hairstyles that cause a strain on your hair. Importantly, let your hair air dry to eliminate any irritation to the scalp. Please, don’t use heat stylers that lead to damage or breakage of the hair shaft regularly.

Remember, chemical treatments such as hair color or perms cause damages to your hair and scalp. If you must color your hair, choose products that don’t contain peroxide, ammonia, or para-phenylenediamine (PPD).

8 Practical Tips On How To Stop Unwanted Hair Loss Hope Zvara BlogImage Credit

Make Use of Laser Comb

Similar to finasteride treatment, laser combs are currently the only FDA-approved way of stopping hair loss. A study that included a couple of men who had patterns of hair fallout showed increased hair growth after several weeks of applying a laser comb across the scalp at least three times a week.

The study didn’t explain how the laser treatment works, but it recommended that using the lasers at lower power has a healing outcome on hair follicles. 

You can combine the laser comb with a scalp massage. Massaging your scalp daily for four minutes stimulates blood flow to the head hence increasing hair growth.

Avoid Hot Showers

Hot water tends to strip your hair of essential oils meant to protect it from damage due to dryness and inflammation. Hot water might not link directly to hair loss, but scalp inflammation caused by too much heat leads to miniaturization of the hair follicles and hair thinning.

Alternatively, warm or cold water helps close up your cuticles and pores in the scalp, therefore, sealing in the hair moisture to increase hair growth.

Stay Hydrated, Avoid Alcohol and Smoking

Naturally, the biggest percentage of your body contains water. That goes without saying that the hair shaft, too, requires water for increased hair growth. Taking a minimum of four glasses of water every day keeps the hair follicles hydrated enough for healthy hair growth.

Sadly, your hair loss might be due to excessive alcohol consumption. Reducing or eliminating alcohol intake gives your hair a chance to grow. Like alcohol intake, smoking reduces blood flow to the scalp, leading to decreased hair growth and an increased risk of baldness.

Go for a Transplant

In case you’ve tried all of the above hair loss prevention and treatments, and nothing seems to work yet, a hair transplant might be your best bet. The specialist acquires hair follicles from a donor then grafts them onto your scalp. The hair follicles donated should come from head regions like the back and sides since those areas are DHT-resistant.

There are other new ways of carrying out hair transplants, like using hair stem cells that accelerate hair growth. What makes this method more appealing is the fact that it allows for repeated transplantations if necessary.

De-stress

Once your hair grows back, you should understand how to keep it looking healthy. Stress is a significant contributor to decreased hair growth. De-stressing yourself plays a part in ensuring increased hair growth. 

You can fight stress through meditative exercises like yoga and meditation, which help with hormonal balance and stress elimination. They’re also a form of self-care, suitable for your general wellbeing.

You can also engage in active activities like physical exercises every day. These exercises can include walking, swimming, or bike riding for 30 minutes a day.

Conclusion

Hair loss is inevitable at a certain point in your life, especially from pattern baldness. Above are several options to choose from if you’re looking to avoid hair loss or regrow your hair. The effectiveness of each method varies from one person to another. Some see positive results with just a few adjustments like switching to a better diet and so on.

Others might need to go an extra mile, like the use of hair treatment medications. However, no matter the option you choose, always ensure that you practice better hair care to avoid future hair loss. 

Additionally, check with a trichologist if you’re planning on trying any hair growth method or supplementation. It’s advisable to visit a dermatologist or trichologist if you have a severe hair fall as well. You might be having a more serious health issue other than hair loss. Don’t ignore any unusual hair loss because you need proper guidance on achieving healthy hair goals.

Mompreneurs It’s Time To Create The Life You Love

Mompreneurs It’s Time To Create The Life You Love

As a mom, I get it – how hard it can be to grow a successful business without sacrificing yourself and your commitments to the people most important to you (including yourself!). The truth is: No one can replace you as a mom. And you have needs too.

  • You need support
  • You need to be effective
  • You need to work smarter not harder
  • Your boundaries need to be solid

Freedom isn’t just about working from home for you.

True freedom is living the life you love. Period.

I remember when I was trying to do it all. I felt alone and at 22 and with a baby on the way and a new business, I felt overwhelmed. I grew up being shown not to let others help you so I constantly felt I had to do it on my own and figure it out on my own. And because I was still struggling trying to step into recovery the idea of being a mom was both exciting and overwhelming and I felt the same way about owning my own business.

I knew I didn’t want to work for someone else, but I had no business coaching, no schooling and just a few people I observed growing up some good with business and money, and others not so much. The idea of a summit was nonexistent, and just a few more tips and strategies could have saved me I am certain on many occasions..

That’s why I was so excited when my friend and colleague Asti Atkinson (a successful serial entrepreneur and mom) told me she was hosting her bi-annual interview series all around this topic! She’s incredibly invested in helping moms be wildly successful in their professional pursuits while still taking time for mindset, self-care, and being completely present for their families.

