Posts

Being Your Best Self in this crazy, mixed up, upside down world

 

be your best self

 

Intentionally engaging in positive thoughts and self care help us combat the anxiety we are all feeling right now. Being your best self in this crazy, mixed up, upside down world is our best strategy for coping.  Here is what sets me up for success right now.

  • Intentionally focus and act on positive emotions. Know what brings you joy and be ready to focus on it when you feel anxious. For me it’s taking a walk or a bike ride. Being outdoors gives me a sense of well being.
  • Connections matter to us. We have all been experiencing Zoom Happy Hour and family bike rides. Reach out to others to connect by Facetime or Facebook Messenger to see faces and chat. There is so much to connect about and share with family and friends.
  • We have learned new technologies this week that bring us closer together. Seeing so many schools teach by technology have taught parents and kids new ways to connect and learn. Colleagues are working remotely and collaboratively. Learning new technology will always be a part of our lives.
  • Learn about the ways we have conquered past health challenges. We have brilliant researchers at work right now, just like in the past.
  • Create a daily schedule for you and your family. Start your day with exercise and lemon water. End your day with getting to bed on time. Predictable schedules and routines anchor us.
  • Declutter, get organized and share your blessings with others. Go from space to space to edit what you have not been using or needing. You can use GiveBackBoxes.com to send items using your Amazon boxes. (Donate wisely.)
  • Giving back makes a difference. I was moved to see this cell phone choir. Everyone sharing their gifts, talents and skills. Where can you make a difference today? I have created a new series of YouTube posts to help you declutter, tackle paper clutter and more.
  • Resetting and rejuvenating is good. Take time for sitting, thinking, listening and relaxing. It’s an ideal opportunity for strategic thinking for personal and business goals

Gratitude fills my days. I am always practicing gratitude and affirming the good around and in us. I am grateful for the privilege of being able to work from home during this time and share tips for work at home. I see love, laughter and connection with you, family and friends on social media.

COVID-19 Bingo Fun!

We are all taking this COVID-19 health situation seriously with the world wide pandemic.  It’s a scary time for us all. Research shows that laughter is the best medicine when it comes to difficult times. Not only does laughter help, being busy and productive helps too.  When we are productive, we know we are making a difference in our home and work.  With that in mind, download these free Bingo cards.

 

Self Care Bingo

The Self Care Bingo helps us keep perspective on what is most important; that being putting our own oxygen mask on first.  Self care is what makes the difference for immunity too.  According to Good Housekeeping research, following self care strategies improves your overall well being.

 

self care bingo

 

Declutter Bingo

The most common challenge to decluttering and organizing is time. We never have enough time to declutter. Because we think it will take a lot of time, we don’t get started decluttering. Now is the time.  Use this Declutter Bingo card to help you get started on closet, computers and small spaces.

 

declutter bingo

 

 

Enjoy these bingo games to help you feel accomplished and well taken care of during this tough time. These can be printed to use at home and keep you moving forward.

COVID-19 Making Your Time at Home Productive and Peaceful

home productive and peaceful

 

With the self imposed or CDC required time at home, you are thinking you will be at home for a prolonged period of time.  We live day to day because there is so much information coming at us and there is not much that is certain right now.  Let’s take this time to take care of ourselves, those around us and our community.  Using our time at home wisely helps us feel positive and productive.

  • Think self care and putting your own oxygen mask on first.  That includes keeping your routines going well. That is going to bed early for rest, eating healthy, and exercising. Remember, if you are sick to stay home and take care of yourself.  Keep these routines going even after this crisis passes. It’s a jump start to what we all want for a healthy life. I am biking and walking daily to keep fit and keep calm.
  • Take time to relax and time to reset. There is a lot on our minds! We have long to do lists, anxiety about health and family and work, and many decisions to make each day.  Having time for prayer and meditation helps.  Spiritual reading or time for meditation daily helps you sort through what is on your mind and get a bigger picture. On your phone, you can check out Headspace or the Mindfulness app. Both are free for use on your devices. Research shows how stress affects our immunity to illness.
  • Organizing helps us love what we have and create serenity in our homes.  Start small with a spot in your home to declutter.  It might be your desk or a drawer in your home office where you are working from home.  I have been peeking into drawers and letting go of what is not necessary. If you are feeling ambitious, start sorting your digital photos.  It’s a project that will bring you joy.
  • Connecting makes a difference right now. Reach out by text, phone or email to say hello, thinking of you and check on your connections. Keep especially connected to our older friends and community members by reaching out and checking on them.  Drop off what they need and be of service.
  • Give your brain a boost. This is a great time to learn. There are learning opportunities everywhere from Coursera to podcasts.  Keeping cognitively active keeps us engaged and moving forward to our goals for this year.
  • Working from home and your kiddos are schooling at home? Set up times for work and breaks. Creating and posting a schedule helps everyone know the plan for the day.  Make it fun with a schedule that includes breaks for recess for everyone.
  • Allocate and adhere to screen time and social media time for yourself and your kiddos. Mindless surfing leads to negative emotions at times.  Keep a common charging spot where everyone charges during certain times.
  • Distract everyone with 60s style family fun. Host a family art day, family dance party and family game night.  Having a new way to engage with your family makes for tons of fun!  Our newest family games include charades and Sync Up
  • Remember Keep Calm and Carry On. We are a resilient, resourceful and smart community. Sharing that positivity and kindness are the hallmarks of these crisis.  We are all in this together.

