Thursday, December 1, 2016

Self-care Activities to Encourage Optimal Health




Want to learn which self-care methods help you recover from setbacks and land on your feet? Maybe you're looking for ideas that help sustain your stamina, health, and optimism during those rough spots in life. Even if you’re dealing with minor irritations and ordinary stress, there’s help for you here too. Learn tips that enable you to cope more effectively with sticky situations and people. Self-care practices give you the energy and determination to move forward, even when things don’t go the way you imagined or wanted them to.


Research suggests those who care for themselves well are able to work and relate better with others. Self-care activities also help you heal more fully from divorce or a break-up, death of a loved one, being downsized, an illness, or stepping forward into a new location or career.


The term self-care describes attitudes and behaviors you adopt to improve or sustain physical and mental health. Self-care practices include eating healthful food, showering and brushing your teeth, wearing clean clothes, and getting adequate sleep and exercise. It includes recreational, communal, and individual activities that maintain emotional well-being, and help you feel contentment and peace.


Self-care routines provide comfort and reduce stress. When you're mindful to take good care of your own needs, you can be there for others, operate at a peak level on the job, and have bountiful energy to enjoy your personal life.


Improve Your Health-Take These Self-care Actions




HALT. The acronym stands for hungry, angry, lonely, and tired. When you feel one or more of these, your body and spirit are trying to get your attention. It’s a signal that self-care is needed. Here’s what you can do to help yourself:











  • Journal to get a better Handle on your Thoughts, Perceptions, and Feelings. It can help you identify and accept troubling emotions and thoughts and gradually convert them into positive ones. Spilling anger, hurt, sadness, worry, amazement, shock, grief, or confusion out on to the page, will make its intensity lessen. Once you unload your angst onto the page, it reduces the need to “rethink” a particular issue. Journal writing is a great place to record successes and triumphs as well. Read 4 Powerful Reasons Journal Writing is Good for the Soul.




Learn to focus on what is actually taking place from moment to moment.

Stop dwelling on hurts or mistakes of the past.

Curb your impulse to worry about what will happen in the future.

You can retrain your mind through self-care practices like meditation and behavior modification to let go of unhealthy habits that no longer serve you well.

When you use your senses to focus on yourself, your needs, your surroundings, and events as they are taking place, you'll feel more grounded and have a greater sense of well-being. 

Be kind, self-caring, and non-judgmental with yourself and others as you go through your daily activities. Notice whether full consciousness tends to reduce negativity, fear, and confusion. In addition, see whether you feel less anxious, uncertain, and less emotional and/or physical pain. When you're a witness rather than a judge of you and what goes on in your brain from moment to moment, you can be more present for yourself today.

Affirm, I am joyful now, and I appreciate being alive in each moment! 







  • For colorful adventures in self-empowerment, pick up a copy of Colors of Joy: A Woman's Guide for Self-Discovery, Balance, and Bliss. This guided journal program helps you combine color themed activities, affirmations, journal writing and reflection, with tips for self-care. It’s perfect for women who are introspective as well as those who want to be more self-aware and happy. Colors of Joy is affordable, provides hours of entertainment and discovery, and is a healthful way to be good to yourself. In fact, it makes an eye-catching holiday or birthday gift for all the women you care about.









Please comment below in the space provided. Some food for thought questions are...

What self-care activities do you think help you the most and why? 

Do you notice how often colors can be self-care helpers?

Are you consistent with your pre or post work self-care routines?

How do you re-set your motivation, after you've had a self-care slip?

I find my greatest motivating factor for self-care is positive self-talk. I am loving with myself, as I gently pick myself up and just do it!
Further reading at these links:


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Want to Feel Stable and Grounded? Use Brown

Visualizing the color brown has come in handy, when I need to center myself or feel scatter-brained. Brown can help you too. It helps us feel grounded, better able to cope with the practicalities of life, and assists us as we organize our belongings or prioritize our to-do list.



What are your first thoughts or feelings, when I ask you to envision the color brown? Each one of us has our own sensibilities and sensitivities, so there’s no right or wrong answer. 










