Ugh, it’s that time of year again, stuffed up nose season. Whether it is from allergies or just the change in the weather, people seem to be talking about being all stuffed up. Luckily, there are some easy remedies for this. Aromatherapy can be used to clear those sinuses up. Here are a few examples of some essential oils good for clearing up inflammation and congestion in the sinuses.
Essential oils to help clear your sinuses:
Peppermint Spearmint Eucalyptus
Tea Tree Lavender Rosemary
Oregano Clary Sage Ravintsara
You can add a couple of drops to a cotton ball and inhale. You can also add a couple drops to boiling water and place a towel over your head and inhale the aroma. The most convenient way to use aromatherapy is to diffuse your oils into the air. Below are some great diffuser recipes you can try.
Stuffiness Be Gone Breathe Better Sinus Remedy
3 drops Eucalyptus 2 drops Spearmint 2 drops Tea Tree
2 drops Lavender 2 drops Lavender 2 drops Rosemary
2 drops Peppermint 2 drops Clary Sage 3 drops Eucalyptus
Open Sinuses Fresh Air Smell Again
2 drops Spearmint 2 drops Peppermint 2 drops Peppermint
2 drops Peppermint 3 drops Lavender 4 drops Lemon
2 drops Eucalyptus
Remember to follow us on all our social media sites to learn more about aromatherapy and other wellness information.
Time to start thinking about your new year’s resolution. After how 2020 went, who isn’t looking forward to 2021. I think everyone is wanting a fresh start and what better way than starting the new year off with new desires and goals. What do you want most out of 2021? For me, what I want most is to be able to walk across the stage when I graduate this spring from Drake University. If you are struggling to think of some goals or desires for next year, then I got you covered with a list of common new year resolutions.
Of course, making a new year’s resolution is the easy part, staying with it is the hard part. Now days there are apps out there for everything, including new year’s resolutions. There are apps to help track and motivate you to eat healthier and exercise, improve your finances, and balance your life. So much can be done live online like socializing, exercising, and learning. Completing your resolution can be very easy and convenient if you take advantage of these options. Good luck and have a happy new year!
STRESS! Everybody experiences it from time to time. But how do we manage it? Well, one way to manage stress is with aromatherapy. Evidence shows that aromatherapy can affect our physiologic and cognitive functions. The best way to experience aromatherapy is through inhalation. You can put a couple of drops on a cotton ball or use a diffuser. Below here is a list of some commonly known essential oils for stress relief and grounding.
Essential oils for stress relief:
Lavender Sage Ylang Ylang Chamomile
Rose Mellissa Orange Frankincense
Cedarwood Jasmine Geranium Sandalwood
Pine Myrrh Tangerine Vetiver
*Add a couple of drops to some Epsom salt and sprinkle in a nice warm bath.
Diffuser recipes for stress relief:
Tranquility Stress Be Gone Relaxation
3 drops Lavender 3 drops Sandalwood 3 drops Lavender
3 drops Cedarwood 3 drops Frankincense 2 drops Chamomile
3 drops Pine 2 drops Sage
Pick me up Uplifting Just Breathe
3 drops Orange 2 drops Lavender 3 drops Lavender
3 drops Tangerine 2 drops Cedarwood 2 drops Peppermint
3 drops Cedarwood 4 drops Orange 3 drops Cedarwood
Grounding Peace Meditation
2 drops Frankincense 3 drops Myrrh 3 drops Myrrh
2 drops Chamomile 3 drops Orange 3 drops Frankincense
2 drops Orange 3 drops Tangerine 3 drops Sandalwood
2020 has had its obstacles but through these challenges great things have been created so that we can go on with a little normalcy. Rec Movement has made it possible to workout at home for free if you have Drake email or an email account from another participating college. With Rec Movement you can take a live class with any participating college right from your own home or you can workout to a prerecorded class. The list of prerecorded classes seems almost endless. There are tons of different styles of Yoga, Pilates, HIIT, F45, Dance workouts, Barre, Bootcamps, Kickboxing, and so much more. You can work out for just 5 minutes, 20 minutes, or even for an hour or longer if you want. On top of exercise classes, they offer meditation and wellness classes like cooking healthy on a budget. This is the perfect way to exercise or learn some new wellness tools over the holiday break.
Want to win FREE swag? Rec Movement has the option to log your exercise based on minutes and activity. Every week you log at least 200 minutes you are entered into a drawing to win free Rec Movement swag.
