Category Archives for Lifestyle

5 Love Languages That Improve Relationships

 

By Theresa Harding (updated 2/14/20)

In my own personal experience of marriage, I did not always approach difficult situations with understanding and love.  I was young with less understanding at times. 

This post contains affiliate links which means I may receive a small commission at no cost to you when you click a link to make a purchase.


If I’d known about these 5 love languages from day one of our relationships, I would’ve saved us from many challenges in our marriage!   I never knew there was a better way to nurture relationships.  I first learned about the love languages some years ago from a Christian radio show I was listening to. 

It was appalling to learn about the 5 Love Languages!  It’s always nice to learn new and better ways to improve relationships, which can make them healthy for life.

Before we go further, let’s first define love language.

What are the 5 Love Languages?

The love languages are 5 ways to express love emotionally.  We are all different and in a marriage, we have different needs of which we must learn the language of our partner so that we may speak their language if we want to make them feel loved. 

What I desire and need from my partner is different from what my partner desires and needs from me.  It’s so important to understand this from the beginning if we want our relationship to be long-lasting and fulfilling.

A lot has been said about love and how to improve a relationship.  Songs have been sung, emotional poems have been drafted.  Yet this intriguing emotion remains as complex as it gets.  

When Gary Chapman wrote aboutthe 5 Love Languages, I am not sure he comprehended the kind of help and understanding he brought into relationships. This is because misunderstanding brought about by the inability to understand your partner’s language of love can cripple a healthy relationship as soon as the “sparks” die out. So, how can you apply the love languages to improve and make your relationship solid?  Let’s identify all 5.

1. Words of Affirmation

First on the list of love languages is “Words of affirmation”.  Affirmations, verbal compliments, and encouragement are valued by the people who embody this love language.  Statements such as “I love you”, “I adore you”, “You are handsome” accompanied by body language and facial expressions that denote the same, will have them smiling ear to ear, fully reassured of your love.

Assuring your partner every so often can be magical, particularly during the turbulent times of the relationship.  People love to feel appreciated for their hard work and effort.  Not recognizing their effort with kind words of appreciation can make them feel less valued and unappreciated. 

If this is what your spouse complains the most about-your lack of showing gratitude or appreciation for his or her hard work, you can change that by showing your appreciation in affirmations.  Even saying kinds words like, “I’m so thankful for your help, I don’t think I’d have finished if it wasn’t for you.”  Those words can really make your partner feel on top of the world if words of affirmation are their love language.

Feeding your partner what he/she desires is the ultimate key that’ll take your relationship to another level.  In the early years of our marriage, my husband always said things to affirm his hard work and I thought he was gloating, so I never spoke words of affirmation to him.

What he was doing was trying to train me to speak those encouraging words of affirmation to him, but I took his efforts the wrong way.  I learned later learned that that was his love language.  My thought process changed about it and started complimenting him when I felt he needed those kind words of affirmation.

Try This: 

  1. The next time your partner tells you how hard it was to accomplish a task. Look him/her in the eyes and tell them how much you appreciate them for taking that action.
  2. When you’re headed out to dinner or a formal event, tell your partner how handsome or sexy he/she looks in that outfit.
  3. Compliment our partner on how nicely shaved his face is, or how nice her hair is styled.

These kind words will affirm to your spouse that you care and you appreciate their efforts.

2. Quality Time

How many of you desire quality time from your spouse?  I don’t mean just having him or her in the house somewhere.  I mean, right in front of you, engaging in conversation, face-to-face.  This is the love language of “Quality Time

 Quality time involves spending one-on-one time with your partner. This time should be devoid of interruptions like looking down at your cell phone while your partner is engaging in a conversation with you,  especially during dinner time.  We want our partner to always feel significant, so not giving them our undivided attention can make them feel less significant. 

Instead, look in their eyes, show body language by nodding your head to let them see you are attentive to their conversation and you’re engaged.  This will also prevent any later misunderstanding should the same conversation come up later and you forgot the discussion because you weren’t really engaged in the first place!   

Doing things together or simply engaging in deep conversation or silly jokes will have people who value quality time beaming with satisfaction.  Actions that will make a healthy relationship.

Try This:

  1. The next opportunity you’re alone at home with your partner, instead of engaging in busyness, take a moment and go sit next to your partner to engage in a conversation without any distractions.
  2. When you’re getting ready for bed, instead of jumping in the bed and drifting off to sleep, have a fun conversation with your partner without the TV or other distractions.
  3. The next time you or your partner is preparing dinner, take a moment to go engage in a fun conversation, to keep him/her company.

By taking the time to give your undivided attention out of the ordinary, your partner will really appreciate it if their love language is “quality time”.

3. Acts of Service

5 Love Languages That Improve Relationships

Acts of Service

The love language of “Acts of Service” gives a person the satisfaction of feeling loved when you perform an action that speaks their language.  An example would be helping your spouse with the house chores or helping cook dinner for the family. 

