Get Out Of Your Own Head!

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Copyright : Kamil Macniak 
 

I’m writing this as much for myself as I am writing it for you readers. I had been meaning to write a blog post about how to break the vicious cycle of overthinking which comes with anxiety. Honestly, there really is no point to worrying about what may happen, and there is never a good enough reason to lose sleep. Yet many of us will toss and turn, ruminating over current dilemmas, and robbing ourselves of precious slumber, all because we just can’t turn off our brains.

When we obsess over situations which we have little power to change in that moment, we act like hamsters on a wheel, going endlessly around and around, finding no exit and no solution.  So why do we do it?  How do we let it go?

Though it can be difficult to break free from the urge to keep thinking about how to solve problems in our lives, doing so is a vital component in calming our nerves and keeping us balanced and sane.  So the next time you find yourself fretting over something like a conflict at work, a financial issue, or something else which has you all tied up in knots, do the following:

  1. Ask yourself, “Will worrying about my issue help me in any way to solve it?”  If the answer is no (and it usually is no), then there truly is NO POINT to thinking about it.  Let it go, breathe, and get on with your day.  
  2. If you just can’t turn off your thoughts, then grab a notebook and a pen, and write down a list of all pros and cons and potential solutions you can think of.  Then put your notes away and don’t look at them until the next day.  Quite frequently, you will find your answer in those notes you scribbled.
  3. Remember that there is ALWAYS another way to look at a situation, even if you think you are stuck.  So think outside the box.  
  4. Sleep on it.  We often get ourselves so worked up about conflicts and obstacles, that simply getting a good night’s sleep can help to clear our thoughts so that we can tackle such conflicts with a refreshed mind.  

 

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Hear About My Travel Promise To Myself On This Toddcast Episode

https://m.soundcloud.com/toddcastpodcast/stacey-naito-ifbb-bikini-pro-made-herself-a-promise-to-travel-every-2-years

Check out this audio clip from a wonderful interview with Todd Hancock on his Toddcast Podcast, in which I talk about the travel promise I made to myself back in 2014. I’ve been keeping that promise and I’m thrilled about it!

Lose Weight Through Wellness

Photo via Pixabay

Here’s another informative article by Sheila Olson
just in time for the new year!  fitsheila.com

Drastic diets and torturous exercise classes don’t work for long-term weight loss, and these days, we know why. In part, this is because depriving ourselves of things we love is not healthy or sustainable. Instead, we should all try to approach weight loss through wellness-focusedactions and self-care. Here’s how to do that.

Exercise

The best kind of exercise is the one you actually do. This means that finding an exercise routine that’s both fun and convenient is crucial for long-term weight loss.

A home gym can be a great way to do this -check out this guide by HomeAdvisor to figure out the best exercise equipment for you and where to place it. If exercise is enjoyable and accessible, you have no excuse to avoid it. If you do still find yourself skipping workouts, try asking yourself these questions to find out why.

Sleep

Sleep is what allows your mind and body to relax, refresh, and prepare for a new day. What few people know is that a lack of good sleep can also lead to weight gain by messing with your hormones and stress levels.

Set up a nightly “good sleep” routine. It should be soothing and relaxing, making your body and mind feel ready for rest. You should also avoid digital screens in the hours leading up to your bedtime, as these may be negatively impacting your sleep.

Food

Weight loss happens in the kitchen, not the gym. Ourbodies aren’t that effective at burning off calories we consume, so it’s unrealistic to expect exercise to do all the work when our diet remains unchanged.

However, we also need to remember that food is wonderful and useful. It is not the enemy. We have learned to classify certain foods as “good” or “bad,” but this creates an unhealthy relationship with nutrition. This article by Well and Good has some great tips for getting rid of this mindset and finding balance in our diets.

Many of us tend to forget the importance of health, both physical and mental, when trying to lose weight. By focusing onhealthy habits rather than the numbers on a scale, we shift our attention to our internal well-being rather than external appearance. In the proces, weight loss becomes a consequence of a healthy lifestyle rather than the driving reason for having one.

