- Bring a water bottle with you EVERYWHERE. Seriously, hydration affects everything from our skin to our moods. The ripple effect of dehydration makes us moody, constipated, and our bodies will start to crave any foods we see (regardless of health content) because our body can leach water from the food. I most commonly hear people complain about the taste of water fountain water…I challenge you to conquer this fear as the cost of NOT drinking water fountain water is so steep. You can certainly fill it before leaving your home with your water of choice…but in a pinch, fill up! Take the leap and buy the water bottle you have been lusting after…it is a small price to pay for the benefits reviewed.
- Take time at the beginning of your week to review your schedule and make a plan for when you will eat each day. This seems to be the first thing people skip and again, the consequences have a negative ripple effect on everyone you encounter (including yourself)! Each morning, make sure you have a stash of healthy snacks available in your bag, car, purse and/or desk. The magic time frame that you don’t want to exceed is 4 hours between meals. The kindest thing you can do for your blood sugar is to keep it stable.
- Eat raw. There are oodles of studies that show the health benefits of eating raw fruits/veggies/nuts/seeds; there is even indication for reduced risk of cancer! Eating raw produce, nuts, and/or seeds also provides you with the nutrients, fiber, fluids and energy that you need for optimal mood end energy stamina to get through the day! I would encourage you to always keep your fridge (home and work) stocked with produce and cheerlead yourself into eating it before it goes bad! Some are easier than others to take on the road: bananas, apples and carrot sticks travel quite well.
- Meditate. I know…big eye rolls from about 75% of you. Mediation doesn’t have to mean full on lotus position for 60 minutes; mediation could mean you close your eyes and take 10 slow deep breaths to re-center yourself and then resume your day. Longer periods of quiet reflection time can produce more long-lasting benefits, yet you need to start somewhere!
- Go outside. I am not sure of an easier and more FREE life hack than going outside for fresh air and sunshine! The act of walking away from the task at hand, improving blood circulation and taking slow cleansing breaths will provide you with renewed energy and fresh perspective. Stand firm and insist on breath breaks…just as smokers insist on smoke breaks! If you have time on your drive home, stop at a local park and take a moment to yourself. Whether walking or sitting on a bench, enjoy nature.
- Take the stairs and the “bad” parking spot. We live a more sedentary lifestyle than ever before; we even have to rely on pedometer devices to encourage us to move our bodies! A quick few hacks for how to get more steps are to take the stairs more often (use a restroom on a different floor, don’t take elevators, make yourself go to a different floor of your house more often) and to opt for a really bad parking spot (ie: the one FURTHEST from your destination!).
Today I want to introduce you to the skill of SELF-encouragement. In Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) it’s taught as one part of the IMPROVE acronym. I believe that it is one of the most overlooked and under-utilized skills in the book. In short, self-encouragement is talking to you self as you would talk to a friend.
We would NEVER say to friends the negative statement that we say to ourselves. If a friend is crying to you about a life problem, I doubt you’d say “suck it up”, “get over it”, “what’s wrong with you”, etc…So why on earth would you say those things to yourself?
Furthermore, would you keep a friend around who talked to you in that way??? NO! You would avoid them like the plague.
So get with it and take a page from Hobby Lobby or Instagram’s book…
– print out those cutesy phrases
– follow inspirational people on social media
– splurge on that wall art that moves you
– set the backdrop of your phone and/or laptop to be motivational
– use a dry erase marker on your mirrors
– use bathtub crayons in your shower
– buy a positive though-a-day calendar
– buy the jewelry with the catchy calming phrase on it
Take control of that inner critic, silence the stadium full of nay-sayers in your head and BE NICE to you!
Feel free to share your favorite self-encouraging ideas, quotes and plans in the comments below.
Updated from original post on Edit“Self-Encouragement”
The Sound of Silence
In 2005 I took a trip as a college credit across the United States in a 15 passenger van with 12 other students that I really didn’t know. The purpose of the trip was to experience different cultures and create art in ways that I could not experience in my Midwestern campus life. The most inspiring part of the trip for me, that has left a lasting imprint on my psyche was a hike down into Canyon de Chelly in Arizona. Hiking down into the basin of the canyon was the only time I have every experienced true Oneness with the world.
I recall a specific moment during the descent in which I subsequently felt minuscule and gigantic…and immediately started crying! In this one moment, I remember seeing a small flower growing out of a rock. I was so much more complex, large, and evolved than this plant AND at the same time I looked across this canyon and realized that I am a tiny speck on this planet. The hike into the Canyon is 1 1/4 miles each way and I would estimate that I had this experience about 1/3 of the way down. I hiked the rest of the way with complete awareness of the awe of nature.
This is the sound of silence.
How would you capture silence in a photograph? Is it a positive image like this one, showing a much-needed break? Or is it the opposite, revealing the lack of communication in a friendship or the dangers of not speaking out? Show us your interpretation in a new post.