The Summit is Called: Vibrant and Healthy Mompreneurs:

Keys to Power Up Your Life and Business so You Can Be More Present with Your Family, Release Mom Guilt, and Get Your Energy Back!

I have a complimentary ticket for you to attend. You can register using this link >> www.MyMomMakesMoney.com/hopezvara. Just so you know, you will be able to watch from anywhere!

Mompreneur SUmmit Hope Zvara Blog

I was hand-picked to speak at this virtual event, and my message is something I’ve put time, energy, and heart into! Of course, I hope you’ll attend to support me, and I think this Virtual Summit has something special for you too. AND THERE IS STILL TIME TO SIGN UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is for any woman:

  • Who wants keys to improve her mindset – which lays the foundation for success, fulfillment and happiness
  • Who wants to take better care of her body, increase her energy and focus and experience true vitality
  • Who wants to be successful in business, raising her children, and enjoy a loving relationship.
  • Who may feel overwhelmed with the work/family balancing act that seems to be part of daily life
  • Who wants to link arms with other visionary Mompreneurs who are actively working to create a better reality
  • Who just wants to learn real life strategies that will help her uplevel her business and create a lifestyle she and her family truly love. 

In this summit, more than TWENTY-ONE experienced professional trainers and coaches are coming together to share secrets they use in their own lives and with their clients to help create success in mindset, health & wellness, relationships, and business. Together, we want to help you with the “HOW” behind growing a great business WHILE experiencing happiness and fulfillment in the other areas of your life that are so important. 

I have a complimentary ticket for you to attend. You can register using this link >> www.MyMomMakesMoney.com/hopezvara. Just so you know, you will be able to watch from your home, office, or on the go.

This is a great opportunity for women in my community! This is something I wish I had when I was a young mom and business owner, which is why I am so glad Asti is hosting this and that I get to share it with you!

You can register for the My Mom Makes Money Summit here >> www.MyMomMakesMoney.com/hopezvara.

What You Need For Great Outdoor Workouts

What You Need For Great Outdoor Workouts

The sun is bright and high, and it’s going to make you want to workout outdoors. Whether you find a cozy spot in your garden, nice secluded space in the park, or perhaps in some secret rural area, outdoor workouts are great fun. You’re not short of fresh air, there are no restrictions to your movement, and you may have more exciting things to look at as you raise a sweat. However, during this weather, you should be careful. Outdoor workouts are great if you know what to do during the workout when things get tough.

 

Workout near shade

 

Always workout where there is shade. Our body can only sweat so much. It cannot bring down our body temperature as quickly as it can be raised. Working out in the sun is refreshing, but when your body is working hard and being hit by direct sunlight, it can cause early heat exhaustion. So always workout where there is shade. Heat exhaustion can come on suddenly, and it can cause you to collapse. So if you ever feel faint, you should never be more than 5 steps away from shade, such as from a tree, patio pergola, etc.

 

Sun protection

 

Of course, as you are out in the sun, you need to wear sunscreen. If you have irritable skin, choose products for sensitive skin, such as a calming toner. This toner will gently cool your skin and visibly reduce pore size. Doing this helps your skin to absorb better and retain hydrating products such as sunscreens. If you plan on wearing workout clothes that are a little more revealing, then make sure you get those areas too. Ask someone to apply sunscreen to your back, neck, and shoulders if you can’t reach them.

What You Need For Great Outdoor Workouts Hope Zvara Blog Post

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Not just water

 

When you sweat, your body loses valuable salts. These salts help to absorb water in your skin, but they also carry electrolytes with them. So it’s a good idea to have a bottle of water with you for hydration and an energy drink for refueling your body with salts and electrolytes. Not many people will want to do this because carrying two bottles is a little annoying. However, a simple workout bag can take the hassle off your hands. 

 

The right clothing

 

You may think it’s fine to take your normal workout clothes to your outdoor workout session. This is not a problem if you have the right clothing, to begin with. Materials that can absorb and evaporate sweat will keep your body cool and prevent your legs and arms from sticking. Synthetics such as nylon, polyester, and acrylic are better than natural materials like cotton and linen for this job. They stretch, absorb, and don’t shrink when you throw them in the wash.

 

If you plan to work out outdoors during this warm weather, remember always to be close to shade, refuel your system with electrolytes, and protect your skin from sun damage. Not to mention, invest in better workout clothes.

 

Getting Back Into a Fitness Regime

Getting Back Into a Fitness Regime

Getting Back Into a Fitness Regime

The coronavirus and Covid-19 pandemic has impacted many areas of many of our lives. From having to work from home to homeschooling kids, not being able to see friends and family and not being able to engage with the social activities you usually would. When it comes down to it, we’ve all had to experience changes. One area that is impacting many in a way that’s particularly detrimental to overall health? Gyms, fitness classes, and sports clubs closing. For many months, a lot of us found ourselves only being able to walk, jog, run, or (if you have a bike) cycle in the local area. But as vaccines are being rolled out and life appears to be returning to normal, many gyms, fitness classes, sports clubs, and other fitness facilities are opening back up. So what should you do to ease yourself back into your fitness regime? Here are some tips that should help you along the way!

