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@ellisjrosen @newyorkercartoons

How are you doing through all this?
I ask you because often we just plug along and don’t stop to notice.
So stop for a moment, take a few deep breathes and notice.
I’ve been up and down, between being okay and then going stir crazy.The rain has not helped!
Meditating daily helps me be more aware of my thoughts.I am able to catch myself when my mind start to over think and create anxiety.
It is so important, especially right now, to notice when the mind starts to create havoc.
When we have this awareness we can OBSERVE and not get carried away into your thoughts. We can take some deep breathes and note that they are just thoughts and that we can choose to let them go.
The thoughts will come back, just keep observing and letting go.
When you notice this pattern go into your breath. Here is a good way to do it:

  1. Take a deep breath in for 4 counts
  2. Hold your breath for 4
  3. Exhale for 4
  4. Hold the exhale for 4
  5. Repeat

This is the simplest and most effective way to get out of your head and into your body.
It is very important for your mental health.
I bring this up because I have noticed many people are extremely anxious.I think the main cause is watching the news too much.
Yes people want to stay informed. This can be done very easily with just 10 minutes a day.It is not necessary to watch the news more than that!
Notice how watching the news makes you feel, does it:

  • give you shortness of breath
  • create a tightness in your chest
  • put your stomach in knots
  • cause sleeplessness
  • create negative thoughts that stay with you and repeat in your head

If you answered yes to any of these questions, please consider cutting down or even cutting out the news. I seriously think the news creates a lot of depression and anxiety in our society.
Turn off the TV or log off the internet.Here are some alternate activities that will make you feel better:

  • go for a walk – the beach, the forest, anywhere, just get outside
  • read or listen to a book, the public library has an amazing APP
  • listen to a podcast, there are so many great ones
  • watch an entertaining show (avoid depressing ones)
  • listen to music you love
  • do a puzzle
  • start a project: write a book, create a podcast, take up drawing, painting
  • play a game in person or invite a friend online
  • clean out a closet or drawer
  • clean out your storage space

Stay connected to how the things you are doing make you feel and choose activities that lift you up, not pull you down.
Hang in there everybody, this too shall pass!
Sending you lots of positive vibes.
xoAli

…continued from last week

After I’ve consciously decided that I don’t want to gain weight over the holidays, I start to think about situations where I’ll have the opportunity to stuff my face.

On the bright-side there will be far fewer situations this year as there won’t be any holidays gatherings. But since we will be cozy at home, some baking would be nice, wouldn’t it? But before we go for it, think about who is going to eat it and how much of it will you eat?

Stop and consider: Is It Worth It?

I ask myself:

– Is stuffing my face for the month of December worth the extra pounds at the end?
– How will I feel January 1st with an extra X pounds on my frame? Was it really that enjoyable?
– Were those delectable treats delectable at all?
– At the end of Christmas dinner, how do I want to feel? Do I want to have to undo my button and zipper? Do I want to feel bloated and sick?
– Do I really need to eat three plates full of Xmas dinner? Is it actually more enjoyable when I eat more?

Is It Crap?

– What are the ingredients in that tasty morsel?
– Is it actually tasty & delicious or am I eating it out of: boredom? something to do? unconsciousness? obligation?
– Is it made with artificial flavour and hydrogenated oil? Or is it real made with natural ingredients?
– What are natural ingredients? If I can’t pronounce it or don’t know what it means then it’s crap. Pretty simple, huh!?
– You How do I know it’s crap if it’s on a platter and there is no package to read? I look it over, does it look like it’s made from natural ingredients or from a package? If it’s homemade chances, are it’s not crap. If it looks like it’s from a package, chances are it’s crap. The more I check the ingredients, in general, the more I have learned to tell the difference and taste the difference. You will be amazed at the difference once you get into it.
– I consider how I will feel after I eat it. Crap makes me feel like crap.

Be picky! Be choosy! Don’t eat crap! Trust me it’s not worth it.

Just eat food you love and enjoy.

Attitude:

This is a big one. Once you’ve decided on what you want, embrace it. What you think and say to yourself after that is everything. If you start to lament that you’re on a “diet”, that you can’t eat this or that, that you wish you could but you don’t want to gain weight, then you’re hooped, it’ll be difficult to stick to your plan.

Focus on the positive.

Focus on what you’re having instead of what you’re not having. With the right attitude you won’t miss a thing and enjoy what you have.

to be continued….

It’s that time of year again: chocolates, cookies and cakes, oh my!

The season of indulging, maybe more than ever this year, since we can’t go anywhere, so we might as well do some baking, right? Problem is, no one can come over, so who’s going to eat it all?!

