Summer Cycling With Aspen’s Little Nell

There are certain bragging rights that come with riding my beat-up used bike as I slalom between the trucks and taxis in New York City. Last July, however, I decided to exchange the exhaust of Manhattan’s avenues for the pristine air of the Rockies and my $200 Taiwanese ten-speed for a state-of-the-art Orbea road bike as I put my vacation in the hands of the “adventure concierges” at Aspen’s Little Nell.

Continue reading

7 Farmers Markets To Visit This Summer

It seems to be basic human nature to take everything outdoors in the summer. Answer us this: Why dine at the kitchen table when you could have a barbecue out in the sunshine? Who hits the treadmill when they could take a breezy sunset jog? It’s simple – when the weather’s nice, we want to be out in it, absorbing all that wellness-inducing vitamin D. Continue reading

Wellness Trends for 2021

The Global Wellness Institute—an international organization that brings together leaders and visionaries to positively impact and shape the future of the global wellness industry—recently released their “9 trends for wellness in 2021” at their annual summit. Here they are:

 

Hollywood and the Entertainment Industries Jump into Wellness

If wellness programming on TV (whether Oprah or the Goop Lab) has been about wellness as a topic you passively consume, the future is TV content and platforms that involve and impact you. Smart TVs are baking wellness “channels” onto their home screens: Samsung TVs launched Samsung Health, letting people binge 5,000 hours of free fitness/meditation classes from the buzziest brands. The future: smart TVs (like Apple’s) that connect to your health wearable (like Apple Fitness+) to serve up personalized wellness/fitness experiences right on your TV. Wellness companies are becoming full-blown TV studiosMega-meditation-apps, Calm and Headspace, recently scored TV shows (HBO Max and Netflix), translating their meditative experiences into immersive television. Meditation apps with TV series? Unthinkable just two years ago. China is perfecting the marriage of wellness TV programming and e-commerce, and Waterbear Network is a new “Netflix” for climate activism.

The ways that music is being created for stress, sleep, focus, a better workout, or just trippy, ambient bliss…has kicked into high gear. It’s a paradigm shift: If music has always been consumed around artist, song and genre, now it’s “serve me music-as-therapy.” Meditation apps are becoming big wellness music “record labels,” and more apps are launching, specifically focused on music-for-wellbeing. Generative music technology—where your biometrics meet neuroscientist-designed sound—will take sound-as-precision-medicine to radical places. And not surprisingly, celebrities are now all over wellness, not just as spokespeople but as company founders, execs and major investors.

The Future of Immune Health: Stop Boosting, Start Balancing

 

We join many forecasters in naming immune health a 2021 trend, not only because we agree that it will remain a consumer obsession post-vaccine but because the main ways the wellness industry has been addressing it are…flat-out wrong. In 2020, people were blitzed with “immune-boosting” supplements, foods and therapies, but the idea that you can “boost” your immunity is unscientific nonsense, and “more boosting” is precisely the wrong approach. The future: approaches that lead to immuno-stabilization, immuno-balance.

We will see more evidence-backed approaches to immune health, with metabolic health, the microbiome, and personalized nutrition becoming crucial—along with more experimentation with everything from “positive stress” experiences to intermittent fasting for immune resilience. And immunity programs at travel destinations will go deeper, more medical, with interventions that matter more than “immune-boosting” menus and IV drips.

After a long 2020, people are aware that their immune health is a holistic affair, that food and the microbiome are lynchpins, and that “slow” not “hyper” strategies are the difference-makers. People will keep gobbling trendy quick-fixes in trendy bottles, but they’re ready for more. A wellness industry newly focused on the hard—and fast-evolving—immune science could extend and save many lives. And help its own reputation along the way.

Spiritual and Numinous Moments in Architecture

 

In recent years, a storm of studies has demonstrated the powerful connection between the built environment and our physical health, and a new “wellness architecture” sector has taken off, heavily focused on functional design moves, whether circadian lighting or air purification.

What has been glossed over is design that can tap into and nurture our spirituality. In 2021, we will see new attention paid to creating everyday spaces that can incite sacred and numinous moments, that elevate our consciousness and potential, and ground us in gravitas in the midst of a mindless, consumerist society. Architecture and design will move up Maslow’s Pyramid, from our recent era of look-at-me, visually ostentatious fads like luxury McMansions to a new architecture reaching for the “Self-Actualization” tier—a built environment that can move our souls.

