Rejuvenation Break: Getting A Good Nights Rest*

Getting enough sound sleep has a profound impact on your stress levels, immune function and disease resistance. Lack of sleep can leave you feeling sluggish, irritable, forgetful, accident-prone, and will cause you to have difficulty concentrating or coping with life's daily aggravations. 

Long-term sleep loss can also result in heart disease, stroke, hypertension, depression, and anxiety. While asleep, your body and immune system do most of its repairs and rejuvenation. A good nights rest is essential to making sure your days are as productive energy filled as possible.

Here are some tips that may help you get a better nights sleep:

  • Turn off all monitors that may distract you from relaxation at least one hour prior to getting ready for bed
  • Recall winding down techniques you practiced as a child to help settle yourself in for sleep. Read a book, brush your teeth, etc.
  • Avoid eating junk foods too close to bed time. It takes a lot of energy to break these foods down and may disrupt your ability to fall asleep
  • Try to get into a sleep schedule that allows you to maximize the hours you're asleep that will you leave you the most refreshed in the morning 
  • Incorporate exercise into your morning routine so you begin the day with more energy. It also makes you more prepared for sleep as you are more exhausted at the end of the day

Written by Altimont Parker, SUNY New Paltz Intern for Roots & Wings

Rejuvenation Break: Keeping Your Energy Flowing

Like a stream that no longer moves, energy can become stagnant and polluted. This is not good for health.

Many complementary practitioners believe that it is a healthy practice to invite a strong current of "life-force" or "chi" to move through the body since any depleted, stuck or blocked energy cab manifest in symptoms of illness such as depression, back pain, cancer or anxiety.

Unfortunately we now live in an inherently unhealthy environment. The air is not pure, the water is not clean, and our cleaning products, cosmetics and food are largely contaminated. These contaminants stress the body's ability to function at optimum capacity. None of us can escape this planetary health crisis, but we can make healthy choices whenever possible.

Here are some things you can do to maintain a healthier lifestyle taken from my book

Aftershock:

  • Do simple stretching when you get up in the morning
  • Walk every day. Include some brisk walking
  • Join a yoga or tai chi class. Or choose some form of aerobic exercise
  • Drink 6-8 + glasses of water a day
  • Cut back on sugar and processes food. Instead, try to go organic
  • Read labels of food, cosmetic and household products for synthetic and artificial ingredients, and genetically modified foods. Buy accordingly 
  • Become aware of the vitamin and mineral supplements your body needs. To be safe, consult a doctor

Trying these things can lead to a healthier lifestyle which can dramatically improve your happiness as a whole. Remember, activities that keep your energy flowing are good for you.

Written by Altimont Parker, SUNY New Paltz Intern for Roots & Wings

Rejuvenation Break: Taking A Hike*

Now that Daylight Savings has come this past weekend, we have a limited amount of time before the winter season rolls around bringing with it limited opportunities to explore nature comfortably.

One of the best ways of maximizing your time outdoors before you are no longer able to, is by taking a hike. Being engulfed in the beautiful colors of autumn while breathing in the fresh brisk air surrounding you, will send you into a state of peace and tranquility. 

There are a number of great hiking destinations in the Hudson Valley area including 

Mohonk Mountain House

 and 

Lake Minnewaska

. Both areas offer vast views of the mountains surrounding them with a variety of different trails available for all kinds of skill sets.

Here's a list of things you may consider of you intend on taking a hike:

  • Wear comfortable shoes that you don't mind getting dirty
  • Bring your lunch and plenty of water to drink
  • Plan to spend 3+ hours as most trails tend to be long
  • Bring cash with you. Most worthwhile hikes aren't free
  • Be sure to have your camera fully charged. You'll want to see this again later!
  • Don't forget to stop, breath and take in your surroundings
  • You can go alone or with a group but make those who come along are ready to adventure

Taking a hike can be a rejuvenating experience, especially during the beautiful fall season. Get out before the snow starts to fall before it becomes impossible to do so.

Written by Altimont Parker, SUNY New Paltz Intern for Roots & Wings

How To Organize Your Medical Paperwork*

Disorganization is hazardous to your health.

Good record keeping is essential, especially when you are faced with a health challenge.

Puja Thomson will be giving a practical workshop in which you will learn how to use her organization tools in order to simplify and track your record keeping. What matters is that you can find everything without fuss or stress, s

ave lots of time and contribute to your sanity

and health. 

