Keep Your Ego in Check

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Ego. Defined in psychoanalysis as "the part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious and is responsible for reality testing and a sense of personal identity". It can be our worst enemy or our greatest strength and often times we need to consciously keep it in check.

Success Magazine asked 6 entrepreneurs how they keep their ego in check. Everything from setting lofty goals to standing behind your ideas came into play. Here's what our founder, Linden Schaffer had to say: "By reminding myself of the impermanence of it all. It is important to stop and celebrate the victories as well as stop and examine the failures. Neither is permanent and both make you a better person." 


Read the full article in the March 2017 issue of Success Magazine.

 

WANT MORE TIPS FOR HOW TO START OR MAINTAIN A WELLNESS ROUTINE AT HOME OR WHEN TRAVELING? PICK UP a copy of LINDEN SCHAFFER'S NEW BOOK
 LIVING WELL ON THE ROAD OUT MARCH 16TH. 

{WELL ON THE ROAD} Elizabeth Cronise McLaughlin

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Elizabeth Cronise McLaughlin
CEO/Lead Executive Coach, Gaia Project Consulting

Most recently in: Dallas, Seattle, and Los Angeles within the last four weeks. I'm in LA about once a month now and I love it there.

The one snack you can always find in my carry on is: It's not exactly a snack, but I generally never get on a plane without at least 2 liters of water.

Tell us your in-flight ritual: I'm fortunate in that most of the time when I travel these days, it's on behalf of major corporate clients for whom we conduct leadership training programs, and therefore always in first class. When I get on the flight, I usually settle in under a blanket, order a non-alcoholic cocktail (JetBlue Mint has this divine fizzy mint lemonade that you can order without vodka), pull out the latest issue of Porter (my consistent travel pleasure and a wonderful magazine for both fashion and women's empowerment-- I love their editorial vibe), and pick out some music to listen to for the flight. If I'm on a weird schedule, I'll also try to sleep for a few hours before landing.

How do you conquer jet lag once you've arrived? Now that I am 45, I've quickly realized that if I drink any alcohol on the plane, my jet lag is far worse. So, honestly, combatting jet lag starts before I get on the plane with those two liters of water. Once on the ground, and particularly if I'm coming in at night as I often do when I travel to the West Coast, I try to get to bed as soon as I hit my hotel. I also try to get up at a normal time the following morning local time, so that I'm on schedule right away. If I follow this protocol, I honestly don't get jet lag very much at all.

Describe your workout on the road style: I've recently started using Kayla Itsines' app, Sweat with Kayla, which is awesome for circuit training that relies only on your own body weight and can be done literally anywhere. Each workout lasts just 28 minutes, which basically eliminates any excuses for working out no matter where you are-- and trust me, they are NOT easy. I used to do a longer form yoga practice on the road, but these days I try to travel as lightly as possible, and my yoga mat has been jettisoned from my single carry-on save when I'm traveling for a women's mastermind retreat. 

How do you keep sickness at bay? I take a rigorous protocol of supplements thanks to my naturopath, Dr. Samantha Brody, who works virtually with women on nutrition and stress management. At bare minimum, I take 5000 mg of Vitamin D a day, Sun Theanine, and GABA to combat stress and process cortisol, and melatonin if I'm having trouble sleeping. If I feel like I'm coming down with something, I'll also take some elderberry syrup. I do find, though, that disciplining myself to sleep 8 hours a night and staying hydrated no matter what really helps.

What's your 'go-to' restaurant item when traveling? Some form of greens-- salad, sautéed kale, collard greens. I'm a fool for that kind of stuff, and I also tend to be at least a little lighter in terms of what I eat on the road to combat jet lag.

