9 Ways to Manage Stress During the Holidays

Posted by Maria on December 9, 2016 under Aromatherapy, Facials, Fashion, Gemstones & Crystals, Gift Ideas, Home spa, Homespunspa, Life Coaching, Manicures, Massages, Meditation, Mobile Spa, Nutrition, Pedicures, Photo gallery, Pop-Psychology, Seasonal, Self-Care, Stress Management and Relaxation, Uncategorized, Weight Management, Wellness | Be the First to Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner
The holidays are just around the corner and for many of us, the winter season means extra food and drinks and finding the time for decorating, shopping, gift wrapping, office parties, travelling, and getting together with friends and family.

Although the song says, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” getting caught up in the spirit of the holiday season can also be very stressful, especially if you add snow storms and winter driving to the list.

Many of my clients ask me, ‘is there a way to enjoy the holiday season without feeling stressed, tired, and overwhelmed?’

The answer is ‘yes.’ Yes, it is possible to maintain your health and well-being and not get stressed out during the festive holiday season.

So, if you have concerns like:

• How can I better manage my stress during this busy time of year?

• How can I stick to my eating plan when everywhere I look, I see cookies and chocolates and all kinds of delicious treats? and

• How do I get along better with my extended family and enjoy our visits?…

Read on.

Here are 9 Ways to Manage Stress During the Holidays

1. Get some wellness coaching

With a few sessions with a wellness coach, you will reduce stress, stay on top of your to-do list, make a plan to eat well, and have better relationships with your friends, co-workers, and family members. It’s about navigating the waters rather than getting caught up in the current. Working with a wellness coach will help you glide through the holidays with finesse and start the new year off on the right foot.

2. Drink lots of water, hot lemon water, coconut water, and clear herbal tea

Staying hydrated will help you:

  • maintain your energy and not become fatigued,
  • stay warmer on those chilly days,
  • boost your immune system and reduce the chance of catching a cold or flu,
  • control your appetite,
  • avoid gaining some extra pounds,
  • and better digest those rich foods you’ll find at holiday parties.

So, instead of drinking too much caffeine or alcohol during this festive season, drink a glass of coconut water or a mug of hot lemon water or herbal tea, whenever you can.

3. Sniff away your stress with aromatherapy

My favourite scent during this time of year is Cinnamon & Clove essential oil. It’s like holiday baking without the calories and lends a homey, comforting, and warming note to any room.

4. Give yourself a Reflexology foot massage

Often, stress shows up in our neck and shoulders. One day, I realized that the words “should” and “shoulders” are related and many of us carry our shoulds on our shoulders, like painful burdens. With Reflexology, you can work your own shoulders by massaging the acupressure points on the area just under the baby toes on the soles of your feet.

5. Wear gemstone jewellery

December is a great time of year to wear your best gemstone jewellery! I love gemstones because they’re so pretty! I love having them in my energy field and for the festive season, I recommend silvery-black hematite for stress and dark red garnet for love and joy.

6. Take a moment to breathe and be grateful

Whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed or just need a little break from the hustle and bustle of your day, take a few deep breaths through your nose and out through your mouth to ground yourself. As you’re breathing slowly, think of things you’re grateful for. This will help you switch your focus to more positive thoughts.

7. Spend some time outside

Go outside and get some fresh air. It’s invigorating and will help clear your mind.

8. Lend a helping hand

Earlier this morning, I shoveled my driveway after a big snowfall (see #7) and after I was finished, I helped my next door neighbours with theirs. It felt really good to pitch in and help someone out.

9. Call Homespunspa Mobile Spa

I know it seems counter-intuitive to book yet another appointment during this busy time of year, especially for something like a massage where you can’t multi-task. However, it’s important to continue practicing your self-care and take the time to top up your own tank so that you can keep up with the demands on your time and energy. There’s also nothing more healing than therapeutic touch. Luckily, as a mobile spa, we come to you and will give you relaxing spa services in your very own home. We offer massages, manicures, pedicures, and facials to help people relax, look better, and feel better.

To schedule an appointment for mobile spa services and wellness coaching, please call Maria @ 250-812-3487 or email: homespunspa@shaw.ca.

I hope these 9 tips will help you reduce and even avoid stress over the holidays. If you have any tips to share, feel free to add your comments about minimizing stress below. Thanks!

Happy holidays!

Don’t Let Jet Lag Keep You Grounded

Posted by Maria on August 16, 2016 under Aromatherapy, Creating Wellness ebook, Energy Healing, Fitness, Gemstones & Crystals, Homespunspa Wellness Tour, Ingredients, Life Coaching, Massages, Nutrition, Photo gallery, Seasonal, Self-Care, Sleep, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Stress Management and Relaxation, Travel, Uncategorized, Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, Wellness, Yoga | Be the First to Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach

I’ve got travel on my mind!

First, with the Summer Olympics being a big draw, the International Olympic Committee has predicted that 480,000+ tourists and sports fans will travel from all corners of the earth to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in August, 2016. That’s a lot of zig-zagging across the planet!

Also, many of my friends are currently travelling for their summer vacations, getting one last trip in before school starts, to all kinds of wonderful places all over the world, and I love hearing about their adventures.

As for me, I’m in the process of planning a Transformation is Possible Cruise to Alaska in August, 2017, which will be all about coaching and wellness, which I’ll tell you more about in the coming months, because you’re invited to join me!

Anyway, with all of this talk of travel, I thought it would be nice to write a blog post on how to minimize Jet Lag so everyone can enjoy their trips more fully.

don't let jet lag keep you grounded.

I don’t want Jet Lag to keep anyone grounded.

The formal name for Jet lag is “desynchronosis” which is a fancy way of saying, “out of sync” which makes sense. It’s also called “flight fatigue.”

Jet Lag is not fun. Thank goodness it’s only temporary! This sleep disorder happens when our body’s natural circadian rhythms aren’t matching up with the local time and the delay can feel quite debilitating.

