Creating Work Life Balance

4105356_lA lot of people complain that they don’t have time to do what they love to do after work, or that they are constantly checking emails and placing the all the housework on themselves. This eventually causes stress to get everything done in a short time and feeling overworked and burnout. You might even be internalizing the negativity to the point where you are hurting yourself.

We have many roles in our lives. We are workers, maids, chefs, coaches, mothers, fathers, and more. By creating a balance between work and life, we can feel more relaxed and enjoy the moment. This is sometimes easier said than done, but we can and slowly make changes to create more balance to our work and personal life. Try some of the tips below to help create more work life balance.

Embrace the “off” button.

Meaning your computer, your phone, and emails! Technology has a great way to have us stay connected, but when you’re connected all the time, you lose the present of being with friends and family. Set a boundary that work stuff stays a work, or during work hours. Once your work day is done, turn off the technology and focus on your personal life.

Learn to say NO.

We are caring creatures and are willing to help others. Taking on more tasks than we can handle increases our stress level. By learning to say no to extra assignments at work or lead the PTA meeting, again. You can free your time to do other things you had on your list. Saying “No, I have work I need finish first”, or “Thanks for thinking of me but, I want to spend an evening with my  family” is an acceptable response and shouldn’t feel guilty for taking on more.

Prioritize what work needs to be done.

By making a list can help you organize your day. You’ll be able to see what tasks needs to be done. Another way to organize and set priority is making a chart of what is important, not important, urgent and not urgent. Like this:

prioritiespriorities 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

List tasks and see where some of those tasks are place. Are they pressing? Are they time-wasters?
By learning what is important, you can plan your day. Box #2 is where you want to be planning your family dinner, preparing deadlines for reports and etc. 

Caring for yourself.

Here are a few self-care practices you can try:

  • Exercise
  • Spend some time outside
  • Spend time alone.
  • Use your vacation and sick time
  • Read
  • Meditate
  • Practice mindfulness
  • Forgive yourself & others 
  • Pamper yourself! Get a massage, manicure or pedicure

Eat healthy.

Eat a clean, real food diet—which emphasizes fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, cooked whole grains and protein. Reduce processed foods, fast food and excess sugar and alcohol. 

Get enough sleep.

Lack of sleep increases stress. It’s also important to avoid using personal electronic devices, such as tablets, just before bedtime. The blue light emitted by devices decreases your level of melatonin, the hormone associated with sleep.

Make time for fun and relaxation.

Set aside time each day for an activity that you enjoy, such as practicing yoga or reading. Better yet, discover activities you can do with your partner, family or friends—such as hiking, dancing or taking cooking classes.

Resources:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/work-life-balance/art-20048134?pg=2

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2015/07/work-life-8-little-tips-to-achieve-a-better-balance/

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-20540/forget-work-life-balance-heres-how-to-win-at-life-your-way.html

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-14321/15-self-care-tips-for-anyone-who-works-too-much.html

 

Practice Lightning Safety

National Lightening SafetyTampa Bay has long been considered , by some, to be the lightning capital of the nation.  As the summer storms ensure, we thought it worthwhile to post some lightning safety facts.  We couldn’t find any national observance activities, but truly, this PDF is a valuable tool that should be shared with your family and co-workers.

Remember: When thunder roars, go indoors!

Let’s Talk About Food Addiction

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Let’s talk about food addiction. This has become a very interesting topic to me recently. At first, I was like, “No, I don’t have an “addiction”. That sounded too harsh. But as I read the book, The Hunger Fix by Pam Peeke, MD I knew I needed to face the reality. Many of us do have food addictions. And we are not solely to blame. The food industry uses our instinctual pull towards sweet, salty and fatty foods to make their products so desirable we literally cannot help ourselves from over doing it.

Dr. Peeke suggests to begin addressing food addictions by first detoxing the body and avoiding all added sugar, processed foods, eating out and any trigger foods that you may have. I decided that now was the perfect time to try the Ultimate Reset 3 week cleansing and rejuvenating system. I’ve just made it through the first week and I’m feeling remarkably light and energized. I’ll be sharing more about this cleanse in a future post.

