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What Summer Solstice Means for Your Sign

What Summer Solstice Means for Your Sign

By: Kalen Arcadia

Photo credit: @IgotJaxed

For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, summer solstice kicks off the longest day of the year and a celebration of the summer season, marking a time of excitement, creative potential and energy! The solstice is caused by Earth’s tilt and the motion of orbit around the Sun. During this shift, the Sun posts up in the tropic of Cancer. What does that mean exactly? The Sun represents our sense of selves and our core personality. Thus, when this luminary travels through Cancer, there’s an emphasis on authentic expression and creativity.

Let’s explore how you can tap into this fundamental nature of our solstice kick off!


ARIES

March 21 to April 19

Although you would much rather explore the unknown, meet new friends and start projects, it’s important to explore the connections you’ve already established. Before embarking on new territory, let’s investigate the present sitch. During this period, you may undergo an awakening of outworn psychological patterns, Aries. These are likely triggered by the individuals closest to you. Rather than burning down connections, pay attention to what comes up. Once you are mindful, you can begin to shift unhealthy dynamics and start anew. If you feel triggered by certain situations, be transparent with those you love. Remember, vulnerability is a strength, not a weakness.

TAURUS

April 20 to May 20

Oftentimes, the way we believe we represent ourselves is not in alignment with the world’s perception of us. In order to communicate our goals to others, it’s important that we are acting in accordance with our intentions. This helps us gain the support we need when we need it. Check in with your reputation during this period, Taurus. Does it need tweaking? Assess what you’ve manifested and how you can go about making changes where necessary. If you are unsure of your standing, it might be beneficial to ask a trustworthy friend for their opinion.

GEMINI

May 21 to June 20

As you gain insight into your relationship with authority, rules and karma, masculine energy is likely to come up. During this period, it’s important that you do not neglect the potential shift in this relationship, Gemini. Take note of external events which may prompt you to assess your masculine/feminine balance. Maybe you’ll be required to meet a deadline for a creative project, or you’ll begin to shift your relationship with your father. Whatever the case, your new insights will give you an opportunity to develop yourself in a more fluid and powerful way.

CANCER

June 21 to July 22

Although you are a deeply feminine sign, Cancer, you may struggle to acknowledge this side of yourself. This is especially true if you’ve had to stifle emotional expression in the past. Although this might help you maintain working order, it can lead to potential instability. When this instability occurs, it can express itself as moodiness, resentment and fear. These drivers can muddy up the brain and cause you to act with unclear motives, which leads to instability. Utilize the energy of the solstice to connect with your emotional nature, express yourself authentically and nurture your needs. If you suppress your nature for too long, it can create an explosion of unresolved emotional baggage.

LEO

July 23 to August 22

People you love know they can rely on your steadfast nature, Leo. This trait is an inherent part of your personality and earns you a reputation as a reliable friend. If you’re not careful, however, this trait can also give lend towards a stubborn approach to life. Your stubborn tendency stems from a fear of losing control, which must be addressed if you’re to maintain positive connections with your friends and family. Otherwise, you may unknowingly spark arguments. To avoid discord, be sure to exercise objectivity in your relationships. If you feel overwhelmed by a specific situation, practice mindfulness and slow your roll. Remember, handling conflict with detachment brings you closer to a resolution.

VIRGO

August 23 to September 22

Virgo, my love, you possess an agile and quick-moving mind. This designates you as someone who can solve problems rather quickly. However, it can also render you quite the “scatterbrain” and potentially lead to anxiety. In order to ensure that you are focused, steady and calm, it’s important to assess your daily routine. How are you taking care of yourself in your day-to-day activities? Take an inventory of your current daily practices during this solstice period. If you find that you struggle with this process, then this is the first indication that change might be necessary. To investigate, make a list of allotted hours in a day, tasks you wish to accomplish and routines you’d like to begin. The sooner you get a handle on your daily routines, the sooner your mind will gain clarity on your goals moving forward.

