Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Taking Care of You: Self-Care After Childbirth

Taking Care of You: Self-Care After Childbirth

By: Sheila Olson

Your new baby is a welcome and beloved addition to your family that you’ve been looking forward to for a long time. It’s not exactly what you expected, though. Exhaustion, loneliness, and depression have crept up on you. In fact, according to, nearly 70-80 percent of women will experience some period of “baby blues,” and postpartum depression (PPD) may affect up to 20 percent of women.

If you think or are unsure if you have PPD, contact your doctor right away. However, stress and being overwhelmed are common challenges for new mothers, mostly caused by forgetting your own needs while caring for your baby. Your family needs you to be healthy and regain your strength. It’s time to take better care of yourself. Here are some ways to address these issues.

Reducing Stress

Stress will have a negative effect on both your mental and physical health. Start by doing some daily practices to reduce stress.

       Practice deep breathing. While it may be challenging in these early days, you can always take a few minutes, even while caring for your child, to practice deep breathing in the midst of struggles. Just a few deep breaths can calm your anxiety and slow a racing heartbeat. Once you are in this zone, it is easy to do some meditation, but it also helps to design your own space to keep your mind relaxed.

       Take a soothing bath. Place your baby in his carrier in a safe place nearby or bring the baby monitor in while you take a bath. Take a bubble bath and relax for 15-20 minutes.

       Rest while your baby naps. You might be tempted to “get stuff done” whenever your baby is asleep, but every now and then, get in a bit of relaxation time. Put your little one down and watch a few minutes of TV or do a crossword puzzle or some reading. You can even also do relaxing household chores such as folding laundry.

       Minimize all other commitments. This may be a time when you need to let go of a number of your normal commitments and duties. Make arrangements to have more downtime for you and your baby. Start saying “no” to things, such as visitors who want to see the baby.

Getting Rest and Support

Because your sleep time is limited, make sure you can fall asleep quickly and rest deeply until your baby needs you. To help, declutter your bedroom to create a soothing environment. You might want to get room-darkening curtains or blinds and a white noise machine. Before bed, avoid drinking lots of water, eating spicy and caffeinated foods, and getting blue light exposure from your smartphone or tablet. All these things can keep you up at night.

Moms today have less help than in the past with smaller extended families. To get enough time to rest, you may need to consider hiring help. Find a recommended childcare provider who is experienced with newborns to come in while you get some sleep or go out for a short break.

You should also find a support group. Talking to other new moms can ease your mind and help you deal with any “mommy guilt” you may be feeling. Motherhood can come with some complex emotional struggles. For example, in this article from, writer Katy Anderson explains how becoming a stay-at-home parent made her “feel so lonely while I had my children around.” It helps to share your feelings with other moms who have been there. Here are tips from on how to strengthen your support system.

Eating Healthy

If you breastfeed, you know that you must give your baby nutrition, but eating healthy is, of course, good for you, too! Choosing the right foods will not only help you lose the baby weight, it can also increase your energy and fight inflammation. Learn which foods benefit you (as well as your baby) from this post at

Remember that a healthy you is the best gift you can give your baby. If you need more help, read these self-care tips for new moms from Mom365.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Hemp & Marijuana: what makes hemp different from marijuana?

Article sponsored by:
Winchester Bed & Breakfast.

CBD and Marijuana are now mainstream and eventhough Cannabis is now legal in Canada, one big question remains: what is the difference between CBD and THC (the psychotropic element in Cannabis)?  Most people, not quite knowing the difference between the two, refrain from taking CBD in fear of getting a 'high', somehing they are afraid of or do not want.  CBD has marveleous medical properties and in this series of articles, I will try to explain their differences, how to use both of them, their medicinal properties, their possible side effects or their negative interactions with precription drugs.  So let's start with CBD.  

                                                                 CANABIS 101
                                                                        CBD vs THC

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the two most prevalent compounds in marijuana, also known as cannabinoids (a cannabinoid is one of a class of diverse chemical compounds that acts on cannabinoid receptors in cells that alter neurotransmitter release in the brain.  The two most important are CB1 and CB2). Though they’re just two out of more than 100 cannabinoids found in cannabis, they’re present in the largest quantities across the different varieties of the cannabis plant. Here’s what you need to know about each compound, so you can choose the marijuana strains and products that will give you the effects you need.

