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Let it be easy.

November 26, 2014 in Healthy Eating Inspiration Physical Health Special Offers Wellness for Lawyers

Around this time of year, there is a race to that December 31 finish line. Projects to complete, targets to meet, people to see, cards to write, presents to get, holidays to organize, summer clothes to put away, winter clothes to find…the list goes on. It’s only November and already my to-do list and wine consumption have both doubled.  At the same time, there is less daylight each day, and around us, hibernation abounds.  We knew this when the leaves transformed into fall splendour, and yet we kept going at full pace.

Other than summer, which is rightly a religion in Canada, we pretend that we don’t have seasons.  Somehow, we think, heated seats and other modern conveniences, like lightbulbs, will allow us to continue as if nothing is happening.  Then the first flurry comes, and it’s undeniable.  We trudge on through winter in our parkas, and try to get to Florida, or farther south.  Some of us even delight in the crisp air and silvery snow, getting out into the cold to ski or take the kids out sledding.  You winter people – you really live in the right place!

Our needs are different at this time of year than they were just a few short months ago, and paying attention to them can make the difference between a cozy winter and a marathon of colds and overwhelm.  Vitamin D levels dip as sunshine hours are a distant memory, hydration plummets as heating use increases, and we start to really feel the weight of things in our lives that we don’t love.  Targeted self-care that supports the seasonal transition is a great way to ease into winter, with grace.

This list of practices to support yourself is meant to be read like a menu; in the spirit of letting it be easy, I invite you to choose from it what you like, instead of trying to do it all.

  • Get that sunshine vitamin.  In summer we get 20,000 international units of vitamin D from only 20 minutes of sunbathing.  The 400 international units found in your multivitamin is a relic of the days when the only goal was to prevent rickets.  While the science of optimal levels of vitamin D is still inconclusive, there is consensus that optimal levels of this vitamin contribute to a broad range of health benefits, from lower rates of cancers to decreased joint and muscle stiffness. The dose deemed safe for unsupervised consumption is 4000 international units daily, provided you are over 9 years old.  Depending on your vitamin D levels, which you can find out with a simple blood test, you may want to take more (with medical supervision).
  • Give yourself a water drinking challenge.  Dehydration is a shockingly common cause of fatigue and fogginess.  The simple challenge of pouring yourself two litres of water in the morning and finishing it by 8pm provides much needed hydration, and also information about your habitual water consumption.  Please note that water is water.  Juice is not water.  Tea is not water, and coffee is basically the opposite of water, because it is dehydrating.
  • Exercise differently (formerly known as cross-training).  On this matter, forget the winter slump.  Give yourself the energetic opposite of your usual exercise style, and enjoy the physical cross training and mental shift that result.  If you are a regular yogi, try a team sport or something that cultivates and directs aggress energy, like squash or kickboxing.  If you’re a cardio junkie, experiment with a long walk or a restorative yoga class.
  • Go to bed 30 minutes earlier.  In lieu of hibernating, give yourself some extra rest.  This one is likely the toughest on the list, because it requires that you break what you will soon discover are serious habits, habits that probably involve a computer, television, or smartphone.  None of these things is contributing to a good night’s sleep.  Take the opportunity to cultivate a bedtime ritual that supports healthy sleep, such as a bath, reading, or taking a few minutes to count the things that you are grateful for.
  • Go on a technology vacation.  Decide on an amount of time – an hour when you are awake, a weekend – and release yourself from the habitual connection to technology.
  • Try Aryuvedic self-massage.  This practice, called Abhyanga, is a winter favourite.  It is inherently warming, and offers an incredible range of benefits including increased circulation, lymph drainage, lubricated joints and skin, and relaxation.  First, choose your oil: almond, olive, Aryuvedic-grade sesame or a dosha-specific oil.  Before showering, warm about 1/4 cup of the oil by putting a jar or cup of it in hot water.  Gently massage the oil into your skin from the soles of your feet up to your scalp.  In the shower, soap only your groin and underarms, rinsing the superficial oil residue from your body and leaving the bulk of it to nourish your skin throughout the day.

