Rejuvenation Break: Quality Alone Time

Among the many challenges facing you is the need to "be" not only to "do." By putting aside periods each day to slow down, you will be able to give yourself the opportunity to become more fully aware of what you are actually experiencing from moment to moment. 

Quality time for "being," can open the door to your heart and your own ways of knowing. 

Here are some tips from my book


 that will improve the way in which you spend alone time:

  • While at home, turn off the telephone, your cell phone, TV and computer
  • When you wish to have uninterrupted time for something you love to do, hang a sign on the door handle, saying: "Please do not disturb"
  • Look for a place or several different places in your neighborhood to sit or walk without intrusion
  • Think about the rhythm of your week. Are there natural breaks in your schedule where you can put aside routine tasks? There's great wisdom in the ancient practice of taking a complete day of rest every seventh day
  • Become involved with a group that has little or nothing to do with the stress you have to go through daily. Sometimes it helps to change perspective and consciousness by changing the environment

It may be difficult to carve out time for yourself when you are caught up in the many activities and worries that consume your week, but it is a lifeline to health. Create your own wellness prescription by experimenting with the suggestions that appeal to you and you may feel better because of it. 

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

Rejuvenation Break: Be Open to Creativity

Whether you appreciate the beauty  others have created or create beauty as an expressive outlet for your own imagination, it is now known that such activities have great nurturing power.

Through creativity you can become more aware and connected to the beauty or wonder of the world - and yourself. Your creativity need not be beautiful, artistic or perfect. Many people enjoy the sensation of molding clay, mixing colors together with wet pain or playing their favorite instrument.

Here are some tips from my book


 that can help you become more open to creativity:

  • Remember a hobby or some kind of creativity you enjoyed as a child. Let yourself play with that again in the spirit of a child
  • Find a creativity group you'd enjoy in which you will learn something new
  • Play waltz music and allow it to open your heart. If you can, dance
  • As you listen to classical music allow it to flow right into you and the areas of your body that are most in need of healing   
  • Every day choose some colored crayons and let your hands freely express your mood
  • Sing along to the  music that you love

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

Rejuvination Break - Lighten Your Mood

If you take care of yourself in ways that give you joy, you'll be stronger for all the hard work surrounding your daily life. Weaving pleasure in your life, is life-affirming. Garden, swim, play chess, watch a ball game, embroider, sing or choose any other activity that sparks your passion.

Like natures gifts that cost nothing, a smile, a hug, a word of thanks and "random acts of kindness"are free and easy to do. They can lighten the spirit of both the giver and receiver. 

Laughter too has long been recognized to be enormously healing. A good belly laugh can boost the immune system as it decreases stress hormones. It can also be good for the cardiovascular system.

Here are some tips from my book 


that may help you lighten your mood through giving yourself pleasure:

  • Pamper yourself - treat yourself to a manicure pedicure, or something else that will make you feel good
  • Rent, or go to a movie that will make you laugh
  • Take a friend out for a special dinner
  • Do something out of character that you may suspect might be a lot of fun
  • Slow down and enjoy whatever is around you. Pet your cat/dog
  • Ask for a hug; give a hug
  • Connect with a child
  • Dream

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: 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


  • 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


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

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


- 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


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


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

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

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.