What Is CBD?
CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. Unlike THC, it can be derived from industrial hemp, but it’s often much more potent when it is derived from marijuana. We now know that CBD lacks the psychoactive effects of THC because it doesn’t bind with the same receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS).  

* CBD has little affinity for the two cannabinoid receptors.  Instead, it acts as an indirect antagonist of cannabinoid agonist.  This means that CBD acts to suppress the CB1 and CB2 activating qualities of cannabinoids like THC.  

CBD also has the ability to reduce the high caused by THC. For this reason many people, even those who prefer cannabis with a high THC percentage, keep a CBD product like a tincture close by, in case they consume too much THC and want the intense high to go away quickly.

What Health Conditions Can CBD Help?
Folks who suffer from skin disorders such as psoriasis and eczema tend to treat their conditions with CBD-rich topicals such as creams, balms and salves.
CBD is an anti-emetic, meaning it can reduce nausea and vomiting. Cancer sufferers who deal with nausea in relation to chemotherapy could turn to CBD to quell this symptoms.
CBD also has the ability to reduce seizures and muscle convulsion or spasms, making it effective in helping patients with seizures or muscle spasms caused by conditions such as Parkinson’s disease.
CBD is successful at promoting healthy bone growth and can help reduce vascular tension and artery blockage.
Studies show that CBD can also help reduce blood sugar, making it helpful for patients with diabetes or other conditions that require monitoring blood sugar levels such as hypoglycemia.
For anxiety sufferers, CBD has been shown to reduce the condition for people who have general anxiety disorders or conditions such as PTSD.

In my next article, I will talk about THC and its benefits.

Article written by:                                                                    
Dr Pierre Milot, PhD, PhD (tc)          
Life Transition / Therapeutic Counsellor  /  CBD Sales Consultant
Grief Recovery Specialist – Clinical Hypnotherapist
Winchester Ontario
Tel: 613 774 4389

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Add Self-Care to your Fitness for Optimal Rest

Add Self-Care to your Fitness for Optimal Rest and Total Balance

In the quest for fitness, weight loss and muscle building often take center stage, while diet, rest, relaxation, and emotional care are given little attention. These all comprise our total body health, and they work in symbiosis. Rest is crucial to exercise, because muscle grows during rest, not while we work out. For healthy weight loss, diet requires more than blind calorie restriction. Through self-care, a holistic view of your body comes into focus and fitness goals become easier to reach and sustain. Here’s how to include self-care in your healthy life.

Self-care’s role in fitness

Self-care encompasses any action we take to give ourselves comfort. To some, this may seem antithetical to working out. Grueling exercise equals greater returns, while a nap burns few calories. But rest and relaxation allows us to recharge our batteries, repair damaged muscle tissue, and mentally remain in a fitness routine longer. With self-care, people are more able to see sustained positive results from exercise. There are many self-care routines that bolster fitness, including:
-       Warming up and cooling down. Walking prior to a run, for example, prepares your body for cardio. And, unless you like having your internal furnace blasting after your post-workout shower, a cool-down session helps your body acclimate to rest.
-       Breathing exercises. For some, being aware of breathing can reduce stress and help bring them into the present moment in a manner similar to meditation. Taking measured breaths is a good way to start and conclude every exercise session.
-       Organization. A well-planned exercise schedule helps people stay on track, but organizational skills in general lead to reduced stress. Use a fitness routine as a springboard for an overall healthier life. Declutter, make lists, stay on top of medical appointments, set goals beyond fitness and monitor your progress.
-       Eating right. Healthy balance requires an appreciation for the food you eat. Healthy eating, of course, contributes to weight loss, but reducing processed foods, alcohol and added sugars can keep you well, too. A good diet supports healthy sleep, improves the body’s ability to regenerate cells, and can make you feel better emotionally.

