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conference-2

How To Prevent Conference Fatigue:  How to stay grounded at your next conference, workshop, or long training.

conference-nametagLong days in chilly hotel rooms where you mingle with strangers (or friends), breathe in air conditioning, and stand for hours on end can be a mix of excitement and fatigue. You often leave these situations sick, tired, hoarse, overwhelmed, giddy, and just feeling a bit all over the place. Your feet often hurt, your digestion system out of whack, and even though you may be buzzing with new ideas, your whole body and mind are often just plain tired.

Here’s how to get through every conference taking with you the positive, but leaving behind the draining feeling, the sore feet, and (hopefully) the post-conference colds!

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waterphoto

No doubt about it:  Water can be fun to play in, and can bring out the child in us—who admits to walking through someone’s lawn sprinkler while on the way to the grocery store or another errand?

It can also be serious stuff, though, so always drink enough and don’t let yourself get dehydrated. While you should always pay attention to your water consumption, keep in mind that it is summer, and people can lose three to four cups a day just from perspiration and urine alone.

While you should always pay attention to your water consumption, keep in mind that it is summer, and people can lose three to four cups a day just from perspiration and urine alone.

If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated; you’ll get fatigued, headachy (over 75 percent of headaches are caused by dehydration). You might even gain weight because water not only flushes out toxins and chemicals (which can cause weight gain), but many people also mistake thirst for hunger, so you’ll possibly eat more.

Over 60 percent of our bodies are made up of water.  Even the brain is made up of about 80% water, and almost all of the body’s systems rely on it.  First, it transports good stuff, like vitamins and minerals, to the cells—and, as we said earlier—it flushes out toxins and chemicals. That means you’ll have much more energy, which results in longer and more effective exercise.

Getting rid of those toxins and chemicals also means that you’ll have less “fuzzy-mindedness,” with better concentration and more stress-coping mechanisms. More stress-coping mechanisms means less anxiety and an overall feeling of well-being, adding up to–you guessed it–grounding.

It also means you might even look younger.  Without toxins, you’ll experience clearer skin.  Water also contracts the muscles and plumps up the skin, so there’ll be less sagging. Some event report dewier skin that almost glows.

We’d love to hear from you.  What are some of your “tricks” to ensure that you drink enough water?

ABOUT PLUGGZ

Pluggz is a footwear brand featuring proprietary grounding technology. Pluggz shoes give people a direct connection to the Earth when they walk on grass, sand, soil and even concrete. To view our complete line, please click here.

 

 

 

Screen-Shot-2013-08-16-at-3_06_45-PM-275x300Meditation isn’t a state of being devoid of all thoughts.  It also isn’t some type of escapism, of “getting away from it all.”   Rather, it’s about tuning IN, being present and aware–and being mindful of yourself.

You choose what you want to concentrate on.  You can’t escape having worries, but you can choose not to focus on them, or on any negative thoughts, while focusing on things like who you are, what goals you have, what’s important to you and other things.

Should you do it lying down?  Actually, no, because you just might fall asleep.  Sit  comfortably in a chair.

Do you need a lot of time?  It’s like anything else–make it a priority and schedule it into your day.  We know someone who actually puts “eat lunch” on her daily calendar, because she tends to get so wrapped up in her projects she’ll forget,  Then her blood sugar drops, she becomes shaky and tired and can’t finish the day.  So she needs that reminder.

We once knew an executive who meditated every day at 5:30 PM no matter what–if he was out of the office, he’d just find a quiet place so he could stick to that schedule.

“In many ways, meditation will leave you feeling so refreshed you might find that you actually have more time.  Deepak Chopra once told The Huffington Post:  “In life’s paradoxical way, when we spend time meditating on a regular basis, we actually have more time. When we meditate, we dip in and out of the timeless, spaceless realm of consciousness… the state of pure awareness that is the source of everything that manifests in the universe. Our breathing and heart rate slow down, our blood pressure lowers, and our body decreases the production of stress hormones and other chemicals that speed up the aging process and give us the subjective feeling that we are “running out of time.”

To learn more, watch this video from Deepak Chopra:

 

 

medition1Anyone remember that scene from the movie “Eat Pray Love” where Julia Roberts travels to India and, during her first time meditating, she looks up at the clock, sees it only moved a few minutes, and opens her eyes to mutter “Kill me now.”

Well, sometimes it’s like that for us.  We get some of our best thoughts when our minds are quiet enough for us to listen (that’s why ideas often come to us when we’re brushing our teeth, showering or even dreaming), but sometimes this life just overwhelms us, what with bills, looming deadlines, sirens, noisy neighbors and more.

