For the next 30 days Jacksonville Women’s Small Business is presenting an overview of stress awareness including a number of blog posts that present different viewpoints on stress and how to relieve stress in your life, daily stress tips and other resources that may be helpful.

Our first guest blogger is Barbara Reid of Cultivate Holistic Health. Barbara has written an excellent post on her blog (which we are re-sharing here with her permission) highlighting many tips on how to recharge and renew your energy. Cultivating Renewal: Spring Into C.H.I.

April brings thoughts of springtime and new beginnings. This month we will be focusing on ways to RENEW our C.H.I. (Congruency, Harmony, Integrity) in the areas of our PHYSICAL bodies, SPIRITUAL beings, PROFESSIONAL lives, and our RELATIONSHIPS.

We have been working on CULTIVATING CLARITY to bring our thoughts, words, and actions into CONGRUENCY, HARMONY, and INTEGRITY.

“A key ingredient to achieving your goal is to make sure your goals are totally congruent with who you are as a person. Your head and heart’s desire must match. It’s such an important step in goal achievement and if we miss it, we can end up traveling a long way down the wrong path.”
-Rachael Bermingham

What is HARMONY?
“Harmony is a beautiful balance between mind, body, and soul measured in tender peaceful moments.”
-Melanie Koulouris

“Integrity is making sure that the things you say and the things you do are in alignment.”
-Katrina Mayer

Why is it important to live in C.H.I.?
We all desire to live peaceful calm lives. We will never achieve this desire when we live out of alignment with what we know to be true. This misalignment may show itself in the PHYSICAL body, SPIRITUAL being, PROFESSIONAL life, or in our RELATIONSHIPS.

What are the consequences of living out of C.H.I.?
Misalignment may manifest in emotional eating, abuse of substances such as food, alcohol, or drugs, insomnia, depression, anxiety, dysfunctional relationships, unfulfilling careers, disconnected spirituality, and illness.

Once we gain CLARITY we can begin to see what’s really possible for us. We can live more peaceful lives. We can make peace with food. We can let go of numbing addictions. We can create healthy sleep patterns. We can overcome depression and anxiety. We can develop healthy loving relationships. We can build fulfilling careers. We can reconnect spiritually, and we can regain our health.

“There’s nothing quite as intense as the moment of CLARITY when you suddenly see what’s really possible for you.”

What is CLARITY?
Of course, the work doesn’t stop here. Once you CULTIVATE CLARITY and CREATE C.H.I. you must continually RENEW it.

“Renew. Come to the water. Live in the moment, and be. Refresh your mind. Rest your body. Renew your spirit. Regain your gentle heart and peaceful soul. Reclaim yourself. Restore in the power that is greater than you.”
-Bonnie L. Mohr

What is the definition of RENEWAL?
RENEWAL is to make something new, fresh, or strong again. To begin again, replace, repair. It is the opposite of destruction, exhaustion, and impoverishment.

Why is RENEWAL important?
“We must change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise we harden.”

“The smallest change in perspective can transform a life. What tiny attitude adjustment might turn your world around?”

We know to create INTEGRITY we must integrate all areas of our life in a balanced way. If we don’t, the parts we ignore will begin to cause us problems. For example, if we ignore a friendship, we will soon find our self with one less friend. We have to continually refresh, RENEW, regenerate, and repair each part of our lives to keep them in good working order and to maintain CONGRUENCY, HARMONY, and INTEGRITY.


So how can we RENEW and maintain C.H.I.?

Life is hard. Stress is inevitable. The consequences of stress are destruction, exhaustion, and impoverishment. Perfection is not the goal however, RENEWAL is the antidote.

1. Meditation Exercise for the brain. Practice 5-10 minutes daily.

2. Detox Bath-Soak 20 minutes in hot tub with 2 cups Epsom’s Salts, 1/2 C Baking Soda, 10 drops Lavender Essential Oil.

3. Hot Water Bottle-Lay a hot water bottle on your tummy and rest for 20 minutes. This is super calming and comforting.

4. Diffuse Essential Oils. Lavender is a favorite relaxing oil.

5. Nutrient Rich Diet. Improving your diet will improve your mood, health, and sleep.

6. Take a walk in nature. Enjoy the beauty of nature, express gratitude, receive Vitamin D, lower cortisol levels, best overall exercise for weight loss

7. Take a Restorative Nap. Take a 10-20 minute nap when you are feeling tired. This is just long enough to restore your energy but not too long to make you sluggish or affect your sleep at night.

