Holistic Wellness in Austin, TX

Stress Relief During Trying Times: Creative Solutions To Warm Your Heart

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How are you feeling these days?  Does it seem like time is flying, or that too much is going on at once, and that 2018, though still only a few weeks in, is already feeling just a bit more tumultuous that you would like?  If you feel frizzled and somewhat at a loss, to put it mildly, the reality is this: you are not alone in what you are feeling.

So what to do about it?  How can your honor your experience of things, and respect your own judgement and perception…without wallowing or getting stuck in negativity or helplessness?  One way, of course, is the way of the Daily Stoic, as you can see:

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Screenshot (source)

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I love The Daily Stoic; do you?  This is a good snippet of advice, and there certainly is more where that came from posted each and every day.  Click the link beneath the quote and see for yourself.  But what about all the rest of it?  What I notice with clients is a certain set of patterns that I also used to see in patients in student clinic.  These include but are not limited to the following, and in the spirit of the above-quoted, I’m going to see about keeping things simple and set things out in list format.

1).  Are you lonely?  It can be challenging to make friends once the university years are over, and social isolation can have deep roots.  A good article on the subject can be found here.  What you can do right this minute, especially if you are shy or otherwise need to start slowly, is to join a couple online groups.  Do you love Harry Potter?  A really nice group is the Hogwarts Running Club on Facebook, here.  When you get involved with the HRC, you have a large group on online friends and you can even participate in virtual running events. However you do things, you can contribute to charitable causes, hang out with fellow HP fans, and feel like you are part of a wonderful community….all online to start.  If you opt to go to races, there are friends to meet there.  Another option is a good book club, as you can see here.  There is something somewhere that can help you to expand your horizons if you want to start online.  But don’t spend all your time there, or else you’ll find yourself with issue number two, as follows.

2.  Too much time on the computer?  It can be hard to detach from twitter, Instagram, Facebook, the smartphone, you name it.  But what you can choose to do is this: find some really nourishing sites to visit and enjoy them, but don’t waste your time mindlessly scrolling.  And once you’ve enjoyed the bounty of the computer to a certain degree and not further, shut off the electronics and see what’s outside.  Look around and see what’s available in your city.  And, in addition to your computer time, go to those things that you have found.  Is there an interesting museum in your city or a lovely park?  Is there somewhere you’ve always been meaning to go but have been too busy?  What about lectures at a nearby university?  The internet sucks us all in, but if you use it wisely it really can open up whole new worlds for you.  Find things that nourish your spirit and inspire you, and then go!

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Screenshot: One twitter account that sends around gems every day (https://twitter.com/womensart1)

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3).  Not eating well?  Can you strategize a bit better?  For instance, if you shop with care, you can get more than one really good meal out of an item.  Buy a precooked chicken, for instance, and use the bones to make broth.  Nurturing food is cheering.  Even though it may not be easy at first, shopping and cooking can make your life that much better.  If you really become inspired, maybe there is a Whole Foods near you that gives cooking lessons, or a local organization.  Here in Austin, we have the former and, as to the latter, that would be the Sustainable Food Center, here.  If you are completely flustered about meal planning, a couple sessions with a health coach can help you set some goals and start a plan.  Eating and feeling nourished matter, especially if you feel stressed in other areas of your life.

4).  Are you burned out on yoga (or just not interested in it)?  One tried-and-true way to change the subject when the topic a hand is stress is to say, “Have you tried yoga?”  It’s a generic non-response at this point, almost to the point of being a stand-in for comments like “Just chill out” and other like.  Yoga is great and I’m a certified yoga instructor.  I don’t teach group classes and I tend to use this qualification when I’m helping clients work through blind spots or blockages.  I love yoga.  But it’s not the be-all, end-all and some people just don’t enjoy it that much.  And if you don’t want to do it, you won’t.  So what can you do if you are stressed and jangling like a wire?  Try tai chi or qi gong.  Tai chi is more aligned with martial arts and qi gong is a graceful form of breath work and body flow (you can read a short article that compares them if you wish, here) but either one is great for balance, body awareness, self care, and health nurturance.  Yoga is too, but if you’re not into it, you’re not into it.  Try something else.  Most schools will let you try a class for free or at low cost, so why not get out and try?  You might just find that you love tai chi and/or qi gong.

