How To Reduce Cortisol (STRESS)

It’s Time To Tell That Cortisol To Get LOWWW

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If you guys know me, or follow me on my social media— you’ve probably deduced that I have a tendency to stress the frrrriiiick out. But you also probably know that I struggle with gastrointestinal issues as well. Surprise, surprise, most stomach problems are caused from the body’s response to stress.

Quick story: Your body manifests your mental and emotional state in your physical body. So if you’re ever going through a hard time at work, home, relationships.. this all translates into your body. The symptoms depend on the person, some get skin issues, some people get really imbalanced hormones, some (like me) get stomach problems. So just keep that in mind when you’re addressing your health issues- ask yourself how happy are you? how stressed? Is there anything you are dealing with?

Okay so back to me. (so self absorbed i know)

The main reason many people have stomach problems due to stress is because you subconsciously squeeze and contract your stomach. What do children do when they feel sad or uncomfortable? They cross their arms over their stomach- as if to protect it.

If you read my previous post, I kinda go into detail about all of the things that I’ve been struggling with. You can find that here. So through my journey of healing my body and healing my gut (that would randomly give me such awful pain, chills, bloating) I have learned so many tips and exercises to use to help calm my body down. Cortisol is the stress hormone, so whenever you are in the “fight or flight” mode, your body floods itself with cortisol. Causing a whole host of problems.

Symptoms of High Cortisol 

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Rapid Weight Gain
  • Food Cravings
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Brain Fog
  • Emotionally Unstable/Mood Swings
  • Imbalanced Blood Sugar
  • Weak Immune System
  • Poor Sleep
  • Changes In Libido
  • Acne/Skin Issues
  • Aches and Pains
  • Imbalanced Hormones/Period Problems

I’m betting you have one or maybe even multiple of these problems. So let’s get down to business (to defeat the huns) no just kidding. to defeat high cortisol. (that was a mulan joke if you didn’t get it)

WAYS TO REDUCE STRESS/CORTISOL

Eat Whole Food Diet, Reducing Inflammatory Foods

  • When you feed your body things that cause it to work overtime, deprive it of key nutrients, or flood your system with toxins that it cannot process- you are putting your body and your internal systems under a lot of stress. PLUS, when you eat inflammatory foods your blood sugar becomes super unstable- rising then crashing constantly throughout the day.
    Foods that are anti-inflammatory are high in key nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants which help balance hormones and control your cravings, all of which help bring your body into balance. Read this blog to find out what Inflammatory Foods you should avoid! 

Meditate

  • Meditation has been around for centuries. Creating space and stillness in your mind and body is scientifically proven to reduce your stress response and encourage relaxation and healing. Even just a few minutes a day can make a big difference. Try slowly building up your ability to meditate. It is really difficult, especially for those who were raised in this current generation who need that constant gratification of doing a million things at once. There are some apps you can get to help guide your meditation, as it can be difficult to know what to do and calm yourself down. Just try it for one minute one day, and keep adding a minute every day. 

Deep Breathing

  • When you’re stressed your chest become tight and your breathing becomes shallow. Very quick, light, short breaths. Unfortunately, these are automatic reactions that are part of the stress response… but most adults breathe like this all the time. To help counteract this- try diaphragm breathing. This actually activates your parasympathetic nervous system aka your natural relaxation response!!
  • How To- Breathe in through your nose, long and slow, filling up your belly and chest with air, then slowly exhale through your nose. You can also try putting one hand on your chest and one hand on your stomach to help monitor your breathing, while also directing your thoughts and energy towards those areas to increase the loving healing. 

Acupuncture

  • I began acupuncture probably a little less than a year ago to help address/heal my SIBO. Combined with supplements and lifestyle/dietary changes, acupuncture had a really impactful effect on my healing journey. Acupuncture originated in China thousands of years ago, and is intended to rebalance the energy in the body. Injuries, disease, stress, these all cause the body to become out of balance. Acupuncture can help alleviate pain, balance hormones, heal stressed organs, achieve better sleep, increase circulation, etc. If you’re in the N. Tampa area, I have a really wonderful Traditional Chinese Doctor who offers acupuncture, she’s the best. 

