Tag: meditation

5 Essential Tips to a Calmer Mind

5 Essential Tips to a Calmer Mind

Happy HUMP day y’all!

For this weeks post I wanted to share with you tips I’ve been using to help calm my ever-so-racing mind! Being an adult is hard AF. The number one thing that’s been giving me a bit of anxiety lately has been around finances. Who else can relate? It’s unfortunate that money tends to be the number one culprit behind anxiety and stress for the average person. As you all know, I left my steady paycheck to pursue starting my own business. Luckily, I have no family, kids, college tuition, etc. to pay for…but that doesn’t mean I’m not covering rent, internet, gas/electric, car insurance, car payments, groceries, boston city parking tickets and tow fees (LOL) and oh just trying to have a social life as a 25-year old living in a thriving city. Yep, costs certainly add up and unfortunately, they’ve been leaving me with quite a bit of stress these days. I know I’m not alone and knew I had to share with you my personal tips that help me to calm my crazy mind. I wish I could say these would help to solve all financial issues (haha wishful thinking) BUT they certainly help to get into a right headspace, to then be able to better tackle solving those financial burdens.

1) Take a walk and listen to your favorite podcast.

I know this sounds obvious, but I promise you it’s an INSTANT mood-booster and gets your mind off of things. Find a podcast (or two) that you’re super into and commit to listening to them on walks. My podcast list is growing which leaves me with more motivation to get out the door and kill a podcast or two each day. Plus, the added vitamin D is SO crucial and hello, walking = happy endorphins!

PS – here’s a quick list of some of my fave podcasts at the moment. They’re all available on itunes and are FREE!

  • The Chasing Joy Podcast (positivity, wellness, self-love)
  • The Skinny Confidential: Him & Her Podcast (wellness, blogging/business tips, marketing your brand)
  • Actually Adultish (wellness, “adult” things for people in their 20’s and 30’s)
  • Rich Roll Podcast (wellness, entrepreneurship, spirituality, veganism, endurance training)
  • BulletProof Radio (wellness topics)
  • The Lively Show (high vibe living, law of attraction)
  • Let it Out with Katie Dalebout (wellness, positivity, self-love, entrepreneurship)
  • The Balanced Blonde: Soul on Fire (Spirituality, health & wellness)

2) Essential Oils, Diffusers, Candles, and Incense

This has been a big part of my practice lately, whether during yoga, meditation, or just hanging out at night before bed. Lavender oil can be rubbed on the back of your neck, your third eye, on the inside of your wrists, or pillow before going to sleep. The aroma of the “lavender helps to remove nervous exhaustion and restlessness, while increasing mental activity.” I love adding it to my diffuser before going to bed.

I’m also obsessed with lighting candles and incense. Incense are so cheap to purchase, you can buy various scents (including lavender if you wanted to keep up with that calming trend), they smell amazing, and instantly have a calming effect on me. I think personally, incense remind me of a yoga studio, which tends to be a calm, peaceful place that I can mindfully take myself to in the comfort of my own home.

3) Get upside down AND practice light, restorative yoga.

When in doubt, I always get upside down! Whether it’s headstand, forearmstand, handstand or just a simple, legs up the wall, inversions have been proven to have a calming effect on the mind and get the blood circulating which is KEY. If you can’t do a headstand, DON’T YOU WORRY! It’s just as effective to put your legs up the wall! Find any way to get your legs comfortably vertical. Also, peep my blog post on simple yoga moves to help relive stress and anxiety!