Brown is an important color in nature. It’s the color of most tree bark and tree trunks, dried leaves, earth, and many animals including apes, lions, deer, brown bears, and even some family dogs and cats. Soak up nature’s healing energy by walking in an open field. Use it, especially if you seek a connection to mother earth or want to add more harmony and stability into your day.










Brown is a good camouflage color and helps animals blend into their environment. For More See Unique Ways Colors are Key to Survival.



If you want to be inconspicuous wear brown too. Brown clothes are slimming, and are a good choice for those who want to blend into the background. Wear a brown baseball cap, brown suit, or dress if you want to avoid conflicts at work or home. Think brown and it will help you stay out of a heated argument. Brown clothing can also convey the message that you're very conservative or even boring. To enliven brown, accessorize with a turquoise tie or an apricot colored scarf.



November brings cooler temperatures to most parts of the country. Try this. Sip a cup of coffee and notice how this beverage's rich brown color affects you. 










In the fall, when the weather turns cooler, I love to sprinkle brown cinnamon spice on top of a cup of cocoa. I inhale its sweet yet pungent aroma, and it reminds me of nutmeg, ginger, cardamom, and cloves that spice up our Thanksgiving pumpkin pie.



Be cautious when decorating your home or office with brown. Too much of it can be overbearing or depressing. Select rich colors like white, gold, rust, and orange for the upholstery of dark brown wooden furniture. For an inexpensive way to brighten  a dark brown bedroom set, use colorful gold, rust, green, or red throw pillows on the bed. Use Oriental area rugs to spruce up hardwood flooring and you'll create a cozy, stable setting in which to work or play.



Learn anything new? Let me know. Try to recall times when brown energy affected you. Please share your experiences with us by commenting in the space provided below. Don't forget to click publish after you enter your feedback. Share the love through social media. 



To sum up, remember that a little bit of brown goes a long way. It can give you a sense of equilibrium and help you feel supported. Brown helps to organize your thoughts and comforts you. Thanks for visiting! Please come back again.



Note: This post is an updated version of a post that appeared on my first color blog, Colors of Joy in Nov. 2014.



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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Easy Strategies to Use Colors to Draw Gratitude into Your Life

The month of November seems like an ideal time to demonstrate ways colors can enhance gratitude, especially since we in the U.S. celebrate the Thanksgiving Holiday this month.






What is GRATITUDE? The definition I like best is that it’s a human quality of being thankful, including readiness to show appreciation and be gentle with ourselves and others.



Several studies indicate that gratitude is a mighty key that unlocks the gates of health, happiness, and leads to increased satisfaction in relationships we have with others and ourselves. Results of “Counting Blessings Versus Burdens: An Experimental Investigation of Gratitude and Subjective Well-Being in Daily Life,” that appeared in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (Feb. 2003) suggests that conscious recognition of ones blessings has emotional and interpersonal benefits. 



Another study conducted by Adam Grant, et al., "A Little Thanks Goes a Long Way: Explaining Why Gratitude Expressions Motivate Prosocial Behavior," Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (June 2010) indicates when one feels or thinks their efforts to help other people is valued by the receiver, it creates a sense of well-being in the doer. In other words, small expressions of gratitude can motivate prosocial behaviors by leading helpers to feel socially valued.

As I count my blessings, I recall many ways colors have encouraged me to experience greater joy, laughter, peace, ease, health, and appreciation for life itself, not only at Thanksgiving, but each day of the year.



Family, Friends, Community, Nature are All Things to Be Thankful For


The color strategies I share below are simple to implement, and effective when used consistently. Please give yourself a few weeks' time to experience the change. Discover how easy it is to let colors help you more fully recognize and appreciate the blessings in your life.


Choose to include those colors that resonate with you, and select them for your wardrobe, home d├ęcor, and work environment. Learn How Wearing Your Colors Can Help You Feel Great About Yourself.

Exercise in colorful red warm up gear to get your heart pumping and metabolism jumping. This color helps you connect to the excitement of knowing that you’re fortunate to be able to move.