Here’s an excerpt from Bethesda Magazine that explains some of the science behind food addictions:

“Evidence in recent years has suggested that some foods may, in fact, hijack the brain’s reward system in susceptible individuals, much as cocaine, heroin and other drugs do.

Groundbreaking studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) scans have demonstrated that when people with food addictions are shown pictures of and/or eat sweet, salty or fatty foods, the pleasure centers of their brains light up and stay lit up much longer than in those without an apparent food addiction. The stimulated pleasure center, in turn, triggers an intense desire for more.

“The brain scans were game-changers because they show that regardless of addiction—whether it’s to drugs, food or alcohol—you see the same changes in the reward center of the brain: The total number of dopamine receptors is way down, allowing only a small amount of this pleasurable brain chemical to get through—and thus, people experience less and less pleasure and reward,” Peeke says. “That’s why addicts of any kind need more and more of their substance to even feel a small amount of pleasure.”

When the brain is continuously flooded with high levels of dopamine, she explains, many of the dopamine receptors shut down. As a result, when you do consume the desired food, “you don’t feel as much reward, and it takes more of a hyper-palatable food to actually enjoy the original pleasure you had when your dopamine-receptor population was normal,” Peeke says. “You need six cupcakes to get the pleasure you used to get from one.” Read the rest of the article here.

If you are curious about whether or not you have a food addiction, take this quiz to find out how you rate.

JOURNAL REFLECTIONS

List your top 3 foods that you have a hard time stopping one you start. Or the ones that you have a hard time saying no to if they are in your presence, regardless of how determined you are about your nutrition plan. These foods may or may not also be the ones that cause you to thrown in the towel on trying to eat healthy for the day (or week, or month) once you’ve had them.

Think about your attachment to these foods. How do they make you feel after you’ve eaten them? How do you feel when trying to not eat them? How much energy do you spend thinking about and trying to manage these foods in your life? How would life be different if you didn’t struggle with the decision to eat or not eat these foods on a regular basis?


 If you want to more about how I help people get in great shape through common sense, real food nutrition, fun workouts that you can do in the comfort of your own home and ongoing support, motivation and accountability from me and a group of peers, contact me for more info! And, take a minute and make me your FREE COACH over at teambeachbody.com!

jenJennifer Oppelt is a Certified Health Coach and graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, a Certified Holistic Health Practitioner – American Association of Drugless Practitioners and a Licensed Massage Therapist in the state of Florida (MA37357). Jennifer has added Beachbody Coach to her list of titles as a way to offer more tools to help her clients reach their health goals. Jennifer is happily married and a mother to two children, Alchemy and Ashton. Jennifer loves spending time with family, cooking real food, fitness and is an advocate of sustainable living.

Jennifer specializes in helping new mothers lose weight and regain their energy and vitality. However, she is open to working with everyone and has a true passion for helping others. Implementing self-care routines and developing a positive body image are also important aspects of the healthy lifestyle that Jennifer advocates and encourages to all of her clients.

National Men’s Health Week

National Men's Health WeekJune 15 – 21 is National Men’s Health Week.  To quote Congressman Bill Richardson (Congressional Record, H3905-H3906, May 24, 1994):

“Recognizing and preventing men’s health problems is not just a man’s issue. Because of its impact on wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters, men’s health is truly a family issue.”

You can find a ton of resources and things to do on this website, and be sure to pass it on!

Nat’l Senior Health & Fitness Day 2015

Nat'l Seniors Health & Fitness Day 2015Keep up the fun & momentum after your Memorial Day Weekend and celebrate with seniors around the country for National Senior Health & Fitness Day! While these ‘national observances’ show up only once annually on your calendar, they’re meant to create awareness and promote healthy change.  This website is full of good information on how to develop healthy lifestyles for the seniors in your life (and it wouldn’t hurt if you jumped on the bandwagon with them!). A few little changes can go a long way to living a healthy, vibrant life. 

