Woman turning in green fields in the sunrise.

Natural Stress Relief

Stress is one of the most common causes for underlying problems such as weight gain, anxiety and depression, skin impurities, and many more.

Lots of us suffer from some degree of stress for many reasons: we compare ourselves to others, we place too many expectations on ourselves, we overload our schedule on the daily, etc. That is why I am here to tell you guys about some natural stress relief techniques that work for me.

This post contains affiliate links that, if you click through to buy the product, will earn me a small commission at not extra cost to you. View my full disclosure on this page.

Exercise

Girl doing yoga inside. She is on her hands and knees with her opposite arm and leg extended.

Working out is something that makes me feel accomplished, and like I am doing something for me. There is something about pushing the limits with our bodies that just takes the edge off.

Exercise actually releases endorphins into our bodies, which play a huge role in our mood. Some workouts that I love to do are:

  • Running/Walking – (If you are running, be sure to stretch and warm your legs and core up first!)
  • Yoga – this is a great one to loosen your joints and to relax your body after a long day.
  • Full Body Strength – Abs, legs, arms, etc.
  • Jump Roping – This is actually a great cardio workout that isn’t hard on your joints.
  • Hiking – This gets you out in nature and works out your legs, core and cardio.

Talk to Someone

Four girls talking outside. They are smiling at eachother.

As human beings, we need social interactions. Some people need it more than others, but talking to someone we know helps us to feel loved or part of something. Friendship is a great stress relief tool if you need to vent about something, or just distract yourself from whatever may be going on.

Try reaching out to a friend today and asking how they are doing. I challenge you to even talk to someone you haven’t been in contact with in a while. You may find yourself a little more upbeat because of it. One awesome thing about this: you can help your friend’s emotional state too!

Eat Healthy

A pink colored smoothie in a jar on the table. There are various fruits in the background such as bananas, raspberries, and a pineapple.

Healthy food powers not only our bodies, but our brains as well. I have always been the kind of person that is very aware of what I do and do not put into my body. There are lots of foods that not only taste good, but are good for your brain and mental health, such as:

  • Nuts
  • Berries
  • Oranges
  • Green, Leafy Veggies
  • Eggs
  • Turmeric
  • Fish
  • Dark Chocolate – I know, cool right? (that does not mean eat it excessively)

Go Outside

A man sitting at the end of a wooden dock on a clear, reflective lake in the mountains.

There is something about taking a deep breath of fresh air that just calms my nerves and helps me center myself. I have always loved being outside and doing things in nature. It gives me a great perspective on life.

This change of perspective is what a lot of us need sometimes. We get so caught up in our daily lives that we forget the small and simple things. So get out there!

If you don’t have much time, try just going on a walk to a part of your neighborhood/community you haven’t been to before. If you have more time, then go on a hike or visit another part of town for a day just to take in the scenery and fresh air.

Breathing Exercises

Girl sitting cross-legged inside with her eyes closed, hands at heart center for yoga.

This is one of my go-to stress relief techniques because it is simple but powerful for me. It allows me to focus on myself for a few moments and tune the rest of my worries out.

When we focus on deep breaths, our minds and bodies go into a state of relaxation and peace. The oxygen we intake travels to our brains and supports better brain function.

So here is how I do breathing exercises:

  1. Sit on the floor with a yoga mat, the couch, your bed, etc. and close your eyes.
  2. Take one very deep breath in through your nose and out through your mouth.
  3. Take another deep breath in through your nose and this time, hold it.
  4. Slowly let the air out through your mouth and relax your muscles.
  5. Repeat the process, changing it up as you need to until your stresses are behind you.

Develop a Good Daily Routine

A blank notebook with a pen on a light colored wooden table next to a plant.

Lots of people find that when they have a to-do list or daily plan, they feel less stressed about the numerous tasks that lie ahead. I am definitely one of those people. When I am able to cross even the little things off of my list, I feel accomplished.