When they feel you are helping them with acts of service, they feel loved and their love tank begins to fill up.  You are the type of person whose love language is acts of service if you feel a deeper kind of appreciation and connection when your partner runs errands for you or does a chore that leaves you with a lighter load of work.

I always enjoyed having my husband assist me in the kitchen on the weekends when I prepared dinner.  It filled my love tank every time he could assist me in this task.  His act of service to me showed me that he was expressing his love in a way that I desired more than just telling me he loved me.

If your spouse complains to you always because you don’t assist with different tasks, then their love language is probably Acts of Service.  Your job is then to fulfill that need and perform those acts of service that will make them feel you’re expressing your love in a way that they desire. 

Other people value touch. These people understand love in terms of “Physical touch”.  Cuddling, kissing, hugging, a caring touch on the arm or shoulder and sexual intercourse touch their souls. Without these, these individuals will not feel loved adequately.

Try This:

  1. The next time your partner prepares dinner, go help out and offer your assistance in the kitchen and cook together.
  2. The next time your partner prepares to go grocery shopping, offer to go along and shop together.

Offering to help out around the house is a fantastic way to perform an act of service to your partner.

4. Receiving Gifts

When was the last time you received or gave a gift to your spouse and it made you feel loved?  If you desire to receive gifts and it makes you feel loved, then your love language is receiving gifts or giving gifts. 

The gifts don’t necessarily have to be expensive, lavish gifts, just small gifts such as a love note placed on your spouse’s pillow, or a chocolate candy bar will suffice. 

Just make sure you give more appropriate gifts for really special occasions like a birthday or Christmas.  A thoughtful gift will warm the hearts of those who exemplify this love language.  In addition to receiving, they also love to give gifts.

What matters is the thought behind the gift.  So a cute note will go a long way, and rest assured, will make a healthy relationship.

Try This:

  1. Leave a love note with one sentence telling your partner why you love them.
  2. Give your spouse a cute beanie baby or other small gifts at random times.  No special occasion is necessary.

You random gift-giving fills your partner’s love tank if receiving gifts is their love language.

5. Physical Touch- Is Human Touch a Need? 

Physical Touch is the first of the five senses to develop in the womb.  A quote by Margaret Atwood says, “Touch comes before sight, before speech. It is the first language, and the last, and it always tells the truth.”   Touch is naturally engraved in our DNA.  We simply don’t need to be taught this much-needed practice.  It just comes naturally for us. 

Unfortunately, in today’s electronic world, the art of touch is diminishing in many relationships.  Touch is important in both plutonic and romantic relationships.  As written by Berkely Science Review, “A growing number of studies on touch and emotion reveal our deep-seated need for human contact and warmth.  Touch may be the key to communicating prosocial emotions, and for promoting group cohesion and survival.”

Not only does touch foster cooperation within groups, but it also has an effect and is necessary for the right physical and psychological development for infant mammals.   From birth, regular, nurturing touch has been shown to have growth-promoting effects in infants. 

Pups that are separated from their mothers for extended lengths of time have shown stunted growth in comparison to rats who aren’t separated from their mothers even though their diet is the same.

Studies have shown that babies who are held and touched in a positive way more often also demonstrate lifelong resilience to stress and improved cognition.  So as you can see, touch is universal, in that all mammals and living creatures need touch beginning in the womb.  If physical touch is your partner’s love language, find the time to add this to your daily interactions to fill his/her love tank.

After you have identified your love language, you can boost your understanding and love of your partner.  It can be a little bit difficult if you value physical touch, to understand why someone would need acts of service to feel loved. This calls for understanding and to appreciate that every human is different. Therefore do not be afraid to ask what your partner values.

Try This:

  1. The next time you’re engaged in a conversation with your partner, touch their hand, facial hairs (for men) or run your hands through their hair as you engage in conversation.
  2. When you’re out shopping with your partner, hold hands while walking, or sitting in church together.

The physical touch love language is endless!  Just be creative and fill your partner’s love tank with this one.

Apply It

Improve Relationships With 5 Love Languages

Apply Your Partner’s Love Language

The next course of action is to use your partner’s love language to improve your relationship with better understanding and love.  If they value quality time, be sure to create time, go out and do fun things together.

This will create a bond not easily broken, as well as create a healthy relationship.  Gift him/her often and watch him/her glow with appreciation and love.  Be mindful of your partner’s love language and you will receive the same in return.

Summary

To summarize, it is important to learn how to improve a relationship if you want positive experiences with your friends and loved ones.  Identify your love language and that of your partner, understand his/her love language and “do” their love language then sit back and watch your relationship soar higher in understanding and love every day.

My experience in applying these 5 love languages has helped me understand my husband and improve our understanding of each other better.  This has helped us avoid complaining to each other (something we did in the past), about what we’re not getting or giving in the relationship.  After all, love is an action, not just an expression.  I invite you to give them a try if you want to create a healthy relationship lifelong!