Symptoms of Jet Lag include:

  1. fatigue
  2. digestive disorders such as constipation, diarrhea, and nausea,
  3. dehydration,
  4. anxiety,
  5. disorientation, confusion, and inability to concentrate,
  6. dizziness & grogginess,
  7. headache,
  8. irritability,
  9. sweating,
  10. general malaise,
  11. mild depression, and
  12. insomnia, disrupted sleep, and irregular sleep patterns.

Depending on whether you’re heading West or East and the time of day you’re travelling, it takes about one day for each time zone you’ve crossed to realign your body clock to your new (or regular) time zone.

Although some Jet Lag is unavoidable while traveling great distances by airplane, it’s still possible to keep disruption to a minimum and get the circadian rhythms humming again sooner rather than later.

9 Tips to Minimize Jet Lag

1. Stay hydrated:

Cabin air can be very dehydrating and being dehydrated is already uncomfortable. Symptoms from dehydration overlap with symptoms of Jet Lag and you don’t want to amplify your Jet Lag by starting off as weak and dehydrated. So, even if you don’t feel thirsty, drink at least one glass of water for every hour you’re in the air. Also, avoid drinking too much caffeine or alcohol during your flight.

2. Use ginger:

Ginger is good for nausea and headaches so if you can, bring some ginger essential oil with you (perhaps in a pump spray bottle), or drink ginger ale or ginger tea, or eat some Sushi with pickled ginger before your flight at the airport.

3. Consider melatonin:

To ease your transition to the new time zone and to reset your body clock, consider taking melatonin, either as a nonprescription drug or from a food source like cherries. Please see my blog post, “Top of your day with a cherry”

4. Try Reflexology:

Speaking of melatonin, you can also use Reflexology to stimulate the production of this sleep-regulating hormone by applying pressure to the Pineal gland points on your hands, feet, or ears. To work this reflexology point on the feet, use your index finger and press in and down on the outside edge (or medial side) of your big toe, just above the midway bump at the base of the nail.

5. Get some pre-flight life coaching:

If you’re feeling anxious about flying and are a nervous traveller, book a session with a life coach like me before your trip. A coach can be very calming and reassuring. On top of that, voicing your concerns and imagining a smooth flight without any complications, including Jet Lag, ahead of time, will also work wonders.

6. Wear gemstone jewellery:

Travellers have been carrying healing crystals for their protective and healing properties on their journeys for thousands of years. Wearing gemstone and crystal jewellery is an excellent and easy way to ensure a safe and pleasant voyage. Crystal jewellery also looks nice and makes a great conversation starter. I recommend Turquoise to safeguard your possessions and to facilitate communication, Yellow Jasper to calm nausea or motion sickness, and silvery-black Hematite to help get rid of Jet Lag. Of course, there’s also the perfectly-named Jet stone which offers protection, helps clear negativity, and brings good luck.

7. Get up and stretch:

Every few hours, take about 15 minutes to stretch your muscles from head to toe. Roll your neck, shoulders, wrists, and ankles and twist at your waist from side to side. All the better if you practice yoga. You can stretch while seated of course, but it’s even better when you get up mid flight and walk up and down the aisle a few times to get your circulation going and stretch while standing up.

8. Go outside when you can:

Once you arrive, spend time outside in nature and then you’ll receive natural cues from the environment that will help your body reset itself to your new surroundings. Also, if you happen to catch some rays, you’ll also get some Vitamin D which will help boost your immunity. Please read my blog post, “It’s Vitamin D Day”.

9. Get a massage:

As a massage practitioner, I recommend getting a massage to minimize the amount of time it takes to recover from Jet Lag. Nowadays, you can get a chair massage at the airport or you can book a more extravagant massage at a spa at your destination. Either way, a massage will help you release tension and sleep better at night.

I hope these 9 tips will help you reduce and even avoid Jet Lag on your next trip. And if you have any tips to share, feel free to add your comments about minimizing Jet Lag below. Thanks!

Here’s a Calendar of Wellness & Health Awareness Days in 2016

Posted by Maria on February 1, 2016 under 31 Blog Posts in 31 Days, Aromatherapy, Ayurveda & Elemental Nature, Bath and Body, Books, Magazines, Music, Creating Wellness ebook, Dating, Dear Homespunspa, Energy Healing, Esthetics School, Face, Facials, Fashion, Feet, Fitness, Gift Ideas, Green Living, Hair, Hands and Nails, Home spa, Homespunspa, Homespunspa Wellness Tour, How to throw a home spa pajama party the Homespunspa way book, Humour, Ingredients, Life Coaching, Manicures, Massages, Meditation, Mobile Spa, Newspapers and Newsworthy, Nutrition, Pedicures, Pets, Photo gallery, Pop-Psychology, Recipes, Seasonal, Self-Care, Skin Care, Sleep, Spa Party, Spa Review, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Spirituality, Stress Management and Relaxation, Supernatural Spa on VoiceAmerica, TV Shows & Movies, Travel, Uncategorized, Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, Weight Management, Wellness, Yoga | Read the First Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach

Here’s a calendar of Wellness and Health Awareness Days, Weeks, and Months for Canadians in 2016. Hopefully, these health promotion days will inspire you to practice self-care throughout the seasons. (For a deeper look at why self-care is so important, please read my blog post “Is Self-Care Selfish?”

On occasion, I’ve also included links to blog posts I’ve written about practicing on-going self-care that tie into these events and to my Homespunspa Mobile Spa and wellness coaching services. I’ve just realized how much writing I’ve been doing over the last few years! :)

As I’m compiling this list, I’m counting my blessings and I’m really grateful for my good health. With these special days and holidays as door openers, there are literally hundreds of ways we can all reach out to the people around us and celebrate life together.

Please visit Health Canada for active links to the websites of the health-related organizations. Also, if any of these organizations resonate strongly with you, consider volunteering, donating money, or participating in their events. As you can see, there are lots of needs to fill in this world, so help where you can (especially if you’re looking for your life’s purpose) to make the world a better place for all of us.