4) Whip up a calming beverage before bed or in the morning. It also never hurts to have a side of Cacao Vegan Chocolate ๐Ÿ˜‰

There are a number of go-to concoctions I’ll whip up if I’m feeling super stressed or anxious. Most importantly, you certainly want to AVOID caffeine if you’re already feeling very uneasy. My go-to beverages include:

  • a calming tea: chamomile tea, peppermint tea, lemon balm tea, passion flower tea, rose tea
  • OR you can boil warm water, add fresh squeezed lemon, fresh ginger, and a drizzle of honey
  • CALM VITALITY – all natural anxiety relief powder that you add to warm water. Promotes healthy magnesium levels and calcium intake. You can learn more about the product here.
  • Make a healing “golden milk”. Golden milk is a medicinal drink that has been used for years in eastern medicine. Simply add 1 tsp of turmeric, a splash of cinnamon, ginger (optional), cardamon (optional), a pinch of black pepper, 1 tsp coconut butter (optional) a sweetener of your choice (maple syrup, honey, or organic vanilla extract) with 1 cup of warm coconut milk and mix well. Occasionally I’ll throw it in my nutribullet, but if I’m lazy, I just use a mini whisk! I love having this before bed. It makes me feel SO good and you get so many anti-inflammatory benefits!

And for my favorite go-to vegan chocolates?

5) MEDITATE.

I know, I know you probably hear this ALL the TIME. But, I promise you, it does help and can instantly put you in euphoria. I had been playing around with different methods of meditation, which I’ve shared below.

  • Guided meditation. There are SO many free ones on youtube. Just search “5 or 10 minute guided meditation” and find one you like.
  • Candle light mediation. Best done in the dark (Either early morning or at night). Sit upright on the floor. Stair into the candle without trying to blink as much as possible. After 5 minutes or so, close your eyes and focus internally on your third eye. You should see a colorful image of the flame still burning. Use that as your focus point. If you lose it, you can open your eyes again and refocus on the flame for another minute or so before shutting the eyes again.
  • Silent, seated meditation. This has been working the best for me lately, however, I advise you play around with timing of the day. I used to try and practice in the morning but found this just did not suit me well. I started mediating between the hours of 4-6pm which seem to work MUCH better for me. Usually at this time of day, my to-do list is out of my head and I’m actually read to just sit and be mindful. I’ll usually set my timer for 10 minutes, while sitting up right on the floor with a block under my butt (helps with comfort).

Though these work well for me, everyone is different! Play around and see what works for you. Also, if you have any ideas/or tips that aren’t posted about, please comment and share below! I love hearing what everyone else does to relieve stress and anxiety.

15 tips that have helped me: GET OUT OF A RUT

15 tips that have helped me: GET OUT OF A RUT

Hi all!

I’ll start by saying that I love instagram HOWEVER it definitely paints a “perfect” picture when in some cases, that’s not always accurate. The reason why I bring this up is because like most people, us “health and wellness” bloggers get caught up in a rut from time to time as well. No one is perfect. Recently, a few weeks ago, I was feeling stuck in a rut – lazy, a bit unmotivated, tired, lacking my usual “bubbliness” and of course on top of that, feelings of personal doubt and helplessness began to takeover my mind. I personally believe I do suffer from seasonal depression and when you’re stuck inside for a few days straight due to the harsh winds, snow, and below freezing temps, it can certainly take a tole on your emotions, some people (like myself) may be even more affected by this. When these types of emotions begin to pile one on top of another, I fall into a somewhat unhealthy behavior. These emotions in turn trigger my stress and anxiety therefore even worsening my sleep deprivation. I will be the first to tell you that the second I can feel my body lacking the sleep and rest it needs, it automatically goes into a fight or flight mode which leads to stress and emotional eating.

Though my usual go-to, stress eating meal sounds “healthy” in some regards (it’s certainly not a sleeve of oreos or a pint of ice cream), it’s still a form of over-eating for me as it’s not typically part of my “normal” intuitive routine. This meal may (and usually does) resemble something along the lines of a huge bowl of coconut yogurt, piled high with granola, almond butter, a crumbled up macrobar, and allllll the other goods. By the time I’ve finished this “parfait” (if you could even call it that…) I’m stuffed beyond the point of getting off the couch and I just feel my anxiety levels increase even more even though this was my form of so called, “curing that stress”. So, this unfortunately becomes a somewhat ebb and flow cycle depending on how long I’m stuck in this rut.

