Self Care Journal: How to Make a Self Care Journal (with Free Printables)

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Learn how to make a self care journal to set your healthy resolutions for the New Year with these printable journal pages that are all about self care! This printable self care journal contains not just inspiration blank journal pages for writing down your thoughts and dreams, it also has pages for setting goals, healthy food recipes, skin care recipes and face mask recipes that fit your skin type each season. So you can use this journal throughout the year and start at any time.

Printable self care journal. Learn how to make a self care journal to set your healthy resolutions for the New Year with these free printable self care journal pages that are all about self care! This printable self care journal contains inspirational blank journal pages for writing down your thoughts and dreams, as well as pages for setting goals, healthy food recipes, skin care recipes and face mask recipes that fit your skin type each season.

Additionally, there’s also a self care checklist so you remember to take time out for self care at least once a week. I’ve even included a printable front and back cover that you can print onto cardstock to make a completely handmade self care journal if desired.

Keep reading to discover 60 self care journal prompts and my printable self care journal pages. You’ll also learn how to make a self care journal using my free resources. Plus there’s information I received from licensed therapist, Corinne Phillips, on how to break unhealthy habits and addictions through journaling, along with some great ideas and projects you can implement for self care.

Free printable self care journal. Learn how to make a self care journal to set your healthy resolutions for the New Year with these free printable self care journal pages that are all about self care! This printable self care journal contains inspirational blank journal pages for writing down your thoughts and dreams, as well as pages for setting goals, healthy food recipes, skin care recipes and face mask recipes that fit your skin type each season.

DIY Self Care Journal

It’s a New Year and hopefully that means you’ve set your sights on some healthy resolutions to get you through the year. That means taking care not just of your physical health, but your emotional health as well. And what better way to learn how to put yourself first (so you can be there for others) than with a self care journal?

How to make a self care journal. Learn how to make a self care journal for inner reflection and emotional health with these free printable self care journal pages that are all about self care! This printable self care journal contains inspirational blank journal pages for writing down your thoughts and dreams, as well as pages for setting goals, healthy food recipes, skin care recipes and face mask recipes. Plus 60 self care journal prompts and easy self care ideas and projects. #selfcarejournal

Journal Prompts & Ideas

Not sure what to write in your self care journal. If need some direction to get started, then try one of these self care journal prompts for self care and inner reflection.

  • What makes me happy?
  • What goals do I aspire to?
  • Why do the people in my life make me happy?
  • When am I most confident?
  • What does my ideal day look like?
  • Who is someone in your life who should treat me better?
  • What do I want my legacy to be?
  • Today my self care mantra is…
  • How do I enrich the lives of others?
  • What inspires me?
  • I feel most energized when I do or experience these things.
  • What is causing me stress right now?
  • Is there a new craft or hobby I’d like to explore?
  • What actions or bad habits are holding me back from a happier, richer life?
  • What am I proud of myself for?
  • How can I change my morning routine to make it easier?
  • What is my favorite personality trait?
  • What things make me feel powerful?
  • How can I love myself today?
  • What is my best accomplishment?
  • Who is the person I want to become?
  • What advice would I give my teenage self?
  • The words I like to live by are…
  • What makes me unique?
  • How have I changed from the person I was five years ago?
  • What message do I most want to share with the world?
  • Ten reasons why I love myself.
  • What am I afraid of?
  • If I died tomorrow, how do I think I’d be remembered?
  • Who in my life means the world to me and why?
  • What changes can I make to slay my goals?
  • My life feels like magic when…
  • During difficult times, I’ve found that doing this helps the most.
  • What’s something I can do to make my life a delight every single day?
  • Make a list of twenty things that make me smile.
  • Write a list of things I’m grateful for today.
  • If I could take a vacation anywhere in the world, where would I go and who would go with me?
  • What does forgiveness mean to me?
  • How does journaling help me?
  • What love means to me…
  • On a scale of 1-10 my mental health is at…
  • What do I wish my parents had done differently when raising me?
  • Write a letter to my mom.
  • What is my biggest regret and what have I done to make amends?
  • I wish for….
  • The two most memorable moments of my life are…
  • What does unconditional love look like for me?
  • I practice self care because I want to feel…
  • Where is my happy space?
  • If my body could talk, this is what it would say.
  • What are three things I’m doing that no longer serve my best interests?
  • Make a list of everything I should say “no” to.
  • What do I love most about life?
  • How will making myself a priority positively impact my life?
  • What changes can I make to get a more restful night’s sleep?
  • When I’m really busy, what activities can I do in just ten minutes to practice self care?
  • How can I better balance my work and my personal life?
  • What is my favorite self care quote?
  • What are the things I truly, deeply need in my life?
  • If I had unlimited resources and zero obligations, what would I do with my life?

Don’t feel like you need to write paragraphs for these journal prompts. You can bullets instead. For best results, however, it’s best not to go more than two days without putting something down on paper.

How to make a self care journal. Learn how to make a self care journal for inner reflection and emotional health with these free printable self care journal pages that are all about self care! This printable self care journal contains inspirational blank journal pages for writing down your thoughts and dreams, as well as pages for setting goals, healthy food recipes, skin care recipes and face mask recipes. Plus 60 self care journal prompts and easy self care ideas and projects to make at home.