P.S. #1: As you read this list, you might find yourself saying, “There’s a day for that?” more than once. To answer your question, yes, yes, there is. Thank you to all of the creative and caring people out there who have worked so hard to make these dates official on local, national, and international calendars.

P.S. #2: I’d really love it if you’d share these blog posts via social media with your friends, family, co-workers, and clients. Thank you in advance.

P.S. #3: If you know of a special health- and wellness-related day, week, or month that I haven’t mentioned, please leave a comment and let us know about it and I’ll update the list.

P.S. #4: If you have a wellness blog like mine, here’s a editorial calendar with tons of ideas of what you can write about over the course of the year. You’re welcome!

Wellness Oasis12 Months of Wellness and Health Awareness Days

In January, we have…

  • Alzheimer Awareness Month
  • Birthflowers of the Month include: Carnation, Snowdrop
  • Birthstones of the Month include: Emerald, Garnet, Rose Quartz
  • Cervical Cancer Awareness Month
  • Hot Tea Month (Tea Association of Canada) — Please see my blog post, “Less Caffeine is a Sleeper’s Dream.”
  • Human Trafficking Awareness Month
  • National Bath Safety Month (U.S.)
  • National Blood Donor Month
  • National Hobby Month (U.S.)
  • National Oatmeal Month (U.S.) — Please read my blog post, “Orange, Coconut & Cinnamon Cookie Recipe”
  • National Soup Month (U.S.)
  • National Train Your Dog Month (U.S.)
  • Walk Your Pet Month — Please read my blog post, “Highlights from my dog-sitting retreat to White Rock.”
  • New Year’s Day on January 1st — Please read my blog post, “Happy New Rear!”
  • Polar Bear Swim on January 1st
  • World Hypnotism Day on January 4th — Please read my blog post, “What is a Holistic Practioner?”
  • Clean Off Your Desk Day on January 11th
  • Human Trafficking Awareness Day on January 11th
  • National Rubber Ducky Day (U.S.) on January 13th
  • National Dress Up Your Pet Day (U.S.) on January 14th
  • SHE Day (600 Women talk business and leadership in Winnipeg, MB) on January 15th
  • Colour Days!!! Rainbow Day (let these colours inspire you throughout the day) (public Facebook Group) on January 17th
  • Ditch Your New Year’s Resolutions Day on January 17th — Please read my blog post, “Remember Your New Year’s Resolutions?”
  • National Non-Smoking Week from January 17th to January 23rd — Please see my blog post, “Is 2016 Your Year to Quit Smoking?”
  • National Popcorn Day (U.S.) on January 19th
  • Weedless Wednesday on January 20th
  • National Hugging Day on January 21st
  • National Answer Your Cat’s Question Day (U.S.) on January 22nd
  • Change a Pet’s Life Day on January 24th
  • Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day on January 25th
  • Family Literacy Day on January 27th — Please buy my Creating Wellness ebook on Amazon and read my blog post, “Sharing a Tip from my Creating Wellness Ebook on how to Sleep Better.”
  • International Lego Day on January 28th
  • Women’s Right to Vote in Canada 100th Anniversary on January 28th.

In February, we have…

  • Birthflowers of the Month include: Primrose, Violet
  • Birthstones of the Month include: Amethyst, Bloodstone, Moonstone, Onyx — Please read my blog post, “Cheers to the Chi Machine.”
  • Heart Health Month
  • National Cherry Month (U.S.) — Please read my blog post, “Top off your day with a cherry.”
  • Psychology Month — Please read my blog post, “How to feel a sense of wholeness within.”
  • Eating Disorders Awareness Week from February 1st to February 7th
  • Groundhog Day on February 2nd
  • Winter Walk Day on February 3rd — Please read my blog post, “Walking in a Winter Wonderland.”
  • World Cancer Day on February 4th
  • International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation on February 6th
  • White Cane Week (for the blind and vision-impaired community) from February 7th to February 13th
  • Chinese New Year Day of the Red Monkey Year on February 8th
  • Family Day in BC on February 8th
  • Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Day on February 12th
  • Valentine’s Day on February 14th — Please read my blog post, “Tips for Lips.”
  • International Flirting Week from February 14th to February 20th
  • Family Day in AB, SK, ON on February 15th
  • Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show on February 15th and February 16th — Please read my blog post, “Highlights from my dog-sitting retreat to White Rock.”
  • Colour Days!!! Pink Day (let this colour inspire you throughout the day) (public Facebook Group) on February 17th
  • Random Acts of Kindness Day on February 17th
  • Love your Pet Day on February 20th
  • Walking the Dog Day on February 22nd
  • Tennis Day on February 23rd
  • Pink Shirt Day (anti-bullying movement) on February 24th
  • Oscar Sunday on February 28th — Please see my blog post, “SPARTY! So Glamourous!”
  • Floral Design Day on February 28th
  • National Science Day on February 28th
  • Leap Day on February 29th