Regular Exercise

  • This one should come at no surprise to you- exercise is pretty much the second most important thing you can do for your body. I’m serious. It is also one of the best ways to manage stress- as well as balance hormones, balance blood sugar, help you sleep better, yada yada yada it’s really important. There is one catch though- you MUST make sure that you do not overexert yourself to the point of exhaustion. And you must make sure you give yourself time to rest and heal. People who over train actually cause more stress on their body, releasing unnecessary cortisol into their system.
  • Although exercise temporarily increases cortisol, it brings it back down once you are finished. This teaches your body how to handle stress and how to lower cortisol levels easier. 

Adaptogens

  1. Food is medicine. What we put on and into our bodies literally break down and become our cells. So what better way to “treat” ourselves than to feed it substances that can help balance our body. Adaptogens may be something you have never heard of before- and I’ll be honest, until I became super health conscious I never heard of the word either. To put it simply- adaptogens are herbs that help your body “adapt” to undesirable conditions. “According to naturopath Edward Wallace, an adaptogen doesn’t have a specific action; it helps you respond to any influence or stressor, normalizing your physiological functions.” source 
  • I am a big big fan of adaptogens, I really believe I can tell a difference when I consistently take them. I have had experience with Ashwagandha, it is the most common and gentle of herbs. Here are the other top adaptogens that aid in reducing cortisol:
    astragalus
    licorice root
    medicinal mushrooms, including reishi and cordyceps
    rhodiola
  • TIP- always always always make sure you are buying your herbs and adaptogens from a reputable source. Often conventional foods herbs are grown with heavy pesticides and metals. I solely buy my adaptogens from Sun Potion. Their products are top of the line and they last a reaaalllyy long time.

Essential Oils

  • Ah, oils, my favorite! These work similarly to herbs and adaptogens, they work with your entire body bringing it back into balance. If you want to read my previous post about what essential oils are- check this post, it’ll help you understand more of what I’m talking about! Here are the top oils for reducing stress: lavender, clary sage, frankincense, and ylang ylang. I actually just bought the Doterra Roll On Blend called Clary Calm. This is specified for women who deal with PMS/menstrual problems (hormone imbalance, stress, cramps.) I like using it because it helps reduce my stress while also working on the other problems in my body. I love that it is already packaged so I can take it with me wherever I go to get a quick pick me up! 
  • NOTE- When buying essential oils, make sure they are from a reputable company!! Conventional companies are known to add fillers and toxic ingredients to their oils.. which can cause serious harm to your body. I exclusively use Doterra, if you have any questions or want to get started- let me know! 

Get Enough Sleep

  • Remember, cortisol isn’t inherently bad. It is a natural part of our body- it is the thing that wakes us up in the morning, and the thing that makes us tired at night so we sleep deeply. A lot of people with high cortisol levels have an extremely hard time sleeping, their circadian rhythms are out of balance. Getting enough sleep helps our body repair itself, and control cortisol production. Try applying the other tips to balance your cortisol and this will hopefully help our sleeping situation. ALSO- keep in mind, naps are okay. If you are super super tired and you didn’t sleep well and you can’t function- take a nap. Rest. Your body needs it.

Yoga

  • So yoga is like the ultimate cortisol defeater. It includes exercise, deep breathing, and meditation. You can also include essential oils into your practice to reap those benefits. I know yoga isn’t for everyone, but it is a really really powerful tool for reducing stress in your body. Even if it’s just ten minutes once a week. Your body feels so good afterwards, very light very open.

WHEW. Now that was a long blog post. But I know how important it was to write! If you have any questions or any other tips, leave me a comment or send me an email! Don’t forget you can catch me over on my instagram to see all of the other healthy tips and tricks.

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Hope you find the time to relax today. ❤

xxjoannaxx

 

Why You Need to Start Double Cleansing Your Face

If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again! 

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Yeah I know, washing your face late at night can be a real pain. And doing a double cleanse can seem even more brutal…..

But hey, before you roll your eyes in disbelief and close the screen, listen to why you actually should have been doing this all along.

You may have noticed that after cleansing, you wipe a cotton round across your face and still see all sorts of residue. .. right?

Well that doesn’t make any sense now does it? After cleansing one’s face should be clean, right?

Well. stop. hold up. 

That’s where double cleansing comes into play! This was originally founded as a korean skin care step; starting with an oil cleanser and then following up with a foaming cleanser. But of course we know better than using those ultra-drying foaming face washes that literally strip everything off your face. So instead of foaming, we can just double up on the oiling (or cream cleanser or even HONEY)!

