Building Healthy Habits

Tips for establishing sustainable habits that'll last a lifetime.

Article by Krissy Nevero|March 29, 2024

As the new year is well underway, and resolutions set for the new year may be waning, it’s an opportune moment to delve into the topic of establishing sustainable habits.

Habits are the building blocks of our daily lives, influencing our actions, choices, and ultimately, our wellbeing. Whether big or small, habits shape our routines and play a significant role in achieving our goals. By focusing on small, consistent actions, we pave the way for significant and sustainable results.

The link between healthy habits and overall well-being is undeniable. Physical health, mental clarity and emotional balance are all influenced by the choices we make daily. Cultivating healthy habits is not just about reaching a goal; it’s about creating a lifestyle that enhances every aspect of our lives.

So, what are the secrets to building sustainable healthy habits?

Commit to one thing at a time. It’s easy to start a habit, then after a few days decide to add another, and another, but this will make it all the more difficult to stick to your original goal. Don’t underestimate the amount of focus and effort it takes to actually stick to a new habit! Before you continue any further down this journey, make a mental note that you WILL NOT add additional goals to your primary objective.

Focus on starting. When it comes to making a change in any element of your life, the only part you need to focus on in the beginning is STARTING. Maybe you want to run a marathon? That’s likely not where you’re going to start. At the beginning it’s less about the results and more about forming the habit. Consider a good starting point. 

Start small. Begin your journey by incorporating small changes. Consider what you want to accomplish, then think about a way to simplify it so that it’s so easy you would have a hard time NOT doing it. For example, say your goal is to start doing an hour of yoga every day. Maybe you start with doing three yoga poses a day. The goal, in the beginning, is to just get into the habit of DOING the thing (in this case, yoga) each day. Then you can build from there. 

Create a routine. Embed new habits into your existing daily routine. I like the concept of habit stacking. You can do this by identifying a daily action or habit that you already engage in and add your new habit before or after it. Capitalizing on a structure that already exists, rather than starting something completely new, makes it easier to remember and can help these habits become ingrained in your lifestyle.

Be consistent. When implementing a new habit, consistency is important. It’s okay to skip a day – but try not to skip two. Once a habit is solidly ingrained in your routine, you’ll be able to take a few days off then jump back on the horse. But in the beginning, you should avoid skipping more than a day at a time.

Overcoming Challenges in Habit Formation 

While the road to forming new habits is exciting, it’s not without its challenges. Understanding and overcoming obstacles is crucial for long-term success.

Address common obstacles. While you’re in the beginning stages of creating change, take steps to restructure your environment so that you’re less tempted to fall back into old ways. Identify potential challenges such as time constraints or resistance to change. Knowing these hurdles in advance allows you to develop strategies to overcome them.

Adaptability and resilience. Habits may face setbacks, but the key is resilience. Learn from setbacks, adapt your approach, and stay committed to the bigger picture. Try to withhold judgment. Progress isn’t linear, and real change can be a long and sometimes trying journey.

Maintaining Healthy Habits for the Long Term

Building healthy habits is not a sprint; it’s a marathon. Consistency and long-term success go hand in hand.

Focus on enjoyment. Choose habits that align with your interests and preferences. When you enjoy what you’re doing, it becomes easier to stay committed over the long haul.

Build a supportive environment. Surround yourself with people and settings that foster your desired habits. A supportive environment can make the journey more enjoyable and sustainable.

Accountability. Consider working with a coach or having an accountability partner. Someone who shares your goals can be a valuable source of support and motivation.

Celebrating progress and success. Acknowledge and celebrate your achievements, no matter how small. Recognizing progress is a powerful motivator that fuels your commitment to maintaining healthy habits.

Be mindful. Notice if you’re engaging in negative self-talk, starting to avoid your new habit, dread it, or feel like quitting, pay attention to these feelings. Practice shifting the blame off of yourself and starting again with different factors in place.

The journey to incorporating and maintaining healthy habits is a continuous process with long-term benefits. By understanding the power of habits, being consistent, overcoming challenges, and building a supportive community, you pave the way for a healthier, more fulfilling life. Embrace the journey, celebrate your victories, and savor the positive changes that come with the consistent practice of healthy habits. Your well-being is worth the effort.

