Category Archives for "Healthy Living"

The Mindful Divorce

Divorce is one of life’s most stressful events. It affects everything important to us: our children, our finances, where we will live, our identity and our expectations about the future.  Going through a divorce is emotionally draining. The hassles involved in the divorce process can make a person irritable, frustrated, and short-tempered. Practicing meditation and yoga during and after divorce promotes self-love, clarity, and balance. There are only a few other things in life as traumatic as going through a divorce. If you are trying to manage a divorce, your work, and your kids, you may be neglecting your own health and peace.

During these difficult times, it is more important than ever for you to take good care of your mind and body. Yoga is a nurturing practice for your emotional well-being and great for your physical health. The combined mind and body approach of yoga makes it an ideal practice for improving overall health.

3 Ways Meditation and Yoga Can Help You Manage the Stress That Surrounds Your Divorce

1.      It builds a community – Going through a divorce can make you feel isolated. You may feel like you have lost the constant support that you had. Experiences of personal growth and relaxation are common to those who practice yoga. Being surrounded by people with the same values as yours will help you fight any anxiety and stress that has stemmed out of your divorce.

2.    Cultivates self-love in you – Getting overwhelmed with doubt ,guilt, and self-blame while going through a divorce is natural. If you are getting separated from a violent and abusive partner, you might even be facing aggression and gas lighting. Practicing yoga and mindfulness is integral to curbing the effect of stress on your mind and body. Yoga and meditation teach a radical approach towards relationships and life, an approach based on love. You will begin to set yourself free of worries and regrets after you start practicing mindfulness.

3·      Helps you gain clarity – Getting divorced brings you to a crossroads in life. While this is terrifying at first, it can be equally empowering with the right approach. Yoga and mindfulness will help you get better clarity of the past and plan for a better future. If you are unable to fathom your situation at the moment, mindfulness will help you find order out of chaos. When the fog of doubt, negativity, regret, and fear will fade, you will see your life clearly.

Mindfulness comes from practicing yoga and meditation. In general, mindfulness helps you stay in the present moment at all times without rehashing over the past or worrying about the future. Using a mindful approach to your divorce can have many benefits including less stress, better relationships, better decisions and lower legal fees because you aren’t making your decisions based upon reactive emotions.  

In addition, being part of a divorce support group can have enormous benefits to help you through your difficult time. You can share what your are going through with others who understand firsthand the challenges you are experiencing. You won’t feel alone. It is also a great way to build new friendships in your post-divorce life.

Divorce is not easy, but putting important supports and tools for selfcare in place will make it easier for you and your children. Life after divorce can be happy and fulfilling, but you have to be proactive in taking care of yourself as you begin this next chapter of your life.


 

Good Vibes Only. That’s Ridiculous!!

All too often in social media and other places I see people posting about how they want "good vibes only" and how they have a "no negativity" zone.  At the risk of emitting "negative vibes", I have to say that I find these mantras to be ridiculous.  I will even go further and say that not only are they ridiculous, they are harmful to people, our relationships and our ability to connect with one another.

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The Best Mother’s Day Gift You Can Give Yourself

With Mother’s Day coming this weekend, I want to give other mother’s the best piece of advice that I have:  Celebrate You. 

Yes, being a mother is wonderful and it a fundamental part of your identity, but to be your best, to thrive in your life, you need to celebrate the other aspects of who you are, not just motherhood.

Once we have children, it is all too easy for many of us to completely lose ourselves and our identity separate from being a mother.  We think about our children all the time, talk about them all the time, put them first, and often this is at the expense of the other areas of our lives.  Careers get put on hold.  Marriages suffer. Women let themselves go.  We lose touch with what it means to be a sexy, vibrant woman. These are the many truths of motherhood.

The mothers that I know who are the happiest are the ones that don’t just derive their identity from being a mother.  They have careers they enjoy.  They go on date nights with their husbands.  They make time for fitness, friends, hobbies and other things beyond motherhood.

When my children were younger, I thought that I was being selfish if I made time for these other things.  I felt that because I worked, I needed to always rush home to my kids.  No time for workouts, friends, hobbies or any form of me time.  I mistakenly thought that such things were selfish.  I love my children more than anything, but leading my life for them, caused me to suffer.  I felt like a doormat.  I lost my sense of self.  I slowly began to let myself go, and this caused me to lose my passions for life, and my desire to be my best. Feeling sexy and vibrant were concepts I thought were reserved for pre-motherhood only.

What I have learned though is that the best mother is a woman who loves herself and her children, and in that order. 

