what every entrepreneur ought to know about self-care

Posted by on Nov 6, 2013 in Anti-Inflammatory Ideas, Entrepreneurial Ideas, Healthier Choices, Holistic Pain Relief, Wellness | 4 comments

I love the Dowager Countess from Downton Abbey, mostly because she says the craziest things! One thing she said in the first season has stuck with me ever since that show. She said, “Weekend … what’s a weekend?” As an entrepreneur, I could really relate to this idea although of course she didn’t mean it the way it struck me. Her life is one of leisure and there’s never a need for “down time.” But for us business people, the idea that we put business aside (and gasp … relax!) for two whole days is pretty foreign!

So what’s an entrepreneur to do … burnout isn’t pretty and we are all just a weekend or two away from that frustrating exhausted feeling. Am I right? THIS is exactly why self-care isn’t a luxury. Taking time for yourself is the best way to be sure that you can keep doing amazing things in the business you love!

So what is self-care exactly? The obvious answer would be, “It’s taking care of yourself.” As someone whose 10-year entrepreneurial career is all about taking care of others, I have often found my own self-care at the bottom of the “to-do” list. And then four years ago I was diagnosed with a chronic pain condition that forced me to figure out what kind of self-care I really needed. Since then I have found a long list of things I do on weekends and weekdays to be sure I actually take care of me.

Woman Exercising Self-careHere are my five favorite steps to self-care:

1. Good nutrition IS self-care. If you want to be at the top of your business game, you have to fuel your body to excel. This means finding easy, tasty choices that are high in essential nutrients but not highly processed. Things like vegetables, fruits, high-quality protein and whole grains. If you keep your choices in this range at least 80% of the time, you will have the fuel to make the best decisions, focus, and maximize your business hours.

2. Go outside. Leave the house, the office and the computer for at least 15 minutes each workday. Ken has his porch office, which is a great example of breaking out of the “home office” shell. There’s also Earthing, which is new research on the benefits of getting your bare feet on the earth every day. Just take your shoes off and sit with your feet on the grass for five minutes every day. Even though this is a challenge in the winter, do it whenever the weather permits!

3. Sleep. It’s that simple … get enough sleep! But I understand it may not be easy to sleep. Doesn’t your mind race with all the tasks at hand? If you struggle with sleep, consider limiting caffeine later in the day (you knew I was going to say that, right?). Drink your hydrating water earlier in the day so you aren’t awakened during the night. Dim the lights in your house starting at sunset, which creates a winding down ritual for both mind and body. Turn off the electrical devices including your TV at least 30 minutes before bedtime. And keep a notebook by your bed to write down any great ideas or solutions that are running around in your head during the night.

4. Reach out for help with self-care. Find professionals whose mission is to help you be a better you. Scheduling that time can be the best thing you do for yourself every month. Maybe for you this means making a massage appointment, a golf lesson, or personal training session. I also use acupuncture to help me manage the mental and emotional stresses of entrepreneurial life. If needles aren’t your thing, there’s always counseling or talk therapy too.

5. Be spontaneous and have fun! Sounds crazy to schedule time for fun, doesn’t it? When we live and breathe our businesses (whether corporate or entrepreneurial), balance isn’t always a natural inclination. Having entirely open days every month with zero plans is a great thing. Find friends and family you’d enjoy spending the day with, and resolve to plan nothing until that day. Just do something you’re in the mood for right then.

Now darn it, get off the computer and go relax. It’s a matter of survival!

 

Do you just wish you could find a set of realistic, holistic tools you can put in practice that will minimize your pain and maximize your energy? Download my free PDF report to learn 17 EASY WAYS TO START MINIMIZING PAIN TODAY!

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mindset & living with chronic pain

Posted by on Oct 10, 2013 in Holistic Pain Relief, Wellness | 0 comments

Sharing a hug with my mentor during the Mindset event!

Sharing a hug with my mentor during the Mindset event!