In March, we have…

In April, we have…

In May, we have…

  • Birthflowers of the Month include: Hawthorne, Lily of the Valley
  • Birthstones of the Month include: Agate, Beryl, Chrysoprase, Emerald, Saffier
  • Celiac Awareness Month — Please read my blog post, “How to get rid of rash under breasts.”
  • Cystic Fibrosis Month
  • Food Allergy Awareness Month — Please see my blog post, “Can’t Have your Dairy and Yogurt Too?”
  • Foot Health Awareness Month — Please read my blog post, “It’s Footbath Friday.”
  • Hepatitis Awareness Month
  • Huntington’s Disease Awareness Month
  • MedicAlert Month
  • Multiple Sclerosis Month
  • National Hemochromatosis Awareness Month (Iron Overload)
  • National Pet Month (U.S.)
  • National Physiotherapy Month
  • National Skin Cancer Awareness Month (U.S.) — Please read my blog post, “Mountains or Molehills?”
  • Speech and Hearing Awareness Month
  • Vision Health Month
  • Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanups from March 1st to July 31st — Please read my blog post, “Clean Up Crew Heads to Gonzales Bay Beach.”
  • Executive Coaching Day on May 1st
  • Lyme Disease Awareness Day on May 1st
  • National Hospice Palliative Care Week from May 1st to May 7th
  • National Pet Week (U.S.) from May 1st to May 7th
  • Olympic Torch Relay for the Rio 2016 Games begins in Brasilia on May 3rd — Please see my blog post, “Olympics Day 1 and Homespunspa Was There!”
  • Walk So Kids Can Talk (event for Kids Help Phone) on May 3rd
  • World Asthma Day on May 3rd
  • World Press Freedom Day on May 3rd — Please read my blog post, “Homespunspa is Featured in Spa Life Magazine.”
  • May the Fourth Be With You Day (National Star Wars Day) on May 4th
  • Melanoma Monday on May 4th — Please read my blog post, “Mountains or Molehills?”
  • National Orange Juice Day on May 4th — Please read my blog post, “Put your feet up — home spa masque recipe for your good ol’ feet.”
  • Cinco de Mayo on May 5th
  • National Day of Prayer (U.S.) on May 5th
  • Save Lives: Clean Your Hands (WHO’s global annual call to action for health workers) on May 5th — Please read my blog post, “Washing Dishes — Good Clean Fun.”
  • World Pulmonary Hypertension Day on May 5th — Please read my blog post, “Do you have Insomnia?”
  • International No Diet Day on May 6th
  • National Tourist Appreciation Day (U.S.) on May 6th
  • Space Day on May 6th
  • HerbDay on May 7th — Please read my blog post, “Sage: A Scent for the Season.”
  • Join Hands Day (dedicated to bringing a union between the older & younger generations) on May 7th — Please read my blog post, “We Love Referrals! :)
  • National Babysitters’ Day (U.S.) on May 7th
  • World Labyrinth Day on May 7th — Please read my blog post, “Find Peace of Mind As You Walk a Labyrinth.”
  • Mental Health Week from May 2nd to May 8th — Please read my blog post, “There’s no crying in baseball.”
  • Mother’s Day on May 8th — Please read my blog post, “Give the Gift of Homespunspa Mobile Spa this Mother’s Day.”
  • White Lotus Day (encouraging meditation) on May 8th
  • World Red Cross Day on May 8th
  • Naturopathic Medicine Week from May 9th to May 15th — Please read my blog post, “I’m going on a Wellness Tour.”
  • National Nursing Week from May 9th to May 16th
  • Sun Awareness Week (U.K.) from May 9th to May 16th — Please read my blog post, “Ask Maria about Aveda.”
  • International Awareness Day for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Fibromyalgia and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity on May 12th
  • International Nursing Day on May 12th
  • International Hummus Day on May 13th
  • Friday the 13th on May 13th, 2016 — Please see my blog post, “Are you a Superstitious Sleeper?”
  • International Migratory Bird Day on May 14th
  • International Coaching Week (ICW) (International Coaching Federation) from May 16th to May 22nd — Please read my blog post, “How to use the Acceptance Factor to Shift Subconscious Beliefs.”
  • Colour Days!!! Turquoise/Teal Day (let this colour inspire you throughout the day) (public Facebook Group) on May 17th
  • International Day Against Homophobia on May 17th
  • World Hypertension Day on May 17th
  • International Museum Day on May 18th
  • World Autoimmune Arthritis Day on May 20th
  • National Learn to Swim Day on May 21st
  • World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development on May 21st
  • Paramedic Services Week from May 22nd to May 28th
  • Victoria Day on May 23rd — Please read my blog post, “Victoria is the Fashion Capital of Canada.”
  • Sunscreen Day on May 27th
  • Amnesty International Day on May 28th
  • International Jazz Day on May 28th
  • National Multiple Births Awareness Day on May 28th
  • World No-Tobacco Day on May 31st
  • Bike to Work Week BC from May 30th to June 5th

In June, we have…

In July, we have…

  • Birthflowers of the Month include: Delphinium, Larkspur, Water Lily
  • Birthstones of the Month include: Carnelian, Ruby
  • National Blueberry Month (U.S.)
  • Personal Health Month — Please see my blog post, “Stay Cool as a Cucumber this Summer.”
  • Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanups from March 1st to July 31st — Please read my blog post, “Clean Up Crew Heads to Gonzales Bay Beach.”
  • Canada Day on July 1st — Please read my blog post, “My Pick for the #1 Spa Ingredient Native to Canada (2014)”
  • Independence Day (U.S.) on July 4th
  • International Kissing Day on July 6th
  • World Chocolate Day on July 7th
  • World Population Day on July 11th
  • National Nude Day on July 14th
  • Colour Days!!! Blue Day (let this colour inspire you throughout the day) (public Facebook Group) on July 17th
  • Cousins Day on July 24th
  • International Self-Care Day (ISF) on July 24th — Please read my blog post, “Is Self-Care Selfish?”
  • Parents Day on July 24th
  • Aunt and Uncle Day on July 26th
  • World Hepatitis Day on July 28th
  • Color Me Rad 5K Run (Vancouver) on July 30th
  • International Day of Friendship on July 30th — Please see my blog post, “Checklist for a Successful Spa Party.”

In August, we have…

In September, we have…

In October, we have…

In November, we have…

In December, we have…

Sharing a Tip From My Creating Wellness Ebook on How to Sleep Better

Posted by Maria on January 7, 2016 under Aromatherapy, Books, Magazines, Music, Creating Wellness ebook, Dear Homespunspa, Energy Healing, Esthetics School, Fitness, Gift Ideas, Green Living, Home spa, Homespunspa, Homespunspa Wellness Tour, Life Coaching, Massages, Meditation, Mobile Spa, Newspapers and Newsworthy, Nutrition, Photo gallery, Seasonal, Self-Care, Sleep, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Spirituality, Stress Management and Relaxation, TV Shows & Movies, Uncategorized, Weight Management, Wellness | Read the First Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Author of Creating Wellness

I’m so excited to announce that my Creating Wellness ebook is now available on Amazon.com and I’d like to share a tip on how to sleep better to give you a taste of what’s inside.