What do you do to stay grounded? I meditate for a minimum of ten minutes every morning, and usually longer when I'm on the road. It's a good chance when I'm away from my kids to up my mindfulness practice. I also have a number of significant spiritual goodies that I take with me wherever I go-- Spirit Mist (a smokeless smudge) to use in hotel rooms, my pocket altar (Chakredy pendulum, a few pieces of rose quartz, and a few totems), and sage and sandalwood essential oils. Visualization-- particularly the use of grounding cords-- also helps a lot. 

What is your preferred method of staying connected with loved ones? I honestly have no idea how traveling mothers functioned before FaceTime. I talk to my kids at least once a day this way-- usually right before their bedtime, no matter what time zone I'm in. I also have an agreement with my dad that I text him every time I board a plane and every time I land, no matter what time it is, and he does the same for me. It's a really nice ritual, because inevitably he congratulates me on the latest success or wishes me good luck or offers words of support. On my last flight home from LA, when I'd had a bit of a rough couple of days, he texted a photo of me in his arms at about 3 years old, and said to me "you are loved." I burst into tears in first class. I'm lucky beyond words to have him as my dad.
 

When not traveling for work, Elizabeth is based in NYC, which will host her latest empowering event: Gaia Women Lead May 17 - 19. Take advantage of her pearls of wisdom on The Women's Leadership Podcast and follow her travels on Instagram

Add a Volunteer Activity to Your Vacation

PHOTO PRAVASSA©

PHOTO PRAVASSA©

Feeding the poor is often a religious practice associated with self-purification and self-improvement. Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Sikhism all embrace this practice is various ways. While not a daily custom in Western traditions, I've taken a few hours out of my vacations in Asia to fed monks while visiting Thailand or work in the langarat a Sikh temple in India. Above I'm pictured in a communal kitchen, which is responsible for offering vegetarian food to anyone who asks. In Jerusalem for the past 450 years, children have come to Khasiki Sultan in the heart of the old city to collect food for their entire family. This tradition or others like it can be found around the world and is a great way to give back when you're visiting a new nation. - Linden Schaffer

Want to add a volunteer component to your wellness vacation? Plan something that inspires you.

 

WANT MORE TIPS FOR HOW TO START OR MAINTAIN A WELLNESS ROUTINE AT HOME OR WHEN TRAVELING? PICK UP a copy of LINDEN SCHAFFER'S NEW BOOK
 LIVING WELL ON THE ROAD OUT MARCH 16TH. 

PLUG IN Consciously

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We find it easy to unplug and leave our phones behind when we travel - chalk it up to poor internet connections and huge time differences. And while there's a movement to create a digital detox for yourself at home, it's not always feasible, espeically in our currently politically charged times. So how do you find a way to stay connected consciously? Our friends at Well+Good have some advice. 

1. Accept that technology is a reality in today’s world—and that’s okay
The first step in not letting technology drive you bonkers is simply pushing back against the notion that if you pick up your phone, you’re an automatic failure. (Don’t you feel more Zen already?)

2. Note your personal distraction tendencies
Make sure your technology use is actually serving (not deadening) you is to simply pay attention to the specific apps or programs that tend to be your go-to distractions. Instagram? Gmail? See how early in the process you can catch it.

3. Tune into the physical experience
Yes, it is possible to turn technology into a daily mindfulness practice. Notice what it feels like to hold your phone, for example, noticing the texture and the smoothness of the screen. Use it as a straight-up mindfulness exercise.

4. Remind yourself: The internet is full of humans
The internet is so vast—and the amount of information we take in every day is so huge—it can easily overwhelm our brains and sense of what is really worthy of our attention. Just taking a few seconds to remind yourself that behind every photo or app there is an actual person can make the whole thing feel more, well, human and immediately ground you back in reality.

Read the full article on Well+Good.

How to Take More Vacation Time this Year

TEMPLE OF LITERATURE, VIETNAM | PRAVASSA©

TEMPLE OF LITERATURE, VIETNAM | PRAVASSA©

We long for it, we daydream about it, but many of us never actually use all of our allotted vacation days. Our founder is even wrote a book on the importance of using this time to improve your health, which is why these tips, which originally appeared in the New York Times, will help you make your daydream a reality. This year commitment to vacation with this foolproof plan.  

