Zoe Life Healing

Zoe Life Healing

Stress Less for Health Blog


Peace comes from overall wellness and is affected by your financial, mental, physical and spiritual healthYou require proper nutriental absorption, stress management, to be self-aware, and to take care of your body, mind, and spirit. Start with a stress inventory and action plan to work toward your personal health and wellness - you are an individual and deserve a personal wellness plan!

Start your stress reduction journey TODAY. Email kathleen@zoelifehealing.com

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Top 5 Tips to Beat Holiday Stress

Posted on October 7, 2018 at 7:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Stress can be caused by good and bad experiences and for some the holidays can add extra stress.

There are many possible reasons for holiday stress and solutions to manage stress over the holidays.

1) Being alone for the holidays

There may be times in your life when a holiday may come and your schedule or health may not allow you to travel to spend the festivities with your family. This has happened to me and I learned to find ways to manage my holiday time. At times, I enjoy being alone, even eating alone. If it has been an extremely stressful time at work and in life, then having some downtime at home may be just what the doctor ordered. But at times like this, there are ways to get out of your home, like being adopted by friends or going out to a restaurant and sit at the bar to socialize with other singles for the evening. Another option is to invite a few friends over, make it a potluck and a games night. Take the opportunity to try something new, create new holiday traditions and shake things up!

2) Preparing for a holiday gathering

From creating an invite list, to preparing a menu, shopping list, going grocery shopping and then cleaning, preparing, cooking and pulling it all off can be quite an endeavor and honestly stressful. As much fun as it can be to plan and prepare for a gathering of family and friends, it can cause great stress mentally and on your time. Prepare ahead of time, purchase and freeze some of the foods early, delegate others to pick up last minute items and even help you chop vegetables or decorate, set tables and meet people as they arrive. Take the opportunity to share washing the dishes at the end, make it a social event, after all everyone ends up in the kitchen anyways, so put them to work. Many hands make easy work, instead of one or two people doing all the work and feeling tired due to stress after everyone goes home

3) The anxiety of going out to socialize

Okay, so you are an introvert and the idea of going out for a holiday meal sounds great, but wait there will be people and small talk and well that seems so overwhelming. How can you plan for this? Rest up during the day. Plan for a day of alone time, enjoying peace and quiet and refilling yourself so that you can handle being in a social event. Try relaxation techniques, mindfulness, breathing, visualization and guided imagery to mentally and physically prepare for the outing. Show up just before dinner, eat, socialize a little, and then say your goodbyes and head home a little early if needed. It is a process to work up to longer events. Congratulate yourself on attending and preparing ahead of time. Utilizing these tools may help to lengthen your time that you can spend in these social settings.

4) Travel in bad weather

Okay holidays are coming and you are excited to see your family and friends. Just one thing, you need to travel and the weather may be unpredictable. Pick your mode of travel that is suitable to your needs, budget, and availability and fit your schedule. Then plan ahead and pack for carry on or checked baggage. If you are flying ensure you are packed appropriately and arrive at the airport early enough to make it through the crowds, security and to your gate with room to breathe. If you are driving, prepare your vehicle with proper tires, check your vehicle fluids and also pack according to travel conditions. Leave during daylight with enough time to spare just in case you hit any issues along the way. If driving or flying is not your mode of transport, make sure to check bus or train schedules and if possible purchase your ticket prior to your trip to ensure you are ready to board and travel to your chosen destination. Dress for the weather, in layers and practice relaxation and breathing along the way to reduce stress.

5) Financial concern

Some holidays and family traditions may historically be attached to buying and exchanging gifts. This can be tough for some people and may deter from spending time with family or certain friends. A few suggestions set up a set dollar amount to spend that is acceptable to all exchanging gifts. As well, plan ahead throughout the year and purchase when items are on sale. Or make gifts - home-made gifts take much thought and effort, but often do not cost a lot. And to be honest, some of the best, most thoughtful gifts out there are those made from the heart. Put thought into gifts and prepare ahead. If possible utilize a special skill that you have - loved ones will love and appreciate you sharing your skills with them in an amazing home-made gift.