Have you used the 5 love languages in your relationship, and has it improved?

Resources and References
https://www.5lovelanguages.com/

https://www.jneurosci.org/content/30/2/703.abstract?maxtoshow=&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=1&author1=Baram&andorexacttitle=and&andorexacttitleabs=and&andorexactfulltext=and&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&sortspec=relevance&fdate=1/1/2010&resourcetype=HWCIT

berkeleysciencereview.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Spring Clean Your Health and Wellness

 

By Theresa Harding

When I was a growing up, we always did our spring house cleaning during “clean-up week” when we were out of school for spring break.  The idea to spring clean your health and wellness was never a goal. 

We would do extra cleaning around the house, such as clean windows, donate clothes and furniture, toys, etc.  I really enjoyed this time of year because it always seemed to be a family affair which included not only me and my siblings but also my parents. 

They would do the big jobs around the house and we assisted with their instruction.  However, spring cleaning should go far beyond just cleaning your home.  We should include some other things too!  So keep reading…

Spring cleaning is not about just cleaning your home or its surrounding. This article is specific to health and wellness and it refers to your diet and body workouts. Forget cleaning the entire house, and having everything arranged. However, you will notice that your home becomes more welcoming and comfortable after it is thoroughly cleaned during your spring house cleaning.

Similarly, when you spring clean your health and wellness you are left feeling good about your body while at the same time boosting your immune system.  You could also see this as a spring clean-up.

Spring Clean Your Diet

During this period, your diet is healthier and cleaner. The key objective is to boost your immune system. This not only keeps you healthy but also ensures that you look good. There is a key balance between your overall physique and your internal health.  It also includes incorporating a balanced diet in the right proportions.

Consider eliminating the following foods from your diet:

Alcohol. Alcohol can take a toll on your liver.  You need your liver to function optimally as intended to detoxify your system.  Because alcohol acts as a diuretic, it makes it harder for your body to remain hydrated.  My favorite drink is Kombucha Tea

I started drinking Kombucha Tea when I learned that I needed probiotics to help me end my struggle with sugar cravings and a suppressed immune system.   Additionally, I had to make some diet and lifestyle changes that really made all the difference in the world for my health.  

I have been able to get my husband to drink Kombucha Tea when he thought there was nothing in the world better than his soda drinks.  He loves the taste of it and that makes me happy to know that he’s getting the beneficial bacteria when he drinks them. 

We eliminated his consumption of 46 grams of sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup that’s in the sodas he was addicted to drinking daily.  Kombucha Tea only contains 2 to 4 gram of sugar per serving and the beneficial bacteria your body needs.   The trade-off is much healthier!   We started ordering them online because we’ve found it to be more cost-effective instead of buying them individually.

Added Sugars. Refined sugar already has its own long list of reasons why you should stay away from it.  Number one being that it is inflammatory.  Most processed foods, cereals, and snacks are loaded with refined sugar. 

 

Refined sugar increases your risk of obesity and heart problems. The American Heart Association recommends keeping added sugars under 6 teaspoons a day for women and 9 teaspoons for men. This may sound like it can’t be done, but it can be avoided or eliminated. 

 

I did it myself when I thought it was impossible to live without my refined sugar.  I just substitute my sweetened foods with raw honey or coconut palm sugar.  There are other natural sweeteners like Stevia on the market that you could use in place of refined sugar, so don’t think it’s impossible.   

When I first learned how to make smoothies, my favorite Stevia flavor was the liquid Vanilla because I was still addicted to sugar and needed my smoothies to be sweet.  Now, I don’t add Stevia to my smoothies because my taste buds are used to the green taste.  It took some time to get to this point though it was a journey! 

 

Salt. One of the biggest misconceptions about salt is that we’re taught that salt should be avoided and that it causes Hypertension.  The truth of the matter is that it’s the table salt that causes health problems.  

 

Table salt has no mineral content that your body needs and thus can be taxing on your health.  The best salt is the Pink Himalayan Salt or the gray Celtic Sea Salt.  We use both in my household.  We just order ours online because we don’t always find it at our local grocery store when we need it. 

 

Americans eat an average of 3,400 milligrams of sodium a day. Cut 1,000 mg out every day and you could lower your risk of heart disease by up to 9 percent, according to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine.

How to Avoid Refined Grains

Refined grains. White flour, white rice and the like are stripped of healthy fiber, vitamins and minerals. These grains also cause inflammation in the body and should be avoided. 

 

Many people are also sensitive to refined grains and eat them a lot not knowing that these grains actually cause them problems with weight loss and food cravings.  If you’re going to eat grains, check food labels carefully and look for foods that list whole grains as the first or second ingredient.