Spiritual wellbeing is an inextricable part of a well life and rightfully deserves more design consideration and designated spaces in our homes, workplaces, communities and urban landscapes. The full report gives rich detail on examples, including thin places, ancient revivals, “nudge architecture,” and creating spiritual homes.

Just Breathe!


Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to know where your chakras are or what a didgeridoo sounds like to do breathwork. An increasing number of clinical studies from major universities like Harvard, Stanford and Johns Hopkins are putting science and data behind something we’ve actually known for centuries—the way we breathe has profound effects on our mental and physical health and abilities. It might even help us strengthen our immune systems.

Practitioners are bringing breathwork to ever-larger audiences and pushing it into fascinating new territories, including rehabilitation, fitness, community building, and relief from chronic stress, trauma and PTSD. Cool, clubby breathwork parties and festivals are rising. There are even studies that point to breathwork as a possible therapeutic for one of the world’s deadliest diseases: hypertension. Perhaps the best part of all—this drug-free medicine costs absolutely nothing.

The full report explores the people, the techniques, the places, and the new breath-tech pushing the practical magic of breathwork into exciting—and important—new directions.

The Self-Care Renaissance: Where Wellness and Healthcare Converge


Over three hundred years after the first Medical Renaissance, we’re undergoing a new kind of medical renaissance where two complementary yet often competing entities—healthcare and wellness—will converge. Wellness is learning to lean into science, establish standards, and hold itself accountable. At the same time, healthcare is beginning to borrow from the wellness playbook—transforming a once sterile and strictly curative industry into a more holistic, lifestyle-oriented, and even pleasurable one. In this new era, hospitals will take inspiration from five-star resorts, yoga studios might measure improved telomere length, and prescriptions may be coupled with hyper-personalized guides to optimal health.

As we look to a future where healthcare and wellness converge, an excellent example in the full report is Octave’s Sangha Retreat in Suzhou, China, which presents what we believe is next for healthcare and wellness. A kind of yin yang approach where two seemingly opposing forces finally discover that they can—and must—work together. As Dr. Kenneth R. Pelletier puts it, “Medicine is realizing that its roots have come from wellness traditions, and the wellness community is recognizing that not all doctors are evil.”

Adding Color to Wellness

 


Graphic videos and the protests of last summer prompted many businesses to voice support for anti-racism. While diversity and inclusion have become a popular topic in the wellness industry, this

trend argues that to generate substantive change, the wellness industry must recognize and address the false narrative that wellness is for affluent white people. It discusses how the industry can add color to wellness by valuing Black consumers and wellness professionals and describes the different ways that Black people actually experience wellness offerings and spaces, highlighting racial inequalities.

This full report also provides insights into the future, illustrating how companies are changing the wellness narrative, and gives suggestions for how the wellness industry can add color to wellness. And it demonstrates that companies that value wellness for all racial groups and income levels will thrive as they expand their consumer markets and increase business innovation and profitability. Wellness enterprises that value diversity, respect Black wellness needs, and work to support more equitable access, represent the future of wellness.

Resetting Events with Wellness: You may never sit on a banquet chair again

 


Around mid-March 2020, the pandemic brought in-person events to an abrupt halt. And no matter the power of technology and the gratitude we felt for Zoomed Wi-Fi connectivity, the world hungered for personal interactions.

But there was a silver lining: A new trend that will forever change meetings and events was born, with wellness at the core. New hybrid events (in-person and virtual gatherings) sprouted like mushrooms after a spring rain. Technology companies raced to be the platform for hosting hybrid meetings. Investors threw money at tech companies, and within months of the pandemic shutting down most in-person-only gatherings, new companies had taken hold, and a new world was emerging.

As the full report explains, the trend reinforces top-of-mind topics like health, safety and immunity and employs new protocols and technologies that mitigate risk in engaging ways. In 2021 and beyond, creativity is driving connection—and how we gather is taking on new—and healthier—meanings.

