Good, Better, Best...Always Get Your Rest

I have not been getting enough rest! I have been sleeping off hours and during times where I am usually productive like on weekends and my train commute to work. I have become the human bobble head, sadly yet comically nodding off infringing on the space of the passenger next to me. Last week my nodding off got so bad the woman next to me got up and moved seats; I suppose she didnt appreciate me using her shoulder as a bolster for my head (lol).

My pursuit to get it all done and to be on top of my game was in conflict with my wellness. When I don't get enough sleep my tolerance is lower, my focus is off, I eat mindlessly and I dont have the same vigor and energy for my workouts and life in general. Thankfully my body cannot go but so long that way before it waves the white flag and surrenders which usually means becoming a little ill or so incapacitated that I sleep like the proverbial lump on a log.

I appreciate the moments when my body speaks up and out and I am forced to realign with nature. Sleep is our bodies way of regenerating. It is in those times of being rested and shut off that our brain can be recharged and our bodies renewed. I am learning that when I honor my bodies natural rhythms I am even more productive, efficient and well. When I am getting enough sleep I awake with a sieze the day attitude instead of begining the countdown, before I even get into the shower, as to when I will be back home and back in bed. My mind is not only clearer but I am more creative and dare I say sexually expressive.

This week I used the power of no to prioritize myself and to get more sleep and I was actually able to wake up early this weekend and get quite a few things checked off my to-do list which make this wellness warrior very happy.

Are you well rested? If not how can you make sleep a priority?

Here are a few suggestions:
  1. Set a bed time and stick to it. Set your alam in your phone, pda or clock to remind you it's bed time.
  2. Make your bedroom condusive to sleep by dimming the lights, eliminating clutter and only using your bed to sleep and have sex.
  3. Enlist help. If you know you won't be able to pull yourself away from tasks to get to bed on time ask a partner, friend or family member to be your accountability partner.Let people know your goals for getting more rest and request that you are not called, texted, bbm'd, skyped, emailed etc... after a certain time in the day.
  4. Turn off distractions like your phone, computer and television.
  5. Create a ritual around sleep. Light a candle, meditate, stretch, or use aromatherapy to get you in the mood to rest peacefully.
Try one or all of the suggestions but more importantly get more sleep which ever way you can, your wellness depends on it.


The 'N' Word

Though small, consisting of just two letters and one syllable, there is immense power in NO.
It lands differently than the hiss of the 's' of yes and quite often gets overshadowed by yesses accolades. No gets associated with 'terrible twos' and negative connotations and has been treated like yesses evil fraternal twin, but truth be told my experience with yes is that it is the black sheep in the family of people pleasing and perfection.

When no eluded me I misused yes and have been burned one too many times. Yes was suffocating me, sucking the life out of me and altering my wellness; the very wellness I work so hard for. Yes only sounded good.

I have decided to stop dating 'yes' and wed 'no'; to have and to hold from this day forward, till death do us part. I will honor our bond and wear its power like an amulet around my neck to ward off energy zappers, health detractors and stress inducers.

I will no longer mistakenly interchange the two. I will say 'no' when I mean it and choose wisely when I say 'yes', my wellness depends on it.

What do you need to say 'no' to in order to say 'yes' more powerfully in your life?


Running For Empowerment

 Momentum is a heck of a thing! After being challenged to go back to the gym after a long hiatus I have to say I feel good in my body(after suffering injuries), I'm stronger, better able to deal with the drama of work (though that is a work in progress...lol), thankfully taking my stress out on the machines and not my loved ones,working muscles that have been on vacation for a little bit, standing a bit taller and feeling a whole lot better. I even made a commitment to run a 5K on Christmas Day.

I am proud of myself and am happy that I have something to work towards. The challenge of running a 5K makes my workouts more meaningful and help push me when I am tired and feeling less than eager to go to the gym. I would encourage anyone who needs motivation to workout to sing up for a run, walk, bike tour or some other fitness event because when the going gets tough you will have a larger goal in sight to remind you of why you are pushing yourself as hard as you are. Also the sense of accomplishment once you are complete will fuel you to do more and encourage those around you to perhaps do the same.

Empower yourself to do more and let me know what fitness challenge you have either signed up for or have done in the past that has fueled your sense of accomplishment.



Are You Setting Yourself Up...For Success?

As a way to manage my stress and to have more peace (both in my home and in my mind) I joined the gym again (thank you corporate rates). I began November 1, 2010 and took on a co-worker's challenge to go to the gym everyday for 30 days. Our deal was that I would work out everyday and she would give up drinking alcoholic beverages for the same time period.

I set my intentions for this challenge, made a plan and visualized my success (something I do regularly when setting goals). I am prideful and I had no intentions of losing this challenge. I realized  keeping the why or reason I was doing this in the forefront of my mind, packing my gym bag at nights, mapping out the times I would attend the gym and having a schedule of exercises to do helped me immensely and kept me on track. With my plan I had no room for excuses.

That being said, I did miss one day due to illness (vomiting + diarrhea= stay at home). I was initially disappointed but realized I had successfully attended the gym for 29 days, 29 more days than I had in a long time. One day could not take away the greater accomplishment. I am now more committed than ever, and the best part is that I have continued the challenge but this time, the challenge is with me, for myself. I am ready willing, and able and am more empowered. Those 29 days were a warm up for the journey and I am happy to say I have begun. I know things may happen that will set me of course (like illness), but for the most part with my intention, a plan and expectations of success, I am clear I can successfully accomplish my goal of maintaining my mental, emotional and physical wellness.

What are some goals you have? How are you setting yourself up for success?


It's a New Day!!!

Life is a journey,
Not a destination,
There are no mistakes,
Just chances we’ve taken
Lay down your regrets cause all we have is now

Wake up in the morning
And get out of bed
Start making a mental list in my head
Of all of the things that I am grateful for

Early in the morning
It’s the dawn of a new day
New hopes new dreams new ways
I open up my eyes and
I open up my mind and
I wonder how life will surprise me today
Early in the morning
It’s the dawn of a new day
New hopes new dreams new ways
I open up my heart and
I’m gon’ do my part and
Make this a positively beautiful day.......

- A Beautiful Day, India.Arie

The lyrics to this India.Arie song inspire me. They remind me that when we reach a place on our journey when we feel scared, frightened or stuck, to remember that we can still receive everyday as new and beautiful. Our outlook is everything. We can all get over the hump, start a fresh, learn from the many lessons on our journey and recreate our own understanding of beautiful.

It doesn't matter how many times we have stumbled, tripped or fallen, what matters is that we look up, get up and begin again. It doesn't matter if we cheated on the diet, or stopped working out, gained a few pounds, had a bout with depression, found ourselves in another loveless relationship, or at another dead end job, we can begin again, no regrets...It's a New Day!!!

How are you getting over the hump and beginning again?