Winter Blues

Sparks

Have you been feeling out of sorts, perhaps irritable, and less tolerant?

You are not alone.Sparks

In the past few weeks I have heard many of my clients, friends, and family members express that they have not been feeling themselves, like something is off.

They expressed feeling more irritable and less tolerant of other people as well as their personal circumstances, and just wanting to stay home in bed.

Has that been your experience lately?

Don’t despair, you are not alone.

With the changes in weather and having shorter sunny days, the body requires a different kind of support.

With cloudy, cold days, comes the instinctual need to hibernate. That means, we tend to stay indoors more often, move less, and eat more.

There is nothing wrong with that, except our internal clock and rhythm gets out of balance because we are not receiving the appropriate cues from the environment (the sun) to adjust to the time change, and we are not delivering the supplements necessary for our body to manage the change in season and therefore affecting our mood.

What you are experiencing may be what is commonly called The Winter Blues.

There are many studies that link Vitamin D (sunlight) deficiency to symptoms of depression. Symptoms of depression in children and adolescents  can sometimes be expressed as irritability.

In addition, lack of exercise can be a detriment to not only your physical health but your mental health, since moderate exercise improves mood by releasing endorphins.

How to combat those winter blues?

Here are some ideas you may want to implement, if you haven’t already:

– Check with your functional medicine doctor which supplements you may be deficient. You may find that all you needed is a natural supplement to improve your mood.

– Spend 5 minutes facing the sun, eyes closed. If it’s a cloudy day, double the amount of exposure. This will help you adjust to the time change and reset your circadian rhythm to improve your sleep and energy.

– Integrate moderate exercise in your routine. Make it non-negotiable. Moderate exercise three days a week minimum will strengthen your health and mood.

– Be mindful of what you eat and be sure to give your body the nutrients it needs.

– Use a Sun Lamp to support you on days you are not able to face the sun.

– Give yourself permission to rest if you are tired, however, if you find yourself sleeping excessively, check with your doctor for any physical issues.

– Work on a fun, creative project that keeps you engaged and motivated.

– Make plans with loved ones so you don’t isolate yourself.

– Bring more light into your life through candles, light-color clothing, or decorations.

– Create a vision board to keep you motivated about your future.

– Do a lot of self-care and pampering. This is a great time for rejuvenation and replenishing.

– Take breaks from social media and comparing yourself to others.

– Go to a retreat or a place to recharge your batteries.

Are there any others you would add to this list? 

Let me know in the comments below.

I hope these suggestions are helpful. As with every advice you may receive, first check with your primary care doctor and therapist before implementing any suggestions.

Keep your inner light shinning bright!

Many Blessings,

Nancy De Andrade, PhD

 

My Story

I’m Dr. Nancy De Andrade and I’d like to share a little bit of the path that led me to embark on this journey of helping others.

When I was 15 years old I wanted desperately to run away from home. Without going into too much detail, I’ll just say that I was miserable and knew that I could no longer live in such toxic environment.

I had it all planned out. I would move in with my best friend’s family, drop out of school and get a job. I imagined how peaceful and happy my life was finally going to be when I moved away. I couldn’t wait!

But then my friend’s mom said I needed to stay home and figure my life out. Ouch.

Even though it was not the answer I wanted to hear, it was the one I needed to hear, because as hard as it was to live at home with my abusive, helicopter parents, I would have missed the most important lessons of my life. 

What happened in the following years changed me and showed me the path to my purpose (even though I didn’t know it then).

My oldest sister was like a mother to me. As often as she could, she mentored and guided me, and somehow knew I needed help. At the time, she was enrolled in a training program to facilitate workshops about psychology and personal growth. As luck would have it, the program allowed her bring someone to the workshops for free.

Lucky me!

She introduced me to the most transformational workshops on personal growth, self-esteem, communication, personal excellence, meditation, and even retreats! I was exposed to so many valuable experiences that truly changed my life for the better. I became more confident, happier, forgiving, and assertive. Armed with the tools and the thirst for more expansion, I finally moved out at the age of 18. 