A new year has me reflecting on words that spark passion in me. Words that make me want to do better, be better, try harder…(yes…a word can do that for me!). Today I choose RISE.
When I think of the word rise, here’s what comes to mind:
- bread rising
- Jesus rising from the dead
- the phrase “rise up”
- people rising up against something
- a mountain peak rising against the horizon
- the phrase “rise and shine”
- my grandma saying “early to bed, early to rise, makes you healthy, wealthy and wise”
Every single one of these associations has a positive connection in my mind! I think of the freshness, the renewed energy, the promise that is associating with something rising, and that makes me think it is a perfect word for January! January is the rising of a new year, the sun has set on 2017 and nothing can be done to change it.
For me, as I have shared, my goal this year is mostly centered on building my business Your Mental Restoration in an effort of achieving my larger goal of helping others optimize their mental health. I see my role as being a hand that reaches down into the dust of the depression pit, into the chaos of an anxious mind and reaches through the brick walls of anger in an effort of helping even one person to have better mental health. I know that as I work on this goal, it will also propel me to naturally work on others; as we know that helping others is surefire way to help ones’ self!
I hope that you think of a way to help yourself rise against the strife that 2017 brought for so many. I hope that you create a vision that inspires you as a majestic mountaintop inspires many. I hope that you find habits that help you to rise and shine each morning much as the words my grandma shared with me have guided me.
Happy 2018! It’s not over yet so we can’t call it a loss, don’t dare have actions that make it seem like you think it already is!
New Years Resolution. Fact or Crap?
In general, I vow not to make “New Year’s Resolutions”; I find them to be laden with high expectations and low follow through which leads to disappointment, depression and shame. I am not; however, anti goal-setting or anti intention-setting. In fact, my strategy has been for the last few years, to choose a word or theme that I deem to be my word or phrase of the impending year.
In order to set an intention for 2018, you must first tread into the land of goals and resolutions. You need to ask yourself several self-inquiry questions:
- What am I proud of accomplishing in 2017?
- What do I regret doing and not doing?
- What do I want people to think about me? What kind of reputation do I want? If people described me in three words, what words would I want them to use?
- What is going well in my family life? What would I like to see improve?
- What is going well for me financially and what would I like to work on?
- How is my self-care? My health? Am I taking care of my body? What is a realistic area that I could improve on?
- How do I feel about my connections in life? Spiritually? Relationships with peers? Family? Co-workers?
- Am I living according to the values that are important to me? What do I feel passionately about?
I would encourage you to journal long and hard on these topics. Research the ones that stand out to you. Ask (trusted) people in your life what they think about your functioning in each area.
Once you have explored what went well last year and what areas you would like to grow in 2018, start looking for commonalities in your answers. Do you see a common theme? If so…that might be something you can boil down into a word/phrase! If not, that’s ok! Triage your answers into your top one or two areas for growth and work to find a commonality between those two. Don’t be afraid to use http://www.thesaurus.com/ to find a word that really speaks to you.
That’s it! That’s the hard part…once you have your word or phrase for 2018, shout it out, what is yours?! I would encourage you to make it public so that your are more likely to achieve results.
My word for 2018 is BUILD.
Be present with others.
Why We Love Upcycling
Who doesn’t love a good craft fair…especially the booths of upcycled items, repurposed into useful everyday items! Upcycling is when an item that was bound for the landfill is given a new life as a new item, often completely separate from it’s original purpose.
Upcycled chairs become kitchy planters for your indoor or outdoor garden. Upcycled pallets become…EVERYTHING!
Why does this matter? I really do believe that we love upcycled items for many reasons (you know…not killing the environment and all) but the idea I like to ponder is the idea that all things can serve a purpose. Things that were once discarded as useless by one person have immense purpose to another. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. This idea gives hope for us as well! Who among us hasn’t felt worthless or cast aside at some point? Who among us hasn’t wondered what our purpose in life is now that __________ chapter of our life has ended?
Just as these everyday items can be upcycled, so to can we upcycle ourselves!
If someone has told you that you are useless, you may need to find a new perspective! Just as this stool has been turned upside down to find it’s purpose, you too can look at things in a new light to find yours.
Perhaps you have been told that you will only ever fit into one category. Take a page from this dino’s book and think outside the box. A tulip in a rose garden may not seem like it fits; however it can fit just nicely in a rose garden! I love the unexpected. Therapist’s with tattoos, teachers with blue hair, macho men who aren’t afraid to show affection…there is plenty of space in the world for you! Find the right garden!
Perhaps you have been told that you are not the right shape. Perhaps you have received the message (directly or indirectly) that you cannot be worthy at your current stature. Forget that! Channel your inner wrench and appreciate your quirks. By just bending into a 90 degree angle, these wrenches found a second life offering support to items that need hung up! You can be supportive to those around you, you are needed, you are important!