Krissy Nevero is a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach based in Sonoma, California. To learn more about Krissy and her services, please visit her website:

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Mindfully Melissa

Tips to better health and well-being from mindfulness maven, Melissa Beasley.

Article by Verdure Magazine Team|May 23, 2023

When we think of mindfulness, our thoughts instantly drift to the wonderful Sonoma County-based yogi, Melissa Beasley. If you are lucky enough to know her, or have taken one of her classes, you’ll know exactly what we mean. She is a true gem of a human being and we asked her to share her mindfulness tips for better health and well-being with Verdure Magazine and here they are:

Prioritize sleep. Arrange your schedule to prioritize what your body needs. This often requires saying
no to other things so that you can put your health first.
Move your body as much as possible. Dancing, boxing, yoga, taking an online class, joining a gym, get a
standing desk, go for a walk—it doesn’t matter. Just commit to it. Movement helps release stuck energy in the body, and is so powerful for overall well-being.
Align routines by incorporating healthy habits into things you already do. For example, take three
deep breaths every time you get into your car, put a goal or affirmation on your phone background, do
tree pose as you brush your teeth, or share what you’re grateful for at the start of every meal. This
helps incorporate wellness into our routines without additional time constraints.
Eat as many vegetables as possible. It’s fun to explore farmer’s markets, sign up for a CSA box, and
try new recipes. Learn how to meal prep, and set yourself up to eat healthy.
Reach out to community for support. Join a group that has shared values. Share your wellness goals
with an accountability buddy. Share your struggles and wins with friends. Hire a coach or expert to
guide you in an area you want to grow in.
Drink high quality water and eat high quality food. What we put into our body affects everything we
do, and is worth the extra cost to prioritize. Your health is worth it.
Have a mindfulness practice. This brings space and awareness to our thoughts, emotions, and
mental well-being. If meditation is new to you, try guided meditation, breathwork, or mantra. This could
also be a grounding practice, or visualization. Find what works for you and do that. The best
meditation is one you’ll actually do.
Go easy on yourself when you get off track. Get back to your wellness routine as soon as possible,
and don’t give up. Fluctuation is normal. Resilience and mindset are everything.
Mental mindset. Develop mental resilience. We all face hardships, low periods, and challenges at
various times in our lives. To re-frame challenging situations, ask yourself, “What can I learn from this,
what did I gain, how will this make me stronger?” Trust in the process of life and your capacity to
handle it. And don’t dwell on or avoid negative emotions, feel them for a time then let them go.
Find what brings you passion and do more of that. Sign up for newsletters that pique your interest,
follow people who inspire you, and get involved with causes you believe in. There are tons of courses,
content, and communities out there. Having something we love and believe in fuels our inner fire and
keeps up going.
Know your values. Life can be overwhelming, and there’s lots of noise out there. Knowing what’s
important to you will help keep you on track. To do this, write down what you actually spend your time
and energy on, and narrow that down into five or so core values based on your daily life. Then do that
again with what your ideal life looks like. Compare the two without judgment. This can show you the
gap between where you are and where you want to be.
Be open to natural medicine. Try acupuncture, chiropractic, or massage/bodywork. Take supplements (especially if you’re deficient). Walks, fresh air, and sunlight can be medicine too.
Start small and be consistent. When implementing new habits, commit to the minimum you know you
can do, and do that every day (for example: five minutes of daily meditation)
Forget all this. We’re all unique beings on our own path! Accept yours will look different than mine,
and be willing to do things differently. Find what works for you and do that.

You can find Melissa teaching on Saturday, June 3rd, 10th and 24th at 10:00AM at Boho Manor in Monte Rio.

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The Benefits of a Morning Routine

How—and why—establishing a morning routine can vastly improve your day.

Article by Krissy Nevero|February 15, 2023

Do you feel like you start your days feeling rushed? Too much to do with too little time? You’re not alone. Our lives and schedules have become packed with activities and to-do lists.

The key to staying on track is creating a routine. Routines play an important role in how well we function. And one of the best places to start is the morning!

Here are a few benefits of implementing a morning routine:

  • Increased positivity. Starting your day with activities that help you feel balanced or accomplished puts you in a more positive mood that can be carried on into the day.
  • Better productivity. Having a routine makes you more efficient. This is crucial for someone with a busy schedule. Starting your day in an organized way allows you to prioritize what is most important and get more done.
  • Reduced stress. A set routine can reduce uncertainty, provide you with more structure and an increased sense of control. This can help reduce anxiety and stress.
  • Improved self-care or physical health. A morning routine that consists of activities like a nourishing meal, a mindfulness activity or exercise can improve your overall well-being.