Puja will provide tools and tips such as:

  • How to create your personal "yellow pages"
  • How to make personal support and treatment decisions
  • How to make the most of your medical appointments. ex. preparing detailed questions in    advance and following up after appointments
  • How to organize your bills, insurance and legal records
  • How to keep your resources and information

The workshop will take place on Tuesday, November 18th at the Desmond Campus of Mount Saint Mary's College, 6 Albany Post Road, Newburgh, NY 12550 from 1:00 - 3:30 PM.

Prior registration is requested by calling Mount Saint Mary's College at 845-565-2076. Material fee; $12 payable to instructor for the documents you will be receiving.

Written by Altimont Parker, SUNY New Paltz Intern for Roots & Wings

Organization Through An Intern's Eyes*

Recently I had the pleasure to attend Puja's organization workshop and I had an interesting experience. I'm a senior and at 22 years old, most people my age aren't as concerned about their health as they should be. I had not a clue all of the steps necessary to effectively manage your medical paperwork before attending this workshop.

Puja went through her Health and Wellness organizer workbook which thoroughly outlines the steps necessary to manage documents and handle doctors appointments. I'm just now beginning the time of my life where I have to keep account of these things if I want to be on top of my health for years to come. Puja highlights six categories designed to help better organize yourself.

The yellow pages section discusses how to effectively organize your emergency and medical contacts. Including directory style contact list and steps outlining how to use it, this can be a time saver.

The next section informs you how to make medical decisions including how to reach out to those you'd like to include in your support system. I thought this section made it easier for you to access information you may need but may slip your mind when faced with medical emergencies. 

The third part in the organizer focuses on teaching you how to access your medical appointments. Visiting the doctor can sometimes be overwhelming and you may not always be ready to ask the appropriate questions. This section focuses on having a plan before you go into your appointment. 

Puja outlines the best methods to be used when following up with your doctor after your appointments. I didn't know this was an important step and the organizer sheds light on how that process can be effective. 

Steps on how to effectively organize bills, insurance and medical records. Puja outlines the best way to manage these materials and how to store them. I found that it was much easier than I would think and would help with later confusion.

And lastly "my reference library" focuses on how to organize research and materials needed that you may need for future reference.

The Health & Wellness organizer is perfect for someone like myself who is not experienced with organizing but values the importance of having important documents placed away efficiently. Having this information and workbook gives me a head start making me more confident on doctors visit. 

If you would like to order to Health & Wellness organizer for you or someone you love, you can visit the Roots & Wings website here:

Roots & Wings

Written by Altimont Parker, SUNY New Paltz Intern for Roots & Wings

Gratitude Opens Your Heart

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity.... It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

We can't remind ourselves enough of the power of giving thanks.

To read more, click on the link below:

Gratitude Opens Your Heart:
http://archives.chronogram.com/blogs/Help-Yourself-to-Healing/show/Gratitude-Opens-Your-Heart

Rejuvenation Break: Connect With Nature

When life becomes too stressful, it is important to remember to take some time out to do something that gives you peace. Although we are not machines, sometimes we need to recharge our batteries as well. That is why it is important to remember to take a rejuvenation break. A great way of doing that is by enjoying nature before the winter months make it too difficult to do so.

The days are getting shorter and the weather is getting brisker. The seasons are changing which gives us a great opportunity to experience natures beauty.

Nature keeps us in touch with the miracle of the seasons and cycles of life - natural rhythms that remind us of our place in the larger scheme of things.

Here are a few tips on how to enjoy nature via my book

Aftershock

- Walk as much or as little as you are able - anywhere, in your yard, your neighborhood, a public park or preserve

- Sit with your back against a tree. Feel and absorb its support

- Listen to the water of a flowing stream. As you relax into listening, become aware of both its many different sounds and the harmony of the whole

- Feel the wind on your hair

- Take a drive

- Stare up at a starry night

- Lie on the grass and pay attention to the contact you are making with the earth. Gently breathe and allow the earth's energy to be absorbed into your body

Follow these steps to rejuvenate your body and mind and you will have a much better week!

Written by Altimont Parker, SUNY New Paltz Intern for Roots & Wings

Rejuvenation Break: Positive Thinking*

The way you think has a large impact on your daily life and can help shape your future. Your state of mind is largely determined by the way that you choose to see things as opposed to outside factors that may influence you. Those who think negatively tend to focus on what they don't have instead of being grateful for what they do, which can lead to a more stressful being.