Did I mention that this is also a CHALLENGE amongst the participating colleges? When you log your exercise, it is added to Drake University’s total in the competition. As of November 9th, 2020, Drake University stands at #53 with Palmer College of Chiropractic being #1. This winter break I challenge you to login and exercise with Rec Movement to make Drake University #1.
“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it”
Stress is the body’s response to changing stimuli or stressors. It has been linked to the cause of several health issues including ulcers. But is all stress bad for you? The answer is “No.” Stress can actually be a good thing as long as it’s not causing a negative affect on you. In fact, Hans Selye introduced the concept of stress having two categories: distress and eustress. Distress is stress that negatively affects you and eustress is stress that has a positive effect on you. Eustress is what energizes us and motivates us to make a change. It gives us a postive outlook and makes us capable of overcoming obstacles and sickness. Take a second and think about what works as a eustress for you. Is it exercising, practicing mindfulness, watching Tedtalks, or listening to music? Below is a list of how distress and eustress impact you and some examples of the different type of stressors.
How Distress Impacts You Vs. How Eustress Impacts You
Lack of sleep Increased energy
Headaches Increased focus
Mood changes Creates excitment
Change in appetite Increased self-efficacy
Shortness of breathe Increased productivity
Chest pains Positve outlook
Digestion issues Increases resilence
Lack of focus
Examples of Distress Stressors Vs. Examples of Eustress Stressors
Financial crisis Socializing
Death of a loved one Mindfulness/Meditation
Relationship problems Build relationship/friendship
Abuse or feeling neglected Vacationing
Illness or an injury Listening to happy music
Work problems Achieving a goal
Worrying about someone else Go to a spa
So how do you really know if you stressor is distress or eustress? Ask yourself a couple of questions. How do you respond to certain stressors? Do you let it overwhelm you or make use of the energy? Another way to think of stressors is as “threats” or “challenges”. Does this perticular stressor feel like a threat to your health or happiness at this current moment or is it a challenge to overcome for the better? If asking yourself these questions isn’t enough for you to discover what your distress and eustress stressors are then Positive Psychology has a Eustress vs. Distress worksheet you can fill out also.
Stress and how it effects you really depends on your mindset. For example, lets say you have a financial crisis and can either completely freak out, letting it overwhelm you or you can use that to motivate you to make a change for the better and increase your income. It isn’t always easy to change your mindset but with practice it is possible.
Focus on breathing Talk to someone
Find ways to stay busy and distract you Exercise
Get more sleep Write
Think positively Meditate
Define the worst case senerio (maybe current situation isn’t that bad)
Good Stress, Bad Stress and Oxidative Stress: Insights from Anticipatory Cortisol Reactivity https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4028159/
“Stress” is 80 Years Old: From Hans Selye Original Paper in 1936 to Recent Advances in GI Ulceration https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28641541/
Ted talk: How to make stress your friend | Kelly McGonigal https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcGyVTAoXEU&feature=emb_title
What exactly is Qi? In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), qi means “energy” and it is believed that we are made of universal Qi, which consists of the constant interaction of the five elements earth, air, fire, water, and metal. There are several different types of qi. The one we are born with is called universal qi or life force. Qi Gong and tai chi work with Hou tain qi. Energy flows through meridians in our body and when qi flows properly, we are healthier and have an overall sense of well-being. However, our qi can become imbalanced and stagnant when we are overwhelmed with stress, not eating proper nutrition, not getting enough sleep, or lack of inactivity. The good news is it is possible to reverse this with proper nutrition, exercise, sleep, TCM meridian work. Types of meridian work can include acupuncture, acupressure, Shiatsu massage, and martial arts practices like qi gong or tai chi.