Overcoming The Daily Grind: How Women Can Focus On Their Health

Photo via Pixabay by Stocksnap

Attention ladies…how can you focus on yourself in the midst of a hectic lifestyle? Read on to see what Sheila Olson of fitsheila.com has to say!

– By Sheila Olson

For many women, finding the time to focus on their overall well-being can be a challenge. Busy work schedules, spending time with family, and personal projects can sometimes prevent us from taking the time we need to take care of our bodies and minds, leaving us feeling exhausted and without the defenses we need to stay healthy. While having a routine can be a great thing, it can also become monotonous, leaving you with the feeling of being stuck in that “daily grind” everyone talks about.

Fortunately, there are several things you can do to boost your health and overall well-being without sacrificing the time you need to spend on other things. Making small changes to your lifestyle and routine will help you boost your energy, immune system and self-esteem, all while ensuring that you stay efficient and productive.

Keep reading for some great tips on how to get started.

Ask for help

No matter how productive you are, there’s just no way you can do everything by yourself, so don’t even try! Ask for help now and then, especially when it comes to managing your time. Not only will this help you get everything done, it will reduce stress at the same time. Think about the small things that will have a big impact, such as delegating chores to the kids or hiring a dogwalker to take care of your pup while you focus on other things.


Get in a daily workout

It may seem easier said than done, but it’s actually not that hard to fit in a workout if you know where to look. Many people think that their exercise routine needs to be done in a gym, for at least an hour at a time, with fancy equipment and gear, but the truth is, you can break up your workout into two fifteen-minute increments and get some nice results. You can also try yoga or simply use the tools you have around you including stairs instead of heading to the gym.

Eat well-balanced meals

Eating healthy isn’t always easy when you have a packed schedule; many women find themselves settling for fast food or even finishing what’s left on their child’s plate rather than making something good for themselves. If time is an issue, consider preparing some healthy meals ahead of time such as on a Sunday night and freezing them for the week. It will also help to keep quick, easy foods like pre-mixed salad, fruit, granola and oatmeal at the ready so you can make a healthy meal even when you don’t have much time.

Fuel up at work

When you spend long hours at the office, it can be hard to focus on your needs. Schedule breaks in which you can meditate, read a good book, go for a walk around the block, or eat a healthy snack. This will not only help you stay physically healthy, but mentally as well.

Getting over the daily grind and focusing on yourself is a must in today’s busy world. No matter what kind of job you have, or what responsibilities await you at home, it’s important to remember that your health matters. Find small ways to reduce stress as much as possible, and don’t forget to ask for help! Learn to say no if it takes away from some much-needed self-care; you’ll thank yourself later.

Clean House, Clean Mind!

No one should have to live like this!

The phrase which I have used for the title of this post is one which always intrigued me, perhaps mostly due to the fact that I grew up in a household in which various areas were “clutter zones”. This is not to say that I grew up in a messy home. My mom was actually quite tidy, and a neat freak. But I never saw more than half the surface of the dining room table, since the other half was covered with one foot high stacks of bank statements, other financial documents, greeting cards and letters from family. In like fashion, about a third of our coffee table was piled with astrology guides, tv guides, and other books which my mom was reading. Stacks of papers and magazines sat next to our living room sofa. My mom’s bedroom had banker’s boxes instead of furniture at the foot of the bed.

I also was witness to my mom’s extensive collection of jewelry and clothing. Though we had six closets, only one was filled with my clothing, while all the rest were jam-packed with my mother’s clothing. Some of the clothing had never been worn and had the price tags still attached. I admit that I knew this behavior was unusual, but I did not know how pervasive such behavior was in my mom’s family until I went to Hawaii and saw that my aunts and uncles also practiced the same behavior. Some of my relatives were so extreme in their tendency to hold onto things that they earned the label of pack rats. In fact, when one of my uncles had a severe stroke and had to be placed in a convalescent home, my cousins discovered five-foot high stacks of newspapers throughout the house in a serpentine pattern (leaving just enough room for a person to wiggle through the house), moldy food in the refrigerator, Japanese antiques which were stuffed in a room collecting dust, and a plethora of other collectibles and junk which made it next to impossible for him to use the kitchen, toilet or sleep in his bed.

