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Important Self-Care Tips For Introverted Seniors

Important Self-Care Tips For Introverted Seniors 

Guest Article by: Melissa Howard

Photo by Edu Carvalho from Pexels

In order to maintain good health, it is important for seniors to practice self-care every day. This can be in the form of getting a good night’s sleep, working out routinely, and paying attention to your mental health. If you’re an introvert who prefers to perform activities on your own, this does not mean there are no good self-care opportunities for you. On the contrary, there are plenty of activities you can participate in solo. These tips will help you reach your self-care goals in a comfortable setting. 

 

Great At-Home Exercises 

 

One of the easiest and most fun ways to incorporate more self-care routines into your day is by staying fit. This helps reduce the chances of falling as well as mental illnesses including depression. If you’d prefer to stay inside instead of heading to the gym, there are plenty of exercise options for you. If you have grandchildren who are no longer interested in using their old Wii, offer to take it from them and then do fun workouts with the Wii Fit. Use your smartphone or tablet to find some exercise videos like the Go4Life collection recommended by the National Institute on Aging. There are also many fitness apps you can download including Blogilates, Aaptiv, and SweatWorking.  Find something that will help you get off the couch and get going.

 

Safety for Individual Fitness Routines 

 

If you prefer to go solo when it comes to outdoor exercise like running, swimming, or cycling, it’s safe to keep a device on you to connect you with your caregiver or a family member. Smartwatches like those from the Apple Watch Series 4 will not only keep you connected via text and keep track of how far you run but can also keep track of your location if you happen to fall or get lost. There are plenty of fitness trackers and smartwatches to choose from for every need and every budget including the Huawei Band 3 Pro. 

 

Good Nightly Habits for a Better Sleep

 

While it’s necessary to take care of yourself during the day, don’t overlook your needs at night as well. Creating good habits before falling asleep can influence better and deeper sleep that will make you more well-rested for the next day’s activities. Preparing your room with black-out curtains and even a sound machine to keep out additional noises will help keep your sleep consistent. Creating rituals to help you get ready for bed such as taking a bath or reading a book can also help calm you down for good sleep. 

 

Self-Care Can Help Prevent Depression

 

As we grow older, it’s important to keep up with healthy self-care routines for both the body and mind. Neglecting your own self-care can result in depression. As warning signs may go unseen or unaddressed, it is important to recognize the signs of depression so that you can focus on it if it arises. According to Healthline.com, geriatric depression is long-lasting and can turn into major depression if it is not treated. PAy attention to your moods and feelings, and look for signs like feeling worthless, sleep problems, and even changes in appetite. 

 

Many of your contemporaries who have depression may not speak up, even if they recognize the warning signs. They do this for many reasons, but one is the social stigma attached, and they suffer because of it. It is important to overcome embarrassment in order to treat depression. Some of the treatment options that can help include taking medication, attending therapy, and spending time with people you feel comfortable socializing with. The latter is particularly important for introverted seniors, because senior isolation can contribute to depression.

 

Self-care is important for all seniors, regardless of your personal socialization preferences. As you incorporate these self-care rituals into your daily routine, you will feel happier and healthier.

You can pay for your massage with your pre- taxed income, here is how!

Keep reading to learn why I believe having an HSA account is as necessary as having a checking account.

First let me start by saying we accept Health Savings Accounts (HSA cards), and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA cards) for all of our treatments, gift certificate and retail product purchases here at Affordable Spa. You can receive the treatments you need and pay for them with pre taxable income.

 

For clarity, I have included the definitions of FSA and HSA below as defined by Wikipedia:

 

HSA- A health savings account (HSA) is a tax-advantaged medical savings account available to taxpayers in the United States who are enrolled in a high-deductible health plan (HDHP).[1][2] The funds contributed to an account are not subject to federal income tax at the time of deposit. Unlike a flexible spending account (FSA), HSA funds roll over and accumulate year to year if they are not spent. HSAs are owned by the individual, which differentiates them from company-owned Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA) that are an alternate tax-deductible source of funds paired with either high-deductible health plans or standard health plans.

