The difference between relaxing and self-care

 

Do you do things to relax but still feel burnt out? It might be time to take some true self-care into your daily routine.

 

This post originally appeared in my weekly newsletter – a Sunday morning email that shares mindful moments, health tips, and interesting news to make you smile. Sign up to receive yours, and be sure to share with a friend!

 

A question for you: What do you do on a daily basis that is a true act of self-care? Maybe you read some fiction, take a quiet walk, journal, play an instrument, meditate? What do you have as a deliberate time of feeding your soul and spirit?

 

I asked this question to a burnt-out client this week, and she realized… she didn’t actually have one. Her life had become so full of going, going, going (grad school and a full time job will do that to you), that was had stopped taking time for herself in her day.

 

And what a shame that is. When we get busy busy, rest and rejuvenation is the last thing we make time for. And yet, it’s actually the most important thing we can do.

 

Now I’m not usually one to quote bible verses, but I do like this proverb about farming, and I think it’s applicable here. The bible guides us to plant crops for 6 years, and then let the land lay fallow (i.e., nothing to harvest) for a 7th year. In agricultural terms, this makes complete sense: plants take nourishment from the soil, and you have to give the soil a year of rest to replenish the nutrients that make things able to grow again.

 

Do you see how this relates?

All day long, we have all of these energy outputs. We teach, we parent, we work, we move…if we keep giving all of that nourishment without taking energy back in, we’re going to eventually run out of gas.

 

This is exactly what happened to my client. All of that giving of energy has led her deep into adrenal fatigue, which is essentially her body saying “That’s enough! No more stress!” and as a result feeling incredibly tired and lower energy all of the time (We’ll talk more about adrenal fatigue next week.)

 

Maybe when I asked my question at the beginning, you thought “I do lots of things to relax!” But are any one of those something that you do daily, no matter what?

 

My conversation with Ellen made me realize that doing things to relax is different than having a daily deliberate self-care action.

 

For example, my day is completely filled with yoga. I teach, I practice…I move my body daily. But I was still feeling over-run and like I wasn’t getting in me time. Part of my New Years Resolution was to start my day with 10-15 minutes of yoga. I realized that getting that movement in the morning, even if I was going to do yoga later in the day, made a meaningful difference in how I felt and interacted with others.

 

Simply doing yoga wasn’t enough, I needed to put it as a deliberate daily ritual at the start f my day to truly make a difference.

 

Maybe for you, casually reading blogs is “relaxing”, but spending 20 minutes with a fiction book before bed would truly feed your soul. Or perhaps you go for a walk with your dog each day, but you’re usually listening to the news or thinking about work, rather than making it a deliberate time to unplug.

 

Commit to this daily practice of self-care, and you’ll truly see benefits beyond just relaxing.

 

This week’s assignment:

Do you have a daily self-care ritual? What benefits does it give you? If not, what small action could you take daily to help nourish your own spirit? Post a comment below or share your experience with other members of our Happy Healthy Human community in our private Facebook group. Your experience might bring you or someone else exactly the inspiration needed to take the next step. Thank you for sharing!

 

  Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day,   samantha attard sig

 

This post originally appeared in my weekly newsletter – a Sunday morning email that shares mindful moments, health tips, and interesting news to make you smile. Sign up to receive yours, and be sure to share with a friend!

 


samantha attard happy healthy humanSamantha Attard, PhD, is the founder of Happy Healthy Human. Sam is a performance coach, yoga instructor, and makes delicious snacks to help you eat with intention. Learn more here.

 

Healthy Carbs Cheat Sheet

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Deciding when to give up

Let’s look at how thinking about when to give up can actually cause more stress than simply ending it in the first place.

 

 

This post originally appeared in my weekly newsletter – a Sunday morning email that shares mindful moments, health tips, and interesting news to make you smile. Sign up to receive yours, and be sure to share with a friend!

 

As you guys know, I’m obsessed with wording. How you phrase something can mean so much for the emotions related to those words. It can change your view of the situation, your creativity in problem solving, and make a huge difference in how people respond to them.