LIBRA

September 23 to October 22

You enjoy the finer things and know how to spend money, Libra. I get it—you would rather live life freely than suffer the consequences of regret. I agree with you here, but remember that balance is a necessary part of creating this aspirational life you seek. Utilize the solstice energy to assess your current financial situation and devise a balanced plan. This could look like creating a new budget, nixing unnecessary monthly bills or eating out less frequently. Even if your financial situation is already balanced, it’s a good idea to assess, reassess and adjust.

SCORPIO

October 23 to November 21

Scorpio, your ability to focus on goals is admirable. You’re someone who puts your aspirations first, regardless of physical, mental and emotional exhaustion. You’ve got power! Although this is a beneficial part of your character, it may get in the way of living a balanced life. Utilize this period to recover from the demands of your day by engaging in self-care. Take a bubble bath, treat yourself and rest. Listen to your needs and give yourself space to be still. Once you begin this process, you can engage a healthier approach to your goals.

SAGITTARIUS

November 22 to December 21

Sagittarius, during this period it’s necessary to reflect upon your current plans. I recognize your large visions, but these visions need to be rooted. The best way to do this is to lay your goals out step-by-step. It’s all about how you can get from A to B to C, not A to Z. When you neglect the small steps toward building a house you can miss building blocks in between. This creates an unstable structure, which is the opposite of what you desire—you want a sturdy house! Utilize this period to comb over your goals and plan the small steps it will take to achieve them. Once you recognize these steps, you can begin to move forward at a strong and steady momentum.

CAPRICORN

December 22 to January 19

Capricorn, you’re known as one of the most frugal signs of the Zodiac and your ability to find a deal, cut a coupon and save every penny is uncanny. However, sometimes I worthy whether you are operating from a place of lack. When you make decisions from this place, you have a hard time enjoying the experience of this material plane. There is a necessity to save and plan, sure, but there’s also a necessity to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Utilize this period to release the idea that you can’t be both responsible and enjoy life at the same time. Developing a healthy relationship with the material world is the key to creating a balanced life for both you and the people you love.

AQUARIUS

January 20 to February 18

I recognize that you’re someone who places a great deal of emphasis on values, Aquarius. Sure, you may seem a bit erratic to others, but each action you take is in line with your overall belief system. As life shifts, however, it’s important to check in with your ideals from time to time. Take an inventory of your values and ensure they are aligned with your actions. This will help you remain focused and energized moving forward. Ensure that you remain flexible to any changes you need to make—know that in order to remain true to yourself, you need to match your values with your current day ideals.

PISCES

February 19 to March 20

The solstice will usher in a new wave of energy to help you reach your goals, Pisces, which makes this a great time to take the bull by the horns. Taking this initiative can help you manifest your desires fully. Before bulldozing forward, however, it’s important to reflect upon your goals. Do they line up with your actions? Are they authentic to you? Are your decisions fully conscious? Spend some time in consideration of these questions in order to ensure that you are expressing yourself fully. Otherwise, you will have difficulty creating the type of reality you desire.

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5 Fertility Tracker Apps We Love

5 Fertility Tracker Apps We Love

By: Anna Keller

When you’re trying to have a baby – whether it’s your first or third – the whole process can be an overwhelming one. You likely have a friend who got pregnant right when she decided it was time and, on the other end of the spectrum, you probably know someone who ended up going the IVF route. Maybe you find yourself somewhere in the middle at the moment: not yet pregnant (even though you’d like to be), but not ready for more extreme intervention just yet, either.

Enter fertility apps, a helpful way to gain insight into what your body is doing. Some are basic (tracking your period and ovulation) and others have more advanced elements. You also might be using one of these apps to avoid pregnancy, and they would work well for that, too!

Below are a handful of our favorite fertility tracker apps.


1. GLOW

Why We Love It:

• It’s free, but allows you to voluntarily contribute to a fund that goes to help women with fertility treatments. They also offer Glow Premium for an additional cost.

