Tag Archives: Stress

Dry Brushing For Overall Wellness

vine vera banner presents Dry Brushing For Overall Wellness

It’s always nice when you buy a new cosmetic product and it comes with a brush. Brushes are great for applying products for a professional finish, but we all know it’s really the product we care about, right? After all, we usually don’t buy that $20 dollar eyeliner because we have to have the brush. But what about if the brush is the product? Dry brushing may be the newest thing in skin exfoliation, detoxification, stress relief, and reduction of cellulite, and just think, you’ll never have to worry about running out of product again. Take a look at some of the benefits of dry brushing, how to do it, and what to look for in a good dry brush. You may never go back to lotion!

Benefits
Good For Your Lymphatic System
The lymphatic system is the part of your body in charge of eliminating cellular waste. When the lymphatic system becomes congested, waste and toxins build up causing inflammation and disease. Dry skin brushing decongests your lymphatic system, helping the skin release harmful toxins.

Exfoliation
Exfoliation without the micro beads? Dry skin brushing helps to remove dead skin cells, opening clogged pores, and improving skin’s appearance for product- free exfoliation.

Promote Blood Circulation
If you’re looking to restore that healthy glow, the dry brushing of skin increases blood circulation to your skin, aiding in the elimination of metabolic waste.

vine vera banner presents Dry Brushing For Overall Wellness

 

Reduces Cellulite
Summer is beach time, and you don’t need pesky cellulite deposits getting in the way of your perfect bikini body. Dry brushing may soften hard deposits of fat causing them to become more evenly distributed while removing toxins that break down connective tissue. While some believe the cellulite removing effect to be temporary, as a result of the skin’s immediate plumping reaction to the brushing, The Huffington Post reported dry brushing to be, “one of the more successful ways to smooth away less-than -perfect spots on your legs.”

Stress Relief
Dry brush away your stress! Dry brushing has been reported to be meditative, calming the mind and relieving stress. Some even compare it to a whole body massage!

How To Do It
Choose a high-quality brush with natural bristles and a long handle to get those hard to reach spots. Aim to dry brush onto two times a day, gradually working it into your daily routine. Always brush toward your heart, which is most effective for your lymphatic system and circulation. Start at your feet and work your way up, avoiding the delicate skin on your face, or any easily irritated areas. Keep the pressure you apply firm but gentle. Your skin may be pink afterward, but not red or irritated. An average session of dry brushing should last between two and 20 minutes.

Have you tried dry brushing? Let us know what you think? Is this the next big thing in skincare?

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Lifestyle May Be Your Skin Care Savior

Your skin will not lie. You can say you never ate that sugary food, didn’t go out in the sun without sunscreen, didn’t skimp on sleep; the list goes on, but your skin will give you away every time. You can lie all you want, but that blemish, sunburn, or wrinkle will be there to testify against you.

Face it, there’s only one way to prevent your skin from revealing your sins, and that is to stop sinning. It’s time to accept the fact that the only way to keep your skin quiet is by keeping it healthy. Here are some lifestyle changes to help you choose the right path to healthy skin.

Woman in nature

Protect Your Skin From the Sun
One sure way to prevent skin from premature aging is to protect it from the sun. There is no surer way to prevent age spots and wrinkles or to lower the risk of skin cancer. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15 and apply generously, repeating every two hours, or more, if you’ve been swimming or perspiring.

Try to avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when its rays are strongest and do your best to stay in the shade.

Wear protective clothing. Tightly woven long-sleeved shirts and pants, and wide-brimmed hats provide the best protection from the sun. There are also laundry additives on the market which give clothes an extra layer of UV protection for a number of washings, as well as sun protective clothing with built-in protection from ultraviolet rays.

Stop Smoking
Smoking narrows the blood vessels in the outer layers of the skin, decreasing blood flow and depleting skin of nutrients and oxygen. The result is older looking skin and wrinkles.

Additionally, smoking is a danger to collagen and elastin production. Collagen and elastin are the fibers that maintain skin’s strength and elasticity.

Woman smoking

Also, the faces that you make from smoking? The pursing of the lips? The squinting? Also likely to cause wrinkles. How can you prevent this? Quit smoking. Ask your doctor for tips and treatment advice.

Be Gentle
Even simply daily cleansing can tax your skin. You can keep the toll to a minimum by limiting bath time. Hot water can remove oil from your skin, and the longer you spend bathing, the greater the loss of moisture. Keep bath time down and try to use warm water, rather than hot.

Swap strong soaps and detergents for mild cleansers to keep skin better hydrated.
Shave carefully, using shaving cream, gel, or lotion prior to shaving. Use a clean sharp razor and shave in the direction in which the hair grows to ensure the smoothest shave with the least skin nicks and cuts.

