There's an epidemic of sleeplessness in our culture that comes from too much cortisol and other hormones, ridiculous amounts of sugar in our diets, too much stress, too many screens and multitudes of things constantly clamoring for our attention. I have been an insomniac for over 20 years and as a result I've become an expert in some great ways to kick insomnia to the curb.
No mater what your beliefs are, it's impossible to avoid seeing that this country is in the middle of some crazier than usual bullsh*t. It's really easy to get sucked into a sinkhole of anxiety, frustration and anger, and while sometimes those feelings can ultimately inspire action and change, they need to be balanced with some radical self-care or they will burn you out.
I don't know about you, but I am wrestling with keeping my shit together right now. I'll be going along, managing just fine, and then I will see or hear something that will send me spinning down a rabbit hole and running towards anything that will numb me out, like a bottomless bag of chocolate chips or endless hours of playing Hearts on my phone. I have nothing against chocolate or playing games on my phone but regularly numbing out to avoid reality is not a good long-term plan. So I decided to make a list of things I can do to balance the numbing and the upcoming right-wing agenda.
As you may already know, I am a big fan of a well-placed "f-bomb" and I'm fairly unapologetic about it. But there are words that I've become much more careful about using and they may not be what you think. Here's a list of the top 3 "bad words" that I try to avoid:
People often comment on the name of my business, Audacious Wellness, maybe because audacious is one of those words that can mean several different things. Personally, I love the idea of audacity when making life choices. Women I admire from Eleanor Roosevelt and Margaret Sanger to Alice Waters and Debbie Harry, have all been considered bold, daring and gutsy, or in other words, audacious, for going against the so-called grain to ultimately change perceptions and create new norms.
It's the middle of August and the middle of an "extreme heat warning" here in Seattle. Super hot summers are a relatively new thing in this town so lots of old houses like mine do not have central AC. It's usually right around now that I start daydreaming about the cooler temps of fall and that fresh-start, back-to-school feeling I love. So, in the spirit of September's approach, I put together 5 easy ways to get ready for fall that I think you will love - even though they do not include having a pumpkin spice latte!
One of the cornerstones of my beliefs as a Wellness Coach is that ultimately we are what we eat. Hippocrates said, "Let food be thy medicine" and I wholeheartedly agree. A key component of aging healthfully and beautifully is learning to pay closer attention to what we put into our bodies. There are so many diseases and maladies that can be turned around and even altogether avoided by what we eat. Even some common side effects of peri-menopause! Pills mostly treat symptoms but the food that you eat can make actual changes. But I digress…
Here's a fun fact about turning 50 (or 43 or 47 or any age after 40 really…): stuff you have done all your life can suddenly stop working the way it always has. That's right - you think you've got something wired and just like that it either explodes or just starts fizzling out. Then you're like, "WTF? I'm waking up at 3 AM? I've always slept a solid 8 hours a night", or " Hello? I've gained 10 pounds and I have not done one single thing different in the past 6 months." Welcome to the wonderful world of aging and perimenopause.
As a coach I am always looking for good metaphors to help make sense of things we humans keep tripping over or bumping into. One of my favorites comes courtesy of the airline industry. We all know that in case of an emergency, we need to secure our own oxygen masks before we try and help others. If we can't breathe then we are useless to everyone - including ourselves. This is a great metaphor for real life! Daily living in the 21st century can feel relentless and stressful and often keeps our adrenals running as if we are in a constant state of emergency.
It's been my experience that sometimes when we set goals to lose weight or improve our health, life tends gets in the way. We have a stressful day (or three), a few nights of insomnia (*raising my hand), or some other diversion, we get derailed and then it feels impossible to get back on track. Typically what motivates us is in the first place is wanting to go down a few pants sizes or lose those jiggly arms, but I've come to believe that the clearer we are on what motivates us, the better the odds are of turning our goals into lifestyle changes.