Accupressure Mat For Pain, Stress and Circulation

Accupressure Mat For Pain, Stress and Circulation

A few weeks ago I got my Dosha Mat, Accupressure mat and I’ve been having a lot of fun using it.

Accupressure mats have a ton of health benefits, some claims for health are:

  • reducing pain and muscle soreness

  • stress and anxiety reduction

  • increased circulation

  • reduction of insomnia

  • creates relaxation and sense of calm

The acupressure mats have 4500 pressure points per the entire surface of the mat through the 190 lotus flowers (25 points per flower). These pressure point stimulate the area of the body and send signals to other parts of the body through meridians to help calm and relax. This is much like acupuncture, however not to specific areas and not puncturing the skin of course.

Looking at it from a yogi/massage point of view, I like using it sometimes in a manner that helps me massage a bit. This is also helping relief stress and tension through fascia releasing.


doshaaccupressuremat

How To Use Your Dosha Accupressure Mat

You can use this mat in many different ways, in many different places. Here is a couple ways I’ve been using mine:

  1. Simply laying on it. Sometimes I lay down on it and relax, do legs up the wall or at the end of a yoga practice in savasana.

  2. Moving on it. I like to lay down and tuck my knees in and roll back and forth or in circles to get a bit of massaging action.

  3. Sitting down with it. In an office chair or on the couch and leaning into it.

  4. Standing on it. I personally have been loving having it beside my bed when I am doing laundry. I find it’s a bit to intense for me to stand on completely, but I will stand with it one foot at a time.

Want to try one out for yourself? I’ve partnered with Dosh Mat to offer you 15% off your vary own from the Canadian owned company! Offer is only good until November 4th 2018! Use the code BITCHINHOUSEWIFE15 at Dosha Mat.

Self Love & Self Improvement

The world is full of mixed messages and we are in a time in the world where FINALLY marketing to us women isn't 100% about telling us that we are not good enough unless we are thin/pretty blah blah blah. We still have lots of work to do of course, but I feel like it leaves us in  a great divide. 

Recently I've seen some images shared by fitness mamas I admire Mama Lion Strong and Wendy Powell. I agree with both of these images.

 

Reads "If you ever wander into that mindset of thinking that to take care of your body + your emotional + physical well-being is somehow shallow or vain or not important, please think again. You have every right to feel good about yourself." 

Reads "Those extra 5-10 pounds, that place where your body naturally wants to be -that's your life. That's your late night pizza with your man, that Sunday morning bottomless brunch, your favourite cupcake in the whole entire world because you wanted to treat yourself. Those extra 5-10 pounds are your favourite memories, your unforgettable trips, your celebrations of life. Those extra 5-10 pounds are your spontaneity, your freedom, your love. 

I whole heartedly agree with both of these statements and adore these women sharing them. That said, it seems confusing right? A message of "if you want to change, that's okay." and a message of "love those things you may wish to change."

The struggle is real my friends. Finding the balance between these two is very hard. And I will let you in on a little secret. I don't know the answer or what to tell you. I feel this struggle all the time. I don't have a tip or a trick to help you with this one. I just want to let you know you are not alone. 

I've been working with my own nutrition coach because I feel like yeah, there is nothing wrong with wanting to make some changes. Then much to his annoyance I'm sure, I see the other side of the coin and think to myself that I should just eat the thing or enjoy the wine and my body is perfectly imperfect the way it is, this moment will not last. 

So what do we do?

The only advice I offer is sitting with ourselves to see where things really come from. This is a practice of something we do daily, hourly, weekly whatever. I assure you it is not a one time sit down thing. Sitting with ourselves (also known as meditation) and discovering what we actually feel behind these thoughts. 

I wish you look in your journey and know you are not alone. 

Love, 

Jen the Bitchin' Housewife

Slow The F*ck Down

I’ve seen many friends were in Empowered Yoga’s Restorative Teacher Training this weekend and it reminded me of when I took it last year. A weekend filled of conversations and mini naps. It was wonderful. I learned a lot about stress and restoring my mind and body. Since then, it’s most of what I find myself reading about.

