My grandson, Silas and his parents were in the process of moving to a different state. Meanwhile, the lease on their rental expired and unfortunately, an extension couldn’t be negotiated.
This meant that for several weeks they would be staying in different locations, i.e., friends, hotels, and finally with me.
I was just three days into a move myself, so they got thrust into more chaos.
Silas was stressed about all the commotion and upheaval.
His mom and dad could not be out of his sight. He would scream and cry if they walked out of his range of vision. He was clingy and sometimes inconsolable.
The poor little guy was so out of sorts. He was off the charts cranky. He was extra loud and aggressive. He was waking up 3 to 4 times a night.
Toddlers yearn for consistency and boundaries. Silas’ were ripped out from underneath him.
I decided this little boy needs calm. This little boy needs fresh air and the chance to walk his socks off!
I took him to Long Bridge Park, which has wonderful serene trails.
I parked, took him out of his car seat and set him free!
He walked all over the parking lot, all over the mushy recycled tires at the playground. And then, I lead him to the path of the woods.
From the moment we hit the bridge, Silas became silent. He was so present in the moment. The sound of his foot steps, the buzzing of bees, the hopping of crickets, the flutter of butterflies, and his shadow had become his whole world.
We walked more than a mile and he didn’t utter a word.
It was like Nature provided a reset button. Nature has power to shape the mind. Playing outside is how kids work through their stuff. (It’s good for big kids too.)
That evening, we bathed him with lavender oil and his sleep was as sound as our walk.
Tell me your tips and secrets for calming a toddler in the comments below.
Here is the final part of this four part series on nutrition and skin care. I hope I’ve provided you with some useful information and tips that you can use to get your skin glowing and avoid the mistakes I made.
My definition of exfoliate extends beyond general skin buffing.
Skin Brushing: Not all medical professionals agree that the dry brush massage provides all the benefits that alternative health practitioners claim but it is harmless and can leave you feeling refreshed. Dry brushing has been used for centuries by people in Scandinavia, Russia, Japan and Greece. A Finnish doctor prescribed to this technique to his patients to detoxify (stimulates the lymphatic system), exfoliate (remove dry dead skin) and stimulate the skin (bringing more oxygenated blood to the surface). Some people sing its praises as an incredible cellulite treatment. Here are some instructions and tips from Mind Body Green.
Stress: Honey really, just take a close look at my face. Like sugar, stress can spike insulin levels. Stress, real, or perceived, causes the body to release adrenaline, cortisol and other hormones to helps us respond to “emergencies” by channeling the body’s energy toward being able to “fight or take flight.” This instant energy has a downside. The body slows down digestion, repair, and maintenance to channel energy into dealing with stress. As a consequence, prolonged stress is associated with speeding up the aging process and compromising the immune system. I implore you to find ways to dispel and manage stress.
Which leads us to…
Move It: Exercise is the best way to manage stress. Anything that promotes circulation also helps keep your skin healthy and vibrant. Exercise helps nourish skin cells by increasing blood flow. Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to working cells throughout the body including the skin. It also works by flushing cellular debris out of your body, cleaning your skin from the inside.
Get Outside: If you can take your exercise routing outdoors, you’ll be killing two birds with one stone. But if all you can manage, is a walk around the block, you will still reap the rewards. Breathing is a significant part of detoxifying the body. Inhaling fresh air helps clear your lungs and enables you to take deeper, longer breaths of air. This, in turn, helps you to exhale fully, expelling carbon monoxide.
Sunshine is healing in so many ways. This might seem contradictory to what you’ve heard about skin damage and cancer from the sun. To an extent this is correct. It’s never a good idea to spend excessive amounts of time in the harsh midday Summer sun. Like all things in life, too much of a good thing can still be too much and that is when damage can occur.
Most of the vitamin D in our bodies is manufactured from sunlight, so there is almost always a drop in vitamin D levels during the winter. Plus, if you’re north of Atlanta, the winter sun is too weak to generate vitamin D in your skin, no matter how much sunlight you get. So I recommend supplementing in the winter months.
In the summer, you can get your daily sunshine D dose by spending 15 to 20 minutes in the early morning light. Vitamin D has several important functions. Perhaps the most vital are regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorous, and facilitating normal immune system function.
