Hurry Up and Slow Down!


It is suddenly winter here in Southern Vermont! But only a little. It snowed. It stuck. It’s official. (So what if it was gone the next day?) ūüėČ

The day before the forecast I realized that I needed to finish up some projects that I have been procrastinating on since the lazy, hazy summer was still lingering. Most glaringly: lawn debris! Walking back from the mailbox, and with the forecast looming in my mind, I said to myself “OK! Real talk time: this stuff could be buried under a foot (I exaggerate in my mind… Don’t we all?) of snow and ice tomorrow! I need to kick it into high gear! It’s time to ride that autumn wave of productivity and clean up my yard, and house before winter is fully here and all I want to do is curl up in my house/cave!!!”

It is time to pull out that dusty to-do list, and scratch off a few stragglers so that the holidays and the winter months may pass peacefully. Aren’t you getting the urge to snuggle up on the couch with a good book and a cup of cocoa just about every day now?! Before you hunker down for good, get some final housekeeping (literal and figurative) done, and you’ll lift a weight off of your shoulders.

get ready to relax!

get ready to relax!

Hurry UP! And then, slow down.

I know I will!

1. make a to-do list

2. complete a few tasks

3. get the ball rolling on a few more tasks that will take time and other forces to come to completion

4. feel great about tackling those tasks!

5. relax!

Wishing you all the motivation, celebration and peace possible! I’m rooting for you!

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Boundaries


Learning to assert our own personal boundaries is often a life-long process. We begin (often clumsily) as children: shoving others out of our personal bubble, crying when some other kid takes our toys, leaning over someone to grab the book that we want (elbowing them in the face in the process)…

At home, we learn to draw boundaries around our beds, bedrooms, diaries and physical property. By middle school, we are learning how to assert our boundaries surrounding our rapidly changing physical bodies. In high school, our sexuality blossoms and boundaries may be greatly challenged.

In young adulthood, we struggle with asserting our independence, needs, and wishes with a variety of people: our bosses, co-workers, house mates, and family. At this stage of life, we are thrust into a life of greater responsibility.

We have to learn what our wishes and needs are, as well as what we don’t want in our lives, in order to recognize and assert our boundaries. A person who is not very self aware will have a hard time asserting appropriate boundaries. A common response is to set hard and fast general boundaries that may be interpreted as being stubborn and withdrawn. An equally common response is to set no or very little boundaries. This person will have a hard time saying “no” and is often engaged in various activities with a wide range of people all the time. They will always help you (and everyone else in their lives) no matter the circumstances, and ask nothing in return.

don’t let turkeys push your boundaries

I have recently been challenged with drawing boundaries around my personal self and business self. Starting my own health coaching practice has required my face, name, and contact information to be blasted all over my (physical and online) community. I can not hide from dangers and stress. I must face it head-on, or risk tarnishing my professional name. Don’t get me wrong, I am still just an ordinary person, who sometimes pays her bills late, forgets to bring back library books, and occasionally sleeps through her alarm.¬† Continue reading

Wednesday’s Workshop Teaser


This Wednesday, November 7th from 5:30-6:30pm at Equilibrium on Elm St in Brattleboro, VT, I will be leading part two of my recent workshop series: Happy, Healthy Holidays. This workshop will focus on managing stress during the holiday season. We will cover a variety of topics for total-body wellness during the most wonderful (and also most stressful) time of the year.

  • Explore how to interact with friends and family members in a healthy manner.
  • Learn a variety of relaxation techniques to keep your stress level low.
  • Discover the connections between stress and food, and how to avoid weight gain this holiday season.
  • Contemplate strategies for shifting focus from money and gifts, to love, goodwill, and the magic of the season.

If you are in the greater Brattleboro area, I hope to see you this Wednesday for this important workshop. The cost is only $6, and you will receive a copy of the presentation afterward to review the information covered in your own home.

For those of you who are not local to Brattleboro, or who are not able to attend, I am looking into offering both Part One: Healthy Hosting and Guesting (covering healthy cooking for the holidays) and Part Two: Happy Holidays as online workshops. Stay posted.

Angie’s Top Tips for Avoiding Over-indulgence


This Wednesday I lead a workshop in Brattleboro called Happy, Healthy Holidays: Healthy Hosting (and guest-ing!). The workshop focused on keeping holiday cuisine easy to digest, and specialty diet-friendly. I also touched upon everyone’s favorite elephant near the holiday table: emotional eating and over-indulgence.

As a pre-Halloween/Thanksgiving/Christmas/Solstice/etc./etc. treat to you, I give you…

ANGIE’S TOP TIPS FOR AVOIDING OVER-INDULGENCE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON!

