Category Archives: Lifestyle

Focus on daily life, home, and relationship issues

Sleep: A Healing Tonic

One of the best tonics to promote healing is sleep. Yet far too often the bedroom functions as a multipurpose area where you watch TV, use the computer, pay bills, sort and fold laundry, and do numerous other sleep-interrupting tasks. Your bedroom is not merely a place where a piece of furniture called a bed resides. It is the restorative chamber where you recharge, quiet frayed nerves, regain composure, and center yourself once again.

Consider relocating the TV into the living room. Find more suitable spaces for other items not related to sleep. An assortment of covered baskets in all sizes, styles, and colors can become storage containers for many task materials. This yields a three-fold benefit: getting back a truly functional bedroom, organizing unsightly (but necessary) projects, and adding a personal flair to other rooms.

Here are some hints to help restful sleep come more easily*:

  • Keep regular hours. Try to go to bed and wake up around the same time every day, including weekends.
  • Develop a sleep ritual. If you do the same things before you go to bed each night, it will train your body to get ready for sleep.
  • Take some time to relax and unwind before you go to sleep. You may try stretching, relaxation exercises, a hot shower or bath, meditation, or a cup of herbal tea to help you relax and prepare for sleep.
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol or other stimulants in the evening.
  • If you are taking a diuretic, try taking it in the morning. Diuretics increase urination, and this may keep you up at night.

Question of the week: What have you found that helps you sleep?

*Tips on getting a good night’s sleep provided by Targeted Health Solutions, MediResource Inc.


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Filed under Lifestyle, Self-Care, Wellness, Women's health

Why don’t I see you at the pool?

Sistah SwimmingIn the quest for low-impact, high-energy exercise, I’ve rediscovered my love for swimming. I’ve been going to the community pool several times each week, swimming laps and doing water aerobics. After I’m done, I always feel peaceful and relaxed.¬†Despite the fact that I swim at Medgar Evers Pool in the heart of the Black community, it never fails that I’m the only sistah in the pool. What gives?

Is it a hair thing? Is getting your hair wet holding you back? Swimming is a cheap aerobic exercise that’s easy on the joints, and a powerful stress-reducer. And even if you can’t swim, there are water aerobic classes that you can do in just waist-deep water. Come on in, my sistah. The water is fine! Talk with your hairdresser. There are some water-friendly styles and products for our hair that can make managing wet tresses much easier. And if you’re a do-it-yourself hairstylist, there are clarifying shampoos and conditioners now available for you to choose from.

Maybe you’re self-conscious in a swim suit. Okay, I get it. But no matter what your size, there are figure-flattering swim suits to be had. Investing is a pareo–a sarong-sized body scarf–and a colorful beach towel can do wonders cameflauging any body imperfections.

Or maybe you¬†think swimming is just something black folks don’t do. Hey ladies, yes we do! Try it! Many local community centers and the YWCA have pools that are under-utilized. Use them! Your body, mind, and spirit will be happy that you did!

Question: What keeps you from heading to the pool?

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Filed under Exercise, Lifestyle