Author Archives: Rachel

About Rachel

I'm a writer, naturalist, and online media developer living in beautiful inland Cascadia.

#11 Carve Out Some Space

Recently I moved.  We moved to a smaller, cleaner house.  We got rid of some things we no longer needed, which might e the only good think about moving.  Purging.  And starting fresh with less.  It was a perfect opportunity for me to carve out some quality space for myself.  My family and I share a lot of things:  food,  closets, dressers, drawers in the bathroom, bedrooms, beds… really, it’s a lot.  I find lately that I am craving more space for myself, even privacy.  I want passwords no one else knows.  I want desk drawers that lock.  I want to sleep on the couch sometimes and have it be accepted as what it is:  mommy needing some room to breathe.

My first project has been to set up my desk, my OWN desk.  Unlike Sylvia P, I can’t have a whole room of my own, even the storage closet it too precious a space.  But I can create my own little corner.  I have a desk with three drawers and two small bookcases.  These are all for me.  I decorate them simply in a way that inspires me, fill my drawers with craft supplies and my writing books.  I haven’t sat there yet, but just knowing this little oasis is waiting for me makes me smile.

Soon I will learn to carve out some time as well.

So be bold! Be brave!  Find a used desk, move some furniture, create a little nook for reading, writing, collaging, collecting yourself.  Let yourself have some physical space in your home to remind yourself of the emotional and spiritual space you deserve, and must learn to take.

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#10 Draw a Heart

Not for Valentine’s day, though you can do that too.  Draw a heart on the back of your hand, put it on a ring, bracelet, your fingernails, wherever you will notice it most.  Do this to remind yourself to love unconditionally, to love when you don’t want to, to open your heart when your 4 year old says “fucky head! I hate you!”  Do this to retrain yourself, your responses.  Do this to remember also to keep an open heart for yourself, to practice loving and forgiving even yourself.

Inspired by the Daily Groove, by Scott Noelle (copied below)
THE DAILY GROOVE ~ by Scott Noelle
www.enjoyparenting.com/dailygroove

:: Unreasonable Love ::

To love *unconditionally* means you don’t need a
“reason” to justify loving. In other words…

1. When you have a good reason to love, then you love.
2. When you have a good reason *not* to love, you love anyway.
3. You love for no reason at all.

In our conditional-loving culture, “reasonable” loving
is the norm. So today let’s practice the second and
third types of loving…

Whenever your child behaves in a way that would
conventionally be seen as an excuse to love *less*,
be a rebel and love *more*! That doesn’t mean praising
behavior you dislike, it means responding with your
heart wide open.

Also, draw a heart on the back of your hand (or create
any easily noticeable cue), and whenever you notice
it, say “I love you” or offer your child a hug, a
loving gaze, or any loving gesture.

How does it feel to love “just because”? Are you
willing to love *yourself* “unreasonably” too? 🙂

http://dailygroove.net/unreasonable-love


#9 Put Yourself On Top of the List

Written by Donna Davies-Bracket for I Love Mondays Life Coaching.

Three Questions That Will Change Your Life

Like every parent, your day is filled with things other people want or need you to do.

You are great at getting things done for your kids. And you’re not so bad at doing around the house either.

But it isn’t enough.

You rarely get to do the things you really want to do. You continually put off the stuff that matters most.

The reason is simple.

You mistake what you need to do for your family and what needs to get done at home with what is important to you.

Not that your family and your home aren’t important – they are.

But there are other things you have been meaning to do. There is more to you than just your home and your kids. Right?

But we tend to get caught up in taking care of others instead of ourselves.

If you’re like most parents, you spend the day reacting to what needs your attention most right now. You go from one thing to the next until the day is over.

But, at the end of it, you feel like something is missing. You didn’t get what you wanted done.

Enter the three magic questions. Three little questions to get control of your day.

  1. What is important for me to do for my family today?
  2. What is important for me to do around the house today?
  3. What is important for me to do just for me today?

When you focus on what is important just for today, you increase your ability to do it.

Knowing what your family needs on any given day is easy. But this will help you get even better at delivering on what is important to them. You know, like showing up on time today or coming through on your promise to make cookies this afternoon.

And knowing what needs to be done at home, frees you up to quit after doing it. There will always be more tomorrow. You don’t have to do it all today.

But you will also know what you want for yourself not just what others need from you.

And that distinction will change your life.

The answer to the last question won’t seem as important. It won’t be urgent. And you will be tempted to put it off until the “real” work is done.