Think of a morning routine as an opportunity to start your day with activities (or tranquility) that you need to focus for the day ahead. Let’s take a look at steps you can take to create your own personalized morning routine.

To start, create a list of everything you need or want to get done each morning, both in your home life and at work.

Next, group activities in an order that seem the most natural. For example, if exercise, showering and brushing your teeth are on your list, you’ll probably want to exercise before you shower and brush your teeth while you’re already in the bathroom.

Now it’s time to get specific. Take your ordered, grouped activities and get as specific as you want. Allocate how much team each activity takes and consider what time you need to get up in order to accomplish the activities before you’re needed elsewhere.

Finally, try it out and adapt as necessary. Start with a week making tweaks as you go. After a few weeks, assess your morning routine and determine what’s working and what can be improved. Note how this new routine makes you feel. If you find you’re more stressed, then your routine will need some adjusting. The purpose of a morning routine is to make life easier, allow you to be more productive and have the energy you need for the remainder of the day.

If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few ideas:

  • Hydrate with water
  • Journal or meditate for 10 minutes
  • Get some sunlight
  • Do a few stretches
  • Take a 20 minute walk or lift some weights
  • Enjoy a nourishing breakfast
  • Savor a cup of tea or coffee in a quiet space

Remember, what works for one person may not work for another, so it’s important that your routine is designed to suit you, your lifestyle and goals. Also, be realistic. If this is new to you, set yourself up for success but starting small and build from there.

Creating a morning routine that works for you takes some experimentation, but the benefits are well worth the effort. You’ll start seeing the positive effects in no time!

Krissy Nevero is a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach based in Sonoma, California. To learn more about Krissy and her services, please visit her website:

Catching Up With Jen Bakane

Former NFL cheerleader and founder of Essential Whole Body Wellness | Essential Wellness Project, Jen Bakane, shares her tips for recommitting to your fitness goals in 2023, plus where you can move mindfully with her this year in Sonoma and Napa.

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Setting Goals That Stick

Tips for setting goals that will stick with you throughout the new year.

Article by Krissy Nevero|December 30, 2022

It’s that time again for New Year’s resolutions. And, you’ve likely heard, studies show that most people that set New Year’s resolutions don’t achieve them. In fact, many people give up on their resolutions before the end of January.

So, should you even make them?

Personally, I’m a big fan of goal setting—when done right. However, most resolutions aren’t thought out very well. You hear things like, “I want to do better this year”, “I’m going to get healthier this year”, “I need to figure out my life this year”—but what do these things even mean? Without clarity, achievement will be tough, for sure.

I think goal setting can be an excellent way to visualize your future. That said, it doesn’t have to be done for the new year only. You can set goals anytime you like so if you’re not feeling it right now, don’t feel pressured to come up with something only to be disappointed in yourself when you don’t succeed.

But if you’re ready, I’ve got some thoughts for you. One of the most powerful ways to accomplish a goal is by visualizing that you’ve already achieved the outcome. Your actions greatly depend on your thoughts and this visualization can actually help to shift your behaviors and thoughts to train your subconscious mind. So, tap into your imagination, visualize your life as if you accomplished your goals and get planning. I like to use the SMART goal method to develop a plan.

What’s a SMART goal?

  • Specific. What did you visualize? Where do you want to be? What specifically is the goal?
  • Measurable. How will you know when you achieved your goal? Can you track progress or milestones along the way? Tip: measuring progress can help keep you motivated.
  • Achievable. Is your goal realistic? Do you have the means to achieve it?
  • Relevance. Does it align with your values, ambitions and desires for your life?
  • Timely. In what time period can you realistically achieve this goal?

Here’s an example of a goal using the SMART method:

I want to run a 5K—specific. I will run 3x per week and track the increase in mileage each week—measurable. I feel good running 1 mile so I think if I increase my mileage gradually I can do it—achievable. I’ve been improving my fitness level and this goal will help me continue to do that—relevance. There is a local 5K 3-months from now so I will sign up and create a training schedule to be ready by then—timely.