 

Giving Your Body the Right Fuel

 

When we think of exercise, we tend to automatically think of the actual activity. But before we get to that, it’s important to make sure that you’re fuelling your body properly for whatever exercise you’re planning on carrying out. Generally speaking, this means making sure that you have the right fuel through food, as well as ensuring that you are hydrated. Take a look at your diet and ensure that you’re consuming the right amount of calories for the amount of exercise you’re carrying out. Ensure you’re getting your five a day. Make sure that you’re getting sufficient protein. You may even want to try some cheap pre-workouts to give you a pre-workout energy boost.

 

Deciding What You Want to Do

 

Some of us can’t wait for the gym to reopen. This provides us with a climate-controlled, dry space where we can access all sorts of machines and equipment that will help us along our fitness journey. But it’s important to remember that gyms aren’t your only option. Perhaps the lockdown has given you time to consider some things you’d like to do and try out when they open back up. Some good ideas include:

 

 

The list, of course, goes on. But this should highlight that not all exercise has to be conventional and that there are many options out there for you to take into consideration and even try out yourself!

 

Stick With it

 

After a year and a half of being relatively sedentary, getting back to fitness can feel draining and hard. You may have aches when you first get back to it. But make sure to power on! In the end, your efforts will be more than worth it.

 

Of course, getting back into a regime will be different for everyone, as different things work for different people. But hopefully, some of the above advice should help you on your way and encourage you to reach your recommended one hundred and fifty minutes of moderate aerobic exercise a week!

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Mental Health Awareness Month: Take A Breath

Mental Health Awareness Month: Take A Breath

Take a breath….

Breathing is one of those things we all do, yet we rarely think about it; when a system like the respiratory works without us having to think about it or make it happen, it’s called “involuntary.” The respiratory system has the unique ability to work all on its own without our help, unlike the muscular system, which works voluntarily.

This month is Mental Health Awareness Month and it’s a perfect time to tune in and tap into how powerful our breath actually is.

When we breathe, we get this precious gift called life. We can survive 21 days without food, seven days without water but can only go one to three minutes without oxygen. And at the 60-second mark, brain cells are already dying. Yet after 20 years of teaching yoga to others, there is one thing I have come to find, many do not like to breathe. I would often notice few would appreciate the art of breathing practices (pranayama) in yoga. You could see people start to fidget, become distracted, and even get annoyed at the idea that they weren’t “doing anything” during their yoga class. Yet without the ability to breathe, nothing on the yoga mat would even be possible. 

Meditation Bundle Hope Zvara

Breathing is a tool. Those that learn to harness the device and tap into its vast abilities to improve, help and even heal the body get to reap the benefits of increased vitality, health, and happiness. But time and time again, I have observed others choose pills, alcohol, and even violence to manage what we all call stress or our emotions rather than tap into this tool we are all born with and have access to us at any given time. 

Stress can alter just about any system in the body if we allow it to. 

Stress management sign mother trucker yoga blog

Stress can:

  • Raise our blood pressure
  • Increase our heart rate
  • Increase our body temperature
  • Leave us in physical pain
  • Can decrease our immune system
  • Give us stomach discomfort
  • Make it difficult to sleep
  • Can affect your libido 
  • Tense your muscles 
  • Cause weight gain 
  • Burden your nervous system
  • Leave shallow breathing

When is the last time you felt the effects of any of the above and thought you should practice deep breathing? 

When my oldest son was small, and he’d get stressed out, the first thing I would have him do is deep breathing. Three deep breaths, I’d say, and we’d do them together. He’s now nearly a teenager, and I have observed him repeatedly defaulting to deep breathing when he is stressed, angry, frustrated, or can’t sleep. He automatically uses this incredible tool we all walk around with every day but rarely tap use voluntarily. 

The average American breathes with less than 18% of their lung capacity. That’s what I like to call clavicle breathing. It’s no wonder we are a stressed-out, upset, unhealthy out of touch society. I say these are the very things I have felt before yoga and learning how to tap into my breathing. And the same things I think when I’m not in my body, using my breathing, and feeling grounded in my skin. 

How do we breathe?

The average person takes about ten breaths per minute; that’s an average of 22,000-24,000 breaths per day. That’s a lot of breathing. And when we breathe, we inhale necessary oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide and toxins that our body wants to remove. When we breathe, our lungs expand and take in air, and our diaphragm lowers and expands as well, taking in oxygen to then be distributed out to the millions of cells throughout our body that need that fresh oxygen to live. 

Dr. James Hoyt, a pulmonologist, says, “Our respiratory muscles don’t have the luxury of being out of shape.” Yet how many people can say with certainty that they use them, work them, build them like their bicep regularly? There is a saying, “use it or lose it,” and it fits here with our breathing. 

