Working With Our Medical & Mental Health Issues

You have probably heard about working with resistance rather than working against it.  The analogy of a bow and arrow explains this.  To shoot the arrow, you work with the resistance by pulling the bow back and letting the arrow move forward.  If we were to work against the resistance of the bow and arrow, the arrow would just fall to the ground and not move forward.  This is great example of how working with the resistance, instead of fighting against it, makes shooting the arrow to be successful.

So why do we fight it when it comes to our health issues – our medical health and mental health?  I have encountered many individuals who use their health setbacks as a time to mentally beat themselves up, regress in their progress and belief about their abilities, and feel defeated.

Setbacks are discouraging.  However, what if we plan for when these occurrences happen instead of punishing ourselves when they do?  Some individuals can track when they might have an occurrence based upon time of the year, stress levels, hormonal levels, or anniversary dates - just to name a few.  Many cannot track them and feel blindsided when they do occur. Regardless of what is your experience, how about setting up a plan for the next time you have a setback.  Do so now, while you are feeling well so you will be ready. 

Steps to take to manage a health setback:

1.      What helps you when you have a setback?  It could be getting some extra sleep, fresh air, listening to certain music, or certain food or beverages.  Find a way to add these to your daily/weekly schedule, i.e. make a playlist of your favorite songs, stock up on these foods/beverages so they are available to you, rearrange your schedule (as much as you can) so you can get that extra sleep; plan for a walk or sitting outside so you can get that fresh air.

2.      Be nice to yourself.  You are already feeling like crap.  Don’t add to it by mentally beating yourself up.  Our inner critic is never pleasant and especially when we aren’t feeling well!  If your inner negative critic is showing up, have a mantra ready that you can keep repeating.  Some mantras might be, “This is only a setback”, “It is okay to take care of me”, “Self-care now will help me feel better”, “My goals aren’t unobtainable and are just on hold right now”, or one that you find that works better for you.  Write it down.  Have it nearby.  Read it out loud when not feeling well. 

3.      Review your goals for that day/week.  What can you actually do when not feeling well?  Break your goals down smaller if they are too big to handle or too overwhelming when not feeling well.  Then, break that goal down even smaller.  Make your goals small enough so you can still work towards them and be successful.  Our goals are to help us move forward.  If your goals add to your feeling of less than and unreachable when you aren’t feeling well, they are too big.  For example, if you were supposed to attend a networking event but now cannot get out of bed, you will need to miss the event.  One way to break that goal down further would be to connect with those who were going to attend the event.  To break that goal down even further, connect with one or two of the attendees by email.  This way you are still networking, you can send an email from your bed, and connecting with one person is more than not connecting with anyone. 

4.      Positive affirmations.  Since you already feel awful and your inner critic is probably yelling at you, read through positive affirmations. Make sure you read the statements and do not counter them.  Make these affirmations now while you are feeling well.  Keep them nearby so when you need them, you will have them.

5.      Use your support system.  Yes, your support system wants to help you!  No, you are NOT a burden!  Reach out to someone who is supportive.  Make sure your support person is not negative or critical of you.  Let them know you are struggling right now and having a setback.  Use them as your accountability buddy (which means when you are feeling well, you share your plan with them so they know ahead of time) so they can help you to take care of yourself and keep moving forward even when you don’t feel well.

6.      Schedule a session with your Coach.  Connect with your coach.  That is why you have one!  Let her know you are struggling with your health issues and that you do not want to lose your momentum. 

It can be frustrating when illness prevents us from our scheduled plans.  It is a sign that we need to take care of ourselves.  Ride the wave and work with the resistance; not against it.  Above all else, use self-compassion to help you get through this episode.  It will help you return even stronger.

If this is a topic you would like help with, connect with me by email at denisestyer@comcast.net or schedule a call with me at www.calendly.com/denisestyer.  I look forward to connecting with you.

Say "YES" to you!

Have you read Shonda Rhimes’ book, “Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun, and Be Your Own Person”?  If not, I highly recommend it!  I read this book shortly after it was published and find it still relevant today.

 Why is this the focus of this week’s email?  I promise you this email is not a book report!

 Who here has had, or currently have, big wants, goals, and dreams?

 Who here identifies or admits being an overthinker?

 What happens to your big wants, goals, and dreams once you spend time thinking and then overthinking?  Do you find the flaws in these wants, goals, and dreams?  Do you find all the reasons why they won’t work?  Do you get discouraged and then walk away from these wants, goals and dreams feeling dejected, deflated, and hopeless?  For many of us, I believe those answers are all “yes”.

 But…. what if we changed those answers to “no” and going after our wants, goals and dreams to “yes”?

 In Year of Yes, Shonda Rhimes works on stepping out of her comfort zone and doing something different – instead of responding with her usual “no” when she had opportunities presented to her, she decides to do the opposite and say “yes”.  Yes, she must deal with the discomfort.  Yes, she must deal with the anxiety and fear, but she is also able to meet people and have experiences that if she had said “no”, she never would have encountered.

