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Filtering by Category: winter blues

MY FAVORITE WAYS TO THRIVE THROUGH THE WINTER MONTHS

katie strakosch

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MY FAVORITE WAYS TO KICK THE WINTER BLUES


I am a self-declared sun babe. Even as a young girl, I remember bundling up to sit outside and soak up winter sun rays on my face. I thrive in warm, sunny climates for my physical and emotional bodies.

But, there is something deeply nourishing about sinking into the winter season. Although it can feel like a season of hibernation, there is so much potent energy brewing beneath the surface.

It is the season to plan your seeds of what you would like to call in on your journey throughout the year; as well as honor the ebbs and flows of energy.

I’m sharing some of my most favorite whole body lovin’ tools to flow through the winter with energy and vitality.

Cheers to embracing the seasons!




Create Your Bedroom Sanctuary

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Eliminate television and other electronics, including your phone. Keep an good ol’ fashioned battery operated alarm clock on your nightstand instead of a phone.

Our brains are operating in overdrive mode, and sleep time is a necessity for the brain and body to restore themselves. Giving them a break from blue light exposure and WiFi is a supportive whole body tool.

Set the mood to turn into relaxation mode… Have a diffuser running with essential oils that you love, decorate your space with your favorite colors, welcome a plant like a Peace Lily, Spider Plant or Bamboo Palm into your space to help purify the bedroom air.

Don't skimp on this essential beauty and life secret!
Emails, catching up on social media and all other computer tasks can wait until the morning. 
Give yourself permission to rest and restore for at least 7 hours in your sleep sanctuary!

How do you want to feel in your sanctuary? Create MORE of it!


Become Close Friends with your Orgasm!

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Self pleasure and partner play is a wonderful way to keep happy vibes alive AND boost your immune system! When you reach orgasm, your brain releases dopamine and oxytocin, which makes you feel happier, relaxes your body and mind and helps support your overall mood!


Move & Groove

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Exercise pumps up your endorphins, your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters.
Movement supports a sense of well-being, while flushing away any residue from the holidays and BOOSTS the immune system!
One of my most favorite and inexpensive ways to relieve stress, get my heart pumping and tone up is jumping on my rebounder.  You can find these on Amazon and in sporting good stores (and find options with stability bars).  I keep a rebounder in the office and enjoy jumping on it throughout the day! I find it helps get the juices flowing and recharges my energy, along with the great benefits of lymphatic drainage.
Click here to see how easy rebounding is!

Experiment with what type of exercise works for you and GET MOVING!


Drink Up!

….with mood and brain boosting herbs!

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Calendula is one of the best to beat the winter blues! She improves circulation, supports glowing skins, offers anti-inflammatory properties to the body and adds a pop of sunshine to your day!

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Rosemary supports boosting the immune system, helps to reduce oxidative stress and soothes the nervous system. The aromatic properties help improve mood and energy. Rosemary also improves bile flow and loves up the gallbladder (helpful after overindulgence through the holidays). It also supports circulation and contains carnosol and carnosic acids, which are two powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that have been linked to reducing inflammation of muscles, blood vessels, and joints.


Support your Vitamin D Levels

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Vitamin D plays major roles in:

  • Immune function

  • Heart health

  • Joint health

  • Manages blood pressure

  • Oral health

  • Mental health (as low levels are linked to depression and anxiety)

  • Supports weight management

Ways to increase your Vitamin D levels:


Light Therapy

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The light found in a far infrared sauna is far infrared light, a type of invisible light located below the optical color red in the electromagnetic spectrum.

Far infrared light is used to purify polluted air, keep newborn babies warm in hospitals, promote growth in plants and more.
Enter in the many benefits far infrared light offers in sauna sessions:

  • Increased blood circulation

  • Improved cardiovascular functioning

  • Strengthened immunity

  • Relief of headaches, muscle pain and joint stiffness

  • Deep cellular detoxification

  • Improved sleep quality

  • Decreased stress levels in the body


Learn more about the benefits of chromotherapy in a sauna session here:
http://www.sunshinekates.com/blog/chromotherapy-sauna-benefits-color-therapy-explained


Make Room for Play!

