Insights

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8 Simple (and Free) Wellness Strategies that Really Work
Natalie Dowty, PT, MPT, EdD

Feed yourself a humor diet.  Have a joke party.  Get a joke calendar.  Watch a comedy every week.

Balance your energy budget.  Pace yourself, emotionally and physically.  Make lists, organize life activities, focusing on top priorities.  Eliminate nonessential activities that may be  overwhelming.  Break up tasks into smaller units of shorter duration.  i.e., trim one hedge per day, instead of doing all in one day.

Practice gratitude.  Find things that inspire love and gratitude daily.  Keep a gratitude journal.

Have more fun!  Schedule fun into your day/week!  Stay open to playfulness.
Keep a long list of things you like to do.  Refer to it daily.

Inhabit your body.  Move for the joy of moving.  Feel your body.  Be aware of your posture – Let your spine be lifted and supple.  Use your senses. Eat a raisin as slowly as you can.

Breathe!   Let your breath move from your belly.  Let out a relaxing sigh.

Eat Well.  Avoid deprivation strategies. . . ADD fruit, veggies, water. . .
Practice moderation.  Consciously absorb the goodness of food.

Use your imagination.  Stimulate your creative brain (use it or lose it)!  Doodle, write, finger paint, use your non-dominate hand.  Use imagery. . To create a retreat. . . To generate positive  feelings. . . To promote healing and energy.  Practice creative brainstorming and problem-solving.

Make small changes!  Give big encouragement.
Even small efforts can keep us feeling well and happy!



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Navigating the Holidays with Chronic Pain / Illness
Natalie Dowty, PT, MPT, EdD

The Holidays can move us out of our routines, which can increase stress and symptoms.  It helps to plan ahead to maximize joy and minimize stress. Here are a few tried-and-true suggestions:

Specific Tips…….

Lights.  Outdoor Laser lights (Projections) are inexpensive and so easy to set up and store you will wonder why you ever did anything else.

Tree.  A 4 foot (or smaller) artificial tree can be put away fully decorated by wrapping it in plastic. Once decorated, it works on the floor or on a small table and takes very little effort and less than 15 minutes to set up.

Cards.  E-cards are the way to go. Once you set up an e-mailing list, copy and paste all addresses on the BC line (so they can’t see the other entries), type a holiday greeting, add a photo if you like. Hit send. Your done.  Gradually build your mailing list overtime, if this task is stressful.

Gift wrapping.  Minimize the time and effort of this task with gift bags. Items that won’t fit in gift bags can be wrapped in fabric or a scarf with a ribbon.

Food.  Order in.  Integrate frozen or ready-prepared items into home-made recipes. Make less food – turkey breasts instead of the whole bird.  Do a pot luck.  Bottom line: make sure you have enough energy left over after dinner to enjoy visiting.

In General……..

Simplify.  The goal is to enjoy the company of others and to cultivate a sense of gratitude. Graciously let go of things that do not move you toward this goal.

Pace yourself.  Prioritize. Don’t try to do it all. It’s OK to politely decline an invitation and/or postpone a visit until after the holidays.

Work ahead, a little at a time.  Look at what you can prepare in advance of the holidays. Purchase and freeze food. Prepare laundry and put it aside. Prepare gifts well in advance.

Ask for help.  Be specific and upbeat about your needs. You won’t necessarily get the help you need unless you ask for it. And sharing tasks is an opportunity to enjoy the season together.