Just Live Mindfully


Category: Wellness (page 1 of 3)

What’s Your Travel Routine?

When you’re traveling, you know your routine is going to get thrown off a bit.  It’s a given.  But do you stick to your normal routine or be a little more free?  For me it all depends – who am I with, where am I going, what will I be doing, etc.  I’m actually traveling now for my full time job and this topic came to mind after not feeling rested after a few nights in the hotel.  My dilemma was whether to sleep a little more or wake up early and get a workout in.

Before you go jumping on me, let me give you some background information.  This week I’m traveling for my full time job, to a place that kind of has nothing around it (within an hour) and is for training…training that is from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM for five days straight.  When I told my husband where I was going he said “Oh that place, there’s nothing there!”  Yea, I was a little nervous, no lie.  My plan was to come and follow my normal routine, with the exception of when I do my workout.  Because I was going to be waking up later, I figured I’d try to do my workouts in the morning instead of the afternoon/early evening.  The first day, it didn’t happen.  The second day, it also didn’t happen.  I slept in!

I tried to figure out why and a number of reasons came to me:  “The bed is not my bed”, “The pillow is not my pillow”, “The temperature in the room is not what I’m used to”, “I’m in a place that I’m not 100% comfortable with”, “I’m away from my husband”…

I could go on and on, but what’s the point.  I mean, these are really first world problems.  And yes, I’ve tossed and turned the past two nights.  It has not been too good of an experience with my sleeping pattern yet.  And don’t get me wrong, the bed is comfortable and the room is clean.  I just cannot seem to find sleep.  Needless to say, the first two nights, I chose to sleep in.  And I will tell you, this is my normal routine.  And it’s been a good decision to sleep in a bit.

What I wanted to do was abandon this routine and wake up early to workout.  I wanted to get it done so I could still feel like I’m myself.  I personally fit in fitness 4-5 days a week and it helps me feel human – both mentally and physically.  Since I arrived at my destination on Sunday, I have not exercised once.  Yes, I’ve walked a bunch and gotten my steps in, but not like I do at home.

At home, I typically get in a run or do some weight training.  It clears my mind and helps me sleep better.  The hotel does have a gym, but I have not used it at all this trip.  And trust me, it’s a good gym – treadmills, free weights, a Bosu ball, and a spot to do some yoga.  So why have I not used it yet?  Because I’ve decided to stick to my routine and get more sleep in the morning.  Although exercise is important to me, sleep is just as if not more important.

So here’s my question to you – which is more important for you?  Sticking to your routine or going outside of that routine and trying something new?  Only you can answer that question.  For me, sticking to my routine is more important on this trip, especially because it’s a trip that’s for work and I have to be on my A-game.  But for my next trip, things might be different.

My sole purpose for this post is to share with you that there are good things to sticking to your routine and there are challenges with sticking to that too.  As with anything, you have to weigh your options and see what’s in front of you.  I’d love to hear more about your travel routine, but for now…I’m off to bed.

Money & Your Health

So saving money is all the rage right now, right?  Ok, well, I wouldn’t say rage, but it’s in.  People are trying to pay off their debt fast so they can live a more free life.  I’m included in that group of people.  So how do you do it, but still have some fun?  Here are five ways to save money, but still have some fun that’s good for your health!

1. Go take a hike

Now, I’m not trying to be rude, but taking a hike is one of the best things you can do for your health and in most places, it’s free!  I live in New England and there are TONS of state parks that I can go for a hike in the forest.  One of my favorite things to do is go to New Hampshire or Maine where there’s a ton of fresh air and I can ultimately be one with the forest.  I pack a lunch, bring water and just go.  It helps clear your mind and it’s free.  Don’t forget to bring your phone or camera too…you’re going to want those pictures later.

2. Grab a page turner and hit the beach

If you’re not a reader, this one might not be for you.  Reading a good book is a great way to dive into another world and escape for awhile.  Whether you’re into mystery, romance or even non-fiction, reading a good book can be great for your mind and for your soul.  If you can’t afford to buy the new best seller, hit up your local library or find some friends to do a book swap with.  It’s fun, you educate yourself and keep your mind working.

3. Create your vision board

If you’ve got something you’re wishing and hoping for, put it out for display!  Grab a piece of poster board or a piece of cardboard from the most recent shipment that arrived at your house and start plastering it with pictures of the dream(s) you have.  You can even decorate it with paint, stickers, glitter…it can be as big as you imagine.  You can get the pictures from magazines you have lying around, printing them from Pinterest and even drawings that you create!  When you’re done, hang it on a wall in your house that you’ll see everyday.  It will give you something beautiful to look at it and motivation to save money.

