Let’s face it, there’s nothing better for our overall wellness than sleep. No matter how many vacations we take, how much yoga we complete, or how many glasses of water we drink, if we’re not getting enough good-quality rest, everything else we do to boost our health and wellness will suffer.
And, let me tell you – am I ever getting familiar with sleep - and lots of it! Last week I tested positive for COVID and, while I’m very grateful to be experiencing only minor symptoms, I was absolutely exhausted - sleeping up to 15 hours per day.
I’ve Been Where You Are – And I Can Help
Even though I teach people about wellness for a living and embrace a holistic, centered, and healthy lifestyle, I’ve literally been there, done that when it comes to sleep – insomnia; sleep trackers; restless leg syndrome; cramming all night for my Ph.D. dissertation; staying up and getting up all night with my babies, post-menopausal sleep apnea…
I just returned from a 12-day trip to Vancouver, but I came home three days early.
I went because I desperately needed a change of scenery. I needed to escape my empty, dog-less house – it just didn’t feel right without my sweet Benji, who passed away several weeks ago.
But trips to Vancouver are never vacations for me. I go there to visit family and friends. This trip, I spent most of my time visiting my mom, who has dementia and lives in a nursing home.
Last Friday night, I was with her and the other residents congregating in the main social area. I know many of them by name from visiting over the years. As a trained gerontologist, I’m very aware that while their mental and physical health are on the decline, these people want to be cared for, recognized and loved.
I enjoyed connecting and chatting with them. Some couldn’t speak much, so we played charades. Others were lucid enough to carry on a conversation, and some talked to me about their pasts....
In my role as a wellness/life coach, professional speaker and digital wellness entrepreneur, I tend to focus my workshops around DOING.
However, earlier this month, I was honored to kick-off a legal conference with a unique “walk and talk” where we focused on BEING and FEELING.
How Do You Want to Feel?
Everyone talks about what they want to achieve when they set goals. However, in this recent “walk and talk” workshop, I turned the tables and asked participants to think about how they want to FEEL in 2022.
I asked: Do you want to feel energized? Confident? Calm? Proud? Content? Supported? A sense of belonging? Connected? Compassion? Kindness? Gratitude? In this vein, I asked the participants to pick a core emotion/feeling that they want to feel or experience this year.
Emotional Literacy Exercise
Are you ready to focus on FEELINGS this year?
Choose your desired feeling for 2022. On your own or with colleagues, friends or...
Two weeks ago, I had a brain MRI to figure out why I was experiencing double vision when I drive or watch TV.
While looking for a good vein to start the IV contrast, the technician asked if I have ever experienced trauma.
I knew she was referring to physical trauma – such as a concussion or other head injury – but the word trauma triggered me for other reasons. I immediately thought of the emotional trauma I had endured during my marriage, events that led to its breakdown. Her routine question brought forth a powerful emotional reaction. I started to cry.
My emotional response then triggered a physical reaction: My vein shut down. The technician could not insert the IV and she was concerned I would not be able to do the MRI because I needed to lie still with my eyes closed.
I summoned the tools that I often share with clients: I practiced the deep breathing that I teach in my Byte-Size Wellness Academy and in my professional speaking. I calmed myself down so that I could...
The late, great Betty White once said: “Once someone has had the good fortune to share a true love affair with a Golden Retriever, one’s life and one’s outlook is never quite the same.”
When you lose a pet, part of you dies, too. Today, a part of me is gone because my beloved Benji is gone.
Many of you have been following this journey with me since my dog was diagnosed with cancer. For a while there, I thought Benji was doing a Benjamin Buttons impression: He was behaving like his old puppy self, and it was hard to believe his last days with us were sneaking up on him.
The initial stress of Benji’s impending death was so excruciating for me that I could barely breathe.
Singing seemed to help us both through this difficult time. So I often sang the Hebrew song Kanfei Ruach, which means ‘wings of spirit’. The lyrics remind us of our inner strength, and I loved the image of Benji’s wings of spirit: As his body was failing him, his spirit...