 A recent study in the Journal of Neurophysiology may support this, revealing that several brain regions linked to emotion, attention, and body awareness are activated when we pay attention to our breath.

And, also nearly every system in the body is connected to our respiratory system or breathing. 

  • Our metabolism increases when we practice deep breathing.
  • Our autonomic nervous system regulates when we deep breathe.
  • Our digestion can settle and improve when deep breathing.
  • Our muscles relax and get total oxygen, helping them not to cramp.
  • Our lymphatic systems become stimulated, hand and hand, with our immune system, both stimulated when we breathe.
  • Our body is fully oxygenated when we deep breathe.

And one of our deep breathing’s most impressive features is that it stimulates our vegas nerve. 

What is the vagus nerve?

The vagus nerve is the longest of the cranial nerves, extending from the brainstem to the abdomen through multiple organs, including the heart, esophagus, and lungs. It controls the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), which contains your relaxation response. Most people never breathe deep enough to stimulate this impressive nerve. We need the vagus nerve to be alive and working because the vagus nerve controls your mood, heart rate, digestion, and immune response. Stimulating your vagus nerve can help to regulate many functions in your body.

Vagus nerve stimulation has been linked to treating epilepsy, improving digestive conditions, reducing inflammation, and managing anxiety disorders. The journal Frontiers in Neuroscience reported in 2018 that the poor function of the vagus nerve could lead to mood and anxiety disorders. But most importantly, when you stimulate the vagus nerve, you can reduce anxiety, stress, and mood disorders. All of this can happen when you learn to breathe more deeply and more often. 

WAKE UP, PEOPLE! BREATHING IS FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Where does your breathing fall?

Clavicle Breathers: Those that breathe only into the upper chest, throat, and shoulders. These breathers often have lifted shoulders and a tense neck. 

Chest Breathers: Those that breathe into the center of the chest. 

Abdominal Breathers: Those that breathe deep into the belly and feel their lungs and abdomen expand freely. 

We have forgotten our unique ability to help and heal ourselves. When you were a baby, no one had to tell you how to breathe, yet there you were, breathing so deeply that your entire torso was expanding and contracting every breath you took. I have listened and watched my children as infants, and now adolescents get upset and even cry only to default to their breathing to calm them down. It’s in you; you have done it; you have just forgotten how to do it. 

Deep Abdominal Breathing Technique:

  1. Sitting tall or lying down comfortably, place one hand on your belly and one hand on your heart/chest. 
  2. Exhale completely through your mouth and hear your breath move out of your body. 
  3. Inhale through your nose and move your breath deeply into your lower hand (belly) and feel it expand. Continue to move your breath up to notice your upper hand (chest) rise. 
  4. Exhale slowly move the air out, feeling your belly collapse and your chest lower (in any order). 
  5. Soften your jaw and relax your body, focus on fully emptying your belly when you exhale and fully expanding when you inhale. 
  6. Work yourself up towards a count of four counts on the inhale and eight on the exhale. 
  7. Repeat this for two to five minutes. 
  8. Anytime your mind wanders, bring it back to your breathing. 
  9. Allow yourself to hear your breath each time you inhale and exhale. 

How to do deep abdominal breathing

Continue this practice daily in the morning to wake up, when you are feeling stressed, waiting in traffic (minus the hands-on your body), or before you go to sleep to help you relax. 

You have tools to help you breathe, relax, fall asleep. The real question is, are you using them? 

Deep Abdominal Breathing Benefits:

 Various deep abdominal breathing forms have been linked to cardiovascular benefits, including increased blood flow and improved blood pressure. Deep breathing is also a helpful tool for relaxation and sleep. Taking deep breaths can also help you manage stress and improve cognitive function like brain fog and lack of focus and concentration.

If every tool you are reaching for is outside of yourself, let me ask you, have you tried the tools you were born with? The tools you were given and are the very tools that make this life possible? The tool I am talking about is your breathing. 

Try This:

For one week, practice deep abdominal breathing at least one time a day. Work to practice it at the same time each day. Set the alarm on your phone or in your calendar and make it a priority. All too often, we say something doesn’t work or help, and we have never really tried it, let alone given it the attention required to see results. 

After seven days, come back and let us know how you did. What changed, what you noticed or found. 

Now take a deep breath and start living! 

Resources:

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/what_focusing_on_the_breath_does_to_your_brain

https://www.uchealth.org/today/understanding-breathing-and-the-importance-of-taking-a-deep-breath/

https://www.healthline.com/health/facts-about-stress#25.-Past-experiences-can-cause-stress-later-in-life

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.n

https://www.consumerreports.org/mental-health/ways-to-manage-stress/ih.gov/29593576/
10 Tips for Simple Self-Care

10 Tips for Simple Self-Care

Remember Self-Care!

 

In an age of social pressures to be better, go bigger, and taking a little time off or practicing self-care can be looked at as weak, wasting time, or not doing enough. All of those practices listed will give you more time, more ideas, more income, more passion, and more purpose. 