Creating Wellness ebook now on Amazon.com

First a few words on the importance of being healthy.

As Count Tyrone Rugen said in The Princess Bride, “Get your rest. If you haven’t got your health, you haven’t got anything.”

Being healthy means having the freedom to do whatever you want with your life.

I believe many illnesses are largely preventable and it all comes down to a person’s ability to relax. I wrote Creating Wellness because I’ve observed that high levels of stress are lurking behind the scenes of many illnesses and managing stress is a big piece of the healthy lifestyle puzzle.

Having a chronic disease is not only challenging, but it keeps people from pursuing their dreams and achieving their goals. Poor health is often a huge, all-consuming distraction and results in people spending their time seeking medical attention, standing in line to fill prescriptions, dealing with side effects of medications, worrying about finances and/or the future, and trying to cope with pain, etc., instead of doing their own things that bring them joy.
The good news is, there’s still time to make small lifestyle changes NOW — like quitting smoking, exercising more, fueling your body with more nutritious food, getting regular massages, establishing healthy sleep habits, and speaking your truth — that will save you tremendous expense and suffering later. Maria Koropecky ~ Creating Wellness

Creating Wellness includes practical tips to help people relax and folding them into your life may prevent illnesses from showing up in the first place.

Here’s a tip on how to sleep better:

Also, make sure your bedroom is as dark as can be while you’re sleeping and you don’t have any bluish lights turned on (like the lights from your TV, computer, cell phone and even your alarm clock/radio) in the hours before you hit the pillow.
Blue lights can really interfere with the sleep cycle because historically, blue lights mean daylight in our brain, which means it’s time for us to be busy and productive, not resting. Maria Koropecky ~ Creating Wellness

Turn off blue lights to sleep better at night.

Turn off blue lights to sleep better at night.

Creating Wellness is also available on Amazon Canada.

This short ebook is a quick read, has lots of cheery photos, and contains some practical tips on how to relax and manage stress. If you want to be healthier and are committed to making some lifestyle changes, than reading Creating Wellness is a good start.

# # #

To schedule an interview with Creating Wellness author, Maria Koropecky, please email.

Also, if you get a chance to read Creating Wellness, please leave a review on my Amazon page. I’d really appreciate it! Thanks!

Help, I’m Losing My Hair!

Posted by Maria on January 10, 2015 under Aromatherapy, Ayurveda & Elemental Nature, Fitness, Green Living, Home spa, Ingredients, Life Coaching, Massages, Nutrition, Photo gallery, Self-Care, Skin Care, Sleep, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Stress Management and Relaxation, Uncategorized, Weight Management, Wellness, Yoga | 2 Comments to Read

by Maria Alexandra Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

Help! I'm losing my hair.Linda gathered some of her shoulder-length, strawberry-blonde hair, ran her fingers through it, and pulled out several strands to show us. “Look,” she said. “But this is nothing compared to what normally happens when I brush my hair and check the brush.”

My friend Linda was recently talking about her significant hair loss and as someone in the business of helping people manage stress with Homespunspa Mobile Spa, my ears perked up.

Linda is a new mom in her early 30’s. She also works outside the home as a manager in a stressful office job. She’s a smoker and is overweight but exercises a couple of times a week.

Losing hair can be quite traumatic for many people and my friend’s rapidly thinning hair was really bothering her. She figured it had something to do with a recent stressful event in her life.

I thought I’d do some research on female hair loss to help her out and yes, sometimes hair loss can stem from stress.

Telogen effluvium is considered to be the most common type of stress-related hair loss. In this case, a stressful event may pre-maturely send hair follicles into the resting phase of the growth cycle which stops the hair from growing any further. The hair will start to fall out after a few months and the time lapse makes it difficult to tie the hair loss back to a specific event and to know the root cause that triggered the stress symptoms in the first place.

The stressful event that triggers the hair loss a few months down the road can be physiological and/or emotional in nature — something like a car accident, illness, surgery, a move, a job loss, or giving birth. The good news is, often times, the hair will start to grow back once the body has had enough time to recover from the trauma.

5 Ways to Encourage Healthy Hair Growth

There are certain things you can do starting today that can stimulate hair growth including Managing Stress, Getting Enough Sleep, Fueling your Body with Nutritious Foods, Moving your Body, and Taking Care of Your Hair.

1. Manage Stress

In my opinion, managing stress is the key to living a healthy life and getting regular massages is a great way to alleviate stress. The benefits of massage include:

  • reduced muscular tension and stiffness;
  • chronic pain management;
  • relief from tension headaches, neck pain, shoulder pain, back pain and carpal tunnel syndrome;
  • reduced fatigue, anxiety and depression;
  • boost of endorphins (the feel-good hormone);
  • increased circulation;
  • detoxification;
  • better posture to name a few.

If you’ve never had a professional massage before, you’re in for a real treat. But if you’re unsure about whether or not you’d enjoy a massage, I recommend looking into chair massages to start. All you have to do is sit in a special kind of chair and you don’t even have to disrobe at all and that’s what I recommended for Linda.

Talking to a professional therapist or coach is another great way to minimize stress. I guarantee that if you get whatever you’ve been thinking and worrying about off your chest, you will feel better. It’s just a matter of finding someone who will actively listen without judgment in a safe and sacred space.

If you’re looking to work with a coach, I’m offering a zero cost, GET THINGS OFF YOUR CHEST, 30-minute introductory coaching session to people who are feeling stressed out, so please check out the coaching page on www.homespunspa.com and contact me, if you’re interested.

2. Get Enough Sleep

Lack of sleep can wreak havoc on your health and your hair. No matter what day of the week it is, try to keep a regular sleep schedule from night to night and aim for seven to eight hours of sleep a night.