It’s a woman who models what high self esteem, boundaries, self-care and continuous personal development look like.  This is a woman who shows her children that while she loves them, it is ok for her to have a life away from them too.  This is a woman that her children will respect and want to emulate, rather than a martyr who felt she had to constantly sacrifice for them.

If you are a single mother, like me, it is even more important that you do these things for yourself despite the greater challenges you have to manage as compared to married mothers.  You must find time for yourself.  Workout, date, find a career you enjoy, spend child-free time with friends.  These things are imperative to do if you want to truly thrive, be happy, and be an excellent role model for your children.

So this Mother’s Day, celebrate YOU!  Do something for yourself that makes you feel good and has nothing to do with being a mother.  I am confident that you are good to your children, and meeting their needs.  I am not so confident you are being good to yourself and meeting your own needs.  If you would like some help on how to find time for yourself and identifying what you need to do in order to rediscover passion and be your best, I have developed an excellent coaching program to help.  It has been personally tested by me, so I know firsthand that it works.  If you would like to learn more about how coaching can help you, let’s chat.

7 Tools For Successful Midlife Weight Management

Over the past 10 years, I have seen my weight fluctuate up and down.  As an emotional eater, in times of stress I get heavier, and in times of happiness and contentment, I am lighter.  I guess I wear my feelings on my hips, butt and tummy.  After years of yo-yo dieting, binge eating, starving myself, and trying every new diet fad out there, I have learned a thing or two about successful weight loss, and weight management.  I am going to share 7 tools that I have found to be essential to maintaining a healthy weight.

1.  Eating Frequently

Yes eating often seems to fly in the face of weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight but it really is key.  Of course, you have to eat healthy foods, but if you eat frequently (5-6 times per day), you won’t get hungry and then overeat when you do have a meal.  I can’t count the number of times I skipped a meal only to overindulge in another meal later in the day or late at night before bedtime because I was starving.  Once I started eating frequently, I stopped this unhealthy behaviour.

2. Bulk Up Your Meals

I started to add an extra cup of non-starchy vegetables to my meals.  Leafy greens, broccoli, peppers, and mushrooms are examples of the extra veggies I add to my plate.  This fills me up with healthy foods and not empty calories, and makes me less likely to grab an unhealthy, high calorie snack between meals.

3.  Schedule a Weekly Meal Prep

I block 2-3 hours per week on Sundays to do my meal prep for the next week.  This is marked in my calendar as a weekly, non-negotiable item.  If I don’t block time in my schedule I know it won’t happen.  I prepare a variety of vegetables and meats and combine them in different ways.  I cook a whole chicken and use the meat for salads, stirfrys and wraps.  I mix vegetables with different combinations to give myself some variety.  I make egg muffins so that I have an easy grab and go breakfast for the week.  If healthy, easy meals are on hand it is easier to eat nutritiously.

4.  Load Up On Water

We all know we should drink 8-10 glasses of water a day but sometimes this is hard.  Take a water bottle with you everywhere as this will help increase your H2O intake.  If you don’t like water, you can ease into it the same way that I did. I started first by drinking carbonated water and flavoured water because I like the bubbles.  From there I switched to plain water but I would add slices of lemons, cucumbers or strawberries.  Next, I switched to plain water with nothing added.  The switch was gradual but it worked, and now I am much better at staying properly hydrated.

5.  Find Creative Ways To Exercise

If you can’t get to the gym every day, there are other ways to increase activity level.  Walk where you can, take the stairs where you can and find creative ways to add exercise.  When I am doing chores such as laundry, unloading the dishwasher or cooking I incorporate squats into what I am doing.  After folding a piece of laundry I do a squat, after taking a dish from the dishwasher I do a squat.  There are easy ways to add activity to every day life.

6.  Portion Control

Bring out the measuring spoons and cups and actually measure the portions of food you are serving yourself.  This helps ensure that you aren’t over-eating and that you are mindful of your serving size.

7. Change Your Attitude

Instead of telling yourself, that you are over 40 or 50 and it is impossible to stay slim or it doesn’t matter at your age, tell yourself that you are a sexy, man or woman in the prime of your life.  Remember that maintaining a healthy weight is completely doable and that you owe it to yourself to make it a priority so that you can be the best version of yourself.

Try incorporating as many of these tools as you can into your life on a consistent basis, and you will find that losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight are realistic outcomes at midlife and beyond.  If you would like some help with finding ways to incorporate these and other healthy living tools into your life, I’d love to chat.  I have a great coaching program that will help you achieve your goals.

5 Advantages of a Holistic Approach to Divorce

 

If you are considering separation or divorce, or have already started the process, you may want to consider the many advantages offered by a holistic approach to the process. Family law is not suited to the adversarial process that has evolved in our legal system.  A holistic approach recognizes that the consequences of divorce and family breakdown are often devastating, and there is lots of healing to be done.