Since that training I have added restorative yoga to my own practice a lot, tail ends of vinyasa practices I teach and to the athletes I teach. There are many benefits to restorative yoga.

This post isn’t exactly about that though.

It’s about the fact that we generally SUCK at slowing down.

In conversation with my close entrepreneur and work from home mom friends just today in fact, we were all sharing how we have been sick. Sick, injured, brain fogged etc. We have all been going a million miles an hour and run ourselves into the ground.

You don’t even have to be a bad ass entrepreneur like my friends. We all hustle in our own way. We’ve come to a time in the year we need to rest and restore and what do we do?

Make ourselves busier. This concert and that party. This person’s perfect gift and that stressful family situation.  Volunteer. Help out at school. Take on extra work to make a bit more money. Blah blah fucking blah.

So back to the fact that we SUCK I repeat we SUCK at slowing down. Even if we say to ourselves “I’m going to rest this weekend”. Maybe we end up watching tons of scary movies (and not really relaxing the body) or binge eating popcorn or drinking too much wine and feel the guilt about it all?

Sound like anyone you know??!?!?

We HAVE to be intentional about rest. Plopping ourselves on the couch simply isn’t enough for our busy ass lives anymore. Put the effort into properly relaxing the body and be mindful of “relaxing activities” and how they ACTUALLY make us feel.

Let’s take the example of A Simple Bath, a self care blog post I wrote a while ago. I gave a few tips for making it more relaxing, the big one being TURN OFF YOUR PHONE! Does Facebooking in the tub actually relax you? Like actually? Or do you get irritated every time you see so and so’s post and then that sneaky stress creeps up without you ever noticing? It’s super sneaky like that.

So you ask me, how Jen? Just how do I become intentional in my rest?

PLAN. Plan it. Know on these days you are turning off the tv or drawing yourself a bath or going for a massage.

CHECK IN. Check in with yourself during said activity. Just because you are doing something that’s “relaxing” doesn’t mean you are. How do you feel? What could make you feel better?

GIVE GUILT THE MIDDLE FINGER. Yeah. This is the sneakiest of sneaky stressors I think. Especially if you are a mother. That Mom guilt is something from out of this world. Taking time to rest and restore is NOT A LUXURY. I repeat NOT A LUXURY. It is a KEY link in your survival! Think of it that way, because it’s the honest to goodness truth. Then treat it that way.  

 

Love,

Jen

Self Care Sunday - Walk It Off

Welcome back. I hope you have had a good week and were able to take a bit of time away from social media from last week's "Going Dark" post. 

This week, let's go for a walk. A simple and free self love and self care experience. 

Some of the benefits are:

  • Being outside (in nature even better) is calming.
  • It's a great gentle way to get a bit of exercise, releasing some of those happy endorphins. 
  • It's a great way to reconnect with yourself and your thoughts.

This walk is about you taking time for yourself. So maybe the kids can stay home, the dog can be walked by someone else or earlier (you don't need to think about picking up poop) and leave the earbuds and heart rate monitor at home. 

It's not about burning calories or counting steps for the day. It's about you taking some time for yourself. 

I myself admit I multitask waaaaaaaay to much. "well if I'm going for a walk, I might as well take the dog, or my podcasts" or whatever else it is we are trying to do at the same time as we relax. Which in reality is defeating the purpose. 

So try this on your walk:

  • Listen for the sounds in the area. Maybe you've never noticed just how quiet your neighbourhood actually is? Or that the family of chickadees lived in those trees?
  • Explore a pathway you don't usually travel. Maybe there is some hidden gem view on the other side of this road?
  • Feel the air on your skin. The fall air is crispy cool, yet something about it seems calmingly satisfying maybe?
  • Feel you body relax as you walk. Do your stressful shoulders maybe actually soften and relax away from the ears, bringing on a sense of relaxation?

Sometime the simple pleasures in life are so satisfying but also very difficult to come to in our busy lives. 

Love, 

Jen the Bitchin' Housewife

Self Care Sunday - Real Self Love

I've been writing Self Care Sundays for a few months now. And I believe we are all ready for this week's self care. It's a doozy.

