vendredi 27 juillet 2012

Recharging on a regular basis: take an inventory

Once you have started getting more sleep, you need to take an inventory of what's working in your life - for example you may be faithful to exercising at least 3 times a week, your primary relationship, and what's not working, maybe your nutrition or your finances, or an employee or colleague, or a long commute.  Write everything down - in two columns.  On the minus side, you may want to include the "tolerations" - those sometimes small but no less irritating pests: too much stuff, not enough space, useless or ugly things: clothes, furniture, etc., things that need fixing around the house, clothes that need some repair or need to be given or thrown out, a bad habit (biting your nails), someone else's bad habit, a lack of discipline, not taking time to play, an old mattress.  If you are honest, you will find at least 33, most probably 66 and more of those irritants in your life and at work.    All those small irritations cause what we call stress and unless you tackle them, you will continue to have some valuable energy thrown at the wind.  One valuable point is to write down besides each entry, how long it has gone on.  Don't be surprised when you realize some irritants have been around for a long time.

Take action:  write down that list and tackle one item this weekend - and yes you can tackle more than one if you feel like it.

Marguerite Tennier
Life Coaching for Women
Wellness Coaching for Women
Fearless Living Coach for Women

jeudi 26 juillet 2012

Recharging on a regular basis

If you are like most professionnals, you arrive at your yearly vacation exhausted with just one thought: rest, sleep, vegge out.  Earlier this week, I posted on Linkedin following up on a question by a reader on how to recharge on a regular basis so that you don't end up using your vacation time to rest instead of enjoying and doing activities you would like to do, be it travel, do more sports,visit places of interest,  renovate the house.

Our bodies unlike our houses need repair on a daily basis.  Sleep is the way our bodies and our brains make the necessary repairs so that we can continue work and life without losing too many of our marbles, oops! cells.  And it's not a joke - it's medically proven that without enough sleep, our immune system cannot keep up - I personally experienced pain last winter - nerve caught - and could not sleep more than 3-4 hours a night - no painkiller helped- I became quite sick - caught everything - Novo Virus, colds, bronchitis.  I actually was able to feel that unless something changed and I could get more sleep, my life was in danger.

Sleep does its repair work.  It also regulates our hormones, specifically some hormones that regulate our appetite - not enough sleep and you will most likely eat more.  Not enough sleep makes you more vulnerable to stress and chronic stress elevates cortisol level (from the adrenals) and slows the production of other immunity boosting hormones and in the long run affects all your functions.

How much sleep do you need?  Before the age of electricity, our ancestors - in the early 1900, slept about 10 hours a night.  That means that after dinner, the dishes done, a little bit of reading or music, and they were likely in bed by 8:30, 9:00 p.m. and up by 6:30,7:00 a.m.- That's also the time when families were quite large.

If you have been burning the candle at both ends, it will take some time to regulate your sleep and for your body to find it's equilibrium.  The easiest way is to start going to bed by about a half-hour earlier every 4 or 5 days, until you are in bed at 11 p.m at the latest, ideally 10:00 p.m., and even earlier if you need to get up very early (like 5 a.m.or so).  As you go to bed earlier, make sure you also eat proportionately earlier - a full stomach does not sleep help).

Monitor how you feel after you increase your sleep - write down a number over 10 in your day planner to score your energy level.  The way to see if you have slept enough is to wake up refreshed, ideally without the help of an alarm and to feel energetic throughout the day, until bedtime.

Marguerite Tennier, M.A.
Life coching for women
Wellness Coach for Women
Fearless Living Coach for Women

lundi 23 juillet 2012

Why wellness?

I was asked recently why I had such a passion for wellness and healthy living.  My interest in nutrition started many years ago when at 42 or so I was told I had high cholesterol. I still vividly remember hanging up the phone after the call from my doctor and feeling that my body had let me down.  I immediately started researching what I could do to lower my cholesterol numbers.  I soon learned that high cholesterol can be familial and as such, not easy to lower.  However, I started using the Heart and Stroke Foundation Cookbook and within 3 months, I lowered my numbers by 15% - my doctor was quite impressed.  Two years ago, I realized, after being dairy free for 4 days that I had less knee pain - while I have knee osteoarthritis (had one knee replacement surgery last January), less milk resulted in less pain.  A year ago I stopped eating meat - any kind of meat and again my cholesterol took a dip once more.

I firmly believe what science says: our lifestyle makes a huge difference in our health and I continue to make certain I do everyting I can - most of the time - to ensure that I continue to live a healthy life in spite of chronic health issues.

Next time, I will tell you more about myself and my interest in wellness and healthy living.

Marguerite Tennier, M.A.
Life Coach Canada
Wellness Coaching for Women
Fearless Living Coach for Women

mercredi 18 juillet 2012

Work-life: are you good at keeping clear boundaries?

I pride myself for eating well, sleeping at regular hours - well before midnight and exercising regularly.  I tell how I work about the equivalent of 10 hours a week.  However, I have realized this week, that as I work from home, I have failed miserably at keeping track of all I do for work, on top of the 10 hours: reading, researching, writing, social networking, reading zillions of emails, and probably other stuff I just don't remember now.

While it is not terrible to do all those extras - I actually immensely enjoy the reading and researching and writing and the social networking, I have decided to track my time for the next two weeks, and record everyting I am doing that is work related, every half-hour, from the time I get out of bed to the time I retire at night.

If you too work from home and either feel pulled in all directions or feel the least bit frazzled, I challenge you to record for a week or more, exactly "where the time goes".  Like me, you may want to continue the various activities or, like I plan to, you may want to learn to use the office or the computer or IPhone within certain hours only.

Marguerite Tennier, M.A.
Life Coach for Women
Wellness Coach for Womn
Fearless Living Coach for Women

jeudi 12 juillet 2012

Pretend you are on vacation

Wouldn't it be nice to be able to take a vacation every week.  Yes every week.  Multiply 2 days X 50 weeks, that's 100 days of vacation a year, without counting your 3 or 4 "official holiday time".  Well, maybe if you are either a single parent or a 2 working parent family, that's a lot to ask.  What about taking 2 days vacation every second week -  that will still give you 50 extra holiday days.  Many of you will say it's impossible.  Well, it is not impossible.  All it takes is some planning and some imagination.  Who said, "what you can conceive, you can achieve"?

What do you do when you are on vacation?  You play, you visit places of interest, you BBQ, you go on a picnic, you read your favorite book, you go to the beach, you go dancing, or see a movie, or a day trip in a little town nearby, well, that's what I like to do -  what do you like to do?

I dare you to 1) choose 4 weekends out of the 8 left before September 1st  2) plan and execute all your errands, washings, shopping, "must do" on weeknights and on the "in-between" weekends so that all the "shoulds" are done, and 3) imagine that the 4 chosen weekends are totally  play and "want to" and "love to" times - Then, like any other vacation, planning is important.  Use a calendar or a day planner or any other mean to fill those extra vacation days with fun stuff.

Marguerite Tennier, M.A.
Life Coach for women in Canada
Wellness Coach for Women
Fearless Living Coach for Women

dimanche 1 juillet 2012

Celebrating Canada Day -

I started the day today swimming in a little pond for far from my home.  It was glorious.  A blue heron flew by and started fishing - a good indication that the water is clean -   The body is made to move and being able to get the blood running in the great outdoors does wonder for the body and also for the mind.  It has been shown that when you exercise outdoors, your mood will be elevated more than if you exercise indoors.

Use that is left of this wonderful day and find a park or a lake and enjoy.

Marguerite Tennier, M.A.
Canada's Coach

Wellness and Fearless Living Coach
for Canadian Women