Recently there’s been something of a movement concerning athletes and personal wellness. Usually if we grouped those things together we’d be talking about fitness, and what it takes to be as healthy physically as a professional athlete. In this case though it’s actually more about mental health and medical care. The last year has seen numerous incredible athletes either speaking out directly or otherwise letting us know that they too can suffer from mental health issues or serious maladies. And knowing that such seemingly immortal people have these struggles can be comforting, and can also motivate you to address any similar issues that may be troubling you.
These are some of the athletes who have spoke out.
In May of this year, NBA star Kevin Love wrote a piece for The Players’ Tribune in which he started off by opening up about a panic attack. In the same piece he touched on problems with our concept of masculinity, discussed how he used to think mental health was “somebody else’s problem,” and ultimately posit that mental health is “an everyone thing.” It was a fascinating article that generated a lot of attention and, frankly, a very brave step forward for someone in Love’s position. The article demonstrated a person who’s struggled opening up when many of his peers may never have done so, and we can say now that it sparked a fairly broad discussion about mental health in professional athletes - which, in turn, will hopefully allow many others who emulate these figures to feel more comfortable discussing their own struggles in this area.
It’s hard to imagine a figure less in need of help than Michael Phelps, at least on the outside. Phelps is a young man with historic accomplishments already behind him and a world of opportunity at his fingertips. He’s won 23 Olympic gold medals (an all-time record), and it’s said that his prowess in the pool is matched by his skills at the poker table, which is a place that rewards confidence to some degree. Phelps seems to have it all, and we, the people of the world, have essentially never seen him fail or even struggle. And this made it all the more impactful when he, like Love, opened up about his struggle with mental health and launched his own campaign of sorts to assist with Talkspace - a program that provides online therapy to people struggling with depression and other issues.
Serena Williams’s place in this discussion is a little bit different. The greatest player in WTP history quite clearly supports all people’s rights not just to health but to wellness, and it’s evidenced in many of the things she does and says. However, her own health issues resulting from the birth of her first daughter have shed a light on a different aspect of wellness. As an article at Vox put it rather bluntly but correctly, black women are often dismissed or ignored by physicians, and Williams highlighted this fact by diagnosing her own embolism after her pregnancy. By opening up about what has to have been a traumatic time for her, Williams has essentially made the world aware of this problem, as well as the value of advocating for your own health and wellness in general.
Brandon Marshall was a star NFL wide receiver for years, and deserves a lot of credit for being one of the first modern athletes to speak up about mental health, a few years ago now. He opened up about his own struggles with Borderline Personality Disorder a few years ago, and has since spoken with NFL owners about the importance of recognizing mental illness and even joined Love in penning his own Players’ Tribune piece. While Marshall is still an active football player, he’s a man who has clearly made it a personal mission to help those who may struggle with mental illness and not know where to turn.
This was a guest blog post, and mindbodysoul-food.com has approved to publish this article.
I've had the pleasure of working in corporate fitness since 2012. As a trainer and a health coach, I listen to people's stories and counsel them on how to navigate through their stressful life.
Life is not only stressful in the corporate world, but also the bottom end jobs where corporations take advantage of their employees whether it'd be over working them or "accidentally" charging them a fee for cashing their paycheck. Life in America has become all work and no play.
This is part of the American Dream experience, but at some point working too much takes a toll on one's mind, body and soul. Especially for millennials, work has become one's identity and gives them a source of identity and belonging. (Trust me I've been there and broke away from that toxic work-identity relationship.)
Balance is key but many people must learn how to separate work and life, which is not easy to do. Many clients I trained have "golden handcuffs." The compensation is so high or too good that they are bounded to job and it is a priority in their life. At some point, we have to make a decision on what is best for us.
Here are five signs that work is overtaking your life, health and soul.
Your Stress Increases
If you notice you are stressed at all times of the day as well as bringing work home, it is a sign that your work is starting to take a toll on your mental and emotional state. Some people easily disconnect from work, others can't. Our brains are all programmed differently, but some need help whether through meditation or counseling on how to disconnect from their work life.
You Lose Interest in Hobbies & Social Life
Overworked individuals come home flat-out tired because they zero energy left in the tank. This is understandable for people who work too much. Eventually, this snowballs into not having enough energy to do anything or leads into a mild case of depression. When people are too tired they feel like decompressing from work, which leads into decompressing on the weekends and not wanting to socialize.
The best thing for these people is to maintain a social life, because the human emotion is what keeps people going. Being alone, stuck in thought and worry leads people deeper into isolation and depression.