I was talking with a friend/client yesterday morning and we were talking about how easy it is for us to name off all the things we don't like about our physical appearance. I imagine most of us can easily name of a dozen without thought. But most of us may find it hard to find something we like about ourselves. 

I'm currently reading Michele Theoret's book Empowered Body and in it she talks about how the world of marketing and social media basically sells us stuff based off of the fears of not "being enough" or good enough". We create these images in our heads of how we "should" be, rather then loving and accepting who we actually are. 

Today we aren't focusing on who we are in progress of something. Today we love ourselves for who we are. Period. The end. 

So this week's self care Sunday is uncomfortable. It may be challenging. But it will be worth it. 

We are going to look at ourselves in the mirror and find something we like. Actually two things. Because I guarantee you have at the very very very very minimum two things about you that are worth YOU loving. 

For those that are unsure, maybe it's sitting in front of a mirror staring at your face. Study it while repeating self love words. "I love........ my freckles, dimples, eyes", "I like the way........ my skin does, my hair is, my lips.......". Catching yourself when you start to put words out that do not serve you in self love.

For those maybe a little bolder.... Get undressed. Stand in front of the mirror. Find things you love. "I love.... my toes, my posture, my skin tone, my butt, the way I can wrap my arms around myself in a hug, the way my scar makes me look badass, my belly button......" or "I like...... the way my muscles pop as I flex, my height, my hair, my tattoos, my....." whatever it is. This is obvious deeply personal. 

Be kind to yourself. Show yourself some love. Genuine unfiltered love. 

Love, 

Jen the Bitchin' Housewife

Self Care Sunday - Get Yourself Some New Clothes

Hello again friends. This week for Self Care Sunday we are talking getting ourselves some new clothes. As much as I like to find cheap or inexpensive ways of self care, sometime you also need to spend a little on yourself. You deserve it.

That said, if money is tight you can also host a clothing swap (I will so blog about that soon). Clothing for free while cleaning out your closet. I actually spent the first 6 months of the year without buying any "new" clothes. As in meaning from a store. Only clothing swaps and second hand stores. 

Now as that was fun, this past week I got some new clothes and it feels pretty great. 

I did some online shopping at Belle + Bliss Boutique and got this awesome shirt.....

And this sassy skirt.....

As I said in the Self Care Sunday - Self Primping post, when you're in a rut, when you spend some time on making yourself feel good, something awesome happens. You start to feel good! It's really that simple. A few simple pieces of clothing that make you feel sexy, comfortable, saucy or just plain fresh and new help boost your confidence, starting that chain reaction of positive thought. 

So this week I want you to buy yourself a new piece of clothing. Either actually new from a store (think investment pieces lasting longer than #30wears) or new to you from a thrift store or clothing swap. Not that you likely need tips in shopping but here are a few to avoid maybe some upsetting:

  • Think about what's missing from your wardrobe that would make a difference. For example, I'm actually in particular need of some cute flats that aren't sporty or sandals. Closed toe, non fancy cute flats. Something that every time I leave the house in cute shorts and think "crap I don't have the right shoes for this", so it would help complete my wardrobe and feel better. 
  • Go alone or with girlfriends. DO NOT drag your kids or hubby along. This is time for you. 
  • Plan a few stores (or stores online).
  • Eat a good light meal. No need to be hANGRY  (hungry + angry) and get impatient while waiting for the dressing room, but not to full so you're bloated!
  • When you look at yourself in the mirror each time, say one nice thing to yourself. Even if it's unrelated to the clothing. (This is a bonus tip just to be nice to yourself)

Happy shopping friends! And come back to share with me what you got. Either on here, my Facebook  Page or Instagram

Love, 

Jen the Bitchin' Housewife

 

Self Care Sunday - Self Primping

This week for Self Care Sunday we are talking about doing a bit of self primping. I'm guilty of putting off coloring my hair, waxing my brows or even shaving my legs until I absolutely have to. By then it's simply because I'm annoyed my hair wont work with me, my eyebrows look like a caterpillar or it's hot outside and I need to put on some shorts.

