Be Present

"What's next?"

This question can sometimes make me feel unsettled. I feel as though our culture has a bombarding message of "hustle harder." It is easy for me to feel rushed to jump on this "bandwagon." My enthusiasm can get the best of me at times if I don't pause for a moment or reflect on what I really want. Often a wake-up call- HELLO!

With summer over and fall in full swing :) the question, "what's next?" is something that comes up quite often in the transition of "changing seasons." I have a (potentially negative) tendency to "do-do-do" instead of "be." I'm aware. Although it a default reaction, I'd rather focus on a better choice of a response. Something I am still mindful of. I feel there is so much value in staying present and grounded at the moment. I feel calmer. Gain more clarity. Embrace the joy of new surprises and opportunities. I don't always need the nudge or urge to take action; I can chill. I love to chill... I have to stay conscious to redirect the energy I feel. Put up a boundary when culture or my surroundings are pointing me in a different direction than what feels fitting for me.






Call or hang out with a friend. Go ride a bike. Get off social media/emails/electronics all together. Get in a solid workout at the gym. Be in nature/ the ocean. Nap. Sip some hot tea. Read a good book. Visit with family. Journal what I am feeling. Watch a fall-festive holiday movie maybe? Laugh. Dance. Pet an animal, hold a baby or give a loved one a hug. Light my favorite scented candles... These are all just some examples of the more positive alternatives I can enjoy than sitting in a fleeting feeling of pressured anxiety or over-productivity. The pressure or message of "do-do-do" is not what I want to hear all the time. I think there is a solid balance needed. I enjoy the balance. I crave a healthy balance. Rest, relaxation and feeling connected to the "heart of the matter" are what I want to embrace. Self-motivated, yet, with limits and mini breaks. Being right where I am is what I enjoy the most. I notice how important it is to have proper boundaries in place when things start to feel slightly "shaken up," or "distracting." When I truly think about what is going on internally for me with such a question such as, "what's next?" I can honestly say I notice my boundaries slipping away... Doesn't feel too good in all honesty. There is no need or obligation to take on someone else's idea(s) or sense of pressure to "do more." If something feels off for you- that's okay. It might be helpful to reflect on and explore what that means. What feels fitting for me (or you) will be unique to the need and timeframe that is best individually. I hope to encourage you if you can relate. This truth and realization are empowering. Stay in your "own lane" as best as you can without guilt or excess responsibility. I'd hope to change the message from, "what's next?" to "what's best for you?"

I want to cultivate an attitude of gratitude and pass that along here. A question such as, "what's best for you?" keeps me thankful. I can appreciate all the positive things and people in my life that are truly best for me and stay intentional at letting go of excess I don't need. Simplify. One helpful tip is practicing mindfulness... Getting grounded. Below is a quick guide that might help!



2017 Make THIS year, your year!







Each new year I take some time to reflect on the last year and all that went on. The highs, the lows, the lessons learned, and personal growth. Reflection gives me the opportunity to recognize my progress, my failures, and realize my new goals (visions) for the next year. I tend to be a visual thinker, so creating a vision board provides me with a lot of structure for all my dreams/thoughts ahead. I have linked two great articles that shine some light on the strategies and reflections I use as I journey through a new year. Cheers to you in this new year! Would it be the best year yet :)


http://www.forbes.com/sites/lizryan/2017/01/02/25-ways-to-make-2017-your-best-year-yet/#4058438d5692

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/smart-people-don-t-diet/201612/make-2017-your-year

Healthy Lifestyle Habits For Traumatic Stress


I am so passionate about health and wellness! Stress is a major inhibitor to holistic health. I was honored to be able to speak on this topic back in September at AACC's World Conference alongside my family. Now, to have been featured with my sister, for AACC's article is so exciting! I hope some things listed and explained here can be insightful in understanding and managing stress better. I for one, know the negative impact stress can have on daily living. Staying healthy and making healthier choices, daily, can contribute to a more positive lifestyle!

-ENJOY! :)

http://flashpaper.aacc.net/NewsLetter/GCDN/GCDN%203-2/Newsletter/GCDN_3-2.html#

Solitude



In my own life, silence is very important. Freedom from the noise and business of this world is found in silence for me personally. In stillness and quiet, I can hear and connect with my soul. I can cultivate my identity and heart. Prioritizing this silence is very countercultural. What we use as entertainment can end up being our escape and distraction. I see this so much around me. I have even been guilty of using the business or various forms of entertainment to distract myself. Although relationships, entertainment, work, school and hobbies can all be beneficial and fulfilling, the amount and extend of time being spent in these activities is what can drain me. I have learned over the years to find comfort and confidence in silence. With healthy boundaries, I can participate when necessary, and then take my own personal space to be refueled. It really is an intentional disciple to be silent.

