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  1. 5 All-Natural, Sickle Cell-Approved Bath and Body Products to Keep You Stress-Free

    October 26, 2016 by Andrea

    It's important for Warriors to manage stress, so painful crises can be avoided. There are many ways to do so -- you can meditate, begin a yoga practice, or soak in a soothing bath. Recreate that spa-like atmosphere in your own home by playing relaxing background music and treating yourself to some holiday-inspired bath bombs. It's the perfect way to warm up from the cold, improve blood flow, and unwind after a long day.

    Check out our round-up of these all-natural bath brands that will help keep your skin hydrated and your mind stress-free.

    1. Foxie Cosmetics
    This completely vegan line's limited-edition Halloween collection is full of fun, fall scents and soothing ingredients. Try the jack-o'-lantern-shaped Chopped in Half bath bomb that will "leave your skin smooth, hydrated and your achy muscles will no longer feel like you've been chopped in half after a long day." Or, grab the Elvira bath bomb, scented with frankincense, myrrh, and orchids. One Warrior commented that Foxie Cosmetics is one of the few products she trusts and uses regularly.


    2. LUSH Cosmetics
    A 100% vegetarian brand, LUSH boasts natural ingredients like balsamic vinegar, frankincense oil, and sandalwood, among many others. Keep holiday stress at bay with one of LUSH's Christmas-inspired products -- the Peeping Santa bubble bar is layered with Fair Trade organic cocoa butter, Fair Trade shea butter, and geranium oil, just to name a few. Or, try the jasmine-scented Mistletoe bath bomb.


    3. Herbivore Botanicals
    Though not specifically holiday-related, Herbivore's coconut milk bath soak is perfect for a relaxing soak any time of year. Plus, the aromatherapy from this soak can help keep stress and anxiety from wreaking havoc: The scent of coconut may numb your fight-or-flight response, and the smell of vanilla is said to help boost mood.



  2. 5 Alcohol-Free Holiday Beverages Every Sickle Cell Warrior Can Enjoy

    October 17, 2016 by Andrea

    It's hard to believe, but we're already half way through October -- and the holidays are right around the corner. This means lots of family, fun, friends -- and drinks. But having a few adult bevvies, can potentially send a warrior into a painful crisis.

    Why? Alcohol is a diuretic, which leads to more frequent urination, which causes the body to lose a lot of fluids, which, in turn, causes dehydration. And dehydration is a definite trigger for a crisis. "Alcohol [also] suppresses the secretion of anti-diuretic hormone (ADH), which means that your body is unable to regulate how much water you are losing ..." reports Sickle Cell Warriors, Inc.

    But, there's no need to miss out on all the merriment -- we've rounded up a list of alcohol-free holiday mocktail recipes that everyone can enjoy this season!

    1. Ginger-Cinnamon Apple Cider
    To create this tasty treat, all you'll need are a few ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen: sugar, water, ground cinnamon and cinnamon sticks, ginger root, and apple cider. Easy peasy!










    Sparkling Cranberry Punch
    The color itself is oh-so-festive, but the added fizz of sparkling water tops everything off. Simply mix together cranberry juice, frozen pink lemonade, and sparkling water, and voila! 











    Frost Bite Mocktail
    Embrace the wintry weather with a refreshing drink that combines the flavors of lime juice, pineapple juice, white grape juice, mint leaves, blueberries, and lemon-lime soda.

     Frost-Bite-Mocktail retry2

    (From The Little Kitchen)

    4. Frozen Peppermint Hot Chocolate
    Perfect for cozying up around the fire, this peppermint-infused goodness is super easy to make. Just throw the hot chocolate mix, milk, and ice into a blender. Then, blend until smooth, and top with whipped cream and crushed peppermint candy canes.


    (From Pocket Change Gourmet)





     5. Pumpkin Pie Steamer
    If you're hosting Thanksgiving this year -- or you're thinking of something to contribute to another hosts' meal -- consider this recipe for the pumpkin pie steamer. After all, anything boasting fall's favorite flavor is sure to be a hit. Simply microwave the pumpkin puree and water together in a mug; then, stir in pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract, and the sweetener of your choice.


    (From OatmealAfterSpinning.com)





















  3. Why a Warrior’s Mental Health is Just as Important as Physical Health

    October 12, 2016 by Andrea
    Photo: CreateHER Stock

    Photo: CreateHER Stock

    Patients with sickle cell combat more than just physical complications -- anxiety and depression can also prove difficult. Besides the pain that comes with a sickle cell crisis, if you throw an added layer of anxiety into the mix, that can lead to even more hurt. "Pain can be a common symptom ... of an anxiety disorder," states the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. "And a co-occuring chronic pain disease can make functioning even more difficult for someone with an anxiety disorder."

    It's the same with depression. According to the Mayo Clinic, "Depression can cause pain -- and pain can cause depression. Sometimes pain and depression create a vicious cycle in which pain worsens symptoms of depression, and then the resulting depression worsens feelings of pain." And suffering from all three at once? Just imagine. Oftentimes, though, the stigma associated with anxiety and depression hinder healing the most.

    Here's how you can help yourself -- or a warrior in your life -- manage mental health successfully.

    1) Break the Stigma.
    Recognize the importance of strong mental health -- and do not allow yourself to feel shamed for seeking help. On the contrary, enlisting the assistance of a mental health professional shows that you are proactive and take your entire well-being seriously. Anxiety and depression can be treated, allowing you to life a happier, healthier life.

    2) Meditate.
    This can be as simple as purposeful deep breathing exercises that last a few minutes; or, you can set aside some time each day to sit in silence, reflect, and relax. There are several free meditation apps that can help get you started.

    3) Work Out.
    Of course, we don't recommend anything too strenuous, but taking up something like yoga, Pilates, or tai chi can help promote relaxation and actually lessen stress and anxiety.

    Are you a sickle cell warrior who has dealt with anxiety and depression? How have you  managed a health mental and physical lifestyle? Tell us in the comments below!

  4. 7 TED Talks to Inspire Sickle Cell Warriors, Even on the Toughest of Days

    October 4, 2016 by Andrea

    On a mission to share "ideas worth spreading," TED, which began in the early '80s as a conference on technology, entertainment, and design, is a nonprofit that now covers all kinds of topics via its well-known TED Talks.


    Typically less than 20 minutes long, these talks aim to inspire, motivate, and encourage. Whether you're having an amazing day and want to keep that momentum going, or you're in the midst of a crisis and need a dose of hope, there's a TED Talk for you.

    Check out our curated list below for TED TAlks every sickle cell warrior should see. 

    1) Embrace the Near Win

    2) The Mystery of Chronic Pain

    3) The Surprising Science of Happiness

    4) Living Beyond Limits

    5) The 3 A's of Awesome

    6) Own Your Body's Data

    7) A Broken Body Isn't a Broken Person

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