3. Fuel Your Body with Nutritious Foods

A poor diet will show up in your hair one way or another and eating healthy foods each and every day goes a long way toward looking and feeling your best.

Starting with breakfast, eat at least three meals a day that are well-balanced and include lean protein and fruits and vegetables. Avoid processed foods, sugary foods, and foods that are high in trans fats.

Also, consider taking vitamin and mineral supplements, especially:

  • B complex vitamins (which are good for stress);
  • vitamins C and E, (which are good for skin and hair);
  • Omega-3 fatty acids, and Selenium, (which are good for skin and hair); and
  • Magnesium and Zinc (which are also good for stress).

Also re-evaluate your medications. Sometimes, hair loss can be a side-effect of certain meds and if you suspect your prescriptions are contributing to your hair loss, talk to your doctor to see about making some adjustments.

4. Move your body

Our bodies are built to move and exercising is a great way to release stress. There are thousands of different activities to try like stretching, walking, running, swimming, and dancing so do something that you enjoy several times a week.

The benefits of regular exercise include:

  • better balance and coordination;
  • healthy body weight;
  • better mood;
  • healthier heart;
  • lower blood pressure;
  • increased energy; and
  • improved appearance to name a few.

5. Take care of your hair

A visit to a hair salon every couple of months not only keeps your hair looking good, but getting that massage during the shampoo time will increase circulation in the scalp which promotes hair growth. And chatting with your hair stylist can do wonders for your mood, too.

Also, don’t add any unnecessary stress or tension to your hair, especially if you’re going through a period of hair loss. For the time being, avoid harsh chemical treatments or using styling instruments that involve heat (like blow-dryers and flat irons), and try not to constantly wear your hair in a pony tail all day either.

Use Hair Care Products with these Ingredients

Look for shampoos and conditioners with the following ingredients on their labels to stimulate hair growth. If you can’t find suitable hair care products in any stores, make your own customized recipes for your hair type:

  • Amla, Argan Oil, Avocado Oil, Basil, Basil Essential Oil, Bay Laurel Essential Oil, Bayberry Root Bark, Catnip, Cedarwood Essential Oil, Chamomile, Chamomile Essential Oil, Gotu Kola, Hibiscus, Honeysuckle, Juniper Berry Essential Oil, Melissa (Lemon Balm) Essential Oil, Nettles, Passionfruit Seed Oil, Quinine, Rosemary, Rosemary Essential Oil, Sage, Sea Buckthorn, Sorrel, Southernwood, Soy Milk, Soybeans, Spanish Sage Essential Oil, Spearmint, Spearmint Essential Oil, Stevia, Thyme, Thyme Essential Oil, Tonic Water, Walnut Oil, Yarrow, Yarrow Essential Oil, and Ylang Ylang Essential Oil.

Our hair gives us clues about our health and if you are noticing changes in your hair, like hair loss (more than 50 to 100 strands a day) or dandruff, or too many bad hair days in a row, then evaluate what’s going on and take steps to remedy your situation as soon as you can.

Hair loss doesn’t have to be permanent and there are many ways you can encourage your hair to grow again naturally.

Unravel the Mysteries of Female Hair Loss: I’ve come across this really great ebook (affiliate product) if you’re interested in learning tips for successful hair regrowth. Click Here!

Have you ever experienced significant hair loss? If yes, what did you do about it? Please leave your comments. Thanks and I hope my blog post, “Help, I’m losing my hair” was helpful.

My Pick for the #1 Spa Ingredient Native to Canada (2014)

Posted by Maria on July 1, 2014 under Aromatherapy, Ayurveda & Elemental Nature, Facials, Home spa, Homespunspa, How to throw a home spa pajama party the Homespunspa way book, Ingredients, Manicures, Massages, Nutrition, Pedicures, Photo gallery, Seasonal, Self-Care, Skin Care, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Stress Management and Relaxation, Travel, Uncategorized | Be the First to Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

Happy Canada Day!

You may be surprised by my pick for the #1 Spa Ingredient Native to Canada in 2014.

I’m going to go out on a limb and not pick something obvious. I’ve decided to go with Holly Oil (Ilex aquifolium) this year.

Yes, I realize Holly is an invasive species and the berries are poisonous for humans to eat and it’s more associated with December 25th than with July 1st, but Holly berries are the same lively red as our Canadian flag and Holly oil is a great Canadian spa product.

Since 1993, Holly oil has been manufactured in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, Canada by All Deep Neuromuscular Massage as a massage oil.

Pressed from Holly leaves and branches, Holly Oil makes an excellent massage oil because it’s a clear, lightweight, non-scented, and non-staining massage oil that travels well over skin. And it will not cause allergic reactions because it’s not a nut-based oil. And it will not clog pores or leave an oily residue on skin. Holly oil is also easily absorbed by the skin and has an unlimited shelf life.

Chances are, when you get a massage at a spa, the massage therapist is using Holly oil.

Holly Oil Profile:

Here are some applications for Holly oil.

Home spa recipes: massage oils, aromatherapy blends, creams, lotions, soaps.

Role in cosmetic formulation: skin conditioning.

Face: Add to facials to moisturize skin, relax facial expression, de-stress.

Skin Types: Use especially on NORMAL or OILY skin.

Massage Oil: Add to massage oil and body care products to nourish, condition, heal and soothe the skin, rub sore muscles, preserve blend, carry ingredients.

Hands & Feet: Add to manicure or pedicure to cleanse, moisturize, condition skin, for massage, to treat nails.

Soap: Add to soap recipes.

Balances: Kapha Dosha and Water/Earth Elemental Natures and Root Chakra.

Region: Canada

Find: online and in spas.

So that’s Holly oil in a nutshell.  Let me know if you agree or disagree with my 2014 pick for the #1 spa ingredient native to Canada.

School’s No-Touch Policy is Cold

Posted by Maria on November 6, 2013 under Fitness, Massages, Newspapers and Newsworthy, Photo gallery, Pop-Psychology, Self-Care, Stress Management and Relaxation, Uncategorized | Be the First to Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

Yesterday, I heard that an elementary school in nearby Aldergrove, B.C. introduced a no-touch policy for its students and I’d like to add my two cents to this conversation.

