Looking up

53782388_S 2017Have you found yourself feeling a bit blue as 2017 has gotten underway? If so, you aren’t alone.

One common cause is the “back to work blues.” After enjoying the festivities – and time off work – getting back to the grind can be tough. Another cause is seasonal affective disorder (also known as SAD) or seasonal depression. In fact, some research has shown that about 25% of Americans feel depressed after the holidays.

No matter the cause, finding ways to handle those feelings is important.

First, take care of yourself.

If you ate too much, slept too little, and overindulged in general, it is time to get back in the routine of a healthy lifestyle. Eat well-balanced, nutritious meals. Make sure that you include fresh fruits and vegetables. (Did you know eating them will help your complexion?) Also, make sure that you incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. Whether you join a fitness club or exercise on your own, the important thing is to get moving. Don’t forget the importance of getting plenty of sleep. You’ll give your immune system a boost and help your heart stay strong. Finally, find ways to relieve your stress. Exercise will help. So will getting enough sleep. Massage therapy is another great way to relieve tension and relax.

Second, make an effort to reach out to others.

It may be a natural tendency to want to hide away at home for a Netflix binge when we are feeling down, but it isn’t necessarily the best choice. While having some time to yourself is important, if you find yourself avoiding others and isolating yourself, then it can be a problem. Let a friend or family member know that you are feeling down. Arrange to get together for a cup of coffee or a movie. Plan a spa day for manicures or pedicures or head out on a hike to enjoy nature. Another great way to combat the blues is to make someone else feel better. Whether it is through a random act of kindness or a regular volunteer opportunity, you’ll find that when you help others, you help yourself.

Don’t let the blues keep you down. Taking the first step is sometimes the hardest, but once you do, you’ll find things are looking up!

Busy checking off the boxes of all you have to do?

49712120 - checking on to do list. top view.Go to work. Check. Make dinner. Check. Exercise. Check. Clean the house. Check. Help the kids with homework. Check.

How many more items are on your to-do list for each day? As you are busy checking off those boxes, make sure that you’ve put this one on the list: RELAX.

Can’t find time to relax? Make it one of those daily to-do items. Taking time away from responsibilities – even for a few minutes – will actually make you more productive. Here are some tips to help you make time for downtime.

Use your time wisely. You are busy all day long. We get that. But think about it and be honest. Are you working hard but have less to show for your effort than you expected? You aren’t alone. For a lot of people, prioritizing tasks can be tough. Where do you begin when you have more than one important task? Add to that having to deal with interruptions. (Virtual distractions such as phone calls, emails and texts can be just as distracting as the real distractions of coworkers or kids.) First, have a plan for your day. Decide which tasks are most pressing or have the earliest deadlines. Think about enlisting the help of others for those tasks that don’t require your personal attention. Also, get rid of the distractions as much as possible. Put your phone on silent. Close your email app. Hang a ‘do not disturb’ sign on your door.

Set a daily schedule. Having a schedule for your day will help you make sure you have time for all of those tasks on your list. And it has the added benefit of allowing you to schedule time to relax. Maybe you can fit in a couple of 15 minute walks throughout your day. Maybe you can use the time while your child is having a music lesson to do a little reading. Having a set time to relax will make it easier for you to actually do it.

Revive your brain. Not convinced that you can include relaxation on your to-do list? Research has shown that just as your body needs time to recover from activity, your brain needs breaks too. While resting, your brain is still working. That’s one reason people often discover that it is easier to find a solution to a problem when they step away from it for a little while. According to research by University of Illinois psychology professor Alejandro Lleras, “prolonged attention to a single task actually hinders performance.”

Relax. Check. Doesn’t it feel good to check off those boxes?

Happy (healthy) holidays!

47039504 - santa claus resting in a chair in front of a fireplaceThe holidays are here! Has the craziness started for you yet?

With holiday parties and Christmas shopping added to the regular busy routine of work and family, the holiday season can feel a bit less than happy. And healthy? Too often our health isn’t even on the list from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day.

But you can have happy – and healthy – holidays. Here’s how:

Start by practicing moderation. From how much you drink to how many activities you commit to, limit yourself. When you are at the office holiday party, it can be tempting to get caught up in the festive feeling and embrace the spirit. But whether you are at an office party or a friend’s gathering, you really should be careful about how much you eat and how much you drink. Also, before you find yourself committed to parties or other gatherings every night, you should practice moderation in the number of invitations you accept. At the very least, limit the time you spend at those gatherings.