 

So in today’s post- let’s take on another phrase that has a lot of negative energy around it, but gets used all the time: giving up.
We “give up” in relationships, on tests, on hobbies, on businesses, on jobs, on efforts. Giving up is used all the time to replace “ending”. “finishing” “moving on”. And yet we use “giving up”. Why?
 

Giving up implies failure. It implies that something that should have continued is no longer. It says that we are going to stop progress. We are halting. You’re running the marathon, but you decide to just sit down at mile 16 and sing a song instead.

Think about the last time you “gave up” on something. Was that really what you were doing? Were you deciding to be contrarian and not go along with the plans?
Likely not. When we choose to end something, most of the time it’s not about failure.
Instead, choosing to end something is a deep act of self-care and strength. We are having the courage to say “i know it would be easier to keep fighting for this thing, but fighting isn’t want I want to do any more.”
Giving up isn’t deviating from the path, we’re actually following our true path.
Yes, this true path is a little harder to explain. We have a culture of work work work work work (kinda like Rihanna), and when you’re done with that work you should probably do jusssst a little more. Because if we work the hardest, we’ll have the most success, right?
Yes, many good things in life are worth fighting for. And I in no way believe that everything should be seamless and easy. But you get to decide where you spend your time and energy. And choosing to not give your time to a specific cause is not failure. It is strength.
So next time you decide to stop doing something, here are some ways you can phrase it instead of saying that you’re giving up:
  1. “That was an interesting project to work on. And now I’m doing X instead!”
  2. “I did put a lot of effort into that training. I’m not doing it anymore, but I learned so much from it!”
  3. “There were some unexpected twists and turns. I’m glad to have more energy to put into Y now.”
You are not giving up. You are moving forward.
This week’s assignment:

What is a project or situation that you’ve recently decided to end? Did you think of it as giving up? How can you reframe it more positively? Comment below or  share your experience with other members of our Happy Healthy Human community in our private Facebook group. Your experience might bring you or someone else exactly the inspiration needed to take the next step. Thank you for sharing!

 

  Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day,   samantha attard sig

 

This post originally appeared in my weekly newsletter – a Sunday morning email that shares mindful moments, health tips, and interesting news to make you smile. Sign up to receive yours, and be sure to share with a friend!

 


samantha attard happy healthy humanSamantha Attard, PhD, is the founder of Happy Healthy Human. Sam is a performance coach, yoga instructor, and makes delicious snacks to help you eat with intention. Learn more here.

 

Healthy Carbs Cheat Sheet

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How to make any soup great & my hearty lentil soup recipe

how to make soup photo 2

Cooking becomes infinitely easier when you don’t have to use a recipe anymore. When you don’t need recipes, you can start to build meals using the ingredients you already have, rather than having to go out shopping every time you need to make dinner. It means you have a sense of how longs things will take to make, so you can time your meals accordingly. It saves you 25 minutes of googling, and means you can get straight to making your meals.

 

So how do you learn to cook without recipes? Templates. You figure out the components and ordering of ingredients, so you can start to swap out ingredients and flavors accordingly.

 

Let’s start with soup, or any one-pot cooked meal. Here are the components:

  1. Oil or fat base
  2. Flavor base (spices, onions, garlic)
  3. Starch (potatoes, carrots, whole grains)
  4. Veggies
  5. Protein source (lentils, eggs, meat)
  6. Liquid (water or stock)
  7. Toppings

 

Here’s the ordering:

  1. Heat up your oil/fat base.
  2. Add your flavor base and cook until soft.
  3. Add your starches and veggies with liquid.
  4. Add your protein source – this might go in early in the cooking process or later depending on how long that protein source needs to cook.
  5. Add toppings.

 

Simple right?

how to make soup photo 1

Here is the formula applied to my favorite winter lentil soup. It’s hearty and filling, while also being super healthy and delicious. It comes together in under an hour, and it will leave your whole family asking for more.