How to Make a Self Care Journal

Print the Journal Cover

Print the self care journal cover onto 8.5″ x 11″ cardstock. Then cut out the front and back cover. For best results, use a paper cutter to get straight, clean lines. Allow some white space around the black lines of the cover when cutting. (Download here.) I used my Epson Expression printer, which has been a dream to use.

printable skin care recipe and face mask recipe cards

Print the Journal Pages

This journal consists of 12 8.5″ x 11″ pages, each with two journal pages for a total of 24 pages for your self care journal. You can either print all of the pages or simply the pages you want. The pages include two each of the following:

  • Skin care recipe cards
  • Self care checklist pages
  • Healthy recipe cards (here’s one of my fave healthy recipes to try!)
  • Face mask recipe cards
  • Pages for setting healthy goals

printable self care journal pages

There are also fourteen lined journal pages featuring seven different motivational quotes and images.

Simply download the printable self care journal pages then print onto 8.5″ x 11″ paper. Then cut out the pages the same way you did the cover for the journal. (Download here.)

The pages are slightly smaller than the cover so they fit neatly inside. These printable self care journal pages will even fit inside your Happy Planner!

self care journal pages

Assemble Your Journal

To assemble your journal, use a hole punch to punch holes into both the cover of your journal, if using, as well as the free printable self care journal pages. If you you are using a Happy Planner, you can use those pages as a guide both for cutting out your pages as well as lining up the holes properly.

Once you’ve punched holes into your journal pages, you can either add them to an existing journal, such as a Happy planner, or create a self care journal using the printed journal cover.

To use the provided journal cover, simply position the journal pages between the printed front and back cover. Then loose leaf binder rings to hold the cover and pages together.

Alternately, you don’t have to punch holes into your self care journal pages. Instead, you can use binder clips to hold the pages together in book form. Both methods, however, allow you to remove or add pages as desired.

Printable self care weekly planner stickers

Want printable self care planner stickers for your new journal? Here are a few you might like including these printable self care weekly planner stickers (pictured) from Love2Plan92.

Need more guidance on your self care journey? Check out this amazing sacred self care workbook or this therapy journal for mental health struggles.

Journaling to Break Unhealthy Habits & Addictions

If you’ve been reading Soap Deli News for some time, then you’re probably aware that I started seeing a therapist after a rather difficult end to what was an incredibly short second marriage. She has been a dream with helping me overcome emotional distress and work toward healthy emotional goals.

Recently I started seeing her again to help me break unhealthy habits. Three of the most important tips she gave me to help me break unhealthy habits and addictions were to 1.) not shame myself for these habits and 2.) find something positive to replace the habit you want to stop and 3.) focus on the benefits of breaking that unhealthy happy or addiction and the positive things that come from not doing it. These work for any number of unhealthy habits or addictions including alcohol consumption as well as binge eating.

She also gave me an acronym to use with journaling. That acronym is TICES. TICES stands for:

  • Trigger
  • Image
  • Cognition
  • Emotions
  • Sensations

So basically, when you want to do whatever the unhealthy habit is you want to stop, you consider these five things and then write about them. For example, if you are trying to stop binge eating or give up alcohol (I chose these as examples as are they are so common) and you want to binge eat or drink, then stop and think about these five things. Then write down the following in your journal:

  • What triggered you to want to binge eat or drink
  • What images you see in your head when you are triggered
  • What happened to lead you to the point that you want to binge eat or drink
  • What emotions do you feel from being triggered
  • What sensations your body is experiencing

I also recommend keeping a running list of all the wonderful things you experience both physically and emotionally when you aren’t engaging in that unhealthy habit. For example, if you are trying to quit drinking, then positive results would be weight loss, a more restful night’s sleep, increased productivity, etc. Then think about these positive benefits (rather than the negative results of the unhealthy habit) and all that you gain from quitting whenever you are triggered to engage in that unhealthy habit.

More Ways to Practice Self Care

Looking for more ways to practice self care in your day-to-day life? Try one of these other self care ideas and projects.

free printable self care journal pages ideas prompts

If you love my free printable self care journal, then be sure to pin it to Pinterest for later.

For more great self care ideas as well as DIY bath and beauty recipes, be sure to follow Soap Deli News. You can follow me now on facebooktwitterpinterest and instagram. Or find me on Blog Lovin’. To receive an email whenever I share a new post, sign up via feedburner here.

Natural Alternatives for Symptom Relief of Fibromyalgia & Perimenopause

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Learn about the best vitamins and herbal supplements you can take for emotional & physical symptom relief of fibromyalgia & perimenopause for women over 40.

Natural Alternatives for Symptom Relief of Fibromyalgia & Perimenopause. Learn about the best vitamins and herbal supplements you can take for emotional & physical symptom relief of fibromyalgia & perimenopause for women over 40 for natural holistic health and wellness. Natural pain relief for fibromyalgia. Plus how to reduce fibro fog and trouble sleeping while also naturally reducing stress, depression, anxiety and mood swings cause by both fibromyalgia and perimenopause.