Double Cleansing Broken Down:

1st Cleanse– Targets and removes the sunscreen and makeup

2nd Cleanse– Cleanses all the grime, dirt and pollution that accumulates on the skin throughout the day

This is my current face washing routine:

  1. Take a dime size amount of Hemp Seed oil and massage it into my skin in little circular movements for a few minutes. You will begin to notice that little balls of dead skin, dirt, and clogged pores coming loose.
  2. Get a clean washcloth super hot, squeeze out the water, steam face until the wash cloth is no longer hot.
  3. Apply Raw Honey to still damp face! You can also combine the honey with essential oils, clay, cinnamon, activated charcoal– literally almost anything.
  4. Leave on for 5-35 minutes, depending on how much time you have. My favorite is to apply the mask before my bath and let my open pores absorb all of the goodness. I can’t tell you how good my skin looks after this- super bright, dewy, tight pores– it’s magic.

Pretty simple, and yet totally revolutionary. I have noticed a difference since starting this, and there’s no way I’m gonna stop now. My skin is softer and cleaner, and it shows.

As always, follow up with a toner and maybe some serums or just a moisturizer. Enjoy that pretty skin, babes.

xxjoannaxx

How A Garden Is Healing for Your Body and Mind

Becoming a Steward of the Earth

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IT’S SPRING!! Like a whole beautiful month into it. I don’t live in the northern part of the US, but I can still enjoy the new flowers blooming, all of the birds chirping while building their nests, the warm afternoon hugged by the cool mornings and nights.

Living in Florida I can grow food all year long, but the spring is especially fruitful. And it hit me the other day how wonderfully healing gardening is.

A garden not only allows you to grow your own food and save money in the process, but it also offers a variety of physical and mental benefits.

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A garden gives you something to tend. to care for. to check up on.

The nurturing side of humans, I believe, is very important. Especially in the age we are currently living. We constantly rush, have pressure placed on us from others and ourselves, we stress, we worry, we become angry, hurt, exhausted. It is difficult for us to slow down and take care… of anything. Even when we do take the time to take care of our food or clean the house, or even taking care of our bodies, it somehow turns into a chore. Something that has to be done, not something you are thankful for the ability to be doing. It seems the only area in our “lives” that there is room for nurturing is when we have children. But what about those who don’t have children? What about those who can’t? Women are especially created to be nurturing, and we need to nurture that side of ourselves.

Waking up in the morning and checking on your seedlings, seeing if they’ve arisen from the ground. Checking the leaves for bugs that may harm it, or fungus that make kill it. Taking the time to water, talking to them to help them grow. Keeping a watchful eye on your little plants so that they may grow big and strong. This long, yet extremely rewarding process feeds not only our stomachs during the harvest, but our souls as well. You put your heart into your garden. As you tend your garden you also tending to and taking care of yourself.

A garden requires you to put yourself in the elements.

If you’re like most, you live in a city. You’re surrounded by buildings, concrete, cars, pollution, noise. You must drive far and long to achieve a state of peace and calmness. But in our fast paced society, many don’t have the time or resources to really take the time off of their normal life and go do something in nature.

With a garden, you have managed to create your own little space of peace. You may still be surrounded by other houses or buildings, but in this space, you have brought nature and made it fit into your home. You are then able to experience the sun on your face, back, and shoulders. You can feel the wind brushing across your cheeks, filling you with gratitude. The scents of the flowers and trees that rush into your lungs, expanding your body and breath until you are at peace with yourself and your life.

You are cooped inside for probably 90% of your life and being outside in the fresh air is extremely beneficial for your physical health; increases brain function, raises vitamin D levels, reduces stress, reduces inflammation, fights fatigue, boosts immune system, protects eye health, etc.. There is scientific proof that being in the fresh air, surrounded by plants can help you live a happier and longer life.

A garden demands your thoughts.

We all have things we are worrying about, struggling with, suffering for. No one has a perfect life, and too often these feelings can consume us until it’s all we can think about. It can be hard some days to distract yourself, and many people use mind-numbing devices and activities to forget. Drinking, TV, phone, social media, drugs. None of which actually offer any benefit to you and your healing. Having a garden is an activity that benefits not only your body, but also your mental and emotional health. You are forced to forget, even just for a little bit, about your troubles. And you can let yourself be consumed with the joy of taking care of something. of nurturing.

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I am no master gardener, I am only in my mere second season of growing. And while it can be sometimes difficult or disappointing, remember that these too are all part of the cycle of life. You must make mistakes to learn from, you must go through the motions to have a grasp on what it is you are trying to accomplish.