However, luckily, if I can find the motivation and determination within myself (which I usually do after a few days of this) I am able to slowly get out of this slump. Not going to lie, it takes a LOT of self-motivation and will-power, but MAN does it feel good when you finally wake up that morning knowing it’s going to be a GOOD day. Below are some quick tips, take it or leave it!

1.) Get Journaling!

I think I’ve listened to enough of Katie Dalebout’s podcasts to see the benefits behind jotting a few things down! I’ve taken some of her tips and now wake up every morning and ensure the FIRST thing I do within that hour of waking up is writing down THREE things that I’m grateful for. It’s seriously THAT easy. Takes less than 1 minute and overtime, you truly do feel the positive benefits of sharing your gratification.

2.) Meditating

I’d by lying if I told you I was consistent with meditating everyday. Trust me, it’s been a struggle for me. I’ve downloaded and tried a number of apps, but some mornings I just wake up with too many thoughts and can’t even bare the thought of sitting still for 10 minutes. HOWEVER, I can totally tell the difference between my days where I start with meditation verses those where I miss it completely. A good 10-minute guided meditation is a really nice way to check in with yourself and start getting out of that slump.

3.) Play Music

I’m absolutely a LOVER of music. Music is good for the mood, the soul, the bod – literally everything and can instantly bring your mood from 0 – 10 just like that. Since mornings are where you really need to take control of your day and start it on the right note, I find a few different styles help to get me back on track.

4.) Inversions, Yoga, or Just a good Sweat Sesh

Being upside down circulates the blood flow, helps to relieve anxiety, stress, etc. Or partake in some backbends and hip-openers to release those tied up emotions.

5.) As soon as the suns out, force yourself to walk for an hour & listen to a positive podcast.

Unfortunately living in Boston has it’s downfalls in the winter. There may be 5 days straight where its cold and cloudy. But, the second that sun peeps out, I force myself to get out, walk, and tune into a good podcast. Here are some of my fave ones:

6.) Feed your body with ALL the good mood superfoods.

Maca powder, raw organic Cacao Powder, coconut, spirulina, goji berries, hemp seeds, etc.

7.) Self-Care

Give yourself a face mask, treat yourself to a massage or a mani/pedi.

8.) Plan a trip or event to look forward to.

We just booked a trip to Colorado in the fall and I CAN NOT WAIT. Nature, Red Rocks Amphitheater, GOOD FOOD, quality time with the boyfraaan.

9.) Organize and Clean.

A lot of times when I’m in a funk, I blast music and get into a crazy cleaning mode. I can’t tell you how many times Justin has come home and I have a bag full of random things in the apartment that I’m either throwing away or donating. Sometimes purging items can be so beneficial to your own health. Plus a clean, organized space definitely plays a part in an organized life.

10.) Get rid of old clothes you don’t wear.

^ same concept as above.

11.) Help out a local charity.

Nothing helps more than giving back. It’s so fulfilling to help others out and you’d be surprised what karma you get in return.

12.) Cuddle with dogs (or bae).

I mean, does this even need an explanation?

13.) Get rid of the food (for now) that is your go-to when you’re stress/emotional eating.

Putting the emphasis on “for now” because I don’t believe these should be cut out indefinitely. I just sometimes need a week or 2 without them to set myself back to normality.

14.) GET SLEEP!!!!

I can’t stress this enough. Sleep deprivation is always the main culprit for putting me into these “ruts” in the first place. So even if this means staying in all weekend and rescheduling plans with friends – do it. You need that time to unwind and reset.

15.) Make to-do lists and get yourself back in a routine.

Hopefully a few (or all) of these tips can help you out if you’re ever feeling like you’re stuck in a rut. PS – you’re not alone. So many of us fall into this, so don’t beat yourself up over it. That will only make things worst (trust me, I’ve been there, done that)!