 

Some foods that say “whole grains” on the packaging usually won’t have whole grains in them or they’ll only contain very tiny amounts listed at the very end of the ingredients list, which tells you how much whole grains is really added into the food.  Some better options of grains are gluten-free or whole wheat.  Here are some gluten-free options to consider:

quinoa

millet

gluten-free oats

buckwheat

amaranth

teff

brown rice

Other whole grains that contain gluten are whole wheat, barley, rye, some oats, corn, rice, sorghum, and spelt.

Remove the Processed Foods

Processed foods. Sometimes it seems like there is a processed food for every whole food that exists in the supermarket.  Processed foods are convenient foods that give many people a reason NOT to cook from scratch. 

 

They also come with a long list of artificial, lab-made ingredients that cause food cravings and health problems.  Prepared foods with long lists of ingredients load you up with sugars, salts, and unhealthy trans fat. Pass them up and make room for more healthy, whole foods instead.

 

Seek to incorporate fresh foods that are in season. This will differ from one person to another depending on their location. Fresh foods have more nutrients and are more easily absorbed in the body. Also, incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables, and don’t forget to consider a daily multivitamin to address any vitamin and mineral deficiencies when your diet alone is not enough. 

Setting Goals

During spring cleaning, you could set Smart Goals. In this, they should be specific and time-bound. However, it is recommended that you keep your goals simple and realistic.   This will prevent you from straining your body and denying it the necessary quantity of nutrients.

Motivate yourself and keep track of your actions. For example, in the event you have a spring clean-up session that will last three weeks, you can check your progress every week.  In the event you are right on track, you may choose to reward yourself.

This will keep you motivated as opposed to not checking at all until the session is over. After all, you may feel disappointed if, at the end of the session, you find out that you have not met your goals.  As you update yourself, you will also know where adjustments are required.

Spring Clean Your Fitness Routine

spring-clean-your-fitness-routine

Fitness Routine

Spring cleaning also involves body workouts. A balanced and healthy diet is not enough to help meet your goals. Included are body workouts that will help boost the functionality of your body. While many consider indoor exercises, it is recommended that you work with more intense exercises. In this, machinery such as a treadmill should be avoided as opposed to going outdoors.

The environment will also play an important role in helping your workout better.  There’s something about getting out in nature that really helps me connect with my workout.  The beauty of the trees, clouds, birds singing all help me really engage in my workout routine.  Even though I enjoy working out indoors, nothing compares to the beauty of nature, in my opinion. 

Play around with different intense workouts. You may choose to go solo or hire a trainer to guide you. Try even running workouts and try a change in the terrains you use. You can start slow with flat terrain and advance to rocky and hilly terrain.  

With the above guide, a spring clean-up will help you to stay healthy and boost your physique.  While it can be challenging, it is beneficial for everyone. You may choose to go solo or work in a group with those who have similar goals.

This should be a practice for every spring season to help you revive your workout routine and enjoy long-term benefits.   You could also consider doing this with your family the way we did when we only focused on spring house cleaning.

What about you?  How do you implement spring cleaning? 

Spring Clean your diet with my FREE “7-Day Clean Eating Challenge!”  A meal plan full of over 30 healthy recipes including snacks.

    Click Here to download your Free Meal Plan now!

 

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Top 8 Natural Skin Care Routines For Autumn

By Theresa Harding (updated 11/22/20)

Of all the seasons, perhaps the most romanticized and hotly anticipated is Autumn. If you want to know some natural remedies for an Autumn skincare routine, keep reading, as I will share some tips that will help solve your skin issues.  The change in seasons, especially from summer to winter can bring us many skin challenges.    I discuss more about winter skin care in this blog post.  We expect orange-hued days spent snuggled under a blanket, and we look forward to wearing our favorite jumpers once again.

What may look pretty in a picture often doesn’t bode well for our skin. With a sharp drop in temperature making us switch on the heating, the autumn weather can wreak havoc on any skin type. Here are my top natural remedies for autumn skincare:

This post contains affiliate links which means I may receive a commission when you click to make a purchase.


Is Exfoliation Necessary?

I always knew when I needed to exfoliate my skin because I’d see what looked like dead skin that would appear on my skin immediately after I’d step out of the shower and dry off. Post-summer skin looks dehydrated and shallow, and exfoliation is extremely important as it gets rid of the dead damaged cells.

This step will prepare the skin to absorb more moisture and nutrition.  You could go for professional exfoliation methods such as peeling.  Sensitive acne-prone skin needs professional chemical peeling whereas normal to dry skin types do well with dermabrasion.

You can have home treatments with products that contain light peeling properties such as those which include Alpha Hydroxy Acids, Glucosamine, Retinol, or Retinoids. These products allow daily skin renewal, and fresh younger skin is seen.

Skin Care vs. Moisturizing

Hot summer causes dehydration, and thereby wrinkles and fine lines appear on the skin. So, it’s important to really take a look at your skincare products when choosing a skin care routine for autumn. The moisture lost needs to be properly replenished, before the onset of winter. Moisturize at least twice daily after cleansing.