 

For years I fell victim to the assumption that I had to keep going, that not going fast and hard was a sign of weakness, and even though I taught self-care, it was hard for me to practice it myself. I was burning the midnight oil 24/7, and it came at a cost. I was burnt out and disconnected from the very people that mean the most to me- my kids. 

 

As an addict in recovery, I know first hand the need to practice self-care and put your health first. But owning your own business is not easy. It’s in my DNA to never settle, and since I was young, I knew that I am meant for more than what was served to me in school. It feels a bit uncomfortable to say, but I knew where I was going; I just had no idea how I would get there. And in the last several years, it has become apparent that no dream will be achieved without you. 

 

It’s an exchange; when you give yourself time, you get more time. 

When you practice self-care, you can better care for your business and the people in it. 

When you take a time out, the time you step back in will be fresh, full of energy, and ready to achieve greatness. 

 

I believe that it is about the little things, the small moments throughout the day that add up to your sanity by day’s end. Big empty promises will drive you nuts. And (at least for me) the idea of a 2 hour Morning Routine is crazy talk when I sleep, my kids getting off to school, and coffee are among my morning must-haves. I may not have 2 hours, wait, let me rephrase that, I‘m not willing to give up 2 hours of sleep to spend two hours doing something that takes me 5 minutes to do each morning. I”m practical, real, and motivated to do what it takes. I’m not as willing to spend more time on things than is necessary to get the same results. 

 

Self-care is essential, but it shouldn’t take you hours a day, and it can be as simple as 1 minute here, three minutes there, five minutes over here throughout the day, every day. Because when your self-care routine starts stressing you out, it needs to go out. 

 

Here are ten things I do every day to practice self-care, keep my body and mind healthy and my business blossom.

Self-care blog hope zvara

  1. Drink a full glass of water each morning. Before you even think about it, chug it down. Each morning I wake up and reach over for a big 10-20 ounce glass of water and down it before I can even think about what my day will be like. I wake up, sit up and put my feet on the ground and drink it all down. Starting your day hydrated will only lead you to more hydration. Did you know that dehydration is a symptom of depression? Doing this every morning helps me in that no matter what happens, I at least drank 20 ounces of water. And that’s a good thing. 
  2. Hug a real human every day. This global situation has got us all social-distancing like the plague, and the trade-off is real human connection. Did you know that just 10 seconds of hugging someone can boost serotonin in the brain? When is the last time you hugged someone? Like full squeeze mode? I make it a point to hug each of my kids every day and hug my husband. That connection has been vital to our health on all levels. Who can you hug today? 
  3. Massage your feet. Every day I use my acupressure ball and roll out the bottoms of my feet. It May sound a bit odd, but our feet our connection to the earth. And we all wear shoes way too much, disconnecting us from what grounds us, and well, when your feet hurt, it can just about ruin your day.  I keep my mini acupressure ball underarm my desk, and I travel with it wherever I go. A quick rub on my feet, and it’s incredible how much better I feel. And then after don’t forget to use some natural pain relief to leave you feeling great! 
  4. Take a deep breath. I’ve had a panic attack more than once and know how scary that can be. Many people in todays world are walking around stressed out, in a panic, and having an out of body experience, but not in the way you think. Breathing can help bring us back into our bodies and help us get out of our head and into the moment. Deep breathing is simple. Place one hand on your belly and one hand on your chest and take a deep breath in and feel your belly expand, and your chest rise. Briefly pause after your inhale and then exhale and feel your stomach deflate and chest collapse down. Work to get all the air out and repeat this at least two more times. Breathing not only brings more oxygen to your body and brain but also shifts your mind off whatever is stressing you out and gives you space to regroup and refocus. 
  5. Get outside every day. It’s winter and currently -1 outside. But I make it a point to step out for a few minutes to feel the fresh air and sun (or clouds, rain, or snow). There is a feeling of being alive that happens when I do this and has become a real game-changer when I begin to feel the heaviness of the midwest winters weighing on me. That timeout outside also helps me shift my focus when I’m having a stressful day back to nature and back to feeling alive. 
  6. Get up and get moving. I’m not going to tell you to exercise, but you do need to carry every day. Can you find one, two, or three pockets of time to get up and stretch, walk up and down your stairs a few extra times, squat in the bathroom, twist in your driver’s seat or chair? This all adds up. Instead of empty exercise promises, how about you focus on adding more moving into your everyday life. Then if you happen to make it to the treadmill, gym, or yoga mat (join our online mindfulness and yoga studio for just $9.99 a month!)- it’s a bonus! 
  7. Tell yourself something positive about your efforts. Every day I self-talk (Read 12 Nuggets of Advice That Have Changed My Life Blog). For years a negative internal dialogue took me down a path I wish on no one. And I discovered that your biggest enemy and critic is often sitting right between your two ears. Talk positively to yourself; what are you doing well? What has gone right? Look how far you have come. For some, this dialogue may not come naturally, but it’s one conversation you might want to have anyways. I recognized a few years back that I’d get so far, and then I was the one sabotaging my efforts because I didn’t believe I deserved success. Kicking that habit was the best thing I ever did. 
  8. Visualize your success before you go to bed. Your subconscious replays the last things you think about, read about, and watch while you sleep. Every night before I go to bed, I visualize my success. If I can’t get thoughts out of my head that is negative or stressful or tells me that I”m not successful, I pop on my headphones and listen to meditation to shift my thoughts and mind and drift off to sleep. This has been a game-changer for me and one that has borne much fruit. Plus, it requires little to no effort on your part but can be the cherry on top. 
  9. Eat good food. You’re foggy, and you’re tired, you’re irritable. Did you ever consider how you feel might be because you aren’t feeding your body good food? Food is fuel, and if you’d ever even considered putting questionable, cheap fuel into your car because you know the consequences would be expensive and could leave you carless, why do that to your body. If you are still reaching for quick fixes to change your body, may I suggest an apple? A salad. A something that didn’t come out of a box. I”m not trying to be rude, but somewhat real. You are a living being, so you need to eat living food. Start small, how about that apple? Your body craves junk food because it is searching for real nutrition, and you aren’t feeding it any. An apple a day really can do more than just keep the doctor away. 
  10. Offer gratitude. Every day I find ways to show appreciation. It’s easy to get wrapped up in your stuff, and I believe you get what you give. You don’t have to give money if money is tight. You can give your time, your love, your compassion, your support. I try to remember that everyone is fighting their own battle and has their stuff going on and if I can spread a little hope, a little cheer. Then I’ll do it. Because one day I may need that too. 

