By Julie Alvira, MD, MBA
Summer is filled with bright colors, nice temperatures and, if you’re lucky, exotic locations with beautiful waters! Whether you travel or stay home, keep taking care of yourself and practicing wellness.
Self-care is on the rise and is here to stay. Meditation is the fastest growing wellness trend in America. There are meditation apps and studios worldwide. Now, it’s not about one meditation technique but many different types. I’ve practiced meditation since 13 years of age and was taking yoga classes before it was popular and there weren’t studios on every corner.
Over the years, I’ve learned the meditation of Qigong, commonly known as chi Kung as part of Tai Chi classes, and in most recent years mindfulness. As a woman, I think it’s good to have a wellness toolbox of resources that one can go to when needed.
Ok, so circling back to the subject of wellness trends, let’s start with some of the ones that are popular for women this summer.
- Oat milk: A nut free alternative that is dairy free, gluten free and vegan. It has a creamy texture and is very easy to prepare at home. Look for a brand that has a simple ingredient list and check the sugar content. If you’re at Starbucks, don’t forget your latte with oat milk (Note: Availability of oat milk at Starbucks varies from location to location).
- Mindful eating: Develop awareness and see if you’ve emotional or physical hunger. Be attentive to the food you’re eating. It’s better to practice with healthy foods and notice the effects of the food on your feelings. Be aware of colors, taste, and ingredients. Be attentive to the process of cooking, serving, and eating, if you’re involved in those tasks. At a restaurant or with others at the table, eat slowly until you’re full and wait five minutes after eating and then have a conversation so you’re not tempted to eat more.
- Meditation: With a rise in stress, anxiety, and depression, women are looking for solutions as part of their mental toolbox. There are many types and varieties. A recent trend is sophrology. Founded in the early 1960s by Colombia professor of psychiatry and neurology Alfonso Caycedo, it’s a type of stress management technique very popular in Europe. It combines concepts of relaxation techniques, mindfulness, meditation, and breathing. More and more research is being conducted on how meditation activates more than one brain mechanism and its benefits. The idea is for women to have a personal toolbox that helps them to find calm inside.
Be alive. Be Present.
Dr. Julie Alvira, MD, MBA, is a certified life coach for men and women and has a passion for women recovering from addictions. Creator of the Your Recovery Gal program for women, she is a nationally certified addictions professional. Reach her at www.coachdrjulie.com or email@example.com. Bilingual virtual or in-office sessions available.