So if you have ever dreamed of having a garden, or even if you haven’t until now, I urge you to take that leap. Even if it’s just one pot with one tomato plant. Pour your heart into it, and feed it with the love and attention that all of us crave.

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Wishing you a beautiful day, and that you are taking the steps to become a WellSpring of Life.

xxjoannaxx

Why Your Body Loves the Sauna

Steam On

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If you follow me on instagram then you probably know that I recently joined a gym! I joined because I wanted to have some variety in my workouts. I was hitting a wall and losing serious motivation for any sort of exercise. With a gym I can take different classes while also using equipement when I want to. And best of all—- they have a sauna. I’ve realized I am addicted to the feeling of being extremely hot. That tingly sensation of your blood rushing, pores opening… mmm so good.

So you may already know that sweating is good for us; it detoxes the toxins, keeps all the organs functioning, etc. Did you also know that there is a direct correlation between sweating and glowing skin? Oh heck yeah there is.

However, don’t fret if you live in a colder environment where sweating isn’t really something you can achieve daily – – – I’ve got one word for you:

Sauna. 

And even better– Infrared Saunas. These are better than traditional saunas because they use much milder temperature, and the type of heat actually penetrates deeper into the body, allowing a much more effective detox. Of course, if you can’t find an infrared sauna, a traditional one works too! (my gym only has the traditional kind, but I would take a sauna over no sauna any day!)

So just a quick history lesson- a sauna is technically just a small room used as a hot-air/ steam bath for cleaning and refreshing the body. They are built from wood, typically cedar because of its natural resistance to moisture. Saunas were invented in Finland about 2000 years ago. They were first large pits dug in the ground, but were later built above ground.

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Benefits of Sauna

  • Detox plastics and heavy metals
  • Raise endorphin levels
  • Heal musculoskeletal ailments
  • Increase blood flow
  • Help immune system
  • Aid in weight loss

It is recommended to sweat every day for at least fifteen minutes to really help your body naturally detox all those toxins we come into contact with daily. For now I take my phone in with my and set a timer, but I’m going to get a watch soon so that I can leave my phone in my car! Really trying to work on doing more things without my phone being right there beside me. Maybe I’ll bring in a book to read or sudoku.

Have you ever sat in a sauna and felt your body releasing all those nasties? 

xxJoannaxx

Supplements for Beautiful, Glowing Skin

Beauty Pills

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Breaking out after puberty- it exists and totally sucks. Unfortunately, every 1 in 4 women are plagued with the breakouts- so at least you’re not alone.. right? Our hormones are constantly fluctuating, health is a high speed roller coaster, stress is rising to crazy levels.. so many factors contribute to our less-than-ideal skin. We do all we can to achieve clear skin; fancy facial oils, tons of veggies, staying hydrated, gulping down skin loving smoothies- but sometimes it just isn’t enough. Some key nutrients cannot be absorbed in the amount necessary from the food we eat. So we need to find the answer somewhere else- supplements. Supplements also provide glow-inducing ingredients you may not eat on the daily- like fermented cod liver oil. (gag)

Thankfully, our society is so advanced that we have the ability to snatch up any supplement we want. There are a few key supplements that are known for their plumping, glow-inducing, redness reducing, skin clearing, anti-aging properties.

Supplements for Beauty

Zinc – It has the ability to reduce dihydrotestosteron (DHT)- having too much of this hormone can clog pores, increase inflammation, and cause breakouts. I use this brand.

Ashwaganda – A total superstar herb aka Adaptogen. Ashwaganda is filled with antioxidants that reduce inflammation in the skin, and helps our hormonal responses when dealing with stress. (This is my favorite brand, their quality cannot be beat!)

Omega 3 – Two really great sources of this are Krill OIl and Fermented Cod Liver Oil. Omega 3’s naturally reduce inflammation, and are really high in antioxidants which help slow down aging. ( I only use this brand, they don’t add anything toxic or heat up their product)

Collagen – With its ability to restore elasticity, increase cell turnover, and reduce inflammation- this is a superfood you don’t want to miss out on. (This is honestly the best brand I have found. I can really tell that it’s making a difference in my hair and nails, and if it’s affecting the external, then it is most definitely impacting my internal health. I take 2 scoops daily, and I am now saving money by subscribing! One of the best things you can take for your body.)