But this week, I want you to plan some time to do some self primping. What is something that always makes you feel good after you have it done/do it for yourself? When I feel like a hot mess, I sort of become a hot mess. When I'm feeling like i'm in a rut, I like to spend some time on myself and I swear I come out a new woman. Something about feeling good about the way I look, makes me more confident and ready to take on the world.

A few suggestions for some things you can do.: (And make sure to do a couple at least)

  • Color your hair. In my picture below I know I'm at home. I am a licensed hairstylist so I can do this. I do not, I repeat I DO NOT condone box dye and coloring at home. Just my opinion though. (sorry at home box dye people) Find a local salon with childcare like Pamper and Play Salon here in Edmonton if you have to!
  • Waxing your eyebrows. Go to a local salon or I love these pre shaped eyebrow wax strips I get at Shoppers. So easy and inexpensive. 
  • Get your nails done. Again so many options here. Go get those fancy gel nails with designs or cat claws, get a regular ol manicure or do it at home. Find your favourite color and spend some time shaping and painting. 
  • Buy yourself some beauty products. Stroll Shoppers or Mac or support your local community and try out some products from direct sales businesses. This week I've been using the Arbonne Re9 from my friend and the extra 5 minutes I've added to my face washing routine has been nice, spending that time on myself. 
  • Paint your toenails. Sort of same like getting your nails done, at home or in a spa. 
  • Buy a new outfit. Nothing like a new outfit or pair of shoes to add a little stuff to your strut. It doesn't even have to be Armani either. Honestly I feel great with a new outfit from  a thrift store!

What are some of your favourite things you like to do to make yourself feel a little extra special?

 

Love,

Jen

Self Care Sunday - Taking Yourself On A Date

Welcome back to Self Care Sunday. This week we are talking about taking ourselves on a date. I am all about a girls night out every once and a while for sure, but sometime I find it even more stressful trying to plan them. Every one is busy and finding a date that works can sometimes feel impossible. 

This week my husband was in a course and I had to teach yoga at a place without childcare. My daughters went off to our trusted occasional dayhome so I could teach. Rather then them being there only the hour or so I would be gone I dropped them off an hour and a half before. With no plan to grocery shop or run errands before hand I took myself on a sort of mini date. I went and got an iced coffee, read a bit and even had a mini nap in car from listening to a mediation! (luckily I set an alarm in case that happened!)

So this week, plan to spend some time alone. Same as every week, schedule the time (and keep it), turn off your phone and enjoy this time to yourself. The world will not end, the emails will not vanish and the problems will all still exist when you are done. This time is for you to enjoy. 

A few ideas for self dates:

  • Coffee and a book at a local coffee shop.
  • Take yourself to a movie.
  • Take yourself for dinner. Check out that local restaurant you've been wanting to try. 
  • A night at a hotel. A bubble bath, room service and making a mess without having to clean it up. 
  • A day of shopping. Real shopping for yourself, not your kids or husband or friends birthday party. If funds are low you can always go to a thrift store. I actually recommend it instead. Save the planet a bit and you never know what you are really going to find. I've found Lululemons for $6!
  • Book a photo shoot. You could do Boudoir or some headshots for your Linked In profile. 
  • Look up a paint class. Those guided paint classes with wine and snacks are awesome with friends, but totally doable by yourself! I like the Paint Nites
  • A long drive. Nowhere to go or "stop by" on the way. Here in Alberta we actually have some interesting back roads and sites to see. 
  • Book a city community class. Learn pottery or how to knit!

I encourage you to try and find something maybe you wouldn't normally do on your own. Such as a movie or dinner. Remember you are taking yourself on a date. Spending the time falling in love with yourself a little. 

Love, 

Jen

Self Care Sunday - Restorative Yoga

Welcome back to Self Care Sunday. This week let's talk about some restorative yoga. There are many styles and types of yoga, all used for different things. Restorative yoga is a practice more about allowing the body to relax and rest. There is minimal effort put into postures. You take some time setting yourself up in comfort and then relax into it for a few minutes at a time. 

