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!

Are you a walking coat hanger? (part 2)

Posted by Maria on October 7, 2011 under Feet, How to throw a home spa pajama party the Homespunspa way book, Ingredients, Nutrition, Pedicures, Photo gallery, Pop-Psychology, Sleep, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Spirituality, Stress Management and Relaxation, Uncategorized, Weight Management, Wellness | 2 Comments to Read

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

“What a pain in the neck!” I’ve never thought about that expression literally before until I started writing these posts about muscle tension in the neck and shoulders.

As you may recall from “Are you a walking coat hanger, (part 1),” I decided to write this post to help my friend, Angelina. She has been having problems with tension in her neck even though she exercises regularly, sits at an ergonomically-designed workstation and has visited a chiropractor. What else can she do to alleviate the tension and the pain?

5 More Ways to Relax Your Neck and Shoulders

1) Pillows: Since how well you sleep directly influences the quality of your life, I think it’s important to know a thing or two about pillows. How many pillows you use, what they’re made of, how soft or hard they are, the position of your body while you’re sleeping and how your head rests on your pillow(s) make a huge difference to your sleep. Muscle tension in the neck during the day may actually be triggered by an uncomfortable sleep from the night before. Your pillow should keep your head and neck aligned with your spine, so make sure your neck is resting at a comfortable angle. You can also place pillows between your knees to take the strain and pressure off your back, if you sleep on your side, or you can place a pillow under your knees, if you sleep on your back.

2) Reiki: I had my first Reiki session in June and I was fascinated by the technique. Reiki is a method that heals the body, mind and spirit using gentle, non-intrusive hand placements along the body, starting from the head. Reiki practitioners simply transfer universal healing energy from their hands to consenting individuals to encourage feelings of relaxation and well-being.  Although their hands don’t actually touch your body (as in massage), it feels like they are and you can certainly feel the heat that is being generated — and that’s a really cool sensation. Your stress will evaporate into thin air.  If you’d like the name of a talented and intuitive Reiki practitioner, please email me and I’ll forward her contact info to you.

3) Reflexology: With over 7,000 nerves connecting the feet to the rest of the body, it’s a no brainer why we look to the feet when we need to de-stress. Most people love to have their feet massaged, pampered and touched. According to the Reflexology Association of Canada, “Reflexology is a natural healing art, based on the principle that there are reflexes in the feet and hands which correspond to every part of the body.” Reflexology maps the neurological relationships between zones on the soles of the feet to organs in the rest of the body and if you touch a specific area in the foot, it will point to a corresponding organ and that area of the body will feel relief. In Reflexology, if someone touches the “neck” on your big toe than they are also in a sense massaging your traditional neck. Also the area along the outside edge of your foot, below the pinky toe, corresponds to your shoulders.

4) Tense and release every part of your body: Being tense is a very common affliction in our stress-filled culture. Tension is caused by muscles that stiffen up when we feel the need to protect ourselves or defend ourselves from a perceived, potential threat. We’re getting ready to fight or freeze or flee. Holding the muscles over many hours is terribly painful and uncomfortable and doing that will lead to headaches, gastrointestinal disorders and back problems.

To remedy tense muscles, lie on your back in a quiet room and let your legs and arms fall away from your body. Make a mental note of how your body is feeling before you start this exercise so you have a reference point for later. In your mind, you are going to take a tour of your body, tensing and then releasing every part of it along the way. Starting with your feet, curl your toes under and hold the contraction for a few seconds. Meanwhile, hold your breath as well. Then release the contraction and exhale. Breathe. Then go to the arches of your feet. Hold the contraction. Hold your breath. Let go. Breathe again. From your feet, move on to the calves and repeat the steps. Travel to your knees, thighs, hips, buttocks, lower back, middle back, upper back, shoulders, neck, scalp, forehead, eyes, nose, mouth, chin, face, shoulders (again), lungs, waist, tummy, upper arms, elbows, forearms, wrists, hands, and fingers, remembering to consciously tense each of the muscles and joints, holding your breath and letting it all go. Finish by tensing the entire body at once. Hold your breath and than instantly release the tension. Are you feeling more relaxed now?

5) Nutrition: Eating a balanced diet will help your body cope better with stress so aim to eat healthy food 90% of the time.  Are you getting enough vitamins, minerals and antioxidants on a daily basis? If not, consider adding supplements to your routine.

  • The B vitamins, in particular, have long been used to help people who suffer from stress.
  • Put Vitamin C on your shopping list, too.
  • In terms of minerals, magnesium and iron are known to help with sleep.
  • Antioxidants will act as the “clean up crew” in your body and will reduce the amount of harmful free radicals in your system.

As I’m doing the research on this topic, I’m learning that eating oats regularly, will help keep you calm, prevent depression and will lower cholesterol. Also, pumpkin seeds will help you deal with stress because they contain high levels of zinc, iron, calcium and B vitamins. Other foods that are high in B vitamins include: whole grains, brown rice, lean meat, brewer’s yeast, royal jelly, wheatgerm, bananas, liver, peanuts, black-eyed beans. Adding these foods to your meals will help you manage your stress which will, in turn, minimize your neck and shoulder tension.

I hope these tips will help you in your quest to manage stress.

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