I found this article online that clearly explains the importance of solitude as well. This is something I need to continue to develop in my life. I am learning to love silence and solitude! 

The Importance of Lifestyle Modifications

Pills can't fix everything

For most challenging health conditions, it has been proven that lifestyle changes are more than enough for effective treatment and prevention. 

Lifestyle is medicine. 

Making healthy modifications to your daily lifestyle will provide functional healing and amazing health benefits. Discover how to let your food and exercise be your medicine. Eat healthier and exercise more effectively.

A few years ago, I was encouraged to get some blood work done due to some painful symptoms I was experiencing both mentally and physically. To my surprise, test results revealed I had a mild form of the condition called PCOS. All the difficult symptoms I had been experiencing finally made sense. Having a proper diagnosis and effective treatment plan is everything for healing! I began implementing healthy, healing changes in my life for the better. Weight gain, acne, depression and anxiety are some of the symptoms I struggled with before the proper treatment. It wasn't until I started making the healthy modifications in my nutrition, sleep and fitness routine, that I started to experience healing and good health again. 

      "The optimal treatment for PCOS is a multifactorial approach involving diet and lifestyle modification and medications."

      "The No. 1 treatment for PCOS is not metformin or clomid or birth control pills or spironolactone; but attaining and maintaining a normal weight through a good diet (low glycemic index) and regular exercise," says Dr. Serena H. Chen, the director of reproductive endocrine and infertility at St. Barnabas Medical Center.


Whatever your health conditions or concerns are today,  I do know that anyone wanting to grow and change to become the best version of themselves physically and mentally, should consider integrating daily healthy habits into their lifestyle. 

Healthy living habits naturally provide a healthy life.
I encourage you to be intentional and make life giving choices for your healing and wellbeing! 

You will not regret it. 
Love yourself enough make choices to live well.
Let your healthy lifestyle be your medicine. 


PCOS Nutrition

PCOS Foundation

PCOS Foundation Cont.

Health and wellness

The Importance Of Self Care



I completed a self-care exercise a few weeks ago and was really inspired by the outcome.

Many people wonder how it is possible to make self-care a priority when life is so busy. 
I hope you can be reminded that self-care is under your control. 
Self-care is personal. 
I have spent some time researching and reflecting on some tips and skills to incorporate several components of self-care as a daily routine. 
Self-care isn't a one time thing and may look different for each person. However, constant tiny habits can produce lasting change and results for anyone. 

Here are some examples of small but effective habits:

-Step outside of your comfort zone
-Be intentional 
-Utilize time management
-Reflect and evaluate priorities  
-Journal 
-Laugh 
-Establish healthy boundaries 
-Be patient and loving toward yourself

Self-care can be misinterpreted as, "selfish," or, "self-indulgent". 
But the real purpose of self-care is self-preservation. 
It's impossible to pour out and serve others from an empty vessel. 
Prioritizing self-care gives you the proper fuel to keep moving forward and investing into other peoples lives. 
So the main question is, what makes you happy? 
Doing what makes you feel the most joy, daily, will contribute to your own self-care. 
Be creative and mindful in discovering what you enjoy the most. What is life giving to you.

Below are just a few examples, to get your ideas flowing, on how you can take good care of yourself.



Self Care Strategies To Transform Your Life

What Self Care Looks Like

Self Care Tips

Health From Within

A lot of what our culture tells us about health is advertised from a physical perspective. I would like to see this change. I want to see people become their fullest potential in life as a whole person. Starting with making healthier lifestyle choices from "within." 
Health is so much more than what you see on the outside. 
What is on the outside is only the surface... but what about the heart? 
What about the soul, the mind, and the internal components of our bodies? 

The food we eat, our quality of sleep, mental health, interpersonal relationships, exercise, immune system, and our environment, really affect our health. This is affected either in a positive or negative way. The choice is ours to make.

As I was researching this topic, "Health from within," I found this really encouraging article on 100 Easy Ways To Be Healthy Inside. I really liked how this article categorized the different aspects of health through:

Food
Eating Out
Illness
At Work
Sleep
Mental Health
Beauty
Relationships
Fitness
Away from home

Since I am a big advocate for self care, both in my own life and in the lives of others, this article will be really helpful in keeping us reminded and motivated to be intentional as we make healthy choices daily! I hope you can take the time to read through some of these examples as well. Maybe something on this list will also be helpful to you. Be encouraged on your own health journey. Remember it is a process.