Life Hack: 15 Ways to Repurpose an Old Yoga Mat

By Alicia Sparks • 1 min read

My old yoga mat has downed its last dog, I’m afraid, and I’m in the market for a new one.

However, my yoga mat and I have been through so many good (and bad, and grueling, and kiss-my-ass!) times together that I’m not ready to let her go just yet — completely, that is.

I’m Terrified of Yoga Inversions (& Other Random Confessions)

Thus, I’ve done some research on how to repurpose yoga mats. Reusing old yoga mats both helps you cut back on your environmental impact and get a few helpful tools around the home.

I mean, win/win, right? :)

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8 Resources for Clean Eating (& Improving Mental Health!)

By Alicia Sparks • 2 min read

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Over the years, research has shown that food affects not only our physical health (um, duh?), but also our mental health.

For example, a well-balanced diet can help reduce depression symptoms, prevent mood swings related to blood sugar levels, and help improve concentration.

We all know that, right?

However, what about clean eating? You know, cutting out all that heavily processed junk like frozen meals and even some “healthy” pre-packaged weight loss snacks?

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How to Overcome the Panic and Anxiety of Joining a Gym

By Alicia Sparks • 3 min read

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Although I’m a strong advocate of running outdoors, I’m not at all opposed to joining a gym (especially when exercising outside or even in your home just isn’t an option). They’re full of all the equipment you want and need, they’re great places to meet new people, and — let’s face it — Netflix marathons aside, going to the gym gives you a much better reason to wear those sweats.

However, joining a gym can be intimidating — for some (like me), it can even cause panic and anxiety.

Even so, I decided to join a gym this year as part of my physical wellness plan, and my experiences shopping around helped me figure out a few tips for joining a gym that might help you, too.

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Top 12 Your Body, Your Mind Posts of 2014

By Alicia Sparks • 1 min read

2014

Yes, I know they’re all too common, but I have to admit I love year-end round-up posts. They give me a chance to look back and see what made my readers tick, and they give you a chance to catch up on some of the most popular posts of the year!

Based on Google Analytics, social media reports, and good ol’ fashioned comments, below are the Top 12 Your Body, Your Mind Posts of 2014.

Enjoy!

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10 Mindful Quotes to Get You Through the Holidays

By Alicia Sparks • 1 min read

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Last week I blogged about how my family couldn’t really “get it together” this holiday season. Food, presents, travel—you name it, we’ve agonized over it.

My rational self knows the holidays aren’t about any of those things; they’re trivial. Still, that knowledge doesn’t always stop me—or any of us—from stressing over them.

So, I’ve turned to what I often turn to when I need to focus—quotes—and compiled a list of 10 quotes that I believe will help each of us stay mindful during this holiday season. Whether you recognize Christmas, Hanukah, or another holiday celebration, I hope these quotes can bring some peace to an otherwise worried mind.

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Learn to Let Go This Holiday Season

By Alicia Sparks • Less than a min read

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For some reason, this holiday season hasn’t been the best for my family. Frankly, we can’t seem to get our sh*t together.

Who’s going where?

Who’s cooking what?

Did we finally decide what to get Mom?

ARE YOU SERIOUSLY GOING TO A FOOTBALL BOWL GAME THE DAY BEFORE CHRISTMAS EVE?!

Of course, deep down we know none of this really matters. The holidays are all about being together—not food or presents or even where we end up with one another.

Still, every now and then I feel like Ralphie getting his faced kicked in by Santa.

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10 Journaling Prompts for the Mind and Body Conscious

By Alicia Sparks • 1 min read

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Journaling is a healthy way to express how we’re feeling—and, sometimes, discover how we’re feeling. Ideally, journaling is time we spend by ourselves exploring our inner most thoughts—those that we don’t always feel comfortable sharing with others (or sometimes even with ourselves).

Below are 10 journaling prompts to help you dive a little deeper into your mind and body consciousness. Although journaling can take any route, I’ve chosen to provide ways to positively explore your minds and bodies.

So, grab a cup of Joe, your favorite quite corner, and get ready to put pen to paper (or fingers to keys—whatever the case may be!)

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How to Stop Feeling Guilty Over Others’ Accomplishments

By Alicia Sparks • 1 min read

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Wait, what? How to stop feeling guilty over others’ accomplishments?

Aren’t we more commonly jealous, envious, or resentful over other people’s success?

Maybe. However, when we see others succeeding while we’re NOT succeeding, we feel a little guilty, too — especially if we feel there’s something we can do about it. After all, if that person makes the time, energy, and determination to accomplish their goals, well…why aren’t we?

Well, there is something we can do about it, but we have to get rid of the guilt, first.

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Thanksgiving Meditation: Giving Thanks vs. Being Thankful

By Alicia Sparks • Less than a min read

“Thanksgiving is, after all, a word of action.” – W.J. Cameron

This has always been one of my favorite holiday-related quotes. During Thanksgiving, we feel thankful for all we have…but do we actually give thanks for those blessings? Do we pay our blessings forward so that others might enjoy a little of what we have?

Tomorrow, many of us Americans will devour feasts fit for a king, but how will you actually give thanks?

Will you:

  • Pray for or meditate on your blessings?
  • Volunteer to help others less fortunate than you?
  • Donate to a local charity to help those in need?
  • Send a care package to a lonely overseas soldier?
  • Visit a hospital or nursing home to let others know they aren’t alone?
  • Spend some time with a shelter dog or cat?
  • Invite over a family who can’t afford a Thanksgiving meal?
  • Sponsor a child in a less fortunate part of the country or world?

These are just a few ideas on how you can mindfully give thanks tomorrow –how YOU can turn “Thanksgiving” into an action word — rather than just feeling thankful.

Does your family have its own mindfulness giving thanks traditions? We’d love to read about them in the comments below!



How My Late Father’s Death Helped Keep Me Alive

By Alicia Sparks • 2 min read
CC: Alicia Sparks

CC: Alicia Sparks

Today marks the one-year anniversary of my father’s death, and I’m completely at peace with it.

Over the years I’ve heard so many people talk about how a part of them died when they lost a loved one. Hearing this makes me sad. A part of me did not die when I lost my father; if anything, a part of me came bursting to life. Everything he’d ever instilled in me came to a head and, at that point, it was up to me to use it or lose it.

I chose to use it.

I did not die with my dad, and frankly, he would have been pissed if I had.

Continue reading… »



 
 

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