 

Hearty Lentil Soup Roasted Brussels Sprouts and “jamon”
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • • 1 white or yellow onion, finely diced
  • • 1 cup chopped mushroom
  • • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • • ¾ tsp sea salt
  • • 1 tsp black pepper
  • • 2 tsp Better than Boullion
  • • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • • 4 carrots, chopped
  • • 3 cups dried lentils, rinsed
  • • 18 oz diced tomatoes
  • • 1 cup spinach
  • • 1 cup purple or red potatoes, chopped
Instructions
  1. • Heat oil, onion, onion, cumin, and ¼ tsp salt in a large stock pot over medium heat.
  2. • Once soft, add chopped celery, carrots, tomatoes, and potatoes. Heat through for 5 minutes.
  3. • Add rinsed lentils and enough water to cover the lentils. Cook until soft (~20 minutes).
  4. • When fully heated, add spinach and a teaspoon of Better than Bouillon.
  5. • Adjust seasoning and serve with bread!

 

  Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day,   samantha attard sig

 


samantha attard happy healthy humanSamantha Attard, PhD, is the founder of Happy Healthy Human. Sam is a performance coach, yoga instructor, and makes delicious snacks to help you eat with intention. Learn more here.

 

Healthy Carbs Cheat Sheet

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Get the guidelines on good vs bad carbs, including a sample day's meal plan!

 

 

 


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3 steps to *actually* make a habit change

 

We all know habit change is hard, but we often forget about 2 critical steps in the process. Read below to make sure you’re not forgetting these important steps.

 

 

This post originally appeared in my weekly newsletter – a Sunday morning email that shares mindful moments, health tips, and interesting news to make you smile. Sign up to receive yours, and be sure to share with a friend!

 

 

In the car last week, it truly struck me. Changing a habit or thought pattern is not a 1-step process. It’s actually 3.

 

How many times have you been told that snacking at night is hindering your weight loss? Or have you been told that short bursts of high intensity exercise are truly good for you? Or that sleeping more will make a huge difference in your health?

 

And yet, it’s pretty hard to put all of those pieces of advice into practice.

 

That’s what I was thinking about this week. There’s a big difference between:

  1. Intellectually knowing something
  2. Emotionally internalizing it
  3. Actually acting on it.

 

And to not acknowledge these three steps is a disservice to yourself. Because when we think that we should hear something and immediately be able to put it into action…we get frustrated or sad when or if we don’t succeed.

 

So three steps. How do we move from hearing something and “knowing” it to actually doing it? This is where emotionally internalizing it comes into play.

 

So how do you emotionally internalize new knowledge?

 

Take out a journal, a piece of paper, or a fresh word document and answer these questions:

  1. What did I learn?
  2. What did I believe before I knew this knowledge?
  3. What do I believe now that I know this knowledge?
  4. How would my life change if I implemented this knowledge?

Answering these questions help you understand how important this new knowledge is. Instead of equally weighting the importance of every piece of advice you hear, you can decide – how does this knowledge change my worldview? How does this impact my life today and in the future?

 

What it ultimately does is help you decide which pieces of knowledge you actually want to implement into your life, and what impact you think it will have on you.

 

The next piece is putting it into action.

 

Once you’ve decided that this new knowledge is important to you, it’s time to put it into practice. Get back out that word document, and ask yourself:

  1. What would putting this knowledge into practice look like for me?
  2. What would get in the way of putting this knowledge into practice?
  3. How can I stay accountable to this new knowledge?
  4. What preparation steps do I need to take in order to put this knowledge into practice?

 

What these questions do is allow you to get practical. You figure out what you want to do, what’s standing in your way, and how you keep yourself on track. This is what makes sure you remember this new knowledge and put it into practice.

 

This week’s assignment:

What’s a piece of advice you’ve heard recently that you haven’t been able to put into practice yet? Answer the questions from this post, and decide your course of action. Share in the comments below or with other members of our Happy Healthy Human community in our private Facebook group. Your experience might bring you or someone else exactly the inspiration needed to take the next step. Thank you for sharing!

