Category Archives: A to Z wellness (April 2016 Challenge)

How to survive the #AtoZChallenge while pregnant – my reflection post

If plan “A” does not work out, don’t worry the alphabet still has 25 more letters!

21-March-2016

This was my strategy for this years A to Z Challenge.  “Do not freak out and take it easy. I am after all pregnant.” I had already written a few posts before the challenge started. A to G were already scheduled by 1st April.

I could not get round to visiting any blogs from the list though. I tried visiting most of the bloggers who visited me. While this may not be the ideal tactic for such a huge link up, I’d felt better doing it like that than getting blog burn out.

The first few weeks of pregnancy can be quite tiring. The only thing I felt like on some days was sleep. With the fatigue I was experiencing, I decided to go with the backup plan for a few of the later posts. The backup plan consisted of making good use of online resources and using readily available quotes. Still, finding the appropriate You Tube Video and or quote was time consuming.

I’d planed on writing a post about Rest or Sleep, but simply could not find myself broaching the subject with the way I was feeling. Luckily, for most of the letters I had already thought up different subjects to write about.

The posts after all did not need to be all that long, so for some posts I kept it short and sweet.

For those who missed these posts in April, there is a list with the links if you scoll down a bit. My subject was wellness. Some of the posts were very well received. I did try to approach the subject in a useful and realistic manner.

I can now proudly call myself an A to Z Challenge survivor. You can now all hear me ROAR!

So in short, how to survive the A to Z blogging challenge while pregnant:

  • At least have your content planned out before signing up
  • Have a few posts lined up before the challenge starts
  • Take it easy. Take care of yourself and family first.
  • Prioritize available blogging time to writing posts first.
  • Don’t be afraid to make use of online resources such as You Tube to fill your content.
  • Everybody loves quotes, so go right ahead and use them
  • Short and Sweet is sufficient
  • Have a backup subject available

Shining Seeds list of posts on wellness for the April 2016 A to Z Challenge:

survivor-atoz-2016

A is for Affirmations

B is for Breath

C is for Chakra

D is for Detox

E is for Exercise

F is for Feng Shui

G is for Gratitude

H is for Habits

I is for Inspiration

J is for Journey

K is for Kin

L is for Laughter

M is for Mindfulness

N is for Nourish

O is for Outdoors

P is for Posture

Q is for Quartz

R is for Rooibos

S is for Saline

T is for Tai Chi

U is for Unforgiven

V is for Vital Signs

W is Water

X is for X-Factor

Y is for Yoga

Z is for Zen

 

Whoop! Whoop!, to all my fellow survivors. How did your challenge go?

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

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Z is for Zen. #AtoZChallenge on #Wellness

Before starting this challenge I must confess my notion of today’s subject was a bit different to what it actually is.

ZZen, in my own interpretation would have been: a state of mind you achieve by loads of mediation. Kind of like a meditation high. Because let me tell you, one can defiantly go on a trip during meditation.

While my opinion may have been somewhat off the mark, I was not completely wrong. Zen is a way of thinking achieved by mindfulness meditation.

My Concise Oxford Dictionary states that Zen is:

“Form of Buddhism emphasizing value of meditation and intuition.”

I do not believe that mediation is only for Buddhists. In truth, I know very little about the Buddhist traditions. However, I’ve been meditating on and off for years.

Zen is defiantly an abstract concept. This is why I won’t go further into the things you can learn while sitting still. Honestly, to fully understand the value of it, you have to experience it for yourself.

I will instead end this challenge with a few Zen quotes.

“Zen is not an art, it’s not a religion. It’s a realization.”
Gene Clark

“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”
Buddha

For these and other Zen quotes check out: Zenbegin.net 

I hope you have enjoyed my A to Z posts on the theme of wellness. And last but not least, this is one of my favorite “Zen Quotes” from the Star Wars franchise. I leave you with the very wise words of Yoda:

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering”

yoda-fear-quote

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

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Y is for Yoga. #AtoZChallenge on #Wellness

YYes, yoga. What else would it stand for? Yoga is a type of meditative exercise that consists of bending and stretching. And Breathing, very important how you breathe during yoga. You typically hold a certain pose.

It’s probably obvious that I’m not a yogi. So I’ll leave it over to a yogi to explain.

That pretty much sums it up. There are many more video’s on You Tube, such as basic 10 minute yoga exercises etc. If it tickles your fancy I suggest you go have a looksie.

About the blogger

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

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X is for X-Factor. #AtoZChallenge on #Wellness

No need for earplugs. I am not about to burst out in song. This is not that X-Factor.

XX-Factor. That special something that someone has that makes them stand out from the crowd.

What is this elusive X?

When you look at the basic principles of wellness, which you can see on my about page – you may note that one of them is “sharing your gifts with others”. Without getting overtly spiritual on you, some believe we were each born to this planet and plane of existence with a purpose. Ultimately we somehow have the need to make this world a better place or serve humanity in a distinctive way.

