Editor’s Advice: My New Year of Self-Care

Last year I wrote a blog post “Five Resolutions for a Spiritual New Year,” and got great feedback from our readers about it. These five resolutions are still amazing ways to start your new year off right, so be sure to take a look if you missed it.

This year I wanted to share a little more of myself with you, and ask you to embark on a journey of self-care with me. So many of us spend time taking care of others – whether it’s at work, at home, with friends or extended family. If someone we care about is in need, we will drop everything to be by that person’s side. But do we do the same for ourselves? In fact, I bet some of you are so busy, you haven’t even noticed your own body and mind crying out for attention.

Do you keep getting sick, or still can’t get rid of that cold from last month? Maybe your immune system is trying to tell you something.

Are you suffering from chronic pain in some way, but just keep popping ibuprofen in hopes that it will go away. Maybe your body needs rest, or your mind is creating a distraction in the body for something emotional that is going on.

This year, I decided to focus on self-care because for me, it has always been an area I am lacking. It really became clear to me this summer when I found myself in bed with Shingles, and then a few months later with a neck spasm that wouldn’t let go for more than three weeks! I decided to take a look within and see where I am abandoning myself. And it wasn’t a pretty picture.

Here is how I am starting the year off differently:

1– I found a new yoga studio in December, and have been going to classes two to three times per week. It’s only been five weeks, but I notice a big difference in my mental, emotional and physical life.

2– I’ve decided to try acupuncture since three different people in a matter of weeks told me how wonderful it was, and how much they believe I would benefit from it. (O.K. universe, I got the hint. I’ll make an appointment!)

3– I am doing another cycle of the 28-day book “The Magic.” If you missed my blog post about this book, you need to take a look. It produces amazing results and helps to keep you in a state of gratitude – the best place to be!

4– Recently, I received a new book to review. It’s called “May Cause Miracles: A 40-Day Guidebook of Subtle Shifts for Radical Change and Unlimited Happiness,” by Gabrielle Bernstein. Since I don’t believe in coincidence, I decided to embark on this 40-day journey of learning to release fear and replace it with love. Bernstein’s work is based on “A Course in Miracles,” and so far (it’s Day 5) I am amazed by the simplicity yet effectiveness of its exercises.

5– In the coming weeks, I plan to review an online course by Sonia Choquette called “Creating Your Heart’s Desire,” which helps bring you back in touch with your spirit, and tap into the power of attraction. Stay tuned for a review on this in a future Editor’s Advice column!

These are just a few of the ways I’m focusing on self-care and improving my life – physically, mentally and emotionally. I’ve incorporated each of these into my daily routine, and I already feel lighter.

I encourage you to pick at least one thing to do for yourself this year, and stick to it. Whether its taking yoga once a week, meditating for 5 minutes every morning and night, taking an online course, following a self-help guided book … or just doing something nice for yourself at least once a day. The goal is to check in with yourself and find what area of your life needs you the most. And then show up for yourself the way you would your best friend.

Join me, and let me know how your mission goes! Leave a comment, or email me at tammy@elevatedexistence.com.

Blessing and love to you all in 2013!


Tammy Mastroberte
Founder, Publisher & Editorial Director
Elevated Existence Magazine


VIDEO: Yoga Rave Coming to a City Near You

The Art of Living Foundation (AOLF), a global educational non-profit, is bringing Yoga Rave to the U.S., allowing youth and adults to celebrate and enjoy in a healthy manner. The seven-city national tour led by the high energy music of So What Project! from Argentina will begin March 29 in New York and continue to Philadelphia, Chicago, Columbus, Atlanta, Houston and Seattle through April 7, 2012.

Yoga Rave offers alcohol, drug and smoke-free entertainment where party goers and yogis can experience a unique blend of chants, beats, yoga, meditation and dancing. The four-hour event will take attendees on a journey of relaxation from movement and meditation to an all out celebration. The hi-decibel performance will be led by Nicolás Pucci and Rodrigo Bustos featuring their popular music from the So What Project!

“Teenagers and young adults today are stressed out and looking for ways to let go. Often, they use drugs and alcohol to release the stress but eventually these substances leave them more disconnected and depleted of energy,” said Elan Gepner, US Yoga Rave Director.

The proceeds from the Yoga Rave concerts will go towards bringing Youth Empowerment Seminar (YES!) to the local youth across these seven cities. Yoga Rave is working in partnership with the International Association for Human Values (IAHV) and its dynamic volunteer base. They are focused on improving the mental and emotional health of the students by teaching practical yoga and meditation techniques so that the youth can deal with stress in their daily life in a positive manner. In the 2010-2011 school year, YES! For Schools reached over 12,000 students in 36 schools nationwide.

The seven city Yoga Rave entertainment events are at:

3/29, Club Pacha, New York, NY, 7-11 p.m.

3/30, 2424 Studios, Philadelphia, PA, 8-12 p.m.

3/31, Plumbers Hall, Chicago, IL, 7.30-11.30 p.m.

4/1, Tom W. Davis Gym, RPAC, Columbus, OH, 8-12.00 p.m.

4/5, The Fox Theatre Egyptian Ballroom, Atlanta, GA, 8-12 p.m.

4/6, Stereo Live, Houston, TX, 8-12 p.m.

4/7, Seattle, WA

For more information visit http://yogarave.org/us/ and see the video below.

Website Offers Details on Risks, Side Effects of Popular Alternative Medicine

It is estimated that more than 83 million Americans use some form of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) to manage and treat their health problems including pain, spending more than $33.9 billion a year on out-of-pocket visits to CAM practitioners and purchases of CAM products, classes and materials. Some of the most common pain-related reasons people seek CAM therapies are for back pain, followed by neck pain, joint pain, arthritis, severe headaches or migraines and fibromyalgia pain.

