Plan for Life

4 Healthy Habits to Start this Summer

4 Healthy Habits to Start This Summer for Self-Care

Are you coming out of spring still feeling exhausted, disoriented or uncertain of what's next? Don't spend one more minute of the year without a plan to recharge and refuel so you have the energy you need to live out your life purpose. Make it a priority to treat yo'self (what happened to that philosophy?) and block time now for these 4 healthy habits to practice regularly for the rest of 2017:

  1. Get moving. Whether you join a yoga class, start the Bikini Body Guide program by Kayla or simply make time for a daily walk, carve out time to get your body moving with physical activity. I'm not talking about your weight loss goals. A thinner you isn't necessarily more rested. I'm talking about an activity that gets you out of your head and in touch with your body. What kind of physical activity can you integrate into your lifestyle this year?
    Pro Tip: Have you tried stretching? When someone told me stretching alone was a legitimate exercise I almost kissed them because I'm all about the low impact workout. A 10-minute stretch session to start or end the day is an excellent practice to build. 

  2. Get thinking. If your Facebook feed has turned your mind into mush after a series of digital disagreements and you can't believe how much you know about the Kardashians and how little you know about local government, it's time to up the ante on your intellectual stimulation. Subscribe to a podcast, take a class, or read a new book a month.
    Pro Tip: Check out Malcolm Gladwell's History Revisited podcast. There aren't too many seasons so you have enough time to binge listen and read his latest book before everyone's talking about the newest episode.

  3. Get sappy. How often do you feel your feelings? I know, I know...the therapist in me can't help but ask. However it's important to create space in your life to regularly slow down and reflect on your interior world. Whether it's journaling, relaxing in nature, or people-watching at your local coffeeshop, allow yourself the room to explore your emotions, bringing your head and heart into alignment.
    Pro tip: Visit a hotel lobby. Coffee shops leaving you smelling a latte (see what I did there?) but hotel lobbies give you the same vibe without having to pay the $5 entrance fee. Soak up their free wifi and journal on a big sofa.

  4. Get spiritual. You are not the creator of the universe and you're not the center of it either. I hope that's one big relief for you so you can have a bit more fun enjoying yourself rather than trying to make fetch happen. Let yourself off the hook by building in a daily practice of meditation, prayer or solitude to center yourself on how big life is and how small you are. I know that sounds depressing as hell, but it works. The key is to remember your own humanity and real limitations in the midst of a world that continually puts so much pressure on us.
    Pro Tip: Adopt a daily mantra you say at the start and end of your day. Take five minutes to focus on this statement to help reset and prioritize what matters.

So what are you going to start this spring? I'd love to hear your ideas. Share your thoughts below in the comments. Be sure to grab the free Simple Summer Self-Care download to identify your personal areas of health. Writing down your goals helps take the concept from "hmm, that's an interesting idea" to "hell yeah I'm going to succeed at this."

Good luck. I'm cheering for you!

LifePlan Reads: You Are A Badass

I recently finished reading Jen Sincero's You Are A Badass over vacation, and it is a ridiculously delightful read. For weeks I've been quoting her little nuggets of wisdom around my office, over coffee dates with friends, and in life planning sessions with clients. 

 
 

The book is basically a compilation of all the best self-help tips she's gathered through the years so you'll find gems on meditation, the power of positive thinking, gratitude, and learning to forgive. It's all repurposed and written in her sassy, take-no-mess attitude. 

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

  • "The most important thing is to free yourself from the drama and the conviction that your current version of yourself is the truth."
  • "Living a life on purpose is available to everyone."
  • "Your thoughts and beliefs dictate your reality, so if you want to change your reality, you have to change your beliefs."

Have any of you read You Are A Badass? I'd love to hear what parts really resonated for you. Drop a line in the comments below.

Know Your Values

Do you know your core values? If so, does your company honor those values? If not...watch out! 

I recently spoke to Recruiter.com about the importance of employers hiring individuals with values that align with the company in order to avoid later conflict. Check out the article for this tip plus 10 other aspects of a cover letter hiring managers should assess when considering a prospective employee. 

Read more at Recruiter.com

Is This Election Stressing Out Americans?

Though roughly 9% of Americans are still undecided about who they’ll vote for in this year’s presidential election (Reuter’s), more than half of adult Americans will be under significant stress when they cast their ballot on November 8. The American Psychological Association (APA) has released preliminary findings from its annual “Stress in America” poll, and results show that regardless of political party, age or race, U.S. adults are suffering from a decline in mental health due to the election.

Adults using social media are particularly at risk, with 54% of men and women who engage outlets like Facebook or Twitter reporting significant stress versus 45% of adults who do not use social media. Likely the added stress for social media users is due to information overload and constant exposure to the onslaught of potentially vitriolic exchanges that can take place through digital communication. Without face-to-face human contact tempering statements, the collision of opposing ideals online can lead to often hurtful or enraging disagreements.

So how can Americans save their sanity in the midst of this election cycle?

  • Take a sabbatical from social media. The APA recommends people manage their stress by periodically disconnecting from the 24-hour news cycle to recharge and focus on self-care. Once you’ve consumed a sufficient amount of information to stay informed on top issues, log off and prioritize your personal health. Get moving with physical exercise or indulge in non-political intellectual stimulation, like reading a favorite book or catching up on Netflix. Spend time offline with loved ones and invest in hobbies that bring pleasure to your life.
  • Don’t borrow worry from the future. Planning an exit strategy to Canada now in the event of America’s possible demise isn’t helpful. New York Psychiatrist Dr. Lanre Dokun of Healthy Minds NYC calls this type of thinking “catastrophizing.” He says, “A common habit of anxious or stressed out people is believing that if the thing they are worrying about occurs, they will be unable to cope. This is patently untrue. Think about the things you worried about last week, or month or year! And yet, here you are, In one piece!” Trust you’ll be able to navigate whatever the future holds and live in the present.
  • Transform anxiety into action. Stress isn’t always negative. Acute stress in small doses can be helpful in spurring us to take needed action. For example, feeling stress when preparing for a big presentation at work can encourage you to do your best. Stressing about what to say on a first date might help you come up with a list of topics to discuss in a pinch when the conversation lulls. But this type of stress is very different than chronic stress that is ongoing, indirect and causes disruption in multiple areas of your life. Instead of allowing stress to linger, acknowledge the anxiety this election cycle presents and then channel your feelings into a more productive response. Use these final weeks leading up to the election to get educated so you can make an informed decision when it’s time to vote. Then, get out there and vote. Your voice matters.