Essential Oils for Moving Forward and Releasing the Past

Three years into her husband’s first term as president and after a somewhat discouraging day in early January, Eleanor Roosevelt shook off her stress and wrote that “with the new day comes new strengths and new thoughts.” I like to think of the new year this way too—as a gift—a chance to start over with a clean slate, to try something different, ...

Healthy Social Interactions Can Change Your Life

If I were teaching a class and asked students to list several factors that lead to being both healthy and happy in life, I’d likely get responses such as exercise, eat right, get enough sleep, stay away from drugs, drink enough water, and never stop learning. And, of course, all of those answers would be correct. But one—even, perhaps, the most importan...

10 Ways to Cope When It Doesn’t Feel like the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” At least that’s what song lyrics, our friends’ posts on social media, and advertisements for the perfect gift tell us. In reality, though, the holidays can be difficult for many reasons: • Financial hardships can cause people to feel sad, angry, or ashamed if they can’t afford to buy gifts or participate...

Managing Family Interactions over the Holidays

A popular saying goes “At Christmastime, all roads lead home.” It’s a wonderful sentiment that hints at love, togetherness, and fond memories. For some people, however, it inspires mixed emotions, including fear and anxiety: “What will Grandma think of my new boyfriend?” “Will Dad spend an hour comparing me to my ‘perfect brother’ again?” “Will Aunt Sharon m...

Nutrition: A Holistic Approach to Treating Depression

Sadness is a part of life, something that ebbs and flows with the ups and downs of living in a world filled with both tragedy and triumph, success and failure, sickness and health. None of us can escape experiencing sadness at times, but it is almost always something we can recover from and get over. Depression, however, is entirely different. As t...

5 Tips for Practicing Gratitude

It’s that time of year when we gather around the dinner table with family and friends to give thanks, share a traditional meal, and reminisce on happy times gone by. What happens though when the table is cleared, the dishes are done, and the turkey is gone? Are we continuing to be grateful as a daily practice? Do we leave expressions of gratitude for the t...

Five Lessons from Nature

As the rust-colored hues of autumn give way to the barrenness that will become winter, there is much to observe—and learn—in nature. Beloved American poet Emily Dickinson wrote: “Nature” is what We see— The Hill—the Afternoon— Squirrel—Eclipse—the Bumble bee— Nay—Nature is Heaven— “Nature” is what We hear— The Bobolink—the Sea— Thunder—the Cricket...

Using Exercise to Fight Depression

One in ten Americans suffers from depression, a crippling disease that is the leading cause of disability and lost productivity worldwide. Of those who experience chronic depression, just over half seek treatment for it. Those treatment options are varied and include medication, therapy, lifestyle changes, and combinations of each. Unfortunatel...

How To Take Control of Your Time—and Your Life!

Despite movies, books, and television telling us otherwise, we can’t bend time, travel back in it, or find a wrinkle that magically adds hours to the day. But we can, for the most part, control exactly how we use the time we have been given. (A big caveat here for my readers who are also new parents: don’t forget that you now share your time with a tiny bund...

One Strategy You May Have Missed That Will Lead You to Success

We spend one-third of our lives doing it—or at least trying to. Going without it for several days in a row is significantly more dangerous than going without food for days at a time. After only seventeen hours without it, a person starts to experience cognitive deficits similar to those experienced by people with a .05 percent blood alcohol level. Pare...

Sharing Family Stories

Last month, I took my sweet grandsons to visit George Washington’s vast estate on the Potomac River—Mount Vernon. It’s one of my favorite places, and I’ve visited dozens of times. As we toured the house and the grounds, I found myself frequently subbing for the tour guide, telling little side stories here and sharing quick facts there. The day was a perfect ...

Why Is Anxiety Plaguing College Students?

In decades past, college was both rigorous and fulfilling. Students took their classes, studied, played (sometimes a lot), explored the newness of being on their own, and then graduated and went on to careers or further study. Today, these elements still exist, but they also include a new component, one that is becoming increasingly unhealthy and dangerous: ...

Are You Hurting Others?

Most of us have heard the well-known adage that “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” Most of us also know that this statement is completely false! It’s true—words can’t physically break a bone, but they can definitely cause pain that takes much longer to heal than a fractured ankle or a broken arm. In fact, in addition t...

8 Ways to Kick Up Your Nutrition Game

As children, teens, and young adults across the country head back to school in the coming weeks, they’ll begin a new year of setting goals, learning lessons, carrying on traditions, and establishing new study habits. For adults, the start of this new season can be much like the start of a new calendar year: a time to re-evaluate your lifestyle and set new go...

8 Must-Have Essential Oils that Enhance Your Exercise Experience

The benefits of regular exercise are many and well-known. Exercise reduces the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and a number of types of cancer. Exercise boosts the mood, helps stave off depression, and makes it easier to sleep longer and better. Exercise strengthens bones and muscles. Exercise provides energy and burns calories, w...

6 Essential Oil Tips for Hair, Skin, and Nails

This week, I’d like to examine the benefits of essential oils to the physical body, specifically the hair, skin, and nails. The great thing about using essential oils to care for you body is that they are all-natural, chemical free, and incredibly powerful. They can also save you a lot of money in the long run because just a few drops of oil can go a lon...

Is Mother Nature a Friend or Foe?

I love the phrase, “Mother Knows Best” --probably because growing up I trusted that my mother knew best. She was very nurturing and wise! Now that I study and teach about the role Mother Nature plays regarding our health, the “Mother Knows Best” phrase stands out even more. Mother Nature does seems to be quite wise--offering prof...

6 Must-Do Mood Changing Health Habits

Most people don’t realize that the quality of our mood is a direct result of our health habits. There are many scientific reasons for this but I’ll cut to the chase and give you a couple of basic explanations and then a good, solid list of habits to incorporate. First, our body needs nutritional cofactors to create neurochemistry (bottom line, you have to e...

Adding Essential Oils to Your Daily Routine

For many people, the word routine brings to mind two other words: boring and tedious . In reality, however, having a daily routine can be grounding, fulfilling, and healthful. It can also add order and a feeling of ownership to your day while reducing stress and helping you minimize procrastination.I’m an enthusiastic advocate of having a daily routine. I...

3 Simple Tips to Strengthen Self-Worth

Many varying beliefs pervade our families and affect our self-worth and our ability to give and receive love. Some people believe it’s good to be friendly, while others teach that it’s best to be reserved and quiet. Some think that the only way to live is to coexist with your extended family throughout life; others believe that it’s not normal to live with y...