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12/Aug/2019

You can hear the morning bell ringing in your head. September is getting closer each day, and your stress is starting to build. If only there was a way to maintain your vacation zen all year round. Staying stress-free in September is a mighty goal, but is it possible? The resounding answer is yes, if you start working on your wellness now. Everything from your diet to your sleeping habits can affect your ability to show up energized and focused. Luckily, you can find a naturopath in Caledon at Wildflower Health & Wellness to make it easy for you. Learn how to boost and maintain your wellness so you can have a stress-free September; here is the ultimate wellness checklist for teachers.

 1. Plan Your Physical Activity

Getting active in the summer is much easier than during the school year. You have the time and flexibility to work out at different times of day in different locations. One day you’re jogging at the cottage, the next is late-morning yoga. Staying active is crucial for your energy levels. If you want to feel energized and alert in class, maintain a physical activity routine. 

While it’s still summer, start experimenting with different types of workouts. You could try kickboxing, swimming, weight-lifting or even tai chi. The only thing you need to make sure of is that each option has is a time slot that works with your school schedule. Will you be waking up extra early to work out or going straight from school? Find a workout facility that’s near your home or near the school you work at. Ensure they have classes at the times that suit you or an open gym all day. 

 2. Improve Your Sleeping Habits

Inadequate sleep is one of the top reasons you might lack energy during the day. In the summer it’s not a big deal, especially when you can sleep in and go to bed as late as you like. Come September, that switch could be intense. It’s best to start working on your sleeping patterns now so you’re prepared for the first day of school.

Address whatever’s preventing you from getting a good night sleep. Is it your stress and anxiety? Are you restless and uncomfortable? Do you fall asleep easily but have trouble getting into a deep sleep? These are all common sleep concerns facing teachers. Slowly get back into the schedule of going to bed on time and waking up when you need to for school. Then, learn how to handle the causes of your restlessness. For many teachers, lifestyle counselling is an effective way to figure out the underlying cause of their sleepless nights and learn how to fix it. Consult a naturopath in Caledon for lifestyle counselling and solutions to your sleeping troubles.   

 3. Address Your Low Energy

Sometimes it’s not just your lack of sleep causing you to have low energy. It could be a myriad of things relating to your health. If you want to be on your toes and keeping up with your students, consider getting the following tested: reproductive hormones, food sensitivity, and your digestive function panel. 

When your reproductive hormones aren’t balanced your metabolism is affected. For women, this can cause severely heavy periods which cause low energy and fatigue. In either sex, there could be an imbalance in your thyroid hormones which causes fatigue as well. 

Food sensitivity testing can show you which foods you have intolerances to. When your body consumes certain foods, it could become fatigued as a result of your sensitivity.  

If you’re experiencing signs of malabsorption, you should have your digestive panel assessed. Fatigue and low energy are sometimes the results of essential nutrients from your food not getting absorbed. Consult your naturopath in Caledon to know which of these tests is best suited to your unique circumstance.   

 4. Start Meal Planning & Prepping

The last thing you want to worry about during the school week is what you’ll be having for dinner. Take that burden off your plate by meal planning and prepping. It’s crucial that you get a balanced and nutritious diet as a teacher. Relying on fast food and processed foods will result in energy crashes and serious tiredness. 

On the weekend, research meals that are both delicious and nutritious. Do your grocery shopping and prepare your meals for the week. That could mean cooking a big pot of stew for your lunches or pre-cutting vegetables for your mid-morning snacks. The idea is to get as much of the legwork done on the weekend so your school nights are less hectic. Plus, if you have a plan for each dinner of the week, you’ll be less tempted to get fast food or a different unhealthy option.    

5. Decrease Your Stress

There are tons of ways to decrease your stress as a teacher. The top way is staying organized and prepared for the days ahead of you. When you fall behind, your stress levels go through the roof. Many teachers find calendar blocking helpful when trying to get everything done. Assign each hour on your calendar to a task, some of which are for preparation and organization.

