Category Archives: Intellifluence

how sleep

How Sleep Can Be a Priority

If you hear yourself often saying any of the following things about sleep, please read on:

“I am not a good sleeper.”

“I wake up at 3 am and stay awake.”

“I am always tired.”

My husband, my mother, my father, and I have said all of these things numerous times in our lives. My husband and father both have Sleep Apnea. When treated with a CPAP machine, they have the quality and quantity of rest they need. My mother is a worrier. She can’t sleep because she’s thinking too much. That’s a bit of my problem as well, but I am like most mothers with small children…I am a light sleeper. I hear every sound. I use a fan, but I still hear every little noise.

According to “Causes of Sleep Problems” on WebMD:

Other factors that can interfere with sleep include:

  • Genetics: Researchers have found a genetic basis for narcolepsy, a neurological disorder of sleep regulation that affects the control of sleep and wakefulness.
  • Night shift work: People who work at night often experience sleep disorders, because they cannot sleep when they start to feel drowsy. Their activities run contrary to their biological clocks.
  • Medications: Many drugs can interfere with sleep, such as certain anti-depressants, blood pressure medication, and over-the-counter cold medicine.
  • Aging: About half of all adults over the age of 65 have some sort of sleep disorder. It is not clear if it is a normal part of aging or a result of medications that older people commonly use.

My doctor recently told me that everyone should be able to sleep through the night, for at least eight hours, without getting up to go to the bathroom. And if you can’t, you should see a urologist. While I don’t really believe that because every BODY is different, I do believe that we can achieve quality rest with easy and safe habits.

We’ve heard all the advice that makes complete sense, yet we don’t always follow it:

  • only use your bedroom for sleep and sex…no TV, no electronics
  • go to bed and wake up at the same time every day
  • finish eating and drinking at least three hours before bedtime
  • keep your bedroom cool and comfortable

These are all great. Here are some more you can add to the list.

  • diffuse and apply essential oils, such as Lavender, Copaiba, Vetiver, and Cedarwood
  • avoid stress in your life, especially before bedtime
  • use meditation, prayer, or any calming ritual before bedtime and if you wake up and can’t get back to sleep
  • invest in a quality comfortable mattress, like the GhostBed memory foam mattress
  • consider sleeping with a fan or sound machine
  • make sleep a priority in your life

These are all manageable habits. And the last one is simply a mindset. We think we can survive a day after a bad night sleep with caffeine, power drinks, and just pushing through, but we don’t have to and we shouldn’t. Sleep is a huge part of your lives. We are meant to spend about one third of our lives asleep. That’s a lot! Make it a priority. Find the ways that work for you. And get a good night’s sleep.

That’s an order.

motherhood

Motherhood to Menopause

When going from motherhood to menopause, one might experience a few life-changing adjustments. And not only did I go quickly from motherhood to menopause within a few short years, but I became a mother with the use of IVF hormone treatments, so put that in the mix, and stand back!

I became a mother for the first and last time at the age of 44 using IVF with a donor egg.  All sorts of things happened to my body before, during, and after pregnancy, that, even almost seven years later, are still wreaking havoc:

  • anxiety/depression
  • Placenta Previa
  • Postpartum Depression
  • severe anemia (lost half of my blood volume following my C-section)
  • weight loss (lost 30 pounds immediately following birth…it was mostly fluid)
  • weight gain
  • abnormal/heavy periods
  • hot flashes
  • night sweats
  • irritability/mood swings

I was intrigued to find out about the tampon box. At least I can get a little help with one of my problems. My periods come when they feel like it and they are awful. Sometimes two to three times a month, sometimes not for two months. So, really, I’m probably somewhere between Perimenopause and Menopause. I find myself wishing for menopause, but want to be very careful about what I wish for. In any case, having this box would be nice.