Dry, normal, and combination skin types may use a light oil-free liquid or gel moisturizer. For drier skin types, choose a thicker cream-based moisturizer meant for dry skin.  You’ll also want to consider following a skincare treatment for dry skin to specifically address your dry skin issues.  If you have combination skin, you’ll want to follow a skincare routine for combination skin. 

Along with your facial skin, you need to take care of your body such as supporting your liver with bitter greens and clean foods without toxic ingredients, processed refined sugar, and processed foods.  Be sure to take short warm baths and apply moisturizer to your damp skin.

Skin Care Treatments

Skin Care Treatments

Skin Care Treatments

Intensive skin treatments come in the form of serums or concentrated emulsions and should be done on the damaged skin once or twice a year. Your skincare natural products that contain Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Flavonoids, and Retinoid (Synthetic Vitamin A) are good treatments to reverse sun damage and improve skin tone. Some moisturizers also come with Vitamins.

For a better effect use both – apply serum under the moisturizer either twice daily or as a night repair treatment. You can also go for at-home treatments using masks and packs. Skin lightening treatments are very popular during Fall. In using masks, you need to exfoliate your skin (Do not exfoliate more than twice a week) and prepare it for treatment.

Skin and Sun

There’s a lot of confusion about the skin and sun where protection is a concern.  The major difference is the duration of time it takes to be exposed to the sun so that your skin can produce vitamin D without the use of supplementing.  The safe times to take advantage of the sun time is between 10am and 3pm.

Outside those times are not the best time to sunbathe because the dangerous UVB rays are strongest and should be avoided to prevent sunburn.  UVA sunrays do not cause sunburn but may penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin and should be avoid for prolonged periods of time.  Although the autumn sun is not as strong as it was in summer, it is still necessary for you to use your sunscreen regularly. You can find some skincare products that contain sunscreen. A sunscreen with SPF of at least 15 is required in autumn.

Patch dryness, eczema and psoriasis, seborrhea, and pityriasis rosacea can start to flare. Even oily skin needs a moisturizer to keep oil production at bay, so use oil-free liquid moisturizers. If you have “sun spots” on your skin because of sun exposure from the previous summer, you can try exfoliation and whitening treatments. However, do consult your dermatologist before undergoing any treatment.

Seek out shaded areas and stay out of direct sunlight to prevent harmful UVA and UVB rays from damaging your skin. Shaded areas will also be cooler, reducing the need for your body to cool itself by sweating.

You can read more about the sun and skin care to protect your skin and safely get vitamin D without risking your skin health.

Skin Care and Diet

Summer means dehydration and therefore more water intake for replenishing the moisture lost, but that should not change once the temperatures drop. In fact, you should continue to drink at least eight glasses of water a day throughout the year, irrespective of seasonal changes.

This will help you to flush out the body toxins better thereby ensuring problem-free skin. Fall is a season when fresh fruit and vegetables abound, so you can include Pears, Leeks, Pumpkins, Sweetcorn, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Blackberries, Grapes, Plums and Raspberries to provide Vitamins C, B, E and A, Iron, Zinc, Calcium, Potassium, Bioflavonoids, Omega-3 Fatty acids etc.

Wear Light, Loose and Breathable Clothing

Wear Light Loose Clothing

Light, Loose Clothing

I’ve noticed that most blue and black colored pants cause dark spots to appear on my legs. So, I try to wear more light-colored pants to prevent dark spots from appearing. Wearing natural, tightly woven fabrics in light colors will keep you comfortable, protect your skin, and reflect the light.

Avoid synthetic, man-made fabrics like polyester and nylon as these materials don’t allow moisture to effectively evaporate, causing irritation and discomfort to your skin and allowing the bacteria that can lead to spots to breed freely.

Skin Care and Face Masks

If you must wear a face mask at any time, skincare and masks don’t go hand-in-hand, unfortunately.  The friction on your face may cause irritated and sensitive skin.  Everyone has different skincare needs so all face masks aren’t the same. 

Check the material of the mask you consider to wear and make sure that the material will not irritate your skin, causing breakouts or rashes and skin redness.   Also note that some mask materials with different colors and other added designs might not be healthy for your skin, especially if the mask has color dyes that can irritate your skin.

This is the time to really assess what materials you’re placing against your skin for long periods of time.

To prevent developing skin problems, be sure to add a Face Balm or serum prior to wearing the mask.  After removing the mask when you arrive home from work or shopping, wash your face with a gentle face cleanser of your choice.  Apply a clay face mask on your face for a skin detox to pamper yourself on your day off.  Remember that skincare is self-care and relaxation for a spa moment.

 If your ears get irritated from the straps of the mask, place tissue or cotton balls behind your ears where the band sits against your ears and that may help prevent irritation.  Many people are not in the habit of cleaning their masks often and that is key to helping prevent face irritations.