4. Drop those coins

When you were in your college days, or maybe you are in your college days now, do you remember that big Coca-Cola bottle that you’d use to save the extra coins you had lying around?  Yup, even I had one.  Now I use a much prettier ceramic jar to save that extra money.  You can even use a mason jar and decorate it with stickers.  If it’s pennies or quarters, money is money.  This idea kind of goes along with #3.  If you’ve got something in mind that you want, you’ve gotta save for it, right?  It could be the new yoga mat you’ve been eyeing, a trip to Bali or even the new course on confidence to help you get out of your shell.  Whatever it is, this is a great way to help you get and stay motivated so you can reach the goal you have in mind.

5. Hook up with your local townies

In today’s day and age, almost all towns have some presence on social media.  My town has a Facebook group where business owners and townies advertise things that are going on.  It’s anything from yard sales to concerts at the town hall to fundraisers for the town sports teams.  By getting involved with your town, you’ll be able to meet your fellow neighbors and hear about some awesome free events.  Imagine going to the local park with your partner to hear some cool jazz and getting to dance with your shoes off?  Sounds fun, right?  Burning calories and having fun with your neighbors is a win-win!

So out of all these ideas, which will you try first?  Saving money (or spending less) is not only good for your wallet but also good for your heart and soul.  You’ll get to do more with less and enjoy a happy, healthy life.

What Does Independence Mean to You?

It’s the weekend of July 4th and I see all the posts on social media about the parties and barbecues taking place.  But what I don’t see, is the celebration of our freedom.  Since Independence Day is when the United States adopted the Declaration of Independence and gained it’s freedom, it got me thinking.  Why am I not seeing more posts about how lucky we are to live in a free society?  Now, I’m going to get political on you but I do want to share with you my thoughts on freedom, how finding your own sense of freedom can tremendously help you live a healthier, happier life.

Freedom is the ability to do anything you want, when you want, wherever you want.  But as we all know, we live in a world with structure and rules.  To me, freedom is the ability to make your own choices and not having to make decisions.  Let me give you an example.  You just got paid and you really want to go to a concert next month but you also have bills due – your car payment, the mortgage, the vet bill for Fluffy’s surgery last month – you get the picture.  So what do you do?  Yes, in theory you have a choice.  But in reality, you are being forced to choose.  In reality, a choice would be paying your bills AND going to the concert because you have the freedom to do so.  Do you see where I’m going now?

What freedom looks like to everyone is different.  You can see freedom and independence in many ways, including monetarily.  But there are many ways to look at it.  If you’re a mom, freedom might be the ability to leave work and pick up your kids early from school.  If you’re a CEO, it might be the freedom to make a huge sale for your company by making the deal on your own.  Only YOU can define freedom.  But for some, it’s hard to know that you can stand on your own, support yourself and not have to lean on anyone.  This is where the brain comes into play.  It can be your best friend or you worst enemy when trying to gain your independence.  Working through personal development can help you deal with these struggles.  But it can be a challenge.

But think of what it would look like to be truly free?  It’s not all puppies and rainbows, but it’s amazing.  Working with a partner, a best friend or having a devil’s advocate to talk through your dilemma can help.  They can offer advice, share ideas with you that you might not have thought of and help you work through what you’re going through.  And sometimes, having a coach is just what you need.  Contact me to find out how you and I can work together to help you find your independence and get you to a life you always wanted.

Law of Attraction

Ever heard of a little thing called The Secret?  If not, you need to read the book.  The Secret is all about the Law of Attraction and really getting everything you want out of life.  The Law of Attraction is the theory that if you want something, you have to believe you already have it and it will eventually come to you.  Everything must remain positive – your thoughts, your environment, etc.  It must be that way because if you believe you do not have something or have negative thoughts surrounding that thing, you will never get it.  I’ll give you an example.

Let’s say you want or need a new car but you don’t have the money.  If your thoughts are only surrounding the lack of money to get that new car, then you won’t ever have enough money to get the car. Confusing, right?  Instead, what you should do is think of yourself having the car already.  Imagine the color, the make and model, how it handles, etc.  This will give your mind’s eye a vision of what the car is like and you will be telling the Universe exactly what you’re looking for.  Putting it out there is a way The Secret can take action for you.