Money Out Loud: Financial Wellness Is Finding Its Voice

Money has topped the “do-not-discuss” list for decades—right alongside religion, sex and politics. But it’s 2021, and transparency is trending. A culture craving authenticity is breaking the money taboo—transforming finance from a hush-hush, one-size-fits-all, cut-and-dry industry to one that’s more human, empathetic, and, dare we say, fun.

This growing openness is being driven by a much larger mental health awakening. And with research linking financial stress to anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, respiratory conditions and more—it’s about time money is put under the microscope.

This growing financial wellness movement is moving money talk far beyond the bank. Financial therapists are tackling the intersection between money and mental health, and the three billion views of #personalfinance content on TikTok prove that finance influencers are officially a thing.

In 2021 and beyond, we’ll begin to see the end of financial systems designed to profit from our failure and the start of financial wellness awakening. Money talks. It’s time we start using a language everyone can understand.

2021: The Year of the Travel Reset


The coronavirus pandemic acted as a near-complete brake on travel in 2020. The pause gave everyone—consumers and suppliers—the opportunity to think about rebooting travel for the better by correcting overtourism, becoming more conscious of where our money goes, and how to use the enormous power of tourism to sustain cultures and environments and perhaps even leave them better off.

Looking ahead, the year 2021 may be the year that all travel becomes wellness travel. From the manic travel of 2019, which was the ninth year of record-setting growth in travel, outpacing global economic expansion, 2021 will be the year of the travel reset, going slower, nearer and more mindfully. But travel will reset fitfully, mirroring the vaccination rollout, which has prompted optimism as well as tentativeness.

 

 

Vitamin C Bomb—Rose Hip Syrup

Whoever discovers a cure for the common cold will be richer than Midas, if not richer than the guy who can instantly heal hangovers, but in the meantime we’ve got vitamin C. It just so happens that rose hips—the red, globular fruit of the rose—have vitamin C in spades.

Making your own rosehip syrup, whether for health reasons, to top a scoop of ice cream, or even add zing to a martini, is an easy and delicious way to enter the burgeoning world of wild food foraging, that new frontier for foodies, health nuts, and outdoors enthusiasts. Besides, it’s fun. After a few seasons of making your own, you’ll find that foraging rose hips is a calendar event, an annual mission that connects you to your landscape.

Look for rosehips wherever ornamental shrubbery plantings are in abundance. City parks, sidewalks, and lakeshores play host to many varieties of rose bush, while more rural areas support native species. Scout the patches in summer when the roses are in bloom, then return in fall to collect the fruit, usually marble to walnut-sized and a deep shade of red. They say hips are at their best after the first frost when the flavor and sweetness are most concentrated.

The recipe is simple. After rinsing, grind the hips in a food processor. Transfer contents to a saucepan, cover with water, and simmer for 30 minutes before running the resulting mush through a food mill or sieve to strain out the pulp. Return the strained juice to a pot and add sugar—or better yet, honey—to taste. Simmer until syrupy.

You can mix in other flavorings or herbal supplements such as cloves, cinnamon, or ginger—and voila: a Vitamin C Bomb to chase away the winter nasties. Mix into juice or water when you’re feeling low, or use the syrup for more gustatory purposes in desserts, sauces, jams, or cocktails.

 

rose hip syrup

 

Langdon Cook is the author of  Fat of the Land: Adventures of a 21st Century Forager (Skipstone Press, 2009)The Mushroom Hunters: On the Trail of an Underground America (Random House, 2013) and Upstream: Searching for Wild Salmon, from River to Table (Random House, 2017).

Best Juice Delivery Services for 2021

Looking to detox and reset with a juice cleanse? Here are five high-end juice delivery services that will reboot your body, mend any damage, and suit your preferred lifestyle. And you don’t even need to leave home.

First, why should you have a juice cleanse? A juice cleanse is a type of diet that involves consuming only juices from vegetables and fruits in an attempt to lose weight and detoxify the body. Juice cleanses usually involve consuming only juice for a certain period, which typically ranges from 3 to 10 days. Before starting any juice cleanse, always contact your doctor or a medical professional.

Second, does a juice cleanse work? Typically, any “cleanse” diet will cause noticeable short term physiological effects, such as changes in appetite and mood, possible abdominal cramps, changes in the consistency and volume of waste and so forth. These changes are generally what the cleanse diet is aiming to achieve, so in that sense the diet works. Some types of juices are associated with health benefits, but more research is needed to determine cause-and-effect.