Clean your mask daily and change it often, even if it means taking 3 or 4 masks to work with you and changing them out throughout the day to keep down the skin irritation.  Moisturize your skin whenever it feels your mask might have absorbed the moisture from your face. 

The best color to choose is a white mask which will allow you to see the dirt on the surface.  The ability to see the dirt on the surface of the mask allows you to see that it’s time to replace the mask because of the dirt collected on it.  Sometimes we don’t realize the level of dirt and germs that can collect on the surface of our mask, as we unconsciously touch it to make adjustments to it repeatedly, so the white color will help you see it.

Pamper your skin as needed!  You may read this article for further reading about how to protect your skin from mask irritation.

Use a face cleanser that has natural and gentle ingredients for the face.  I love using food-based ingredients in my face wash.  Follow-up with a toner if you prefer and moisturizer.  During the Autumn season, a heavier moisturizer may be needed, so change face cleaners and moisturizers to accommodate the colder temperatures which can dry out your skin much faster.

My favorite face cleanser is the citrus face cleanser and cream moisturizer.  I enjoy using apple cider vinegar mixed with equal parts water as a toner, or I use witch hazel mixed with rose water hydrosol.  Then I follow-up my rosehip seed oil or pomegranate seed oil as a moisturizer, as it’s a great anti-inflammatory oil with vitamin A and C.

 How Sleep Can Affect Your Skin

Sleep is an essential component of natural skincare. A lack of sleep can have a significantly adverse effect on our general health increasing the risk of developing illnesses like diabetes or heart disease and also mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.

Sleep deprivation, even just for one night, can have a real impact on the skin too, causing you to be more prone to the premature signs of aging and increase the likelihood of breakouts. Sleep and skin aging can present themselves if there is a lack of sleep long-term. 

When we are sleeping, our skin cells have the opportunity to regenerate, restore, and renew, giving us a beautiful glow in the morning.  When there’s stress in the body, it can show in our skin.  If you feel you suffer from insomnia, find out why you can’t sleep at night.  Is it worry?  Anxiety?  A great amount of stress? 

Whatever skin care routine you choose, it’s best to address the issue and find ways to adapt a night-time ritual to help you get off to sleep for the night and wake feeling rested.  Try your best to remove any underlying issues that may be keeping you up at night so that you can get your body into that parasympathetic state of rest and digest, for the night.  No skincare products will give you the most benefits if you are sleep-deprived. So, sleep well!

What remedy works best for your skin during the Autumn season?

Get More Health and Wellness Tips and Stay Connected

Starting with our Diet Makeover, you can begin improving your skin heath with some simple changes to your diet.   I walk you through the process in my free eCourse delivered to your Inbox weekly.  Click below to start now!

Diet Makeover

References and Resources

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18348449/

https://draxe.com/nutrition/vitamin-dbenefits

https://www.self.com/story/mask-acne

https://twigandarrowsalon.com/5naturalskincaretreatments

https://www.sleep.org/how-sleep-improves-your-skin/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 Steps to Natural Breast Care [A Step-By-Step Guide]

By Theresa Harding          This post contains affiliate links.

For every woman, the breasts are amazing organs. They can provide nutrition for babies and enhance your beauty. They are very intimately connected with the reproductive system and continuously change during the menstrual cycle.

There are many indications of problems occurring in the breast like the appearance of lumps, swelling even in the armpits, tenderness or soreness, flattening or any change in shape, size, and texture, discomfort or burning sensation, altered appearance of the nipples or the areolar area, discharge etc.

It is very important to know how these amazing organs work and how to naturally care for them and keep them functioning properly. These preventative self- care is critical in reducing our risk of developing breast cancer.

The best Natural Breast Care for Women are:

How to Take Care of Your Breasts

Massage is one of the most effective natural methods of breast care. A gentle lymphatic massage to your breasts should be practiced regularly.  Doing this massage will help bring movement to the fluids, fatty acids, and other nutrients, as well as wastes and toxins in and out of your breast tissues.  Since movement is important for breast health, your body depends on this frequently.

Four steps need to be regularly followed to help in bringing nutrients to the breast and flushing the toxins out. These four steps serve a specific purpose.

The first step is a motion that helps in the draining of the lymphatic system, the second and fourth are to assist the venous system and the third step is to help strengthen the ligaments.

  • For step 1, use slow gentle, strokes away from the nipple. 
  • Step 2, use a kneading motion gentle massage.
  • Step 3, gently twist the breast both in the clockwise and counterclockwise directions.
  • Step 4, apply gentle pressure and compression to move the fluids.
  • To be effective, this massage technique needs to be followed for a minimum of two times-a-week for 3 to 5 minutes, or 30 seconds several times a day.

Is Daily Bra Wearing Dangerous for Breast Health?

You must always provide support to your breasts by wearing a bra of the correct size. A sports bra should be used while participating in sports. In general, violent sports should be avoided. Swimming is a good activity for the health of your breasts. 

