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11.09.23 | Health & Wellness

Shining Light on Seasonal Wellness: Managing SAD

As winter approaches, the days grow shorter and the sunlight becomes scarce. This can lead to a lesser-known condition that tends to be more prevalent in our golden years: Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). It’s not just the winter blues; it’s a type of depression that ebbs and flows with the seasons. At Sage Collective, we believe in confronting such challenges with practical solutions and heartfelt support, fostering vibrant living year round. 

One of the first steps in managing SAD is recognizing the importance of light. Light therapy, or phototherapy, is a simple yet effective way to combat the symptoms. It involves sitting near a device called a light therapy box, which emits a bright light that mimics natural outdoor light. It’s been shown to cause a chemical change in the brain that lifts your mood and eases other symptoms of SAD. Always consult with a healthcare provider before starting light therapy, to ensure it’s the right step for you.

Supplementing with Vitamin D can also be beneficial, as our bodies naturally produce less when we’re exposed to less sunlight. Before starting any supplement, it’s wise to discuss it with a healthcare professional, who can advise on the appropriate dosage.

Exercise remains a cornerstone of vibrant living. Physical activity helps mitigate the symptoms of SAD by releasing endorphins and serotonin, mood-boosting chemicals in the brain. Whether it’s a walk in the mall, a gentle indoor exercise class, or stretching exercises at home, keeping active is key to lifting spirits during the colder months.

Staying connected with our community is equally crucial. Social engagement can provide emotional support, which is particularly important for those feeling isolated. Regular check-ins with friends, family, or participating in group activities can be a source of comfort and joy.

Lastly, let’s not underestimate the power of our surroundings. Creating a living space that maximizes light can make a substantial difference. Keep curtains open during the day, trim any outside bushes that block sunlight, and consider setting up your sitting areas near windows.

If you or someone you know is dealing with SAD, remember that it’s more than okay to seek help. Professional guidance can offer personalized strategies for managing symptoms. And here at Sage Collective, we’re always ready to listen and share insights for maintaining wellness in every season.

We’re committed to navigating the challenges of each season together, advocating for well-being with every tool at our disposal. Share your experiences or strategies for managing SAD on our platform. Let’s continue to support each other in leading a full, vibrant life, no matter the time of year.

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07.27.23 | Community & Lifestyle

The Art of Slow Living: Embracing Mindfulness and Minimalism This Summer

As we bask in the long summer days, there’s a growing awareness of the need for slower, more intentional living. Building on our previous discussions about mindfulness, let’s explore how to harness the power of mindfulness and minimalism to experience a truly transformative summer. This season, we encourage you to embrace the ‘Art of Slow Living.’ Just as the sun takes its time to set, painting the sky, we too can bask in the moment, savoring the world around us. But how do we do this? Let’s delve into the practices of mindfulness and minimalism.

Mindfulness

We’ve previously touched on the importance of mindful movement practices like Tai Chi, Yoga, and Qigong in fostering vibrant living. This summer, we encourage you to take this concept of mindfulness a step further. Beyond just movement, try to infuse mindfulness throughout your day. Feel the warm breeze on your skin, taste the sweet fruits of the season and listen to the sounds of the outdoors. Each moment presents an opportunity to be fully present, and there is no better time than a summer day to cultivate this habit.

Practices like Yoga and Qigong allow for a deeper connection with oneself and the world around us. These spiritual practices can be incredibly potent when taken outdoors during summer. Perhaps a gentle yoga sequence by the beach or a quiet Qigong session in a blooming park? Take this summer as an opportunity to deepen these practices, fostering a larger appreciation for the beauty that surrounds you.

Minimalism

Alongside mindfulness, we invite you to explore minimalism this summer. Contrary to popular belief, minimalism is not about denying ourselves pleasures or living a bare-bones lifestyle. It’s about making conscious choices about what we allow into our lives, focusing more on experiences and relationships than on possessions.

How can you embrace minimalism this summer? Try decluttering your home, simplifying your diet to include more fresh, local produce, or choosing experiences over material possessions. After all, a hike with loved ones or a day spent exploring a new town leaves a longer-lasting impression than the newest gadget.