HSA funds may be used to pay for qualified medical expenses at any time without federal tax liability or penalty. Beginning in early 2011 over-the-counter medications cannot be paid with an HSA without a doctor’s prescription.[3] Withdrawals for non-medical expenses are treated very similarly to those in an individual retirement account (IRA) in that they may provide tax advantages if taken after retirement age, and they incur penalties if taken earlier. The accounts are a component of consumer-driven health care.

 

FSA- A flexible spending account (FSA), also known as a flexible spending arrangement, is one of a number of tax-advantaged financial accounts, resulting in payroll tax savings[1] Before the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, one significant disadvantage to using an FSA was that funds not used by the end of the plan year were forfeited to the employer, known as the “use it or lose it” rule. Under the terms of the Affordable Care Act, a plan may permit an employee to carry over up to $500 into the following year without losing the funds.

 

Sarah Mancuso Fox of Sarah A Fox, CPA says “ HSA accounts are one of the BEST tax saving tools!

In my opinion, the only disadvantage is that your health plan must be a high deductible plan!”

 

What I find in my practice is that many of my clients may have an HSA available with their health plan however it may not have been set up, because it was never explained to them by their companies HR department or because they were unaware that it can be used to pay for alternative therapies such as massage therapy, advanced skin care or natural health treatments such as nutritional guidance, yoni steams, or ear candling. It is important that I try to educate folks I meet in and outside of work particularly self employed individuals on this important resource. I was recently at my bank and saw a sign hanging in the window about HSA accounts, up until that moment I had not realized that you could simply open an HSA account at your bank like a checking account, I always thought if your employer did not offer this you could not have one.

So I’ve compiled a list below of fast facts to help you make use of this valuable tax savings tool:

 

  1. You can open your own HSA account even if your employer doesn’t offer this benefit. Talk to your bank to determine your eligibility.
  2. You contribute pre taxable income into the account, which can be used for medical expenses and holistic treatments.
  3. Some employers offer HSA accounts and they even contribute funds to them for their employees. Talk to your HR department to learn more. If you are self employed, chat with your CPA, or your banker.
  4. HSA cards can be spent on vitamins, holistic treatments, massage therapy, skin care, massage and skincare products, chiropractic, acupuncture. Talk to your HSA account provider for specifics on what your card covers. If your needs are different than what is offered, check with a different bank to see if they have different options.
  5. There are restrictions as to who can have an HSA account based on the terms of your health insurance plan, so talk to your CPA to determine what’s best for you!

Anne Biedrycki from Benefinder says: “BeneFinder offers HSA compatible health insurance plans. Many people do not know the pre-tax benefits of such plans. HSA funds can be used towards any IRS qualified medical, vision, or dental expenses. Not all HSA plans have high deductibles, but these types of plans do not offer co-pays. Many people enroll in an HSA qualified plan, but do not know what an HSA is or never set up or contribute to an HSA. 2020 HSA contribution limits are $3550 for an individual, and $7100 for a family. Setting up an HSA with your bank and using those pre-tax dollars can offer consumers substantial savings!”

 

Ultimately I would like your take away from his to be realizing you can afford to treat yourself to the massage, facial or natural health treatment you deserve, and you have other options to help you budget this, and you should take the time to chat with the specialists you trust to determine the best way for you to do this, such as; your banker, your financial planner, your CPA, your HR department or benefits specialist.

 

To your wellness!

 

Namaste,

 

Brandi

Training for a 5 K on a budget!

Photo by Derick Santos from Pexels

Guest Article by: Sheila Olson of fitsheila.com | info@fitsheila.com

Budget-Friendly Ways to Train for Your First 5K

 

If you’ve decided to sign up for a 5K race, you’ve made a good decision. Training for and running this roughly three-mile trek is a great way to quickly get in shape, support charities, make friends and so much more. Plus, 5Ks don’t require you to spend a lot of money. 

 

Whether you’re just starting to run again after a long hiatus, or you’ve never run more than a half-mile in your life, training for a 5K race can be challenging. But training is also the most beneficial part of the whole process, and doing it well is what will help you achieve your goals. That’s why we’ve put together this list of cost-effective tips to help you prepare and make the most of your 5K experience:

 

Gear up through promo codes. 