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Invite your inner child out to play! Play naturally boosts the immune system, burns calories, reduces your stress hormones (e.g cortisol and adrenaline), improves cardiac health, builds confidence and connection. It’s a form of mindful meditation, truly embracing the moment. Think about a time when you watch children play. They are immersed in the moment. “They live in the moment. There doesn’t have to be a final goal and they play for the sake of play. The truth is, play is being joyfully immersed in the moment, and as adults, we rarely do that.” -Catherine Tamis-LeMonda , Professor of Applied Psychology.


Nourishing Food

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I hear it over and over again around this time of year 'I'm on a detox cleanse'. 
Yes, it is a wonderful time to move away from the overindulgence of the holiday season. But please remember this beauty, DON'T STARVE YOURSELF!

During the winter, your body needs and craves heartier foods rich in high quality protein and essential fatty acids. You need food to maintain immune function, hormonal balance and energy. 
Take the time to nourish your body through warming soups and stews. Start your day with a boost of protein through eggs or a superfood smoothie. Challenge yourself and see how many colors you can incorporate through veggies and fruits through the day.
 Between you and me, no one wants to be around someone who is 'Hangry'.



What are your favorite ways to THRIVE during the winter months?!


My Winter Women's Wellness Guide

katie strakosch


Yoni Steams

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A yoni steam is a warm steam bath for the vagina. It combines a customized blend of herbs and warm steam generated from a pot beneath a seat. It is a powerful and grounding experience that can be a vehicle in healing on all of these levels.

Yoni translates to ‘sacred seat' all-encompassing of the reproductive system: physically, emotionally and spiritually. 

A yoni steam is a gentle way to bring warm steam and heat to the pelvis and to the womb, increasing circulation and energy flow. The moist heat opens up the pores of the tissues and the herbal infusion offers the medicinal benefits of the plants.

The vaginal tissue is one of the most porous and absorbent of the entire female body. As a result, the steam is supportive for women’s reproductive, urinary and digestive health.

This was major game-changer for my body! After I first experienced this tool, I knew life would never be the same. I have consistently practiced monthly yoni steams for the past few years. My cycles have never been so beautiful: regular, no PMS symptoms, PCOS has cleared. My own practice led me to explore a certified training program. This was very complementary to my background in nutrition and herbs. This has enhance my passion to share this tool with other woman

**Please note that it is essential to work with a trained practitioner when you begin to explore your yoni steam practices. The yoni is a sacred seat of a woman's body. **

Read more about womb wellness work here: http://www.sunshinekates.com/wombwellness/


Yoni Eggs

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The practice of yoni eggs involves wearing a gemstone carved like an egg inside the vagina. When you practice with a Yoni Egg, you engage the muscles of the vagina and the pelvic floor. While practicing, the brain can begin to create new neuron connections correlated with areas of the body. 

Living our busy lives, we do not engage the pelvic floor muscles. This leads to loss of sensitivity and sensation in the vaginal area, reproductive health problems, urinary health interferences, PMS, disempowerment, decreased libido and a disconnection to our sacred feminine energy.

Studies show that the main culprit of reproductive dis-ease is lack of blood flow to this area of the body.

According to the Yale University School of Medicine, women overall have an up to 60% rate of incontinence and 50% rate of POP (pelvic organ prolapse) post-partum today. 

Yoni Eggs offer many health benefits including,but not limited to:

  • Gain control of the perineum and all groups of pelvic floor muscles
  • Support Orgasmic Health: including vaginal, cervical and uterine orgasms
  • Reducing PMS, menstrual cramps, breast discomfort; as through regular practice it can increase blood flow to pelvic organs and help move stagnant energy.
  • Stimulates the ovaries in a gentle way balances hormone levels

Read more about Yoni Eggs here: http://www.sunshinekates.com/wombwellness/


Plant Based Collagen

This is my favorite way to naturally boost collagen in my body. It strengthens bones, nails, hair, tissue and skin. I love how it supports an inner and outer glow!

