Health, Joyful Connection, Midlife, Miracles, Self Care

What’s Going Well For You Today?

“What’s going well for you today?”

I had to stop and think for a moment when my friend asked me this question the other day. I shouldn’t have to think about what went well, but I did. I realized that my complaints come forward much faster than all the goodness that happens in my day.

My friend requested that if each time we spoke that I ask her the same question instead of “How are you?” She said she would really appreciate it because she was working on making better connections in her brain focusing on the positive rather than going negative.

This is a  great self care habit to adopt.

I’ve been doing some experimenting with that statement this past week. What I’ve noticed for myself is I’ve started to scan my brain and be aware of the positive and inspiring points in my day and focusing on those moments rather than the negative ones.

When I ask friends that question, it takes them back a bit, like it did me the first time. It’s been fun to experience the great conversations that have ensued since I’ve started to ask this particular question.

 I taught a senior exercise class on Monday. I opened the class challenging them to ask people from now on, “What’s going well for you today?”

I told them it was better then hearing an organ concert at meal time. “My kidneys, my lungs and oh my gallbladder!” They all agreed that they were going to try out this new question and report back to me next week.

I want to challenge each of you now to answer for yourself and ask the question to your friends.

What’s going well for you today?

Please share in the comments below.

Health, Midlife, Self Care

The E Word

What is the E word I am referring to?

EXERCISE

This word invokes euphoria in some folks and others it sends into a pit of despair.

I evaluated a new patient with low back pain. She is an older woman who told me in the first 15 minutes of the assessment that she knows it is all her fault she is in the condition she is in because she has never exercised.

Ouch!

As I listened to this woman tell me her goals and dreams for what she wants to do the only path to those goals is to EXERCISE.

I knew I had to figure out quickly how to connect with this woman and make exercise cool for her.

I am so lucky (hear the sarcasm) that people think they know what Physical Therapy is going to do for them. They automatically believe they will get a list of exercises and the PT leaves and that’s it. (Sadly it is this way for some people).

I asked my patient, “Do you like to exercise?” Her reply, “No, but….I know I should.”

Ouch again!

When anyone “should’s” themselves nothing gets done in joy, actually nothing gets done. (I am speaking from personal experience on this one.)

I asked her, “How about we change the word exercise to move? Does move sound ok to you?” She paused, “Yes, I like the word move.” I instructed her from that point on we would use the word move, movement or moving.

A smile returned to her face.

Her homework for the the next few days were to explore all the different ways she could move her body that felt good. She had been in so much pain that she needed a change in perspective that she still could move parts of her body that did not hurt.

My first visit back, she went into explaining the guilt she felt by not doing the “exercises”. I reminded her that she was moving and not exercising.

She laughed and once again a huge smile returned to her face.

She is not 100% pain free yet. I don’t know if she is going to get there with all the complications she has. However, if I can help her move more by just one word change, that is success.

Exercise or Move? Which one makes you smile?

Health, Midlife, Self Care

I’m Back!

cropped-img_8377.jpgWow! I’m back!

Yes, my last blog post was the beginning of 2015. I had great intentions for writing on a monthly basis but that didn’t happen.

I’m here now.

I’ve written so many posts in my head that it is about time I get it out of my head onto paper.

My intention for my posts is my own accountability with self care habits. I listen daily to what I tell my patients to do and I realize that I’m don’t do the strengthening I just told them to do everyday. I need to practice what I preach!

For most of my life, I’ve not put caring for myself first. My big wake up call was 10 years ago when I dealt with some heart issues and had to make changes. I’m grateful I’m healthier today than I’ve been most of my life.

Here is my manifesto for myself today:

I’m showing up for myself.

I’m taking responsibility for my body and mind.

I’m scheduling my self care time each day.

I’m setting timers for me to remember just to take a breathing break, drink some water, and stretch.

Let me know in the comments below how you’re creating self care time for yourself today.

Let’s do this!

Health, Hormones, Midlife

My Welcome to 2015

IMG_2573Yesterday afternoon I met with the Physician’s Assistant that works with my primary care Physician’s office for a consultation on the lab work from my latest blood test. I was optimistic that the numbers I was going to see were better than the labs in the fall.

Before, anyone thinks that something is horribly wrong with me no need to worry, it’s not life and death. It is just about being happy or an emotional wreck. My labs were not better yesterday but worse. My thyroid is not functioning properly. I am taking this in stride and realizing I need to pay attention to take care of myself in the best way possible. I see a terrific Physician who is trained in Functional Medicine. Functional Medicine is about getting to the problem without simply trying to cover up the symptoms. The decisions that were made about my present state is that my thyroid is still low along with several other vital nutrients which are needed to help my thyroid function. The Physician’s Assistant printed out a plan of action out for me and I was on my way. Many of the items are things I am already doing such as; consuming iodine rich foods, eating cruciferous vegetables, and avoiding preservatives. I even received a link to Dr. Mark Hyman’s website for his article, “A 7-Step Plan to Boost Your Low Thryoid and Metabolism.”  I realize though, I need to be even more present to what is going into my body and how I am dealing with stress.

Over a year ago, I purchased the book, The Hormone Cure by Dr. Sara Gottfried, M.D.  Dr. Sara has made understanding hormones interesting, especially by explaining that all is not lost when things start in a downward spiral. I immediately got this book out yesterday and started reading once again. She has easy surveys to take at the beginning of the book to help figure out what area might have the most problems. But this was done for me prior to reading it, since I already have all the lab results. You don’t have to read the whole book from cover to cover. You go to the section based on your survey results to read about the latest research as to what your issue is. You learn what you need to discuss with your physician and what you can to begin to do today to care for yourself. In my case, I went immediately to Chapter 9, titled “Low Thyroid: Weight gain, Fatigue and Mood Problems.”

While there is not one pill that will make all my problems go away. I feel empowered having resources like Dr. Sara’s book and Dr. Mark Hyman’s article to be able to make choices for better health that will serve me for the rest of my life. What health choices are you making today for a better tomorrow?