Suggestions on How to Create New Habits.

Contemplating life changes.

There are a lot of “experts” and “gurus” out there who are willing to sell you a way to create a new you. Really there is nothing wrong with you. Maybe you need to change some habits. Get rid of old ones that are holding you back from reaching your full potential. Add some new habits that will make your life more fulfilling. But remember there is nothing wrong with you.

It is very simple really. 

  • It takes about a month to create new muscle memory. Treat that beautiful gray matter of yours like a muscle.
  • Start with one small thing you want to change.
  • Map out the steps you need to take and set a date. 
    • Make a list.
    • Set a short term goal.
    • Keep your steps simple.
    • Write down the benefits you will get from the change
    • Use the scientific method to make a plan.
      • No failures, just different outcomes.
      • Science experiments are fun.
  • Set up reminders and self affirmations to cheer yourself on.
  • You are going to fall off the wagon so to speak. It’s ok don’t be hard on yourself. You didn’t learn to ride a bicycle in one day, you fell you got up and did it again. 
  • Find someone to do it with you or at least someone to be your cheerleader. A buddy is great for accountability but that cheerleader over there will keep you honest as well.
  • Interrupt negative thoughts before they discourage you.
    • Some ways to get rid of negative thoughts are to:
      • Set aside time to think about them and then let them go. Follow with a positive affirmation.
      • Write them down and then throw them away
      • Reframe your situation to move away from what is triggering the negative thoughts.
      • Start your morning with meditation that helps you to feel positive energy.
Image from Carnegie Hall Facebook Page.

On average it  takes 30 days to remove an old habit and replace it with a new one. That does not mean that you will be successful on your first try but you will be closer than you were. I don’t know where he got it from but my maternal grandfather used to “The only way to get to Carnegie Hall was to practice, practice, practice.” For those of you who don’t know, Carnegie Hall is a concert hall in NYC, only the best of the best are ever offered an opportunity to perform there. 

Health, Sick, and Well Care Explained

How to get the help you need to lead a healthier life.

Everyone is familiar with the term health care. We all use it daily to refer to occupations, health insurance, hospitals, nursing, clinics, etc. Do you really know what it means? Maybe you have heard of sick care or even well care but do you know how these things are related and different?

Knowing and understanding how best to care for yourself and prevent problems or even to mitigate current health problems requires an understanding of terminology. It also requires an understanding of various bodily processes. Education is a key element in making good decisions for your body.

Health Care

Health care by definition  is “an organized provision of medical care to individuals or a community.”  (Oxford Dictionary) Translation it is western medicine based care with a medical focus not a whole person approach. You have all been there for yourself or for your family. Now please understand I am not against this but there is more to staying well than just clinical care, we will get to that in a bit. You go to your primary care and they refer you to a specialist who refers for imaging, blood work, etc. You feel like a number and that for each and every issue you have to see someone else. This is great especially for emergency care and very specific problems. But you don’t feel like a whole person, just a collection of parts. You also do not feel like you understand what is going on.

Sick Care

That is pretty self explanatory. It is the care you need and receive when faced with a medical emergency or acute and chronic illness. You are sick and require treatment. It seems like this would fall under health care and it does but there is more to it. If your emergency leads to a chronic illness or disability the majority of your care will be centered around treatments, sick care. But what about when that issue isn’t actively causing issues, well you are encouraged and have a tendency to avoid health care until the next emergency or flare. Now you are a collection of illnesses and you still aren’t a whole person.

Well Care

Lead a well balanced, active life.

I have been tossing this one around in a a few posts lately. So here is my definition not the one put forth by Medicare, Medicaid, and health insurance companies. Well care is a whole person approach to caring for yourself. I love simple things, don’t you? Well care requires more than just a bunch of specialists who never talk to each other. It is a more holistic approach to making a person feel healthy and able to function daily to their full potential regardless of health status. It is a team approach really. I am not discounting the need for specialized care for certain disease processes but a well care approach that supports the patient/client will have a better outcome. 

A well care coach looks at not just the individual parts, problems, and processes of the human body, they look at how everything works together from body systems, to mental and emotional state, nutrition, socioeconomic, and family dynamics. Well care coaches tend to be pretty nosy. We ask a lot of personal questions to gage where our clients are in their journey. Every part of the whole person and how they live affects their overall well being. 

Why am I becoming a well care coach?

I have been in health care for over 20 years in one way or another. Predominantly as a certified nursing assistant and most of the last 4 years as an RN. We won’t even get into what I experienced as the family member and the patient. Suffice to say our healthcare system sucks. Largely due to the lack of health education patients receive and the medical model approach. Nursing is a holistic approach and really part of what got me thinking.

There is no reason to treat people with chronic illness as if they will never have a healthy moment again in their lives. I also see that a lack of education on how to take care of ourselves and our family leads to crisis. Many times hospitalizations can be reduced if people know how to properly care for themselves. I see in the ever growing population of sick people that if those of us in health care spent more time educating our patients and yes even ourselves on well care we would not be such a sick nation.  

Let me help you navigate a well care journey. My well care coaching business is Enchanted Well Care Coaching.

Moving Forward

It has been a rough year.  September 6, 2020 will be the one year anniversary of my heart overhaul. My friend Jane welcomed me to the zipper club. My cousin Amanda spent 2 days in the hospital with me.  There have been too many other hospitalizations to count. All related to vascular issues and diabetic foot ulcers (blisters that decided not to heal).