Read more about it here: http://www.sunshinekates.com/shop-sunshinekates/anima-mundi-plant-based-collagen

 


 

V-Magic Down There Care

 

 

This an all-natural vulva and intimate skin cream that soothes, protects and calms. This nourishing cream provides immediate relief for dryness, redness, itching, burning and general discomfort. Vaginal tissue is vulnerable to temperature change and dampness. This is a proprietary blend of antimicrobial and antibacterial ingredients that can counter the irritated tissues.

This is an everyday cream that can be used both day and night.

Read more about it here: http://www.sunshinekates.com/shop-sunshinekates/v-magic


V-Magic Feminine Wash

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This gentle wash soothes, calms and nourishes the most delicate area of a woman's body. It's divine rejuvenation for the winter months.

Read more about it here: http://www.sunshinekates.com/shop-sunshinekates/vmagic-gentle-feminine-wash


 

Infrared Sauna Therapy

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Infrared Sauna Heat warms your body from the inside out. It helps increase your core body temperature which in turn:

-Reduces Inflammation in the body

-Supports Circulation

-Supports Lymphatic Drainage

-Supports Reducing Stress

-Improves Cellular Renewal

-Boosts the body's resistance to bacteria and viruses

-Chromatherapy Lights support mood, reduce SAD (Winter Blues), enhance relaxation

I work a few sauna sessions into my week to support my body and mind. I am a sun-worshiper. I thrive in the warm months. Using the sauna has reduced my response to the winter blues, keeps my spirit up and has improved my immune health.

Learn more about the infrared sauna here: http://www.sunshinekates.com/infraredsauna/

 

 


 

Cheers to nourishing your body this winter!

I would love to hear some of your favorite winter self-care tools!

My Favorite Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

katie strakosch

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a medically recognized form of clinical depression that typically occurs during the darker winter months.  It is most likely caused by shorter daylight hours which cause shifts in the body’s biological clock and hypothalamus.

The winter blues are most severe during November, December, January and February.

Some symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Mood changes
  • Over-eating
  • Increased alcohol consumption
  • Sleep problems
  • Weakened immune system
  • Restlessness

A little background on brain health: During the hours of darkness, the pineal gland produces a chemical called melatonin which makes us feel drowsy and signals the time for sleep. Exposure to sunlight prevents the production of melatonin whilst increasing the production of a neuro-transmitter called serotonin.

When the seasons change, the circadian rhythm (biological clock) in your body shifts due to the changes in daylight, and this can affect the body’s production of serotonin and hormones. It has been discovered that disruption to the body’s circadian rhythms together with a decreased production of serotonin can trigger depression.

Hence the need for natural daylight!!


Move & Groove Every Day

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Exercise pumps up your endorphins, your brain's feel-good neurotransmitters.
Movement supports a sense of well-being, while flushing away any residue from the holidays and BOOSTS the immune system!
Experiment with what type of exercise works for you and GET MOVING!

I keep a rebounder in my office and find myself taking short breaks to JUMP. Five minutes of rebounding generates such a boost of energy and gets the blood pumping!

Support your Vitamin D levels

Vitamin D plays major roles in:

  • immune function
  • heart health
  • joint health
  • manages blood pressure
  • oral health
  • mental health (as low levels are linked to depression and anxiety)
  • supports weight management

Ways to increase your Vitamin D levels:

  • eat fatty, cold-water fish like salmon and sardines
  • consider supplementation 
  • take a vacation someplace warm and sunny ( I know it isn’t always practical to step away from life and resources can be limited, but if you really struggle with the winter blues, taking a short trip to soak up vitamin D does wonders for the spirit).

Eat

I hear it over and over again around this time of year 'I'm on a detox cleanse'. 
Yes, it is a wonderful time to move away from the overindulgence of the holiday season. But please remember this beauty, DON'T STARVE YOURSELF!
During the winter, your body needs and craves heartier foods rich in high quality protein and essential fatty acids. You need food to maintain immune function, hormonal balance and energy. 
Take the time to nourish your body through warming soups and stews.