According to my research, the kindergarten kids at Coghlan Fundamental Elementary School are no longer allowed to do things like play tag or hold hands because there has been some rough-housing lately and it’s getting “out of hand.” Parents of these children got a letter saying, “We have unfortunately had to ban all forms of hands-on play for the immediate future…we will have a zero-tolerance policy.” If the kids do break the rules and make some sort of physical contact with another student, they will be grounded during play time and/or sent to the office.

As an esthetician, therapeutic touch is my business and I feel this policy is downright awful on so many levels. Where do I start?

First of all, touch is a fundamental need. Touch at its best is healing, calming, nourishing, soothing, comforting. It creates bonds between people. It feels good.

If people don’t receive loving touch during their first few weeks, months and years of life and are not held as infants, they are not likely to survive. And if the children who are deprived of human contact happen to live, their emotional and physical growth is stunted and they don’t develop a sense of empathy or compassion for others. It’s really sad.

When I look back on my kindergarten days, I remember learning how to do a cartwheel which was really thrilling. During recess, I liked the swing sets, jumping rope, playing hopscotch, throwing a ball against the wall, digging in the sandbox and singing patty-cake songs, like “Say, say, my playmate, come on an play with me” while clapping my hands with a partner. Although I wasn’t fond of playing tag (because it involved running), I still played the game often enough with the neighbourhood kids and my school mates. It was part of the package deal of being a kid. I couldn’t imagine someone saying. “You can’t do that anymore.”

Of course, not all physical contact is good either. Sometimes touch can be uncomfortable, inappropriate, mean-spirited, violent and/or damaging. Kids should be able to tell the difference and that comes with context and experience. One size does not fit all and placing a ban on all forms of hands-on play, robs these kids of developing that knowledge.

The school administrators said they want to keep things “safe” for everybody. I read a bumper sticker awhile ago that said something like, “I’m not going to tip-toe through life just so I can get to death safely” and I wish I had taken a photo of it. In any case, staying safe all of the time is not living life. How else would I have learned how to do a cartwheel among many other successes? Occasionally, kids will prove the law of gravity and will fall off their bikes or the jungle gym and will skin their knees and chins but that shouldn’t keep them from riding their bikes or climbing at all.

With this kind of no-touch policy in place during their formative years, what are these kids supposed to think as they navigate through the rest of their lives? What conclusions are they supposed to draw? Will they be traumatized by this policy and carry a fear of touching others around with them in the back of their mind for life? Will they be able to stand up for themselves if they are being bullied? Will they lose their job because a co-worker has rubbed them the wrong way? Will they freak out on the bus because someone sat too close to them? Will they wake up one day and wonder why they can’t have more loving, healthy and intimate relationships with others? Depriving kids of human touch, especially during play with their peers, (in spite of good intentions), is not a trivial matter. It can have lasting effects that we can’t foresee at this stage.

This no-touch policy, which by the way is not unique to this school and has been implemented in a school in Connecticut and in Australia, is somewhat related to another troubling trend I see in our culture. Nowadays, people are all about their handheld devices. They keep checking their contraptions every chance they get. If a group of people is sitting around a table for some odd reason, chances are, most of them are texting someone who is elsewhere rather than chatting with the person next to them. Somehow, the person far away has become more important than the person close by. Some people fear everyone’s social skills are suffering as a result of our lack of real, face-to-face time and our dependence on computers. In my opinion, this no-touch policy just reinforces that trend.

Well, I’m not going to hide behind a prop every minute of every day and I’m not going to keep my hands to myself. As much as I like my iPhone and my laptop, I’m going to go out into the world and meet people face to face and keep on doing my esthetics and giving relaxing massages every chance I get.

I’m hoping this whole “no-touch” thing blows over before it gets too entrenched. Life is a contact sport. You can’t legislate touching — especially among 5-year-olds.

In my opinion, a no-touch policy is cold and impersonal and is not the solution. What happend to just having a “no fighting policy?”

Homespunspa is Featured in Spa Life Magazine

Posted by Maria on July 16, 2013 under Books, Magazines, Music, Dating, Home spa, Homespunspa Wellness Tour, Massages, Mobile Spa, Newspapers and Newsworthy, Photo gallery, Spa Party, Stress Management and Relaxation, Travel, Uncategorized, Wellness | Read the First Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner
Spa Life Magazine, Home Is Where The Spa Is

Spa Life Magazine, Home Is Where The Spa Is

As many of you know, earlier this year, I went to Toronto, Ontario on a Wellness Tour and one of the highlights, definitely, was when I was approached, out of the blue, by Lauren Nesbitt-Baggerman for an interview in Spa Life Magazine.

Of course, I said “Yes, I’d love to be featured in your magazine.” What a lovely, unexpected opportunity.

Lauren was working on an article for their upcoming Romance edition and wanted to introduce her readers to the beauty of mobile spas.  She specifically wanted to know, “What is the benefit of at home spa treatments and how does Homespunspa deliver spa treatments for couples.”

At that time, Valentine’s Day was just around the corner and it was easy for me to answer her questions. If you’d like to know my answers, please click on the accompanying image — I’m first up in the article. Alternatively, you can download a pdf copy of the article, “Home is where the spa is, mobile spas come to you,” at  SpaLife-Romance2013-HomeisWheretheSpaIs.

I love doing interviews. I love connecting with people and sharing information and having great conversations. If you’d like to arrange an interview with me like Lauren did about mobile spas, esthetics and/or wellness for your magazine, book, blog, radio show, tv show, youtube video and the like, please send me an email and I’d be happy to chat.

Spa Life Magazine is published by Harworth Publishing in Guelph Ontario. Thank you, Lauren, for the great article.

SPARTY! So Glamorous!