OK so you’ve got your goal spelled out clearly, you’re done, right? Not exactly! A clearly spelled out goal is great but if you want to succeed and make it past January, you may need to go a bit further.

Shout your goal from the rooftop!

OK, that may be dramatic. How about you just share your goal with others? I’m a huge advocate of accountability. Oftentimes, when left to our own devices, we’ll quit when the going gets tough. Ask a friend or family member to help hold you accountable in achieving your goal. Maybe you can do the same for them.

Speak with conviction when talking about your goal.

Instead of saying “I wish” or “I want” or “I hope”  say “I will” or “I am”.  There is so much power in words and in repetition. Tell yourself (and others) that you will attain your goal. You can do anything. You’re strong. You’re capable. Never stop affirming yourself and never stop working towards what you want!

Celebrate along the way. 

We already talked about being able to measure progress and each breakthrough is worthy of acknowledgment for your effort and accomplishment. Celebrating your accomplishments can boost your confidence, help to stave off burnout, and fuel your continued success.

Whether big or small, setting goals can:

  • Provide you with a sense of focus.
  • Allow you to measure your progress.
  • Clarify your boundaries.
  • Resist procrastination.
  • Give you something to celebrate.

So, if you’re looking to set a goal for the new year, or at a later date, use these tips and you’ll be off to a good start. Happy New Year!

Krissy Nevero is a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach based in Sonoma, California. To learn more about Krissy and her services, please visit her website:

Yoga Off the Mat and Into the World

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Rise and Thrive with the Sun

We are physiologically designed to thrive in the sunlight so why do we hide from it?

Article by Divina Helene|January 20, 2022

We’ve been programed from an early age to fear the sun.

While it’s never a good idea to sit in the scorching mid-day sunlight until you’re overheated, dehydrated, burned-up and lobster-red, we are creatures of the sun. We need the sun in order to function optimally as humans beings, hormonally, metabolically, and cellularly/enzymatically. Truthfully, I would argue that we should be spending more quality time in the sunshine as a society than we actually do. Spending more time in the sunshine usually means you’re outside, and if your outside, you’re usually moving—gardening, hiking, swimming, playing—and we need to be doing more of this anyway.

42% of American’s are vitamin D deficient. Over 19 million nationwide suffer from some form of depression. And over 34 million suffer from type-2 diabetes, a metabolic disorder. So what does sunlight have to do with this? A lot, actually.

For starters, vitamin D isn’t readily available in many foods so sunlight exposure is critical in maintaining sufficient levels of this vital, bone-healthy vitamin. In my opinion, no supplement on the market can take the place of natural sunlight. Secondly, nitric oxide, a potent vasodilator, is produced when sunlight hits the skin. Nitric oxide increases blood flow in the vessels, reduces depression and anxiety, and helps to clear viral infections. Sunlight is an integral component of our evolutionary physiological rhythms. For example, the presence of early morning sunlight triggers the release of cortisol and we begin to feel energized and ready for the day, while in the the absence of light, our body releases melatonin and we begin to feel tired and sleepy. Metabolically speaking, sunlight is a required component of efficient mitochondrial function. Food provides 1/3 of the electrons needed for ATP production, while sunlight provides the rest. Our primal desire to be in the sunlight is rooted in biology; it’s instinct.

Sunlight is essential and, yes, there are ways to “practice safe sun”. If you do tend to burn easily, get outside early in the morning sunlight. If you’re spending all day in the summer sun, don’t use sunblocks, especially those that contain benzene, a known carcinogen, but instead, cover up with clothing, hats and sunglasses as you feel yourself beginning to burn, and/or find some shade. Be sure to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. And if you live in colder climates where the sun doesn’t shine much in the Winter months, look into red-light therapies or purchase your own red-light therapy tent.

Do not fear that which sustains all life. Sunlight is not the enemy in America’s increasing prevalence of illness and disease and dysfunction; it might just be the cure.


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Combating Adrenal Fatigue

Ward off adrenal fatigue by implementing adrenal-supporting habits into your daily routine.