All of that and trying to work, then pandemic, furlough from work, looking for a new position within the company, etc. has lead me to re-evaluate my entire life. I am trying to be the healthier, better me. OK, not much I can do about the temper and a few other flaws. I am learning to embrace my flaws and love them as part of me.

I am battling a smoking addiction. Have I cut back, yes way back. I fall off the wagon and get up and back on again. I have been trying to keep up an exercise routine. Don’t ever knock chair exercises, they can kick your ass. Keeping my blood sugar/A1C under control has been a battle but I think the PCP and I have finally come  up with a  plan of action.

There have been some very dark days and days like Tuesday where I want to jump for joy.  It has been a roller coaster. I feel like I have come very far all the way around. I am ready to see what lies ahead while enjoying living in the moment. Well, except those moments when the kids have frustrated me beyond words.

The garden was a bust between surgeries, hospitalizations, kids not sure what to do (they do but I think they were overwhelmed), the weather, and life in general.  So the new plan is to build a garden house. Not just a greenhouse for year round growing but more like an indoor/outdoor house. Raised bed and vertical growing, work area and a sitting area on the inside.  We will raise butterflies for release, praying mantis for insect control, and honeybees. all in the garden house. The outside will have perennial beds, wind chimes, and other items. I want it to look like a little cottage on the edge of the woods.  Eventually I want to see clients here. We will get to the client stuff later on.

Instead of looking at selling anything, I am going to focus on just supplying my family with healthy foods, holistic health, the beauty of growing, raising, and foraging herbs and other foods. The garden house will be a central part of all of these plans. A place to rest, relax, seek peace, and find self healing.

Stay tuned as the journey continues. Watch things grow and change as I continue to try and lead my family to a more sustainable lifestyle.

Herbal Remedies or Modern Medicine?

As you know I am a registered nurse. I also am a diabetic with a strong family history of cardiac disease. Luckily so far I do not have any signs of cardiac disease. Though my risks are increased due to diabetes. There is a lot of information out on the web regarding health decisions. Personally I believe that holistic medicine and modern medicine can work well together. My personal goal is to eventually obtain my nurse practitioner and continue my herbal studies.

Health Education

I truly believe that in order to maintain or even obtain good health requires education. Maybe that is because of the nursing model of education which focuses on the entire person, their socioeconomic status, education status, family dynamics. The medical model has become very specialized, there are no longer general practitioners. Specialists are necessary for care of specific diseases and illnesses. There are so many factors, though, that need to be assessed as part of a person’s general well being.

Good health begins with knowing your body, good nutrition, and healthy activity. In order to make good decisions you need to educate yourself on all your options. Some illnesses are caused by a genetic predisposition, such as my diabetes, there is a strong family history of that as well. Some conditions are due to environmental causes, work, play, etc. Knowing how to support and maintain a healthy body also requires knowledge of how the world affects your body.

Where to get information

You can most definitely support a health body with good nutrition, herbal support, vitamins, etc. There are even many illnesses that are easily treated without modern medicine, usually with supportive care. Educate yourself on holistic care and modern medicine. One thing I often tell my patients is that their healthcare provider works for them. If they are not willing to be your partner in your health then fire them.

When choosing what is right for you educate yourself on the benefits. Avoid self diagnosing your condition. The internet is a wealth of knowledge but so are books and practitioners. I will caution on using the internet as a sole source of knowledge. There are many less than reputable sources. Companies willing to sell anything without proper knowledge.

Holistic vs Modern Medicine

Both holistic medicine and modern medicine have their place in our health. They can be used together. I know some of the biggest concerns about modern medicine is the influence of Big Pharma and side effects of medications. Well natural remedies have the same/similar issues. Any medication or treatment does. When soliciting advice do research on the person/people you are asking. It is not rude to ask them how they came into their knowledge. Also, keep in mind that just like modern pharmaceuticals have contraindications based on health conditions and other medications so does natural medicine. Educate yourself on what works best for you. There is never a one size fits all health program.

Top 5 Reasons to do Breakfast.

Sunny Side-thumbThere are many reasons why breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Here are the top 5 reasons you shouldn’t forgo your first meal of the day.

 

1. Breakfast decreases appetite.

This is the time to fill up on high-fiber, nutrient dense foods. You will find that you have fewer cravings during the day for carbohydrate leaden food. You will feel full longer in the day.

2. You eat less.

This really ties into #1. Eat your wheaties folks! Or whatever it is you desire for breakfast just make it big, nutritious, and filling. Avoid empty calories pack your meal with proteins, high fiber, carbohydrates, and natural fat.

3. You will improve your brain function and make your day more pleasant.

Carbohydrates are not the enemy. High quality carbohydrates give energy for the entire day. They are necessary for brain function, improving your mood and lowering your stress. When your body doesn’t have the nutrition that it needs you will find you can’t concentrate, you get “hangry”, you just can’t function. Start your day off right and make it a good day.

4. You can decrease your risk of chronic illness.

There is research available that shows you can decrease your risks of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and other chronic illnesses that are plaguing not just the elderly anymore but young people as well. Encourage healthy eating habits from the beginning.

5. Yes, you will lose weight.491616-thumb

There is a myth in the US that you have to deprive yourself of food in order to lose weight. This is not true. With a regular workout routine and eating breakfast you will lose weight. How? Very simply your metabolism gets a boost from eating first thing in the morning. And of course regular exercise helps as well.