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Get Yourself Outside!

 

July is a great time to get outside! Long Island has a host of outdoor amenities at our fingertips; we would be doing ourselves a disservice not to explore them.

 

Have you seen our newsletter? We gave away a bike bingo template. Cut your items off the bottom, arrange your board and take a tour around the neighborhood.

 

There are great kayaking and paddle boarding rental locations in the area. Our favorite is down by Browns River Road. Visit Captain Kayak right in Sayville and take a water tour of the bay or inlet areas. http://www.captainkayak.com/

 

Want to stay in the yard? Fill up water guns from the dollar store with watercolors and spray at a canvas across the yard. If you do this, we’d love to see your art!

 

Another great dollar store find is the variety of glow sticks! Pick up a few pack of necklace size glow sticks and 6 short sticks in 2 different colors to play glow stick tic-tac-toe!

 

As always, use caution when you’re outside with proper sunscreen and insect repellant. Visit our Facebook page for links on non-toxic solutions.

Father's Day Ideas

Fathers day is June 17th, and we have a great list of family friendly activities to celebrate the father figures in your life.

Try out mini golfing! Sayville falls is open and they have fun course for the whole family! They often have deals on their website, so check them out here: https://sayvillefallsminigolf.com/

Check out Bowlero! The recently renovated Sayville lanes has a lot to offer, including specials on Sunday games! Bowl with the whole family! View their deals here: https://www.bowlero.com/location/bowlero-sayville/specials

Bike bingo! Make your own cards and use a hole punch and rubber band to secure it to your bicycles. Take a trip around the neighborhood and cross off what you see at each stop.

Attend a Home Depot workshop! The Patchogue location has a bunch of DIY workshops, even one for making a workbench! Register here for a bunch of creative projects: https://www.homedepot.com/workshops/#store/1258

Go natural! Is the dad in your life trying to get healthy? Stop by the center and pick up a gift card and start him on the path to wellness! With a variety of services for every need, we have something for everyone. www.southbaywellness.com

Happy Father’s Day!

10 Natural Gift Ideas for the Eco-Conscious Mom

 

Earthy mamas deserve all the love. They take such good care of their little ones, all while ensuring that the family is not exposed to harmful chemicals or being needlessly wasteful or hard on the environment. How do you show your gratitude for mom’s serious selflessness? By surprising her with natural goodies, of course! Here’s a list of awesome eco-friendly gift ideas for mom and her little bundles, just in time for Mother’s Day!

Sweet, Sustainable Surprises for Mom

No matter if she’s wrangling toddlers or sending care packages to the dorms, mom always knows how to make you feel good! Spoil her right back with these sweet, eco-friendly gifts that elicit extreme calm. The key to a good gift for mom is to focus on things that make her feel great. Whether she’s a working warrior or a stay-at-home superhero, she deserves every little bit of indulgence and relaxation!

  1. Earthy Bamboo Dishware—A good chunk of the best sustainable goods are made of bamboo, which isn’t surprising because it’s the fastest-growing plant on the planet. One great way to up mom’s eco game is to surprise her with bamboo dinnerware and serving staples—we’re crazy about the lovely, non-toxic styles from Bambu. If she loves a good picnic, she’ll also love the sustainable twist of disposable bamboo plates and flatware.
  1. Soothing Essential Oils—Did you know that essential oils can do more than just calm us down when we’re feeling stressed out? They can also soothe achy muscles and deliver potent antiaging ingredients that make us look and feel younger. If the goal is to help her unwind and de-stress after a long day, you can’t go wrong with organic lavender, chamomile or pretty much any bright, floral essential oil.
     
  2. Yoga Pants Made from Coffee Grounds—These days, it seems like you can reuse almost anything and turn it into something else entirely. Case in point: The brand-new yogawear line Rumi X offers a great collection of trendy, flattering activewear staples made from coffee grounds and crab shells! Mom will be so pleased with these the next time she hits the mat!
     