• There’s a robust community element where you can search for conversations around a variety of topics like getting pregnant, of course, but also things like religion and politics, beauty and style, and food and lifestyle.

• It takes into account the symptoms you’re feeling and gives you insights tied to those. (Example: Do you often have an upset stomach when you’re on your period? That can be a sign of endometriosis, so it could be worth a chat with your doctor.)

 

2. OVIA

Why We Love It:

• It’s free, or you can pick up a $0.99 upgraded version which allows you to do things like export your data to Excel.

• It has a corresponding pregnancy app, so once you conceive you can jump over to that version and track there.

• The app collects huge amounts of data to help inform the recommendations it’s making for you.

• Their claim is that this app helps reduce the average time it takes a couple to get pregnant from four to six months down to two.

 

3. CONCEIVABLE

Why We Love It:

• This is a pricey app at $199, but you get a lot of bang for your buck. The app is designed to look for things impacting your fertility and helps you address those roadblocks.

• It creates a personalized proprietary Fertility Score by assessing fertility factors that include biometric data, cycle metrics, basal body temperatures, and lifestyle habits to predict the likelihood of natural conception.

• The app has a very holistic approach, even going as far as delivering personalized supplements to your door to help address issue the app detects that might be getting in the way of your fertility.

 

4. FLO

Why We Love It:

• It’s free.

• It uses artificial intelligence to get super accurate about its cycle predictions. The more data you enter, the more accurate your output information will be!

• You can also track your basal body temperature and cervical mucus and input those variables into the app for even stronger results.

• Once you get pregnant, it switches over to a pregnancy app!

 

5. DOT

Why We Love It:

• It’s free.

• This app is a great one to just be aware of your cycle in general so you can plan accordingly. It allows you to input your information to see which days you’re most likely to get pregnant as well as predictions on when your period will be for the next six months.

• It uses a family planning and birth control method known as Dynamic Optimal Timing to help users anticipate their risk of pregnancy on a day-to-day basis.

 

 

 

photo credit: rawpixels.com

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The Jet Lag Recovery Guide

The Jet Lag Recovery Guide

By: Kristin Dahl

It goes without saying that travelling the world is one of the most exciting and fulfilling things people do. Airplanes have permitted long distance travel over a short amount of time, which has completely changed how we are able to view the world. It gives people the remarkable opportunity to experience new cultures, languages, food, and landscapes — and checks off many items on the bucket list.

However, the exhilaration of travel does come with a pesky, unavoidable reality: jet lag. Whether you fly economy or first class, it affects everyone who travels across time zones. Although jet lag symptoms can vary from person to person, it is generally characterized by: disrupted sleep patterns, daytime fatigue, reduced ability to concentrate, increased irritability, headaches, impaired digestion, dehydration, and muscle aches. Understanding and finding ways to beat jet lag is key to getting out of bed and conquering the new city you’ve just landed in.

So, what exactly is jet lag? Jet lag is essentially a disruption in the body’s normal routine. Our bodies are governed by circadian rhythms, which are regulated by such things as temperature, external environment, and light. Our circadian rhythms are responsible for melatonin production and the quality of the sleep-wake cycle the body experiences on a daily basis. Jet lag is a symptom of unregulated circadian rhythms. There is good news though! There are many ways (before, during and after your travel) to ease the symptoms of jet lag and decrease the amount of time it is present for.


BEFORE YOUR TRIP

As with many health issues, prevention is the best course of action. There are four major things that you can do before you leave that will ensure an easy transition into the new timezone.

 

1. Self-Care: Getting yourself into the best state, physiologically before you leave will have huge implications in warding off the feelings of jet lag. Light exercise, meditation, healthy food choices and avoiding alcohol are great examples of self-care practices. Travel is a stressor on the body and when the body is working optimally it is better equipped to deal with stress.