Get Organized and Start Early
It seems like an obvious first step, but saying you will get organized, and doing it, are different things. Using a paper or online calendar to track company holidays and map out your preferred vacation dates, as well as booking your travel as early as possible, which makes it harder to back out of it later.

Delegate Your Responsibilities
There is no need to complicate the approval process by dumping your work onto other people. You can make it easy for your boss by putting your vacation request in writing, making sure that it clearly states your company’s paid time off policy and your number of accrued days and that it also conveys your intention to discuss how your work responsibilities will be handled while you are away.

Work With Your Co-Workers
You can be firm in your commitment to take the vacation days you deserve while still being courteous to your colleagues. It is as simple as talking to your colleagues and doing it early.

Convey the Value to You
Try asking yourself this: Why am I taking this time off and why is it important to me? This is kind of a trick question, because there is no such thing as a bad reason to take time off from work. But being confident in your decision can make it hard for your superior to deny your request.

Remember What You’re Owed
Imagine if you had to write an email to your boss every two weeks for your paycheck, or every time you went to the doctor. Is using all of the vacation days your employer has already agreed to give you really any different?

Read the full article in the New York Times

{WELL ON THE ROAD} Nitika Chopra

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NITIKA CHOPRA
TALK SHOW HOST & SELF LOVE EXPERT 

Most recently in: Israel

The one snack you can always find in our carry on is: Nuts - typically cashews or almonds. I'm on a Candida regime, which avoids sugar and gluten, so for the plane I want something that is a quick, but filling protein.  

Tell us your in-flight ritual. I’m a big organizer! Once I sit, I get to work organizing everything by keeping snacks, my book, and glasses in easy reach. I also make sure to have creams or lotion in easy grasp so that I can stay hydrated and moisturized.

How do you conquer jet lag once you've arrived? I always get on the sleep cycle immediately. It’s painful, but I stay awake and power through. Eating really healthy and taking good care of myself including drinking a lot of water are all must have’s that set me up to stay awake. 

Describe your workout on the road style. I have arthritis so working out has always been challenging. To me, getting in good walks is very important. I live in New York so it’s easy while I’m at home, but when traveling, I need to be mindful that I’m getting walks in. I take a pause, figure out where I am and what the days looks like, and then figure out when I can take time out to walk. 

How do you keep sickness at bay? Three things always help me. 1) Making sure I get enough sleep. You already have to adjust your sleep cycle when you travel and it’s much better for your immune system if you can get proper sleep. 2) Vitamin C before I get on the plane and before I get home is a must. 3) Washing your hands. It’s a basic simple thing to do, but it’s so important. I wash my hands religiously when I get off the plane and have found I don’t get colds way I used to. 

What's your 'go-to' restaurant item? Salmon. I love salmon and it always fills me up. I ask about it where it comes from of course. 

What do you do to stay grounded? I get homesick, even when I’m with family, as I love being in my actual home, which grounds me. When I’m traveling, I make sure I call someone so I can stay connected. Essential oils an incredible way for me to ground; I’m big on using them. A morning and evening ritual is also very important. Taking it with you, taking time to get ready and take care of yourself helps you to feel connected to your daily routine so you don’t feel so far away. 

What is your preferred method of staying connected with loved ones? I call people all the time! Prefer an actual phone call over texting any day of the week! 

Based in NYC, Nitika regularly hosts empowering events, join her on February 11th for the 3rd Annual Self-Love celebration and follow her on Instagram for her daily uplifting messages. 

The World's 3 Healthiest Countries

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As the founder of a wellness travel company, I'm on the road quite a bit and have experienced my fair share of ailments abroad.

In the mid-'90s, I left a potluck dinner party in London with a severe case of strep throat. I went to a local hospital and was promptly treated for free. On the other hand, I came down with a stomach bug in Indonesia and didn't even have access to clean water. It's experiences like these that have made me interested in the ways that countries around the world prioritize health and well-being.