Benefits of Qi Gong & Tai Chi
Balance and increase qi Increased immunity
Decrease stress/anxiety Increase focus
Increase circulation Decrease hypertension
Increase stability/balance Decrease risk of falling
Increase range of motion Improve COPD/asthma breathing
Decrease arthritis side effects Decrease Parkinson side effects
Improve cognitive function/capacity Decrease signs of depression
Increase confidence Increase cardiac function
Improve quality of life Decrease pain
Increase quality of sleep
Qi Gong is a gentle exercise to naturally move energy through meridians with slow fluid movements combined with mindful meditation and breathwork. It has been around for over 7,000 years and was first recorded in the Book of Changes which was the first book to discuss the concept of energy. Today, there are over 3,000 different forms of qi gong. Qi Gong can be done at any age and for as little as 5 minutes or longer. You can find a book to learn more or you can look for classes at your local gym and on Youtube there are several free videos to watch. Here are a few I liked:
Qigong Full 20-Minute Daily Routine
Qi Gong Routine for Stress, Anxiety, & Energy w/ Jeff Chand
Eight Pieces of Brocade
Tai Chi is derived from qi gong and has been around for 2,500 years. It was originally used more for defense but today is one of the most popular forms of qi gong. There are three main types of tai chi; yang, wu, and tai chi chih. In tai chi like qi gong, you use slow movements to natural move energy through your meridians while focusing on mindful meditation and breathwork. Your knees remain bent while holding your stance and staying balanced. Tai chi can be practiced at any age and can be done for as long as 5 or more minutes. There are books you read for more information, check out your local gym, or watch a Youtube video on how to practice tai chi. Below are a few I liked:
Tai Chi with Helen Liang
5 minute “Follow Me” Tai Chi – Great For Beginners
Tai Chi Free Lesson /20 minute Tai Chi Routine/ Daily Taiji Practice https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0j5dSjme-Y
Health benefits of tai chi. What is the evidence? https://www.cfp.ca/content/62/11/881.long
A Comprehensive Review of Health Benefits of Qigong and Tai Chi https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3085832/
Mind–Body Exercise for Anxiety and Depression in COPD Patients: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6981896/
Complementary and alternative medicine approaches to blood pressure reduction https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2592323/
Benefits of Qigong as an integrative and complementary practice for health
Fall is officially here! The leaves have begun turning beautiful shades of yellow, orange, and red. It is time to get out those diffusers and create your favorite autumn scent. Here is a list of some recipes to get you started.
2 drops Cinnamon Bark
2 drops Clove
5 drops Orange
4 drops Cyrpess
2 drops White Fir
2 drops Sandalwood
2 drops Cedarwood
2 drops Marjoram
3 drops Bergamot
4 drops Orange
3 drops Ginger
3 drops Cinammon
1 drop Nutmeg
2 drops Frankincense
3 drops Orange
4 drops Orange
3 drops Nutmeg
1 drop Cinammon
1 drop Clove
If you don’t have a diffuser you can buy one at Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, and HyVee. Essential oils can be purchased through companies like Young Living, Doterra, health stores, and there are other reputable companies out there. For diffuser purposes fragrant oils are just fine. Follow Drake Wellness on our social media sites for more information about aromatherapy.
The leaves are falling, temperatures are cooling, and fall has arrived but so has cold and flu season. With the coronavirus still a threat this year, it is more important than ever to prevent yourself from getting sick. There is a ton of information out there on how to stay healthy. So much in fact it can be overwhelming. Here at Drake Wellness, we want to save you the time of looking for ways to stay healthy and provide you with the information. You can start by boosting your immune system and practicing good hygiene.
Boost your immune system
- Get plenty of sleep. Research has shown a direct connection with the circadian sleep cycle and the immune system.
- Eat healthy. Our body needs proper nutrition to fight off foreign bacteria and viruses. You should make sure that you are getting plenty of fruits and vegetables.
- Drink plenty of water. You need to stay hydrated so that the body can function properly. You should be drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day.
- Take your recommended daily vitamins. If you are not getting enough nutrition with what you are eating, then it is recommended to take daily vitamins.
- Make sure you are getting enough Vitamin C and Zinc. Vitamin C and Zinc have been proven to support the immune system and reduce the number of sick days.
- Reduce any stress. Stress is known to weaken your immune system. There are many ways to reduce your stress. Practice mindfulness or meditation, exercise, or take time to have fun.
- Exercise regularly. Exercising regularly not only reduces your stress but boost your immune system.
Practice good hygiene
- Wash your hands often and use hand sanitizer when you are unable to wash your hands.
- DO NOT TOUCH YOUR FACE WITH UNSANITIZED HANDS! This is the fastest way to get sick. The mucus membrane in our eyes, nose, and mouth are the easiest way for bacteria and viruses to invade our bodies.
- Wear a mask when you go anywhere where social distancing is not an option.
- Wash bedding every couple of weeks or at least monthly. When you are sick you should wash them as soon as you get better to prevent getting sick again.
- Keep where you reside clean and disinfected.
Check us out at Drake Rec Services for more information about disinfecting your house.
Mindfulness, what exactly is it? Mindfulness is the practice of being present in your mind at that moment. It is taking the time to check in with yourself, process what is going on, and then letting it all go so that you can be truly be present with yourself and those around you. Mindfulness is being aware of yourself, your surroundings, and others. It can include breathing exercises, meditation, and visualization. Mindfulness can be practiced anywhere. It can be done while on a walk, sitting down, or even while eating. Anyone can practice mindfulness. It is great for kids, college students, adults, and even grandparents.