I use to tell myself that it needed to be the perfect time to do X. And it was a way for me to stay where I was. Safe, but stuck. Happy in my unhappiness. All the empty promises I gave myself only left me more defeated. All the programs that promised me better health, more happiness, and a profitable business were a bust because it was too much. I wasn’t ready. And what I discovered is I needed to start even smaller, and that so-called self-care was not mean to be this big hill or crazy routine I was to add to my day (which, mind you, only gave me more anxiety when I thought about it). It was about the little things that kept nudging me forward towards the next right decision. 

 

The results… It’s working. My suggestion for you today, start small, pick one of the ten I listed above, and do it until it’s like brushing your teeth ( and if you don’t brush your teeth, maybe start there). You will be amazed at what comes from a simple small action like this! 

Check out My Meditations Custom Crafted just for YOU with music by Dennis Hawk >> HERE Click on MEDITATIONS to grab yours!

How to Start Your Own Fitness Channel

How to Start Your Own Fitness Channel

How to Start Your Own Fitness Channel

Image: Unsplash

Creating, developing, and producing your own fitness channel is an exciting and fun journey. For starters, it’s a good way to motivate yourself to workout much more consistently. It can also be a great excuse to start your own ‘40 Days of Positive Posting’, inspiring others to pick up healthier habits. Whatever your reasons or motivations, starting your own fitness channel is actually not that hard to do.

 

Pick your niche or concept



If you’re already looking up ways to start your own channel or vlog, you’re probably already throwing around some ideas in your head about what you want to do. It can be easier to narrow down those ideas and pick out the best ones when you check out what some of the most successful and prominent fitness channels are up to. For instance, if you’re interested in Pilates, what can you do to differentiate yourself from Blogilates and the many other Pilates

 

-focused channels out there? Would it help to set your workouts to music like what The Fitness Marshall does? The reality is that there are already tons of other fitness channels and vlogs out there. And studying their moves can help you to stand out.

 

Invest in the right tools



Nowadays, even somewhat outdated iPhones are good enough for shooting and even editing videos for your planned fitness channel. But if you have the budget for better equipment, you can significantly increase the quality of your output and attract much more viewers. The good news is that there’s definitely no shortage of videography equipment out there. Adorama’s selection of video equipment showcases the wide range of professional video cameras, compact camcorders, lenses, lights, and filming accessories available to the modern videographer. Whatever your budget, there’s a video setup that’s right for your channel. Meanwhile, CBS 19’s list of mic and other audio equipment shows the different affordable pro-level microphones aimed at the gaming and streaming market. Any of the listed mics can also be highly useful for ensuring crisp audio on your fitness channel. Ensuring that your raw video and audio are crisp and clear will make editing easier, and can make your videos all the more watchable and shareable.

 

Don’t be afraid to get creative

how to start your own online fitness studio


Experiment with different shooting angles that can reinforce what you want to teach or show to your target audience. Try out different kinds of lighting to see which angles, brightness, and colors work best for your poses and movements. You can also use this opportunity to model different workout outfits. Take your channel to different locations for a varied look and feel throughout episodes. When you’re competing with hundreds of already successful and fledgling fitness channels, a little creativity can go a long way in finding your audience and establishing your niche.