 We can stay comfortable and remain in the safe lane of our comfort zone.  Or, we can think about what our wants, goals and dreams are and begin to say “yes” so we can have new experiences and encounters.  Which will you choose?

 If this is something that resonates with you, but you are hesitant on how to begin, connect with me and we can discuss further.  What better way to work on our wants, goals, and dreams than with a coach is can assist challenging those negative thoughts that make us want to stop and walk away; believe in us when we struggle to do so; and provide accountability to help us actually achieve our goals and dreams.  Send me an email at denisestyer@comcast.net or schedule a call at www.calendly.com/denisestyer.  I look forward to connecting with you

 Remember to say “yes” to you!

Denise

New Day, New Week, New Month, New Quarter - No Foolin'

Happy April 1st!

 While I know that spring technically begins on March 20th, in my head it begins on April 1st.  Not sure why – it could be because the sun is out longer during the day and we begin to see more flowers popping up through the ground and some, i.e. the crocuses and daffodils, are getting ready to bloom.

 This year’s April 1st, I think is a win-win for us.  Not only is it the beginning of a new month, it is also the beginning of a new week and a new quarter (can you believe 1/3 of the year is already gone?!)

Although it is nearing the end of the day, it is not too late to set up your goals for this week, this month, this quarter, and to even reflect on what you accomplished today.  Why would you want to do that you might ask?  Good question!

 Have you ever had some great ideas and plans?  But they stayed ideas and plans because you did not act?  And then, one day you are musing over your current state and how you are lacking progress and realize those great ideas and plans could have come to fruition by now had you acted on them?  If this is an experience you have had, do not worry.  You are not alone.  I think most of us have done this at sometime or another.  I also understand all the mind games we can play with ourselves to keep our ideas and plans just that, ideas and plans.

 Does the idea of setting goals cause your stomach to flip, your chest to tighten, and your breath to quicken?  If so, that is okay.  Go slow.  Remember to breathe – what we tend to do when stressed is constrict and hold our breath.  It makes us feel worse.  Take a deep breath.  Hold it.  Slowly exhale.  Repeat. 

 Even if you write down a goal – and you write it down in pen – that is okay.  It is a goal.  It is not set in stone.  You may find that it was more intricate than you initially thought.  Or there may have been some curveballs thrown your away that prevented you from achieving your goal in the timeframe you originally noted.  Or those mind games got in the way. What matters to begin with is that you identify one, or more, goals that you would like to work on.  Write them down.  Set up steps to act towards achieving your goal.

 After you have been able to identify a/some goal(s), then you want to make your goal is a SMART goal:

Specific

Measurable

Achievable

Relevant

Timely

Following this format will help you work towards being successful in reaching your goals.

 A good routine to follow towards helping you achieve your goals is to:

 -set no more than 3-4 daily goals that will help you work towards achieving your weekly goals.  Review at the end of each day as to the status of your goals and what needs to be carried over to the next day as well as what was accomplished today.  Always celebrate your successes no matter how small you consider them.  Any goal success reinforces you to be able to keep working towards achieving bigger goals.  When we can enjoy our little successes, we will be able to relish and enjoy our larger successes.

 -on Sundays plan out your weekly goals.  Write out what steps you need to take during the week so by week’s end, you will have achieved your weekly goals.  Before you plan out your weekly goals, review the previous week’s goals and assess what was achieved, what needs to be carried over, and what needs to possibly be revised. Again, celebrate your successes!  (Sometimes a success can be recognizing why the goal wasn’t achieved)

-at the end of the month, review what your goals were for that month. Again, look at how you did with these goals.  Do you need to revise any of the goals?  Do you need to put more action steps into achieving a goal?  Remember to celebrate your successes!  After reviewing the previous month’s goals, what are your goals for the upcoming month?  As you write out your new monthly goals, keep in mind that these goals will in turn help you identify your weekly and daily goals for that month.

 -at the end of the quarter, review what were your goals for that quarter as well as how you did with your work on these goals.  Assess if you wish to continue these goals in the next quarter, revise your goals, and/or add new goals.  Your quarterly goals help you when breaking down your monthly, weekly, and daily goals.

 I purposely outlined the above to begin with our daily goals.  When someone is new to this process, or those who have found themselves repeatedly avoiding their goals, starting at yearly or quarterly goals can seem extremely overwhelming.  If this sounds familiar, then begin with your daily goal.  I am a firm believer in baby steps – your first goal could be identifying and writing down a goal. 

 Your goal for tonight is to identify at least 1 goal for you to work on tomorrow.  You can do it!

 If you have any questions, want to learn more, or work on those mind games, either email me at denisestyer@comcast.net or schedule a complimentary discovery call with me at www.calendly.com/denisestyer.

 

I wish you a fabulous week!

Denise