I hope that some or all of these tips will help you to cope over the holidays. Please leave a comment, share your thoughts and ideas and successes to reducing holiday stress.

Stress Less For Health



How Your Food Could Be Stressing You Out!

Posted on April 5, 2018 at 12:55 PM Comments comments (0)

When you hear the word stress you may immediately think about a physical or mental stress. The feeling you get when you are under pressure and want to pull your hair out and it feels like smoke is coming out of your ears. Okay that may be a bit more of an exaggeration and while stress does make you feel like this, there are actually 8 causes of stress and only one of those is a good stress.

Today we will look at nutritional stress. What that means and how your body is affected.

Nutrition includes the foods that we eat and drink. Things that are nutrient rich may be broken down by our digestive system and absorbed by your cells. Seems pretty simple; however there are a few things that may affect your body's ability to absorb nutrients. Firstly, the food that we are eating does not contain the nutrients that our bodies require to repair and function properly. Secondly, our bodies may not absorb properly possibly due to lower levels of digestive enzymes, poor gut health, and the need for probiotics or even dis-eases. And thirdly, we are unable to get enough healthy food, so have to resort to processed foods to fill our hunger void.

How does poor nutrition affect us?

Now you may feel that you are eating nutritiously, but your body may actually suffer malnutrition due to the processes happening inside your body or the lack of nutrition inside the foods you are eating. On top of this your foods may have additives, GMOs, fillers, binders, preservatives, and so forth that your body sees as foreign and causes stress inside your body. This stress in turn causes the body to go into a stress response which elevates thecortisol and adrenaline levels inside your body and in turn activates the sympathetic nervous system and reduces activity in the parasympathetic nervous system, which takes care of your food digestion and other processes while your body rests. Another factor affecting absorption may be a medical condition leading to malnutrition, such as lack of appetite from cancer, pain, nausea or mental health conditions which may affect your ability to care for yourself.

Overall poor nutrition can impair your daily health and wellness and reduce your ability to lead an enjoyable and active life. In the early stages, poor nutrition can contribute to stress, tiredness and being able to function at work. Over time, if poor nutrition becomes chronic it can contribute to illnesses and other health issues like, being obesity, tooth decay, diabetes, osteoporosis, some cancers, depression, eating disorders, and so forth.

Nutritious food is your first line of defense and plays an essential role in managing stress and overall wellness. Food and specifcally good nutrition provide the much needed energy, vitamins and minerals to countereract the negative effects of stress while also offering a protective barrier for future stresses. To have good nutrition it is recommended you eat a balanced meal that includes each of the five food groups each day. This includes, aiming for 2 servings of fruits and 5 servings of vegetables, drinking fresh water, enjoying healthy recipes, planning meals and shopping lists ahead of time, limiting caffeine, salty and sugary foods, enjoying good fats in moderation, cooking and eating healthy foods without distractions.

In the short term, poor nutrition can contribute to your stress, tiredness and your capacity to work, and if it continues long term, it can contribute to the risk of developing some illnesses and other health problems such as: being overweight or obese, tooth decay, and high blood pressure.

Try to find good quality, organic foods when possible. Eat processed, sugary, salty and fatty foods in moderation. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables daily and when you find you cannot then take a high quality, high absorbency supplement to fill in the gaps between your foods nutrition and the nutrition your body’s cells require.

If you are interested in learning about the supplements that I have personally tested, feel free to email me today: kathleen@zoelifehealing.com

I want to end on a note to support families within our communities, not everyone has access to healthy, nutritious foods and there are quite a few children who go to school hungry. If you are able to assist to support your community members so that they can benefit from about 7-9 days of healthy foods per month, please do. The Central Okanagan Food Bank is dedicated to providing much needed food and support to those living in the Okanagan. Many families struggle to make ends meet and children suffer the most, with 33% of the clients who are children under the age of 15. Until May 5th, 2018 I am helping raise awareness and funds for the Central Okanagan Food Bank. You have an opportunity to help families in your community eat better each month.

Here is how you can support within your community.