Conclusion: What I want you to take away from this four part series is how interconnected the topics I covered are. Our bodies are complex systems, working synergistically. You may not see the damage from an unhealthy lifestyle for years but I guarantee, it will visit your door step one day.
I’d love to hear your questions, tips and feedback. You can leave those comments (here)
Disclaimer: Nutrition guidance and aromatherapy are not intended as diagnosis, prescription or treatment for any disease, physical or mental. It is also not intended as a substitute for regular medical care.
Nutrate: It bears repeating. You really, really are what you eat.
Whole Foods: If what you are eating comes out of a box, can, or bottle (or, eek, a fast food bag), it has been highly processed and refined. Whole food means it is as close to coming out of the earth as possible. This is where the bulk of our nutrients need to come from. We were not born to eat out of containers. As my mother would say, “No one ever picked a can of corn.” Organic is ideal but I wouldn’t want you to skip on your veggies and fruit because you can’t afford organic or it’s not available. If you can’t get organic, take the time to wash it well in a vinegar and water solution.
Vitamin Supplements: As I referenced in Part 1, in an ideal world, we could obtain every nutrient we need for health through our diet. Supplementation needs to be taken into consideration because of the environmental toxins we are assaulted with every day. In addition, age, disease, and lifestyle habits need to be taken into consideration.
The Vitals: A, C and Sulfur or MSM
Vitamin A: I recommend getting vitamin A from whole food sources such as beef and veal liver, carrots, cabbage, squash, melons, oyster, and pecans. (You can find more sources with a simple search on the Internet.) If you are going to supplement, I suggest it be through a multi vitamin. There are risks involved when supplementing with vitamin A alone. This is one vitamin that stands true to its topical use. Application of a retinol cream can be as effective to your skin health as oral intake but of course, never substituted for eating sources of this nutrient.
Vitamin C: OK, I admit it. Vitamin C is my favorite. It is such a crucial and incredible anti-oxidant. I can’t sing its praises enough. It is probably the safest supplement available. I keep a bottle of 1000 mg vitamin C on my kitchen counter. Every time I go into the kitchen, I pop one. Vitamin C plays a crucial role in collagen synthesis.
Sulfur or MSM (methyl sulfonyl methane): MSM is a constituent to keratin and collagen. Rather than taking collagen, or using expensive creams that contain it, you are better off supplying your body with what makes it. That’s where a MSM and Vitamin C supplement can come into play. I recommend taking 1,000 mg of MSM daily. Sulfur is rich in foods such as cruciferous vegetables, onions, garlic and eggs.
Blending vs Juicing: I am a smoothie advocate. Smoothies allow you to get at least one to two servings of fruits and vegetables in a single, easy to consume, yummy tasting glass. But there is a difference between blending a smoothie and putting vegetables and fruits through a juicer. With a blender, you are still getting all the fiber contained within the plant. With a juicer, the nutrients are absorbed into the bloodstream and reach skin cells quicker because of the lack of fiber in the juice. A quality juicer can be expensive. If you are not able or willing to purchase a juicer, a simple way around this is to buy liquid chlorophyll which is the “magic” elixir in green plants. As for me, I’ll stick to my morning blend.
Essential Fatty Acids – Omega 6 and Omega 3: I talked about these in the hydration section and their presence in seed oils. Healthy fats are nature’s own moisturizer. Excellent sources containing these fats are avocados, flax seed, pumpkin seed, sesame seed, sunflower seed, walnuts and cold water fish.
Sugar: Sugar does not look sweet on your face. Simple sugars are fast releasing, causing rapid increase in blood sugar levels that leads to inflammation in every part of the body. Inflammation produces enzymes that break down collagen and elastin, resulting in wrinkles and sagging skin. A good idea is to keep a Glycemic Index on hand to help guide you with smart food choices.
Coming up – Part 4 will include exfoliating techniques and more tips on holistic skin care.
Your homework: visit your local farmer’s market. Markets are bursting with locally grown produce this time of the year.
Tell me specifically — which of these tips will you start using? Or share your tips on skin care.
Disclaimer: Nutrition guidance and aromatherapy are not intended as diagnosis, prescription, or treatment for any disease, physical or mental It is also not intended as a substitute for medical care.