So how do you quiet your mind when you just can’t sit still?  Here are some tips:

1.  First, don’t try to force it.  That only creates stress.  Compare meditation and forcing the quiet mind to this example that we’ve probably all experienced:  You need to get up early, but have insomnia.  You keep looking at the clock and say “if I fall asleep now, I’ll get 4 hours of sleep…if I fall asleep now, I’ll get 3 hours of sleep…and so on.”  Doesn’t work, does it?  Rather, take a walk, daydream, do some yoga, read–and THEN go back to it.

Plus, it’s a major misconception that meditation means having an empty mind.  It doesn’t–but what it means is that meditation is really about keeping your mind active, with only the things on which you want to focus.

2.  Breathe.  Try some relaxation breathing techniques. Breathing is one of the best ways to calm the mind, relax and reduce anxiety; in fact, when we’re stressed and anxious, we tend to have shallow breathing.  One of the best breathing techniques is from Dr. Andrew Weil and is called the 4-7-8 breath.  For instructions, click here.

3.  Practice Gratitude.  We know, we know, you’re probably saying “Been there, done that.”  But here’s the point:  You just don’t want to focus on the difficulties of your day, and even the worst one has at least one or two good things about it.  Focus on the positive. And get specific “I appreciate so-and-so because…”

4.  Write it down.  Some people refer to it as “Evening Papers” or “Morning Papers.”  The idea is that they write down every single thing that has them worried, concerned or anxious–then they throw out the paper to make room in the mind for the positive.  You might want to develop your own scheduled “papers,” to coincide with your mediation.

5.  Connect with Nature.  This circles back to our earlier comment about taking a walk.  Or maybe just sit in a park or outdoor area–barefoot, and with your feet on the ground. Try to do it barefoot, so you connect with the Earth, which is one of the most powerful energy sources.  When you connect, you absorb all the Earth’s positive electrons–and that puts you in balance, gives you an overall sense of well-being and helps you stay grounded.  We call it “Vitamin EL.”

 

Pluggz is a footwear brand featuring proprietary grounding technology. Pluggz shoes give people a direct connection to the Earth when they walk on grass, sand, soil and even concrete. To view our complete line, please click here.

 

 

 

stressrelax

Stress: Sometimes it can be a good thing, helping us rise to a major challenge or big event.  Even happiness can make us stressed, like falling in love or making a major, much-sought-after career move or getting a big promotion.  In these cases, though, the body returns to the original state once everything returns to “normal.”

We’re talking about chronic, unrelenting stress, the kind that causes you to feel fearful, anxious and “on alert.”

Here’s the thing about stress: It wreaks havoc on your hormones, releasing stress-response substances like Cortisol and Adrenaline that can have a destructive effect on immunity, making you susceptible to colds, flu and other infections.

It’s one of the biggest reasons for insomnia, a potentially serious condition that causes exhaustion, illness, injury, lack of mental focus and is responsible for at least 75% of visits to the doctor. In fact, at least 40 percent of all adults experience adverse health effects from stress.

These are just a few things we can experience from prolonged stress:

  • headaches
  • muscle pain, especially in neck, back, or shoulders
  • sleep deprivation
  • nervousness
  • mood swings
  • ulcers, colitis and other GI disorders
  • high blood pressure and heart arrhythmias
  • asthma and allergies
  • cancer
  • weight gain

Stress can even make you gain weight!  Cortisol, often blamed for those expanding waistlines, increases cravings, decreases muscle tone and gives you a lack of energy—and too much adenaline can result in adrenal fatigue and mess up your thyroid.

Now here’s the thing about Grounding, sometimes referred to as Earthing. It’s a good way to combat stress. When you connect to the Earth, your body is soaking up all those positive electrons, keeping you in balance, resulting in an overall feeling of well-being.  You are calmer and, more and more, scientific studies are pointing toward the many health benefits of grounding.

Tell us-what are some ways you manage stress?

ABOUT PLUGGZ;

Pluggz is a footwear brand featuring proprietary grounding technology. Pluggz shoes give people a direct connection to the Earth when they walk on grass, sand, soil and even concrete. To view our complete line, please click here.

 

 

So, all of that said, tell us how you manage stress.

lemons

Wouldn’t it be great to shine and feel and look great all the time?

Here’s the good news.  You can, just by adding certain foods to your daily diet.  Here are some of the foods to nourish, cleanse, detoxify–and ground!

1.    Grapefruit

Grapefruit supports the liver by flooding it with nutrient-rich juice, and that’s important, because the liver’s a vital organ, especially when it comes to removing toxins. You need to keep it in tip-top shape.

Grapefruit is also highly alkalizing. That’s important because, while disease and aging thrive in an acidic environment, it never does in an alkaline one.  That means you want keep your blood PH  on the alkaline side.

If you need more:  Grapefruit is effective for weight loss, because it helps the liver burn fat.

