Healthy Lifestyle

A Simple Practice With Huge Health Benefits

Gratitude 1Would you be interested in a simple practice that research has found to be beneficial for your physical, psychological, and social well-being? What if I told you this practice was free, did not take much time, and could be done in the privacy of your own home?

Some of you may have already guessed that we are talking about creating a Gratitude Practice. A Gratitude Practice is different than having an "attitude of gratitude" or "looking on the bright side of things."

Let's explore the benefits of this practice and how to start one, but first let's talk about why many people cringe at the thought of gratitude! 

 

Why Many People Don't Like Gratitude Practices

With study after study showing the impact that gratitude has on both physical and emotional wellbeing, implementing a gratitude practice could be in our best interest. While practicing gratitude has many benefits, at times it can feel like we are just being asked to “look on the bright side”.

 

In truth, gratitude must be held in tension with the reality of life. It is crucial to lean into moments of both gratefulness and suffering.

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Back To School

back to school 2019A recent survey found that 74 percent of mothers are already looking forward to their kids going back to school less than a month into the summer break. While these moms love their kids, the summer can be an overwhelming time, making the school bus a welcome sight. But going back to school can also be stressful for parents! 

It’s a lot of work to make sure that the kids have everything they need to start the year off right. The links below are some resources that can help your family during this exciting, but often stressful time of year. 

A Proper Fitting Backpack

Boosting Your Child’s Immune System

Healthy School Lunches

Creating a Routine

Ordering School Supplies

  • Target's School List Assist - Get all your kids school supplies without any hassle. Simply choose if you want your items delivered to your home or picked up at the store, enter the child’s class information (school and grade), and the supply list will be put in your online shopping cart. (You can remove any items you already have.)

 

I hope this is a great year for you and your family! 

Dr. Jamie

Getting Back Into Physical Activity

Getting back Into Physical ActivityThis summer has been an extremely busy time for my family. While we have routines in place to keep us on track nutritionally, physical activity has been a different story! Other than the occasional walk, I am not getting much physical activity. 

I know how important it is to get enough exercise and speak with my patients about it regularly. But the struggle is real, and my lifestyle is not reflecting my values in this area.

As I reflect on ways to change this in my own life, I thought I would invite you into the process with me. Here are some ideas that we can use to make exercise a reality in our lives.  

Clarifying Our Motivation

Sure we all know that being active is “important for our health,” but what is your true motivation for putting in the effort? What is it that you want to accomplish by being more active? Would you like to be able to keep up with your friends when they go hiking? Are you a competitive person who wants to be able to race? Do you simply desire to avoid the chronic pain that “runs in your family”?

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The Gift of Solitude

solitudeThroughout history, opportunities for solitude were built into a person’s daily life. There were no cell phones to look at while waiting for appointments or social media accounts to keep connected with friends when they were home alone. Solitude was often a person’s default mode. 

In our ultra-connected society, this is no longer the case. Modern technology gives us the ability to fill our time and minds endlessly. There are many benefits to these technologies, but is there a hidden cost that we are paying?

 

What Solitude Really Is

Solitude is often referred to as a state of being alone without being lonely. This lovely definition of solitude conjures up images of sunsets on top of a mountain or leisurely walks along the beach. But in reality, we don’t need to be alone in a remote location to enjoy solitude. To complicate things more, sometimes being alone in and of itself does not result in solitude.

In the book Lead Yourself First, authors Kethledge and Erwin define solitude as “a subjective state in which you’re isolated from input from other minds”. In other words, solitude is when you are left alone with your own thoughts. It is more about your internal experience than what is going on around you. 

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Simple Ways To Have An Active Summer

Simple ways to have an active summerWith the beautiful days of summer ahead of us it’s time to get outside! Enjoying the weather can naturally lead us to be more physically active, which is good for both our minds and our bodies. Let’s intentionally embrace these opportunities and find pleasure in our movement this summer!

There are ways to  incorporate physical activity into your daily life and make it fun, so that it doesn’t feel like work. With so many amazing places to explore physical activity doesn’t need to be repetitive, boring, or expensive.

Let’s look at some ways to make this a great, active summer!

 

Incorporate Physical Activity Into Your Everyday Life

If you live a busy life and struggle to find time to be active, try to incorporate it into your daily life.

  • Choose a parking spot far away from the building when out and about.
  • Walk, or bike, places if possible when running errands, getting together with friends, etc.
  • Carry your child or give them a piggy back ride to the car, the lunch table, or bedtime.
  • Race up and down the stairs in between other less active pursuits.

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Planning an Intentional Summer

planning an intentional summerThink back to the end of the school year when you were a kid and had the entire summer ahead of you! For many of us it was an exciting time to dream of all the fun things we would do and adventures we would have during our break. As we get older, responsibilities tend to crowd out the childlike wonder that comes with summer, but what if we could reclaim just a bit of it?

What if we let our imaginations take flight and listened to what our hearts really want for this summer? We may not be able to do all the things on our summer bucket list (a trip to Hawaii, or vacation at an all inclusive resort), but we may be able to clarify what is important and lean into those things in little ways.

Clarify Your Values

Think about your priorities! If you don’t clarify your values it is easy to allow other people’s values to direct your days. Here are some exercises that can help you think through your values and decide what is really important to you.

  • Take some time to think through what activities you would enjoy this summer, things that bring you life.  Do you notice a theme?

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