Remember I talked about keeping everything positive?  Well, by doing that, you’re helping the Universe know how you’re thinking, feeling and being when it comes to what you actually what. One positive thought will affect everything around you.  Negative thoughts, though, will also do the same.  It’s like karma.  When you think something bad, sometimes it comes back and hits you like a brick.  But if you think something positively, instead you’ll get puppies and rainbows.

Ok, while I’m being a little silly with the puppies and rainbows, this stuff actually works.  I used to be what I called a Realist.  I was always matter-of-fact, said what was true and talked about my reality.  But when I saw something negative, I would always think that’s the way life was.  I never really saw how things could be until I read The Secret.  Since then, my outlook on life has completely changed.  I’m not more positive about anything.  Maybe too positive, but hey, it’s what works for me.

Now here’s my challenge to you, go out and get The Secret.  You can get it on Amazon or at your local book store.  When you get it, read it and put into action everything you read.  I’m glad I found The Secret and I think you’ll be too.

It’s Good to Be Happy

Ever heard that saying “It’s a good day to be happy”?  Well, that saying could really apply to any day of the week.  Let’s take Monday, for example.  For most people, Mondays can be hard.  It’s the start of the week, no one wants to go back to work and if you’re like Garfield, Mondays can bit you back.

I used to hate Mondays.  And even still, Mondays can be tough.  But every now and then, things go well – I get to work on time, I have my coffee to wake me up, I had enough food to eat during the day, etc.  The list can go on.  And that list can be different for others.  And you might think that I’m totally sugar coating things, but Mondays can be good days.  And I choose to see it that way.

I have learned over time that if you choose to be happy in a sea of people that are living negatively, then you will have a much more fulfilling life.  When I was younger, I was a negative child.  I grew up as a pessimist.  I never thought things were good and that the world was against me.  I told myself this was a realistic way of looking at the world.  Now, I laugh at myself because I think I was trying to protect myself.  Now, I see the brighter side of things.  The world isn’t as dark as I thought it was.

And what’s even better is that being happy is physically good for your health.  In 2012, Julia Boehm of Harvard School of Public Health found that people with a better sense of well-being tend to have healthier blood pressure, cholesterol and weight.  People that fall into this category also tend to exercise, eat healthy, get enough sleep and avoid smoking.  This sounds to me like it’s where I am now.  Do you fall into this category of people?  While more research needs to be done, it seems that this is the place to be.  If you’re not full there yet, don’t stress.  Just work on it a little each day.  Do some personal development, find a support group and take baby steps to get to the positive person that’s inside you.

What’s Your Reward System?

Yesterday at my full-time job, I had an AMAZING day!  I had a high-pressure situation that I was in and I nailed it!  Needless to say, I was proud and wanted to celebrate.  On my way home, I got to thinking…what should I reward myself with?  And that single question, opened the flood gates for me.  I realized that I used to reward myself with food or beverages.  Adult beverages, that is.  So here’s my question to you…

What is YOUR Reward System?

When you go to celebrate, do you go out for dinner and drinks?  Do you go shopping for the perfect outfit?  Is the newest album from Luke Bryan what you decide to treat yourself with?  As you read this, you might not be exactly sure what your reward system is, but take some time to think about it.  Don’t forget to include the kids too.  Celebrating is definitely a part of the journey and I encourage you to do so.

As I said, I used to reward myself with food and beverages but as I educated myself and became more mindful, I realized that might not be the best thing to do.  Let me give you some examples to help you get started.

  • You run your first 5K – You just ran your first 5K ever.  And it’s just a 5K, it’s a 5K mud run.  Yup.  Proud of yourself, right?  I would be too.  Instead of celebrating with food to make up for the calories you just burned, reward yourself with new workout gear or a piece of jewelry, like the Alex and Ani Eros Arrow Wrap bracelet.  It symbolizes your accomplishments and won’t add to your waistline.
  • You get a promotion at your job – You’ve been working really hard at work and your boss finally recognizes you and promotes you.  The step up comes with a new desk and a little extra money, but you want to celebrate after work.  Instead of getting together with friends or coworkers for a cocktail after work, remind yourself how awesome you are with this Boss Lady coffee mug.  You’ll be able to look at it and feel proud every time you have your morning coffee or tea.
  • You’ve finally paid off your credit card – Your credit card is finally paid off!  How long did that take?  2 years?  That’s ok because it’s G-O-N-E…GONE!  You are so excited and know you should celebrate, but how?  Dinner out with champagne sounds perfect, but that one glass might lead to two, or three or, God only knows!  So instead, reward yourself with a plan.  Yup, a plan for what you’re going to do with that extra money – a weekend getaway, a new bedroom set, a new pair of running shoes…

