Category Archives: Healthy Lifestyle

Summer Self-Care that Builds Well-Being and Resilience can be Fun!

Taking care of yourself doesn’t have to be a chore or boring. Taking care of yourself and building resiliency to weather tough times can be relaxing, delicious, enjoyable to the senses, and fun. For me, there’s no better time to relax, explore, and have fun than summertime. The sun is out, people plan vacations, reap the bounty of the land in flowers, fruits, and vegetables, and enjoy the peace and majesty of the great outdoors. Let’s talk about what you can do this summer to boost your well-being and build resiliency muscle.

The keys to building resilience involve being able to manage emotions so that you can respond reasonably rather than react emotionally, connect to others and access resources, think flexibly, and be open to learn, adapt, and grow from experiences….good and bad. We tend to learn best in small, consistent increments, so consistent habits can seal in new learning. Another important aspect of well-being and resilience is focusing attention on positive experiences. It can take some effort to train your awareness to notice, take in, appreciate and enjoy the positive; and it’s well worth the effort. It doesn’t have to be big, grand positive experiences; it can be simple, brief, daily positive experiences such as truly savoring bites of your meal, a bird singing, a flower, the clouds, the breeze, the smell of rain, the sound of laughter, your favorite music, a smile, acts of kindness. It can be a fun (and good for you) exercise to go through your day looking for all the little things that are pleasing. Get your eyes off your phone and your mind out of its typical loop and look around, be aware of your senses. Don’t find anything positive, go looking for it or create it!

So, go ahead and delight in your senses and enjoy some summer fun. What might you prioritize doing this summer that will promote your well-being, brain health and resilience?

Here’s a quick list of ideas and some of my favorites for summer fun….

  • Get out in nature…..hike, walk, camp, backpack
  • Fresh flowers, fruits, and vegetables from the farmer’s market
  • Relax on a hammock, blanket, lounge chair
  • Cook over a fire
  • Build something with your hands…. a campfire, sandcastle, sidewalk chalk drawing
  • Listen to music….live music in the park, make music, sing
  • Dance
  • Visit friends or family
  • Laugh
  • Read a good book….or a cheesy book
  • Explore something or somewhere new
  • Play….in the water, in the sand, in your yard, at the park
  • Exercise….bike, walk, run, kayak, paddle board, swim, climb, jump, dance, hike, surf
  • Drink lots of water
  • Nap
  • Vacation

Any and all of these experiences in some way can help you positively engage with yourself and the world around you. The activity may encourage new learning, engaging your senses, moving your body, figuring out a problem, planning, connecting with others. Hopefully it’s enjoyable, encourages you to focus on the positive experience, be kind to yourself and others, and be grateful for the beauty, bounty, and fun of summer.

Whatever you do, enjoy the moments, soak it in, do it safely (protect your skin, be safe in the water, etc.), and have fun!

10 Essentials: Tools for Emotional First Aid (TM)

When I go hiking, I always like to be prepared with the “10 Essentials”. Basically, essential items for navigation, protection, illumination, first-aid, sustenance, and repair to ensure survival outdoors. Being prepared with safety and survival tools has served me well, whether packing the car, a day-hike pack, or a wilderness backpack. This got me thinking… Continue Reading

How to Disagree Graciously in 5 Steps

Ladies and Gentlemen, there’s a whole lot of conflict going on. Of course, I don’t need to tell you this. You know it. Whether it’s at home with a child, sibling, spouse or parent, with friends or coworkers, or within your local, national, or online community you are experiencing or witnessing conflicts. In my office… Continue Reading

What is “Self Care” and How You Can Succeed at Better Self Care in 2017

We are already 10 days into a new year. Did you make one or more self-improvement resolutions? If so, what efforts have you been making toward those resolutions? Are you already losing steam or becoming discouraged?  Resolutions can easily fall apart without specific, actionable, consistent and realistic goals and without strong commitment, motivation, and consistency.… Continue Reading

Giving and Thanks

It’s the season of giving thanks and the season of giving. Since I am in the business of promoting well-being, resilience, and healthy relationships, it is the perfect time of year to discuss the ways that giving and giving thanks are good for you and your relationships. According to Oxford dictionary gratitude:  the quality of being… Continue Reading

Beat the Stress and Put Fun back into Your Holiday Season

It’s that time of year again. Holiday season is gearing up. The Jewish high holidays just behind us and pumpkins and Halloween decorating abound. Here in America, we head into the Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas Kwanzaa, New Year’s Eve holiday season. Oh, and we’re also having an election. Campaigns, election outcomes, decorating, shopping, putting together… Continue Reading

Resolve to be Kind

Making resolutions is a New Year ritual for many. The start of a new year brings possibilities for a fresh start. Many people are cleaning out closets and garages, getting organized, making resolutions about their health, relationships, finances. You might be considering the ways you want to improve your life. In the spirit of new… Continue Reading

Gifts that Inspire Peace and Happiness

It’s holiday season and many of you are making lists of gifts to give and receive. I know that I am! I have friends that are amazing gift givers; they always come up with great ideas. I have other friends that always seem to finish their shopping before Thanksgiving even arrives. Sigh; you know these… Continue Reading

A Simple Meditation to Build Resilience During Stressful Times

Why meditation? Meditation is a practice that promotes greater awareness, relaxation, clarity, calm, compassion, and mental control. At a biological level, meditation may promote slower heart rate, lower blood pressure, reduced production of the stress hormone cortisol, and increased growth and connectivity of brain cells in the higher functioning brain area of the neo-cortex. These… Continue Reading