Practicing mindfulness has many benefits. Mindfulness is known to reduce stress and anxiety by altering your emotions and mood. When you become more relaxed you increase your brain function, focus, clarity, sleep and immunity. Your blood pressure and heart rate also decrease when you are in a relaxed state. Practicing mindfulness can decrease your frequency of experiencing depression. Mindfulness alters our mood by allowing us to focus on the positive side of things, increasing relaxation, creating a sense of connection to everything around us, and a sense of purpose. Increasing immunity gives us a better chance at fighting illnesses whether acute or chronic.
There are many ways to practice mindfulness. It can really be done anywhere at any time in the day. You can do it while brushing your teeth, driving, taking a bath, and even between classes. There is no time limit. It can be a quick minute or even 15 minutes. You can sit, stand, lay down, or be in motion. There are endless ways to practice mindfulness. Below is an example of a breathing exercise and a visualization exercise.
Belly Breathing- Take a nice deep breathe in and slowly let it out. Notice what part of your body is rising and falling. Focus on your belly filling up with air first, then your chest as you inhale. As you exhale, focus on you belly falling first, then your chest. Sometimes it helps to place your hand on your belly to create more awareness. As you continue to do this, feel your body start to relax and release all that stress. Remembering to check back in on your breathing. Continue to do this breathing exercise until you feel a sense of calmness.
Blue Light Technique- Visualize yourself surrounded by a blue light. As you breathe in, imagine your body breathing in the blue light. As you exhale, imagine all your stress coming out as black smoke. Visualize the black smoke evaporate into the surrounding blue light. Continue to do this until you feel a sense of relaxation and peace of mind.
I challenge you to take 5 minutes out of your day and practice mindfulness. You will be amazed at the difference it can make in your life. There are a ton of apps and resources out there to help guide you through mindfulness. Below are just a few apps and resources out there. Remember to check out all of Drake Wellness’ social media sites for more information.
Mindfulness and Meditation apps:
Sources for Mindfulness and Meditation:
Working out is something everyone should be doing to improve their health and overall well-being. However, it is no fun to still feel sore after a workout. Luckily, there are several things we can do prevent or manage this.
Before we talk about post workout, I should start by saying that you need to stretch properly to warm up your muscles before you begin your workout. Staying hydrated during and after the workout is just as important too. Staying hydrated keeps your muscles from cramping up. After the workout it is a good idea to do a cool down and then stretch out the muscles you worked. The reason we get sore after a workout is because of lactic acid sitting in our muscles. One way to move that out of the muscles is to increase circulation by getting a massage, performing self-massage, or using a foam roller. There are also muscle rubs and sports creams can help reduce inflammation, increase circulation, and help with the soreness. An ice bath or just applying ice increases the circulation to the muscles which helps push the lactic acid out as well. Soaking in a bath of Epsom salts can draw out any inflammation and the magnesium aids with cramping. Drinking apple cider vinegar can prevent muscle cramps and soreness also.
Of course, don’t forget to rest and replenish your body with proper nutrition after working out. You should never regret working out if done right. Make sure to take the time your body needs after a workout. For more information or any questions feel free to email us at email@example.com and follow us on our social media sites.
Stressed out? It is understandable to be stressed out at this point in college. You are probably feeling the demands of tests, reports, and presentations already. Not to mention extracurricular activities, organizations, work, and still trying to have a life. Well, take a deep breath and relax because here at Drake Wellness we are here to help. There are so many different techniques out there to help with reducing your stress.
Breath Exercises Massage
Meditation Eat a healthy diet
Exercising Get plenty of sleep
Tai Chi Talk to someone
Qigong Take some time for yourself
Yoga Find ways to laugh or have fun
Get ahead of the stress if you can. Don’t let it pile up to the point it is so overwhelming if you can help it. Prioritize your stress. Make a list of the stress you can do something about and a list of the stress that is out of your control. Come up with a strategy to get through the feeling of being overwhelmed with stress. Just remember you are not alone. It is common to be overwhelmed and stressed out but, if you need to talk to someone please do not hesitate to call Drake Counseling Center at 515-271-3864. Keep following us on all the Drake Wellness media sites for more information on relaxation techniques.
Exercise Effects on Depression: Possible Neural Mechanisms https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6437683/
Bidirectional relationship of stress and affect with physical activity and healthy eating https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6767465/
Depression and Anxiety Disorders: Benefits of Exercise, Yoga, and Meditation https://www.aafp.org/afp/2019/0515/p620.html
Yoga classes are offered at the Bell Center through Drake Wellness for free to students.