Survey Says 48% Have Missed Work Because Of Stress-Related Illness

Posted by Maria on April 5, 2017 under Creating Wellness ebook, Life Coaching, Meditation, Mobile Spa, Newspapers and Newsworthy, Self-Care, Sleep, Stress Management and Relaxation, Uncategorized, Wellness | Be the First to Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

I have a Workplace Wellness Survey on Survey Monkey where I’m asking people about stress.

Because April is National Stress Awareness Month, I thought I’d analyze the results of my survey, which has been active since 2013, though I haven’t managed to collect that many responses. Although I don’t claim that this is a scientifically-accurate survey, I still think it has some merit.

Most people report that they are experiencing varying degrees of the following symptoms of stress:

  1. Headaches / Migraines
  2. Muscle Tightness/ Back Ache/ Stiff Neck
  3. Insomnia or Sleeping Too Much
  4. Sleep is Disturbed or Unrefreshing / Nightmares
  5. Lack of Concentration / Fatigue / Lethargy
  6. Proneness to Errors
  7. Acne Breakouts
  8. Nail Biting / Hair Chewing
  9. Significant Hair Loss
  10. Depression / Anxiety
  11. Anger / Resentment
  12. On the Verge of Crying / Can’t Stop Crying
  13. Confusion / Memory Loss
  14. Desire to “Run Away”
  15. Chain Cigarette Smoking
  16. Drinking too much Alcohol / Drinking Alone / Abusing Drugs
  17. Poor Judgement
  18. Menstrual Irregularities
  19. Overeating / Under-eating
  20. Diarrhea / Constipation / Nausea
  21. Rapid Weight Gain / Weight Loss
  22. Swearing / Irritability / Impatience
  23. Feeling Overwhelmed
  24. No Sense of Enjoyment / No Sense of Humour
  25. Problems in Relationships
  26. Over-Indulging
  27. Reckless Behaviour
  28. Often Get a Cold / the Flu / Allergies
  29. Accident Proneness / Clumsiness

Not surprising.

By the way, the symptom of Muscle Tightness, Back Ache, and Stiff Neck appears to be the most common for this group.

I’m noticing that most people, including me, tolerate their stress symptoms and keep going as if “not feeling great” is normal. It’s like we’re used to our headaches and sleepless nights and allergies and tense relationships and irritability and however else stress shows up for us. It’s just the same old, same old stress everyday.

I understand that kind of stress, but for some people, their stress has escalated into more serious circumstances. Let me direct you to question #4.

Q4: Have you suffered from a stress-related illness within the last 1 to 2 years and have missed work as a result?

Have you suffered from a stress-related illness within the last 1 to 2 years and have missed work as a result?

I am truly surprised that out of the 27 responses to this question so far, 13 people said “Yes,” they have missed work in the last 1 to 2 years because of a stress-related illness, while 14 said  ”No.”

Let me repeat that:

Survey Says 48% Have Missed Work Because Of Stress-Related Illness.

That’s right, almost half of the people surveyed have missed work because of an illness that resulted from chronic stress. I think that’s significant.

It sounds to me that going on stress leave is fairly common.

How would you answer that question? You’re welcome to add your two cents and fill out the 10-question,  Workplace Wellness Survey on Survey Monkey any time.

In the survey, I also ask, “In your opinion, in the last 5 years, has stress in the workplace decreased, stayed the same, increased, or you haven’t noticed one way or the other.” In this case, 50% of the respondents feel or perceive that stress has increased in the workplace over the last five years.

It seems to me that stress is running rampant in the workplace. What does that say about our culture, about our economy? I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

In the meantime, if you’re noticing how stress is affecting your own health and/or your bottom line and you want to do something about it, please contact me, Maria. I might be able to help you.

As a coach, healer, and author, I show people who are struggling with stress, how to relax and have peace of mind and I’d be happy to assist with your Workplace Wellness Program. We have options!