This daily planner is great for to-do lists, water intake, detailed daily planning and more!

Good daily habits to get into include:

  • Drinking Water regularly – wake up hydrating yourself and don’t stop!
  • Eat Breakfast
  • Set Goals for the day – even small or simple ones
  • Create that to-do list – then cross it off as you go, it will motivate you to keep going
  • Make time to exercise
  • Stretch/ meditate before bed
  • Keep a good night routine – this will help you sleep better
  • Get around 7-9 hours of sleep nightly

Share With Your Friends

I would love to hear how these techniques have helped you reduce stress in your life. Feel free to contact me and let me know!

Share this post on social media to let your friends know about these awesome techniques and invite them to share theirs with me as well!

© 2021 A Balanced Lifestyle – All Rights Reserved.

Getting Healthy Skin with More Than Just a Face Routine

Did you know that there are many different factors to skin health other than how clean/ moisturized it is? Yes it is important to keep your skin clean and hydrated and to choose the right products for your skin, but if you are finding it hard to clear stubborn acne or other unwanted skin blemishes the problem may be lying under the surface.

I have a history of stubborn acne when I was a teenager so I know how much fun it is… not. I tried so many products recommended by the dermatologist such as topical and oral medications, but I felt like these only solved a part of the problem.

It wasn’t until I developed good sleeping, eating, hydration, facial, and other routines that I saw my skin just take care of itself. Finding a good balance in everything literally cleared my skin. Here is a list of a few things that actually play a role in your skin’s health.

This post contains affiliate links that, if you click through to buy the product, will earn me a small commission at not extra cost to you. View my full disclosure on this page.

Factors That Influence Skin Health

Woman sleeping in fresh white sheets. A sufficient amount of sleep is important for our health.

Sleep

It is recommended that we get at least 7-9 hours of sleep every night. It is important to develop a good sleep schedule and to “prepare for bed” by:

  • Washing your face and applying a night cream
  • Keeping clean sheets
  • Relaxing/ mediating before laying down
  • Not eating right before going to bed

For the 1st 3 hours of sleep, our body releases the Human Growth Hormone which maintains the youthfulness of our skin and repairs the skin from daily damage.

For the middle 2 hours of sleep, our body releases Melatonin which is an antioxidant to protect our bodies from harmful free radicals.

For the last 3 hours of sleep, our bodies’ cortisol (stress hormone) levels decrease and our skin recovers from the long day we just had.

So get your beauty rest – its a thing! Learn more here.

Various fruits in the shape of an "L" for liver. Fruits are great liver foods that help stimulate it to flush out toxins.

Liver

As I mentioned in my last post, liver health is actually related to skin health. If your liver is not doing its job of flushing out toxins, they come out through the skin.

Toxins living in the deep layers of our skin can cause surface blemishes such as acne, eczema, dark spots, dermatitis, and wrinkles. So taking care of your liver is a way to clean your skin from the inside out.

Superfoods for liver health include:

  • Leafy Green Vegetables
  • Garlic
  • Tomatoes
  • Citrus Fruits
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Avocados

This website has lots of info on liver health!

Woman sitting in stress. Her eyes are closed and stress lines are present on her forehead. Stress causes other internal health changes due to rising Cortisol levels.

Stress

Throughout my life, every time I get stressed I notice a little zit or two pop up out of nowhere. I used to try and just clean the area and apply creams and stuff but now I notice that when I calm down and keep a good routine it goes away.

When we are stressed, our Cortisol levels rise and this causes our sebaceous glands to produce more oil. So its no wonder that when I am stressed I get pimples and when I am calm they go away.

Ways to manage stress include:

  • Yoga/exercise
  • Good morning routine
  • Breathing exercises
  • Make a to-do list or schedule
  • Set aside time for yourself
  • Go on a walk
  • Start a new hobby
Woman holding a glass of water. Her skin and nails appear to be in good health. Hydrated skin is healthy and does not contain as many toxins.

