Keeping you current on all things LBPT
T here’s nothing quite like a family vacation — even when it doesn’t turn out like you expect. My family and I visited Hawaii in February. The weather was not cooperative. Living in the Seattle area, we went hoping for a warm, sunny climate, but as luck would have it, it ended up cold, windy, and raining. Despite that, we still had a great time. I loved spending the week with my family away from home. It was an opportunity to decompress and let everyday stresses melt away. And no matter how you find it, stress relief is important. As it happens, April is Stress Awareness Month, making it the perfect time to talk more about managing stress. When you’re more in control of what stresses you, you’re more in control over things like anxiety or high blood pressure. For myself, I’ve learned a couple of ways to manage stress, such as meditation. I’ve been meditating for over a year now and every morning, I spend 15 minutes meditating with the assistance of an app (I primarily use the Headspace app). I’ve also learned a lot from books like “10% Happier” by Dan Harris. He’s a journalist with ABC News and had an on-air panic attack in 2004. He talks a lot of about the positive impact meditation has had on his life. Meditation often gets a bad rap. People assume that it’s just about clearing the mind. In reality, it’s a skill that teaches you how to really focus. When your brain is pulling you in all sorts of directions, meditation brings that mess of thoughts into perspective. You develop a greater awareness of when your mind becomes too busy or you start experiencing more negative thoughts. Nobody told me that meditation was focusing the mind when I started. I thought it was just about clearing the mind. Once I figured it out, that changed everything.
Since then, meditation has become huge for me. It’s an important part of my everyday life. When we went to Hawaii, I didn’t meditate all week. I thought because we were on vacation, I could get away without meditating.
For the most part, I wasn’t wrong, but when we got back home, it was a lot harder to get back into than I would have expected. I missed it.
Another destressor for me is art. I love to paint. In fact, you may be familiar with our art and creativity classes at the clinic. I’ve found that painting and other creative outlets can do wonders for managing negative thoughts and even pain. We’ve had patients who have chronic pain try our art classes. Painting is a wonderful way to get outside your own head. It allows you to focus on what is directly in front of you rather than what’s inside you. And people around our office all have different ways of managing their stress. Meditation is popular, and others like to exercise. I know Michael, one of our PTs, is big into exercising. Another PT, Maria, walks her dogs (we have a lot of dog lovers at the office). Our PT assistant, Erin, loves to bowl, while Dani will stop by a brewery. Ultimately, stress management or relief is really what you make it. It’s important to find what stress outlet works for you so that stress doesn’t build in your body or mind. In many ways, managing stress can be one of the healthiest things you do for yourself.
–Dr. Orit Hickman
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Walk to Work Day A START TO A MORE ACTIVE LIFE
Observing the Holiday
Everyone knows that walking is healthy for us, but not very many
To celebrate Walk to Work Day, simply slip on your walking shoes, grab a portable breakfast, and head out the door! Be sure to bring an extra outfit and shoes with you as walking in high heels, dress shoes, and/or dress attire can be uncomfortable. For people who don’t have the time, try taking a short walk around the workplace during breaks or lunch. Getting in a 15-minute walk during the day will help you feel more refreshed and ready to get back into the grind. You can also invite other coworkers or friends to walk with you. Other Modes of Transportation Although Walk to Work Day encourages people to walk, there are other ways to get to work without having to drive. Biking is an excellent means of transportation and can be helpful for people who might have a longer commute. If you don’t own a bike but are still in need of a quick transport between two locations, you can hop on an electric scooter. These scooters have appeared across America over the past year or so and have proven handy for individuals needing to get from point A to point B quickly. Walk to Work Day offers a perfect chance to change up your routine for a more active lifestyle. Let this holiday be the first step in many that will come!
people have the chance to stretch their legs. With a busy schedule, you
might not have the luxury to get up earlier and get a quick brisk walk in. But that doesn’t mean routines can’t be changed.
a t i o n g t h e P We can often find ourselves overwhelmed by the daily activities that surround our lives. It can be hard to find the time for a peaceful moment, and even then, your mind can be filled by the stresses of the day and worries for tomorrow. Meditation is one of the best ways to relax the mind, calm your body, and let those negative emotions go. Sitting down for a few minutes every day to clear your mind helps reduce anxiety and improves overall health. Here are a few ways that can help introduce you to meditation and encourage you to meditate more often. Phone Apps Headspace is an easy meditation app to navigate and use, and it has dedicated sessions for beginners and veterans alike. Other useful apps include Evenflow, PausAble, Calm, and Buddhify. Each comes with its own methods of relaxation, including a variety of music, activities, and guides. Podcasts There are multiple podcasts featuring meditation guides and music. A few of these meditation podcasts include “Meditation Minis,” “Meditation Oasis,” and “Daily Meditation Podcast.” Simply put in your headphones, find a spot to relax, and allow yourself to be swept up in the soothing Walk to Work Day is an unofficial holiday that encourages people to walk more in their daily lives. Finding the time to walk for 30 minutes a day can help you lose weight, reduce the chance of heart disease and diabetes, and improve emotional and mental health. A Little History Walk to Work Day takes place on the first Friday of April every year and has been celebrated since 2004. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services promoted the holiday with enthusiasm as a way to counter the alarming rise in obesity and health issues throughout the country. Since its debut, Walk to Work Day has been picked up by people, businesses, and organizations across the world to inspire people everywhere to exercise more.