Also, it’s important to wear your bra for shorter periods of time in the day.  Studies have shown that women interviewed experienced higher levels of breast health than women who wore bras longer periods of time in the day.  Since bras are designed to prevent movement of the breast, this disrupts the normal lymphatic flow of breast tissue and temperature of the breasts. 

Constricting the breasts for long periods of time in the day is not the healthiest environment for breast care Breasts can flourish in slightly cooler temperatures than our average 98.6 F body temperature.  Research has also suggested that it’s best to wear wireless bras and bras without foam or thick padding for healthier breasts.

Moisturizing Cream

Use of suitable moisturizing cream can help you reduce wrinkles. Many experts’ advice to avoid sudden weight variations as it leads to sagging breasts. Always opt for gradual weight loss. If you are a nursing mother, you should feed your child in proper position.

Herbal Remedies

Now, I love my herbs.  I didn’t know herbs could be so healing!  Foods we didn’t know are herbs actually are.  Some foods like, cinnamon and turmeric are herbs and can be used medicinally.  I started using herbs medicinally in 2007 and I’ve gotten some really good benefits from them.

Certain herbs have various compounds that help in maintaining breast health and can be used as essential elements of natural breast care. Gingko Biloba helps in increasing the circulation to the entire body as well as the breasts. Hence, it can help reduce heaviness and swelling in the breasts.

Also, Agnus Castus helps to balance the hormonal levels of the body and thus promote breast health as the health of the breast is directly related to the hormonal levels. The application of Evening Primrose Oil can reduce the pain in the breast to a great extent and help in maintaining breast health.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

We all have a different ideal weight for our body.  Try to stay in a healthy range for YOU.  Obesity raises the risk of breast cancer, especially after menopause when breast cancer most often occurs.

What Foods are Good for Breast Health?

Changing our diet is the first thing I did for my family when we started on our healthy living journey.  I realized that if I wanted to see effective results in our health, I needed to change our diet and make better food choices. 

I want to encourage you to consider it too if you want long lasting health for you and your family.  Since we were combating some health challenges, it was easy to make the changes.  My ultimate goal at the beginning of our healthy living journey was to help my 12-year-old son eliminate high blood pressure and lose some weight.  

A healthy diet goes a long way in the promotion of breast health and is a very important part of natural Breast Care. A well-balanced diet is a key to good life and good health. Various nutrients available in a well-balanced diet are important in maintaining the body systems functioning properly. 

Include more raw fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants.  Especially the ones that include the 3 antioxidants that are good for breast health: lutein, lycopene, and carotenoids.

Those such foods are fresh berries, carrots, cherries, cranberries, spinach, squash, tomatoes, yams, and watermelon, collard greens, cabbage, broccoli, bok choy, Brussel sprouts, and turnips.  These foods contain the nutrients that support the breasts.

It is best to choose organic when possible, as pesticides and herbicides are known to mimic estrogen, and can remain in the body fat when consumed.

Drink Less Alcohol

Sure, there’s a positive health buzz around booze, but a meta-analysis of 53 studies showed that women who drank more than three drinks a day had 1.5 times the risk of developing breast cancer as did non-drinkers. Try to keep it to one serving a day or less: 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor.

Practice Breast Self-Exams

We learn this habit early on at our first Pap Smear examination, so it’s a practice we should never stop doing.  In fact, we know many women have found lumps in their breasts from their own self-examination of their breasts. 

It’s a great habit to get into to examine your breasts on a regular basis.  Get to know your breasts If there any changes in your breast tissue, you will know.

Do You Practice Regular Breast Exams? 

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Top 5 Skin Care Routines for Summer and Anti-Aging

By Theresa Harding

Summer time means relaxing and spending lots of time out in the sun,whether in your backyard, at the beach, or in the pool. It is also a time to take a look at your skin care routine.  Even if your concern is only in basic anti-aging skin care, an anti-aging skin care routine should be considered. 

It is time to lighten up your clothing to avoid sweating more, and through this, you get more exposed to the sun.  Relaxing under the sun may seem harmless, but sun rays are known to bring about sun damage, uneven skin, or even redness when exposed for length of time.  An effective summer skin care routine is essential during the summer time. 

This post contains affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission when you click a link to purchase.


It is common to find people using various sunscreen and anti-aging products to protect and moisturize their skin.  I like to buy skin care products specific to the season.  My favorite sunscreen for the summer months is effective for adults and children. 

Below are 5 summer skin care regimens that you can practice.  I find them to be quite simple, but back to the basics, a practice some of us seemed to have moved away from:

Moisturizing Skin Care Routine

The skin gets dehydrated quickly during summer; hence a moisturizing skin care routine is needed.  Choose a moisturizer that is lighter than the one you would use during the winter and fall seasons, but leaves your skin feeling fresh and relaxed. 

When you buy skin care products for the summer skin care, They should contain an SPF component of at least 30 to provide a high level-broad spectrum UVA/UVB sun protection while at the same time moisturizing.

