There will be times when our capacity to accomplish anything will be low – we may be recovering from illness, or the death of a loved one. We may have overextended ourselves and feel exhausted, with our body and minds shutting down and refusing to be pushed any further.
At these times it can be really useful to ease up on ourselves, to take a more gentle approach and choose one, or possibly two, key tasks that will allow us to feel satisfied when they are complete.
The focus could be on self care – as simple as getting outside in the fresh air and sunshine for 20 min, or making sure we have one healthy meal for the day which will nourish and support us physically and emotionally.
It could mean breaking bigger tasks down into smaller, more manageable parts just for today. So for example, instead of doing a full grocery shop, we can just buy what is needed to provide for the family tea tonight, or to make the lunches tomorrow and leave the full shop for another day when we have more energy.
Many tasks can be broken down in this way. The key is to Make each step small enough to be easily accomplished in one day and still give us a feeling of satisfaction with what has been accomplished.
So give a go and let me know how you get on or Call/ text Heather on 0212 406 535 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for extra support on how to make life a little easier for yourself right now.
It’s been a long time between blogs over the last few years as I have wanted to post only when I feel I have something of value to share. It breaks all the rules of marketing and yet it is something that has been really important to me.
Well today I feel really excited, and nervous, as my work has developed further and I am ready to share some of the experiences, tools and resources that have supported me through times of change and challenges over these last few years.
I’m excited to introduce my latest event – a Workshop on Managing Stress. Everyone goes through periods of turmoil in their lives. No-one escapes this, no matter how together they may look on the outside. And we all need support at these times. So this is the purpose of the workshop, and indeed the ongoing Focus Groups – to provide the information, tools and resources that can increase your resilience to deal with life’s up’s and down’s, as you navigate your way through your daily life.
So why not take a few hours out before the Christmas rush kicks in and join me for some breathing space and inspiration so you can make the most of the coming month.
Date: Saturday 29th November 14
Time: 2.00 – 5.00 pm
Venue: Wesley Room, St Mark’s Church,
58 Woburn Rd, Lower Hutt
Cost: $45 per person
Confirm your place now by sending an email to email@example.com or if you can’t make the workshop you can also schedule some one to one sessions for personalized support.
Are you tired?
What’s stopping you from taking a break and allowing yourself to rest?
This book, by Daphne Rose Kingma, is a great resource for when the proverbial carpet is pulled out from under you. Here is a very brief overview of her ten key points – it is well worth taking the time to explore these further especially at times when life can seem just too much to bear…
- Cry – holding back the tears or grief does not serve anyone least of all your self. Let the flow rather than swallowing and holding them back and allow them to heal your sadness. Do something different –
- Face your defaults – we all have habitual behavior we flick into when we don’t know how to cope or what to do next. Become aware of what yours are, acknowledge and accept them before choosing how you want to behave from here on.
- Do something different – a couple of great question from this chapter asks ” As far as you are aware, what is this crisis asking you to do differently?” and ” What is the new response you’re being asked to develop?”
- Let go – of all expectations of what you want to have happen…
- Remember who you have always been – your strengths and talents that have always been there to carry you through tough times.
- Persist – keep moving forward no matter how slowly.
- Integrate your loss – practice acceptance of what s happening. The support of a good therapist or counselor can help with this stage if we get stuck.
- Live Simply – by paring away all that is unnecessary we can create the space in our mind and life to deal with the crisis we are facing. It allows us the time to just sit still, reflect and to reconnect with what is really important in our life.
- Go where the love is – connect with others and be open to the love around you.
- Live in the Light of the Spirit – practice being on the present moment and trusting in a higher power.
It has been a traumatic week for many in New Zealand with the devastating earthquake in Christchurch on Tuesday. As it has affected so many people in so many different ways I wanted to share some useful resources that I know of that could be useful at this time:
Coping with Traumatic Incidents – this is an article on the Massey University site that a friend sent me. She said she found it useful to help understand our responses as a result of a traumatic event such as this.
Bach Flower remedies are easy to take and invaluable at times of emotional distress. They are available from health food stores and some pharmacies. I can recommend
Rescue Remedy for when you are in a demanding and stressful situations.
Rock Rose for when you have experienced terror, have been frozen in fear and feel helpless.
Star of Bethlehem for when you have experienced shock, grief or fright.
Neuro Linguistic Practitioners can help with the Trauma Treatment Process which can change the programming in your brain related to the experience. I can highly recommend Charlotte Hinksman in Wellington.
Emotional Freedom Technique can also be useful with the experience of trauma – Jasmina Kovacev is a practitioner that I have personally found helpful when dealing with emotional challenge.