When my mom became ill in 2006 and had to be placed in a convalescent home, the task of cleaning her apartment fell upon me. The enormity of sorting through all the things my mother had collected was overwhelming, and I shut down emotionally numerous times. I was shocked to find collectibles that had never been displayed, bank statements going as far back as the 1950’s, hundreds of pairs of earrings and shoes, about 150 handbags, etc. Suddenly it was left up to me to determine what items of my mom’s were worthy of being kept. Since these items could not be stored at the nursing home, they were stored in my garage and my closet. My mom still asks about her things and becomes angry if I tell her that we had to sell or give away many of the items she had collected over the decades. I did my best to keep what she deemed most valuable, either monetarily speaking or in terms of sentimental value. It always breaks my heart when I see her upset over losing her things.

My favorite aunt, two years older than my mother, was probably the worst-stricken in the family when it came to hoarding. She never had children and was a widow for 34 years when she finally passed away in 2017 at the age of 86 from ALS. Before she became ill, I remember hyperventilating upon entering her house, because the clutter was so extreme. I used to marvel at her insistence on keeping 60 plastic Smurf miniatures in her tiny bathroom, and used to wonder why she had a collection of about 200 plastic food storage containers when she lived alone. My aunt’s collections were numerous and extensive.

If you have ever tuned into the show “Hoarders” you would get a sense of what my aunt’s environment was like. My aunt’s belongings swallowed up her living space so severely that she was unable to stretch out on her bed, and could barely get to her toilet because there was so much junk in the bathroom. My aunt didn’t have access to her front door for over ten years because she had so much junk stacked up in front of it. Instead, she used the side door leading out from the kitchen to access her residence.

In January of this year I had to move from a place I had been in for close to six years. Though I have gone through my entire adult life very successfully squashing any hoarding tendencies that may be hidden in my genetic makeup, I had still acquired many things over the years. Once I was in the new place and had to sort through everything, I was ready to enter full purge mode, and got rid of a lot of things I no longer needed, and it felt FANTASTIC. That is saying a lot since I go through the bulk of my belongings three to four times a year and perform regular purges.

When it comes to your belongings, don’t allow yourself to become encumbered by them. Don’t hold onto feelings of guilt. If you haven’t used something in a while and it is collecting dust, get rid of it. There is probably someone out there who will use it and will appreciate it. If there is something you haven’t used or worn because you are waiting for the right occasion, either USE IT or let it go! I used to frequently argue with my mom about our differing philosophies about objects. She always told me I was hard on things. Scratches on my watches and my shoes were deemed by my mom to be marks of carelessness, when in contrast, my mom sequestered similar items in boxes and tissue paper for decades, never to be worn or used, in a static, pristine state and hidden under a bed or a drawer. I will continue to use the things I possess and will not worry about wear and tear. I will also make sure that tables and all the living areas of my house serve only their intended purposes, and that my storage areas never get to the point where they are overflowing.

If you know a hoarder, please GET HELP. http://hoardershelp.org/

Exercise, Self-Care, and Finding the Right Balance to Boost Your Overall Wellness

Photo credit: Pixabay.com

Please check out this excellent article by Shiela Olson which explores the delicate balance between pushing yourself to the next level and nurturing yourself at the same time.

– By Sheila Olson of fitsheila.com

You’ve decided you’re ready to stop perpetuating a cycle of sleeping in on weekends, spending weeknights slumped over in your couch, and eating out at greasy burger joints every other meal. You’re ready to live a healthier and happier lifestyle, and you’ve known the answer all along — diet and exercise. Diets aren’t very effective when practiced every other week, and fitness requires you to keep up and even build up the intensity over time.

So, what’s the secret?

The Importance of Prolonging Good Fitness

When someone decides they are ready to start running every day, or some other form of exercise, they typically feel this fire within themselves to keep it up. You go in for your first day, and you feel exhausted, but you also still feel pretty good knowing that you’ve taken your first step at getting healthy. After a few more gym sessions, you notice that you aren’t just tired but also sore, and that goodwill for better living starts to feel a little less compelling.

It’s natural to give it your all the first few times before your mind and body start to naturally resist the transformation that is occurring. It’s the kind of transformation that people from all walks of life seek to make their lives better. It’s why so many recovering addicts start running and bodybuilding. Exercise not only changes how we look on the outside but how we feel on the inside. It reduces stress and boosts positive self-image and confidence.