Posted by Maria on June 26, 2013 under Books, Magazines, Music, Facials, Fashion, Manicures, Massages, Mobile Spa, Newspapers and Newsworthy, Pedicures, Photo gallery, Spa Party, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Stress Management and Relaxation, TV Shows & Movies, Travel, Uncategorized | Read the First Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

Have you ever wondered what it’s like behind the scenes at a red-carpet event like the Grammy’s and the Tony’s? Well, these days, in the midst of all of the lights, camera, and action, the award-winning celebrities have been trading in their designer gowns and tuxes for terry robes and slippers and are sipping champagne cocktails and wine spritzers, and are soaking in revitalizing manicures, pedicures, shaves and massages – all thanks to SPARTY!

SPARTY!, (“Spa” plus “Party” – two of my favourite words),  transforms the behind-the-curtain, backstage into a stylish, multi-room spa and takes the ordinary, serene and quiet day spa experience to a whole new planet.

If you’re planning on hosting a spa party this summer and are looking for some ideas on how to make your spa party extra special and more glamorous, I’ve got a real treat for you today. I’ve recently sat down with Alexis Ufland, owner of SPARTY!, the hottest star trend in Hollywood, to talk about the art of throwing a star-studded spa party. Here’s our interview:

Maria: How did you come up with the SPARTY! idea?

ALEXIS: I hosted a bachelorette weekend for my best friend and we did a spa day at one of the top spas in NYC. We changed into robes and slippers and then all separated for our spa treatments. When it was over, we realized the best part of the day was the 10-15 minutes when we were all together in the spa lounge. Hence SPARTY! was born. I wanted to create an event where there was more spa lounge time and less time apart in treatment rooms.

Getting a shoulder massage in the lounge. Photo courtesy of SPARTY!

Maria: Can you paint a picture of what it’s like to be at a SPARTY!, backstage, behind the scenes, at a star-studded, red-carpet event?

ALEXIS: We usually are backstage at Star Studded events a couple days before the night of the actual event, so the energy is exciting and fun. The celebrities are coming in from all over the world and when they get to the SPARTY! area, they are pretty happy to find a place where they can get a massage and a drink!

A waiter carries "Spartinis" at a SPARTY! in NYC. Photo courtesy of SPARTY!

Maria: Are there any highlights of any SPARTY!’s that you can share with us? What was the most memorable SPARTY! venue so far?

ALEXIS: We did a SPARTY! for Shaquille O’Neal’s birthday party in Miami. It was a “Scarface” theme and we had to create the spa to look like a scene from the movie. It was so fun, all the guests were really into it and it was a great night.

Men like mani's too. Photo courtesy of SPARTY!

Maria: What are you doing during the SPARTY’s? Are you taking photos, mingling with the guests, overhearing interesting conversations :) , dealing with unexpected glitches, performing the services etc.?

ALEXIS: You will usually find me filling up empty wine glasses!

Sharing a laugh with friends. Photo courtesy of SPARTY!

Maria: What is it about wearing a terry robe at a party that makes things more fun?

ALEXIS: Hanging out with your girlfriends in a robe is really what sets the mood for a relaxing fun event. The goal of SPARTY! is to allow guests to drink a glass of wine, chat with your girlfriends and get a spa treatment all at the same time.

Sharing a laugh on the couch at a spa party. Photo courtesy of SPARTY!

Maria: Can you give some tips on how to make a spa party extra special and more luxurious?

ALEXIS: The goal is to allow girls to eat, drink, lounge, gossip and get spa treatments all at the same time. When putting together your party, keep this goal in mind when planning every detail. Girls love to lounge – make sure there are enough couches, chaises etc. Make sure all food is bite size finger foods so the guests don’t mess up their manicure. Get large enough robes so that everyone feels comfortable. Add some non-spa-related activities like Tarot Card Readers to mix up the energy. Make sure you have a lot of booze!

Take the spa party outside by the pool this summer. Photo courtesy of SPARTY!

Maria: Thank you, Alexis, for your time and stories and for sending such fun photos from your recent SPARTY’s. I’m sure many people will be inspired to have their own spa parties this summer.

I hope this chat gives you a taste of how much fun spa parties are. If you’re travelling to New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Dallas, Washington DC, Boston, Philadelphia and San Francisco this year, make sure you get yourself invited to a SPARTY! Go to www.spa-party.com for more info. Maybe you’ll rub elbows with stars like Megan Mullaly, Kim Cattrall, Omar Epps and Justin Timberlake – and if you do, let me know!

And if you’re staying in Victoria, BC, this summer, keep Homespunspa Mobile Spa in mind for your upcoming spa party. We’ll make sure to unfurl the red carpet and glam it up for your special day.

11 Things You Can Do To Prevent Stretch Marks

Posted by Maria on June 11, 2013 under Bath and Body, Guest Bloggers, Home spa, Ingredients, Massages, Mobile Spa, Nutrition, Photo gallery, Self-Care, Skin Care, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Uncategorized, Weight Management, Wellness | 5 Comments to Read

By Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

One of my readers, Leah of Healing Natural Oils, kindly shared this groovy info-graphic with me about stretch marks and in turn, I’m sharing it with you. I know I’ve had my share of stretch marks over the years and I’ll definitely keep these 11 tips in mind the next time I come across some off-colour, squiggly lines and scars on my skin.

11 Tips to Prevent Stretch Marks

  1. Stay Hydrated
  2. Eat Healthy
  3. Exercise
  4. Massage
  5. Creams & Oils
  6. Routine
  7. Avoid Caffeine
  8. Collagen
  9. Vitamin A
  10. Vitamin E
  11. Vitamin C

I’m going to add a #12 to this list: Make an appointment with an esthetician like me. We can help improve the health of your skin, including fading stretch marks, by applying natural, skin-friendly products, offering relaxing massages and healing body therapies, and by providing customized skin care treatments.

And by the way, these tips don’t just work on stretch marks, they offer all kinds of health benefits that will increase your quality of life overall. Enjoy!

Stretch Marks Infographic

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