Create a relaxation regimen

To ensure that you get sufficient rest, make it a non-negotiable part of your daily routine. Although most of us ideally already have a rest regimen at bedtime, sleep is often a luxury in our busy modern lives. We sleep when we can and often undercut the recommended eight hours of sleep each night. Rest, however, is broader than nightly sleep. Our minds need a break from daily distraction, and for an increasing number of people, sleep starts and ends by staring at a phone screen, which can actually be counterproductive to quality sleep. Attain quality sleep by winding down each night. Treat yourself to an at-home spa session with a homemade mask and DIY hot stone massage, set aside an hour to read your favorite book, or kick back with a mug of decaffeinated tea on your front porch and watch the stars to help yourself settle in for a good night’s sleep.

Your bedroom also contributes to sleep quality. You can create an ideal environment for healthy rest by using a white-noise machine, choosing a comfortable and sleep-style appropriate pillow, and ensuring that your room is as dark as possible. Melatonin - a natural hormone your body produces to help you sleep - doesn’t like bright lights, so when you try to sleep in a less-than-dark room, you are fighting with your natural system for sleep. Light comes from more than just reading lamps and nightlights, though, and can creep into a room from the outside. Try blackout shades to create a sleep sanctuary.

Self-care with a focus on rest amplifies fitness. When our bodies are given opportunities to recharge, our focus is sharpened and our efforts become more impactful. Keep rest in mind when planning your fitness routine so you can build a sustainably healthy life.

Sheila Olson

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Stuck Inside? Entertain Kids With These Fun & Educational Activities

Stuck Inside?
Entertain Kids With These Fun & Educational Activities

When it’s raining out and playing outdoors simply is not an option, it tends to get kids down. Being stuck indoors all the time is actually bad for their health, and without something to do, kids tend to turn toward watching television or playing video games. Rather than let them rot their brains in front of the TV, why not plan some fun and educational activities that will involve your children and help break the bad-weather blues? Below we’ve highlighted some of our favorite ideas for you to try.

Create an Obstacle Course

Making sure your kids get enough exercise is crucial. Not only does it pump feel-good endorphins through their bodies which makes them feel happier, it’s also essential for their physical and mental development. A fun and safe obstacle course doesn’t just get your kids moving, it also allows them to flex their creativity while building math and science skills.

Use pillows, cushions, furniture, blankets, and boxes to set up boundaries for your obstacle course. Have them crawl under chairs, walk across a balance beam, and jump over hurdles. You can also add movements and activities to the course such as jumping jacks, hula hoops, a bean bag toss, and more! The only limit is your imagination.

Learn an Instrument

Learning how to play an instrument gives your children many advantages in life. It improves their skills at school—especially in math. Playing an instrument helps them develop their fine-motor skills and their ability to follow instructions. They grow to be disciplined and into patient young adults with high self-esteem. Music also helps cultivate social skills and teaches children about the world and other cultures. Whether it be the drums, a clarinet, or the guitar, whichever instrument your children play should align with their interests.

Make a Mess

If your children are really feeling the humdrums, it may help to break out of the ordinary and do something wacky. There are tons of fun and creative activities that make a little mess while being educational, though your children won’t suspect a thing. Finger painting is a great way to let them express their creativity. Or if you want to add some spice to plain T-shirts and sheets, why not give tie-dying a go? Doing something that feels like it’s against the rules is a great way to keep them interested.

Another fun project is the Elephant’s Toothpaste science experiment. Using dry active yeast, hydrogen peroxide, dish soap, and some common household objects, your family can witness the magic of chemistry in a fun and exciting way. An exothermic reaction turns the ingredients into a squiggly, squirmy foam that shoots up through a container. You can use glitter or food coloring to make it more visible and fun. And while you’re learning about science, why not learn about math as well? Check out these lesson plans on ways children can apply real-world math concepts.


When the weather is rainy and the kids are stuck inside, don’t let them sit in front of the television watching cartoons or playing video games. Help them stay smart and healthy with fun and educational activities that stimulate the body and mind. Make your own indoor obstacle course with your kids to bring out their inner engineer while also providing a fun and safe way to exercise. Learning an instrument early on improves academic skills, discipline, and social awareness. Finally, if you really want to shake things up, don’t be afraid to make a mess. Finger painting, tie-dying, and silly science experiments are all great ways to spend a rainy day.

By: Jenny Wise