Last week I attended Fabienne’s Mindset Retreat. It was an amazing event that I couldn’t help but connect to holistic pain relief. What I learned (all over again) is that mindset is the combination of three things: thoughts, beliefs and actions. So how does that play out with chronic pain? We think about the discomfort & pain all the time. We believe that the pain will never end. We often don’t take action because we feel hopeless and so miserable.

But what would happen if we could make a decision to change our mindset today? Could we

  • Think about pain relief solutions
  • Believe that small changes could add up to big gains
  • Take action to change our habits in ways that support pain relief

Remember, I’ve been on both sides of this coin. I had my first experiences of chronic back pain in my twenties, without realizing that it wasn’t how all my friends felt. After finding help from chiropractic treatment, I felt pretty good for a few years. And then the back pain came back with a vengeance in my early thirties. This time it was massage therapy that helped me manage and heal the pain. And with the rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis, I had a much bigger mindset challenge because chronic illness felt so much scarier than back pain.

So how do we change the way we think about holistic pain relief? Well, being part of this community (on Facebook and at ConfidentWellness.com) is a good place to start. When we connect with like-minded individuals who are also focused on solutions instead of tied to the pain experience, we are supported and can feel more positive. I also believe that taking the time to laugh and enjoy life will make a BIG difference. For example, choose an uplifting comedy instead of a heavy drama when you go to the movies. Spend time with friends who are positive thinkers. Listen to happy music instead of news in the car. Make time for the goodness in life!

All of these things combine to help us shift our belief system. Beliefs are just thoughts we think over and over and over again. So take some time (maybe with a journal) to reflect on the thoughts you were taught as a kid about your body and your health. For example, did your parents or grandparents say things like, “Everybody’s body falls apart after 40” over and over again? Perhaps you have internalized this belief without even realizing it. Or do you say things like, “I hate how my body has stopped working,” or just simply, “I hate my body” many times every day? Reframing these beliefs can make all the difference for us!

And then beyond our thoughts and beliefs are the action steps that relate to our mindset. Sometimes we decide to take action and we choose the top 20 things we need to change. And then we try to change them all at once! From my personal experience, this is a recipe for frustration and maybe even disaster. If you are contemplating changes (maybe some of the ideas from our report, “17 Easy Ways to Start Minimizing Your Pain Today”), please consider changing just one thing at a time. Determine where to start, and then make a plan that helps you make that one change. Live with the changes for a while—days or even weeks, and then consider adding another change into your life. Step-by-step adjustments give you a pace that acknowledges the chronic pain in your life. Be easy with yourself as you move forward!

I would also encourage you to dream about the life you’d like to create for yourself. Start a vision board or make a “mind movie” that will give you visual and emotional cues. Take some time to imagine and visualize what you’d like life to be like. Maybe capture that in your journal as well. And then keep re-visiting that vision on a daily basis.

Please let me know if I can help you with these ideas as well. Mindset is everything!

 

Do you just wish you could find a set of realistic, holistic tools you can put in practice that will minimize your pain and maximize your energy? Download my free PDF report to learn 17 EASY WAYS TO START MINIMIZING PAIN TODAY!

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the most important detox you can do

Posted by on Sep 11, 2013 in Anti-Inflammatory Ideas, Healthier Choices, Holistic Pain Relief, Wellness | 2 comments

Smiley GR EmoticonPeople often ask me about whether a detox program or a cleanse is right for them. They especially wonder if it’s a good idea to help initiate some holistic pain relief. My answer is always, “It depends on you.” Sometimes a 7-14 day detox is just the thing to reset our taste buds and remind us of all the yummy things we gain by adding more vegetables and fruits into our lives. But I also often find that clients living with chronic pain discover that the detox is more stressful than it’s worth. All the restrictions and extra planning can be taxing if you are living in an exhausted, pain-filled state. On the other hand, if you’re doing pretty well … a short detox can really create a wonderful boost. It depends on you, and I’d encourage you to really be still and let you intuition tell you what’s best.

