Healthy Tips for a Healthy You

Self-Care is not a dirty word!
Too many people believe taking care of themselves is selfish! I have to disagree!!! Even though I was raised Catholic it seems that "Catholic guilt" did not permeate my being. I believe each one of us has a right and responsibility to define what renews us and to develop those skills. Counselors call these "coping skills". They keep us (when used) resilient to stress and everyday overload. In upcoming weeks I will share different coping skills by category and challenge my readers to choose those that fit their personality and lifestyle.

Lets begin with one of the six categories we will explore- Diversions, Mental, Relationship, Physical, Interpersonal and Spiritual. Diversions can be activities such as; hobbies, get aways, play, music, and activities such as meditation or mindfulness. Exploring mindfulness is a good start. Mindfulness can help you rediscover that deep wellspring of peace and contentment living inside each of us. It is about observation without criticism; being compassionate with yourself; and focusing on being present. Actually mindfulness is a form of meditation, but don't let that push you away.

To become adept at mindfulness you only need to start with a few minutes in a quiet place. Sit quietly without any interruptions, gently close your eyes, know this is a time for peace, relaxation and being present in the moment. Pay attention to your breathing, feeling the air go into your nostrils and go out. Let any distractions float away and focus on the moment you are in, feeling the air in the room all around you, the feeling of your clothes on your body, notice any noises in the air, what do you smell, what might you taste. Become aware of all your senses for these few minutes. Take about 3-minutes at first to begin your exploration of mindfulness and then gently bring yourself back into your body, into the room, into this moment and slowly open your eyes.

This is a tiny taste of that peace inside you. A wonderful book to explore it deeper is, Mindfulness: An eight-week plan for finding Peace in a Frantic world, by Mark Williams and Danny Penman. An yes, there is even "an app for that", try "Insight Timer".

I hope you will try this coping skill or tap into another "diversion" that is just right for you!


Sexual Well-Being

It all begins with a KISS!

Every relationship has a starting point, an element of attraction! What was it for you? Was it her smile? Perhaps his deep, blue eyes? Or maybe the way she moved about the office? For me it was that stolen, KISS!

A kiss represents an expression of affection a show of respect, a greeting, a farewell, or for our discussion an act of pleasure! Do you enjoy kissing your partner? Would you make any changes? Are you kissable? How do you know the other person wants a kiss? In my work as a Sex Therapist often kissing can be problematic for a couple. She may like to kiss and after all these years, he does not value it. Or she smokes and he does not, thus the taste of her cigarettes is a turn-off for him.

I believe kissing is an art form and another playful place for couples to enjoy and share pleasure. If there is a distance in the land of kissing, stop being afraid to address it; choose a time when you are close and enjoying one another and say, "I miss the kissing we once shared. It was such a turn on for me. Could we revisit this place of pleasure again?"

  1. One fun resource is, The Art of Kissing, by William Cane. He has many options to light that fire and start a new melting point in the relationship. Here are a few homework assignments I give on kissing for my clients!
  2. Phone kiss- During a conversation, take the phone away, tell the caller "Just a minute," pull your partner toward you, and give a passionate five-second kiss.
  3. Sweet kiss- Hold a sweet candy or piece of fruit in your mouth, beckon your partner, and while kissing, pass the fruit or candy into his mouth.
  4. Red-light kiss- The next time you are stopped at a red light, kiss your sweetie until someone honks the horn.
Now, it is your opportunity to revisit the kiss in your relationship. GO FOR IT!!!!!

~ Dona

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In this breakthrough book, Dona Caine-Francis offers a reader-friendly primer on everything women need to know to remain physically, emotionally, and sexually vibrant before, during and after menopause.

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