Moody Cow (Book Review)

Moody Cow Meditates by Kerry Lee MacLean.

This is another great children’s book that offers wise counsel to stressed-out adults. Peter Cow is having a bad day, one of the ones where everything goes wrong and you get so mad that you become your own worst enemy. Grandpa helps him calm down with a simple meditative technique. Learn how Peter learns to notice his own thoughts, rather than letting his thoughts control him. It includes instructions for how to make your own Mind Jar. I highly recommend this great book!

Click here to buy the book on Amazon!

Penguin Problems (Book Review)

Get Mindful with a Good Book!

The best of children’s literature offers deep insight. In Penguin Problems, we meet a little penguin whose life is frustrating in so many ways because he is a penguin. And it offers us a chance to think and reflect: how much of what “frustrates” us or “irritates” us in life is really just the normal details of being human? Can we shift our perspective and just enjoy the world we have?

This is a great, easy, fun read (my kids LOVE it!) with as much mindfulness wisdom as some of the best meditation texts. I recommend it as part of your meditation reflection even if you don’t have kids!

Click here to get Penguin Problems on Amazon.

Online Counseling

Mental Health care and support makes a difference in quality of life. Getting professional support early can make a different in outcomes. The new and emerging research about online mental health counseling is intriguing and shows that online counseling through text, chat, phone and video call may offer real-time support. Here is a recent article from the American Psychological Association about online therapy, if you’re interested in learning more.

I’d love to hear from those who have used online counseling – how has this helped you deal with both daily stressors and major life changes / traumas? How has online counseling supported you in both recovery and maintenance?

If you haven’t tried it and are interested in learning more, here are some of the key providers in the online mental health counseling marketplace:

Better Help: Click Here.

Talkspace: Click Here.

(Please note: These are NOT paid links, I have no affiliation or income from these companies – I am offering them merely as a resource and I would love to hear more about user-experiences with these services.)

Shift Your Mindset: Cleaning is Exercise

Much of the country is blanketed in snow. Even parts of the Southern US, unaccustomed to snow and unequipped with snow plows (cities) or snow tires (people), got more than 8 inches, covering roads and walkways. It’s hard to keep up with your fitness routines when you can’t get outside to walk or run, or drive safely to the gym.

If you feel like turning cabin fever into an early bout of spring cleaning, take heart that you may be helping your health in the process. In fact, just thinking about cleaning as exercise may yield health benefits.

In a Harvard research study conducted by Alia Crum and Ellen Langer, hotel housekeepers reported that they had low levels of physical activity. And in spite of their jobs lifting and toting as they cleaned rooms on the clock, the women had blood pressure and waistlines that reflected inactive lifestyles. In the study, half of the women attended an information session outlining how their jobs ARE physical activity. Four weeks later – the informed women “showed a decrease in weight, blood pressure, body fat, waist-to-hip ratio, and body mass index.” Just learning that the activity they were ALREADY doing as exercise – without changing their activity – helped them gain the benefits of exercise.

Your mind matters – what you think and feel can have a concrete, tangible effect on your body. So, if you’re spending snow-bound time scrubbing out cupboards and cleaning closets, remembering that all that stretching, reaching, lifting, and toting counts as exercise. You just have to know that it counts.

Read an analysis of the study from NPR by clicking here.

Read the original study by clicking here (paid subscription or institutional access to the academic journal required.)