Make sure you also assign time for your health and wellness. If you don’t make yourself a priority, the students will sense it; they’ll spot your tiredness and stress. Be the best teacher you can be for them and for yourself. That could mean getting weekly acupuncture sessions or B12 injections. Take time to do things you enjoy outside of teaching, like singing karaoke or walking your dog. The key is to schedule those things in like you do your work tasks so that you’re more likely to do them. 

teacher stressing about school

Are You Ready to Start Checking Off Those Wellness Boxes? 

Don’t let the end-of-summer blues get you down. You can have an amazing school year if you prioritize your health and wellness. Staying energized and focused during the school year is a challenge for all teachers, but it doesn’t have to be. Start working through the ultimate wellness checklist for teachers above. Then, consult a professional and experienced naturopath in Caledon to make the most of each step.

Wildflower Health & Wellness is the top naturopathic clinic in Caledon, Bolton, Tottenham and Kleinburg. Our talented practitioners specialize in helping teachers get prepped for the stressful school year ahead. To learn about our services, send us a message or give us a call at (905) 951-7134.


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11/Dec/2018

Merry Stress Management

We’ve all been there. You’re standing in line at a crowded shopping mall, there aren’t enough cashiers, and the line is moving unbelievably slow. It took more than 15 minutes to find a parking spot and now you’re running late but it’s okay because the sound system is blaring Mariah Carey’s “All I want for Christmas is you,” right?

For many, the winter holidays mark a festive but also difficult time. It seems like everything demands our attention. Work deadlines to end off the year, pressure to buy well-received gifts, financial stress, unwanted conversations with family and not to mention the regular regimen of eating healthy and exercising. It’s a unique time because after the holiday season, this stress will go away. It’s the same stress that is also a predictable stress that we have the power to manage. In a survey conducted by Healthline in 2015, 62% of people surveyed reported elevated stress levels during the holidays, while 10% reported no stress whatsoever. Great for that 10%, but what can the majority do to thrive this holiday season?

…62% of people surveyed reported elevated stress levels during the holidays…

1. Making a list, checking it twice

Whether you are naughty or nice, make a list of what needs to be done. By writing it down you effectively declutter your mind and ensures that you don’t forget key tasks. Having your to-do list swirl around in your head will inevitably ensure that random tasks will pop up at the wrong time when you are already doing a million things or when you’re trying to catch some z’s. While pen and paper works the best, you can also use a notes app on your smartphone.

it’s perfectly okay to not be in the Christmas spirit.

2. Channel kind Grinch vibes

The Grinch vibe is to say no. Despite what you are told, it’s perfectly okay to not be in the Christmas spirit. In plain terms, you can say no to obligations/responsibilities. Yes, it is possible to say no from a kind place, unlike the Grinch. Adding obligations to your plate might seems like a good idea to channel the holiday/Christmas spirit, however the spirit should not be draining you or stop you from doing the things that you truly enjoy. This time more than any other time you should protect your valuable time and energy.

Ways to say no:

  • “Thank you for thinking of me. I have this project that I am working on right now.”
  • “I am fully committed to doing this task before I can take on anything else.”
  • “Thank you for inviting me, unfortunately I can’t make it out to the Christmas party this year.”

3. Family time

If it’s uncomfortable to be around family because you may be avoiding some members and/or conversations, then keep in mind that the holidays are a time for families to get together and enjoy each other’s company. Stick to activities that you can jointly enjoy and/or areas of conversation that are of interest to both parties. Be mindful of your words and avoid combative language. Keep in mind that you can have a conversation someone without having the same perspective. Accept that you may not change the other person’s mind which will ease the tension in conversation. When all else fails, you can end a conversation before you see it turning hostile and change the topic to something you do agree upon.

