Craving Connection: The Importance of Intimate Relationships

4 Tips for Nurturing Your Relationship

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, our relationships – especially those with our spouse or partner – are top of mind. While we know there are many benefits to being in a healthy intimate relationship, there are studies that show it’s actually good for our wellbeing – especially as we age. These relationships are something we all need because we crave connection with others, but that doesn’t mean they come easy. That’s why I went to the experts to find out why intimate relationships are so important, why we need to focus on them for Valentines and throughout the year and how we can nurture them even when kids, work and day-to-day life are calling for our attention.

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The Importance of Traditions

Tips for Beginning New Traditions

From marking birthdays, to Sunday dinners, to Fourth of July picnics, to any of the other ways we mark milestones, events or simply being together – our cultures are full of traditions. While these can be found in daily life or on special occasions, they’re extremely important during the holidays. Some of these traditions have a religious foundation, while others are centered around simply sharing a common experience that unifies and brings us together. Either way, they help to center and ground us and help to add meaning to the ordinary and the extraordinary. That’s why we’re going to explore why traditions are so important, as well as how to start new ones for you and your family.

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Intentional Gift Giving

Creative, Unique and Meaningful Gift Ideas

It’s so easy to get caught up in the busyness of this time of year that sometimes we forget a very important aspect of what the holidays are all about. Giving. To others and for others. No wonder we can end up in the middle of all the hustle and bustle feeling deflated, depleted and broke. If our main objective is simply crossing off a list or filling a gift bag, we, as givers, get nothing from it and more than likely, the recipient doesn’t get much from it either. If, on the other hand, we put thought, energy and intention into the gifts we give, we’re not only giving joy, we’re creating it for ourselves as well.

Coming up with creative and meaningful gifts is something my family enjoys doing. That’s not to say that we don’t have crazy, busy years where we just check off a list, but those are the holiday seasons I enjoy the least because it means we’re too wrapped up in ourselves and the craziness of life. Intentional gift giving gets us out of ourselves and prompts us to stop and think about what would not only make others happy, but what would bring them joy. Here are some creative, unique and meaningful gift ideas to help get those juices flowing.

For it is in giving that we receive.

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Essential Oils: A Natural Alternative That Promotes Health and Healing

How They Work, How They Help and How To Get Started

If you’re tired of popping a pill every time you get a headache or looking for an alternative for that nightly glass of wine to help you unwind, or you’re tired of having a cabinet full of cleaning products that contain chemical ingredients you can’t even pronounce, essential oils might be something you’ll want to explore. While the science behind them is young, their use is not. We’ve come full circle to what our ancestors and indigenous people knew long ago. Essential oils are natural alternatives that promote health and healing, and we’re going to show you how they work, how they help and how to get started.

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Part 2: Phone Breakup

How We Can Move On

Cell phone use, especially smartphone use, is on the rise, and the way we live our lives is a reflection of that. Statistics released by the Pew Research Center earlier this year, show that 77 percent of Americans own smartphones – up from 35 percent in 2011. We’re no longer tied to computers or desks to get information. It’s at our fingertips whenever and wherever we need it. In fact, the same report shows that “Today one-in-five American adults are ‘smartphone-only’ internet users – meaning they own a smartphone, but do not have traditional home broadband service.” While there are many good things about so many people being connected to information in this way, there are also many pitfalls. Mainly, as we become more connected to our phones, we run the risk of becoming less connected to each other and to the world around us.

As I told you in Part 1: Breaking Up With My Cellphone, I started seeing this in my own life. A completely unhealthy, dependent relationship with my phone had emerged, and something needed to change. I needed a breakup. Part 1 was about how I came to this realization and how I relied on How To Break Up With Your Phone author Catherine Price and  Good Morning America’s #phonebreakup Challenge to help lead me through the process. Now, I’m sharing what the seven-day breakup was like, how I’m moving on with a new relationship with my phone and how you can too.

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Breaking Up with My Cellphone

Why We Aren’t Saying Goodbye, But We Are Seeing Other People

I can’t say it was love at first sight. In fact, I was fairly intimidated going from my flip phone to this mini-computer that fit in my hand. I was awkward, self-conscious and all the things you normally feel when you’re first getting to know each other. But as soon as I found out everything this magical piece of technology known as a “smart phone” could actually do, I was over the moon. It wasn’t too long though before our healthy love affair became a one-sided obsession.