2.    Lemon

Many think of it as acid, probably because it’s a citrus. Once metabolized, however, it becomes alkaline.  Drink a glass of water with fresh lemon and you’ll support digestion and boost immunity, because you’ll send vitamin C to your defense cells.  Some also believe lemon is calming and increases concentration and alertness.

3.    Kale

With more iron than beef, kale is a nutritional powerhouse, packed  vitamins and other nutrients. It boosts immunity, fights arthritis, asthma and aids some autoimmune disorders.

Since kale contains sulphur and fiber, it’s also a great detoxifier.

4.    Water

Water’s not really a food,although some do insist that bottled water is a food.  Never-the-less, don’t ever underestimate it.

Some facts about water and dehydration:

1. 85 percent of all headaches are caused by dehydration?

2. The body is made up of at least 75% water. Water flushes toxins, increases metabolism and energy; it also contributes to youthfulness, because it plumps skin and muscles and decreases sagging.

Water has been found to aid heart health. A study published in the May 1, 2002 American Journal of Epidemiology found that those who drank more than five glasses of water a day were 41 percent less likely to die from a heart attack during the study period than those who drank less than two glasses.

5.     Avocado

Avocado is packed with vitamin E, a natural antioxidant (often found in skin cremes) that supports everything from the brain to the heart and from the respiratory to circulatory systems.

Avocados also contains nearly 20 other vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, such as potassium, magnesium, folic acid, vitamins B6 and C and fiber.

 

Pluggz is a footwear brand featuring proprietary grounding technology. Pluggz shoes give people a direct connection to the Earth when they walk on grass, sand, soil and even concrete. To view our complete line, please click here.

 

 

 

 

healthyfood

The immune system is probably the most important one in the body, because it influences the entire body.  It’s the defense force, fighting, and stopping, those invaders both within and without the body.

Keep your immune system in tip top share. The better it works, the better the body will cope with all the toxicity it will come across—and vice versa, because the lighter the toxic load, the better your immune system will work.

Here are some common things that weaken it.

  • Allergies: These are really a malfunction of the immune system because the body will see everything as a potential enemy and attack it. The immune system will keep working and working, which eventually results in a weakening and even more allergies.
  • Stress:  Whether the threat is real or imagined, the physiological reaction will always be the same, including increased cortisol and adrenaline, high blood pressure, bad cholesterol, and inflammation. You’ll also experience sleep deprivation, possible weight gain, and hair loss (or gain, in places you don’t want it, like the face). Practice stress management techniques, including meditation, breathing exercises and self-care like massages.
  • Processed foods: Today’s fast-food mentality includes packaged “convenience” foods that are often laden with sugar, salt, fat and chemicals. A healthy diet should include plenty vegetables and fruit; nuts, seeds; some spices like turmeric and cinnamon; and herbs, such as parsley and garlic.
  • Sleep deprivation:  A few years back, the Archives of Internal Medicine conducted a small, contained study.  They gave 153 people the rhino (common cold) virus by nose and those who got less than 7 hours were 300 percent more susceptible to getting a cold.
  • Alcohol.  Although some studies reveal that moderate alcohol intake can actually aid the immune system, alcohol overall has detrimental effect on health, including the brain and cardio system.
  • Lack of exercise. It enhancesmoods, by releasing those natural feel-good hormones, endorphins, which also promotes better sleep. Exercise carries oxygen and nutrients to the cells and helps detoxify the body, by eliminating toxins, accumulated wastes and poisons.

 

 

 

pets

 

On his website is one of the many articles on the health benefits of pet ownership, Dr. Andrew Weil says that bonding with your pet is one of the 10 steps to having a better life. “ Studies have shown that pet owners, particularly the elderly, have lower blood pressure, are less likely to be depressed and have higher self-esteem than people who don’t have pets, “says Dr. Weil, adding that, “Among the more tangible rewards: A 1999 study in New York, Missouri and Texas found that medication costs dropped in nursing homes that allowed pets. In another study, 70 percent of the families surveyed reported an increase in happiness and fun as a result of acquiring a pet. In 2000, the American Heart Association’s study of stockbrokers found that those who had the companionship of a dog or cat experienced a calming of the “stress response” that can contribute to high blood pressure. After learning the results of the study, many of the pet-less stockbrokers decided to invest in a pet of their own.”

In a nutshell, pets:

  • Give us a sense of connectedness, purpose and responsibility, no matter what our age.
  • Boost our moods: They make us smile and laugh, which protects the heart, relaxes and calms us, and releases those natural feel-good substances, endorphins.
  • Give us a hefty boost of the “love hormone” oxytocin. Just looking at them can give us a dose of that stress-relieving hormone, making us bond even more. If you question the power of oxytocin, it’s been associated with pain relief to acting as an antidepressant.
  • Make us exercise and play.
  • Pets are great listeners, and they’re a captive audience. According to the American Humane Society, almost 50% of pet owners say they they sometimes talk to their pet—and 80% of those people claims the animal responds with sounds, facial expressions, or body language.