For some people the holidays mark a sad time when there may be missing family members who have passed away. During this time, gift yourself some TLC without isolating yourself. While you don’t have to force yourself to be happy, you can take a walk, get some air, acknowledge your grief and talk to a trusted friend or family member.

4. Deck the halls with self care

Because the holiday season requires us to take on more responsibility than usual, our brain goes into overdrive. It may be acceptable for us to let go of personal health habits to complete other activities (ex: skipping exercise because of late working hours). Your daily routine is how you take care of your mind and body. It may include things such as physical activity, a cup of tea, journaling, getting to bed at a decent hour. Does it make sense to let go of your routine during the most stressful time of year? During the holidays you can keep your mental and physical stability by continuing your self care routine. Things may shift around a bit and you may skip some days but don’t toss your routine out of the window completely.

5. Presents under the tree

Are you also a well-deserving? YES! Be kind to yourself and give yourself a gift every day!

Self care gift ideas:
  • Take some time off of work to do something you enjoy
  • Sleep in for one day
  • Learn something new (ex: new recipe, new way to wrap presents, etc.)
  • Reminisce about good memories from the past year
  • Reflect on the passing year and make some goals for next year
  • Laugh! Watch a comedy show
  • Take advantage of your health benefits before the year ends

Stress around the holidays can come out in different ways. For some it can be difficulty concentrating, difficulty making decisions, feeling angry, irritable or out of control, experiencing headaches, poor energy, or body aches and pains. Pay attention to your stress signals and take care of yourself.

Happy Holidays!





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05/Dec/2018

Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy Postpartum

Ever wonder why pelvic floor physiotherapy has stirred up some great conversation topics amongst friends and family with little ones? After giving birth, a woman’s body, in particular her pelvic floor, has gone through an array of changes. Whether you’ve had a vaginal or cesarean birth, the pelvic floor and other soft tissue structures surrounding have been affected. Other determinants that can affect your pelvic floor structures include the size of your baby, the duration of labour, the delivery method used, and the number or pregnancies you’ve had.

Take a look at the statements below, do any of these sound familiar?

“I am peeing my pants when I laugh, cough, sneeze or jump!”

“I am noticing doming of my belly when lifting my child or rolling out of bed”

“I had a c-section and I can’t stand looking at my scar, it also hurts to touch.”

“It hurts to have intercourse.”

“I’m nervous to have intercourse again, I don’t know what it’s like down there after the baby.”

“I feel like there’s a golf ball pushing out of my vagina.”

“I want to get back into the gym, but not sure what exercises to do and not do at this point.”

If any of these statements or thoughts have crossed your mind since having your baby, a visit to see the pelvic floor physiotherapist is a MUST!

Checklist

Here is a simple checklist that you can also use to see whether or not you should pick up the phone and make an appointment with your physiotherapist:

Ο   6 weeks after having a vaginal birth

Ο   8 weeks after having a cesarean section

Ο   Diagnosed with Diastasis Recti or “Mummy Tummy”

Ο   Experiencing urinary or fecal incontinence

Ο   Diagnosed with a POP (pelvic organ prolapse)

Ο   Pelvic pain with or without intercourse

Ο   Getting back to the gym, running, etc.

Ο   Lower back pain, hip pain, shoulder pain

Ο   Episiotomy performed during delivery

Ο   Any grade 1-4 tearing during labour and delivery

If, after having your six-week follow up with your doctor, OBGYN, and/or midwife, any of the above have been mentioned, seeing a pelvic floor physiotherapist can impact the healing and function of your pelvic structures after having your baby. The results of regular physiotherapy treatment for a minimum of an 8-week period have demonstrated positive tissue healing and a strong, functional pelvic floor regardless of complications with birth.

– Nabila Jutha, PT





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19/Nov/2018

When working with women at Wildflower Health and Wellness, many women, young and mature, inevitably ask about at the naturopathic perspective on what a healthy pregnancy looks like. Long before the sperm meets the egg, the underlying health of the woman’s body (and the man’s) determines the health of the pregnancy. Realistically, it’s never too early to start planning for pregnancy, as a healthy pregnancy relies on the optimal health of moms- and dads-to-be. It is also something to consider as half of all pregnancies are not planned and baseline health becomes quite important.