Pat skin dry after washing to make sure some moisture is left on the skin and follow up with an SPF containing moisturizer that is suited to your skin type.

Eat well
Never underestimate the importance of a good diet for skin health. Eat your veggies, fruits, lean proteins, and whole grains. Research suggests that diets high in unhealthy fats and processed carbohydrates may age skin prematurely, while vitamin C-rich foods may promote younger-looking skin.

Woman meditating outdoors

Control Stress
Stress can increase skin sensitivity and lead to breakouts and other problems. You can manage stress by setting limits and decreasing overwhelming activity in exchange for things you enjoy, or doing low-intensity exercises like yoga and pilates.

Turn Off Your Cell Phone
According to Dr. Francesca J. Fusco, if you keep your head down often while scrolling or texting, you may begin to notice lines in your neck. She suggests hanging photos at eye level in rooms in which you text the most as an enticement to keep your head up during phone use.

Let us know how you have changed your lifestyle to improve your skin health. We want to know!

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Stretches That Relieve Stress

Late night comedian and talk – show host, Jimmy Fallon, was once quoted as saying, “Don’t keep reaching for the stars because you’ll just look like an idiot stretching that way for no reason.” Leave it to Jimmy to literalize a lovely age old metaphor into absurdity. Though some may jest, that shouldn’t be a reason to abandon your aspirations! If you want to reach for the stars, feel free to keep doing so, and if anyone asks you why you’re stretching that way, just tell them you’re relieving stress.

Jaime Longval, MS and certified strength and conditioning special in at Brown University says, “Stretching is an effective strategy to aid in the relief of stress. It lengthens muscles to relieve tension.” Another benefit to stretching is that it can be done almost anywhere. Here are a few great stretches you can do to relieve stress.

Woman breathing
Breathe
Just the act of focusing on your breath can be restorative and relaxing. Just close your eyes and turn your attention to your breathing. Inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. Repeat the exercise ten times, making a set. After doing three sets, you should begin to feel more relaxed.

Neck and Shoulder Stretch
Sit in a chair with your back straight and your feet on the floor, about a shoulder width from one another. Put your hands behind your head and interlock your fingers at the base of your neck. Lean your head toward the floor and bring your shoulder blades together. Hold position for ten seconds, then release. Repeat three times.

Lower Back Stretches
Who couldn’t use a good lower back stretch! Sit in your chair with your feet on the floor. Lean forward to grab your ankles with both hands. Hold for ten seconds feeling the stretch and repeat three times.

vine-vera-stretches-that-relieve-stress-1
Arm Stretch
Sit straight in a chair. Put both feet on the floor, a shoulder length apart from each other. Interlock your fingers, stretching your arms out in front of you. Turn your palms to face away from your chest. Hold for ten seconds, raise your arms above your head, and hold for another ten seconds. Do three sets.

Leg stretches
Sit in your chair with your back straight and your feet pressed to the floor. Raise your left leg and straighten it out in front of you, Rotate your ankle to the right and them to the left, holding the position for ten seconds. Repeat with your right leg, doing 5 repetitions with each leg.

Benefits
Besides releasing tension and stretch, benefits of these exercises include the strengthening of joints and muscles, the increase of endurance, a better mood and higher energy levels, the easing of stiffness and pain, an improvement of performance at work, better circulation and a reduction of neck pain and tension. So keep reaching for the stars, and if you happen to decrease stress in the process, all the better!

Let us know what you do to decrease stress during the day and if you know any stress relieving stretches, please share them with us, we need them!

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Tips For Instant Relaxation

Woman working at home.

If you are a fan of the Seinfeld sitcom, you may be familiar with the phrase, “Serenity Now.” In the episode by the same name, George Costanza’s father, Frank, is advised by his doctor to say the phrase when he feels stressed in an effort to calm down and control his high blood pressure. However, one has to wonder if the doctor intended that the rage controlling phrase was meant to be yelled at the top of one’s lungs, as Frank demonstrates in the episode. You could say that Frank sort of missed the point. Well, if you are trying to de-stress, and have found the expression, “Serenity now” is not working no matter how hard you try, you may be pleased to know that there are more foolproof ways of achieving instant relaxation.

Decompress
Put a warm heat wrap around your neck and shoulders. Close your eyes, letting your face, upper chest, neck, and back muscles relax. Leave the wrap on for ten minutes and then remove it. Follow it up by using a foam roller or tennis ball for massage. Cathy Benninger, nurse and practitioner instructs, “Place the ball between your back and the wall. Lean into the wall and hold applying gentle pressure for up to 15 seconds. Then move the ball to another spot.”

Laugh Out Loud
Unless you want to run the risk of being labeled, “that lady (or gentlemen) in the corner office,” you may want to save this one for the ride home, or you can just hold the cell phone to your face and pretend someone has just told you something really funny. Laughing lowers cortisol, the stress hormone in your body, and boosts endorphins. Laughter can be induced by watching an amusing video or T.V. show or by reading the funnies.