Option 1: Chair Massages

Remember how I mentioned that Muscle Tightness, Back Ache, and Stiff Neck were on the top of the list of symptoms associated with stress? When you hire our team of massage therapists for your workplace wellness program or special events, not only will you show your thoughtful appreciation for your staff’s hard work, your employees will experience:
  • relief from muscle tension;
  • lower levels of the stress hormone, “cortisol;”
  • less stress and fatigue;
  • increased mental alertness;
  • improved creative problem solving skills; and
  • fewer sick days
…which translates into increased productivity and higher profits for your organization. It’s win-win.

Option 2: Have an Office Spa Party

As a mobile spa, Homespunspa can provide mini spa services in the workplace. We offer mini mani’s, mini pedi’s, mini facials, mini massages, and more. Each service lasts around 30 minutes so everyone can have a turn, and you can mix and match the services however you like. Although the spa treatments are very relaxing, our clients say they go back to work feeling more refreshed and energized. Happy and relaxed employees are productive employees.

Option 3: Read my Creating Wellness Ebook

In 2015, I wrote an ebook called, Creating Wellness.

I wrote Creating Wellness because I believe many illnesses are preventable and it all comes down to a person’s ability to relax. 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.

Creating Wellness is a quick read, has lots of cheery photos, and contains some practical tips on how to relax and manage stress, including Mindfulness and Wellness Coaching.

I can certainly create a talk or program around my Creating Wellness ebook and we can use the ebook as a supporting document and bonus for participating in your Workplace Wellness Program.

By offering the Creating Wellness ebook as a gift to your staff, the ebook can be a tangible take-away for the participants in your Workplace Wellness Program that they can refer to for life. Amazon has a handy feature called “Give as a Gift” which you can use to send someone a Kindle ebook via email, which will include a redemption code.

Option 4: Hire a Wellness Coach for your Staff

Coaching allows us to become the best version of ourselves and gives each member of the team, the power to make the best decisions for themselves and the people they work for. It’s also a safe place for people to express themselves which is highly restorative.

With my thoughtful questions and active listening skills, I’ll help staff members, either in a group or one to one,

  • get clarity about where they’re heading,
  • uncover what matters most to them so they focus more on their goals and not distractions,
  • clear out the blocks that may be in the way,
  • get to a place of acceptance,
  • become more self-aware,
  • trust their intuition, and
  • take action steps,
  • so they feel OK, safe, enough, and above all, empowered to move forward.

Ultimately, I will deliver results including fewer requests for stress leave.

Let me know by email at homespunspa at shaw dot ca if you think your staff and clients might find the topic of stress management and self-care interesting and I’d be happy to give a talk, bring my crew to provide mobile spa services, and offer my wellness coaching services. And even if you don’t live in Victoria, BC, that’s OK, we’re mobile, we travel!

I’m open to hearing your ideas and to design a program that will be of value to you and your staff. Let’s work together to take stress and drudgery out of the workplace.

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!

Ask An Herbalist About Your Insomnia

Posted by Maria on August 30, 2012 under 31 Blog Posts in 31 Days, Guest Bloggers, Ingredients, Massages, Nutrition, Sleep, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Stress Management and Relaxation, Uncategorized, Wellness, Yoga | Be the First to Comment

by Marguerite Wright, Guest Blogger

People are asking their herbalist for that special remedy to help them get a good night’s sleep, but getting rid of insomnia may not be as simple as taking an herbal supplement. With natural healing, the goal is to get to the root cause of the issue and deal with that, rather than covering up the symptoms with medications.

More and more people are seeking remedies for sleep disorders because they are suffering from insomnia or they are struggling to remain asleep throughout the night. Unfortunately sleep disorders lead to more health issues such as a suppressed immune system, stressed nerves, over active or under active glands and drained energy reserves.

It’s so important to get the proper amount of sleep in REM (rapid eye movement) — also known as dream sleep — every night. This is how the body rejuvenates itself and does the repair and maintenance it needs. The needed hours of sleep varies from person to person, some needing only 5 or 6 hours while others needing 8 to 10 hours.