Get enough sleep. One good reason to practice moderation in accepting invitations is that you still need to keep up with your daily routine. Getting enough sleep is one of the most important things you can do to stay healthy. For many people who already have busy lives, the rush of the holidays means that they are getting by on even less sleep. But your body and your brain need plenty of sleep to recharge.

Take time to exercise. Chances are that you will overindulge during the holidays. Daily exercise will help combat the impacts of those extra calories. It will also help keep your heart happy. And simply taking a walk during your lunch hour each day will help you relieve some of the stress that the holidays bring.

Make time to relax. The holidays are a time of fun, family, friends, festivities… and it can all be exhausting. Make sure that you include some quiet time in your schedule each week. If you have children, this can be especially important. Everyone needs some down time. So take a minute, kick back and relax.

Happy Holidays!

Take a deep breath…

16833781_SHave you made a list of all the gifts you need to buy yet? Do you have your greeting cards ready to mail? When is the office Christmas party?

Are you feeling stressed yet?

Once the holiday season gets under way, it doesn’t take long for the stress that accompanies this most wonderful time of the year to set in. With these tips, you can not only embrace the good cheer that is supposed to be the hallmark of this season but also share it with others.

First, just breathe. Really. According to Harvard Health Publications, deep breathing is a relaxation technique that will help calm you. It will bring in more oxygen, which can slow down your heartbeat and even lower blood pressure.

Now, get organized. You are probably thinking that this is easier said than done, but a little organization can go a long way toward helping you enjoy the holidays. Put everything you need to do – for the holidays, for work, for your normal routine – on a planner. It doesn’t matter if you use your phone, a calendar or daily planner, or a dry erase board on the kitchen wall; what’s important is that you have everything down in one place. This is especially important if you have children who will have school programs and parties of their own. Once you can see what you have coming up, it will be easier to work out a schedule and a plan for getting it all accomplished.

Then, make some time for you and make some time for others. When you are constantly worrying about all that you have to do, it is impossible to appreciate the spirit of the holidays. That’s why taking a little time for yourself is absolutely necessary. Go for a walk. Get a manicure or pedicure – or both! Get a massage. It’s a great way to relieve stress. You might be surprised that another great way to relieve stress is actually to take the time to help others. Volunteering lets you help others and increases your happiness at the same time.

Finally, enjoy yourself. Even if there are some things that don’t get done, remember that the holiday season is really about spending time with family and friends. So keep calm and merry on.

Be grateful, be healthy

48231542_SWhen you think of a healthy lifestyle, things like eating right, exercising daily and getting enough sleep probably come to mind. And they should. All of these are essential components of a healthy lifestyle. But one other component should really be at the top of the list: being grateful.

Really.

Did you know that research over the past several years has shown that an attitude of gratitude is good for you? Being grateful has numerous benefits. These include reducing stress, building self esteem and improving overall well-being. Dan Buettner, a best-selling author and explorer who studies longevity, asserts, ”Gratitude always comes into play; research shows that people are happier if they are grateful for the positive things in their lives, rather than worrying about what might be missing.”

As we enter the holiday season, it is the perfect time to consider, first, what we have to be thankful for and, second, ways to express that gratitude. Being grateful isn’t always easy. Everyone goes through hard times at some point in life, and during those times, it may take some effort to shift your focus away from those struggles. It is a choice, and you have to be willing to exert the effort to find the good.

While you can’t instantly change your circumstances, you can change your attitude. Start your day by thinking of at least one thing to be thankful for. Say thank you to the people in your life. Find some quiet time to meditate, relax and focus your mind on something positive.

It’s a necessity

41210524 - business organization people working togetherness meeting conceptsSometimes, a little pampering for yourself is not a luxury; it is a necessity. We live in a stressful world. And while general levels of stress have declined over the past few years, most people deal with some amount stress in their daily lives. According to the American Psychological Association’s most recent Stress in America report, “Money and work remain the top two sources of very/somewhat significant stress, but this year, for the first time, family responsibilities emerged as the third most common stressor (54 percent).”

That stress can have significant impacts on both mental and physical health. So why would you not take some time to relieve your stress and revive your body?

Massage benefits to relieve stress: When you are stressed, your muscles tend to tense up. Helping to loosen these tight muscles is only one way that massage can help relieve stress. The relaxing atmosphere in which a massage is administered is restful in itself, allowing you to relax both your mind and your body.

Facial benefits to relieve stress: Not only is a facial relaxing, but it also will help ease the signs of stress from your skin. Did you know that stress can have a visible impact on your skin? Besides deepening those worry lines that tend to appear, stress can cause your skin to break out and even produce more oil. Stress can aggravate existing skin conditions and can even cause you to break out in hives or rashes.