However, life was harder than I had envisioned, and I hit a wall.

Out in the world of regular interactions, my assertiveness was mistaken by arrogance, I was wronged for being straight-forward, and was called names for speaking my truth. Even family members would say things like: “Who do you think you are?”, “You think you are better than everyone?” “Don’t throw that psycho-babble at me!” and so much more. 

It was confusing and hurtful, and honestly, I didn’t enjoy feeling rejected and isolated, so I  conformed to belong”, and adapted to my current environment and culture. I became extra careful with my words so people would not get hurt (or hurt me), I tiptoed around others, I “toned-down” my personality, and became a people pleaser,  making sure everyone was happy… everyone except me.

Unknowingly, I became codependent.

It struck me one day, when I was visiting my brother. He frankly pointed out that I was not the same happy person he remembered. He said I looked worried and much too serious. The reality was that I felt unhappy, insecure, anxious, and stuck. 

Inspired by this epiphany, (and feeling tired of living depressed and anxious), I set course to learn a more comprehensive and holistic approach to take charge of my mind, body, and spirit. I hired a mentor, attended countless workshops, and even went back to school to complete a PhD in Psychology.  

I learned as much as I could about the body-mind connection, codependency, self-esteem, healthy communication, boundaries, spirituality, mindfulness and so much more. I became obsessed with self-awareness and personal growth and applied this knowledge in my years of practicing psychology.

As I implemented what I learned, my life improved. I started my own coaching practice and became more confident about my talents and skills, more assertive in my approach, and more clear in my requests. I learned the right way to set boundaries, the most effective way to speak one’s truth, the most compassionate way to engage with others, and the most loving way to treat one’s self.

I continue to share the specific strategies I find most effective with my clients. They benefit greatly as I provided them with cutting-edge, holistic techniques to improve their body, mind, and spirit. I’m blessed to continue to witness amazing transformations, and see many of my clients go from feeling insecure, depressed, anxious, and taking a passive role in their lives, to feeling confident, empowered, loving, clear and enlightened.

I know my journey doesn’t end here. My purpose is to continue learning and sharing this knowledge with as many people as I can. My aspiration is to make an impact in the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and help them experience a more empowered and authentic life filled with love and confidence. 

My journey continues and I would like for you to be a part of it. Would you join me?

Sign up here

 

Didn’t know I was anxious – until I wasn’t anymore.

Neurohacker

We didn’t have enough food growing up.

At least that’s the message I received, “don’t eat it that, save some for tomorrow (or for your siblings)”, my mom would say. But food was not the only thing we didn’t have enough of, we didn’t have enough time also.  My dad would declare, “It’s not ok to go out and have fun. Don’t you see that there is plenty of work to do around here?”

We didn’t have enough money either. Our home was furnished with left-over chairs and couches from closed down offices, and my 8 siblings and I wore hand-me-downs, and played with recycled toys. The streets were not safe enough, at home we weren’t at peace either, fighting for attention and significance, my behavior or my grades were not good enough, all around a feeling of not-enoughness. 

This not-enoughness later transferred to other areas of my life: not enough time to complete tasks, not enough resources, not enough money (no matter how much I earned), not enough help, not enough schooling, you name it.

Having this belief, created an unconscious yet consistent current of anxiety that quietly ruled my life. Over-preparing for things, planning way ahead of time, solving problems without anyone asking me, clenching my teeth, hyper-awareness of my surroundings, caring too much how others perceived me, doing things perfectly and never making mistakes, saving the food in my fridge for later (and watch it rot), hiding when I didn’t feel like my life was perfect, ruminating unforgivingly when I made a mistake, and so many other behaviors I engaged in to try to keep my sense of significance and control.

