Recently, I was flipping through the channels and I came across this show called New Amsterdam. The premise sounded interesting--a New York City doctor (Max) who becomes the medical director of the oldest running public hospital in the U.S. and wants to change the way we do medicine. His goal is to provide amazing care to his patients while limiting the bureaucracy and changing the system. His determination is unwavering--he works long hours, walks the halls solving problems, empowering doctors, comforting patients, and is undeterred by the naysayers.
His commitment and dedication to the job is unquestionable.
As the episode progressed we learn that not only is Max’s personal life in shambles, he has also been ignoring his health for months. He keeps up with his grueling schedule--barely taking time to breath or eat -- not missing a beat, knowing full well that something is wrong (he is a doctor after all). At the insistence of one of his colleagues he finally agrees to a medical exam.
At this point of the episode I turned to my husband and say: “he’s going to be sicker than we expect and it’s not going to be good. He literally worked himself to sickness”.
Not surprisingly, he is sick—he has cancer.
You might be asking yourself, why is she telling me this? Well, because it’s a story I know too well and I see with many of my clients (it was also my story at some point).
We push ourselves to the point of burnout, disease and sickness. We are so absorbed and driven to do good in the world and accomplish so much professionally that we forget to take care of ourselves, neglect our life outside of work, burnout or even worse get really sick.
What bothers me is that it doesn’t have to be this way. We can have amazing careers, accomplish our professional goals AND take care of ourselves. In fact, I would argue that by doing so we will accomplish more and have a greater impact for a longer time. Danielle Harlan, expresses this very succinctly in her book The New Alpha, when she says: “prioritizing your health and wellness is essential for anyone who wants to live a good life, achieve success, and make a difference in the world.”
Think about it; being a good leader, mentor, parent, partner, friend and making a positive impact requires energy, stamina, clear headedness and drive. All of those things are affected if you are not sleeping well, eat unhealthy food, don’t manage your stress properly, and can’t remember the last time you took a vacation.
Burnout and feeling less than amazing should not be the norm! It is possible to have a meaningful and fulfilling life without working yourself sick.
If you are stuck in the hamster wheel of busyness, have decision fatigue and are overwhelmed by all the health and wellness information out there; I can help. Together, we can find easy and realistic ways to help you take care of yourself so you can have the stamina necessary for lasting impact and an amazing life.
What’s holding you back from feeling and doing your best? Reply to this email and let’s chat.
P.S. Want to hear my burnout story? Head over to the Healthy, Happy, Human radio and listen to my interview where we talk about my path from foreign policy to wellness coaching, how I knew I was in the throws of burnout, and how I got better.
Self-care is just another chore
“It feels like one more thing I HAVE to do and if I don’t then it’s another thing I’m failing at.”
I’ve been hearing this sentiment a lot lately when talking to my clients about self-care.
We all know how important it is to take time everyday to practice some kind of self-care; yet many of us are now under the impression that if we are not getting a weekly massage, doing a mask or going to yoga four times a week we are failing and therefore shouldn’t bother.
Now, don’t get me wrong; I have nothing against yoga, massages or masks. But, for many, these feel like unrealistic expectations that are keeping them away from looking at self-care for what it really is: “the practice of taking action to preserve or improve our health.” Self-care should not feel overwhelming, unattainable or like a chore.
Rather than getting wrapped up in what it “should” look like; I encourage you to go back to basics and focus on the small things that you can do everyday which make you feel amazing and don’t require a lot of time.
Ask yourself, are you eating three healthy meals a day? Are you sleeping enough? Are you giving yourself some time to do nothing after a stressful day? Are you moving your body regularly?
Then make a plan to make sure you are doing one of these things daily. It can be as simple as starting to carry a water bottle with you so you drink enough water, blocking out a 10 minute break to go to the coffee shop and grab some tea, going for a walk around your neighborhood after work so you get some movement or turning your phone off one hour before bed so you can get restful sleep. Ultimately, it’s the micro changes and routines that make us feel better.
To get you to start thinking about your own self care, here's a short exercise I do with my 1:1 clients that I'd love to share with you.
Grab a pen and paper and take five minutes to write a list of the small things you can do everyday that make you feel good. Then, pick one of the things from the list and commit to doing it for the next two weeks. Write down what you picked in a separate sheet of paper and put in a place where you can see daily. After two weeks notice if/how focusing on this one thing has made a positive impact in how you feel.
What’s on your list and what did you commit to? Comment below and let me know.