Reboot with the top 5 juice companies offering convenient delivery options:

Suja Juice

Suja juices are cold-pressed and feature 100% organic ingredients. Receive 6, 18, or 48 bottles of delicious drinks that are perfect for people looking to limit their sugar and calorie intake while also sipping on something healthy and delicious. (Costs $22, $38, or $85 a month.)

Suja Juice
Suja Juice
PIN IT

 

Project Juice

The California-based juicery has dozens of organic, cold-pressed bottled juices and juice cleanses. The cleanses include six juices per day and, in the case of The Rejuvenation Cleanse ($85 per day), two superfood shots and two foods: soup and trail mix.

Project Juice
Project Juice
PIN IT

 

Blue Print

Blue Print started in NYC but now offers its popular juice cleanses throughout the US and Canada. You can even buy the Blue Print Cleanse 6-Pack at select Whole Foods Markets. Blue Print’s offerings are based on your, and your body’s, familiarity with cleansing, whether it’s your first or fifth time. Each cold-pressed juice contains 6 pounds of organic, raw produce. Where the 3-Day Beach-Ready Detox ($175) focuses on eliminating bloat and the 3-Day Holiday Detox ($205) helps cut down on sugar, The Blueprint OG (which can last from one to six days and costs between $65 and $375) is the go-to for hitting the reset button.

Blue Print
Blue Print
PIN IT

 

Cooler Cleanse

Actress Salma Hayek and Juice Generation founder Eric Helms partnered to created what they call the perfect detoxifying juice. Using organic and sustainably grown produce, the Cooler Cleanse comes in 1, 3, and 5 day packages, and features either all juice or a combo of juice and raw food. All-juice cleanse ($58/day), raw food cleanse ($72/day)

Juice Generation founder Eric Helms (L) with Cooler Cleanse co-founder and actress Salma Hayek
Juice Generation founder Eric Helms (L) with Cooler Cleanse co-founder and actress Salma Hayek
PIN IT

IZZE Sparkling Juice, 4 Flavor Sunset Variety Pack, 8.4 Fl Oz (24 Count)

Pressed Juicery

This cult-like California based juice company is the best offering home delivery. They feature a cold-press process to extract the juice from fruits and vegetables, ensuring that no heat keeps the nutrients intact. Pressed Juicery offer three cleanses designed for your experience and comfort level, from 1 up to 5 days. 1-day ($72), 3-day ($99), 5-day ($325). Additionally, Pressed Juicery tastes better than the competition, you won’t dread drinking them at all!

Pressed Juicery
Pressed Juicery
PIN IT

All top 5 juice delivery services offer delicious goodness delivered to your door. If you decide to detox, reboot or just want to receive a daily delivery of refreshing nutrients in bottle, you can’t go wrong with any of these innovative and exceptional juice companies.

This article was originally published on Pursuitist. Republished by permission. 

Wellness Warriors

They say you can foretell future trends by looking at what the big thinkers and pioneers are doing now.  So what’s up with wellness warriors in 2020?

 

Let’s start with an example of the future of business travel in the wellness arena.  In spite of in-person events being canceled across the board, the Global Wellness Summit—an international organization that brings together leaders and visionaries to positively impact and shape the future of the global wellness industry—had the fortitude and determination, in spite of some resistance, to go forward with their first ever hybrid (both in-person and virtual event ) Nov 8 to 11 at The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida.

 

The organizers of the event—which included 17th Surgeon General of the U.S, Dr. Richard Carmona—felt that since the pandemic could, by some estimates, continue to affect our lives for at least another year, a model needed to be created for a safe, in-person gathering.  Their thinking was, who better than the wellness community to do that.  Everyone was tested upon arrival, mask wearing was strictly enforced at the event; the conference rooms had socially distanced seating, exercise balls and stationery bikes to sit on; and Far UV Light was quietly cleaning the air all around us. No cases were traced to the event afterwards either.

 

While there and interviewing Fred Maxik, the lead scientist of Healthe Inc—a company pioneering Far UVC light’s role in combatting Covid—for the GWS Podcast which I host, I asked him why he thought the entire in-person attendee list of about 124 people from all over the U.S. and Mexico tested negative for Covid upon arrival at the summit.  He said “Check their Zip Codes, their lifestyles and their established medical care.”