By merging mindfulness and minimalism, you create space for meaningful connections – with others, with the natural world, and, most importantly, with yourself. Slow down and savor the summer in all its glory, embracing the art of living more with less. Embrace this season of warmth and growth, knowing that the journey to vibrant living is one step at a time, one mindful moment at a time. Summer is your canvas – paint it with mindfulness and minimalism, and see the masterpiece that unfolds.

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06.01.23 | Arts & Culture

Travel Trips and Destinations for Summer Adventurers

Get ready to embrace the magic of summer! It’s the perfect season to awaken your inner explorer, savor the thrill of freedom, and make every moment count. Remember, travel isn’t just about moving from point A to point B; it’s about learning continuously and sprinkling your life with unforgettable memories. But, as we all know, every adventure carries its share of surprises. Don’t fret, though – we’ve got you covered. Dive into our expertly-curated travel tips and discover three destinations that will inevitably satisfy your spirit of adventure this summer:

Starved Rock State Park, Illinois

First on our list is a day trip to Starved Rock State Park, about two hours west of Chicago. The park boasts some of the finest natural attractions in the Midwest, with an impressive 18 canyons, scenic waterfalls, and a wide variety of wildlife. Take a guided tour or embark on a self-guided adventure, it’s the perfect place to commune with nature and appreciate the beauty of the Illinois Valley.

Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

If a serene lakeside excursion suits your fancy, consider visiting Lake Geneva in Wisconsin. Only a short hour and a half drive from Chicago, it’s a haven of relaxation and natural beauty. Here, you’ll find opportunities to indulge in boating, fishing, or simply a picnic by the waterside. For a real treat, take a historical tour on the lake’s mail boat, a century-old tradition that offers a unique perspective of the stunning lakeside homes.

Michigan City, Indiana

Finally, a day trip to Michigan City in Indiana offers a blend of city attractions and natural beauty, only an hour away from Chicago. Enjoy the vibrant arts scene at the Lubeznik Center for the Arts, explore the beautiful Washington Park Zoo nestled on a sand dune overlooking Lake Michigan, or stroll the colorful boutiques and antique shops of the Uptown Arts District. 

When embarking on these adventures, remember to consider your comfort and health. Carry water, snacks, and any required medication. Dress for the weather, and wear comfortable footwear suitable for the activity you’re planning. Whether you’re journeying solo or with loved ones, each trip offers a unique opportunity for exploration, learning, and a touch of adventure. 

So, here’s our Sage Advice: take the summer its hands and step out into the world. There’s a lot to see, much to learn, and countless experiences waiting just for you. Exploration is not just about discovering new places, but also about discovering ourselves. After all, age is just a number, and the world is our timeless playground. Embrace your independence, pursue vibrant living, and make the most of the educational experiences that these journeys offer.

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05.25.23 | Community & Lifestyle

Staying Agile: Flexibility and Balance Exercises to Help You Maintain Independence

As we navigate through life’s different stages, physical changes often accompany us. At times, these can impact our strength, agility, and sense of independence. However, at Sage Collective, we are firm believers in the body’s innate capacity to adapt. Today, we’re exploring how to stay agile with flexibility and balance exercises. 

Flexibility and balance are the pillars of maintaining independence as we age. They are crucial in our daily tasks, from simple movements like bending to tie our shoes, to complex actions like reaching for an item on a high shelf or navigating stairs. Regular flexibility and balance exercises can enhance muscle tone, improve coordination, reduce risk of falls, and promote independence. Let’s delve into some exercises that can help.

Gentle Yoga 

Yoga is an exceptional choice for promoting flexibility and balance. The slow and deliberate movements of yoga poses, such as the “tree pose” and “warrior pose”, can dramatically improve balance. For increased flexibility, try poses like “downward dog” and “cobra pose”. These poses work on various muscle groups, enhancing flexibility in the legs, spine, and shoulders. Starting with guided sessions by a trained instructor can ensure proper technique and safety. 

