By Kate O’Farrell, M.S., ACSM-CEP, clinical instructor
Take a deep breath. In. Out. Take a moment to check in with yourself. What’s on your mind? How does your body feel? When it comes to health, there are a lot of different things to think about: movement, food, stress and so on. The to-do list of a healthy lifestyle seems to grow daily and it is easy for our minds to become overwhelmed by the chatter. The practice of mindfulness provides a process to clear your mind and accomplish your goals.
Mindfulness, put simply, is awareness. It opens your mind to help you learn to understand your body. The idea is to be present both physically and mentally, helping us make changes today. The practice of mindfulness can be accomplished in many ways: meditation, mindful eating, breathing, or even a walk.
If you are interested in learning more about mindfulness, consider some of these ideas:
Wellness workshops: A Year of Intention: An Introduction for Change — Each clinic will be held on a Tuesday night 5:15-6:45PM at 383 Colorow Rd. in the second floor lunch room. Move past regular resolutions that end up being a cause of guilt and sadness by February 1st. Come learn how to create intentions and actual shifts from the inside out. Build a lifestyle, not a resolution.
· Come learn the basics of mindfulness and meditation. You don’t have to be a zen master to learn simple tools to help create mindfulness and calm for your everyday.
· Have a little help from your friends! Learn how to utilize the resources and tools out there to help create your perfect wellness plan
· Taking the tools of mindfulness, meditation, and awareness to create a plan of attainable action towards a healthier, more well year.
Headspace: Learn to meditate in just 10 minutes daily. You don’t have to become a monk to master the process.
Happify: The Happify program helps you to train your mind to become more positive, re-energizing your mindfulness practice.
Stop, breathe and think: This app helps you to learn an individualized meditation practice that focuses on what you are interested in working on.
Mindful eating: As you eat your next meal, just pay more attention to process. How does your food taste, smell, feel? Are you satisfied? By simply paying attention while we eat, we can not only make healthier choices, but also enjoy our food a bit more. Yum!
As you discover new ways to be mindful, you will learn what works best for you. With a clarified perspective on the present, you may find a new sense of purpose in your wellness journey.
David Smart, M.D., a cosmetic dermatologist at University of Utah Healthcare, offers a helpful list of things to do to keep your skin healthy year-round.
“The two most important aspects of general skin care are sun protection and moisturization,” Smart says. “Nothing prematurely ages your skin quite like sun damage.”
Learn more here.
AS TEARS GO BY
Are you old enough to hum along with the Rolling Stones’ version of “As Tears Go By?” How about “96 Tears” or “The Tracks of my Tears?” If so, that may be one reason you’ve experienced dry eye, an annoying, and sometimes serious, condition characterized by a shortage of tears to lubricate and nourish the front surface of the eye for clear vision. Symptoms include scratchiness, burning, discomfort, excessive tearing and sensitivity to light.
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For more expert health news and information, visit healthcare.utah.edu/healthfeed.