Crank Up the Volume
You always feel better with your favorite times on. Research shows that listening to music can lower anxiety and reduce heart rate and blood pressure. Benninger advises, “Create a playlist of nature sounds and allow your mind to focus on the different melodies, instruments, or singers in the piece.” Or, in layman’s terms, “Play it loud!”

Friends having fun

Reach Out
You know Mom always makes you feel better! Give one of your friends a call so they can remind you how fun you can be!

Move Around
You don’t have to do full on cardio to get a runners high. All types of exercise, including walking and yoga, can release endorphins in the brain and ease anxiety and depression. For a quick midday de-stressor, take the stairs, walk around the block, or just stretch out with some shoulder shrugs and head rolls.

Breathe
Take a little break to focus on breathing. Sit up straight with your eyes closed and place your hand on your belly. Inhale through your nose, with the breath starting in your abdomen and gradually working its way to the top of your head. Then exhale through the mouth, reversing the process. Psychologist Judith Tutin, PhD says, “Deep breathing counters the effects of stress by slowing heart rate and lowering blood pressure.”

Let us know how you found your ‘serenity now.’

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Keeping Your Cool In Every Situation

 

woman sweating

Sweat. There are two types: the sweat that occurs when the temperature gets high, and stress-related sweat. Either way, most of us try to avoid perspiration at all costs. Most scientists agree that sweat and body odor play evolutionary roles in sending the warning signal to others. A stranger’s body odor causes the brain to interpret the actions of that person in a negative way. Definitely not desirable when trying to make a first impression.

If you are prone to perspiration, you may be at an unfair social disadvantage. After all, many of us have a hard time with high temperatures for different reasons and false assumptions can be made about its cause. We always want to appear in control and put together. Maybe that’s why Americans spent 2.69 billion dollars on antiperspirants and deodorants. If you’re one of the many having a problem keeping your cool, here are a few things you may want to think about.

Causes of Sweating

  • High Temperature- When body temperature rises as a result of exercise, fever or hot weather, the ducts in the skin release sweat. This moistens the body’s surface and cools it down as the moisture evaporates.
  • Stress- Sweat can be triggered by fear, embarrassment, anger, and emotional stress.
  • In response to something you have eaten is called gustatory sweating. It is commonly provoked by caffeinated drinks, alcohol, and spicy food.
  • Medication and illness- Sweat can be caused by fever, and fever reducers, infection, cancer, painkillers, hypoglycemia, thyroid hormones and complex regional pain syndrome.
  • Menopause-Hormonal fluctuation experienced during menopause can cause night sweats and hot flashes.
  • Lifestyle changes to reduce sweating

Whatever the cause of you sweat may be, there are some universal solutions.

  • Wear light layered clothing so that your skin can breathe. If you heat up during the day, remove layers until you are comfortable.
  • Wash your face and body frequently to get rid of dried sweat and keep comfortable.
  • If your clothing is sweaty, change out of it. This will help prevent yeast and bacterial infections.
  • hydrated by drinking water or sports drinks. It is important to replace lost electrolytes and fluids after perspiring.
  • Apply antiperspirant or deodorant regularly under arms. Bring it along with you and reapply as necessary. If you are a big sweater, (not like the thing you wear to keep warm, get it? Sweater/ sweater?) you may want to consider applying deodorant before bed. In the morning, when the sweat volume is high the active ingredient in the antiperspirant may wash off.
  • You may want to try a prescription or high strength OTC.
  • Stop eating foods that increase sweating.
  • your sweating comes from illness or medication, talk to your doctor about alternatives.

Avoid Sweating Through Clothes

  • Read labels- Look for labels that say the fabric keeps away moisture or look for high content of bottom
  • Colors- White clothing tends to show the most sweat. It will be least noticeable on prints and patterns.
  • Shoes- Make sure your shoes are breathable, especially if foot sweat is a problem
  • No hats- Your head holds in most of your body’s heat; don’t trap it in with a hat.
  • Carry a change of clothes- It may be a good idea to keep some fresh clothes in the car, especially shirts.

You can handle it. No sweat!

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Tips for Dropping 10

Whether you are looking to lose those last ten pounds before hitting the beach this summer or you’re finally ready to make a lifelong change, the following tips can get you on the track to real weight loss. Always remember to listen to your body and check with a doctor before making any major changes to your diet or exercise routine (particularly if you are being treated for a medical condition).