Don’t.

Do your own thing first.

The other things on the the list will get done. You almost always come through on that stuff already. But you almost never come through on your own stuff.

If you don’t put it at the top of the list, it won’t get done.

And doing it will make you feel good all day. And soon you will stop thinking you never have time for yourself.

Get in the habit of asking these three questions each morning. Do your own thing first. Then move on to the other important stuff.

Everything else is gravy.

Now it’s your turn: Put a small pad and a pen beside your bed. Ask yourself these three little questions every morning for a week and see what happens.
Have a wonderful week!

All the best,

Donna

P.S. Try it right now. I would love to hear what happens in your day!

donna@ilovemondaylifecoaching.com

http://ilovemondayslifecoaching.com/


#6 Enjoy (don’t Endure)

Are We Having Fun Yet? That is the title of the first parenting book I’ve read in 2012.  Okay, so it’s the first one I’ve read in 2011 too.  And no, I’m not really having fun.

Those who know me have heard a lot of complaints about parenthood from me.  I started this blog to help me change that, to focus on the positive.  I thought maybe by writing about the things I can do, rather than the things I can’t, might help me start feeling adequate as a mother, and maybe even happy.  You may notice that I haven’t written many posts here.  I guess the complaints are winning.

Reluctantly, I picked up this book at our local, amazing, toy library.  Are We Having Fun Yet?  The 16 Serets of Happy Parenting by Kay Willis and Maryann B. Brinley.  Sometimes the cheesy sounding books really are just that, cheesy.  They are surface and too simple to be useful in what I consider a complicated life.

The book however, really is perfect for where I am right now.  It’s short and sweet, and not preachy.  It really all boils down to how you can change your attitude to enjoy, rather than endure, parenting.  Of course, there are some other good tips in there as well, and lots of stories about how Kay raised then children, and how successful she was at that.  I do find myself feeling a little guilty at times while reading it though.  Kay has always wanted to be a mother, since she was nine years old.  Ever since I was nine years old I have wanted to be single, and to be childless.  Of course I changed my mind momentarily… but that desire does come back now that I am a mother.  I’ve read a lot of great articles this month though that have been helping me change my bad attitude about mothering.

The best resources will meet you where you are, and present an honest picture of mothering: it’s incredibly hard (an understatement), but has unimaginable and heavenly rewards.

The first suggestion in this book was that happy parents enjoy each developmental stage their child is in, instead of enduring it.  So, I’m trying to take that to heart.  Instead of hoping and planning for that next stage that will be so much better, so much easier, I am trying to notice the sweet things that my children are doing in the stages they are in.  Instead of saying, “It will be so much easier when she stops wetting her pants!”  I’m trying to focus on “It’s so fun to see the delight she takes in making it to the potty on her own initiative.”  Someday soon it won’t seem like an accomplishment at all, but just an unconscious part of her daily life.

When you are in a crisis moment and are crying on the couch, don’t pick up this book and feel guilty.  Just eat some chocolate and be kind to yourself.  Allow those moments.  But when you lay in bed and night, thinking over the day, wanting some ideas for how tomorrow could be better, read this book.  Try making a list of all the things you enjoy about your child, and tomorrow, try to cherish them.


#8 – Take Five Minutes Every Morning

Spend five minutes doing something you really love in the morning

What would you love to do that you don’t have time for? Do it for five minutes every morning, even if you think it isn’t worth doing for such a short time. You can almost always spare five minutes.

Use a timer so you can just enjoy what you are doing without watching the clock.

From “7 Easy and Unexpected Ways to Make Yourself Smile” in Donna Davies-Bracket’s newsletter, Nurturing Home, Nurturing Life. donna@ilovemondayslifecoaching.com


#7 Meditate

This is the post I have imagined writing since I started this blog.  But first, I had to meditate.  Perhaps you are like me, and meditation seems like a great idea, and you want to try it someday.  Maybe it in on your “to do” list.  I can be a little manic-crazy at times, and really low and lazy and slow at other times.  I was hoping meditation would help me out with this, with the highs and lows, with being more intentional.  I wanted to do it regularly, maybe even daily.  Of course, writing this now, I can say that though I have finally tried meditation, I am no expert.  Maybe no one ever is though.  Meditation is like that.  It’s an experience, an experience that is different for everyone, an experience where there are lots of ways, but no right or wrong way.  It’s a bit like parenting that way.  You’re never an expert, or else everyone already is.  You’ll never master it.  It will never be done.  You’ll never get a gold star for doing it, and if you do it right, no one need every know how much work you put into it, and how many wonderful things come of it.  Why would I want to do ANOTHER thing like that?  You may ask.  Because this time, it’s just for you.