Purchase the Essential Package for $30 today

Book a Norwex party by emailing today: kathleen@zoelifehealing.com

The Central Okanagan Food Bank will receive $6 from each Essential Package sold and $25 for each Norwex party booked through this fundraiser.

To place your order and learn more email today: kathleen@zoelifehealing.com

Discover How To Manage The Stress Of An April Fools' Day Prank

Posted on April 1, 2018 at 10:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Don't you hate it when your significant other puts plastic wrap under the toilet seat and you get urine all over the place? Or they tape the sink sprayer and when you turn on the water to fill your coffee pot you get a sprayed with the water? And on and on the pranks have gone over the years. Back and forth to one up the your significant other or siblings and get them back for last years joke. These pranks likely come from a place of mischief, creativity and fun and are not meant to harm you, however the effects of these pranks may actually cause you stress and perhaps even anger you and stimulate you to retaliate. While this may be true, in the end they are meant to be a celebration of harmless practical jokes and hoaxes that ultimately make you smile or laugh. All Fools’ Day is a day of merriment and rejoicing. It received its name from the custom of playing practical jokes on this day—for example, telling friends that their shoelaces are untied or sending them on so-called fools’ errands. You have likely grown up taking part in April Fools' Pranks, either creatively plotting to come up with the best prank and keeping a poker face as you act it out and wait for the response. Or perhaps you have been the recipient of the prank from jokster friends and family members being left embarassed, frustrated and possibly angry?

You may wonder why I am writing about this topic today, partly because it is a form of stress - to be startled, where your cortisol levels increase and you enter into fight, flight or freeze.  This is the bodies natural stress response and even a whimsical prank can cause you stress.  It is not really about the prank itseld, but more to share how to release your body from the stress response. Before going into stress and how to get out of the stress response I thought it may be interesting to learn where April Fools' Day even came from. Why did this day of trickery start? Have you ever wondered why April Fools' Day exists?  Where it originated from and why it still continues year after year?

If you are like me, you Googled the history of April Fools' Day for the fun of it. And there are at least 3 theories behind the origin.

The first theory is that it is connected to the Ancient Roman times where they would celebrate Hilaria.  Hilaria was a late March, end of winter celebration where people would dress up in costumes and disguises. 

The second theory ties to the Vernal (Spring) Equinox and more around the tricky weather that comes with the start of spring. Perhaps this is where the saying,  'In like a lamb, out like a lion', came from? 

And the third theory is from the 1500's in France when the calendar was moved from the Julian to the Gregorian. In the Julian calendar New Years Day was celebrated on April 1st. With the new Gregorian calendar New Years Day now moved to January 1st.  The theory is that not everyone got the memo and those who continued to celebrate on April 1st were deemed Fools. As a side note, the original reason to introduce the Gregorian calendar was to change the date of Easter.

So, lets go back, you were just tricked by someone you care about and your body has jumped into the stress response. This is an acute stress response, also known as hyperarousal, although you are likely not under a threat of harm your body is wired by a biological or physiological reaction that responses to a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat to survival. You may experience increased heart rate, increased breathing, sweating, and your body will naturally decrease digestive activity, the liver will release glucose for energy and adrenal glands release cortisol. You react and hopefull you are able to see it for the prank and join the jokester in a belly laugh to release your body of the stress response and reset your bodies ecosystem.

Laughing heals your body - but how? It is a physical release, an internal workout for the abdominal muscles, distraction, reduces the level of stress hormones like cortisol, epinephrine (adrenaline), dopamine, and growth hormone, aids in a social connection and can bring a lighthearted perspective and help to get over the perceived stress quicker.

So the next time you are in a position where you are pranked - take pleasure in the history of this days celebrations, release the anger and frustration you endured from the trick and laugh for a healthier, happier you.

So, on this April 1st, 2018 I wish you an amazing day filled with your traditions, whether that is coming up with amazing harmless ideas to prank your friends and families that end in a healing belly laugh for all, time at church to celebrate Easter, watching your children and grandchildren searching for Easter eggs, watching a parade, eating your favorite holiday meal and enjoying social time with those who you love.

Make it a magical day!