Stretching Exercises 

Regular stretching exercises are integral to maintaining and improving flexibility, and in turn, your range of movement. Basic stretches, such as the calf stretch, hamstring stretch, and gentle neck rotation, can be highly effective. Aim to hold each stretch for about 30 seconds, ensuring you feel a gentle pull, not pain. Over time, you’ll notice improved flexibility, which can make everyday tasks easier and more comfortable. 

Balance Training 

Simple balance exercises can significantly improve stability. Start with exercises like standing on one leg, shifting weight from one foot to the other, or walking heel-to-toe in a straight line. Initially, use the support of a chair or railing until you gain confidence and can perform these exercises without aid. Consistent practice can lead to noticeable improvements in your balance, coordination, and confidence in daily movements. 

Staying agile involves more than physical flexibility and balance; it requires mental adaptability too. Incorporating these exercises into your daily routine sets you up to tackle life’s challenges with grace and resilience. Growing older doesn’t mean surrendering your independence. It’s about thriving, adapting, and embracing life’s ever-changing landscape. By dedicating time to activities like these, you’re investing in your independence, enhancing your quality of life, and paving the way to healthier aging. Let’s stay agile together, every step of the way.

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07.21.22 | Arts & Culture

Personal Statements and Manifestos

As we continue our Vibrant Living Programming, we also want to resume sharing rich content that compliments our spirited training, and this month’s theme is freedom. Along with independence and opportunity, freedom can mean many things to many people. Today, we’re exploring how independence inspires purpose, how personal manifestos can propel that purpose even further and how you can create one of your own. 

A personal manifesto performs as a declaration of what you truly want from life, which makes it the perfect tool for engaging personal independence. Traditionally, you might know manifestos as published statements declaring the intentions or beliefs of organizations, similar to our Vibrant Living Manifesto. However, manifestos are fluid and can be similarly used by individuals to act as both a statement of ethics and a call to action and are powerful in giving life meaning and direction.

Whether you’re in search of a guiding compass, a frame, a reminder of your priorities or simply inspiration, creating a personal manifesto is sure to provide your life with a foundation of additional meaning and direction. Learn how to write your own below: 

Begin your manifesto by writing down your values, beliefs, behaviors you apply to life and other areas you want to address. If you’re having trouble thinking of what to write, it might be easier to ask yourself questions about those themes. Remember, personal manifestos are exactly how they sound, personal, so yours is likely to be unique to itself. 

After creating your list, start to transform each point of interest into active, declarative statements; use powerful language, don’t worry about the length and remember to keep it uplifting and positive. When finished, make a copy and put it somewhere you will see every day; your manifesto could be the perfect tool for vibrant living, write and live it now!

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07.07.22 | Community & Lifestyle

The Importance of Personal Freedom and Independence

Independence and freedom are critical for everyone, but the older we get, the more significant their effects can have on us. While being independent is understood universally as having freedom, for individuals – specifically adults – the word can have a much deeper meaning and impact. Today, we’re diving into just how independence benefits us all as we continue to age. 

There’s no question that with age comes a plethora of changes to our minds, bodies and surroundings, and independence is sometimes the only thing we feel we have control over. Maintaining that control over our independence is just one aspect of ensuring you are living vibrantly and comes with its own rich benefits. 

Elevates a Sense of Purpose

Because independence is such an empowering, enriching privilege, it’s extremely powerful in granting a sense of purpose to those who have it. The opportunity to create goals, large and small, in hopes of accomplishing them is one of the most significant reasons for this characteristic. Whether you’re aiding in the lives of your family, friends or community, or working on yourself, having the freedom to set objectives provides a powerful sense of purpose. 

Encourages Relationship Development 

It isn’t easy to keep up with the newest technology and cultural developments, especially as an older adult. Building and maintaining relationships that provide access to the right resources is crucial for personal independence. Whether you have a family that helps you stay in the loop by navigating you through the latest technology or a neighbor who checks in on you every few days, community and independence go hand in hand for empowering a vibrant life. 

Enables Individuality

While a sense of purpose and relationship building is essential, independence has a significant impact on how you feel as an individual. When the divisions in your life are left out of your control, it’s not hard to feel a loss of yourself and your freedoms, which is why it’s critical to maintain a vibrant lifestyle and your sense of self, no matter what environment you find yourself.

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