Some of the benefits of restorative yoga are:

  • It stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system. Turning off the flight or flight response (stress) and tapping into the rest and digestion cycle of the body. This is calming in the mind and physiologically in the body. 
  • Helps create body awareness. Slowing down for a few minutes and noticing the sensations in the body is helpful for the rest of our day. Noticing something like tight shoulders and neck, make us more mindful when we sit down at our desks of our posture.
  • Improves immunity
  • improves respiratory and blood circulation
  • Anyone can do it, nearly anywhere!

The beauty of this weeks self care, is that it can be as short or as long as you would like. 10-15 minutes on a lunch break at work, half an hour before bed or whenever you'd like.  Make sure to schedule this time though. We often have wonderful intentions of doing something and put it off until "tomorrow". So plan your time this week to practice restorative yoga once or twice. 

Tips to get the most out of your practice:

  • Turn off your phone and other distractions.
  • Grab a sweater and/or blanket in case you get cold. 
  • Grab a pillow or two.
  • Find any other comfort items available given the space. Candles, eye covers, bolsters, yoga blocks or straps. 
  • Put together some calming music to listen to. 

You can set a gentle timer to remind you to move after 5 or 10 minutes to the next pose or back to work, in case you fall asleep. Below is a few poses you can try or you can search the internet for a few more. 

After a few poses, end in savasana, by lying on your back without props, take note of how your body feels, taking a few big deep breaths and moving on with your day.

Legs Up The Wall

Legs Up The Wall

Seated Forward Fold

Seated Forward Fold

Morning Brooke

Morning Brooke

Childs Pose

Childs Pose

 

Love, 

Jen

 

Self Care Sunday - Month End Reflection

Welcome back to another Sunday. I hope your week has gone well and you were able to take some time to yourself. 

Since we are only a couple of days away from a new month starting, this Self Care Sunday is about reflection and intention. 

In the yoga room we talk about noticing what happens in postures, be it what we physically feel in our bodies or what starts to happen in our minds as we move (or slow down).We may not be able to change these things when we first notice them, but as soon as we are aware then we can start the work. If we never take the time to reflect, how are to to become aware and start the work of change?

So let's sit down this week, or next few days before the new month starts and think about how it went. Reflecting on what has made us proud and what needs work. Setting intentions for what we wish for ourselves. 

Some suggestions to help you with this reflection:

  • Turn off your phone (starting to see my theme for these self care Sundays?)
  • Find a space you can be alone in the quiet. See my Self Care Sunday A Simple Bath for tips on finding this time and place alone. 
  • Bring a pen and paper.
  • Bring along music, candles or a glass of wine. Whatever helps you relax a little into the space.

Then we start to ask ourselves these questions

  1. What am I grateful for this month?
  2. What am I proud of?
  3. What is something I would do differently?
  4. What do I want to let go of?
  5. What do I want to add into my life?

This of course seems more simple then it really is. Trying to not get caught up on things that didn't go so well or planning to much on how our next month will go. As we ask these questions starting to pay attention to how we feel physically, mentally and emotionally about each question.  

For example, what am I proud of? Maybe you are proud you have started Self Care Sunday practices. You may feel pride, a sense of calm, the body relaxed and chest puffed out and open. 

Moving through these questions again without lingering too long on the sensations to dwell. If it help you can even set a time for 2 or 5 minutes once you ask yourself a question to come back to the next one. 

After we've spent some time reflecting, moving on to our intentions for the month. This isn't our goal planning. This is our intentions for how we want to be. "I want to move through my days with ease and peace", "I wish to find the positive in situations.". From there later on (another day) you can set goals to achieve these intentions, but for now we are just putting out there what we truly desire from life. 

Once we have sorted through our thoughts a little, taking a few moments to write down any thoughts or feelings. Journaling if that's something you do. This writing is whatever you feel you need to write down. Whether it is some goals or just how you feel. 

I highly recommend ending this with a yoga practice (youtubing is a wonder!) or a bath or anything else that makes you feel relaxes and at ease. 

I'd love to hear what some of your intentions are for the month. Share below or on the Facebook Page .

 

Love, 

Jen