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Are You Healthy? How Do You Know?

Everything we do and experience involves our body. Physical and mental health are not separate things. Emotions and thoughts are physiological experiences, as much as any body process. The way we eat, move our bodies, use our minds, and experience the world are all parts of overall health. This means you can’t treat your body like crap and expect to have mental health. You also can’t eat super healthy but have deeply negative thoughts about yourself and expect to be healthy. Everything you do and think impacts your health. What does it really feel like to be well? I get the sense that most people don’t even know to aspire to this because they don’t know how good they can actually feel. I’m startled at the number of seemingly well people who tell me things such as, “My stomach hurts all the     . . . read more

Mind Your Own Business, For Your Own Sake

I spend a lot of my day encouraging people to bravely and effectively speak their truths, which makes it a little weird to have this post devoted to the following message: There are lots of times when you should really shut up. I believe our words, time, emotions, and energy are all important resources that are to be used wisely. However, it is increasingly commonplace for folks to comment on just about everything people do. Maybe it’s because you can literally comment freely on social media. But, I don’t really care why. It’s a ridiculous waste. And it’s unhealthy. Some examples that really irk me are based on my own life experience… It’s weird to me that so many people are down on pregnant women for (gasp) exercising during their pregnancies. Maybe they are continuing to run or do CrossFit, because     . . . read more

Attention Perfectionists: Please Stop

I hear it announced all the time. It’s slightly boasting, but safely under the guise of being an admission: I am a perfectionist. Listen up, self-professed perfectionist. I say this out of love and concern: You need to reconsider your stance. It will not go well for you. You need to wake up or you’ll be a bitter, miserable person in no time at all. This is a problem, not a merit-badge in the making. I loathe perfectionism because it’s an impossible task. A fool’s errand. But it looks really cute and appealing. You get a lot of praise for it. (That’s why it’s so insidious). But it will destroy your life. Why? Perfectionism is nothing more than a cloak of fear hellbent on sucking the joy out of your life. Yes, fear. It’s all about this one promise: If     . . . read more

Compassion Fatigue and Tai Chi

This is a guest post by Celia Grand of the Riverview Foundation. Many thanks to Celia for sharing this information! compassion fatigue (dictionary.com) fatigue, emotional distress, or apathy resulting from the constant demands of caring for others or from constant appeals from charities: compassion fatigue experienced by doctors and nurses. Many of us work in high stress jobs, have too many personal responsibilities and little time to balance ourselves. Stress is a force that interferes with mental clarity, stability of emotions and physical ease. In addition to life stress, as caregivers we are susceptible to compassion fatigue. We take in volumes of overwhelming emotional material. Our bodies, mind and spirit strategize to cope with all that we hold outside of our conscious awareness. For example: our adrenal glands may pump out extra adrenaline to get us through the day while cortisol rushes through our bodies to try to bring it back into homeostasis. This taxing of our adrenals causes problems with sleep or may lead us to over eat to keep our energy going. Exercising may not energize     . . . read more

My Work/Life Teeter-Totter

I came home to a mountain of dishes tonight. Okay, a small hill. I wasn’t shocked, because I left them there, saying, “One good thing about it still being cold is we don’t have to worry about bugs!” The dishes were congregating in and around the sink not because I’m lazy, but because something else was more important the evening before. In this case, it was going to the gym and then, with what little time I had left, relaxing with my husband. So, they sat until the next day until I got home from work because the house and family time was the priority then. This is how my life is: an ever-present tension between things that are important to me. A clean house, a healthy body, connecting with my husband, positive attention to my daughter, bills that are     . . . read more

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