 

When you start running, having the right gear is critical for staying healthy and avoiding injury. Buying gear can also be the most expensive part of running, which is why it’s important to find deals before you make a bunch of purchases. Look for Rakuten Coupons, promo codes, or cashback opportunities on anything from running shoes to technical socks and clothing. 

 

Sign up as early as possible. 

 

When you sign up for a race early on, it can help motivate you to start training and give you more time to prepare. The act of signing up alone moves you from talking about running a 5K to committing to it. Local races are typically easy to find, registration is usually free or inexpensive (expect anywhere from $5 to $40), and portions often go to charity. If you currently pay for a gym membership, canceling it can help you to cover the cost of registration (and maybe even other costs like gear). 

 

Set a healthy goal. 

 

For your first race, try to think of yourself as the only competition. If you’re not an experienced runner and your race is coming up in a few weeks, it may not be a good idea to shoot for a 20-minute finish time. Instead, focus on improving during training, preventing injury, staying healthy and doing your best. This will set you up for success and help you avoid hefty medical bills. 

 

Find the right training program.

 

A 5K race generally takes 15 to 45 minutes to complete. In the grand scheme of things, that’s a very short amount of time compared to the training leading up to the event, which is why most benefits come from training. If you research online, you can find countless training programs for 5K races—some of which are free. Find one that challenges you, but make sure it’s realistic. Your training program should motivate you to get fit and have fun, not discourage you. 

 

If it’s been a long time since you engaged in any physical activity, shoot for 20 to 30 minutes of jogging/walking three times a week. From there, you can gradually increase your pace and add a day—then two—to your weekly regimen. 

 

Stretch before and after running. 

 

Finally, stretching before and after your runs will go a long way in preparing your body and avoiding injury. As part of your pre-run routine, do dynamic stretching, which includes movements like walking lunges, high knees and butt kicks that help to get your blood flowing and prepare your muscles and joints. After each run, cool down by walking for a few minutes and doing static stretches for your hamstrings, quadriceps, back, hip flexors and groin. You can get ideas for stretching on free apps like Flexibility, Stretching Sworkit and Kaia. 

 

Running a 5K race comes with tons of benefits, and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Be sure to get all the gear you need, and register for your race early. Also, make sure your goals and training program are challenging but realistic, and stretch appropriately before and after each run. Most of all, enjoy the journey of preparing for your first 5K, and don’t look back!

Help Stop Human Trafficking!

This one is a subject very near and dear to my heart because a dear friend of mine recently adopted 2 beautiful babies from a human trafficking situation, and she is slowly beginning to work through all the trauma these little humans have lived through. It is also important to me because being in the massage industry I know that many illegitimate practices use massage as a cover for brothels forcing sex trafficked victims to provide sexual services in exchange for money against their will. We as a community need to do everything we can to put an end to this!

Human Trafficking Facts:
Human trafficking reaches every culture and demographic. 
Traffickers exploit potential victims by seeking individuals with

exploitable vulnerabilities.
 The first contact a child makes with trafficking is often a female.  
Estimates suggest that about 50,000 people are trafficked into the US each year, most often from Mexico and the Philippines.
 In 2018, over half (51.6%) of the criminal human trafficking cases

active in the US were sex trafficking cases involving children.
 It’s estimated that internationally there are between 20 million and 40 million people in modern slavery today.  
Human trafficking earns global profits of roughly $150 billion a year for traffickers, $99 billion of which comes from commercial sexual

exploitation. 

Does that make you feel sick to read? It makes me ill to even imagine our world consists of this. 
The polaris Project is the non profit that funds The National Human
Trafficking Hotline. The National Human Trafficking Hotline connects
victims and survivors of sex and labor trafficking with services and
supports to get help and stay safe. The National Hotline also receives tips about potential situations of sex and labor trafficking and facilitates
reporting that information to the appropriate authorities in certain cases. Want to support The Polaris Project, and maybe win a prize for yourself
at the same time? We are raffling off prizes, raffle tickets are $10, AND
100% of raffle ticket sales benefit the Polaris Project. Pre Order your
tickets by clicking the button below!
 
Pre Order Your Raffle Tickets
The Prizes:
An exploratory Session with The Well.
Valued at $95. 
The Well
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A $200 Gift Certificate for Julie Atlas Photography, thar can be used towards a session fee or for products.