We’d love to hear, so please tell us how you bond with your cat, dog, horse or other pet.

ABOUT PLUGGZ:

Pluggz is a footwear brand featuring proprietary grounding technology. Pluggz shoes give people a direct connection to the Earth when they walk on grass, sand, soil and even concrete. To view our complete line, please click here.

 

 

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We know, we know!  We write about sleep a lot.  That’s because it’s so important!

We all know it’s recommended that we all get between 7.0 and 8.0 hours of shut-eye at night. We all know that without adequate sleep, we’re more prone to injury, experience lack of focus and moodiness. We might even gain weight, since sleep is associated with several hormones directly related to appetite and energy.  Come on—we all do it—we’ll go for anything within easy that offers the body energy—seriously, are you really going to feel like making a healthy meal when you’re so tired?

But we also know it’s easier said than done. A lot can stand in our way—racing minds, worry, sirens, noisy neighbors—you name it.  But here are some simple things that may help you.

  • Don’t minimize the importance of a good mattress and box spring. We do spend about 1/3 of our lives in bed, so a good mattress is a vital.  So is the box spring, Even though we can’t see it, it has a big job, absorbing shocks and stress.
  • Don’t drink water right before bed, or you’ll be up all night running to the bathroom.
  • Incorporate some self care techniques, such meditation, soothing music, a relaxing hot bath; reading, doing some gentle stretching, etc.  Do NOT use the bedroom to watch television, eat or do any other non-sleep activities.
  • Invest in one of those “white noise boxes.”  They do exactly what it says—create white noise.
  • Play some soothing tapes, such as those with sounds of tweeting birds, rushing water, etc.
  • Turn off those electronics, like cell phones, beeping computers, radios, etc.
  • Write a “Nite Nite” paper–jot down every single thing that has you worried, annoyed or distracted in some way.  Then throw out the paper! The idea is you’ve just cleared your mind to make room for a peaceful sleep.

ABOUT PLUGGZ:

Pluggz is a footwear brand featuring proprietary grounding technology. Pluggz shoes give people a direct connection to the Earth when they walk on grass, sand, soil and even concrete. To view our complete line, please click here.

 

 

worry

Some stress (i.e., worry), can be a good thing, because it readies us up to flee from danger or get prepare for a big event, like an exam.

Chronic, unrelenting worry, however, causes us to become stress-cases, and that leads to sleepless nights, and sleep is directly related to 4 hormones that regulate appetite and energy. Excess worry and stress also creates too much of that fight or flight hormone, Cortisol, which creates hunger and loss of muscle tone.

So control your worry, but that easier said than done, right?  Mark Twain said: “Worry is like paying a debt you don’t owe.”

Here are some ways to control your worry.

  • Be mindful:  So often, we just go about our days, never thinking, and never really knowing why we’re so irritated.  We just know we are. When you’re mindful, it forces you to think, confront and handle. For example, you might always feel so frazzled when you get to the office, and that is a big stressor for you. You wish it would stop, but you don’t know why you feel that way—and it affects the entire day.  Thinking, you discover you’re always rushed, and you realize that waking up even 15 minutes earlier will keep you calmer and more ready to face the day.
  • Meditate:  One of the great things about meditation is that it quiets the mind so you can really focus, concentrate—and be mindful.
  • Live in the present:  Don’t let your future be dictated by your past.  Stop dwelling.  Learn and move on.  Don’t worry about the future, either, because there will probably always be unforeseen circumstances-and if you’re too busy dwelling or worrying about the future, you won’t be prepared for whatever faces you.
  • Put it in perspective:  Ask yourself–what’s the worst that will happen.
  • Exercise:  Studies show that those who have a consistent exercise practice are more focused and have better concentration.  It also improves mood, because your body is now flooded with those natural, feel-good substances called endorphins.  That leads up to an abundance of coping mechanisms.
  • Create Morning, or Night, Papers:  Write down every single thing that has you worried or stressed.  Then get rid of the paper to make room in your mind for the good stuff.  Do it either first thing in the morning, before you start your day or last thing at night.
  • Be grateful and positive:  Come on, even the worst day has at least one or two good things in it, so make it a point to jot down those down.  Stay positive and optimistic; remembering that “hope is the only thing stronger than fear.”

Pluggz is a footwear brand featuring proprietary grounding technology. Pluggz shoes give people a direct connection to the Earth when they walk on grass, sand, soil and even concrete. To view our complete line, please click here.