Feeling Strressed? Unsure where to start? Request your Free Stress Inventory Checklist today & get started today email: kathleen@zoelifehealing.com

Looking for support join our https://www.facebook.com/groups/180712359201724/" target="_blank">Facebook Group 

Stress Happens

Posted on February 24, 2018 at 4:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Stress is a chemical and physical process that happens inside our brains and bodies.


Stress just happens - you don't actually feel the hormones in the body changing due to events throughout your day. What you do feel is the cumulative effect of the changes inside your brain and body. Stress is actually necessary to perform at work with deadlines, to run from a tiger or escape a scary situation. But stress on top of stress, left to run its course inside your body becomes a problem.


According to the Mayo Clinic, Indeed, stress symptoms can affect your body, your thoughts and feelings, and your behavior. Being able to recognize common stress symptoms can give you a jump on managing them. Stress that's left unchecked can contribute to health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Apr 28, 2016. For further information on how stress affects your body here is a Mayo Clinic article.


There are eight types of stress and only one is good stress, but no matter the source of the stress your body will react the same way with the stress response. Living in the stress response causes your bodies hormones to be out of balance and starts to create subtle changes, like changes in sleep patterns, eating patterns, mental fog, poor energy, food cravings, weight gain and so forth. If the stress continues, these subtle changes can turn into much larger problems and possibly diseases.


My Personal Account of Stress


For me, my stress came from a poor work environment and being bullied at work. I loved my career and helping patients in their health journeys. For years my health was up and down with injuries at work, colds, the flu, etc. but I just figured I was burning the candle at both ends. I was a function stress-aholic.

Have you ever felt this way? That life was just busy, with work, social, activities, family and being injured or getting sick was just normal. I felt this way and was not aware that stress was destroying my health.

I would get up, go to work and be exposed to bullying. Day in, day out for years I was in chronic stress response; experiencing occupational asthma (losing my voice and having wet breathing by mid-day), kidney stones, chronic fatigue, shingles, pneumonia, chronic pain, bowel issues (presumed to be gallbladder related, but really was IBS), dizziness, nausea, migraines, etc. By the time I got home, some of these issues resolved. But as time went on I was not sleeping - most nights I got 1-2 hours of sleep. I would sleep through my alarms, get out of bed and stagger across the room due to dizziness and likely lack of sleep. I was exhausted both physically and mentally and yet still tried to continue to work, as this was my career and I was passionate about helping my patients along their journeys.

Through all of my struggles I thought that I could do better, be better, if only I could get a break! I took a temporary part time position to try to cope with my health issues. During this time I had gallbladder surgery, could now sleep at night and felt that now I would be back to normal health, whatever that was. However, after returning to work my health continued to get worse to the point that I was sleeping 23 hours per day.

I couldn't get out of bed most days and if I did, it was to move to the living room sofa to nap all day. I had to set alarms to make it anywhere - even for afternoon doctor appointments. With my gallbladder pain resolved, this is when my family doctor started looking for other reasons for my chronic pain and fatigue. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, which started me on a journey of learning. Along the path I ended up seeing a Rheumatologist who confirmed the Fibromyalgia (FM) and also diagnosed me with Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA). I previously had the diagnoses of Asthma, Osteoarthritis, Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and later it was determined I had Carpel Tunnel Syndrome (in both hands) and an Adjustment Disorder, on top of the FM and PsA. I then had 2 car accidents which had caused much pain and discomfort in my low back, hip and neck.

It has been a full time job discovering tools to manage stress and health. Attending appointments, doing the requested stretching, exercises and self-management is never ending and quite frankly a full-time job.

Every day is a new day. Not many people in my life understand my exhaustion or pain level.

On the outside I may look young (43) and healthy but if you look closely you can see that I limp, the deep breathing, sighs, pain in my eyes, my gaze to the ground to re-center and me touching or rubbing areas of my body to try to seek any relief.