P.S. If you are looking to prioritize your self-care so you can feel strong, vibrant and clear headed in a way that feels approachable and doable I encourage you to check out my brand new program: the Four Week Stress Cleanse: A Real- life Solution for Busy Women. This self-paced online program is full of practical tools designed to help you implement changes that fit into your life. Learn more here. Have questions? Send me an email.
Five Ways to Beat the Bloat
At some point in our lives we have all probably sat at our desk, in front of the TV or stood at the kitchen counter mindlessly eating our meals only to realize a few minutes later that our stomach doesn’t feel great. Or, maybe, you went out to dinner and realized the food you ate had waaaayyyyy too much salt and woke up bloated and puffy.
Bloating is an abnormal general swelling that may cause abdominal pain, increased stomach growling and can be accompanied by gas.
Overeating, stress and/or not chewing food properly can all lead to bloating. Ideally, we would avoid all three of these to remain bloat free, but sometimes that’s just not possible. So if you find your self bloated here are five simple remedies that will help ease the discomfort.
Dehydration is one of the leading causes of bloating. Also, drinking too much alcohol or consuming salty food causes dehydration and thus bloating. Water helps wash the waste out of your system.
Drinking eight glasses of water daily will not only help de-bloat, but also has other amazing health benefits. Try swapping all your beverages for water. No only will you be less bloated, but it may help you lose weight and have great skin.
2. Increase potassium intake:
Increasing your potassium intake will help counter the effects of eating too much salt. Avocados, sweet potatoes, bananas, coconut water asparagus, citrus fruits, melon and tomatoes are not only delicious but high in potassium.
3. Warm water, lemon and a pinch of turmeric:
This is a wonder drink. Super simple and so effective. It benefits every system in your body and does wonders to reduce inflammation too.
4. Sip peppermint tea
It alleviates gas by relaxing the digestive tract and boosting normal peristalsis. Peppermint is naturally caffeine-free, anti-bacterial, and can help relive gas, nausea, vomiting, and morning sickness. This one and this one are my favorite!
5. Slow down and chew your food
Eating quickly and not chewing your food well can cause air swallowing that leads to bloating. So, slow down and enjoy your food. Try chewing each bite at least 25 times--your meals should last at least 30 minutes. Digestions begins in the mouth and you can decrease bloating just by chewing your food more.
Added bonus: When you take your time to thoroughly chew and taste your food, your snack or meal becomes more satisfying. And studies have shown that if you eat more slowly, you may end up eating less.
Have you experienced bloating? What are your "go to" home remedies?
ps. If you know someone else who would find these tips helpful please pass it along.
pps Are you ready to start feeling great but don't know where to start? Schedule a free strategy session with me here.
Healthy Holiday Tips
It’s no secret that the period between Thanksgiving and New Years can be stressful. Between holiday parties, travel, colder weather, work and other responsibilities; this time of the year means inevitable routine changes. Many of my clients have asked for tips and strategies to stay healthy, reduce stress and still have a great time during this hectic season. So, I thought I would share some easy to implement tips to get you through the holidays and beyond.
Don’t skip meals It’s common for people to think that when they skip a meal, they are ‘saving’ calories. Starving yourself all day so that you can indulge at the holiday party is a strategy that usually backfires. By the time you get to the party you are so hungry that you end up making poor choices. Instead, focus on eating healthy meals throughout the day and before leaving for a party; eat a light snack like raw vegetables or a piece of fruit to help curb your appetite.
Keep moving It’s easy to relegate exercise during this time year, but do your best to try to get some kind of movement everyday. On the days where you can’t fit your regular exercise in consider taking the stairs instead of the elevator, don’t drive if you can walk or go for a walk around the block after dinner.
Drink water With running errands, cooking, traveling, and having one too many cocktails- it’s easy for our bodies to get dehydrated. Drink water throughout the day and even better drink 1 cup of water in between each cocktail.
Sleep I’ve said it before; lack of sleep weakens your immune system and can lead to over eating. Not getting enough rest also makes us less efficient—not ideal this time of year. So, do everything you can to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night. This will keep your stress levels low and boost your immune system. See more sleep tips here.
Lose the guilt Whether you indulge in foods you don’t usually eat or you completely overdid it at the dessert table, the last thing you should do is put yourself down and feel guilty about it. Don’t let one day of indulgence fill you with guilt. During the holidays we eat food that may not be available other times of the year and you should enjoy it! Just remember that tomorrow is a new day to get back on track.
Do you have other tips for staying healthy during the holidays?
Do you need help staying on track during the holidays? I can help--contact me for a free consultation.
DC based Health and Wellness Coach
This blog is not intended to be used as medical or nutritional advice. Information and statements regarding health claims on this blog have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always consult a doctor before making any changes to your diet and exercise routine.