Despite all of the physical, emotional, and mental turmoil of becoming a mother so late in life, none of it compares to the love I feel for my sweet girl. She is everything to me.

motherhood

be careful

Be Careful Out There Yogis; Your Body Needs You…

Be Careful Out There Yogis; Your Body Needs You…

As I picked up one of my favorite magazines and started to flip through it, I was so excited to see an eight page article about yoga. Wow! It had lots of information, beautiful graphics, and even a map showing all the yoga studios in the area. But as I read it, I became more and more disappointed.

This ‘beginner’s guide’, in my opinion, was actually quite intimidating in itself. The information was overwhelming. The graphics were gorgeous, yet not comprehensive. The map was helpful, yet furthered my concerns.

But enough about the article. I am really not here to criticize the magazine or the article’s author. It really was a nice article and any exposure yoga receives is good. And this magazine has always been one of my favorites and still is.

What I want to do, as a Certified Integrative Yoga Therapy Instructor, is take it back several steps and offer my own ideas about starting or continuing a yoga practice.

be careful

  1. Put safety first. Know your body and it’s limitations. Honor it. Practice the type of yoga that allows helpful and safe movement in your body, not the type that forces struggle and strain. Muscle spasms in the back often lead people to start a yoga practice. But a safe and modified yoga practice is essential in this case, or the spasms can become worse. One of the best ways to do this is to use props like blocks, bolsters, straps, blankets, and the wall. Use what you need to stay safe and feel good.
  2. Look for classes with descriptions using words like gentle, modified, slow, and well…beginners. Even if you are returning to yoga after a previous practice of intermediate, advanced, even power yoga, there is obviously a reason you took a break. Enter your new practice gradually and give yourself time to work back into it. And by all means, if you’ve never done yoga before, a gentle class suited for beginners is a must. And what’s even better is a Beginner’s Series, where you can learn the postures in detail.
  3. Do YOUR yoga. Even if you don’t know what that is yet, you do know your body, so honor it. All of your postures will look different from someone else’s and that is perfect. Your yoga. Your mat. Your choices.
  4. Try out a few different instructors and stick with the one who actually gives you instructions, cues, corrections, modifications, and positive feedback. Unfortunately, we are a dying breed. But we are out there and we want to help you.
  5. Breathe. Your body will thank you for it. It will actually move more easily and be open to new postures if you give it oxygen. Inhale deeply to open and lengthen the body. Exhale long and slow to settle into the posture. It will take a few reminders but practice will make it perfect.

be careful

I’ve been doing yoga for 13 years now and have been certified for almost two. I was lucky enough to learn from the very best instructors in this area. When people take my class for the first time, they say things like this:

  • no one ever told me I was doing that wrong
  • you are just what I was looking for
  • I’m so glad you give instructions and corrections
  • I’ve never been sure how to do many of the poses
  • your voice is soothing and makes me comfortable
  • it feels like coming home

This list isn’t for bragging. This list tells me that I’m doing what I was trained to do. Teach yoga in a safe, positive, and friendly environment. Allow my students to practice at a level and pace suited to their needs.

I teach yoga four times a week at three different locations to a variety of ages, genders, levels, physical abilities, and personalities. My job is to serve all of them, as best as I can.

So, I ask all yoga instructors and students…please be careful out there.

And call me if you need me.

Libby Blumberg, RYT 200

904-521-7097

libby@shantimomforone.com

be careful

be careful

be careful

behind the scenes

Behind the Scenes of My Depression and Anxiety

Luckily, I’m one of those people who has no problem giving others a behind the scenes look at my life with depression and anxiety. In fact, I get a kick out of revealing how it all started. There’s no doubt that I had it in my genes long before, but this one life-changing event triggered it. My grandmother, father, and all three of my brothers live/lived with it as well. We all handled it differently. Some with unconventional means and some with the proper channels of therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes. Either way, we’ve all survived. Grandma lived a long, happy life and we have fond memories of her sense of humor, generosity, love, and yummy midnight snacks.