Tips for better sleep

  • Establish a bedtime routine: In these stressful times we live in, we have to work harder to de-stress ourselves and do things to improve our rest. It’s important that we form a routine where we have a regular sleep pattern, retiring to bed at the same time each night.
  • Sleep in a dark room because Melatonin is a hormone that is produced in the pineal gland when it is dark. It directly influences the brain to induce sleep and is further broken down into the neurotransmitter, serotonin, which helps both sleep and mood. This shows why sleeping with the television on can disturb your sleep because it is a light source.
  • Depression, anxiety, and worrying are linked to insomnia. Try to clear your mind before bed. Write down your thoughts to ease your mind. Meditation and deep breathing will help you to release all your anxiety and stress.
  • Use diet and exercise in your favor. Don’t eat a heavy meal right before retiring, the undigested food can interrupt your rest and is hard on your health. Drink a soothing tea that will help you relax before bedtime. Smoking cigarettes only stimulates the body and can cause sleep problems. Avoid caffeine intake, especially before bedtime and don’t take stimulating herbal supplements. Some medications can disturb your sleep also. Beware of over-the-counter medications that contain caffeine or caffeine-related substances.
  • Find ways to relax and unwind. A good way to unwind is to take a walk and/or do some stretching. Yoga is a great way to unwind also. Including exercise in your daily schedule will help you rest better — just keep the heavier exercising for earlier in the day.

Suggestions from your herbalist for a good night’s rest

  • Make an appointment with your herbalist: Health issues that cause insomnia can vary from person to person, this is why it’s important to meet with your herbalist to review your personal issues, list of medications and daily routine. Take the free health analysis offered at www.motherknowsbest.net.
  • Eat nutritious food because it’s important to nourish the nervous system. Anxiety, tension, depression even high blood pressure can be linked to lack of vitamins needed for the nervous system. Nutrients such as Vitamin C, B-Complex, Calcium and Magnesium will help. Many of my clients love Nutri-calm, which is an antistress vitamin. Other supplements like Kava Kava, adaptogens like Siberian ginseng, and Licorice are good.
  • Detoxify your liver and colon. The liver is the organ of emotion and depression can lead to insomnia. Detox the liver with supplements such as Liver Cleanse, Dandelion, and Enviro-Detox. Ask your herbalist about a full detox program like the 90 Day colon cleanse.
  • Get a massage. A good massage from a professional massage therapist can help a person de-stress and get better rest.

Article written by Marguerite Wright, Certified Herbalist and Massage Therapist located in the Chicago area. Marguerite Wright is the owner of Mother Knows Best Herbal Solutions, a company she put together to assist people who want to learn more about natural solutions to health. She uses herbal supplements, homeopathic, aromatherapy, cleansing, massage and more. If you want more information on insomnia, depression, anxiety attacks or other health issues, contact your herbalist, Marguerite Wright. For every disease or disorder there is a natural alternative. All the supplements mentioned in this article are available at www.motherknowsbest.net.

Are you a walking coat hanger? (part 1)

Posted by Maria on October 5, 2011 under Aromatherapy, Books, Magazines, Music, Facials, Homespunspa, Massages, Photo gallery, Self-Care, Skin Care, Sleep, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Stress Management and Relaxation, Uncategorized, Weight Management, Wellness, Yoga | 4 Comments to Read

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

Man with neck and shoulder tension.My friend at Jazzercise, let’s call her Angelina, has been carrying some serious tension in neck and shoulders lately. She’s trying everything she can think of to relieve the tension, which she thinks is happening as a result of sitting at her desk all day, staring at her computer screen, crunching numbers on her detailed spreadsheets (she’s an accountant) and moving the mouse back and forth, but isn’t having any luck. Raise your hand if you can relate.

She has visited a reputable chiropractor, who is known for getting results, and this chiropractor said to her, “You’re what we call a walking coat hanger.” Unfortunately, after her painful appointments, (it sounds like she has a very high pain tolerance), Angelina is left with terrible bruises on her arms with no significant relief to her muscle tension and everyone, including her family doctor, is telling her that this chiropractor is not doing her a good service. (Disclaimer: I’ve personally never visited a chiropractor and don’t know what’s involved but I know a lot of people swear by them and please don’t think I’m insulting chiropractors at all with these observations. I’m sure chiropractors do a lot of good work for a lot of people).