Because of this constant need to control my environment and my situation, I became a much more serious person than I ever was. I stopped laughing, having fun, relaxing, and living life. I became a doer, an over-achiever, a control freak.  My thoughts and actions revolved around making sure I did everything perfectly so I could to feel enough: If my fridge was full, that meant I had enough, if I studied and mastered one more topic, that meant I was smart enough, if I strived to never make a mistake or work on myself endlessly, that meant I was good enough, if I planned ahead and controlled the timing of everything, that meant I had enough time, if I worried excessively about things…

Writing this brings me to tears.

I have spent years working on healing my wounds, trying to forget my past so I would not be acting from a victim role, working on myself to be better and creating a peaceful life.

Yet there was something I hadn’t realized yet.

I was still operating on a low-grade anxiety. 

Anxiety is that sleeping giant that rears its ugly head when we least expect it. I tried to keep it in its cage while it screamed at me in the form of perfectionism, self-criticism, and procrastination

This anxiety from not enoughness was no just in my mind, it had transferred to the cells in my body, and to my nervous system, and without me knowing, it became a slow burning fire that gradually affected my relationships, my health, my work, my peace of mind, and my life.

I honestly didn’t know I was anxious… until I wasn’t any more.

I hadn’t realized how every action and every thought was ruled by that slow-burning anxiety. I had no idea that this current of distress running through me at all times, shaped my decisions, my actions and my thoughts, until it didn’t anymore.

How screwy is that?

This realization came one day, after researching how the body stores traumas at a cell level. I had previously learned about Epigenetics and how genes can be turned on and off according to environmental influence. For example, people who grew up in the Great Depression era, had an activated gene that produced a strong response to stress, which was then passed down to generations (more about that in another post).

I then learned (and experienced) that very often feelings of anxiety and depression are the result of deficiency in so many substances essential to normal body functioning as well as possible allergic reactions. We walk around beating ourselves up because we are not feeling happy when in reality, we may be just deficient in some vitamin or mineral or consuming poison without knowing it.

Sometimes the answer is much easier than we think.

I began taking a brilliantly developed supplement called Qualia to help me focus on studying for an exam I had to take.  I really didn’t expect anything, and being the skeptic that I am, I recorded hour by hour how I felt. The first 30-45 mins I felt nothing differently, then… a wave of calmness overcame my entire body and mind. A deep sense of ease enveloped each one of my cells. Here is a section of what I recorded the first day I started taking these nootropics:

“…the ability to choose to be present with compassion and calmness… That’s huge!… To not be overtaken by anxiety… but to have the choice to be distracted if I wanted to and not a the mercy of my impulses or reactions”.

It became clear to me that I was living constantly anxiously without being conscious of it.

Kind of sad, really.

I have also witnessed many of my clients’ transformation when they change their diet or add supplements to their health routine: their mood improves substantially and they feel more empowered. It is hard to believe but their mood radically changes when they stop consuming a triggering food, or began adding a supplement to their daily intake.

Which supplement to take varies for every person. I can’t prescribe but I can share what worked for me. There is no magic combination that can fix it all. We are unique individuals with unique experiences and our bodies respond in special ways to try to keep us safe. Besides, supplements are what the name implies, an enhancer, a booster to what you are already doing to maintain your health. 

My clients have experience amazing results from following an integrative approach and I’d like to share with you some words of advice before you decide to head to the store to buy supplements or decide to restrict certain foods from your diet.

1- Supplements or diets don’t work alone. You need to help yourself first.

Exercise, healthy eating, sunlight, nurturing environment, peaceful inner life, and other forms of self-care are a priority to keep you healthy. Taking supplements alone or restricting food will not work.

2- Go to your primary care physician and have a full check up. Get a blood panel done to check for hormone imbalances, deficiencies, blood sugar, and any other irregularity that could be affecting your mood.

3- Once you find what you may be deficient on, or if you have allergies, ask your physician if it’s ok to take supplements. Some supplements are contraindicated in certain situations, so check first.

