Have you noticed a shift in the energy this year? It has certainly been spinning around me! I have become so much more aware of the seasonal shifts that are guideposts in helping us to live more balanced lives. From winter to spring, and now moving from spring to summer, it’s an ever evolving landscape. So with that energy, and beginning with this month, this blog has evolved into a newsletter that will contain the tools and resources you need to lead a more activated life. I look forward to sharing the journey with you.
Wellness from the Outside In and Inside Out
Let’s start this month with a quick assessment of self care. First things first, pause and take three deep breaths. Inhale and exhale through your nose. Settle your mind and body. The next step is to look at some key areas of your life and see what actions you might be able to take that will create healthy habits.
- How and where do you find relaxation?
- How can you bring better health habits into your daily routine with exercise, sleep, nutrition and hydration?
- Are you staying connected and engaged with loved ones and friends?
- What do you do to get rejuvenated?
- Where or how do you find comfort?
- How do you express your authentic self?
Next, because May is Skin Cancer Awareness month we are going to focus on how we can protect and nourish our largest organ, our skin. It is the first line of defense to our immune system.
Here are some surprising skin facts:
- It actually has more than three layers. In fact, it has 37!
- There are two types of skin: hairy (i.e. chest, legs) and glabrous (i.e. the palms of your hands and soles of your feet.) The hairy helps regulate temperature and the glabrous is more responsive to touch.
- 99% of the skin’s thickness is in the dermis – the middle portion of the skin. This is where the skin carries out most of its essential functions, such as storing water and transporting nutrients.
- There are about 11 miles of blood vessels in the skin helping to transport blood and nutrients.
- There’s over one trillion bacteria on the skin. Being our largest organ and the one most exposed it can actually carry over 1,000 bacteria species at any given time.
- Everyone has the same number of melatonin producing melanocyte cells. The more melanin each melanocyte cell produces the darker the skin will be. Melanin is the body’s way of protecting the skin from burning when exposed to UVA rays. So EVERYONE should wear sunscreen – because…
- 20% of Americans will have some type of skin cancer at some point in their lives. So again, I say, EVERYONE should wear sunscreen.
- Your skin is waterproof. One way our skin protects our insides from the outside world is by keeping liquids from penetrating through the epidermis. It also keeps water from evaporating out of the body. Keeping the outside water out, and the inside water in.
Our skin is fighting off all kinds of stressors every day. From the air, water, food, medications we put on and in our body, and even the technology we work and play with. Those stressors are also known as free radicals and cause what is known as oxidative stress. Our skin starts out like a nice ripe firm apple, but as it gets exposed – like cutting open the apple – it begins to oxidize which causes cellular damage. This is happening both from the outside in and inside out. So how do we protect ourselves?
Here are some quick and easy ways to start from the outside:
- Shade: You can reduce your risk of sun damage and skin cancer by staying in the shade under an umbrella, tree, or other shelter.
- Clothing: When possible, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants and skirts, which can provide protection from UV rays.
- Hat: For the most protection, wear a hat that has a brim all the way around that shades your face, ears, and the back of your neck.
- Sunglasses: Sunglasses protect your eyes from UV rays and reduce the risk of cataracts. They also protect the tender skin around your eyes from sun exposure.
- Sunscreen and Skin Care: Choose a reef safe sunscreen and apply every day. Choose skin care products that are free of toxins. Go to the Think Dirty app to see the scores of the products you might be using. If they score over two you may want to take a look at something else.
But what about from the inside out? How do we combat all those free radicals and oxidative stress? With antioxidants yes, but did you know that you would have to consume over 11 pounds of blueberries just to fight off one day’s worth of oxidative stress. There is a way to turn on your body’s own ability to produce more that 1 million antioxidants each day to help protect you from that cellular damage. You can find out more by going to www.activatedlife.net, and then give me a call. Give your cells and your skin a fighting chance.
Caring for Caregivers
Here’s the definition of caregiver that I think says it best, by former First Lady Rosalyn Carter, “There are only four kinds of people in the world — those that have been caregivers, those that are caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers.”
Having had several caregiver roles in my lifetime I am committed to helping all caregivers lead healthier, happier lives. So, if that might be you, let’s connect. And to provide you with some resources I have an updated download for you 10 Steps to Self Care for Caregivers.
All in the Ohana
If you would like to help me share the work of Alaka’i Associates you might like to check out this Etsy site run by my oldest son, Family Roots SD , items with the Alaka’i logo and more! We are a fun bunch!
I hope you like this new format and will share it with others.
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Until next time…..