April 6 – 12 is National Public Health Week

CaptureThe U.S. doesn’t have the top health care system – we have a great “sick care” system. We have great doctors, state-of-the-art hospitals and we’re leaders in advanced procedures and pharmaceuticals. But studies consistently show that despite spending twice as much, we trail other countries in life expectancy and almost all other measures of good health. This holds true across all ages and income levels. So what is missing?  We need a stronger public health system that supports healthy communities and moves us toward preventing illness, disease and injury.

Healthiest Nation 2030 has all sorts of resources and ideas to help promote National Public Health Week, but you don’t have to stop there.  Implement some of these activities at home or work and do your part to get healthy and help others do the same.

How to Use the Hunger and Fullness Scale

Hunger & Fullness Scale

The Hunger and Fullness Scale* is a useful tool for assessing your hunger and fullness levels before, during, and after you eat. It will help you identify your hunger cues, observe how different types and amounts of food affect you, and recognize when the urge to eat has been triggered by something other than hunger. This scale is not intended to set strict guidelines about when you should eat; rather, it helps you develop a greater awareness of your body’s subtle signals.

The Hunger and Fullness Scale ranges from 1 to 10. A level 1 represents ravenous—you’re so hungry you could eat this page. A level 10 means you’re so full that you’re in pain and feel sick. Remember, smaller numbers, smaller stomach; larger numbers, larger stomach.

In the middle of the scale is level 5: neutral, comfortable, or satisfied. At a 5, you cannot feel your stomach at all. It’s neither empty nor full; it isn’t growling or feeling stretched.

It helps to develop a good mental picture of what’s happening to your stomach at these different levels of hunger and fullness. Make a fist with your right hand; your empty stomach is about that size.

This is a level 1. One or two handfuls of food will take you from a level 1 to a 5.

Another way to picture your stomach is to think of a balloon. When it’s empty you’re at a 1. When you blow that first puff of air into the balloon, it fills out gently and takes its shape. That’s a 5.

As you take a deep breath and force more air into a balloon, its elastic walls begin to stretch and expand. These are levels 6 through 10. Your stomach is able to stretch to a 10 in order to hold excess food; therefore, the numbers over 5 indicate how stretched or uncomfortable your stomach feels.

If you blow too much air in, a balloon would continue to stretch and eventually pop. Fortunately, stomachs rarely rupture, but most of us have eaten so much at one time or another that we’ve said, “If I eat one more bite, I will explode!” When you feel this way, you’re at a 10.

Of course, changes in blood sugar levels, energy levels, moods, and substances in the bloodstream resulting from the digestive process also signal hunger and fullness. These other clues help tell you how hungry or full you are.

It may be challenging at first to label your hunger and fullness levels with numbers, but as you practice, it becomes second nature. You can learn to use this awareness to decide when, what, and how much to eat.

Hunger and Fullness Descriptions*
1 – Ravenous: Too hungry to care what you eat. This is a high-risk time for overeating.
2 – Starving: You feel you must eat NOW!
3 – Hungry: Eating would be pleasurable, but you can wait longer.
4 – Hunger pangs: You’re slightly hungry; you notice your first thoughts of food.
5 – Satisfied: You’re content and comfortable. You’re neither hungry nor full; you can’t feel your stomach at all.
6 – Full: You can feel the food in your stomach.
7 – Very full: Your stomach feels stretched, and you feel sleepy and sluggish.
8 – Uncomfortable: Your stomach is too full, and you wish you hadn’t eaten so much.
9 – Stuffed: Your clothes feel very tight, and you’re very uncomfortable.
10 – Sick: You feel sick and/or you’re in pain.

* From the book series: Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat.

Michelle May, M.D. is a recovered yoyo dieter and the award-winning author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat: How to Break Your Eat-Repent-Repeat Cycle. Download chapter one at http://amihungry.com/chapter1.

Copyright Michelle May MD. Reprinted with permission.