5 Things You Can Do Now to Feel Better

Written by on May 17, 2022 in Conscious Living, Thrive with 0 Comments

Does anyone else feel like a pioneer in this brave new world?  It can be rather daunting at times.  We may find ourself at odds with family or friends. But, there is help.  It is called, taking care of yourself.  This is the task of the day.  When one makes self-care a priority, then feeling better is not too far away.  Take a deep breath and let’s walk through some tasks that you can choose to do now to feel better now and for the rest of your life.  Healthy habits heal and empower us. Even just one thing can make a difference.

1. Breathe Better

I learned a practice years ago that is with me to this day.  An exercise that relaxes and oxygenates every cell in the body.   “Practicing a regular, mindful breathing exercise can be calming and energizing and can even help with stress-related health problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders.” Andrew Weil, M.D.

Dr. Weil teaches three breathing exercises and techniques to help relax and reduce stress: The Stimulating Breath, The 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise (also called the Relaxing Breath) and Breath Counting. Try each of these breathing exercises and techniques and see how they affect your stress and anxiety levels.  

2. Ramp up Your Diet

Think whole foods. Put this in your brain as super important.  Grab a single item instead of a box of ingredients. Think about what you can eat, not what you can’t eat.  Reduce toxins. Learn the best choices to buy organically or are clean. Choose healthier snacks and leave the empty calories alone. When we eat better, we feel better.  It is a choice of course, but yours to make. 

Get started by upgrading snacks. Scroll down for some great ideas. If you have food allergies or intolerances use the list accordingly.

3.  Laugh More!

Learn the why, here. 

Remind yourself, just why you need to laugh more. 

Practice:  Observe young children and follow their lead

Watch comedies…or read funny books

Remember to play and have more fun

Avoid sources of distress, be it difficult relationships, horror movies or the daily news

4.  Read about someone that inspires you.  What’s on my bookshelf?  Katherine Dunham

Go within everyday and find the inner strength so that the world will not blow your candle out. Katherine Dunham, anthropologist and dancer. 

Katherine's varied life experiences taught her the value of all life, especially her own.  “Katherine Dunham first went to Haiti in 1936, when she was granted a Rosenwald Fellowship to study primitive dance and ritual in the West Indies and Brazil. A graduate student in anthropology, and already a successful dancer and choreographer, she found in Haiti endless variations of her two interests. For more than thirty years, she has returned again and again, and as one reads Island Possessed, understanding grows as to why and how Haiti is indeed her spiritual home.” 

How did I learn about Katherine?  I was intrigued by her quote (above) as I prayed through Gregg Braden’s latest book:  Wisdom Codes.

5.  Love Who, Love How? 

Rumi gives great advice about love.

Your task is not to seek love,

But merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. 

This is a big one and can take a life time, yet it also doesn’t have to take a life time. Acknowledge there is a great part of you that desires to teach you, love you and allow you to let go of all the trappings that keep you stuck and frustrated.  Embrace yourself with a big hug and get to know that valuable Self.  

A Blessing and Prayer, just for you

My friends, may we give grace to one another.  May we feel love and be set free, no longer trapped by the right and wrong of what we see. May we feel the ‘ripeness’ and have a deep knowing that it will be ok.  Choose to be the difference. Choose to be kind. Choose to be brave in love.  Look beyond the argument and see the person. Don’t we all want life to be good? Let us be united by love, not separated by ideologies. 

My friend, may the Sun warm you. May the Earth nourish you. May you feel love and be set free.  Healthy, safe, protected, strong.  Amen. 

Now, on to some great snacks!  Happy munching!  Julia

Healthy Snack List 

  • apples
  • frozen grapes
  • rice cakes
  • light popcorn or plain popcorn: use coconut oil to pop in a covered pan
  • one or two hard pretzels, the large Bavarian variety
  • carrots: particularly the super-sweet, organic baby carrots
  • crunchy crudités of veggies and dip (hummus, tabouli, vinaigrette, favorite dressing)
  • celery and peanut butter (use peanut butter without added ingredients, i.e. sugar) 
  • hummus with whole grain toast, baby carrots, rice crackers
  • nuts
  • wheatgrass
  • fresh, whole fruit
  • organic yogurt and ripe fruit
  • apples and almond butter
  • sprouted date bread with jam
  • frozen yogurt: freeze yogurt and make your own!
  • dried fruit 
  • use leftover grains to make sweet porridge: drizzle maple syrup and sprinkle cinnamon, add nutmilk and bananas, heat with fruit juice, etc.
  • smoothies: mix whatever you have in the kitchen – fruit, ice, nutmilk, yogurt, carob powder, etc.
  • fruit “ice cream”: peel a banana, freeze, blend in a food processor with nuts, berries or raisins and serve; can be put through the screen of a juicer for a creamier consistency.
  • freshly squeezed fruit juices: make your own and try different combos.
  • sweet vegetables: yams, sweet potatoes, squashes (acorn, butternut, kabocha) cut into chunks or fries; sprinkle with cinnamon and bake. 
  • dates stuffed with almond butter or other nut butter
  • organic dark chocolate chips or carob chips
  • olives
  • pickles and pickled vegetables, such as carrot, daikon, beets and lotus root
  • tabouli, hummus
  • oysters and sardines
  • steamed vegetables with tamari/shoyu or umeboshi vinegar
  • tortilla chips and salsa or guacamole: try whole grain chips such as “Garden of Eatin” brand and freshly made salsa or guacamole.
  • sauerkraut: it will also knock your sweet craving right out!
  • fresh lime or lemon juice as seasonings or in beverage
  • salted edamame
  • small amount of organic cheese
  • smoothies
  • yogurt
  • avocados
  • rice pudding
  • dips and spreads, like hummus and baba ghanoush
  • puréed soups
  • puddings made with silken tofu, avocado or mashed banana
  • mashed sweet potatoes
  • coconut milk

Julia Parsell is a Certified Holistic Health Counselor with an emphasis on the intersection of science and the sacred.  She writes from experiences and transformative understandings that have led her to an authentic and peaceful life. She goes by these names:  wife, daughter, grandmother, mother, sister, aunt, niece, cousin, and friend. As home educator of her three children, she also developed/ran cafes, and maintained various leadership roles within her community.  Her greatest desire is to encourage others to live life fully.  Her passions are family, art creation, writing, and trail blazing. She is happily married in Western North Carolina.   

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