I sometimes like to refer to it as the “Princess and the Pea Complex.” Because there are days when a wrinkle on a sheet feels like a rock that’s dug into my skin and left a bruise behind. Days a tickle feels like a punch. Sometimes I even feel like I’ve pulled the muscles in my shoulders from simply pulling a shirt off over my head. And that pain lasts for days to weeks. When perimenopause rolled around, it all got worse. Pain and emotion become even more intertwined. I felt miserable all the time. And it wore on me.

Whether you have fibromyalgia or perimenopause – or even both! – there are natural remedies that offer significant relief. Keep reading to learn how more about how one affects the other. As well as the best supplements you can take to put you back on top and in charge of your physical and emotional health.

Finding Symptom Relief from Fibro & Perimenopause

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while now. However, I was always afraid I’d leave something out. And considering how well these products work for me personally, I wanted to cover how beneficial they are in case they can help you as well. Juggling both fibromyalgia AND perimenopause in my forties has proven to be a challenge. However, as many of the natural supplements that reduce symptoms of perimenopause also help with my fibromyalgia, I decided to share them in a post together.

If suffer with chronic pain from fibromyalgia, you’ve likely found that stress and hormones are the two biggest contributing factors to fibro flare ups. And that’s why the same treatment I use for fibro works so well for both the symptom relief of fibromyalgia and perimenopause.

You may recall my post from last year in which I covered the supplements I using then to manage my fibromyalgia. However, this is a revised list of vitamins and supplements that not only work better at providing symptom relief of fibromyalgia pain, fatigue and fibro fog, but also help with perimenopausal symptoms.

Natural alternatives to prescription drugs for pain relief of fibromyalgia symptoms.

Why You Shouldn’t Take Painkillers for Fibromyalgia

There is no cure for fibromyalgia. However, from personal experience, I quickly realized that opioid (and synthetic opioid) painkillers are one of the worst treatments. Not only do they worsen fibro pain over time, they also lead to addiction. With that, in addition to the pain caused by fibromyalgia, you’ll also quickly start to experience withdrawal symptoms as the time for your next dose nears.

Unfortunately, my experience has shown me that doctors just do not know how to treat fibromyalgia symptoms. Aside from recommending SSRI drugs or drugs used to treat nerve pain such as gabapentin – both of which can cause considerable unhealthy weight gain – as well as painkillers and muscle relaxers, there really are no other prescription treatment options.

The Cost of Natural Remedies Vs. Prescription Drugs

It’s also unfortunate that herbal supplements are nowhere near as cheap as generic prescription drugs. However, when those drugs do more harm than good over time, you really have to consider your priorities. Do you find a way to give your body what it needs to be healthy? Or do you spend less to mask the symptoms of your illness?

Therefore, I made the choice to put my health first. I work my butt off – and go without things – to afford my vitamin and herbal supplement regimen. Without them, I can’t function normally. Which in turn means I’m unable to work. While I still have days that challenge me, I now feel better overall. And my focus is sharper than it has been in the past.

Working to discover an affordable supplement regimen to ease the symptoms of fibromyalgia has been a challenge. However, I have learned a lot throughout the process. You really need to try natural supplements for at least three to four months before giving up on them. I found this especially true for (THC free) CBD oil. (For fibromyalgia I recommend medical grade CBD oil if your state offers medical marijuana which is more powerful and more cost effective.) While other supplements, like those I take for perimenopausal hot flashes and mood, require a 90-day minimum before they start working.

An investment of time and money is required to find the right solution to help ease your symptoms. So some patience is required before throwing in the towel.

The Emotional Monkey Wrench: Perimenopause

Treating my fibromyalgia symptoms has become more trying since I developed perimenopause. The symptoms of fibro, when combined with my body’s changes from perimenopause, has been an incredible challenge.

I’ve been struggling with perimenopause for several years now. Much of that time, I really didn’t know that I had perimenopause. (No one talks about it!) When coupled with the fibromyalgia, the symptoms of perimenopause left my body in a whirlwood. I’d have weeks where I felt okay. Then other times I felt like the world just dropped out from under me.

Not knowing I was going through perimenopause, I didn’t really understand why I was having mood swings. Or that my hot flashes were hot flashes. Why I couldn’t sleep or why I was having night sweats. No one ever talked to me about it.

I finally gained some insight into the mystery toward the end of last year. My 44th birthday was just around the corner, and an understanding (finally!) of why my body (and brain) were acting the way they were, gave me the insight I needed to take control of body – and mental health – back.

Natural alternatives for treatment of fibromyalgia for pain relief, fatigue, anxiety and depression.

Natural Support for Symptom Relief of Fibromyalgia & Perimenopause

I’ve since taken a second look at my health and the supplements I take to stay healthy and support emotional wellness. The cost of vitamins and supplements, however, was and continues to be a factor. So, for a time, I was constantly tweaking strategies and looking for the best natural alternative that worked for both the perimenopause AND the fibromyalgia – at a price I could manage. After many many months, I think I finally found it.

Everyday Tips for Better Mental Health & Pain Relief

Before I share my vitamin and herbal supplement regimen with you, however, I first want to share a few tips to give you days a positive boost.

