As a recovering workaholic, I can easily get sucked back into the grind and stress. If I haven’t completed my to-do list, I set my alarm to a painful early morning hour to finish up the project. My mind is in “rush mode” and body enjoys working in the flow. So I produce a lot in a short amount of time. Yet, in doing so, the heaviness of stress sits on my chest. For many years, I convinced myself that my type-A personality fueled my success. Yes, some stress motivates performance, though research shows continual long-term stress harms our health. So, as a part of the Wellness Work Series, I have outlined a few healthy stress reduction / stress management tips for busy individuals and especially working parents.
We all want to make our lives a little easier, right? Finding simple solutions and lifestyle hacks can be the answer when you want to improve your health. We started PrettyWellness.com to share information together on how to take small steps toward better health. Whether you’re a working mom, a stay-at-home parent, an up-and-coming 20-something or anyone in-between, we’re all trying to find our way through a busy and complicated life. After my second cancer diagnosis, I learned that focusing on taking care of myself and tweaking my lifestyle, helped me feel amazing even under the stress of treatments. Now, it’s my mission to share this with everyone and create conversations together about our wellbeing. Taking small steps toward better wellness can put us all on the path to the life we want to live both personally and professionally. It starts with putting one foot in front of the other. This can be made easier, when you look for healthy life hacks to instill into your routine.
Growing up in the 80’s, it wasn’t hard to be active. Because social media didn’t exist and phones didn’t have call waiting, if I wanted to see my friends, I ran around the neighborhood to find them. If I couldn’t wait to share a big girly secret, I would walk miles to tell my gal pals or show up at their camp activities.
Today, kids of all ages (and I’m speaking of myself, too) often use technology as their main tool to socialize and communicate. As a result, we don’t have as many opportunities to be active as we once did. While I do enjoy the conveniences and pizzazz of our multi-media lives, I want to be sure to instill a love of activities filled with personal interaction for my son. In an effort to practice what I preach, here is a list of activities to keep a young kid (and his mother) fit while having fun.
Yoga can be incredibly intimidating when you’re new. As a beginner, I wore dark layered clothing because I felt self-conscious wishing I was thinner. Wanting to go unnoticed, I feared that everyone would see my stiff body. Within weeks, I bought my own gear. Using it correctly seemed easy, until my underwear flew out of my hot yoga towel. I quickly learned the importance of using fabric softener with these clingy items. So I initially separated myself from the room thinking I wasn’t as good as everyone else. What I soon realized is that it’s not easy to catch on right away. Yoga is more of a practice focused on personal intentions, rather than a class to conquer. No one was looking at me; they were all looking within themselves.
I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in the Fall of 2013. The news was shocking and sobering, especially considering I knew very few people who thrived with it. Scared beyond comprehension, filled with sleepless nights and worries dancing through my head, I thought I knew what that diagnosis meant. At the same time, publicity ramped up for Disney’s “Frozen,” but I didn’t pay attention. The movie opened Thanksgiving weekend and after the holidays, the world knew it was not only a box office hit, but the key to a young girl’s heart. I didn’t realize, it would be to mine, as well.
As the world was singing “Do you Want to Build a Snowman, ” I was anxiously awaiting my first set of scans after being diagnosed. My mind was filled with wildly ranging thoughts:
Was this the calm before the storm? Would the results show tremendous growth and I would only have a few months or years left?
If so, would my child really know me? Should we tell him or not?
Will my new treatments debilitate me? Will I feel like myself? Will I be myself?
Do you use the New Year as an annual health seminar with yourself? In the past, I would host my own personal white board session, brainstorming all the ways I wanted to better myself in the coming year. These included exercising daily, losing weight, dining out less, reading more high-brow literature, analyzing business trade publications weekly and drinking less soda. I loved the idea of a new and improved me, but seldom made it past week two. According to Forbes, Only 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s resolutions. I clearly was in the 92%. So now, after a year of living clean, embracing a plant-based diet, yoga, powerwalking and using green products, I’ve comprised a list of 18 simple wellness tips. Hopefully, these will make it easy for you to pick an easily-attainable goal so you can take small steps toward better health and overall wellness.