When my friend talks about her neck and shoulder tension, my ears perk up. I’m all about relaxation and I’ve put my thinking cap on to figure out ways to help my friend feel better and to also help others with similar problems get some relief, too.

First, I asked Angelina if her workstation — she works from home in a lovely, organized and spacious office — is what they call, “ergonomic,” a term coined in 1950 from the Greek word “ergon” which means “work.” Ergonomics is an applied science which is concerned with how well things are designed and arranged for human use to reduce fatigue and discomfort and to maximize productivity, efficiency and safety. She said, “Yes, yes, I had an assessment a couple of years ago and my chair is at the right height and my computer screen is right at eye level, where it’s supposed to be, and everything else.”

Well then, that answers that. With the ergonomic question out of the way, Angelina’s tension must be caused by too much stress and not enough relaxation. Since we’re all in the same boat, here’s a list of ways all of us can do to reduce and manage our stress levels.

5 Ways to Relax Your Neck and Shoulders

1) Get a facial: Facials are really, really relaxing. Not only do you get to listen to some healing and calming spa music for an hour or so — my Homespunspa playlist rocks (you to sleep) if I do say so myself — you also get the relaxing benefits from aromatherapy and of course some age-reversing skin care (stress will certainly take its toll on your complexion in more ways than one). And for the people with neck and shoulder issues, there’s usually a 10 to 20 minute, thoroughly relaxing massage that focuses on your decollete, shoulders, neck and face included with every facial. You’ll love it!

2) Take breaks: Do you come to work and sit down at your desk and not get out of your seat all day until it’s time to go home? And please don’t tell me you skip your lunch, too. If you ask me, I think that’s a counter-productive habit. Our bodies were designed to move and not sit around all day. If you take regular breaks and move your body throughout the day, you’ll actually be more productive and you’ll get more work done in the long run. I recommend setting a gentle alarm to go off once an hour or so to remind you to physically get up out of your chair and take a break. (I have a chi gong chime on my phone which is very unobtrusive but helpful). Go and grab yourself a cup of tea or a glass of water, go to the washroom, take a walk outside, climb up and down the stairs, introduce yourself to the new hire, etc., etc. The breaks will help clear your head and will help you focus better. Speaking of breaks, I have to take one right now.


3) Shoulder rub conga line:
Stuck in a meeting all day? Even better. If there’s more than one of you on a break at the same time, do the old shoulder rub conga line thing where you stand in a line or in a circle, one person in front of the other, everybody facing the same direction. Ideally, you’ll rub the shoulders of the person in front of you and at the same time, the person behind you is rubbing your shoulders and then after a couple of minutes, everybody turns around and returns the favour the other way. Expect some giggles.

4) Stretch: Stand up and drop your arms to your side.  Slowly roll your shoulders 3 times backwards and 3 times forwards. Then extend your arms out in front of you and slowly bend your elbows and bring your hands up to shoulder level. Then bring your shoulder blades together as close as you can to each other. This move is called “Angel wings.” Release. Roll your shoulders again. Then shake out your arms. How does that feel?

5) Yoga: Sign up for a yoga class. When I was taking a yoga class once a week, I found an improvement in my attitude and a reduction in my stress levels. I also noticed that yoga really complimented and enhanced the work I was doing with my personal trainer and made my workouts that much more effective. It’s definitely something to add to the mix.

That’s it for now. I’ll add an “Are you a walking coat hanger (part 2)” with more tips on neck and shoulder tension in a couple of days. And, as always, if you have any tips to share, by all means, leave a comment and I’ll make sure your words get added to the conversation. Till then, breathe, smile and relax.

July is a perfect month for a Facial

Posted by Maria on July 17, 2011 under Aromatherapy, Face, Facials, Fitness, Mobile Spa, Nutrition, Photo gallery, Skin Care, Sleep, Stress Management and Relaxation, Uncategorized, Wellness | 2 Comments to Read

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

Once the socks get stuffed in the drawers and the closed-toed shoes and boots get tossed to the back of the closet, and the bare feet, sandals and strappy stilettos come out for some fun in the sun, most people opt for pedicures at the spa instead of going for a facial. I’d like to suggest that getting a customized facial in the summer is definitely worth the investment also.

