west chester pa

Three Ways to Take Charge of You and Your Mental Health this Summer!

Take Charge of Your Summer, TODAY!

The sound of birds early in the morning, long hot summer nights and the smell of good food on the grill can only mean one thing; it’s summer time!! Ah, the ease and laid back attitude that is summer.  What a nice change! It is the perfect time to dive right into living a healthy and balanced life. Sunshine and time are on your side in the summer.  The atmosphere could not be more ideal for reinventing yourself and taking the time for you.

You’re probably asking yourself, “I barely have time to shower.  How in the world am I going to find time for making a change in my life?  Spending my time reading a blog post about what I am doing wrong is not encouraging.” Well, we are not here to scold you or make you feel bad for the choices in your life.  The point is offering simple, doable options to the lifestyle choices already being made.  Think of these options as a decompressing tune-up.  The end goal is keeping things simple and engaging for even the most stressed out person.  The three suggestions below can help put you on the path for making the most of your summer and a balanced life!

 

Three Tips to Try this Summer

  1. Utilizing the Extra Daylight to your Benefit!

Using nature and summer to your advantage is the goal behind the first idea. The amount of daylight hours increases in the summer; essentially offering you more hours to work with when making plans. Pack a picnic for you and your family; letting you spend dinner at the park.  Eating dinner at the park lets the kids get out that extra summer energy, while you spend some quality time with everyone.  Sounds like a win/win!

Can’t seem to squeeze in time for a workout during the day; switch your workouts to an early morning time slot or make it a late evening affair.  Allow yourself time for a late snack or cocktail with friends.  Making the most of the additional hours of light can help you check some things off your daily to do list. Being able to check things off your to do list and getting creative with what to do in extra daylight will ultimately begin taking stress off.

For more ideas of things to do with additional sun light, check out these great lists: http://www.windsweptwriting.com/10-things-extra-hour-daylight/http://www.thepartnerstrust.com/blog/12-things-to-do-with-an-extra-hour-of-daylight/https://www.theodysseyonline.com/10-things-to-do-with-the-extra-sunlight-we-get-from-daylight-savings.

2.Enjoying the Plentiful Healthful Food Options during the Summer. 

What better time of year then summer to start thinking about the type of food you eat. The variety of fruits and vegetables available during the summer months makes it hard not to reevaluate food being ingested.  Since availability of healthful food increases during warmer months, the cost of the same type of food tends to decrease. There are so many options to make eating healthy in the summer easy.  Many farms and orchards have “pick your own” days, where you visit and pick the latest offering. The amount of farmer’s markets open to the public increases during the summer months as well. What better time than summer to start your own garden.  There is nothing like a fresh homegrown tomato!

The opportunities for garden fresh food are endless in the summer. Plus the healthier of diet you practice, the better your body handles stress. These links can help get you started on the path to fresh and healthful eating: Farmer’s Markets – http://www.localfarmmarkets.org/, Local Farms and Orchards  http://www.pickyourown.org/, https://www.localharvest.org/organic-farms/ , Home Gardening – http://www.bhg.com/gardening/vegetable/vegetables/planning-your-first-vegetable-garden/, http://www.almanac.com/vegetable-garden-planning-for beginners

3.New Summer, New You!

Instead of claiming the New Year as the start of a new you, why not proclaim the summer of 2017 as the summer of “YOU”! There is definitely something about the summer months that brings out motivation and happiness in people.  Start today with the mindset, “If it doesn’t serve me, I will learn to let it go”. We only have so much time and energy to expend in our daily lives.  Why exhaust this energy on things, places and people that do not serve a purpose in your life.  Yes, it can seem difficult to start saying no and releasing your time for other things, but the benefits of doing so (less stress, more time, less anxiety, calmer attitude, etc.) are the trade off.  Make yourself a priority and take care of you.

Try new activities this summer you have always wanted check out but could not seem to find the time to do so.  You may surprise yourself and like something you never thought possible. When you choose yourself, it is amazing how time seems to be added to your day.  Step outside of your comfort zone and meet some new people.  Aligning yourself with individuals who share in the same mindset and goals are an instant morale booster.

Check out the links below for more ideas of making the change towards a new you: https://www.livingsocial.com/, https://experiencelife.com/article/50-ways-to-make-the-most-of-summer/, http://www.everydayhealth.com/healthy-living/take-time-for-yourself-this-summer.aspx

 

Comments { 0 }

How do you Plan?

How do you plan?

By Marjorie R. Johnson LCSW, PCC

Most of us know that our best chance of achieving any goal is to plan for it. We need to have a clear SMART goal (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time sensitive). We know the importance of planning for our business or team’s yearly goals. This process is required. However, how often do we approach our personal lives with the same strategic planning? Yet, without being intentional about how we want to spend our days, and indeed our lives, it is up to chance whether we will become our best selves.

Think about the past 24 hours. Where did your time go? How much of your time was given to social media, zoning out with television or compulsively checking e -mail? In his book, Shine, Edward Hallowell, MD (noted ADHD psychiatrist and author of the bestseller: Driven to Distraction), comments on the overloaded, over busy and overwhelmed brain of today’s workers. We are working harder and longer yet achieving less because we feel we cannot allow time for rest, recreation and personal relationships.

What to do? To achieve healthy, well rounded lives, I recommend the following process. Set aside 60- 90 minutes of uninterrupted time, when you know you won’t be disturbed. Breathe deeply, and begin quietly reflecting as follows: Consider your “Essential” or “Higher Self” in the middle of a circle with several spokes going out from the center. These spokes represent areas of your life that affect you and contribute to your life. (Adapted from “Wheel of Life”, Co-Active Coaching, 2011.) You might include family relationships, friends and social network, career, spiritual/ personal growth, recreation, finances, health & fitness and your physical environment (home or office). Consider “how content” you are in each area. Which area might you like to improve? Where is your time going? Is it in balance and contributing to the Self you want to be? Now set specific, SMART goals (refer to my SMART Goals Blog series starting here: http://ascendconsulting.net/goal-setting-intention-business-life/) for balance in some of these areas. Identify one or two specific actions that will gradually bring these goals into reality.

Now it’s time to make the goals from above happen. Our goals for balanced fulfilled lives need active care and attention to become reality. Take some quiet planning time each day to intentionally build into your routine those actions that are in alignment with your goals. Note: This might mean doing less! Without this daily time of reflection and planning it’s impossible to bring your daily actions in line with the life you want to live. During this process, be compassionate with yourself. Change often occurs by taking two steps forward and one step back. Mindfulness, intentional planning and daily reflection make all the difference in becoming the Self you want to be.

I specialize in coaching executives and professionals into achieving their goals with life balance. Contact me if you’d like to begin the conversation.  Marjorie@ascendconsutling.net

Comments { 0 }
Skip to toolbar