Doing activities does not mean there is no pain or fatigue. The outer appearance of a person is not the best sign of health issues, especially chronic pain and fatigue. There are the things that people cannot see that impact a person on a mental and physical level and leave a person frustrated and exhausted. These other factors that are subtle or unknown unless a person shares what they are going through, may include, but are not limited to IBS, headaches, mental fog, difficulty formulating and spelling word, difficulties coping with change, mood swings, anxiety, feeling stuck, sad, and just plain fatigued.

Stress is normal and can actually motivate and drive you to do better and achieve more, but when you are over-stressed that is when your body starts sending messages of distress. If you are looking to seek a Life-Stress Balance there are ways to start your journey of identifying, managing and where possible, eliminating stress from your life.

If you would like to find out which supplements I have personally tested out to get me off the majority of my medications, feel free to email me at kathleen@zoelifehealing.com

Stress Less For Health

Make it Magical!

Kathleen Finigan

Your Stress Reduction Expert

P.S. do you have the free stress assessment checklist yet? 

Get yours today at kathleen@zoelifehealing.com

Can you relate to being over-stressed? Having health issues that have affected your work, life, relationships? Feel free to leave a comment to share your story or reach out by email. I personally reply to all comments and emails.






Posted on February 13, 2018 at 5:25 PM
Stress Less for Health - Health is an Inside Job

My name is Kathleen Finigan and it is my pleasure to help you NAVIGATE the world of stress management. To help you IDENTIFY your stressors and help you learn to REDUCE, MANAGE and where possible ELIMINATE them to work toward a Life-Stress Balance!

So what is STRESS?

If you search stress online at Yahoo Canada, by definition stress (physical) is: 'pressure or tension exerted on a material object' as well it means, 'a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances'

There are actually 8 areas of stress that affect your body in the same way - increased cortisol, stress response, inflammation and if not addressed and managed possibly dis-ease. I will be sharing more about these 8 areas of stress throughout my blog postings, as well as Tips, Tricks and Tools to cope and help you move from Surviving to THRIVING!

So, why be a stress expert?  Talking about stress is stressful, right!?

I was given the opportunity to endure so much stress, day after day that my health showed signs of wear and tear. I didn't even know I was STRESSED. I met with doctors, managed each condition as they appeared and kept on going. Feeling weary, struggling to sleep at night, barely dragging my A** out of bed in the morning, feeling like a "Zombie" but putting on a "happy face" and going in to my day job - where I was bullied by co-workers daily. It was exhausting to be sick all the time, it was disheartening to go into work, a career I trained in and was passionate about. I was able to help patients through their health journey and was meeting amazing people in this world - people going through life changing health conditions while remaining positive, uplifting and loving.  My patients were my why for going to work everyday.  Unfortunately, the bullying broke me down emotionally, mentally, spiritually and ultimately physically. While I was at my day job I experienced so much stress from bullying causing Occupational Asthma, diarrhea (IBS), cold after cold, migraines, the flu, kidney stones, pneumonia, shingles, Fibromyalgia, Psoriatic Arthritis and an Adjustment Disorder.

I now know that I was put through the bullying, the health issues, the mental, emotional, spiritual, social, financial and physical health struggles to come out the other end a better person.  A stronger, wiser, healthier person who learned these life lessons to be able to help others understand and manage stress better.

I have come to love and appreciate stress and how it affects the body.  It really amazes me how even a good stress can cause a flare in pain or decrease in mental cognition and set you back for several days.

Managing stress is an ongoing process, learning to recognize the signs and manage with the Tool that works that day.

My passion is to work with you where you are at - to help you reach your stress reduction goals and to help you learn a stress management way of life to prevent you from hitting health rock bottom.

Want to learn more, pop over to my Facebook Fanpage - Stress Less for Health:

I am here to LISTEN to your story!

I am here to HELP you IDENTIFY your stressors!

I am here to ENCOURAGE and SUPPORT you in your stress REDUCTION JOURNEY!

Stress happens whether you talk about it our not!

I invite you to join me in YOUR stress reduction journey!

Feeling Strressed? Unsure where to start? Request your Free Stress Inventory Checklist today & get started today email: kathleen@zoelifehealing.com


Looking for support join our https://www.facebook.com/groups/180712359201724/" target="_blank">Facebook Group