February: Plant the Seeds of Greatness

January always seem to be the month of new beginnings, making goals, and looking ahead to creating better and healthier habits.   The changes start internally, but hopefully have a lasting effect on our well beings and that of our family, friends, and world around us.   Not surprisingly, by February many of us have moved back into our normal routines and our goals have gone by the wayside.   Or perhaps we were so overwhelmed from the holidays, we never had a chance to focus on ourselves, but were simply in recovery mode.   So I was surprised to find that February is known as the “Plant the Seeds of Greatness Month” and I’m excited I am given another chance to look at the future and perhaps plant my seeds this month.

 

“Awake, arise, and assert yourself, you dreamers of the world. Your star is now in ascendancy.”
― Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich: The Landmark Bestseller Now Revised and Updated for the 21st Century

At New Jammies our motto is Eat Right, Play Right, Sleep Tight.   These are three areas of our lives that are essential to good health and overall well being.    I’d like to take a look at a few steps we could take to improve these areas and help plant your seeds of greatness.

Eat Right

  1. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store.  Our basket should be filled with less packaged/processed goods and more whole grains, fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy, meats, and fish.
  2. Add a new organic or local product to your list.   It can be hard to buy all organic and/or all local due to numerous factors including availability and budget.  Pick one of your regularly purchased items and commit to making sure it is organic, GMO free, or locally produced in a sustainable manner.
  3. Eat your veggies.   Try a new vegetarian or vegan recipe to add to your rotation of regular meals.  There are so many resources now for inspiring vegetarian meals, the world is your oyster. (mushroom, that is..)

Play Right

  1.  Keep it fresh. Get out and try a new activity you’ve never done before.   It seems like there are never ending new options for exercise these days.   Maybe if your a road runner, hit the trail.   You’re a downhill skier: skin uphill.   You’re a yogi, try pilates.    You’re a mountain biker: try road biking.   You love the gym: try a new class, an outdoor group sport (frisbee), golf, or a hike in the woods.   You’ll work your mind and your muscles in a different way and probably feel like a kid again.
  2.  Get outside.   The days are getting longer.   Take your routine outside, even if it means bundling up.
  3.  Just do it. Period!  As parents we often put our children, partners, work, and just sustaining our day to day life before taking time for ourselves.   Commit to one, two, or more days a week to just do an activity for yourselves.   This might mean getting up earlier or asking a spouse, friend, or relative for help, but a healthy body is a healthy mind for us to be the best we can be.

Sleep Tight

  1.  Value Sleep.   This is the time our body and mind needs to heal and be re-energized for a new day.  ” Research shows that poor sleep has immediate negative effects on your hormones, exercise performance and brain function.” (Healthline-17 Tips to Better Sleep)    Don’t take it for granted and set yourself up for the best sleep possible with a few tips highlighted here.

A. Reduce screen time before bed.

B. Don’t drink caffeine late in the day

C. Think before you drink that relaxing glass of vino or beer.

D. Don’t eat right before bedtime.

I’m sure a lot of these ideas are not completely new to you, but repetition creates good or bad habits.  Sometimes we need a reminder of the good to stay on the right track.    As a parent I constantly think, “Am I doing the right thing for my children” but sometimes we have to step back and do the right thing for ourselves.  If we plant the seeds of greatness for our future, I am certain our children, family, and community will feel the long term effects of our flourishing garden.

 

 

Sleep Tight: Meditation for a Better Sleep

New JammiesAt New Jammies, we all know how important sleep is for a healthy lifestyle. Without it, sleep can be a detriment to how we function at home, work, and school. With it, sleep can improve our moods, stress levels, and productivity.

In short, bring on the sleep.

Sleep isn’t always easy for parents, and especially kids, to achieve at bedtime, though. For some, a good night’s sleep takes work. A diet rich with Vitamin B6, calcium, potassium and less caffeine can help. Meditation and relaxation exercises also aid in achieving healthy sleep.