 

  Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day,   samantha attard sig

 

This post originally appeared in my weekly newsletter – a Sunday morning email that shares mindful moments, health tips, and interesting news to make you smile. Sign up to receive yours, and be sure to share with a friend!

 


samantha attard happy healthy humanSamantha Attard, PhD, is the founder of Happy Healthy Human. Sam is a performance coach, yoga instructor, and makes delicious snacks to help you eat with intention. Learn more here.

 

Healthy Carbs Cheat Sheet

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Get the guidelines on good vs bad carbs, including a sample day's meal plan!


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The Luxury of Mindfulness

Is mindfulness a luxury? Should self-realization be a priority when there’s so much sadness in the world? Let’s talk.

 

This post originally appeared in my weekly newsletter – a Sunday morning email that shares mindful moments, health tips, and interesting news to make you smile. Sign up to receive yours, and be sure to share with a friend!

 

A few weeks ago I led a conversation with Innovators Box about mindfulness. One of the participants comments is still on my brain.

 

She said that with all of the trouble and difficulty in the world – mindfulness is a privilege. We are privileged to not have to worry about the source of our next meal or shelter. We get to worry about happiness and living our best life.

 

For some people, this statement induces guilt. Who are we to worry about mindfulness? Shouldn’t our energy go towards helping those in need? Or eradicating the hunger, and then we can all worry about mindfulness?

 

I understand this sentiment. I’m lucky to spend as much time and energy as I do thinking about my own happiness. I’m fortunate that the things which cause me stress are minuscule compared to what many people are dealing with.

 

However, I also don’t think this should be a cause for guilt or shame. Self-care and mindfulness is a privilege, and it’s also a responsibility.

 

I have the luxury of thinking about how to live my best life. That also means I have the luxury to think about how others can live their best lives too. If I was trying to solve world hunger without first putting my own brain and emotional state in the right place, I’d be hard pressed to find creative, effective solutions.

 

If I’m going to be the best problem-solver, friend, coach, and leader, I need to be in the best place physically and mentally possible.

 

I keep coming back to the same quote: “put on your mask on before assisting others.”

 

Self-care, mindfulness, meditation, yoga…these are not selfish acts. They are gifts to those around you.

 

It’s a privilege, and it’s a responsibility. With our recent Thanksgiving holiday, we get to think of all of the things we’re grateful for. Let’s take this gratitude and act on it – let’s truly treat ourselves so incredibly well, so that we can give our best to others.

 

This week’s assignment:

What self-care routines are most important to you during the holiday season? What do you let go of in the hustle and bustle of family and celebration, and what should you reclaim so that you can be your best? Leave your response in a comment below, or share your experience with other members of our Happy Healthy Human community in our private Facebook group. Your experience might bring you or someone else exactly the inspiration needed to take the next step. Thank you for sharing!

 

  Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day,   samantha attard sig

 

This post originally appeared in my weekly newsletter – a Sunday morning email that shares mindful moments, health tips, and interesting news to make you smile. Sign up to receive yours, and be sure to share with a friend!

 


samantha attard happy healthy humanSamantha Attard, PhD, is the founder of Happy Healthy Human. Sam is a performance coach, yoga instructor, and makes delicious snacks to help you eat with intention. Learn more here.

 

Healthy Carbs Cheat Sheet

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Self awareness and life as a backseat driver

Self awareness is not easy. How can you learn more self awareness and make decisions in line with your values and goals?

 

This post originally appeared in my weekly newsletter – a Sunday morning email that shares mindful moments, health tips, and interesting news to make you smile. Sign up to receive yours, and be sure to share with a friend!

 

We’re great backseat drivers because it’s easy. Same with being the Monday morning quarterback. “Let me in, coach! I’ll knock the socks off those guys!”

 

We laugh (or get frustrated) at someone who’s sharing their opinion without actually executing, but there’s something deeper going on.

 

You see – it’s so easy to see how your friend could be happier, how someone else’s project could be run more efficiently, or what your sister’s positive qualities are.

 

We have no problem forming solutions and sharing them when they apply to other people.

 

Seeing these same solutions and qualities in ourselves? Not so easy.