The American Pain Foundation (APF) launched a new online educational module at the Web site, www.painsafe.com, focusing on the safe use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) as part of its PainSAFE (Pain Safety & Access For Everyone) initiative, with information for both consumers and health care professionals.

“There are many different treatment options available to lessen the pain, improve functioning and enhance quality of life for the more than 116 million Americans living with chronic pain, including CAM therapy,” said Will Rowe, CEO of APF. “What works for one person doesn’t always work for another. An effective pain management plan must be individualized and very often an integrative approach, which includes a combination of treatment options, is needed.”

The module, developed with materials and assistance from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), provides information on the effectiveness of CAM therapies for managing pain, possible side effects and risks associated with each therapy, and how these therapies can be used safely. CAM therapies highlighted include acupuncture, massage, spinal manipulation, relaxation therapies, yoga, tai chi and dietary supplements.

“A person in pain should be informed about all of their treatment options, risks associated with each option, possible side effects, and how these options can safely be used to manage their pain,” Rowe said. “PainSAFE provides consumers the tools and resources they need to become active participants in their pain care and offers health care providers the latest scientific information on treatment modalities.”

In addition to this new module, PainSAFE also offers resources on over-the-counter medication, including acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. There is also an interactive Are You PainSAFE? quiz to allow people to test their pain safety knowledge.

Gaiam Launches “Mayo Clinic Wellness Solutions” Apps

Specifically for Arthritis, Type 2 Diabetes, Fibromyalgia, High Blood Pressure, Heart Health, Insomnia, Back Pain, Menopause, Weight Loss and I.B.S., Gaiam launched new iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch apps in partnership with Mayo Clinic.

“We worked with an interdisciplinary team of experts at Mayo Clinic to develop content that offers a holistic approach to dealing with everyday ailments, and are thrilled to make this available in a new, technologically advanced format,” said Bill Sondheim, President of Gaiam. “Our goal in working with Mayo Clinic was to create a program that takes a combined approach to providing medical and overall health and wellness practices that can be incorporated into a person’s everyday life, for longer, more sustaining results.”

Each app is hosted by Dr. Brent Bauer, the director of complementary and integrative medicine at Mayo Clinic, and begins with an introduction by a Mayo Clinic specialist sharing important information on the specific condition, followed by both conventional and alternative therapy options.

Additionally, a Gaiam health and wellness expert will then lead users through a series of meditative, restorative and stress-relieving activities tailored to each condition, and
each app includes an interactive tool that introduces stress management strategies.

Many of the apps include Dr. Donald Hensrud, chair of preventive medicine at Mayo Clinic, from leading a grocery shopping trip to sharing smart ways to eat healthy every day. And Mayo Clinic dietitians provide tips for making meal planning simple.

And if that wasn’t enough, each app also includes Gaiam’s Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman, America’s most recognized yoga instructors, leading a simple session of gentle, invigorating yoga and stress-relieving meditation that is tailored to each condition.

They all offer on-the-go video playback, which doesn’t require a Wi-Fi connection after download, and chapter driven and interactive searches to find sections quickly. It even includes the ability to take notes!

Editor’s Advice: 10 Ideas on Self-Care

By Tammy Mastroberte

Most of us are so busy with work, family, friends, and life in general, we sometimes forget to take time to nurture and love ourselves. Maybe we find ourselves getting angry easily, or frustrated with things around us that we can’t control. Or maybe we are moving non-stop from waking in the morning until our head hits the pillow at night.

We have to remember to take time out for ourselves. If we don’t, we won’t be as helpful to others. And no, it’s not selfish. It’s self-love! Here are some suggestions for you to practice self-care:

1. Take time every day to meditate, clear and recharge your mind – even if it’s only 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes before bed.

2. If you like to look through magazines, whether fashion, spiritual or hobby focused, cut out pictures or items of interest to you and put them in a “manifestation box,” or tape them to a poster board. Look at these before you meditate, or at times when you need a lift. Know that they are coming to you.

3. Put on an inspirational CD – whether a recorded talk from one of your favorite authors, or music that makes you feel good (see the Read, Watch, Listen section of our quarterly magazine for some great recommendations) and clean up the clutter around you. Come on … you know it’s there. We know it’s there. You will feel better when it’s gone!

4. Pamper yourself. Take a bath, treat your skin with your favorite oil or moisturizer, make
a cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate, and curl up with your favorite throw for a good movie … or a good book.

5. Plan a game night with friends to relax, laugh and share with others. You can pick a fun and interactive board game (or even a DVD interactive game). Better yet, create a monthly game night, and alternate homes each time.

6. Treat yourself to something out of the ordinary. Splurge on that favorite coffee drink. Book a one-hour massage. Buy a new candle to fragrance your home or office.

7. Grab your mp3 player and go for a walk outside in nature. It’s good for your mind and body, and if you bring a friend with you, you don’t need the music!

8. If you had a choice to spend an hour doing anything you wanted, what would you do? Work on a hobby? Talk to a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while? Browse in a bookstore? Schedule an hour for yourself in your calendar right now to do whatever you pick.

9. Spend quality time with children — your own, your grandchildren, your niece, your
nephew, etc. Their innocence will always make you smile, and remember how simple life can really be.

10. Take a yoga class. It’s one of the best ways to take a time out and connect your mind and body.

These are just a few of the ways you can take time out and practice self-care.

What do you do to take care of you? I’d love to hear more of your suggestions!

Tammy Mastroberte
Founder, Publisher & Editorial Director
Elevated Existence Magazine