Stretch and think of the color green. It encourages optimism and encourages you to inhale fresh oxygen, ideas, and view situations with a new perspective. Green is the color of regeneration and growth. Be happy and feel grateful that your cells are continually rebirthing themselves.

Orange is the color of many essential fruits and vegetables. Remember to include them in your eating plan for vibrant health. See more about Why We Need to Eat Orange Fruits and Veggies Daily.

Health experts agree that eating a wide variety of colorful fruits and veggies helps energize and nourish you. Learn details at 4 Key Reasons to Eat a Variety of Colorful Produce.

Yellow is a happy, mood lifting hue. It’s the color of a joyful spirit. It's naturally associated with the sun, and its life giving and sustaining energies. Displaying yellow flowers in your home or wearing a yellow cap or scarf are easy ways to incorporate it into your life. Notice if yellow energy helps you feel greater appreciation and enthusiasm for the present moment.

Blue is a calming, spacious color. It is a symbol of sea and sky. Here's Tips for Using Blue and the Throat Chakra to Eliminate Pain. 

Consider my blue family favorites, aqua and aquamarine. These green-blue colors promote a smooth flow of communication. Let them create a sense of expansiveness and tranquility in you. Visualize aqua and aquamarine, when you’re seated around the Thanksgiving table. Envisioning colors may enable you to celebrate being with your relatives, and better able to deflect any negativity you may encounter. For Ideas and information to Help You Relax Check This Out.

Research from the Psychology Department at UC Davis Emmons Lab suggests that gratitude heals, energizes, and transforms lives. That's why it's important to schedule time weekly or daily to write in a gratitude journal. To amp up journal writings’ health promoting benefits, use colored pens and markers to record your feelings and thoughts about the gifts in your daily life. If you’re not willing to commit to writing a colorful gratitude list, at least devote time, night or day, to do a mental gratitude one.

For example, certain colors warm and open my heart. I frequently write about these colors and call on pink, coral, blue, green, and purple to help me envision gratitude for the gifts of sight, hearing, taste, touch, spirituality, and my love of nature and people in my life.

When I journal with colors, it helps slow my racing mind, as I transfer jumbled thoughts onto paper. Journal writing is a safe place to examine and rid myself of dark thoughts and cherish moments of serenity. Journal writing increases self-awareness and brings insights about my thoughts and actions.

“How often do you reserve time to engage in a creative endeavor like crafts projects or journal writing? I attest that each time I cook, write, draw, study something new, and risk doing things in a creative way, my gratitude multiplies and my optimism soars.” Nancy Andres

Play, daydream, and let your imagination transport you to a calm place where you're free to envision a green field, babbling brook, or other natural setting that brings you joy. See how fast your feelings of gratitude expand. Notice what happens to your state of mind as you visualize your favorite color, appreciate the wonder of watching the sunrise or sunset, laugh with friends and family, relish reading a good book, jump in a stack of leaves, or have a ball as you wade through a puddle of water. 


I'm Grateful for the Public Library, One of My Favorite Places to Visit


Give yourself permission to be more childlike and beat a drum, dance, or sing. Take a moment to breathe deeply and feel the love and gratitude all around and in you.

An attitude of gratitude is fundamental to wellness. Let colors smooth the way for you to improve your health, relationships, and sense of well-being. What color or colors are gratitude colors for you?


My personal experience and research I've conducted since 1997, when I became a Health and Lifestyle Writer, shows color vibrations bypass human reasoning and work at the cellular level. Colors have a subtle way of attracting gratitude into our body, mind, and spirit.


When you put together a list of what you’re grateful for, it swings your vibrational frequency into a higher state. Whenever your focus turns to gratitude, you identify what is already abundant in your life and you become even more thankful.



“Please be aware that I’ve found as I include more and more colors into my gratitude practice, it heightens my sense of thankfulness and delight.” Nancy Andres

On a personal note, someone I lost contact with several years ago, recently came back into my life. I’m kicking up my heels and filled with joy. I envision the color pink, soft coral, and green, as I reflect about this gift, and I’m excited to be discovering this person anew.



I'm grateful for the People in My Life!