Start your day with a boost of protein through eggs or a superfood smoothie.
Feed your body healthy fats such as avocados, nuts and seeds, nut butters, guacamole. Lean proteins and essential fatty acids can boost levels of serotonin (which can be deficient with SAD). An increase of starchy carbs and sugars can leave the body feeling bloated and the mind foggy.


Sleep

  • Don't skimp on this essential foundation for life!
  • Emails, projects and everything can wait until the morning. 
  • Give yourself permission to rest and restore for at least 7-8 hours!
  • Create a sleep sanctuary for yourself. Remove all electronics, including your cell phone from your nightstand.
  • Buy yourself a good ‘ol battery operated alarm block.
  • The lighting in your bedroom should support a peaceful environment.
  • This room should be used for sleep and sex only.
  • Not for falling asleep with the light of the television shining on your pretty face all night.
  • Without proper sleep, your body cannot regulate its natural detox pathways. What does this mean the next morning?
  • We wake up looking puffy and have an increase in cortisol production in the body, leading to excess weight.

Explore my recent blog on Sleep Essentials called 'Sleep Superfoods'


Light Therapy

Have you ever heard of the ‘Happy Lights’?  I had not until I spent my first winter in Seattle during college. I found myself calling it a day by 4pm, with pj’s on and feeling very blah… These ‘Happy Lights’ provide Natural Spectrum light comparable to daylight. Natural spectrum light cues the body and boosts energy while reducing sluggishness. This lovely light was a game changer for my whole body!

Another form of light therapy is using the Infrared Sauna.

The light found in a far infrared sauna is far infrared light, a type of invisible light located below the optical color red in the electromagnetic spectrum.

Far infrared light is used to purify polluted air, keep newborn babies warm in hospitals, promote growth in plants and more.

The infrared saunas we have are equipped with Chromotherapy Lights. Chromotherapy is the science of using colors to adjust body vibrations to frequencies that result in health and harmony. Each color possesses frequencies of a specific vibration, and each vibration is related to different physical symptoms.

Our bodies need the sun’s light to live. Color therapy works on various energy points to help balance your body via the full spectrum of visible light, each color addressing a distinct need.

Enter in the many benefits far infrared light offers in sauna sessions:

  •  increased blood circulation
  • improved cardiovascular functioning
  • strengthened immunity
  • relief of headaches, muscle pain and joint stiffness
  • deep cellular detoxification
  • improved sleep quality
  • decreased stress levels in the body

Ready to stop reading all about the infrared sauna and come experience it for yourself?  Book your experience here: http://www.sunshinekates.com/infraredsauna/


Aromatherapy

Essential oils influence the limbic system, which is the area of the brain responsible for controlling our moods and the body’s circadian rhythm.

Using uplifting and energizing essential oils can be used as room diffusers, pillow sprays, body mist, bath soaks and body oils can boost the spirit and support the emotional body.

These oils can include (but not limited to):

  • Lemon
  • Orange
  • Bergamot
  • Grapefruit

We’ve created a supportive ‘Beat the Winter Blues Kit’ to support you not only surviving but THRIVING during the winter months! Explore all of its magic here: http://www.sunshinekates.com/shop-sunshinekates/winter-blues-kit

I would love to hear some of your favorite ways to beat the winter blues!

Winter Solstice

katie strakosch

Winter officially arrives on December 21st at 5:44am EST

The Winter Solstice is the longest night. 
It is a time of reflection.
Introspection.
Rest. 

The Solstice belongs to nature. We belong to nature.
In Winter, nature slows down.  
Deep rest can conserve and restore energy.


Can we give ourselves permission to pause and learn the lessons nature has to
teach us? 

We honor the cycles and the seasons that remind us of the
ever-changing flow of life that we are part of.

 Trust in knowing that the Winter Solstice is the longest night BUT
once that night passes, the nights will shorten
& days will grow longer.  
The Winter Solstice is also known as the 'Rebirth of the Sun'.


How do you celebrate the Winter Solstice?