 

Think about the times you’ve been in a relationship everyone else could see was wrong, or when a solution was right in front of your nose. Or, traits or positive qualities in yourself that took you a long time to see and appreciate in yourself. Those things that people tell you about yourself, but it took you a long time to believe.

 

This blindness hurts us.

 

It causes us to stay in situations that aren’t right for us. It causes us to make decisions that don’t put us on a path to fulfillment, and it causes us to not share our gifts with the world.

 

Why is this self-awareness so difficult? A few ideas:

  1. We’re so entrenched and close to the situations that we don’t see the larger picture/context for our lives.
  2. We have to actually act on it. It’s easy to say “you need to leave your job”, much harder to be the person that actually deals with the ramifications of that action.
  3. Fear. If we see the truth of our actions and vow to live in full alignment with our purpose, we have a lot more work to do.

 

How to cultivate that self-awareness:

  1. Talk with someone outside the situation. Working with a coach has been critical for my personal and professional development. By talking with someone completely removed from my situation, I’ve gotten an outsiders perspective and explain my thought process aloud – a very useful exercise.
  2. Indulge your vata. We’ve talked before about how following potential scenarios in your head can help you “try on” certain decisions without acting on them. If you did start that workout routine or quit that job or change cities…what could happen? What would be the pros and the cons? What barriers lie in your way? What could you learn? Does this choice remind you of something in your past, and what led to success or failure in that situation? Allow yourself to first imagine, so you can make the decision prepared and confident for what’s ahead.
  3. Know your strength. I’m currently reading “The Icarus Deception” by Seth Godin, and he tells an interesting story. Most of us are familiar with the story of Icarus – the boy who wanted to fly, so he built himself wings. Despite his father’s warning not to fly too close to the sun, Icarus gets greedy, does fly close to the sun, and then his wings melt and he falls to his death. The part that is not often told is that the father also warns Icarus not to fly too low. If he does so, his wings will get moist from the ocean and he will fail as well. We always worry about flying too high, but flying too low has it’s perils as well. You have the ability to soar, to get everything you want from life, and to excel. You are deserving of living a life that you love so completely and fully. How will you fly?

 

This week’s assignment:

Think of a time that you didn’t see a solution right in front of your face. What allowed your vision to clear? Is there something now you could use some more awareness on? Which of my 3 tips will you use to help you navigate ahead? Leave a comment below share your experience with other members of our Happy Healthy Human community in our private Facebook group. Your experience might bring you or someone else exactly the inspiration needed to take the next step. Thank you for sharing!

 

  Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day,   samantha attard sig

 

This post originally appeared in my weekly newsletter – a Sunday morning email that shares mindful moments, health tips, and interesting news to make you smile. Sign up to receive yours, and be sure to share with a friend!

 


samantha attard happy healthy humanSamantha Attard, PhD, is the founder of Happy Healthy Human. Sam is a performance coach, yoga instructor, and makes delicious snacks to help you eat with intention. Learn more here.

 

Healthy Carbs Cheat Sheet

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Get the guidelines on good vs bad carbs, including a sample day's meal plan!


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Super Healthy, Grain-Free Sweet Potato Pancake Recipe

Make this super healthy sweet potato pancake recipe for your next breakfast or brunch. They’re filling, decadent, and super healthy. High in protein, fiber, and vitamin A, they’ll keep you and your family happy and healthy through the fall and winter months

 

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

 

If you’d let me, I’d eat breakfast 3 meals a day.

 

There are so many options! You can go sweet or savory, raw or cooked, light or more substantial.

 

Many of you have heard about the famous, two-ingredient pancakes which are getting rave reviews from readers around the country (and are basically the breakfast I make for any house guests or whenever I need to show gratitude to someone sharing their house with me).

 

But my sister’s latex allergy (which means she can’t have foods like bananas, mangos, and avocados), made me want to try out some banana-free pancakes.

 

While these super healthy sweet potato pancakes have more than 2 ingredients, they are still free of flour, grains, and can even be sugar free.