There are so many other supplements on the market that can help your body rebalance, but these are the most common. If you’re still having stubborn breakouts after trying all of these supplements for a substantial amount of time, try seeing a naturopathic doctor so they can figure out the underlying causes. Your skin is a message board for your body. Breakouts, rashes, dryness are all signals that something is out of balance. Realize that your body, given half a chance, can heal itself. Stay positive!

Take care of yourself.

Relax. Eat Good Food. Do Things You Love. and Take Those Vitamins! 

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xxJoannaxx

Disclaimers: I am not a medical professional. The goal of this post is to share information about supplements and my personal experience with them. I did my best research and fact-checking for accuracy. It is always best to check with your doctor if you are unsure about using these supplements!

*There are affiliate links used in this post, it comes at no extra charge to you it just helps support me and my blog!*

3 Easy Ways To Detox Your Skin

Detox and Be Merry

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I’m sure you’re aware of how many toxins we come into contact with daily.

Please just read this excerpt from Natural Society :

Modest estimates have suggested that we are exposed to more than 700,000 different toxic chemicals on a daily basis, and this doesn’t include the crazy poisons that GMO companies are pumping into the food supply…. There are chemicals in our food, our water, the air we breathe, the clothing we wear, the carpet we walk on, and the plastics that surround us.”

This should totally freak you out. Because it is so, so, so freaky. And think of children who’s immune systems are still developing, how can they possibly fight off all of those toxins?

There’s not much we can do in one day to stop the amount of toxins that are in every inch of our life, but there are thankfully a few things we can do daily to get rid of those toxins.

Epsom Salt Bath

This is one of the easiest and most luxurious ways to detox. They’re extremely easy to create and you can make it as fancy or simple as you please. No need to drop a ton of cash at a spa when you can enjoy the same thing at home! The Epsom Salt Baths flush all of those impurities out from your system. You can also add in various essential oils for added anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial benefits! Honey and Bentonite clay can be added for extra detoxing power! Here is my blog post featuring two of my faaaaavorite bath blends. Check it out!

Clay Mask

Even if you’re a religious skin cleanser, you still need to apply a deep cleansing mask at least once a week to really get all of the dirt, makeup, and impurities out from your skin.  Clay acts as a magnet and attaches itself to the impurities, so when you wash it off you wash off the dirt as well! I have a great blog post giving you the super easy instructions! Its cheap and hella effective. check it out here.

Dry Brushing

I have a previous blog post written all about dry brushing! You can find it here. It’s a really simple way to detox your skin before a shower or bath, it is especially beneficial for the lymphatic system.

 

And that’s it! And you can combine all three for a totally awesome detoxing extravaganza!      

  • Step one: Dry brush the body.
  • step two: Cleanse skin and apply a clay mask.
  • step three: Lower yourself into a luxurious, relaxing bath.

So good for both your internal and external body. Make time for yourself! It isn’t vain or selfish, it’s healthy.

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chillin like a villain in a clay mask 

forever detoxing. 

 

xxJoannaxx

Top 8 Natural Remedies for Seasonal Allergies

The Rise of the Histamines

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Let me just say it- POLLEN SUCKS. It’s great for the bees and the plants and butterflies and whatever- but for you and me and all other humans… no thanks.

My car is literally coated in green.

Anyway, most people are afflicted with allergies. And while doctors normally prescribe pharmaceuticals like antihistamines, they’re not good for your body and may actually make allergy symptoms worse.

So I’ve compiled a bomb list for natural remedies, that can only help your body heal!

Wave Goodbye To Allergies! 