4- Consult an expert in functional medicine.

4- Implement techniques that bring awareness of your internal beliefs and activities that induce relaxation. Meditation, journaling, yoga, therapy, and nature, are some examples to help release some of the anxiety and gain tools to cope (and possibly change your gene expression).

5- Be consistent in your routines and taking your supplements. You may not see an immediate effect, so give yourself some time and don’t give up. Your body (and mind) will thank you later.

I’m constantly blown away by the results of applying integrative approaches to wellbeing. It gives me confirmation that the holistic work I’m passionate about is effective and hope that soon more and more people will come to the same realization that the body and the mind are deeply connected and have an amazing capacity to heal and truly experience inner peace -at a cell level.

Looking forward hearing your thoughts.

Many blessings,

Nancy

P.S.: If you are curious which supplement had me walking on cloud nine, it was a nootropic from Neurohacker Collective called Qualia Mind. I am now taking Focus and it’s helping me maintain my energy level, focus, and mood consistent and leveled.

P. P. S.: When you use the code CALM you’ll get 15% Off your order.

Please share your comments below and send this to someone who would benefit from it.

Neurohacker

8 Pasos Para Perdonar y Dejar Ir

Muchas veces pensamos que ya perdonamos pero nos queda la herida que pareciera no sanar. En 8 pasos explico como realmente sanar, perdonar y dejar ir con entendimiento y compasion.

Weekend Wellness Retreat

Weekend Wellness Retreat

We are so excited!

Coming soon, we’ll open the doors to a wellness weekend retreat specially designed to help you cleanse your body and mind, reset, and rejuvenate!

We are finalizing the details to make this weekend retreat a transformative experience.  This retreat is limited to 10 people and will book fast!

Please fill out this form to be the first to know all about this retreat and save your spot!

Feeling anxious? Try this simple technique.

Our body tends to associate thoughts with certain emotions. These emotions get hardwired in our system and become automatic reactions.

How can we change that? By rewiring our brain.

By building new emotional associations to thoughts that produce stress, we are indicating to our brain and body that the thought is no longer triggering, and therefore we can feel at ease instead.

Try this technique and let me know how it works for you.

6 Solutions to The Damaging Effects of Stress

Effects of stress and solutions to find ease

In a study published in October 2018, experts agree that chronic stress is the leading cause of medical, mental, work, and relationship issues. A moderate amount of stress can motivate you to accomplish tasks, but consistently high levels of stress can alter your physical and mental health, hurting your perceptions and damaging your relationships.

Below are six statistics about the effects of stress and practical solutions to improve your wellbeing.
Effects of stress and solutions to find ease

Three Practical Steps to Quiet The Monkey Mind

Are you feeling stressed about something you can’t control? Is your mind going over all of the possible scenarios and conversations you could have? Does it feel like you can’t catch your breath and your mind is racing?

Take a slow deep breath in and out. 

I’m here to help you.

You’ve probably heard people say, “don’t worry about it!”, “let it go!”, or “just breathe”. As if it were that easy to quiet the monkey mind (the monkey mind is a Buddhist term for an unsettled mind). The truth is, you cannot jump from obsessing about something, to just simply letting it go. It’s like asking you to get off a roller coaster ride and immediately go into a library and be extra quiet, it takes time and skills.

Why is it so hard to quiet the mind? Because your entire nervous system is in fight or flight mode, seeking solutions for a situation that is triggering feelings of insecurity and anxiety. Your heart is beating fast, your mind is racing, your breath shallow, you can’t focus, and you are feeling out of control. The anxiety takes over your mind, body, and emotions and in order to calm your mind, you need to address this in practical ways.

Don’t despair. I’m going to share with you 3 valuable and practical steps that have helped me (and my clients) calm the body, quiet the mind, and let go of anxiety. Practice these skills and let me know in the comments below which ones worked best for you, or if you have a preferred method that you’d like to share.