  • Go in with a plan!!!
  1. Know your triggers! – If pie is your downfall, then solemnly swear to yourself (and a witness if necessary) that you will only have so much, and that’s. it. (One small slice, or maximum of two for example.)
  2. Set your limits before you even see the food. Before you leave home? Three days ahead? Whatever it takes to get those limits solidly in your brain so that the chances of ditching the game plan are slim.
  3. Visualize how you’d like to feel after the meal: vibrant and energized? Content and light? Most likely you don’t¬†want to feel bloated, grumpy, tired and guilt-ridden.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation. The stressful (and potentially awkward or dramatic) act of large family or friend gatherings can lead us to slug back one too many Irish Coffees in an effort to simply calm the nerves. Again, set limits beforehand, and be sure to alternate each adult beverage with a glass of water. Speaking of which… Continue reading

My Happy Place


I have a place that heals and rejuvenates me every summer. It was introduced to me by my college room mate who is fortunate enough to own property there. It is an island that those who have spent any length of time on hold fondly in their hearts. The place? Cuttyhunk.

I visit for at least a few days at a time every summer. I eat home-cooked food, often made with garden-fresh produce because there are very few restaurants. I walk everywhere, climbing up and down the hilly roads, because the island is so small there is little need for a vehicle. I play volleyball, and partake in dance fitness class (but have yet to make it to sunset yoga on the beach). I walk barefoot and connect with the earth. I commune with the wind, sitting on bunkers, on the highest points of the island looking out at close to 360 degrees of ocean. I am buoyed and healed by the tranquil sea. I collect treasures along the shore. I worship the sun by day, the moon and stars by night.
Each visit, I have a profound experience learning about my true self.
This year, I returned from my four day vacation a solid 5 pounds lighter, (and still dropping) more relaxed, with better digestion, and increased muscle tone.
A few years ago, I decided to embark on my journey to become a health coach, and I had a vision of future health retreats on Cuttyhunk Island.

Iced tea on the porch, Churches Beach, Cuttyhunk MA

I had hoped to share with you more of the enchanting sites on Cuttyhunk, but a digital error erased the majority of the photos I took this July. Perhaps it’s better to remain a gorgeous mystery prime for discovery.

Fight-or-Flight


ImageOn top of this mountain, when a quick storm rolled in, I panicked. ¬†I was alone, without food or shelter, and running low on water. ¬†I had gone hiking on a whim and had not told anyone where I was going. ¬†I took a deep breath and decided to head down the mountain at a slightly quicker than leisurely pace. ¬†But a short time ago in human history, I would not have panicked. ¬†I would have been used to enduring the elements and weathering the storm. ¬†The anxiety that kicked in was my body’s natural response to a scary situation: the fight-or-flight response. ¬†But a wild human would not have that reaction to a mere thundershower. ¬†That response would be reserved for real, life-threatening danger. ¬†For many of us, our fight-or-flight response needs to be re-calibrated. Read my post about weathering the emotional storm here. And be well.

This hike is a short and rewarding one in Dummerston, VT.  For more on hiking Vermont check out http://www.voga.org/hiking.htm

Weathering The Storm


In modern times, it has become commonplace to refer to a variety of emotional and physical conditions with the blanket term “stress”. ¬†People will often use the excuse “I’m stressed out” to mean “I am physically ill with panic and anxiety” or “I am so depressed I can hardly function” or simply, “I have over-scheduled myself”. ¬†There are so many common conditions that range from mild to deadly serious that relate to emotion health. ¬†In American society, we have put too much emphasis on productivity, and have connected being overly productive to being successful and even popular. An imbalance is highly likely to occur when we chronically over-work ourselves and do not take the time to reflect and process our emotions. ¬†Because our society in general views mental health problems as abnormal and undesired, people experiencing emotional issues are likely to keep them to themselves, become isolated, and exacerbate the problem. ¬†There are probably many high functioning people with anxiety, depression, PTSD, eating disorders or a similar condition in your life right now. ¬†Maybe you quietly suffer yourself. ¬†

Today I will present some tips on how to “weather the storm” and regain balance if you are suffering from an emotional health issue. ¬†I have found these practices helpful for my own battles with anxiety, depression and PTSD. ¬†I hope they will help you no matter what your situation. Continue reading

Grief


One week ago today I lost my grandfather.  His passing was sudden and unexpected.  During the past week I have seen many different reactions to loss, and phases of grieving. I thought I would share a few words on grieving, one of the toughest emotional states we can face.

The following excerpts are from the A.D.A.M. medical encyclopedia.

“Grief is a reaction to a major loss. It is most often an unhappy and painful emotion.

Grief may be triggered by the death of a loved one. People also can experience grief if they have an illness for which there is no cure, or a chronic condition that affects their quality of life. The end of a significant relationship may also cause a grieving process.

Everyone feels grief in their own way. However, there are common stages to the process of mourning. It starts with recognizing a loss and continues until a person eventually accepts that loss. People’s responses to grief will be different, depending on the circumstances of the death. Continue reading