Embracing Self Care recommended for COVID-19

self care covid-19

 

The news about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has us thinking about health and wellness. The news can be scary about immune compromised people and how the virus spreads.  There are many ways to protect ourselves from the virus. Most compelling is that self care makes a difference for us when it comes to this virus and well being. That self care includes daily routines that promote health all the time.

 

Protective measures include putting routines  in place are both for your health and to be your best self. We all know to wash our hands thoroughly,  avert coughing, and stand at a distance. Know to stay home when you are not well and spend time resting.  These protective measures can be a part of our daily routines even after the virus passes. Happily we can go back to hugging!

 

Physical self-care

There is an abundance of information on how to keep ourselves in great shape.  These are the basics we are well familiar with and should be doing each and every day, regardless of the virus.

  • Start by getting a great night’s sleep. Get ready early so you are in bed to get 8 hours of sleep.  Set an environment that helps you get the rest you need and want with no electronics an hour before bed and a notepad by your bed for last minute thoughts. Research shows a cool environment with heavy covers helps you rest through the night.
  • Eat a variety of veggies and go heavy on your protein for a well-balanced diet.  We are what we eat! If you are stocking up, keep organized by decluttering your pantry and categorizing.  A well stocked pantry makes it easier to eat healthy too.  A healthy diet keeps your immune system up and running well.
  • Exercise daily.  My personal favorites are walking and pilates.  Walk the extra stairs to work or park farther away to get some time in if you are short on possibilities.

While this is a scary time, it might also be the jump start you need to get these physical care activities into place in your life.  A body that is well all the time fights off all illnesses.

Mindset self care

Research shows how stress affects our immunity to illness. We thrive on laughter and positivity. Keeping a sense of humor and laughter lightens your load. Spending time with family and friends brings you a sense of belonging. Setting aside time for hobbies, such as reading a book or listening to music, are joyful ways to spend your time.  As a lifelong learner, I value the power of small bites of information.  I listen to podcasts to think big about what I want and learn new ideas. Actively manage your stress with practicing relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, tai chi or massage. Through apps, you can meditate daily to help you lower anxiety about life.

There is a lot on our minds! We have long to do lists, anxiety about health and family and work, and many decisions to make each day.  Having time for prayer and meditation helps.  Spiritual reading or time for meditation daily helps you sort through what is on your mind and get a bigger picture. On your phone, you can check out Headspace or the Mindfulness app. Both are free for use on your devices.

 

Routines for self care

By taking better care of yourself through routines, you are taking control of what you can control. It is not easy to practice self care in our busy lives with stressful jobs and activities. We can let technology get in the way of real self care. Start with one simple routine to empower your most important self care and gradually add to your routines. Remember that adage, put your own oxygen mask on first. It is especially the case with self-care. Embrace the self care we all need all the time.

 

 

Rejuvenation and Renewal

 

Taking time to rejuvenate is something I share with all women.  We are constantly nurturing others and need to “put on our own oxygen mask first.”  This is exactly what I did this weekend as I attended my college reunion last weekend.

I am a lover of learning and am always eager to return to school. My Smith College reunion afforded me this opportunity in many ways. On Friday evening I attended a session on Supporting our Children with LD/ADHD as They Launch. Sharing information and learning from moms in the “trenches” was empowering to everyone.  On Saturday we learned from former Smith College President Jill Ker Conway about taking the next step as women.  It is all about thinking outside the box and finding ways and places to make a difference using our strengths and skills.  Our final speaker was writer Katrina Kenison, author of the gift of an ordinary day.   It gave each of us the opportunity to examine our focus as women moving through motherhood and onto the next step. You can tell the growth that occurred as women looked to each other to provide coaching to move forward.  

It was an extraordinary weekend of empowering each other.  I seldom saw others texting or using technology. Women were sharing how to connect on Facebook! We were all engaged in the lives of each other, where we are now and where we are headed.  Engaged women discussed politics, history, economics and the important details of homes, families and current events.  

And most importantly it was a fabulous family weekend.  My twin sister Ann and I both graduated from Smith, so one of the best parts of the weekend was sharing moments together.   Each morning we would take a brisk walk about the beautiful campus together.  It was especially meaningful to walk on campus on Saturday night during illumination.  

I want to encourage you to find ways to nurture yourself through the things you are passionate about! Learning from other women, supporting each other as we move forward, and being in an amazing environment is something we each need.  I would love to hear how you are making this happen in your life!

Taking Care of Mrs. Claus

Taking care of yourself during the holidays is important!   How can we care for others if our self care is neglected? 

  • Get the rest you need each night.  So often I hear my clients say that they have gone to bed at 1 or 2 am to finish a project. Make it a priority to be in bed and get 8 hours of rest each night.
  • Eat and drink nutritiously. Our bodies need good fuel!  Be sure to drink 8 glasses of water and each your daily 5 fruits and veggies.   We think better, work better and are more productive with outstanding food.
  • Commit to daily exercise. Working our bodies provides clarity and more.  My weekly exercise includes working out with Jill Gilbert Lucas at pilates.  www.gulfcoastpilates.com.  It is a priority because I am better able to handle the stresses of the season with this!
  • Write daily in your gratitude journal.  Spend a few minutes at the end of each day being grateful and writing about it.  It is as simple as appreciating a hug, seeing a leaf on a tree turn color or even tasting a yummy piece of pie. Appreciating what is a gift to you makes a difference.
  • Spend 5 minutes in serenity time each day. This is a time to get your stress level as low as possible.  Breathe deeply, sit in a chair, think of your special thoughts, and get a few minutes of base line. 

Taking care of yourself goes beyond the holiday season.  Not sure how to find the time? Remember, as they say on the airlines, put your own oxygen mask on first!