 

The banana egg pancakes have a light, tropical feel, but the sweet potato pancakes are perfect for the chillier fall and winter days ahead. If anything, they seem even more like regular pancakes than the banana pancakes do, so you can fool even the pickiest eaters in your house.

 

And since we’re such close friends, I’ll let you in on an amazing secret: pair the pancakes with a little maple syrup and pecan butter (we used handmade, but you can find great pecan butter from Big Spoon here). It is the most delicious combination, and you’ll almost feel bad about how delicious it is.

 

The nutrition

Let’s count up the score, shall we? We have:

-Gluten-free

-dairy-free

-refined sugar-free

-high protein

-make with whole foods

-high in fiber and vitamin A

-delicious

-easy

-store well!

 

Time to get cooking! 

 

Super Healthy Grain-Free Sweet Potato Pancakes
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Make these sweet potato pancakes for your next breakfast or brunch. They’re filling, decadent, and super healthy. High in protein, fiber, and vitamin A, they’ll keep you and your family happy and healthy through the fall and winter months!
Author:
Serves: 2 as a full breakfast
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cups cooked sweet potato
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • Coconut oil (for pan)
  • 1 tsp honey (optional)
  • Almond, peanut, or sunflower seed butter (for dipping, optional)
  • Maple syrup (for dipping, optional)
  • Jam (for dipping, optional)
Instructions
  1. Combine the sweet potato, eggs, chia, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and honey (if using) in a blender and blend until combined and smooth. (If your batter is too thick, just add a few tablespoons of water and blend!)
  2. Preheat your skillet to medium/high heat with coconut oil.
  3. Spoon out the batter onto the skillet – about 2 tbsp for each pancake (works best if the pancakes are about 3 inches in diameter).
  4. When the bottoms of the pancakes begin to solidify and turn brown, flip the pancakes over.
  5. Cook until browned on the bottom (you want them to still be fluffy and slightly squishy through the middle.)
  6. Keep warm until serving.
  7. When serving, top with nut butter and a bit of jam or maple syrup

 

  Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day,   samantha attard sig

 


samantha attard happy healthy humanSamantha Attard, PhD, is the founder of Happy Healthy Human. Sam is a performance coach, yoga instructor, and makes delicious snacks to help you eat with intention. Learn more here.

 

Healthy Carbs Cheat Sheet

2016-07-15_07.54.46

Get the guidelines on good vs bad carbs, including a sample day's meal plan!

 


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Election Recovery

In our 2016 election recovery – how do we move forward with acceptance, peace, and compassion?

 

This post originally appeared in my weekly newsletter – a Sunday morning email that shares mindful moments, health tips, and interesting news to make you smile. Sign up to receive yours, and be sure to share with a friend!

 

Looking for a little pre-holiday happiness? Join me at my Relaxing Urban Retreat on Sunday, November 20th for a day of yoga, nourishing food, and community. Register here.

 

Note: this post is not going to be a political lambast. You know that HHH is all about non-judgement and peace. Please read through fully and with an open mind. Thank you for your understanding.

 

This was my first election season in DC.

 

I was ready for the campaigning, the political ads, the constant chatter about it at restaurants and bars.

 

I wasn’t ready for the energy.

 

Starting on election day, there was this energy in the air. This panic. This manic burst of electricity all over the city. The day after was even worse. Think about it: a huge percentage of the city’s population would be leaving DC, knowing that the change in power means upheaval and change in their own lives.

 

Buddhist teacher Ethan Nichtern said it very well. “The story of this election is not blame. The story of this election is white people not knowing what to do with fear. I know how that feels.” (emphasis mine)

 

Now whether or not you agree with him about the election being about fear, I appreciate the sentiment:

I know how that feels. Every single person spewing hateful rhetoric, whether it’s towards Democrats, Republicans, Third Party Voters, the press, the FBI director, old people, young people, Hispanics, or any other group – is expressing a fear we have found in ourselves.