Do your best to be a positive online presence



In the age of edited influencer photos, video filters, and like-based vindication, posting or streaming anything online can be a highly effective way of touching people’s lives. How do you want people to react to or interact with your fitness channel? Whether you want to become a TikTok sensation, bag a fitness media or advertising deal, or simply put out great content, it’s your responsibility as a content creator to be aware of how you can affect others. This is why it’s important to develop your content with the perspective of being a positive online presence. Audiences are very good at reading authenticity, and being genuinely positive can significantly help in attracting the right followers to your channel.

12 Nuggets of Advice That Have Changed My Life

12 Nuggets of Advice That Have Changed My Life

We all have had those moments that were life-changing, those words of wisdom that just stuck and truly impacted us, and over the last several years or so I have had many, and I just want to share them with you. These words of advice, thoughts, and ideas have come in all forms and from all kinds, some from others, some from my own insights, but each of these have had a significant impact on me, not because of the power of the words but because of what I was able to do afterward. These are 12 nuggets of advice that have changed my life.

This is just one moment among many moments in your life right now.

I would get so caught up in the mistakes, things I did or didn’t do or the feelings I was having. Time never stops and all things pass, no matter where you are right now it will soon be over.

When something stinks, step back and make sure it’s not you who smells.

We all want to blame others for what we did or didn’t do ourselves; it takes a far bigger person to admit when they are wrong than it does to point the finger.

Kill em’ with kindness.

When in doubt, you can’t argue with kindness.

You have everything you need right now.

I used to hate this saying, but wherever you are right now you are fully equipped to tackle it, just check to make sure you are using all that is available to you.

You can’t change everyone else you can only change yourself.

If you want others to change, be the example first.

Always be willing to have the hard conversations.

Any time I have ever had to have a difficult conversation, and actually had the courage to have it without getting in the way, the outcome has always been for the better.

Never be afraid to be honest, you can’t control how others receive your truth.

We typically fear the truth because we worry about what will happen after, but cleaning up a lie is way more work, because you don’t have to clean up the truth.

One thing at a time.

We want it and want it now, except we first need to enjoy what we have right now.

Life gives you exactly what you need.

Because where you are is exactly where you need to be in order to get where you are going.

Never be afraid to be who you are, as long as you do it in an honest way.

It’s one thing to be you and do it with a thorn in your side, it’s another to do it in a way that encourages others.

Don’t take shit from anyone.

Those that give you shit probably don’t want to deal with their own, press on my friend.

You can change anything at any time, just be ready to deal with the consequences.

We can change anything and not all consequences are bad, many can and are good, but you won’t know any of that until you get up and do something.

 

As each year passes, I think to myself, how can I be better than I was before? Trying to live in my truth and live the life I want to rather than the life I think others need me to live.

The older I get and the more I experience life and speak my truth, the more I realize that I don’t have any time to waste living in a way that no longer serves me, and sometimes that means radical change, sometimes that means I can finally speak up in a way I never did before, sometimes that simply means that I live and act without fear.

I have watched far too many people, some very dear to my heart, live their lives in fear, and because of that they never went after what they desired or what they felt that life was asking them to. I have watched many make excuses as to why they made and are currently making the choices they are; but in the end, sadly, I dismay that they will not get where they are going because they simply won’t allow themselves the right to live boldly, in their own truth, because they fear what will happen to those around them and to themselves as they step into their own light.

I refuse to live that way and although I don’t know exactly where life will take me, I know where I am right now and have cultivated enough wisdom and honesty to step back and fully take advantage of the situations in front of me because although I do believe that life gives you exactly what you need, it’s your choice what you decide to do with it.

With that, I welcome the new year and hope that 2021 provides us with new hope and that we live our best lives and stay true to our true selves.

Deeply, Namaste.

New Life After Loss: Finding Faith & Hope After Losing Your Baby

New Life After Loss: Finding Faith & Hope After Losing Your Baby

Today marks 13 years that you’ve been gone. So much has changed and yet so much hasn’t. Yesterday I found myself thinking about the day before I knew you in person and the horrible feeling I had knowing that you were not going to stay. That sick feeling, I had that this little miracle everyone talks about, that “little blessing” that was supposed to be greeted with open arms and smiles was not going to be happening.

Each year that goes by and you are gone just a little bit longer creates a slightly larger space that worries me. I worry that I will somehow forget that feeling and it will be like it never happened which means it would be like you never happened. But as your one day on earth approaches each year I am reminded how that is just not the case. That sick feeling is easily remembered how your life was not meant to be. The sick joke that was played on your Papa and me just months into our marriage-the happiest time in our lives together was robbed along with the happy experience of our first newborn baby being brought into our lives.

You forever changed me, Faith. You forever made my life even more different than everyone else’s. And what I wouldn’t give to get you back for just five more minutes. I hope you knew it was us who were holding you that day, I hope you knew we didn’t choose this for you, and although we were in shock when we first found out you were coming, that shock was not warranting an outcome like the one that happened.