Now that you’ve seen a few examples, do you see where I’m going with this?  When you think about your reward system, think creatively.  Think out of the box.  Don’t automatically reward yourself with food or beverages.  Yes, that will give you immediate satisfaction but in the end, it’s not very good for your health.  A reward system that does not involve food and beverages, however, can be good for your health.  Just think…you’ll smile every time you wear that bracelet you bought for completing your first 5K and release endorphins!

Now here’s your challenge.  If you don’t have a reward system now, create one for you and your whole family!  Get a process in place so when you’re ready to celebrate, you’re not immediately gravitating toward food, but something a little more fun.  Share the reward systems you have in place and any special reward you’ve given yourself recently!  I’d love to hear what you’ve come up with.


Do you suffer from SAD?

SAD – it’s a real thing.  And I’m not talking about the emotion of feeling sad.  I’m taking about Seasonal Affective Disorder.  Not everyone suffers from this condition, but most of the people that do live in an area that has season changes.  I live in New England and if you haven’t lived here, you may not know how drastic the changes really are.

In New England, the weather changes are not only be the seasons, but also by day to day.  It’s June and right now the temperature is in the low 60s.  Most think that June is when the temperature starts to warm up.  But unfortunately, Mother Nature has other things in mind this year.  And what Mother Nature doesn’t realize is that people that live in New England that suffer from SAD are having a hard time this year.

I experience symptoms affiliated with SAD and have waves of emotion. Think of SAD as depression, yet it tends to only arise during the seasonal changes.  I typically have the most of my symptoms in the winter, when it’s cold and dark most of the day.  However, this year, my symptoms have come up more this year because of the constant changes in weather.  One week it will in the 70s and 80s and then the week after it will be in the 50s and 60s and rainy.  That change can throw people off their normal game, including me.  So what do you do to counteract SAD?

I try to counteract my symptoms by not being alone.  By being alone, you’re left to let your mind wander and think thoughts that may bring you down.  Instead of being alone, make sure you have activities in your planner to keep you busy.  Choose one event a weekend either with friends or in a new environment.  Don’t overburden yourself, but make sure you have “fun” built into your schedule.

Meditation can also help you get through these tough times.  I recommend using guided meditation because it will help you get into a positive head space.  Guided meditation can range a wide variety of topics from stress relief to sleep to work environments.  These meditations can range from 5-10 minutes and typically have a soft music playing in the background.  I have been doing a short guided meditation in the mornings and I find the thoughts that enter my brain after are positive and get me ready for the day.

And don’t forget, the seasons pass and SAD will pass…in time.  The symptoms you face may bring you down temporarily but there is light at the end of the tunnel.  If your symptoms seem to be too hard for you to handle on your own, please see professional help from a therapist.  They can help you work through these symptoms and help you live, not just pass through life.

Is Vacation Mode Good or Bad?

While I’ve been on vacation, I’ve noticed something about the way I feel.  Yes, I’m calm and relaxed and I’m having fun, but my body is not in love with Island Time.  Let’s just say, my stomach has been in knots for two days now.  I’ve been trying to figure out if I hate something that didn’t agree with me or if I drank something I wasn’t in love with, and I think I figured it out.  But even if I did, I wouldn’t be able to make myself well again instantaneously.   And this whole thought got me thinking…

 Is Vacation Mode really the best thing for our bodies?

For me, it’s not.  I tried to stick to my routine by bringing my workout gear and going for a run.  That helped, but the food I’ve been eating and the beverages I’ve been having are not what I’m used to.  Good food, don’t get me wrong, but not what I eat on a daily basis.  So let’s talk about Vacation Mode and I’ll share my experience, which may be yours too.

Vacation Mode is what happens when we go on vacation, put ourself on autopilot, relax and become a lot more carefree.  When someone is in vacation mode, they tend to be a little more lax on what they eat and drink and go outside of their normal routine.  Some even forgo their workouts while they are in Vacation Mode because they feel they deserve a break.  All of these statements above include myself, to a certain extent.  In the past, I would never care about what I did on vacation because I was in Vacation Mode.  I would eat and drink whatever I wanted, I would not workout because I was on vacation and didn’t think I had to and would just forget all about my sleep.  Doing this over and over again led me to have the hardest time getting out of Vacation Mode when I got back to reality.