“One of the most powerful techniques for quieting the mind is meditation, which allows you to go beyond the mind’s noisy internal dialog into a space of silence and stillness,” says Deepak Chopra, M.D., on his Chopra Centered Lifestyle website www.chopra.com.

The Chopra Center suggests committing to a consistent sleep ritual by creating a soothing evening routine. Take a light walk shortly after dinnertime and minimize intense mental activity in the evening. Prepare for bed about an hour before sleep by running a hot bath and performing a slow, oil massage on your body.

“Put a few drops of lavender oil in the bath water and play some soothing music. Have the intention to allow the stress of the day to leave your body,” Chopra says. “Once you’ve completed your bath, try drinking a warm herbal tea or heated milk with a pinch of nutmeg.”

The Chopra Centered Lifestyle says the ideal bedtime is 10 p.m. Once in bed, try and avoid watching television or reading mentally stimulating material and spiritual or inspirational literature to help shift your awareness away from the usual demands of your life to a more expanded perspective.

“Avoid work on your taxes, balance your checkbook, or watch a violent thriller on television right before bedtime – all of these activities can over stimulate the Vata dosha and make it hard to fall asleep. Turn off the lights, close your eyes and just lie comfortably on your back observing your breath. Allow your attention to float through your body. If you notice areas of tension, consciously release the pressure,” Chopra says.

See more at: http://www.chopra.com/ccl/5-tips-to-end-insomnia-and-get-restful-sleep#sthash.cdkF6kwd.dpuf

Sleep Meditations for KidsKids can also benefit from sleep mediation, especially in today’s age of apps available to help soothe them to sleep. The free Sleep Meditations for Kids Android app on Google Play, created by leading yoga teacher and Montessori teacher Christiane Kerr for children of all ages, helps guides kids to the creative part of their minds through a number of carefully scripted story meditations.

“Each meditation story has an underlay of subtle sound effects and gentle music which combined with Christiane’s calming voice make them irresistible and a deeply relaxing. This recording will help children to relax and will enhance feelings of contentment. It can be used for a general relaxation, or as a teaching resource and is suitable for children up to the age of 12,” says the app’s description.

The app features a deeply relaxing 13-minute audio track and Kerr’s calm, reassuring voice that guides children, as well as adults, into a completely relaxed state of mind and body. She founded Calm For Kids children’s yoga and mindfulness training in 1999. She has has been practicing and teaching yoga for over 15 years in the UK and offers training, CDs and free mp3s on her website at calmforkids.com.

The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall AsleepIn August, fortune.com featured a children’s sleep aid in the form of a book by Swedish author and psychologist Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin that’s on the top Amazon’s best-selling book. The article says “The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep” is like hypnosis for children, and “will put your kid to sleep in minutes.” In the kid’s book, Roger the Rabbit and friends Sleep Snail and Uncle Yawn try to help him find sleep.

“This is a new safe and innovative way to help your child fall asleep and is recommended by psychologists and therapists,” says the review on Amazon. “‘The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep’ will help you accomplish the task of getting your child to have its beauty sleep and sleep well all night.”

The book is available in five formats: Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle, Audible or Audio CD.

New Jammies sleep fashions for fall help kids rest easy

Space Cadets

This fall, New Jammies is helping kids relax right and sleep tight at bedtime with comfortable, all-organic new designs that reflect the changing season.

Fashionable fall collections for girls and boys include Unicorns, Bicycles, Ballerinas, Elephants, Trains, Monster Trucks, Space Cadets, Moose Tracks, Rainbow Unicorns, and Ranching Cowboys. New Jammies are 100% organic cotton, are not treated with flame retardants, and feature tagless labels for comfort.

For example, nature-loving boys or girls can be ready for bedtime in the popular Moose Tracks prints, back this season in soft sage green with stretchy rib knit. Our Space Cadets collection explores the galaxy in this whimsical organic cotton footie pajamas. The whimsical Elephant Kites organic cotton pajama set will send girls off to dreamland in cozy, comfort.

Visit newjammies.com here to shop online this fall.