Hydration

Did you know that your skin is the last organ in the body that receives the water we drink? That’s right, so keeping our bodies hydrated is very important so that our skin reaps the benefits.

Studies have shown that drinking at least 9.5 cups of water every day improve our skin’s density and thickness. Dr. Steven Deliduka, a board certified dermatologist said,

“Without adequate water intake, skin appears duller, and wrinkles and pores are more prominent.”

Dr. Steven Deliduka, Forefront Dermatology

To drink more water, try setting timers throughout the day to remind you, or using one of these water bottles that track your intake throughout the day. (I like to add frozen strawberries and lemon to my water so it has more flavor and health benefits!)

Natural Skin Care Products

I like to find products that do not contain harmful chemicals for my skin, but that aren’t super expensive. Here are some that I like:

Burts Bees Sensitive Facial Cleanser
Burts Bees Sensitive Moisturizing Cream
Alba Botanica Detox Cleanser
Alba Botanica Detox Scrub

© 2021 A Balanced Lifestyle – All Rights Reserved.

Why You Should Drink Lemon Water Daily

So a lot of you were commenting and asking about lemon water after my last post. This made me want to share something separate to explain the benefits of drinking lemon water daily.

I have done some research that is based on scientific studies and I will link some of the pages I visited so you guys can learn even more!

This post contains affiliate links that, if you click through to buy the product, will earn me a small commission at not extra cost to you. View my full disclosure on this page.

My Chia Seed and Lemon Water Recipe

Before I get into the benefits, I want to share a super healthy and delicious recipe! Chia seeds are very high in fiber and packed full of vitamins. Mixing them into my lemon water (and sometimes sweetening with honey) creates a great daily drink.

You Will Need:
1 cup of water
1tbsp Chia seeds – I use THESE
1/2 lemon, squeezed.
(Try a Lemon Squeezer to get more out of it.)
Honey to taste

Mix the ingredients together in a glass and allow the chia seeds to absorb for about 10mins. You will need to stir occasionally because they will settle on the bottom. Enjoy!

The Benefits of Lemon Water

1 Weight Loss/ Weight Gain Prevention

I think it is important to note the prevention part of drinking lemon water regularly. The flavanones in lemons have lipid-lowering properties, which help prevent fatty buildup.

I mentioned the study on mice in my last post. Scientists fed a group of mice fattening food and the ones that were given lemon water showed significantly less weight gain and underlying health problems associated with obesity.

There have not been many studies with human weight gain, but we do know that key nutrients in lemons aid in digestion and detoxing the body. You can learn more from this article!

2 Promotes Heart Health

I mentioned Flavanones in the previous section. These compounds have antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, antihypertensive, and many more properties. This means they work well in preventing heart disease and even lowering cholesterol.

The fiber found in citrus is also good for your heart, so there are even benefits to the pulp!

Read this post from Healthline and see the studies attached if you want more info.

3 Healthy and Clear Skin

Lemons are very rich in Vitamin C, which reduces wrinkles and other impurities in the skin.

Also, did you know that your liver health is related to your skin complexion? See the next section for details!

Another mouse study! In 2016, scientists tested hairless mice to see the effects of lemon water and wrinkles. They concluded that the intake of lemon water reduces the risk of wrinkles and premature aging changes to the skin.

Hydration is very important to promote skin health. Hydrated skin has a decreased risk of developing stretch marks, acne, and wrinkles.

4 Detoxes the Liver

The antioxidant properties in lemons stimulate the liver to flush out toxins from the body and regenerate.

Think of your liver as your AC filter – if it is dirty, the quality of air circulating the house is effected. Don’t let that happen to your body!

Liver health is related to skin health. Why? Because if the liver is not breaking down toxins, your body still tries to get rid of them and they end up leaving through the skin. This causes Acne, Dermatitis, Dark Spots, Premature Wrinkles, etc.

This Article has a lot more info about liver benefits!