 

In the destination spa category, I refer to my well-heeled, regular spa-going friend who has been uber careful during Covid—groceries always delivered and the only activities done outside her home were masked hiking and masked golfing.  Before the pandemic she had booked a trip to a hiking-forward destination spa in California for this December.  Since she’d been before and knew the lay of the land, she knew each guest would have their own bungalow.  She said she also trusted that management would follow the Covid safety protocols they had put in place – private massage bungalows that were disinfected between treatments, smaller exercise classes and more buses driving guests to hike trails each morning so they could space out as well as the option to eat their vegan, delicious meals outside, which she and a friend always did.  She said after months of lock down she made a conscious decision to choose a local travel/wellness experience that would reinforce her immune system and overall health.  She also said that she has just rebooked her cancelled trip to the Galapagos Islands for 2022.

 

It also stands to reason that with so many people “giving up” on healthy eating during the pandemic and gaining that extra “Covid-19” pounds, they will be seeking out ways to shape up after things open up.  Look for spas that specialize in weight loss to find a strong uptick in business.

 

Also, with depression and suicide at record levels even before the shutdown, resorts and wellness retreats know full well that it is just straight necessary to have spiritually and mental wellness rooted activities on the menu.

 

And, while it may sound simple enough, let’s not forget that humans are intrinsically drawn to the healing power of nature.  With Apps like CALM taking us to streams and mountain tops and rain forests virtually during Covid, we long even more to get out to the real thing; the wide open spaces, and take a really deep, mask-less breath.

 

In fact, Douglas Drummond, Healing Arts & Somatics Director at the iconic Esalen Institute in Big Sur, the birthplace of the Human Potential Movement, predicts that besides being Nurtured in Nature, travelers in 2021 will be looking for ways to do the following four things:

 

 

-Be Intentional: Help in setting realistic goals.  Taking inventory of what is now and setting a course for the future.

 

-Have Real Talk:. This pandemic has underscored the value of truth and what really matters. Wellness centers will teach us how to be honest about how we feel and how to interpret what that might mean for the road ahead.

 

-Practicing Movement as Medicine: Hike, Dance, Swim, Do Downward Dog  study after study shows that at least 30 minutes a day makes a real difference in longevity.  Wellness retreats need to show us HOW to WANT to move everyday.  Interestingly, Esalen was a bit prescient on this.  Somatics—which is the mind/body connection enhanced by movement – was built into the Institute’s 1963 charter.

 

-Experiencing the Power of Touch—Masks are always welcome.  But, never before have we needed to connect and rejuvenate as much, and there’s no more effective way to help the body heal itself than with a fabulous massage.

 

And what about the best kept secret of soaking in a hot spring as Mother’s Nature’s way of boosting your immune system?  In fact, a peer reviewed study by Australian-based, hot springs aficionado, Dr. Marc Cohen, shows that raising the body’s core temperature from a hot springs soak – and hopefully a cold dip to seal off the contrast bathing experience—does all the right things a fever does to kickstart the body’s immune system, but without the negative side effects.  There’s a reason Native American warriors followed a code of: “No fighting in a hot spring.”  It is the most natural way to just be still and let the healthy minerals rejuvenate body and mind.  And, more often than not, hot springs vacations are among the most affordable options available.  For a road trip with the bonus of immune boosting magic, check out this historic hot springs loop in Colorado:

 

 

A friend who is a Business Travel Manager says that people are definitely rethinking the necessity of traveling for business in the near future but—with a lot weighing on the vaccines providing herd immunity—they are also already booking destination weddings and travel adventures for Summer 2021 and beyond.  And airlines and hotels are to be commended for offering ongoing flexible fares and generous cancelation policies.

 

Travel—both internationally and domestically—has been a way of life for so many of us for decades.  But as the founder of Ageist.com said to me in an interview recently, “If you’re not in the Wellness Business now, you’re really not in business.”  So travel destinations, take heed.

 

The figure that always amazes me is that the travel industry was the number one employer in the world before the pandemic.  Let’s face it—whether we work in the wellness travel or hospitality industry or are happy participants in it, we’re all ready to have that joy and delight in connecting with each other again—whether it’s a bellman, a massage therapist, a yoga instructor, a hike guide or a seat mate on a plane while we’re on our way to one of our “bucket list” adventures.