Thinking positively can help you realize what is really important to you while keeping you focused on giving those things more attention. It can be an empowering process that brings light into your life and those around you, therefore leaving you more rejuvenated. A positive person anticipates happiness, health, success and believes they can overcome any obstacle or difficulty that comes their way. 

Positive thinking has a residual effect that comes about into our everyday life such as body language, the way we carry ourselves and even how we communicate with other people. Some people may seem to "glow" and attract positive people and experiences to them because of this. 

Here are some tips that can you help you think more positively:

  • Make it a practice at the beginning and end of each day to consciously think of all of the things that you are grateful for. This will help you focus on the good things in your life
  • Visualize yourself doing something that makes you happy and try to capture that feeling
  • When faced with a difficult task, imagine finishing with the outcome you desire
  • Imagine accomplishing a goal you have set for yourself and visualize the feeling you will have once you have achieved it. Hold onto that feeling for motivation
  • Practice focusing on the qualities you love in your close relationships rather than things that frustrate you. This will help you appreciate those close to you
  • When you find yourself thinking negatively, play a piece of music that gives you joy and remember at times it won't be easy 

Written by Altimont Parker, SUNY New Paltz Intern for Roots & Wings

Rejuvenation Break: Write From Your Heart - Create Your Own Journal

Remember how wonderful it feels to be warmly welcomed with open arms by another. In a split second, the power of the affectionate gesture comes flooding into you straight from the heart of your loving friend.

When you take time to write to yourself with honesty and innocence from your heart, you are extending a similar gesture of openness and love towards yourself.

The act of writing freely about what is happening in your life can be profoundly significant. Writing gives you time for reflection, and thinking about what you have written may slow you down a bit and give you fresh insights. You may well discover that you are expressing much more than you expected, surprising even yourself.

You may embark on a rich inward journey where the person you get to know is you. Note the date and anything else that affects the writing process so that over time you get an overview of how simultaneously you are building a foundation to support you from beneath and gaining a new experience from above. 

Here are some helpful tips from my book

Aftershock

that may help you begin using writing in a journal as a means of reflection:

  • Sit quietly with a blank sheet of paper, a beautiful notebook or your journal in front of you
  • Breathe gently and when you are ready, allow your thoughts and feelings to flow from your heart through your hands on to the paper in this moment
  • Express yourself freely in whatever way you wish; write, draw with colored crayons, pens or pencils
  • Become aware of both what has happened during the day, and your feelings about it
  • Consider writing a mini-memoir
  • Contemplate special thoughts, blessings and wishes you'd wish to pass on to your loved ones and gently begin to write

Written by Altimont Parker, SUNY New Paltz Intern for Roots & Wings

Rejuvenation Break: Using Guided Imagery

Listening to guided imagery or creative visualization studios can increase health, leading to experiencing a specific feeling such as tranquility, deepen relaxation and bring balance to the body, mind, emotions and spirit.

Through the use of selected images, you can focus very specifically and purposefully towards a chosen goal, since imagery precedes action.

Visualization works best when you are able to relax at a time and place without the pressure of external demands. If you surrender to the guidance of words and background music, you will be able to enter a deeply relaxed, diffuse state, where the psyche will provide your own images of what is being suggested.

Here are some tips from my book

Aftershock

to further improve your capacity to use guided imagery to your advantage:

  • Turn off the ringer on your phone and asked to not be disturbed
  • Sit comfortably on a chair or lie on your bed
  • Shut our eyes and let go into a few deep, full, cleansing breaths
  • Put your hand on your heart and belly, a place where you can feel the breath coming in and out
  • Set the condition that you will only go to a place or a situation that feels very nourishing and safe for you where you can let go of burdens you are carrying
  • Through your gentle breathing, continue to release any tensions you no longer want and no longer need
  • Call to mind your favorite beach, or create an imaginary beach in your mind. See yourself comfortably sitting in a beach chair on the sand or floating on the calm water.You have nothing else to do and nowhere else to be in these moments

For some people imagery is easy. If you are among one of these who can't quite seem to focus or quiet the mind enough to become aware of imagery, don't worry. It is a skill that develops over time with practice. Once you get it down, the benefits will directly reflect into your daily life.

