The Struggle Is Real

The Struggle Is Real

Feeling Depleted? 

Hell yeah! We have been operating under some pretty heavy energy lately. Now, almost 8 months into a global pandemic where the “new normal” is indefinite uncertainty, we are no longer in an emergency phase but rather living in a chronic state of heightened stress. Of course we’re feeling depleted, much of what grounded us no longer exists, we are grieving multiple loses while still managing the ongoing impact all of this is having on every single aspect of our lives.

So how do we adjust to this ever-changing situation where so many of our systems aren’t working as they normally do, creating radical shifts in our work, school, and home life? Unfortunately, there is no handbook on this one, nothing in history comes close to its impact.  Sure there have been horrific events in history showing how very resilient we humans are but 2020 is an unprecedented disaster. It’s unique, magnified with 24-7  news coverage and intense political division in our country, complicating a unified approach on how to best navigate this unchartered path.

As a women’s leadership coach, naturally I’m asked for advice and suggestions on how to ease the angst we are all experiencing. I wish I had a direct answer but the truth is I’m just figuring it out myself. Of course, there are some sure fire ways to combat worry, lessen anxiety, face our fears but in this instance if I had to specifically hone in on where to focus our attention it would primarily be on our self-care and sincere acceptance of our reality. Rather then putting on a brave face, I think it would serve us all better to embrace how “shaky” we truly are feeling, allowing us to support ourselves in a way that is more constructive instead of exhausting our energy on trying to avoid the uncomfortability that surrounds us right now. While in addition seeking activities, new and old, that fill us up…practicing extreme self-care (sleep, nutrition, exercise, meditation, gratitude, and connection) and self love & compassion. I believe there is a way to simultaneously attend to our grief while also move forward proactively, gaining a greater appreciation of life and surpassing our capabilities that were present before this crisis hit us all.

My advice…resist the urge to suck it up, the struggle is real! Put YOUR oxygen mask on first so you can go the distance and still be of service to others.

Wishing You The Best Of Success

-Holly- 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happiness Simplified

Happiness Simplified

Discover The Four Pillars To Wellbeing

Plan and simple, happiness is not a goal to be achieved rather it comes as a result of engaging in multiple, varied things that are meaningful and bring pleasure as a side-effect. Yet many of us tend to focus on snapshots of isolated parts of our lives and buy into the belief that if we can just find that perfect job, relationship, diet/fitness routine, this thing we call life will be a cinch to live. However, study after studies show that despite people initially experiencing a spike in their levels of wellness after obtaining things like financial prosperity, professional /educational achievements, loving relationships, or improved health-with time inevitably fall back to their original happiness baselines. And in some cases, people can even fall below their baselines feeling more defeated. Understandably, it can be disheartening to discover after working really hard and checking all the boxes to attain all those things believed would guarantee happiness is only fleeting. 

Truth is, safe guarding our level of fulfillment in one aspect of our lives will not secure our happiness nor prevent us from experiencing human highs and lows. To bring about sustainable wellbeing we need to build our overall resilience by attending to our whole self; body, mind, heart, and spirit. Sure, focusing on any one of these variables can make a difference but by attending to all four we will thrive. Moreover, when life throws us a curve ball-which inevitably it will because no one is excuse from life’s trial and tribulations-you will have an abundance of resources to tap into, enabling you to bounce back with greater ease. 

Below you’ll find a brief outline on each of the four pillars to wellbeing, coming this fall I’ll be doing a deeper dive for those interested in learning more about how to thrive rather then just get by. The program is called, Live To Thrive…The Science of Happiness Simplified, it will be a 9 week online, live, interactive course (calls will be recorded, should you be unable to attend) where participants will receive a ton of research based knowledge, tools, and strategies along with personal support to guide them in accessing not only experiencing higher levels of happiness but sustaining it for the long run. 