 

Wellness Seekers Unite!  2021, here we come!

5 Great Juicers for Your Next Juice Cleanse

Juicing — the process of extracting the juice from fresh fruits or vegetables — is popular because it can increase the variety of nutrient-rich foods in your diet so you can take advantage of all of fruits and vegetables’ healthy benefits.

There are three styles of juicers: slow, centrifugal, and citrus. Slow juicers and centrifugal juicers are usually best for fruits and vegetables, while citrus juicers are dedicated for simply squeezing citrus, like oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit.

No matter what kind of juicer you’re looking for, there are many on the market today. But we’ve narrowed them down to our top 5 favorite juicers. Here they are in ascending order:

 

 

Hurom’s H101 Easy Clean Slow Juicer ($499)

The H101 is on our top juicers list because it really was designed with cleaning in mind. It has grooved strainers and a tiled juicing chamber that pours out more — and leaves less mess inside — so you can really enjoy all the benefits of juicing without the messy cleanup. There’s also a pulp outlet, aka trap door, that opens 180 degrees so you can easily flush out any remaining pulp inside the chamber. This slow juicer mimics the motion of fruit squeezing by hand, rotating at a speed of just 43 revolutions per minute, which produces delicious fresh juices in their most natural state. Hate pulp? Love it? This one has a function to control the amount of pulp to suit your own taste preferences. And we should also mention this top juicer also can juice nuts and soybeans into a variety of smoothies and nut milks.

 

 

Novis Vita Juicer ($500)

We love the bright, sleek and shiny exterior design of this juicer, and it comes in seven colors! This top juicer is amazing because it truly has the benefit of all three juicing options, including its own attachment for citrus. It’s simple to use, with just one button to operate everything. And an AutoSpeed function auto-senses the best speed for each food, adjusting the speed of the press and centrifuge according to your chosen fruit or vegetable. There’s a large tube, so you won’t need to cut all of the fruits and vegetables, and every part of the juicer can be easily cleaned in the dishwasher.

 

 

The Smeg Citrus Juicer  ($180)

As the name implies, this one is specifically for citrus, and therefore best for oranges, lemons, and limes. It is the top juicer that has our favorite look, sophisticated and retro, and a design that comes in a few cool colors. Its superior performance pairs with reliability, showing off a powerful 70W motor with an integrated on-off sensor. And using it is simple thanks to a non-drip spout which prevents spillage, keeping kitchen surfaces clean.

 

 

 

Kuvings Whole Slow Juicer ($600)

Kevin’s Whole Slow Juicer stands out for its versatility. It does an efficient job of juicing greens, veggies, and fruits alike. Its 3.2” wide-mouthed two-way feed tube reduces prep time and allows you to insert different types of ingredients without jamming. It has patented low speed extraction technology that prevents nutritional loss and minimizes oxidation. Multiple strainers, including a sorbet and a smoothie strainer attachment, allow for even more food options. And it even has a handle so you can carry it with you.

 

 

Breville Juice Fountain SL Cold Plus ($350)

The Breville Juice Fountain is SL Cold Plus Pursuitist’s overall favorite juicer for its power, ease of operation and clean-up. Its super sized 70 fl.oz. jug seals and stores so you can make large batches, and the 3.5” wide chute shortens prep time — seriously, you can put a whole apple in, core and all, and it juices. The “cold” its name refers to Breville’s “Cold Spin Technology” that reduces the amount of heat transferred while juicing. Set-up couldn’t be simpler, your juice will be pulp-free and delicious, and clean-up is a breeze. What could be better than that?! 

Vitamin Myth Busting

Vitamins & supplements are a $43.5 billion industry and nearly 50% of Americans take them. Consumers are inundated with options and many are self-prescribing their own vitamin cocktails. But it seems that almost every month a report comes out either blessing or blasting the efficacy of vitamins and the latest offerings from this unregulated industry. Continue reading

Walking on the beach

A Dozen Ways to Actually Reduce Stress During the COVID Crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic is stressful, causing fear and anxiety that can be physically and emotionally overwhelming. But there are methods for coping. Knowing that everyone responds differently to stressful situations, here are a dozen different suggestions to reduce worry, tension, and anxiety while we wait out the COVID crisis.