** LAST last bit of advice – FIND SOMETHING THAT INSPIRES YOU **

go FLOAT

go FLOAT

Weird title, right…?

No, I’m not referring to the kind where you grab yourself a donut floatie and chill poolside. I’m referring to a float tank or what can also be referred to as a deprivation or isolation tank. My boyfriend and I first heard about these so called “deprivation tanks” via the Joe Rogan podcast. Joe Rogan is a regular when it comes to floating and certainly swears by it’s benefits. This “deprivation tank” may also ring a bell if you’ve binge watched the series “Stranger Things” on Netflix (I’ll get to this later in my post)! Anyway, if this is your first time hearing of such thing, let me try and do my best to give you the low down on what it is and it’s benefits.

Let’s start with the basics. What exactly is a FLOAT TANK?

Well, it’s essentially an isolated pod or tank that is filled with water (it’s pretty shallow – I’d say shin height) almost entirely saturated with 850-1,000 pounds of epsom salt. The water temperature is kept around 95 degrees to match your body temp, which thankfully feels like you’re jumping into a nice warm bath, but after just a few minutes, you realize that the feeling becomes almost imperceptible. The idea here is that it’s replicating the dead sea – as soon as you make your way into the tank and lay on your back, you automatically float weightlessly and effortlessly. As if you couldn’t pile on any more sensations to the mix, now take away all light and sound. You are now floating in a dark, quiet tank for 60 minutes. WOAH. And when I mean quiet, you literally can’t hear anything but your own breath (PS – they provide you with earplugs so that you can comfortably float in the water without any distractions like getting salt water in your ears).

So, what’s the benefit of floating in this type of environment?

Well for one, it is SO relaxing and if you can, even for just a few minutes, find yourself in a deep meditative state, the outcome is SO incredibly rewarding. As I was reading through the FLOAT Boston’s FAQ page, I stumbled across this term known as “Flotation REST (Reduced Environmental Stimulation Therapy) (which) triggers your physiological relaxation response directly, so you don’t need to meditate or focus or manage your thoughts in any way.” Pretty crazy!!

So in addition to the float tank being well, insanely relaxing, there are also a number of other beneficial outcomes. As you likely saw from my post last week on yoga moves to help with stress and anxiety – these feelings and emotions seem to be a highly talked about topic lately, which is unfortunate. It seems as though it’s almost become OK to be stressed, like if you’re not stressed, then maybe you’re not working or trying hard enough. With all of these added social pressures around us, we haven’t taken enough time to think about ourselves. Luckily, I’m starting to see a change here, especially in the blogger community where people are truly beginning to put themselves first. Self-care, self-love — all are BIG words and resolutions of 2017, which is AMAZING! Anyway, I know I’m a little off topic, but that’s an area I’ve felt really passionate about lately.

As I was saying above, taking 60 minutes of your day to literally just float in a dark tank seems crazy, right? Especially for those who have busy, non-stop schedules? Yes, I realize 60 minutes is a lot, but this is a great way to cut out any and ALL distractions and truly disconnect from everyone and everything. Also, I found out that a regular visit can help improve sleep as well!

Now that you’ve gotten the down low, I’ll briefly share with you my experience…

As you know, I’m living in the Boston area. There aren’t too many options, but I did stumble upon the amazing FLOAT Boston – located in Somerville, MA. Justin and I booked our float tanks for the same time, each for 60 minutes. They advise you not to drink any coffee before hand, nor to eat a heavy meal, as you want to be as relaxed as possible. As soon as we walked in, we were overwhelmed by a pleasing, spa-like calmness. We had to remove our shoes and replace them with terry-cloth slippers. We then took a seat in the small common area, where we were offered water. They were super friendly and informative upon our arrival, especially knowing we were new to this. Though we booked our tank for the same time, each person is directed into their own float room.