 

Maybe we don’t openly discriminate against minorities. Or treat women as play objects. But maybe we villainize the slow coworker. Or your ex boyfriend. Or you villainize your own aging process. The mistakes you’ve made in the past. The weaknesses. The troubles.

 

We all have fear and pain inside of us.

 

The unenlightened response to that fear: to attack others. To claim the other is the problem. The other is what is making your pain real.

 

The enlightened response: see that their fear is your fear. That you’ve felt this pain too. And to then seek the tools and the help to move through that fear with as little negative impact on others as possible.

 

It’s about attempting to clear the negative energy with love, not hate.

 

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself”- Rumi

 

This Week’s Assignment:

Do a favor for your fellow humankind and do something to bring more love and kindness into the world today. Share what you did to spread the love by commenting below or sharing your experience with other members of our Happy Healthy Human community our private Facebook group. Your experience might bring you or someone else exactly the inspiration needed to take the next step. Thank you for sharing!

  Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day,   samantha attard sig
This post originally appeared in my weekly newsletter – a Sunday morning email that shares mindful moments, health tips, and interesting news to make you smile. Sign up to receive yours, and be sure to share with a friend!

 


samantha attard happy healthy humanSamantha Attard, PhD, is the founder of Happy Healthy Human. Sam is a performance coach, yoga instructor, and makes delicious snacks to help you eat with intention. Learn more here.

 

Healthy Carbs Cheat Sheet

2016-07-15_07.54.46

Get the guidelines on good vs bad carbs, including a sample day's meal plan!


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Remembering who you are

When faced with a difficult situation: remember who you are. It will keep you from letting that negativity spread through the rest of your life.

 

This post originally appeared in my weekly newsletter – a Sunday morning email that shares mindful moments, health tips, and interesting news to make you smile. Sign up to receive yours, and be sure to share with a friend!

 

Being friendly doesn’t mean you never run into conflict.

 

Case in point: I had a pretty tumultuous relationship with my advisor in graduate school. It cause me a lot of stress and distress. There was tossing and turning, there was anger and frustration, and there were a lot of tears.

 

Even after I graduated and I was living in a different city, the mention of her name or conversation about my dissertation would make this wellspring of anger rise up in me.

 

I was incredibly uncomfortable with this feeling, and throughout my time at UNC I did whatever I could to keep my anger in check proceed peacefully with my advisor.

 

Luckily, this extreme distress didn’t overwhelm my entire life, likely because I was working so mindfully to contain it. Many people aren’t as fortunate: a negative relationship or work environment overtakes their lives. They stop exercising, seeing friends, and taking care of themselves. They act in ways they wouldn’t under normal circumstances.

 

I think the best tool I used during that time to maintain healthy habits and my happiness was to remember who I am.

 

You see, whenever I was dealing with my advisor, I would forget. I would forget who I was. I would get angry, sad, and stressed. I wouldn’t living up to my own values and standards for how I want to live my life. I felt like I didn’t even recognize myself.

 

So I took measures to remember who I am.

 

My officemate and I decorated the office with inspirational quotes that correlated with the weekly newsletters I was writing each week. I made yoga a non-negotiable in my day. I made time to talk with friends and family who I was comfortable with being silly, happy, and carefree.

 

Remember who I am. That was the secret.

 

Now whether you’re going through a difficult time or not, figuring out what it means to “remember who you are” is incredibly important. For some people, it involves retreating and spending more time at home. For others, it’s getting out and getting active.

 

Ask yourself: Who am I? What do I value? What are the non-negotiables I need in my life to remember who I am?

 

If you have those practices in place, then the other ups and downs don’t phase you as much. Hard situations aren’t as serious, because you’re still you. You’re still taking care of your needs.

 

No matter the situation – you are you. Sometimes we just need help remembering.

 

This Week’s Assignment:

What makes you you? Make a list of some of your favorite activities that you want to maintain, no matter the circumstances Has there ever been a time in your life that you forgot who you were? How did you remember again?  Head on over to our private Facebook group and answer our poll. Your experience might bring you or someone else exactly the inspiration needed to take the next step. Thank you for sharing!

  Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day,   samantha attard sig
This post originally appeared in my weekly newsletter – a Sunday morning email that shares mindful moments, health tips, and interesting news to make you smile. Sign up to receive yours, and be sure to share with a friend!

samantha attard happy healthy humanSamantha Attard, PhD, is the founder of Happy Healthy Human. Sam is a performance coach, yoga instructor, and makes delicious snacks to help you eat with intention. Learn more here.

Healthy Carbs Cheat Sheet

2016-07-15_07.54.46

Get the guidelines on good vs bad carbs, including a sample day's meal plan!


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The Best You Can

Are you doing the best you can? What about everyone around you? Read this post to rethink and redefine “best”.

 

This post originally appeared in my weekly newsletter – a Sunday morning email that shares mindful moments, health tips, and interesting news to make you smile. Sign up to receive yours, and be sure to share with a friend!

 

Do you think people are doing the best that they can?

This was a question that in her book, Rising Strong, Brene Brown claims she became obsessed with, and I have to admit, this past week, I did as well.

 

It’s an interesting question, right? Are the people you come into contact with on a day-to-day basis trying their best? (editors note: when I read over this draft, I realized I had written “there best” in the previous sentence…)

 

Before you jump to your conclusion: some ground rules.

  • We’re not saying that each person is living up to their highest potential.
  • We are not saying that these people are at the pinnacle of success in their career and lives.
  • What we are saying is that at this given moment, people are making decisions and acting in a way that is the best that they can do in that moment.

So what do you think? In Rising Strong, Brene talks about how she used to be of the “people are not doing their best” camp. And she stayed firmly in this position, until she one day experienced a friend claiming that Brene was not doing her best. Brene sat there and said to herself…”but I am doing my best.” And in that instant, she realized that her perception of what were people’s best was flawed. Only we ourselves know if we’re doing our best in any given moment.

 

Two important things that Brene noticed about this question:

  1. People who believed that others weren’t doing their best were often hardest on themselves. These people aren’t unkind or cruel, they simply have very high standards for themselves and others. Brene found that as people released some of the pressure they put on themselves to be the most successful or the best compared to others, the more they were actually able to relax into doing their personal best in this moment. (That means experiencing a lot less stress).
  2. When you believe that those around you are doing their best, difficult situations don’t seem all that bad, and you develop a deep sense of compassion. This was fascinating to me. What happens is that when someone disappointing happens – maybe a coworker doesn’t pull his weight on a project, or your friend flakes on your dinner plans – you don’t sit around and get angry about what happened. You don’t take up time and energy wondering why they’re doing it or take it personally that they didn’t pull through. Instead, you start to search and see if there could be a reason why this person is giving their best at this time. Maybe there’s something you can do to support them. Maybe you can let it go. And of course, maybe you can realize that this person’s best is not what you need right now, and it’s time to end the business or personal relationship. But the point is that instead of stewing about it, you move forward and make a decision. Progress is made.

 

It’s very important to note here that if you don’t believe people are doing their best, I’m not saying you’re a bad person. Of course not! However, it’s interesting to look into your brain patterns and see how you perceive the situations around you. If you’re finding yourself perpetually disappointed or in drama with the people in your life, it might be worth it to consider whether shifting your thoughts around this issue might lead to more happiness.

 

This Week’s Assignment:

So let’s here it: do you believe people are doing their best? Head on over to our private Facebook group and answer our poll. Your experience might bring you or someone else exactly the inspiration needed to take the next step. Thank you for sharing!

  Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day,   samantha attard sig
This post originally appeared in my weekly newsletter – a Sunday morning email that shares mindful moments, health tips, and interesting news to make you smile. Sign up to receive yours, and be sure to share with a friend!

samantha attard happy healthy humanSamantha Attard, PhD, is the founder of Happy Healthy Human. Sam is a performance coach, yoga instructor, and makes delicious snacks to help you eat with intention. Learn more here.

Healthy Carbs Cheat Sheet

2016-07-15_07.54.46

Get the guidelines on good vs bad carbs, including a sample day's meal plan!


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