Traditionally I used to gain at least a few pounds over the holidays. As I’ve gotten older I have found it more difficult to get those extra pounds off and year after year the scale creeps up. Losing five pounds feels manageable but I imagine losing twenty or thirty pounds will feel daunting, so it’s important to nip it in the bud.

So I devise a plan….

PREPARE

When I know there’s a special occasion or season coming up that may involve overeating on my part I begin to prepare my mind and my body.

Mind

I spend time thinking about how I feel when I overeat:

  • the bloating
  • my clothes tight and uncomfortable
  • the break-outs from the chocolate and extra fat
  • the frustration & disappointment with myself for not having the will power to stop eating
  • the effort it will take to get the extra weight off

Then, I make a decision about what I want:

  • I do not want to gain weight
  • I do not want to feel bloated and over-stuffed from overeating
  • I want to enjoy, guilt-free, delicious food that I love
  • I do not want to put crap into my body
  • I do not want to feel disappointed with myself
  • I want to feel good and be proud of myself

A goal properly set is halfway reached.
~Zig Ziglar

Body

I prepare by:

  • eating sensibly the days/week/month leading up to the event or season
  • cut starchy bloating foods like: rice, potatoes, muffins, bread, crackers
  • no junk food or treats
  • lots of vegetables, lean meats, salads & fruit
  • cut fat: no butter, fatty dressings, anything deep fried
  • portion control
  • extra workouts
  • drink 8 – 12 glasses of water a everyday

So I go into it feeling like I have lost a few pounds, my clothes feel looser.  I’m not a big fan of the weigh scale, so I don’t usually weigh myself. However, it can be helpful to gauge where you’re at but use it as a tool not a weapon.

How about you?

Get in touch with your body and how you feel. Take some time to think about what you want and set your own goals. The key is to making a conscious decision about what you want.

A goal without a plan is merely a wish.

To be continued….

by https://www.positivelypresent.com/

Illustration by: Adrian Furrow

Hi Everyone,

Hope you’re doing well.

I came across this interesting article I thought might interest you.

It’s about how we naturally have a surge capacity to help us get through difficult times:

Surge capacity is a collection of adaptive systems — mental and physical — that humans draw on for short-term survival in acutely stressful situations, such as natural disasters.

Thing is though, this difficult time is lasting a long time with no end in sight.

The article talks about how our surge capacity needs to be replenished but since we are still in a state of flux, it has not been able to renew itself.

Makes me think of when you’re worn out and depleted and you go on holidays, it’s so recharging and replenishing.

The article gives you strategies for coping through the pandemic:

  • Accept that life is different right now
  • Expect less from yourself
  • Recognize the different aspects of grief
  • Experiment with “both-and” thinking
  • Look for activities, new and old, that continue to fulfill you
  • Focus on maintaining and strengthening important relationships
  • Begin slowly building your resilience bank account

READ THE ARTICLE

Although things have improved somewhat, the pandemic continues. Life will not be back to normal for some time. It’s become a marathon, so we have to pace ourselves. Taking care of our mental and physical well being is more important than ever.


1) STAY POSITIVE
This may be the most important. We have all slipped into negativity and frustration at times because we cannot do the things we are used to being able to do. It’s natural to feel this way, but be careful it doesn’t become a habit. A negativity habit is very easy to form due to the negativity bias and hard to break. Notice if you’re on a complaining loop and try to snap out of it.

2) CUT BACK ON THE TREATS
Enough with the donuts already! I have never seen so many people walking around with so many donut boxes! It’s been kind of entertaining actually.
Yes, most of us have been indulging a little more than usual since the pandemic hit.
It’s time to get back on track. About a month ago now I decided, too many treats and cut it down to once a week. It is hard at first because sugar is addictive, so each day you crave it again, but stick with it and the cravings will go away within a few days to a week.
Limit it to one treat a week, eat healthier and the extra pounds will start to come off. Patience and persistence! PS. When you have a treat, make sure it’s actually worth it.

3) GET OUTSIDE
Get outside every day. This is imperative. Especially now that Summer has finally arrived, we have to soak it up while we can! Make time to go out for a walk, bike ride, swim each and every day, even two times a day, if you can. It’s important for your mental and physical health.

4) BE AWARE OF YOUR FEELINGS
How do you feel? We can go into auto-pilot and just plug along unaware. Notice if you’re feeling lonely, pent-up, irritable or are incessantly complaining. If you are, take steps to feel better, take control.

5) WHAT ARE YOU WATCHING?
What are you watching and how does it make you feel?
I just finished watching Ozark, and I did enjoy it, but it was pretty dark. When you watch a show regularly you can’t help but get swept up in it and think about it through-out the day. If you’re feeling down than it may be best not to watch a depressing, violent, etc. type show.
I just started watching Jane The Virgin and am really enjoying it. It’s light, fun and playful.