  3. A Stylish Zero-Waste Purse—You’ve gotta think of the earth in terms of your accessories, too. The devil’s in the details, they say. We love this super-sustainable Cambodian clutch made from zero-waste fabric scraps and vegan leather, and we’re pretty sure any fashionable, sustainable mom will, too. It doesn’t hurt that this sweet little satchel is also really cute!
  1. Dreamy Organic Bath Bombs—Like Sylvia Plath once said, “There must be quite a few things a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them.” Give mom a break from the stress and craziness of life with some sustainable bath bombs that are simultaneously super-indulgent and totally guilt-free. We’re on the Lush bandwagon—all their bath time treats are made of fresh, organic fruits and pure essential oils.
  1. Super-Soft, Sustainable Slippers— Noticing a theme here? Eco-conscious moms need to relax and there’s no better way to spoil her than with calming, lounge-worthy staples. There are a number of different sustainable slipper brands out there, but we’re particularly fond of Acorn, which creates heavenly-soft slippers using eco-friendly cotton and recycled materials. No needless waste here!

Bonus: Eco-Friendly Gifts for Kids

When is mom happy? When her kids are happy. Perfect for newbies, these eco-friendly kids’ toys and gifts make super-thoughtful baby shower gifts for earthy mamas. They can also be used as unique kids’ gifts if you’ve got a budding conservationist on your list!

  1. Cozy Organic Cotton Plushes—It’ll make any earthy mom feel at ease when her little one is cuddling a stuffed animal made of super-soft organic cotton or cozy bamboo yarn. We love the adorable and beautifully crafted eco-friendly stuffed animals made by Our Green House—they’re cute, cuddly and gentle on the earth.
  1. Kid-Friendly Essential Oils—Mom has a whole bag full of soothers, pain removers and germ-zappers, and if she’s anything like us, she’s probably obsessed with what’s in all of those little bottles. She’ll love a set of kid-friendly essential oils that calm kids, kill germs, stop sniffles and more the natural way. These babies are truly a savvy mom’s secret weapon!
  1. Eco-Friendly Crayons—What makes a crayon eco-friendly? Typical crayons are made of paraffin wax, which is derived from petroleum. Unfortunately, this material takes years, even decades, to erode in a landfill, so you might want to consider some eco versions when shopping for conscious moms and kids. Look for crayons made of beeswax or soy—two biodegradable, renewable resources that are much more sustainable than paraffin wax.

 

  1. Classic Toys Made of Milk Jugs—Of course, many of our little ones’ favorite toys are made of plastic, which isn’t exactly the best for the environment. But there are several disruptive toy makers out there crafting recycled playthings that kids and parents adore. We love the collection by Green Toys, featuring 100 percent recycled plastic toys that are made in the U.S. Total win-win for mom and munchkin!

 

Cheers to Green Moms!

Whether you’re looking for truly thoughtful eco-friendly gifts for Mother’s Day or a special surprise just because, you can be sure she’ll love any of these sweet, sustainable surprises. Remember to add some fresh flowers (organic, of course!) and a recycled greeting card to tie your theme together. We’re sure that any green mom or mom-to-be will positively adore these unique, eco-conscious goods.

In Celebration of Mom's Everywhere

Motherhood is not easy and as soon as you have a handle on what to do with one child, the next requires something totally different! Maybe your journey to motherhood was unexpected or had hurdles you hadn’t considered. Regardless of how you got here, we are happy to celebrate you, mom!

Here are some amazing ways to pat yourself on the back today:

1 Go Grocery Shopping Alone.

We all know the speed at which we grocery shop when we know the kids are at home waiting for us. Imagine the serenity of shopping at your leisure! Stroll the aisles at a snail’s pace instead!

2 Spend More Than 5 Minutes In The Shower

Lock the door too! Indulge your senses and bring some aromatics into the bathroom during your retreat. Bonus points if you warm the towel in the dryer before you hop in.

3 Take A Drive and Listen To The Music You Like

Remember how you used to jam out in the car before kids? Crank that uncensored music, the kind your kid would be mortified to know you listen to. Take a drive without a destination and turn up your playlist.