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Screenshot: Who doesn’t benefit from some Zig? (source)

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5).  If you already work out or otherwise exercise but you’re in a rut, there’s an answer to that, too.  Not sure how to change your boring workout routine?  Book a couple sessions with a trainer or health coach.  You don’t have to commit to a lifetime of sessions.  If you have a semi-specific goal in mind, it might be that three or four appointments are sufficient.  Myself, I don’t work with long-term personal training clients any more.  I’m much more active as a health coach and a Chinese medicine practitioner.  When I do personal training, it’s short-term and specific (generally relating to working through a blind spot or mental block, for example).  Health coaching clients can be long or short term, for their part. But if your central issue is a feeling of being stuck and bored, find yourself a trainer or coach and state up front that you simply want a boost in the right direction, and then you want to take it from there.  You really do not have to go all-in for the long term.  A session or three with a coach or trainer can be a lovely treat and an inspiration and quite enough if that is just what you need.

6).  It’s not your body but instead, your mind-set.  Are you stuck in a mental rut?  Practice changing your mind.  Start small, and look at it the same way you would view any form of training.  Play small games that will help you to focus and to enjoy your surroundings in a new way.  Can you decide to look for one color and focus on that for the next hour?  How many blue items do you see in the next twenty minutes?  What shades of blue?  Where do you see them?  Or green, or yellow, or red.  How colorful, really, is the world around you?  (If you’re colorblind, look for patterns, or feel for textures.  But focus, and really feel and see).  Or: pause, breathe, and feel your feet on the ground and your butt in the chair.  Really feel yourself where you are.  Do this at intervals throughout the day.  What does this make you feel?

Can you decide to look at things from the perspective of another?  For instance, the last time one of my clients had a very stressful experience ahead, we decided that they would look at things through the lens of someone they knew to be always calm, always sweet, and always laid back.  Instead of their normal reaction of anxiety to the stress, they simply practiced pretending to be this calm being, just to see what it felt like….and it worked.  The client is never going to be a calm, easygoing, mellow person.  But they practiced an alternate reaction schema, it was fun, and they have a tool in the toolbox to use in future.

Do something different, that’s all.  Just try out a few new things.  We may not be able to slow down the fast and turbulent pace of 2018 just yet.  But by altering a few small things, we can change things enough to put a real transformation in motion.  Little shifts add up to big changes.  Start small, and keep going.

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Gifts and art from Latino and Chinese traditions: Beautiful (source)

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Practice compassion, and practice presence.  Roll in the grass.  Turn off your computer and your phone and be free.  Be kind to yourself. Breathe.  Eat something you like.  Have a nap and a warm bath.  Read a good book.  Reach out to new friends.  Find the helpers, or be a helper.  Do just one small thing that is different each and every day.

You have only this one life to live.  What are you waiting for?  The time to start living it, to really show up for your own life is…..now.

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BOOK AN APPOINTMENT

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2hw.v2Have you ever though to try traditional Chinese bodywork? At present, I offer tui na (similar to massage) and other ancient Chinese therapies, including cupping, gua sha, moxa, and more.  If you are looking for a holistic wellness consultant and coach, my services can entail short or longer term programs.  You are your own best investment, and when you take charge of your wellbeing you invest in yourself now and for the benefit of your future.

Two Hearts Wellness is a local holistic health and wellness outfit with a passion for all things nourishing, including but not limited to: joyful living, great food, art, and literature, and–of course–traditional Chinese medicine.  If you want to learn more about me, click here and do feel free to follow my blog and/or my Instagram, connect with me on Facebook, or contact me here to set up an appointment for personal training or health coaching services.  If you are interested in Asian bodywork therapy, click here to book an appointment online.

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