We do so by sharing our unique gift or gifts with the world. In doing so our spirit shines if you will. “Let your light shine” is a phrase I often see tossed out in this context. This is a concept found in several religions including the Christian and Buddhist faiths.

When we let our authentic gifts come to the forefront, this intangible inner light shines through us. There is a genuine confidence in these moments that people can simply not ignore. Because “they” lack the words to describe this phenomenon; or simply because “they” do not want to sound overly spiritual; or because there was simply no term for it, this has been dubbed X-Factor.

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

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W is for Water. #AtoZChallenge on #Wellness

Isn’t it odd? You only know what you have when it is gone. A lack of water in your system will cause dehydration. Severe dehydration may lead to death. A lack of water in our system will cause some bad side effects.

  • Headaches
  • Bladder infection
  • Kidney Stones
  • Impaired concentration
  • Fatigue

Just to mention a few. When it comes to what we drink, we need to make sure however, it is beneficial to our health. Something with too much sugar or some toxic flavor may cause some undesired effects.

Therefore, it is recommended to drink plenty of the good stuff:

WWater.

Water is as essential to us as air. Water is excellent in assisting the body to naturally rid itself of some undesired toxins. It is one of the best thirst quenchers.

What commonly consumed liquids are not so good?

Coffee has a dehydrating effect. It is good practice to drink two cups of water for every one cup of coffee.

I’m not going to get into how terrible all those artificially sweetened carbonated drinks are. It’s nice to drink them every now and then. But like with all things in life it comes back to balance. If those sweet fizzy’s are all you are going to be hydrating yourself with – you will defiantly see the bad effects. Diabetes and obesity being high on the list of possible outcomes.

Do I really need to mention the excess consumption of alcohol here? Not only does it dehydrate your system, but it will cause you to become intoxicated. Again, balance.

How much water does our body need?

In essence, we should be hydrating ourselves with about two liters of the good stuff each day.

So what am I saying here?

I’m saying that we need to keep ourselves well hydrated with some healthy liquids such as water. Rooibos tea. Green Tea. Diluted pure fruit juice all contain water and are good for you. If you are not into water, try something like that instead. But, keep yourself well hydrated with the good stuff.

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

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V is for Vital Signs. #AtoZChallenge on #wellness

Imagine yourself walking down the street. Suddenly someone walking in front of you collapses. What now? Is the person breathing? Is the person’s heart beating?

A persons heart and breathing rate are two of the main signs of life called:

VVital Signs.

Obviously I’d recommend you immediately phone the emergency services. If the person does not show those two signs of life, someone trained in basic first aid should start CPR. It is beyond the scope of this blog post to explain the CPR process. However, if you are untrained or rusty it is recommended that you start with chest compressions until emergency personnel arrives.

On adults, you use both your hands while on children you use only one. On infants, it’s recommended using only two fingers. An in-depth explanation on CPR can be found here.

In a more everyday setting, vital signs are used to monitor a person’s general health. Like the warning light in a car, they can indicate that there may be a deeper problem.

The four main Vital Signs:heart-vital-sign-check

  • Heart Rate
  • Blood Pressure
  • Breathing Rate
  • Body Temperature

The above listed main four vital signs are indicators of how the person is doing medically. They can help identify problems and may indicate medical intervention before a visit to the ICU is necessary.

Here we also routinely measure blood glucose to check for signs of diabetes. This is one of the so-called fifth vital signs.

It is imperative that an individual visit his or her doctor on at least an annual basis for a routine check-up. Your health is your responsibility. Don’t wait for a visit to the emergency room to find out there is a problem.

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

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U is for Unforgiven. #AtoZChallenge on #wellness

You dedicate your life holding on to resentment. Why should you ever have it in your heart to forgive someone, right?

UUnforgivable is how all “those” people will remain! Furthermore, you plan to mess up their lives as much as possible. Gossip. Grudges. Games. You put so much effort into hurting “them” that you have stopped realizing that the only person you are hurting is yourself. By holding on to the past, you miss the present moment. Opportunities to be happy fly by and you do not even take notice.
Never mind about all those unexplained health issues that just keep piling up. How can your health have anything to do with the filth that litters your soul?

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Arthritis
  • Digestive complaints

Yea, just to mention a few of the problems un-forgiveness causes. Never mind all the negative thought patterns that end up making you nothing but bitter.
Let it go. Is holding on to a grudge really worth the price?
Remember forgiving someone does not mean you condone the “wrong acts”. It means that you recognize the human being behind those acts. You forgive the person. Furthermore, it is never something you do for the other person. It is something you do for yourself.

20-March-2016

Even worse, when this un-forgiveness is directed at yourself. Much harder to overcome. Nevertheless, even you are human. You need to let go of the resentment and anger you hold towards yourself. Focus on the present moment and how it can help you make the future better.