4 Learn Some Meditation Techniques

By now you must have heard about the benefits of meditation and mindfulness techniques. Let your mind and body find peace and relaxation with these simple yet effective tools.

5 Read That Book You’ve Been Putting Off

Even if you didn’t think to order one ahead of time, visit the library and browse a bit! Literature is an incredible release for your mind. Spend some time snuggled up with a page turner.

6 Indulge In Your Guilty Pleasure

Whether it’s celebrity news or eating all the marshmallows out of the box of Lucky Charms, let go of the restrictions you normally place on yourself and indulge a bit! Giving in to your guilty pleasure every now and again is a great way to treat yourself.

Daylight Savings Might Be Bad For Your Health

We’re losing an hour soon for spring, even though Mother Nature seems to be set on frigid weather. Does that hour mean bad things for your health? Sleep deprivation can result in systemic dysfunction, including decreased mental and physical performance, increased anxiety, and all the symptoms associated with it.

 

We gathered a few resources to help you beat the clock.

 

  1. Avoid caffeine or products that boost energy levels, like nut products and vegetables high in B vitamins.

  2. Reduce exposure to electronics. There is plenty of research available showing the harmful effects of blue light from electronics.

  3. Wind down with yoga. Start your routine a little earlier and add gentle yoga stretches to help guide you to sleeping well. Try the locust pose, head of the knee pose, or bridge pose.

  4. Mindfulness techniques. We’re always fans of mindfulness. Find tips here: http://bit.ly/2zSpOsI

  5. Neurofeedback. Yes! Find prolonged relief to sleep deprivation or insomnia through neurofeedback. Find more information here: http://bit.ly/2y3jgp7

Beat Stress!

​​​​​​​February is heart health month and we would be remiss if we didn’t take this opportunity to talk specifically about women’s heart health, considering February 12th was the International Day of Women’s Health, and March 8th is International Women’s Day.

So what, specifically, makes the difference in women’s heart health, versus men? According to the APA, approximately 50% of women experienced an increase in their stress levels in the last 5 years. We know diet, exercise and genetics play a tremendous role in heart disease, but don’t underrate stress as a contributing factor. Stress increases your blood pressure, can result in binge eating, and reduced energy.

Here are 6 great ways to beat stress in your life, and maximize your heart health in a completely non-invasive way:

  1. Take time for yourself. This could mean something as simple as an extra long shower, a few minutes alone in the car before you head into chaos, or tuning out the world with a pair of headphones and a soothing playlist.
  2. Ask for help. Oftentimes we try to take on too much to avoid inconveniencing anyone else. It takes a village!
  3. Be realistic. Maybe you’ve heard the saying “if you want it done right, do it yourself”. But maybe just getting it done is good enough. So the clothes may not be folded the way you like, but at least it’s done and out of the way. The dishwasher may not be loaded for optimal cleaning, but there are dirty dishes in there;  set it and forget it.
  4. Mindfulness techniques. We literally can not say enough about the incredible benefits of this simple activity. If you need help getting started, here is a great resource: http://bit.ly/2zSpOsI
  5. Exercise. I know, I know. But trust me. It is scientifically proven that exercise does wonders for your stress levels. You don’t have to go to extremes! Stretching counts too!
  6. Neurofeedback. If you’re looking for a long-term stress solution we have the answer! Neurofeedback results can last for as long as 40 years after treatment! Find out more here: http://bit.ly/2y3jgp7

Musical Instruments as an Oulet

We know how powerful music can be in growth and development, and even as a therapy tool. We use The Listening Program to help train the brain to perform in a desired way during specific environments. Perhaps learning to play a musical instrument will benefit you as creative outlet and therapeutic tool.

If you’re interested in pursuing this creative outlet, we have a great list of resources for you.