  • Exercise. Whether walking for heart health or doing yoga to build muscle strength, both of these activities naturally boost serotonin in the brain, increase energy and help to reduce pain caused by fibromyalgia.
  • Nutrition. Cutting processed foods, sugar and other foods from your diet that cause inflammation will help your body feel better and can also reduce bloating.
  • Meditation. Meditation or mindful breathing exercises are an easy, cost free way to reduce stress that triggers and worsens symptoms.
  • Nutritional and herbal supplements. As we age, our bodies lose vital vitamins and minerals. Supplements are an easy way to replenish things like D3, B-vitamins and magnesium. While GLA and herbs can support perimenopause relief, reduce inflammation and boost mood.

For more ways on dealing with chronic pain, I also recommend these tips from the American Psychological Association. They include managing stress, constructive positive thinking, staying actively engaged socially and seeking out additional support. I also like these easy ideas for “exercise snacks” throughout the day.

Natural alternatives to prescription pain medications for the relief of fibromyalgia symptoms.

Turning to Herbal Supplements for Symptom Relief of Fibromyalgia & Perimenopause

It’s important to remember that herbal remedies can take up to 3 months to start working and see benefits. Therefore, starting and stopping prior to that is a disservice to both your health and your pocketbook. So be sure you’re ready to commit to the time and cost of discovering the best solutions for symptom relief of fibromyalgia and/or perimenopause. It’s also important to note that herbal supplements may interact with medications you may be taking. Therefore, as with all herbal supplements, it’s important to talk to your doctor before starting any new supplements so you are aware of possible interactions and symptoms.

Following is a list of the herbal supplements and vitamins that I take daily, why I take them and how they help.

SAM-E Complete

S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe) is a naturally occuring compound in our bodies that helps produce and regulate hormones as well as maintain cell membranes. As we age, the amount of SAMe our body produce decreases. Fortunately, we can replenish those lower levels in the same way we replenish low levels of other vitamins and minerals.

While there is no naturally occuring form of SAMe outside of our own bodies, thanks to modern science there is a synthetic version available that works the very same way. A clinically researched supplement, SAMe supports a healthy mood and offers joint comfort. Studies have shown that SAMe can help with depression, is beneficial for people with liver disease and helps with symptoms of osteoarthritis.

Here’s why SAMe is my #1 recommendation for symptom relief of fibromyalgia and perimenopause.

  • As women we are more prone to developing osteoarthritis as we age. SAMe offers similar pain relief and improvement in joint function as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. This can also help with fibromyalgia pain.
  • When I was taking celexa – an SSRI drug that reduces anxiety and boosts mood – my fibromyalgia pain was significantly reduced. However, I did experience a number of side effects. These included simply not giving a shit, lack of judgment and poor impulse control, and weight gain. SAMe has tackled my anxiety and in turn helped with stress levels and pain without any of those side effects. This reduction of anxiety and stress has in turn has also relieved my tension headaches, conquered my recurrent TMJ and helped with depression and better stress management.
  • As you experience spikes and sharp drops in serotonin as hormone levels change throughout perimenopause, you also experience drastic shifts in mood. These include those “crazy mood swings” as well as depression. To treat this, my gynecologist actually recommended I take an SSRI drug for symptom relief. Since I’ve been there and done that, I decided to try SAMe instead. It does everything an SSRI drug does and more.
  • While SAMe boosts serotonin in your brain and acts like an SSRI drug, there are none of the unwanted side effects that come with taking a prescription SSRI medication.

Unfortunately, if you have ever had serotonin syndrome, you can’t take SAMe. Otherwise, I recommend 800mg of Nature Made SAM-e Complete daily for symptom relief of fibromyalgia. If you don’t have fibromyalgia, and simply need emotional support for perimenopause, I recommend starting at 200mg per day then increasing your dose to 400mg (on up to 800mg if needed or to treat fibro symptoms) after two weeks at the initial dose.

Best multivitamin for perimenopause. As many of tend to be deficient in necessary vitamins and minerals as we age, a multivitamin is a must. New Chapter Every Woman’s 40+ One Daily Multi is my by far my favorite vitamin. Specially formulated for women in their 40s, this multivitamin not only offers necessary vitamins and minerals, it also offer bone, energy, stress and hormone support.

New Chapter Every Woman’s 40+ One Daily Multi

As many of tend to be deficient in necessary vitamins and minerals as we age, a multivitamin is a must. New Chapter Every Woman’s 40+ One Daily Multi is my by far my favorite vitamin. (This from the girl who used to take two chewable Flintstones +Iron a day.) Specially formulated for women in their 40s, this multivitamin not only offers necessary vitamins and minerals, it also offer bone, energy, stress and hormone support.

This #1-selling fermented multivitamin brand, this clean, whole-food fermented multivitamin delivers superfoods like ginger, organic turmeric & fenugreek and is made with certified organic vegetables and herbs. Many of the key ingredients I find especially beneficial not just for nutritional support but also for symptom relief of fibromyalgia and perimenopause.

Because this vitamin contains D3, it not only helps support bone health, but it also can help with pain. Low levels of D3 are linked to higher levels of pain. When I was first diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I had extremely low levels of vitamin D. In turn, my mother’s arthritis had grown increasingly worse about two years back. She too, had low levels of vitamin D as well as low bone density that can lead to osteoporosis.

This multivitamin also contains B6. The mineral B6 offers a number of health benefits that are backed by science. It can help to improve mood, promote brain health, aid in hemoglobin production to reduce symptoms of anemia, minimize the risk of heart disease, promote eye health and decrease inflammation caused by arthritis.

