This weekend was a lot of fun! Our fitness staff at Purdue had 2 jam packed days of workouts and workshops to help us develop our teaching skills and exercise knowledge. Great job group x and learn to play 🙂
However, coming home today, I needed to relax a bit. I’m a little sore but mostly just plain tired. Also, I start the first day of my PhD work tomorrow! EEKS! I’ll let you know how the first day goes…
I have always responded well to scents. Such as eucalyptus. I have pretty bad sinus issues, so the refreshing smell of this plant really helps. After my Mom left in July, she gave me a Bath and Body product for relaxation. It’s from their Aromatherapy line, and it is a bubble bath and body wash with eucalyptus and spearmint. Needless to say, after a long soak in this product, I felt less sore and ready for bed! haha
Wonder why scents work? Specific smells can trigger cravings, certain memories, and even improve certain aspects of our health. They can also affect our mood. Usually our body will first have an emotional response to a scent before you can actually identify what that smell is. Here’s a quick guide to help you pick your scents:
Citrus – Energizes and Uplifts (ever wonder why cleaning products smell like lemon?)
Lavender and Chamomile – Relaxes and Calms
Jasmine and Sandalwood – Creates a sense of romance (wink, wink hehe)
Eucalyptus, Ginger and Mint – Refreshes and Uplifts
Here’s the link for all the Bath and Body products that offer aromatherapy. http://www.bathandbodyworks.com/category/index.jsp?categoryId=2484528
I don’t just rely on aromatherapy to soothe my aches and pains or make me feel energized. Eating consciously and healthy are instant health and mood boosters.
A lot of science has gone into looking at the mood altering effects of certain foods. One expert says, however, that most Americans are not eating a healthy enough diet to be able to feel the effects of certain foods. So start with focusing on fruits, vegetables and whole grains/lentils. Then fill in the other 35% of your diet with protein packed foods such as seafood, tofu, and beans. Low fat dairy and healthy fats such as olive oil and nut butters also have their place in this 35%. A healthy diet and regular exercise can keep endorphins (our “happy hormones”) at a steady level. After you’ve mastered a healthy diet, try these mood altering foods for a little boost:
Salmon: This fish has high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids which have been long touted for their heart healing effects. However, now they are finding that omega-3 FA’s can affect our mood too! Our body needs Omega-3s to help our body make serotonin, which is low in those who suffer from depression.
Coffee: We knew this one! The combination of the warmth and the caffeine can
help to energize us and make us more alert. Have too much and you’ll just feel jittery and more stressed. Watch your levels after Noon. It may interfere with your sleep patterns (I mix my afternoon cup o’joe with decaf…and I still sleep like a baby!)
Brazil Nuts: hmmmm what are these??? They are the large comma looking nuts you find in a mixed variety from your grocery store. Brazil nuts have a high amount of selenium, and though scientists have not found
the reason why, selenium is needed to keep our moods high.
Whey: Rejoice body builders! Whey has high amounts of tryptophan (yep the stuff you find in your Thanksgiving turkey) which is needed to make serotonin and keep your mood lifted. Whether you like the liquid whey or the whey protein, you can still achieve the same benefits.
Comfort Foods: These are different for everyone. And that homemade dish of choice can increase the production of “pleasure” neurotransmitters (serotonin and dopamine) in the brain to give a sense of well-being and even euphoria. It doesn’t take a lot of your choice comfort food to feel the effects. You also do not want to over indulge. High fat and calorie laden foods can lead to weight gain which can lead to depression…eesh! Let’s
stick to the occasional indulgence and keep it at just one serving. Everything in moderation.
Try adding a few of these foods to your diet if you need a little mood boost. Don’t go overboard though, excess usually cancels out any benefits.
Hope you had a relaxing and comforting weekend everyone!