Now, after having my stomach in knots for two days now, I’ve realized that Vacation Mode has it’s good points and it’s bad ones too.  The good points include:

  • Knowing you might be able to relax
  • No work for X number of days
  • Less stress, if any at all
  • Great tasting food and drinks
  • Trying out a new place, or one you love

But Vacation Mode for has bad points too:

  • Eating too much or food that is too rich
  • Drinking too much
  • Getting less sleep than you normally do
  • You’re not in your own bed
  • Working out may not even be in the agenda

Now, I’m sure you can name other pros and cons for Vacation Mode.  I’d love to see your pros and cons in the comments below.  But let’s really answer the question asked earlier.  Is Vacation Mode good or bad?  I think it can go both ways.  I love vacation mode, but I think in order to keep myself somewhat normal, I need to workout regularly, I need to eat the same or similar foods that I would at home and I need to make sure I’m drinking enough water and going to bed at a decent time.  But for now, I’m still going to enjoy when I’m in Vacation Mode and slowly but surely work toward a life I don’t have to take a vacation from.  Even better, right?

If you need help getting out of Vacation Mode, follow these three tips I have that just might help you unwind and get back to your normal routine quicker than usual.

Three Tips for Getting Out of Vacation Mode

Here are my three tips for getting yourself out of Vacation Mode and getting back into reality a little easier.

1. The last night of your vacation, go to bed on time.

When I say “go to bed on time”, I mean go to bed at whatever time your normally do.  If you’re usually shutting off the lights at 9pm, then that’s when you should go to bed.  Yes, it’s the last day of your vacation, but do you really need to stay out until 2am?  Listen to your body to find out what time your bed time should be and stick to it.

2. Make sure you take a day off after you get home.

This is one of my rules.  I always take off the day after I get back from vacation.  I do this so I can recoup and get things back in order – the laundry, shopping for food, meal prep, etc.  It helps me ease back into my normal routine and feel like I’m myself again.  If you absolutely cannot take off the day after you get home, then try to go easy at work.  Easier said than done, but it will help.

3. When you’re in Vacation Mode, don’t stray too far from your normal routine.

This tip is HUGE because it’s the most important.  Staying as close as you can to your normal routine will help you feel like there isn’t anything to get out of when you come home.  Yes, you will have gone somewhere else, had more relaxation than you normally get and eaten a little differently, but sticking to your routine will help you feel like the only thing that changed is the location.

Dirty Little Word

When you use the word “can’t”, it triggers a reaction in your brain that makes you think that whatever you’re using that word in regards to is forbidden or against the rules.  By doing this, it makes it harder to resist whatever you can’t have or can’t do.

Throughout our lives, we experience both positive and negative energy that comes our way.  For some of us, that negative energy sticks with us more than the positive energy and the word “can’t” starts to become our reality.  We hear people tell us we can’t do something and then we start to believe it.  I was one of those people.  I always had a “glass is half empty” mindset and when people told me I couldn’t do something, I believed them.  I’ve changed since I was younger and now the word “can’t” is hardly used in my day-to-day vocabulary.  And you’d be surprised at how easy it was to remove.

Let’s take a real-world example and see how that dirty little word can come into your life easily.  During the holidays, we are so busy and the word “can’t” seems to come up a lot.  When we’re talking about visiting family, when we’re talking about giving back to people in need and when we’re talking about eating certain foods.  As you read this, I’m sure you’re thinking of a situation that may have happened to you.

Now, let’s see how easy it is to remove it.  The next time this dirty little word wants to come up for you, make a conscious effort not to use it.  At the family meal, you might see something you love, say a piece of cake.  Someone might offer you a piece and you’ll want to say “I can’t have that”.  Instead of saying “I can’t”, either remember your portion control or say “I’m choosing not to have a piece this year”.  It will change your mindset.

Using the word “can’t” brings I a negative mindset and that will ultimately control everything in your life.  Start changing your mindset, one thought at a time, and you’ll get your life to  have a more positive outlook.  Have you tried this already?  How are you doing with it?  I’d love to hear your experiences.

Older posts

© 2017 Just Live Mindfully

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