The most important thing to remember is you don’t have to go through this alone – there is support around you with friends, family and trained practitioners. Allow yourself to reach for help at this time and take good care of yourself by limiting the amount of exposure you have to the traumatic images that are all around us at this time.
My heart goes out to all who have suffered and hope these resources may be useful in some way.
We all have words that conjure up less than resourceful pictures for us. Exercise seems to be one of those words. That is why I have found it so much more useful to think of moving our bodies rather than exercising them.
I have been listening over the last week or so to the different ways people are moving their bodies which they really enjoy. Here are some of them…
- Zumba classes – following a DVD at home or in the gym
- 5 Rhythms Dance
- Bike Riding – great article in Your Weekend magazine (Free with the Dominion Post) recently on an annual gathering of “Frocks on Bikes“
- Walking – meet friends for a walk rather than that coffee
The recommended daily dose appears to be about 30 min of movement a day, however I’m all for keeping it easy, so set yourself the intention to just move every day. Once you start moving and find something that is enjoyable, it will become easier to increase the amount of time you spend on that activity. Have a think about all the ways that you could bring regular movement into your life and begin to play with something new each day. Allow yourself to find something that you can look forward to doing, makes you feel good and above all is fun!
The key to health and well being is to learn how to feel great in motion so you can have uniform and abundant energy levels, feel excited about what is happening to your body, and look forward to your movement sessions rather than dreading them.
The movement, rather than the end result, is the reward. So during a run or walk for example the intention is to focus on the movement, to pay attention to what you are experiencing – what you see, hear and feel around you and within your body. Notice where are you feeling tension and allow it to relax.
Exercising in this way is almost like a meditation – it brings you totally into the moment and brings a sense of clarity and spaciousness to the mind as well as building stamina and energy levels. It really doesn’t have to hurt to be good for you.
So why don’t you give it a go – start experimenting with moving your body to find a way that feels good, that you enjoy and can therefore really look forward to doing.
Stu Mittleman and Dr Philip Maffetone have both written about how the optimum balance of health and fitness can be achieved through training the metabolism to work more efficiently. This can be achieved by monitoring the heart rate to determine the correct level of intensity for your exercise routine.
So what is the optimum heart rate that you need to be exercising at?
Stu Mittleman identifies three levels –
1. MAP – the Mostly Aerobic Pace promotes fat utilisation and is great for releasing tension and stress in the body. It is also the zone you want to work in initially if you do not take part in any regular form of exercise.
2. MEP – the Most Efficient Pace is the most productive zone for developing increased energy and stamina.
3. SAP – the Speedy Aerobic Pace is when you are burning mainly sugar. SAP interval training is really useful when you have built a good fat burning foundation.
So keeping it simple … using, Stu Mittleman’s formula, the upper limit of the MEP zone is 180 – your age and this is the maximum you want your heart rate to be working to ensure that your body is at it’s most productive and efficient level of movement. Working at or below this maximum level also ensures that your workout becomes a pleasure rather than pain, which will steadily increase your level of vitality.
For more information on how to calculate the precise figures for all the zones have a look at the Slow Burn book by Stu Mittleman.
• Do you wake up in the morning feeling tired?
• Does your energy levels fluctuate over the course of the day?
• Do you need to eat to get energy?
• Do you feel famished after working out?
• Are moody, irritable or depressed?
• Do you have a layer of fat that will not shift even after the most diligent of efforts?
• Do you feel aches and pains after exercising?
• Do you have difficulty concentrating or thinking clearly?
So… is your exercise program working for you? This confirmed that whatever I was doing was not working for me and it was time to make some changes…
I have just finished reading “Slow Burn, burn fat faster by exercising slower” by Stu Mittleman, an endurance athlete who completed a 1000 mile race and looked better at the end than he did at the beginning! In Slow Burn he delivers a program for creating energy and endurance so you can go the distance and feel great doing it every day. A useful skill in many areas of life I would have thought!
One of the key points I took away from this book is that there is a huge variety of approaches to exercise programs and diets – the trick is to find the approach that is right for you. This may be one specific program or it may be a combination. Only you will know what works for you by raising your level of awareness and learning what kinds of food energise you, what type of movement brings you pleasure and what activities make you feel youthful, vibrant and full of life?
As a result of what I’ve learned I have completely changed my usual routine of pushing myself around the hills to walking on the flat at a much more steady and comfortable pace. With the use of a heart rate monitor I can have the confidence that I am working within a zone that is stimulating my metabolism and creating a solid foundation of fitness without causing excessive strain on my body. A completely different experience which I look forward to 3- 4 times a week!
For more information on this program and other resources to enhance your health and well being join me on the next Keeping it Simple – Health and Wellbeing workshop on Saturday 12th March 2011. Spaces are limited so confirm your place today by emailing Heather or calling 0800 406 535.