I started with the book 8 Minute Meditation, by Victor Davich, recommended (and bought) for me by my dad.  It’s a very straight-forward introduction to meditation, and it succeeded in getting me stared meditation with very little fuss or bother.  I found the author’s enthusiastic praise and fuss around the actual practice to be pretty annoying, but still, I started meditating, eight minutes a day.  That lasted until the book was finished being read.  I hadn’t meditated since then, until I started attending a mindfulness parenting group this month.  The instructor introduced me to a series of free guided meditations available through iTunes here.  Wow!  Maybe these are just what I needed.  I’m really enjoying using ten minutes of my afternoon, while my baby sleeps, to tune in, and to tune out.  I hope to keep the practice up.  I hope it continues to settle me into myself, and into the world.

How about you?  What meditation practices have you tried?  What has worked?  When do you find time?


Homemakers

How Much Is A Homemaker Worth?

InvestopediaBy Porcshe Moran | Investopedia – Mon, Jan 16, 2012 1:23 PM EST

 

The life of a homemaker is one that includes an endless amount of demands and to-dos. Depending on the size of the home and family, the position of homemaker can go well beyond the usual nine to five. We examined some of the tasks that a homemaker might do to find out how much his or her services would net as individual professional careers. We only take into consideration tasks which have monetary values and use the lowest value for each calculation.

 

Private Chef
Meal preparation is one of the major tasks of most homemakers. From breakfast to dinner, there is plenty of meal planning and cooking to be done. The American Personal Chef Association reports that its personal chefs make $200 to $500 a day. Grocery shopping is another chore that needs to be factored in. A homemaker must drive to the supermarket, purchase the food and deliver it to the home. Grocery delivery services charge a delivery fee of $5 to $10.

Total cost for services: $1,005 per five day work week x 52 weeks = $52,260 per year.

House Cleaner
A clean and tidy home is the foundation of an efficient household. Typical cleaning duties include vacuuming, dusting, sweeping, scrubbing sinks as well as loading the dishwasher and making beds. Professional maids or house cleaning service providers will charge by the hour, number of rooms or square footage of the home. For example, bi-weekly cleaning of a 900-square-foot, two-bedroom apartment with five rooms, costs $59-$124 . A 1,300 square-foot, single-story home with seven rooms runs $79-$150 . A 2,200 two-story, three-bedroom home with nine rooms averages $104-$180 . Additional tasks such as oven or refrigerator cleaning and dusting mini blinds can run an extra $20-$25.

Total cost for services: $118 per week X 52 Weeks = $6,136 per year.

Child Care
Homemakers provide full-time, live-in child care. This type of service from a professional provider would usually come with a host of perks including health insurance, paid vacation and sick days, federal holidays off, dental and vision coverage, and bonuses. The International Nanny Association’s 2011 survey found that nannies make $600 to $950 per week in gross wages, on average.

Total cost for services: $600 a week plus perks/benefits x 52 Weeks = $31,200 per year.

Driver
A private car service might seem like a high-end luxury to most, but the beneficiaries of a homemaker get this service on a daily basis. Companies like Red Cap, which provides personal drivers that use the client’s own car as the means of transportation, offer a glimpse into the cost of this homemaker task. An elite membership which includes 365 days of unlimited, round-trip service is $1,000 a year plus 33 cents – $2.03 per minute.

Total cost for services: $1,000 per year + [(estimated miles driven 8000 miles / 50 MPH) x 60 min/hr x $0.33 per minute] = $4,168 total per year.

Laundry Service
Clean clothes come at a cost when you have to pay for the service that most homemakers do for free. Professional laundry services charge by the pound. For instance, Susie’s Suds Home Laundry Service, Inc. in Texas charges 90 cents to $1.00 a pound to wash, dry, fold, hang and steam your clothes. Items that take longer to dry such as comforters, blankets, rugs and winter clothes are assessed at a price of $12-$15 each.

Total cost for services: $0.90 per pound x 4 pounds of clothes per day x 5 days per weeks x 52 weeks = $936 total per year.

Lawn Maintenance
Basic maintenance of the exterior property is a less common, but possible duty of a homemaker. This could include things such as mowing, debris removal, edging and trimming the lawn. These services cost about $30 a week on average.

Total cost for services: $30 per week x 52 weeks = $1,560 total per year.