voices. Many of the listed podcasts include different meditation techniques and tips
that you can use to learn and improve your own methods. YouTube
Along with phone apps and podcasts, you can also find great videos and channels on YouTube that feature meditation. Individuals who are looking for anything from meditative music to guides can find a plethora of videos to use or watch. Explore channels such as Meditative Mind for perfect meditative music or YouTuber Michael Sealey, who guides you through his calming and uplifting videos. If you’re looking for more of a face-to-face experience, you can search for local meditative classes. You’ll be able to learn from experienced teachers and like-minded individuals as you dive into the world of meditation.
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Visiting Your Local Gardens One of the joys of spring is seeing the plant life come back after a long winter. Flowers in bloom, trees filled with leaves, and green grass are a few of the joys we have to look forward to this time of year. Luckily, we have a beautiful variety of botanical gardens throughout the Seattle area that are perfect for getting into the spring mood. Seattle Japanese Garden sceneries. Visit their bonsai garden and museum and take a step into the greenhouses to see some of their most unique and exotic plants. Point Defiance Rose Garden For all of the rose-lovers out there, this garden is perfect for you. The garden hosts over an acre of rose gardens, with some of the oldest gardens dating back to 1895. Visitors will enjoy features such as gazebos, wishing wells, miniature roses, and arbors of climbing roses.
When entering this exotic garden, you’ll soon become surrounded by vibrant colors, pebbled walkways, ponds filled with beautiful koi fish, and fascinating plant life. Guests are invited to walk through and enjoy the garden’s 3.5 acres of alluring scenery. The garden also offers events, such as the Tea Ceremony, and visits throughout the summer and fall seasons. Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden Offering lush arrays of rhododendrons from towering trees to full shrubs, the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden is a perfect place to visit this spring. Visitors will enjoy a diverse display of colorful blooms, plant life, and
Washington Park Arboretum Located near Seattle Japanese Garden and just off the shore of Lake Washington, guests will enjoy this garden’s 230 acres of assorted trees and beautiful walkways. Visitors can also join a guided tour through the Arboretum on most Sundays. The large park is perfect for a morning run, a soothing bike ride, or a comfortable walk while enjoying the sights of nature.
Make sure to take this chance to get outdoors and enjoy your spring today!
This super easy stir-fry is the perfect weekday dinner. It manages to pack a ton of flavor using just a handful of ingredients.
• • • • •
3 slices bacon
3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 bunches spinach
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper Salt and black pepper, to taste
1. Heat a large skillet to medium. 2. While skillet is warming, cut bacon into squares. 3. Cook bacon until fat is rendered and bacon is almost to your desired doneness. If desired, you can remove bacon fat from skillet and replace with 1 tablespoon oil. However, keeping the fat is recommended for flavor. 4. Add garlic and cook for 1–2 minutes. 5. Add spinach and crushed red pepper and stir-fry for 10 minutes. 6. Season with salt and pepper, and serve
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April Is Stress Awareness Month — How Do You Manage Stress?
Walk to Work Today! Calming the Body and Mind
Things to Do Around Seattle Easy Bacon and Spinach Stir-Fry
Adventure Awaits (At Home)
L i k
H o m e t o
Appreciate the Arts
tourist somewhere else, why not try finding a little adventure at home? Get a Room
There are countless tiny museums and cultural attractions all over the place that most
If you really want to experience your hometown through the eyes of a tourist, try waking up somewhere new. One night in a hotel room or bed-and-breakfast can really put you in the adventuring mindset. Find Local Events Now’s the time to check out the farmers market you’ve been meaning to go to for ages! Then you can swing by that free concert in the park before going to a play at your community theater. Attending local events is a great way to visit places in town you’ve never been before. You might even find a historical tour that can teach you all about the wonders of your town. Download an app like Eventbrite, or go old- school and check for fun local events in the paper.
people overlook — especially those who have lived in an area for a while. Does your hometown have interesting art installations on Main Street? What about museums dedicated to strange and supernatural phenomena, parks, historical landmarks, or giant robotic farm animals? Check Yelp.com for lists of popular attractions near you, or ask your friends for suggestions. You might be surprised by what your hometown has to offer. You might be thinking, “This would be great if I lived somewhere fun!” If you’ve ever thought your town was boring, that’s all the more reason to try being a tourist! Adventures can happen anywhere if you just take that first step out the door.
Do you dream of adventure? Do you want to see something new, discover someplace interesting, and make memories you’ll cherish forever? Do you still have to be at work on Monday? Finding adventure doesn’t have to mean packing up and trekking across the globe for six months. Being adventurous is all about changing your mindset and looking for the unexpected in the familiar.
As you start planning summer vacations, instead of spending a lot of money to be a
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