You changed me Faith, that hollowed out feeling the night I went home from the hospital, empty and alone. And those weeks after you were gone I cried so much I eventually became numb, I thought I’d never feel again. You changed me Faith, you changed me.

Since you’ve been gone we’ve brought in three amazing children into this world, and because of you I can’t imagine my life without them, but that still doesn’t take the place of missing you. Just writing those words I am choking down my tears and my vision is blurred by welling tear ducts. You changed me, Faith.

I thought surviving a life-sucking eating disorder was the worst I’d ever endure. And I have to be honest, I was wrong. Your short life was a rip-off, a cruel joke on two young soulmates who would have loved you and given you nothing short of a backyard campfire, dirty feet, self-exploration, be your own personal childhood experience. You would have loved us as parents. It was a rip-off.

Still, to this day I watch others race to have babies, act like pregnancy is crappy, and moan about getting rid of their pregnancy body to “get back to normal”, and to those people I say, “you are missing the point.” Don’t chance fate and take for granted a healthy baby, the amazing miracle of bringing a baby into this world, and the privilege you get to become a parent to then raise those children. Your Papa and I will never know the joys of having a first born baby, and to be honest, it took until having your sister Meredith to get rid of the numbness and until Ivan to actually not relive in my mind the experience of having you.

But you changed me, Faith, because of you I am now stronger than before. I was able to prove to myself and others that I could forge into recovery fully and you gave me a reason to take even better care of my body and cherish my life and every life I bring into this world.

You changed me Faith, I now connect with yet another group of people, I get them, I know what they are feeling and I can help yet another group of people.

You changed me Faith, because of you I see life differently, I see sunrises, rainbows, and butterflies differently. Harper, Meredith, and Ivan look forward to your presence when they see a butterfly circling us-they jump for joy and yell to the trees that Faith is here. You changed me Faith, you changed your entire family that we see life and creation in a way only those that have held their baby in their arms and watched that little life leave earth can know.

You changed me Faith, each year on your “life day” I am reminded that I am a strong ass woman, that you gave up your life so I could have one, a debt that I will forever on this earth be repaying. A debt that I will die trying to repay. I don’t know if I can or will ever be able to be as selfless as you, as giving as you, as humble as you.

Many days I feel like life just isn’t’ getting me, that God just isn’t hearing my prayers, my dreams, my goals. There are so many days that I feel like people still just don’t get me, that they just don’t understand. And today as I write this letter to you I have come to realize that many never will. And I will waste much of my precious time trying to get them to. I know you get me, I know that you know my heart, my dreams, that you hear my prayers.

Today I am crying for you, not because you are gone, but because you gave me life.

I know that you’re here, and just last week we saw you for the first time in the back yard. Meredith squealed with joy as you danced with her in the grass.

Finding Faith and Hope after losing your child-blog-hope zvara

You changed me Faith, I’m not a mother of three, but a mother of four. And although I never got to see you take your first steps, say your first words, ride a bike or one day, drive a car, graduate, get married and maybe even have a baby one day. All those things aren’t necessary to have made you real, to prove you existed. I grew you in my belly, I was your only life line, I felt your little heart beat to its last beat.

To everyone reading this today, please know I need no sympathy. To those reading this today that have lost a child, that have watched an innocent child leave this earth-it does get better. Some wounds never heal and I think some just aren’t meant to, but you can choose to use your child’s life to bring more life to others. I choose to believe that my daughter chose this life, she chose this path and me too. Today if this message touches even just one person then that is one less person that has to be stuck in grieving longer than necessary. One less person that feels like they can’t move on.

I still remember the first time I told a family member that I am trying to “move on”. They didn’t get me or what had happened from my perspective and told me “well you don’t’ just forget about her”. I still remember yelling at her in my head, like “are you kidding me!?!!?!… How could I?” So to all those out there trying to be a support to someone experiencing loss, just be a shoulder, let them know you are there, they most likely don’t want to hear about your passing Grandma or your lost dog. They don’t want to be told it will get better, or how sorry you are. They just want to have support, they want to have a shoulder without a mouth, and when they are ready they will talk, they will reach out, and when they do you’ll be there.

We received dozens of cards those first few weeks, and of the dozens, I kept only a few, and of those were two unexpected cards from two people who briefly shared their loss of their child. I re-read those cards several times, reading those helped me feel like I wasn’t alone, reading those cards helped me feel that someone out there did understand exactly what I was going through. So to those reading this, I get it, I’ve felt the heartache, I’ve felt the unbearable emptiness, I’ve experienced the fits of rage, anger, and hostility, and I’ve felt every tear you have cried as my own. I get it and I’m here. You’re not alone. Please know this. You will survive and you will find happiness again. Just know it will be a different happiness than what you have felt before-and that is O.K.

Happy 13th life day Faith…

That’s all I have to say… Until next year… I’ll be seeing you in the sky.

 

xx-Mom

 

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