Mani/pedi to relieve stress? Absolutely. Since work is one of the top two stressors, it is also where you need to feel sure of yourself. For example, if you have a big presentation coming up, you need to feel confident – and it is important for your coworkers to see you as confident. Even if you are nervous, a poised, assured demeanor will actually help you feel more confident. So pay attention to your appearance and dress for success. Your nails are only one small detail, but they are important. Will you be gesturing with your hands as you make that presentation? Will you be shaking hands with other people in the meeting? With a professional manicure and pedicure, you know that you will be putting your best foot – and hand – forward. One less thing to stress about.

We can’t wait to help you pamper yourself. Really, it is a necessity. You should take positive steps to relieve some of the stress that is part of your life.

Benefits of Getting a Facial

42650505 - spa, asian, facial.Like it or not, ageing is part of life.

Our skin tightens, wrinkles, and loosens, while years of exposure to the sun and wind take their toll slowly but surely each passing day.

When you’re young, a regular skin care routine probably didn’t seem like a big deal. Maybe you used face wipes and moisturizer, or some kind of cleansing wash. When you’re in your teens and 20′s, regardless of the conditions you’re exposed to, skin quickly bounces back.

Have you tried multiple products that are supposed to breathe new life into the skin on your forehead, cheeks, chin, and neck? Some might have worked for a little while, others probably didn’t make any noticeable difference at all.

Even when using the best, most effective products in the world, you should still consider investing in regular facials.

Setting aside an hour or two once each month ensures your delicate, sensitive facial skin gets the tender loving care it so deserves. Here at Jon’Ric Massage & Wellness Spa, we’re always advancing our treatment regimen to fall in line with the latest advances in spa medicine and technology.

Don’t be alarmed if your skin is starting to feel tired. This is completely natural, but there are things you can do to counteract the aging process. With our professional team at your side, you can keep your face looking youthful and blemish free. Just wait and see!

Benefits of Massage

Massage brings a wide range of health benefits to the table.  With a wide array of massage types and styles it is great to experiment with all of the different massage practices and see all that massage has to offer.  Here is a short article that we found that includes some of the many benefits of massage.

6 surprising health benefits of massage therapy (1/6)

Sure, it can help you relax. But massage therapy can do much more than that. Here are six healthy reasons to book an appointment

It counteracts all that sitting you do

“Most individuals are dealing with some kind of postural stress,” says Aaron Tanason, registered massage therapist, kinesiologist and owner at Paleolife Massage Therapy in Toronto. “More often than not [that stress] tends to manifest in the shoulders and neck.”

 Desk workers, beware. More advanced forms of postural stress “show up as pain or weakness in the low back and gluteals caused by prolonged periods of sitting.”

Luckily, massage can counteract the imbalance caused from sitting, which means you can keep your desk job—as long as you schedule a regular massage.

It eases muscle pain

Got sore muscles? Massage therapy can help. “Massage increases and improves circulation, in much the same way rubbing your elbow when you knock it on a table helps to relieve the pain,” says Tanason.

A 2011 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, found that massage therapy is as effective as other methods of treatment for chronic back pain.

It soothes anxiety and depression

“Human touch, in a context that is safe, friendly and professional, can be incredibly therapeutic and relaxing,” says Tanason.

Women diagnosed with breast cancer who received massage therapy three times a week reported being less depressed and less angry, according to a 2005 study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience.

And, a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, found that patients who were depressed and anxious were much more relaxed and happy, and had reduced stress levels after massage.

It improves sleep

Not only can massage encourage a restful sleep—it also helps those who can’t otherwise comfortably rest.

“Massage promotes relaxation and sleep in those undergoing chemo or radiation therapy,” says Lisa Marie de Miranda, registered massage therapist and kinesiologist at Paleolife Massage Therapy.

 Also, if you’re a new parent, you’ll be happy to know it can help infants sleep more, cry less and be less stressed, according to research from the University of Warwick.

“Most RMTs can do infant massage,” says de Miranda.  And if parents want to do it themselves, it comes naturally. “There’s not really a particular technique. Whatever parents normally do to soothe their baby will be effective.”

It boosts immunity

A 2010 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that massage boosts patients’ white blood cell count (which plays a large role in defending the body from disease).

It also “improves immune function for individuals with HIV,” says de Miranda.

It relieves headaches

Next time a headache hits, try booking a last-minute massage. “Massage decreases frequency and severity of tension headaches,” says de Miranda.

Research from Granada University in Spain found that a single session of massage therapy has an immediate effect on perceived pain in patients with chronic tension headaches.