Article by Divina Helene|May 4, 2021

The rigors of daily life coupled with poor lifestyle choices can lead to, or exasperate, a number of chronic conditions and ailments, and adrenal fatigue may be one of the first noticeable symptoms of prolonged stress and bad habits. The adrenal glands, a part of the endocrine system, produce and regulate hormones in the body and chronic stress, a lackluster diet, or poor sleep habits can send this delicate system into a frenzy, resulting in either too much or too little cortisol in the bloodstream. The result? Adrenal fatigue: tiredness and low-energy, brain fog, irritability and moodiness, decreased sex-drive, insulin resistance, hair, skin and nail changes, sleep issues, and hormone imbalances.

So how do we keep our cortisol levels in check and avoid adrenal fatigue? Reducing stress and developing healthy, adrenal-supportive habits are essential. Here are some helpful tips on how to reduce stress and support your adrenal glands:

Avoid foods that can over-work the adrenal glands. This includes caffeine, refined sugars, processed foods, and an excessive intake of carbohydrates.

Include foods that support the adrenal glands. This includes nuts and seeds, pasture-raised lean meats, wild-caught salmon, fruits and vegetables (especially cruciferous), fermented foods, and avocados.

Prioritize rest. Rest when you feel the need to rest. Prioritize sleep by putting away the blue-light emitting smart phones and laptops well before bed-time and enjoy a book and a cup of chamomile tea instead. Aim to be in bed by 10PM and get 8-10 hours of sleep each night. Check out our article, Seven Steps to Better Sleep, here.

Move your body daily. Be sure to exercise or move your body daily even if it’s only for 20 minutes. Tackle some yard work or go for a brisk walk around the neighborhood or office building. Yoga in particular is a wonderful, stress-reducing practice.

Supplement with adaptogenic botanicals. Adaptogens like ashwaganda, astragalus, ginseng, rhodiola, maca and cordyceps have been used for centuries to help the body cope with stress and to support the adrenals.

Practice self-care. Do things that make you happy. Laugh daily. Slow down. Relax. Tell yourself “I love you. You are enough.” and believe it—often. Self-love and self-care is at the root of healing. Check out our article, Human in the Mirror, here.



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Tricia Rose Stone’s 28 Acts of Kindness

Spark joy this February with Tricia Rose Stone's 28 Acts of Kindness.

Article by Divina Helene|February 2, 2021

I came across Tricia Rose Stone’s 28 Acts of Kindness on her uplifting and inspiring lifestyle blog, Rose Colored Glasses. Small acts of kindness are a sure-fire method of sparking joy and cheerfulness within your community and it leaves those giving just as happy as those receiving (hello, oxytocin). February is a time to celebrate the bold expressions of the heart chakra and small, random acts of kindness is a prime example of that. And who knows, perhaps your month-long commitment to an act of kindness a day will transform into something more permanent—the world could use that now more than ever.

1. Pay it Backward: buy coffee for the person behind you in line.
2. Compliment the first three people you talk to today. It costs nothing, takes no time, and could
make someone’s entire day.
3. Send a positive text message to five different people throughout the day.
4. Donate old towels or blankets to your local animal shelter.
5. Surprise a neighbor with freshly baked cookies or treats.
6. Send a friend a helpful or inspiring article that made you think of them.
7. Have a LinkedIn account? Write a recommendation for a coworker or connection.
8. Write a kind message on your mirror with a dry erase marker for yourself, your significant
other, or a family member.
9. Leave a kind server the biggest tip you can afford, along with an encouraging note.
10. Pick up any litter you see around you as you go through your day.
11. Write your partner a list of things you love about them.
12. Run an errand for a family member or friend who could use some extra help.
13. Leave a box of goodies in your mailbox for your mail carrier.
14. Slow down so someone can merge in front of you in traffic.
15. Email or write to someone who has made a difference in your life.
16. Write a positive comment on your favorite blog, website, or a friend’s social media account.
17. If you’re an customer, you can donate’s money to your favorite U.S. Nonprofit through Amazon Smile. Once set up, Amazon will contribute to your favorite nonprofit each time you purchase.
18. Write a great online review for a restaurant or local business you love.
19. Reconnect with an old friend you have lost touch with over the years.
20. Let someone cut in front of you in line at the grocery store.
21. Say something encouraging to a parent who struggles with rambunctious kids in a
restaurant or grocery store.
22. Offer to return a stranger’s grocery cart to the front of the store.
23. Write a sweet, encouraging note and put it under your child’s pillow.
24. Call your mom, dad, or siblings to say I love you.
25. Send a gratitude email to a coworker who deserves more recognition.
26. Send a care package to a service member.
27. Donate your old cell phone or other electronics to charity.
28. Collect and donate sample-size toiletries to a local homeless shelter.