Negative Habits Increase
Do you need pot or alcohol to decompress from work? Are you only craving junk and comfort food? Is your alcoholic consumption increasing? Are you spending less time at the gym? Are you chugging caffeine to get you through the day?
If so, these are signs that work is overtaking your life. Most people who are angst, worried or sad connect to things that comfort or relax them. Many people reach out for substances, which works temporarily, but long-term, has adverse health affects as well as co-dependency problems. Being dependent upon caffeine for energy is a clear indicator that your body is out of balance.
Work is Your Identity
If your happiness levels are correlated and linked to your work accomplishments, it is a sign that too much of your identity is attached to your job performance. What will happen to you if you get fired? Or if a company doesn't like your work?
Most people need to severe the cord of their identity with their work accomplishments. Work is work. It will always be there and there will be another day that contains endless hours of emails, phone calls and meetings. The point is that life is not perfect and the work world is brutal. So why attach your self worth with your work? It is setting one up for disappointment.
Even for me as a blogger, I realize that people critique articles and writers in the most cruel way. I need to keep a sense of personal identity and emotional attachment to my life accomplishments and not just my work.
Your boss won't be by your side in the hospital. Your company may not even exist while you're on your death bed. Work is a temporary experience. Our loved ones, friends and family will be there for us during the lowest moments in life.
You Lose Sleep or Have Sleepless Nights
Sleep is necessary for one's wellbeing. Research shows that some people make worse decisions while sleep deprived than while intoxicated. Losing sleep is a sign that the body and mind is too stressed, out of balanced and overworked.
One sign that an athlete is overtraining is that they lose sleep. Their body's sleep-wake cycle is out of balance because they pushed themselves too hard. The same goes for being overworked, on top of working crazy hours overnight.
Those addicted to caffeine will disrupt their sleep-wake cycle. The body cannot function while doped on a stimulant. It's common sense and our ignorance of the human body makes us egotistical to think that what we ingest and consume can't affect our health.
If you stare at the ceiling overthinking, sleeping pills will not cure your sleep issues. This is a problem rooted to the mind and overthinking. Your brain needs to be retrained to stimulate the "rest and digest" phase of the nervous system to get out of "fight of flight."
Most people need to step back and analyze how their job affects them. There is no perfect job or work place, and many people are stuck in their job until something better comes along. Until that happens, people need to learn how to maintain their stress and actively pursue things that improve their wellbeing.
Trust me on this. I've been there myself as a stressed out insomniac, which is why I ended up, "Finding Om," in India to study yoga to figure out what the hell was going on in my mind, body and soul. Most diseases are rooted to the mind and a lack of spirit or joy in life.
Do you suffer from work-life balances? If so, how has work affected your health and wellbeing?
Imagine standing in your personal power, strong & confident in who you truly are, without fear or apology.
Accept yourself, as you are in all your glory!
Let your light shine bright! Goddesses you are so worth it!
"You are Enough. There is absolutely no shame in being who you are. You can be as soft or as strong as you want to be. You can be both. You can share & be vulnerable, or you can contemplate & be introspective. Whoever you are & whatever you want to be is absolutely ok. There's no need to compare yourself to anyone else because you are the only YOU. You are rare. You are golden. You exist for a reason. You are completely worthy of being loved just as you are." Alison Wu
This intimate Women's Weekend retreat is for all women and those identifying as female who are looking for a gathering designed to heal, reconnect, & transform. Through yoga, breath, meditation, & energy work, we will face our shadows and embrace our light. Together we will stand strong in our strengths and soft in our vulnerability. This will be a deeply healing & transformative journey. Give yourself the gift of self care. Experience a weekend of connection, renewal, & self discovery.
Our Weekend includes:
-Yoga sessions that work with the qualities of each Element, emotions, and the meridians of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Classes will be a blend of Hatha and flow with energy and breath work.
-Daily journaling and discussions on the Elements
-Energy work and breath to release stuck emotions
-Delicious catered meals to balance the 5 Elements
-Individual 30 minute Reiki session
-Free time to yourself in nature (with options to explore Bowen Island)
-Gift bag with Self care items
-Laughter, tears, stories, & more!
Each yoga session will focus on one of the 5 Elements in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Your body houses your suppressed thoughts & emotions. Clearing emotional energy is so important for a healthier you. The work will center around our Shadow Self, finding awareness and acceptance of our sometimes unconscious patterns. This allows us to develop a good relationship with our inner child and become the best version of ourselves.
It takes courage to cultivate/nurture the Self & I'm honored to partner with you on your healing journey!