What I like to do instead is teach people how to maximize their body’s detoxification functions every day. It’s possible to make small changes over a little while really amp up the things your own body can do for you! It takes a little more patience, but it also can be a lot less stressful.

But today I wanted to talk about something other than food-related detox. What about detoxing our thoughts from the negativity of the world? I believe that how we refer to our bodies, our pain and any diseases we live with can make ALL the difference. Negativity detox is so critical to your holistic pain relief plan. This is all up to you, and not something you can pay someone to do to you or for you! This is personal philosophy, so if it doesn’t resonate with you that’s okay too.

Here’s what I mean: When I was first diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, I was immediately concerned about the type of language that is used to describe autoimmune disease. This is a situation where part of your immune system is overactive towards your body. Notice I said overactive—but typical medical language is that your immune system ATTACKS your body. I decided very early on to NEVER use that phrasing when I was talking about myself. It just doesn’t seem to be productive to me since my main goal is find healing and pain relief, not WAR and FIGHTING.

It’s not that I’m dishonest about my pain or about RA when someone asks, but I always look to the most positive possible way to frame the situation. People asked, “how could you do massage with RA?” My answer, “I’ve never NOT done massage with RA, so it seems normal to me!”

If I feel limited in any given day, I choose to focus on and remember what I CAN do instead of what I can’t. Every moment I am up and moving around is a privilege, because I know people whose pain immobilizes them and makes them 100% dependent on others. So what do I GET to do today? Instead of what CAN’T I do!

Want some help with these ideas? I have two friends who are creating great programs RIGHT NOW about letting go of negativity in our lives. Of course, I can help too … but I wanted to share these great additional options because they are helping ME!

Star Staubach’s 21-Day Challenge to RECEIVE is still open … it started September 1 but I’m guessing all the content will be available even after the 21 days are over!

Jennifer Boykin’s 30-Day Negativity Cleanse is open too! You take a pledge to refrain from negativity, and Jennifer sends you a daily uplifting email for 30 days. What would happen to our world if we ALL did this?

Let me know what you sign up for okay? I’m excited for all of us to receive all this GOODNESS!

 

Do you just wish you could find a set of realistic, holistic tools you can put in practice that will minimize your pain and maximize your energy? Download my free PDF report to learn 17 EASY WAYS TO START MINIMIZING PAIN TODAY!

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9 reasons why smoothies are a fantastic breakfast choice

Posted by on Sep 4, 2013 in Anti-Inflammatory Ideas, Cooking at Home, Gluten Free, Healthier Choices, Holistic Pain Relief, Wellness | 0 comments

SmoothiesIf you’ve spent any time with me in person or here on the blog, you know that I LOVE smoothies. They are definitely one of my favorite natural remedies for pain relief. I’ve been having breakfast smoothies for over ten years. So long that I don’t even remember why I originally started making them for breakfast. But I definitely know why I make them NOW! Here are my top nine reasons:

  1. You can make your own in 5 minutes: You just need a blender & ingredients, the preparation is super quick and easy!
  2. They are anti-inflammatory and help create pain relief: Smoothies are naturally grain and gluten free, which is a wonderful anti-inflammatory choice.
  3. You can pack every bite with TONS of nutrition: So many superfoods are the perfect fit with a smoothie. For example, add some blueberries and a teaspoon of cinnamon or ginger. Fantastic for you and so EASY!
  4. You’ll never miss the gluten or dairy: Switching the milk or yogurt for a non-dairy milk doesn’t change the taste in the least. You’ll never miss it!
  5. They help your digestion: Having a liquid breakfast is super easy on your body. It allows the overnight digestion to continue (to a lesser extent) during the morning.
  6. You can save a cup of smoothie for dessert after dinner: If you love a little bit of sweetness at night, just make a bit of extra smoothie and refrigerate it in a glass jar during the day. Healthy and yummy!
  7. Even kids like them – and you can hide a vegetable serving in there for them: My teenage granddaughter just told me the other day that she has a smoothie in the morning now. Her mom puts kale in it, and my granddaughter says, “You can’t even tell!”
  8. If you must eat in the car, you can drink your smoothie: I’d rather eat my smoothie while sitting still at the table. But if your morning is crazy busy, make it a little thinner and take it in the car. You’ll still gain plenty of benefits.
  9. It’s hydration the easy way: Many mornings I use part water and part almond milk in my smoothie. Every little bit of extra hydration we can get is a boost for pain relief!
  10. BONUS: there are so many flavor options that you’ll never get tired of them: Here’s a link to my smoothie Pinterest Board with tons of great ideas. Try some and let me know what you think!