The Bottom Line
Total for a year of all services is: $52,260 + $6,137 + $31,200 + $4,168 + $936 + $1,560 = $96,261 per year.

The daily work of a homemaker can sometimes be taken for granted by his or her family members. However, these services could earn a homemaker a considerable wage if he or she took those skills to the marketplace. Homemakers in general contribute a lot more to the home in addition to these tasks, and no amount of money can fill those needs.


#5 Paint Your Nails, Go Ahead!

In the past four years I have gone from boafide hippie to chic Mama.  Yes, it’s possible to be both at the same time, especially in a hip, liberal, pot-growing town in British Columbia.  And yes, it’s possible I have been and always will remain both of these things.  However, my appearances, and how I keep them up, has changed quite drastically since I’ve gotten married and had children.

I have thought a lot about why I cut off my dreadlocks and began visiting salons, seeking out hair stylists, buying nail polish, putting on my face, shaving, plucking, and yes, even waxing.  These feminine routines of making myself up are things I haven’t done in years.  I haven’t been this interested in makeup, hairspray, and razors since high-school.  Perhaps the glitter, pink nail polish, and hairdryer I can blame on the resurgence of 1980’s big and loud styles.  But shaving?  There’s obviously more to it than that.

All these little routines take time.  If I want to blow-dry my hair, I have to make time to do it.  I have to ignore the children, set aside their wanting to be held, wanting to help, wanting another vitamin C wafer, for five minutes and just let the hot air of the hairdryer blow everything away.  It takes two hands.  I can’t hold a toddler on my hip, wipe a nose.  For five minutes, I am my own agent.

My new interest in making myself fancy is really just another way of taking care of myself.  Self Care is, for me, the most important thing a parent can do to maintain a happy family, a happy marriage, and healthy children.  It’s no different than putting the instructions on the airplane – If you are traveling with a child, put on your own mask before assisting your child.

In a recent parenting class I took in town, we had a long conversation about Self Care.  The instructor brought up the airplane reference, and one mother asked why in the world anyone would put on their own oxygen mask before putting one on their child.  She said she’d never understood or agreed with that instruction, knowing that she would always assist her child first.  For me, Self Care is self evident.  I have always been pretty good at looking out for Number One, for the only person I can really change, for myself.  That is my personality, my gift and my burden.  But even I have had to consciously carve out moments for myself since I’ve become a mother.  If I need help and reminders to do this, I know that most mothers do.

So go ahead, paint your nails.  Fall is coming, and with it, closed-toed shoes.  No one even has to know.  Buy a cheap little pedicure kit with a nail buffer and a file for your rough callouses.  After the kids are asleep or whenever you can wrangle someone else into watching them, give yourself an hour just for primping.  Soak your feet.  Rub lotion into them.  Care for your cuticles.  Buy a new color of nail polish that you love and slather it on.  Sit still.  Let it dry.  Read a book for a while, then apply another coat.  If you have time, put on a sheer top coat too.  If it’s sloppy the first time, no worries.  You just took an hour for yourself.  You can’t do much while your toenails are drying.  Fingernails are even more time consuming… forget helping your toddler to use the toilet on a midnight potty break if your nails are drying.  You’ll just have to get your partner to do that.

Revel in these little luxuries, or find some of your own that make you feel pampered, beautiful, and put together.  Even more important, make sure they are time consuming.  I mean it.  That time you take is an act, and it will convince you more than my words ever will that it’s okay to take care of yourself.


#4 The Power of Water

Some rights reserved by wabisabi2015

Water is relaxing in so many ways.  Whether you touch it, hear it, or notice how scents change when the world is wet, water involves your senses.  Any sensory experience can ground us.  Take time to appreciate these moments when your senses reconnect you with the world, and with the moment.  We are just one small part of this world, but we are no small part water.

  1. Drink Water: In The Healing Power of Water, Dr. Batmanghelidj, M.D. claims that dehydration can cause depression, hypertension, unbalanced cholesterol, and other common ailments and diseases.  He writes that balancing water in the body can even alleviate pain!  If everything I read online about water is true, you will probably become superwoman if you drink a half gallon a day (not all at once).  Look at me, I’m chronically dehydrated, and I spend most days quipping at my spouse, building up steam until I yell at my angelic children, pulling my hair out, craving sugar, feeling sorry for myself, barely keeping up with household chores, berating myself for my lousy housekeeping, and crying at even the tiniest bit of sentimentality.  The connection is obvious!  Just imagine how much better off than me you will be every sip you take of clean, clean water.
  2. Take a Bath or Shower:You don’t need me to tell you how relaxing a bath can be.  Lock the door.  Add some suds, a few drops of your favorite essential oils, maybe some Epsom salts.  For the full escape, light some candles, drag in your boom-box, and turn off the lights.  I’ve even been known to sip some wine and keep a bowl of chocolate next to me in the tub.  If you need to escape, read a book or magazine.  Just the feel of the warm water though is all you need.  If you don’t have time for a

    Some rights reserved by AlexRK

    bath, take a hot shower, even if you don’t need to wash your hair.