  • Eat an Anti-Inflammatory Diet-
    • Lots of fresh leafy greens, veggies, and fruit.
    • Add in garlic! Natural antibiotic and immune booster. For most powerful, eat it raw
    • Lemons are amazing at detoxing the body and keeping it ‘alkaline’ (in balance)
  • Take Probiotics-
    • Everyone has bacteria in their gut, but most people have way more bad bacteria than good bacteria. A really good soil based probiotic (like these) helps rebalance the gut, which really increases your immune system and decreases allergies!
  • Eat Local Raw Honey-
    • This may sound counterintuitive, but it’s hella not. By taking a daily dose of this, your body will natural build up a tolerance to the local pollen! It is recommended you take 1 TBS daily, whether in tea, oatmeal, smoothies, etc. Remember though- it has to be raw and local, if it has been heated up you will lose the potency, and if it’s not local you won’t be building up your immune system against the local pollen. Check your local farmers market! 
  • Use a Neti Pot-
    • This clears sinuses and removes congestion, naturally relieving allergy symptoms. (like this one) or (this one!)
  • Frankincense Essential Oil-
    • You didn’t think i would go a whole post without mentioning the King of Essential Oils, did you?
    • Frankincense boosts the immune system, reduces inflammation, and heals the entire body. You can rub it (diluted) onto chest, or diffuse in your home, or take a couple drops under your tongue daily. (i only use Doterra’s Frankincense because it is the highest quality out there! Many essential oils are cheap and full of fillers, they will actually cause harm to your body! Check out more here)
  • Drink Stinging Nettle Tea-
    • This is a remedy that dates back to medieval times..!
    • It can treat a wide rage of health concerns, and naturally controls histamines which is why it’s so great for allergies! (check it out here)
  • Doterra’s TriEase Softgels Seasonal Blend
    • TriEase Softgels were developed to protect against seasonal and environmental elements and to promote a healthy respiratory system when needed most. Each softgel contains equal parts of Lemon, Lavender, and Peppermint essential oils, known for their ability to maintain clear breathing and a healthy immune response when combined together.”
    • You can purchase these through my site on Doterra! Which is linked here. ***If you wish to get more involved with oils, have questions, or wish to become a member and save 20% on each order plus earn points towards future orders- let me know! Send me an email or DM me on my Instagram @awellspringoflife!** 
  • Drink lots of water, sleep 8 hours a night, don’t eat sugar, processed foods, dairy, or conventional grains. 

I’m telling you, if you incorporate just a couple of these into your daily life you will see a difference!

Comment below if you’ve had any experience with these natural remedies!

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xxJoannaxx

 

**this post contains affiliate links, but it comes at no extra charge to you! It just helps support me and my blog when you purchase items through that link 🙂 )**

Stop Feeling Guilty For Relaxing

Time spent wasting time, is not wasted time.

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I know the holidays have somewhat recently passed, and you probably (hopefully) took some time off work/your regular schedule to rest, relax, recoup, and enjoy time with family and friends. I’m sure you’re now back into the swing of things, juggling a thousand projects and ideas at once, your mind whirring a million miles an hour.

Holidays are a wonderful forced break, making you get out of your head, and enjoy the season of laughter and giving. But– what about the rest of the year? What about those thousands of other weekends that you spend still running around, still stressing out?

If you’re one of the many, then you rarely allow yourself the blessing of complete, utter relaxation and stillness. Americans are a hardworking group, we are a super dedicated, driven, motivated people. That has its many benefits, but if you’re not careful, it can also some awful side effects.

Heart Attacks. Strokes. Cancer. Digestive Problems. These can all be (and frequently are) caused by a constant surge of stress. You may be under this constant fight or flight sensation and don’t even realize it.

However, with all of this said, the main reason I wrote this post is to encourage you to relax. actually relax.

and not feel guilty.

For many, this is a difficult habit to break. We have this idea that we should be super productive and busy all the time- every day, all day long. So even when we try to “sit down,” there’s that nagging voice in our head and body that makes us feel that we should get up and do something more “important.” Just this small surge causes anxiety and stress. and judgement.

Your body needs to rest. and not just while sleeping.

It’s a wonderful thing to be busy and accomplish everything on your list; but at what cost? And why right this second? You have your whole life to do whatever you want, but you won’t be able to get there if you exhaust yourself at an early age.

Your body and brain weren’t designed to constantly run without a solid, intentional break. (even while sleeping you’re subconsciously processing what you did that day, and planning what you need to do.)

Here’s the real question:

Would you rather go flying through life, only stopping for brief seconds, only looking ahead. Or taking your time, completely tasks thoroughly, while enjoying your present life and moments that make life so special.

It’s okay to say no to invitations.

it’s okay to cancel previous engagements.

it’s okay to ask for someone to help you out, take the kids.

it’s okay to stay at home all day on the couch binge watching your guilty pleasure tv shows.

it’s okay to take naps.

to take long baths.

to read that book you’ve been wanting to read for a year.

YOU DESERVE IT. you work hard, your body is tired, your mind is exhausted.

please, stop feeling guilty for something you have been given that you undoubtedly, irrevocably deserve.

