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Health Coaching Wellness

The Emotional Benefits of Gardening

If you are looking for new ways to live a happy, well-rounded life, then consider starting a garden. Gardening has many health benefits, and it can improve your emotional well-being. You don’t have to have an extensive garden in order to reap the benefits of gardening, and caring for just a few plants will help you to feel happier and more relaxed.

The Benefits of Ecotherapy

Ecotherapy is a new technique that encourages patients to combat anxiety and depression by spending time in nature, and research has shown that tending a garden can be extremely beneficial. When you spend time outside with plants, you are able to move past some of the man-made walls that seem to be everywhere you look. You can soak up sunshine, listen to the birds sing and feel the breeze. The positive effect can be multiplied when you bond with nature through plants. Gardening can make you feel safe, secure and grounded, and it allows you to enjoy something that people have been doing for thousands of years. As the plants grow and thrive, you also feel a sense of accomplishment and pride, and this sense of empowerment can continue into other aspects of your life.

Happy gardnerGetting Started

While it is best if you enjoy gardening while spending time outside, you can still reap its benefits no matter where you live. If you rent an apartment in the city, a small planter on your windowsill can provide you with the time you need to savor the leaves and the soil. You can also participate in a community garden, which will allow you to spend time with others while taking care of flowers, plants and vegetables. If you have a lawn or a yard, you can create a beautiful flowerbed or start a vegetable garden, and you can

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keep a planter filled with kitchen herbs that you can harvest and use as you cook. The most important thing is to spend some time focusing on the plants as you provide them with their basic needs.

If you find that you are feeling sad, angry or overwhelmed, step outside and take care of some plants. You may find that your time with nature helps you feel better and more relaxed.

photo credit: sea turtle via photopin cc
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Life Coaching Personal Coaching Wellness

Overcoming Clutter

Clutter is unattractive and hinders productivity, however many individuals may not realize it can also contribute to some serious health issues. Upper respiratory problems, decreased energy, depression, and weight gain have all been linked to cluttered or disorganized home environments. While more prevalent in severe cases, even slight levels of clutter can interfere with a healthy lifestyle. Still, when organization is simply not your forte, how can you minimize these effects?

Sometimes, clutter begins with good intentions. Maybe you were going to read that stack of magazines and newspapers, but just never found the time. Perhaps you wanted to keep those souvenirs and mementos from family vacations and special events, but you have not been able to find a way to display them. Whatever the reason, the clutter has gotten so out of control that you have no idea where or how to begin organizing your space, so now it just continues to pile up.

The first item on the agenda is to eliminate any overabundance of paper. Magazines that are older than two months past their publishing date and newspapers that are more than a couple of days old can be put in the recycling bin or donated to a local library, hospital or physician’s office. Other items will likely require some family cooperation.

To prevent becoming overwhelmed by the task of organizing and removing unnecessary items around the home, the best approach is often to divide and conquer. By delegating various tasks to each member of the household, the amount of work to be done will seem much more workable. However, once each room or area of the house has been assigned, the task at hand still may seem insurmountable. But by making a list of individual tasks within your room or area and finishing them one by one, your goal of organization can be achieved much quicker and easier than you may have imagined.

Start small; begin with one drawer or shelf. Though it can be tempting to stop working on one task when another catches your eye, resist the urge. Jumping from task to task makes it more difficult to see how much has been completed and what still needs to be done. Moreover, numerous unfinished tasks give the illusion that the job, as a whole, is more complex than it actually is. Thus making it seem hopeless that completion is a realistic objective.

Another issue that may arise when organizing your home is what to do with everything. For items that are used routinely, of course put them in their rightful places. All other items have a few options: donation, garage sale, garbage or recycling bin, or keepsake boxes. Items that are no longer useful are not necessarily trash. Ask yourself: is this item an important memento of a special occasion or event? If so, use a bin, trunk, box, or other storage container to house it, then put the container in a closet or under the bed so it will no longer be part of the clutter. All other items can either be donated or put into a garage sale.

Still, some things are no longer useful or meaningful and will not be of interest to others. Such items need to be discarded. Old, broken or outdated electronics can be recycled by electronics retailers and some will even offer gift cards or discounts toward new products. Additionally, older computers, televisions and other devices may be needed by local charities, schools or other organizations.

When clutter becomes excessive, even items that are important or useful may become concealed or buried. Still, any level of clutter or disorganization can be defeated with a little determination and planning. It all starts with one shelf or drawer.

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Health Coaching Wellness

Weight Loss Can Improve More Than Your Waistline

It is common knowledge that physical fitness can improve health and wellness. In fact, diabetic patients who lose just 10 percent of their body mass, 25 pounds for a 250 pound individual, have experienced fewer negative symptoms and even a decreased need for insulin. Still, many people may not be aware of some of the other advantages of losing weight.

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Saving Money

losing weight can have multiple negative effectsIndividuals who have a healthy body weight typically enjoy lower healthcare costs. This is not because there is a conspiracy against less healthy people. It is simple mathematics: healthy people do not need to visit a physician as often and usually do not have as many prescriptions as overweight or obese people. A person who is within a few pounds of his ideal weight may only see his doctor for his annual physical.Another way that losing weight can save money is by lowering the cost of grocery bills. Health conscious people do not

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buy as many packaged or processed foods, which are high in sodium and fat, as well as price. But groceries are not the only items that cost more when a person is overweight. Everything from the price of a plane ticket to the cost of a new outfit reflects a substantial difference. Some airlines go as far as requiring overweight passengers to purchase an additional ticket, which is not only expensive, but also humiliating.

More Energy

Countless individuals complain of excessive fatigue or malaise. However, many do not realize the amount of strain extra weight can place on the body. For better perspective, consider that a military knapsack typically weighs between 50 and 100 pounds. So an overweight person can be carrying the equivalent of a military knapsack, 24 hours a day. Not only does the excess weight feel heavy, but it is often awkwardly distributed, causing joints to be misaligned subsequently leading to poor balance and pain.

Lower Risk of Chronic Disease

Diabetes, cancer, heart disease, stroke, and even Alzheimer’s disease are more prevalent in individuals who are overweight or obese. Though the exact reasons for the link to Alzheimer’s disease and cancer are not clear, heart disease, stroke and diabetes have long been known for their association with weight and diet.

Mental Sharpness

More and more, researchers are finding links between obesity and memory problems. After losing weight, many individuals report feeling more focused on everyday tasks and fewer episodes of short-term memory loss. While science has yet to explain the reason for the mental impairment among the obese, it is becoming clear that the effects can be reversed once some of the weight is lost.

Increased Libido

Although simply being overweight does not necessarily cause sexual dysfunction, the co-morbidities associated with it have a significant impact. Problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes affect blood flow, which hinders men’s ability to perform. Similarly, women often experience decreased desire as a result.There are countless reasons to lose weight and become healthy. But healthy does not mean conforming to the unrealistic standard that everyone should look like a fashion model or actor. Healthy simply means that a person has found a balance of physical activity and proper nutrition. Too often, people give up on trying to lose any weight because they feel overwhelmed. But any positive step, no matter how small, can make a huge difference in the quality of your life.