The best summer skin care products don’t need an SPF greater than 50.  Choose a moisturizer that contains plant stem cells and antioxidants as it protects against aging.

Exfoliating Skin Care Routine

Exfoliating is a good summer skin care routine which should be done once or twice a week to clear away impurities on the skin and rejuvenate it. I like to exfoliate my skin twice a week.  During the summer, the skin is a bit oilier than usual, so exfoliating will leave the skin fresh and radiant as it opens the pores.

Don’t overdo it!  You can also use the best summer skin care products, which are usually homemade scrubs, and probably won’t cause you any side effects.  It’s also important to continue exfoliating your skin even when the seasons change into the Fall season to prevent dryness.

Exfoliating skin care for men should not be overlooked, as it can reduce wrinkles and remove any dry patches on the skin.  As explained by grooming expert Lauren Rachel of MensHealth.com, guys should exfoliate twice a week, preferably before shaving.  So men, this routine is not only for women.

Health Benefits of Drinking Water

There are any health benefits of drinking water and I’ve listed a few of them in this section to help you understand the importance of drinking water.  According to an article written by UW Health, if your skin is lacking in sufficient amounts of water, the lack of hydration will contribute to dry, tight and flaky skin. Dry skin has less resilience, suppleness, less detoxification, and is more prone to wrinkling.

This does not account for external use of water on the skin, but this also counts for internal use of water, that is, drinking your water is just as important. There are  many health benefits of drinking water and one of them is certainly drinking plenty of water.  Hydration is key to healthy skin, hair, nails and collagen production which also benefits the appearance and suppleness of the skin.

Many people do not get enough water daily, even when the standard amount of drinking water that one should consume is 8 glasses of water daily.  That requirement is usually not met by many. 

 During summer, the body and skin need constant hydration hence, you need to drink a lot of water.  Water keeps the skin glowing and moist, plumps up the skin cells and cleanses the body of toxins and any unwanted waste.  Staying hydrated reduces the chances of the fine lines and wrinkles developing.  

Without the help of water in your diet, Even the best summer skin care products will not be effective.  You may choose to drink a cup of green tea to quench your thirst, as tea is quite beneficial for your skin as it contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. 

Green tea has epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which protects the skin from sun damage.  If you need more EGCG, you could also take a Green Tea Extract.  This is one that I’ve taken in the past.  It’s easier to take because it’s in a liquid form, which is quicker to absorb than in pill form.

Skin Care and Diet

Skin care and diet can go a long way in promoting healthy skin.  If your diet is low in water, and high in greasy, oily, toxic-laden processed foods, it will show in the appearance of your skin.  Choosing foods that will promote smooth, radiant skin is a must. 

This means eating foods that are clean, water-rich, healthy and balanced.  Avoiding refined sugar from processed foods, fried foods, fast foods, and even dairy can cause a negative effect on the appearance of your skin.  Consuming mostly vegetables and fruits that are rich in antioxidants will protect the skin from the UV rays and are also good for the health of the skin.

Consider eating fresh foods rather than foods that contain chemicals, preservatives, and artificial colors, as they tend to aggravate the skin while accelerating aging.  This is not to be included in your summer skin care routine. 

Sun Skin Care

The UV rays from the sun cause skin damage, as it destroys the elastin and causes loss of collagen, increasing the appearance of wrinkles, drooping skin, and lost jawline.  This happens when you’re exposed to the the damaging rays for prolonged periods of time.  So, avoid spending too much time in the sun.  When you are out in the sun, make sure that you have applied sunscreen of at least SPF 30

It’s important to consider a post skin care routine to prevent damage to the skin.  Consider using products like a natural Aloe Vera, from the plant itself, or a aloe Vera gel that’s can be used for an after sun care routine.

Cleansing away the impurities from your skin will allow your skin to breathe and remain healthy, especially your face.  Just water alone won’t do the job when your skin is exposed to environmental allergens and toxins daily.  Your skin will need a gentle cleanser that will remove the impurities that could potentially cause clogged pores if not cleansed properly.

Wear protective clothing, walk on the less sunny side of the street, and avoid being under the direct sun when the UV rays are strongest.  These are just the simplest ways I ‘ve learned to protect my skin from the aging process. 

Once you experience sun-damage to your skin, it might be hard to reverse the damage done.  It’s important to protect yourself as much as possible.  So, don’t hesitate to buy skin care products for the summer.

What is your Anti-Aging Remedy?

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Resources and References

https://www.thezoereport.com/beauty/skincare/dry-skin-skincare-routine

https://www.menshealth.com/grooming/g21601437/best-face-scrubs-for-men/

https://www.uwhealth.org/madison-plastic-surgery/the-benefits-of-drinking-water-for-your-skin/26334

https://www.self.com/story/how-much-water-should-you-drink-a-day

https://www.skincare.com/article/post-sun-skin-care-tips

 

 

 

 

      

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