Ladies- you are Unique! You are Amazing! You are Loved! You are a Superwoman! You give so much of yourself to others- isn’t it your time now? What is holding you back? Step into your Power! Join us!
Water Element- transform Fear & Shame into Courage & Trust
Wood Element- transform Anger & Frustration into Forgiveness & Patience
Fire Element- transform Panic, Anxiety, & Hurt into Joy & Openness
Earth Element- transform Worry & Over-thinking into Contentment & Presence.
Metal Element- transform Grief, Sadness, & Depression into Acceptance & Freedom
Nectar Yoga B&B , named one of the top 5 retreats in British Columbia, is a delightful sanctuary. It is nestled away in the woods, a space of healing and solitude, a place for transformation.
Nectar Yoga, an eco- friendly B&B, is just a short ferry ride away from Vancouver.
Daily yoga practices will be in their beautiful geodesic, heated yoga dome, with a view of nature. This small space allows for greater intimacy and group connection.
Their accommodations provide a space for relaxation, without letting go of the comforts of home.
Nectar Loft- Modern beach style cottage furnished with local decor, kitchenette, fridge, sleeping loft & pull out sofa bed, outside deck
Forest Cottage- West Coast beach style cottage, outdoor shower, forest view seating area, mini fridge, private deck *SOLD OUT
Garden Suite- Nautical themed room located in the lower level of the main house, open planned room with separate entry, private bathroom, mini fridge, garden view
Main House- Master bedroom has a sleeping loft and a detached bathroom on the upper floor. Guest room has 2 single beds and a detached bathroom on the main floor
*All accommodations are double occupancy
*Photos courtesy of Nectar Yoga B & B
-3 nights accommodation at the lovely Nectar Yoga B & B- double occupancy
-9 delicious vegan meals (freshly prepared on site)
-Full Yoga Immersion programming (a total of six- 2 hour yoga classes, energy activations and pranayama, guided journaling, deep conversations, teachings on the 5 Elements and corresponding emotions)
-Individual 30-minute Reiki session
-Use of yoga props, cleaning fees & taxes, water & tea
-Private Facebook group
-Gift bag with self care items
Not included: Transportation to & from the retreat site, ferry costs, insurance (personal, medical, trip cancellation)
optional: in room massage (book in advance), Finnish sauna experience ($25 for up to 3 people), tarot reading, scooter rental, bike or kayak rental
What to bring: Your openness to explore, learn, and let go of anything holding you back.
Your passport (if you don't live in Canada), comfortable clothes to practice yoga in, yoga mat, journal & something to write with, water bottle, walking shoes, layers for cooler evenings, bathing suit
As someone who’s lived abroad four times and backpacked various developing nations, there is one thing most travelers admire – the architecture. Travelers visited places of worship regardless of their spiritual affiliation because these places of worship has something special about them.
Why are humans attracted to spiritual structures like a church, temple or sacred site?
Because these architectural wonders are beautiful from the inside and the outside. They’ve been handcrafted to perfection with precision, ingenuity and care. There is something attractive, magnetic and yet admirable about one’s time spent in these structures. It’s almost as if heaven on earth exists, and these places of worship reflect eternal beauty.
The outer world (collective) mirrors much of our inner world (individual).
Your body is literally a temple, a reflection of the fusion of your inner and outer worlds.
Your inner world is a composition of many digestive factors. What you eat, how you think and ho w you digest your emotions greatly affects your inner world. And your emotional mindset while eating affects the digestion and assimilation process of the nutrients that you absorb.
And your inner world seeps into your outer world. The skin is the largest organ in the body. Some people are not blessed with great skin, but how many times during stressful time periods, spiritual crisis’s or with a poor diet, the skin breaks out with something. Your inner world also reflects the outer world. Your personality, how you present yourself, how you treat people and how you react in situations is your outer world that is exposed.
Though many people present a confident or a strong outer world, their inner world is suffering and crying inside. A goal is to balance both.
So why should you treat your body like a temple?
Treat your body like a temple…not a woodshed or a garage.
patient and waits
faithful and upholding
soulful / emotional fulfilment
deep affection / spiritual bond
impatient and impulsive
endangers, or looks to its benefits
disloyal and unfaithful
greedy and selfish
physical / imaginative
at “first sight”
conditional (I love you if…)
craving for sexual desires
Although the money, sex and conversations maybe nice, most people ignore their soul crying inside because lust has become the drug that's consumed all rational and logical decisions.
Ask yourself, "Am I in love with this person? Or am I in lust?"
True love is Godly.
God is love. And He wants the best for every person on this planet. Now for that lustful red devil, he wants to keep y'all hooked on drugs, sex and rock-n-roll to trap you from the truth - a soulful, deep connection between two people.