YogaBeCPD

There are a few spaces left in the YogaBe + CPD Skinny on burnout workshop happening next Wednesday!  This December 3, 11am-1:30pm at YogaBe, the first yoga studio on Toronto’s PATH, located at MetroCentre, 200 Wellington Street W, PATH level.  $185+HST secures your place, and includes a 45-minute yoga class led by studio director Laura Baron, a delicious vegan and gluten free lunch from Kupfert & Kim, and a 90-minute CPD-accredited workshop with yours truly about the Skinny on Burnout (1.5 Professionalism Hours for Ontario Lawyers).   You can reserve your spot online right herePlease join us, and pass this information on to a lawyer in need – he or she will thank you.

Notice anything different?  The updated look and feel of curatedwellness.ca is thanks to the creativity and tech savvy of development and communications expert Elyse Power.  In the spirit of letting it be easy, have her create or recreate your website, a.k.a. portal to the world.  For a taster (literally) of her unique brand of user-friendly what-you-didn’t-know-you-needed, try this robotic meal designer that finds recipes for the three random things in your fridge.

Enjoy! May the best of the season shine in your life.

RS

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Relax! Announcing a collaboration with YogaBe

November 18, 2014 in Inspiration Physical Health Special Offers Wellness for Lawyers Workplace Wellness

One of the best perks of the work I do at Curated Wellness is getting to co-create with inspired entrepreneurs.  The passion that goes into birthing a new venture brings us some of the most enriching experiences and products – and YogaBe, Toronto’s first yoga studio on the PATH, is one such creation.  Its founder, Laura Baron, is a former Bay Street litigator, whose yogi tendencies compelled her to create the studio that Toronto’s financial district can now enjoy.

Together, we are offering an exceptional experience for Toronto lawyers to rejuvenate, learn, and earn those end-of-year CPD professionalism credits.  The program will be hosted at YogaBe’s convenient downtown studio in the MetroCentre, on Wednesday, December 3rd.  It includes a 45-minute, all-level yoga class led by Laura, a healthy lunch from PATH eatery Kupfert & Kim, and a 90-minute Curated Wellness workshop on practical strategies to manage stress and promote wellbeing called The Skinny on Burnout.

WHAT:  YogaBe + CPD: The Skinny on Burnout

WHEN: Wednesday, December 3, 2014

11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

WHERE: YogaBe Studio, 200 Wellington Street West, PATH Level, MetroCentre

COST: $185.00 + hst

Reserve your space online: yogabe.ca/CPD

We hope to see you there!

Pass this on to a lawyer friend in need, they will thank you.

 

 

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The truth about the holidays – and a limited offer

November 13, 2013 in Special Offers

The “holidays”…
…are my favorite time of year because of my immunity to unlimited amounts of dessert and alcohol (tested annually at holiday parties)
…are a multitasking disaster during which my “work-life balance” is at its annual low
…remind me of what I don’t have in my life, which leads to watching many reruns of sitcoms from the 1990s
…are ended with New Year’s resolutions for good reason
…appear in the dictionary beside “zen antithesis”
…are an excuse to finally wear my reindeer sweater and dreidel earrings without everyone staring at me in disapproval (the stares are in approval, maybe even envy)
…are that time of year when I can’t believe another year has passed and I haven’t achieved X health goal yet (again)
…are when I remember how much I loved exams during school (or am still in school writing them…)

Need a little support over the holidays? A limited number of 3-pack 1:1 60-minute sessions are available at $450, for use between now and December 30, 2013. Sessions can be in person, by phone, or via videochat.

We’ll address your wellbeing in a holistic way, including nutrition, exercise, career, relationships, and general stress and anxiety. The distance between here and feeling a whole lot better is much, much, closer than you think.

Contact rachel@rachelschipper.com to make this time for yourself, or to offer support to someone in your life who needs it.

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