Read a book.  Books take us into our imaginations, allowing for the ultimate distraction. The act of reading also relaxes your body, lowers your heart rate, and eases the tension in your muscles. 

Puzzles exercise both sides of your brain, evaporating stress and replacing it with tranquility. We especially like the calming puzzles from Lemonade Pursuits that partner with female artists around the world to create uniquely artful and peaceful tableaus.

In much the same way as puzzles do, coloring allows you to focus on a single task that can put your mind into a meditation-like state.

Speaking of meditation, a number of apps are available to help focus your attention and eliminate the scramble of thoughts crowding your mind.  Popular ones include Headspace, Calm, and Aura.  

Stretching allows the blood that has been restricted due to stress to flow more freely.  Stretching also stimulates receptors in the nervous system that decrease the production of stress hormones and isolates the muscles that store the tension.

A hobby from times past, modeling is seeing a comeback.  Whether it’s crafting model airplanes, cars, or making dollhouses, the act of working with your hands to create a product in detail can be remarkably soothing.

Cooking is not only a useful skill, but a great therapy.  It reduces negative thinking and builds confidence, encouraging creativity and activating the senses in the best way.  Have a cookbook at home you’ve been wanting to crack open or a website tempting you to new tastes?  Now’s the perfect time. 

Getting in touch with nature and being in the sunlight are instant mood lifters.  This is what makes gardening such a great tool to relieve stress that can be done at any age.   

Many shelters are waiving adoption fees to relieve facilities and provide animals with foster (if not forever) homes during the health crisis.  Cuddling an animal stimulates the release of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, which help relieve depression. Pets are proven to create a calming effect, and loving on them helps you focus on the present moment.

You may think it would be harder to workout with the gyms and fitness studios closed, but apps and online fitness have stepped up to fill the void.  Everything from Beachbody to Barry’s is currently offering free online classes.  Take advantage, because working up a sweat reduces the body’s levels of adrenaline and cortisol, instead stimulating the production of endorphins. 

Give journaling a go. Detailed writing about thoughts and feelings may clear them from your mind, or at least help you prioritize your fears, better understand your stresses, and problem solve more efficiently. 

Make music.  From playing an instrument to singing, every aspect of making music releases stored muscle tension and decreases cortisol levels.  It’s a bonus that this activity can be done alone or with others! 

This article was originally published on Pursuitist. Republished by permission

The Many Reason To Eat Local

Have you ever wondered why it might be good to eat foods according to the season?  You probably notice how there are certain fruits and vegetables available in the fall (apples, pears, squash) versus what is seen in the spring/summer (melons, papaya, asparagus). Continue reading

Many Reasons to Eat Local

Have you ever wondered why it might be good to eat foods according to the season?  You probably notice how there are certain fruits and vegetables available in the fall (apples, pears, squash) versus what is seen in the spring/summer (melons, papaya, asparagus). Continue reading

Designing Wellness

Talking Spa Design With The Owners of Blu Spas. Out of all the buzzy trends that go in and out of popularity every year, here’s one that we’re thrilled to see sticking—wellness. Sticking doesn’t even quite do it justice, though, as reports from the Global Wellness Institute estimate that the wellness economy is worth an estimated $3.7 trillion. So, how does this sector continue to not only bask but also boom? Continue reading

An Insider’s Take On The Surging Demand For CBD Oil

I recently attended a trade show promoting various spa and wellness brands at none other than the Rainbow Room atop NYC’s Rockefeller Center. The boutique show—hosted by the Green Spa Network, a nonprofit trade association that provides education, resources and gatherings for the spa and wellness industry—represented my first glimpse into the burgeoning market of CBD oil. Continue reading

Slope to “Farm”

Canyons, Utah’s largest ski resort, has 4,000 acres of terrain, and your plan is to ski it all. In one morning you’ve managed to tackle bowls, woods and a chute that you vowed to never ski again. Before taking another run, you need to refuel with a proper sit-down lunch – a hearty vegetable soup and a steak and egg sandwich with horseradish cream, caramelized onions and poblano relish. Sound good? Continue reading