The process of transformation can be difficult and uncomfortable at times, especially when you’re just starting out, which is why it is important to not overdo it. If you work too hard or put too much emphasis on your physical fitness, you run the risk of burning out and not making the kind of progress you are looking for.

The Meaning Behind Self-Care

Right now, the buzzword of the day seems to be self-care. People are starting to collectively realize that we don’t need to punish ourselves to live our best lives. Exercise shouldn’t be something you dread to do but something you look forward to. To remedy this natural resistance to living healthier and a fitness-oriented lifestyle, people are turning to self-care as a way to supplement diet and exercise and avoid burning out during the process.

One of the ways you can practice self-care is by leaving plenty of rest days in between workouts to give your body time to recover. Recovery is essential to practicing good physical fitness and ensuring you have enough energy to keep going back to grind week after week. Self-care also addresses showing yourself love in alternative ways. Exercise is important for our physical health, but we also need to consider our mental and emotional health as well. Beyond exercise, there are a number of activities you can do, such as meditation, reading a book, or pursuing a hobby, that can all fill a specific need you have in your life.

The Need for Balance in Your Life

When you approach your physical fitness as just one piece of the puzzle, then you can start looking at other ways to enhance your life, while not overdoing your diet and exercise. You won’t just be working hard, you’ll be working smart. You’ll know that there are many activities you can work on to improve your overall well-being. By balancing out these different self-care activities, you will always make yourself better while also keeping a very diverse routine. Some days, you will be focused on your physical fitness, but when you need to rest and recover, you can then switch gears and focus on your mental and emotional health as well.

Once you decide it’s time to make a change, you’ve already started your journey to improve your wellness. You may have attempted to change your life a few times now, but all of those past experiences were just the lead up to this one moment where you finally committed to achieving personal wellness and living your best life.

Photo Credit: Pixabay.com

Consistency (Updated Post)

As a physician, I am as much a therapist as I am a physical healer, and am well aware of the vital connection between mind, spirit and body. I have also seen how closely linked emotional stress is to development and exacerbation of physical ailments. What concerns me is when people abandon healthy habits during times of adversity, because it is at those times that some structure would provide balance to their lives.

A common question I hear from patients, clients, and strangers I meet is, “How can you maintain a regular exercise schedule and pack your food all the time with your busy careers?”, to which I respond, “I just do it.” Working out and eating right are as essential to me as sleeping and brushing my teeth. It never occurs to me to abandon healthy habits during stressful times. I recently went through a particularly difficult month during which I took a rigorous board certification exam, went through a residential move, and traveled to four destinations (two for my medical career, two for fitness and bodybuilding) over a two week period. Though I didn’t work out my usual six days per week, I did manage to train four to five days per week, every single week. The regular workouts gave me structure and balance which helped me to burn off some of the stress I was under, regulated my sleep cycle, and just plain felt good. In addition, I traveled with clean foods and lots of water, packing them and making sure I stayed on track.

Why would I push myself like this? Because I know that consistency is key to maintaining balance in one’s life. When I am consistent with my workouts and food, I maintain structure and focus and do not allow excuses of an insanely busy schedule to deter me from my mission to live an optimally healthy lifestyle. I know that if I were to deviate from a healthy lifestyle, I wouldn’t have the energy to push through my to-do list, and I certainly wouldn’t be very happy either. No matter whether I am traveling, working, or enjoying a rare free day for myself, I make sure to invest in myself every single day.

When I worked the Arnold Sports Festival Expo in Columbus, Ohio earlier this month, I made sure to drink plenty of water, filling up my one liter container 3 to 4 times each day. I also brought my Hot Logic Mini with me (https://youtu.be/GQltYTRLTC4) and had meals from Icon Meals with me, and I made sure to consume a meal every 3 hours to keep my energy levels up. If you are committed to living a healthy lifestyle, you will find ways to stay in line!

If you make an investment in yourself by being consistent with your exercise and meal habits, you will be rewarded with greater balance in your life and better health. Don’t you deserve that?