Now, if I accidentally leave it at home or walk from one room to another without it, it feels as if I’m missing a part of myself. Considering I have a wonderful husband, two sons and a dog who’s only wish in life is to be petted, this in no way shape or form could be classified as a healthy relationship with my cellphone. That’s why, when I saw a segment on Good Morning America with ABC anchor Dan Harris and How To Break Up With Your Phone author Catherine Price about how she helped him to break up with his phone, I knew I had to do the same. I’m a health and wellness writer for heaven’s sake! I know this isn’t healthy, and it’s certainly not good for my overall wellbeing. With the help of GMA’s #phonebreakup Challenge, I’m breaking up with my cellphone. While we’re not saying goodbye, we’re definitely seeing other people – and at least for me, that’s a good thing! After reading this, you may want to evaluate whether you’re in need of a phone breakup as well.

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Financial Stress to Prosperity: How to Improve Overall Wellness

Steps to Take Toward Financial Wellness and a Healthier You

How do finances fit into a conversation about health and wellness? The answer is, very well! They’re as much a part of the equation as what we eat, what our mental state is and how our body feels. Remember, everything we do is connected to everything else, and while many things have an impact on our overall wellbeing, there are very few that have the far-reaching effects that financial stress or financial wellness do. That’s why we have to think about our finances in holistic terms and why this is such an important topic to cover in the health and wellness space. It’s also why I went to best-selling author, money expert, and speaker Ellen Rogin to find out how shifting our mindset can shift our reality when it comes to financial wellness.  She explains how that happens and shares steps we can take that will move us from financial stress to prosperity and overall wellness.

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Ellen Rogin, CPA, CFP

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Getting Started with Yoga

Tips for Beginners

Downward-Facing Dog, Eagle Pose, Garland Pose, Half Moon Pose and Lotus Pose – just to name a few. This is the empowering language of yoga that can leave even a beginner wanting more. More flexibility, more strength, a stronger core, better muscle tone and even more focus. Can one practice really deliver all of this? Yoga Instructor RJ Lisander  offered a resounding Yes! when I went to her to find the answers that many women who are curious about yoga want to know. As RJ makes clear in this Q&A, getting started with yoga doesn’t have to be intimidating and it doesn’t have to be scary. Everyone who tries this ancient practice is a beginner at some point, but as most find fairly quickly, yoga is not only good for your body, it’s great for your mind as well. I think RJ put it best when she said, “It helps you find balance between the extremes of everyday life on and off the mat.”

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6 Tips for Better Sleep

Why Sleep is so Important

“I can sleep when I’m dead. I have more important things to be doing…” If you’ve ever had those thoughts, you’re not alone. In fact, I count myself among the worst offenders on this. But the reality is, we do need sleep, and lots of it. But why is it so important, why aren’t we getting enough of it, and most importantly, what can we do about it? The answers to these questions, plus our 6 tips for better sleep could just change your entire outlook on life. So, before you quit your job, consider divorce, or do anything else drastic, keep reading. It may be that you just need more sleep!

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6 Ways to Regain Your Joy

And How to Keep From Losing it in the First Place

Have you ever had a time when you felt like you were going through life on autopilot, or that you just felt “flat?” If so, you’re certainly not alone. While we all feel that way at one time or another, it could mean you’ve lost touch with your joy. That’s not a place you want to be in for long. As we know, our mind, body and overall wellbeing are connected, and joy plays a critical role in this circle of integrated wellness.

But what is joy really, how do you know if you’ve lost it and most importantly, how do you regain it? I went to “The Joy Doctor” to find the answers to these important questions. Dr. Shannon South, LPC, ThD is a transpersonal therapist and author who has been through quite a bit of trauma herself, has come out on the other side and now helps others to overcome trauma by focusing on what is right about themselves – their joy. With her expertise to guide us, we’re going to learn about ways to regain our joy and how we can keep from losing it in the first place.

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Dr. Shannon South, LPC, ThD

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