Written by Altimont Parker, SUNY New Paltz Intern for Roots & Wings

Get Moving Outdoors in the “Gunks"*

So Much to Choose!

Connect with Puja Thomson to plan a retreat that meets your needs. Focus your energy on: Relaxation and Inner Calm, Reconnecting to Love, Spiritual Renewal, or craft your own focus with Puja’s support.

Get moving! 

The Shawangunk Mountains, a beautiful landscape excellent for hiking, biking, swimming, cross-country skiing and horseback riding. The “Gunks” are famous for world-class rock climbing. Roots & Wings is only two miles from the Mohonk Preserve Visitors’ Center, and five miles from Minnewaska State Park. The Walkway Over the Hudson is a newer attraction in the Mid Hudson Valley that offers an excellent view of the Hudson River and Hudson Highlands.

Have an adventure! 

Nearby hang gliding, skydiving and parachuting venues offer gorgeous views and adrenaline rushes for the daring.

Shawangunk Mountains

Written by Altimont Parker, SUNY New Paltz Intern for Roots & Wings

Rejuvenation Break: Getting A Good Nights Rest*

Getting enough sound sleep has a profound impact on your stress levels, immune function and disease resistance. Lack of sleep can leave you feeling sluggish, irritable, forgetful, accident-prone, and will cause you to have difficulty concentrating or coping with life's daily aggravations. 

Long-term sleep loss can also result in heart disease, stroke, hypertension, depression, and anxiety. While asleep, your body and immune system do most of its repairs and rejuvenation. A good nights rest is essential to making sure your days are as productive energy filled as possible.

Here are some tips that may help you get a better nights sleep:

  • Turn off all monitors that may distract you from relaxation at least one hour prior to getting ready for bed
  • Recall winding down techniques you practiced as a child to help settle yourself in for sleep. Read a book, brush your teeth, etc.
  • Avoid eating junk foods too close to bed time. It takes a lot of energy to break these foods down and may disrupt your ability to fall asleep
  • Try to get into a sleep schedule that allows you to maximize the hours you're asleep that will you leave you the most refreshed in the morning 
  • Incorporate exercise into your morning routine so you begin the day with more energy. It also makes you more prepared for sleep as you are more exhausted at the end of the day

Written by Altimont Parker, SUNY New Paltz Intern for Roots & Wings

Rejuvenation Break: Enjoying Time Indoors

As the weather continues to become colder, we're loser our opportunity to go out and enjoy nature. When the snow falls, it becomes uncomfortable to spend longer amounts of time outdoors but that doesn't mean we can't still enjoy nature.

Enjoying nature can be comforting even if you are not able to go outdoors. When I have to remain indoors, I love to watch the sun going down, looking out from a comfortable chair. It's a magical time. I appreciate my houseplants, photos of beautiful places and guided imagery tapes set in nature.

Here are some tips from my book

After Shock

 on how to enjoy nature indoors:

  • Listen to a CD of ocean sounds or birdcalls. Let yourself drift off on a journey prompted by the nature of sounds
  • Appreciate a beautiful houseplant, or a vase of freshly cut flowers. Smell, touch, linger...
  • Look at a painting or a photograph of beautiful natural surroundings. Envision yourself being there
  • Look out of the window from your bed or a comfortable chair. If there are no trees, look at the sky and play of light at different times of day and in different weather. Perhaps sunrise and sunset

Written by Altimont Parker, SUNY New Paltz Intern for Roots & Wings

"Think Pink" - A Cliche or For Real?*

With October coming to an end, so does Breast Cancer Awareness month. Numerous companies embrace the 'Think Pink' movement by adopting some form of pink merchandise available to consumers.

While most companies support Breast Cancer Awareness month, not all consumers are aware of the fact that many of these companies actually do more harm than good. Information has been shed on the fact that some companies slap on a pink ribbon during this month although their products may contain toxic ingredients that increase cancer risks.

Read the labels of products carefully and don't assume that any company advertising with a pink Breast Cancer ribbon, doesn't pose any health risks.

However, some companies have been proven their dedication to prevention. You can see some of them at

the Breast Cancer Fund's website.

Moving into November, the focus will be on several other types of Cancer such as pancreatic and lung. Those facing these diagnoses also need our support.