Once we entered our individual rooms, we were advised to shower off, strip down (so FREEEEING!), and put our ear plugs in. You then open the dark tank and make your way into silence. I found myself a bit tense at first and it took me a few minutes to totally let myself go. You truly do float weightlessly with your head just comfortably above the water. After probably 5 minutes or so of feeling my way around, playing with moving my arms and legs back and forth, I finally got over the “discovery” stage and began to try and free my mind and really embrace the full 60-minute experience.

I’m obviously not going to walk you through all 60-minutes of my thoughts but here are some ideas that I experienced.

Circa 2003 when Finding Nemo came out and there’s that scene deep, deep in the ocean where it’s literally dead silent and completely dark. Dory and Nemo see a light and Dory goes “hey conscience, am I dead?” Yep, that’s how I felt at one point.

Another thought that came up was, I wonder if this is what it feels like to be floating in space…like no destination, no idea where you’ll end up, you’re literally just floating there. Hard to describe, but the thought of space 100% came up.

Another thought was, Oh crap, am I going to fall into another dimension? Yes, this is where watching Stranger Things before hand was a bad idea. I don’t want to give anything away, but if you plan on watching it, do the float tank BEFORE hand ๐Ÿ™‚

Besides my thoughts that came in and out, I definitely know for sure that I fell into a meditative state a few times during the span of the 60 minutes. It’s hard to say how long for, but I really tried my best to get there. I find it helps me concentrate by focusing on my third eye. I’m definitely new to meditation, so for beginners, you may find this as a helpful tip!

Towards the end, not going to lie, I think I slowly fell into a bit of a sleep which is not exactly where you want to be, but luckily I think it only lasted for a few minutes! They bring you back to awareness with some light classical music when your 60 minutes finished up. This was also a strange feeling as I couldn’t tell if I was beginning to make noises and music up in my head OR if this truly was the cue to get out haha.

Overall, I REALLY loved this experience. I came out feeling SO incredibly relaxed and definitely high on happy endorphins. If the price wasn’t so high, I’d be back weekly for sure. Unfortunately, given my tight budget, I’ll likely only be going every few months. Regardless, I definitely recommend the experience at least ONCE! Let me know if you have any further questions or comments ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy Floating!!

*Featured Image taken from: http://superiorfloattanks.com/experience/

5 Yoga Moves to Help Relieve Anxiety and Stress

5 Yoga Moves to Help Relieve Anxiety and Stress

Hello everyone!

For this weeks blog post I wanted to share with you some fairly simple yoga moves to help reduce anxiety, stress, worrisome, and so on! Trust me, you’re not alone. We all likely go through periods in our lives whether it’s personal or work related, where we’re feeling overwhelmed, helpless, unsure of ourselves, and so forth. There are so many natural remedies out there we can look to in order to help reduce the anxiety and stress we may experience from time to time. I myself have a strong type-A personality which leads me to put un-necessary added pressure on myself, which ultimately surfaces feelings of doubt, uncertainty and of course, can be the leading causes of my anxiety or stress I may experience.

As soon as I’m feeling any of these emotions bottled up, I now find myself naturally on the yoga mat – even if it’s for 10-15 minutes, to bring myself to the present moment, BREATHE, close my eyes, and truly feel myself and the stress go away as I flow through these poses. You only need just 10 minutes a day to incorporate these poses, whether it be first thing in the morning, mid-day, or just before going to bed. The last thing I want to call out is that no pose is PERFECT. We’re all at different levels, we all have various strengths and flexibility throughout the yoga practice. It’s important to not put to much pressure on whether your legs are straight or your back is perfectly curved – what’s important is to truly FEEL the stretch. Close your eyes and let your mind and body naturally connect. This feeling you will find is where yoga happens.

1) Dandasana – Staff Pose / Janu Sirsasana – Head to Knee pose

How to get into pose 1: Sit on the mat comfortably with your legs stretched out in front, flex the toes and try to keep your legs together. Place your hands by the sides of your hips and ensure your mounds of your hands are firmly grounded next to you. As you firmly press into the mat, you should automatically feel your spine elongate.