Here are some rituals to explore:

Light a candle.

Set an intention, prayer, affirmation for the season ahead.

Ring a bell.

Ring a bell in company of others and celebrate connection
with each other and nature.

Reflect on the year. 

This is a beautiful exercise to do on your own, or with loved ones.



Ask yourself what are you willing to release?


Step One

Write down aspects of your life which you are willing to release: worries, limiting beliefs, regrets, resentment. 


Step Two

Transform this release through burning the paper, rip it up, or give it back to the Earth to dissolve the old.

Then, spread your gratitude, intentions and blessings back to the Earth.

Gather and spread seeds outside. 

Enjoy this beautiful changing of the seasons and all the blessings to discover!

How to Become Clear on Setting Intentions and Manifesting What You Truly Desire in Life

katie strakosch

intentions

As we flow from day to day, it is easy to get caught up in the daily grind. We wear many hats during the day, and we can lose sight of our deep desires and dreams as we stay focused on what is directly in front of us. 

Are you ready to discover the ways to create the life of your dreams? Now is the time! You deserve it! 

In order to start creating this new reality, it is important to become clear on what you want in life. How do you want to feel? What do you want to experience on a daily basis?

Begin by exploring a writing exercise with these questions. Let the answers flow with no judgement attached!

  • What do you dream of being, doing, and having more in your life?

  • Where do you feel stuck or burnt out lately?

  • Are you looking for new direction in your life? What is calling to you?

  • Do you long to start something new but aren’t sure what?

  • What do you desire to experience with more satisfying relationships with others AND yourself?

Time Change

katie strakosch

We’ve just turned back the clocks and continue on the journey towards the shortest day of the year next month…

How does your body adjust to this change?  

For many, this time of the year can be a challenge. We gain a bit of daylight in the morning, but then find the nights becoming longer and longer as well as the temperatures becoming colder and colder.. With this shift, our routines change a bit.

I’ve prepared a guide for you that will support your physical, mental and emotional health during this time of year.


How to Thrive while Adjusting to the Time Change

Secure a Solid Sleep Routine. 

Go to bed and rise at the same time every day. This will support your natural circadian rhythm.

Get as much natural light that you can during the day.  

Natural light boosts serotonin levels in the brain and can have a similar effect to antidepressants.  Start the day by spending a few moments outside in the early light.

Explore ‘Chromotherapy’.  

What’s this you may ask?  It’s a form of light therapy to adjust the body’s vibrations to frequencies that result in boosting health and harmony. Each color is related to different systems. Read more about chromotherapy on my blog here: http://www.sunshinekates.com/blog/chromotherapy-sauna-benefits-color-therapy-explained?rq=chromotherapy

Buy a light box..aka a ‘Happy Lamp’.  

I spent many years in Seattle,  and only wished I learned about them earlier during my time there. You can find them here: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_4_16?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=light+box+for+sad+therapy&sprefix=light+box+for+sa%2Caps%2C152&crid=PO765XMA98QQ&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Alight+box+for+sad+therapy

Love up your digestive system.

Your gut is your second brain and 90-95% of serotonin is released from the gut. Support a healthy and happy gut biome with naturally fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchee, miso, kefir and fermented coconut water. These foods help keep the good bugs happy. In the market for a quality probiotic?  I am a fan of Garden of Life Raw Probiotics and Jarrow Formulas. You can find some great options here: http://www.pharmaca.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=Probiotic%2C.

Don’t overdo it with caffeine and stimulants like sugar.

The body needs time to adjust and acclimate to this change without being overstimulated. Adaptogen herbs like Holy Basil and Cordyceps mushrooms like Reishi and Maitake helps soothe and support the adrenals. Host Defense is a great choice. Here are some great picks: http://www.pharmaca.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=mushrooms

Create a sleep sanctuary.

This means no electronics in the bedroom. Use a good ol’ battery operated alarm clock. Set the mood for a peaceful and restorative environment with candles and low lighting. Clear out the clutter. Your mind is busy enough. This room should be dedicated to simplicity and invoke a sense of peace.