And enjoy this process of honoring yourself. It won’t be easy, you’ll forget, fall back a few steps, but as long as you realize that you need this. that your life will be better, fuller, brighter.

you will get there.

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xxjoannaxx

How To Protect Your Hands From Sun Damage

Your Hands will be forever in your favor

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We all know that the sun is great, but all of that sun exposure comes at a cost. You may love lookin’ bronzed and beautiful, but without proper protection you will end up with wrinkles, sun spots, sagging skin, and maybe even skin cancer!

You’ve heard me say it a million times, and I’m sure you’ve read it a million times more – ALWAYS put sunscreen on your face. Check this blog post for why.

BUT… While you’re taking care of your face, neck, and décolletage… you’re forgetting about one important thing- your hands.

the backs of your hands.

Plastic Surgery gives women the ability to take tens of years off their face, but you can always really tell how old a woman is by her hands.

The skin on our hands is actually pretty thin, similar to that on our face. And when you think about it, your hands are always in the front line of battle. Whenever you’re outside, driving, walking.. those hands have seen the light of day- every day of your life.

So of course we say, oh! Just put sunscreen on them– religiously because you’re going to wash your hands and inevitably wash off the sunscreen. I’ve tried this.. and I’ll tell you right now I do not have the willpower to constantly think about/obsess over my hands. It’s just not gonna happen. I’ll either forget about it entirely, or only do it once.

But may I please have the honor of introducing you to my most ingenious discovery yet–

SPF HAND GLOVES.

These things are the BOMB. Not only do they provide adequate sun protection, but they are fingerless, have grip on the bottom, and they can never get “washed off”! Plus I kinda feel like a badass while wearing them- driving gloves? very cool.

These ones are probably designed for those who participate in outdoor activities; biking, kayaking, etc. But your girl is using them for driving. Being in Florida where it’s sunny all the time, my hands are always getting some sun on them.

But you know I’ll also use them for anytime I’m outside for an extended period of time!

I’m really excited about these, and for 25 bucks I think they are a really great investment for you to age well.

Remember, the goal is not to avoid aging. Because that’s impossible. It’s simply to have the knowledge of how to age wisely.

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xxjoannaxx

**There are affiliate links used in this post. It comes at absolutely zero extra charge to you, it simply helps support my blog when you use that link :)**

What Are Essential Oils?

Are They Safe?

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Those moments when you’ve smelled a flower or peeled an orange- you have enjoyed the wonderful experience of essential oils.

“These naturally occurring, volatile aromatic compounds are found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants.”

Essential oils are the things that give plants their smell, and are their natural defense system. Plants are constantly attacked by mold, fungus, insects, etc and actually have a natural way of defending themselves! Not only do essential oils protect the plant, but also aid in helping the plants become pollinated!

But before I go any further, I should probably break down what a “Volatile Organic Compound” even is:

They are small organic molecules that have the ability to change quickly from state to state (ie- solid to liquid to gas) at room temperature. This is what makes them volitile; their ability to change so quickly. There are over 3,000 varieties of volatile aromatic compounds, and they determine what the essentials oil’s aroma and benefits are.

The composition of essential oils and their VAC’s can often vary depending on where and how it was growing, the time of year, the weather, the harvest, distillation, etc. Every step of the process plays a huge role in the quality of the essential oil.

Essential oils can be used in three ways; aromatically (smell), topically (touch), and internally (mouth). They can be used for physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Essential oils are used in medicine, food preparation, and beauty treatments!

COOLEST FACT: You’re probably wondering why these work on humans. Essential Oils are great for plants, but how can they be applied to me? WELL, plant cells and human cells are actually suuupppper similar! So when your body comes into contact with an essential oil, the essential oil knows what to do because it’s working with similar material.

This blows my mind. It’s absolutely incredible.

The most important thing to remember is that you need to prioritize buying high quality essential oils. There are many companies out there trying to sell you crappy oils full of chemicals and nasty fillers. do not buy them. I know they’re tempting, but there’s a reason why they’re $5 instead of $30. People have become seriously sick/injured from using impure essential oils.

If you’re serious about your health, then you will want to only buy the best.

I exclusively use DoTerra. Not only are they the largest essential oils company, but they have the highest quality essential oils available. They also source it from all over the world, constantly giving back to developing countries.

If you’re interested in taking your health journey to the next level, send me an email! I would love to talk to you, figure out your health concerns, and from there talk about what are the best options for you ❤

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xxJoannaxx