8. Practice Yoga. Yoga will change your life. It will slow you down and allow you time to be present in your body. It affects how you do everything.

9. Exercise. Weight training 2-3 times per week. Practice yoga as much as possible. Gentle walking daily. Any kind of movement you enjoy!

10. Talk With A Friend. Sometimes you just need a safe space to talk it out.

11. Hug a loved one. Hugs release endorphins the feel good hormone.

12. Journal. Begin each day writing for 10 minutes. This is a great way to get your feelings out and begin each day anew.

13. Pray. Begin and end each day with a prayer of thanksgiving.

14. Do something for someone else. Focus on the needs of others and you will find gratitude in your own circumstance.

15. Snuggle with a pet. The unconditional love of a pet is healing and restorative.

16. Dig in the dirt. Get back to nature. Enjoy the sun and the air. Grow something.

17. Read inspirational books. Find beauty and encouragement in the words of others.

Strategy: To align our thoughts, words, and actions to CULTIVATE RENEWAL.

Thought: I am totally exhausted.
Feeling: I feel totally exhausted. I am going to get curious and explore ways to CULTIVATE RENEWAL in order to feel refreshed and strong again.
Behavior: I feel totally exhausted because I am eating too many processed foods with a high sugar content. I will take small steps to improve my diet and reduce my processed foods and sugar intake. I will drink a minimum of 64 oz of water per day. I will stock my refrigerator with fresh fruit and vegetables and highest quality protein options affordable to my budget. I will prepare meals and freeze extra portions for times when I am exhausted and don’t want to cook. I will crowd out the foods that are not serving me by adding in nutritionally dense delicious whole foods. I will not be on a diet. Diets are restrictive and exhausting. This is out of alignment with my goal of RENEWAL. I cannot diet and achieve C.H.I.

“Our opportunity is to soar our spirit. To see light and joy in everything. To spread our wings and fly boldly. To give thanks for rainbows and butterflies, our symbols of renewal and rebirth. To offer daily thanksgiving for ourselves, our family, our friends, our community, for our whole world.”


You may be asking yourself…Now what? I would love to implement these recommendations but I really want or need some help.

If this is you, you can contact me for a complimentary 15 minute Cultivating Clarity Session. Here’s how…

Click here to Contact Barbara Reid  today.

Barbaras-Website-photo_0 Barbara Reid, Certified Integrative Health Coach

Meet Perfectly Imperfect Me

I humbly stand before you in all my imperfection…writing, speaking, sharing, and coaching.  Not trying to have all the answers.  Not thinking that I am a perfect example. Rather opening my heart to say…I will walk beside you and guide you with compassion.  I will be fully present when we speak.  I will not judge you.  I will pray for you and your concerns.  I will tell you when I do not know and explore options with you.

What are your concerns?  Are you struggling with stress?  Do you feel stuck in your life?  Are you properly nourishing your body, mind, and spirit?  Is your relationship with food challenging?  Are you burdened with an unreasonable inner critic?  Are you preoccupied with your body image?  Are you confused with all the conflicting information out there?  Are you overwhelmed with the business of “busy-ness”?  As a Life and Integrative Health Coach I practice a holistic approach to these concerns.

I received my training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where I studied a multitude of dietary theories and  a variety of practical lifestyle coaching methods. Some of my most memorable instructors included Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. Deepak Chopra, Geneen Roth, and Marilena Minucci.  Drawing on this knowledge, I will help you create a completely personalized “roadmap to health” that suits your unique body, lifestyle, preferences, and goals.

In addition, I am a certified teacher, certified Master Gardener, experienced weight loss consultant, dedicated yogi, and fitness buff.

Are you ready to explore and get curious?  Let’s chat.

Barbara’s Website: cultivateholistichealth.com/