The 4 Pillars To Wellbeing

  • BODY- Let’s face it, when we are feeling physically strong, we have the best chance of experiencing the energy we need to complete the tasks and goals that are important to us. I start with attending to our body first because typically it is more easily assessed. We can see and feel how vibrant or drained someone is. We can hear it in people’s voices, postures, and faces. We can even measure it with medical devices. But remember we are all built differently, so there isn’t a single formula that works for everyone. What foods are most nourishing for you? What kind of movement works best for your body? How much sleep is optimal for your performance? Are you staying hydrated? Would your body benefit from supplements or vitamins? What, if any chronic or temporary illnesses/injuries do you need to consider in order to best support yourself.
  • MIND- This includes not only expanding our intellect but also training our thoughts to work for us. Attending to our mind is twofold, engaging in learning that is stimulating yet not daunting, enabling a cycle of constant growth. While keeping in mind (no pun intended) that our thoughts will have a way of getting the best of us, interfering with our ability to be present in the moment, wreaking havoc on our confidence, clarity, attention, and focus. Creating daily habits to expand this awareness (i.e  quality learning, meditation, journaling, single-tasking, self-introspection, etc) will clear the way for our minds to function optimally. 
  • SPIRIT- “He who has a why in life can bare almost any how”- Friedrich Nietzsche.Our spirit is what guides us to become fully ourselves and to live a meaningful life. In other words, it’s about connecting what we do and how we do it with who we truly are. What would you like to be remembered for? What drives you? What lights you up? What makes you unique? What things do you most want out of life? How can you share your strengths with the world? We must first accept that we all have this deeper inner side of ourselves and then find time to listen to it. Moreover, honor and then align in accordance with these inner urgings.  
  • Heart- Cultivate an open heart by practicing gratitude for the good things in your life, love and compassion for yourself, connection and kindness toward others. Remembering all feelings are legitimate and finely tuning in and accepting our full range of emotions can be used as tools to help us understand what’s going on for us in any given moment, enabling us to create greater wellbeing. 

Bottomline, we will have a much greater capacity to flourish and grow, to endure life’s challenges and stressors when we attend to our whole selves…Body, Mind, Heart, and Spirit.  

Wishing You Always The Best Of Success

 -Holly-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prescription For Self-Love

Prescription For Self-Love

Selfulness

The evidence is clear, research supports our social relationships are the most powerful predictor of happiness. Whether you consider yourself an extrovert or an introvert, there’s tons of evidence supporting that the common thread amongst “happy” people is that they all have broad social networks and positive relationships with those people in their networks. And to be clear here, we’re not talking about quantity but rather the quality of our social relationships in all areas of our life; work, community, personal, intimate and moreover with ourselves. As without love of self there is no basis to start from, self-love is the pre-condition to loving others. Understandably though for some, the act of practicing self-love can feel initially uncomfortable, and overly self-indulgent but self-love is not to be confused with self-centeredness. Rather self-love is more about thinking about the “me” so that you can build a strong “we”.

I was recently introduced to the word “selfulness”. As you can see it’s a play on words, it’s definition in the urban dictionary is used to describe a person that creates a balance between caring for themselves along with others. With contemporary western culture often plagued by the schism between love of self (egoism or selfishness) and love of others (altruistic or selflessness), the word selfulness I think is a great way to capture a way of being where we extend how we relate to ourselves towards others as well. It makes a lot of sense if you think about it, how can we have loving, positive relationships with others if we don’t practice a healthy relationship with ourselves? A great analogy for this is when we hear the infamous instructions of flight attendants reminding us to first put on our oxygen mask before helping others in case of an emergency landing. Why is this an important rule for ensuring everyone’s survival? Because if you run out of oxygen, you can’t help anyone else with their oxygen mask. This is a perfect metaphor to consider especially for women as we are notoriously known to put our self-care and needs on the back burner.

Learning to love oneself is a key ingredient to greater happiness. Self-love is at the very core of well-being, joy and empowerment. If we don’t care for ourselves we limit our success in all aspects of our lives; experiencing burnout, fatigue, reduced mental effectiveness, health problems, anxiety, stress, and heightened frustration. It’s time to let go of the guilt and the excuses, put your oxygen mask on first and start practicing a little more self-love in your life.

 SELF-LOVE PRACTICES

 #1 Recognize Your Own Good Qualities– Many of us have the tendency to focus on what it is that we aren’t enough of. Defaulting to negative self-talk is one of the least loving things you can do for yourself. So today, right now, take a few minutes to make a list of all the things you like about yourself. Think of physical attributes, mental or emotional strengths, successes you’ve experienced, the way you support your friends and family, or anything else. Make your list as long as possible, and keep adding to it. Go to people you trust and ask them what they’d list as your positive characteristics. You may be surprised to find out that people see a lot more of your strengths than you realize.

#2 Treat Yourself With The Same Level Of Kindness & Respect You Do For Others You Love- You know how you treat someone you really care about, the way you love  and support that person and treat him or her with kindness and respect? Well, do that for yourself and just as you’d challenge a close friend who’s making bad decisions with his or her life, challenge yourself as well. Remind yourself just as you would a good friend of your worth as an individual and that you deserve great things in your life. Resist the tendency for settling for less, encourage yourself as you would someone you love to challenge yourself to achieve the best life possible.