What are your thoughts on this topic?
Curious to know which foods are the best? Keep reading to discover the profound research that proves plants have power.
This powerful root contains anti-inflammatory properties similar to nonsteriodal anti-inflammatory drugs. In 2010 the Journal of Pain published the Ginger (Zingiber officinale) Reduces Muscle Pain Caused by Eccentric Exercise study noted that daily doses of ginger are effective for relieving muscle pain post exercise. Ginger contains a compound called gingerols, which are powerful anti-inflammatory properties and known to reduce swelling and pain and increase mobility.
Cinnamon and ginger, for muscle recovery, go hand in hand like peas and carrots. A 2013 study, "Influence of ginger and cinnamon intake on inflammation and muscle soreness endued by exercise in Iranian female athletes" concluded, "administration of ginger and cinnamon in athlete women for six weeks did not show any significant change in the IL-6 level, but showed a decrease in muscle soreness in the cinnamon and ginger groups."
Cinnamon is a powerful spice that has been proven to reduce blood sugar levels, alleviate arthritic symptoms and improves insulin sensitivity.
That favorite summertime fruit contains L-citrulline, an amino acid known to reduce muscle soreness. In 2013, the Watermelon Juice: A Potential Functional Drink for Sore Muscle Relief in Athletes research study tested and concluded, "In the in vivo experiment (maximum effort test in a cycloergometer), seven athletes were supplied with 500 mL of natural watermelon juice (1.17 g of L-citrulline), enriched watermelon juice (4.83 g of L-citrulline plus 1.17 g from watermelon) and placebo. Both watermelon juices helped to reduce the recovery heart rate and the muscle soreness after 24 hours."
These root vegetables are known to increase athletic performance, but what about muscle recovery?
According to the 2017 "Beetroot juice is more beneficial than sodium nitrate for attenuating muscle pain after strenuous eccentric-bias exercise" study compared the effects of, "beetroot juice (BTJ) and a nitrate only drink (sodium nitrate; SN) on indices of exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD)." The study concluded, "These data suggest that BTJ supplementation is more effective than SN for attenuating muscle pain associated with EIMD, and that any analgesic effects are likely due to phytonutrients in BTJ other than nitrate, or interactions between them."
Curcumin is one of the most powerful spices "on the market." The 2007 Curcumin effects on inflammation and performance recovery following eccentric exercise-induced muscle damage study concludes, "these results support the hypothesis that curcumin can reduce inflammation and offset some of the performance deficits associated with eccentric exercise-induced muscle damage."
Do you know of other plant-based foods that aide in muscle recovery? If so, comment below so we can further research it!
And as one can see above, it works! Here is the brief overview of the experiment.
After 21 days, the Dr Masaru Emoto rice experiment, proves that love trumps hate. I'll be writing up an excerpt on my blog today, stay tuned! #consciousness #wisdom #knowledge #knowledgeispower #spirituality #spiritualawakening #soul #mindfulness #mindbodysoul #soulfood #om #namaste #mindset #mentalhealth #god #universe
A post shared by Elizabeth Kovar (@erkovar) on
"There is no coming to consciousness without pain."
Day 3 - The rice remained mostly normal in both jars with the exception of the "hate" jar. I noticed that there was slight discoloration, an almost beige / yellow spot beginning to form.
"Consciousness is the ability to be present in your life in every moment without judgement of you or anyone else. Is the ability to receive everything, reject nothing and create everything you desire in life greater than what you currently have & more than what you can imagine."
Day 6 - On the fifth night, entering the sixth morning, I woke up with a clear indication of the first mold spot in the hate jar. The love jar remained partially white with some yellowing and the end of one piece of rice beginning to mold.
"The real revolution is the evolution of consciousness."
Day 8 - The hate jar continued to mold with a second mold spot appearing. The love jar's mold began to spread slightly onto the end of two other rice grains.
Day 9 - The hate jar's mold began to rot and blacken in color. The love jar's mold began to cluster from one end of the rice grain, and together in a cluster.
"The quest for wholeness can never begin on the external level. It is always an inside job."
"Love is the most powerful source of energy on this planet."
-Elizabeth Rae Kovar
First, it proves that self-loathing behavior literally eats us away inside. It's why we see people who are under so much stress suffer from illness and disease. I know when I've undergone stressful situations, I could see my body deteriorating (hair loss, circles under the eyes, lack of luster in the skin).
The mind, body and soul are interconnected and the more we hate ourselves and not accept our flaws, the more we "turn" the knife deeper into our wounds.