When combined with magnesium, B6 can help reduce symptoms of PMS including mood swings, irritability and anxiety. It’s also been show that low levels of B6 in older women can double our risk of depression. Therefore, by maintaining healthy B6 levels, it’s possible it can improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression associated with both perimenopause and fibromyalgia. (You can learn more about vitamin B6 here.)

This multivitamin also contains schizandra berry, maca root and chamomile for energy and stress support. While a natural herbal blend with chaste tree berry, red clover flower and raspberry leaf offers hormone support that I found help ease hot flashes and night sweats.

If you aren’t yet 40, you can try New Chapter Every Woman’s One Daily Multi. Or they also offer a women’s multivitamin for 55+.

Estroven

When I finally figured out I was going through “the change” (and WTF do you mean perimenopause can last up to 7 years?!) I knew I did not want to take hormone supplements. My mom actually got cervical cancer from taking hormone pills that were over prescribed for a period of 15 years. And I have a friend who developed breast cancer when she turned 40. As it turned out my gynecologist actually suggested I try herbal remedies for perimenopause relief before I even considered hormone treatment.

Estroven is common, over-the-counter product for natural menopause relief. It contains clinically proven soy isoflavones for hot flash relief and increased energy as well as twice as much as black cohosh as other leading brands. In addition, it also contains magnolia bark which helps you manage stress, offers relief from menopausal anxiety and aids with digestion. However, you do have to take this product for three months to notice a difference.

I FINALLY passed that 3-month mark of taking Estroven for it to work. And while my daily New Chapter multivitamin helped with hot flashes and night sweats, this product significantly reduced hormone fueled food cravings, reduced bloating, helped with irritability and mood swings and provided additional support for hot flashes and night sweats. As I take Estroven Maximum Strength + Energy, this product also helps with fatigue caused by both the perimenopause and the fibromyalgia.

While I don’t recommend this product if you aren’t going through perimenopause, it does help with the hormone changes that often cause fibro flare ups. (Just as a side note I did take the New Chapter Every Woman’s 40+ One Daily Multi for several months prior to starting this product. I did not start them at the same time.)

Evening Primrose with 10% GLA

Evening primrose oil is a fatty acid that also offers hormone support. This cold pressed oil is comprised of Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA), an essential omega-6 fatty acid that our bodies use to to produce eicosanoids, known as “local hormones.” Additionally, evening primrose also supports skin health and offers immune support. It’s taken for a variety of health concerns including eczema and psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis, diabetic nerve damage and chronic fatigue, acne, PMS, breast pain, endometriosis and hot flashes and hot flushes cause by perimenopause.

Studies show that the GLA found in evening primrose oil not only reduces hot flashes, it can also improve heart health and reduce blood pressure. Additionally, older research has indicated that the linolenic acid  in evening primrose can also ease symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, such as tingling and weakness caused by diabetes. In turn it’s possible it can also help with the pain symptoms and weakness you experience with fibromyalgia.

I am one of those unlucky people that experiences not hot flashes, but hot flushes. Similar to a hot flash in that there’s a sudden feeling of heat that spreads throughout the body, with hot flushes you also experience sweating, palpitations and flushing of the face. It’s not fun. Evening primrose really helped with my own hot flushes when I first started taking it prior to my use of Estroven. I recommend taking Nature’s Way EfaGold Evening Primrose with 10% GLA twice daily in addition to your daily multivitamin for additional hormone support if you are allergic to the soy Estroven. You can learn more about hot flushes here.

Irwin Naturals Sunny Mood

Anxiety, tension and pain are my jam where fibromyalgia is concerned. However, Irwin Naturals Sunny Mood helps to further reduce my anxiety even in those uncomfortable social situations. This unique blend contains D3 and magnesium along with fish oil (DHA), rhodiola extract, L-Theanine, lemon balm and passionflower. Brought together, this combination of adaptogenic botanicals, soothing nerve relaxants and harmonizing nutrients help to maintain mental balance during times of heightened emotional stress. This supplement if perfect for anyone with temporary depressed mood, occasional anxiety, emotional reactivity, temporary stress-related exhaustion and mental fatigue. ie. All the symptoms of fibromyalgia and perimenopause.

Sunny Mood can be taken either as needed or for daily maintenance depending on your emotional health needs.

While I already covered the benefits of D3 and magnesium, here’s a brief overview of the other ingredients, which were actually recommended by my licensed holistic therapist for symptom relief of fibromyalgia.

