Staying Healthy through the Winter

The best things are the simplest –

1) De-stress … get a massage!

2) Get better sleep – limit evening screen time.

3) Enjoy a variety of stretching and activities that get you moving.

(check out Jessica Smith’s YouTube channel)

4)  Use immune boosting herbs. I rely on Chinese formulation that I get at WAY wellness center.  It is “well” worth the trip to Aspinwall!  I use the anti-viral anti-bacterial tea whenever I feel under the weather. Also the herbal pills Yin Chiao for a sore throat, and Gan Mao Ling for general cold or flu symptoms. There are things you can get at the drugstore that have some value, but I have had great success with these Chinese herbs. The formulations have been refined over thousands of years.

You can’t always avoid catching a cold – but you can really cut down on the severity and speed recovery. And I do not get the flu.

Free Mindfulness Training through CMU study

From Phipps Conservatory newsletter:
Do you want to be less stressed in the new year, but don’t exactly know how? If so, we’re pleased to announce a perfect opportunity for you to learn techniques to help you manage and reduce your stress. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are conducting a study at the Center for Sustainable Landscapes to test a new program for stress reduction and well-being, and they are excited to work with Phipps visitors like you. To be eligible, you must be:
  • age 18 or older,
  • in good mental and physical health, and
  • available for about ten weeks to complete study activities and training.
You will be compensated for participating in this study. For more information, please call 412/268-8761 or email

Sometimes your brain hurts…

The holidays can be a time of big feelings both happy and sad. It tends to bring back childhood and family memories, and sometimes we don’t fully understand what is affecting us.

I have so appreciated all the good folks who have helped me work things through – nothing like a little insight to feel better both body and soul.  When talking to a wise friend is not enough, seek out a professional counselor.

Get a referral from a trusted friend or professional. I know some good folks locally, such as Kate Sherman, M.S. who can be contacted at or 412-965-1303 in Edgewood or 412-623-3023 in Shadyside.

My sister Alison Smith Longstaff is offering counselling by phone, Facetime, or Skype.  This is a great option especially when time or funds are in short supply.  You can schedule with her at Alison Longstaff scheduling  She is currently building her website, but her Facebook page is Alison Longstaff Counselling