Weightlifting

Lift Some Weights
If you’ve ever spent countless hours doing cardio and been disappointed by its results, you should give weightlifting a try. When we build more muscle mass by lifting heavy, we increase our metabolic rate, which means we burn more calories all the time, even in our sleep. Lifting heavy is a relative term; what is heavy for you when starting a strength training program may be light as you get stronger, but women especially tend to underestimate their strength. If you need help getting started, seek advice from a trainer, read some books on the subject, or use resources available online.

Ditch Processed Foods
When you eat highly processed foods, you consume excessive amounts of sodium (which causes your body to retain extra body weight in the form of water), sugar (which causes uncontrollable cravings), and all sorts of chemicals like artificial sweeteners, colorings, and preservatives. Opt instead for whole foods like meat, vegetables, fruit, nuts, and healthy fats.

Get Some Rest
It’s widely accepted in the fitness world that sleep is just as, if not even more, important as regular exercise. Your body needs adequate sleep in order to recover from exercise and a lack of sleep is a huge contributor to unhealthy cravings. Plus, without enough sleep, you’re less likely to have the energy you need to exercise! If you have trouble falling asleep at night, start turning off your electronic devices at least 30 minutes (or more!) before bed, engage in relaxing activities such as reading a book or sipping herbal tea, and make sure your bedroom is a relaxing place to sleep by keeping it dark, cool, and quiet.

Manage Your Stress
Chronic stress not only disrupts our sleep, but is also related to elevated blood pressure, decreased physical performance, and an increase of abdominal fat. Take time out of your day, every day, to do something that brings you joy. It could simply be going for a walk with your dog or lighting some candles and taking a bath. Make sure you aren’t over-committing yourself in your work or personal life and consider starting a gratitude journal to remind yourself of all you have to be thankful for.

HIIT

HIIT
High-Intensity Interval Training has received a lot of attention recently and for good reason; if you’re looking for an effective fat burning workout, HIIT is the way to go. Not only can you effectively burn more calories in a shorter amount of time, but by utilizing both your body’s aerobic and anaerobic systems, you can create a greater after burn effect. 1-2 sessions per week of HIIT is typically all you need to see great results.

Moderate Cardio
While HIIT is certainly effective, it shouldn’t replace regular, steady-state cardio. Moderate intensity means you are working hard enough that holding a conversation would be difficult, but not impossible. Some examples could include swimming, walking on an incline, or riding a bike.

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The Stress-Free Bride: Tips For Reducing Wedding Week Stress

Stressed bride

Aside from wedding jitters, the last thing a bride-to-be wants is a week of stress leading up to the big day. A combination of nerves and excitement are common, but if you’re worrying about everything and anything, stop right there. We’re here to limit your stress and offer some valuable tips to the run up of your wedding.

Forget Those Who Haven’t RSVP’d Yet
It’s just seven days before the wedding and you’re still anticipating if your aunt and uncle will confirm their attendance. But assume that those who haven’t got back to you won’t be attending. You gave everyone a deadline date for a reason and if they can’t respect that then all the more wedding cake for you. Chronic lateness isn’t your problem, it’s theirs.

Don’t Be a Control Freak
You can arrange your attire the night before and have everything at the ready, but you can’t plan exactly how the day will go (including unexpected bad jokes during speeches). Let go a little and relax. It’s fun to not know what the day will bring and the most important thing is that you’re marrying the love of your life. What could be better than that?

Surround yourself with friends and family who support you and delegate any last-minute tasks to them (ask nicely of course).  Don’t email the catering service three days before the wedding, call them and get your answer straight away rather than waiting around for a reply.

Bride getting ready

Try on Your Wedding Dress, Shoes and Plan Your Hair
Most women stress about what they’ll look like. Will my dress still fit? What if my shoes hurt? How should I wear my hair? These questions won’t miraculously be answered unless you do something about them. Throw on your shoes for the big day to wear them in so they’re not uncomfortable when you’re walking down the aisle. Put them on whilst you’re doing the housework or chilling around the house. You’ll thank us for it!

Just four more pounds to lose… Stop trying to shrink your frame in the name of looking good. Your dress won’t fit right and then you’ll have problems. Spend a night of trying it on and using another mirror to see every angle of how you look. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that your dress fits perfectly. Make sure you’re booked in with a hairdresser, or if you’re confident at styling, plan out what you’ll have it like. It’ll relax you to know that everything about your appearance is covered.

Don’t Do Too Much on the Wedding Morning
You’ve probably been fantasizing about this day for as long as you can remember. Manicures, hair styled, personal makeup artist and the list goes on. But like we said earlier, no matter how much you plan things out, not everything will go the way you want: bridesmaids will show up late, you’ll have a bad hair day etc. So don’t plan too many activities for the morning of your wedding, or the night before for that matter.

Your wedding day will go by quicker than any other day. All that hard work and planning will be over in a matter of hours. So embrace what truly matters – love. All the accessories and material things don’t really matter.

Happy wedding!

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