Of cause, being unforgiving is not good for your own well-being. It is about one of the heaviest loads we carry around with us. Life is difficult enough without the unnecessary luggage. Traveling is, after all, easier with light baggage.

 

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

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T is for Tai Chi. #AtoZChallenge on #Wellness

Everything in life consists of two opposing forces, which harmonize to form the whole. Like the concept of yin-yang, this is the philosophy behind :

TTai Chi.

Originally a form of martial art, Tai Chi has now been transformed into a form of meditative exercise.
Tai Chi is known to be a low-impact exercise. This means it is very beneficial to people who can’t do “normal” exercise. People with health issues such as fibromyalgia and arthritis have found relief in this form of exercise.
Herewith a comprehensive video on Tai Chi. It is somewhat lengthy but explains the entire process quite well.

 

 

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

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S is for Saline. #AtoZChallenge on #Wellness

SSaline. That’s the fancy word for saltwater. It is said that salt water can cure anything. My personal opinion is that that statement is somewhat exaggerated. Never the less it does have some very healthy uses.

Sinusitis infection

While it is somewhat unpleasant, there is no better way in getting those nasal passages cleared. This is why we get specialized nasal spray with nothing else but saline as it’s content. If you happen to be out of the expensive version the cheap home remedy will do as well. Make sure you use previously boiled (distilled) water and mix a good deal of salt in it. This solution must then be snorted to clear the nose.
While this sounds grotesque, it really does miracles.

Sore throat

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night with a sore and inflamed throat? You rummage around in your medicine cabinet only to find that you do not have a throat lozenge or spray. Salt water is the solution. Dissolve about a fourth teaspoon of salt in a cup of tepid previously boiled water. Then gargle this solution for a few minutes before spitting it out. Repeat if necessary.

Disinfects & heals

While it may sting a bit salt water is the best remedy for a wound. Spritz some on any abrasion. It is also ideal in helping heal some bigger wounds such as those left after childbirth. Taking a bath in water with some salt in is very beneficial for mothers still needing to heal up.

Other uses:

Saltwater can be used in other ways as well. It is excellent for cleaning out baby bottles. While some people use it in their pool to keep it, clean.

Obviously, there are still many more uses. Do you have any handy saltwater tips?

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

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R is for Rooibos tea. #AtoZChallenge on #wellness

RRooibos tea, not only is it a refreshing drink to enjoy morning, noon or night, but it has many health benefits as well. It is packed with antioxidants and has benefits that will surprise you. If you ask me it defiantly belongs in a mother’s emergency arsenal.

Colicky baby

In these parts, we pretty much drink red Rooibos tea from birth. I know they say mother’s milk is all a baby needs, but if you live in temperatures above 40°C some refreshing cold Rooibos can calm a colicky baby. The box says it’s safe to give from 2 weeks. Not only does it hydrate the baby but it is known to aid in stomach cramps as well.

Apart from being drunk, Rooibos can be used in other ways as well.

Rooibos-tea-freshly-brewed

Eyes

Every mother will know what a pain it is to apply eye drops to a baby or toddler. The more those little eyes have become infected, the less they want you touching it.Teething children also tend to develop all kinds of issues, one of them being a condition that seems just like a pink eye.

If you spend a lot of time on a PC your eyes will get irritated, red and even swollen.

Next time you or your child has an eye irritation, try Rooibos tea.

You make yourself a lovely cup of tea. Remove the teabag and place it on a clean plate to cool. Put the wet teabag on the infected eye, while those eyelids are closed. Sincerely, it’s like a miracle treatment. Even those black circles around your eyes are reduced by this very simple yet effective remedy.

Skin

This wonderful bush grown in South Africa is now put in skin care products all over the world. Rooibos tea really does wonders to a person’s skin. Have a bad skin eczema or rash? Try putting a few bags of Rooibos tea in a nice steaming bath. Once it has steeped, take a relaxing bath. I’ve had people tell me their eczema disappeared overnight. You can also apply the wet teabag directly to the effected area.

Cold & Flu

Breathing in the steam of Rooibos tea will also alleviate symptoms of a cold or flu. It opens up those nasal pathways and allows you to breathe again. This remedy will also help with a persistent cough.

Not to mention that drinking Rooibos tea with some honey and lemon is probably the best natural remedy for a sore throat.

Oh yes, Darling – I absolutely love this stuff and have at least one cup per day.

Obviously, Rooibos tea has many more benefits, some which you can find on the pinned article below. These are just the ones I’ve found most useful. It defiantly is a tea worth keeping in stock for your everyday health and wellness.

Further Reading:

***Image attribution:© soultea.de (http://www.soultea.de/), Photographer André Helbig (http://www.andrehelbig.de/ ) / Wikimedia Commons, via Wikimedia Commons

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

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