Written by Altimont Parker, SUNY New Paltz Intern for Roots & Wings

Wedding Season

With the leaves descending from the trees with hues of orange, red and yellow, the wedding season has also come into full color. I am fortunate to unite couples from many different perspectives and walks of life who wish to pledge themselves to one another in marriage.

Gorgeous Fall Day

They enjoy working with me to co-create a ceremony that is meaningful to them, thus making their special day as unforgettable as possible. Creating a personal experience in this way has produced many many memorable days over the years.  

Chronogram Magazine did a good job of highlighting the importance of reflecting the personality of the couples in weddings in an article they did February 2014. With a

wonderful fall photograph

by Maggie Heinzel-Neel of another wedding I officiated.

Clear Skies and Sunshine

The weather has been generally fabulous this fall. But there have been days when I remind a couple if disappointed that the sun isnt shining, that indigenous cultures see rain as a blessing, which washes away and purifies the past so that a clear new future can unfold.

Written by Altimont Parker, SUNY New Paltz Intern for Roots & Wings

SUNY New Paltz Career Fair

I had the pleasure to attend a career fair this week at SUNY New Paltz with the hopes to find interns who wish to find more experience in the publishing world. I got a chance to speak with a number of students with an array of talents from editing to graphic design.

It is always a treat to be on the New Paltz campus as I am able to connect with a variety of different people, in an effort to spread awareness of the importance of health and wellness.

My current intern Altimont and I

Curious students asking questions 

Overall it was a great turnout as many students seemed interested in learning more about the positive influence health and wellness can have on your life. I'm thankful for any opportunity I get to interact with the community of New Paltz and I look forward to contacting students to intern.

Written by Altimont Parker, SUNY New Paltz Intern for Roots & Wings

NYC People's Climate March

I was lucky enough to attend the People's Climate March held this Sunday in NYC. I was one of 300,000 people in what is being called the largest climate-change demonstration in history. Demonstrators marched with the intent to bring awareness to the effects global warming has had on the planet.

In preparation for the gathering of world leaders at the United Nations for a summit meeting on climate change, this demonstration is bringing widespread attention to climate change. For more information on the rally, you can read these great articles:

NY Times

USA Today

Written by Altimont Parker, SUNY New Paltz Intern for Roots & Wings

Scottish Referendum: YES vs NO

I was lucky enough to visit my home country of Scotland this summer and something I got to experience was the impact of the controversial referendum vote on Scottish independence. It is only a few days away now on September the 18th and currently it is too close to call. Issues are very complex and will affect the entire British Isles.

As I made my way around Scotland, I noticed the 'YES' campaign as being very outspoken and pushy. There were many loud colorful signs and even a merchandise shop which promoted the idea of Scottish independence.

While the ‘NO Thanks’ campaign seemed much more restrained. I noticed subtle signs across Scotland that were not as aggressive but still made a statement that there were campaigning against voting for independence. 

But, as many Scots consider voting to be a very private personal matter, many are not likely to reveal what they will vote and may vote no.

Written by Altimont Parker, SUNY New Paltz Intern for Roots & Wings

Include a "Beauty Break" in your holiday preparations

Remember to slow down, breathe and take a "beauty break" in the midst of this winter's holiday preparations! -- time to notice the sparkle on the snow, the pink/orange / silver cloud patterns while the sun is setting low in the sky, the animal prints letting you know whose been visiting....  There's so much beauty outside! Take in and appreciate the gifts of nature.

 And of course give your body a "beauty break"-- massage or lightly tap your head  perhaps, cup your hands over your eyes to rest them for a few minutes, rub or circle your shoulders, stretch  or gently put extra lotion on dry skin around your nails. Notice and appreciate all your body does on your behalf!  
Tis the season to be thankful for simple things... every day.

Preparing for a Medical Appointment

"The more you prepare for health-related appointments, the more you will get out of them. While it is normal to feel overwhelmed, being well prepared will build your confidence. It is helpful to list in advance all the questions you wish to ask, whether your appointment is an initial consultation or a follow-up visit at any stage along the way."

And remember, "Don't go it alone" Take someone with you, unless your appointment is a routine physical when you don't expect any results at the time...

You can have your health history, and your questions all ready for your visit if you fill out these pages in  "My Health & Wellness Organizer: An easy guide to manage your healthcare - and your medical records".

Preparing for a Medical Appointment

http://www.rootsnwings.com/store/