It’s the most wonderful time of the year…insert music and bright flashing lights here. Then pull the curtain back and you see reality. Rushing from urgent work meetings to children’s holiday concerts, then to festive parties and last-minute bargain shopping events, this season is filled with joy and plenty of stress. Being an achiever, I’ve always tried to get it all done with a smile. Though, no matter how many errands I delegate or projects I put off until next year, I still feel a little anxious in the scurry to get it all done. This year, I put my super healthy gadget girl powers to the test and tried a few devices to help de-stress. I even spoke about this, finding a little zen during the holiday season, on CT Style our local ABC affiliate award-winning lifestyle morning show. Below are some of my favorites gadgets and tools.
The holiday season is well under way. If you haven’t started shopping, there’s still time to buy online or run to the mall to beat the crowds and out-of-stock shelves. Knowing many parents start shopping first with kids in mind, we premiered our 2015 Healthy Holiday Gift Guide for Kids last week. Now, we’re releasing the grown-up version, the 2015 Healthy Holiday Gift Guide. As I mentioned in last year’s feature, since I’ve embraced an organic, low-toxin lifestyle, I always investigate and experiment with new products and services that focus on health and wellness. I’ve attended seminars, events, and researched the latest guides in search of unique gift ideas that won’t break the bank. Here are some of my favorite items that focus on wellness.
A University of Miami study about the benefits of stress management for breast cancer patients was recently documented in the medical journal, CANCER. The Huffington Post covered this story, featured my experience and hosted a panel to discuss the findings on HuffPostLive.
I’m honored to have taken part in this 30-minute show about cancer and stress management. Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani was an incredible host, thoughtful and informative. The panel included study author, Jamie Stagle from Massachusetts General Hospital, Paige Davis of Soul Sparks Meditation, Life Coach Kellie Frazier and Tiffany Denee Jones of PinkChoseMe.org.
I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in the Fall of 2013. The news was shocking and sobering, especially considering I knew very few people who thrived with it. Scared beyond comprehension, filled with sleepless nights and worries dancing through my head, I thought I knew what that diagnosis meant. At the same time, publicity ramped up for Disney’s “Frozen,” but I didn’t pay attention. The movie opened Thanksgiving weekend and after the holidays, the world knew it was not only a box office hit, but the key to a young girl’s heart. I didn’t realize, it would be to mine, as well.
As the world was singing “Do you Want to Build a Snowman, ” I was anxiously awaiting my first set of scans after being diagnosed. My mind was filled with wildly ranging thoughts:
Was this the calm before the storm? Would the results show tremendous growth and I would only have a few months or years left?
If so, would my child really know me? Should we tell him or not?
Will my new treatments debilitate me? Will I feel like myself? Will I be myself?
If somebody told me years ago that I would get used to needles pricked all over my body, I would have laughed. Despite always being intrigued by health and wellness trends, my fear of those tiny daggers kept me away. About six years ago, however, when trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant, I was desperate to try all-natural methods. It was then that I was introduced to acupuncture.
Acupuncture is an Asian/Chinese modality that’s been around for thousands of years. Thin needles are positioned into certain points (meridians) on the body in an effort to balance the energy flow (chi) throughout. Oftentimes, each patient’s needs are assessed upon the initial visit with a full-body exam and blood work. Once the treatment begins, thin needles are tapped into various points on the skin from head to foot. Treatments last 15-45 minutes, depending on the practitioner. Acupuncture isn’t a one-time fix, follow-up visits are often suggested depending on the symptoms. Many acupuncturists are certified through the National Certification Commission of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM.) In addition, some doctors are integrating acupuncture into their practices and can be certified through the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture (AAMA.)
I was proud to be a laser-focused workaholic.
I used to boast about my multi-tasking skills. I even went so far as to connect my work computer to my elliptical with a bungee cord so I could read emails and trade publications while exercising.
I remember bragging to a top-executive that I only slept three hours a night, so that I could exceed everyone’s expectations as a new mother and superstar employee.
I skimmed books, listened to podcasts and networked with many women about finding a way to “have it all.” Even when I changed my career to focus on my family values, I was still conditioned to live a harried life. I scheduled my day from early morning to late evening and multi-tasked through much of it. Additionally, I felt like every item on my to-do list should be achieved with high merit.
I thought I was thriving because I was “successful” with a promising career and beautiful family. Oh, how I wish Arianna Huffington’s Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder would’ve been written 20 years ago when I started my first job and had to balance work and taking care of myself. Perhaps, I would’ve learned better habits to not just tackle life, but to truly enjoy it at every step a long the way.