  • An omega-3 fatty acid, DHA is linked to improved heart health, better vision, and reduced inflammatory response. Studies also show that it can help with ADHD symptoms, improve focus and help protect against depression.
  • Like CBD oil, Rhodiola Rosea is an adaptogenic herb. In short, adaptogens are herbal supplements that have to the ability to help stabilize physiological processes and promote homeostasis. As such, Rhodiola extract specifically promotes overall physical and emotional wellbeing by reducing stress, combating fatigue, increase mental performance and improving physical and mental fitness.
  • L-Theanine is an amino acid that is naturally found in both green and black tea that naturally improves mental focus and cognitive performance as well as contribute to relaxation and improve sleep quality. It’s believed that L-theanine affects the levels of certain chemicals in the brain including serotonin and dopamine. Both of which influence mood, sleep and emotion. Additionally, it also affects cortisol which helps the body deal with stress.
  • Lemon balm is common culinary herb that’s often used in traditional medicine to treat both anxiety and insomnia. Also popular as an essential oil, lemon balm essential oil is used in aromatherapy to promote calmness and ease stress.
  • Like lemon balm, passionflower is another herb traditionally used to relieve symptoms of anxiety and insomnia in addition to certain forms of pain. While there are several types of passionflower, only the variety known as Passiflora incarnata, is used medicinally. This strain in particular increases levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (or GABA) in the brain – a chemical the brain makes to help regulate mood. As GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter, it counters the neurotransmitters that cause excitement, which in turn can provide a calming effect.

Natural herbal supplements for insomnia to support rest and relaxation. As both fibromyalgia and perimenopause can result in trouble sleeping, I often have to take something to help me rest. Otherwise I not only have trouble falling asleep, I literally wake up every two hours. While melatonin does help to an extent, I've found it works best when used in conjunction with an herbal supplement.

Sleep Supplements

As both fibromyalgia and perimenopause can result in trouble sleeping, I often have to take something to help me rest. Otherwise I not only have trouble falling asleep, I literally wake up every two hours. While melatonin does help to an extent, I’ve found it works best when used in conjunction with an herbal supplement.

Currently I’m taking a store brand herbal supplement from Earth Fare. It combines 6 mg of melatonin with a blend of valerian root, hops strobiles, skullcap, passionflower and California poppy. I simply take two capsules about a half hour before I’m ready to go to bed to help promote rest and relaxation. If you don’t have an Earth Fare near you, you can easily find a similar herbal supplement across other health and wellness brands.

Otherwise, an essential oil blend comprised of 3 drops vetiver essential oil, 2 drops lavender essential oil and 2 drops ylang ylang essential oil in an essential oil diffuser at bedtime helps with insomnia and other general sleep issues. (If you’d like to learn how to get started using essential oils, be sure to check out my article on essential oils for home, health and beauty.)

Do you struggle with fibromyalgia, perimenopause – or even both as I do? I’d love to hear your thoughts on natural supplements you use for symptom relief of fibromyalgia and perimenopause that have worked for you! After all. Everyone is unique in their own body chemistry. And helping one another find solutions to live our best lives through the exchange of information is what it’s all about.

For more natural health and wellness alternatives to incorporate into every aspect of your life, be sure to visit my natural health and wellness Pinterest board.

You can also find me on your favorite social media platforms including Blog Lovin‘, facebooktwitter and instagram. Or sign up to receive my newsletter to stay in the loop.

This article is not intended to provide diagnosis, treatment or medical advice and is provided for informational purposes only. Information on products mentioned are based on my own personal experience and have not been evaluated by the FDA. Please consult a physician prior to making any changes that may impact your health.

How Do You Say Goodbye?

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How Do You Say Goodbye? A tribute to my grandmother who lived her life with kindness and a never ending supply of hugs. Her legacy of love will live on through us all.

You think you know what it means to watch someone waste away. You’ve seen it on television. You’ve read about it in books. But until you see it, with your own eyes – watch it happen to someone you love – you realize you had no idea. The emotional impact is unfathomable. You want to cry. Yet in the pit of your stomach you know you should be strong. So you turn your head. You hide your eyes. You don’t want show up unless you have to.

When I walked into her room, she was asleep. A small teddy bear holding a heart rested on her chest. Her face was sunken. Her skin like glass. The damp cloth on her forehead hid the fact that all her hair was gone now. Yet at the same time somehow made her seem more substantial. There was oxygen in her nose. And from time to time she’d make a terrifying sound as she breathed through her mouth.

She woke up a short time later. Almost as if she was frightened back into her dying body. She begged for water. Water she couldn’t have for fear it’d end up in her lungs. She couldn’t swallow. So we made do with a sponge dipped into a cup of that life giving fluid.

There were no IV’s. There were no life saving measures. Instead there was pain and panic. It was if she knew there were people with her, but she saw through them. From time to time she’d panic, her feeble heart racing. Buying it’s time to hang on just a little while longer. Yet the panic left her terrified she was choking. Swearing to us she couldn’t breathe.

There was another dose of morphine.

………….

When I was little my Meemaw, as she was known to all her grandchildren, took care of me. She always gave me as much paper and scotch tape as I’d like. And even after I cut my finger on her sewing scissors, she let those scissors find their way back into my hands again.

I drew pictures and cut paper. I built cities that expanded through an ever growing amount of Scotch tape so my Hot Wheels would have new places to go. Journeys to make and parking spots at two dimensional grocery stores.

I drew homes. And in those homes there were always closets. I created pretty dresses on hangers with crayons to fill them. Because with her, I always felt at home. She was home. She was a force of happiness and kindness that welcomed everyone throughout her life – including strangers.

………….

As an adult, when you get the call, you go. It is not an easy thing. You want to run away. You want to be strong. You’re terrified to leave. It’s a mix of emotions that are at times overwhelming. Yet somehow, you find a way to make sure your loved ones know they’re loved in the end.