Step 1: Shift your physicality

Stress tends to get stuck in the physical body, so in order to change how you feel or perceive a situation, you must change your physicality first. How do you shift from high stress to lesser stress? Here are some suggestions to practice this first step:

    • Go for a walk or work out
    • Listen to an upbeat song and dance to itDance your anxiety away
    • Take a nap or a cold shower
    • Get busy with projects you need to complete
    • Take 10 slow, deep breaths
    • Drink water/relaxing tea
    • Put your bare feet on the ground
    • Listen to empowering podcasts/audios/videos
    • Watch a comedy show

Step 2: Connect with your inner self

You become anxious about a situation because of the perceived consequences it may have in your life. You try to control the outcome or predict what could happen, but when you look deep within, you discover that what you are trying to so is avoid rejection, disappointment, or abandonment. Practice this next step by connecting to your deepest needs:

    • Have a good cry
    • Put your hand over your heart and talk to your inner self with compassion
    • Ask yourself how you would like to feel instead
    • Ask how you can give this to yourselfJournal your feelings
    • Journal
    • Allow yourself to feel your emotions safely
    • Be kind to yourself
    • Pet an animal

 

Step 3: Surrender

When you have expectations about the way things should be, how people should behave, or how life should go, you set yourself up for disappointment and suffering. Trying to control situations or people so you don’t get hurt is not a realistic or genuine way of living (I’ve tried!). The only thing you can control is how you respond to situations, your feeling, and your decisions. Below are some suggestions to help you move to the third step to free yourself from an anxious mind.

    • Pray
    • Let go of the need to know the answer, control, or be right
    • Know that you’ll be OK regardless
    • Give it up to GodLetting go
    • Know that you have no control over how other people feel or react
    • Know that there is a bigger plan
    • As yourself what is the lesson
    • Let go of expectations
    • Do self-care
    • Be kind to yourself and others
    • Be present

Practice these skills as often as possible to help you quiet your monkey mind. The more connected you are to your inner self, the more you’ll understand your triggers and how to be present with your emotions. By being present you release the need to control your current situation and stop judging it based on your past or your future expectations.

Surrendering is the tool that brings you the most peace but only after you have shifted the physical stress and acknowledged your feelings.  Surrendering means letting go of control and trusting that you’ll be OK no matter what, and allowing your path to unfold.

If you need additional help with this, contact me.

Nancy De Andrade, PhD

 

Over-Energy Correction or Wayne Cook Posture

Are you feeling stressed, irritable, exhausted, upset, or lost? Here is a technique for you.

The Over-Energy Correction or Wayne Cook posture was developed by Dr. Wayne Cook, a researcher of the human body’s electrochemical, biomagnetic and psychoenergetic force fields. His technique was designed to help people with symptoms of Tourettes, Dyslexia, ADHD, as well as anxiety, irritability, and other strong and overwhelming emotions. This posture forms an energetic shape in the form of an 8 or a double helix -like in the DNA, crossing over brain hemisphere functions and meridian lines. This posture corrects the natural energy flow in the body that was disrupted by a trigger or an intense emotion and helps calm the nervous system.

If you are feeling anxious, angry, or upset, practice this technique for 2 mins. It will help you calm down and rebalance your energy in no time!

Enjoy!

Over-Energy Correction or Wayne Cook Posture

  1. Stand or sit and cross your right ankle over your left ankle.
  2. Extend your arms in front of you and turn your palms to face out.
  3. Cross your left arm over your right arm. Clasp your hands together, interlace your fingers, and fold your arms inward to rest on your chest. Relax your shoulders.
  4. Place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth as you breath in, and drop the tongue as you exhale. This connects the governing and central meridians as your energy begins to flow in a figure 8.
  5. Breathe in and out slowly for about 2 mins and notice any shifts in your energy and nervous system.   

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Walk The Talk

What does it mean to walk the talk? In this interview, Kate asks important questions about being in alignment and authentic in the way you show up in this world.