Why not incorporate healing into the entire divorce process so that parties can act from a place of wellness when making decisions, rather than from a place of devastation?

Here is a summary of five of the inter-related advantages of a holistic approach to divorce:

  1. The biggest advantage of using a holistic approach is that it will benefit any children who are involved. If parents are healing and taking care of themselves, they will be better parents and make better decisions for their children. It is far better for children if their well-being is being determined by rational, healthy parents who love them, rather than a judge who knows little about them and to whom they are just another case.
  1. A holistic approach will likely result in significantly reduced costs. Everyone knows that litigation is very expensive. Collaboration, mediation and a holistic approach create a process designed to be less adversarial, promoting cooperation and agreement. This reduces costs.
  1. A holistic approach using a lawyer also trained in life coaching or therapy allows the client to work through emotional issues without having to hire a separate professional and spend money reacquainting someone else with what is going on. This results in further cost savings. Even if the other party is using a more adversarial approach and the divorce has more resulting conflict, using a holistic lawyer will mean that the lawyer is able to help the client deal with the emotional challenges more effectively.
  1. Using a holistic approach ensures clients are taking care of their mental, emotional, spiritual and physical self during one of life’s most stressful and devastating events. This not only benefits the client, it benefits his or her children to have a parent who is practicing self-care and therefore, is better equipped to meet the needs of the child.
  1. Contrary to popular belief, divorce is not just a legal event. As countless couples in the throes of separation can attest, accusations about the past and fears about the future can make constructive conversation impossible. As partners “lawyer-up” emotions often drive the agenda, but yet the legal process is not the place to deal with emotions. Using a lawyer who is also trained as a life coach or therapist will help a client with all facets of the matter, not just the legal.

We have learned the many benefits to approaching our family and health from a holistic perspective, why not bring this holistic approach into family law matters? If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of a holistic approach to family law or are involved in a family law matter and need assistance, please contact me and we can discuss how I might be able to help.

Stop Playing Small – The 3 Ingredients to Being Your Best

If someone told you that in order to reach your full potential and lead a life of true happiness, you had to do 3 things, would you be willing to do them, no matter what it takes?

It seems like the answer to this question should be a resounding YES, but in reality, most people are not willing to do what is necessary in order to live an extraordinary life. There are 3 ingredients to being your best, and while they may seem simple, the reality is that consistently practicing these 3 actions is too challenging for most people.

The 3 ingredients to being your best are what I call my MNF principle. You must:

  1. Move your body;
  2. Nourish your body; and
  3. Flourish by discovering your why and developing yourself to get there.

If you consistently do these 3 things, I promise you that you will become the best version of yourself, feel happy and be fulfilled.

First, we must MOVE our body. Exercise provides both physical and mental benefits that are essential to a happy life. It is good for your heart, your lungs, and every organ in you body. It ensures that you maintain your mobility, flexibility and strength. Aesthetically, it has many benefits too. Fit people tend to look better and having a nicely toned beach body is something many people aspire to have. Looking better often results in increased self-confidence. Exercise also releases endorphins that make our mood feel better. We feel happier and less stressed after a good workout. If you want to be your best, you absolutely have to exercise regularly.

Second, we must NOURISH our body. This means that we must feed our body healthy food and ensure that we are always properly hydrated. Starving ourselves to lose weight plays havoc with our metabolism as well as our moods, so eating healthy is the only way to maintain long-term successful weight management. Drinking enough water is also essential to maintaining a good energy level. If we are hungry, thirsty, too full or suffering indigestion from eating the wrong foods there is no way that we can be our best. Proper nutrition is essential for us to maximize our potential.

Third, we must FLOURISH by discovering our why and developing ourselves to get there. We must ask ourselves these questions: What is our purpose? What makes our heart sing? What do we feel passionate about? Once we have answered these questions, we need to develop a plan to incorporate these things into our life as much as possible. We need purpose in our lives, a reason to hop out of bed in the morning with excitement, joy and gratitude for the day ahead. Without purpose, we can never be our best.

These 3 ingredients are not difficult or complicated, but sometimes it is challenging to consistently practice them. This is where most people stumble. Often it is helpful to have someone assist you in developing a plan and most importantly, holding you accountable. This is why so many people benefit from coaching. A coach will help you design a realistic plan to ensure that you MOVE, NOURISH and FLOURISH. This involves holding you accountable for your actions or inaction, and helping you stop the self-sabotaging behaviours that keep you playing small. If you want to be your best and develop your plan to MOVE, NOURISH and FLOURISH, let’s chat. Remember, the best is yet to come.