That was not my grandmother in that hospital bed. That was a shell of who she was. Her body gave in, and let go, a few short hours later.

So I drew her a house, a closet to take with her. And in that closet was a single hanger. On it, a pair of angel wings.

While her body is now for the earth, her spirit is for skies. Her legacy was, is and will always be love. Her spirit, living on always, through all of us blessed enough to know her.

Treat Yourself This Valentine’s Day

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Four unexpected yet easy ways to treat yourself this Valentine’s Day! (Because not every love affair needs to be about someone else.)

Treat yourself this Valentine's Day! When was the last time you spent money on you? As women, I think we're conditioned to look out for the needs of others first. So instead of buying something for someone else, why not treat yourself? Buy something that sparks your creativity. Make more time for yourself to do the things you love. Take care of your physical needs. Four unexpected ways to treat yourself for Valentine's Day - or any day! #treatyourself #selfcare #healthandwellness

I’m not the biggest fan of winter. Granted, snow is fun – to a point. But we’ve just not had enough snow to hoot and holler this winter. And that polar vortex that dipped super south this year? It left me huddled inside feeling the full force of those winter blues. While Valentine’s Day is on the horizon, it’s not really a day I’m looking forward to with any sort of zeal. To be truthful, I’d rather stay inside where it’s warm and cozy until spring. So in addition to – or perhaps just instead of – celebrating Valentine’s (or Galentine’s Day) why not simply treat yourself with one of these easy self care ideas?

4 Ways Treat Yourself for Valentine’s Day

#1 Treat yourself with a gift on your wish list.

When was the last time you spent money on you? As women, I think we’re conditioned to look out for the needs of others first. So instead of buying something for someone else, why not treat yourself? Buy something that sparks your creativity. Or splurge on that new pair of shoes or that eyeshadow pallet you’ve been dying to buy, but simply can’t justify. (I’m thinking about buying this linocut printmaking kit right now.)

#2 Treat yourself  by making more time for the things you love.

You can also invest more time in your passions, by skipping those last minute trips to the store. Whenever we even get the threat of snow here in Southwestern Virginia, everyone freaks out. This makes going to the grocery store for a regularly planned trip to pick up toilet paper feel like you wandered into a madhouse. Everyone else is cleaning out the milk, eggs and bread. And all you want is few extra rolls of toilet paper because you’ve been using yours as tissues for the past week. Why torture yourself?

Treat yourself this Valentine's Day! When was the last time you spent money on you? As women, I think we're conditioned to look out for the needs of others first. So instead of buying something for someone else, why not treat yourself? Buy something that sparks your creativity. Or splurge on that new pair of shoes or that eyeshadow pallet you've been dying to buy, but simply can't justify.

Sign up for Grove and get your everyday products delivered monthly right to your door – all when you need them! I love that I also have the option of receiving the things I need early – or simply skipping a month – depending on what I may need or my financial situation. Plus, right now, Grove is sending out some pretty incredible freebies for new customers. Things like treeless toilet paper and paper towels as well as dish and hand soap and scrubber sponges. Practical items – all shipped free with your first order of $20 or more. (I like to throw in holistic immunity boosters this time of year as well.) So you can take back that hour of chaos and bank that time to do something you actually enjoy. Check it out!

If you have a love of learning, then there's no better gift of give yourself than the gift of knowledge. The Herbal Academy just introduced their revised and expanded their herbalism courses for the new year. Not only are they coinciding this with an awesome spring sale, there are some super sweet freebies that come with select programs. They also now offer PRINTED course guides! (For those of us who are constantly mourning the loss of paper books.) You can take advantage of sale pricing at The Herbal Academy through February 20th. New students will receive a $25 discount off registration through February 20th. Plus you'll receive a free herbal goodie bag ($70 value) with any textbook package order!

#3 Treat yourself with the gift of knowledge.

If you have a love of learning, then there’s no better gift of give yourself than the gift of knowledge. The Herbal Academy just introduced their revised and expanded their herbalism courses for the new year. Not only are they coinciding this with an awesome spring sale, there are some super sweet freebies that come with select programs. They also now offer PRINTED course guides! (For those of us who are constantly mourning the loss of paper books.) You can take advantage of sale pricing at The Herbal Academy through February 20th. New students will receive a $25 discount off registration through February 20th. Plus you’ll receive a free herbal goodie bag ($70 value) with any textbook package order! Sign up here.

With winter here, however, staying active can be a challenge. But with the legalization of CBD oil across the country (with some restrictions) we are now able to turn to healthier options for chronic pain like arthritis and fibromyalgia in addition to our overall health and emotional well being. Don't like the taste of CBD oil tinctures? You can now support your body's endocannabinoid system with natural CBD oil infused treats!

#4 Treat yourself by supporting your ECS.

Last year I learned that our bodies have an entire system that supports everything from pain sensation and pregnancy to fertility, mood and appetite. It’s call the endocannabinoid system (ECS.) Voluntary exercise naturally boosts our ECS which can lead to exercise induced euphoria. (Source.) With winter here, however, staying active can be a challenge. But with the legalization of CBD oil across the country (with some restrictions) we are now able to turn to healthier options for chronic pain like arthritis and fibromyalgia in addition to our overall health and emotional well being. Don’t like the taste of CBD oil tinctures? You can now support your body’s endocannabinoid system with natural CBD oil infused treats!