I've learned to be grateful for people who challenge my patience, understanding, compassion, and peace of mind. I grow wiser as I figure out how to be more direct and kind as I own my power, respect people and their right to be themselves, and detach with love.

What are things or people you’re grateful for?
Do you journal? If you do, which colors enrich the process of naming and/or writing about what you’re grateful for? Please let me know.
Want to expand your horizons and learn how to use many colors for increased gratitude and well-being?

Here’s a fun way to do that! Pick up a copy of the interactive self-care journal, Colors of Joy: A Woman’s Guide for Self-Discovery, Balance, and Bliss. Its color-coded activities, journal writing exercises, affirmations, and self-care tips help you use colors to brighten daily living. Learn new things about yourself and thrive by journal writing in Colors of Joy. Purchase it now at these fine shops, order an autographed copy, or order it from Amazon Books.





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Monday, October 17, 2016

Exciting, Colorful Event and You're Invited

All-Zona Book Fest



Date/Time Sunday Oct 23, 2016.  Stop by any time from 9:00 am to 3:00 PM.

This Special Event is a Showcase for 49 Arizona Authors who live in your area, on the other side of town, or in a nearby city. Explore books in many genres. Meet and chat with authors in a relaxing atmosphere for fun.



Location: St. Francis Cabrini Parish Hall, 3201 East Presidio Road, Tucson AZ 85716. It's 1 block south and east of E. Ft. Lowell/N. Country Club Rd. in Tucson



Nancy Andres, Author of Colors of Joy: A Woman's Guide for 
Self-Discovery, Balance, and Bliss would love to greet you and 
show you Colors of Joy. It presents colorful activities to 
encourage journal owners to live happier, healthier, and more 
abundantly. Purchase Colors of Joy, and Nancy will gladly 
autograph it.  See book details on Nancy's Website


The 2016 Al-Zona Book Fest will offer food for sale, fun, surprises, and book displays. Chat with an author you know or meet new ones.  
  



Admission is Free. Please bring new or gently used children’s’ books to donate to "Make Way for Books." Thanks. 

Before you go, please take a moment to comment and share this post on social media. Thanks for the visit and please come back again soon.

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Saturday, October 1, 2016

Think Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

It's October and the official start of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Do you remember when pink became the symbol for breast cancer awareness? 






Pink ribbons and the color pink have been used since the early 1990's to show moral support for those with breast cancer. The first pink ribbons were handed out to all survivors of breast cancer and participants at the first Susan G. Komen Race® for the Cure that was held in NYC on Oct. 13, 1991. Since then, most of us have seen pink ribbons everywhere. Did you know that breast cancer can occur in men as well as women? Breast cancer is 99% curable in either sex, if detected early enough. 


It's no wonder pink was the color chosen for this important symbol. Pink is a nurturing, supportive color, one that instinctively reminds us of warm feelings, unconditional love, and gentleness. Pink is red and white combined. This mix provides a helpful balance of male and female energies. Pink can reduce stress associated with navigating the system as well as the fear and doubts the disease sometimes causes. Pink is an important healing color. Emotionally, it can reduce the anxiety patients may experience when trying to communicate effectively with health insurance companies or medical professionals. Everyone being treated for breast cancer has a right to the latest information and best treatment available. It's up to us to stay informed, be pro-active in our own health routines and care, and support those who are challenged by this disease.

 
Please join in this October to clean up your lifestyle habits. The National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. advises us to quit or continue not to smoke, limit alcohol consumption, eat many fruits and veggies each day, stay physically active,
perform monthly breast self-exams, visit our doctor for scheduled clinical breast exams, and determine with the help of our health care provider a schedule for screening mammograms. Nutrition researcher/MD, Dr. Michael Greger Povides Great Information About Dietary-Factors-That Affect-Breast-Cancer.








To increase your awareness about the disease, read information I found on the American Cancer Society® Website How to Develop a Plan for Early Breast Cancer Detection.



Think pink, wear pink, and be in the pink about good breast health!

I'd love to know your thoughts about this important subject. Please take a  moment to comment below. 

Take one more moment to share this post. It can help readers see why it's so important to be pro-active and tweak our lifestyles to reduce our breast cancer risk. 



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