*This is a great post to begin with before moving into Janu Sirsasana (the next pose below).

How to move into pose 2: Firmly ground one leg long into the mat. From staff pose, bend one knee in and place your foot on the inner thigh of your opposite leg that is lengthened and grounded into the mat. It also helps to soften your belly, engage you butt, and then inhale up and lengthen your arms above your head. As you exhale, fall forward, placing your body over your lengthened leg. It’s OK to have a bend in your knees as you really want to feel this stretch lengthen your spine and stretch your lower back. It’s also helpful to use a strap as a variation!

Additional benefits: helps with digestion, relieves menstrual pain, calms the mind

2) Baddha Konasana – Bound Angle Pose

How to get into this pose: You can feel free to begin from staff pose (as explained above). From here, ensure your butt is firmly grounded and you bring your heels to meet. This will help to ensure you’re externally rotating your hips and this activation will help to intensify the stretch. Continue to lengthen through the tailbone through to your spine and grip your hands around the feet. Feel free to bend forward for a variation of this stretch.

Additional benefits: improved circulation, alleviates menstrual pain, hip-opener

3) Uttana Shishosana – Extended Puppy Pose

How to get into this pose: This will feel like a mix between child’s pose and downward dog! Begin in table top by coming onto all fours. You’ll want to be sure your shoulders are directly above your wrists and that your hips are inline with your knees. From here, you can begin to walk your hands out in front of you, keeping them lengthened. As you exhale further into the pose, you can begin to shift your hips back towards your heels. You should feel a nice stretch in your spine as you maintain a bit of a curve. Feel free to rest your head on a block or to the floor in front of you.

Additional Benefits: stretches spine and shoulders

4) Ustrasana – Camel Pose

How to get into this pose: **Before moving right into this pose, ensure you’ve properly stretched out your back with possible variations of baby cobra, upward facing dog, locust pose, or spinx!! This is important as the camel pose is a intense backbend stretch. To start, you’ll want to begin in a kneeling position, hip-width distance apart. Next place your hands on the inside part of your hips and push your chest open, while your shoulder blades then press towards one another (further expanding your chest open). From here, you can begin to gently lean your head backwards, but be careful of your neck, especially if you’ve had any injuries here! At this point, you can choose to move into a couple of variations as seen below. It tends to be easier with the blocks by your side or by curling your toes up to add extra length if you’re unable to move as deeply into the pose. Be careful not to hold this pose too long. Come up slowly and beware of dizziness and high blood pressure. You may choose to start with an easier variation and then move into a more challenging one on your second round.


Additional benefits: relives menstrual pain, eliminates constipation, increased stretch around neck, hips, butt, etc.!

5) Viparita Karani – Legs up the wall Pose (aka one of my FAVORITES)

How to get into this pose: First of all, this is easily my favorite pose to do. I love doing this while in bed right before I go to sleep. It’s such a calming pose and you can really feel the tingly benefits from it as it drains your lactic acid and circulates your blood. Before moving against the wall, you’ll want to think about your height/distance from the wall, your flexibility, and whether you’ll need any added support under your lower back for comfort. You don’t need to worry about being at a perfect 90 degree angle, just ensure you’re feeling comfortable with where your lower back and sit bones fall. This should NOT be a straining pose. You should be able to hold this pose between 5-10 minutes to soak up all of the amazing benefits. Try playing around with variations/different support using a blanket or a block, etc. Enjoy!

Additional benefits: insomnia, mild depression, headaches/migraines, digestive problems

Hopefully these moves help to reduce any of that stress and anxiety if practiced daily. Feel free to leave any comments, follow/message me on my instagram page @eatrunandallinbetween or email me at: pappascalli@gmail.com with any questions ๐Ÿ™‚


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