 

2. Gradually Adjust to the Time Zone: This is a phenomenal way to ease your body into a new sleep-wake cycle that otherwise would happen at a faster rate and cause the body significant stress. Depending if you are travelling east, or west, go to sleep one hour earlier/later and wake one hour earlier/later. You will want to repeat this pattern going up to three hours on either end for roughly a week before you fly out. This programs your body to know when melatonin production should be at its highest.

 

3. Acclimate: If you will be away for longer than a few days, begin to acclimate your body to the new time zone by altering your eating schedule three days before your departure date. Three days before you leave start eating your meal an hour earlier or later (depending on which way you’re travelling).

 

4. Avoid Alcohol: Try your best to avoid alcohol before your flight, during the flight and after the flight. Alcohol causes dehydration, disrupts sleeping schedules, triggers, nausea and can lead to general discomfort.


IN THE AIR

Just as there are steps you can take pre-flight to minimize the effects of jet lag, what you do in the air can impair or exacerbate the symptoms. Below are three tips to starve off jet lag that are sure to leave you feeling rested, and in tune with the new time zone when you land.

 

1. Stay Hydrated: It is well documented that flying is dehydrating. This paired with the often free liquor on flights is the golden combination to promote jet lag symptoms. As previously discussed, travel is a stress and staying hydrated is key for the body to remain in homeostatic balance. This means that water is needed for the body to mitigate the effects of stress. Drink up!

 

2. Avoid Sleeping Pills: Sleeping pills have been shown to amplify jet lag symptoms. They can leave you feeling groggy and disoriented and hinder the body’s natural ability to adjust to new rhythms. Instead opt for some meditation music, an eye mask and a few drops of lavender essential oil for a mid flight nap.

 

3. Eat Good Food: This is a huge one. When the body is digesting processed foods or foods high in carbohydrates it demands a lot of energy. When this energy is being used to digest it cannot be directed toward the responses needed to deal with stress. Opt for light, nutrient dense meals to support the body during this time and avoid sugar, refined carbs and keep it simple. This will speed up the adjustment time once you land. Food that you can pack at home and take through security are: bananas, apples, oranges, meat, granola bars, sandwiches (in container) and sliced fruit (in container.)


WHEN YOU ARRIVE

Once you arrive at your destination, there are many things you can do to combat jet lag on the ground. Below are seven ways to reverse the symptoms of jet lag.

 

1. Drink Coffee: Coffee is a stimulant and when you wake up in the morning, even if your body is telling you not to, it is best to give it some help to get your circadian rhythms back on track. Avoid having two or more cups.

 

2. Take Melatonin: Taking a dose of 3-5 mg before bedtime will help put you to sleep and wake up at the appropriate time. You can try adding valerian in the mix for an added relaxation benefit. Take 4 ml after dinner, and 4ml right before bed for best results.

 


3. Use Magnesium: This mineral is fantastic for jet lag. It helps to calm the body and reduce stress. In addition to this, it eases gastrointestinal upset, which is a common symptom of jet lag.

 

4. Meditate: Did you know mediation has been shown to increase melatonin production? There are many great apps that can lead you through mediation from the comfort of your hotel room.

 

5. Light Therapy: Since light and lack there of are the main regulators of circadian rhythms take advantage of light therapy. During the day, be sure to expose yourself to bright light as much as possible. Natural sunlight is best but a sunlamp will do the trick. This will lower melatonin levels in the day, reducing daytime fatigue.

 

6. Exercise: Exercising while travelling deserves its own reason to congratulate yourself. But, did you know the timing of when you exercise in relation to helping jet lag matters? It is important to exercise at the same time you did while at home to help get your body back into its regular circadian rhythm.

 

7. Earthing: Also referred to as grounding. It involves making direct contact with your bare feet to the earth (grass, water, sand, etc.). This allows you to soak up the earth’s negative charge (the ideal setting for the body), which reduces inflammation and promotes a refreshing feeling.

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