An astounding fact that women don’t realize is that once they are pregnant, they are not only carrying their son/daughter but they are also carrying their potential grandchild.

Every baby girl is born with the eggs for their lifetime.

Imagine the impact of your health choices as you are pregnant on what we call generational health.

A healthy pregnancy aims to prevent childhood illnesses such as asthma, allergies, eczema, and autoimmune disease by improving the health of mothers-to-be.

Laboratory Testing

At the very least the following should be tested:

  • Vitamin D – mother’s levels have been correlated with outcomes of many chronic diseases
  • Complete blood count – looks at the health of your red and white blood cells
  • HbA1c – looks at the your blood sugar levels over the past 3 months
  • Ferritin – looks at your iron storage reserves
  • Vitamin B12

These markers should be tested by either your medical doctor or naturopathic doctor. Obviously there are many other tests that are important, such as STI testing, Hepatitis B and C, etc. Not surprisingly, these are typical blood tests that are run at the doctor’s office when going for an annual check-up.

Absolutely Essential Nutrients

For a healthy pregnancy these are the essential nutrients to consider:

  • Iron
  • Methylfolate (bioactive folate)
  • Methylcobalamin (bioactive vitamin B12)

It is also important that it have as many active forms of the nutrients as possible to give your body the best chance to absorb the vital nutrients.  

These nutrients protect the baby from neural tube defects, miscarriages, and ensures proper growth and development. They are also commonly found in good quantities in prenatal formulas..

Other Very Important Nutrients

From a naturopathic perspective, there some additional nutrients that is of great importance when it comes to maintaining a healthy pregnancy. Those being vitamin D, Omega-3 fats, probiotics and magnesium. The Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) longer covers vitamin D testing for the average person. Research by Health Canada suggests that there is a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in Canadians and that supplementation does improve levels. Health Canada has also fortified some of our foods such as milk and dairy products with vitamin D, however,  many women experience the ill-effects of dairy consumption either digestively or hormonally.

Omega-3 fats are another essential nutrient that is needed in preparation of pregnancy. Most people are not eating fatty fish three times weekly, and as such, supplementation becomes important. For vegetarians or vegans, there are good quality, plant-based Omega-3s available.

With the declining quality of our agricultural soil, our foods do not contain magnesium as they once did. As a result, even with eating a healthy diet it is common for the average Canadian to be magnesium deficient.

Probiotics have a growing role in our health as more and more studies come out. They are important when preventing childhood illnesses of asthma, allergies, eczema and autoimmune disease.

The reason I consider these additional nutrients is because it can be difficult to get an adequate amount from diet. Nonetheless, a balanced diet plays a large role in determining the health of mom and baby.

In the case of male infertility, the most important nutrients to consider are a group of nutrients called antioxidants. Nutritional antioxidants are zinc, CoQ10, lycopene (a form of vitamin A) and selenium.

Weight Management and Why it’s Important

It’s surprising the amount of women that say, “I’m going to become fat during the pregnancy anyway.” As mentioned previously, the health of the mother-to-be is very important in determining the health of the baby. Women who carry excess weight are more likely to develop gestational diabetes and have C-sections themselves. Their babies are also at a greater risk of conditions such as eczema, allergies, asthma and obesity.

Maintaining regular physical exercise prior to pregnancy and during the pregnancy can support a healthy metabolism, pelvic floor, blood flow and energy/mood.  

Recent studies have also shown that exercise and regular activity during pregnancy reduces complications at birth.

Overall, maintaining a healthy and balanced diet while supplementing with additional nutrients for baby is optimal in a healthy pregnancy. Don’t stray away from being active, either!

Please see your local ND for further support.





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