Ho-hum doldrums

Dog

Are you with me? Last night I looked at my activity tracker at 10:00 p.m. and it read 3256 steps. I sighed. I did not leap up and walk in place. I did not chastise myself. I did not list the reasons for so few steps. I just sighed. I have a bad case of the doldrums. It’s actually difficult to remember the last surge of real energy I have felt. Some would call this the doldrums, some the winter blues. Either way, it just feels like marking time till things get magically better.

Well enough! Here are some tips to get you out of the doldrums

What is your favorite way to dump the doldrums?

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Unlock the magic.

Magic

The holiday season is over and winter stretches out in front of us for what seems like forever. Life feels kind of dull and it’s difficult to get motivated or raise enthusiasm for much of anything. But this is actually a great time to explore the magic in your life! Albert Einstein said, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

The challenge is to find your “wow” – to find the magic or the miracle in everyday life. Try starting here…

It can take time to unlock the magic. Adults create layers of cushioning between the everyday magic of life and the routine of day to day life. My challenge to you this month is to try to remove some of those layers and find some magic.

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Are you road worthy?

Fall

Fall happened this week. I had to search for a bed quilt, coat, and socks; things I haven’t seen since May; my feet screamed. It got me thinking…am I “road worthy” for winter? I know I’m ready for the fun things; I’m not so sure I am road worthy for challenges like staying active, winter sports, countering sugar with good nutrition, and fending off the flu and colds…just to name a few. I’m not even sure I can withstand a cold, late-night football game! So, here are some tips on becoming “road worthy” and for staying radiantly healthy this fall

  • Find your winter clothes NOW; remember how to dress in layers; get out your flashlight, gloves, boots, hat, hand warmers…
  • Keep moving – treat your senses to fall; walk in the leaves, cycle the streets, take a hike, visit a park; get outside and breathe in fall
  • Schedule your activity time; put it on the calendar  just like you do any other important event
  • Get a flu shot…and just in case, lay in a supply of Kleenex and cold decongestants
  • Sign up for a new fitness class or sport, one that can be learned and practiced indoors during the cold weather
  • Get 10,000 steps a day; use the stairs, stand at your desk, walk during breaks or lunch time…have a walking meeting; go out of your way to move
  • Manage your stress level; being indoors during the winter plays havoc with stress. Meditate, do yoga, read for enjoyment, spend quality time with family
  • Know your why; it’s easier to stay motivated if you have a reason beyond the moment
  • Watching more TV? Stay in motion at least during the commercials. Do lunges, stretches, and free weights
  • Holiday hint: Portion Control. It starts with Halloween!!

What’s your best “road worthy” tip for fall?

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Is there an Olympian in you?

2016 Olympics

The Olympics are inspiring. They start slow and within just a few hours I am hooked – it’s the competition, the human grit, the challenge, the cheering for the home team. Watching the athletes makes me realize how amazing the human body is and what it can endure…to say nothing of the human spirit. Everything plays out in the Olympics – emotional drama, physical success and physical pain, elation and devastation, individual success and teamwork. What really stands out is the incredible determination, planning, goal setting, and confidence the competitors have; they believe they can do it! I believe we all have the potential to be an Olympian in our own world. Those characteristics are there; we just need to dig deep and find them.

This week I felt healthier just watching the Games…and, after Kristin Armstrong won her 3rd Gold Medal, I almost went out and bought a new bike! I have a renewed interest in my physical health from my nutrition to my activity level. In what ways do the Summer Olympics inspire you and your family to be more healthy?

Enter the WaterPark Contest!

How to Play: Make sure you are registered and logged in to ChooseHealthMatters.com. If you are not already registered, go to the column on the right. Click on “register” to get started.

Make a comment to this blog post by 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, August 24, 2016 by answering this question “How do the Summer Olympics inspire you and/or your family to be more healthy?”; your comment will automatically enter you into a drawing for a set of two FREE tickets to Roaring Springs WaterPark in Meridian, Idaho, or Silverwood Theme Park in Northern Idaho. Note: If you are interested in the Silverwood Tickets please add “North Idaho” to your comment. You must be a State of Idaho employee to be in the drawing for tickets.

Winners will be posted on Health Matters Stress Center on Thursday, August 25, 2016.

Join the conversation. It’s a great way to share wellness ideas!

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Use your “app-ti-tude”

App-ti-tude

Dedication, desire, motivation, reward – things you need to make any fitness app work. I know that. But part of me is waiting for an app that “knows” what I have eaten, records it for me, flashes an update on my eye glasses every hour, and physically alerts me with a nudge or a pinch when I stray outside the plan. Probably not gonna happen. In the meantime…here are some fitness apps to try in 2014 (my current fave is Lose It!).

Do you have a favorite fitness app that works for you?

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Energy Management

Energy

For years you have heard about time management as a tool to get things done. I’ve switched my thinking – now I think it’s energy management. Energy is like the currency of high performance. Increasing your personal energy level can result in higher motivation, better problem solving, greater success with complex tasks, better concentration, and an overall positive, can-do attitude.

Try it! Do an energy audit. Start by identifying the top three things that drain your energy. When you know what drains your energy you can design ways to manage those things. Some common “drains” are stress, clutter, noise, poor health, lack of sleep, poor diet, lack of movement, lack of direction. Now identify three things you can do that replenish or boost your energy level when it’s low. Some common “boosters” are sleep, relaxation, brainstorming, exercise…

What is your top energy drain and your top energy booster?

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