Visit Tricia’s blog at Rose Colored Glasses and Instagram at @rosecoloredglasses_official.

Reflections From a Walk in the Woods

We must remember that our single greatest power as free and sovereign beings, is the ability to create our own reality; a reality that deeply resonates with us and truly feeds our soul and purpose here on Earth. We get to choose freedom over enslavement, peace over war, individuality over conformity.

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When Stress Becomes Chronic

I don’t want to believe that it took a pandemic of global proportions to prove to us that this sub-life is unsustainable. But I guess it did. The subliminal signs weren’t enough to slow down our lives on our own accord. It’s remarkable, in a dark, strange way, just how much stress the body can take before complete and utter exhaustion, and how the mind continues to justify it.

Article by Divina Helene|December 16, 2020

In a habitually flurried modern world, burning the midnight oil has become the new normal rather than the exception to the normal. The high-demand jobs, the late nights and inadequate sleep, the poor and overly-processed diets, the unresolved traumas, the lack of connection—connection to ourselves, to others, and to nature—have led us to a sub-life of heightened stress, fear, and anxiety.

I don’t want to believe that it took a pandemic of global proportions to prove to us that this sub-life is unsustainable. But I guess it did. The subliminal signs weren’t enough to slow down our lives on our own accord. It’s remarkable, in a dark, strange way, just how much stress the body can take before complete and utter exhaustion, and how the mind continues to justify it.

We are designed for stressful situations just not chronic ones. Many of us are so disillusioned or numbed-up with caffeine, alcohol, or drugs that we’re unable to recognize that we’re living in a state of perpetual heightened stress. Only when symptoms like irritability, headaches, digestive issues, insomnia, and depression or withdrawal begin to rear their ugly heads do we finally pause in search of respite.

From purely holistic perspective, the root cause of our habitual chronic stress must be addressed—and this is no small feat. For one, it would require a massive socio-cultural awakening and a collective mindset shift. This won’t happen overnight (although, I think we’re on the way). So, for now, we may have to settle for second best: managing it with mindful awareness and a nurtured brain-body connection.

At the helm of the brain-body connection lies the almighty vagus nerve, a discerning bundle of nerve fibers that govern the parasympathetic—or rest, digest, repair—branch of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). Because these expansive pair of nerves connect with all the organs of the visceral body, the vagus nerve is able to continuously relay information to the brain about the body and how well everything is—or isn’t—functioning, via neurotransmitters. The vagus nerve is also comprised of descending fibers that relay information from the brain to the body. These bi-directional interactions between the brain and the body via the vagus nerve are everything.

Chronic stress impairs, or lowers, vagal tone, or the functionality of the vagus nerve, creating an unpleasant ripple effect throughout the body. Low vagal tone has been linked with chronic inflammation, digestive disorders, mood disorders, anxiety, heart conditions, and many other familiar ailments. Similarly, low vagal tone caused by issues in the gastrointestinal tract (the vagus nerve rules the gut-brain axis), alcohol use, excessive dental work, muscular trauma, or even genetics, hinders the ability to handle chronic stress. It’s a two-way street.

To avoid the undesirable side-effects of chronic stress, we must uncover the uncomfortable truth about what’s causing it. This is challenging. Often times, it’s more than just one thing but many things compiled together over time. This kind of deeper housekeeping requires a mental, physical, and spiritual commitment, one that many, ironically, don’t have the time (or desire) for. I do believe that the tides are slowly shifting and that perhaps more people will be ready and willing to do the work. In the meantime, we can learn to better support our body’s ability to rest, digest and repair and learn to manage and cope with our stress effectively.

Managing chronic stress effectively isn’t all that complicated; it just tends to be overlooked. For example, regular movement and a diverse, whole-foods diet is paramount in managing stress yet how often are both placed on the back burner? We must also set boundaries—at home, at work, and in our social lives—and get comfortable saying no. We must keep good company—that is, surround ourselves with people who are positive, supportive, and a good influence. We must get off our screens and out of the fluorescent-lit classrooms and offices and ground in nature daily (also known as earthing). We should spend more time doing the things that bring us true joy and happiness; getting lost in the rhythm of good music, writing or journaling, coffee with a good friend, or volunteering with a favorite nonprofit.  And let’s not forget that the vagus nerve is a key player in stress management. We can mindfully integrate the practice of vagus nerve stimulation, which increases vagal tone—and increases our resilience to stress—into our daily lives.