For more lifestyle and wellness ideas, as well as natural beauty recipes, sign up for my semi-weekly newsletter so you never miss a post. You can also follow me on Pinterestfacebook and instagram.

How to Deal with Holiday Stress Even If Your Family Is Insane

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This post is sponsored by Wiivv. All opinions are my own.

Let’s face it. The holidays can be tough. Not only is there more to take on during the holiday season, but family can make the holidays even more stressful. There are ways, however, to lighten that emotional load. Keep reading for my tips on how to deal with holiday stress. So maybe this year you can start enjoying the holidays again.

Tips on how to deal with holiday stress.

The day before Thanksgiving I actually broke out in hives. So I understand how stressful the holidays can be. Thus illustrating not just the emotional, but also the physical toll, that the holidays can have on our health. Because I have fibromyalgia, stress – especially the kind of stress that the holidays bring – also affects my pain level. So doing activities that I actually do enjoy – like our local star drop in market square – brings with it some challenges. Specifically when it comes to footwear.

I want to be like everyone else and wear my pretty holiday party dress with the super cute shoes to match. What I don’t want to have to worry about however, is my feet hurting a half hour in and not being able to walk the rest of the night. Luckily, I scored a pair of Wiivv’s 3/4 Length Custom Fit Insoles a few months ago. Their not only custom designed to fit my feet, they also fit into every single pair of shoes I own. Even those cute party shoes. And, while they may not help me to deal with the stress of the holiday season, there’s a good chance I’ll be doing a lot of dancing into the New Year.

I really love that my Wiivv insoles allow me to feel physically feel better, not just at holiday parties, but in my day to day activities. This in turn takes some of that extra stress off my mind, so I can enjoy doing things more. Let’s face it though. Dealing with the stress of family obligations and events throughout the holiday season isn’t tackled by great footwear alone. Sometimes you have to take the time out to consider what’s more important to you – your sense of duty or your emotional health?

To help you make the holidays season a little easier to deal with, I’ve been together a few tips on how to deal with holiday stress.

Tips on How to Deal with Holiday Stress

1. Say “no.”

There’s nothing saying that you MUST attend family events during the holiday season. Maybe you have an emotionally abusive mother or a racist uncle that puts you on edge. Or perhaps it’s just overwhelming trying to find the time to attend every event, clean your house and shop for gifts all on top of work, kids and personal relationships. If you need a break, for whatever reason, it’s okay to say “no.” Stay home instead and indulge in some self care. You shouldn’t feel guilty for taking care of yourself. And believe me, I’ve skipped my own fair share of events.

“Sorry, I won’t be able to attend this year. Aunt Margaret will be there and if I have to even look at her face after the things she’s done… Well, I will not hold back. And no one wants that at a holiday party.”

2. Self medicate.

Yeah. I know. This sounds bad. But as someone who’s dealt with agoraphobia, I understand anxiety. And sometimes you just need a little help. I’m not suggesting drinking yourself into oblivion or anything. However, if there are events that will turn out worse for you if you don’t attend them, then go prepared. Cbd oil works wonders for anxiety when you can’t avoid those extra challenging family events. (It can also help with the inflammation from all those carbs!) However, if CBD oil isn’t an option for you, you can try other herbal remedies such as valerian and skullcap root to ease anxiety and reduce stress.

“Hey, Carla! Your dress is awesome. Hopefully your attitude will reflect your look this year. But if not, I’ll just be chillaxing over in the corner tonight with my phone on video… I can’t wait to replay your antics for all my friends! They all loved Don’t Trust The B- In Apartment 23!”

3. Avoid politics.

At all costs, do not discuss politics at family gatherings. If your family is like mine, then everyone has a different opinion on the state of our country. Don’t make a relatively agreeable holiday gathering into an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. While your brother may act like a demon, it’s best not to call him out on it. Your therapist may refer to this as setting aside your differences. I also suggest making it very clear there are to be no political discussions during holiday events. Threaten to never attend an event again – I did! – and someone is guaranteed to have your back.

4. Take a breather.

Overwhelmed? Sneak outside and take a break. One of my best memories of Christmas was not only family free (I was going through a divorce) but it was spent with a friend skating on the ice in Market Square in our tennis shoes. Alternately, mediation is supposed to help as well. Unfortunately, my brain stays on overdrive and that is something I definitely struggle with.

5. Get some rest.

Staying up late to try to tackle your entire to do list will just make the next day more trying. You are not a Stepford wife. (Thank goodness.) You’re a grown ass woman. So if you want ice cream for breakfast and a midday nap, just go for it. If anyone is judging you, it’s simply to make up for their own shortcomings.

With that said, I hope everyone has a happy holiday season. Even if it means taking a pass. And, if you have tips for how to deal with holiday stress, I’d love for you to share your success stories in the comments. Also don’t forget that those custom Wiivv insoles in case you need to make a mad dash for the hills without breaking a leg. Your family likely won’t thank you, but your feet definitely will. However, learning how to deal with holiday stress can help you have a happier holiday. So if you’re up for it, then give it your best! (Or at least find a way to make it entertaining.)