For me, it started in the fall of 1986. I was just starting my second year of college at age 19. Sure, I considered myself an adult, but I was soon to find out that I was still just a teenager with a strong connection to my parents. I was in the “cool” dorm bunking with two friends. Over the summer, I had started dating a Marine, in a long-distance relationship. (Bad idea.) I was ready for an amazing year.

My parents called with the bombshell.

They were moving from my childhood home in Virginia (90 miles from college) to Newport Beach, California (about 3000 miles). And here’s the kicker…they assumed I would just move with them. In hindsight, maybe I should have. But, no. I was a mature young adult. I was in college. I had friends. I was deciding on my major. I was having a great time. And, of course, I had a boyfriend. After many arguments, they let me stay. And they bought me a car.

And that’s when the proverbial shit hit the fan.

Almost immediately, the depression and anxiety set in. I found myself crying all the time and a lot of mornings, unable to get out of bed. And guess who I called. My parents. Rightfully so, they had one answer…move to California. I still wouldn’t do it. I was determined to ride this out on my own. So, I did that. With lots of drinking and partying. Somehow I managed to get to class and dance rehearsals. Don’t really know how. I’m sure my dance program was a good outlet for the way I was feeling.

And what the heck was I feeling? Sad? Angry? Abandoned? Caught off guard? Treated unfairly? To this day, I really don’t know that I can give a label to what I was feeling. It was a physical and emotional attack that came without warning. I believe it was living inside me and had a damn good reason to surface.

The story continues with moves, transfers, break-ups, tons of phone calls, a couple visits to California, psychiatrists, moving in with my sister, more drinking, more partying, more bad relationships, a failed marriage, etc, etc, etc, until the day I had a full-blown panic attack and finally, finally, took this thing seriously and started to turn my life around.

That was in 2001. Fourteen years. I suffered. Just because I was stubborn.

The one saving grace that surely helped me through all of this was the communication with my parents. Yes, we disagreed. Yes, I made decisions that made them cringe. Yes, they wanted grab me up and take me under their care. But they let me find my own way without judgment and with an open line of communication.


An article from Palmer Lake Recovery, Parents Guide: How To Help Your Teen Cope With Mental Health Issues, is an excellent resource. It discusses statistics, warning signs, causes, how to help, and useful resources.

Some ideas from the article that my parents handled well:

“A good starting point for you as a parent is to have a conversation with your teen in a constructive way that is non-confrontational and is focused on offering them the love and support that they may well need more than ever.”

“Your teen needs the sort of parental support that lets them know they are not facing their struggles alone and that you are there to support them through this difficult time. It is equally important that parents also have a support network they can call upon.”

behind the scenes

 

 

two helpful

Two Helpful Products for that Pain in the Neck

Two Helpful Products for that Pain in the Neck…

When your neck hurts, life is difficult. You can’t turn your head to look behind you while you’re backing up in the car. During the night, you sleep funny so you wake up feeling more stiff than you did the day before. You feel like your neck can’t hold up that big heavy head of yours. It just kind of sucks.

Well, I have found two great solutions, or at least a great deal of relief.

doTERRA® Products

PastTense Tension Blend: To help ground and balance emotions, PastTense uses a fresh, cooling aroma that can ease stressful feelings and promote a sense of calm.

two helpful

 

Deep Blue Roll On Soothing Blend: Formulated to soothe and cool, doTERRA Deep Blue Roll On is an enriched blend of oils perfect for a massage after a long day or an intense workout. Applies easily with the roller-ball applicator.

two helpful

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deep Blue Rub: doTERRA® Deep Blue Rub is a topical cream formulated with Deep Blue Soothing Blend of CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® essential oils, natural plant extracts, and additional helpful ingredients that provides a comforting sensation of cooling and warmth to problem areas.

 

NextRelief Intense Cooling Formulation

NextRelief harnesses the power of arnica, aloe, tea tree oil, and more to soothe and relax your muscles and joints.

two helpful

two helpful

 

 

 

 

doTerra

Deep Blue, Lemongrass, Past Tense