  3. Go Swimming: You can usually find a pool open any time of year, and most have a hot tub, steam room or sauna as well.  Take anhour at the YMCA or your favorite health club to swim a few laps or do some water walking, then relax for at least half a hour by rotating through the hot tub, steam room, and sauna.  Go alone if you can, or take children to a family friendly pool that is warm enough for you to relax in.  You’ll all get some exercise, and you can’t help but having fun.
  4. Open the Window on a Rainy Night: Close your eyes.  Smell the wet world curling into your room.  Listen to the sounds of the rain hitting the soil, hitting the leaves, hitting your house, hitting the cement.  Breathe.
  5. Go Walking in The Rain: Go ahead, get wet!  Put on your galoshes and grab your umbrella and head out into the deluge.  You won’t want to.  But there are plenty of things in life that you don’t want to do, but are definitely worth doing.  You will feel better when you get home.  Just dress the part, and plan a short jaunt, especially if you are heading out with the little ones.  Let yourself splash in the puddles. Send little sticks and leaves down the rivulets alongside the road.  Watch where they go.  Throw pebbles into the manholes.  Get in touch with your inner child, or just let yourself be swept away and washed clean in the downpour.
  6. Visit a waterfall or rushing creek: Throw a rock in. Skip pebbles.  Feel the misty spray from the waterfall on your skin.  Watch the leaves moving from the force of the waterfall.  Bring your journal and make it a real retreat.

    Some rights reserved by Alex(inyoureyes)

  7. Go wading: Definitely bring your child if they are old enough to enjoy this activity.  Be sensitive to the environment – we don’t need to trample pristine habitat.  Find a well-used and safe stream or pond.  Get your feet wet!  Get your legs wet!  Look under (and return) rocks and debris in the water.  Find hidden pools and see the tiny rootlets in red and yellow lapping up water.  Getting wet is grounding.  Let your sense of touch come alive and your mental stress will melt away.  I recommend a pair of old sneakers and socks for this activity. Tie them very tight, and don’t expect them to ever be the same again!
  8. Listen to Ocean Waves: Even just listening to water can be calming.  I listened to an ocean wave recording during my labour and birth.  It was the only thing I wanted to hear.  The ocean is more powerful than you.  You can let yourself go in its presence.  You are nothing compared to the vast and endless sea.  Your problems are not problems.  The ocean can take you somewhere else, away from the stresses of your small life.  Let yourself be swept away in the sounds of the gulls and surf.
  9. Plan a Trip to the Ocean or Shore: If you are lucky enough to live near a large body of water, take a walk to where you have a view.  Seeing the open water horizon always balances me.  When you are motion sick it usually helps to look at the horizon,so that you can synch the visual information with your inner ear’s sense of balance and motion. In this same way, seeing horizon,especially the watery horizon, may help you find some sense of harmony.  And of course, get down to the surf, to the shore if you can.  The smells of algae and the feel of wind and the wildness of these places will help you to breathe deeply and relax.
  10. Do The Dishes: Ok, so I’m sure you don’t want to see this on a website about taking care of mothers.  However, doing the dishes with love and intention, while breathing and listening to music, can be a very calming experience.  Try to avoid doing any work when you are angry or resentful.  If you come to the dishes expecting to have a relaxing moment, you really can learn to enjoy it.  The water is warm, the soap is slippery, the bubbles reflect and refract the light so beautifully.  Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil, and doing the dishes is like a spa treatment for you hands.  A miniature bubble bath.

#3 Chocolate

Craving chocolate?  You’re not the only one.  I eat a little everyday.  I like it in the afternoon, in place of coffee or tea.  I like it in the evenings, when I’m trying to relax and unwind from the tangled day.  I like it when I’m feeling emotionally low or physically drained.  I like it all the time really.