Earlier this year, the UN General Assembly published the results from a 10-year comprehensive study, which determined a country's health by looking at 17 development goals, such as ending poverty in all its forms, promoting sustainable agriculture, and ensuring healthy lives for residents of all ages. Here's a look at what the three healthiest nations are doing differently.

1. Iceland

From a publicly funded health care system to multiple sustainability efforts, Iceland tops the list of the world's healthiest countries. The country's sparse population means that its natural resources are relatively untouched and pristine, and 85 percent of its energy comes from renewable sources such as geothermal power stations, which means less reliance on fossil fuel. Not to mention, the 120 hot spring pools around the country, which have historical significance of positively affecting social, mental, and physical health.

Since 2005, Iceland has enforced strict smoking laws such a banning smoking entirely from schools and installing a ban on tobacco advertising. Its residents tend to eat diets that are packed with fresh fish, which have been shown to keep heart disease and inflammation at bay. Add all this together and you have a recipe for healthful, happy living. - Linden Schaffer

Want to know which countries came in at #2 and #3? Read my original article published on MindBodyGreen. 

 

WANT MORE TIPS FOR HOW TO START OR MAINTAIN A WELLNESS ROUTINE AT HOME OR WHEN TRAVELING? PICK UP a copy of LINDEN SCHAFFER'S NEW BOOK
 LIVING WELL ON THE ROAD OUT MARCH 16TH. 

10 GET-READY-FOR-SLEEP TIPS

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We've said good-bye to another year and have gotten the stress of the holiday season behind us. January is the perfect month to settle in for some serious downtime. Take your cue from the early sunset and focus on getting a great night's sleep. Not sure where to start? Try adding these tips to your day and see if they help create a new sleep routine.

1) Eat a light dinner.

2) Shut off the TV and computer 1 hour before your ready to sleep.

3) JOURNAL BEFORE BED to get out of your head.

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4) Leave your phone in the living room.

5) Take a bath TO RELAX YOUR MUSCLES and nervous system.

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6) MAKE A CALENDAR APPOINTMENT TO SLEEP AND KEEP IT.

7) Reserve your bed for sleep and sex—no other activities.

8) Invest in a foam mattress so you don’t feel your partner move.

9) Do a 10-minute yoga for sleep sequence.

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10) Play soothing music or mantras.

- Linden Schaffer

 

WANT MORE TIPS FOR HOW TO START OR MAINTAIN A WELLNESS ROUTINE AT HOME OR WHEN TRAVELING? PICK UP a copy of LINDEN SCHAFFER'S NEW BOOK
 LIVING WELL ON THE ROAD OUT MARCH 16TH. 

{We're Obsessed} Naoshima, Japan

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We've been obsessed with the Japanese art island of Naoshima for a while. The island's story of a crumbling forgotten land revived by an out-of-the-box idea tugs at our heartstrings and makes us want to support this underdog story any way we can. Sending wellness travelers to experience this magical environment is a favorite of our customWELL team. Check out CNN's wonderful video about this island and let us know when you're ready to explore it yourself. 

40 of the World's Incredible Eco-Hotels

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Don't let the word 'eco' throw you. These are some of the world's most luxurious hotel stays. From treetops hideouts to animals at your feet - or in your breakfast - these hotels top our bucketlist too. Here's a small sample of the 40 properties that made onto Matador Network's list:

Soneva Kiri (Ko Kut, Thailand)

Misool Eco Resort (Raja Ampat, Indonesia)

Hoshinoya Karuizawa (Karuizawa, Japan)

Daintree Eco Lodge & Spa (Queensland, Australia)

Jicaro Island Ecolodge (Granada, Nicaragua)

Check out the full list here. Then ASK PRAVASSA to start planning as we can book you into 15 of them.

All images via each hotel's website