This can be achieved in many ways but consistency is key. We can practice slow, rhythmic belly-breathing (diaphragmatic breathing), commit to daily movement and mild exercise like walking or yoga, try cold therapy (ice baths or cryotherapy), take a few minutes a day to gargle, sing or hum, utilize sound therapy (listening to calming ocean waves, for example), increase our sun exposure, commit to deep, restorative sleep by turning screens off early, meditate often, book a massage (lymphatic massage, if possible, or gently massage your own neck, abdomen and belly daily), and generally cultivating a deep sense of gratitude, connection, and purpose in life through writing, therapy, soul-work, and meaningful social relationships.

I’ll conclude by saying this: we must stop wearing our chronic stress as if it were a badge of honor. Instead, let’s be cognizant of the many ways that chronic stress manifests in the body, slowly crippling our quality of life. We must purposely and mindfully make the choice to lean in to a slower, more sustainable way of life that supports our health and well-being. We just can’t run ourselves ragged anymore; there’s too much on the line for that now.

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry—Without the Guilt

It's hard to believe, but Thanksgiving is just around the corner! As a Holistic Nutritionist and clean-living advocate, I have a few tips to share with you about enjoying the upcoming Holiday—guilt free.

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A Goddess State of Mind

Peel back the layers and discover your Divine Feminine.

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A is for Accountability

Outsourcing our deep inner work doesn't shift anything—it leaves us running in circles. We must be accountable.

Article by Divina Helene|November 9, 2020

As we’ve lost touch with our true selves we’ve also lost touch with a little something called accountability. The two go hand-in-hand—if you’re not at the helm of your own ship, then accountability would seem to be a rather foreign concept, or an altogether useless one, would it not?

For the truly out-of-touch, there may be an appeal to outsourcing the inner work, pointing fingers, and passing the blame as they wait for someone else to swoop in and save the day, but this lackadaisical approach isn’t sustainable any longer. We’re simply moving in circles. We need more individuals who are willing to roll up their sleeves, dig deep, and do the inner work that is required for everlasting change—in other words, we need people to take personal accountability instead of merely passing off the work.

The correlation between those who are quick to relinquish control (and/or their freedom) and those who lack accountability is worth examining, too. Perhaps they have forgotten (or refuse to accept) the fact that despite what they’ve been conditioned to believe, they’re in full control—sovereign and with limitless potential. Let this be a reminder.

Only once these connections have been made (or re-made), will we begin to see a true shift in the collective toward true peace, joy and freedom.

Thoughts on the Times

More emphasis must be placed on educating the masses on other ways to “slow the spread”—more like “slow the spread of the many chronic diseases plaguing Americans and leaving them susceptible to complications from COVID-19 or any other cold or flu."

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A Note to My Boys in 2020

To my discerning and ever-curious young men: I hope you continue to ask the difficult questions even when—actually, especially when—it's unpopular to do so.

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Get Back to the Basics

Navigating our ever-changing world can seem like the first day of a summer circus gig on repeat; the second you get the hang of one trick, they go and change things up on you.

Article by Divina Helene|April 1, 2020

Navigating our ever-changing world can seem like the first day of a summer circus gig on repeat; the second you get the hang of one trick, they go and change things up on you. So when it feels like you’re barely holding your head high enough above the water, remember that things don’t have to be so complicated, and that you’re in control of a lot more than you might think.

When the going gets tough, remember to:

breathe deep
drink water
focus on the positive
love your neighbor
move daily
seek knowledge
eat the rainbow
get outside
be fearless
reduce your carbon footprint
love yourself
connect with others
be the change

Human in the Mirror

Have you looked at your reflection in the mirror and told yourself “I Love You” yet today? The thought itself might make you uncomfortable—it’s silly, or pompous, or even a little crazy, you might say. But why?

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Seven Steps to Better Sleep

Struggling with sound sleep? Here's an Ayurvedic practitioner's tips for deeper and more restorative sleep.

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