Our complexion changes with the seasons and it’s important to adjust your skincare routine to reflect the current environmental conditions. Your skin may have been dry and dehydrated this past winter because of low temperatures and cold winds mixed with heat from furnaces. But now, with the extra sun exposure and heat and increased activity, your skin may be turning more oily, or sensitive or may have more breakouts than usual.

How is a person supposed to keep up with all of these fluctuations and variations? The answer — having a facial. A facial with a professional esthetician will help clear up any outstanding issues you may be having with your skin this summer.

What is a Facial?

A facial treatment is a professional service designed to improve and rejuvenate the skin on the face, neck, shoulders and decolleté. Getting regular facials will definitely and noticeably improve your skin’s appearance and texture.

The Benefits of Getting a Facial

There are many benefits associated with getting a facial and they all come back to managing stress. Stress itself isn’t the bad guy — it’s the amount of stress and the way you deal with it that makes a difference in your life. For example, stress is one of the aggravating factors of acne but if you learn how to reduce the stress in your life with healthy habits such as getting regular facials and eating nutritious food and exercising daily, you will significantly improve the tone of your skin. And you’ll feel so much better.

Getting a facial also gives you a chance to try out a particular skin care product line to see how it behaves on your skin, before you purchase it. I think that’s a wise approach. Ask me which skincare line I use in my Homespunspa facials and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

The benefits of a Facial include:

  1. Maintaining healthy skin and having radiant-looking skin;
  2. Correcting certain skin conditions such as overexposure to Ultraviolet Rays from the sun;
  3. Treating conditions such as dryness, oiliness or redness;
  4. Deep cleansing and releasing environmental pollution like smog that may be trapped in your pores;
  5. Exfoliation and Refinement which makes your skin feel smoother and softer;
  6. Increasing circulation;
  7. Detoxification;
  8. Relaxation of the body and mind through massage and aromatherapy;
  9. Stimulation of metabolism;
  10. Looking younger and more beautiful;
  11. Slowing down premature aging and softening lines and wrinkles;
  12. Helping clear up blemishes and minor acne;
  13. Reducing stress;
  14. Sleeping better at night.

What to expect from a Facial

When you come to a spa for a facial, you’ll be asked to fill out a confidential questionnaire and change into a gown and remove your jewellery and socks and shoes. You may also get a foot soak. Then you’ll lie down on a facial bed. You and your esthetician will talk about your needs and concerns and then both of you will determine the best course of action for your skin.

Steps in a Facial

  1. Consultation;
  2. Make up removal and Cleansing;
  3. Skin Analysis;
  4. Refinement Masque (Exfoliation);
  5. Skin Balancing;
  6. Hand, Foot, Neck, Shoulder and Facial Massages;
  7. Treatment Masque & Serums; and
  8. Moisturization and Sun Protection.

You may also receive extra services like: detoxification massage, pressure point massage, attention around your eyes, extractions, or make up application, etc. On top of all of that, you’ll also learn a lot about your own skin and how to take care of it and which products and services will benefit you the most.

Homespunspa July, August and September Special on Facials

I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but our summer in the Pacific Northwest has been slow in coming this year. Regardless, if you’re at all curious about how a facial works, Homespunspa is offering a 25% discount on all facials if you book your appointment before the autumnal equinox (September 23, 2011) and if you mention the code “summer” at the time of booking. Feel free to visit www.homespunspa.com and the mobile services menu page for a full list of services and prices. To make an appointment, follow the links on the reservations page.

I love giving facials because I like to help people relax and feel good about themselves. I also love seeing the “after” smiles my customers make when they first look at themselves in the mirror after they experience a 60 or 90 minute facial with me. I really think you’ll be pleased with your results, too.

Have a fun summer!

P.S. Remember to apply your sun protection often.

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