When I went through my first real struggles with depression at 19, my first advice came from Dad: “Chocolate always makes me feel better.”  And while chocolate didn’t quite carry me through that rough year, it did its part.

While chocolate shouldn’t be your only coping mechanism, it can be an accepted one.

Chocolate is Healthful: We’ve all heard that chocolate is chalk-full of antioxidants, having significantly more per ounce then any other food or beverage.  This means that chocolate helps you detoxify and fight aging.  Some researchers chocolate can reduce cholesterol and blood-pressure, as well as balance your hormones.  Of course, the sugar and additives (like hydrogenated oils) in your chocolate are not so healthy.  So, for the tastiest, most beneficial boost, go for dark chocolate with recognizable ingredients: cocoa liquor/solids/mass (same things), sugar, (you need some), cocoa butter (left over from processing cocoa beans into cocoa powder), vanilla (not the artificial vanillin), and soy lecithin (to make it smooth and solid).  This is what makes Hershey’s superior to Godiva.

Chocolate is Fascinating: A little history: Chocolate comes from the seeds of the cocoa tree.  Seed pods are harvested twice a year, by hand, and fermented underground.  The seeds are then sun-dried, roasted, smooshed, and then turned into something yummy.  Chocolate’s first documented use is by the Mayan in 200-900 AD.  Mayans drank chocolate (though they didn’t have sugar so it was mighty bitter), used it in ceremonies, and it was their currency as well.  The Aztecs adopted the practice, and it was exported to Europe via the Spaniards.  Currently, the U.S. is only the eighth largest consumer of chocolate, at 11 pounds annually per person. Switzerland, whose citizens consume more than 21 pounds per person each year, is in the lead.  But it wasn’t always eaten purely for pleasure.  Chocolate has always been used and viewed medicinally, so let me reeducate you on it’s properties in modern scientific terms.

Chocolate Feels Good: Chocolate really does make you feel better when you are stressed, and has been shown to decrease stress and the “flight and flight” response.  Pure chocolate contains over 380 known chemicals.  Here are a few responsible for its feel-good effects:

  • Anandamide, a lipid naturally found in the brain, can bind to the same receptors as THC (The active chemical in marijuana is called tetrahydrocannabinol)and thus release dopamine.  But you’d have to eat 25 lbs of chocolate to have as much dopamine released as THC does, and even then THC affects much more of the brain than anandamide does.   Chocolate produces more of the naturally-occurring anandamide, and releases other chemicals to prevent the short-lived lipid from breaking down. The name anandamide comes from the Sanskrit ananda, bliss.
  • Opiates: chemicals, such as those found in opium, that produce a feeling of well-being (euphoria). Eating chocolate causes the brain to produce natural opiates, which dull pain and increase feelings of well-being.
  • Amphetamines: Chocolate also contains phenylethylamine.  Like amphetamines, this chemical causes blood pressure and blood-sugar levels to rise, resulting in feelings of alertness and contentment. Phenylethylamine has been called the “love-drug” because it quickens your pulse… which hardly seems the same as love to me.  But I do LOVE chocolate.
  • Caffeine in chocolate is minimal (12 Hershey bars = 1 cup coffee), but lovely.
  • Theobromine is another stimulant found in chocolate that can, in addition to acting similarly to caffeine, lead to mental and physical relaxation.  It can increase alertness as well as cause headaches. Other stimulants in chocolate include methylxanthines.  Theobromine comes from the Greek theobroma, “food of the gods”.
  • Aphrodisiac? Combine phenylethylamine’s ability to quicken the heart, the feelings of euphoria from anandamide, theobromine’s power to cause relaxation, and the other neurotransmitters sending pleasurable feelings throughout the brain.

Chocolate Tells You To Slow Down When you crave chocolate, you may be stressed, tired, or overwhelmed.  If you are really self-aware as you dump that handful of chocolate chips into your mouth, you might want to think about activating some other coping strategies.  You need a break.  What can you do to help you slow down, check in, and de-stress before you erupt?  Try some of the other suggestions on the blog to help you manage stress and stay grounded in the long-term.  And do keep enjoying the chocolate.

Warning: Please don’t share chocolate with your littlest ones. Just two ounces of chocolate can be fatal to a dog because it can not digest the theobromine. Chocolate can also make some small children sick and cause migraines for the same reason.

Three chocolate candies and one glass of red wine were consumed during the writing of this post.

Sources and Links:

Neuroscience of Chocolate

College Biology Paper on Chocolate and the Brain

Chocolate and Your Health

De-Stress by Chocolate