It also proves that self-love is crucial. Science analyzes aging as the deterioration process, which begins at twenty-five. Technically, the aging process begins when the sperm meets the egg. So the imprints that we have on ourselves and others is crucial.
When love fulfills us we can radiate during the deterioration process. The revolution of the world isn't more war and fighting, but a change within ourselves, starting with self-love. It's a change in consciousness.
The more you respect and love yourself, the more you respect and love others, animals and the planet.
Hate is like darkness. It's interconnectedness is as vast, dark and mysterious as the night sky. Keep reaching for the light.
1. Self Care
There are plenty of ways to initiate self care such as below:
-Spa / Sauna
-Hiring a Fitness Trainer
2. Read Quotes
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
“Never to suffer would never to have been blessed.”
― Edgar Allan Poe
Your hardest times often lead to the greatest moments of your life. Keep going. Tough situations build strong people in the end.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
― Haruki Murakami
3. Discover Your Beauty and Grace
Sure, it's great to focus on our beautiful eyes or skin, but what about your character or inner world? Are you a nurturing person? Are you warm and affectionate? Are you a good cook? You have a lot to offer yourself and the world, focus on your gifts, accept your weaknesses and work on the things that you want to improve.
4. Change Your Diet
Today, the battle of the artificial vs natural food war is full on today. Eat more natural foods like fruit and vegetables. These foods fuel the body with vital nutrients that we lose during stressful and "fight or flight" states. Nature loves you, which is why it produces what it does.
5. Spend Time in Nature
Mother Earth gives us the strength, energy and love we need in order to push past our boundaries and bullshit. The energy we get from nature restores our minds, bodies and spirits.
Sit in nature. Breathe in nature. Walk in nature. Take a hiking class. Sit at the beach - whatever you want to do, just do it.
What are your favorite methods for self love?
Further thoughts on my Youtube Video below!
After years of coaching and training obese clients, there are three key initial steps in resolving your problem. For many, obesity is an eating disorder, which roots to psychological disorders. Most people experience a trigger or a life altering situation that satisfies emotions with food. Once this occurs, many people continue to cope their emotions with food when psychologically triggered.
So what should you do about your obesity problem? The key is to admit, accept and make a plan.
Admit You Have a Problem
The first step to any form of change is to admit that you have a problem. Be honest and do not judge yourself. Look at your life timeline and analyze when the problem started and how long has it occurred.
Ask yourself these questions:
-What event triggered or when did I adopt unhealthy eating patterns?
-What events, instances or emotions trigger my unhealthy eating habits?
-What do I eat and how much?
-How do I feel after binge eating?
-What are my binge eating patterns?
Many people are in denial or do not admit that they have a problem. The more honest, open and transparent you are, the more you can overcome your problems.
"Admitting your faults isn't a weakness - it's a strength. Having your weaknesses pointed out isn't a slur on your character - it's an opportunity to improve your life."
Acceptance is one of life's most difficult tasks. Often we look in the past, dwelling over the "coulda, woulda and shoulda's." The reality is that there is nothing we can do to turn back time and change our behavior, but we can make peace with our mistakes. This helps us plan for a better future. Accepting the past is not easy and people heal in various different ways.
See the past for what it is and embrace the future. Be realistic that the future will have ups and downs, but with the right mindset anyone can overcome obstacles. I suggest walking in nature to experience the "power of now."
“Accept, then act. Whatever the present moment contains, embrace it as if you had chosen it. This will miraculously change your whole life.” ~Eckhart Tolle
Those who desire change will need to make a plan. Most cannot do it alone. I recommend consulting a professional for help - a psychologist, health coach, personal trainer - anyone who you feel is right in that moment. The professional that enters your life may not be the last. You may find that your initial therapist or coach may not be the right fit. And that is okay. The biggest lesson in your plan is to be patient. Change takes time and losing weight is a journey - or a marathon- not a sprint. Plans may change and that is normal. Know you can do it and never give up, no matter how hard life gets.
What is your advice to obese people who are searching for change? Have you found success in your journey to better health? Please share your experiences or comments below.
Exciting news! I've been chosen as the North American Finalist for the Weleda Global Gardentrotter contest!
I've conquered round one, and round two is about to happen in a few weeks in Germany. In Germany, the 16 finalists will take video, photography and artistry workshops to learn and then show off our skills. The best is yet to come and at the end of the week we'll discover who will be the chosen one as the Weleda Global Gardentrotter to blog, photograph and unite with nature!
Wish me luck!
Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com
Follow her travels at: lemontreetravel.com