 

Do you just wish you could find a set of realistic, holistic tools you can put in practice that will minimize your pain and maximize your energy? Download my free PDF report to learn 17 EASY WAYS TO START MINIMIZING PAIN TODAY!

 

 

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how you sleep is how you do everything

Posted by on Aug 15, 2013 in Anti-Inflammatory Ideas, Healthier Choices, Wellness | 0 comments

Woman Cant SleepAfter writing last week about recovery days, I started thinking more about the importance of sleep to pain relief. My mentor, Fabienne Fredrickson of Client Attraction.com says, “How you do anything is how you do everything.” I’d like to get more specific to holistic pain relief and say, “How you sleep is how you do everything.” But what does this really mean? To me, it means if you sleep well, you can spend the day feeling much more well. If you don’t sleep consistently or heavily, it’s hard to be consistent about anything you do during the day. If it hurts to sleep, chances are you are hurting during the day too.

Does chronic pain make sleep more difficult? Or does difficulty sleeping make chronic pain feel worse? Honestly, I don’t think it matters which is true—both situations make our lives more difficult if we can’t find a way to improve them. Plus, you and I both know that our friends and family don’t always understand what it’s like to live with chronic pain. Chances are, they also may not understand what it is to have chronically disturbed sleep. Jill Knapp writes in Huffington Post, “Most likely, a person in chronic pain isn’t sleeping as well as they should. This could be because they are in too much pain to fall asleep, or to stay asleep, or they are having anxiety over the fear of dealing with pain for the rest of their life.”

So what’s a person living with chronic pain to do? One thing you DON’T want to do is drink more caffeine. It’s our society’s go-to solution for that occasional sleepless night, but a 1997 study showed that patients with chronic back pain consume more than TWICE as much caffeine as patients without chronic back pain. In the same study, anecdotes also suggested that excess caffeine use may also be associated with chronic back pain. So not only does caffeine potentially increase your pain levels, but it can really mess with your ability to sleep. I know that when I was still drinking a mug of coffee in the morning, I was also taking a natural sleep aid supplement at night. When I quit the coffee, I no longer had a need for a sleep aid!

How about what you can eat that will make it easier to get a good night’s sleep? A 2012 study showed that the more varied your diet is, the better you will sleep. So try new healthy, whole foods and get plenty of variety throughout the day, week and month. As tempting as it is to have the same breakfast or lunch every day, this is a GREAT reason to switch it up regularly. The study also shows that getting more lycopene, selenium and vitamin C can improve sleep. The best sources of lycopene are grapefruit, tomatoes, papaya, and watermelon. There’s a lot of selenium in shellfish, turkey, brazil nuts, and some types of fish. And broccoli and kale are two fantastic sources of vitamin C!

Here’s another interesting idea to consider—be sure to brush your teeth immediately after you awake. Why? Because arthritis has been linked to the bacteria gingivitis—it’s actually been found IN THE JOINTS of people diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis!

Let me know how these ideas help—and what do you do to help improve your sleep?

Do you just wish you could find a set of realistic, holistic tools you can put in practice that will minimize your pain and maximize your energy? Download my free PDF report to learn 17 EASY WAYS TO START MINIMIZING PAIN TODAY!

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