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A Private or small group yoga session with Michelle Lee Landon of One
drop yoga ($75 value)
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IG: @onedropyoga
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A massage session with Samantha Anderson, LMT
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1 month of unlimited classses at Taekwondo Works!
 https://www.facebook.com/tkdworksmechanicsville/ 
A plasma pen facial Treatment with Melissa Deaton! Valued at $500!
Microneedle mesotherapy, treatment woman at the beautician
Click Here to pre order your raffle tickets!
 Prize Winners will be announced at our Grand Opening Party!
When:
 October 5th, 2019 4pm to 8:30pm  
Where:  
8094 Mechanicsville Turnpike Mechanicsville, VA 23111  
Line up:  
4pm to 5:30pm Complementary Yoga with Nitika Achalam of
True Grit Yoga  
5:45pm to 6:15pm Ribbon Cutting & Champagne Toast  
6:30pm to 8:30pm Live Music from Blair’s West  
Throughout:  Complimentary Chair Massage & Snacks Raffle Ticket Drawings No need to RSVP, just show up, all are welcome!
 
 

To steam or not to steam…….?

What if I told you that you could cleanse your body and spirit by steaming your V? Yoni Steaming is one of the latest trends that has been sweeping the spa and wellness industry and taking women by surprise. Also known as vaginal steaming, Yoni steaming is an ancient practice in holistic medicine that has many physical and spiritual benefits. To those in natural health practice, this isn’t new information because Yoni steams have been around for centuries of time, but to some, the idea of steaming their vaginia yields concern on its own. 

The word Yoni is derived from the Sankrit dialect that means womb or vagina. This treatment is very simple and painless. It is highly encouraged by those who practice traditional healing. In fact, many women who have had this procedure found it extremely beneficial and relaxing. In a Yoni steam, a steam seat is filled with hot water that has been infused with herbs that are said to be good for the vagina. Some herbs used in the steam are herbs such as oregano, basil, turmeric, chamomile, mugwort, wormwood, rosemary, lavender, rose petals and calendula. These herbs work together with the steam to help cleanse the reproductive organs leaving you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. 

Yoni steaming is believed to provide many benefits both physically and spiritually. It can help to reduce stress, relieve symptoms of depression, aid in the body’s healing of infections, improve fertility, and improve hormone imbalance. Some might ask how a vaginal steam can help improve a woman’s emotional energy? The herbs in a Yoni steam help encourage the release of built up emotions so that all those negative feelings can be removed from the inner spirit. The herbal steam can help improve fertility by increasing blood circulation in the pelvic area so that the menstrual cycle stays regulated and cleanses the uterus thoroughly keeping the womb prepared for possible pregnancy. It is also believed that Yoni steams can help remedy infections and any uterine pathology such as yeast infections. 

Although these benefits sound amazing, there is no medical evidence outside of natural health practice that can confirm the link of these benefits to Yoni Steaming. In fact, many Ob/Gyns have said that Yoni steams can be dangerous, because introducing steam to the vagina can expose it to possible bacterial growth that could cause yeast or other infections to grow. Ob/Gyns have also said that steaming the vagina can cause intravaginal burns and irritation. Since there is no medical evidence on the impacts a Yoni steam can have on an individual, it is also not suggested that women who are pregnant or trying to conceive get Yoni steams, as it may cause or increase the potential for miscarrage.

Also, before getting a Yoni Steam make sure the equipment being used is safe. Some steam seats can be coated in varnish that contain VOC chemicals (volatile organic compounds). These chemicals when mixed with steam are very bad for the vagina and over time can cause problems such as but not limited to cancer. To ensure your safety, always ask and make sure that the steam seat is properly sanitized, and unstained or coated in varnish that does not contain VOC chemicals. Also make sure that the distance of the steam from your body is not too close to cause burns or discomfort. Nonetheless, for those who use natural medicine, Yoni steams are said to be extremely beneficial but do still pose health risks in the medical world, so an individual must be very careful when deciding to get one. To fully understand the risks or to gain more insight on Yoni Steams, contact one of our steam specialists at Affordable Spa Services.