This site will help you find online resources for all levels and various instruments: http://bit.ly/2Dxq3dW

You can take this quiz to find out which instrument might be the best fit for you, but don’t be afraid to step outside whatever your answer is. You never know until you try: http://bit.ly/2FXrvnW

If you’re worried about performance anxiety, this link is for you! The Bulletproof Musician has 7 steps to overcome music anxiety. Spoiler alert, it is a lot of mindfulness techniques. http://bit.ly/2DsFo08

January is the International Month of Creativity, why not cross an item off your list and learn something new that will double as a creative outlet.

To learn more about how The Listening Program has helped many work through symptoms that had previously kept them from living their most successful lives, click here.

January is Creativity Month!

January is the International Month of Creativity! Using a creative outlet is a natural way to de-stress. Finding an outlet, is the tricky part. How do you know what you’re good at? Do you have to be good to pursue a creative dream? The answer is: follow your own lead. Chances are you already have a decent idea on what you might be interested in. Look around your home, your desk, your wardrobe. Here are 6 tips on finding your creative outlet:

 

  1. Start small- Don’t jump in with both feet right away. Introduce yourself slowly to the method.

  2. Find a group- What better way to explore your topic than to find like-minded individuals. This can be online or in person.

  3. Watch videos- Youtube is a tremendous resource. Don’t get sucked down the data rabbit hole; stay focused.

  4. Remember everyone starts somewhere- Professionals didn’t happen overnight. Have patience.

  5. Explore similar topics- Maybe painting isn’t for you, but a similar idea is pencil work. Explore similar concepts to find the one that fits just right.

  6. There is no such thing as perfection- What feels right to you may not for someone else. That’s the best part about creativity; it is yours. You don’t need the validation of others for it to feel good to you.

9 Family Fun Activities

Although fairer weather may seem like the easier choice for activities to connect with your family, the winter has a lot to offer too. If you can’t get outdoors, we have a great list of family friendly activities for you, to help you and your family connect during these shorter and darker days.

  1. Paint a the snow with water guns that have dyed water.

  2. Cut out paper snowflakes- you can even use tissue paper!

  3. Clear away snow from small areas in the grass and make a twister game or hopscotch in the snow.

  4. Sew or glue the opening of old clothes and stuff with either more clothes that don’t fit, or stuffing materials, and make a snuggle buddy

  5. Blanket forts!

  6. Bingo- Make bingo cards with things of certain shapes or colors inside the house.

  7. Turn off the lights, close the blinds, make popcorn and watch a movie in the living room.

  8. Bundle up and go for a walk. The sun goes down early, it’s like a whole new neighborhood after dark.

  9. Pull out all your leftover craft supplies and make something unique. Bonus points if it is holiday based.

Surviving the Holidays for Parents

For expectant and new parents, the holidays can take on a new meaning. Watching the joy your children experience is fantastic, but it can also come with some added stress. Below are a few tips to help you keep the HAPPY in your Holidays:

  • Take a look at your expectations. If you are hoping for the holiday season to go perfectly, you might be setting yourself up for disappointment. Instead, aim for success on a smaller scale.
  • Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Children are notoriously cranky on big holidays and can become overwhelmed. This often sets parents up for disappointment. Try spreading out your holiday festivities over the whole season – this will give you and your family a chance to enjoy time together and create memories outside of the pressures of the actual holiday.
  • Create new family traditions. This is your chance to develop holiday traditions that feel right for your family and are based on what you and your children can handle.
  • Be as kind to yourself as you are to others. Take extra special care of yourself. This means asking for help when needed, indulging in some alone time, and sticking with things that recharge YOUR battery rather than casting them to the side during the holiday season.
  • Change the boundaries if they are not working. Schlepping your family all over town on the holidays just might not work for you anymore. Try to make decisions that are best for you and your immediate family. Pick and choose what obligations are the most important and which can be let go of. Just remember as you change your boundaries family and friends may be resistant.
  • Consider Professional Support

If you feel like you are depressed, anxious, or just not as happy as you would like, consider trying counseling. If needed, getting support for yourself is the best gift you can give to your family. South Bay Wellness is here for you as a service provider or a referral source.

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