#3 Give Attention To Your Needs And Desires– This may sound a bit silly, but some people really don’t know what they want and need. They can go through their entire adult lives never stopping to self-assess and check in with how they are truly doing. One of the best ways to love yourself is to carve out some time weekly to answer honestly how you are feeling physically, emotionally and spiritually. Some great questions to consider: 

  • Do you feel significant/loved/respected?
  • Are you allowing companionship to lift and enlighten your life?
  • Do you feel in control of how you react to situations in your life?
  • Are you treating your body well (i.e. sleep, diet, exercise, necessary doc apps, stress management)?
  • Do you feel a sense of inner-peace and calmness?
  • Do you have a sense of purpose and appreciation for your place in this world?

Now take it one step further and ask yourself, how can you, at this very moment, take better care of yourself, so that you have more to give instead of less?  Remember self-love may start with the “me” but it ends with a “we”. In the spirit of Valentines Day, a holiday many of us designate as time to express love to those near and dear to us, I’m going to ask you do the same for yourself!

 Happy Valentines Day Everyone!

-Holly-

 

A Secret Elixir

A Secret Elixir

Surprising Benefits Of Finding A Hobby

Want a surefire way to improve the quality of your life, relationships, and mood? Get a hobby. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking as if it’s that simple, how could something so frivolous make that much of a difference? The last thing I need is another commitment. Hobbies are for people who lead quiet, relaxed lives, and have extra time. I get it, between the kids, work, staying on top of household responsibilities, the notion of a finding a hobby can sound like a waste of time. But actually, for those people who lead very full and busy lives, it’s all that more important to find a hobby. Think taking up a hobby is an ineffective, senseless, or self-indulgent way to use your time? Read on to discover the amazing benefits a hobby can have on your life.

Why Get A Hobby?

Relieves Stress & Lessens Negative Self-Talk- First and foremost hobbies relieve stress and clear our minds by keeping us engaged in enjoyable and positive tasks. Taking our attention away from the day-to-day challenges and issues we face.

Enhance Social Connections- Hobbies are something that you can frequently enjoy with other people. Whether you join a club, play in a league, or just come across people with similar interests and mindsets. Moreover, when you  take some time to do something enjoyable it lifts our spirits so our current relationships reap the benefits of our improved mood. 

Increase Confidence and Self Esteem- Your hobby is going to challenge you in someway, whether mentally or physically. As you overcome these challenges, your confidence will be boosted. 

Enrich Who We Are– When people ask you what you do in your free time, hobbies prevent you from standing there and scratching your head in puzzlement. Hobbies give us something to talk about, adding layers to our identity. They give us space to view ourselves differently, exposing us to new ideas and different perspectives.

Promotes Productivity- Hobbies prevent burnout allowing us to take time out for ourselves, bringing us renewed energy and excitement. This will carry over to the rest of our activities whether at work or home. And since most hobbies usually require rearranging of our schedules to fit it in the activity, it forces us to manage our time more wisely and productively.

Don’t even know what pastime would make you happy? Best bet is to start by building on your own interests. Think about what you value most, examine your skills and personality, and pay attention to what excites you. Being outdoors, doing something physical or creative with others or alone. What skills would you like to learn, talents you want to develop, or experiences you crave? Brainstorm some ideas and try out a new activity from your list. Lastly, pay attention to how you feel during the experience and give it at least three to four attempts to get over the beginners’ hurdle. You may not find the right fit for you right away, but the upside is along the way you can have a lot of fun trying new things and exploring what’s out there. This summer take some time to check out a hobby or two, with the season’s warmer temperatures and longer daylight hours, along with for most, more liberties in our schedules makes for a perfect time to take some time  enjoying an activity that is not attached to work or other commitments. 

Wishing You Always The Best Of Success

-Holly-

 

Self-Love

Self-Love

 

 “Love Yourself First and Everything Else Falls Into Place”

-Lucille Ball-

 February 2015 Insight

So true! Self-love is a critical component to living life well! It impacts almost every aspect of our lives. From social and intimate relationships to the image we project at work and in our communities as well as how effectively we cope with life challenges. It’s development can only occur if direct actions are taken to support one’s physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. So in the spirit of Valentines Day, a holiday  many of us typically designate as a time to express our love to those near and dear to us, I’m going to ask you to do the same for yourself! (more…)