Feeling overwhelmed? Here’s how to cope.
On the heels of a deadly pandemic – now entering its third year – we’ve been dealing with a lot. As I’ve mentioned over the past few weeks, I’m also struggling with a few personal issues, including watching over my beloved dog Benji, who’s nearing his end of life due to terminal cancer.
As you probably know, when life gets ultra-challenging and you’re facing illness, job loss, a death in the family or marital problems, your mental bandwidth is severely reduced. It’s hard to function or tackle our day-to-day responsibilities. Our brains, for the most part, simply check out or take a sabbatical. I know mine certainly has!
When we’re grieving or struggling with an overwhelming situation, many people simply leave self-care by the wayside. I’ve been a wellness professional for many years, and believe me, I’m no different than everyone else – when you’re running...
Last week, I shared some difficult things that I’m dealing with right now. My beloved dog Benji is very ill and nearing the end of his life, and it’s been brutal. I’ll be honest with you: Some days, I can barely get out of bed.
But I am determined to find a path to heal, a way to help myself while living in this awful limbo, enjoying my time with Benji while also coming to terms with his upcoming death. We don’t know how long he will be with us, or how long I’m going to feel this excruciating pain of impending loss.
Here’s what is helping me get through the days:
• Good grooming: I make a point to shower and get dressed instead of staying in my cozy PJs. I also style my hair and apply some make-up. I need to look and feel somewhat put-together, so I can look in the mirror and see something other than my own sad eyes staring back at me.
• Journaling: I’ve resurrected the fine art of journaling and mind mapping. I have a copy...
There’s a saying: When the dog dies and the kids leave home, that’s when life begins.
I never imagined that, but for me, it’s going something like this: When the dog is ready to die, the kids and the husband leave home, I have no clue how my life is supposed to be beginning.
I’m a wellness warrior, a self-care expert about to launch a life coaching business in 2022 so I can help people live a more abundant life full of meaning, purpose and joy.
And yet, I’m embarrassed to admit that I am … just stuck.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m doing everything ‘right’: I practice yoga and dance several times a week. I sing in a virtual choir. I meditate and power-walk daily. I get regular acupuncture, Reiki and therapy.
But if I’m being raw, authentic and honest with myself – and with you – the cold weather, COVID culture and way too much personal crap, I’m just feeling like everyone else these days. I’m...
Avoiding COVID-19 is still on our minds, and yes, doing the big things – getting vaccinated, masking, social distancing – are as important as ever. But as Arianna Huffington reminds us in a recent post, it’s the little things that are going to have the most impact.
I’m a firm believer that changing bad habits and behavior – not getting enough sleep or exercise and putting yourself last on the priority list – is all about micro-steps.
Making small changes can trigger big results. For example, Huffington cites studies showing that getting more sleep can significantly boost your immune system, and exercise helps our bodies battle COVID. Proper nutrition also lowers your chances of severe illness.
Moving more, eating better and taking the time to just breathe and be present in your own life is easier with the right mindset. I’ve found success with my own self-care by focusing on things that bring me joy in addition to good health – such...
As Carrie in Sex And The City would say, “And just like that… My world was turned upside down.”
You see, every parent’s worst nightmare is to receive “that call.” Unfortunately, in December I was the recipient of “that call” which came from my 22-year-old daughter Samantha who was on her way to work. She was crying while telling me that she was in a car accident which was just around the corner from our house.
I raced over to the accident site – there were fire trucks and police cars everywhere. The entire street was blocked off, leaving a pile-up of cars and school buses en route to work, home, and school.
Samantha’s car was turned upside down and totaled. I mean totaled.
I found my daughter in the ambulance… Seated and talking with the paramedics.
No injuries. No pain. No bruises. Nothing. Surreal. Thank God for the seatbelt and airbag. A miracle. I feel that God was watching over...