Archive | July, 2016

Reverse Mourning the Mornings

18 Jul

How many of you dread waking up in the morning? No matter how much sleep you get you simply hate getting up in the morning and not because you are tired but rather because it is the morning? We have all been there. It’s morning and when that dreaded alarm clock goes off you muster up all the ump you have in you and you either hit the snooze button or you get up.

Sadly most of us are sleep deprived due to various reasons from insomnia to over stimulation of the mind. When we are plague with sleep challenges it is difficult for our brains and bodies that have been asleep for hours, to shift from sleep to wake at the sound of an alarm.  Often times a busy day lies ahead so we must struggle to get a grip on our immediate racing thoughts upon waking up. Having a morning mindfulness routine and practice can help awaken the brain and bring balance and focus to your morning. You may even find with a regular routine of morning mindfulness, you begin to enjoy waking up for the quiet and peaceful moments that starts your day.

Here are a few blissful tips to help you enjoy waking up in the morning.

Upon Waking Up Observe Your Breath

Feel your breath as it moves in and out of your body. Focus on this breath and allow your mind to engage in the process of inhaling and exhaling. If your mind wanders in to other thoughts such as how you would like to just stay in bed, simply note the thought, take 5 more deep breaths in and release them out then rise and get out of bed.

Let The Sunshine In

Upon arising out of bed, before you do anything else such as going to the bathroom or taking a shower, open up the blinds and curtains in your room and let the sunshine in. If the day is a cloudy day do not fret, still open up your window dressings and let the day light in. This has an immediate effect on your brain stimulating the receptors in the brain that differentiate day and night. The light awakens the brain, which then sends signals to the body to wake up and get ready for the day.

Find A Comfortable Spot

Once you have opened up your windows, find a comfortable spot to sit near the window, stretch your arms over your head and then relax them at your sides and let the warmth of the sunshine hit your face so that it can awaken the circulation in your face.  Thus further enhancing the mindfulness waking up process.

Observe The Weather

Look out the window and bath your face in the natural light. Take a moment to observe the weather outside as you gaze out your window from your comfortable spot. Notice if the day is sunny, cloudy, rainy, windy or foggy? What color is the sky? How bright is the sunshining?

Become aware of your feelings, positive or negative about the current weather situation outside. Notice what arises in your mind as you allow yourself to experience the weather in this manner. Take a deep breath in and release it out.

Stand Up And Start Your Day

Plant your feet firmly on the ground and sit there for a moment or two. Notice the texture of the floor. Is it carpeted, hard wood or tile? Does it feel cold? Hot? Stand straight up, stretch your arms up high above your head and take a deep breath in and exhale out, lower your arms and get moving toward your Blissful Day!

Wishing you peace to your mind, wellness to your body and tranquility to your spirit.



Rochel Marie Lawson, RN, AHP, CMS

The Queen of Feeling Fabulous and The Wellness Architect Sin título


Your Skin’s Biggest Enemy and Friends

4 Jul

Your Skin’s Biggest Enemy

Everyday stress can make you look older but you have the power to stop this from happening. Everyday I amaze people when I tell them how old I am. They often think that I am at least 20 years younger than I am. I often hear that my skin looks amazing. What I learned a long time ago is not to let stress or anxiety take a toll on my health and well being and my skin. You can often tell just by looking at someone how much stress they have had in their lives and how much of a toll it has taken on their wellbeing, just by looking at their face.

You see each one of us at one point and time in our lives has suffered from the stress provoked acne breakout.  This happens because stress and anxiety triggers hormones and neurotransmitters that inflame the skin and causes the skin to become a breeding ground for acne.  When your brain senses psychological stress it turns on the stress related hormones. The result is an acne producing cocktail of adrenaline, cortisol, free radicals triggering angiotensin and inflammation generating cytokines that courses through your body eroding your skin’s plumping collagen and sacred defenses.  When this happens during short-term stress or anxiety, it is not too much of a problem. The trouble is when stress and anxiety become a chronic problem, which often goes unnoticed.

The chronic state of stress continues bathing of the skin in the stress hormones, which begins to damage your complexion from the inside out. Over time the increased exposure to cortisol can inhibit the growth of fibroblast cells, that make new collagen, but it doesn’t slow the breakdown of old tissue. This may lead to skin tissue lost at an accelerated rate.  Chronic stress also boosts the production of free radicals and reduces protective antioxidants making your skin more vulnerable to wrinkles, pigmentation spots and dullness.

Skin inflammation often occurs in response to emotional stress and the inflammatory process damages and ages skin. Your immune system is not meant to be turned up 24/7 and than constant low grade inflammation may further degrade collagen and hinder skin’s ability to replenish. Plus inflammation compromises your skin’s barrier function, which can leave your complexion drier, duller and more prone to irritation. When you live in a constant state of stress it becomes harder for your skin to repair itself naturally, form healthy collagen and elastin and heal the damaged areas.

Your Skin’s Biggest Friends

So now you may be wondering how in the world can I prevent this from happening when often times I don’t even realize that I am stressed, well let me share with you some of the methods I use to keep my skin looking fabulous while keeping stress and anxiety at bay.

We all know that exercise is good for you in so many ways in that it boost circulation and relieves stress. In fact, exercise decrease cortisol levels and inflammation and you actually look younger, fresher and healthier after you exercise. Exercising for even 10 minutes has been shown to have a significant effect on the appearance of your skin.

Something that has wonderfully soothing effects on the mind and the body is listening to some soothing music. Soothing music is known to reduce cortisol and inflammation. So go ahead an indulge in some soothing music by turning on your computer playlist and let the melodies of the music relax your mind and your body and heal your skin from the inside out.

Being in nature or surrounded by green space has a soothing effect on the brain as well and can reduce cortisol and anxiety in adults. Taking a walk in nature can do wonders to relax the mind. A relaxed mind equals decreased stress hormones and happier skin.

At the end of the day, take a minute to write down three things that you are grateful for. Practicing gratitude is one of the simplest ways to beat stress and feel happier. You don’t have to do a 10-day silent retreat to make significant impact on stress and how you let it affect you and the way you look.

My Zenful solution to you for improving the way your skin looks and feels is exercise, music and gratitude. These three little things can reduce the hormones that lead to dull, tired looking skin, wrinkles, sagging and aging skin.

Wishing you peace to your mind, wellness to your body and tranquility to your spirit.


Rochel Marie Lawson, RN, AHP, CMS

The Queen of Feeling Fabulous and The Wellness Architect Sin título