© 2021 A Balanced Lifestyle – All Rights Reserved.

Healthy Habits to Add to Your Morning Routine

The best way to have a good day is to start the morning off right. Having good routines and habits in the morning plays a huge impact in your mental and physical health. There are so many benefits to developing these morning habits such as boosting energy, loosing weight, better productivity, having a happier attitude, improving your overall health, and so much more. If one or all of these are what you need, then consider taking the time in the morning to do these things.

Now I know what you may be thinking – I have such a busy schedule that I couldn’t possibly fit anything else in, or that it is easier said than done. Now we are not all perfect and that is why we are here, to improve each day. A good start would be to just take 10-15 minutes out of your morning to do one or two of the things I have listed below. Then start to add more things from the list, or even incorporate your own ideas! (And share your ideas with me, because I love to hear what other people come up with as well!)

This post contains affiliate links that, if you click through to buy the product, will earn me a small commission at not extra cost to you. View my full disclosure on this page.

Meditate

The word Meditation comes from the Latin word meditatum which means to ponder. When we meditate, our minds are clear and we focus on ourselves, creating a better connection with mind and body. Meditation is an ancient Indian practice that began thousands of years ago and is still common in today’s society. Something that has been around for so long and is still widely practiced today must have some good effect right?

Meditation is simple, you do not have to do anything complex or “voodoo-like”. I like to meditate right when I wake up, before I even get out of bed. This is because my mind is already clear from just waking up and has not had to process much yet. I sit up in my bed, close my eyes, and take a few deep breaths in and out. I try to focus on nothing but my own body and mind. Once I have done this for a couple of minutes I already feel refreshed and my energy level has boosted. I am ready to take on the day.

Drink Water

Starting the morning off by drinking at least a glass of water when you wake up is a great way to boost your energy. (Hint: add a squeeze of lemon for many benefits such as: weight loss, healthy skin, and much more) Fun Fact – there was a study done in mice that were fed a high fat diet. One half of the group was given lemon water and showed significantly less weight gain and underlying conditions than the other half.

Drinking about 1 gallon of water every day is vital in keeping your body and skin healthy. I know it can be hard for some of you, as it sometimes is for me. If that is the case, try THIS water bottle to keep track. For those who do not like water – try adding fruits or flavorings to your water. Eating watermelon or oranges is also a good way to hydrate yourself.

Exercise/Stretch

The moment you wake up is when your muscles and joints have been most relaxed. This is what makes morning stretches and exercises very effective. It does not need to take a long time. Even if you have a busy morning schedule, 5-10 minutes can still make a difference. Here are some ideas:

  • Yoga – this is my FAVORITE morning exercise! It gives me so much energy. There are lots of great Youtube videos. You can get a good yoga mat here!
  • Hamstring Stretch – sit with your legs straight in front of you and reach for your toes. (Hint: try to keep your back as flat as possible)
  • Lunges – Try to keep your torso upright to stretch your hips as well.
  • Cat/Cow – Get on your hands and knees and arch your back up and down, holding it in each extreme for a moment. This will loosen up your spinal joints.
  • Head Circles – move your head around in circles, alternating directions.
  • Chest Opener – clasp your hands behind your back and open your chest upwards. This is perfect for the mornings to wake you up.

Don’t Skip Breakfast!

Most people eat dinner around 6pm and go to bed around 9 or 10. They then sleep for about 8 hours, so the majority of us are going about 10 hours or so with no food. Eating breakfast helps to restore a healthy glucose level.

I work in the mornings and love to have something that I can throw together quickly. Protein shakes are a great go-to for that. I love to use this Protein and Greens Shake because it tastes GREAT with cold almond milk (does not have the classic weird protein taste!)

If you are trying to diet or loose weight, I know it may seem like a good idea to skip breakfast to intake fewer calories. However, eating a balanced meal in the morning can trigger our metabolism to burn more calories throughout the day.

© 2021 A Balanced Lifestyle – All Rights Reserved.