6) MOVE YOUR BODY
Exercise! Especially if you’re not working right now, make it your “job”. Exercise will make you feel better in so many ways, good for your physical and mental health.

7) APPRECIATE
Things could be far worse. We are not in a war, we have food, we have shelter. Given that we are really the luckiest people on earth, we can tend to forget how good we have it. There are people in this world, right now, who are suffering for lack of food, shelter, safety and worse. Appreciate what we have, because we really do have so much.

Hang in there everybody!

Accept what you cannot accept. Swimming against the current is exhausting – go with the current instead, life will be much easier.

It looks like it will be while before most live in-person classes are back, so let’s make the most of our livestream class experience!


Think of the class as treat you do for yourself. It’s ME time, to take care of myself and my health – which right now, is more important than ever.


Act as if you were in a studio, for instance, you wouldn’t take a call while in a studio class. Make the class a priority and stick to it. Think of all the time you are saving not having to travel to a studio class.


Here are 6 things you can do to make the most of your class:


1) Close all other windows on your device so there are no other programs taking up your bandwidth and no emails popping up, etc.


2) Put your device on DO NOT DISTURB so you are not disrupted by calls, texts or emails. If you’re not sure how to do it, just look up “how to turn on do not disturb on iPhone/Android, etc” on YouTube.


3) If possible, be in a separate room from others in your home and ask them to not disturb you.


4) If you have, connect your device to a bluetooth speaker for better sound. A big appeal with my classes is the music, which I spend a lot of time and care curating. Or, if you have, use wireless headphones – this will also help with keeping you present in the class.


5) Connect your device to your television screen by cable or Apple TV (it’s so easy with Apple TV!). Again check YouTube for how to.


6) Commit to staying present for the class.


Although we all miss interacting with each other in person, livestream classes have been very convenient and it’s been wonderful to see your faces and connect with you!


Let’s make the most it and stay positive. Some day we will look back at this time with nostalgia.


Hope you are keeping well.

Have you noticed that some people out there are really crabby?!

It’s made me reflect on how much stress everyone is under, how cooped up and fed up people are. And unfortunately some are taking it out on others.

So I thought I would issue you a challenge this week to spread some positive vibes.

Let’s infuse some positivity into the small mundane things we do.

Let’s let positivity radiate from us and see what happens.

Let’s spread some love!

  • Here’s how to do it:Wake up in the morning and greet those around you with a hug, a kiss or a warm & loving word.
  • Smile at everyone you see.
  • Hold the door open for someone every day.
  • Be patient when you drive, don’t let anything get to you. Wave a thanks to those that let you in.
  • Be friendly to every the cashier at the grocery store, coffee shop, wherever you go.
  • Compliment people. “What a lovely hat”, “I love your hair”, look for something you love.
  • Call someone and say, “I appreciate/miss/love you”
  • Think of someone who may be feeling lonely, give them a call and, if you feel comfortable, get together at social distance.
  • Say thank you to someone you appreciate.
  • Focus on the positive, avoid negativity – in your thoughts and out loud.
  • Take a day or the week off from listening or watching the news or limit to once a day.
  • Look for ways be of service.

Off you go you little positivity fairies!

Notice how it feels when you do these things.

Take good care everyone❤️

Ali


Hi everyone,

Hope you are keeping well. Who would have ever thought that we would be in this situation?!

It feels like a movie (have you seen Contagion? It is exactly this!).

The stress and anxiety sometimes gets to me, but overall I am feeling calm and know that this will eventually pass. It’s been a good time to reflect on life and appreciate what we have.

I’ve had a post-it note up on my wall forever, now it applies more than ever:

ACTION IS THE ANTIDOTE FOR ANXIETY

That anxiety, stress and fear we are feeling is in our bodies. We need to get it out. I find physical movement is the best way. Make sure you are not holding it in, breath and move!

I find that going for bike rides, listening to upbeat music, dancing and of course exercising does wonders. Always makes me feel better!

Getting outside is also important, getting fresh air and a different perspective. We have been so lucky with amazing weather and our city has never been more beautiful, we are so lucky to live here.

Teaching my classes and seeing your faces has also been so grounding. Thank you for joining me. It’s been a huge learning curve, it’s wonderful to learn new things.

Helping others is another way to take action. Here are 3 things you can do to help right now:

1) Give Blood
Given the situation, blood donation is very low. Consider donating if you qualify.

2) Assist Seniors
This website connects you with seniors who need assistance. Things you can do range from cooking, delivering food, shopping for groceries, driving to appointments or a phone visit.

3) Help Medical Professionals
Food delivery services are oversubscribed. Front-line medical professionals do not want to go inside grocery stores and expose the public. Volunteers are matched with a medical professional in their neighbourhood by postal code to help with delivery.

A very powerful message.

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